Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama With Babies

22
Jan
16

Picture Of The Day

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Pete Souza: President Obama says hi to Walker Earnest, son of White House press secretary Josh Earnest and Natalie Wyeth Earnest

09
Jan
16

Tweet Of The Day

06
Aug
15

On This Day

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President Barack Obama greets the family of Make-A-Wish child Francisco “Paqui” Lopez Pena, outside the Oval Office, Aug. 6, 2012. Photo by Pete Souza

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President Barack Obama greets participants during a meeting on the future of disability policy in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Aug. 6, 2012. Photo by Pete Souza

05
Aug
15

Chat Away

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Giving high fives to children at the U.S. Embassy. Photo by Pete Souza

04
Jun
15

The President’s Day

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Pete Souza: President Obama plays w Ella Harper Rhodes, daughter of Deputy NSC advisor Ben Rhodes, today in Oval Office

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President Barack Obama receives a San Francisco Giants jersey after welcoming the World Series Champion San Francisco Giants to the White House

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President Barack Obama applauds baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays and Monte Irvin

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Pitcher Madison Bumgarner laughs as President Barack Obama mentions him

President Barack Obama, accompanied by San Francisco Giants CEO Larry Baer, right, holds an autographed baseball given to him by San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, June 4, 2015, where the president honored the 2014 World Series baseball champions. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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Outfielder Hunter Pence reacts in a funny manner as President Barack Obama speaks about the memes that cropped up using Hunter’s name

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President Barack Obama receives an autographed baseball used during the World Series

President Barack Obama, joined by, from left, San Francisco  Giants Hall of Fame baseball players Monte Irvin and Willie Mays, Giants CEO Larry Baer, and team manager Bruce Bochy, holds an autographed baseball given to him by San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, June 4, 2015, where the president honored the team and their 2014 World Series baseball victory. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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30
Dec
14

Pete Souza The Great: 2014 In Photos

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January 28, 2014

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“At the annual State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol, Chuck Kennedy captured this poignant moment between the First Lady and U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg. Cory first met the President in 2009 at a D-Day ceremony in Normandy. Four months later, Cory was badly injured in Afghanistan and in a coma for three months. In early 2010, shortly after Cory came out of his coma, the President happened to be visiting patients at Walter Reed Hospital. As he walked into one of the patient’s rooms, hanging on the wall was a photo I had taken of the President and Cory in Normandy. The President then realized that he had met this badly injured Army Ranger at Normandy. Two years later, we were visiting Arizona, where Cory had gone home to further recuperate. The President asked if Cory would be able to greet him backstage. Amazingly, Cory was able to salute the President and walk across the room aided by a walker to shake hands with the President.” (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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February 4, 2014

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“Members of Congress vie for the President’s attention following a meeting with the House Democratic Caucus in the East Room of the White House.”  (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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March 1, 2014

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“The President talks with some of his national security advisors before a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the situation in Ukraine. I’m sure there will be people quick to comment about his wearing casual clothes and having his feet on his coffee table. Let’s keep perspective in mind: it was a Saturday, and a President is the President whether he’s wearing a suit on a weekday or casual clothes on a weekend. And a President, any President, isn’t disrespecting the office if he puts his feet on a table or a desk; he’s just being relaxed.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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March 18, 2014

Continue reading ‘Pete Souza The Great: 2014 In Photos’

17
Nov
14

A Decline In Dangerous Premature Births. Thanks, ObamaCare

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Michelle Andrews: Dangerous Premature Births Decline In States That Expanded Medicaid

The percentage of babies born prematurely fell to 11.4 percent in 2013, its lowest level in 17 years, according to an annual March of Dimes report released this week. While many factors contributed to the decline, officials say the health law’s expansion of Medicaid to adults with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level has played a role. Going forward, other health law provisions will likely contribute to further reductions in preterm births, defined as live births at less than 37 full weeks, women’s health advocates suggest.  The health law’s expansion of public and private health insurance coverage to millions of women will likely have the largest impact on reducing preterm births, says Adam Sonfield, a senior public policy associate at the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research and education organization.

