Pres. Barack Obama on Ellen Breaking His Twitter Record

– WE’RE BACK WITH THE 44TH
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,BARACK OBAMA, WHO’S JOINING US
FROM THE ELLEN BLUE ROOMAT THE WHITE HOUSE. MR. PRESIDENT, IT HAS BEEN
AWHILE SINCE WE’VE SPOKEN. YOU LOOK GREAT.
HOW ARE YOU?- I AM DOING GREAT.
YOU LOOK WONDERFUL ALSO. – WELL, THANK YOU SO MUCH
FOR SAYING THAT. YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO JUST BECAUSE
I SAID YOU LOOK GOOD,BUT THAT WAS NICE OF YOU. – IT IS TRUE. – I DON’T KNOW IF YOU KNOW THIS,BUT I WAS AIMING TO BREAK
YOUR RECORD OF RETWEETS,AND I APOLOGIZE FOR DOING IT,BUT I BROKE YOUR RETWEET RECORD. – I HEARD ABOUT THAT. I THOUGHT IT WAS A PRETTY CHEAP
STUNT MYSELF,GETTING A BUNCH OF CELEBRITIES
IN THE BACKGROUND. – THAT’S THE ONLY THING— YOU FEEDING THEM PIZZA.
– YEAH. SO THE FIRST LADY’S IN CHINA. HOW IS SHE DOING?- YOU KNOW,
SHE HASN’T LANDED YET,BUT THE HOUSE IS ABANDONED. I’M STUCK WITH TWO DOGS,AND. . . I’M EXPECTED TO WALK THEMAND DO WHAT YOU DO
WHEN YOU WALK DOGS. BUT I THINK THEY’RE GONNA
HAVE A WONDERFUL TIME, THOUGH. THEY HAVEN’T BEEN TO CHINA
BEFORE,AND THE OPPORTUNITY FOR THEM
TO TALK TO YOUNG PEOPLE–THEY’VE ACTUALLY MET
WITH STUDENTSHERE IN THE UNITED STATES
WHO’VE MADE THESE TRIPS BEFOREAND HELPED BRIEF THEM IN TERMS
OF WHAT THEY SHOULD SEE,AND IT’S GONNA BE
A WONDERFUL EXCHANGE,AND HOPEFULLY BECAUSE
OF THIS TRIP,THEY MAY BE ABLE TO INVITE
SOME CHINESE STUDENTSBACK TO THE UNITED STATES
AS WELL. – THAT’S AMAZING. YOUR DAUGHTERS–
HOW ARE THEY DOING?I MEAN, THEY’RE GROWING UP
SO FAST,EVERY TIME I SEE A PICTURE
OF THEM,AND FIRST OF ALL ANSWER
THAT QUESTION, PLEASE,AND THEN I HAVE A COMMENT
ABOUT THE TATTOO THINGTHAT YOU TOLD THEM. – WELL, THEY ARE DOING
WONDERFULLY. YOU KNOW, MALIA,
SHE TURNS 16 THIS SUMMER,WHICH IS A LITTLE SCARY. – WOW.
– AND SASHA’S GONNA BE 13. AND THEY’RE DOING GREAT
IN SCHOOL,AND THEY’RE SMART,
AND THEY’RE FUNNY,AND THEY’RE KIND,AND, YOU KNOW,
THEY’RE ATHLETIC,AND SO I REALLY HAVE
NO COMPLAINTS,EXCEPT FOR THE FACT
THAT INCREASINGLYTHEY DON’T HAVE THAT MUCH TIME
FOR ME. YOU KNOW, I AM JUST–I AM NOT THAT INTERESTING. THEY’RE NICE ABOUT IT, THOUGH,
BECAUSE THEY STILL LOVE ME,SO THEY’LL COME IN AND THEY’LL
PAT ME ON THE HEAD AND KISS ME,AND THEY’LL SAY, “OH, DADDY,
WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH,”AND THEY’LL TALK TO ME
FOR ABOUT FIVE MINUTES,AND THEN THEY’LL SAY, “WE’RE
GONNA BE GONE ALL WEEKEND. “- THEY’RE VERY BUSY. – SO THAT’S MAKING ME
A LITTLE SAD. – WELL, AND I BET. LET ME MENTION THIS. I DON’T KNOW IF EVERYONE
HEARD THIS,BUT YOU MADE THE MOST AMAZING
COMMENTABOUT IF THEY WOULD EVER GET
A TATTOO,AND I THINK EVERYONE
SHOULD STICK TO THIS RULE. IF YOUR DAUGHTERS GOT TATTOOS,THAT YOU AND MICHELLE WOULD
ALSO GET THE SAME TATTOOIN THE SAME PLACE AND YOU’D
ALL TAKE A FAMILY PHOTOOF ALL THE TATTOOS. – THAT’S EXACTLY RIGHT. WE WILL REDUCE THE COOL FACTOR
OF ANY TATTOO. MICHELLE AND I WILL BE
RIGHT THERE,AND WE’LL POST ITSO THAT EVERYBODY WILL BE ABLE
TO SEE IT,AND WE’LL SAY, “WE ALL GOT
MATCHING TATTOOS. “AND I SUSPECT THAT WILL BE
A PRETTY GOOD DETERRENTFOR BOTH MALIA AND SASHA. – I HATE TO SAY, BUT I HOPE
THEY GET TATTOOS. I REALLY DO. – ELLEN, YOU SHOULD BE
A PART OF THIS. YOU SHOULD PLEDGE TO ALSO
GET A TATTOO WITH US. – YEAH, WELL, YOU KNOW WHAT?IF THAT HAPPENS, I WILL,BUT OTHER THAN THAT,
I’M NOT INTO TATTOOS. I’M NOT GONNA DO THAT. LET’S ALSO TALK ABOUT–
YOU WENT SHOPPING. I DON’T KNOW HOW
YOU CAN DO THIS,BUT YOU WENT TO A MALL AND YOU
SHOPPED AT A GAP RECENTLY,BECAUSE YOU WERE PHOTOGRAPHED
SO I KNOW IT’S TRUE. – IT HAPPENED.
– IT HAPPENED. YOU WENT TO THE GAP,
AND YOU WENT SHOPPING. HOW DO YOU HAVE TIME— WELL, HERE–
HERE’S THE THING. WE WERE ON A TRIP TO NEW YORK,AND THE GAP ANNOUNCED THAT
THEY WERE GONNA MAKE SURETHAT ALL THEIR EMPLOYEES
AT LEAST GOT PAID $10 AN HOUR,SO THEY’RE INCREASING
THEIR WAGESFOR TENS OF THOUSANDS OF
EMPLOYEES ACROSS THE COUNTRY,AND SINCE WE’VE BEEN SAYING
THAT AMERICA DESERVES A RAISE,AND WE SHOULD PROVIDE A MINIMUM
WAGE OF AT LEAST $10. 10 AN HOUR,I THOUGHT IT WAS GREAT FOR METO BE ABLE TO GO
FREQUENT A STORETHAT’S DOING RIGHT
BY THEIR EMPLOYEES. – GOOD FOR YOU. – I THOUGHT THAT WAS
REALLY IMPORTANT. – GOOD FOR YOU.
THAT’S FANTASTIC. THEY SOLD A LOT OF THOSE
SWEATERS THAT YOU BOUGHT. I UNDERSTAND THOSE SWEATERS
THAT YOU BOUGHT SOLD OUT,BECAUSE EVERYBODY WANTED
TO WEAR THE SAME SWEATERSTHAT YOUR DAUGHTERS ARE WEARING. – WELL, I THOUGHT THEY WERE
PRETTY NICE SWEATERS,AND MALIA AND SASHA,
THEY DID NOT SCOWLWHEN I BROUGHT THEM IN,
WHICH WAS A GOOD SIGN. I MEAN, THEY DIDN’T IMMEDIATELY
SAY, “EWW, THAT’S TERRIBLE. “- WELL, YOU HAVE A FAMILY
OF GOOD TASTE. – I HAVE NOT YET SEEN THEM
WEAR THEM,BUT I’M HOPING
THAT I MAKE THE CUT. – WELL, I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THEM
WEAR THEM ALSO.

