Posts Tagged ‘King

06
Dec
15

The President’s Day

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors reception in the East Room of the White House

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Filmmaker George Lucas, left, smiles as President Barack Obama pauses while speaking about him at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015, in Washington. The 2015 Kennedy Center Honors Honorees are singer-songwriter Carole King, filmmaker George Lucas, actress and singer Rita Moreno, conductor Seiji Ozawa, and actress Cicely Tyson. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive at the Kennedy Center Honors Reception at the White House in Washington December 6, 2015. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

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Actress and Broadway star Cicely Tyson, conductor Seiji Ozawa, actress and singer Rita Moreno, filmmaker George Lucas, singer-songwriter Carole King

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama receive a standing ovation at the Kennedy Center Honors

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President Barack Obama addresses the country from the Oval Office. He spoke on the terrorism threat to the United States and the recent attack in San Bernardino, California

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Fabulous response from Ian. For context, click and view the embedded tweet

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02
Oct
15

The President’s Day

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President Barack Obama holds a news conference to announce John B. King Jr. as the next Education Secretary to succeed outgoing Education Secretary Arne Duncan

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15
Sep
15

The President And First Lady’s Day

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President Barack Obama tosses up a basketball given to him by coach Geno Auriemma while honoring the 2015 NCAA Women’s Basketball Champion University of Connecticut Huskies during a ceremony in the White House. President Obama honored the Huskies for winning their third consecutive title with 10 overall

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President Barack Obama shakes hands with King Felipe VI of Spain during a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office. King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia are visiting Washington

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President Barack Obama and Spain's King Felipe VI speak together following a bilateral meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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First Lady Michelle Obama and Queen Letizia

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FLOTUS: Earlier today the First Lady hosted Queen Letizia of Spain for tea at the @WhiteHouse.

President Barack Obama and Spain's King Felipe VI smile at members of the media following a bilateral meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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@CasaReal: La Primera Dama de EEUU @MichelleObama, con la Reina Letizia. Viaje Oficial a EEUU

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@CasaReal: End of the meeting at the @Whitehouse: The King and Queen of Spain, US president and M. Obama

17
Mar
15

Éirinn go Brách

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President Barack Obama smiles as he walks down the steps of the Capitol with Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny after attending a “Friends of Ireland” luncheon

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President Barack Obama holds a book of poetry given to him by Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny during their meeting in the Oval Office

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Vice President Joe Biden listens during a meeting between President Barack Obama and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, on St. Patrick’s Day in the Oval Office

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (L-R), President Barack Obama and Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny leave after a St. Patrick's Day luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

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Boehner and Obama depart with Kenny after a St. Patrick's Day luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

26
Mar
14

Rise and Shine: Belgium and China

 

President Obama, Belgium’s King Philippe (C) and Belgium’s Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo attend a ceremony at The Flanders Field American World War I Cemetery and Memorial in Waregem, March 26

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Today (all times US Eastern):

9:10 AM: President Obama holds a press conference, Council of the European Union

11:35 AM: Meets with NATO Secretary General Rasmussen

12:45 PM: Delivers remarks, Palais Des Beaux Arts, Brussels

1:45 PM: Departs Brussels

3:40 PM: Arrives Rome

6:30: Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden Hosts a Reception in Honor of Women’s History Month, United States Naval Observatory

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The First Lady in China

First Lady Michelle Obama and her mother Marian Robinson feed apple to giant pandas during their visit at Giant Panda Research Base in Chengdu, Sichuan province, March 26

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First Lady Michelle Obama is greeted by Tibetan students as they arrive to a Tibetan restaurant for lunch in Chengdu in southwest China’s Sichuan province

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On This Day:

On This Day: President Obama looks out the Green Room window prior to the “Open for Questions” virtual town hall meeting on the economy in the East Room of the White House, March 26, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama surprises personal secretary Katie Johnson with a birthday gift in the Outer Oval Office, March 26, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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March 26, 2011: “More often than not, the President is in the office on most Saturdays to convene a national security or economic meeting. Here, on a Saturday in March, the President listens during a conference call on Libya in the Situation Room of the White House.” (Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama prays with faith leaders in the Oval Office following a meeting to discuss the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Aug. 26, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)

 

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 President Obama signs memorabilia for March of Dimes 2013 National Ambassador Nina Centofanti, 8, at the Resolute Desk during her visit to the Oval Office, March 26, 2013. Centofanti’s parents Vince and Christine, brother Nicholas, and sister Mia, not visible, stand behind her (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama bounces a soccer ball on his head while hosting a ceremony honoring players and coaches from the National Hockey League Stanley Cup-winning Los Angeles Kings and the Major League Soccer champions Los Angeles Galaxy in the East Room of the White House, March 26, 2013

Vogue, March 26, 2013

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MooOOOoorning again everyone – got completely caught up with worky stuff so ran out of time, so apologies for the teeny R&S. Will catch up later in the day.

