Posts Tagged ‘chile


The President’s Day


President Barack Obama speaks during the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting at the Yanqi Lake International Convention Center in Beijing. Asia-Pacific and world leaders gathered for the annual summit, with free trade at the top of the agenda as they sought to narrow differences on how to open commerce across the vast region.




President Barack Obama shakes hands with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, third left, as China’s State Councilor Yang Jiechi, second right, stands by during a meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping




President Barack Obama talks to Vladimir Putin during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Beijing











President Barack Obama readies his shovel as he takes part in a tree planting at the International Convention Center at Yanqi Lake during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit


President Barack Obama talks with Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet after taking part in a tree planting at the International Convention Center at Yanqi Lake


President Barack Obama walks with China’s President Xi Jinping, at the Zongnanhai leaders compound ahead of a dinner




Rise and Shine

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama shake hands with the crowd gathered for their arrival at the State House in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, July 1, 2013


Today (All Times Eastern)

10:55: The President holds a Cabinet meeting

1:0: Josh Earnest briefs the press

2:20: The President delivers remarks on the economy



Aaron Carroll: It’s Getting Hard To Ignore Insurance Numbers (UPDATED)

Five percent of Americans report being newly insured in 2014. More than half of that group, or 2.8% of the total U.S. population, say they got their new insurance through the health exchanges that were open through mid-April. Given the population of the United States, this means that more than 15 million about 10-11 million American adults are newly insured this year. Almost 9 million of them received private insurance through the exchanges. There’s more (emphasis mine): The newly insured using exchanges are mostly under age 65, as would be expected, given that most Americans 65 and older are covered by Medicare.

Thus, the representation of newly insured Americans is higher across all three age groups younger than 65 than is true for the general population. More specifically, newly insured Americans using the exchanges in the 18 to 29 age category are eight percentage points more prevalent than their percentage in the overall adult population, while representation of those 30 to 49 and 50 to 64 are five and four points higher, respectively.This means that the fears that the young would refrain from buying insurance, thereby fracturing the risk pools, don’t seem to be coming to pass either.

More here




Spandan Chakrabarti: Re-Igniting War On Women, Supreme Court Makes Case For Democratic Congress (#HobbyLobby)

5 conservative men on the Supreme Court decided that a core part of women’s health cannot be part of required employer-provided insurance coverage – even if the additional coverage costs nothing – at least as applied to private, family-owned corporations. All of the court’s female justices were joined by Justice Breyer in a strong and scathing dissent. it does, however, leave Democrats a major political opening when it comes to contraception. First, the majority explicitly held that HHS could in fact levy a contraception mandate – on insurance companies. In its language, the opinion refers to the method of contraception coverage HHS uses for employers already exempt from the contraception mandate (churches and other religious nonprofits) – requiring insurance companies to provide the coverage, outside of the employers’ policies but with no additional cost to the insured.

Secondly, and more importantly, the decision relies on a law passed by Congress – the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (1993 thanks, Bill Clinton) – and not the First Amendment. it can be overridden by an act of Congress. Therein lies the major opening for Democrats in 2014 and in 2016. This decision not only puts the Right wing’s war on women back on the forefront just in time for the midterms, it points to a specific cure: have Congress change the law to override the Court’s decision. If Democrats wanted to run on a single issue from now to November, it should be a promise to write into the law protections for contraceptive coverage should we win back the House and keep the Senate. It is time that we, as Americans, found out what everyone asking for our votes stands on women’s health. Leave behind all of your trepidation about why the Democratic party isn’t perfect and how President Obama has “disappointed” you. You have no right to be outraged by today’s decision if you do not show up to the polls in November and ensure the election of a Congress that will override the law that the Supreme Court says allows for employers to control the reproductive lives of their employees.