President Obama Tours the 2014 White House Science Fair

The President: Hello
Science Fair participants. Where are they?Oh, you’re first. The President: It’s
kind of intimidating. Look at all these pictures. Alana Simon: Hello. The President: How are you?Alana Simon: Great, how are you?The President: Good to see you. Alana Simon: Good
to see you, too. The President: Well
we’re so proud of you. Alana Simon: Thank you. The President: I was
reading up on you. You’ve done great stuff. Alana Simon: Thank you
very much, Mr. President. The President: All right. So, the, I don’t know if folks
are aware of this story,this young lady is remarkable. They’re all remarkable, but
I think it’s appropriatewe start right here. Tell everybody your name. Alana Simon: Hi,
I’m Alana Simon. The President: Alana Simon. And Alana, here is a picture
of you when you got sick. So, what happened?Alana Simon: Well, when
I was 12 years old,I was diagnosed with a rare
form of pediatric liver cancer,called fibrolamellar
hepatocellular carcinoma. The President: Wow –Alana Simon: That’s –The President: That’s so
impressive that you can say it. Alana Simon: Years of practice. The President: Yeah. Alana Simon: And not many people
know much about the disease. No one understood
it at the time. And that was pretty scary. But I was lucky in that they
caught it early enough. So through, you know, a liver
surgery in which they resectedmost of my liver, they were able
to get the entire tumor out. And I’ve been completely ever
since, which is incredible. The President: But
you look great. Alana Simon: Thank
you very much. The President: Yeah. Alana Simon: So then, a
couple of years later,I had this internship
at Cancer Research Lab,and I learned about this thing
called genetic sequencing –The President: Alana Simon: Where you look through someone’s DNA,which is the stuff that
codes for, you know,your entire body. And you’ll get people’s normal
cells and their tumor cells,and you try to figure out
what the difference is,what’s causing this cancer. The President: Right. Alana Simon: And I realized
that would be perfectfor fibrolamellar, because
you don’t have to havesome kind of base
understanding of the disease. And as a pediatric cancer,
it seemed to be perfect for,you know, looking at your DNA to
find the mutationsThe President: Right. Alana Simon: Because,
since you’re younger,you’ll have less
random mutations. The President: Right. Alana Simon: So, I talked to
my surgeon actually, who had,you know, cured me. And he mentored me, and he
actually got a lot of thesamples that I used, and he
helped me start this process,where I was doing genetic
sequencing on the kindof cancer I had had. And what we ended up finding
is this one common mutationin every single case
that we’ve looked at,that seems to be causing
this disease –The President: Right. Alana Simon: So, if you’ll
get to use some niceswim noodle chromosomes –The President:
These are, right. Alana Simon: So, chromosomes
are where you have allof your DNA stored, which
has your genes that it codesfor, you know, everything. And so here, in blue, I
have one gene, and in green,I have another. And what happens in
fibrolamellar patients,here is a normal
person’s chromosome –The President: Right. Alana Simon: And here is
a person with cancer. And so, yeah, you can see,
there’s this one deletion. So if you look at this, this
middle part gets deleted –The President: Right. Alana Simon: Its noodles,
these two genes fused together. And you get this weird chimera
gene, like chimera is, you know,from Greek mythology, you have
the head of one create and thebody of another. So –The President: I remember. Alana Simon: You have
the head of one gene,and the body of another. And so, that’s what happened in
these fibrolamellar patients. And when these two genes
are fused together,this weird new chimera protein
is what then goes into and turnson all these other genes
and actually causesthis cancer in patients. And so now that we know this,
we can create a blood testto actually test people,
diagnose them early –The President: So we can catchit even quicker –Alana Simon: Exactly. The President: Because we know
exactly what we’re looking for?Alana Simon: Precisely. The President: And you
then publish thisin Science Magazine –Alana Simon: Yes. The President: And receivedYoung Champion of Cancer
Research Award –Alana Simon: Yeah. The President: From the
American Cancer Society. Alana Simon: Yes,
it’s incredible. The President: We’re
so proud of you. Alana Simon: Thank you. The President: Can I just say
that I did notdo it at 12, 13, or 18?And it’s just inspiring, and
your parents must be they see you, they do. I’m sure they know
today as well. So, this is just a sampler
of the kind of outstandingyoung talent that we’ve
got, all right?Let’s, I’ve got to get a
good picture of people. This is my title, all right. The President: Are you
getting the chromosomesin the background?Peyton Robertson: Yes. The President: All right. The President: All right,so where are you
going to school?Alana Simon: I’m going
to Harvard next fall. The President: Yeah?Are you excited about that?What are you going to –?Alana Simon: Yeah,
I’m so excited. I’m actually working on the lab,
going to start with the bloodtest and what is real. The President: Yeah. Are you interested in the
research side or are youthinking you might actually
want to go to medical school?Alana Simon: I have no idea. I think I’m going
to pursue research,computer science is what allowed
me to do all of this research. So I’m definitely planning on
studying computer science. But I’ll find some way to
apply that to research or –The President: Good. Alana Simon:
Whatever I choose. The President: Well,
we’re very proud of you. Give me a hug. Alana Simon: Thank
you very much. The President: You’re
just doing great. Alana Simon: Thank you. The President: Unbelievable,
that’s wonderful. How are you doing?Peyton Robertson:
I’m good, thank you. How are you?The President: I’m doing good. I can tell you’re
a high-power guy. What’s your name?Peyton Robertson: I’m
Peyton, P-E-Y-T-O-N. The President: Great to see you. And where are you from, Peyton?Peyton Robertson: I’m from
Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The President: Fort
Lauderdale, Florida. So what have we got here?What is all this?Peyton Robertson: So I actuallyhave two –The President: You have two?One was not enough?You decided you had to have two?Peyton Robertson: I don’t know. They asked me to bring two. The President: All right. Peyton Robertson: So, here
retractable training wheelsthat allows the
item to adjust the heightof the training wheels while
actually riding a bike. So, when you’re feeling
confident –The President: Yeah. Peyton Robertson: –You just
twist the retraction handle. The President:
Aha, that’s smart. Peyton Robertson: And
the wheels can come up. The President: So
you can basically,rather than get your
screwdriver and you’relike not screwing everything –Peyton
Robertson: There you go. The President: — And then you
realize I’m stillkind of of wobbly, and then
you’ve got to put them backon, here, you can just kind of
see, how are you feeling duringthe course of the thing –Peyton Robertson: But, in any
case, if you want,if you feel like you’re about to fall –The President: Yeah. Peyton Robertson: –And lose
your balance –The President: Right away. Peyton Robertson: — It
comes right back down. And at any position,
it locks in place. So even if you start
to lose your balance,it will still give you enough
time to be able to twist backto the starting position. The President: I could
still use this now. Do you have an adult version, or
is it only on smaller breaks?Peyton Robertson: Well, I’m
watching over the kid’sbike manufacturer right now to
help get it on the market,but I’m sure this will be
applied to –The President: I think that’s probably right. The President:
Have you patented this?Peyton Robertson: I have a
patent pending –The President: Yeah. Peyton Robertson: — On
both of these actually. The President: Okay, well let’s
hear about the other one beforewe get into the patient issue. All right, so what’s the second
project you’ve got here?Peyton Robertson: So here, I
redesigned the sanal sandbag,placing the traditional
sand with polymer and salt. You know, living in Florida, I
know how devastating hurricanesand saltwater flooding can
be –The President: Right. Peyton Robertson: — You know,
we just had Hurricane Sandyin the news, and I survived
through Hurricane Wilma. I was four
with my mom,which was such a
scary experience. The President: I can imagine. Peyton Robertson: Yeah. The President: You still
remember that, huh?Peyton Robertson: Oh,
I do, many parts of it. The President: How
old are you now?Peyton Robertson: I’m 12. The President: Okay, all right. Peyton Robertson:
And, you know, today,while sandbags are the mostcommon method of federal
protection –The
President: Right. Peyton Robertson:
–They can be heavy,and difficult to transport. The President: Yes, I remember,
because that –Peyton Robertson: Like at
Santa Costa beach, yeah. The President: Yeah, yeah, I
remember that sometimeswith hurricanes, and yeah. Peyton Robertson: And then
also, leave gaps in betweenthe individual bags
when you stack them. The President: They don’t
compress together, right?Peyton Robertson: So I wanted to
redesign the sanal sandbagby replacing this thing
with powder and salt. So, when dry, my bags
are really like,wait, they only weigh four
pounds. But then when you add
water, it expands. And it becomes heavy,
and it becomes 30 pounds,and offers protection
against saltwater flooding. The President: So if I know
that the flood’s coming,I can pack these up, we can
deliver them to the sitemuch easier, you can fit more
bags in there, right?And you don’t even have to add
water because by definition,the water’s coming
in to hit the bay?Peyton Robertson: Well,
yes, you can do that. That is definitely a way. If, before the flood, if
you want to make sure,you can also hose it down –The President: You can just hose it down. Peyton Robertson: That’s
another way you wouldwant to do it. And the other advantage is if
you stack them when thelight weight, you don’t have to
carry all these heavy bags,but also, the polymer will expand. It’ll fill in the gaps in
between the individualbags while still being bonded by
theseinterlocking systems. So it’ll still stick together,
and you won’t have the gapsin between in between
the individual bags,you have the
traditional sandbags. The President:
Okay, time out here. Now, the, where did you get the
idea of,this one I kind of get, right?Because, basically, you skinned
your knee and you thought,you know, we should have a
better design on this thing. Peyton Robertson: Yeah, this is
actually when my sister firstlearned how to ride a bike. The President: Yeah, all right. Peyton Robertson: Yeah. The President: So how did you
get the idea for the wholepolymer thing, though?Peyton Robertson:
Well, you know,I guess I thought about
this living in Florida. The President: Right. Peyton Robertson: But for, the
idea of polymer, you know,for another idea that
I had had earlier,I’ve got to learn a little bit
about polymer from a universitythat I went to,
University of Mississippi,and I learned a littlebit about polymers, and when –The President: How old were you
when you wentto the University of Mississippi?Peyton Robertson: I
was about eight or so. The President: Is that right?Peyton Robertson: Yeah, I
had –The President: Yeah. Peyton
Robertson: — So, and, so,polymers to me are
found everywhere. They’re founded on skin tissues,
they’re founded in plants. But the type of polymer that I
used here is super absorbentpolymer, which takes on water
and it expands when wet. So, as you see here, this is
what a polymer lookslike when it’s all colored up. But then, when you add water, it
straightens out throughhydrogen bonding, and expands like this. Here, you want to try?The President: I do. The President: I
actually have one of these. Peyton Robertson: Oh, you do? Yes –The President:
They’re very cool. I love them. Peyton Robertson: Yeah, just
try to poke them and spear them. The President: Sometimes I
just stare at them in space. Peyton Robertson: I know. The President: Sometimes
in the Oval Office,I just look at one of
these, . The, well, so, you have a patent
pending on this as well, huh?Peyton Robertson: I do. And, you know, but the
idea of polymer has,and the sandbag has
been around for a while. People have used them in
diapers and in the snow,and other bags. And it takes on water
and expands when wet. The President: Oh, I see. You’ve got, you
can show us here. Peyton Robertson:
As you can see here,I’ve been doing these little
mini test tubesfor all the other
the big one for you. The President: Okay. Let’s see therePeyton Robertson: Watch what’s happened. The President: Look at that. Peyton Robertson: Yeah. The President: Now this isn’t
going to spill over, is it?Peyton Robertson: No, it’s notThe President: This is not the blob, is it?Peyton Robertson: No,
it’s not going to. The President: It’s not going
to eat up the White House?Peyton Robertson: I hope not. The President: There you go. Peyton Robertson: But, the key
to my designis the addition of salt. As you can see here, seawater
has a higher salt content. It is therefore denser and
heavier than tap water. So as you can see here, this
seawater sits below the dyed tapwater, because it has a higher
salt contentand is therefore denser. And I can show you here. What’s your favorite color?Pick one. The President: Blue. Peyton Robertson: All
right, I did blue. The President: Okay, red. Peyton Robertson: Okay. The President: All right. It’s not really my
favorite, but that’s okay. I’m just kidding. Peyton Robertson: So, so if youThe President: This guy. Peyton Robertson:
–If you pour the sand withoutworking the surface tensionThe President: Yeah. Peyton Robertson: You can get
this dyed tap water to siton top, just like this. The President:
Just as it is here?Peyton Robertson:
Just as it is here. The President: Right. Peyton Robertson: Perfect. The President: Okay. Peyton Robertson: And, this
is important to my sandbag,because I didn’t want my bags
to float away during the flood. Obviously, that would be bad. The President: Right. Peyton Robertson: So, what I did
was I added salt so the waterthat came into the bag would
be heavier and denser thanthe approaching seawater, so
therefore would sink belowthe approaching seawater so my
bags wouldn’t floataway during the floor. The President: Well, this
is all remarkable stuff. Now, the, so you’re 12. What grade are you in?Peyton Robertson:
I’m in sixth grade. The President: You’re
technically in sixth grade,but are you, you’re thinking you
might try to finish highschool a little quicker and get
to university a little faster,or you want to just kind
of take your time and — ?Peyton Robertson: Yeah,
you know, actually,the program that I’m doing now,
it allows me to acceleratein certain areas. The President: Ah –Peyton Robertson: So, I’m taking
like higher-level math andscience classes, I’m takinggrade-level English and other
stuff. The President: That makes
perfect sense –Peyton Robertson: So it’s
definitely . The President: Well, come on,
let’s take a good picture. Come on. Peyton Robertson: Okay. The President: Peyton, where you
at, oh, here we are. All right. Make sure you’ve got,
the polymer’s in here. Peyton Robertson: Oh yeah. The President: So,
now, one last question. Where do I buy stocking meat?Huh?Let’s just invest in this guy,
and then we’ll see, like,20 years from now,
we’ll be rich. I was not like this. Really proud of you –Peyton
Robertson: Thank you so much. The President: And you make
a great presentation also. Peyton Robertson: Thank you. The President: You have great
confidence and clarity inPeyton Robertson: Thank you. The President: How you’re
describing what you do. Peyton Robertson:
Thank you so much. The President: That’s wonderful. How are you?Deidre Carrillo: I’m
good, how are you?The President: What’s your name?Deidre Carrillo: Deidre Carrillo. The President: Good to see you. The, now, ?Deidre Carrillo: Deidra. The President: Deardra?Deidre Carrillo: Deidra. The President: Deidra?Deidre Carrillo: Yes. The President: Okay, I got it. Now, this looks like
an electric go-cart. Is that what it is?Deidre Carrillo: That’s
basically what it is. The President: That’s
basically what it is?Deidre Carrillo: Yes. The President: And
where are you from?Deidre Carrillo: I’m
from San Antonio, Texas. The President: Okay. And so, tell me about how you
got involved in this project. Deidre Carrillo: Well,
that’s a funny story. I was the shortest in my senior
class –The President: Yeah. Deidre Carrillo: And –The
President: I can’t believe that. Female Speaker: I was. And they said you would
