Entries Filed in 'Speeches'

Vice President Biden impressed by Maine’s manufacturing history and potential

September 4th, 2014 · No Comments · Business & Innovation, Capitol news, Economy, Labor issues, Speeches

Vice President Biden made a point to try and shake everyone's hand in the audience. Photo by Morgan Rogers

Vice President Biden made a point to try and shake everyone’s hand in the audience. Photo by Morgan Rogers

Vice President Biden toured the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard September 3rd with Maine Congressman and Gubernatorial candidate, Mike Michaud, to highlight the history and future of Maine’s manufacturing innovation.

The tour of the 214-year-old Naval Shipyard gave Michaud a chance to share Maine’s shipbuilding history, manufacturing potential, and University of Maine’s “Bridge-in-a-Backpack” initiative, with Biden.

“I’ve traveled a million miles around the world as vice president and I traveled a million miles before that,” said Biden to more than a 1000 attendees at the shipyard. “And the fact of the matter is you’re the best in the world. It’s true.”

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President Barack Obama’s 5th State of the Union

January 29th, 2014 · No Comments · News from Washington, Speeches

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, my fellow Americans:

Today in America, a teacher spent extra time with a student who needed it, and did her part to lift America’s graduation rate to its highest level in more than three decades. An entrepreneur flipped on the lights in her tech startup, and did her part to add to the more than 8 million new jobs our businesses have created over the past four years. (Applause.) An autoworker fine-tuned some of the best, most fuel-efficient cars in the world, and did his part to help America wean itself off foreign oil.

A farmer prepared for the spring after the strongest five-year stretch of farm exports in our history. A rural doctor gave a young child the first prescription to treat asthma that his mother could afford. (Applause.) A man took the bus home from the graveyard shift, bone-tired, but dreaming big dreams for his son. And in tight-knit communities all across America, fathers and mothers will tuck in their kids, put an arm around their spouse, remember fallen comrades, and give thanks for being home from a war that, after 12 long years, is finally coming to an end. (Applause.)

Tonight, this chamber speaks with one voice to the people we represent: It is you, our citizens, who make the state of our union strong. (Applause.)

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President Barack Obama highlights the need for equality in America

December 5th, 2013 · No Comments · Economy, News from Washington, Speeches

Pres. Obama at a health care event in   photo by Ramona du Houx

“The idea that so many children are born into poverty in the wealthiest nation on Earth is heartbreaking enough. But the idea that a child may never be able to escape that poverty because she lacks a decent education or health care, or a community that views her future as their own, that should offend all of us and it should compel us to action. We are a better country than this.

So let me repeat: The combined trends of increased inequality and decreasing mobility pose a fundamental threat to the American Dream, our way of life, and what we stand for around the globe. And it is not simply a moral claim that I’m making here. There are practical consequences to rising inequality and reduced mobility,” said President Obama on his speech about economic mobility.

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President Barack Obama on the Syria situation concerning chemical weapons

September 10th, 2013 · No Comments · News from Washington, Speeches, World News

Remarks by the President in his National Address about what actions will be taken towards Syria in retaliation to the Syrian government’s usage of chemical weapons on their citizens.

THE PRESIDENT: My fellow Americans, tonight I want to talk to you about Syria — why it matters, and where we go from here.

Over the past two years, what began as a series of peaceful protests against the repressive regime of Bashar al-Assad has turned into a brutal civil war. Over 100,000 people have been killed. Millions have fled the country. In that time, America has worked with allies to provide humanitarian support, to help the moderate opposition, and to shape a political settlement. But I have resisted calls for military action, because we cannot resolve someone else’s civil war through force, particularly after a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The situation profoundly changed, though, on August 21st, when Assad’s government gassed to death over a thousand people, including hundreds of children. The images from this massacre are sickening: Men, women, children lying in rows, killed by poison gas. Others foaming at the mouth, gasping for breath. A father clutching his dead children, imploring them to get up and walk. On that terrible night, the world saw in gruesome detail the terrible nature of chemical weapons, and why the overwhelming majority of humanity has declared them off-limits — a crime against humanity, and a violation of the laws of war.

This was not always the case. In World War I, American GIs were among the many thousands killed by deadly gas in the trenches of Europe. In World War II, the Nazis used gas to inflict the horror of the Holocaust. Because these weapons can kill on a mass scale, with no distinction between soldier and infant, the civilized world has spent a century working to ban them. And in 1997, the United States Senate overwhelmingly approved an international agreement prohibiting the use of chemical weapons, now joined by 189 governments that represent 98 percent of humanity.

On August 21st, these basic rules were violated, along with our sense of common humanity. No one disputes that chemical weapons were used in Syria. The world saw thousands of videos, cell phone pictures, and social media accounts from the attack, and humanitarian organizations told stories of hospitals packed with people who had symptoms of poison gas.

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President Obama calls for reducing nuclear arms for, “a world without nuclear weapons”

June 20th, 2013 · No Comments · Community Maine, Public Safety, Speeches

President Obama in Germany spoke to thousands about the future and reducing nuclear arms.

Presisdent Barack Obama called for, “a world without nuclear weapons,” during his speech in Germany:

“Peace with justice means pursuing the security of a world without nuclear weapons — no matter how distant that dream may be. And so, as President, I’ve strengthened our efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, and reduced the number and role of America’s nuclear weapons. Because of the New START Treaty, we’re on track to cut American and Russian deployed nuclear warheads to their lowest levels since the 1950s.

