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President Obama Names Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients (see here)
Known to many as “Mr. Cub,” Ernie Banks is one of the greatest baseball players of all time. During his 19 seasons with the Chicago Cubs, he played in 11 All-Star Games, hit over 500 home runs, and became the first National League player to win Most Valuable Player honors in back-to-back years. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977, his first year of eligibility.
Ben Bradlee is one of the most respected newsmen of his generation. During his tenure as executive editor of The Washington Post, Mr. Bradlee oversaw coverage of the Watergate scandal, successfully challenged the Federal Government over the right to publish the Pentagon Papers, and guided the newspaper through some of its most challenging moments. He also served in the Navy during World War II.
President Clinton was the 42nd President of the United States. Before taking office, he served as Governor and Attorney General of the State of Arkansas. Following his second term, President Clinton established the Clinton Foundation to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote health and wellness, and protect the environment. He also formed the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund with President George W. Bush in 2010.
Daniel Inouye (posthumous)
Daniel Inouye was a lifelong public servant. As a young man, he fought in World War II with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, for which he received the Medal of Honor. He was later elected to the Hawaii Territorial House of Representatives, the United States House of Representatives, and the United States Senate. Senator Inouye was the first Japanese American to serve in Congress, representing the people of Hawaii from the moment they joined the Union.
Daniel Kahneman is a pioneering scholar of psychology. After escaping Nazi occupation in World War II, Dr. Kahneman immigrated to Israel, where he served in the Israel Defense Forces and trained as a psychologist. Alongside Amos Tversky, he applied cognitive psychology to economic analysis, laying the foundation for a new field of research and earning the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002. He is currently a professor at Princeton University.
Richard Lugar represented Indiana in the United States Senate for more than 30 years. An internationally respected statesman, he is best known for his bipartisan leadership and decades-long commitment to reducing the threat of nuclear weapons. Prior to serving in Congress, Senator Lugar was a Rhodes Scholar and Mayor of Indianapolis from 1968 to 1975. He currently serves as President of the Lugar Center.
Loretta Lynn is a country music legend. Raised in rural Kentucky, she emerged as one of the first successful female country music vocalists in the early 1960s, courageously breaking barriers in an industry long dominated by men. Ms. Lynn’s numerous accolades include the Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.
Mario Molina is a visionary chemist and environmental scientist. Born in Mexico, Dr. Molina came to America to pursue his graduate degree. He later earned the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering how chlorofluorocarbons deplete the ozone layer. Dr. Molina is a professor at the University of California, San Diego; Director of the Mario Molina Center for Energy and Environment; and a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Sally Ride (posthumous)
Sally Ride was the first American female astronaut to travel to space. As a role model to generations of young women, she advocated passionately for science education, stood up for racial and gender equality in the classroom, and taught students from every background that there are no limits to what they can accomplish. Dr. Ride also served in several administrations as an advisor on space exploration.
Bayard Rustin (posthumous)
Bayard Rustin was an unyielding activist for civil rights, dignity, and equality for all. An advisor to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he promoted nonviolent resistance, participated in one of the first Freedom Rides, organized the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and fought tirelessly for marginalized communities at home and abroad. As an openly gay African American, Mr. Rustin stood at the intersection of several of the fights for equal rights.
Arturo Sandoval is a celebrated jazz trumpeter, pianist, and composer. Born outside Havana, he became a protégé of jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie and gained international acclaim as a dynamic performer. He defected to the United States in 1990 and later became an American citizen. He has been awarded nine Grammy Awards and is widely considered one of the greatest living jazz artists.
Dean Smith was head coach of the University of North Carolina basketball team from 1961 to 1997. In those 36 years, he earned 2 national championships, was named National Coach of the Year multiple times, and retired as the winningest men’s college basketball coach in history. Ninety-six percent of his players graduated from college. Mr. Smith has also remained a dedicated civil rights advocate throughout his career.
Gloria Steinem is a renowned writer and activist for women’s equality. She was a leader in the women’s liberation movement, co-founded Ms. magazine, and helped launch a wide variety of groups and publications dedicated to advancing civil rights. Ms. Steinem has received dozens of awards over the course of her career, and remains an active voice for women’s rights.
C.T. Vivian is a distinguished minister, author, and organizer. A leader in the Civil Rights Movement and friend to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he participated in Freedom Rides and sit-ins across our country. Dr. Vivian also helped found numerous civil rights organizations, including Vision, the National Anti-Klan Network, and the Center for Democratic Renewal. In 2012, he returned to serve as interim President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Patricia Wald is one of the most respected appellate judges of her generation. After graduating as 1 of only 11 women in her Yale University Law School class, she became the first woman appointed to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and served as Chief Judge from 1986-1991. She later served on the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague. Ms. Wald currently serves on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.