fit perfectly in this car. So, that’s how it started. And I’ve been doing
this for three years. The President: The, so,
describe to me this vehicle. And the goal here is to, is
the goal to have, you know,in these contests, the
fastest electric car,or the one that can travel
the furthest, or both?Deidre Carrillo: It’s more about
going the furthest and beingsmart on your
battery management. That is what the competition
is basically about. The President: So it’s
like an efficency?Deidre Carrillo: Yes. The President: Right?The goal is how efficent is it
relative to the amount of powerthat’s being generated
–Deidre Carrillo: Yes. The President: Electrically. Okay. The, well, I clearly
cannot fit in this. Are you able to fit in it?Deidre Carrillo: Yes, I’m
actually able to fit in it. The President: Well, would you
like to display it or do youthink you want to look cool and
you just kind of want to –?Female Speaker: I
can, yes, definitely. The President: Deidre Carrillo: I’ll have to get in. The President: Yeah, of course. So, how fast does this thing go?That’s a pretty serious
seatbelt by the way. That’s the same one that
we have on Black Hawks,Black Hawk helicopters. Deidre Carrillo: Yes. A big guideline is safety, so
–The President: Of course. Deidre Carrillo: I do wear
motorcycle helmets –The President: Right. Deidre Carrillo: –And I am
very well taken care of. The President: I’ll bet. All right. How big was the team that
helped you design the car?Deidre Carrillo: We
started in a team of six,and now we’re a group of 14. The President: Okay. You fit like a glove. Female Speaker: Yes. The President: And what’s
that little panel there?What is that?Is that the control?Deidre Carrillo: This tells me
what’s I would, during competition, I
am focusing on going in circlesand, well, we were
supposed to do tonometry. Tonometry would’ve
helped a huge amount. The President: Female Speaker: But this tells
me how many volts im running,how many ampsand I
communicate thatto my electrical chief, and he
toldme how fast to go to slow down. The President: So he’s
going to giveyou calculations based on
optimizing the consistencyof the entire process. And how fast is – are
you typically goingwhen you’re in one of
these contests?Deidre Carrillo: Ah the
fastest –the constant that we want is 35. The President:
35 miles an hour?Deidre Carrillo: 35. The President:
That’s pretty fast?Deidre Carrillo: Yes, the
fastest was actually 38. The President: I got you. So what are you doing now,
now that you’ve donesuch an outstanding job, are
you interestedin an engineer?Did this prompt a
long term interest?Deidre Carrillo: Well, my
job is actually publicrelations, along with
driver, so I’m actuallythinking of pursing public
relations,and part time driver. The President: And
part time driver. Well, congratulations. Alright, come on over
here,let’s get a good picture. Look at all these
big trophies. These trophies are
bigger than you. Deidre Carrillo: Yes. scoot over so we can see them.
0:15:54. 033,1193:02:47. 295
The President:
Alright,There we go. Congratulations. Deidre Carrillo:
Thank you. The President: What’s
going on guys?What’s your name?Daisjaughn Bass:
Daisjaughn. The President: Daisjaughn. Good to see you. Gerry McManus: Gerry. The President: Gerry. Good to see you.
Brooke Bohn: Brooke. The President:
Good to see you. Now, where are
you guys from?Daisjaughn Bass:
Hudson, Massachusetts. The President: And what
grades are you in?Daisjaughn Bass: 8th. The President: 8th grade. So what do we got here?Daisjaughn Bass:
It’s a catapult. The President:
It’s a catapult. Daisjaughn Bass: Yep. The President: Alright, so
lets – I assume we getto see it work, right?Daisjaughn Bass: Yeah. The President: Alright. Before I see it work, tell
me has this been an ongoingproject of the school?I mean, each year, is
there sort of a catapultcontest, or a robot
building contest?Or is this something
that kindof happened on something?Daisjaughn Bass: After
school,we’re part of Raytheon
at the Boys and Girls club,so we just –The President: So Raytheon
is a sponsorat the Boys and Girls club?Brooke Bohn: Yes, well we
were part of it last year. Daisjaughn Bass: We came
in second out of 45 teams.
0:16:52. 400,1193:02:47. 295
The President: I see. The President: Alright. That’s excellent, and what
– how did you getthe idea of catapult, or was
everyonedoing it together?Daisjaughn Bass: So we had
a lot of topicsto choose form since we all play
basketball mostly. The President: You do. Yeah. Daisjaughn Bass: So we
choose basketball,and we went with the angle and
the trajectoryto making a three pointer. The President: Yeah,
okay, So that’s –did you construct this whole
catapult yourself?Daisjaughn Bass: Yeah. And our Boys and Girls
Club DirectorGary helped us make it. The President: Where
did you get this guy?Daisjaughn Bass: Well, we
got it, and we made it. The President: This is a
prettyserious looking guy. Alright, you want to
show me how it works?Now, how fast does
this thing go?Is it going to
break anything?Daisjaughn Bass: No. The President: Alright,
can I stand by herejust in case?Alright, now I want
you to protect me. . Okay, I’m going to hide
behind you,because I don’t want to
– Oh, okay, I think –that I can handle. Alright, let’s
try that again. I just want to make – last
time I was here,there was a guy that was
shooting marshmallowsout of a rifle, and like it was
– this modified vaccuumcube, you guys
remember that?Audience: Yes. The President: That
thing went fast. That thing went –it went right up there, didn’t it?The marshmallow might still be there. Alright, lets try it out. Come on. Oh, that was a little low. Let’s try it again. Let’s try it again. That was a perfect pass. See. The – well
congratulations, if thisprompted an interesting,
if any of you wantto be engineers, or designers,
or work on technology,stuff like that?Daisjaughn Bass:
No, not really. I want to go to college
for basketball. The President: Oh, you
wantto be a basketball player. Yeah, everybody wants to
be a basketball player,I understand, until
they get into college. How tall is your
dad and mom?Daisjaughn Bass:
Not that tall. The President: Well, I just
want to make that point –keep up with your science homework, alright. Pete, where are you?Look at this
guy right here. Alright, we’re
proud of you guys. Daisjaughn
Bass: Thank you. The President: Alright,
you take care of yourself. The President: All right,
whatdo we got here young people?These are my Chicago
homies right here — The President: –Right?Where do you guys
go to school?John Moore: I go
to Lincoln Park. The President:
Lincoln Park. Lydia Wolfe: I go to
Castle System High School. The President: It is great
to see you, both excellentschools, and
what’s your name?John Moore: JT. The President: JT?Lydia Wolfe: Lydia. The President:
Lydia, all right. So you guys start giving
the robots, is that right?John Moore: Yeah. The President: How did you
first becomeinterested in robots?John Moore: Well, in
Chicago, there is,or there weren’t very many
opportunities for robots. So what my mom did was she
went out and said thatshe would bring Mickey
into Chicago. So now we’ve created over
halfthe teams of Chicago, and –The President: So your
mom basicallystarted the whole robot trend?John Moore: Yeah. The President: I like
that . John Moore:
Chicago, and that’s howmore people do
it rather than –The President:
That’s great. The, and so, so, do you
have a bunch of differentrobotics teams
in Chicago –John Moore: Yes. The President: Does
Hails Franciscan haveone team, and then Wayne has a
different one,or do you guys all come from
different schoolsand sort of form like a club?Lydia Wolfe: We all come
from different schools. The President: Uh-huh. Lydia Wolfe: My team this
year combinedwith Chicago NATS since we were
having trouble. The President:
Uh-huh, excellent. All right, so, it looks
likeyou guys have been doing pretty good. What do we have here?Is this an example of one
of our, one of your,some of your handiwork here?John Moore: Yep. This is our FRC robot
from this year –The President: Uh-huh. John Moore: We played
a game sort of likelacrosse, where they hada twoflated ball that it picked up. The President: Right. John Moore: So, this
arm comes down –The President: Yeah. John Moore: And then the
rollers suck it up,and then it brings it back. And then we have, over
here that we use to kick,kick the ball. The President:
Oh, I see, okay. Now, this one, we’re
not modeling in here,I gather. John Moore: We can show
the arm going downwith the wheels. The President: Yeah,
but no actual ball?John Moore: Yeah. The President: Because
we’ve hitone of these guys, yeah. The President:
I like them. Actually, this is a
pretty good group. There are some where I
wouldn’t have minded. The President: But I
don’t see them here. All right, let’s see. All right. John Moore: All
right, so –The President: All good?John Moore: There’s two
different driver’s forks. The President: Uh-huh. John Moore: There is the
part thathas the arm going up and down. The President: Right. John Moore: And then
there’s the partthat controls the other part. The President: Got it. And so these are all
manually controlled?John Moore: Yep. The game is broken
up into two parts. There’s one part where the
robot drives by itselfThe President: Right. John Moore: For 30
seconds, and then there’stwo minutes where the
robot is driven againstfive other robots on the
field,so a three-on-three game. The President: That
sounds pretty fun, yeah. So, how long did it take
you to constructthis particular robot?John Moore: Six weeks. The President: Six weeks?John Moore: Mm-hmm, six
weeks to design and build,and everybody’s given the
challengeat the same time. The President:
Outstanding. Well, I’m so
proud of you guys. Come on, let’s take a
good picturenext to your robot. Yeah, you come over here. You get over here, and
Pete,make sure the robot’s in the picture. Got it. Fantastic. All right, the, so has
this spurred interestin you wanting to stay in
engineering,technology, things like that?John Moore: Before joining
this, I didn’t know thatthere were so many
engineer jobs out there –The President: Absolutely. John Moore: But now that
I know that,The President: Yeah. Well, you’re going to be
one of those engineers. You too, especially we
need young womenand engineering in
sciences, all right?Looking forward to seeing
you guys do great things. I’m proud of you. Tell everybody back
home I said hi. John Moore: All
right, thank you. The President: All right?John Moore: Thank you. The President:
How are you, sir?Eric Chen: I’m good. How are you?The President:
What’s your name?Eric Chen: I’m Eric. The President: Good
to see you, Eric. Where are you from?Eric Chen: Good to see
you, I’m from San Diego. The President: San Diego?So what year are
you in school now?Eric Chen: I’m
a senior now. The President:
You’re a senior?Do you know what you’re
goingto be doing next year?Eric Chen: I’ll be
going to Harvard. The President:
I bet you are. The President: So
what do we got here?Eric Chen: Yeah, so, in
summary, what I was ableto do was use computers to
speed up the discoveryof new medicine for the flu. And the flu right now is
a really big threatwhere you have strains
like H5N1, H7N9 –The President: I’ve spent
a lot of time worryingabout the possibility
of pandemic, right?Eric Chen: Yeah, and
they’re onlyone mutation away from possibly
causing a pandemic. The President: Right. Eric Chen: And the problem
is we haveno really effective
treatments for it. The flu vaccine, so like
flu shots,they take several months to prepare. And that’s a time where
over millionsof people could be dying –The President: Right. Eric Chen: And they
create antiviral drugs,so so like a pill you take, and
get better from the flu,they’re losing their
effectiveness becauseof resistance, restraints. The President: Right. Eric Chen: And so there’s
this urgent needfor a new flu medicine to
kind of hold backthe pandemic wave while vaccines
are being developed. The President: Right. Eric Chen: And so, right
now, drug companiesare still kind of in that
industrial eraof drug discovery, where they
found, hey,we can make robots do everything. So they make robots test
millions and millionsof chemicals, they just finda few that might become real drugs. The President: But that’s
not very efficient. Eric Chen:
Exactly, and so –The President: It’s sort
of trialby error as opposed to –Eric Chen: Exactly, it’s
like kindof brute force rather than
reasoning, by logic. The President: Right. Eric Chen: What I’ve
been ableto do is use computers to first
virtually go throughhuge chemical libraries that
predict which oneswould be most likely to work,
and then followedby only testing
those, that small fractionthat’s most likely to work. The President: Right. Eric Chen: And so, I’ve
been able to takea compound library of almost
half a million chemicals,and then using computer
modeling,isolating the top 237. The President: And what is
allowing you to,what are the factors that allow
you to win over this now?What is it that you can
anticipate, would makea possible vaccine
more effective?Eric Chen: Right, so it’s
actually not a flu shot. It would actually
be a drug, so –The President: I see. Eric Chen: It would be
like, yeah,it’s curative curative
rather than preventative –The President: Okay,
so rather thanthe traditional giving you a
little bit of fluidto boost your immunity
to the flu –Eric Chen: It’s actually
giving you a chemicalThe President: A
chemical cure. Eric Chen: Right. The President:
That’s fascinating. Eric Chen: Yeah. And one of the great
advantages to oneof the target sites using
to make these chemicalsfor is that it’s highly
conservative amountsof , being that
it could potentially workagainst any food string,
even if you have no ideawhere it’s coming from. And so, basically, one of
the ways thatI’m looking at kind of finding
these chemicals that workis actually kind of taking
little, how it worksis you’re targeting a
protein of the flu virus. And, so, this is actually
a printed structureof one of the flu protein targeted –The President: This thing
was in my nosejust about three weeks ago. It lasted forever,
couldn’t get rid of it. Not really, I’m
just joking. All right, so this is a 3D
modelof a nasty flu bug right there. Eric Chen: Right. And how, and what we do is
we, or I try to find theselittle kind of chemicals
like that, that kindof fit into this pocket right
here,and jam it and stop it from working. The President: Right. Eric Chen: And so, by
doing this, so how thecomputer does it is it
takes kind of the millionsor the half a million
different kindof chemical structures, and
fits each one in. And then it ranks them
basedon how well they fit. And so by doing that, if,
the ones thatfit really well arekind of more predicted to –The President:
More likely to –Eric Chen: Exactly. The President: To work. The, now this is a pretty
significant new directionin terms of
developing a flu drug. And, you’re only
in high school. So, the question is, has
this approach gainedsort of converts among the drug
companies wherethey say to themselves, you know
what, actually thisis pretty promising –Eric Chen: Right, well –The President: Or are
you still, because of itsinfancy, they don’t know
how smart you are,it’ll take them a while
to figure that out?Eric Chen: Well research
groups have startedusing these kind of new and
innovative toolsfor kind of, yeah, rational
drug discovery. The President: Right. Eric Chen: And the
problem,well drug companies, they’re
huge, and because of that –The President:
There you go. Eric Chen: They’re kind
of sluggish to respondingto this kind
of innovation. And so one big thing
is actually kindof convincing them to kind of
take up these differenttools in order to make it
more,much more efficient process. The President: Well, part
of the reasonit’s so important, as you know,
is because of the economicsof producing flu vaccines,
is,it’s not a big moneymaker
for the drug companies. Eric Chen: Right. The President: If we can
come up withcomputer models that
narrow the RMB –Eric Chen: Right, by
makingit much cheaper, you can actually –The President: You can
actually start producingthem and adapting
them to –Eric Chen: Right, and
makingthem cheaper for the people –The President: That’s
exactly right. This is really important. This could end up being
the startof saving millions of lives, huh?Eric Chen: Hopefully. The President: That’s, you
know, the, now,do you also like, are you like a
championlacrosse player and –?Eric Chen: No,
I fence, though. The President: You fence? The President: All right,
I’m such an underachiever. The President: You’re
going to do great. Eric Chen: Thank you. The President: I’ll be
on the lookout for this,because we’re spending a
lot of time, you know,trying to puzzle
this out, so –Eric Chen: All right. The President: All right?

