Welcoming #TeamUSA to the White House

Today, the White House welcomed members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams to the White House to honor their participation and success in this year’s Games in Rio. As the President said at the reception, this is the last time during his presidency that he’ll welcome Olympians and Paralympians at the White House.

Take a look at how President Obama and First Lady welcomed #TeamUSA for the last time and some of the highlights from today’s visit:

Watch: The President honors the Olympic and Paralympic teams 

Read the President’s remarks to the 2016 USA Olympic and Paralympic Teams


The #FinalFive Takeover Instagram 

 

Hi @Instagram! The #FinalFive here, taking over the account as @TeamUSA visits the White House today for a ceremony with President Obama. We were so honored to represent the United States in #Rio2016 and we couldn't be more excited to be here! Stay tuned as we show you what’s up at the White House. @usagym #TeamUSA

 

It's a little nervewracking to meet the President of the United States, so we're getting into the zone the only way we know how. #FinalFive #TeamUSA

The White House East Wing is where many of the big events take place in the White House. @LaurieHernandez_ decided to take advantage of the dance floor in the State Dining Room. #FinalFive #TeamUSA

Final 5- Instagram takeover

That's a wrap! We’d like to think we stuck this takeover. And President Obama gave his best shot to a split with us today, too. Thanks so much to the President, First Lady @MichelleObama, and @VP for having us. #FinalFive out!

Aly

Laurie 1

Laurie 2

Madison


Want to see more? Watch the White House Snapchat for an inside look at today’s visit.

 

 

Jazmin Kay is an intern in the Office of Digital Strategy. 

Continue reading…

 

John Bolton: Bill Allowing 9/11 Families to Sue Saudi Arabia Is a ‘Cruel Hoax’

Screenshot
Appearing on Thursday’s edition of Breitbart News Daily with SiriusXM host Alex Marlow, former U.N. Ambassador and American Enterprise Institute senior fellow John Bolton discussed the latest developments on the international scene, including the congressional override of President Obama’s veto against the bill allowing 9/11 families to file suit against Saudi Arabia.
Continue reading…

 

Third Estimate of Gross Domestic Product for the Second Quarter of 2016

Second-quarter economic growth was revised to 1.4 percent at an annual rate in the third estimate, up 0.3 percentage point from the second estimate. Consumer spending grew strongly at 4.3 percent in the second quarter—its second-fastest quarterly growth since 2006—and, in contrast to recent quarters, net exports and business fixed investment also added to GDP growth. Some of this growth was offset by a large decline in inventory investment (one of the most volatile components of GDP), along with declines in residential investment and government spending. Overall, growth in the most stable and persistent components of output—consumption and fixed investment—was revised up to 3.2 percent. Today’s report underscores that there is more work to do, and the President will continue to take steps to strengthen economic growth and boost living standards by promoting greater competition across the economy; supporting innovation; and calling on Congress to increase investments in infrastructure and to pass the high-standards Trans-Pacific Partnership.

FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS (BEA)

1. Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased 1.4 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter of 2016, according to BEA’s third estimate. Consumer spending grew 4.3 percent, well above its pace over the prior four quarters, with faster growth in both durable and nondurable goods spending. In addition, export growth was positive in the second quarter, and net exports contributed positively to GDP growth. Nonresidential fixed investment increased modestly in the second quarter, with strong growth in intellectual property products investment (see point 4 below) offset by continued weakness in both structures and equipment investment. Inventory investment—one of the most volatile components of GDP—subtracted 1.2 percentage points from GDP growth. Residential investment contracted following eight straight quarters of increases.

Real Gross Domestic Income (GDI)—an alternative measure of output—decreased 0.2 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter. (In theory, GDP and GDI should be equal, but in practice they usually differ because they use different data sources and methods.) The average of real GDP and real GDI, which CEA refers to as real Gross Domestic Output (GDO), increased 0.6 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter. CEA research suggests that GDO is a better measure of economic activity than GDP (though not typically stronger or weaker).

Real GDP and GDO Growth, 2007-2016

2. Second-quarter real GDP growth was revised up 0.3 percentage point, though the overall pattern of growth remained largely unchanged following revisions. Revisions in the third estimate included an upward revision to nonresidential fixed investment (which now is estimated to have made a positive contribution to GDP growth), reflecting a smaller contraction in structures investment than originally estimated. Smaller upward revisions to exports and inventory investment were partly offset by a small downward revision to the services component of consumer spending.

In today’s release, BEA revised down its estimate of real GDI growth in the second quarter from an increase of 0.2 percent to a decrease of 0.2 percent due to a downward revision to State-level data on indirect business taxes.

Revisions to Real GDP Growth in 2016:Q2

3. Real personal consumption expenditures, which account for over two-thirds of GDP, grew 4.3 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter, supported by rising real incomes. The second quarter of 2016 ranked as the second-strongest quarter for consumer spending growth since 2006. Consumer spending contributed 2.9 percentage points to GDP growth in the second quarter, reflecting improved economic conditions for many households. This month, the Census Bureau reported that real median household income increased 5.2 percent from 2014 to 2015, the fastest annual growth on record. Data from 2016—including a continued solid pace of job growth and a noticeable pickup in real hourly earnings—point to further strong gains in household incomes. The chart below shows four-quarter percent changes in real consumer spending and in aggregate real wages and salaries paid by domestic employers. The two series tend to move closely together, though the correlation between the two fell during the 2000s business cycle, as growth in consumer spending far outpaced growth in real aggregate wages and salaries. This was likely due to the rapid accumulation of household debt during this period, which sustained the faster growth in consumption. Deleveraging by households over the recession and the recovery has sharply increased the correlation of growth in wages and consumer spending in the current business cycle, such that recent gains in real incomes are likely to support continued strength in consumer spending growth in future quarters.

