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Ini adalah foto Presiden Barack Obama dan Wakilnya Joe Biden saat makan siang dengan burger’s di sebuah Mall (Harlington) Virginia….

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100 Hari Barack Obama

The full transcript of Obama’s third press conference on April 29, 2009:

OBAMA: Please, be seated. Before we begin tonight, I just want to provide everyone with a few brief updates on some of the challenges we’re dealing with right now.

First, we are continuing to closely monitor the emergency cases of the H1N1 flu virus throughout the United States. As I said this morning, this is obviously a very serious situation, and every American should know that their entire government is taking the utmost precautions and preparations.

Our public health officials have recommended that schools with confirmed or suspected cases of this flu strongly consider temporarily closing. And if more schools are forced to close, we’ve recommended that both parents and businesses think about contingency plans if their children do have to stay home.

I’ve requested an immediate $1.5 billion in emergency funding from Congress to support our ability to monitor and track this virus and to build our supply of antiviral drugs and other equipment. And we will also ensure that those materials get to where they need to be as quickly as possible.

And, finally, I’ve asked every American to take the same steps you would take to prevent any other flu: keep your hands washed; cover your mouth when you cough; stay home from work if you’re sick; and keep your children home from school if they’re sick.

We’ll continue to provide regular updates to the American people as we receive more information. And everyone should rest assured that this government is prepared to do whatever it takes to control the impact of this virus.

The second thing I’d like to mention is how gratified I am that the House and the Senate passed a budget resolution today that will serve as an economic blueprint for this nation’s future.
r-obama-presser-huge

I especially want to thank Leader Reid, Speaker Pelosi, all of the members of Congress who worked so quickly and effectively to make this blueprint a reality.

This budget builds on the steps we’ve taken over the last 100 days to move this economy from recession to recovery and ultimately to prosperity.

We began by passing a recovery act that has already saved or created over 150,000 jobs and provided a tax cut to 95 percent of all working families. We passed a law to provide and protect health insurance for 11 million American children whose parents work full time. And we launched a housing plan that has already contributed to a spike in the number of homeowners who are refinancing their mortgages, which is the equivalent of another tax cut.

But, even as we clear away the wreckage of this recession, I’ve also said that we can’t go back to an economy that’s built on a pile of sand, on inflated home prices and maxed-out credit cards, on overleveraged banks and outdated regulations that allow recklessness of a few to threaten the prosperity of all.

We have to lay a new foundation for growth, a foundation that will strengthen our economy and help us compete in the 21st century. And that’s exactly what this budget begins to do.

It contains new investments in education that will equip our workers with the right skills and training, new investments in renewable energy that will create millions of jobs and new industries, new investments in health care that will cut costs for families and businesses, and new savings that will bring down our deficit.

I also campaigned on the promise that I would change the direction of our nation’s foreign policy. And we’ve begun to do that, as well. We’ve begun to end the war in Iraq, and we forged with our NATO allies a new strategy to target Al Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

OBAMA: We have rejected the false choice between our security and our ideals by closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and banning torture without exception.

And we’ve renewed our diplomatic efforts to deal with challenges ranging from the global economic crisis to the spread of nuclear weapons.

So I think we’re off to a good start, but it’s just a start. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved, but I’m not content. I’m pleased with our progress, but I’m not satisfied.

Millions of Americans are still without jobs and homes, and more will be lost before this recession is over. Credit is still not flowing nearly as freely as it should. Countless families and communities touched by our auto industry still face tough times ahead. Our projected long-term deficits are still too high, and government is still not as efficient as it needs to be.

We still confront threats ranging from terrorism to nuclear proliferation, as well as pandemic flu. And all this means you can expect an unrelenting, unyielding effort from this administration to strengthen our prosperity and our security in the second hundred days, in the third hundred days, and all of the days after that.

You can expect us to work on health care reform that will bring down costs while maintaining quality, as well as energy legislation that will spark a clean-energy revolution. I expect to sign legislation by the end of this year that sets new rules of the road for Wall Street, rules that reward drive and innovation, as opposed to short-cuts and abuse.

And we will also work to pass legislation that protects credit card users from unfair rate hikes and abusive fees and penalties. We’ll continue scouring the federal budget for savings and target more programs for elimination. And we will continue to pursue procurement reform that will greatly reduce the no-bid contracts that have wasted so many taxpayer dollars.

So we have a lot of work left to do. It’s work that will take time, and it will take effort. But the United States of America, I believe, will see a better day.

We will rebuild a stronger nation, and we will endure as a beacon for all of those weary travelers beyond our shores who still dream that there’s a place where all of this is possible. I want to thank the American people for their support and their patience during these trying times, and I look forward to working with you in the next hundred days, in the hundred days after that, all of the hundreds of days to follow to make sure that this country is what it can be.

And with that, I will start taking some questions.

And I’ll start with you, Jennifer.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. With the flu outbreak spreading and worsening, can you talk about whether you think it’s time to close the border with Mexico and whether — under what conditions you might consider quarantining, when that might be appropriate?

OBAMA: Well, first of all, as I said, this is a cause for deep concern, but not panic. And I think that we have to make sure that we recognize that how we respond intelligently, systematically, based on science and what public health officials have to say, will determine in large part what happens.

I’ve consulted with our public health officials extensively on a day-to-day basis, in some cases an hour-to-hour basis. At this point, they have not recommended a border closing. From their perspective, it would be akin to closing the barn door after the horses are out, because we already have cases here in the United States.

We have ramped up screening efforts, as well as made sure that additional supplies are there on the border so that we can prepare in the eventuality that we have to do more than we’re doing currently.

But the most important thing right now that public health officials have indicated is that we treat this the same way that we would treat other flu outbreaks, just understanding that, because this is a new strain, we don’t yet know how it will respond.

So we have to take additional precautions, essentially, take out some additional insurance. Now, that’s why I asked for an additional $1.5 billion, so that we can make sure that everything is in place should a worst-case scenario play out.