President Obama Speaks at a Town Hall With Young Leaders of the Americas in Jamaica

President Obama:
Greetings, massive! Wah gwaan, Jamaica? Can everybody
please give Aubreya big round of applause for
the great introduction? I want to thank the
University of the West Indiesfor hosting us. Big up, You-Wee! Thank you. I’ve been making
myself at home here. It is great to be in
beautiful Jamaica –not only because I’m proud
to be the first President of the United States
to visit in more than 30 years,but because I just
like the vibe here. I was born on an island, and
it was warm, and so I feel rightat home. And I’m grateful for
the warm Jamaican hospitalitythat I received this
morning, including fromPrime Minister
Simpson-Miller. I also had the chance to meet
with leaders from acrossthe Caribbean, where
we focused on issuesof shared prosperity
and shared security. And tomorrow, I’ll meet
with leaders from acrossthe hemisphere at the Summit
of the Americas in Panama. But before my trip
became all business,I wanted to come here and hear
from young people like you. Because it is your generation
who will shape the futureof our countries and our
region and this planetthat we share long after
those of us who are currentlyin public service are
gone from the stage. So I’m going to only speak
for a few minutes at the top,because I’d rather spend time
taking questions from you,and also because after
we have a chance forour town hall, I get a
chance to say hi to UsainBolt and Shelly
Ann Fraser-Pryce. When you have the fastest
people on the planet,you’ve got to say
hi to them, right?Because that’s fast. There are a lot of
people out there,and they’re the fastest. Now, we are not just nations,
we’re also neighbors. Tens of millions of Americans
are bound to the Caribbeanand the Americas through
ties of commerce,but also ties of kin. More than one million
Americans trace theirancestry to Jamaica. More than one
million Americans visitJamaica each year. So we’re committed to
you and this region. And as I’ve said before, in
our foreign policy thereare no senior or junior
partners in the Americas;there are just partners. And that’s one reason why
the United States hasstarted a new chapter
in our relations withthe people of Cuba. We will continue to have
some differences withthe Cuban government, but we
don’t want to be imprisonedby the past. When something doesn’t
work for 50 years,you don’t just keep on doing
it; you try something new. And we are as committed
as ever to supportinghuman rights and
political freedom in Cubaand around the world. But I believe that engagement
is a more powerful forcethan isolation, and the
changes we are makingcan help improve the lives
of the Cuban people. And I also believe that this
new beginning will be goodfor the United States and
the entire hemisphere. My point is, I believe
we can move past someof the old debates that so
often define the region,and move forward in a way
that benefits your generationwith new thinking — an
energetic, impatient,dynamic and diverse
generation that yourepresent, both in
the United Statesand across this
hemisphere. More than 100 million
people in Latin Americaand the Caribbean are between
the ages of 15 and 24. Most of the region
is under 35. And what gives me so much hope
about your generation is thatyou’re more interested in the
hard work of waging peacethan resorting to the quick
impulses of conflict. You’re more interested in the
hard work of building prosperitythrough entrepreneurship,
not cronyism or corruption. You’re more eager
for progress that comesnot by holding down any
segment of society,but by holding up the
rights of every human being,regardless of what we look
like, or how we pray,or who we love. You care less about the
world as it has been,and more about the world
as it should be and can be. And unlike any other
time in our history,the technology at your
disposal means that you don’thave to wait for the change
that you’re looking for;you have the freedom to
create it in your ownpowerful and
disruptive ways. Many of you already have,
whether by starting yourown enterprises or by
helping others start theirs. And I’m going to just single
out two remarkable youngleaders who are here today
because I think they’rean example of what is
possible, even in the mostdifficult of
circumstances. So Angeline Jackson
is here today. Where is Angeline?There she is, right there. Several years ago,
when Angeline was 19,she and a friend were
kidnapped, held at gunpointand sexually assaulted. And as a woman,
and as a lesbian,justice and society were
not always on her side. But instead of remaining
silent, she chose to speakout and started her own
organization to advocatefor women like her, and
get them treatment and getthem justice, and push
back against stereotypes,and give them some sense
of their own power. And she became a
global activist. But more than anything, she
cares about her Jamaica,and making it a place
where everybody,no matter their
color, or their class,or their sexual orientation,
can live in equalityand opportunity. That’s the power of one
person, what they can do. Jerome Cowans grew up in
a tough part of Kingston. Where’s Jerome? When Jerome was 12,
he saw a friend gunned down. And when he looked at
the shooters, he said,”I realized that wasn’t
a life I wanted to live. They had expensive machinery,
but they had nothing else. “So at the ripe old age of 13,
he founded a youth groupto help others like him
stay on the right path. And he started small,
with only six people,but they had one
big thing in commonand they believed that
change was possible. And like Angeline, he was
threatened for his work,but he kept at it. And he said, “Things
won’t get any betterif no one does anything. “And today, the LEAD Youth Club
he started has six chapters,including one in Colombia. His work has taken him
to five continents. Last year, he became the
first Jamaican to receivethe Nelson Mandela
Innovation Award. He’s just 25 years old. So individuals like those
two young people –the young people here
today — you remindme of something that
Bob Marley once said. You know I went to
his house yesterday. I thought, I’m only five
minutes from his house,I got to go check it out. And one of the displays
has to do when he wasshot right before a concert
he was supposed to give,trying to bring the political
factions in Jamaica together. And he was treated for his
wounds and he went aheadwith the program, went
ahead with the show. And somebody asked, well,
why would you do that?He said, “The people
who are trying to makethis world worse are
not taking the day off. Why should I?”Why should I? So none of us can afford
to take the day off. And I want you to
have every chance,every tool you need to
make this world better. So today I’m announcing
nearly $70 millionin U. S. investments in
education, training,and employment programs
for our young peoplethroughout Latin America
and the Caribbean. And these investments
will help young peoplein unemployed and impoverished
and marginalized communities,and give them a chance to
gain the skills they needto compete and succeed in
the 21st century economy. And that’s not all. As President, some of the
initiatives I’m most proudof the ones that increase my
country’s engagement withthe next generation of leaders
like Angeline and Jeromeand all of you — leaders in
government and civil society,and entrepreneurship
and the private sector. Four years ago, I
launched an initiativecalled “100,000 Strong
in the Americas. “And the goal was to
have 100,000 U. S. students studying
in this region,and 100,000 of this
region’s students studyingin the United States by
the end of this decade. And we are on track
to meet that goal. So today, to build
on that progress,I’m proud to launch the Young
Leaders of the AmericasInitiative right
here in Kingston. Let me say this. This is not your
traditional exchange. We’re going to seek
out the most innovativeyoung entrepreneurs and
civil society leadersin the Caribbean, Latin
America, and we’regoing to give them a
chance to earn a substantialcontinuum of the training
and the resources and theconnections, the networks and
the capital that you needto make a difference. So this year, we’ll bring two
dozen entrepreneurs and civilsociety leaders from Latin
America and the Caribbean –including young Cuban leaders
— to the United States. Then next year,
we’ll increase thisfellowship to 250
young leaders. And we’ll help you to expand
your commercial and socialventures; we’ll embed you
in an American businessand incubators. We’ll give U. S. participants
the chance to continuetheir collaboration with
you in your home countries. So the idea is that you’ll get a
chance to implement your ideasbut now have linkages that
give you access to capitaland research and all the
things you need to mobilizeand implement the kinds of
things that you’re doing. And this isn’t
charity for us. This is an investment
in your future,because that means it’s an
investment in our future –a future where climate
researchers in the Amazoncan collaborate with
scientists in Alaska. An idea in Barbados
suddenly canbe developed in an
incubator in Boston. Anti-gang activities in
Honduras can be connectedto similar activities
in Houston, Texas. It’s a future where any kid
from Kingston can choosea path that opens his or
her horizons beyondtheir neighborhood
to the wider world. And that impulse
to make the world better,to push back on those
who try to make it worse,that’s something that your
generation has to hold on to. And you have to remember,
it’s never easy;there are no days off. But if there’s one thing
that I know from my ownlife, it’s that with hard
work and with hope,change is always
within our reach. The Jamaican-American
poet Claude McKay,who was a central figure
of the Harlem renaissance,once wrote something along
those lines: “We must striveon to gain the height although
it may not be in sight. “As long as we’ve got young
strivers like you — and I hopeto see you in Washington as
part of this Young Leadersof the Americas Initiative
— I’m confident thata brighter future will
always be in sight. So thank you very much. With that, let’s
take some questions. All right, so — All right, since
we’re getting to workI’m going to take my jacket
off and get comfortable. All right. There are no rules to this
except that there arepeople with microphones
in the audience,so wait for them to
come when I call on you. We’re going to go
boy, girl, boy,girl so everybody gets
a chance, so it’s fair. Before your question,
please introduce yourselfand tell us where
you are from, okay?And try to keep your question
or comment relatively shortso we can get more questions
or comments in, okay?We’ll start with this
young lady right herein the white blouse. It’s a little tight here. Female Speaker: Thank you. Yani Campbell , a
lecturer at the Universityof the West Indies. Thank you so much for your
talk, very interesting. And I wondered as well,
on the Cuban issue,now that your policy has
actually changed towards Cuba,I wondered about your views
on how it is that we shouldapproach — CARICOM should
approach its relationshipwith Cuba in terms of
deepening that relationship. Should they now perhaps
move to join in CARICOM?Thank you. President Obama:
Well, first of all,I think CARICOM can make
its own decisionsand we’ll respect it. Cuba will be participating in
the Summit of the Americas,and I think — it is my strong
belief that if we engage,that that offers the
greatest prospect forescaping some of the
constraints of the past. I think the Cuban people
are extraordinaryand have huge potential. And what’s encouraging is, is
that the overwhelming majorityof Cubans are interested
in ending the Cold War –the last vestige of the Cold
War — and moving forward. It’s going to take
some time forthe United States to
fully implement someof the things that have
already been agreed to,and it’s going to take a
little bit longer beforeyou actually have
complete normal relationsbetween the United
States and Cuba. What I would say to Caribbean
countries is, absolutely,you should continue to engage
in Cuba in the ways thatyou’ve already doing — you’ve
already done in the past. I do think that it
is important for allof us to be able to speak
honestly where we see concernsabout issues of human rights
and political freedom. And I’m not saying
anything publicly thatI haven’t said directly
to Raul Castro. There are still
constraints on the abilityof the Cuban people to express
themselves, or to organizepolitical parties, or
to start a business. And sometimes, the same
things we expect forourselves and our country,
somehow we think otherpeople don’t want. But I believe that each
country — I believeeach country has its
own unique cultures,its own unique traditions. I don’t expect every
country to pursue the samepolicies or have the
same political practicesas the United States. And I am certainly aware
of the flaws that existin our own country
that we have to fix. But I do believe there
are certain principlesthat are universal. I think that all people want
basic dignity and want basicfreedom, and want to be able to
worship as they please withoutbeing discriminated against,
or they should be ableto speak their mind about an
important issue pertainingto their community
without being arrested. And so wherever we see
that, we try to speak out. But what we also try to do is
engage and recognize thateven with countries that
we have differences,there’s also going to be
commonality and overlap. And the United States and Cuba
should both have an interestin dealing with climate
change, for example,because when the oceans
start lapping upon Miamior on Havana, nobody is
going to distinguish, well,where do they stand on this
or that ideological issue. And so we have to find where
there are areas of cooperation,but I will continue to try
to be consistentin speaking out on behalf
of the issues that areimportant to all
people, not just some. All right, it’s a
gentleman’s turn. This gentleman
right here. He looks very serious;
he’s got glasses. Looking sharp. Plus, he’s got a
copy of my book. So he’s
clearly a wise man. Male Speaker: Thank
you very much. My name is Chef
Brian Lumley –I’m a young
Jamaican chef here. And I own a
restaurant –689 by Brian Lumley. Just saying. My question to you —
I’m going to staya little bit off the
politics for a bit. And I’ve witnessed
your journey a lot,and the question is
kind of two-part. If you go back and give
yourself one piece of advicebefore the start of you 2008
term, what would it be?And the second part is if
you can sign this bookwhen you’re finished. Thank you very much. President Obama:
I’ll sign the book. So the question was, for those
couldn’t hear: If I were to goback and give myself advice
before I started in 2008,what would the advice be?I suppose I could have started
dying my hair earlier — — so then people
wouldn’t say, man,he’s getting old. You’re going like this —
at least I got hair, man. I’m teasing you. I’m messing with you. I think that — keep in mind
that when I came into officewe were going through the worst
global financial crisis sincethe 1930s, and so we had to
make a series of decisionsvery quickly, many of
which were unpopular. Overall, I think
we got it right. I think we did the
right thing. And because, I think,
we took these steps,not only were we able to avoid
the kind of Great Depressionthat we saw in the 1930s, not
only was America able to bounceback and start growing more
rapidly than most of our peers,drive down unemployment faster,
create more jobs faster,but that also had an impact
on the global economyand it had an impact on
the Caribbean economy,that we were able to bounce
back quicker than we mighthave if we hadn’t
taken those steps. But it was, I think,
costly politically. And what I would have probably
advised was that I might haveneeded to warn the American
people and paint a picturefor them that was more
accurate about the fact thatit would take some time
to dig ourselves outof a very big hole. Because FDR, when
he came into office,the Great Depression had
already been going on for two,three years, and so people
understood how serious it was. With us, we came in just
as people were reallystarting to feel
the impacts. And trying to paint a picture
that we’ll make it but it’sgoing to take some time, and
here are the steps that we needto take — I think I would have
advised myself to do a betterjob spending more time not
just getting the policy right,but also describing it in
ways that people understood,that gave them confidence
in their own future. I think that would probably
be the most importantadvice that I would
have given myself. All right, it’s a
young lady’s turn. That young lady
right there. Yes, you. You, yes. Oh, well, I’ll call
on both of you. I’ll call on you later. Go ahead. Female Speaker: Okay, so
we’re here and we’re lookingat you, and we’re all
very honored to be hereand very taken about by
your leadership qualities. And seeing that you are the
President of the United Statesof America and you’re
so influential,I want to know how you
handle the mental strainthat comes with being
in charge of so much. President Obama:
What’s your name?Female Speaker: Kimberly
— from the Universityof the West Indies. President Obama: Fantastic. How do I handle stress?You know, I’ll be
honest with you. One of the things that happens
as you get older is you startappreciating both your
strengths and your weaknesses. Hopefully you gain a
little wisdom about whatyou’re good at and
what you’re not. And Michelle can give you
a long list of thingsI’m not good at. But one thing
that I’ve always had,which has served me well, is
a pretty good temperament. And I attribute that partly
from growing up on an islandwith trade winds and beaches,
and it makes you calm. But I try not to get too high
when things are going wellso that I don’t get too low
when things are going badly,and try to keep a long view
of how the processof social change takes place,
and how the trajectoryof your own life is
going to proceed. We get caught up in the
day-to-day so much,and it’s interesting now when
I’m talking to my daughtersand “somebody said something
at school,” or there’s –“well, I didn’t do quite as
well on that test as I wanted. “And you want them to
take it seriously,but you also want to say to
them, you know what, this,too, shall pass; I promise
you three months from now,much less 30 years from
now, you will not remember. And so I think that trying to
keep your eye on the prizeof where it is that
you want to go and notbe discouraged or overly
impressed with yourselfon a day-to-day basis I
think is very important. And then you have to get some
exercise in the morning. I don’t run
as fast as these folks,but I get a little exercise,
which does help in termsof stress relief. All right. It’s a gentleman’s turn. Let’s see, somebody
from this side. This young man right here
in the sharp-lookingcheckered shirt. Male Speaker: Good afternoon
again, Mr. President. Especially as it
relates to human rightsand social change — I’m
Jomain McKenzie and I’ma focal point with the
Global Fund Board. As it relates to human
rights and social change,how do you make the decision to
allow societies to go throughthe natural evolutionary
process of having change occuron their own versus having
governments exert policiesto make these same
political social changes?President Obama: That’s a
really interesting question. It’s an interesting
question and it’s onethat I have to struggle
with all the time. Every society, as I said,
is at a different phasein development, in
their own history;they have different
cultural traditions. And so the way I
think about it is,is that the United States
has certain core values andprinciples that we
believe deeply in. And we don’t necessarily
expect that every country willformulate how to secure those
ideals and those principles. We don’t expect it to be done
exactly as we do any morethan we expect every —
obviously, our democracyis not the same as
aJamaican democracyor a British democracy
or Australian democracy. But we believe in democracy. We think that if people
have the ability to speakout about their own lives,
some sense of agency,then that society
will be stronger. And that doesn’t mean that we
won’t work with a countrythat doesn’t precisely
abide by those principles,but we will still speak out. There are times where a
country is clearly engaging inactivities that are so egregious
that it’s not culturallyspecific; it typically has to
do with a government wantingto exert control over
people and oppress them. And in those instances, I think
it is entirely appropriatefor us to speak out
forcefully and, in somecases, to not do
business with them. Look at a country
like North Korea. I mean, obviously, Korean
culture is different thanAmerican culture. On the other hand, you look at
what’s happening in South Koreaand you look at what’s
happening in North Koreaand those are two entirely
different societies. And I can tell you which
one you’d rather live in. And if you have a
situation in which peopleare being murdered simply
because they didn’tagree with the
government on somethingor didn’t want their
economic fate to be entirelydetermined by the whims of
some government bureaucrat,and suddenly they’re sent to
a labor camp –that’s something where we as
an international communityhave to speak out on. And then there are some
issues that may be culturallyspecific, but you know what,
I think they’re wrong. I won’t — we’re not going to
try to force that countryto change, but I may try
to shame that country. There are nations where
slavery still exists. And that may be part of
the ancient culturein that society, but
slavery is wrong. And I’m not going to
give them the excusethat, well, this
is who we are. In Africa — and I can speak
I think fairly as somebodywho is the son of an African
father — there are practiceslike female genital
mutilation that may be partof the tradition there,
but it’s wrong. And I’m going to say so. And it will be U. S. policy
to say that it’s wrong. So the tools we use to try
to bring about changearound the world
may vary. And as I said earlier, we’re not
always perfectly consistent. There are times where we’ve got
allies who are not observingall the human rights we would
like, and there are timeswhere there are countries
that are adversariesof ours where they do
some things quite well. And you can’t expect
us, or any country,to be perfectly consistent
in every circumstance. But what I’ve tried to do is
be fairly consistentin terms of what we
believe, what we stand for,and then we use different
tools depending on whatwe think will bring
about the most change. In some cases, it will just
be a diplomatic statement;in some cases, it may be serious
enough that we will organize –try to organize the United
Nations or other multilateralforums to speak out
against certain practices. In some cases, it may be so
egregious that we need tosanction them, and we will try
to organize the internationalcommunity in that way. And then finally, in the
ultimate circumstance,where the violations of our
values are so severe that theystart spilling over and — in
the instance of, for example,genocide — we may
be say to ourselves,in concert with the
international community,we need to intervene because
this government is so brutaland so unacceptable that we
need to protect people. But we do that in the
context of an internationalconversation so that
we’re not simply makingthese decisions — or
we’re not so arrogantthat we’re not paying
attention to whatthe rest of the world
community is saying. This young lady who I
originally had calledon and got
skipped over. No, no, this
one right here. Yes. Right here. I’m sorry, I love
you, too, though. Female Speaker: Good
afternoon, Mr. President. My name is Katrina
King-Smith. I’m from the Turks
and Caicos Islands. My question is
two-part, as well. Firstly, in countries such as
the Turks and Caicos Islandswhere the population is
small and our main sourcesof revenue are tourism and
foreign direct investment,I was wondering if you can
suggest two ways that thegovernment may better generate
and regulate sustainablerevenue, especially with
regulations currently beingput in place to close
off-shore financial centers. And secondly, I was wondering
if after your term has ended,would you mind coming to the
Turks and Caicos to vacation? President Obama: On the
second question, absolutely. I’ll do some
island-hopping onceI’m out of office. And you guys can show me
all the good places to go. On this issue of
off-shore financial centers,we respect each country
to set up its ownfinancial regulations. And we recognize that
for small countries,that providing services —
including financial services –may be an important
source of revenue. The one thing that we have to
make sure of is that thesefinancial centers are not
either used for illicitmoney laundering or tax
avoidance by large U. S. corporations that set
up cut-outs or frontorganizations, but as a
practical matter are operatingin the United States, employing
folks in the United States,essentially headquartered in
the United States and yet,somehow, their mailing
address is such-and-suchisland where they
have to pay no taxes. Those are the kinds of
egregious concerns that we’retrying to deal with. I think we try to take it
on a case-by-case basis. And in my CARICOM
meeting that I just had,this issue was brought up. There were a number of leaders
who expressed concern thatmaybe they were being
unfairly labeled as areasof high financial risk. And what I committed to them
is we will examine theircomplaints and go through in
very concrete ways where ourconcerns are and how our
governments can work together. More broadly, I think that
the — if you look at someof the most successful
countries in the world,they’re actually pretty small
countries — like Singapore,for example — that on paper
look like they have no assets,and yet, if you go to
Singapore, it has oneof the highest standards
of living in the world. What is it that Singapore did
