President Barack Obama met with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras of Greece in the Oval Office of the White House. Obama and Samras discussed a range of bilateral issues during their meeting.
AJC: U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a man in high demand as we approach the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, recently sat down with The Guardian – the newspaper that Edward Snowden chose for his now-famous leaks.
The Atlanta congressman wasn’t thrilled with the results. Apparently, the headline – since adjusted – had him praising the former IT man for the NSA as another Gandhi….
…. Here’s the note put out this morning by Lewis:
“News reports about my interview with The Guardian are misleading, and they do not reflect my complete opinion. Let me be clear. I do not agree with what Mr. Snowden did. He has damaged American international relations and compromised our national security. He leaked classified information and may have jeopardized human lives. That must be condemned.
“I never praised Mr. Snowden or said his actions rise to those of Mohandas Gandhi or other civil rights leaders. In fact, The Guardian itself agreed to retract the word “praise” from its headline…..”
ThinkProgress: Voters Confront Congressman For Trying To Repeal Obamacare: ‘We’ve Got To Have It’
In Washington, D.C., Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) issues countless press releases boasting about his votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, insisting that his constituents in North Carolina are clamoring for relief from the law. But during a town hall in Swannanoa on Wednesday, voters confronted the five-term Congressman with an entirely different sentiment: they demanded to know why Republicans would take away the law’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions without offering any credible other alternative for reforming the health care system. One grieving mother, who spoke to reporters before the event, said that her son was denied insurance because of a pre-existing health condition and eventually died of colon cancer.
Zap2It: President Obama’s Appearance On ‘The Tonight Show’ Earns Top Tuesday Overnights In 21 Months
In Late-Night Metered Markets Tuesday night: With a guest appearance by President Barack Obama, “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” delivered its highest rating in metered-market households (a 3.8 rating, 10 share) for any night of the week in nine months, since Wednesday, October 24, 2012 (4.0), the night of Obama’s prior appearance on the show, and highest for a Tuesday night in 21 months, since October 25, 2011 (4.1), the night of another appearance by President Obama.
TIME: How Obama’s Putin Snub Is Playing Out In Russia
On Wednesday evening, when U.S. President Obama cancelled his upcoming visit to Moscow, the Russian reaction was perhaps most clear in the way that Vesti, the state’s main propaganda TV channel, conveyed it on the channel’s website. Buried about half way down on the page, underneath a story about Russian tourists in Turkey, Vesti announced: “The invitation for Obama stands.” Beside that was the somewhat diversionary headline: “Barack Obama will travel to St. Petersburg for the G20 summit.” The actual news — that Obama had decided not to meet with his Russian counterpart before, after or during the G20 summit in St. Petersburg next month — was clearly not something the official spin doctors wanted to advertise.
After a year spent honing their anti-American rhetoric — on issues ranging from the adoption of Russian children to missile defense in Europe and the civil war in Syria — the Kremlin message makers were suddenly eager to claim that President Vladimir Putin didn’t really mean for things to go this far. “Sure, Putin uses this rhetoric, but it’s not so much anti-American as anti-Euro-Atlantic,” says Evgeny Minchenko, a Kremlin-connected political strategist. “And keep in mind that he has tried to stop short of a head-on collision.”
Putin has not yet replied to Obama’s snub, but most experts found it hard to see how he could spin it in his favor. “He can again say that he did not bow to American demands, that he did not obey,” says Alexander Konovalov, an expert on U.S.-Russia affairs at the Moscow Institute of International Relations. But that message has grown hackneyed over the past year of bickering between Moscow and Washington, so it will not earn him many points with the domestic electorate, adds Konovalov.
AP: Obama To Honor Clinton, Oprah With Freedom Medal
Clinton and Oprah Winfrey will be among 16 people that President Barack Obama will venerate later this year with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the White House announced Thursday. They’ll join other prominent people to be honored this year, including musicians, scientists, activists — even an astronaut. ”This year’s honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world,” Obama said in a statement.
Others who will receive the medal: Daniel Inouye, former senator from Hawaii, World War II veteran and the first Japanese American in Congress. Inouye will receive the award posthumously. Ben Bradlee, former executive editor of the Washington Post who oversaw the newspaper’s coverage of Watergate. Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space. Ride will receive the award posthumously. Richard Lugar, former senator from Indiana who worked to reduce the global nuclear threat. Gloria Steinem, writer and prominent women’s rights activist. Ernie Banks, baseball player who hit more than 500 home runs and played 19 seasons with the Chicago Cubs.
Bayard Rustin, civil and gay rights activist and adviser to Martin Luther King Jr. Rustin will receive the award posthumously. Daniel Kahneman, psychologist who won the Nobel Prize in Economics. Loretta Lynn, country music singer. Maria Molina, chemist and environmental scientist who won the Nobel Prize in chemistry. Arturo Sandoval, Grammy-winning jazz musician who was born in Cuba and defected to the U.S. Dean Smith, head coach of University of North Carolina’s basketball team for 36 years. Patricia Wald, first woman appointed to U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and became the court’s chief judge. C.T. Vivian, civil rights leader and minister.
