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Saturday, December 24, 2016

President and First Lady Obama's Christmas Message from the White House

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama gave a final Merry Christmas greeting from the White House today.

In the message, the Obamas praised "our incredible military families to the life changing impact of a great education."    They talked about the message of Jesus, "one of boundless love, compassion and hope."

Here is the video.

Friday, December 16, 2016

President Obama's Final Press Conference of 2016

President Barack Obama gave his final press conference of the year today at the White House. He summarized the work done by his Administration over the past eight year, including his efforts on health care.

"When I came into office, 44 million people were uninsured," the president said. "Today we have covered more than 20 million of them. For the first time in our history, more than 90 percent of Americans are insured."

On foreign policy, President Obama said, "Almost every country on Earth sees America as stronger, and more respected today than they did eight years ago. It is a situation that I'm proud to leave for my successor.

"And it's thanks to the American people, to the hard work that you have put in, the sacrifices you have made for your families and your communities, the businesses that you started or invested in, and the way you looked out for one another. And I could not be prouder to be your president.

"So even in a season where the incredible blessings that we know as Americans are all around us, even as we enjoy family and friends and are reminded of how lucky we are, we should also be reminded that to be an American involves bearing burdens and meeting obligations to others. American values and American ideals are what will lead the way to a safer and more prosperous 2017, both here and abroad."

Here is the complete speech, and also, the complete transcript from the Washington Post.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Video of President Obama's Thanksgiving Greeting to the American People

President Barack Obama delivered his final Thanksgiving greeting to the American people on November 24, 2016.  In part, the President said: 

Today, we continue to give thanks for those blessings, and to all who ensured that they would be our inheritance. We remember the determined patriots who landed at the edge of the world in search of freedom.  We give thanks to the brave men and women who defend that freedom in every corner of the world.  And we honor all people - from the First Americans to our newest arrivals - who continue to shape our nation's story, enrich our heritage, and give meaning to our founding values, values we must never take for granted.  That in America, we are bound not by any one race or religion, but rather an adherence to a common belief - that all of us are created equal.  That we may think, worship, and speak, and love as we please.  That the gift of democracy is ours, and ours alone, to nurture and protect.

Never doubt, that is what makes us American - not where we come from, what we look like, or what faith we practice, but the ideals to which we pledge our allegiance.  It's about our capacity to live up to the creed as old as our founding: "E Pluribus Unum" - that out of many, we are one.  And as long as we continue to welcome the contributions of all people, as long as we stand up for each other, speak out for what is right, and stay true to these ideals - not just when it's easy, but when it's hard - then no one can ever take away our liberty.  Our best days will always be ahead.  And we will keep building a future where all of our children know the promise of America. 

Here is the full statement.  Also, here is the video of the greeting

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.  

Sunday, October 30, 2016

US Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O'Malley Develops Creative Minds Series to Explore US-Ireland Relationships

Kevin J. O’Malley, USAmbassador to Ireland, has launched a unique Creative Minds series to share ideas about the power of creativity and innovation, and how those forces define the U.S.-Irish relationship. 

The series kicked off in January 2015 with a discussion with Sopranos creator David Chase, and continued with a variety of creative artists, including musicians Patty Griffin, Ben Folds, John Prine and Rufus Wainwright.

In April 2015 the U.S. Embassy in Ireland launched  a conference titled, “The Importance of the Creative Economy in the U.S. – Ireland Relationship,” followed in November 2015 by a “Creative Minds Social Entrepreneurship Hackathon”  that explored using entrepreneurial and business skills to tackle social problems and to strengthen cross-border dialogue.

In May 2016, the Embassy hosted “Creative Minds: Creative Disruption” to explore the role of disruptive innovation in driving economic growth and shared prosperity.

In July 2016, the Embassy produced a two-part series called “Creative Minds in Medicine, which featured Vanderbilt University’s Department of Otolaryngology in Nashville and Beaumont Hospital and the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin.

Finally, on October 14-16, 2016, the Embassy held its second annual “Creative Minds Social Entrepreneurship Hackathon” that resulted in new ideas for facilitating refugee inclusion, integration and self-reliance.

At the St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the White House in March 2016, President Barack Obama praised Ambassador O’Malley’s work on behalf of the US in Ireland.

“As you can see and hear, although Kevin has only been in Ireland for 18 months, he has crammed in almost eight years of work,” President Obama said.  “One of his legacies will be his “Creative Minds” initiative, in which he’s been busy connecting the next generation of Irish and American leaders.  So, thank you, Kevin.  Your Mayo grandparents would be proud.” 

Ambassador O'Malley was nominated for the post by President Obama in June 2014, and was confirmed in September 2014.  

Follow the US Embassy in Ireland on Facebook

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016

President Obama Campaigns for Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton

President Barack Obama endorsed Hillary Clinton for President of the United States last June, and has campaigned for her vigorously throughout the campaign season.

The president is joined by other Democratic leaders, including Vice President Joe Biden, US Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and First Lady Michelle Obama. Here is a video of their efforts:

Here is more information about the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

President Obama Reflects on 9/11 today at the Pentagon

President Barack Obama offered his reflections on the United States America and the 9/11 terrorist attack at a memorial service at the Pentagon in Arlington, VA.

Addressing the survivors and the family members of those who lost a loved one on September 11, 2001, as well as public officials, members of the military and the general public,  President Obama said,

"It is so important today that we reaffirm our character as a nation of people drawn from every corner of the world, every color, every religion, every background, bound by a creed as old as our founding — E Pluribus Unum — out of many, we are one."