Oprah Winfrey is one of the world’s most successful broadcast journalists. She is best known for creating The Oprah Winfrey Show, which became the highest rated talk show in America for 25 years. Ms. Winfrey has long been active in philanthropic causes and expanding opportunities for young women. She has received numerous awards throughout her career, including the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award in 2002 and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2010.
A year ago: “The President hugs Stephanie Davies, who helped her friend, Allie Young, left, stay alive after she was shot during the movie theater shootings in Aurora, Colo. The President visited patients and family members affected by the shootings at the University of Colorado Hospital. Photo by Pete Souza, July 22, 2012
The Week Ahead:
3:0: The President meets with Secretary of State Kerry
7:25: Delivers remarks at an Organizing for Action event, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Washington, DC (Open Press)
8:10: Delivers remarks and answers questions at an Organizing for Action dinner, Mandarin Oriental Hotel (Print Pool for Remarks Only)
Tuesday: The President will welcome NCAA Champion Louisville Cardinals to the White House to honor the team and their 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship
Wednesday: He will travel to Galesburg, Illinois and Warrensburg, Missouri for events on the economy
Thursday: He will welcome President Truong Tan Sang of Vietnam to the White House. In the afternoon, the President will travel to Jacksonville, Florida for an event on the economy. On Thursday evening, he will host an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan at the White House
Friday: The President will attend meetings at the White House.
Time: Drawing renewed attention to the economy, President Barack Obama will return this week to an Illinois college where he once spelled out a vision for an expanded and strengthened middle class as a freshman U.S. senator, long before the Great Recession would test his presidency.
The address Wednesday at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., will be the first in a new series of economic speeches that White House aides say Obama intends to deliver over the next several weeks ahead of key budget deadlines in the fall. A new fiscal year begins in October, and the government will soon hit its borrowing limit.
…. The president will also speak Wednesday at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Mo.
You’re Going to Want to Watch This Speech: I just finished reading the draft of a speech the President plans t… http://t.co/RhLratJJHO
— White House Blog (@WhiteHouse_Blog) July 22, 2013
AP: Survey: Brighter U.S. Economic Outlook Boosts Hiring
Companies are increasingly confident the economy will grow at a modest pace over the next year and are hiring more, according to a survey of business economists.
Nearly one-third of the economists surveyed said their companies added jobs in the April-June quarter …. That’s the highest percentage in nearly two years. And 39 percent expect their firms will hire more in the next six months. That’s near the two-year high of 40 percent reached in the January-March quarter.
…. Optimism about future economic growth increased. Nearly three-quarters of the survey respondents forecast growth of 2.1 percent or more over the next 12 months. That’s up from two-thirds in the first quarter survey, released in April, and the most in a year.
ThinkProgress: No, Obamacare Won’t Raise Insurance Premiums In Indiana By 72 Percent
On Friday, the Indiana Department of Insurance announced that initial rates submitted by individual health plan providers for the state’s Obamacare insurance marketplace would cost 72 percent more than currently available plans …. Gov. Mike Pence’s (R) administration was quick to use the figures to criticize the health law….
The problem is, the Department of Insurance didn’t really release “data” in the plural — it released a single data point. The $570 per month figure is the average of all of the submitted rates, including cheaper plans with less benefits (so-called “Bronze” and “Silver” level plans) as well as the more generous and expensive “Gold” and “Platinum” level plans. That’s like saying the average cost of a car in an Indiana dealership is $100,000 because it sells $20,000 Fords, $60,000 BMWs, and $220,000 Lamborghinis — technically true, but highly misleading.
And see Jonathan Cohn – ‘Hoosier Hustle? Another Dubious Attack on Obamacare’
Also too – ThinkProgress: Tea Party Senator Concedes Defeat: We Won’t Be Able To Fully Repeal Obamacare
USA Today: Vice President Biden is off on a six-day trade and diplomatic trip to India and Singapore.
…. The vice president and his wife Dr Jill Biden land Monday in New Dehli; they will travel to Mumbai later this week …. they arrive Thursday in Singapore…
… The Bidens will stop in Hawaii on their way back to the United States; they return to Washington on Sunday.
First Lady Michelle Obama hugs Roxanna Green as she enters the House Chamber prior the State of the Union address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 25, 2011. John and Roxanna Green are the parents of eleven-year-old Dallas and the late Christina Taylor, the nine-year-old girl killed when a gunman opened fire on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
Washington Post: First Lady Michelle Obama’s guest list for tonight’s State of the Union includes a teacher from Sandy Hook Elementary School, a police officer who responded to the massacre at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and the parents of a girl killed by gunfire in Chicago earlier this month.
The assembled guests make clear that the White House will emphasize gun violence with tonight’s speech. But there are also nods to technological innovation — Apple CEO Tim Cook will sit with Obama, as will the winner of this year’s Intel Science Fair and a member of NASA’s Mars rover team.