More here



Energy.Gov: Energy Department Project Captures And Stores More Than One Million Metric Tons Of CO2

Following the one year mark since the release of the President’s Climate Action Plan, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) – in partnership with Air Products and Chemicals Inc. – today announced a major milestone, successfully capturing more than one million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) at the hydrogen-production facility in Port Arthur, Texas. Using an innovative technology called vacuum swing adsorption, the project captures more than 90 percent of the CO2 from the product stream of two commercial-scale steam methane reformers that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere.

In addition to the secure storage, captured carbon from the project will be used to help produce additional, hard-to-access resources from existing nearby oil fields. In total, Department of Energy projects have captured and securely stored nearly 7.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide to date, equivalent to taking more than 1.5 million cars off the road for a year. In just the last year since the release of the President’s Climate Action Plan, these Department-supported projects have stored approximately 2.8 metric tons.

More here




Steve Benen: Boehner Gives Up On Immigration, Obama Moving Forward

Almost exactly a year ago, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in no uncertain terms that he would ignore the popular, bipartisan immigration reform bill passed by the Senate. The plan may have been endorsed by business leaders, labor unions, law enforcement, immigration advocates, leaders from the faith community, economists, and deficit hawks, but the Republican leader said it didn’t matter: the Senate bill was dead on arrival. Even if it had the votes to pass, it would never reach the House floor. But, Boehner said at the time, immigration reform was very much alive. “The House is going to do its own job in developing an immigration bill,” the Speaker vowed. “It is time for Congress to act. But I believe the House has its job to do, and we will do our job.”  That was 51 weeks ago.

And while Boehner probably meant what he said, the House Speaker made a commitment he could not keep. House members “will do our job”? Well, no actually, as is too often the case, the Republican-led chamber will do nothing. No longer willing to watch the GOP-led House do nothing, President Obama intends to move forward without legislative action. For his part, Boehner’s spokesperson, Michael Steel, told reporters this afternoon, “Speaker Boehner told the President exactly what he has been telling him: the American people and their elected officials don’t trust him to enforce the law as written. Until that changes, it is going to be difficult to make progress on this issue.” As talking points go, I find it hard to imagine any adult seriously believing an argument so transparently foolish. For one thing, Boehner himself already discredited the argument from Boehner’s office, admitting publicly that immigration reform hasn’t happened because his own Republican allies are afraid of hard work.

More here




Alan Gomez: Obama Rips GOP On Immigration, Says He Will Act Alone

After more than a year of urging Congress to pass an immigration law, President Obama gave a fiery White House speech Monday, saying the time had come for him to act alone on the issue. “The failure of House Republicans to pass a darn bill is bad for our security, it’s bad for our economy and it’s bad for our future,” he said. “If Congress won’t do their job, at least we can do ours.” The president laid out in a letter to congressional leaders Monday several steps his administration has taken in recent weeks to respond to an unprecedented surge in children caught crossing the border. The president ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate the federal agencies that have been catching, processing and housing the children. The Department of Justice is in the process of reassigning immigration judges and U.S. attorneys to the border to speed up hearings in immigration court, and

the Department of Health and Human Services has scoured the country to find places to put those children. In March, Obama ordered Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to conduct a systemwide review of deportation practices to see how they could be done “more humanely.” Obama later asked that the results of that review be postponed until the end of the summer to give Congress time to work through an immigration bill. Monday, with 28 days left in the legislative calendar, Obama said the review would be completed soon and would include changes to the country’s immigration enforcement structure. Obama said the only response from Republicans has been to use the crisis as their “newest excuse to do nothing.”

More here




Washington Post: Illinois To Allow Same-Day Registration, Expand Early Voting Hours

Illinois will dramatically expand access to the ballot box this year by allowing voters to register on Election Day, and by significantly extending the hours early-vote locations will be open. Gov. Pat Quinn (D) has said he will sign the measure, passed by the legislature late last month. The bill expands both the number of days during which early voting locations are open and the number of hours each day they remain open. Voters who cast a ballot early will not have to show a photo identification.

