Archive for January 18th, 2011

18
Jan
11

dinner guest

President Barack Obama and President Hu Jintao of China begin their working dinner in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House, Jan. 18, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

18
Jan
11

tired of being moderated?!

Hey everyone,

I meant to provide these instructions ages ago and forgot, but Joy and VC reminded me tonight. If you have registered with WordPress and you’re not an unpleasant Tea Party type, then your comments will show up automatically on this blog (so long as you’re signed in to your WordPress account at the time of posting).

But if you don’t have a WordPress account then you’re not ‘recognized’ when you visit, no matter how many times you’ve posted before, so your comments will be held up for moderation (I explained to VC that I hate having to do this, but if I didn’t we’d be overrun by Tea Party lovelies).

If you would like to sign up to WordPress just click here

Note: You don’t have to sign up for your own blog – just click where it says ‘Sign up for just for a username’ on the right.

Then pick your username and password, and that’s it – you have a WordPress account and you won’t be moderated here any more! And you can choose your own little pic for your avatar by going here

If you have any problems let me know and I’ll sort them out tomorrow.

Thanks everyone.

18
Jan
11

ah, *that* photo

You can see the full National Geographic documentary here

President Barack Obama bends over so the son of a White House staff member can pat his head during a family visit to the Oval Office May 8, 2009. The youngster wanted to see if the President’s haircut felt like his own. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

18
Jan
11

“we can’t go backward”

Statement by the President on the Affordable Care Act

“Today, the American people have greater health security than they did a year ago. Because of the Affordable Care Act, Americans no longer have to live in fear that insurance companies will drop or cap their coverage if they get sick, or that they’ll face double-digit premium increases with no accountability or recourse. Small businesses across the country can take advantage of a new health care tax credit to offer coverage to their employees, and children suffering from an illness or pre-existing condition can no longer be denied coverage. Parents now can add their adult children up to age 26 to their health plans, and all Americans on new plans can access preventive care to keep them healthy with no additional out of pocket costs. Older Americans are seeing better benefits, lower prescription drug costs, and a stronger Medicare. And the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reports that improvements in health care delivery system as a result of this law will reduce federal deficits by over a trillion dollars in the next two decades.

So I’m willing and eager to work with both Democrats and Republicans to improve the Affordable Care Act. But we can’t go backward. Americans deserve the freedom and security of knowing that insurance companies can’t deny, cap, or drop their coverage when they need it the most, while taking meaningful steps to curb runaway health care costs.”

18
Jan
11

another promise kept

“There are few moments in our lives that call for greater compassion and companionship than when a loved one is admitted to the hospital. In these hours of need and moments of pain and anxiety, all of us would hope to have a hand to hold, a shoulder on which to lean – a loved one to be there for us, as we would be there for them.”

WH: With those words on April 15, 2010 President Obama directed HHS Secretary Sebelius to initiate rulemaking to ensure that hospitals that participate in Medicare and Medicaid respect the rights of patients to designate visitors.  The President further advised that the rule should ensure that participating hospitals may not deny visitation privileges based on factors including sexual orientation or gender identity.

Today the new Hospital Visitation Regulations go into effect…..This policy impacts millions of LGBT Americans and their families. The President saw an injustice and felt very strongly about correcting it….

More here

18
Jan
11

pete souza, a full disk & a presidential tantrum. ha, kidding.

You can see the full National Geographic documentary here

18
Jan
11

the president’s picture perfect

President Barack Obama blocks a shot while playing basketball with personal aide Reggie Love at St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York, Sept. 23, 2009. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

Souza showed Obama a picture on the back of his camera from a friendly one-on-one game Obama played with presidential aide (and former Duke basketball player) Reggie Love. Obama, who was talking trash during the game, is seen leaping up to block a shot, looking great. Souza said when the president saw the photo, he told him, “I order you to make this a jumbo.” Before it was posted, the president had Love sign the print with a note complimenting the president on his block.

You can see the full National Geographic documentary here

18
Jan
11

special gifts. hundreds of them.

President Obama waves goodbye from the steps of Air Force One as he departs Saudi Arabia on his way to Egypt, June, 2009

AP: ..Foreign leaders showered President Obama and his family with hundreds of thousands of dollars in art, jewelry, rare books and other presents during their first year in the White House.

Saudi Arabia’s king was the most generous gift-giver, according to documents released by the State Department on Tuesday. Saudi King Abdullah gave Obama, his wife and daughters nearly $190,000 in luxury baubles in 2009, including the single most valuable gift reported to have been given to U.S. officials that year: a ruby and diamond jewelry set, including earrings, a ring, a bracelet and necklace, for the first lady worth $132,000.

…By law, most gifts to U.S. officials must be turned over to the government and the jewelry has already been sent to the National Archives.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was a distant runner up to King Abdullah, with gifts for the first family worth a little under $33,000. The Italian haul included silk ties, a gold watch, a crystal table and candlesticks…….the Saudi monarch also presented Michelle Obama with a $14,200 pearl necklace. He gave the president a marble clock adorned with miniature gold palm trees and camels valued at $34,500. He sent first daughters Sasha and Malia Obama diamond earrings and necklaces worth more than $7,000.

Chinese President Hu Jintao gave Obama a $20,000 silk embroidery of the first family….French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife sent perfume and a $4,500 black Christian Dior handbag …Some leaders chose more modest gifts. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth presented Obama with framed portraits of herself and her husband, Prince Philip, worth $775….Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas offered the U.S. leader $521 in gifts, including the least expensive item listed by the State Department: a $75 bottle of olive oil.

Full article here

The only gift in that list that I’d have liked is the olive oil 😐

18
Jan
11

44 at 54

ABC: Aided by his response to the Tucson shootings, popular lame-duck legislation and a hint of economic relief, Barack Obama has matched his highest job approval rating in more than a year in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, with his ratings for empathy likewise rebounding.

It’s a remarkable turnaround for a president so recently hammered in the 2010 midterm elections … 54 percent now approve of Obama’s job performance, up 5 points from last month and 8 points above his career low in September.

And given overwhelming approval of his response to the Tucson attack, Americans by an 18-point margin, 58-40 percent, say Obama “understands the problems of people like you.” That’s up from a mere 2-point split, 50-48 percent, in September.

…Strikingly, the view that Obama’s made the economy worse has eased most broadly in an unexpected quarter: down by 17 points among Republicans.

Full article here

18
Jan
11

these girls are happy. actually, they’re a bit ecstatic.

Stuart Hobson Middle School, Washington, Martin Luther King Jr Day, January 17, 2011




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