Posts Tagged ‘King



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.

More here

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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.

More here

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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.

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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.

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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’




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