Obama Funny Pics Biography
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Obama defended the NSA's program, which includes email monitoring and telephone wiretapping, during a visit to Germany that June. "We are not rifling through the emails of German citizens or American citizens or French citizens or anyone else,” he said, according to the Financial Times."The encroachment on privacy has been strictly limited." Obama stated that the program has helped stop roughly 50 threats.
In early July 2013, President Obama made history when he joined former President George W. Bush in Africa to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Osama bin Laden's first U.S. attack. The event marked the first meeting between two U.S. presidents on foreign soil in commemoration of an act of terrorism.
Later that month, Obama spoke out about the Trayvon Martin murder trial and the outrage that followed the jury's verdict. His shooter George Zimmerman was acquitted of killing the African American teen in Florida. In a White House press conference, the president said that "when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago." Obama explained that this particular case was a state matter, but he discussed how the federal government could address some of the legislative and racial issues brought up by this situation.
Obama found himself grappling with an international crisis in late August and September 2013. It was discovered that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons against civilians. According to the White House website, Obama said that "thousands of people, including over 400 children," had been killed in these attacks. Syria's actions present "a serious national security threat to the United States and to the region, and as a consequence, Assad and Syria needs to be held accountable." The president then worked to persuade Congress and the international community at large to take action against Syria.
As the positions of the members of Congress revealed that the majority was in favor of refraining from striking Syria, Obama announced an alternative solution. During an address on forthcoming action against Syria made on September 10, 2013, Obama stated that if al-Assad agreed with the stipulations outlined in a proposal made by Russia to give up its chemical weapons, then a direct strike against the nation could be avoided. Al-Assad acknowledged the possession of chemical weapons and was receptive to the idea of a proposal from Russia, however Obama stated that "It's too early to tell whether this offer will succeed, and any agreement must verify that the Assad regime keeps its commitments."
Later that month, Obama made diplomatic strides with Iran. He spoke with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani on the phone, which marked the first time the leaders of the two countries have had direct contact in decades. This groundbreaking move by Obama is seen by many as a sign of thawing in the relationship between the United States and Iran. According to an NBC News report, Obama said that "The two of us discussed our ongoing efforts to reach an agreement over Iran's nuclear program." Obama expressed some optimism that a deal on the issue could be reached.
Obama found himself struggling on the domestic front in October 2013. There was a 16-day shutdown of the federal government, which was caused by a dispute over the federal budget. Republicans especially wanted to defund or otherwise derail Obama's Affordable Care Act. After a deal had been reached to end the shutdown, Obama used his weekly address to express his frustration over the situation and his desire for political reform. "The way business is done in Washington has to change. Now that these clouds of crisis and uncertainty have lifted, we need to focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do—grow the economy, create good jobs, strengthen the middle class, lay the foundation for broad-based prosperity, and get our fiscal house in order for the long haul."
The Affordable Care Act continued to come under fire in October after the failed launch of HealthCare.gov, which was meant to help people find health insurance. Extra technical support was brought in to work on the troubled website after users encountered difficulty with it in its early days. The act also seemed to impact the existing insurance policies of many Americans, causing them to lose coverage. According to the Chicago Tribune, Obama insisted that his legislation didn't cause the coverage change, the insurance companies did. He said, "Remember, before the Affordable Care Act, these bad-apple insurers had free rein every single year to limit the care that you received, or used minor pre-existing conditions to jack up your premiums, or bill you into bankruptcy."