Pregnant women who meet their state’s income eligibility standards (typically at or near 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or $23,340), can receive Medicaid services until 60 days after they give birth, but more consistent coverage helps ensure that women are healthy before they become pregnant and that they receive early prenatal care. Other health law provisions will make inroads as well, according to Sonfield, who authored a Guttmacher brief on pregnancy-related services shortly after the law passed in 2010. Maternity and newborn care is now required coverage in plans sold on the individual and small group markets. A range of preventive services must be provided free of charge to pregnant women, including folic acid supplements, smoking cessation counseling, screening for gestational diabetes and prenatal care.

More here

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15
Oct
14

At the gates of St. Peter

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Even at a ripe 45, I have some of the sense of invulnerability that I had at 25. There is no good reason for me to be so confident; I have the physicals and admonitions from my doctor to prove so. But, I guess it’s better than being like some people, who treat every errant mole as a sign of the Grim Reaper’s impending visit.

However, everything ends. The one surety in life is that your time on Earth is short an precious. Would we appreciate life if we somehow discovered the fountain of youth? I don’t know. But the short lives we have now make every moment unique, of a singular nature, whether in joy or sorrow.

As life is short, something which always informs my decisions is the question: Am I making the world a better place. I’m not talking about great, macro-historical acts. I’m talking about the little things, the everyday kindnesses, the quotidian miracles which will not make it to the history books, but which may change a person’s life in innumerable ways for the better.

It’s a question by which I try to live. But it’s also a question which too few of our fellow citizens ask.

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Continue reading ‘At the gates of St. Peter’

17
Sep
14

Kids Love President Obama

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President Barack Obama leans over to allow Caleb Edwin, right, touch his hair during his visits to a first grade classroom at Gen. Clarence Tinker elementary school at MacDill Air Force Base

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President Barack Obama reaches over to touch the spiked hair on Blake Diego, during his visits to a first grade class at Gen. Clarence Tinker elementary school at MacDill Air Force Base

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11
Sep
14

Kids ♥ The Obamas

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First Lady Michelle Obama hugs a child during a Drink Up event on the South Lawn of the White House, July 22, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

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President Barack Obama talks with a little girl at the Charcoal Pit restaurant in Wilmington, Del., July 17, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Barack Obama holds the baby daughter of former staff members Darienne Page Rakestraw and London Rakestraw in the Ground Floor Corridor of the White House, July 1, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Barack Obama greets a young girl after he delivered remarks on the economy at Cheesman Park in Denver, Colo., July 9, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Barack Obama talks with a young girl as he and the First Lady greeted military personnel and their families during the Fourth of July celebration on the South Lawn of the White House, July 4, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Barack Obama talks with three-year-old Holden Fossum and his sisters Ayla, 8, and Alexandria, 4, during a greet with wounded warriors and their families in the East Room of the White House, July 14, 2014. Holden, Ayla, and Alexandria are the children of Staff Sergeant Brendan Fossum and wife Dana of Woodbine, Md. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Barack Obama greets a young boy on the street in Denver, Colo., July 8, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Barack Obama greets Make-A-Wish recipient Mariah Rivera, age 10, and her family in the Oval Office, July 29, 2014. Rivera brought the President a birthday card she made for him. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Barack Obama greets Emmitt and Pat Smith and family, and Team 22 on the Rose Garden steps of the White House, July 29, 2104. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Barack Obama greets the family of departing staff member Archana Snyder, Council of Economic Advisers, in the Outer Oval Office, July 3, 2014.