that might be replicable?Well, one of the most
important things they did wasthey made an enormous
investment in their people. And if you’ve
got a highly skilled,highly educated workforce, if
you’ve set up rules of lawand governance that are
transparent and non-corrupt,then you can attract actually
a lot of service industriesto supplement the tourist
industry, because peoplewould want to locate
in your country. You could envision people
wanting to operate and haveoffices there where you’ve
got a trained workforce. And these days, so many
businesses are operating overthe Internet that if you’ve
got a really skilled workforcethat provides value
added, you will attractcompanies and you’ll
attract businesses. What deters people from
investing in most countries isconflict, corruption, and a lack
of skills or infrastructure. And those countries that
are able to address thoseproblems have rule of law
and eliminate corruption. Make sure that you are investing
in the education of your peopleand it’s a continuous
education; it doesn’t juststop at the lower grades,
but you give peopleconstant opportunities
to upgrade their skills. You have a decent
infrastructure — you’re goingto be able to succeed. That’s the recipe, the formula
for a 21st-century economy. All right. Uh oh, they’re starting
to holler at me. Let’s see, I haven’t
gone back here in a while. This gentleman in the
blue shirt right here. Male Speaker: Thanks
so much, Mr. President. We know that there’s been
an increasing militaryassertiveness of
China, especiallyin the South China Sea. And it seems that the
U. S. has respondedto that by pledging
to increase its militarypresence because it
recognizes the danger thatthat military increase of
China poses to its friendsand allies there. Now, China’s growing power isn’t
just military, it’s economic. On this side of the world,
China has used this soft power,this economic power especially
to woo Caribbean governments. My questions are,
how does the U. S. view China’s influence
in its own backyard,especially since you’ve just
talked about the Cold Warand alliances?And secondly, what
plan does the U. S. have,if any, to contribute
more to economic lifein the Caribbean to
ward off China in termsof foreign direct
investment? Thank you very much,
Mr. President. President Obama:
What’s your name?Male Speaker: Oh, sorry. My name is Newton Harris
from the University ofTechnology-Jamaica. President Obama: Fantastic. Well, first of all, let
me say that it is U. S. official policy and it
is my strong belief thatwe should welcome
China’s peaceful rise. What China has done in the last
20, 30 years is remarkable. More people have been lifted
out of poverty in a shorterperiod of time than perhaps
any time in human history. And that’s
good for the world. I mean, we should be more
fearful of a poorer,collapsing China than a China
that is participating in theworld marketplace and trading
and is getting along withits neighbors and part of
the international order,because there are a really
large number of Chinesepeople and we want
them to be doing well. So our policy is not to
fear China’s peaceful rise. Where we get concerned with
China is where it is notnecessarily abiding by
international norms and rules,and is using its size and
muscle to force countriesinto subordinate positions. And that’s the concern we
have around maritime issues. We think this can be
solved diplomatically,but just because the
Philippines or Vietnam arenot as large as China
doesn’t mean that theycan just be
elbowed aside. And, by the way, we don’t
have a particular viewon the territorial disputes,
the maritime disputes. Our attitude is simply,
let’s use the mechanismsthat we have in place
internationallyto resolve them. Now, with respect to Chinese
investment in the Caribbeanor in the Americas, in
the Western Hemisphere,my response is the same one
that I gave when I was askedthis question in Africa,
which is, if China is makinginvestments that are building
up infrastructure, or improvingeducation, or helping the
people, then we welcome that. We think that’s great. The only thing is you
got to make sure youlook at what strings
may be attached. If the investments are made
and it’s solely to builda road to a mine to extract
raw materials that aregoing to then be
immediately goingto a port and
shipped to China,and if Chinese workers are
shipped in to build the road — — and if you don’t know
exactly what the deal waswith the government that led to
China getting the contract — — in those situations,
it may not be, in fact,serving the long-term
interests of the country. Now, I would say — by
the way, I’d say the samething about the
United States. So if we come in with an
aid package to yourcountry, and we say we
got this great deal,we’re going to give you $100
million for such and such,but if when you evaluate
the actual benefits,it’s U. S. companies that are
disproportionately benefittingfrom it, and it’s creating a
situation where over the longterm the United States is
making a whole lot of profitsbut is not leaving behind a
sustainable industrial baseor ways in which that country
can develop, then youhave to evaluate that and
try to get a better deal. So what I’m saying is
not unique to China. I think that’s how all
countries should be operating. Your government
should be transparent;it should be clear about
what you’re getting. There should be an accounting
of how the money flows. There should be a sense
that over the long term,Jamaican businesses or
somebody from Belizeis getting a job,
or — right?I mean, there should be
some sense of how is thisbenefitting us over
the long term. And that’s I think the
only criteria that we’regoing to lay out. Now, last thing I’ll say
— because you asked –you kind of posed, is there
like a bidding war goingon here for affections. The Chinese are giving us
flowers and chocolates — — what are you
doing for us lately? And so what
I would say is this. The United States, I
think historically,has been an enormous
provider of development aid. Not always, by the way, has it
followed the rule I just laidout in terms of whether or
not the local recipients arebenefitting, but I think we’ve
gotten a lot better at that. And if you look at
institutions likethe World Bank or other
multilateral institutions,we remain the largest
contributors by far. So sometimes when you get money
from a multilateral institution– you look at who’s doing
what; if you look at whathappens in terms of when
Haiti gets decimated,who’s raising the money —
we tend to look pretty good. It turns out we’re doing
more than our fair share. And we will continue
to do that. We do have some
fiscal constraints. And sometimes, I think —
when I travel to the Americas,to the region, people ask,
why don’t we have sortof the kinds of Alliance
for Progress programs withhuge sums of money. Well, part of it is, is that
right after World War II,the United States was so
large relative to the restof the world. Japan was decimated;
Europe was decimated. Huge chunks of the world were
behind the Iron Curtain. And so it was natural that
we gave fivefoldor tenfold more than
anybody else could do. Well, things have evened out,
in case you haven’t noticed. We’re still, by far, the most
powerful nation on Earthand we still do more
than everybody else,but we do expect others to step
up and do their fair share. But I can guarantee you this: We
will always do our fair share. And nowhere is that truer than
in the Caribbean and in theAmericas, because you are
our neighbors and someof our closest friends. Let’s see. It’s a young lady’s turn. This young lady right here. Right here. Female Speaker:
Welcome, Mr. President. I lived a block away
from you in Chicago whenI went to the
University of Chicago. President Obama:
Is that right?Female Speaker: And my
college sweetheart, Sam Kass,was your private chef
until very recently. President Obama: Oh, wow! Well, you’re just
putting Sam’s businessall out there. All right. What’s your name?Female Speaker:
Lisandra Rickards. I work for the Branson
Centre of Entrepreneurship. President Obama: Cassandra?Female Speaker: Lisandra. President Obama: Lisandra. All right. Well, I’ll tease
Sam about this one. Female Speaker: Please do. President Obama: Everybody
knows about you now. Go ahead. Female Speaker: My question
is around immigration. We’ve heard a lot about
your immigration policy forundocumented immigrants who are
currently living in the U. S. But what about hopeful
families that are seekinga legal pathway for
immigration into the U. S. but are finding seven- to
ten-year delays before theyeven can get to apply?I’d love to hear you talk some
more about your policy regardingshortening that timeline
and making it less onerouson the applicants. President Obama: Good. That’s a great question. That’s a great question. The United States
is a nation of immigrants. And this region has
contributed to the remarkableprogress that the United
States has made overthe last two centuries. And my goal during the
course of my presidency hasbeen to make sure we
continue to be a nationof immigrants as well as a
nation of laws, and thatwe’re attracting talent from
all around the world. Part of what makes us
special is you walkin Brooklyn and there are
folks from everywhere. But they’re all striving,
they’re all talented,they’re all trying to make
their dreams come true. And that is what gives us
the energy and the strengthto be able to accomplish
everything we’ve accomplished. So we need to fix
what is, right now,a broken immigration system. Part of it is dealing with those
who are undocumented but whohave been living there a long
time, are part of the community,providing them with a pathway
in which they have to earna legal status, but
recognizing that they’re thereand we’re not going to be
separating out families. That’s not who we are. That’s not true
to our values. And ultimately, it’s not
good for our economy. But you are absolutely right
that part of the reason thatsome people take the illegal
route is because we make thelegal route so difficult. And so we’re trying
to identify waysto streamline that process. Now, I have to be honest. A lot of people want
to come to America. So unless we just
had no borders,there’s always
going to be a wait. There’s always going to
be background checks. There’s always going to
be some prioritizationin terms of who’s
admitted and who’s not. But I do think that there
are practices we have — forexample, where someone has a
relation in the United States,is clearly qualified to
become at some pointa legal resident and maybe
in the future a citizen,but in order to do it they have
to first leave the country,wait, and now they’re
separated from their families. I mean, there have to be
ways in which we can makethe system clearer
and less burdensome. Some of those changes we wanted
to make were in the legislationthat was proposed and passed
the United States Senate. I think there is still the
opportunity to get that donebefore my presidency is
over, but it does requirethe Republican Party
I think to engagewith me in a more
serious effort,and to put aside
the politics. Thank you very much
for the question. All right, this side
has been neglected right here. I’m going to go with this
guy with the beard, man,because he looks a
little bit like — — he looks a little bit
like Marshawn Lynch. Male Speaker:
Greetings, Mr. President. President Obama: How are you?Male Speaker: More life
and blessings on youand your family. President Obama:
What’s your name?Male Speaker: My name
is Miguel Williams,but you can call —
I am Steppa. President Obama: Steppa. Male Speaker: Yeah, man,
that is quite sufficient. Yeah, man. My question has to
do and surrounds U. S. policy as it regards
the legalization,the decriminalization
of marijuana. President Obama: How did I
anticipate this question? Male Speaker: Yeah, man. President Obama: How did
I guess this question?Male Speaker: Yes. And, Mr. President, it really
comes under . We face economic challenges
with the IMF, et cetera. And and we find realistically
that the hemp industry,the marijuana industry
provides a highlyfeasible alternative
to rise above poverty. So I am wanting to over stand
and to understand how U. S. is envisioning and how you
would you see Jamaica pushingforward on a decriminalization,
legalization emphasison the hemp industry. President Obama: Okay. Well. Let me — I do want to
separate out what are seriousissues in the United States
and then how that relatesto our foreign policy and our
interactions with the region. There is the issue of
legalization of marijuana,and then there is the
issue of decriminalizingor dealing with the
incarceration and,in some cases, devastation
of communitiesas a consequence of
nonviolent drug offenses. I am a very strong believer
that the path that we havetaken in the United States in
the so-called “War on Drugs”has been so heavy in
emphasizing incarcerationthat it has been
counterproductive. You have young people who
did not engage in violencewho get very long penalties,
get placed in prison,and then are rendered
economically unemployable,are almost pushed into, then,
the underground economy,learn crime more
effectively in prison,families are devastated. So it’s been very
unproductive. And what we’re trying
to do is to reform ourcriminal justice system. And the good news is there has
actually been some intereston the part of unlikely allies
like the evangelical communityor some otherwise very
conservative Republicans,because it’s very expensive
to incarcerate people,and a recognition that this
may not be the best approach. So that’s one issue. There’s then the second issue
of legalizing marijuana,whether it’s medical marijuana
or recreational use. There are two states in the
United States that haveembarked on an experiment to
decriminalize or legalizemarijuana — Colorado
and Washington State. And we will see how that
experiment works its waythrough the process. Right now, that is
not federal policy,and I do not foresee
anytime soon Congresschanging the law at
a national basis. But I do think that if there
are states that show thatthey are not suddenly a
magnet for additional crime,that they have a strong enough
public health infrastructureto push against the potential
of increased addiction,then it’s conceivable
that that will spuron a national debate. But that is going
to be some time off. And then the third
issue is what will U. S. international policy be. And we had some discussion
with the CARICOMcountries about this. I know on paper a lot of
folks think, you know what,if we just legalize
marijuana, then it’ll reducethe money flowing into the
transnational drug trade,there are more revenues
and jobs created. I have to tell you that it’s
not a silver bullet, because,first of all, if you are
legalizing marijuana,then how do you deal
with other drugs,and where do you
draw the line?Second of all, as is true in
the global economy generally,if you have a bunch of small
medium-sized marijuanabusinesses scattered
across the Caribbeanand this is suddenly legal,
if you think that bigmulti-national
companies are not goingto suddenly come in and
market and try to controland profit from the
trade — that’s I thinka very real scenario. And so I think we have to
have a conversation aboutthis, but our current
policy continues to be thatin the United States, we
need to decrease demand. We need to focus on a
public health approachto decreasing demand. We have to stop the flow of guns
and cash into the Caribbeanand Central America
and Latin America. And at the same time,
I think the Caribbean,Latin America have to — Central
America — have to cooperatewith us to try to shrink the
power of the transnational drugorganizations that are vicious
and hugely destructive. And if we combine a public
health perspective,a focus on not simply throwing
every low-level person withpossession into prison by
trying to get them treatment,if we combine that with
economic developmentand alternative
opportunities for youth,then I think we can
strike the right balance. It may not comport with your —
completely with your visionfor the future, but I think
that we could certainly havea smarter approach to it
than we currently do. Got time for one
more question. One more question. Let’s see — this
is always hard. It’s always hard to be that
last — it’s a lady’s turn,so all the guys just have
to put down their hands. It’s too late for you. Let’s see. You know what, I’m
just going to go withthis young lady
right here. She’s just right in front. Go ahead, yes, you. Hold on a second,
wait for the mic. Female Speaker:
Afternoon, Mr. President. I’m Alana Williams , I’m
from the South Side of Chicago. President Obama: Wait,
you’re from Chicago?Female Speaker: Yes!President Obama: Well,
what are you doing here?This is supposed to be for
Caribbean young ladies. Female Speaker: Actually,
I attend Olivet NazareneUniversity and I’m studying
abroad, so I’m here. President Obama: I see, okay. Well, you’re cheating
a little bit. I’ll have to call on
somebody else after you. But I’m going to go
ahead and let you aska question real quick. Because I’ll see
you in Chicago. Female Speaker: Most definitely. My question is really
more so about home. I love my city, but the
violence is terrible,specifically amongst
young black men. And I know we’re talking a
lot about police brutality,but I’ve lost a lot of
friends from people wholook just like me. And that’s the problem. And so I would like to
know what you believeis the true source of the
violence, and whatis one solution to an
extreme problem. Thank you. President Obama: Well, look,
I know you asked it aboutChicago but I know there
are neighborhoods righthere in Jamaica that have
the same problems,and in every place all
across the Caribbean;certainly in
Central America. I don’t think there is
just one single factor. Obviously, a contributor is
one that we just talked about,which is the drug trade. If you have an illicit
trade that generates hugeamounts of money and is
not regulated above board,that is going to attract
ultimately people tryingto carve out turf, trying
to control markets,and violence ensues. So that’s point number one. Point number two is the easy
accessibility of weapons. And we were talking earlier
about different traditions;the United States has a
tradition of gun ownershipthat is deep; dates back
to the pioneer past. And I think it is a mistake
that we do not do a better jobof putting in place common-sense
gun-safety regulationsthat would keep guns out
of the hands of criminals,but unfortunately a
majority of Congress doesnot agree with me. Even after six-year-olds
were gunned down viciouslyin their classroom, we
could not get action done. But what we are doing is
cooperating with the regionas we are cooperating with
local jurisdictionsto try to stem at least
the flow of guns usingthe administrative
tools that I have. So that’s number two. Number three is providing
alternative pathsfor young people. If a young person is reading
by the age — by the thirdgrade and at grade level, if
they are enjoying school,if they see a path for
success, then they are lesslikely to get involved in
criminal activity and thatwill reduce gun violence,
and that will reducecrime, and that will
reduce death. Which means investing
in things like early childhoodeducation and improving our
schools — those thingsare absolutely vital. But there is a fourth
element to this,and that is our own
responsibility. And particularly, as I
speak to young people heretoday, we always talk about
what can we do aboutthe violence as if it’s like
just separate and apart. But we have control
in our communitiesof our immediate friends,
our immediate family. We influence our peers. And I do think that the power
that all of you have as youngleaders to be able to not
make excuses for violence –because there are a whole
bunch of folks who havereally tough backgrounds
and come from terriblecircumstances, and
are really poor,but they don’t go around
shooting somebody. They don’t beat somebody over
the head because of sneakersor because they looked
at them the wrong way. And so there is an element of
us retaking our communitiesand being willing to speak
out against violencein our midst. That doesn’t ignore
all the social factors. But Dr. King used to say it’s
not an either/or situation,it’s a both/and situation. Government has to act. We have to have
effective policing,which means policing that is
actually protecting as opposedto some of the things that
we’ve been seeing of latein the United States,
and I’m sure is truein other countries. And I say that saying that
police have an extraordinarilydifficult job, and the
overwhelming majoritydo a great job under
severe circumstances. But there’s got to be trust
built between the communities,and I had to put a task
force together that puttogether some excellent
reports in the wakeof Ferguson around how
we can do that. But ultimately, what
happens in the home,what happens in the school
— some of you are parentsalready; some of you will be
parents — what we teachour children in terms of
values, valuing themselves,valuing others, that’s
important, too. So there’s
no single solution. But all of us have
to do better. Because the tragedy of what
we see in the United Statesbut also in cities and towns
all across the Caribbeanand Central America,
is terrible. And there’s no
excuse for it. All right. Because I called
accidentally on a Chicagoan,I’ve got to call
on one more person. Look, this young lady stood
up, so she showed –that wasn’t fair, but I
called on her, go ahead. You’re not from
Chicago are you?Female Speaker: No. President Obama:
You promise?Okay. All right, get the
mic — oh, I’m sorry. You know what, I confess,
even though I was goingto call on you, she
thought she was goingto be called on. I’m going to call
on both of you now,but each of you get a
really short question. Really short, quick. Female Speaker: Well,
I’m the team leader forthe Global Entrepreneurship
Monitor and I wantto thank you for the
initiatives that you’replanning to do here. And I wanted to invite you to
our annual general meetingthat’s going to be held
in Babson in the States,so we want you to come
because you are partof a global team. So I’m representing Jamaica
as the youngest female teamleader, and I’m inviting you
to come so we can talkabout Startup America
and we can collaborateon different projects. So I’m inviting you
to come to that event. President Obama:
Okay, that was good. And I can say I’ll
await your invitation. And what I will say very
quickly is entrepreneurship,small- and medium-sized
businesses,that is a priority and that
means that we’ve got to createchannels for access to
capital, technical training. These are areas where a
lot of our developmentaid is shifting. Instead of just giving
somebody a fish,we want to teach
them how to fish. And what you’re seeing
— what you see amongyoung people all
around the world is,is that instead of just finding
a job in a big organization,they may want to create
something of their own,a new vision. And that kind of creativity
has to be tapped. So we’re shifting a lot of the
work that we do around issuesof entrepreneurship, so I’ll
be interested in seeingwhat you have to say. All right. This young lady
right here, go ahead. Female Speaker:
Hello, everyone. Hi, Mr. President. My name is Davianne Tucker,
and I’m the Guildpresident-elect for the
University of the West Indies. Thank you. So my question is, the
Jamaican government hasbeen holding firmly
to the stipulationsof the IMF agreement. There are many who would
like to know if the debtwrite-offs for Jamaica are
being considered as a meansof improving the
livelihood of our people. So is that being considered?President Obama: Well, this
came up in my bilateralwith your Prime Minister. And, look, historically, I
think there has been timeswhere the IMF or the
international multilateralorganizations worked
with governments in waysthat weren’t always
productive, got them deepinto debt, and then
suddenly you’ve got a lotmore flowing out
than was going in. And in some cases there were
governments around the worldthat were corrupt, lent money,
money goes into a Swiss bankaccount, suddenly the people
are paying off for decades. In Jamaica, some of it just
had to do with toughcircumstances, not always
the best fiscal management. I think that the current
government has been wiseto work hard to abide by
the IMF provisions. That’s not been easy. And I think that has been
the right thing to do. But what I also agreed with,
when I spoke to the PrimeMinister, is the need
to try to addressin a more systematic fashion
how we can spur growthand not just put the
squeeze on folks. Because what it turns
out is, is that if a –the best way for a country
to reduce its debtis to grow really fast, and
to generate more income. Now, that does require
development plansand approaches that
are productive. And it is true that
sometimes that requires someshort-term sacrifice. And I think the question
that the people of Jamaica,just like the people of
the United Statesand everywhere else,
should be asking is:If the government is
spending money right now,is it on something
that is going to helpcreate long-term growth
and help people succeed? If the answer is no, you
shouldn’t spend that money. Spending money just for
the sake of spending moneyis not — that’s not the
formula for success. But if the money is being
spent on what we talkedabout — early childhood
education; if it’s beingspent on infrastructure;
if it’s being spenton research; if it’s
being spent on buildingskills for workers — those
are good investments. And I do think that the
international financialinstitutions have to accommodate
the interests of countries whohave a sound plan for growth so
that they cannot just stayin this static state but can,
over time, thrive and succeed. And the way that’s going
to happen is becauseof outstanding young
leaders like you. I’ve had a great
conversation. Thank you, Jamaica. Thank you. Appreciate it,
young leaders. God bless you.

