West Wing Week: 05/08/2015 or, “Viva Los Estados Unidos!”

This week, the President visited Lehman College in New York City for the launch of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, taped an episode of the Late Show with David Letterman, hosted a Cinco de Mayo celebration, announced his nominee for the new Cha... Read more »

House Republicans Vote to Allow the Amnesty of Our Broken Immigration System to Continue

This week, House Republicans put at risk critical funding that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) needs to keep our nation safe by insisting on a series of amendments to overturn the President’s immigration accountability executive actions... Read more »

The People’s Lawyer: President Obama Nominates Loretta Lynch to be the Next Attorney General

"The Department of Justice is the only Cabinet Department named for an ideal. And this is actually appropriate," U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said. "Because our work is both aspirational, and grounded in gritty reality."

Today, President Obama nominated U.S. Attorney Lynch to replace Eric Holder as the next Attorney General of the United States, or "the people's lawyer." As the President said: 

The person in this position is responsible for enforcing our federal laws, including protecting our civil rights. Working with the remarkable men and women of the Justice Department, the Attorney General oversees the vast portfolio of cases, including counterterrorism and voting rights; public corruption and white-collar crime; judicial recommendations and policy reviews -- all of which impact on the lives of every American, and shape the life of our nation.

As one of the longest-serving Attorney Generals in our history, Eric Holder fulfilled these duties with a commitment to justice, not as an abstract theory but as a principle. Justice is "about how laws interact with the daily lives of our people," the President said. "Whether we can make an honest living, whether we can provide for our families; whether we feel safe in our own communities and welcome in our own country; whether the words that the founders set to paper 238 years ago apply to every one of us in our time."

President  Obama nominates Loretta Lynch Image 1

President Barack Obama announces his nominee for Attorney General, Loretta E. Lynch, to succeed Eric Holder, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. November 8, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Attorney General Holder's fierce commitment to the pursuit of that principle is shared by U.S. Attorney Lynch. The daughter of a school librarian and a fourth-generation Baptist minister, a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, she is a fair and independent lawyer who has headed one of the most prominent U.S. Attorney's offices in the country -- twice. As the head of the Eastern District of New York:

She successfully prosecuted the terrorists who plotted the bomb -- plotted to bomb the Federal Reserve Bank and the New York City subway. She has boldly gone after public corruption, bringing charges against public officials in both parties. She’s helped secure billions in settlements from some of the world’s biggest banks accused of fraud, and jailed some of New York’s most violent and notorious mobsters and gang members. 

One of her proudest achievements was the civil rights prosecution of the officers involved in the brutal assault of the Haitian immigrant Abner Louima. Loretta might be the only lawyer in America who battles mobsters and drug lords and terrorists, and still has the reputation for being a charming "people person." 

Driven by the principles of fairness, equality, and justice, Loretta has striven to make a difference for the people she serves. It's in her blood. Her grandfather, a sharecropper in the 1930s, helped folks in his community who got into trouble with the law and had no recourse under the Jim Crow system. She rode her father's shoulders to his church, where students would meet to organize anti-segregation boycotts. The sense of justice she absorbed as a young girl is what she will bring to bear at the Department of Justice. 

In accepting the nomination, U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said: 

Today, I stand before you so thrilled, and, frankly, so humbled to have the opportunity to lead this group of wonderful people who work all day and well into the night to make that ideal a manifest reality, all as part of their steadfast protection of the citizens of this country.

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President Barack Obama announces his nominee for Attorney General, Loretta E. Lynch, to succeed Eric Holder, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. November 8, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama: “No Nation Is Immune” to Climate Change

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"For all the immediate challenges that we gather to address this week -- terrorism, instability, inequality, disease -- there’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate."

Those were President Obama's words at today's U.N. Climate Summit -- a meeting of world leaders that showcased climate action commitments from governments, local leaders, and the private sector. In his remarks, the President detailed the ambitious clean energy investments and carbon emission reductions the U.S. has made, but made clear that all of the world's major economies also need to step up in order to protect our planet.

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President Obama Responds to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

Update at 10:38 p.m. ET: The Press Secretary released a statement on Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.

President Obama calls to President Poroshenko of Ukraine aboard Air Force One

President Obama calls to President Poroshenko of Ukraine aboard Air Force One to discuss the tragic crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. July 17, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

This afternoon, aboard Air Force One, President Obama placed separate telephone calls to President Poroshenko of Ukraine and Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia to discuss the tragic crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

Here's a readout of the President’s call with President Poroshenko of Ukraine:

President Obama spoke with Ukrainian President Poroshenko this afternoon to discuss the tragic crash of flight Malaysian Airlines 17. President Poroshenko welcomed the assistance of international investigators to ensure a thorough and transparent investigation of the crash site. President Obama assured him that U.S. experts will offer all possible assistance immediately. The Presidents emphasized that all evidence from the crash site must remain in place on the territory of Ukraine until international investigators are able to examine all aspects of the tragedy.