Growth in Real Consumer Spending and Real Wages and Salaries

4. Real private investment in research and development (R&D) made a larger contribution to GDP growth in the second quarter than in any previous quarter on record. Private R&D investment contributed 0.28 percentage point to overall GDP growth, accounting for most of the 9.0-percent growth in intellectual property products (IPP) investment and offsetting weakness in other components of business fixed investment. Private R&D investment grew at a 17.0-percent annual rate in the second quarter, the second-fastest quarterly growth since 1960. Private R&D investment has reached an all-time high as a share of overall output. Although this share (1.8 percent) is still relatively small, increased investment in R&D can help boost productivity growth in the future, which will be needed to help reverse the slowdown across advanced economies in the last decade.

Real Private Investment in Research and Development: Contribution to Real GDP Growth

5. Real private domestic final purchases (PDFP)—the sum of consumption and fixed investment—rose 3.2 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter, noticeably faster than overall GDP growth. PDFP—which excludes more volatile components of GDP like net exports and inventory investment, as well as government spending—is generally a more reliable indicator of next-quarter GDP growth than current GDP. In the second quarter, the divergence between the strong contribution of PDFP to growth and the relatively slower growth of overall real GDP was largely accounted for by the large negative contribution of inventory investment. Overall, PDFP rose 2.3 percent over the past four quarters, above the pace of GDP growth over the same period.

Real Private Domestic Final Purchases Growth, 2007-2016

As the Administration stresses every quarter, GDP figures can be volatile and are subject to substantial revision. Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any single report, and it is informative to consider each report in the context of other data as they become available.

Continue reading…

 

Gold Star Mom To Obama: Why Don’t You Use The Term ‘Islamic Terrorist’? Obama Says Issue ‘Sort of Manufactured’

Screenshot
During Wednesday’s Presidential Town Hall on CNN, President Obama was asked by Gold Star mother Tina Houchins why he doesn’t use the term “Islamic terrorist,” which Obama stated was a “sort of manufactured” issue before outlining the reasons why he doesn’t use the term. Houchins asked, “As a Gold Star mother, my son gave his life for acts of terrorism. Do you still believe that the acts of terrorism are done with a self-proclaimed Islamic religious motives? And if you do, why do you refuse to use the term racially — I’m sorry, ‘Islamic terrorist?’” Obama responded, after thanking Houchins for her son’s service and praising Gold Star parents, “[T]he truth of the matter is is that this is an issue that has been sort of manufactured, because, there is no doubt, and I’ve said repeatedly, that, where we see terrorist organizations like al Qaeda or ISIL, they have perverted and distorted and tried to claim the mantle of Islam for an excuse for basically, barbarism and death. These are people who kill children, kill Muslims, take sex slaves. There’s no religious rationale that would justify in any way any of the things that they do. But, what I have been careful
Continue reading…

 

Obama Urges Military to Listen to Colin Kaepernick Protest

Obama Fort Lee AP
During a town hall with members of the military, President Obama was asked what he thought of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest against the national anthem prior to football games. Obama appeared to equate the two positions — pointing out that he wanted Kaepernick to understand why people might be angry at his protest, while also urging military families to listen to the NFL players who joined Kaepernick by drawing attention to the Black Lives Matter movement. “I want Mr. Kaepernick and others who are on a knee, I want them to listen to the pain that that may cause somebody who for example had a spouse or a child who was killed in combat and why it hurts them to see somebody not standing,” he said. “But I also want people to think about the pain that he may be expressing about somebody whose lost a loved one that they think was unfairly shot.” Obama made his comments during a town hall at Fort Lee led by CNN host Jake Tapper. The president explained that allowing Kaepernick to protest was “part of what makes this country special” and called it an important symbol of free speech. “The test of our fidelity
Continue reading…

 

Obama: Veto Override ‘a Mistake,’ ‘Dangerous Precedent’

Obama928
Wednesday at a town hall set to air on CNN later in the evening, President Barack Obama responded to Congress’ override of his veto of legislation that would allow families of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks to sue Saudi Arabia. According to Obama, the veto was “a mistake” and he attributed Congress’ decision to what he called a political vote. “I think it was a mistake, and I understand why it happened,” Obama said. “Obviously all of us still carry the scars and trauma of 9/11.” He went on to call it a “dangerous precedent” as well. “It’s a dangerous precedent and it’s an example why sometimes you have to do what’s hard,” Obama said. “And frankly I wish Congress here had done what’s hard. I didn’t expect it, because if you’re perceived as voting against 9/11 families right before an election, not surprisingly, that’s a vote for people to take. But it would have been the right thing to do.” Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor
Continue reading…