“Democracy works best when everyone has the opportunity to participate,” Quinn said in a statement. “By removing barriers to vote, we can ensure a government of the people and for the people.” Meanwhile, students at public universities will have an easier time casting a ballot under the new measure. The bill allows students attending public schools to change their residences from their hometowns to college campuses, giving them easier access to polling places on campus.

More here




Harold Meyerson: Supreme Court Rules Disadvantaged Workers Should Be Disadvantaged Some More

The conservative majority on the Supreme Court today took up the case of some of America’s most disadvantaged workers, and ruled that they should be disadvantaged some more. The five-to-four ruling in Harris v. Quinn goes a long way to crippling the efforts that unions have made to help these workers get out of poverty. The case concerned some 28,000 home care aides in Illinois whose paychecks come from Medicaid. Before the state agreed in 2003 that they could form a union, they made the minimum wage. (It’s the state that sets their wage rate, since their pay comes entirely from Medicaid.) Currently, as a result of their union contract, they make $11.85 an hour rather than the minimum of $7.25. Tomorrow, by the terms of their contract, their hourly rate is raised to $12.25, and on December 1st to $13. The right to hire and fire these workers remains solely, of course, that of their home-bound patients and their families.

The workers, then, are joint employees of both their patients and the state. And since the state allowed them to vote on whether to join a union, and since they voted to join the Service Employees International Union, these 28,000 workers have seen their pay doubled and have received, for the first time, health care coverage. Like all unionized public employees, they don’t have to pay that portion of their union dues that goes to their union’s political activities, but they do have to pay that portion of dues that goes to the union’s bargaining with the state that has produced their contract. Pamela Harris, who works at home caring for her disabled son, didn’t like those dues obligations, however, and sued to get them overturned. So, Ms. Harris had to pay $650 for her raise? Actually, no. She belongs to a different category of home-care workers, and unlike the workers who voted to join SEIU, her group voted against joining a union. She pays no dues to anybody.

More here


April 1, 2014


Katie McDonough: SCOTUS Gets Hobby Lobby Horribly Wrong: Why This Isn’t A “Limited” Ruling

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that Hobby Lobby can ignore federal law and deny its employees comprehensive health insurance because of its “sincerely held religious beliefs.” Analysis of the case has so far called this a limited ruling because it only applies to closely held corporations and “only” impacts contraceptive coverage. But this framing completely ignores the fact that more than 90 percent of corporations in the United States are closely held, and that the court just effectively ruled that it’s fine for employers to discriminate against half of the labor force. There’s nothing limited about it. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted in her powerful dissent, far from being narrow in its ruling, the high court just “ventured into a minefield.” The ruling sends a strong message that women’s health and women’s rights — as individuals and employees — do not matter as much as so-called religious liberty.

It also shows once again that medically inaccurate ideas about healthcare can dictate the terms of a debate and ultimately win the day. To sum it up, five male justices ruled that thousands of female employees should rightfully be subjected to the whims of their employers. That women can be denied a benefit that they already pay for and is guaranteed by federal law. That contraception is not essential healthcare. That corporations can pray. That the corporate veil can be manipulated to suit the needs of the corporation. That bosses can cynically choose à la carte what laws they want to comply with and which laws they do not. Each specific finding opens a door to a new form of discrimination and unprecedented corporate power. If you think this ruling won’t affect you, you haven’t been paying attention. If you think these corporations are going to stop at birth control, you’re kidding yourself.

More here



President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama smile while hosting a reception to observe LGBT Pride Month at the White House








On This Day

President Obama signs S.614, a bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the Women Airforce Service Pilots, in the Oval Office Wednesday, July 1, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama looks out of the Oval Office for other aides before a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on July 1, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)


President Obama boards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, July 1, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)


People line the street as President Obama’s motorcade makes its way to the State House in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, July 1, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)

First Lady Michelle Obama greets Tanzanian people during an official arrival ceremony in Dar Es Salaam July 1, 2013


‘the gop’s cia playbook: destabilize country to sweep back into power’

Robert Parry (Alternet): Modern Republicans have a simple approach to politics when they are not in the White House: Make America as ungovernable as possible by using almost any means available, from challenging the legitimacy of opponents to spreading lies and disinformation to sabotaging the economy …  almost as if they are following a CIA training manual….

