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November 27, 2008

President-Elect Obama’s Thanksgiving Address

 

“So this weekend — with one heart, and one voice, the American people can give thanks that a new and brighter day is yet to come.” President-elect Barack Obama

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November 8, 2008

Who Is Rahm Emanuel – Why Is The Chief Of Staff So Important?

 

 

Obama

The White House Chief of Staff is the highest ranking member of the Executive Office of the President of the United States and a senior aide to the President.  The Chief of Staff is often nicknamed ‘The Second Most Powerful Man in Washington’ because of the influence and access to the President.

pres-elect-rahm-emanuel “I announce this appointment first because the chief of staff is central to the ability of a President and administration to accomplish an agenda,” President-Elect Obama said in a statement. “And no one I know is better at getting things done than Rahm Emanuel.”

Traditionally the Chief of Staff has been responsible for overseeing the actions of the White House staff, managing the President’s schedule and deciding who is allowed to meet with the President.  Because of these duties, the Chief of Staff has at various times been called ‘The Gatekeeper’ and ‘The Co-President’.

Most White House Chiefs of Staff are former politicians and many continue their political careers in other senior roles once they leave the White House.  Gerald Ford’s Chief of Staff was Dick Cheney.  Cheney became US Representative for Wyoming, then Secretary of Defense under George H.W. Bush and Vice President under George W. Bush.

The roles of the Chief of Staff are both managerial and advisory and can include the following duties depending on President Obama’s vision and style of conducting business:

·       Select key White House staff and supervise them

·       Structure the White House staff system

·       Control the flow of people into the Oval Office

·       Manage the flow of information to the POTUS

·       Advise the President on issues, politics and policies and management issues

·       Protect the interest of the President

·       Negotiate with Congress and other members of the Executive Branch and other governmental political groups to implement the President’s agenda

Rahm Israel Emanuel, President-Elect Obama’s choice for Chief of Staff was born in Chicago, Illinois.  His first name Rahm means ‘high’ or ‘lofty’ in Hebrew and his last name, Emanuel, means ‘God is with us.’

Rahm’s last name was adopted by his family in 1933 after Rahm’s paternal uncle Emanuel Auerbach was killed in a skirmish with Arabs in Jerusalem.

Rahm’s father, Benjamin Emanuel was born in Jerusalem.  He is a pediatrician and former member of the Irgun – a staunchly nationalist Zionist militia active in the British Mandate of Palestine between 1931 and 1948.  His mother, the former Martha Smulevitz, worked as an x-ray technician and was the daughter of a local union organizer.  She became a civil rights activist and was also the owner of a Chicago- area rock and roll club.

Rahm attended Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School – a Jewish day school.  After his family moved to Wilmette he attended public schools: Romona School, Wilmette Junior High School and New Trier West High School.  He and his brothers attended summer camp in Israel. During high school while working at an Arby’s Emanuel severely injured his right middle finger.  Instead of getting medical treatment he went swimming in Lake Michigan.  His finger became severely infected and was partially amputated.

Rahm graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1981 and received a Masters in Speech and Communication from Northwestern University in 1985. While an undergraduate he joined the congressional campaign of David Robinson, Chicago.

Emanuel was a civilian volunteer in the Israel Defense Forces during the 1991 Persian Gulf War and served in one of Israel’s northern bases.

Amy Rule, Rahm’s wife, is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  Amy converted to Modern Orthodox Judaism shortly before their wedding.  They are active members of Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel – a Modern Orthodox congregation in Chicago.  They have three children: a son Zachariah and daughters Ilana and Leah.

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June 13, 2008

The United States of Democrats: DNC Moves To Chicago

Hip, hip hooray!  What a brilliant move!!!  This is change we can believe in and a sign of better things to come for the democratic party and America. 

Senator Obama has great innovative ideas and is obviously READY from day one!

Moving the DNC from Washington D.C. to Chicago to work hand-in-hand with Team Obama will create a united democratic front and will go along way to spread party unity nationwide.  During the democratic nomination race Team Obama was exemplary:  it was disciplined; it was leak-free, there were clear lines of communication and authority from the candidate and his key advisors, Chicago-based David Axelrod, and campaign manager David Plouffe.  They treated their employees and volunteers with respect and because of good management from the top down they have created a tight-knit staff.

The DNC has had a history of being the opposite – not organized and undisciplined.  With both teams joining forces they will learn from each other and be on the ‘same page’ in terms of campaign policies, procedures and synchronization.  Once they gel, this will be a formidable team.  The DNC will be a better organization once the general elections are over because of this move.  With a more disciplined and organized DNC it will be able to help local politicians, Senators, Congresspersons and Governors get elected in the fall and beyond.

