Archive for February 9th, 2013

09
Feb
13

Six years ago….. Barack Obama announces his candidacy

Springfield, Illinois, February 10, 2007 – Photo: Pete Souza

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Text of the speech here

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NYT: Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, standing before the Old State Capitol where Abraham Lincoln began his political career, announced his candidacy for the White House on Saturday by presenting himself as an agent of generational change who could transform a government hobbled by cynicism, petty corruption and “a smallness of our politics.”

…. It was the latest step in a journey rich with historic possibilities and symbolism. Thousands of people packed the town square to witness it, shivering in the single-digit frostiness until Mr. Obama appeared, trailed by his wife, Michelle, and two young daughters….

…. The formal entry to the race framed a challenge that would seem daunting to even the most talented politician: whether Mr. Obama, with all his strengths and limitations, can win in a field dominated by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who brings years of experience in presidential politics, a command of policy and political history, and an extraordinarily battle-tested network of fund-raisers and advisers.

…. “If a campaign is premised on personality, then no, I don’t think you can stay fresh for a year,” he said. “But if the campaign is built from the ground up and there is a sense of ownership among people who want to see significant change, then absolutely. It can build and grow.”

More here

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Photo: Callie Shell

Click to see the rest of the post

09
Feb
13

Rest in Peace, Hadiya Pendleton

Tanique Parker, 16, cries as she leaves the wake for friend and classmate Hadiya Pendleton at Calahan Funeral Home on Chicago’s South Side, Feb. 8

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The handwritten note from President Barack Obama on the back of the funeral program for Hadiya Pendleton:

“Dear Cleopatra and Nathaniel, Michelle and I just wanted you to know how heartbroken we are to have heard about Hadiya’s passing. We know that no words from us can soothe the pain, but rest assured that we are praying for you, and that we will continue to work as hard as we can to end this senseless violence. God Bless.”

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A mourner holds up a program for the funeral of Hadiya Pendleton…

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NBC: The national debate over gun violence took a highly personal turn for first lady Michelle Obama when a Chicago girl was slain near Obama’s family home just days after she performed at the presidential inauguration in Washington.

The first lady and top federal, state and city officials joined hundreds of mourners on Saturday at the funeral of Hadiya Pendleton, 15…..

The first lady met privately with members of Pendleton’s family and with about 30 of her friends and classmates before the funeral…..

…. “Hadiya’s life has touched individuals, mothers, fathers, families and governments across this planet,” her aunt, Linda Wilks, said. “If this does not demonstrate the power of light and love, we are a people deeply cloaked in darkness.”

More here

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Chicago Tribune: Slain teen Hadiya Pendleton was remembered today as a laughing youth who brought love and happiness to all her family and friends.

…. Her mother, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, briefly spoke to the standing room only crowd, often with a smile and even a laugh.

“My baby did all this,” she said, wearing a big red flower on her chest and a sparkly scarf, and clearly enjoying the music. “This is all Hadiya”

“The outpouring of support has been absolutely amazing,” she said.

She explained that at points, “you kinda do not know how to act,” and some people might not understand “our sense of humor’’ or “why I have a smile on my face.”

“But I’m not worried about her soul,’’ she said.

More here

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More video from the funeral here

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Jackiegrumbacher: It’s a privilege to have a safe place here where we can mourn Hadiya together.

I think of all the years before there was a cyber place to gather when people had to deal with the grief from a local or national tragedy alone or with family, friends and neighbors. We didn’t get to hear from those in other parts of the country or the world and so our perspective was limited, even though our pain was real.

Now a young girl in Chicago, senselessly shot down in a park, is all of our daughters and we know that the grief we feel is a shared one and so is the anger. Because a child in Chicago is also our child, there’s a stronger possibility that we can put a stop to the intolerable conditions in which we attempt to raise our families.

As Nena pointed out above, we are over 300 million strong and we are very powerful when we choose to be citizens who act together. More and more Americans are saying “enough.” More Americans are “seeing” the ones who are slaughtered and are saying that the senseless death of our collective children will never end until we the people stop it.

It’s past the time when we can vaguely hope that things will get better. They won’t – not without all of us speaking out and not without all of us pushing.

As PBO has told us time and again, we are the citizens. We can make change happen. And our time is now.

We do it for Hadiya. We do it for our children and grandchildren. And we do it for all the children yet to be born who deserve a better world.

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09
Feb
13

The Week Ahead

(Jan. 27, 2010 – Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Saturday and Sunday: The President has no public events scheduled

Monday: The President will award Clinton Romesha, a former active duty Army Staff Sergeant, the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry. The event will be held at the White House and the First Lady will also attend

Tuesday: Delivers his State of the Union Address at 9:0 EST

Wednesday: Travels to the Asheville, North Carolina, area. He will return to Washington, DC in the evening (no details available yet)

Thursday: Travels to the Atlanta, Georgia, area. He will return to Washington, DC in the evening (no details available yet)

Friday: Hosts President Giorgio Napolitano of Italy in the Oval Office. Later in the morning, the President will welcome to the White House the recipients of the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal

09
Feb
13

Rise and Shine

@petesouza: ‘Photo of the day: POTUS w outgoing SecDef Panetta at his farewell tribute’

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WhiteHouse.gov

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Greg Sargent: John Boehner’s office is circulating Charles Krauthammer’s column, which argues that Republicans should call Obama’s sequester “bluff” and make no concessions whatsoever in revenues to avert the sequester. This is still more confirmation that the GOP’s explicit position is that allowing the sequester to happen – which Republicans themselves say will gut the military and tank the economy – is preferable to compromising at all with Dems, and that they will use the threat of disaster to force a solution that averts the sequester only by giving Republicans everything they want.