11
Sep
14

The Obama White House Through The Lens Of Pete Souza

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President Barack Obama holds the baby daughter of former staff members Darienne Page Rakestraw and London Rakestraw in the Ground Floor Corridor of the White House, July 1, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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First Lady Michelle Obama hugs Braeden Mannering, the 2013 Kids’ State Dinner winner from Delaware, after he introduced her at the Kids’ State Dinner in the East Room of the White House, July 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

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President Barack Obama greets audience members after he delivered remarks on the economy at the Georgetown Waterfront Park in Washington, D.C., July 1, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama talk with Ken Burns as part of an interview for a PBS documentary about Jackie Robinson, in the White House Library, July 3, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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President Barack Obama greets Airman First Class Karen Mae Manalo with other citizenship candidates in the Blue Room prior to a naturalization ceremony for active duty military, military dependents, reservists and veterans at the White House, July 4, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Barack Obama greets a young girl after he delivered remarks on the economy at Cheesman Park in Denver, Colo., July 9, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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First Lady Michelle Obama discusses Millennium Development Goals with students during a visit to Global Kids, Inc. in New York, N.Y., July 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

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President Barack Obama jokes with Mattina Falco, 19-year-old Make-A-Wish recipient from Worchester, Mass., as she sits at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, July 17, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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First Lady Michelle Obama and Jennifer Lopez pose for a selfie before the 85th Annual League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) National Convention and Exposition in New York, N.Y., July 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

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Vice President Joe Biden talks with Chief of Staff Denis McDonough in the Oval Office, July 2, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Barack Obama greets audience members after he delivers remarks on the economy at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas, July 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Barack Obama greets patrons at the Charcoal Pit restaurant in Wilmington, Del., July 17, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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First Lady Michelle Obama joins the cast of Disney’s “The Lion King” onstage after their performance at the Kids’ State Dinner in the East Room of the White House, July 18, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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President Barack Obama greets patrons at Canter’s Delicatessen in Los Angeles, Calif., July 24, 2014. (Official White House 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. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden share a laugh in the Oval Office July 21, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

15
Aug
14

Rise and Shine

On This Day: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama’s hands rest on the railing of a boat during their tour of St. Andrews Bay in Panama City Beach, Fla., Sunday, Aug. 15, 2010 ( Photo by Pete Souza)

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Mooooooorning again everyone – the R&S vacation is nearly over, hang in there! And chat on.

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Happy 34th Wedding Anniversary to Mr and Mrs 57!

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On This Day

 President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha wait for Old Faithful to erupt during their visit to Yellowstone National Park on Aug. 15, 2009 (Photo by Tami A. Heilemann)

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President Obama and daughter Sasha steer the “Bay Point Lady” during a tour of St. Andrews Bay off Panama City Beach, Fla., Aug. 15, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama greets children from the Valleyland Kids summer program outside a school in Chatfield, Minn., during a three-day bus tour in the Midwest, Aug. 15, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama greets people outside the Old Market Deli in Cannon Falls, Minn. Aug. 15, 2011. The President stopped to have lunch with five post-9/11 veterans from Minnesota during a three-day bus tour in the Midwest (Photo by Samantha Appleton)

President Obama holds a baby as he arrives for lunch at the Old Market Deli in Cannon Falls, Minn., during a three-day bus tour in the Midwest, Aug. 15, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

26
Jul
14

He Is ‘My Brother’s Keeper’

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Washington Post: Mr. Obama’s Promising My Brother’s Keeper Initiative

THESE ARE the depressing facts about boys and young men of color: They are more likely to drop out of school, more likely to be in prison, more likely to be unemployed and more likely to die at an earlier age. That minority men are at disproportionate risk throughout their lives has largely been seen as unavoidable. The beauty of President Obama’s public-private initiative to create better futures for them is its refusal to accept these outcomes as inevitable.

My Brother’s Keeper, a five-year, $200 million effort focused on improving opportunities for black and Hispanic youth, was launched in February. It got a boost this week with the announcement of new commitments from the private sector. Equally important is the decision by 60 of the nation’s largest school districts to join the effort by implementing evidence-based strategies to improve outcomes. The country as a whole will gain when males of color are able to realize their potential, rather than ending up on the streets, in jail or in the morgue.

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19
Jul
14

After The Week That Was, A Heart-Warming Image Or Two

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Chat on, people!

