Archive for March 4th, 2014

04
Mar
14

Night owl chat – Gloria Estefan, salsera!

Okay salseros y salseras, tiempo para bailar! A little of my countrywoman Gloria to take you into the night.

Hoy

With Marc Antony – Mi Tierra

Continue reading ‘Night owl chat – Gloria Estefan, salsera!’

04
Mar
14

The First Lady’s Day: International Women of Courage Awards & More

First Lady Michelle Obama recognizes singer Ruslana Lyzhychko, a leader of Ukraine‘s Maidan movement for democratic reform, as she was awarded with the US Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award 2014 during a ceremony at the State Department in Washington DC, March 4

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See the complete ceremony here

Text of the First Lady’s remarks here

More photos from the ceremony here

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Fatimata Toure

During the terrorist occupation of northern Mali, Fatimata Touré channeled her 22 years of experience advocating for women’s health rights to fight resolutely against countless acts of gender-based violence. When extremists attacked the hospital in Gao, she assisted victims in relocating and finding much needed safety and care. As the conflict ensued, Mme. Touré provided counseling and shelter for victims of rape and forced-marriage and publicly denounced perpetrators of gender-based violence. Her actions drew threats from the extremists and, even as her own home was under assault, Mme. Touré hid beneath her bed and used her mobile phone to continue documenting acts of violence against women. Her limitless courage ensured that victims received medical care and that the abuse they suffered was not forgotten during the conflict. As the current head of the Regional Forum on Reconciliation and Peace in Gao, she continues advocating for justice and women’s rights.

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Laxmi

Laxmi was 16 when an acquaintance threw acid on her face while she waited at a bus stop, disfiguring her permanently. Her attacker, a friend’s 32-year old brother, planned to use the acid to destroy Laxmi’s face after she refused to respond to his romantic advances. Many acid attack victims never return to normal life: they often go to great lengths to hide their disfigurement, many forgo education or employment rather than appear in public, and suicide is not uncommon. But Laxmi did not hide.

She became the standard-bearer in India for the movement to end acid attacks. She made repeated appearances on national television, gathered 27,000 signatures for a petition to curb acid sales, and took her cause to the Indian Supreme Court. Laxmi’s petition led the Supreme Court to order the Indian central and state governments to regulate immediately the sale of acid, and the Parliament to make prosecutions of acid attacks easier to pursue. Much is left to be done, and Laxmi continues to advocate on behalf of acid attack victims throughout India for increased compensation, effective prosecution and prevention of acid attacks, and rehabilitation of survivors.

Read more about Laxmi’s story here

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Continue reading ‘The First Lady’s Day: International Women of Courage Awards & More’

04
Mar
14

President Obama Unveils His 2015 Budget And Speaks On Ukraine

@WhiteHouse: President Obama’s #budget invests in his vision of giving every 4-year-old in America access to quality preschool.

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President Barack Obama sits with 3- and 4-year old students in a pre-kindergarten class at Powell Elementary School in Washington. Obama chose the school as a venue Tuesday to propose an expansion of popular tax credits for middle class and working poor Americans in a fiscal 2015 budget

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President Barack Obama gets a hand standing up after sitting on the floor with 3- and 4-year old students in a pre-kindergarten class at Powell Elementary School

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President Barack Obama sits with Marcus Wesby and other preschool student during his visit to Powell Elementary School in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington

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President Barack Obama greets 3- and 4-year olds in teacher Laura Steinmetz’s pre-kindergarten class at Powell Elementary School

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Continue reading ‘President Obama Unveils His 2015 Budget And Speaks On Ukraine’

04
Mar
14

Ukraine crisis in tweets

Continue reading ‘Ukraine crisis in tweets’

04
Mar
14

Rise and Shine

Sen. Barack Obama, accompanied by Reverend Joseph Lowery and others, pushes civil rights activist Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth during a commemoration of the 1965 “Bloody Sunday” Voting Rights march in Selma, Alabama, March 4, 2007

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Today (all times Eastern):

11:10: President Obama visits a Powell Elementary School classroom; Washington

11:30: Delivers remarks on the FY2015 budget; Powell Elementary School

7:25: Delivers remarks at a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fundraiser; Private Residence, McLean, Virginia

First Lady Michelle Obama will honor the recipients of the International Women of Courage Award in the Dean Acheson Auditorium of the U.S. Department of State.

The Week Ahead:

Wednesday: The President will travel to the Hartford, Connecticut area for an event on the minimum wage. Following this, he will travel to Boston, Massachusetts for two DNC events.

First Lady Michelle Obama will participate in a conversation with Robin Roberts at the Leading Women Defined Summit, hosted by BET Networks. The discussion will be around the Affordable Care Act and a personal reflection on health and wellness. The First Lady will also visit a health center to highlight the work that hospitals, doctors and clinics are doing to educate their patients about the Affordable Care Act and how patients can get insurance.

Thursday: The President will hold an event on the economy and healthcare in Washington, DC.

Friday: The President and the First Lady will travel to the Miami area for an event on expanding opportunity for all.

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Oliver Willis: Ukraine Crisis Reminds Us To Keep Ignoring Conservatives On Foreign Policy

In case you had allowed yourself to believe conservatives had learned a single thing from orchestrating some of the worst foreign policy in U.S. History during the Bush years, forget about it.

The same gang who led us into Iraq and defended the death and destruction that followed is still wrong on almost everything on under the sun.

