President Barack Obama makes a statement in the Brady Briefing room at the White House. President Obama took full responsibility and apologized for a US drone strike that targeted a suspected al Qaeda compound in Pakistan but inadvertently killed an American and Italian being held hostage by the group
President Barack Obama holds a jersey while posing for a picture with head coach Bill Belichick (L), owner Robert Kraft (R) and members of the National Football League Super Bowl champions New England Patriots during an event at the White House. President Obama honored the Super bowl XLIX champion Patriots who defeated the Seattle Seahawks 33-27 in overtime
President Barack Obama hugs Victoria Bellucci, a 2014 graduate of Huntingtown High School in Huntingtown, Md., after she introduced Obama to speak at the White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Bellucci played four years of women’s varsity soccer where she was a team captain and an All-State selection. By the time her high school and club soccer careers ended in 2013, Bellucci had suffered five concussions. President Obama was hosting the summit with representatives of professional sports leagues, coaches, parents, young athletes, researchers and others to call attention to the issue of youth sports concussions.
President Barack Obama talks at the White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit. Listening is Dr. Gerard Gioia
President Barack Obama is introduced by Victoria Belluci of Huntington, Md. at the White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit. Listening are moderator Pam Oliver and Dr. Gerard Gioia
CBS: President Obama Calls For More Robust Research Into Youth Concussions
The commander-in-chief wants to know more. President Barack Obama called Thursday for more robust research into youth concussions, saying there remains deep uncertainty over both the scope of the troubling issue and the long-term impacts on young people. “We want our kids participating in sports,” Obama said as he opened a day-long summit on concussions at the White House. “As parents though, we want to keep them safe and that means we have to have better information.” The summit signaled an effort by Obama to use the power of the presidency to elevate a national conversation over youth concussions. The White House brought together representatives of professionalsports leagues, coaches, parents, young athletes, medical professionals and others for the event.
"Sports teach us about teamwork and hard work and what it takes to succeed not only on the field, but in life." —Obama #HeadsUp4Safety
Obama, an avid sports fan and father of two daughters involved in athletics, highlighted millions of dollars in pledges and other support from the National Football League, the National Institutes of Health and others to conduct research that could begin to provide answers and improve safety. Among the financial commitments is a $30 million joint research effort by the NCAA and Defense Department and an NFL commitment of $25 million over the next three years to promote youth sports safety. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that can be caused by a blow to the head, or a blow to the body powerful enough to jostle the brain around inside the skull. Nearly 250,000 kids and young adults visit hospital emergency rooms each year with brain injuries caused by sports or other recreational activity, the White House said.
President Barack Obama shakes hands with former football player Lavar Arrington, as former professional soccer player and current ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman watches
USA Today: Obama: We Need ‘Better Data’ On Sports Concussions
President Obama told a White House meeting of athletes, coaches and medical experts Thursday that there are no “solid numbers” on the extent of the concussion problem in football and other contact sports. “We’ve got to have better research, better data, better safety equipment, better protocols,” Obama said at the first White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit. While “sports are vital to this country,”
"That’s what today’s about—let’s give parents the information they need to help their kids compete safely." —President Obama #HeadsUp4Safety
Obama said, society needs to make sure that young people “are able to participate as safely as possible.” The purpose of the summit is to look for better ways to determine the severity of head injuries that could affect the brain, and how to treat them. Moreover, adults need to discourage a “suck-it-up” culture that encourages young athletes to pay through pain, Obama said.
President Barack Obama speaks at the White House Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit. Pictured from left to right: LaVar Arrington, former NFL linebacker; Victoria Bellucci, a high school soccer player from Huntingtown, Md.; Taylor Twellman, former professional soccer player; Gen. Ray Odierno, Chief of Staff of the United States Army; R. Dawn Comstock, who runs the national high school sports injury surveillance program called High School RIO; Gerard A Gioia, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Neuropsychology at Children’s National Medical Center, Pam Oliver, a reporter with NFL on FOX
Youth sports concussions draw Obama's attention, #NCAA and Defense Department launch $30M effort: apne.ws/1ivCnGf
@petesouza: President Obama holds a 12th man flag with the Super Bowl Champs Seattle Seahawks
President Barack Obama shakes hands with Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, accompanied by quarterback Russell Wilson, and wide receiver Doug Baldwin
ABC News: Obama Salutes Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks
President Barack Obama congratulated the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks on Wednesday, saluting their victories on the field and their contributions to their community. Noting that some football analysts didn’t see Seattle as a top-tier team, Obama said he especially appreciated the team overcoming long odds.
“As a guy who was elected president named Barack Obama, I root for the underdog,” the president joked. The Seahawks clinched their first Super Bowl victory in the history of the franchise in February by beating the Denver Broncos 43-8.
President Obama with Bo during a brief break from meetings on the South Lawn of the White House May 12, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Today (all times Eastern)
11:0: President Obama meets with President Jose Mujica Cordano of Uruguay
11:0: First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden Host Their Annual Mothers Day Tea to Honor Military Mothers
1:15: Jay Carney briefs the press
5:25: The President honors the 2014 National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) TOP COPS award winners
The Week Ahead
Tuesday: The President will award Kyle J. White, a former active duty Army Sergeant, the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry.
