Beltway Insider: Obama Prepares for State of Union; Honors Sandy Hook Teachers; Announces Additional Appointments

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President Barack Obama, in the first State of the Union address of his new presidency, will speak to the nation, this week, on the issues that are central to the government, well being and prosperity of the United States of America.

According to Gallup, President Obama’s job approval, over the past week, dropped two percentage points, to 52% of those polled approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President rose slightly to 43%.

The State of the Union, planned for Tuesday, February 12, and will allow the president time, as the speech will be carried on every major network, to address individual sectors of society including the economy, unemployment, the road to recovery, foreign policy and his plan to move the issues of importance forward.  He will use the State of the Union to reiterate his dedication to presenting a viable plan to reduce the number of gun related tragedies.

A Sequester Approaches

Just when we thought we had hurdled the Fiscal Cliff and had reached, through diligent effort and compromise, a comprehensive package that would avert any additional injuries to the middle class, we have come to the sequester. The sequester, if Congress doesn’t act to avoid,  may not have the deep ramifications of the Fiscal Cliff, but it will none the less, force automatic and harmful cuts upon the already burdened middle class.

President Obama Awards Honors to Sandy Hook Teachers

The White House spokesperson has announced that President Obama will award Citizen Medals to the six educators murdered last December at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Rachel Davino, Dawn Hochsprung, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach and Victoria Soto will receive the second highest civilian honor in a ceremony February 15, 2012.

The six were among the twenty-six who lost their lives on December 14, 2012 when a lone gunman shot his way into the elementary school and murdered twenty children and the six educators.

The senseless tragedy sparked a national outcry for stricter gun control and reform and brought the President to issue a mandate to Vice President Biden to formulate a plan to address the escalating gun violence. ‘

President Obama has since signed twenty four executive orders addressing the issue of gun violence and gun control.

Obama Announces another Round of Appointments

President Obama also spent the week announcing another round of cabinet and judicial appointments.

Sally Jewell, a non-career politician, was nominated as Secretary of the Interior. Jewell, prior to the announcement, served as CEO of REI an outdoor and sporting gear company located in Seattle.  Jewell holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington. She spent twenty years as a banking executive before moving, in 1996, to REI. She is the first female appointed of Obama’s second term and the Secretary of the Interior is eight in line to presidential authority.

Obama also appointed the first openly gay Latina judge to serve on United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.  Nominated were Judge Nitza l. Quinones Alejandro, Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo and Judge Jeffrey l. Schmeh.  If Quinones Alejandro is confirmed she will be the first openly gay judge to serve on a federal bench.

President Obama also made five civilian administrative appointments including renowned New York architect Michael Graves, known to have championed accessibility planning, to the Architectural and Transportation barriers compliance Board.

For more information on President Obama: 

For more information on President Obama:

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