I do want to compliment Democrats and Republicans who worked diligently back in 2005 when the bird flu came up. I was part of a group of legislators who worked with the Bush administration to make sure that we had beefed up our infrastructure and our stockpiles of antiviral drugs, like Tamiflu.

OBAMA: And I think the Bush administration did a good job of creating the infrastructure so that we can respond. For example, we’ve got 50 million courses of anti-viral drugs in the event that they’re needed.

So, the government is going to be doing everything that we can. We’re coordinating closely with state and local officials. Secretary Napolitano at the Department of Homeland Security, newly installed Secretary Sebelius of Health and Human Services, our acting CDC director, they are all on the phone on a daily basis with all public health officials across the states to coordinate and make sure that there’s timely reporting, that if — as new cases come up, that we’re able to track them effectively, that we’re allocating resources so that they’re in place.

The key now I think is to make sure that we’re maintaining great vigilance, that everybody responds appropriately when cases do come up, and individual families start taking very sensible precautions that — can make a huge difference.

So wash your hands when you shake hands. Cover your mouth when you cough. I know it sounds trivial, but it makes a huge difference. If you are sick, stay home. If your child is sick, keep them out of school.

To — if you are feeling certain flu symptoms, don’t get on an airplane, don’t get on a — any system of public transportation where you’re confined and you could potentially spread the virus.

So those are the steps that I think we need to take right now. But understand that because this is a new strain, we have to be cautious. If this was a strain that we were familiar with, then we might have to — then I think we wouldn’t see the kind of alert levels that we’re seeing, for example, with the World Health Organization. OK?

Deb Price of Detroit News. Where’s Deb?

Good to see you.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President.

On the domestic auto industry, have you determined that bankruptcy is the only option to restructure Chrysler? And do you believe that the deep cuts in plant closings that were outlined this week by General Motors are sufficient? OBAMA: Let me speak to Chrysler first because the clock is ticking on Chrysler coming up with a plan. I am actually very hopeful, more hopeful than I was 30 days ago, that we can see a resolution that maintains a viable Chrysler auto company out there.

What we’ve seen is the unions have made enormous sacrifices on top of sacrifices that they had previously made. You’ve now seen the major debt holders come up with a set of potential concessions that they can live with.

All of that promises the possibility that you can get a Fiat- Chrysler merger and that you have an ongoing concern. The details have not yet been finalized, so I don’t know to jump the gun. But I am feeling more optimistic than I was about the possibilities of that getting done.

With respect to GM, we’re going to have another 30 days. They’re still in the process of presenting us with their plans. But I’ve always said that GM has a lot of good product there and if they can get through these difficult times, and engage in some of the very difficult choices that they’ve already made, that they can emerge a strong, competitive, viable company.

And that’s my goal in this whole process. I would love to get the U.S. government out of the auto business as quickly as possible. We have a circumstance in which a bad recession compounded some great weaknesses already in the auto industry.

And it was my obligation and continues to be my obligation to make sure that any taxpayer dollars that are in place to support the auto industry are aimed not at short-term fixes that continue these companies as wards of the state, but rather institutes the kind of restructuring that allows them to be strongly competitive in the future. I think we’re moving in that direction.

Last point, you asked about Chrysler bankruptcy. It was the prudent and appropriate thing for Chrysler to do to engage in the filings that they — that received some notice a while back because they had to prepare for possible contingencies.

It’s not clear that they’re going to have to use it. The fact that the major debt-holders appear ready to make concessions means that, even if they ended up having to go through some sort of bankruptcy, it would be a very quick type of bankruptcy and they could continue operating and emerge on the other side in a much stronger position.

So my goal is to make sure that we’ve got a strong, viable, competitive auto industry. I think some tough choices are being made. There’s no denying that there’s significant hardship involved, particularly for the workers and the families in these communities.

And we’re going to be coming behind whatever plan is in place to make sure that the federal government is providing as much assistance as we have to ensure that people are landing back on their feet, even as we strengthen these core businesses. Jake? Where’s Jake? There he is.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. You’ve said in the past that waterboarding, in your opinion, is torture. Torture is a violation of international law and the Geneva Conventions. Do you believe that the previous administration sanctioned torture?

OBAMA: What I’ve said — and I will repeat — is that waterboarding violates our ideals and our values. I do believe that it is torture. I don’t think that’s just my opinion; that’s the opinion of many who’ve examined the topic. And that’s why I put an end to these practices.

I am absolutely convinced it was the right thing to do, not because there might not have been information that was yielded by these various detainees who were subjected to this treatment, but because we could have gotten this information in other ways, in ways that were consistent with our values, in ways that were consistent with who we are.

I was struck by an article that I was reading the other day talking about the fact that the British during World War II, when London was being bombed to smithereens, had 200 or so detainees. And Churchill said, “We don’t torture,” when the entire British — all of the British people were being subjected to unimaginable risk and threat.

And then the reason was that Churchill understood, you start taking short-cuts, over time, that corrodes what’s — what’s best in a people. It corrodes the character of a country.

And — and so I strongly believed that the steps that we’ve taken to prevent these kinds of enhanced interrogation techniques will make us stronger over the long term and make us safer over the long term because it will put us in a — in a position where we can still get information.

In some cases, it may be harder, but part of what makes us, I think, still a beacon to the world is that we are willing to hold true to our ideals even when it’s hard, not just when it’s easy.

At the same time, it takes away a critical recruitment tool that Al Qaida and other terrorist organizations have used to try to demonize the United States and justify the killing of civilians.

And it makes us — it puts us in a much stronger position to work with our allies in the kind of international, coordinated intelligence activity that can shut down these networks.

So this is a decision that I’m very comfortable with. And I think the American people over time will recognize that it is better for us to stick to who we are, even when we’re taking on an unscrupulous enemy.

OK?

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

OBAMA: I’m sorry?

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) sanctioned torture?

OBAMA: I believe that waterboarding was torture. And I think that the — whatever legal rationales were used, it was a mistake.

OBAMA: Mark Knoller?

QUESTION: Thank you, sir. Let me follow up, if I may, on Jake’s question. Did you read the documents recently referred to by former Vice President Cheney and others saying that the use of so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” not only protected the nation but saved lives?