But we have more work to do. So today, I’m announcing additional steps forward. After a comprehensive review, I’ve determined that we can ensure the security of America and our allies, and maintain a strong and credible strategic deterrent, while reducing our deployed strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third. And I intend to seek negotiated cuts with Russia to move beyond Cold War nuclear postures.”

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Obama speaks about the Affordable Care Act

May 12th, 2013 · No Comments · Health Care, News from Washington, Speeches

The following are President Barack Obama’s remarks on the Affordable Care Act, made last Friday:
THE PRESIDENT: Moms take care of us. (Baby cries.) Yes, see? (Laughter.) Case in point. Sick kids, aging parents, grumpy husbands. And I know there are lots of moms out there who often go without the care that they need, or the checkups they know they should get, because they’re worrying that co-pay has to go to gas, or groceries, or the new soccer uniform instead. Or worse, they know the unfairness of being charged more for their health care just because they’re a woman, or the stress of trying to manage a family budget when health care costs are impinging on it, or trying to insure a sick child only to be told “no” over and over again.

So we decided that needed to change. In a country as wealthy as this one, there was no reason why a family’s security should be determined by the chance of an illness or an accident. We decided to do something about it.

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Chief Justice: putting Maine’s Judicial System “on the road to the new world”

February 21st, 2013 · No Comments · Capitol news, Civil Rights, Community Maine, Public Safety, Speeches

Maine’s Chief Leigh Justice called for creation of an e-filing system, continued commitment to courthouse safety measures, attention to mental health issues, and taking care of Maine’s youth during the annual State of the Judiciary to a Joint Session of the Maine Legislature.

The Chief Justice asked the Legislature to make Maine’s Judiciary “robust” in order to enforce the laws passed by the Legislature. Maine’s courts are among the slowest in the nation.

“In a world where records and communications are now routinely in digital format, our paper-based records are frankly out of step, and this affects public safety, public access, the costs of litigation, and the availability of important data,” said Saufley. “In short, this challenge affects every aspect of justice,” She asked the Legislature to allocate new funds to implement an electronic filing, or e-filing, system.

“Today, the Chief Justice outlined our need to advance Maine’s courts by bringing our courts in to the digital age,” said Senate Majority Leader Seth Goodall of Richmond who also works as a lawyer. “Doing this will make our courts stronger and more responsive and efficient–and, will save money for those who are involved with Maine’s courts as well as taxpayers in the long-term.”

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The State of the Union 2013: increase minimum wage, improve infrastructure, invest in research and development and work together on debt

February 13th, 2013 · No Comments · Business & Innovation, Creative Economy, Education, Energy Issues, Environment, Maine's green energy potential, News from Washington, Speeches

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, fellow citizens:

Fifty-one years ago, John F. Kennedy declared to this chamber that “the Constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress.” (Applause.) “It is my task,” he said, “to report the State of the Union — to improve it is the task of us all.”

Tonight, thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, there is much progress to report. After a decade of grinding war, our brave men and women in uniform are coming home. (Applause.) After years of grueling recession, our businesses have created over six million new jobs. We buy more American cars than we have in five years, and less foreign oil than we have in 20. (Applause.) Our housing market is healing, our stock market is rebounding, and consumers, patients, and homeowners enjoy stronger protections than ever before. (Applause.)

So, together, we have cleared away the rubble of crisis, and we can say with renewed confidence that the State of our Union is stronger. (Applause.)

But we gather here knowing that there are millions of Americans whose hard work and dedication have not yet been rewarded. Our economy is adding jobs — but too many people still can’t find full-time employment. Corporate profits have skyrocketed to all-time highs — but for more than a decade, wages and incomes have barely budged.

It is our generation’s task, then, to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth — a rising, thriving middle class. (Applause.)

It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country — the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, no matter what you look like, or who you love.

It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few; that it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative, and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation. (Applause.)

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Call to action to keep children safe from gun violence by President Obama

December 17th, 2012 · No Comments · Community Maine, News from Washington, Public Safety, Speeches

“Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose? I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer’s no. We’re not doing enough. And we will have to change,” said President Obama.

Later in his speech he said,”In the coming weeks, I’ll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens, from law enforcement, to mental health professionals, to parents and educators, in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this, because what choice do we have? We can’t accept events like this as routine.Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard?”

The following are President Barack Obama’s remarks at a Dec. 16, 2012 prayer vigil for victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The gun man shot 20 young children and six staff members at the school before hearing the police closing in and then taking his own life.

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911: Remarks by President Barack Obama at the Pentagon Memorial

September 11th, 2012 · No Comments · News from Washington, Public Safety, Speeches

President Barack Obama and the First Lady pledge their allegiance at a memorial on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on America on 9.11
Remarks by President Barack Obama at the Pentagon Memorial on 9/11/2012 at Arlington, Virginia.

The President: Secretary Panetta, General Dempsey, members of our Armed Forces, and most importantly, to the families –survivors and loved ones — of those we lost, Michelle and I are humbled to join you again on this solemn anniversary.

Today we remember a day that began like so many others. There were rides to school and commutes to work, early flights and familiar routines, quick hugs and quiet moments. It was a day like this one — a clear blue sky, but a sky that would soon be filled with clouds of smoke and prayers of a nation shaken to its core.

Even now, all these years later, it is easy for those of us who lived through that day to close our eyes and to find ourselves back there — and back here — back when grief crashed over us like an awful wave, when Americans everywhere held each other tight, seeking the reassurance that the world we knew wasn’t crumbling under our feet.

Eleven times we have marked another September 11th come and gone. Eleven times, we have paused in remembrance, in reflection, in unity and in purpose.

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