President Barack Obama with Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, Air Force Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, and Anthony Sadler, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, to honor them for heroically subduing a gunman on a Paris-bound passenger train last month
First Lady Michelle Obama greets students at Howard Community College in Columbia, Md as part of her ‘Reach Higher’ initiative
Noah McQueen used to spend more time fighting and getting arrested than getting good grades and listening to advice. He changed households and public schools 10 times before he landed at the Maryland Juvenile Justice Cheltenham Youth Center. But times have changed. “Do you need a ride back to the White House?” a presidential aide asked McQueen, 19, as he stood inside Eddie’s Hair Design in Adams Morgan on a recent day. “No, I have my own car now,” he responded. McQueen didn’t need a barber; he had a fresh haircut. He was there to work. McQueen was there with Broderick Johnson, head of the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, to be a role model to students from Marie Reed Elementary School.
The initiative was launched last year to improve educational and job opportunities for young men of color. White House officials, including President Obama, have worked hard to help McQueen. His life changed three years ago, when, as a student at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School in Upper Marlboro, he began mentoring children at nearby Barack Obama Elementary. “I get choked up . . . when I think about where I was,” McQueen said as he reflected on a troubled childhood that included several suspensions, arrests and other run-ins with the law. Now McQueen is a freshman at Morehouse College in Atlanta. He graduated in May from Wise, where he finished with a 3.25 grade-point average even though his freshman and sophomore years were academic disasters.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of legendary civil rights activist Julian Bond, SPLC’s first president. He was 75 years old and died last evening, August 15, in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. From his days as the co-founder and communications director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s to his chairmanship of the NAACP in the 21st century,
Julian was a visionary and tireless champion for civil and human rights. He served as the SPLC’s president from our founding in 1971 to 1979, and later as a member of its board of directors. With Julian’s passing, the country has lost one of its most passionate and eloquent voices for the cause of justice. He advocated not just for African Americans, but for every group, indeed every person subject to oppression and discrimination, because he recognized the common humanity in us all
The Obama administration plans to restore federal funding for prison inmates to take college courses. The plan would allow potentially thousands of inmates in the U.S. to gain access to Pell grants, the main form of federal aid for low-income college students. The grants cover up to $5,775 a year in tuition, fees, books and other education-related expenses. Prisoners received $34 million in Pell grants in 1993, according to figures the Department of Education provided to Congress at the time.
But a year later, Congress prohibited state and federal prison inmates from getting Pell grants as part of broad anticrime legislation, leading to a sharp drop in the number of in-prison college programs. Between the mid-1990s and 2013, the U.S. prison population doubled to about 1.6 million inmates, many of them repeat offenders, Justice Department figures show. A 2013 study by the Rand Corp. found that inmates who participated in education programs, including college courses, had significantly lower odds of returning to prison than inmates who didn’t.
President Barack Obama has breakfast with small business owners at Rausch’s Cafe in Guttenberg, Iowa, during a three-day bus tour in the Midwest, Aug.16, 2011. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama signs H.R. 2097, the Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coin Act, at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, Aug. 16, 2010. Photo by Pete Souza
Television microphones hang in the air as the media listens in while a Park Ranger explains the site to President Barack Obama and family during a tour of the Grand Canyon on Aug. 16, 2009. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama looks at the Grand Canyon in Arizona on Aug. 16, 2009. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama talks with people at Grasshoppers store in LeClaire, Iowa, Aug. 16, 2011, during a three-day bus tour in the Midwest. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama talks with Alyssa Mastromonaco, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, and Trip Director Marvin Nicholson in an elevator at the Bridgeport Arts Center in Chicago, Ill., Aug. 12, 2012. Photo by Pete Souza
President Obama is getting seriously serious about supercomputing — here's why that's awesome: bit.ly/1Tbpo40
Max Plenke: Obama’s Getting Serious About The Future Of Supercomputing. Here’s Why That’s Awesome
Gird your technological loins, world: President Barack Obama is paving the way for the Usain Bolt of computers with the processing power of the human brain. A technology program called the National Strategic Computing Initiative seeks to invest heavily in high-performance hardware. The goal is to position the United States as the king of the supercomputing mountain. The speed it’s going for: one exaflop, or almost 30 times faster than the fastest computer in the world, China’s Tianhe-2, below. He’s thinking about saving the world. Or at least making it better. With an exaflop of computing power, scientists and researchers would be able to run incredibly complex and accurate simulations, like simulating the global climate to make global warming predictions.
The ability to handle a lot of data might be the supercomputer’s largest contribution. Think of all the simulations you can run: modeling aircraft, modeling guns, predicting weather anomalies or even figuring out long-term dilemmas, like what the agricultural industry’s impact will be in, say, 50 years.Medicine takes all kinds of analysis, deep dives into our DNA and biological informatics — things that take a level of computing power we’ve scratched but haven’t come close to mastering. The White House’s Precision Medicine Initiative would use high-performance computing to collect and create huge amounts of health and genomic data to tailor treatment for individuals.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama talk in the Blue Room of the White House before the start of the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony on Aug. 12, 2009. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama hugs Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient actor Sidney Poitier during the award ceremony in the East Room of the White House, on Aug. 12, 2009. Photo by Pete Souza
Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Joseph Medicine Crow shows a drum to President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama during a reception for recipients and their families in the Blue Room of the White House on Aug. 12, 2009. Photo by Pete Souza
First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama greet guests at a reception for Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients and their families in the Blue Room of the White House on Aug. 12, 2009. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama waits in the Blue Room of the White House for the start of an East Room ceremony to present 16 individuals the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Aug. 12, 2009. Standing in the background, from left, are Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients; Muhammad Yunus, Stuart Milk, nephew of slain San Francisco councilman Harvey Milk, Rev. Joseph Lowery, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Dr. Janet Davison Rowley, and former President of Ireland Mary Robinson. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama talks with Stephen Hawking in the Blue Room of the White House before a ceremony presenting him and 15 others the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Aug. 12, 2009. The Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor. Photo by Pete Souza
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Photo by Pete Souza