24
Mar
14

The President’s Day

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All times US Eastern (The Netherlands is five hours ahead)

4:0 AM: Arrives The Netherlands

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

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4:50 AM: Tours The Rijksmuseum

With Rijksmuseum director Wim Pijbes in front of Dutch master Rembrandt’s The Night Watch painting

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5:15 AM: Holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Rutte

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5:45 AM: Delivers remarks with Prime Minister Rutte

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9:45 AM: Arrives the World Forum at The Hague to participate in the Nuclear Security Summit

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10:0 AM: Attends the Opening Session

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Continue reading ‘The President’s Day’

18
Dec
13

Rise and Shine

On This Day: President Obama makes Congressional calls from the Oval Office before the final Senate vote repealing the ban on gay men and women serving openly in the military, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today (all times Eastern):

12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press

2:05: President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama meet with moms to discuss health care, Oval Office

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National Journal: Obamacare’s Unlikely Winners

Sue Spanke of Missoula, Mont., was highly displeased this fall when she learned her health insurance had been canceled. “I got so mad that I went to my phone and started calling all the political people and giving them what for,” Spanke told The Billings Gazette. That was before she learned she was eligible for a policy at a much lower cost.

After angrily calling her state auditor’s office, Spanke, a self-employed artist in her 50s, found she was eligible for a federal subsidy. Her new insurance will cover her for a mere $30 to $40 a month with a deductible of only $500. She had been paying $350 a month for a Blue Cross policy with a $5,000 deductible. “I went from a horrible policy that didn’t cover anything, that was breaking me, to the best policy at the best price I’ve had since I was in my 20s,” she said.

With the website largely fixed, one of the last lines of attack against Obamacare is that the president lied when he said if people like their insurance plans, they can keep them. The White House is hoping stories like Spanke’s will inoculate them against those arguments. And the positive stories abound.

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Journal Gazette: Getting an earful on Obamacare

…. Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, had asked for input on the Affordable Care Act during an open house Monday at his office in the E. Ross Adair Federal Building, and he got it…

…Lee Albright, owner of the south-side meat market carrying his last name, doesn’t want the Affordable Care Act repealed, which Stutzman and the Republican-controlled House have voted to do numerous times. Albright told his congressman that his monthly payment for family health coverage will drop from $3,800 to $1,700 by enrolling in a plan offered through the much-maligned law.

Albright said most of his dozen employees also are enrolling in Affordable Care Act plans and will have coverage for the first time. “If the Republican Party thinks they’re going to kill Obamacare, you guys need to realize that those nine people that I add on, are they going to vote Republican ever again if you take their health care from them?”

Stutzman responded: “No, probably not.”

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WMGT: Congressman Scott Talks Healthcare, Farm Bill at Town Hall Meeting

Residents from all around middle Georgia met with U.S. Representative Austin Scott to talk about concerns they have in the nation’s capitol during a town hall meeting on Monday.

Gridlock in Washington has left local business owners like Bob Schumacher, frustrated. He hasn’t had health insurance for some time, and has tried multiple times to use the scrutinized healthcare.gov website and hasn’t had any luck, until now.

“I was able to get an insurance plan and with the tax credit, it’s going to be about half of the price that it was going to be two and a half years ago,” Schumacher said.

…. “They’ve definitely got the website up and running now, and so you can get online and see if there is something out there that works for you.”

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CT Mirror: CT insurance exchange enrollment up more than 50% in two weeks

Connecticut’s health insurance exchange is enrolling about 1,400 people a day and is on track to have 50,000 to 60,000 people signed up for health care coverage by the end of the year, an official said Tuesday.

Jason Madrak, chief marketing officer for Access Health CT, the state’s exchange, said about 20,000 people have signed up for private insurance plans through the marketplace, about 70 percent of whom will get federal financial assistance to discount their premiums.

