President Barack Obama talks with Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, after delivering a statement on the murder of journalist Jim Foley by the terrorist group ISIL. He spoke at the Edgartown School in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., Aug. 20, 2014. Photo by Amanda Lucidon
Matt Viser: Senator Edward Markey Says He Will Back Iran Deal
Senator Edward J. Markey on Wednesday said he would support the Iran nuclear agreement, offering his endorsement on a highly charged issue that has been dividing some Democrats. Markey – a Massachusetts Democrat who took the seat long held by Secretary of State John Kerry, who negotiated the deal – said in a statement provided to the Globe that he believes that the negotiated deal is the best way to ensure Iran doesn’t build a nuclear weapon. “I have concluded that diplomacy remains our best tool to secure a nuclear weapon-free Iran,” Markey said.
“That’s why I intend to support the Iran nuclear agreement when it comes before Congress in September.” “This agreement is far from perfect and carries risks,” he added. “But I believe our negotiators achieved as much as they reasonably could, and that if strictly implemented, this plan can be effective.” Markey is the latest member of the Massachusetts delegation to announce his support for the deal. Earlier this month, Senator Elizabeth Warren, as well as representatives Seth Moulton, Stephen Lynch, and Jim McGovern also announced their support. Representative Michael Capuano has said he is “leaning strongly in favor,” and no member of the all-Democratic delegation has come out against the deal.
A national poll shows that more than 80 percent of Americans support healthy school meals consisting of more fruit and vegetables and less high calorie and sodium food choices, requirements outlined in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act — a law that authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to set nutritional standards for food sold and distributed in schools and expanded access to healthy lunch to more than 115,000 U.S. children. The survey, conducted by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, debunks the primary argument against the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, one of the central policies at the heart of First Lady Michelle Obama’s effort to address childhood obesity. “Our survey found that people in the U.S. overwhelmingly support strong nutrition standards and believe school meals are healthier and on the right track because of these standards,” La June Montgomery Tabron, president and chief executive of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation,
told the New York Times. If lawmakers reauthorize the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act next month, schools would receive $4.5 billion over the next decade. With time dwindling before it’s set to expire, its supporters and challengers have scrambled to make their case, drawing out a battle that started shortly after its passage and holding nothing back in the process. Since the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act’s inception, the program has expanded, serving more than one million students across the United States not only lunch, but dinner too as part of its after-school snack offerings. The UDSA also rolled out $5 million in grants to fund programs that connect school cafeterias with local farmers. The 2014 grant cycle supported more than 80 projects in 42 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In total, more than $385 million in locally grown produce has entered school buildings across the country.
President Barack Obama prepares for a meeting with economic columnists in the Oval Office, Aug. 20, 2013. From left are: Kathryn Ruemmler, Counsel to the President; Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri; Katie Beirne Fallon, Deputy Director of Communications; and Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the Domestic Policy Council. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama talks with former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula in the Blue Room prior to a ceremony honoring the 1972 Super Bowl Champion Miami Dolphins at the White House, Aug. 20, 2013. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama has a foreign leader phone call in the Oval Office, Aug. 20, 2012. Pictured, from left, are: Chief of Staff Jack Lew; Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough; and Steve Simon, Senior Director for Middle East and North Africa. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama and daughter Sasha steer the “Bay Point Lady” during a tour of St. Andrews Bay off Panama City Beach, Fla., Aug. 15, 2010 Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama and daughter Sasha look over the different flavors of ice cream available at a store during their visit to Yellowstone National Park on Aug. 15, 2009. Daughter Malia, in background, has already made her selection. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha wait for Old Faithful to erupt during their visit to Yellowstone National Park on Aug. 15, 2009. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama pays for the family’s ice cream during a stop at a store while visiting Yellowstone National Park on Aug. 15, 2009. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and daughter Sasha order ice cream at Bruster’s in Panama City Beach, Fla., Aug. 15, 2010. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama greets children from the Valleyland Kids summer program outside a school in Chatfield, Minn., during a three-day bus tour in the Midwest, Aug. 15, 2011. Photo by Pete Souza
Sho Chandra: Retail Sales Show Broad Gain As U.S. Consumers Spur Growth
Sales at U.S. retailers rose in July on growing demand for everything from cars to clothing, and a decline the previous month was wiped away, signaling consumers are propelling growth in the world’s largest economy. Eleven of 13 major categories showed gains. Rising employment, stronger finances and still-cheap fuel is helping draw consumers into stores and auto dealerships.
Growth in household spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, is bolstering the expansion as Federal Reserve policy makers move toward lifting interest rates this year for the first time since 2006. “The consumer-driven recovery of the economy continues on track,” said Harm Bandholz, chief U.S. economist at UniCredit Group in New York, who correctly projected the gain. “The fundamentals are all in place for solid consumer spending. The outlook remains strong for the second half of the year.”
President Barack Obama greets people outside the Old Market Deli in Cannon Falls, Minn. Aug. 15, 2011. The President stopped to have lunch with five post-9/11 veterans from Minnesota during a three-day bus tour in the Midwest. Photo by Samantha Appleton
President Barack Obama holds a baby as he arrives for lunch at the Old Market Deli in Cannon Falls, Minn., during a three-day bus tour in the Midwest, Aug. 15, 2011. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama prepares to autographs books and photographs in a backstage holding room following a town hall meeting on health care insurance reform at Central High School in Grand Junction, Colo. on Aug. 15, 2009. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama waves to people along a road in Harmony, Minn., Aug. 15, 2011, during a three-day bus tour in the Midwest. Photo by Pete Souza
President Barack Obama visits Sunset Lake in Yellowstone National Park on Aug. 15, 2009. Photo by Pete Souza