And if part of the United States were under imminent threat, could you envision yourself ever authorizing the use of those enhanced interrogation techniques?

OBAMA: I have read the documents. Now they have not been officially declassified and released. And so I don’t want to go to the details of them. But here’s what I can tell you, that the public reports and the public justifications for these techniques, which is that we got information from these individuals that were subjected to these techniques, doesn’t answer the core question.

Which is, could we have gotten that same information without resorting to these techniques? And it doesn’t answer the broader question, are we safer as a consequence of having used these techniques?

So when I made the decision to release these memos and when I made the decision to bar these practices, this was based on consultation with my entire national security team, and based on my understanding that ultimately I will be judged as commander-in-chief on how safe I’m keeping the American people.

That’s the responsibility I wake up with and it’s the responsibility I go to sleep with. And so I will do whatever is required to keep the American people safe. But I am absolutely convinced that the best way I can do that is to make sure that we are not taking short cuts that undermine who we are.

And there have been no circumstances during the course of this first 100 days in which I have seen information that would make me second guess the decision that I have made. OK?

Chuck Todd.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. I want to move to Pakistan. Pakistan appears to be at war with the Taliban inside their own country. Can you reassure the American people that if necessary America could secure Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and keep it from getting into the Taliban’s hands or, worst case scenario, even al Qaeda’s hands?

OBAMA: I’m confident that we can make sure that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is secure. Primarily, initially, because the Pakistani army, I think, recognizes the hazards of those weapons falling into the wrong hands. We’ve got strong military-to-military consultation and cooperation.

I am gravely concerned about the situation in Pakistan, not because I think that they’re immediately going to be overrun and the Taliban would take over in Pakistan. I’m more concerned that the civilian government there right now is very fragile and don’t seem to have the capacity to deliver basic services: schools, health care, rule of law, a judicial system that works for the majority of the people.

And so as a consequence, it is very difficult for them to gain the support and the loyalty of their people. So we need to help Pakistan help Pakistanis. And I think that there’s a recognition increasingly on the part of both the civilian government there and the army that that is their biggest weakness.

On the military side, you’re starting to see some recognition just in the last few days that the obsession with India as the mortal threat to Pakistan has been misguided, and that their biggest threat right now comes internally. And you’re starting to see the Pakistani military take much more seriously the armed threat from militant extremists.

We want to continue to encourage Pakistan to move in that direction. And we will provide them all of the cooperation that we can. We want to respect their sovereignty, but we also recognize that we have huge strategic interests, huge national security interests in making sure that Pakistan is stable and that you don’t end up having a nuclear-armed militant state.

QUESTION: But in a worst-case scenario…

OBAMA: I’m not going to engage in…

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) military could secure this nuclear…

OBAMA: I’m not going to engage in — in hypotheticals of that sort. I feel confident that that nuclear arsenal will remain out of militant hands.

OK, Jeff Mason?

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. One of the biggest changes you’ve made in the first 100 days regarding foreign policy has had to do with Iraq. But do the large-scale — there’s large-scale violence there right now. Does that affect the U.S.’s strategy at all for withdrawal? And could it affect the timetable that you’ve set out for troops?

OBAMA: Well, first of all, I think it’s important to note that, although you’ve seen some spectacular bombings in Iraq that are a — a legitimate cause of concern, civilian deaths, incidents of bombings, et cetera, remain very low relative to what was going on last year, for example.

And so you haven’t seen the kinds of huge spikes that you were seeing for a time. The political system is holding and functioning in Iraq.

Part of the reason why I called for a gradual withdrawal as opposed to a precipitous one was precisely because more work needs to be done on the political side to further isolate whatever remnants of Al Qaida in Iraq still exists.

And I’m very confident that, with our commander on the ground, General Odierno, with Chris Hill, our new ambassador, having been approved and already getting his team in place, that they are going to be able to work effectively with the Maliki government to create the conditions for an ultimate transfer after the national elections.

But there’s some — some serious work to do on making sure that how they divvy up oil revenues is ultimately settled, what the provincial powers are and boundaries, the relationship between the Kurds and the central government, the relationship between the Shia and the Kurds. Are they incorporating effectively Sunnis, Sons of Iraq, into the structure of the armed forces in a way that’s equitable and just?

Those are all issues that have not been settled the way they need to be settled. And what we’ve done is, we’ve provided sufficient time for them to get that work done, but we’ve got to keep the pressure up, not just on the military side, but on the diplomatic and development sides, as well.

Chip Reid?

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. On Senator Specter’s switch to the Democratic Party, you said you were thrilled; I guess nobody should be surprised about that.

But how big a deal is this, really? Some Republicans say it is huge. They believe it’s a game-changer. They say that, if you get the 60 votes in the Senate, that you will be able to ride roughshod over any opposition and that we’re on the verge of, as one Republican put it, “one-party rule.”

Do you see it that way? And, also, what do you think his switch says about the state of the Republican Party?

OBAMA: Well, first of all, I think very highly of Arlen Specter . I think he’s got a record of legislative accomplishment that is as good as any member of the Senate.

And I think he’s always had a strong independent streak. I think that was true when he was a Republican; I think that will be true when he’s a Democrat.

He was very blunt in saying I couldn’t count on him to march lockstep on every single issue. And so he’s going to still have strong opinions, as many Democrats in the Senate do.

I’ve been there. It turns out, all the senators have very strong opinions. And I don’t think that’s going to change.

I do think that having Arlen Specter in the Democratic caucus will liberate him to cooperate on critical issues, like health care, like infrastructure and job creation, areas where his inclinations were to work with us, but he was feeling pressure not to.

And I think the vote on the recovery act was a classic example. Ultimately, he thought that was the right thing to do. And he was fiercely berated within his own party at the time for having taken what I consider to be a very sensible step. So — so I think it’s, overall, positive.

OBAMA: Now, I am under no illusions that suddenly I’m going to have a rubber-stamp Senate. I’ve got Democrats who don’t agree with me on everything, and that’s how it should be.