17
Jul
14

The President’s Day

@petesouza: Pres Obama talks on phone w Pres Poroshenko of Ukraine aboard Air Force One regarding Malaysian Airlines plane crash

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Text of the President’s remarks here

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@dougmillsnyt: A young girl greets President Obama as he arrives at the New Castle Air National Guard Base, in New Castle, Delaware.

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@dougmillsnyt: Obama is reflected through the window as he greets customers at the Charcoal Pit to in Wilmington, Del.

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President Barack Obama speaks about transportation and an initiative to increase private sector investment in national infrastructure, at the Port of Wilmington in Wilmington, Delaware, near the Interstate 495 Bridge. The federal government is helping pay for repairs to the bridge, which state officials ordered closed on an emergency basis last month because several supporting columns were tilting.

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President Barack Obama signs a initiative to increase private sector investment in the nation’s infrastructure after speaking in front of the Interstate 495 bridge over the Christina River near Wilmington, Delaware

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White House: Fact Sheet: Building A 21st Century Infrastructure: Increasing Public And Private Collaboration With The Build America Investment Initiative

Today, the President will deliver remarks at the Port of Wilmington in front of the I-495 Bridge in Delaware. With 90,000 cars moving over it per day before repairs began, this bridge is a key example of the importance of infrastructure, which keeps the economy moving, spurs innovation, and bolsters our national competitiveness. At the port – and in this Year of Action – the President will announce a new executive action to create the Build America Investment Initiative, a government-wide initiative to increase infrastructure investment and economic growth. As part of the Initiative, the Administration is launching the Build America Transportation Investment Center – housed at the Department of Transportation – to serve as a one-stop shop for cities and states seeking to use innovative financing and partnerships with the private sector to support transportation infrastructure.

That is why today, the President will sign a Presidential Memorandum to launch the Build America Investment Initiative, a government-wide initiative to increase infrastructure investment and economic growth by engaging with state and local governments and private sector investors to encourage collaboration, expand the market for public-private partnerships (PPPs) and put federal credit programs to greater use. Starting with the transportation sector, this initiative will harness the potential of private capital to complement government funding. As part of the Initiative, the Administration is launching the Build America Transportation Investment Center: Housed at the Department of Transportation, this center will serve as a one-stop shop for state and local governments, public and private developers and investors seeking to utilize innovative financing strategies for transportation infrastructure projects.

More here

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President Barack Obama meets with Tanei Benjamin at the Charcoal Pit in Wilmington, Del., before speaking about transportation and infrastructure. Benjamin wrote the president a letter about her struggles as a working single mother.

President Obama holds Jaidyn Oates, 7 months, at the Charcoal Pit in Wilmington

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President Barack Obama holds seven-month-old Jaidyn Oates during a stop at the Charcoal Pit

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Tanei Benjamin wipes tears from her eyes after receiving a hug from President Barack Obama

04
Jul
14

The Obamas Celebrate Fourth Of July!

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama host an Independence Day celebration on the South Lawn at the White House

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Yahoo: Obama Lauds Service Members At July Fourth Picnic

President Barack Obama says the extraordinary sacrifices by U.S. service members are keeping America safe and free. And he says there’s no other group of people that he and first lady Michelle Obama would rather spend time with on the Fourth of July than America’s men and women in uniform.

Obama addressed a crowd of hundreds of military families gathered Friday on the White House South Lawn for an all-American barbecue and concert sponsored by the USO. Music will be provided by the rapper Pitbull. The families will also get to see the fireworks on the National Mall.

