President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel during the National Anthem at the start of an event to mark the 60th anniversary of the suspension of the 1950-1953 Korean War at the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C. July 27
President Barack Obama on Saturday urged Americans to take time from their “hurried lives” to listen to the heroic stories of Korean War veterans who returned to a country weary of war and deserved a better homecoming.
“Unlike the Second World War, Korea did not galvanize our country. These veterans did not return to parades,” Obama said in a speech at the Korean War Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, making the 60th anniversary of the war’s end.
“Unlike Vietnam, Korea did not tear at our country. These veterans did not return to protests. For many Americans tired of war, there was it seemed a desire to forget, to move on,” Obama said.
They “deserve better,” the president said, adding that on this anniversary, “perhaps the highest tribute we can offer our veterans of Korea is to do what should have been done the day you came home.”
ThinkProgress: Growing Number Of States Are Reporting Lower Than Expected Health Care Premiums
Health premiums in Maryland’s exchanges will be “among the lowest of the 12 states that have available proposed or approved rates for comparison,” the state’s exchange — Maryland Health Connection — announced Friday. The news comes just as New York,Oregon, Montana, California, and Louisiana are also reporting lower than expected premiums.
In Maryland, a 25-year-old will be able to purchase a plan that is more comprehensive than policies currently available on the individual market for $114 per month, while a middle aged adult will have to pay approximately $260 per month for insurance. A 21-year-old non-smoker can start as low as $93 a month. Officials say they used their authority to deny rate increases to reduce the proposed premiums by “more than 50 percent.” Thirty other states have have similar authority.
ThinkProgress: Steve King: In Private, Republicans Actually Agree With My ‘Cantaloupe-Sized Calves’
A growing number of Republicans are publicly distancing themselves from Rep. Steve King’s (R-IA) claim that many undocumented youths are drug mules with cantaloupe-sized calves, but the conservative congressman claims that GOP lawmakers are backing him in private.
During an appearance on Fox News on Saturday, King said that Republicans are in fact standing by him, but are afraid to publicly support him for fear of sparking outrage and losing their legislative leverage…..
Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement Saturday after at least 65 people were killed and over 1,000 were injured in Egypt during clashes between security forces, armed men, and protesters demonstrating against the ouster of former President Mohammed Morsi.
Kerry said he spoke with Egypt’s Interim Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei and Interim Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy Saturday morning to express “our deep concern about the bloodshed.” He also described the situation as a “pivotal moment for Egypt” and called for an “independent and impartial inquiry into the events of the last day.”
Asawin Suebsaeng: Obama Says Ho Chi Minh Was Inspired By Founding Fathers, Conservatives Freak Out
After a meeting with Vietnam’s president Truong Tan Sang on Thursday, President Barack Obama said the following to reporters (emphasis mine): At the conclusion of the meeting, President Sang shared with me a copy of a letter sent by Ho Chi Minh to Harry Truman. And we discussed the fact that Ho Chi Minh was actually inspired by the US Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson. Ho Chi Minh talks about his interest in cooperation with the United States. And President Sang indicated that even if it’s 67 years later, it’s good that we’re still making progress. (Ho Chi Minh was a Vietnamese communist and nationalist revolutionary leader who died in 1969. He fought alongside Allied forces during World War II, but fought American forces during the Vietnam War.)
Several conservative media outlets blasted the president on similar terms. “Obama may have just been trying to flatter his guest who was obviously eager to show that Ho was not the monster history shows him to be,” Chris Stirewalt, digital politics editor for Fox News wrote. “But his connection between the American founders and Ho shows either a massive lack of historical knowledge on the part of the president or a remarkable degree of moral flexibility.”
Yes, it is true that the United States once waged a disastrous, pointless, and horrific waragainst Ho Chi Minh and the people of Vietnam. But Obama’s comment wasn’t a gaffe or insult to American war vets. What Obama said is literally a historical fact. In September 1945, Ho Chi Minh delivered the Declaration of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in Hanoi to a crowd of nearly a million Vietnamese. Not only was the “The Star-Spangled Banner” played by a Vietnamese band during his address, but he opens his speech by quoting Thomas Jefferson.
First lady Michelle Obama watches the women’s singles tennis match between Serena Williams of the U.S. and Jelena Jankovic of Serbia at the All England Lawn Tennis Club during the London 2012 Olympics Games, July 28
.. with Venus Williams and former gymnast Dominique Dawes
Serena Williams gives a thumbs up gesture toward her sister Venus and first lady Michelle Obama after she defeated Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic
1:45: Delivers remarks at an event for Ed Markey, Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center, Roxbury Crossing, MA
2:45: Departs Boston
5:40: Arrives Miami
7:05: Delivers remarks at a DNC event (Private Residence)
8:55: Delivers remarks at a DNC event (Private Residence)
9:55: Departs Miami
12:20: Arrives the White House
AP: Myrlie Evers-Williams acknowledges it would be easy to remain mired in bitterness and anger, 50 years after a sniper’s bullet made her a widow.
Instead, she’s determined to celebrate the legacy of her first husband, Medgar Evers — a civil rights figure often overshadowed by peers such as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
Events including a black-tie gala are being held this week to remember Evers, the first Mississippi field secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He was 37 when he was assassinated on June 12, 1963.
“We are cursed as human beings with this element that’s called hatred, prejudice and racism,” said Evers-Williams, now 80. “But it is my belief that, as it was Medgar’s, that there is something good and decent in each and every one of us, and we have to call on that, and we have to find a way to work together.”
In this June 15, 1963, file photo, mourners march to the Jackson, Miss., funeral home following services for slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers.
ABC: It has been 50 years since the shocking slaying of Medgar Evers. The civil rights activist and NAACP field secretary fought for equality on many levels, from organizing voter drives and protests against discrimination, to calling for legal investigations into school segregation and the lynching of Emmett Till.
Evers was returning from a meeting when he was gunned down by a white supremacist in the driveway of his Mississippi home. His death, coming just hours after a speech on civil rights by President John F. Kennedy, sparked a national outpouring of mourning and outrage.
Francis Wilkinson (Bloomberg): The immigration crucible begins this week in the Senate, where conservatives opposed to legalizing undocumented immigrants will begin a summer siege.
The legislation will both expose and challenge the core pathology of the Republican Party – that recurring tic by which the least constructive faction on any particular issue calls the ideological tune. (A budget compromise to put the nation’s fiscal policy on track? Nah. Let’s hold the global economy hostage over the debt ceiling instead. Negotiate improvements to Obamacare? No way: Better to cast toy repeal votes by the dozens.)
Immigration is different from other issues in a powerful way.
After five decades of using race as a political wedge to win elections, a process that transferred Dixie from Democratic to Republican control, Republicans can draw upon little goodwill from racial minorities. The party’s undisguised efforts to destroy the first black president will cement black allegiance to the Democratic Party for decades to come…..