Congress is a co-equal branch of government. Every senator who’s there, whether I agree with them or disagree with them, I think truly believes that they are doing their absolute best to represent their constituencies.

And we’ve got regional differences, and we’ve got some parts of the country that are affected differently by certain policies. And those have to be respected, and there’s going to have to be compromise and give-and-take on all of these issues.

I do think that, to my Republican friends, I want them to realize that me reaching out to them has been genuine. I can’t sort of define bipartisanship as simply being willing to accept certain theories of theirs that we tried for eight years and didn’t work and the American people voted to change.

But there are a whole host of areas where we can work together. And I’ve said this to people like Mitch McConnell . I said, look, on health care reform, you may not agree with me that I — we should have a public plan. That may be philosophically just too much for you to swallow.

On the other hand, there are some areas like reducing the costs of medical malpractice insurance where you do agree with me. If I’m taking some of your ideas and giving you credit for good ideas, the fact that you didn’t get 100 percent can’t be a reason every single time to oppose my position.

And if that is how bipartisanship is defined, a situation in which basically, wherever there are philosophical differences, I have to simply go along with ideas that have been rejected by the American people in a historic election, you know, we’re probably not going to make progress.

If, on the other hand, the definition is that we’re open to each other’s ideas, there are going to be differences, the majority will probably be determinative when it comes to resolving just hard, core differences that we can’t resolve, but there is a whole host of other areas where we can work together, then I think we can make progress.

QUESTION: Is the Republican Party in the desperate straits that Arlen Specter seems to think it is? OBAMA: You know, politics in America changes very quick. And I’m a big believer that things are never as good as they seem and never as bad as they seem.

You’re talking to a guy who was 30 points down in the polls during a — a primary in Iowa. So — so I never — I don’t believe in crystal balls.

I do think that our administration has taken some steps that have restored confidence in the American people that we’re moving in the right direction and that simply opposing our approach on every front is probably not a good political strategy.

Ed Henry?

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. In a couple of weeks, you’re going to be giving the commencement at Notre Dame. And, as you know, this has caused a lot of controversy among Catholics who are opposed to your position on abortion.

As a candidate, you vowed that one of the very things you wanted to do was sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which, as you know, would eliminate federal, state and local restrictions on abortion. And at one point in the campaign when asked about abortion and life, you said that it was above — quote, “above my pay grade.”

Now that you’ve been president for 100 days, obviously, your pay grade is a little higher than when you were a senator.

(LAUGHTER)

Do you still hope that Congress quickly sends you the Freedom of Choice Act so you can sign it?

OBAMA: You know, the — my view on — on abortion, I think, has been very consistent. I think abortion is a moral issue and an ethical issue.

I think that those who are pro-choice make a mistake when they — if they suggest — and I don’t want to create straw men here, but I think there are some who suggest that this is simply an issue about women’s freedom and that there’s no other considerations. I think, look, this is an issue that people have to wrestle with and families and individual women have to wrestle with.

OBAMA: The reason I’m pro-choice is because I don’t think women take that — that position casually. I think that they struggle with these decisions each and every day. And I think they are in a better position to make these decisions ultimately than members of Congress or a president of the United States, in consultation with their families, with their doctors, with their doctors, with their clergy.

So — so that has been my consistent position. The other thing that I said consistently during the campaign is I would like to reduce the number of unwanted presidencies that result in women feeling compelled to get an abortion, or at least considering getting an abortion, particularly if we can reduce the number of teen pregnancies, which has started to spike up again.

And so I’ve got a task force within the Domestic Policy Council in the West Wing of the White House that is working with groups both in the pro-choice camp and in the pro-life camp, to see if we can arrive at some consensus on that.

Now, the Freedom of Choice Act is not highest legislative priority. I believe that women should have the right to choose. But I think that the most important thing we can do to tamp down some of the anger surrounding this issue is to focus on those areas that we can agree on. And that’s — that’s where I’m going to focus.

Jeff Zeleny.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President.

During these first 100 days, what has surprised you the most about this office? Enchanted you the most from serving in this office? Humbled you the most? And troubled you the most?

OBAMA: Now let me write this down.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: I’ve got…

QUESTION: Surprised, troubled…

OBAMA: I’ve got — what was the first one?

QUESTION: Surprised.

OBAMA: Surprised. QUESTION: Troubled.

OBAMA: Troubled.

QUESTION: Enchanted.

OBAMA: Enchanted, nice.

(LAUGHTER)

QUESTION: And humbled.

OBAMA: And what was the last one, humbled?

QUESTION: Humbled. Thank you, sir.

OBAMA: All right. OK. Surprised. I am surprised compared to where I started, when we first announced for this race, by the number of critical issues that appear to be coming to a head all at the same time.

You know, when I first started this race, Iraq was a central issue, but the economy appeared on the surface to still be relatively strong. There were underlying problems that I was seeing with health care for families and our education system and college affordability and so forth, but obviously, I didn’t anticipate the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

And so, you know, the typical president, I think, has two or three big problems. We’ve got seven or eight big problems. And so we’ve had to move very quickly and I’m very proud of my team for the fact that we’ve been able to keep our commitments to the American people, to bring about change, while at the same time managing a whole host of issues that had come up that weren’t necessarily envisioned a year-and-a-half ago.

Troubled? I’d say less troubled, but, you know, sobered by the fact that change in Washington comes slow. That there is still a certain quotient of political posturing and bickering that takes place even when we’re in the middle of really big crises.

I would like to think that everybody would say, you know what, let’s take a time-out on some of the political games, focus our attention for at least this year, and then we can start running for something next year. And that hasn’t happened as much as I would have liked.

Enchanted? Enchanted. I will tell you that when I — when I meet our servicemen and -women, enchanted is probably not the word I would use.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: But I am so profoundly impressed and grateful to them for what they do. They’re really good at their job. They are willing to make extraordinary sacrifices on our behalf. They do so without complaint. They are fiercely loyal to this country.

And, you know, the more I interact with our servicemen and women, from the top brass down to the lowliest private, I’m just — I’m grateful to them.