More here

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A general view of the Independence Day celebration for military families on the South Lawn hosted by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House

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The President’s Own Marine Band plays as President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet military families

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04
Jul
14

Rise and Shine

On This Day: President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama watch the fireworks over the National Mall from the roof of the White House, July 4, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today (All Times Eastern)

11:0: The President speaks at a naturalization ceremony for active-duty service members and civilians

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6:0: The President and First Lady attend the “Salute to the Military” July 4th celebration at the White House; the President delivers remarks

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8:10: USO concert for troops and military families featuring recording artist Pitbull

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9:10: Fireworks show on the National Mall

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David Horsey: Unsung Civil Rights Heroes Fought And Died For Our Freedom

On the Fourth of July, as on all national holidays, we are encouraged to think about the men and women who have fought and died for our freedoms; the likes of Washington, Lincoln and all the soldiers who have fought in our wars. This standard roster of heroes is venerable, but it is far from complete. … in 1955, a weary black woman refused to give up the seat she had taken in the white section of a bus in Montgomery, Ala. In 1957, one lone black girl walked into Little Rock’s Central High School amid the jeers of a furious mob.

In 1958, a few young blacks sat down at the whites-only counter at the Dockum Drug Store in Wichita, Kan., and refused to leave. In 1961…. …. Rosa Parks, John Lewis, James Meredith, Fannie Lou Hamer, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, Medgar Evers and so many others showed bravery as great as that of any soldier. They stood firm, sacrificed and, in many cases, died for our freedom. This Independence Day, think of them and stand in awe.

More here

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Eugene Robinson: This July 4, Governing In The Spirit Of Revenge

As we celebrate the Fourth of July, who can argue that our democracy is working the way the Founders intended? And who can deny that most of the blame for dysfunction must fall to the Republican Party? … Whatever the motivation, Republicans have paralyzed our government in a way that would have shocked and depressed the Founders. Compounding the outrage, Republicans have the temerity to criticize Obama for using his executive powers in the national interest. This is dangerously close to nihilism.

Think about this for a moment. Urgently needed legislation has been passed by the Senate, is supported by the president and has enough votes in the House. Yet it goes nowhere, as chaos on the border worsens and thousands of children remain in limbo. Is this what the Founders had in mind? Today’s Republican Party opposes the Affordable Care Act, so it refuses to work with the Obama administration in legislating technical fixes that would make the law work more smoothly. Is this in any sense patriotic? the GOP cares more about ideology, reelection and opposing Obama’s every initiative than about the well-being of the nation. It is scant comfort, on Independence Day, to remember that the republic has survived worse.

More here

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President Obama’s interview with Marketplace

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Full interview and transcript here

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Danny Vinik: Recovery Summer May Finally Have Arrived Finally, A Jobs Report Routs Expectations

For the past few years, it was like clockwork: A disappointing summer of job growth would give way to a much stronger winter. Economists would hesitantly forecast that the economy was about to kick into second gear. Then the summer would come and the disappointing data would return. But finally, it looks like we are ready to break that trend: The economy added 288,000 jobs in June, soundly beating economists’ expectations of 211,000, and the unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent.

… Consumers, businesses and investors are all showing renewed confidence in the economy. On Monday, pending home sales hit a four-year high. Automakers also reported surprisingly high sales. Many economists even expect wage growth in the second half of the year. The June jobs report only adds further support for the recovery summer. … There are few commentators on Twitter who parse the jobs report better than economist Justin Wolfers. In recent years, it was often him who urged caution as the economy picked up in the winter and would shoot down any reporters showing too much optimism. But even he couldn’t find anything to be pessimistic about in this jobs report:

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NYT: Hiring Is Strong And Jobless Rate Declines To 6.1%

American companies are finally getting comfortable enough with the economy’s prospects to add new workers at a very healthy pace, after years of saying they lacked the confidence to hire people aggressively during a fitful recovery. Employers added 288,000 jobs in June, the Labor Department said Thursday, the fifth month in a row that hiring has topped the 200,000 mark. The unemployment rate dipped to 6.1 percent last month, the best reading since September 2008, when the collapse of Lehman Brothers turned what had been a mild recession into an economic rout. Factoring in June’s increase and upward revisions for estimated hiring in April and May, employers added an average of 231,000 workers a month in the first half of 2014, the best six-month run since the spring of 2006. “We’re clicking on all cylinders in terms of job growth,” said Dean Maki, chief United States economist at Barclays. Just as significant as the headline figures,

Mr. Maki said, is that June’s hiring was broad-based, as industries as varied as health care, manufacturing, financial services and retailing all added workers. “Every major sector showed job growth in June, including the private service sector, where the bulk of jobs in the U.S. are created,” Mr. Maki said. In an important turnabout, there were encouraging gains not just in well-paid white-collar professions, or in low-wage sectors like retail and restaurants, but also in the vast middle tier of jobs that enable workers to gain a foothold in the middle class. For example, manufacturers hired 16,000 workers, while transportation companies added 17,000 employees and the long-dormant public sector saw an addition of 26,000 positions.

