WH: As part of their “In Performance at the White House” series, the President and First Lady will host a concert in the East Room honoring singer-songwriter Carole King, who will be awarded the 2013 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The program will include performances by King, as well as Gloria Estefan, Billy Joel, Jesse McCartney, Emeli Sandé, James Taylor and Trisha Yearwood.
The entire event will be streamed live on White House Live. “Carole King: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize In Performance at the White House” will be broadcast Tuesday, May 28 at 8:00 PM ET on PBS stations nationwide…
This will be the first time the Gershwin Prize honor has been awarded to a woman…
First Lady Michelle Obama is surrounded by schoolchildren from Willow Springs Elementary School in Fairfax, Va., after they performed part of a play at the Decatur House, a National Trust for Historic Preservation Site and home to the David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History, in Washington, May 22. The events were part of an announcement of a major philanthropic effort to preserve the Decatur House
Washington Post: Michelle Obama visited the slave quarters at Decatur House — a red-brick structure that sits in the shadow of the White House — that once housed the black men and women who served 19th century politicians, military and business leaders who lived in the property. The first lady, who is the nation’s only first lady to have descended from people held in slavery, made the stop as part of an announcement that the historic Decatur House, which is located 150 yards from the White House, would receive a $1 million grant from American Express to preserve the house and accompanying slave quarters.
“….. For nearly 200 years, as our country has grown and evolved, the Decatur House has grown and evolved right along with it. This house has hosted parties and social events with some of our nation’s foremost leaders. It’s been a residence for secretaries of state, and at one time, it served as headquarters for the Army Subsistence Department of the Civil War.
But from the back of the house, from a structure far less lavish, comes even more history — the kinds of stories that too often get lost, the kinds of stories that are a part of so many of our families’ histories, including my own. I’m talking about the slaves here at Decatur House who spent their lives within shouting distance of one of the most powerful buildings on the planet — a bastion of freedom and justice for all.
Yet, within this very place, about 20 men and women spent their days serving those who came and went from this house and their nights jammed together on the second floor of the slave quarters, all the while holding onto a quiet hope, a quiet prayer that they, too, and perhaps their children, would someday be free. These stories of toil, and sweat, and quiet, unrelenting dignity — these stories are as vital to our national memory as any other. And so it is our responsibility as a nation to ensure that these stories are told.”
Four years ago: President Obama looks out the window of Marine One as it lands at the White House, May 22, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
11:0: VP Biden Gives the Commencement Address at the United States Coast Guard Academy (audio only at WH Live)
1:0 Jay Carney’s press briefing
7:25: President Obama hosts a concert honoring Gershwin Prize winner Carole King
NYT: The bipartisan immigration bill that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday has many serious hurdles ahead. It is the most serious and worthy attempt to fix immigration in a generation, but it cannot help reflecting the poisoned politics of today, with its heavy tilt toward needless border enforcement and a deficiency in equal rights.
In the most moving and wrenching moment in three weeks of committee markup, the committee’s chairman, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, sought to amend the bill to allow gay Americans to sponsor their wives and husbands for green cards. The other Democrats, including Charles Schumer of New York, implored him not to put that amendment forward, saying this measure of basic fairness would drive off Republican support and kill the entire bill. Mr. Leahy withdrew it.
With that unhappy capitulation, the bill survives, with a possible battle over same-sex marriage still to come on the Senate floor. And then the bill will need to find some path through the Republican-led House….
Jonathan Capehart: Here we go again. President Obama’s critics in the African American community are hammering him for doing nothing for black people …. this thinking drives me crazy because the president’s detractors fail to take a 360-degree view of what they are demanding from him and ignore what he’s actually done.
…. Coates’s criticism emanates from Obama’s commencement address at Morehouse College in Atlanta …. Obama spoke to the black men of Morehouse not as a distant president but as a familiar peer. He used his troubled past as a real-life example of how one’s limited circumstances are neither destiny nor a hindrance to achieving the American Dream, as they define it. He urged the graduates to not make excuses, to aim high and to give back. Yet, Coates calls this “‘convenient race-talk’ from a president who ought to know better.” Obama can’t win.
… what’s missing from most African American critiques of Obama: an appreciation for Republican resistance to his agenda. To expect the president to introduce an explicit and definable “black agenda” in a Congress filled with people who believe him to be a socialist destroying the country while illegitimately occupying the Oval Office is seriously naive.
Steve Benen: We talked earlier about Oklahoma’s junior senator, Republican Tom Coburn (R), announcing last night that he will only support federal disaster relief — for his own constituents — if it’s financed by comparable spending cuts elsewhere. But what about Oklahoma’s senior senator?
Republican Sen. James Inhofe, like Coburn, has opposed emergency aid in the recent past, including voting against a relief package for victims of Hurricane Sandy. This morning, however, the conservative senator said that was “totally different”.
WH: As the Senate debates bipartisan immigration reform legislation, the President and the Vice President hosted a meeting today in the Oval Office with young immigrants, also known as DREAMers, as well as with the siblings and spouses of undocumented immigrants. The meeting was an important opportunity for the President and the Vice President to hear directly from people whose families are affected daily by our nation’s broken immigration system.
President Obama and Vice President Biden meet with DREAMers who have received Deferred Action and U.S. citizen family members of undocumented immigrants, in the Oval Office, May 21 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Socialist stock market soaring to new historic records. S&P 500 hits 1672, Dow at remarkable 15,400. #obamasfault
It being Gallup, you know yourself, it’s probably a 96-year high:
In case you missed it, SmartyPants on the, well, interesting background of Stephen Jin-Woo Kim:
….. The next place a little curiosity might take you is to wonder just who this Stephen Jin-Woo Kim is. As even I was able to find out from a simple look at Wikipedia, he was an employee of a federally funded research and development center that consulted with Rumsfeld via the Defense Policy Board – which was chaired by Richard Perle. In 2008 – just before the Obama administration began – Kim went to work for the State Department. One might be curious about that…..