Compared to America's top corporate CEOs, Barack Obama should get a raise. At $400,000 a year, his salary is less than half a percent of the $104 million compensation package reportedly received last year by the boss at Motorola, Sanjay K. Jha. And his company's "total return" was down 71 percent.
(AP Photo/Kirsty Wiggl)
A survey of executive compensation published recently in The New York Times offers new insight into the salaries, bonuses, stock options and perks received in America's executive suites.
At federal bailout recipient Citigroup, CEO Vikram Pandit received a relatively modest salary last year of $958,333 – though he also got more than $37 million in stock and options. In the fourth quarter of 2008, Citigroup lost $8.29 billion.
Former President George W. Bush made four unannounced trips to Iraq and two to Afghanistan during his presidency:
- Nov. 27 2003: Iraq -- Unannounced Thanksgiving Day visit to U.S. troops in Baghdad. He was on the ground for 2? hours.
- March 1, 2006: Makes unannounced stop in Afghanistan on a trip to India and Pakistan
Four days before leaving office, President Bush signed a directive authorizing the Secret Service to provide a period of extended protection for his daughters Jenna and Barbara.
Last week, the Service mistakenly said that President Obama had signed an Executive Order on behalf of his predecessor's daughters.
Under the law, the adult children of an American President lose their Secret Service protection when their father leaves office.
In wrapping up his 22-minute speech today on new U.S. policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, President Obama cautioned Americans not to expect quick results.
"So understand, the road ahead will be long and there will be difficult days ahead," he said.
"Difficult days ahead?" If it sounds familiar, it's for good reason. We've heard that admonition many times before from Mr. Obama's predecessors.
At the installation ceremony this morning for Attorney General Eric Holder, President Obama lavished praise on his choice, but also poked some good-natured fun at him. The president said Holder never hesitates to take on members of his own party, including those to whom he owed his job.
(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
"In fact," said Mr. Obama, "several months ago, Eric even had the audacity to comment to a reporter on my basketball skills. He said - and I quote - here's what he said. He said, "I'm not sure he's ready for my New York game. We will see about that, Mr. Attorney General."
The audience roared with laughter at the swipe.
After taking the oath of office, Holder interrupted his own remarks to respond.
"Let me just depart here and say that he's never gonna see my New York game," he said. "He's got ten years on me. He works out. I'm the coach of the team in which he will be playing and nothing more than that. (laughter). But had I been ten years younger ....."
He didn't finish that sentence - again to roars of laughter from the audience.
On day 65 of his presidency, Barack Obama is getting back in political fundraising mode.
(AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
He'll be attending two events this evening for the Democratic National Committee that are expected to raise as much as $3.5-million.
The first event, at the National Women in the Arts Museum, carries a ticket price of $30,400 per couple. Fifty couples are attending.
The second event, a Tony Bennett concert at the Warner Theater, has tickets going for $100, $250 and $1000. Some 2,000 tickets have been sold.
Both events are said to be sold out.
After President Bush took office, he waited until April 27th to do his first political fundraiser.
A White House official tells CBS News that President Obama will meet with "several" bank CEOs on Friday in an effort to convince the executives to consider a "wider set of obligations."
(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
"President Obama will meet with the CEOs of several of the largest banks in the country to reiterate his belief that getting the economy back on track will require an understanding that each of us must look beyond our own short-term interests to the wider set of obligations we have to each other in order for America to succeed," according to the official.
(AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
Given that he's been hit by more than 130 questions from the press and public in recent days, it's unlikely President Obama will be surprised by any of the questions put to him this evening at his prime time news conference.
Look at this rundown of the events and the number of questions President Obama has faced over the past week:
Wednesday, March 18
- Five questions from reporters at the end of a statement on the A.I.G. bonuses
- Eight questions from the public at his Town Hall Meeting in Costa Mesa, Calif.
As a kid growing on the south side of Chicago, Michelle Obama remembers being ridiculed for trying to be educated and get good grades.
"I wanted an "A". I wanted to be smart. I wanted to be the person who had the right answer. And I didn't care if it was cool - 'cause I remember there were kids around my neighborhood who would say 'ooh - you talk funny. you talk - like a white girl.' I heard that growing up my whole life."
It was the First Lady's way of encouraging a dozen kids at an inner city high school in the nation's capital, to pursue better lives – no matter what anybody thinks.
Looking to strike fear and compliance in the hearts of local officials, Vice President Joe Biden warns that if they use money from the economic stimulus fund to build what he regards as the wrong kind of projects, "I'll show up in your city and say this was a stupid idea."
"No swimming pools!" he implored. "No tennis courts!" he begged. "No golf courses!" he pleaded. "No Frisbee parks!" he exhorted.
"This can't be government as usual," he told an assemblage of local officials invited to the White House from around the country.
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
In California, the state that gave him more popular and electoral votes than any other, President Obama will try to make the case for his budget initiatives on education, energy and health care.
But at a town hall meeting today in Costa Mesa and tomorrow in Los Angeles, his message may be overshadowed if not drowned out by expressions of outrage over the $165-million in taxpayer funds used for bonus payments to executives at bailed-out insurance giant AIG.
The Federal Government's flood of red ink hit another high-water mark as the Treasury Department quietly reported today that the National Debt hit $11-trillion for the first time ever.
(AP / CBS)
To be exact, the Debt now stands at $11,033,157,578,669.78. Divide it by the U.S. population and it comes up to over $36,000 in debt for every man, woman and child among us.
And the government is running up mountains of debt with increasing speed. It took just over 5 ? months for Uncle Sam to go another trillion dollars deeper in debt since hitting $10-trillion last September 30th. It's the fastest jump in U.S. history.
In light of today's announcement by President Obama that he's naming Steelers owner Dan Rooney to be US Ambassador to Ireland, I queried John Naland, President of the American Foreign Service Association about the practice.
AFSA is the professional association of the US Foreign Service and has 14,000 dues paying members.
Naland didn't comment on Rooney's nomination in particular, but stated his group's opposition to what Obama did on principle.