Archive for the 'Articles' Category

03
Aug
15

Rise And Shine

President Barack Obama talks with Members of Congress after signing the Fair Sentencing Act in the Oval Office, Aug. 3, 2010. Participants include: Attorney General Eric Holder, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, of Ill., Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC.  (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

President Barack Obama talks with Members of Congress after signing the Fair Sentencing Act in the Oval Office, Aug. 3, 2010. Participants include, from left, Attorney General Eric Holder, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC. Photo by Pete Souza

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All Times Eastern

10:00AM: President Obama receives the Presidential Daily Briefing

11:10AM: President Obama delivers remarks at the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Mandela Washington Fellowship Presidential Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel

12:30PM: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest

2:15PM: President Obama delivers remarks on the Clean Power Plan in the East Room

5:20PM: President Obama participates in an Ambassador Credentialing Ceremony in the Oval Office

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Timothy Cama: Obama Doubles Down On Historic Climate Rule For Power Plants

The Obama administration on Sunday unveiled a tougher climate change rule for power plants, demanding that generators cut their carbon dioxide output 32 percent in the first ever limits on the pollutant. The historic regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the main pillar of President Obama’s climate agenda. It is the biggest piece of his drive to create a legacy and go down in history as the first United States president to take comprehensive action against climate change by cutting emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.

The EPA is asking states to formulate plans to reach specific carbon reduction goals assigned to them by 2030, from a 2005 starting point, adding up to a 32 percent reduction nationwide. If the states do not submit plans — as multiple conservative states have threatened — the EPA will write and impose its own strategies upon them. The administration estimates that the climate benefits, in addition to benefits from reducing other pollutants from power plants, would result in a net $46 billion benefit to the nation by 2030, along with thousands of avoided premature deaths and asthma attacks.

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Patricia Zengerle: U.S. Democrats See ‘Fire Wall’ Holding To Preserve Iran Deal

U.S. backers of the Iran nuclear deal are increasingly confident of enough Democratic support to ensure it survives review by Congress, despite fierce opposition by majority Republicans and a massive lobbying drive. By the time the House of Representatives recessed for the summer last week, no senior Democrat in the chamber had come out formally against the agreement and several central figures, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, were strongly in favor.

Pelosi said she was confident that if, as expected, Republicans pass a “resolution of disapproval” to try to sink the deal, a promised veto of that measure by President Barack Obama would be sustained. At least 44 Democrats in the House and 13 Democrats in the Senate would have to defy Obama and join Republicans in opposing the deal to get the two-thirds majorities in both chambers needed to override a veto. “More and more of them (House Democrats) have confirmed to me that they will be there to sustain the veto,” Pelosi told reporters.

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Rebecca Klein: Black Students In The U.S. Get Criminalized While White Students Get Treatment

When black and white kids act up or display troubling behavior at schools, teachers and administrators often address it with differing responses split along racial lines, new research shows. Black students are more likely to be punished with suspensions, expulsions or referrals to law enforcement, a phenomenon that helps funnel kids into the criminal justice system. Meanwhile, white kids are more likely to be pushed into special education services or receive medical and psychological treatment for their perceived misbehaviors, according to a study released last week in the journal Sociology of Education.

Overall, this pattern often leads to the criminalization of young black students and the medicalization of white students. The study, conducted by Pennsylvania State University assistant professor of sociology and criminology David Ramey, analyzed the rates of suspensions, expulsions and police referrals at 59,000 schools across the country. He also looked at how many students in these schools were enrolled in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, two programs designed to help kids in need of special services. Ramey found that schools with larger populations of black students also had higher rates of suspensions, while schools with more white students had a greater number of kids in programs designed for students with special needs.

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Adele Stan: The Progressive Movement Has A Race Problem

We want a nation where a young black man or woman can walk down the street without worrying about being falsely arrested, beaten, or killed,” Bernie Sanders told some 8,000 supporters in Dallas on July 19, the day after his contentious encounter with protesters from the Black Lives Matter movement at Netroots Nation. While Sanders, the socialist U.S. senator from Vermont who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, appeared to have learned his lesson quickly, the same cannot necessarily be said for some of his most ardent followers, or for the progressive movement more broadly, where power rests primarily in the hands of white men.

But if Sanders is a standard-bearer for the progressive movement, then his lack of resonance among black voters is a problem not just for the senator’s campaign, but for the movement itself. Among the most daunting obstacles to racial equality is the white liberal who thinks he doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. Because we all do. This is America, after all, where we all have brains peppered since birth with racial stereotypes and tropes. Denying that won’t cure the ill; transcendence is the real medicine. Transcending beliefs virtually etched in one’s DNA requires sustained and conscious effort. It’s uncomfortable. It meets with resistance from within and without. But until white progressives are willing to take a cold, hard look at why our movement is viewed with suspicion by those who feel shut out, a truly progressive future will be a promise unfulfilled.