Humbled by the — humbled by the fact that the presidency is extraordinarily powerful, but we are just part of a much broader tapestry of American life, and there are a lot of different power centers. And so I can’t just press a button and suddenly have the bankers do exactly what I want or, you know, turn on a switch and suddenly, you know, Congress falls in line.

And so, you know, what you do is to — is to make your best arguments, listen hard to what other people have to say, and coax folks in the right direction.

This metaphor has been used before, but the ship of state is an ocean liner. It’s not a speedboat. And so the way we are constantly thinking about this issue, of how to bring about the changes that the American people need, is to — is to say, if we can move this big battleship a few degrees in a different direction, you may not see all the consequences of that change a week from now or three months from now, but 10 years from now or 20 years from now, our kids will be able to look back and say, “That was when we started getting serious about clean energy. That’s when health care started to become more efficient and affordable. That’s when we became serious about raising our standards in education.”

And — and so I — I have a much longer time horizon than I think you do when you’re a candidate or if you’re listening, I think, to the media reportage on a day-to-day basis.

And I’m humbled, last, by the American people who have shown extraordinary patience and I think a recognition that we’re not going to solve all of these problems overnight.

OK. Lori Montenegro?

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, when you met with the Hispanic Caucus a few weeks ago, reports came out that the White House was planning to have a forum to talk about immigration and bring it to the forefront.

Going forward, my question is, what is your strategy to try to have immigration reform? And are you still on the same timetable to have it accomplished in the first year of your presidency?

And, also, I’d like to know if you’re going to reach out to Senator John McCain , who is Republican and in the past has favored immigration reform?

OBAMA: Well, we reach out to — to Senator McCain on a whole host of issues. He has been a leader on immigration reform. I think he has had the right position on immigration reform. And I would love to partner with him and others on what is going to be a critical issue. We’ve also worked with Senator McCain on what I think is a terrific piece of legislation that he and Carl Levin have put together around procurement reform. We want that moved, and we’re going to be working hard with them to get that accomplished.

What I told the Congressional Hispanic Caucus is exactly what I said the very next day in a town hall meeting and what I will continue to say publicly, and that is we want to move this process.

We can’t continue with a broken immigration system. It’s not good for anybody. It’s not good for American workers. It’s dangerous for Mexican would-be workers who are trying to cross a dangerous border.

OBAMA: It is — it is putting a strain on border communities, who oftentimes have to deal with a host of undocumented workers. And it keeps those undocumented workers in the shadows, which means they can be exploited at the same time as they’re depressing U.S. wages.

So, what I hope to happen is that we’re able to convene a working group, working with key legislators like Luis Gutierrez and Nydia Velazquez and others to start looking at a framework of how this legislation might be shaped.

In the meantime, what we’re trying to do is take some core — some key administrative steps to move the process along to lay the groundwork for legislation. Because the American people need some confidence that if we actually put a package together, we can execute.

So Janet Napolitano , who has great knowledge of this because of having been a border governor, she’s already in the process of reviewing and figuring out how can we strengthen our border security in a much more significant way than we’re doing.

If the American people don’t feel like you can secure the borders, then it’s hard to strike a deal that would get people out of the shadows and on a pathway to citizenship who are already here, because the attitude of the average American is going to be, well, you’re just going to have hundreds of thousands of more coming in each year.

On the other hand, showing that there is a more thoughtful approach than just raids of a handful of workers as opposed to, for example, taking seriously the violation of companies that sometimes are actively recruiting these workers to come in. That’s again something we can start doing administratively.

So what we want to do is to show that we are competent and getting results around immigration, even on the structures that we already have in place, the laws that we already have in place, so that we’re building confidence among the American people that we can actually follow through on whatever legislative approach emerges. OK?

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

OBAMA: I see the process moving this first year. And I’m going to be moving it as quickly as I can. I’ve been accused of doing too much. We are moving full steam ahead on all fronts.

Ultimately, I don’t have control of the legislative calendar, and so we’re going to work with legislative leaders to see what we can do.

Andre Showell? There you go.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President.

As the entire nation tries to climb out of this deep recession, in communities of color, the circumstances are far worse. The black unemployment rate, as you know, is in the double digits. And in New York City, for example, the black unemployment rate for men is near 50 percent.

My question to you tonight is given this unique and desperate circumstance, what specific policies can you point to that will target these communities and what’s the timetable for us to see tangible results?

OBAMA: Well, keep in mind that every step we’re taking is designed to help all people. But, folks who are most vulnerable are most likely to be helped because they need the most help.

So when we passed the Recovery Act, for example, and we put in place provisions that would extend unemployment insurance or allow you to keep your health insurance even if you’ve lost your job, that probably disproportionately impacted those communities that had lost their jobs. And unfortunately, the African-American community and the Latino community are probably overrepresented in those ranks.

When we put in place additional dollars for community health centers to ensure that people are still getting the help that they need, or we expand health insurance to millions more children through the Children’s Health Insurance Program, again, those probably disproportionately impact African-American and Latino families simply because they’re the ones who are most vulnerable. They have got higher rates of uninsured in their communities.

So my general approach is that if the economy is strong, that will lift all boats as long as it is also supported by, for example, strategies around college affordability and job training, tax cuts for working families as opposed to the wealthiest that level the playing field and ensure bottom-up economic growth.

And I’m confident that that will help the African-American community live out the American dream at the same time that it’s helping communities all across the country.

Michael Scherer of TIME?

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. During the campaign, you criticized President Bush’s use of the state secrets privilege, but U.S. attorneys have continued to argue the Bush position in three cases in court. How exactly does your view of state secrets differ from President Bush’s? And do you believe presidents should be able to derail entire lawsuits about warrantless wiretapping or rendition if classified information is involved?

OBAMA: I actually think that the state secret doctrine should be modified. I think right now it’s overbroad.

But keep in mind what happens, is we come in to office. We’re in for a week, and suddenly we’ve got a court filing that’s coming up. And so we don’t have the time to effectively think through, what exactly should an overarching reform of that doctrine take? We’ve got to respond to the immediate case in front of us.