President Obama’s Visit to Ghana

♪♪ ♪♪The President:
And I’ve come here, to
Ghana, for a simple reason:the 21st century will be shaped by what happens not just in Romeor Moscow or Washington, but by what happens in Accra as well. Africa’s future
is up to Africans. The people of Africa are
ready to claim that future. And here is what you must know:
the world will be what you make of it. You have the power to hold
your leaders accountable,and to build institutions
that serve the people. You can serve in
your communities,and harness your energy and
education to create new wealthand build new
connections to the world. You can conquer disease,
and end conflicts,and make change
from the bottom up. You can do that. Yes you can. Because in this moment,
history is on the move. But these things can only
be done if all of you takeresponsibility for your future. And it won’t be easy. It will take time and effort. There will be
suffering and setbacks. But I can promise you this:
America will be with you everystep of the way. As a partner. As a friend. ♪♪ ♪♪

President Obama’s Message for America’s Students

Wakefield Student, Tim Spicer:
Good Morning. I would
like to extend a warmwelcome to
President Barack Obama,Secretary of education
Arnie Duncan, White House staff,school board members,
county board members,superintendent Dr. Patrick
Murphy, senior staff,principle George Jackson,
Wakefield faculty and of coursemy fellow classmates. I am honored to have been
chosen to speak before myclassmates as well as the
students across America today. Over the past three years,
I’ve taken advantage of everyacademic, extracurricular and
community opportunity that hasbeen presented to me. As I reflect, a scholar
expressed disappointment in mywriting and challenged me to
do better; being reassigned toanother class was not an option. After that experience,
I was determined to excel. Therefore, I managed to succeed
in the advanced placement classby maintaining focus
along with using asetback as constructive energy. As I stand before my peers
today, I want you to know thatexcellent education
opportunities may be handedto us, but as students we
must take responsibilitiesfor our future. We may be taught but we must
take ownership of our learning. As senior class president I
encourage all of our freshmen totake advantage of all the
opportunity’s that WakefieldHigh School has to offer. Along with the inspiration I’ve
taken from President Obama,I would not be standing here,
before you, to introduce thePresident of the United States
if I had not been here atWakefield high school, in
Arlington Virginia, pursuing myeducation. Just as we are
fortunate to have PresidentObama to come here to
Wakefield today to speak to us,we are also fortunate that after
he leaves, we will continue tohave the opportunities and
support that Wakefieldgives to all of us. At this time it is with great
honor and pride that I askeveryone to stand to
welcome the — — to welcome the man that
proved “yes we can. “Ladies and Gentleman please join
me in welcoming the President ofthe United States of
America, Barack Obama. ♪♪ ♪♪ The President:
Hello, everybody!Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, everybody. All
right, everybody go aheadand have a seat. How is
everybody doing today? How about Tim Spicer? I am here with
students atWakefield High School
in Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning
in from all across America,from kindergarten
through 12th grade. And I am just so glad that
all could join us today. And I want to thank Wakefield
for being such an outstandinghost. Give yourselves a
big round of applause. I know that for many of
you, today is the firstday of school. And for those
of you in kindergarten,or starting middle
or high school,it’s your first day
in a new school,so it’s understandable if
you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors
out there who are feeling prettygood right now — — with just one
more year to go. And no matter what
grade you’re in,some of you are probably wishing
it were still summer and youcould’ve stayed in bed just a
little bit longer this morning. I know that feeling. When I was young, my
family lived overseas. I lived in Indonesia
for a few years. And my mother, she didn’t have
the money to send me where allthe American kids
went to school,but she thought it was important
for me to keep up with anAmerican education. So she
decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday
through Friday. But because she
had to go to work,the only time she could do it
was at 4:30 in the morning. Now, as you might imagine, I
wasn’t too happy about gettingup that early. And a lot of times, I’d fall
asleep right there atthe kitchen table. But whenever
I’d complain, my mother wouldjust give me one of those looks and she’d say, “This is no picnic for me either, buster. ” So I know that some of you are
still adjusting to being back atschool. But I’m here today
because I have somethingimportant to discuss with you. I’m here because I want to talk
with you about your educationand what’s expected of all of
you in this new school year. Now, I’ve given a lot of
speeches about education. And I’ve talked about
responsibility a lot. I’ve talked about teachers’
responsibility for inspiringstudents and pushing
you to learn. I’ve talked about your parents’
responsibility for making sureyou stay on track, and you
get your homework done,and don’t spend every waking
hour in front of the TV orwith the Xbox. I’ve talked a
lot about your government’sresponsibility for setting
high standards, and supporting teachers and principals, and
turning around schools that aren’t working, where students
aren’t getting the opportunities that they deserve. But at the end of the day, we
can have the most dedicatedteachers, the most
supportive parents,the best schools in the world
— and none of it will make adifference, none of it will
matter unless all of you fulfillyour responsibilities, unless
you show up to those schools,unless you pay attention
to those teachers,unless you listen to your
parents and grandparents andother adults and put in the
hard work it takes to succeed. That’s what I want
to focus on today:the responsibility each
of you has for your education. I want to start with the
responsibility you haveto yourself. Every single one
of you has something that you’regood at. Every single one of
you has something to offer. And you have a
responsibility to yourself todiscover what that is. That’s the opportunity an
education can provide. Maybe you could be a great
writer — maybe even good enoughto write a book or articles in a
newspaper — but you might notknow it until you write that
English paper — that Englishclass paper that’s
assigned to you. Maybe you could be an innovator
or an inventor — maybe evengood enough to come up with the
next iPhone or the new medicineor vaccine — but you might
not know it until you do yourproject for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or
a senator or a Supreme Courtjustice — but you might not
know that until you join studentgovernment or the debate team. And no matter what you
want to do with your life,I guarantee that you’ll
need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a
teacher, or a police officer?You want to be a
nurse or an architect,a lawyer or a member
of our military?You’re going to need a good
education for every single oneof those careers. You cannot drop out of school
and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to train for it and
work for it and learn for it. And this isn’t just important
for your own life andyour own future. What you make
of your education will decidenothing less than the
future of this country. The future of America
depends on you. What you’re learning in school
today will determine whether weas a nation can meet our
greatest challengesin the future. You’ll need the
knowledge and problem-solvingskills you learn in science
and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop
new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and
critical-thinking skills yougain in history and social
studies to fight poverty andhomelessness, crime
and discrimination,and make our nation
more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and
ingenuity you develop in allyour classes to build new
companies that will create newjobs and boost our economy. We need every single one of you
to develop your talents and yourskills and your intellect so you
can help us old folks solve ourmost difficult problems. If you don’t do that — if you
quit on school — you’re notjust quitting on yourself,
you’re quitting on your country. Now, I know it’s not always
easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have
challenges in your lives rightnow that can make it hard to
focus on your schoolwork. I get it. I know what it’s like. My father left my family
when I was two years old,and I was raised by a single
mom who had to work and whostruggled at times to pay the
bills and wasn’t always able togive us the things
that other kids had. There were times when I missed
having a father in my life. There were times when
I was lonely and I feltlike I didn’t fit in. So I wasn’t always as focused as
I should have been on school,and I did some things
I’m not proud of,and I got in more trouble
than I should have. And my life could have easily
taken a turn for the worse. But I was — I was lucky. I got a lot of second chances,
and I had the opportunity to goto college and law school
and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle
Obama, she has a similar story. Neither of her parents
had gone to college,and they didn’t
have a lot of money. But they worked hard,
and she worked hard,so that she could go to the
best schools in this country. Some of you might not
have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults
in your life who give you thesupport that you need. Maybe someone in your family has
lost their job and there’s notenough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood
where you don’t feel safe,or have friends who are
pressuring you to do things youknow aren’t right. But at the end of the day, the
circumstances of your life –what you look like,
where you come from,how much money you have, what
you’ve got going on at home –none of that is an excuse for
neglecting your homework orhaving a bad attitude in school. That’s no excuse for talking
back to your teacher,or cutting class, or
dropping out of school. There is no excuse
for not trying. Where you are right now
doesn’t have to determinewhere you’ll end up. No one’s written
your destiny for you,because here in America,
you write your own destiny. You make your own future. That’s what young people like
you are doing every day,all across America. Young people like Jazmin
Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn’t speak English
when she first started school. Neither of her parents
had gone to college. But she worked hard,
earned good grades,and got a scholarship to
Brown University — isnow in graduate
school, studying publichealth, on her way to
becoming Dr. Jazmin Perez. I’m thinking about Andoni
Schultz, from Los Altos,California, who’s fought brain
cancer since he was three. He’s had to endure all sorts
of treatments and surgeries,one of which
affected his memory,so it took him much longer —
hundreds of extra hours –to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind. He’s headed to
college this fall. And then there’s
Shantell Steve, from myhometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster
home to foster home in thetoughest neighborhoods
in the city,she managed to get a job at
a local health care center,start a program to keep
young people out of gangs,and she’s on track to graduate
high school with honors andgo on to college. And Jazmin, Andoni, and
Shantell aren’t any differentfrom any of you. They face challenges in their
lives just like you do. In some cases they’ve got it a
lot worse off than many of you. But they refused to give up. They chose to take
responsibility for their lives,for their education, and
set goals for themselves. And I expect all of
you to do the same. That’s why today I’m calling
on each of you to set your owngoals for your education
— and do everythingyou can to meet them. Your goal can be something
as simple as doing all yourhomework, paying
attention in class,or spending some time
each day reading a book. Maybe you’ll decide to get
involved in an extracurricularactivity, or volunteer
in your community. Maybe you’ll decide to stand up
for kids who are being teased orbullied because of who
they are or how they look,because you believe, like I do,
that all young people deserve asafe environment
to study and learn. Maybe you’ll decide to take
better care of yourself so youcan be more ready to learn. And along those
lines, by the way,I hope all of you are
washing your hands a lot,and that you stay home from
school when you don’t feel well,so we can keep people
from getting the fluthis fall and winter. But whatever you resolve to do,
I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it. I know that sometimes you get
that sense from TV that you canbe rich and successful without
any hard work — that yourticket to success is through
rapping or basketballor being a
reality TV star. Chances are you’re not going
to be any of those things. The truth is, being
successful is hard. You won’t love every
subject that you study. You won’t click with every
teacher that you have. Not every homework assignment
will seem completely relevant toyour life right at this minute. And you won’t necessarily
succeed at everything the firsttime you try. That’s okay. Some of the most successful
people in the world are the oneswho’ve had the most failures. J. K. Rowling’s — who wrote Harry Potter — her firstHarry Potter book
was rejected 12 times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his
high school basketball team. He lost hundreds of games
and missed thousands ofshots during his
career. But he once said,”I have failed over and over
and over again in my life. And that’s why I succeed. “These people succeeded because
they understood that you can’tlet your failures define
you — you have to letyour failures teach you. You have to let them
show you what to dodifferently the next time. So if you get into trouble,
that doesn’t mean you’re atroublemaker, it means you need
to try harder to act right. If you get a bad grade, that
doesn’t mean you’re stupid,it just means you need to
spend more time studying. No one’s born being
good at all things. You become good at things
through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the
first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the
first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. The same principle applies
to your schoolwork. You might have to do a math
problem a few times before youget it right. You might have to read
something a few timesbefore you understand it. You definitely have to do a few
drafts of a paper before it’sgood enough to hand in. Don’t be afraid
to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask
for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t
a sign of weakness,it’s a sign of strength because
it shows you have the courage toadmit when you don’t
know something,and that then allows you
to learn something new. So find an adult that
you trust — a parent,a grandparent or teacher, a
coach or a counselor — and askthem to help you stay on
track to meet your goals. And even when you’re struggling,
even when you’re discouraged,and you feel like other
people have given up on you,don’t ever give up on yourself,
because when you give up onyourself, you give
up on your country. The story of America
isn’t about people who quitwhen things got tough. It’s about people who kept
going, who tried harder,who loved their country
too much to do anythingless than their best. It’s the story of students who
sat where you sit 250 years ago,and went on to wage a revolution
and they founded this nation. Young people. Students who sat where you sit
75 years ago who overcame aDepression and won a world war;
who fought for civil rights andput a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit
20 years ago who founded Googleand Twitter and Facebook and
changed the way we communicatewith each other. So today, I want
to ask all of you,what’s your contribution
going to be?What problems are
you going to solve?What discoveries will you make?What will a President who comes
here in 20 or 50 or 100 yearssay about what all of
you did for this country?Now, your families,
your teachers,and I are doing everything we
can to make sure you have theeducation you need to
answer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up your
classrooms and get you the booksand the equipment and the
computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to
do your part, too. So I expect all of you
to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best
effort into everything you do. I expect great things
from each of you. So don’t let us down. Don’t let your family
down or your country down. Most of all, don’t
let yourself down. Make us all proud. Thank you very much, everybody. God bless you. God bless America. Thank you.

President Barack Obama at UN Climate Change Summit

President Obama:
Good morning. I want to thank the Secretary
General for organizing thissummit, and all the leaders
who are participating. That so many of us are here
today is a recognition that thethreat from climate change
is serious, it is urgent,and it is growing. Our generation’s response to
this challenge will be judged byhistory, for if we
fail to meet it –boldly, swiftly, and together
— we risk consigning futuregenerations to an
irreversible catastrophe. No nation, however large
or small, wealthy or poor,can escape the impact
of climate change. Rising sea levels
threaten every coastline. More powerful storms and floods
threaten every continent. More frequent droughts and
crop failures breed hunger andconflict in places where hunger
and conflict already thrive. On shrinking islands, families
are already being forced to fleetheir homes as climate refugees. The security and stability of
each nation and all peoples –our prosperity, our
health, and our safety –are in jeopardy. And the time we have to reverse
this tide is running out. And yet, we can reverse it. John F. Kennedy once observed that “Our problems are man-made,therefore they may
be solved by man. “It is true that
for too many years,mankind has been slow to respond
or even recognize the magnitudeof the climate threat. It is true of my own
country, as well. We recognize that. But this is a new day. It is a new era. And I am proud to say that the
United States has done more topromote clean energy and reduce
carbon pollution in the lasteight months than at any
other time in our history. We are making our government’s
largest ever investment inrenewable energy — an investment aimed at doubling thegenerating capacity from wind and other renewable resources in three years. Across America, entrepreneurs
are constructing wind turbinesand solar panels and batteries
for hybrid cars with the help ofloan guarantees
and tax credits –projects that are creating
new jobs and new industries. We’re investing billions to
cut energy waste in our homes,our buildings, and appliances — helping American families savemoney on energy
bills in the process. We’ve proposed the very first
national policy aimed at bothincreasing fuel economy
and reducing greenhouse gaspollution for all new
cars and trucks –a standard that will also save
consumers money and our nation oil. We’re moving forward with our
nation’s first offshore windenergy projects. We’re investing billions to
capture carbon pollution so thatwe can clean up our coal plants. And just this week, we announced
that for the first time ever,we’ll begin tracking how much
greenhouse gas pollution isbeing emitted
throughout the country. Later this week, I will work
with my colleagues at the G20 tophase out fossil fuel subsidies
so that we can better addressour climate challenge. And already, we know that the
recent drop in overall U. S. emissions is due in part to
steps that promote greaterefficiency and greater
use of renewable energy. Most importantly, the House of
Representatives passed an energyand climate bill in June that
would finally make clean energythe profitable kind of energy
for American businesses anddramatically reduce
greenhouse gas emissions. One committee has already acted
on this bill in the Senate and Ilook forward to engaging with
others as we move forward. Because no one nation can
meet this challenge alone,the United States has also
engaged more allies and partnersin finding a solution
than ever before. In April, we convened the
first of what have now been sixmeetings of the Major Economies
Forum on Energy and Climate herein the United States. In Trinidad, I proposed an
Energy and Climate Partnershipfor the Americas. We’ve worked through the World
Bank to promote renewable energyprojects and technologies
in the developing world. And we have put climate at the
top of our diplomatic agendawhen it comes to our
relationships with countries asvaried as China and
Brazil; India and Mexico;from the continent of Africa
to the continent of Europe. Taken together, these steps
represent a historic recognitionon behalf of the American
people and their government. We understand the gravity
of the climate threat. We are determined to act. And we will meet our
responsibility to future generations. But though many of our nations
have taken bold action and sharein this determination, we did
not come here to celebrateprogress today. We came because there’s so
much more progress to be made. We came because there’s so
much more work to be done. It is work that
will not be easy. As we head towards Copenhagen,
there should be no illusionsthat the hardest part of our
journey is in front of us. We seek sweeping but necessary
change in the midst of a globalrecession, where every nation’s
most immediate priority isreviving their economy and
putting their people back to work. And so all of us will face
doubts and difficulties in ourown capitals as we try to
reach a lasting solution to theclimate challenge. But I’m here today to say that
difficulty is no excuse for complacency. Unease is no excuse
for inaction. And we must not allow the
perfect to become the enemy of progress. Each of us must do what we
can when we can to grow oureconomies without
endangering our planet –and we must all do it together. We must seize the opportunity
to make Copenhagen a significantstep forward in the global
fight against climate change. We also cannot allow the
old divisions that havecharacterized the climate debate
for so many years to block our progress. Yes, the developed nations that
caused much of the damage to ourclimate over the last century
still have a responsibility tolead — and that includes
the United States. And we will continue to do so — by investing in renewable energyand promoting greater efficiency and slashing our emissions toreach the targets we set for 2020 and our long-term goal for 2050. But those rapidly growing
developing nations that willproduce nearly all the growth in
global carbon emissions in thedecades ahead must do
their part, as well. Some of these nations have
already made great strides withthe development and
deployment of clean energy. Still, they need to commit to
strong measures at home andagree to stand behind those
commitments just as thedeveloped nations must
stand behind their own. We cannot meet this challenge
unless all the largest emittersof greenhouse gas
pollution act together. There’s no other way. We must also energize our
efforts to put other developingnations — especially the poorest and most vulnerable –on a path to sustained growth. These nations do not have the
same resources to combat climatechange as countries like the
United States or China do,but they have the most
immediate stake in a solution. For these are the nations that
are already living with theunfolding effects of
a warming planet –famine, drought, disappearing
coastal villages,and the conflicts that
arise from scarce resources. Their future is no longer a
choice between a growing economyand a cleaner planet, because
their survival depends on both. It will do little good to
alleviate poverty if you can nolonger harvest your crops
or find drinkable water. And that is why we have a
responsibility to provide thefinancial and technical
assistance needed to help thesenations adapt to the impacts
of climate change and pursuelow-carbon development. What we are seeking, after all,
is not simply an agreement tolimit greenhouse gas emissions. We seek an agreement that will
allow all nations to grow andraise living standards without
endangering the planet. By developing and disseminating
clean technology and sharing ourknow-how, we can help developing
nations leap-frog dirty energytechnologies and reduce
dangerous emissions. Mr. Secretary, as
we meet here today,the good news is that after
too many years of inaction anddenial, there’s finally
widespread recognition of theurgency of the
challenge before us. We know what needs to be done. We know that our planet’s future
depends on a global commitmentto permanently reduce
greenhouse gas pollution. We know that if we put the right
rules and incentives in place,we will unleash the creative
power of our best scientists andengineers and entrepreneurs
to build a better world. And so many nations have already
taken the first step on thejourney towards that goal. But the journey is long
and the journey is hard. And we don’t have much time
left to make that journey. It’s a journey that will require
each of us to persevere throughsetbacks, and fight for
every inch of progress,even when it comes
in fits and starts. So let us begin. For if we are flexible
and pragmatic,if we can resolve to work
tirelessly in common effort,then we will achieve our common
purpose: a world that is safer,cleaner, and healthier
than the one we found;and a future that is
worthy of our children. Thank you very much.