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President Barack Obama meets with Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Amir of Kuwait, outside the Oval Office, August 3, 2009.  (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

President Barack Obama waits with Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Amir of Kuwait, outside the Oval Office, as they were about to walk to the State Dining Room on Aug. 3, 2009. Photo by Pete Souza

President Barack Obama has lunch at Good Stuff Eatery in Washington, D.C., with staff members who worked on the debt negotiations, Aug. 3, 2011. From left are: Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew; National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling; Rob Nabors, Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs; and Bruce Reed, Chief of Staff to the Vice President. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

President Barack Obama has lunch at Good Stuff Eatery in Washington, D.C., with staff members who worked on the debt negotiations, Aug. 3, 2011. From left are: Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew; National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling; Rob Nabors, Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs; and Bruce Reed, Chief of Staff to the Vice President. Photo by Pete Souza

02
Aug
15

Rise And Shine

President Barack Obama works on his statement on the compromise reached to reduce the deficit and avert a default, in the Outer Oval Office, Aug. 2, 2011. Standing in the background are, from left: Director of Communications Dan Pfeiffer; Press Secretary Jay Carney; Jon Lovett, Associate Director of Speechwriting; and Senior Advisor David Plouffe. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

President Barack Obama works on his statement on the compromise reached to reduce the deficit and avert a default, in the Outer Oval Office, Aug. 2, 2011. Standing in the background are, from left: Director of Communications Dan Pfeiffer; Press Secretary Jay Carney; Jon Lovett, Associate Director of Speechwriting; and Senior Advisor David Plouffe. Photo by Pete Souza

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William Saletan: Not Fit To Lead

If Republicans win the White House next year, they’ll almost certainly control the entire federal government. Many of them, running for president or aspiring to leadership roles in Congress, are trying to block the nuclear deal with Iran. This would be a good time for these leaders to show that they’re ready for the responsibilities of national security and foreign policy. Instead, they’re showing the opposite. Over the past several days, congressional hearings on the deal have become a spectacle of dishonesty, incomprehension, and inability to cope with the challenges of a multilateral world.

When the hearings began more than a week ago, I was planning to write about the testimony of Secretary of State John Kerry and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. But the more I watched, the more I saw that the danger in the room wasn’t coming from the deal or its administration proponents. It was coming from the interrogators. In challenging Kerry and Moniz, Republican senators and representatives offered no serious alternative. They misrepresented testimony, dismissed contrary evidence, and substituted vitriol for analysis. They seemed baffled by the idea of having to work and negotiate with other countries. I came away from the hearings dismayed by what the GOP has become in the Obama era. It seems utterly unprepared to govern.

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Don Thompson: Suicide Spike Boosts Oversight Of California Women’s Prison

A spike in suicides and attempted suicides has prompted corrections officials to step up oversight at a California women’s prison as inspectors try to pinpoint the cause of the troubling increase. Four women have killed themselves at California Institution for Women in San Bernardino County in the last 18 months, according to state records. The suicide rate at the facility is more than eight times the national rate for female inmates and more than five times the rate for the entire California prison system.

In California, the Institution for Women is the only women’s prison in the state to have had any suicides in the last five years, and another 20 of the prison’s 2,000 inmates have attempted suicide during the last year and a half. It is a shocking turnaround at a facility that last year was cited as a rare example of California providing proper mental health treatment for inmates. All four women who died were receiving mental health treatment in the days before their deaths.

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Letitia Stein: March To Washington Begins With Civil Rights Rally In Selma

NAACP leaders launched a 40-day march across the U.S. South on Saturday with a rally in Selma, Alabama, drawing on that city’s significance in the 1960s civil rights movement to call attention to the issue of racial injustice in modern America. Organizers of “America’s Journey for Justice” want to build momentum behind a renewed national dialogue over race relations prompted by the killing of a number of unarmed black men by police officers over the past year.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People leaders at the rally urged marchers to honor the memories of New York’s Eric Garner and Cincinnati’s Samuel DuBose, two of the unarmed black men killed in the police confrontations. The march, which would cover nearly 900 miles, began on Selma’s historic Edmund Pettus Bridge, where police beat peaceful marchers with clubs and doused them with tear gas in 1965. The infamous confrontation was a catalyst for the passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act, signed into law 50 years ago this week.

