President Obama did an interview today about all different subjects...here are some highlights!
ON UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS/ECONOMY
"Obviously, we are deeply concerned about the employment rate. It's one of the things that I am most focused on when I think about long-term economic policy. We have successfully stabilized the financial markets and that's important because that was a huge drag that helped precipitate the crisis. We've started to see some stabilization on housing. But what we're still seeing is too many jobs lost, too many families who are worried about whether they're going to be next.
Prime Minister Putin still has a lot of sway in Russia and I think that it's important that, even as we move forward with President Mededev that Putin understands that the old Cold War approaches to U.S.-Russian relations is out-dated -that it's time to move forward in a different direction. I think Mededev understands that. I think Putin has one foot in the old ways of doing business and one foot in the new.
I'm confident that Iraqis don't want to return to the spiraling violence that we saw a couple of years ago....
I think what still going to be critical is to have politicians in Iraq reconcile their respective communities on things like the oil laws, on issues like how power provincial govts have over the federal government. There is still a lot of work to be done there and right now I think because of a national election is coming up we're not seeing as much compromise or cooperation that wed like to see. So that's where we're going to be focusing a lot of effort.
I am very confident in our ability to abide by the agreements we've made with the Iraqis. They want sovereignty. They have been able to improve their security capacities and I want to get our troops home.
ON AFFIRMATIVE ACTION//RICCI CASE
This was a very narrow case so it's hard to gage where they will take it. I'll be honest with you though I've always believed that affirmative action was less of an issue or should be less than an issue than its been made out to be in news reports. Its not , it hasn't been as potent a force for racial progress as advocates would claim and it hasn't been as bad on white students seeking admissions or seeking a job as its critics has been. I think the way to move forward on race is to make sure that every kid from the time they're born is getting good nutrition, good education, is succeeding in K- 12 and we're opening opportunities for all young people.
I think that Michael Jackson will go down in history as one of our greatest entertainers, I grew up on his music I still have all his stuff on my iPod you know I think his brilliance as a performance also was paired with a tragic and in many ways, sad personal life. But I'm glad to see that he is being remembered primarily for the great joy that he brought to a lot of people through his extraordinary gifts as an entertainer.