In Florida, Enroll America’s work carries particularly high stakes because as much as 25 percent of the non-elderly population lacks insurance and Republican leaders have refused to implement the law’s key provisions themselves. White House officials, who aim to sign up 7 million people nationwide for coverage by next year, have said the state is among their top targets because it has the nation’s third-largest uninsured population after California and Texas.
Over the weekend, more than 100 volunteers with Enroll America knocked on about 4,000 doors around the state. Among the volunteers was Botero, who carried a list of names and addresses generated by a “microtargeting” tool developed by Enroll America, the biggest nonprofit working on Obamacare enrollment. The organization, using census data, commercially available consumer databases and demographic information such as age, race and income, developed a formula to determine the likelihood that someone is uninsured.
The House of Representatives is poised to take its 40th vote to repeal Obamacare. To mark the occasion, here’s a quick rundown of 40 ways that Obamacare is already working for millions of Americans and will impact more beginning in 2014.
Say goodbye to lifetime limits: Insurance companies will no longer be able to place an arbitrary cap on coverage. Children can no longer be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. Starting in 2014, adults will no longer be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition. Free preventive care, including: Annual check-ups Contraception Vaccinations Gestational diabetes screenings Mammograms
The White House: Statement From the President On The Confirmation Of Samantha Power As U.S. Ambassador To The United Nations
I’m pleased that the Senate has confirmed Samantha Power as our next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations by a strong, bipartisan majority. As one of our country’s leading foreign policy thinkers, Samantha knows that our nation’s interests are advanced with strong and principled American leadership. As a long-time champion of human rights and dignity, she will be a fierce advocate for universal rights, fundamental freedoms and U.S. national interests. I’m grateful that Samantha will continue to be a vital member of my national security team, and I know that under her leadership our U.N. Mission in New York will continue to represent American diplomacy at its best.
White House says July employment is "further confirmation that the US economy is continuing to recover but "more work remains."
Is there any bill funding the government — at any level of spending — that Republicans alone can pass out of the House at this point?
Congress has gone home for recess after a series of botched votes that are cause for deep pessimism about the future. The basic problem here is not hard to divine. The Senate GOP filibuster of the transportation bill yesterday, and the House GOP decision to yank its version of the same the day before that, confirm that Republicans may not be able to pass a spending bill at sequester levels, even as they won’t support one at higher spending levels, either. If this sounds crazy, that’s because it is. But this craziness has a cause. Republican leaders have nurtured it for years, and now they are stuck in a trap of their own creation.
When federal policymakers start with a bizarre premise — low-income Americans simply aren’t suffering enough — it’s truly amazing to see where they end up. A plan by House leaders to cut $40 billion from the food stamp program — twice the amount of cuts proposed in a House bill that failed in June — threatens to derail efforts by the House and Senate to work together to complete a farm bill before agriculture programs expire on Sept. 30. The bill that would double cuts previously sought by House Republicans was announced Thursday by Representative Frank D. Lucas, Republican of Oklahoma and chairman of House Agriculture Committee, during a lunch with lobbyists, and first reported by Reuters.
And so, instead of adopting a more moderate bill, making a compromise with the Senate easier, House Republicans, in their infinite wisdom, decided to make their version much more right-wing – doubling the cuts to food aid for the poor, while imposing work requirements and drug tests. If Ayn Rand were alive today, this is the sort of bill that would lead her to say, “Aren’t you guys overdoing it a bit?”
You’re a 26-year-old single dude, holding down a pair of part-time jobs tending bar and painting houses, and making about $24,000 a year. Thanks to Obamacare, you can finally get decent health insurance, just like people with full-time jobs at large companies do. But when you go online to check out your options, you see that even the cheapest “bronze” plan, which has high deductibles and co-payments, will cost you about $100 a month. Obamacare’s penalty for carrying no insurance next year is less than one-tenth of that. Do you buy the insurance anyway?
But there [are] good reasons to think the critics are wrong, that young people will sign up for health insurance, and that Obamacare will work as its designers intended. Here are six of those reasons.
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. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
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)
8:50: The President and the First Family arrive Joint Base Andrews (CBS)
9:15: Arrive the White House
Wednesday: The President has no public events scheduled.
Thursday: The President and the First Lady will celebrate the Fourth of July by hosting military heroes and their families for an Independence Day celebration with a barbeque, concert and a view of fireworks on the South Lawn
Friday, Saturday and Sunday: The President and First Family will be at Camp David. On Sunday, they will return to Washington, DC.
….. with Chief of Staff Denis McDonough on the Colonnade of the White House, March 15
Bo waits for First Lady Michelle Obama on the South Lawn driveway before departing the White House, March 20. Bo accompanied Mrs. Obama during her visit to Maryland Fisher House IV at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda
President Obama and Dr. Suleiman A.D. Al Farajat, a University of Jordan tourism professor, jump from a ledge of the Nabataean Amphitheater during a walking tour of the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, March 23
…. with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel before a Cabinet meeting, March 4
….. on their way to attend an Easter service at St. John’s Church in Washington, D.C., March 31
All photos by Pete Souza, except the one of Bo – taken by Lawrence Jackson