In addition, about 17,000 people have signed up for Medicaid coverage through the exchange, Madrak said.

The approximately 37,000 people signed up for coverage through the exchange marks a nearly 58 percent increase from enrollment as of Dec. 4, the previous figures Access Health reported.

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Dana Milbank: Auto bailout could be harbinger for Obamacare

When will the criticism of Obamacare finally end?

I’ve done some research on the question, and by my calculations, judging from current trends, this will happen approximately . . . never.

I base this on the criticism of the auto bailout of early 2009. Almost five years later, the industry is healthy again and large swaths of the Midwest have been spared what would have been certain economic devastation. All this was achieved for a relatively modest sum: … It would seem that the argument against the bailout has been settled. Yet opponents continue to argue their case — if anybody will listen.

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Faces of Repeal

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Paul Krugman: The Obamacare Worm Continues to Turn

Dana Milbank has an interesting piece today …. he compares Obamacare to the auto bailout, which at this point looks like a rousing success — but continues to be lambasted by the right, because it shouldn’t have worked, and therefore can’t have worked.

….. it’s a strong signal that the press is catching up to the reality that December is not October, and that the news — while there are still many troubles — is increasingly positive. Actually, so is Darrel Issa’s angry rebuke to a health care official: “You need to watch more Fox News.”

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National Memo: What If Every Voter Denied Medicaid Expansion By Republicans Voted Democratic?

A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 4.8 million Americans will be denied health insurance because Republican governors and legislatures have refused to expand Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act.

Another study, called Health Care for America Now (HCAN), was released last week and found that 4,831,590 people were being denied Medicaid in red states, nearly duplicating Kaiser’s result. HCAN went a step further and estimated that the result of not expanding insurance to these eligible residents would result in the loss of 27,000 lives in 2014, while denying the states $42.6 billion a year in economic activity.

Most of these people who earn too much for Medicaid and too little to purchase insurance in the health care exchanges — 79 percent — live in southern states.

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Norbrook: Republicans Are Running Scared

After the  government shutdown, Republicans took a big hit in the polls.  A very, very large hit in the polls in fact. It turned out that while various people are willing to talk about what they don’t like about “big government,” there are even more things that the government provides that they do like.  While Republicans thought they had a “winning strategy” by using the shutdown to attempt to repeal “Obamacare” (for the 40′th plus time), it turned out that the public thought it was really stupid, particularly when all those things like national parks had to close. Add in a lack of action on any substantive issues, the unpopularity of various Republican governors, and some losses in elections they thought were winnable, and things are starting to get tense for them.

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Had no intention of mentioning the race-baiting turd that is Ron Fournier, but Charles Pierce….. oh, Charles Pierce:

Ron Fournier Is Smarter Than You Are

Once again, former Karl Rove self-actualization guru Ron Fournier has taken to the pages of the National Journal – Motto: There’s A Reader Out There Somewhere – to explain that the president misapprehended the results of the 2012 election, and that he has been operating under the illusion that, because he got the most votes, he got to be president again. To elucidate this for the dimmer people among us, Ron shows how brilliant he was in the immediate aftermath of said election, and employs the useful tool of Historical Parallelism, which he applies repeatedly and vigorously to his own forehead.

…. The IRS dumbassery was just that. The NSA surveillance started under Bush – with considerably more Democratic support in the Congress, Ron, than this president has gotten from Republicans on anything – and Benghazi, Benghazi!, BENGHAZI! remains a hoax. I’m afraid we are past the point where an intervention would help. Better just fire off the stun gun and pry the tool of Historical Parallels out of his hand.

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ThinkProgress: Why Obama Is Sending Openly Gay Athletes To Russia’s Olympics

As controversy erupted over Russia’s anti-gay law ahead of next year’s Sochi Olympics, President Barack Obama said that he opposed boycotting the Games in favor of letting the United States delegation lead by example on the LGBT rights front.

“One thing I’m really looking forward to is maybe some gay and lesbian athletes bringing home the gold or silver or bronze, which i think would go a long way in rejecting the kind of attitudes were seeing there,” Obama said. “And if Russia doesn’t have gay or lesbian athletes, it’ll probably make their team weaker.”

Tuesday, Obama took a step forward in showing that example, selecting tennis legend and former U.S. Olympic coach Billie Jean King, a lesbian who has long been an LGBT equality advocate, to be a part of the delegation that will represent the White House at the opening ceremony on February 7. Hockey player Caitlin Cahow, who is also openly gay, will be a part of the delegation to the closing ceremonies on February 23.