And a readout of President Obama’s call with Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia:

President Obama called Malaysian Prime Minister Najib today to express condolences to the people of Malaysia for the terrible loss of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine, as well as all the families who lost loved ones in this tragic event. The President told the Prime Minister that United States has offered immediate assistance to support a prompt international investigation. President Obama reaffirmed the strength of the friendship between the United States and Malaysia and underscored that the United States stands ready to provide any assistance or support necessary.

Bernadette Meehan is Deputy Spokesperson of the National Security Council.

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The First Lady’s Travel Journal: Seeing the Terra Cotta Warriors in X’ian

Note: This post is part of a series authored by First Lady Michelle Obama to share her visit to China with young people in the U.S. You can read all of the First Lady's posts at WhiteHouse.gov/First-Lady-China-Trip.

This morning we left Beijing and flew for about two hours to Xi’an, a city of more than 7 million people in central China.  If Xi’an were in America, it would be the second-largest city in the country – trailing only New York City – but in China, a nation of more than 1 billion people, Xi’an isn’t even in the top ten.

After we arrived at the Xi’an Airport, we traveled to see the Terra Cotta Warriors, an underground army of thousands of life-sized soldiers made from terra cotta clay. These sculptures were hand-made over 2,000 years ago.  They surround the tomb of China’s first emperor, and it’s believed that they were created to protect him in the afterlife.

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Investing In Women and Girls Is An Investment In Our Future

Ed. Note: This blog is cross posted from The Huffington Post

Ayo Megbope is a graduate of Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Women program, and the owner of “No Leftovers Nigeria”, a catering company and restaurant in Lagos, Nigeria. Photo provided by “Goldman Sachs | 10,000 Women”

Ayo Megbope is a graduate of Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Women program, and the owner of “No Leftovers Nigeria”, a catering company and restaurant in Lagos, Nigeria. (by "Goldman Sachs | 10,000 Women”)

With a broad smile, and a gleam in her eyes, Ayo Megbope sat beside me, and shared story after story about the humble beginnings of her business, cooking bean cakes in her fourth-floor apartment, wrapping them in banana leaves, and selling them throughout her community in Lagos, Nigeria.  It was September of 2009, and we were seated together at the first annual Goldman Sachs “10,000 Women” Dinner in New York City.  Ayo was one of the first graduates of the 10,000 Women program, which helps women entrepreneurs around the world obtain the training and access to capital they need to turn their business dreams into reality.

Almost exactly four years later, I was back in New York City, forging partnerships, and working to secure new public and private sector commitments to promote the success and empowerment of women and girls.

My first stop was to co-host a United Nations General Assembly event with Secretary of State, John Kerry, and U.S. Ambassador at Large for Global Women's Issues Cathy Russell, marking the one year anniversary of the day former Secretary Hillary Clinton and I launched the Equal Futures Partnership.  Equal Futures was developed in response to President Obama’s call at the 2011 UN General Assembly, for his fellow heads of state to join him in breaking down economic and political barriers that prevent women and girls from reaching their full potential. 

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Connecting Continents: Join a Google+ Hangout with First Lady Michelle Obama from South Africa

This week, the First Lady is joining President Obama on an official visit to Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania. During the trip, Mrs. Obama will meet with young people across the continent and highlight the power of education.

On Saturday, June 29th, the First Lady is hosting a special event that will connect young people in South Africa with young people in the U.S. to discuss the importance of education and our shared future -- and you can be a part of it. Here's how:

During this event, in conjunction with MTV Base, an African youth and music TV channel, and Google+, the First Lady and MTV Base VJ Sizwe Dhlomo will join students in South Africa for a virtual discussion with young people in cities around the U.S., including:

  • Girl Up, a United Nations Foundation that unites girls to change the world, will join from Houston, Texas. In addition to the students joining the hangout, Girl Up is hosting dozens of watch parties around the country.
  • John Legend and students involved in his Show Me Campaign, a global campaign fighting for equal access to quality education, will join from Los Angeles, California.
  • Y Global Teens, a YMCA program that provides underprivileged youth with an international service learning experience, will join from New York City. Through the program, these students will visit the Cape Town YMCA.
  • From Google Fiber Space in Kansas City, participants will join that are part of the KC STEM Alliance to promote and inspire interest in science, technology, engineering and math education

This Google+ Hangout with the First Lady kicks off a series of global virtual field trips on Google+ that will launch in the school year. Stay tuned for opportunities to participate in events with the State Department, Global Nomads Group, a nonprofit organization that facilitates cultural exchanges, and others. Check out the Global Nomads Google+ Community to connect with peers around the world right now and stay engaged.

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Vice President Biden Meets with Law Enforcement Officials in Philadelphia

Vice President Joe Biden holds a roundtable with law enforcement officials and members of congress on gun safety, at Girard College in Philadelphia, PA, Feb., 11, 2013. (Official White ... Read more »

The Posse Foundation Selects First Cohort of Veterans for College Success Program

Battle buddies aren’t just for the Army. For the past quarter century, The Posse Foundation has been identifying talented students from large urban public school systems and sending them in teams (Posses) to some of the top colleges and universit... Read more »