There — I think it is appropriate to say that there are going to be cases in which national security interests are genuinely at stake and that you can’t litigate without revealing covert activities or classified information that would genuinely compromise our safety.

But searching for ways to redact, to carve out certain cases, to see what can be done so that a judge in chambers can review information without it being in open court, you know, there should be some additional tools so that it’s not such a blunt instrument.

And we’re interested in pursuing that. I know that Eric Holder and Greg Craig, my White House counsel, and others are working on that as we speak.

STAFF: Last question.

OBAMA: Jonathan Weisman, you get — you get the last word. Where are you? There you are.

QUESTION: Thank you, sir. You are currently the chief shareholder of a couple of very large mortgage giants. You’re about to become the chief shareholder of a car company, probably two.

And I’m wondering, what kind of shareholder are you going to be? What is the government’s role as the keeper of public — public trust and bonds in — in soon-to-be public companies again? Thank you.

OBAMA: Well, I think our — our first role should be shareholders that are looking to get out. You know, I don’t want to run auto companies. I don’t want to run banks. I’ve got two wars I’ve got to run already. I’ve got more than enough to do. So the sooner we can get out of that business, the better off we’re going to be.

We are in unique circumstances. You had the potential collapse of the financial system, which would have decimated our economy, and so we had to step in.

As I’ve said before, I don’t agree with every decision that was made by the previous administration when it came to TARP, but the need for significant intervention was there, and it was appropriate that we moved in.

With respect to the auto companies, I believe that America should have a functioning, competitive auto industry. I don’t think that taxpayers should simply put — attach an umbilical cord between the U.S. Treasury and the auto companies so that they are constantly getting subsidies, but I do think that helping them restructure at this unique period when sales — you know, the market has essentially gone from 14 million down to 9 million, I don’t think that there’s anything inappropriate about that.

My goal on all this is to help these companies make some tough decisions based on realistic assumptions about economic growth, about their market share, about what that market is going to look like, to prevent systemic risk that would affect everybody, and, as soon as their situations are stabilized and the economy is less fragile so that those systemic risks are diminished, to get out, find some private buyers, and…

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) products or services (OFF-MIKE)

OBAMA: I don’t think that we should micromanage, but I think that, like any investor, the American taxpayer has the right to scrutinize what’s being proposed and make sure that their money is not just being thrown down the drain.

And so, you know, we’ve got to strike a balance. I don’t want to be — I’m not an auto engineer. I don’t know how to create an affordable, well-designed plug-in hybrid. But I know that, if the Japanese can design an affordable, well-designed hybrid, then, doggone it, the American people should be able to do the same.

So my job is to ask the auto industry: Why is it you guys can’t do this? And, in some cases, they’re starting to do it, but they’ve got these legacy costs. You know, there are some terrific U.S. cars being made, both by Chrysler and G.M.

The question is, you know, give me a plan so that you’re building off your strengths and you’re projecting out to where that market is going to be. I actually think, if you look at the trends, that those auto companies that emerge from this crisis, when you start seeing the pent-up demand for autos coming back, they’re going to be in a position to really do well, globally, not just here in the United States.

So I just want to help them get there. But I want to disabuse people of this notion that somehow we enjoy, you know, meddling in the private sector, if — if you could tell me right now that, when I walked into this office that the banks were humming, that autos were selling, and that all you had to worry about was Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, getting health care passed, figuring out how to deal with energy independence, deal with Iran, and a pandemic flu, I would take that deal.

(LAUGHTER)

And — and that’s why I’m always amused when I hear these, you know, criticisms of, “Oh, you know, Obama wants to grow government.” No. I would love a nice, lean portfolio to deal with, but that’s not the hand that’s been dealt us.

And, you know, every generation has to rise up to the specific challenges that confront them. We happen to have gotten a big set of challenges, but we’re not the first generation that that’s happened to. And I’m confident that we are going to meet these challenges just like our grandparents and forbearers met them before. All right? Thank you, everybody.

The full transcript of Obama’s third press conference on April 29, 2009: OBAMA: Please, be seated. Before we begin tonight, I just want to provide everyone with a few brief updates on some of the cha…
The full transcript of Obama’s third press conference on April 29, 2009: OBAMA: Please, be seated. Before we begin tonight, I just want to provide everyone with a few brief updates on some of the cha…
Filed by Marcus Baram
(huffingtonpost)

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Beberapa komentar pemimpin dari beberapa negara di dunia setelah pelantikan Obama sebagai presiden USA ke 44 :

Secuil pesan pidato Obama :

“Bagi dunia Islam, kami menawarkan kerjasama berdasarkan sikap saling menghargai dan menghormati. Amerika adalah kawan bagi tiap negara yang cinta damai,” tegas Obama.

Lebih lanjut, Obama juga mengkritik pemimpin dunia yang menghalalkan kekerasan dan membungkam kebebasan. Sorotan tajam juga diberikan kepada rezim-rezim despotik dan korup.

“Bagi para penguasa yang korup, ketahuilah, Anda berada di sisi sejarah yang salah. Namun demikian, AS akan tetap mengulurkan tangan bila Anda mengendurkan kepalan tangan Anda,” ujar Obama mengumpamakan.

Presiden SBY melalui jubir kepresidenan

“Ini adalah sejarah bagi AS dan special moment bagi Indonesia dan berharap yang terbaik pada Presiden Obama untuk menciptakan perdamaian. Semoga harapan dan masa depan Amerika lebih baik,” ujar Dino.

– Presiden Perancis Nicolas Sarkozy :

“Dengan terpilihnya Anda, rakyat Amerika telah dengan semangat mengungkapkan keyakinan akan kemajuan dan masa depan, serta tekad untuk memiliki Amerika yang terbuka, baru, kuat dan peduli,”

“Saya ingin menyampaikan pada Anda, atas nama saya dan atas nama rakyat Prancis, semoga Anda meraih sukses besar sebagai pemimpi negara Amerika,” ujar Sarkozy

– Perdana Menteri Inggris Gordon Brown

presiden baru AS tersebut merupakan “orang dengan visi dan tujuan moral yang hebat”.
“Seluruh dunia menyaksikan inaugurasi Presiden Obama, menyaksikan babak baru dalam sejarah Amerika dan sejarah dunia,” .
“Dia bukan cuma presiden kulit hitam pertama Amerika tapi dia juga memulai dengan tekad untuk menyelesaikan masalah-masalah dunia,” imbuh Gordon.