As has been the case since about noon on January 20, 2009, the right is insisting that President Obama got it wrong. This time its on Russia and Putin. In their fractured, nonsensical view of reality, Obama is to blame for Putin deciding to invade Ukraine.

This only makes sense if you believe that Barack Obama is the President who peered into Putin’s soul and declared him a good man….

More here

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Benjamin Wallace-Wells: The Misplaced Question of Obama’s ‘Toughness’

The consensus over the past two days has been that Vladimir Putin’s military occupation of part of Ukraine poses a challenge to Obama’s “toughness.” That word — toughness — has been everywhere, as if the two men were actually wrestling for the future of far eastern Europe.

Peter Baker, surveying foreign-policy insiders this morning’s New York Times, found his sources returning repeatedly to this theme: “At its heart,” Baker wrote, “the advice seemed to pose the same question: Is Mr Obama tough enough to take on the former KGB colonel in the Kremlin? It is no easy task.” The Washington Post’s editorial board lectured Obama about the need to face “reality.” On Meet the Press, the panel was unanimous: “No more just issuing harshly worded statements,” admonished Chuck Todd. “It’s almost as if Putin is brilliant, really — he’s outfoxing Obama all the time,” said Tina Brown. “I think Putin looked into Obama’s eyes and saw his soul. And President Obama doesn’t like conflict at all,” reported Kathleen Parker.

Now, few complicated policy dilemmas ever really turn on which politician is more blustery. (Let alone on trans-oceanic soul-gazing.) But this particular bit of pining seems especially misguided. It is strange to wish that President Obama would, in this episode, become something he is not — a bit more like his predecessor, George W. Bush, perhaps a bit more like Putin himself — when the crisis in the Ukraine, perhaps more than any other in his presidency, is perfectly suited to Obama himself.

More here

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Dana Milbank: Obama, the feckless tyrant

President Obama is such a weak strongman. What’s more, he is a feeble dictator and a timid tyrant.

That, at any rate, is Republicans’ critique of him. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Obama’s critics pivoted seamlessly from complaining about his overreach to fretting that he is being too cautious. Call it Operation Oxymoron.

Last Wednesday, I sat in a House hearing and listened to Republicans describe Obama exercising “unparalleled use of executive power” and operating an “uber-presidency.” They accused him of acting like a “king” and a “monarch,” of making the United States like a “dictatorship” or a “totalitarian government” by exercising “imperial” and “magisterial power.”

But after events in Ukraine, this very tyrant was said to be so weak that it’s “shocking.”

More here

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WH.gov: President Obama to Participate in a Townhall on Latinos and the Affordable Care Act

This Thursday, March 6, at 11:30 am ET, President Obama will participate in a historic townhall on Latinos and the Affordable Care Act at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The townhall “Tu Salud y La Nueva Ley: Conversación con el Presidente” (Your Health and the New Law: A Conversation with the President) will be an opportunity for you to ask the President questions about the Affordable Care Act. You can join the conversation and submit questions on social media using the hashtag #TuSaludyObama (Your Health and Obama) and #Asegurate.

The townhall will be hosted by the Asegúrate campaign, also known as “Get Covered”, a partnership between the California Endowment; Covered California, and the largest Spanish-language media outlets in the U.S., including Univision, Telemundo, and La Opinion-impreMedia. The townhall with President Obama which will be televised, livestreamed and broadcast over radio, digital and social platforms in Spanish, will provide an opportunity for Latinos across the country to learn more about how to enroll in affordable, quality health care via the Health Insurance Marketplace.

More here

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Michael Hiltzik: The zombie walks: Yet another GOP attack on Medicaid

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., obviously is a great adherent of the adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” On Monday his committee released another attack on Medicaid, one of the linchpins of the Affordable Care Act and one that for some reason is especially detested by conservatives, like the majority members of Ryan’s committee.

The attack is buried within the Ryan committee’s 204-page assault on the War on Poverty, which has just observed its 50th anniversary, as we reported in January. If you want to skip to the meat, the Medicaid section starts on Page 103.

…. In a nutshell, the main flaw of Ryan’s position is that it ignores that the difference between the population on Medicaid and the low-income population without it is that the latter group has no insurance. Medicaid isn’t perfect, but for all its flaws, it provides access to healthcare for a population that, in large part, otherwise has nothing.

More here

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@petesouza: The view through window in the Oval Office

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WH.gov: First Lady Michelle Obama Travels to China

The First Lady will travel to China from March 19-26, 2014. She will be visiting Beijing from March 20-23, Xi’an on March 24, and Chengdu from March 25-26. And she’s inviting students and classrooms across the U.S. to follow her trip.

During her trip to China, as on previous international trips to Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, the First Lady will be focusing on the power and importance of education, both in her own life and in the lives of young people in both countries.

She will also be visiting important historical and cultural sites in China, and will share with students in the U.S. the stories of the students she meets in China, as well as interesting facts about China’s history and culture — emphasizing the importance of students learning from one another globally.

More here

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On This Day:

Senator Barack Obama pushes civil rights activist Johnnie Carr in a wheelchair while crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in commemoration of the 1965 Selma-Montgomery Voting Rights March, in Selma, Alabama on March 4, 2007

Senator Barack Obama addresses a crowd gathered for the commemoration of the 1965 Voting Rights March at Brown Chapel AME Church March 4, 2007 in Selma, Alabama

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Continue reading ‘Rise and Shine’




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