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National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice helps Vice President Joe Biden with a spot on his suit jacket, in a hall outside the Oval Office, Aug. 2, 2013. Robert Cardillo, Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Intelligence Integration, watches at right. Photo by Pete Souza

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President Barack Obama talks with diners at Lechonera El Barrio restaurant while waiting for his lunch order during a stop in Orlando, Fla., Aug. 2, 2012. Photo by Pete Souza

01
Aug
15

Rise And Shine

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President Barack Obama samples fudge offered by Squirrel’s Den fudge shop owner LaDonna Secrist, left, during a stop in Mansfield, Ohio, Aug. 1, 2012. Photo by Pete Souza

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Jack Jenkins: More Than 180 Evangelical Leaders Endorse Obama’s Carbon Reduction Plan

More than 180 evangelical Christian leaders signed a letter this week backing President Barack Obama’s plan to reduce carbon emissions from power plants, the latest effort in a growing faith-based environmental movement to curb the effects of climate change. On Thursday, theologically conservative faith leaders sent a letter to President Obama endorsing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP),

a sweeping, historic project unveiled in June and set to be officially released next week. Signers of the letter, which was posted on the Evangelical Environmental Network’s website, framed their support in explicitly moral terms. “We see overcoming the climate challenge as one of the great moral opportunities of our time, a chance to fulfill the Great Commandments to love God, our neighbors, and ourselves,” the letter read. “It is God’s love that calls all of us to take on this challenge. That is why we write to offer our support and encouragement for your efforts to overcome the climate challenge.”

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Terry Wallace: Trooper In Sandra Bland Arrest Had Been Disciplined

The Texas trooper who arrested Sandra Bland after a confrontation that began with a traffic stop was once cautioned about “unprofessional conduct” in a 2014 incident while he was still a probationary trooper, according to documents released Friday. The Texas Department of Public Safety released Encinia’s personnel file in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from The Associated Press. Encinia had been with the department for a little over a year. For the most part, his file was unremarkable. He received “competent” ratings in all of the evaluations that were released.

However, in an evaluation that covered September and October 2014, his supervisor noted that Encinia “was given a written counseling for unprofessional conduct … for an incident occurring while at a school in Austin.” The documents provided no additional details and a Department of Public Safety official did not return a phone call seeking comment Friday night. The evaluation goes on to say, “In the future, Trooper Encinia should conduct himself at all times in a manner that will reflect well upon himself, the Department, and the State of Texas. This supervisor will ensure that this is done by meeting periodically with Trooper Encinia.”

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AP: Suspected Jewish Extremists Burn Palestinian Child To Death

Suspected Jewish assailants set fire to a West Bank home on Friday and burned a sleeping Palestinian toddler to death in an attack that drew Palestinian rage and widespread Israeli condemnation. The attack, which threatens to set off another violent escalation, shines a light on the growing lawlessness of extremist Jewish settlers that Israel is either unable or unwilling to contain. The extremists have for years staged attacks against Palestinian property, as well as mosques, churches, dovish Israeli groups and even Israeli military bases.

The attacks, known as “price tags” because they exact a price for Israeli steps seen as favorable to the Palestinians, have stirred fear in Palestinians and frustration among critics who say Israel has not done enough to quell the assaults. “This is a direct consequence of decades of impunity given by the Israeli government to settler terrorism,” said Palestinian official Saeb Erekat. “This is the consequence of a culture of hate funded and incentivized by the Israeli government and the impunity granted by the international community.”

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Tara Culp-Ressler: Some Of The Videos Targeting Planned Parenthood May Be Illegal, Court Rules

An anti-abortion group that has so far released four inflammatory videos accusing Planned Parenthood of profiting from the sale of “aborted baby parts” will not be allowed to publish additional footage featuring a California company that facilitates fetal tissue donation, thanks to a temporary restraining order issued by the Los Angeles Superior Court. The court order issued this week blocks the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) from releasing video footage featuring employees who work at StemExpress, a biological company that partners with some Planned Parenthood clinics to help transfer fetal tissue donations to medical research facilities.

The unfolding controversy plaguing Planned Parenthood has been focused on this type of tissue donation, which CMP misleadingly characterizes as trafficking in baby parts. Planned Parenthood emphasizes that it’s simply helping patients who choose to donate fetal tissue, which can play a role in helping scientists develop treatments for degenerative diseases. The national women’s health organization has condemned CMP’s secret recordings for potentially violating the privacy of staff and patients at their clinics.

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President Barack Obama disembarks Air Force One upon his arrival at Mansfield Air National Guard Base in Mansfield, Ohio, Aug. 1, 2012. Photo by Pete Souza

31
Jul
15

Rise And Shine

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President Barack Obama meets with bicameral congressional leaders and the chairs and ranking members of congressional national security committees to consult with them about ongoing U.S. efforts to respond to the conflicts in Ukraine, Iraq, Gaza, Syria, and other issues, in the Cabinet Room of the White House. July 31, 2014. Photo by Pete Souza

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All Times Eastern

10:00AM: President Barack Obama receives the Presidential Daily Briefing

1:00PM: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz

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President Barack Obama greets four of the nine 2014 Kavli Prize laureates with representatives from the Kavli Foundation and other guests in the Oval Office. July 31, 2014 Photo by Pete Souza

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Bradley Burston: I Live In Israel, In Iran’s Shadow. I Voted For Obama. I’m Glad I Did

I live in Israel. I live in the shadow of Iran. I hold American citizenship as well as Israeli. I pay taxes to both countries. I vote in the elections of each. In 2008 and 2012, I voted for Barack Obama. I’m glad I did. I’m glad not only because of landmark changes to America on his watch, not only because of moments of inspiration, of unexpected hope, of enfranchisement, of movement on issues long dismissed as immutable. I’m glad because I believe that no one but this president would have tried, and succeeded, to land a deal with Iran on nuclear weapons.