– Sekjen PBB Ban Ki-moon

“Saya tulus berharap bahwa Presiden Obama akan memprioritaskan kebijakan Timur Tengah,”

– PM Australia Kevin Rudd

“Australia selalu siap bekerja sama dengan Amerika dalam tantangan-tantangan hebat yang ada di depan,” .

– PM Israel Ehud Olmert

“Demokrasi terbesar di dunia itu sekali lagi membuktikan bahwa mereka adalah lentera dan contoh bagi banyak negara,”.
“Seluruh negara Israel bersuka cita dengan AS dan menyambut Presiden Obama yang telah diambil sumpahnya,” tandasnya.
“Perjalanan Barack Obama ke Gedung Putih telah mengesankan dan menginspirasi seluruh dunia. Saya yakin ikatan AS yang mendalam dan kuat dengan Israel akan semakin menguat,” pungkas pemimpin negeri Yahudi itu.

Komentar saya ?

“Jadilah jati diri anda sendiri”

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Barack Obama memang menjadi sebuah ikon baru pemimpin dimuka bumi ini, beberapa fenomena yang terpendam dibawah bara sekam selama ini berhasil didobraknya, seperti dia seorang yang berasal dari ras kulit bewarna berhasil merengkuh keangkuhan tembok Capitol Hill yang beberapa masa nan lalu sepertinya mustahil diduduki oleh para pengikut Martin Luther King. Selain itu Obama juga seorang pemimpin yang masih Balita (dibawah lima puluh tahun), seorang orator ulung, penulis laris, pemain basket, penyayang keluarga, pembawa suara perubahan, dan sederat logo lainnya buat Obama. (tentu semua itu belumlah bisa menjadi garansi buat kesuksesan Obama untuk memimpin USA kedepannya dan membawa suara kedamaian bagi negara negara yang menjadi korban kebijakan USA selama ini………. semua masih dalam tanda ?)

Ada beberapa hal yang bisa kita ambil pelajaran positif dari Barack Obama bagi calon Presiden di Republik Indonesia tercinta ini, seperti :

– Menjadikan Hillary Clinton rival terberatnya dalam menuju pencalonan presiden USA dari partai demokrat sebagai Menteri Luar Negeri, begitu dia dinyatakan keluar sebagai pemenang calon Presiden dari partainya, dia langsung menghampiri Hillary dan menyatakan “saya bangga dan terhormat bisa bertarung dengan anda”.

– Seusai dilantik menjadi Presiden USA, dia mengantarkan Bush beserta istrinya langsung sampai depan pintu masuk helikopter yang terparkir di dekat Gedung Putih. Sebelum masuk ke dalam helikopter dan tinggal landas mereka saling cipika-cipiki.

Bagaimana dengan calon Presiden dinegara kita ? semoga sedikit pelajaran dari Obama ini bisa menjadikan negara kita memiliki pemimpin yang bermartabat sepanjang masa. Jangan ambil pelajaran Goerge W.Bush yang pergi dengan membawa bau wangi kaos kaki………………..

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Washington – Presiden terpilih AS Barack Obama akan menyampaikan pidato pentingnya dalam seremoni inaugurasinya pada 20 Januari ini. Lantas siapa yang menulis pidato Obama tersebut?

Dia adalah Jon Favreau yang usianya baru 27 tahun. Pria AS itu disebut-sebut sebagai penulis termuda pidato pelantikan Presiden AS.

Jon sebelumnya bekerja sebagai staf mantan calon presiden Demokrat John Kerry pada tahun 2004. Oleh Obama, dia ditunjuk sebagai direktur penulisan pidato. Sejak itu, Jon menjalin hubungan kerja yang sangat erat dengan Obama.

Banyak yang menyebut Obama sebagai presiden yang paling pintar menulis sejak mendiang mantan presiden AS Abraham Lincoln. Ini terbukti dengan dua buku hasil karya Obama yang laku keras di AS dan dunia.

Obama pun pernah menyusun sendiri sejumlah keseluruhan pidato pentingnya. Namun sejak kampanye pemilihan presiden kian intensif tahun lalu, Jon diminta memimpin tim penulis yang membantu menyusun kata-kata pidato Obama.

Pada kebanyakan pidato, termasuk pidato pelantikan nanti, Obama lebih dulu menulis draf pertama atau garis besar pidato dan kemudian menyerahkannya ke Jon. Setelah itu Jon akan menuliskan pidato dan menyerahkannya kembali pada Obama untuk diperiksa. Proses ini bisa terjadi berulang-ulang hingga Obama merasa puas dengan teks pidatonya. Karena itu proses ini bisa memakan waktu berminggu-minggu.

Menurut sejumlah penulis pidato, Jon beruntung karena bekerja dengan seorang presiden yang memperlakukan para penulisnya dengan baik.

“Nixon memperlakukan penulisnya seperti pembuat iklan,” cetus Michael Gerson, mantan penulis pidato Presiden George W Bush seperti dilansir harian Telegraph, Selasa (20/1/2009).

“Semua orang membutuhkan penulis pidato. Anda tak bisa melakukannya sendiri kecuali Anda adalah Lincoln,” imbuhnya.

Sesuai tradisi, pidato pelantikan presiden AS durasinya tak lebih dari 15 menit. Obama pun sadar benar arti penting pidato pelantikannya nanti. Apalagi putri sulungnya, Malia (10) telah mengingatkan Obama soal itu. “Selaku Presiden Amerika-Afrika pertama, itu harus bagus,” kata Malia pada ayahnya.
(detik.com)

—————————————————————
PIDATO ABAMA

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and co-operation he has shown throughout this transition. Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms.

