Archive for December 23rd, 2013

23
Dec
13

Night Owl Chat – Classic Pop Christmas Songs

For the last in my Christmas music series, let’s have a little visit with Nat King Cole, Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis, et al. It’s the golden age of Christmas pop songs!

Nat King Cole – The Christmas Song

Dean Martin – Let it Snow

Continue reading ‘Night Owl Chat – Classic Pop Christmas Songs’

23
Dec
13

Posted Purely For Golf-Appreciating Reasons. Honest.

Continue reading ‘Posted Purely For Golf-Appreciating Reasons. Honest.’

23
Dec
13

2013: Meta’s Most Memorable Moments

by Meta

There are so very many important events we’ve witnessed with President Obama in 2013. The following choices are only some of the many highlights for me, moments large and small.

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1 Inauguration 2013

We went through many emotions throughout the 2012 campaign.  There was the agony, the relief, the joy: A SECOND TERM.  Then there was the rhetorical power of his inauguration speech – “Faith in America’s Future” – where he spoke optimistically about transformation: gender equality, gay marriage, the economy and the environment.  He reached back and reminded us of our troubled history and showed us where we might go as a grateful nation.  Powerful and direct, it was full of his characteristic sense of hope and opportunity.  Once again President Obama shows us the depth of his faith – his faith in us and in our nation, a faith that carries him through day in and day out.

“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths—that all of us are created equal—is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall.”

“Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia, to the quiet lanes of Newtown know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.”

“The commitments we make to each other—through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security—these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.”

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2 Rosa Parks: The Touch

Through the great moral and universal arc of justice, PBO & Rosa Parks connect at the unveiling of her statue in the Capitol Rotunda.  Another iconic full circle moment for the civil rights movement.

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3 PBO in Jerusalem

Despite the incessant undermining tactics and lack of cooperation from Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Obama deeply recognizes the urgency of keeping Israel from drifting toward isolation and endless strife.  His trip to Israel was full of good will and strategic thinking, fully matched by actions and deeds.

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4 Jason Collins

President Obama took a moment to honor Jason Collins by calling him and saying he “couldn’t be prouder of him” for coming out as gay man while playing in a major sports league.  This moment once again signaled his commitment to equality under the law.   Out of many, we are one.

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5 Statement on Trayvon Martin

Once again, PBO stands up and speaks out for justice and fairness in a way that cuts to the heart of the matter: the pain and suffering that the African American community continually feels through the lens of history and experience.  Heartbreaking and sobering, he speaks directly to the American people to express his mind, heart and soul.

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6 Trip to Africa

Robben Island.  There really are no words to describe the raw emotional power at the moment of grappling with this period of cruel history in Nelson Mandela’s life.  The photos show us how much it meant to President Obama to connect this piece of the puzzle of one of his most important mentors.

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7 Republican shutdown

Topped out on obstructionist RWNJ extortion tactics that have been pervasive throughout his Presidency, PBO calls out the GOP for shutting down the government and harming the American people, jeopardizing national security and stalling the economy.

“Probably nothing has done more damage to America’s credibility in the world, our standing with other countries, than the spectacle we’ve seen over the last several weeks.”

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8 Sandy Hook

Who can forget the raw emotion of the President’s response to the slaughter of innocent children and school administrators at Sandy Hook Elementary?  Our President profoundly and eloquently epitomizes with conscience and grace the pain that shocked and seared our nation.  No artifice or pretense, just straight from the heart.

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9 PBO visits Fast for Families immigration activists on the mall

The President and First Lady of the United States stepped outside the White House to extend their hand of support to families who are fasting for immigration reform.  This is another concrete action that illustrates President Obama’s commitment to justice, equality and a movement that will have significant impact on our nation for decades to come.

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10 Speech at Madiba’s funeral

It’s hard to convey the love and the spirit in PBO’s voice as he addressed South African mourners and the international community at Madiba’s funeral.  This was a speech for all time from a man of the world.

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Click ….

…. in the sidebar top right to read all our ‘Most Memorable Moments’ posts, will be adding more over the next few days.

23
Dec
13

2013: SmartyPants’ Most Memorable Moments

by a very special guest: SmartyPants

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10 Big Sis

As someone who has a big sister and knows how trying that relationship can be at this age, I LOVED this one.

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9 A Wise and Empathetic Latina on the Supreme Court

This year Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor published her book “My Beloved World.” I read it immediately. It moved me beyond words to think that we have someone on the Supreme Court who has lived her life. During her book promotion tour, this happened (see here):

“At her Wednesday night book talk here, Justice Sonia Sotomayor glided through her audience of 700, dispensing homespun wisdom through a cordless microphone, interrupted by impromptu applause.

When the moderator read a question from Tabbie Major, age 7, about which books Justice Sotomayor loved as a child, she found the girl, locked her in an embrace, held on while reminiscing about Nancy Drew mysteries and then called out for a photographer to capture the moment. “

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8 The Evolution of Mom-Dancing

Nuff said. FLOTUS pulls off the comedy gold of the year!

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7 Marriage equality spreads like wildfire

This is how we celebrated in Minnesota.

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6. Those red shoes!

We all know what happened that day. Wendy Davis showed us how its done. We’ll all love her forever for that!

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5 The day Antoinette Tuff “stood up, spoke out, and got in the way.”