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Steve Benen: Obama sends Putin an Olympic message

Subtle, this wasn’t.

…. note that the U.S. Olympic delegation is traditionally led by someone from the White House – current or former president, vice president, or member of the First Family. For Sochi, as Rachel noted on the show last night, Obama tapped former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, which means no one from the White House or even from the president’s cabinet will be on hand for the opening ceremony.

… this also strikes me as this latest in a series of elections-have-consequences moments. Conservatives have come to celebrate Vladimir Putin as something of an international hero, while religious right activists cheer on his culture war from afar. Obama has been highly ambitious and progressive when it comes to advancing LGBT civil rights, and his choice in Olympic delegation members sends a signal the world will notice…

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LA Times: Homeless men invited to help Pope Francis celebrate birthday

Pope Francis boosted his down-to-earth image by inviting a group of homeless men to his Vatican residence to help him celebrate his 77th birthday.

The group of men joined Francis on Tuesday as he gave his morning Mass and then ate breakfast with him …. the men, a Pole, a Slovak and a Czech, were sleeping under the portico outside the Vatican’s press center when they were approached by Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, who distributes charitable contributions for the pope.

“Would you like to come to Pope Francis’ birthday party?” Krajewski reportedly asked them. “After a moment of bewilderment and wonder, they started packing up their beds, pieces of cardboard and covers which were arranged to protect them from the bitter cold of the Roman night.”

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On This Day:

President Obama walks with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to their bilateral meeting at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, Dec. 18, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

Pete Souza: “The President briefs European leaders following a multilateral meeting in which an agreement was tentatively reached at the United Nationals Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. Most conferences like this are very scripted; this one was just the opposite.” Dec. 18, 2009

President Obama speaks during a multilateral meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Brazilian President Lula da Silva, Indian Prime Minister Prime Manmohan Singh, and South African President Jacob Zuma during the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, Dec. 18, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama shows military officials the White House Christmas Tree in the Blue Room following a meeting, Dec. 1, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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MoooOOOooorning!

17
Dec
13

Genius

USA Today: Obama selection of Billie Jean King for Sochi ‘genius’

President Obama’s selection of Billie Jean King for the official U.S. delegation to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games is a stroke of genius.

What better way to show the nation’s disgust for President Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay propaganda law than for Obama to send an American cultural icon and sports legend who also happens to be openly gay?

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WH.gov: President Obama Announces Presidential Delegations to the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games

President Barack Obama today announced the designation of Presidential Delegations to the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russian Federation.

Presidential Delegation to the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

The Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russian Federation will be held on February 7, 2014.

The delegation will attend athletic events, meet with U.S. athletes, and attend the Opening Ceremony.

The Honorable Janet A. Napolitano, President of the University of California, will lead the delegation.

The Honorable Michael A. McFaul, United States Ambassador to the Russian Federation.

The Honorable Robert L. Nabors, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy.

The Honorable Billie Jean King, Member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, Member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Mr. Brian A. Boitano, Olympic gold medalist, figure skating.

Presidential Delegation to the Closing Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

The Closing Ceremony of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russian Federation will be held on February 23, 2014.

The delegation will attend athletic events, meet with U.S. athletes, and attend the Closing Ceremony.

The Honorable William J. Burns, Deputy Secretary of State, will lead the delegation.

The Honorable Michael A. McFaul, United States Ambassador to the Russian Federation.

Ms. Bonnie Blair, five-time Olympic gold medalist and one-time bronze medalist, speed skating.

Ms. Caitlin Cahow, Olympic silver medalist and bronze medalist, women’s ice hockey.

Dr. Eric Heiden, five-time Olympic gold medalist, speed skating.

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29
Aug
13

Rise and Shine

@petesouza: Great photo (of President Obama, the First Lady and former Presidents Carter and Clinton) from my colleague Chuck Kennedy, using painter’s pole to elevate camera

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Presidential Daily Schedule (All Times Eastern):

The President has no public events scheduled

10:15: VP Biden ceremonially swears in Todd Jones as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and deliver brief remarks

12:45: VP Biden ceremonially swears in Dan Tangherlini as Administrator of the General Services Administration

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Yesterday’s PBS Interview:

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USA Today: Obama: No Decision Yet On Launching Syria Military Strike

President Obama said Wednesday that he has not yet made a decision on whether he will order a military strike against Syria, but said the U.S. government has concluded that Bashar Assad’s regime has deployed chemical weapons. In an interview on PBS’ NewsHour following his address to mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, Obama added that he has “no interest” in an open-ended conflict. “I have not made a decision,” Obama said in the interview. “I have gotten options from our military, had extensive discussions with my national security team.”