At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because we, the people, have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

Serious challenges

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the

ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land – a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

“We have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord”

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America – they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

Nation of ‘risk-takers’

We remain a young nation, but in the words of scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted – for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things – some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labour, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and travelled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and ploughed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

‘Remaking America’

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

“The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift”

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions – that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act – not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All this we will do.

Restoring trust

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions – who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply.

“We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals”

The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account – to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control – that a nation cannot prosper long when it favours only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart – not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

‘Ready to lead’

As for our common defence, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more.

” We will not apologise for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defence”

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with the sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint. We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort – even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the spectre of a warming planet. We will not apologise for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defence, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

‘Era of peace’

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West – know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

‘Duties’

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honour them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment – a moment that will define a generation – it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

“What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility”

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends – honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism – these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths.

What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility – a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

‘Gift of freedom’

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence – the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed – why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have travelled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

“Let it be told to the future world… that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive… that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.

Sumber : BBC News

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Program Obama

PROGRAM OBAMA ;

Pidato Obama dalam penutupan Konvensi Nasional Partai Demokrat yang dilangsungkan di Invesco Field Denver, yang disaksikan oleh lebih kurang 84.000 orang plus jutaan rakyat amerika lewat layar televisi, menyampaikan beberapa programnya jika terpilih menjadi Presiden USA, diantaranya ;

– Potongan Pajak 95 % untuk keluarga Buruh

– Penarikan Pasukan dari Irak dalam batas waktu 16 Bulan

– Melepaskan ketergantungan Minyak dari Timur Tengah dalam jangka waktu 10 tahun

– Menciptakan 5 juta lowongan pekerjaan dalam 10 tahun disektor energi terbarukan melalui investasi 150 milliar dolar AS.

– Siap menyandang Panglima tertinggi dan berunding tegas dengan musuh musuh Amerika Serikat dan menciduk Osama Bin Laden

– Mendukung Homoseksual

– Menyiapkan sistem pendidikan anak berkelas dunia

– Menaikkan gaji guru

– Memulihkan harga diri bangsa

– Menyiapkan paket jaminan kesehatan yang terjangkau rakyat

…….

Sepertinya program program Obama sangat membumi dan terukur serta menyentuh persolan pokok utama bangsanya yang perlu diperbaiki dan diperbaharui….

Bagaimana dengan program program para Kandidat Presiden kita ?

semoga juga berbobot, terukur dan menyentuh akar masalah utama kemiskinan yang mendera bangsa kita

semoga tidak hanya janji janji penglipur lara semata

semoga tidak hanya sekedar pepesan kosong meraih tumpukan suara

S e m o g a………….

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Sarah Palin

Calon wakil presiden AS dari partai Republik John McCain membuat kejutan besar dalam pertarungan merebut kekuasaan di Gedung Putih dengan menunjuk Sarah Palin sebagai calon wakil presidennya. Sarah Palin merupakan gubernur perempuan pertama di negara bagian yang kaya akan minyak, Alaska.

“Gubernur Palin merupakan eksekutif tangguh yang telah membuktikan diri selama masa baktinya bahwa ia telah siap menempati tampuk kekuasaan tertinggi di Gedung Putih,” kata kubu kampanye McCain.”Palin telah menyatukan Republik dan Demokrat di masa kekuasaannya dan mempunyai catatan kesuksesan dalam menyampaikan perubahan dan pembaharuan yang diperlukan di Washington.”

Penunjukkan Palin (44), seorang ibu dengan 5 anak, menandai resiko politik besar yang ditempuh McCain. Penunjukkan Palin dinilai akan menghambat upaya McCain untuk menjaring suara dari pendukung Hillary Rodham Clinton yang tak rela menyumbang suaranya bagi Barack Obama.

Palin yang baru pertama kali menjabat sebagai gubernur di Alaska sejak tahun 2006 tidak mempunyai pengalaman politik nasional. Namun kubu kampanye McCain berusaha membela keputusannya dengan menyatakan Palin, sebagai gubernur Alaska, mempunyai pengalaman luas di isu energi, isu penting dalam agenda pemilihan presiden di tengah melambungnya harga bahan bakar dan kelesuan ekonomi AS.

Palin adalah gubernur aktif pertama yang mengalahkan gubernur yang masih menjabat Frank Murkowski dalam primari Partai Republik pada 2006 dan kemudian mengalahkan mantan gubernur Tony Knowles, dalam pemilihan umum.

Ia akan menjadi perempuan pertama yang dicalonkan sebagai wakil presiden sebagai anggota Partai Republik dan orang kedua yang dicalonkan sebagai wakil presiden, setelah Geraldine Gerraro dari Partai Demokrat pada 1984.

Palin juga akan menjadi orang Alaska pertama yang meraih tiket itu untuk partai mana pun. Ia mengukir namanya dalam partai dengan mendukung standard etik keras bagi politisi.

Banyak pengulas mengatakan dengan memilih Palin, McCain tampaknya melancarkan upaya terpadu untuk merangkul mantan pendukung Senator Hillary Clinton yang mungkin tak suka memilih Senator Barack Obama sebagai calon presiden Partai Demokrat.

Sarah Palin menikah dengan Todd Palin, operator produksi minyak di North Slope, Alaska. Mereka memiliki lima anak, termasuk seorang putra yang mendaftar ke Angkatan Darat tahun lalu.

Sarah Palin, yang tak banyak dikenal di luar Alaska, adalah anggota lama National Rifle Association, yang berhaluan kanan, dan ikut dalam dua dalam kegiatan populer di negara bagian tersebut –memancing dan berburu, demikian biografinya di laman Internet gubernur.

Palin telah memusatkan perhatian pada kebijakan sumber daya alam dan energi selama masa jabatan singkatnya, dan ia dikenal sebagai pendukung pengeboran di Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, satu posisi yang ditentang oleh McCain tapi didukung oleh banyak masyarakat madani Republik.

McCain dan Palin direncanakan secara resmi menerima pencalonan sebagai presiden dan wakil presiden pada Konvensi Nasional Partai Republik 1-4 September di St. Paul, Minnesota.

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