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January 24, 2017 / 26 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Oval Office’

Inauguration Day Has Arrived for President-elect Donald J. Trump

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Despite all the outrage, fear and hysteria in Hollywood, Inauguration Day somehow managed to arrive in America anyway. A number of Israeli officials — including for the first time ever, members of Israel’s Knesset and representatives from Judea and Samaria — are among the guests invited by President-elect Donald J. Trump.

The lead-up events to the ceremony began on time Thursday afternoon with the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Ceremony to honor America’s fallen soldiers.

At 4 pm, President-elect Donald Trump kicked off the inaugural festivities with a brief address before a televised concert outside the Lincoln Memorial that was free to the public in Washington DC. Performers at the event were country vocalist Toby Keith, the group ‘3 Doors Down’ and others.

At 7:30 pm the families of the president-elect and vice-president-elect made a special appearance at a candlelight dinner held at Union Station to thank donors at the Inauguration.

The evening wound down with the first and second families-elect preparing for their Big Day ahead.

On Friday (Jan. 20) Inauguration Day itself is to begin at 8:30 am with prayers at St. John’s Episcopal Church, near Blair House in Washington DC, where the families will reflect in prayer on the task that awaits them.

Tradition holds that the two incoming and outgoing presidents meet together at the White House with their wives for coffee at 9:30 am prior to the Inauguration Ceremony.

Custom dictates that the two presidents then ride together down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol, where the swearing-in ceremony is to take place.

Six different clerics representing separate faiths will be on hand to offer blessings at the ceremony, which begins at 11:30 am. Officials and dignitaries will gather on the West Front of the Capitol as U.S. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, chairman of the Congressional Inaugural Committee, delivers remarks. Jackie Evancho will sing the Star-Spangled Banner, and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and The Rockettes will perform.

At approximately 12 noon, Chief Justice John G. Roberts will administer the oath of office as Donald J. Trump places his hand on his childhood Bible, and that of President Abraham Lincoln. After the oath of office, President Trump will deliver his Inaugural Address.

Following the speech by President Trump, his predecessor, former President Obama, will depart with his family from the East Front of the Capitol.

A luncheon will be held for dignitaries, government leaders and friends in the Capitol Rotunda, to be followed by the president’s review of the American armed forces from the East Front.

President Trump and Vice President [Mike] Pence will then lead the Inaugural Parade from the Capitol, down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. They will be followed by thousands of members of each branch of the military and upon their arrival, will watch the rest of the parade from a reviewing stand at the White House.

From 7 pm onward, President and First Lady Trump will be on their feet dancing. Two official balls will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, on separate floors, and a third one – the Armed Services Ball – will be held at the National Building Museum. The President and First Lady are expected to appear, and grace the dance floor at all three.

Inauguration Day does not end when the clock strikes midnight.

On Saturday morning at 10 am, the National Prayer Service is to be held at the Washington National Cathedral, where President Trump and Vice President Pence are to officially begin their terms in prayer. It is only with the start of the weekend and the end of the festivities in prayer and reflection that the Inaugural Day can truly be called to a close.

Protesters can then officially begin their own schedules; literally hundreds of thousands of demonstrators are expected to descend upon Washington DC for that purpose this weekend.

Hana Levi Julian

UK to Loan Bust of Winston Churchill After Trump Requests Its Return to White House

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

After an exile of nearly eight years, a bust of Sir Winston Churchill created by artist Sir Jacob Epstein will be returned “on loan” to the White House upon the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.

The bust was originally presented as a gift to former President George W. Bush in July 2001 by then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and displayed by President Bush in the Oval Office for the length of both of his terms in office, from 2001 to 2009.

But President Barack Obama handed the famous sculpture back to the United Kingdom in 2009, replacing it instead with one of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Although Mr. Obama said at a press conference that he had a second one in his private residence at the White House, the move was seen by outraged British citizens and lawmakers as a “snub to Britain.”