Obama said, however, that the Syrian regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons would factor into his calculation to act, and he warned that the Assad regime should be held accountable. “I have not made a decision, but I think it’s important that if, in fact, we make a choice to have repercussions for the use of chemical weapons, then the Assad regime, which is involved in a civil war, trying to protect itself, will have received a pretty strong signal that in fact, it better not do it again,” Obama said. “And that doesn’t solve all the problems inside of Syria, and you know, it doesn’t, obviously, end the death of innocent civilians inside of Syria. “

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Ian Millhiser: Conservatives Have Twisted The Word ‘Freedom’ Into Something Martin Luther King Would Never Recognize

“Freedom” doesn’t mean what it used to mean. Fifty years ago, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. approached the podium at the original March on Washington, he carried with him a robust sense of what Americans needed to accomplish in order to become a free society. When he stood in Lincoln’s shadow and lamented the “tragic fact that the Negro is still not free,” he was not speaking about a surplus of health care entitlements. When he called for all Americans to be granted the “riches of freedom and the security of justice” he was not concerned that the heirs to their parents’ fortunes might be required to pay a share of those fortune in taxes. Dr. King did not march to get Washington off his back. He marched because he understood that the path to freedom traveled straight through the U.S. Capitol, and that what he labeled the “marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community” would amount to nothing unless the promise of equality was enshrined in law.

By 1895, Field’s libertarian constitution replaced the Constitution of the United States. In just a few short months, the Supreme Court struck down the income tax, gave its blessing to monopolists, and asserted sweeping new powers to weaken labor unions. Six years after Field’s death, the Supreme Court handed down its infamous Lochner decision, which treated any law improving the conditions of workers as constitutionally suspect due to what the Court labeled “freedom of contract.” This is the vision of “freedom” so often touted by American conservatives — indeed, Sen. Paul recently held up Lochner as a “wonderful decision” that should guide America’s judges and policymakers today. Freedom, to Paul and other like-minded thinkers, is the freedom to exploit and the freedom to be exploited.

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ThinkProgress: No, Martin Luther King Jr. Was Not A Republican — But Here’s What He Had To Say About Them

“Most people don’t talk about the fact that Martin Luther King was a Republican.”

That’s a quote from Ada Fisher, a Republican National Committeewoman from North Carolina, that was published without qualification or correction this week by ABC News.

Fisher is wrong on two fronts. First, many people talk about the “fact” that King was a Republican. It is asserted incessantly by conservatives on Twitter and elsewhere on the internet, especially in the lead up to today’s 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. The claim is most prominently advanced by King’s niece, Republican activist Alveda King. Over the years, conservative groups have purchased billboards making the claim.

Second, Martin Luther King Jr. was not a Republican. Or a Democrat.

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President Barack Obama meets with Ambassador Donald Booth, Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, in the Oval Office, Aug. 28 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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USA Today: President Obama tapped his outgoing ambassador to Ethiopia on Wednesday to serve as his special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan.

Obama called Donald Booth “one of America’s most experienced diplomats, with broad experience in helping promote peace and prevent conflict across Africa.”

He is specifically charged with leading the American effort to implement security agreements the two countries agreed to last year and helping resolve long-running disputes over borders and sharing of oil wealth.

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wait to be introduced at Xavier University in New Orleans, La., before delivering remarks marking the five-year anniversary of hurricane Katrina, Aug. 29, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Sara Kliff: Huffington Post’s Jason Cherkis spent two days at the Kentucky State Fair with workers from Kynect, the state’s health marketplace. He came back with a better understanding of deep-fried Kool Aid (“funnel cake dough flavored with the powdered drink mix”) and this fantastic anecdote.

A middle-aged man in a red golf shirt shuffles up to a small folding table with gold trim, in a booth adorned with a flotilla of helium balloons, where government workers at the Kentucky State Fair are hawking the virtues of Kynect, the state’s health benefit exchange established by Obamacare. The man is impressed. “This beats Obamacare I hope,” he mutters to one of the workers. “Do I burst his bubble?” wonders Reina Diaz-Dempsey, overseeing the operation. She doesn’t. If he signs up, it’s a win-win, whether he knows he’s been ensnared by Obamacare or not.