Wednesday: The President and the First Lady will travel to New York. While there, the President will host an event on the economy and attend DNC and DSCC events. More details will be forthcoming.
Thursday: The President and the First Lady will tour the National September 11th Memorial and Museum; the President will also deliver remarks at the dedication ceremony. Following his remarks, the President and the First Lady will return to Washington, DC.
Friday: The President will attend meetings at the White House.
BBC: Nigeria kidnapped girls ‘shown’ in new Boko Haram video
A new video released by Islamist militants Boko Haram claims to show around 130 girls kidnapped from a school in Nigeria last month.
The group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, said they would be held until all imprisoned militants had been freed.
He said the girls had converted to Islam. The video, released on Monday, claims to show them praying.
Boko Haram abducted more than 200 girls in northern Nigeria on 14 April and threatened to sell them.
The BBC’s John Simpson in the northern city of Maiduguri said Boko Haram’s comments showed signs that the group was willing to negotiate.
AP: Pregnant women gain new options under health law
The health care law has opened up an unusual opportunity for some mothers-to-be to save on medical bills for childbirth.
Lower-income women who signed up for a private policy in the new insurance exchanges will have access to additional coverage from their state’s Medicaid program if they get pregnant. Some women could save hundreds of dollars on their share of hospital and doctor bills.
Medicaid already pays for nearly half of U.S. births, but this would create a way for the safety-net program to supplement private insurance for many expectant mothers.
Officials and advocates say the enhanced coverage will be available across the country, whether or not a state expands Medicaid under the health law. However, states have different income cutoffs for eligibility, ranging from near the poverty line to solid middle class.
Miami Herald: The Affordable Care Act gives former foster kids healthcare benefits to age 26, though they may not know it
Rain clouds couldn’t spoil Kenisha Anthony’s afternoon as she emerged from the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables on Saturday with an associate degree in social work from Miami Dade College. The 22-year-old from Miami had survived the school of hard knocks that is Florida’s foster care system to reach this moment. Now a provision of the Affordable Care Act promises to help her make an even better start.
As of Jan. 1, Anthony and others who aged out of foster care became eligible for Medicaid until they turn 26, just as other young adults can stay on their parents’ health plans to that age as part of the ACA. But not all former foster children may know about this little-discussed Obamacare benefit, especially if they’re no longer in the system.
Business Insider: The GOP’s Latest Anti-Obamacare Talking Point Just Went Down In Flames
Last week, the Republican-led House Committee on Energy and Commerce released information claiming only 67% of enrollees in insurance exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act made their first premium payment. The data was paraded around as a talking point ahead of the Obama administration’s final release of stats from the law’s first open enrollment period.
On Wednesday, that talking point blew up.
Three of the country’s largest insurers — Aetna, WellPoint, and Health Care Service Corp., which operates Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in several states — said between 80-90% of new customers who enrolled through Obamacare paid their first month’s premiums. Executives from the companies announced the news in testimony before the very same House Committee on Energy and Commerce where Republicans touted the contrary data last week.
The Republican National Committee altered a video clip of a local news story about health insurance premiums in North Carolina to imply that rates would increase under the Affordable Care Act, cutting off the segment just before the reporter explained that “not everyone could be in for the sticker shock.”
The report, aired on the local ABC affiliate last week and posted and tweeted by the RNC, argues that since enrollment of young people did not meet expectations, health insurance would “eventually cost you more.” A small business owner interviewed for the package adds that her family’s premiums have increased since passage of the law and reporter Angelica Alvarez notes that Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Carolina, the state’s largest insurance provider, “is warning customers now about what premium prices can look like in 2015.”
But just as Alvarez begins to explain that most customers are unlikely to experience significant premium hikes, the RNC clip abruptly ends.
Republicans are trying to criminalize a tragedy — wholly unprecedented, even after 241 Marines died because of a massive U.S. intelligence failure.
One of the most maddening things about this Benghazi nonsense is the way Republicans have gotten a lot of Americans to go along with the idea that 10 investigations of something is normal; that as long as there’s one unanswered question, one area where the administration’s position is ambiguous or where its cooperation has been anything other than the immediate handing over of any conceivably related document, we still need to get to the bottom of matters.
…. I’m trying to explain as calmly as I can here, to readers with no allegiance to either party, why what the Republicans are doing with Benghazi is so out of bounds. They are turning a political situation into a legal case. They’re trying to impose the standards of the courtroom onto a place where they clearly don’t belong. It’s an awful, poisonous precedent, especially given that the incident in question was a tragedy. Using a national tragedy, the kind of event that used to unite Americans, to turn a political matter into a legal one is just a shocking thing to do, wholly outside the American tradition.
Paul Waldman: The five stages of GOP scandal-mongering: A reader’s guide
The House of Representatives voted to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress, on the grounds that she had asserted her Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer their questions, thereby depriving them of the opportunity for what they hoped would be some spectacular grandstanding. You might think that a group of people with such reverence for the Constitution wouldn’t get so angry when certain portions of it, like the Fifth Amendment, become inconvenient to their political ends. But this contempt vote was like the end of a toddler’s tantrum, the final hoarse scream before the child collapses in an exhausted heap on the floor.
