President Obama

A New Friend

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Facebook has gained a powerful new friend.

The social media giant averages one billion users per day. Now it can add one more person to that list, President Barack Obama. The dad, husband and 44th president of the United States, according to his profile, is now an official user.

And for anyone thinking they'll just get the run of the mill PR posts think again. The page is not a campaign page or a white house run staff page. Instead it's an outlet for President Obama to be himself and talk directly to the people. So far his first post includes a video of himself taking a stroll through his very large and very impressive backyard. In the video he talks about squirrels, a fox named Lincoln and carbon emissions.  read more »

Powerful Salaries

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They might rule some of the most powerful countries on earth; but some of them get paid less than a full time nanny.

President Obama has arguably one of the toughest jobs in the world. And for his troubles he pulls in $400,000 a year. A salary that is paid by tax paying citizens. Broken down into an hourly amount, the president makes $220 an hour for a forty hour week.

Of course this isn't the first family's only source of income. The President and Mrs. Obama both pull in royalties from books, speaking fees, and personal investments. When he leaves office the president will have an estimated net worth of $14 million.  read more »

Presidential Firsts

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It takes a certain person to rise to the rank of commander in chief; but even they have a few things to learn.

Every president needs to pick up a few tricks of the trade while in oval office; and for some of them that includes the biggest inventions of our time. For example William Henry Harrison, the 9th president of the United States was the first sitting president to be photographed. But the photo from that day has been lost. So a photo of John Quincy Adams taken long after his time in office was over is considered the first photograph of a president.  read more »

Cyber Security

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The world of cyber space is getting its own police department.

Following the recent hackings into Sony, Anthem, Target and of course the U.S. government the Obama administration is taking action. Earlier this week it announced the creation of the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center. Its job will be to connect the dots between various cyber threats to the country so that affected agencies are notified as quickly as possible and can take action.  read more »

Technical Politics

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A new San Francisco based startup is providing politics with another platform.

In November I attended a tech summit in Dublin, Ireland. I spoke with Matt Mahan and James Windon of Brigade. A company that is set to launch sometime this year and will give people an easy and social way to take action on issues they are about. Right now the company is still working on its commercial revenue model and Windon, the company’s president says their strategy is about matchmaking, and not persuasion.

“What we’re trying to do is understand people’s political views and match them with candidates that share those views.”  read more »

Presidential Down Time

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Everyone needs a little down time; but if you’re the leader of the free world it could be hard to come by.

Over the course of his two terms in the White House President Obama has started to look his age, or even a few years past it. Understandable when you consider he’s running the entire country during years that have included war, recession and terror threats. So how does our commander in chief take advantage of the few vacation days he manages to squeeze in?  read more »

Brigade

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A San Francisco startup is getting political with technology.

“Our fundamental belief is that the political system is broken. It’s not working for people anymore. We see incredible high levels of cynicism, apathy, low participation rates and a general sense that government can’t solve the biggest problems that we face.”

Matt Mahan is CEO of Brigade. A company set to launch sometime this year that will provide voters with the platform they need to get involved. And it’s an idea that can’t come fast enough for politicians. Only 25% of registered voters cast ballots in the June third primary election. Mahan says that’s a sign that voter apathy is at an all-time high.  read more »

Presidential Gifts

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With great power, comes great responsibility; and if you're the leader of the free world it also comes with gifts.

Turns out President Obama never leaves empty handed from almost every meet and greet with other world leaders. According to the state department's annual accounting of gifts Mr. Obama has received thousands of dollars in gifts from people hoping to get in good with our country's head honcho.

Some of those include a $6,500 rug from Azerbijan, a zebra skin and a silver platter engraved with major world cities. Some gifts such as a Hebrew translation of his memoir “Dreams from My Father” are personal. Others such as a $10,000 sculpture of an eagle are meant to impress.  read more »

The Minimum Wage Debate

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States looking to improve their economic outlook might want to start by shelling out a few more bucks.

According to a report by the Department of Labor the 13 states that raised minimum wage added jobs at a faster pace than those who kept the purse strings tight. According to the report the number of jobs grew an average of 85% in the past six months. The average for the other 37 states was 61%.

As of 2009 the federal government has mandated a national minimum wage of at least $7.25 per hour. Then at this year's State of the Union address President Obama called on congress to raise that number to just over $10. Shortly after that he signed an executive order making sure people working on federal service contracts were paid that rate.  read more »

Presidential Salaries

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President Obama is the country's top boss; so how well does he pay?

Since 1995 it's been a requirement for the white house to reveal the salary of presidential staffers to congress. The president himself pulls in $400,000 a year; so how does the rest of the staff stack up?

The highest paid people under the president make about $172,000. These people have the title assistant to the president. Most of them also have a second title, but that doesn't mean more pay. In fact none of them have received a raise since President Obama took office and a salary freeze went into effect during the recession. Twenty two members of the president's staff are being paid at this level.  read more »