This speaks to a point that others, particularly Jonathan Bernstein, have already made: When Americans actually interact with Obamacare, it won’t be called Obamacare at all. In Kentucky, for example, it will be Kynect, the state health marketplace. In Idaho, local residents will purchase coverage from Your Health Idaho. Covered Oregon will serve (surprise!) Oregonians, while neighboring Washingtonians will purchase coverage from WAHealthPlanFinder. If you watch the ads that states have produced to support their marketplaces, they rarely mention the federal law that has set these changes in action.

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet Maude Smith and members of her family at Smith’s home in New Orleans, La., Aug. 29, 2010. The President and First Lady were visiting New Orleans to mark the five-year anniversary of hurricane Katrina. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Jonathan Cohn: Why UPS Spouses Shouldn’t Be (Too) Mad At Obamacare

The latest Obamacare story getting everybody’s attention is about the United Parcel Service. On Wednesday, Kaiser Health News and USA Today reported that UPS was making a change in its employee health plan—and that, as a result, 15,000 spouses of UPS employees would lose access to company insurance. One reason for the change, according to the company, is that UPS faces higher insurance costs from Obamacare. Eliminating coverage for these spouses is one way the company can reduce its employee benefit costs.

Employers have been trying to control or cut employee benefit costs for a long time, and it’s no surprise they eventually started looking at spousal coverage. The idea is a relic from an era when dual-income couples were still relatively uncommon. In those years, employers had every reason to offer (mostly male) employees spousal insurance, since the (mostly female) spouses usually had no other source of coverage. But in the last ten to twenty years, as more women have entered the workforce and two-income families have become more common, companies have started asking why they should subsidize coverage for spouses who could just as easily get insurance from their own employers.

Meanwhile, it’s not like UPS is simply kicking spouses to the health care curb. The new exclusion applies only to spouses who have jobs that offer insurance. (At UPS, that’s about half the spouses who get coverage now.) As a result, nobody is actually becoming uninsured because of this change. On the contrary, even as some spouses get coverage elsewhere, more employees and young adult dependents will be getting coverage from UPS.

More here

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President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and daughters Sasha and Malia, eat lunch at Parkway Bakery and Tavern in New Orleans, La., Aug. 29, 2010. Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett is seated at left. The First Family was visiting New Orleans to mark the five-year anniversary of hurricane Katrina. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Bloomberg News: Economy In U.S. Grew More Than Forecast In Second Quarter

The U.S. economy expanded at a faster pace in the second quarter as a smaller trade deficit and gains in inventories overshadowed the effects of federal budget cutbacks. Gross domestic product rose at a 2.5 percent annualized rate, up from an initial estimate of 1.7 percent, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 79 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a 2.2 percent gain.

Consumer spending climbed 1.8 percent, the same as previously reported, propelled by gains in durable goods such as automobiles and appliances. That followed a 2.3 percent increase from January through March. Purchases added 1.2 percentage points to growth. Consumers’ purchasing power improved, with disposable income adjusted for inflation rising at a 3.2 percent annualized rate from April through June after a 7.9 percent decrease in the first quarter. The saving rate in that period increased to 4.5 percent from 4.1 percent.

More here

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First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a “Pop the Question” question and answer segment during a taping of the “Rachael Ray Show” at Chelsea Television Studios in New York, N.Y., Aug. 29, 2012. The First Lady’s appearance was part of a back to school tour to discuss improvements to the federal guidelines for school lunches that go into effect this school year, and updates to the Presidential Youth Fitness Program. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)

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President Barack Obama reacts after recognizing actress Sissy Spacek in Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 29, 2012. The President happened upon Spacek while greeting people following a stop in the town. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Mehmet Oz jump rope during a taping of the “Dr. Oz Show,” at Rockefeller Plaza in New York, N.Y., Aug. 29, 2012. The First Lady’s appearance was part of a back to school tour to discuss improvements to federal guidelines for school lunches and updates to the Presidential Youth Fitness Program. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet members of Maude Smith’s family at her home in New Orleans, La., Aug. 29, 2010. The President and First Lady were visiting New Orleans to mark the five-year anniversary of hurricane Katrina. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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28
Aug
13

