Archive for June 17th, 2014

17
Jun
14

America Under President Obama Means Progress

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White House: A Historic Day For Our Judiciary

This morning, the Senate confirmed three federal judges. On the one hand, they are not unique; like all of the President’s judges and judicial nominees, they have the necessary intellect, experience, integrity, and temperament. But they are special in that each of them is a trailblazer on their courts:

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Judge Darrin Gayles, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, is the first openly gay African American man to be confirmed as a lifetime-appointed federal judge in our nation’s history.

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Judge Salvador Mendoza, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, is the first Hispanic judge to serve on his court.

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Staci Yandle, confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, is the first African American to serve on her court and the first openly gay lifetime-appointed federal judge in Illinois.

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Today’s confirmations also set historic milestones: For the first time in history, the Senate has confirmed two openly gay judges on the same day. President Obama has now appointed more female judges than any other President, breaking the record previously set by President Clinton. President Obama also has now appointed more Hispanic judges than any other President, breaking the record previously held by President George W. Bush. As we’ve said before, these “firsts” — and these milestones — are important, not because these judges will consider cases differently, but because a judiciary that better resembles our nation instills even greater confidence in our justice system, and because these judges will serve as role models for generations of lawyers to come. Congratulations to our newest federal judges, who we are confident will serve with honor, distinction, and fidelity to the rule of law.

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17
Jun
14

The President at the DNC LGBT Gala, Gotham Hall

Live Now: The President delivers remarks at the DNC LGBT Gala, Gotham Hall, New York

See the President’s remarks here

17
Jun
14

Techshop Pittsburgh Welcomes President Obama

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President Barack Obama smiles as he is shown wooden art made using a laser etcher by James Gyre during his tour of TechShop, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. President Obama traveled to Pittsburgh and visited TechShop, a fabrication and prototyping studio open to the public via paid memberships, to deliver remarks on the economy

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President Barack Obama makes remarks after touring Bakery Square’s TechShop, a membership-based manufacturing workshop in Pittsburgh, that’s a model for the kind of sharing of resources he wants to see more of. The president announced a plan to open the doors of more than 700 federal labs across the country to give innovators access to more than $5 billion in equipment, research and resources to develop new technologies. Additionally, he outlined a $150 million investment in research to support the Materials Genome Investment, a public-private endeavor that aims to reduce the time it takes to develop new materials that can be used in advanced manufacturing

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President Barack Obama is shown an example of a 3-D printer by Andy Leer

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President Barack Obama speaks about the capture of Libyan militant suspected of killing Americans in Benghazi

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James O’Toole: President Obama Speaks In Pittsburgh About Technology

On a stop at Bakery Square’s TechShop in Larimer this afternoon, President Barack Obama announced a plan to give fledgling businesses expanded access to high-tech resources whether from the government or through wider sharing of private and university-based data and facilities. Administration officials said the access to expensive equipment and facilities is designed to lower the barriers to innovation. The president announced the initiative after a tour of TechShop, a membership-based manufacturing workshop that’s a model for the kind of sharing of resources he wants to promote. Coming the day after Mr. Obama announced an executive order to ban discrimination against members of the LGBT community in federal contracting, the innovation order was one more example of the administration’s efforts to pursue policy initiatives that don’t depend on action by Congress.

During his visit, the president also described new manufacturing investment commitments from 90 mayors cross the country, as well as a plan to provide private-sector innovators with access to expensive federal equipment such as wind tunnels at NASA and supercomputers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The plan would provide access to more than $5 billion worth of research, prototyping and testing equipment at more than 700 federal facilities. The president’s plan aims to give innovators – dubbed “makers” by the White House — access to equipment that no individual or small business could afford on its own, said Jeff Zients, director of the National Economic Council. “[We are] talking about using spare capacity when it’s available to give access to local makers and entrepreneurs,” he said. Mr. Zients said the president’s plan does not require legislative approval and has no cost to the federal government.

More here

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President Barack Obama points to a replica of the Presidential seal that Terry Sandin made during a tour of TechShop

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President Barack Obama takes a drink as he listens to a question

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President Barack Obama tours TechShop Pittsburgh with Matt Verlinich, General Manager of TechShop Pittsburgh

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President Barack Obama shakes hands with workers

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President Barack Obama holds up a wooden snowflake made on a laser etcher

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President Barack Obama responds to questions from workers

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17
Jun
14

Chat away – President Obama joins the library conspiracy

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Don’t worry, your new library overlords are a civilized bunch.

Chat away!

17
Jun
14

President Obama at TechShop Pittsburgh

1:45 PM EDT: President Obama Delivers Remarks and Answers Questions at TechShop Pittsburgh

Also at White House Live

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Meanwhile:

17
Jun
14

Next Up: President Obama at TechShop Pittsburgh

1:45 PM EDT: President Obama Delivers Remarks and Answers Questions at TechShop Pittsburgh

Also at White House Live

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Chat on

17
Jun
14

Rise and Shine

On This Day: President Barack Obama greets hospital workers while visiting wounded service members at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., June 17, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today (all times Eastern)

10:50: The President departs the White House

12:0: Arrives Pittsburgh

1:25: Tours TechShop Pittsburgh

1:45: Delivers remarks and answers questions, TechShop

3:25: Departs Pittsburgh

4:35: Arrives New York City

5:25: Attends a fundraiser for Senate Democrats, Intercontinental Hotel, New York

8:05: Delivers remarks at a DNC LGBT fundraiser, Gotham Hall, New York City

9:0: Attends a DNC fundraiser, private residence, New York City

10:40: Departs New York

11:50: Arrives White House

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama exit Marine One on the White House South Lawn following a trip to California, June 16, 2014 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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The Week Ahead

Wednesday: The President will host the first ever White House Maker Faire and meet with students, entrepreneurs and everyday citizens who are using new tools and techniques to launch new businesses, learn vital skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and fuel the renaissance in American manufacturing.