One of the biggest benefits of this move, to me, is to get the campaign staffers out of the deep abyss called Washington, D.C. 

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June 8, 2008

Senator Barack Obama’s Accomplishments (Please Pass on)

   Many republicans persist in spreading untruths and propaganda that Senator Barack Obama has not accomplished anything in his career, they insist that he only gives great speeches.  Those statements are hogwash and pure ‘campaign rhetoric’.

This post lists public information that his opponent knows to be true but choose to ignore because it’s not good for republicans if democrats, independents and progressive republicans know all the positive facts about Senator Obama.  Republicans only want us to know damaging facts about Obama so that when we hear negative things (even if they are untrue) they will make us doubtful about him.  Senator Obama served on the Board of Directors for several civic organizations and sits on several Senate committees which I didn’t list because it would make this extremely lengthy. The accomplishments listed here show that Senator Obama is not just a great orator; he is also a VERY HARD WORKER and an accomplished achiever. 

Below is a précis on Senator Obama’s life and career.

Religion

Christian. Saved. Has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

·       Barack Obama’s father left Barack’s life when he was 2 years old.  Therefore Senator Obama had no Muslim influence in his life.  At the age of 6 in Indonesia, Senator Obama attended Catholic schools where he studied the catechism.  Both CNN and the AP visited the Basuki School, the actual school Obama attended that has been called a madrassa elementary school.  Obama attended the school before the age 6.  The reporters from CNN and the AP found that it is a public school that does not focus on any religion.  The children wear uniforms and the teachers wear western clothing.  Both CNN and the AP investigated and confirmed that the school Obama attended has no similarity to any madrassa school.

Swore on a Quran

This is completely false.  A black congressman from Minnesota, Keith Ellison after he swore on a Bible during his official oath, took a picture for a photo-op with his hand placed on a Quran which was owned by President Thomas Jefferson.  Ellison did not swear on the Quran; it was a personal photo since Ellison is Muslim and historic because the Quran was owned by Jefferson.

Obama will not recite the Pledge of Allegiance

Senator Obama often leads the Pledge of Allegiance on the Senate floor.  The picture that started this rumor was taken during the playing of the national anthem.  It’s not necessary to place your hand over your heart during the playing of the national anthem even though some people do.  US Flag Code, section 4 states:

Sec. 4. – Pledge of allegiance to the flag; manner of delivery

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all., should be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.

August 4, 1961

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii

May 1979

Graduated Punahou High School, Hawaii

May 1983

Graduated Columbia University, New York City

Major: Political Science

Specialization: International relations

June 1985-May 1988

Director of Developing Communities Project.  Worked as a church-based community organizer for 8 Catholic parishes on Chicago’s South Side. During his tenure, the DCP staff grew from 1 to 13; its budget grew from $70K to $400K with major accomplishments including setting up job training programs, college preparatory tutoring program and creating a tenants’ rights organization.

Summer 1988

Travelled to Europe for 3 weeks and then to Kenya for 5 weeks where he met his Kenyan relatives for the first time.

Fall 1988

Entered Harvard Law School

June – August 1989

Met Michelle Robinson while he was a Summer Associate at Sidley Austin law firm.

Fall 1989

Started dating Michelle Robinson

1990

President, Harvard Law Review

1991

Graduated from Harvard magna cum laude.

Returned to Chicago and started writing his first book, Dreams from My Father

Fall 1991

Became engaged to Michelle Robinson

April – October 1992

Director of Illinois Project Vote!  He had a staff of 10 and 700 volunteers.  They were successful in registering 150,000 out of 400,000 unregistered African-Americans.  Crain’s Chicago Business named Obama to its 1993 list of ’40 under Forty’ powers to be, because of this accomplishment.

October 3, 1992

Married Michelle Robinson Obama

1995

Published his first book, Dreams from My Father

1998

Malia Ann Obama was born

2001

Natasha (Sasha) Obama was born

1993-2002

Associate Attorney with Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland.

·       After 1996 he worked with David, Miner, Barnhill & Galland only during the summers when the Illinois Senate was not in session.  He worked on cases where the firm represented community organizers, pursued discrimination claims and worked on voting rights cases. 

1993-2004

Taught constitutional law part-time at the University of Chicago Law School

January 3, 1997 –

November 4, 2004

Elected to Illinois State Senate

January 4, 2005 –

Present

Elected to United State Senate

2006

Published his second book, The Audacity of Hope

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