Since that time the Churchill bust has remained at the British Embassy in Washington DC.

Sir Winston Churchill, a Tory politician, served as the prime minister of the United Kingdom during the Holocaust of World War II — from 1940 to 1945 — and again from 1951 to 1955. He led England through the bombing raids by the German war machine, among other difficult moments in history.

Sir Winston had an American mother, and is the only person ever to have been granted an honorary U.S. passport. He passed away in 1965 at the age of 90 on the anniversary of the death of his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, also a Tory politician.

President-elect Trump is said to be a great admirer of the late British prime minister, and has read British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson’s biography of Churchill. During talks at Trump Tower in New York a week ago, Trump advisers Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon asked the British foreign minister on behalf of the president-elect to return the bust.

A spokesperson for British Prime Minister Theresa May responded in a statement quoted by The Sun, “The prime minister is happy to loan the Churchill bust to the White House and will be delighted to view it on display when she visits this spring.”

Hana Levi Julian

Watch: The White House Kitchen is ‘Kosherized’ for A Hanukkah Party [video]

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

Watch as the White House kitchen is prepared for the final Hanukkah Party to be held by President Barack Obama. In the United States, the occupants of the White House change every four to eight years. But in Jewish life, some things never change.

Among those eternal standards are the essentials of how to kosher a non-kosher kitchen in order to be able to prepare kosher food for Jewish festivities.

Chabad-Lubavitch emissary Rabbi Levi Shemtov, who annually supervises the process, says that for him, as an American Jew, “it’s a distinct honor to oversee the kosherizing of what is the most important kitchen in the country.”

Rabbi Shemtov explains in a video what is done before White House Executive Chief Christeta Comerford gets started.

One thing is for certain: Jewish guests who observe the kosher dietary laws and attend the White House Hanukkah party don’t suffer any hunger pangs or miss out on any treats.

Hana Levi Julian

Trump’s 6-Point Policy Action Plan for Day 1 at the Oval Office [video]

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump released a video message Monday updating Americans on the status of the transition process.

Trump sketched out an outline of his initial plans for the first 100 days in office upon entering the White House when he is inaugurated on January 20, 2017.

“My agenda will be based on a simple core principle: putting America first,” Trump stated.

“Whether it’s producing steel, building cars or curing disease, I want the next generation of production and innovation to happen right here in our great homeland, America, creating wealth and jobs for American workers.”

The six-point plan that Trump pledged to implement on Day One is as follows:

“On energy, I will cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy — including shale energy and clean coal — creating many millions of high-paying jobs. That’s what we want, that’s what we’ve been waiting for.

“On regulation, I will formulate a rule which says that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated, it’s so important.

“On national security, I will ask the Department of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to develop a comprehensive plan to protect America’s vital infrastructure from cyber-attacks, and all other form of attacks.

“On immigration, I will direct the Department of Labor to investigate all abuses of visa programs that undercut the American worker.

“On ethics reform, as part of our plan to ‘Drain the Swamp’ we will impose a five-year ban on executive officials becoming lobbyists after they leave the administration — and a lifetime ban on executive officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.”

By last Friday, Trump had already spoken by phone with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stolzenberg, assuring him that America would fulfill its commitments to the organization and protect Europe’s security, although he reminded the NATO leader the U.S. would not cover the extra costs involved.

Hana Levi Julian

Trump Appoints Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Michael Flynn as Natl Security Adviser

Friday, November 18th, 2016

Interviews, meetings and consultations are continuing back-to-back at Trump Tower in New York City as the Trump transition team moves to fill thousands of positions by January 20, 2017, when President-elect Donald J. Trump when move into the Oval Office in Washington DC.

On Thursday, Lt.-Gen. Michael Flynn was offered the post of National Security Adviser by the president-elect, Fox News confirmed, noting the appointment came amid meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and numerous others.