More here

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Sally Kohn: Hobby Lobby: Sex, Lies, And Craft Supplies

“Birth control is cheap.” Hobby Lobby was about four forms of contraception that are not cheap (PDF). Plan B costs $35 to $60. Ella costs around $55. An IUD costs anywhere from $500 to $1,000. As the Notorious RBG (known to some as Ruth Bader Ginsburg) pointed out in her scathing 35-page dissent, “the cost of an IUD is nearly equivalent to a month’s full-time pay for workers earning the minimum wage.” Similarly, for someone making $7 an hour — even if she’s lucky enough to get 40 hours of shifts in a week, which is rare — the cost of Plan B or Ella is roughly 10 percent of her take-home pay before taxes.

“Whatever, Hobby Lobby still covers 14 other kinds of contraception.” Funny thing, it actually provided all 20 until the lawyers behind the Hobby Lobby case contacted the company to see if they wanted to file suit. It was only then that the company discovered its insurance plan covered Plan B, and the two IUDs at issue—and then stopped covering them. And then Hobby Lobby sued the government for making it do something that up until that moment it had been doing on its own. Even today, Hobby Lobby’s 401(k) plan still invests not only in the manufacturers of these forms of birth control but also companies that make drugs used in medical abortions.

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Irin Carmon: Female Justices Issue Searing Dissent Over New Contraceptive Case

The fierce disagreements dividing the Supreme Court over this week’s Hobby Lobby decision were laid bare Thursday in a searing dissent from Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who said the Justices’ decision in a separate contraceptive case “undermines confidence in this institution.” The dissent was signed by all three female Justices. The dissent was in an order to grant an emergency request from Wheaton College, an evangelical college in Illinois. At issue is the “accommodation” the Obama administration worked out for religiously-identified non-profits: Sign a form certifying your objection, and the insurer will provide the coverage directly, without the objecting organization having to pay.

As of now, 122 non-profits have sued, claiming that signing the opt-out form for someone to get contraception violates their religious liberty. “Let me be absolutely clear: I do not doubt that Wheaton genuinely believes that signing the self-certification form is contrary to its religious beliefs,” Sotomayor wrote. “But thinking one’s religious beliefs are substantially burdened … does not make it so.” She added, “Not every sincerely felt ‘burden’ is a ‘substantial’ one, and it is for courts, not litigants, to identify which are.”

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Jeanna Smialek: Trade Gap In U.S. Shrinks More Than Forecast On Record Exports

The trade deficit in the U.S. narrowed more than forecast in May on record exports, signaling a pickup in global growth that will boost American manufacturers. The gap shrank by 5.6 percent, the biggest drop since November, to $44.4 billion from the prior month’s $47 billion, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 69 economists called for a contraction to $45 billion.

Sales to foreign customers climbed 1 percent on growing demand for autos and parts, petroleum products and aircraft engines. Economic expansions abroad that are gaining traction will probably continue to invigorate demand for American goods. A narrowing deficit would mean trade becomes less of a drag on gross domestic product in the second quarter after the world’s largest economy contracted in the first three months of 2014.

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Lucia Graves: One Big Thing Everyone Is Missing In Hobby Lobby

The ruling is not just about sex, it’s about health. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in her scathing dissent of the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in the Hobby Lobby case this week, made an important point about women’s health that’s been almost entirely overlooked elsewhere: For many American women, the birth-control pill has nothing to do with controlling births. It’s a life-saving medicine. “The coverage helps safeguard the health of women for whom pregnancy may be hazardous, even life-threatening,” wrote Ginsburg. “And the mandate secures benefits wholly unrelated to pregnancy, preventing certain cancers, menstrual disorders, and pelvic pain.”