Thursday: The President will award Corporal William “Kyle” Carpenter, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.), the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry.

Friday: The President will meet with Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand.

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TPM: Dem Rep.: The Media Should Stop Consulting John McCain On Iraq

One Democratic congressman who voted against authorizing the Iraq War in 2002 believes the media should stop turning to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for analysis of the current situation in Iraq.

On Monday’s “All In,” MSNBC host Chris Hayes asked Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) if he’d gotten many requests to do TV spots lately considering that he took a “tough vote” against the Iraq War. Meeks hadn’t.

“Which amazes me why each and every time they go right to John McCain,” Meeks told Hayes. “I don’t know when John McCain has had it right. Thank God the American people were smart enough not to elect him president of the United States.”

“Why does the news media go to John McCain to ask him any time there’s anything happening because you know he’s going to be, ‘go to war, send troops,'” he added. “It just doesn’t make sense.”

More here

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ThinkProgress: The People Who Broke Iraq Have A Lot of Ideas About Fixing It Now

The crisis in Iraq has reached a critical point, as the Obama administration debates how to stop the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) — also known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) — in its conquest of Iraqi cities and villages. All U.S. forces left Iraq in late 2011, the result of the Iraqis not wanting to extend the terms of the status of forces agreement that dictated how American troops could operate. That marked the end of a war that lasted nearly a decade in which a well-documented campaign to push for war against Saddam Hussein drowned out any criticism ahead of the launch of combat operations.

Now, those same architects are invited to write op-eds, speak on television panels, and generally give their opinion on today’s Iraq with little to no pushback on just how wrong they got it a decade ago. The situation as it stands in Iraq is not the same as in 2003 and the administration is now considering air strikes to slow the progress of ISIS. But so as to not allow the ones who broke Iraq in the first place to go entirely unchallenged, here are some of the top advocates for launching the war in 2003 — along with their misleading statements and incorrect predictions — and what they have to say about Iraq now.

More here

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BBC: Who are the ISIS militants? James Robbins explains

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) is a jihadist group active in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS was formed in April 2013 and grew out of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). It has since been disavowed by al-Qaeda, but become one of the main jihadist groups fighting government forces in Syria and is making military gains in Iraq.

The final “S” in the acronym ISIS stems from the Arabic word “al-Sham”. This can mean the Levant, Syria or even Damascus but in the context of the global jihad it refers to the Levant.

Its precise size is unclear but it is thought to include thousands of fighters, including many foreign jihadists. Correspondents say it appears to be surpassing al-Qaeda as the world’s most dangerous jihadist group.

More here

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Charles Pierce: Open For Business

The Guardian has a solid rundown of the history of Isis, the current Hitlers against whom Huckleberry Butchmeup is hiding under the bed and on whom John McCain would like to make the big boom-boom. These seem to be authentically bad actors who, alas, were empowered at least in part by the dynamics of the clusterfck we unleashed in Iraq for the purpose of finding nuclear bombs, democracy, candy and/or flowers.

…. yes, it’s perfectly fine to remember back when the clusterfck was first beginning, and we tore down Saddam’s statue for a photo op, and then proceeded to let Baghdad descend into a chaos of violence and looting. One place that got looted was the Iraqi National Museum, and 170,000 pieces got lifted, never to be recovered. (We kept the oil ministry safe, however.) And Donald Rumsfeld, riding high as the prince of fools, said by way of explanation, “Freedom’s untidy.”

By all means, let’s listen to these people again.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: The crumbling of the right’s intellectual infrastructure

Even before the event began yesterday, the Heritage Foundation’s latest session about Benghazi was obviously ill-advised.  The gathering was organized in part by a birther conspiracy theorist who believes President Obama supports Sharia law, with a panel of guests who were slightly nuttier than their host.

Nothing good or constructive was likely to follow. But as Dana Milbank discovered, Heritage’s event took an obnoxious turn that included “the ugly taunting of a woman in the room who wore an Islamic head covering.”

More here

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Washington Post: Obama will propose vast expansion of Pacific Ocean marine sanctuary

President Obama on Tuesday will announce his intent to make a broad swath of the central Pacific Ocean off-limits to fishing, energy exploration and other activities, according to senior White House officials.

The proposal, slated to go into effect later this year after a comment period, could create the world’s largest marine sanctuary and double the area of ocean globally that is fully protected.

More here

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Woot!

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On This Day

President Obama signs the Federal Benefits & Non-Discrimination memorandum in the Oval Office, June 17, 2009. The Presidential Memorandum extends benefits to same-sex domestic partners of federal employees (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama addresses the audience at a Financial Regulatory Reform announcement in the East Room of the White House, June 17, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama is briefed on response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, during a meeting in the Rose Garden of the White House, June 17, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet audience members following the President’s remarks at the Belfast Waterfront Convention Center in Belfast, Northern Ireland, June 17, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom talk during the G8 Summit at the Lough Erne Resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, June 17, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama talks with housekeeping staff outside of a lodge at the Lough Erne Resort during the G8 Summit in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, June 17, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron and President Obama stand for the ‘family’ group photograph at the G8 venue of Lough Erne on June 18, 2013 in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland

President Obama walks with Caroline Atkinson, Special Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs, on the grounds of Lough Erne Resort during the G8 Summit in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, June 17, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Mooooooorning everyone – I’m a bit short of time these mornings, so my R&Ss are going to be kinda short – would huuuugely appreciate you all (as you always do!) adding links in the comments to news worth sharing. Thank you!




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