Although there was speculation that Flynn was under consideration for the position of Defense Secretary, Fox News pointed out that the position of National Security Adviser, a pivotal post, does not require Senate confirmation, allowing Flynn to get down to work immediately.

Flynn, 57, served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2012 to 2014; he left that position, having been terminated after a disagreement with Obama administration officials.

The National Security Adviser coordinates all the security agencies.

Flynn, a three-star general (retired), spoke in favor of Trump at the Republican National Convention in July, and like Trump has said in a recently published book that the United States is losing a “world war” against radical Islam due to “political correctness.”

Flynn also considers Iran to be a real, exceptional threat to the State of Israel, that regional threats to Israel are generated by Iran, and has told a Congressional committee in the past that he believes the United States should take steps to deal with those threats.

Hana Levi Julian

Obama Says Trump is ‘Pragmatic, Not Ideological,’ Will Learn On The Job

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

U.S. President Barack Obama made an extra effort Monday (Nov. 14) to build a positive image of a seamless transition to the new president-elect, using a White House briefing to list the accomplishments of “his team” while taking a philosophical stance about the incoming administration.

The president held a wide-ranging news conference, allowing plenty of time to answer questions from the White House press corps about his still-evolving reactions to the election of President-elect Donald Trump. The briefing came just hours before he boarded the plane for his final trip overseas as president.

The six-day journey will include meetings in Greece, Germany and Peru with European leaders, China’s president and Australia’s prime minister.

At every stop, Obama will also need to talk about his successor, and to try to reverse some of the damage done from prior remarks abroad in which he underlined how completely unprepared Trump is to lead America.

Obama began that process at home in the White House before boarding Air Force One, with many positive remarks about his recent meeting with the president-elect.

“I don’t think he is ideological, I think ultimately he is pragmatic,” Obama told reporters, “… and that can serve him well, as long as he has got good people around him, and he has a good sense of direction.”

He also said that he believes Trump is entering office with “fewer set hard and fast policy prescriptions than a lot of other presidents might be arriving with. Do I have concerns? Absolutely, of course I’ve got concerns. He and I differ on a whole bunch of issues,” he said.

However, Obama repeatedly ducked questions from numerous reporters who tried to pin him down on whether or not he still believes Trump is “unfit” to be president, as Obama had said during the campaign.

He also refused to comment on any of Trump’s appointments, saying, “I think it is important for us to let him make his decisions.

“This office has a way of waking you up,” he added with the ghost of an ironic chuckle. “Those aspects of his positions or his predispositions that don’t match up with reality, he will find shaken up pretty quick, because reality has a way of asserting itself,” he said.

Hana Levi Julian

Obama, Merkel Won’t ‘Allow Borders of Europe To Be Redrawn by Barrel of a Gun’

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed Monday they would stand together in the battle to restrain Russia from swallowing European territory again.

Speaking with reporters following a meeting Monday at the Oval Office, Obama said he was “very encouraged about the extent to which we’ve been able to maintain U.S.-European unity on this issue.

“We are in absolute agreement that the 21st century cannot have us stand idle and allow the borders of Europe to be redrawn by the barrel of a gun,” Obama said.

But the president added there were “tactical disagreements” on how to proceed, should diplomatic efforts fail to resolve the crisis between pro-Russia separatists and Ukraine.

With the suggestion that military aid to Ukraine could be considered, “The possibility of lethal defensive weapons is one of those options that’s being examined,” Obama said.

No decision has yet been made about that choice, however, which Merkel opposes.

“I’ve always said I don’t see a military solution in this conflict but we have to put all our efforts behind a diplomatic solution,” she said, speaking in German. “But if, at a certain point in time one has to say that a success is not possible, even if one puts every effort into it, then the United States and Europe have to sit together and try and explore further possibilities, what one can do.”

Talks in Munich and Kiev proved fruitless last week. A new attempt will be made this Wednesday in Minsk.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-merkel-wont-allow-borders-of-europe-to-be-redrawn-by-barrel-of-a-gun/2015/02/10/

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