I believe that Barack Obama is making the best effort that anyone is, to keep my family safe from the possibility of an Iranian nuclear weapon. And what about Benjamin Netanyahu? Don’t I trust him? Don’t I trust him to keep us safe, to safeguard Israel’s vital interests, to keep war at bay? No. Not at all. Absolutely not. Barack Obama could have taken the easy way out, and ducked the most difficult foreign policy challenge of his presidency – a nuclear Iran. Instead, against all odds, against some of the most stringent pressures American politics can dish out, he has driven forward. Thank you, Mr. President, for this deal.

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Nicholas Kristof: Why The Naysayers Are Wrong About The Iran Deal

You doves think that a nuclear deal will empower reformers in Iran and turn it once more into the pro-American and pro-Israeli power it was under the shah. But sanctions relief may just give this regime a new lease on life. Iran’s people are perhaps the most pro-American and secular of those of any country I’ve been to in the Middle East. (On my last trip to Iran, I took two of my kids along, and Iranians bought them meals and ice cream, and served them illegal mojitos.) The public weariness with the regime’s corruption, oppression and economic failings is manifest. I would guess that after the supreme leader dies, Iran will begin a process of change like that in China after Mao died.

Look, even you admit that this is a flawed deal. So why risk it? As Rick Perry says, “No deal is better and safer than a bad deal.” We have a glimpse of what might happen. In 2003, Iran seemingly offered a comprehensive “grand bargain” to resolve relations with the United States, but George W. Bush’s administration dismissed it. Since then, Iran has gone from a tiny number of centrifuges to 19,000, getting within two months of “breakout” to a nuclear weapon. The point: Fulmination is not a substitute for policy, and a multilateral international agreement achieves far more protection than finger-wagging.

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Michael McLaughlin: Officers Involved In Samuel DuBose Shooting Were Sued In Earlier Death Of Unarmed Black Man

Two University of Cincinnati police officers involved in a colleague’s recent fatal shooting of Samuel DuBose also were on hand for a 2010 struggle with a psychiatric patient who later died. Officers Eric Weibel and Phillip Kidd were among seven University of Cincinnati police officers and other officials named in a lawsuit alleging the wrongful death of Kelly Brinson, a 45-year-old mentally ill university hospital patient. Hospital staff summoned officers to help subdue Brinson, who became agitated when put in seclusion, according to court documents first reported by The Guardian. Kidd and Weibel gave written statements that they restrained Brinson, while another officer used a Taser stun gun on him.

Brinson went into cardiac arrest and died days later, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. The Hamilton County coroner ruled Brinson died from natural causes. His family settled the lawsuit for $638,000. Both officers also were involved in the July 19 traffic stop that led to the death of DuBose. Kidd gave statements to investigators that he saw DuBose, 43, drive away and drag Officer Ray Tensing before Tensing shot the motorist. Weibel wrote in a report that Tensing’s uniform looked like he’d been dragged. Footage from Tensing’s body camera, however, appeared to show that DuBose wasn’t driving away when the officer shot him, as Tensing and Kidd had claimed.

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Zeba Blay: How White People Sound When They Argue About Racism

On July 27, the Black Girl Dangerous Twitter account shared some hilarious — but also painfully accurate — examples of what white people sound like when they dismiss the experiences of people of color. Mia McKenzie, creator of the Black Girl Dangerous organization was behind the series of tweets, prefaced by noting, “I’ve been saying publicly for like four years that IDGAF what you think about shit you don’t experience.” She then described a series of ridiculous scenarios in which people speak about or disagree with experiences that they have no first-hand knowledge of.

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House Democratic Leaders Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., and Steny Hoyer, D-Md., present a birthday cake to President Barack Obama during a meeting with the House Democratic Caucus at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., July 31, 2013. Photo by Pete Souza

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President Barack Obama meets with from left: Rob Nabors, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy; Kathryn Ruemmler, Counsel to the President; Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough in the Rose Garden of the White House, July 31, 2013. Photo by Pete Souza

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President Barack Obama greets HUD staff following remarks at the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C., July 31, 2014. Photo by Pete Souza




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