The presence of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) is a nod to Medicaid reform. An Affordable Care Act advocate will also be in the box, as will an undocumented student whose deportation was deferred by an Obama executive order last year.
The full list:
Sergeant Sheena Adams (Vista, CA), Team Advisor & Lead Instructor, Female Engagement Team
Alan Aleman (Las Vegas, NV), DREAM Student
Jack Andraka (Crownsville, MD), Winner of the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair
Susan Bumgarner (Norman, OK), Early Childhood Educator
Deb Carey (New Glarus, WI), Small Business Owner, New Glarus Brewing Company
Sergeant Carlos Evans, USMC (Cameron, NC), Wounded Warrior
Tim Cook (Cupertino, CA), CEO of Apple
Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton and Nathaniel A. Pendleton Sr. (Chicago, IL)
Menchu de Luna Sanchez (Secaucus, NJ), Registered Nurse, NYU Langone Medical Center
Bobak Ferdowsi (Pasadena, CA), Flight Director, Mars Curiosity Rover
Bradley Henning (Louisville, KY), Machinist, Atlas Machine and Supply
Tracey Hepner (Arlington, VA), Co-Founder, Military Partners and Families Coalition
Peter Hudson (Evergreen, CO), Co-Founder and CEO, iTriage
Governor John Kitzhaber (D-OR)
Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers (Avondale, AZ)
Amanda E. McMillan (Jackson, MS), Pay Discrimination Victim
Lee Maxwell (Wilton, IA), Graduate, Kirkwood Community College Wind Technician Program
Lieutenant Brian Murphy (Oak Creek, WI), The first police officer to arrive at the scene of the tragic Sikh temple shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin last August.
Lisa Richards (Arlington, VA), #My2K Participant
Kaitlin Roig (Greenwich, CT), 1st Grade Teacher, Sandy Hook Elementary School
Abby Schanfield (Minneapolis, MN), ACA Beneficiary
Haile Thomas (Tucson, AZ), Let’s Move! Champion
See biographical information here
Three years ago today: A bronze bust of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is visible in the foreground as President Obama meets with senior advisors in the Oval Office, Feb. 4, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Today (All times EST):
10:15: President Obama departs the White House
11:15: VP Biden and Dr Jill Biden arrive in London
1:00: President Obama arrives in Minneapolis
1:30 Participates in a discussion with local leaders and law enforcement officials (Pool spray at the top)
2:30 Delivers remarks on a comprehensive set of ideas to reduce gun violence (Live coverage)
3:35 Departs Minneapolis, Minnesota
5:45 Arrives Joint Base Andrews
6:0 Arrives the White House
The week ahead:
Tuesday: The President will attend meetings at the White House
Wednesday: Attends the Democratic Senate Caucus Retreat in Annapolis, Maryland
Thursday: Delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. In the afternoon, the President will travel to Leesburg, VA to deliver remarks at the House Democratic Issues Conference
Friday: Attends meetings at the White House
Steve Benen: Last night, if you were watching the Super Bowl you saw a rather powerful ad on gun policy …. The spot, sponsored by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, urges policymakers to approve a universal background check, and features “America, the Beautiful” against the backdrop of young children.
About 12 hours earlier, Americans could see theNRA’s Wayne LaPierre on “Fox News Sunday,” making a very different kind of argument: “I make the same thing during the campaign, when he said to people I will not take away your rifle, shotgun, handgun. They leafletted the country with flyers like this, ‘Obama is not going to take your gun, Obama is going to protect gun rights.’ And, now, he’s trying to take away all three.”
….. therein lies the problem: the policy debate has become increasingly strained because one of the most influential lobbying groups in Washington relies on arguments based on evidence the organization has simply made up…..
Full post here
Josh Marshall (TPM): I just found out that last September the NRA published an official list of gun enemies including the ADA, AMA, ADL, Mel Brooks, Chaka Khan and hundreds of other domestic gun enemies…..
The following organizations have lent monetary, grassroots or some other type of direct support to anti-gun organizations. In many instances, these organizations lent their name in support of specific campaigns to pass anti-gun legislation such as the March 1995 HCI “Campaign to Protect Sane Gun Laws.” Many of these organizations were listed as “Campaign Partners,” for having pledged to fight any efforts to repeal the Brady Act and the Clinton “assault weapons” ban. All have officially endorsed anti-gun positions.
Michael Tomasky: The Strangest NRA Story Yet – The fact that the NRA was keeping a list of its foes isn’t all that bizarre. But the list itself is positively loony — yet more evidence of just how nuts the NRA is
One of the sure markers of the paranoid mind is the urge to keep lists. In particular, lists of enemies, subversives, no-goodniks …. It virtually goes without saying that the keepers of such lists are always the bullies who survive by fomenting hatred and making sure that their constituents stay in a state of constant agitation. And so it was no surprise to learn over the weekend that the NRA has a little list of 497 people and organizations who are in some way, shape, or form anti-gun. It makes for hilarious reading, although it’s sort of frightening to think about the demented minds of the people who assembled it.