President Obama Laughs at Trump

MORNING I’M ACTUALLY READY FOR CRISES. >> Jimmy: THE DEBATE, YOU WATCHED DONALD TRUMP, DO YOU EVER LAUGH?DO YOU EVER ACTUALLY LAUGH? >> MOST OF THE TIME. >> Jimmy: DID YOU EVER ACTUALLY WATCH THAT “ACCESS HOLLYWOOD” BILLY BUSH TAPE?>> I DID. >> Jimmy: YOU DID. >> I SAW IT. >> Jimmy: WHERE DID YOU WATCH IT?ON TV?>> WE WERE THIS CHICAGO. I THINK I WAS COMING OUT OF AN EVENT. SOMEBODY JUST SHOWED IT TO ME ONTHEIR PHONE. >> Jimmy: AT THAT MOMENT DID YOUKNOW THAT IT WAS GOING TO BE AS NOTABLE AS –>> YES. >> Jimmy: — IT TURNED OUT TO BE?>> WELL, DIDN’T YOU? THAT’S JUST NOT THE KIND OF THING — >> Jimmy: I DIDN’T KNOW BECAUSE –>> I THINK THAT’S ONE OF THOSE THINGS WHERE IF YOUR BEST FRIENDWHO WORKED IN THE OFFICE SOMEWHERE HAD THAT VIDEO, IT WOULD BE A PROBLEM FOR HIM. >> Jimmy: IT WOULD BE A PROBLEM,YES. >> AND HE’S NOT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT. >> Jimmy: RIGHT, EXACTLY. >> AND RIGHTFULLY SO. >> Jimmy: DO YOU HAVE DIRTBAG FRIENDS YOU HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TOBE IN TOUCH WITH FOR THE LAST EIGHT YEARS? GUYS YOU MISS AND ONCE YOU’RE OUT YOU’RE GOING TO RECONNECT WITH THEM?>> YOU KNOW, THERE ARE PROBABLY SOME GUYS WHO DON’T MAKE THE CUTBUT THEY’RE STILL GOOD GUYS. KNOWN THEM SINCE HIGH SCHOOL, YOU HAVE FOND MEMORIES. HEY, MAN, I’LL CATCH UP WITH YOU.

Obama Impersonator at Republican Leadership Conference

WHETHER YOU GUYS DOING HERE? WHAT IS GOING ON? THANK YOU. THANK YOU, THANK YOU. THANK YOU. HOW ARE YOU?THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH. THANK YOU. NOW, I KNOW THAT YOU AREREPUBLICANS, BUT THAT WELCOMEWAS PRETTY WEAK. SO, LISTEN, I’M GOING TO GOBACKSTAGE, AND YOU’RE GOING TOTRY THAT AGAIN. BORN IN THE USATHANK YOU. THANK YOU. THAT IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. THAT IS A WELCOME. THANK YOU SO MUCH. YES WE CAN. GOD BLESS YOU. NOW, NOW, THAT IS ENOUGH. IT IS MY TURN DID SPEAK. IT’S GREAT TO BE BACK IN NEWORLEANS. NOW, IS A HOT OUTSIDE, OR IS ITJUST AL GORE? NOW, LET ME BE CLEAR. LET ME BE CLEAR — I’M HERETODAY TO EXTEND AN OLIVE BRANCHTO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. NOW, I DO NOT WANT TO RUFFLE ANYFATHERS HERE TODAY, BUT WOULDYOU ALL MIND CHANGE IN THIS ROOMAROUND ACCORDING TO THE PRE-1967SITTING ARRANGEMENT? YOU OVER THERE, YOU OVERTHERE, AND YOU THERE. NOW, I MUST THANK THE CHAIRMANOF THE NATIONAL REPUBLICANCOMMITTEE FOR ALL THAT YOU DO. WHAT IS IT EXACTLY THAT YOU DO?0. THAT IS RIGHT. I APPRECIATE YOU. REINCE PRIEBUS PARENT THAT NAMESOUNDS A LITTLE FISHY. COULD SOMEBODY — RANCE PRIEBUS. THAT NAME SOUNDS A LITTLE FISHY. COULD SOMEBODY CALLED DONALDCERTIFICATE?TRUMP AND VERIFY HIS BIRTHI THINK WE CAN ALL IN EVENT LIKETHIS NEEDS A VOICE OF REASON, AVOICE FROM OF HOPE, SOME OF THATWILL LOOK YOU IN THE EYE, ANDGIVE YOU A BIG HUG, AND LET YOUKNOW EVERYTHING IS OK. BE HERE. UNFORTUNATELY, MICHELE COULD NOTNOW, WHEN VICE PRESIDENT JOEBIDEN HEARD WAS COMING HERETODAY, HE TRULY WANTED TO BEHERE, HE WAS SO EXCITED. HE PULLED ME IN CLOSE, HE HELDME TIGHT, HE LEANED IN, JUSTLIKE THAT, AND HE WHISPERED INMY EAR “THIS IS A BIG F-ING DELL. ” — DEAL. “I SAID I KNOW, THAT IS WHYYOU ARE STAYING HERE. HE MIGHT BE ASKING YOURSELF WHATIS THE PRESIDENT DOING TODAY?THE BUDGET IS OUT OF CONTROL. THE DEFICIT IS RAPIDLY GROWING,AND THEIR THREATS OF AGOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN, SO IFIGURED I WOULD DO WITH ANYGREAT PRESIDENT WOULD DO INTHESE TRYING TIMES HEAD DOWN TOLOUISIANA, AND POLISH UP ON MYGOLF GAME. LOOKING GOOD. I AM ON VACATION. A FEW MONTHS BACK, MY FAMILY ANDI TOOK A NICE STOCKVACATION IN THESTATE OF MY BIRTH, HAWAII,KENYA. WHEREAS THE TEA PARTY CALLS IT, ARE HAVING FUN. BUT, TIME DOES FLY WHEN YOUWE ARE MORE THAN HALFWAY THROUGHJUNE ALREADY. MY FAVORITE MONTH IS FEBRUARY,BLACK HISTORY MONTH. YOU SEE, MICHELE CELEBRATES THEFULL MONTH, AND, YOU KNOW, ICELEBRATE HALF. FATHER WAS A BLACK MANFROM KENYA, AND MY MOTHER WAS AWHITE WOMAN FROM KANSAS. SO, YES, MY MOTHER LOVED THEBLACK MAN, AND NO, SHE WAS NOTA KARDASHIAN. NOW, MOST OF YOU KNOW I’VESTILL NOT BEEN ABLE TO QUITSMOKING, AND I MIGHT NEED SOMEOUTSIDE HELP TAKE A LOOK AT THISPICTURE OF SOMEBODY SNAP OF MEON THE 2008 CAMPAIGN. ONE YEAR LATER SOMEBODYSNAPPED THIS PHOTO. I NEED HELP. SOMEBODY. THE WORST PART IS PRESIDENT’SAGE SO QUICKLY. NOW, LOOKS, THIS IS GENERALGEORGE WASHINGTON BEFORE HEAGREED TO BE OUR FIRSTPRESIDENT. HIS LOOKING NICE AND YOUNG. THIS IS PRESIDENT WASHINGTON LAWWAS OUR PRESIDENT. — WHILE HE WAS OUR PRESIDENT,AND THIS IS GEORGE WASHINGTONTODAY. BOO. DO YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN?11. HERE, IS W. BEFORE SEPTEMBERIS LOOKING GOOD. THE SIZE OF, ON A POINT. GOOD. NOW, AFTER 9/11 — NOT SOCONFUSED. NOW, BUT THE. I LOVE THIS PHOTO. — LOOKING AT THIS. I LOVE THIS TOTAL. WE WERE READY TO TAKE ON THEWORLD. I HAD COMPUTER TECHNOLOGYPREDICT WHAT MICHELE AND I AREGOING TO LOOK LIKE AT THE END OFMY FIRST TERM. BUT, DESPITE ALL OF THAT, ATTHE HALFWAY POINT IN THE MOSTHISTORIC PRESIDENCY IN THEHISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES,FIVE TWO WORDS FOR EACH ANDEVERY ONE OF YOU — YOURWELCOME. YOU’RE WELCOME FOR THE THRIVINGECONOMY THAT HELPED TO CREATE. YOU’RE WELCOME FOR THE PEACEFULMIDDLE EAST THAT I HELPED TOFORGE, AND THE GIFT OF HUMILITYTHAT I’VE GIVEN SYRIA AND AWINNER. — THAT I HAVE GIVEN SOMEANTHONY WIENER. THAT IS RIGHT. I MAY HAVE GIVEN HIM THE GIFT OFHUMILITY, BUT YOU PAY FOR THATCUTE LITTLE TALL. TRUTH BE TOLD, I NEVER WAS AFAN OF WINTER. THAT BOY WAS ALWAYS TRYING TOWALK UP ME. I RELEASED MY LONG FORM BIRTHCERTIFICATE. HE RELEASES HIS LONG FORMTWITTER PHOTO. NOW, I MUST SAY THAT THESTATE OF OUR UNION IS NOT GOOD. THE DEBT IS RAPIDLY GROWING. UNEMPLOYMENT IS QUICKLY RISING. PEOPLE ARE BEING FORCED FROMTHEIR HOMES. I FEEL THEIR PAIN, BECAUSE INTWO YEARS, THAT COULD BE ME. SETTLE DOWN. SETTLE DOWN. YES YOU CAN. THAT IS ENOUGH OUT OF YOU. NOW, I WAS CRITICIZED FOR JOKINGABOUT SHOVEL-READY JOBS THEOTHER DAY. BUT, THE TRUTH IS WE NEED TOBUILD TUNNELS AND BRIDGES. THAT WAY PEOPLE WOULD HAVEOFF OF. SOMETHING TO LIVE UNDER OR JUMP NOW, — IN A RECENT POLL, ONLY 15% OFAMERICANS BELIEVE THERE WILL BEA GREAT DEPRESSION, BUT THE BADNEWS FOR ME IS THE OTHER 85%BELIEVE THERE WILL ONLY BE AVERY GOOD DEPRESSION. NOW, I AM PROUD TO SAY THAT WEARE FINDING GREAT STRIDES — WEARE MAKING GREAT STRIDES INFINDING NON-COMBAT SOLUTIONS TOFIND A DEER WITH MUAMMARGADDAFI, AND KIM JONG IL, OR ASWE REFER TO THEM IN THESITUATION ROOM, TWO AND A HALFOF MEN. IS HE NOT CUTE?LOOK OF LITTLE KIM JONG IL. LITTLE, LITTLE MAN. NOW, ATTORNEY GENERAL ERICHOLDER, AT MY DIRECTION, WILL BEFIGHTING ALABAMA’SCONTROVERSIAL IMMIGRATION BILL,WHICH IS EVEN MORE EXTREME THANTHAT OF ARIZONA’S. IT STATES POLICE HAVE PROBABLECAUSE TO CHECK ANYBODY’SIMMIGRATION STATUS IS ANYBODY ISEQUAL TO OR GREATER THAN THAT OFJOHN THE CRY VERY BITTER — JOHNBOEHNER’S. YOU WANT TO SEE MY IMPRESSION OFJOHN BOEHNER?WHAT DO YOU THINK?I HAVE BEEN WORKING ON THE FOURMONTHS. I DO NOT KNOW WHY THAT MAN CRIESSO MUCH. $40. THE SPRAY CANS ARE NOT CHEAP. LET ME BE CLEAR. I AM AGAINST ANY STATE IN AHEARING WITH FEDERAL IMMIGRATIONLAW. SURELY AFTER ARIZONA PASSED ITSBILL, I RECEIVED A LETTER THATSAID “MR. PRESIDENT, I WAS BORNIN THIS COUNTRY. I GET UP EARLY EVERY DAY. I WORKED EXTREMELY HARD. I COME HOME TO MY WIFE AND MYKIDS, AND STILL, THE POLICE STOPME AND QUESTION MY INTENTIONS. I DID NOT THINK SENATOR JOHNMCCAIN SHOULD BE TREATED THATWAY. OR DO I?NOW, I’M PROUD OF ALL OF THAT,BUT LISTENING TO THE ATTACKSFROM BY COMPONENTS AND THERIGHT-WING MEDIA, YOU THINK IHAVE NOT GOTTEN ANYTHING DONE,BUT IT IS TRUE WHAT HARRY TRUMANONCE SAID — IF YOU WANT AFRIEND IN WASHINGTON, GET A DOG,SO I DID. HIS NAME IS BO. HIS FULL NAME IS VOTE TO ITALY. VOTE COMES FROM MYMY OFFICIALS –INITIALS BARACK OBAMA. BILLY COMES FROM THE AMOUNT OFSUPPORT AT DAWN FROM FOX NEWS. HE SLEEPS IN HIS DOG HOUSE EVERYNIGHT. IT IS NOT A NEW DOG HOUSE, FROMWHAT I’M TOLD, BILL CLINTONSLEPT IN THE A LOT. PERHAPS MY EXPECTATIONS WERETOO HIGH WHEN I TOOK THIS JOB. AS YURI — AS YOU CAN RECALL, MYSLOGAN WAS YES WE CAN, AND IHAVE TO ADMIT, I THOUGHT WECANNOT. COULD, BUT APPARENTLY, NO WE SO, IN FRONT OF YOU HERETODAY, THIS AFTERNOON, I’M UNVEILING THE NEW SLOGAN. I KILLED OSAMA. WHAT DO YOU THINK?IT WAS NOT GEORGE BUSH. IT WAS NOT DICK CHENEY. THAT WAS ME. I DID THAT FOR YOU. SO, THAT IS MY NEW SLOGAN. I THINK IT IS PRETTY COOL. BUT, YOU WRITE-WINNERS SHOULD BEPROUD OF ME BECAUSE THE MISSIONTO CAPTURE OSAMA BIN LADEN WASNOT ONLY SUCCESSFUL IN THAT IKILLED HIM, BUT IN COOPERATIONWITH TWO OF MY DEAR LIBERALSUPPORTERS, PROVED A YOU ARECORRECT AFTER ALL. TORTURE DOES WORK. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT? BUT THE ECONOMY IS FRAGILE. IT IS BARELY MOVING. IT IS GASPING FOR AIR. IS DESPERATELY CLINGING TO LIFE,JUST LIKE NEWT GINGRICH, THECAMPAIG’S CAMPAIGN. COME ON. HE IS IN SERIOUS TROUBLE. HIS CONSULTANTS ARE DROPPINGFASTER THAN ANTHONY WIENER’SPANTS IN AN AOL CHATROOM. SPEAKING OF CANDIDATES, ALITTLE BIRDIE TOLD ME YOU ARELOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO CHALLENGEME IN 2012. REALLY?HOW’S THAT GOING FOR YOU?OK. WELL, LET’S SEE. YOU HAVE YOUR FRONT RUNNER, MITTROMNEY. NOW, DO NOT GET ME WRONG. HE MIGHT MAKE A GREAT PRESIDENT,ALONG WITH HIS FIRST LADY,SECOND LADY, THIRD LADY. NOW, IT IS UNFORTUNATE THATTIM PAWLENTY COULD NOT MAKE ITHERE, BUT CUT HIM SOME SLACK. HE IS HAVING HIS FOOT SURGICALLYDO NOT WORRY. REMOVED FROM HIS MOUTH. LUCKILY FOR HIM, IT IS COVEREDUNDER OBAMANEY-CARE, THAT ALONGWITH SPINAL TRANSPLANTS. COME ON. JOHN KING SERVED HIM UP A BALLSOFTER THAN BARNEY FRANK’SBACKSIDE. NOW, BECAUSE OF HIM, PEOPLE AREASKING ME WHEN I WILL EXPLAINTHE DETAILS OF MY HEALTH CAREPLAN, AND I HAVE THREE WORDS FORYOU — SO AM I. . NOW, THE DONALD. REMEMBER HIM?HE IS THREATENING TO RUN AS ANINDEPENDENT, BUT THE ONLY THINGRUNNING INDEPENDENT OF DONALDTRUMP IS HIS HAIR. NOW WE HAVE MICHELE BACHMANNTO R. NOW, WHAT CAN I SAY ABOUTMICHELE BACHMANN THAT SHE HASNOT ALREADY SET ABOUT HERSELF?THE OTHER DAY SHE CALLED ME AONE-TERM PRESIDENT. — ONE SYLLABLE PRESIDENT. I HAVE TO GO. GOD BLESS YOU. GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES. GOD BLESS AMERICA. KEY WHY. THANK YOU. — THANK YOU. GOOD AFTERNOON. ARE YOU ALL STILL COME TO? — POMP?I STARTED WITH YOU THIS MORNING. I WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE AT ACERTAIN LEVEL, OR ABOVE THERE. VERY GOOD.