Let Freedom Ring: The Day in Images

President Obama talks with Yolanda Renee King, 5, granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr., her mother Arndrea Waters, and Martin Luther King III

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The complete ceremony, forward to 30 minutes for the start:

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President Obama’s speech:

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Excerpt:

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With Trayvon Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, and Mark Barden, father of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim Daniel Barden, Peter Yarrow, left, and Paul Stookey, right, of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary

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Rev. Joseph Lowery

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Continue reading ‘Let Freedom Ring: The Day in Images’

28
Aug
13

President Obama’s PBS Interview

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28
Aug
13

Let Freedom Ring: President Obama’s Address

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Lots more videos from today at the PBS YouTube channel

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Pete Souza

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All posts from the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington linked at the top of the sidebar on the right – this is the link image:

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The President’s speech took my breath away. For once, I’m actually speechless.

Back with more in a while.

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28
Aug
13

Let Freedom Ring, Part 3

11:0 – 4:0: The Let Freedom Ring Commemoration and Call to Action Ceremony, The Lincoln Memorial

2:45: President Obama delivers remarks

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White House Live, C-Span and CBS

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@whitehouse: President Obama’s framed copy of the original March on Washington program in the Oval Office

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I’m struggling to imagine we’ll see a more stunning image today:

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28
Aug
13

Let Freedom Ring, Part 2

11:0 – 4:0: The Let Freedom Ring Commemoration and Call to Action Ceremony, The Lincoln Memorial

2:45: President Obama delivers remarks

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White House Live, C-Span and CBS

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@Interior: Beautiful photo of the exact spot Dr. King delivered his “I Have a Dream speech” 50 years ago today

28
Aug
13

Let Freedom Ring, Part 1

11:0 – 4:0: The Let Freedom Ring Commemoration and Call to Action Ceremony, The Lincoln Memorial

2:45 (moved from 3:05): President Obama delivers remarks

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Live streaming starts at 11:0 on White House Live, C-Span and CBS

 

28
Aug
13

Rise and Shine: Let Freedom Ring

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Today (all times Eastern):

11:0 – 4:0: The Let Freedom Ring Commemoration and Call to Action Ceremony, The Lincoln Memorial

2:45 (moved from 3:05): President Obama delivers remarks

Live streaming starts at 11:0 on C-Span and CBS

6:0: President Obama is interviewed by Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff – the interview will air in full on PBS NewsHour and on the PBS website

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Dr Martin Luther King Jr, August 28, 1963:

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “For Whites Only”. We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

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Five years ago today: Senator Barack Obama accepts the Democratic Party’s nomination for the American presidency:

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Morning everyone, it’s going to be a beautiful day

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27
Aug
13

Out of the Mountain of Despair….

Tomorrow:

3:05 EDT President Obama delivers remarks at the ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington

26
Aug
13

Wednesday: ‘Let Freedom Ring’

The Obama family at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, Oct. 14, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

WH.gov: President Obama, President Clinton and President Carter to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

This Wednesday will mark 50 years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech at the base of the Lincoln Memorial; a moment which served to punctuate a movement that changed America.

To honor this occasion, President Obama will be joined Wednesday, August 28th, by President Jimmy Carter and President Bill Clinton, members of the King family and other civil rights leaders and luminaries at the Let Freedom Ring Commemoration and Call to Action event at the Lincoln Memorial, to commemorate Dr. King’s soaring speech and the 1963 March on Washington.

… This event is open to the public. Doors open at 9:00 AM, for an 11:00 AM program start on Wednesday, August 28th at the Lincoln Memorial. Guests arriving after 12:00 PM are not guaranteed admittance.  In order to access the venue, you must enter from the east side of the Reflecting Pool, on 17th street, near the World War II Memorial.

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Ebony: …… President Barack Obama and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter will honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s call to “Let freedom ring” by ringing bells at 3:00 p.m. EDT, a half-century to the very minute after Dr. King delivered his historic address. Groups across the country will also pause to mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s speech by ringing bells at 3:00 p.m. EDT.

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MLKDream50.com

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Coming Up Today (EDT):

2:0 Secretary of State Kerry statement on Syria (CBS)

2:10: President Obama awards Staff Sergeant Ty M. Carter, U.S. Army, the Medal of Honor

3:0 (changed from 12:30): Jay Carney briefs the press

White House Live




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