Here is President Obama's entire speech.

Earlier this week, President Obama's Weekly Address was, Upholding the Legacy of Those We Lost on 9/11. Here is the video:

Monday, September 5, 2016

President Obama's Weekly Address: Building upon the Legacy of Labor

President Barack Obama devoted his weekly address to the nation on "The Legacy of Labor."


President Obama commemorated Labor Day by highlighting the economic progress made over the course of his administration.  He cited his efforts to "raise the minimum wage, fought for worker safety and the right to organize.

"I'm the first to say we've get more work in the years ahead.  Too many working folks still feel left behind, by an economy that is constantly changing," the president said.

President Obama said if the United States is going to "restore the sense that hard work is rewarded with a fair shot to get ahead, we must build on the legacy of those who came before us – that means exercising our right to speak up in the workplace, to join a union, and to vote."

Happy Labor Day. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton Selects Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as VP Running Mate

Image courtesy of Hillary Clinton campaign

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has selected US Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia as her Vice-Presidential candidate.

The announcement was made today in a text message to her supporters, followed by a tweet, which read, "Tim Kaine is a relentless optimist who believes that no problem is unsolvable if you put the work in to solve it."

According to his official biography:

"Tim grew up working in his father’s iron working shop in Kansas City. He was educated at the University of Missouri and Harvard Law School and started his public service career by taking a year off from Harvard to run a technical school founded by Jesuit missionaries in Honduras. After law school, he practiced law in Richmond for 17 years, specializing in the representation of people who had been denied housing due to their race or disability. He also began teaching part-time at the University of Richmond in 1987.

"Tim was first elected to office in 1994, serving as a city councilmember and then Mayor of Richmond. He became Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 2002 and was inaugurated as Virginia’s 70th Governor in 2006."

The Clinton-Kaine ticket will be unveiled at the Democratic National Convention, which takes place in Philadelphia on August 25-28, 2016. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Vice President Joe Biden Makes First Official Visit to Ireland

Dublin Castle, June 24, 2016. Official White House photo by David Lienemann.

Vice President Joe Biden made his first official visit to Ireland this week, arriving at Dublin International Airport on June 21 with his family.

Prior to the trip, Vice President Biden wrote:

"I'm going back to Ireland -- the country from which my ancestors hailed, and a country whose independence the Easter Rising set in motion, 100 years ago this year. It is my first dedicated trip to this nation as Vice President -- during which I'll meet with the country's leaders, discuss issues of trade, economic recovery, migration and refugee policy, and other national security challenges, and celebrate our shared heritage. Our shared values of tolerance. Diversity. Inclusiveness."

The White House posted a daily blog on Vice President Biden's trip.
In addition, Vice President Biden took questions from the community and from Americans across the country.  

The trip was also documented on twitter, hashtag:  #BideninIreland

Thursday, June 9, 2016

President Barack Obama Endorses Hillary Clinton as Next President of the United States

President Barack Obama endorsed Hillary Clinton for president of the United States on June 9, 2016.

 "I don't think there's ever been someone so qualified to hold this office," President Obama said. "She's got the courage, the compassion and the heart to get this job done."

Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State during the Obama Administration and also served as the First Lady during the Administration of President William J. Clinton.  She was the US Senator from New York and also the First Lady of Arkansas.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

President Obama Visits Cuba and Argentina to Normalize Relations and Encourage Future Collaboration

President Barack Obama arrived in Havana,Cuba today, the first sitting American president to visit the country in 90 years.

A number of members of Congress joined him, including Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Congressmen Jim McGovern and Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, as well a contingent of business leaders.

Public opinion polls over the past year have shown an increasing support to end the Cuban trade embargo and change course on U.S.-Cuba relations, according to Congressman McGovern. The most recent Pew poll showed 73% of the American people, including 59% of Republicans favor ending the trade embargo. 

The bi-partisan Congressional Working Group will now take leadership to match the growing public support for a new U.S. policy towards Cuba.

After spending two days in Cuba, the President travels to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he'll meet with President Mauricio Macri. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Presidential Proclamation -- Irish-American Heritage Month, 2016

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Hailing from the Emerald Isle, generations of Irishmen and women have helped shape the idea of America, overcoming hardship and strife through strength and sacrifice, faith and family. With an undying belief that tomorrow always yields a brighter day, Irish Americans symbolize the perpetual optimism that defines our country, and they have long embodied the truth at the heart of our promise -- that no matter who you are or where you come from, in America, you can make it if you try.
As we celebrate Irish-American Heritage Month, we recognize the Irish people's contributions to our country's dynamism, and we reaffirm the friendship and family ties between our two nations. For centuries, sons and daughters of Erin have come to America's shores, adding to our rich vibrancy and putting their full hearts into everything they do. From building our country's cities as preeminent architects and earnest laborers to building our national character as people of great joy and cherished culture, Irish Americans have endured intolerance and discrimination to find a place for themselves and their children here in the United States. While remembering the great Irish Americans of the past, we celebrate what forms the foundation of the lasting Irish-American story -- a shared embrace of hard work and humility, fairness and dignity, and a mutual quest to secure a freer and more peaceful future.
Today, the United States and Ireland enjoy a thriving and cooperative bond buoyed by a strong legacy of exchanges between our peoples. During Irish-American Heritage Month, let us pay tribute to the extraordinary mark Irish Americans have made on our Nation, and let us look forward to continued collaboration, friendship, and partnership between our countries.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2016 as Irish-American Heritage Month. I call upon all Americans to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.