You Won’t Believe What Obama Says In This Video! 😉

– We’re entering an era
in which our enemiescan make it look like
anyone is saying anythingat any point in time. Even if they would never say those things. So, for instance, they could
have me say things like,I don’t know, “Killmonger was right,”or “Ben Carson is in the sunken place,”or, how about this, simply,”President Trump is a total
and complete dipshit. “Now, you see, I would
never say these things. At least not in a public address. But, someone else would. Someone like Jordan Peel. This is a dangerous time. Moving forward, we need
to be more vigilantwith what we trust from the internet. It’s a time when we need to
rely on trusted news sources. May sound basic, but how we move forward,age of information is
gonna be the differencebetween whether we survive
or whether we becomesome kind of fucked up dystopia. Thank you, and stay woke bitches.

President Obama Pays a Surprise Visit to Troops in Afghanistan

The President: Hello, Bagram! Well, I know it’s
a little late,but I was in the neighborhood
and thought I’d stop by. First of all, I want everybody
to give a huge roundof applause to your commander,
General Joe Dunford. Please give him an outstanding,
rousing acknowledgement. I am grateful to
him for his leadership of ourcoalition here in Afghanistan,
and for his lifetimeof distinguished service — to
the Marine Corps and to America. And can everybody please
give it up to Brad Paisley? Now, I want to say
this about Brad. First of all, he’s a great
supporter of our troops,a great supporter
of your families. Two years ago we had him at
the White House to performfor troops and military
families duringthe Fourth of July celebration. Him coming here
today was not easy. He had just started a tour and
he had to juggle a lot of stuffand had to try to figure out how
to explain it to people withoutexplaining it to people, and
his wife and two young sons,and promoters and agents — and
without going into details,this was a big
sacrifice for him. And he did it because he
cares so deeply about you. So I’m so grateful to him. I want to make clear, though,
I will not be singing so –Audience Members: Awwww –The President: Oh, you
really want me to sing? No, but I do want to
just say to Brad,thank you so much
for doing this. I want to acknowledge our
outstanding Ambassador,Jim Cunningham, who’s
here, with his lovely wife. And Jim leads an incredible team
of civilians — at our embassyand across this country. They are also making sacrifices,
also away from their families,oftentimes themselves
at risk as they serve. I know those of you in
uniform couldn’t do your jobswithout these Americans
as your partners. So we salute the dedicated
service of all the civilianswho are here, led
by Jim Cunningham. Give them a big
round of applause. Now, I guess I also should
mention that we’ve gota few folks here as part of
the 10th Mountain Division — — “Climb To Glory. ” We got the 455th
Airwing in the house. Task Force Muleskinner — Task Force Thunder — Task Force Rugged — To all of you, I’m here
on a single mission,and that is to thank you for
your extraordinary service. I thank you as your
Commander-in-Chief becauseyou inspire me. Your willingness to serve, to
step forward at a time of war,and say “send me,” is the
reason the United Statesstays strong and free. Of all the honors that I
have serving as President,nothing matches serving as
your Commander-in-Chief. But I’m also here
representing 300 millionAmericans who want to
say thank you as well. I know sometimes when
you’re over here,away from home,
away from family,you may not truly absorb how
much the folks back homeare thinking about you. So I just want you to know when
it comes to supporting youand your families, the American
people stand united. We support you. We are proud of you. We stand in awe of your service. And you can see it in American
actions every single day. You see it in the kids across
America who send you all thosecare packages — and all
those Girl Scout cookies. Those are pretty
popular, huh?You like those cookies, huh? All right. I’ll bet you’ll
get some more now. You see it in the neighbors
and the coworkers whovolunteer to help your moms and
dads, and wives and husbands,and sons and daughters at school
and on their sports teams. You see it at the airport when
you return stateside — all thefolks standing up, applauding,
lining up to shake your handand welcoming you home. We see it when entire stadiums
get to their feet to saluteour troops and our veterans. Just the other day, I welcomed the Super Bowl champion
Seattle Seahawks — Listen, I’m a Bears’
fan, but I — — but the one thing I saw
and I’ve seen in everysports team that comes to
the White House is the workthat they do, visiting
Walter Reed, Bethesda,doing work with
military families. In fact, to help announce
their draft picks this month,the Seattle Seahawks
selected Jeff Baker,who’s a Seahawks fan but also a
veteran of Iraq and Afghanistanand a proud sergeant
in the U. S. Army,to make that draft pick. Because they wanted to
send a signal that we loveour sports and we love our
football — that’s fun andgames, but this is the
competition that countsand these are the real heroes. You see America’s gratitude
every time I presenta veteran of Afghanistan with
our nation’s highest militarydecoration, the Medal of Honor. We bestow that medal
on an individual. But every time — every time
that we bestow that medal,whoever is the recipient says
he accepts it on behalf of thewhole team and everybody
who wears the uniformof the American Armed Forces. And when those
citations are read,Americans all across the country
stop and they listen –and they’re stirred by the
sacrifices you render for eachother, and for all of us. So I’m here to say thank
you and I’m here to say howproud I am of you. And I’m here to say how
proud I am of your families — — because in some ways,
in ways large and small,they’re sacrificing
just like you are. But I’m also here because after
more than a decade of war,we’re at a pivotal moment. Last year marked a major
milestone — for the first time,Afghan forces took the lead
to secure their own country. And today, you’re in a support
role — helping to trainand assist Afghan forces. For many of you, this will be
your last tour in Afghanistan. And by the end
of this year,the transition will be
complete and Afghans willtake full responsibility
for their security,and our combat
mission will be over. America’s war in Afghanistan
will come to a responsible end. Now, that progress is
because of you and the morethan half a million Americans —
military and civilian — who’veserved here in Afghanistan. And I don’t want you to ever
forget why you are hereor how vital your mission is
to our national security. Some of you may know, recently,
I was in New York City,and we were there to dedicate
the new 9/11 Museum. I had time to spend
with the survivors,and with families
who lost loved ones,and with the first responders
who had rushed to the scene –and had a chance to ponder the
portraits and the biographies ofthe thousands who
were killed that day,and to think about those who
were killed in Pennsylvaniaand at the Pentagon. And once again, we resolved to
never forget what happened onthat September day — and to
do everything in our powerto prevent something like that
from ever happening again. That’s why you’re here. That’s why you’re here. And I notice — some of you
don’t remember — becauseas I was getting a briefing
while Brad was singing,I saw a picture of the Twin
Towers in the Operation Roomnearby, so I know
you don’t forget. And four years ago, on my first
visit to Bagram as President,I laid out our mission. And General Dunford and
Ambassador Cunningham justgave me a briefing
on your progress. And today, every
single one of you,everybody who has served here,
and all the members of ourcoalition can be proud because
you are completing our mission. You’re completing the mission. We said that we were going
to deny al Qaeda safe haven. And since then, we have
decimated the al Qaedaleadership in the
tribal regions,and our troops here at Bagram
played a central role insupporting our counterterrorism
operations — including the onethat delivered justice
to Osama bin Laden. So, along with our
intelligence personnel,you’ve helped prevent attacks
and save American livesback home. Al Qaeda is on its heels
in this part of the world,and that’s because of you. We said that we were going to
reverse the Taliban’s momentum. And so you went
on the offensive,driving the Taliban
out of its strongholds. Look, everybody knows
Afghanistan is stilla very dangerous place. Insurgents still launch
cowardly attacks againstinnocent civilians. But just look at the progress
that you’ve made possible –Afghans reclaiming
their communities,and more girls
returning to school,dramatic improvements in public
health and life expectancyand literacy. That’s your legacy. That’s what you did. Even with all the challenges,
more Afghans have hopefor their future. And so much of that
is because of you. We said that we were going to
strengthen the capacity ofAfghan forces so they could
take more responsibilityfor their own security. So you’ve been training
Afghan forces and buildingAfghan forces up. And we know they’ve still
got a long way to go. But for nearly a year, Afghans
have been in the lead,and they’re making
enormous sacrifices. You look at the casualties
they’re taking on. They are willing to fight. Afghan forces are
growing stronger. Afghans are proud to be
defending their own country –and, again, so much of
that is because of you. Think about last
month’s election. Despite all the threats
from the Taliban,the Afghan people
refused to be terrorized. They registered to vote. Afghan security forces secured
thousands of polling places. Then millions of Afghans lined
up to cast their ballot. And next month’s runoff will be
another step toward the firstdemocratic transfer of power
in the history of this nation. That’s a tribute to the
courage and determinationof the people of Afghanistan. But it is also a tribute to you
and the sacrifices of so manyAmericans and our coalition
partners — everything thatyou’ve done over the years. We know that this progress
has come at a heavy price. Tomorrow is Memorial Day. At bases here in Afghanistan
and towns across America,we will pause and we’ll pay
tribute to all those who’velaid down their lives
for our freedom. And that includes nearly 2,200
American patriots who made theultimate sacrifice, that last,
full measure of devotion,right here in Afghanistan. I know you’ve stood in front
of those battle crosses. I know many of you carry the
memories of your fallen comradesin your heart today. We will honor every single one
of them — not just tomorrow,but forever. I want you to know our gratitude
is shared by the Afghan people. One of them — one of
Afghanistan’s leading women,a member of parliament —
recently wrote an open letter. I don’t know if many of
you had a chance to see it. She described all the changes
that have taken place here,including millions of
girls going to schooland pursuing their dreams. And she wrote this — I want you
to listen to this — she wrote:”It’s been a difficult journey,
marked by blood and violence,but we have made significant
gains and achievements,which would not have been
possible without the generoussupport of the
international community,especially the American people. “Especially the American people. She’s talking about all of you. She’s talking about
your families. She’s talking about
those who we’ve lost. That’s the difference — and
the legacy — that you canbe proud of. Now, even as our combat
mission ends later this year,I want everybody to know, in
this country and across theregion, America’s commitment to
the people of Afghanistanwill endure. With our strategic partnership,
we’ll continue to stand withAfghans as they strengthen
their institutions,as they build their economy,
as they improve their lives –men and women, and
boys and girls. I’ve made it clear that we’re
prepared to continue cooperatingwith our Afghan partners on two
security missions — trainingand equipping Afghan forces and
targeting — counterterrorismtargets against al Qaeda. And once Afghanistan has
sworn in its new president,I’m hopeful we’ll sign a
bilateral security agreementthat lets us move forward. And with that bilateral
security agreement,assuming it is signed, we can
plan for a limited militarypresence in Afghanistan
beyond 2014. Because after all the
sacrifices we’ve made,we want to preserve the gains
that you have helped to win. And we’re going to make sure
that Afghanistan can neveragain, ever, be used again
to launch an attack againstour country. So our combat mission
here will come to an end. But our obligations to you
and your families have onlyjust begun. The al Qaeda leadership
may be on the ropes,but in other regions of the
world al Qaeda affiliates areevolving and pose
a serious threat. We’re going to have to stay
strong and we’re goingto have to stay vigilant. And fortunately, we’ve got
the best-led, best-trained,best-equipped military
in human history. And as Commander-in Chief,I’m going to keep it that way. We’re going to stay strong
by taking care of yourfamilies back home. First Lady Michelle and
Vice President Joe Biden’swife Jill have made
this their mission –because your
families serve, too. They’re heroes on
the home front. And so we’re going to keep
Joining Forces to make sure moreAmericans are stepping up
to support and honor thoseextraordinary families. We’re going to stay strong by
taking care of our woundedwarriors and our veterans. Because helping our wounded
warriors and veteransheal isn’t just a promise,
it’s a sacred obligation. As you come home, some of you
will return to civilian life,and we want to make sure you can
enjoy the American Dream thatyou helped to defend. So with the transition
assistance to help you beginthe next chapter of your
life — that’s going to keepAmerica strong. The credentials and licenses to
help you find a job worthy ofyour incredible skills — that
will keep America strong. Making sure the Post-9/11 GI
Bill is in place and deliveringfor you the kind of education
that you have earned –that will keep America strong. And I keep on saying to every
company back home — ifyou want somebody who knows how
to get the job done, hire a vet. Hire a vet. Hire a vet. Because like
generations before you,we need you to help us write
the next great chapterin the American story, and I
know you’ll do that becauseI’ve seen the character of
your service, and I knowthe strength of our country. Going back to New York and
thinking about that tragedy12 years ago, in those awful
moments after the Twin Towersfell, as the wreckage
was still burning,those at the scene were
desperately looking forsurvivors — one of those
searching was a detectivewith the NYPD. And as he climbed
through the debris,he spotted something in the
rubble — it was a flag. It was torn up. Parts of it were burned,
but it was still intact. And today, that flag
is at the 9/11 Museum. It’s dusty. And it’s torn, and you can see
the burn marks from the fires. That flag has been
through a lot. But the thing you notice is its
broad stripes and bright starsstill shine. Its red, white and
blue still inspire. After all it’s been through,
after all America has beenthrough, our flag
is still there. And our flag is still
there because whenour nation was attacked, a
generation — this generation,the 9/11 Generation — stepped
up and said “send me. “Our flag is still there because
you’ve served with honor industy villages and city
streets, and in rugged basesand remote outposts, in
Helmand and Kandahar,and Khost and Kunar and
Paktika and Nuristan. Our flag is still there because
through this long war you neverwavered in your belief that
people deserve to live free fromfear — over here and back home. Our flag will always be there,
because the freedom and libertyit represents to the world
will always be defendedby patriots like you. So I’m here to
say thank you. I’m here to say
I’m proud of you. The American people
are proud of you. God bless you. God bless the United
States Armed Forces. And God Bless our United
States of America. Thank you very
much, everybody. The President: Thank
you everybody. Now I’m going to shake
every hand in here. The President: Although I may not be able to takea selfie with everybody. The President: But I’ll
shake every hand. All right?It may take a little
time so be patient.