Continue reading ’2013: SmartyPants’ Most Memorable Moments’

23
Dec
13

Rise and Shine

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Malia Obama, Sasha Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama, and Bobby Titcomb attend the Oregon State University versus University of Akron college basketball game at the Diamond Head Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu

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HHs.gov: Greetings Again From Texas

Greetings again from Texas.  I just had the opportunity to visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Family Clinic which is doing some great work here in Dallas to help Texans learn about their new options under the Affordable Care Act. I wanted to share the stories of a couple of these people who I met today in Dallas: Misty Parker is a 31 year-old who works with a community-oriented startup company, which does not currently offer insurance.  Misty says that because of the Health Insurance Marketplace, with financial help, she was able to sign up for a Bronze plan for $38 a month.  She had questions, but Misty says she was able to get answers from the call center.

I also met Amanda Waddle, who shared her and her husband Brian’s story about getting covered through the Marketplace.  They both enjoy playing hockey and were concerned about what might happen if they got injured on the ice. A 26-year-old graduate student, Amanda said she couldn’t afford insurance on the private market.  Brian also didn’t have coverage despite working two jobs as a waiter and a broadcast statistician for the Dallas Stars hockey team.  Thanks to the choices, competition, and financial help in the Marketplace, Amanda says she and her husband were able to get covered for only $105 a month.  She also signed up for a dental plan for $10 a month.

So I invite you to follow Misty’s and Amanda’s  lead!  You can learn about your new options online at HealthCare.gov or by phone at 1-800-318-2596/TTY 1-855-889-4325.  You can also find help in your community at localhelp.healthcare.gov. You have more than three months, until the end of March to enroll in coverage for 2014.  If you’d like your coverage to begin January 1st, you have until December 23 to sign up.

More here

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Basketball Video Here

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Matthew Yglesias: What You Need To Know About Today’s Obamacare Deadline

So here’s the key thing: Today is the last day to sign up if you want to get insurance coverage that starts in January of next yearBut if you’re currently uninsured and you don’t sign up today, nothing bad happens to you. It’s just that starting on January 1 you’ll still be uninsured. You have until March to sign up and avoid paying the individual mandate fee.  The main reason an uninsured person will probably want to sign up for an exchange plan is the same as the main reason that people whose employers offer work-linked insurance plans generally sign up—due to subsidies it’s a good deal in actuarial terms for most people, and even when it isn’t the sense of confidence and security (“insurance,” some might call it) offered by insurance coverage is valuable.

More here

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Jennifer Epstein: Jarrett: Obama To Buy Health Insurance By End Of The Day

President Obama plans to sign up for health insurance through an Affordable Care Act exchange before the end of the day Monday, senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said. Jarrett made the announcement in an interview with April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks, apparently ahead of the White House’s planned rollout. Officials did not respond to repeated requests for confirmation. The White House first said back in 2010 that the president, who has coverage through the federal government and gets his care from White House doctors, would sign up for insurance through an exchange.

More here

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Ian Millhiser: Justice Department Calls In The Big Guns To Stop Voter Suppression

It’s difficult to exaggerate the prominence Stanford Law Professor Pam Karlan enjoys within the progressive legal community. Karlan is one of the most active members of the Supreme Court bar — among other things, she co-authored the brief that convinced the justices to strike down the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act last June. She is a former litigator for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and she is among the most widely regarded voting rights experts in the nation. So when the Justice Department revealed on Friday that Karlan would become the nation’s top voting rights attorney, it was as if Marsellus Wallace called up the many voters being disenfranchised in states like Texas and North Carolina, and told them that he’s sending The Wolf.

Karlan will take over as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Rights Division’s voting rights section. In this role, she will oversee the Justice Department’s most important challenges to voter suppression laws — including its efforts to restore federal oversight of Texas’ election law and its challenge to the nation’s worst voter suppression law in North Carolina. As a senior member of the Civil Rights Division, Karlan will work under soon-to-be Assistant Attorney General Debo Adegbile, who President Obama recently nominated as the nation’s top civil rights attorney. Like Karlan, Adegbile is himself a leading expert on voting rights law

More here

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Zack Ford: New Mexico Supreme Court: Marriage Equality Is State Law

The New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously ruled Thursday that same-sex marriage is legal across the state, cementing it as the 17th state to offer full marriage equality to same-sex couples. The state had been a bit of an oddity, in that it had no specific prohibition nor allowance written into law, leaving marriage equality an open question. The Court noted that although some of the marriage laws stipulate gender-specific language, preventing same-sex couples would deprive them of their rights

More here

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USA Today: Utah Same-Sex Marriage Ban Back In Court

A federal judge on Monday is set to consider a request from the state of Utah to block gay weddings that have been taking place since Friday when the state’s same-sex marriage ban was overturned. U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby ruled Utah’s law passed violates gay and lesbian couples’ rights under the 14th Amendment. Lawyers for the state want the ruling put on hold as they appeal the decision that has put Utah in the national spotlight because of its long-standing opposition to gay marriage. Shelby will hold a hearing on the request Monday morning. On Sunday, a federal appeals court rejected the state’s emergency request stay the ruling, saying they couldn’t rule on a stay since Shelby hasn’t acted on the motion before him.

Following Shelby’s surprising ruling Friday afternoon, gay and lesbian couples rushed to a county clerk’s office in Salt Lake City to get marriage licenses. More than 100 couples wed as others cheered them on in what became an impromptu celebration an office building about three miles from the headquarters of the Mormon church. Hundreds of couples are expected to arrive at county clerks offices early Monday morning in hopes of getting marriage licenses before a possible halt if Shelby grants the stay its request. Legal experts say that even if a stay is granted, the licenses that have already been issued will likely still be valid. For now, a state considered as one of the most conservative in the nation has joined the likes of California and New York to become the 18th state where same-sex couples can legally wed.

More here

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Continue reading ‘Rise and Shine’




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