….. we’re back to exactly where we were during the fiscal cliff and debt ceiling fights. Republicans are explicitly and openly using the prospect of serious harm to millions and millions of Americans to force Democrats to agree to a deal that gives Republicans everything that they want, while requiring them to make no concessions whatsoever….

More here

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Steve Benen: When it comes to the looming, automatic sequestration cuts, there seem to be two broader debates happening simultaneously. The first, more important question deals with what’s going to happen with the policy itself, and the scope of the damage it could do to the economy, the military, and the country.

The second question is a little pettier: who came up with this awful idea in the first place? A Republican National Committee spokesperson, echoing his party’s favorite new talking point, insists this is all President Obama’s fault.

…. Does the GOP have a point on this? Was the policy actually Obama’s idea? No. The argument is not only wrong, it’s dependent on the entire political world having a very short memory …. Since this has become such an important element of the larger fight, let’s take a minute to set the record straight…..

More here

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Business Insider: ….  Charles Krauthammer writes that Republicans should “call Obama’s sequester bluff.” It’s being passed around by Republicans and other conservatives on Twitter and in email blasts. His argument – which exemplifies a typical conservative shift on the sequester recently – is that Republicans now have leverage on the sequester over President Barack Obama…..

…. Krauthammer wasn’t always so bullish on using the sequester as a tool for leverage. Last May, he warned in an appearance on Fox News that letting the cuts go into effect would be a “catastrophe” for the nation’s defense…..

…. The conservative editorial board of The Wall Street Journal advanced a similar argument on Thursday. In an editorial entitled “The Unscary Sequester,” the editorial board disputed Washington’s “collective fit of terror.”

…. Then there’s the editorial the board wrote not even seven months ago. It used the same language as Krauthammer – “catastrophe,” which it wrote was “playing out in slow motion.” The board also said that Obama had the leverage, and that it would be a “dangerous game” to play with the sequester.

More here

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RollCall: President Barack Obama has agreed to do more than just raise money for House Democrats’ effort to win back the majority in 2014: He is also going to help with candidate recruitment.

Obama will headline eight fundraising events in 2013 for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and more fundraisers are planned for 2014. But Obama’s agreement to help DCCC Chairman Steve Israel of New York make the sell to would-be candidates in targeted districts is also significant.

“It’s transformational,” Israel said in an interview, adding that House Democrats are “firing on all cylinders like I’ve never seen before.”

The president’s efforts to assist House Democrats politically are more than Israel initially even asked for.

More here

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Ari Berman (The Nation): In 2006, Congress voted overwhelmingly to reauthorize key provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 for another twenty-five years. The legislation passed 390–33 in the House and 98–0 in the Senate. Every top Republican supported the bill …. Civil rights leaders flanked George W. Bush at the signing ceremony.

Seven years later, the bipartisan consensus that supported the VRA for nearly fifty years has collapsed, and conservatives are challenging the law as never before. Last November, three days after a presidential election in which voter suppression played a starring role, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to Section 5 of the VRA, which compels parts or all of sixteen states with a history of racial discrimination in voting to clear election-related changes with the federal government. The case will be heard on February 27.

The lawsuit, originating in Shelby County, Alabama, is backed by leading operatives and funders in the conservative movement, along with Republican attorneys general in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas….

More here

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Washington Post: First lady Michelle Obama will join some of Illinois’ most recognizable politicians and clergy Saturday to mourn a 15-year-old honor student whose death has drawn attention to staggering gun violence in the nation’s third-largest city.

But Hadiya Pendleton’s family says her Saturday funeral service won’t be about politics, but about remembering a girl who loved to dance, once appeared in an anti-gang video and died just days after performing at one of President Barack Obama’s inauguration events.

None of the dignitaries are slated to speak during the service. The teen’s pastor and brother will talk, and the musical group Pendleton was a member of will perform.

More here

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@BarackObama

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NYT: Among the victims of gun violence who will be sitting in the House chamber on Tuesday night when President Obama delivers his State of the Union address will be a teacher who survived the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Natalie Hammond, who reportedly took bullet wounds to the leg, foot and hand but narrowly escaped with her life, will attend the speech as the guest of her congresswoman, Elizabeth Esty, the representative for Newtown, Conn.

Ms. Hammond, the school’s lead teacher, and another school employee were the only two people to survive after being shot by the gunman, Adam Lanza. Ms. Hammond will be one of the many victims of gun violence who will attend the State of the Union address.

More here

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WH: On Friday, February 15, President Obama will welcome the recipients of the 2012 Citizens Medal to the White House for a special ceremony to recognize their efforts to serve their communities, and inspire others to do the same.

See the list of recipients here

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State of the Union addresses:

2009 (not an ‘official’ State of the Union address’ – the first official one was in 2010):

2010:

2011:

2012:

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I hope TODers living in snowy places are keeping safe and warm – this is for you:

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MoooOOoooOOOoorning!




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