…. When a Democrat somehow does manage to get into the White House, Republicans in Congress (and even in the Courts) are ready to do their part in the destabilization campaign…

…Immediately the Republicans and the Right set to work demonizing and destroying Obama’s presidency. Instead of allowing the Democrats to enact legislation aimed at addressing the financial and economic crisis, the Senate Republicans launched filibuster after filibuster.

….There were waves of propaganda pounding Obama’s legitimacy …. Soon, billionaires like oil man David Koch and media mogul Murdoch were promoting a “grassroots” rebellion against Obama called the Tea Party. Activists were showing up at presidential speeches with guns and brandishing weapons at rallies near Washington.

….The Republican propaganda machine will tell the American people that they must throw Obama and the Democrats out of office for stability to return….

Of course, the reality of a new Republican administration, especially with a GOP Congress, would be the return of the old right-wing nostrums: more tax cuts for the rich, less regulation of corporations, more military spending, and more privatization of social programs.

….The hard reality in the United States today is that the Republicans and the Right are now fully organized … they are well-positioned to roll the U.S. economy off the cliff and blame the catastrophe on Obama.

….that may be their best hope for winning Election 2012.

Full article here

Thank you Michelle and Jackie



President Obama stands by a cut-out picture of First Lady Michelle Obama during a visit to Miami Central High School, Fla., March 4 (Pete Souza)

…greeting Miss Florida Memorial University Morisa Jagrup at Miami Central High School, March 4 (Pete Souza)

…in the Blue Room before greeting recipients of the 2010 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal, March 2 (Pete Souza)

…. greeting guests during the International Women’s Day reception, March 8 (Samantha Appleton)

….holding up four-month-old Alia Jawando as her father, William Jawando, Deputy Associate Director of Public Engagement, and her mother Michele look on in the Oval Office, March 9 (Pete Souza)

…. welcoming Make-A-Wish child Kennedy Alexander to the Oval Office, March 15 (Pete Souza)

…. greeting Halle Major during a Make-A-Wish visit in the Oval Office, March 29 (Pete Souza)

….greeting the daughter of a United States Secret Service agent before a departure picture in the Oval Office, March 1 (Samantha Appleton)

…. passing staff from the White House Military Office as he jogs along the Colonnade following an event that ran late, March 1. The military personnel and their families were lined up to take departure pictures with the President in the Oval Office. (Pete Souza)

…reading from his book, “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters,” during a visit by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and his family to the Oval Office, March 2. Joining them, from left, are Justice Breyer’s wife Joanna Breyer, grandson Eli Essiam Breyer and daughter Nell Breyer (Pete Souza)

President Obama, Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia, and members of the Australian and American delegations look up at the presidential seal in the Oval Office ceiling following their bilateral meeting, March 7 (Pete Souza)

…. talking with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and his wife, Fionnuala Kenny, in the Green Room before a St. Patrick’s Day reception, March 17 (Pete Souza)

…. with President Sebastián Piñera of Chile, wife Cecilia Morel, and their family for a photograph during a dinner at La Moneda Palace in Santiago, March 21 (Pete Souza)

….greeting children during the U.S. Embassy meet and greet in Santiago, Chile, March 21 (Pete Souza)

Chilean First Lady Cecilia Morel, right, talks with First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia during a cultural event at the Museo Interactivo Mirador in Santiago, Chile, March 21 (Samantha Appleton)

…. at an official dinner hosted by Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes at the National Palace in San Salvador, March 22 (Pete Souza)

Lots more photos here


west wing week: ‘oconus ii – mamalluca’ (march 25, 2011)


more white house videos from south & latin america


‘a focused task’

March 22








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