"Republicans in Congress have two choices here: They can act responsibly, and pay America’s bills; or they can act irresponsibly, and put America through another economic crisis. But they will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy. The financial well-being of the American people is not leverage to be used. The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip." —President Obama in the final news conference of his first term yesterday
"Republicans in Congress have two choices here: They can act responsibly, and pay America’s bills; or they can act irresponsibly, and put America through another economic crisis. But they will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy. The financial well-being of the American people is not leverage to be used. The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip." —President Obama in the final news conference of his first term yesterday

We are not a deadbeat nation… So we’ve got to pay our bills. And Republicans in Congress have two choices here. They can act responsibly, and pay America’s bills, or they can act irresponsibly and put America through another economic crisis. But they will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy … We’ve got to stop lurching from crisis to crisis to crisis when there’s this clear path ahead of us that simply requires some discipline, some responsibility, and some compromise. That’s where we need to go. That’s how this needs to work.

POTUS (via kateoplis)

This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For

The official White House response to a petition to secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016:

By Paul Shawcross

The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:

  • The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
     
  • The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
     
  • Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?

However, look carefully (here’s how) and you’ll notice something already floating in the sky—that’s no Moon, it’s a Space Station! Yes, we already have a giant, football field-sized International Space Station in orbit around the Earth that’s helping us learn how humans can live and thrive in space for long durations. The Space Station has six astronauts—American, Russian, and Canadian—living in it right now, conducting research, learning how to live and work in space over long periods of time, routinely welcoming visiting spacecraft and repairing onboard garbage mashers, etc. We’ve also got two robot science labs—one wielding a laser—roving around Mars, looking at whether life ever existed on the Red Planet.

Keep in mind, space is no longer just government-only. Private American companies, through NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO), are ferrying cargo—and soon, crew—to space for NASA, and are pursuing human missions to the Moon this decade.

Even though the United States doesn’t have anything that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, we’ve got two spacecraft leaving the Solar System and we’re building a probe that will fly to the exterior layers of the Sun. We are discovering hundreds of new planets in other star systems and building a much more powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that will see back to the early days of the universe.

We don’t have a Death Star, but we do have floating robot assistants on the Space Station, a President who knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshmallow) cannon, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is supporting research on building Luke’s arm, floating droids, and quadruped walkers.

We are living in the future! Enjoy it. Or better yet, help build it by pursuing a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field. The President has held the first-ever White House science fairs and Astronomy Night on the South Lawn because he knows these domains are critical to our country’s future, and to ensuring the United States continues leading the world in doing big things.

If you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us! Remember, the Death Star’s power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.

Paul Shawcross is Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget

So—you guys.
You know, I try to picture myself when I was your age. And I first moved to Chicago at the age of 25, and I had this vague inkling about making a difference. I didn’t really know how to do it. I didn’t have a structure. And there wasn’t a presidential campaign at the time that I could attach myself to—Ronald Reagan had just been re-elected and was incredibly popular.
And so I came to Chicago knowing that somehow I wanted to make sure that my life attached itself to helping kids get a great education. Or helping people living in poverty to get decent jobs and be able to work and have dignity. To make sure that people didn’t have to go to the emergency room to get health care.
And I ended up being a community organizer out on the south side of Chicago—a group of churches were willing to hire me. And I didn’t know at all what I was doing.
And the work that I did in those communities changed me much more than I changed the communities, because it taught me the hopes and aspirations and the grit and resilience of ordinary people. And it taught me the fact that under the surface differences we all have common hopes and we all have common dreams. And it taught me something about how I handle disappointment and what it meant to work hard on a common endeavor. And I grew up—I became a man during that process.
And so when I come here and I look at all of you, what comes to mind is it’s not that you guys actually remind me of myself. It’s the fact that you are so much better than I was, in so many ways. You’re smarter, you’re better organized, and you’re more effective. And so I’m absolutely confident that all of you are going to do just amazing things in your lives.
And you know, what Bobby Kennedy called the ripples of hope that come out when you throw a stone in a lake—that’s going to be you. I’m just looking around the room and I’m thinking wherever you guys end up, in whatever states, in whatever capacities—whether you’re in the private sector or the non for profit or some of you decide to go into public service—you’re just going to do great things.
And that’s why even before last night’s results, I felt that the work that I had done in running for office had come full circle. Because what you guys have done means that the work that I’m doing is important. I’m really proud of that. I’m really proud of all of you.
And what you guys accomplished will go down in the annals of history, and people will read about it and they’ll marvel about it, but the most important thing you need to know is that your journey is just beginning.
You’re just starting. And whatever good we do over the next four years will pale in comparison to what you guys end up accomplishing for years and years to come. And that’s been my source of hope.
That’s why over the last four years when people ask me about how you put up with this or that, the frustrations of Washington—I just think about you. I think about what you guys are gonna do. And that’s the source of my hope. That’s the source of my strength and my inspiration.
And I know that you guys won’t disappoint me because I’ve already seen who you guys are.
And you all are just remarkable people, and you’ve lifted me up each and every step of the way.
All right? Thank you guys.
—President Obama speaking to volunteers and staff, November 7, 2012

So—you guys.

You know, I try to picture myself when I was your age. And I first moved to Chicago at the age of 25, and I had this vague inkling about making a difference. I didn’t really know how to do it. I didn’t have a structure. And there wasn’t a presidential campaign at the time that I could attach myself to—Ronald Reagan had just been re-elected and was incredibly popular.

And so I came to Chicago knowing that somehow I wanted to make sure that my life attached itself to helping kids get a great education. Or helping people living in poverty to get decent jobs and be able to work and have dignity. To make sure that people didn’t have to go to the emergency room to get health care.

And I ended up being a community organizer out on the south side of Chicago—a group of churches were willing to hire me. And I didn’t know at all what I was doing.

And the work that I did in those communities changed me much more than I changed the communities, because it taught me the hopes and aspirations and the grit and resilience of ordinary people. And it taught me the fact that under the surface differences we all have common hopes and we all have common dreams. And it taught me something about how I handle disappointment and what it meant to work hard on a common endeavor. And I grew up—I became a man during that process.

And so when I come here and I look at all of you, what comes to mind is it’s not that you guys actually remind me of myself. It’s the fact that you are so much better than I was, in so many ways. You’re smarter, you’re better organized, and you’re more effective. And so I’m absolutely confident that all of you are going to do just amazing things in your lives.

And you know, what Bobby Kennedy called the ripples of hope that come out when you throw a stone in a lake—that’s going to be you. I’m just looking around the room and I’m thinking wherever you guys end up, in whatever states, in whatever capacities—whether you’re in the private sector or the non for profit or some of you decide to go into public service—you’re just going to do great things.

And that’s why even before last night’s results, I felt that the work that I had done in running for office had come full circle. Because what you guys have done means that the work that I’m doing is important. I’m really proud of that. I’m really proud of all of you.

And what you guys accomplished will go down in the annals of history, and people will read about it and they’ll marvel about it, but the most important thing you need to know is that your journey is just beginning.

You’re just starting. And whatever good we do over the next four years will pale in comparison to what you guys end up accomplishing for years and years to come. And that’s been my source of hope.

That’s why over the last four years when people ask me about how you put up with this or that, the frustrations of Washington—I just think about you. I think about what you guys are gonna do. And that’s the source of my hope. That’s the source of my strength and my inspiration.

And I know that you guys won’t disappoint me because I’ve already seen who you guys are.

And you all are just remarkable people, and you’ve lifted me up each and every step of the way.

All right? Thank you guys.

—President Obama speaking to volunteers and staff, November 7, 2012