The decision, which found that closely held corporations may refuse for religious reasons to cover contraceptives in their health plans, may affect millions of women who suffer from a variety of medical conditions. These women depend on the pill to regulate their hormones and do everything from ease pain to reduce the risk of cancer. These medical benefits have nothing to do with sex or the prevention of pregnancy, which have become the sole focus of political debate around the decision. Even if these women never have sex once in their lives, they need to be on birth control.

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The Nightmare Has Begun. Vote. Vote. Vote.

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ThinkProgress: Missouri Governor Vetoes 72-Hour Abortion Waiting Period: ‘This Is Insulting To Women’

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) rejected a measure on Wednesday that would have required women to wait three full days before being allowed to have an abortion procedure. His veto prevents Missouri from joining Utah and South Dakota, which are the only two states in the nation that currently have a 72-hour abortion waiting period on the books. But on Wednesday, Nixon explained that he couldn’t approve the bill because it’s unnecessary in light of his state’s existing 24-hour waiting period. “Lengthening the already extensive waiting period serves no demonstrable purpose other than to create emotional and financial hardships for women who have undoubtedly already spent considerable time wrestling with perhaps the most difficult decision they may ever have to make,” the governor said in a statement.

“Expanding the mandatory waiting period presupposes that women are unable to make up their own minds without further government intervention. This is insulting to women, particularly in light of what the law already requires.” Nixon also pointed out the measure demonstrates a “callous disregard” for women’s well being by failing to include an exception for victims of rape and incest — which means that women who become pregnant through those crimes would be put through a potentially emotionally damaging wait before they’re allowed to end the pregnancy. “It victimizes these women by prolonging their grief and their nightmare,” the governor noted.

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Yahoo: Putin Tells Obama He Wants Better Ties, Equal Treatment

President Vladimir Putin called for an improvement in ties between Russia and the United States on Friday in an Independence Day message to Barack Obama, urging Washington to treat Moscow as an equal partner. Relations between the two presidents and countries are at a low ebb following disagreements over the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, and over human rights, democracy and defence matters.

“The head of the Russian state expressed hope that … ties between the two countries will develop successfully on the basis of pragmatism and equality despite difficulties and disagreements,” the Kremlin said in a statement, outlining a telegram sent to Obama on the July 4 holiday. “Vladimir Putin also highlighted that Russia and the United States, as countries carrying exceptional responsibility for safeguarding international stability and security, should cooperate not only in the interests of their own nations but also the whole world.”

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Good Morning, my fellow Americans. Today, we laugh at the Brits and people who spell words using the letter “u!” :)

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On This Day

Senator Obama laughs with Sasha before speaking at a campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa on July 4, 2007

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Senator Obama hugs Malia as they watch a Fourth of July parade in Butte, Mont., July 4, 2008

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President Obama kisses a baby while greeting military families at the White House on July 4, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet military families at the White House on July 4, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama watch the fireworks over the National Mall from the White House on July 4, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pretend to march to music in the Blue Room of the White House, July 4, 2010, before delivering remarks to military families during a Fourth of July celebration (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama greets military families gathered for July 4th festivities on the South Lawn of the White House on July 4, 2010

President Obama greets guests during the Fourth of July celebration on the South Lawn of the White House, July 4, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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A young girl salutes President Obama as he shakes hands along a ropeline with members of the military and their families during the Fourth of July celebration on the South Lawn of the White House, July 4, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama watch fireworks from the roof of the White House, July 4, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama holds a baby while greeting guests during an Independence Day celebration on the South Lawn of the White House, July 4, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama watch from the White House roof as fireworks erupt over the National Mall, July 4, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama holds a baby as he greets members of the military and their families during a Fourth of July celebration on the White House’s South Lawn, July 4, 2013

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23
Jun
14

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