You may be wondering: what ever happened to that IRS scandal, anyway? It went the way of pretty much every Obama administration “scandal,” which is that it turned out to be not nearly as scandalous as Republicans had hoped.
In fact, a clear pattern has emerged on how these scandals have unfolded, one that might be helpful to keep in mind as we start paying attention to Benghazi again. Here’s a handy guide:
Steve Benen: On Capitol Hill, it’s all about priorities
Since Congress returned from its spring recess, House Republicans have gone to almost comical lengths to focus on discredited “scandals.” GOP lawmakers have created a new special Benghazi committee; they battled each other for slots on the investigatory panel; they’ve voted to hold a former IRS official in contempt; and they’ve talked to the media an awful lot about both “controversies.”
And so it was rather amusing to listen to the Republican Party’s weekly address over the weekend, in which GOP officials demanded to know why those rascally Democrats won’t follow Republicans’ lead and focus on job creation.
…. Let’s make this very simple for everyone involved: if House Republicans are sincere about focusing on job creation, they can (a) give up the witch hunts that they know to be ridiculous; (b) put together a serious jobs package; (c) subject it to independent scrutiny to determine how many jobs the package would create and at what cost; and (d) invite Democrats to the table for talks.
Smartypants: President Obama’s legacy: A foundation for peace
Let’s be honest – after the terrorist attack on 9/11 this country went on a bit of a freak-out…wars, torture, Gitmo, terror threat levels, TSA, warrantless surveillance, etc. Its easy to simply blame the Bush/Cheney administration. But the truth is, they got re-elected after most of that was underway. So there’s plenty of blame to go around.
President Obama had to deal with the legacy of that freak-out from the moment he was first elected. He assumed office knowing that another terrorist attack like the one this country experienced in 2001 could ignite more of the same. And he knew that allowing that to happen would threaten any attempt to wage a lasting peace.
Media Matters: Top Cable News Coverage Of Federal Climate Change Report Cast Doubt On Science
Climate Keeps Changing, But Cable Network Reporting Stays The Same
A Media Matters analysis of major cable news coverage of the National Climate Assessment (NCA) revealed that CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News devoted more than three hours of total coverage to the report on its release date, May 6, and the day after. Some reporting, however, gave false balance a national platform, and cable news outlets were more likely to interview politicians than scientists about the threat of global warming.
President Obama congratulated Michael Sam today, after he made history as the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL when he was picked by the St. Louis Rams, the White House said.
“The President congratulates Michael Sam, the Rams and the NFL for taking an important step forward today in our Nation’s journey. From the playing field to the corporate boardroom, LGBT Americans prove everyday that you should be judged by what you do and not who you are,” a White House official emailed to ABC News.
Sens. Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Paul Sarbanes and Barbara Boxer confer during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting to vote on the nomination of John Bolton to be the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. on May 12, 2005, on Capitol Hill
Sen. Obama plays a game of pool during a stop at Schultzie’s Bar & Hot Spot, May 12, 2008 in Springhill, West Virginia
Sen. Obama greets supporters before speaking at a campaign rally at the Charleston Civic Center, May 12, 2008 in Charleston, West Virginia
President Obama and Vice President Biden walk to the Rose Garden of the White House to take part in the Top Cops ceremony May 12, 2009 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
President Obama pets the family dog, Bo, during a brief break from meetings on the South Lawn of the White House May 12, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama looks through the Oval Office door peephole as his personal secretary Katie Johnson watches, March 12, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama, receptionist Darienne Page, and Vice President Biden share a laugh outside the Oval Office, May 12, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama, Vice President Biden, Tom Nee, President of the National Association of Police Organizations, and Attorney General Eric Holder, in the Oval Office before speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House at an event honoring the National Association of Police Organization’s Top Cops May 12, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder (background) greet the crowd following the Top Cops ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House May 12, 2009 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
President Obama signs the Civil Rights History Project Act of 2009 bill into law in the Oval Office of the White House Tuesday, May 12, 2009. With President Obama are from left: Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL); Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY); Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA); Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO); Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) and Rep. John Lewis (D-GA). (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk to the East Room for “An Evening of Poetry, Music and the Spoken Word, May 12, 2009
First Lady Michelle Obama speaks at the first White House Poetry Jam in the East Room of the White House, May 12, 2009 (Photo by Samantha Appleton)
Poet Maya del Valle performs in the East Room at the first White House Poetry Jam performance event, May 12, 2009 (Photo by Samantha Appleton)
First Lady Michelle Obama speaks during the “When Parents Deploy: Understanding the Experiences of Military Children and Spouses” luncheon at Georgetown University Conference Center on May 12, 2010
President Obama takes the stage before addressing the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast at the Mellon Auditorium May 12, 2011
President Obama arrives for a ceremony honoring the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) TOP COPS in the Rose Garden at the White House, May 12, 2011