Paul Krugman: ….. There was, however, one piece of the reform that was a shining example of how to do it right: the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a stand-alone agency with its own funding, charged with protecting consumers against financial fraud and abuse. And sure enough, Senate Republicans are going all out in an attempt to kill that bureau.
….. Right now, all the media focus is on the obvious hot issues — immigration, guns, the sequester, and so on. But let’s try not to let this one fall through the cracks: just four years after runaway bankers brought the world economy to its knees, Senate Republicans are using every means at their disposal, violating all the usual norms of politics in the process, in an attempt to give the bankers a chance to do it all over again.
Full article here
Steve Benen: Long-time viewers of The Rachel Maddow Show may recall the “Geek Week” segments aired in May 2010, which included an interview with Energy Secretary Steven Chu. (The segment also noted why At Least I Am A Nerd.com still redirects to the show’s video player.)
Nearly three years later, we’ve learned that Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, will leave his post in President Obama’s second term, stepping down from the Department of Energy later this month. With this in mind, it’s worth pausing to appreciate the significance of Chu’s first-term efforts, which haven’t generated front-page news, but which carry extraordinary significance…..
* Visitors to the blog in the last 30 days *
I always smile when I get beautiful messages/emails from ‘non-Americans’ who visit here and apologize for their English – more often than not, their English is considerably better than mine.
I’ve got a whole bunch of these emails the last few days – and I promise I will get around to replying to them all when this craziness is over.
Almost all say they just lurk here and don’t comment, mainly because they think their English isn’t good enough. Now, that’s crazy.
But they all say the same: they are wishing President Obama all the very best, and are praying – to whatever higher power they worship – for his success tonight.
I’m not, for a minute, claiming everyone on the list above is a PBO supporter, but I suspect most of them are – because they know how catastrophic a Romney presidency would be for the world we share.
So, to all those citizens of the world who have got in touch: thank you so much.
Your good wishes are hugely appreciated.
DemConvention.com: The first two days of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Tuesday, September 4 and Wednesday, September 5, will be held at Time Warner Cable Arena. President Obama and Vice President Biden will accept the Democratic nominations for President and Vice President on Thursday, September 6 at Bank of America Stadium. Sign up now for your chance to attend this event. The convention committee will unveil additional convention program details and speakers in the coming days.
Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin * Congressman Xavier Becerra of California * Newark Mayor Cory Booker * Congressman G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina * Former President Jimmy Carter (via video) * San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro * Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee * Congresswoman Judy Chu of California * Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri * Former President Bill Clinton * Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina * Former Republican Governor of Florida Charlie Crist * Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina Walter Dalton * The Honorable Arne Duncan * Congresswoman Diana DeGette of Colorado * Former Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Tammy Duckworth * U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois * Congresswoman Donna Edwards of Maryland * Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel * Georgetown Law School Graduate Sandra Fluke * Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx * Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts * Former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt * Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm * Congressman Charlie Gonzalez of Texas * U.S. Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina * California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris * Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper * Congressman Steny Hoyer of Maryland * Former Governor of North Carolina Jim Hunt * DCCC Chairman Congressman Steve Israel of New York * Montana State Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau * Former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine * Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy (ret.) * Congressman John Larson of Connecticut * Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California * Congressman John Lewis of Georgia * CarMax co-founder and former CEO Austin Ligon * President of NARAL Pro-Choice America Nancy Keenan * Caroline Kennedy * U.S. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts * Women’s rights activist Lilly Ledbetter * Obama Campaign Co-Chair Eva Longoria * Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy * Delaware Governor Jack Markell * Boston Mayor Tom Menino * The Honorable Karen Mills * U.S. Senator Patty Murray of Washington * Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter * U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland * Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley * Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick * House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi * House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will also lead a presentation of the women of the House: Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez of New York, Congresswoman Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz of Pennsylvania, Congresswoman Donna Edwards of Maryland, Candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives Joyce Beatty of Ohio, Candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii * California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez * Congressman Jared Polis of Colorado * Congressman David Price of North Carolina * Illinois Governor Pat Quinn * Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada * President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund Cecile Richards * Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak * The Honorable Ken Salazar * Journalist Cristina Saralegui * U.S. Senator Charles Schumer of New York * Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer * The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius * Costco co-founder and former CEO Jim Sinegal * Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland * Congressman Chris Van Hollen * Los Angeles Mayor, Democratic Convention Chair Antonio Villaraigosa * The Honorable Tom Vilsack * Senate candidate from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren * DNC Chair Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida * Congressman Mel Watt of North Carolina
Morning everyone, I’ll be back later today, chat away