Archive for March 21st, 2013

21
Mar
13

Friday’s schedule

Israeli students recreate iconic President Obama ‘HOPE’ poster out of ….. chocolate (thank you LovelyPlains)

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Friday:

All times Israel – six hours ahead of U.S. EDT:

8:55 am: President Obama participates in a wreath laying ceremony at the grave of Theodor Herzl, Jerusalem

9:10 am: Participates in a wreath laying ceremony at the grave of Yitzhak Rabin

9:35 am: Tours the Hall of Names, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

10:10 am: Lays a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance

10:30 am: Signs a guest book and delivers remarks in the Hall of Children

11:15 am: Lunch with Prime Minister Netanyahu, King David Hotel, Jerusalem

1:15 pm: Tours the Church of the Nativity with President Abbas, Bethlehem

3:20 pm: Departs Tel Aviv

All times Jordan – seven hours ahead of U.S. EDT

4:55 pm: Arrives Amman, Jordan

5:35 pm: Arrives at Al Hummar, the official offices of King Abdullah II of Jordan

5:55 pm: Meeting with King Abdullah

6:45 pm: Press conference with King Abdullah

8:50 pm: Attends a dinner with King Abdullah

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See you in the morning.

21
Mar
13

20 Completely Random Perfect Pics: President Obama in Israel/West Bank

President Obama views the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem

Just beautiful

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President Obama and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas pose for a photo with Palestinian children during a welcoming ceremony in the West Bank city of Ramallah

Okay, photos with Palestinian kids will get me every time

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President Obama at a cultural event with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad at the Al Bireh Youth Center in Ramallah

Golden smiles x 2

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President Obama is welcomed by Palestinian girls during his visit to Al Bera Youth Center in Ramallah

No pic from the trip will top this

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President Obama introduces Secretary of State John Kerry to Israeli President Peres

And Barack was the keynote speaker at the 2004 convention …. life’s just wacky

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President Obama signs a guest book at the residence of Israeli President Peres in Jerusalem

Can never resist a ‘signing’ pic

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President Obama and President Peres at Ben Gurion airport

I think they like each other

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President Obama and President Peres listen to 13-year old Daniel Pruzansky sing

Sweet

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“So, how did your campaigning for Romney go?”

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Click here to see the rest of the post

21
Mar
13

News Of The Day….

President Obama delivers remarks to the Israeli people at the Jerusalem International Convention Center, March 21, 2013

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Text of President Obama’s remarks here

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President Obama with Miss Israel, Yityish Aynaw

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Haaretz:  The U.S. president’s speech in Jerusalem redefines what it means to be a centrist in Israel. We deserve a leader like him. For Barack Obama to come to Jerusalem, and speak to Israeli students and talk persuasively of the possibility of a secure and peaceful future, for him to do that and garner a roaring ovation of approval, he would have to have given one hell of a speech.

He did. This was the speech that these young Israelis not only needed but wanted to hear. A speech that radically redefined centrism in Israel, bringing it down to extraordinary common denominators in directions Israelis have learned to think of as diametrically opposed.

He spoke of security and peace as inextricably and necessarily linked, not a narrow choice between options, but a conscious choice for both. They roared.

Read More Here

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Obama: Peace Is The Only Path To True Security

Jerusalem Post:  Directing his remarks to the primarily young crowd at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem, Obama urged them to push for peace, saying that only when the people demand action do the leaders act. “Peace is necessary. Indeed, it is the only path to true security,” he said, and stressed that the only way to achieve peace is through negotiations. He urged Israelis to shift from relying on defensive practices, such as the border fence and Iron Dome missile defense system, to forging permanent peace by solving the problem once and for all.

“Peace must be made among peoples, not just governments. No one step can change overnight what lies in the hearts and minds of millions. But progress with the Palestinians is a powerful way to begin, while sidelining extremists who thrive on conflict and division,” he said. He also encouraged his listeners to put themselves in the Palestinians’ shoes.  “It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of her own, and lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements of her parents every single day.

Read More Here

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President Obama and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayad visit Al Bera Youth Center in The West Bank city of Ramallah

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….. welcomed by Palestinian youth during his visit to Al Bera Youth Center in the West Bank city of Ramallah

….. greeted by a welcome message unveiled by small robots during a visit to the al-Bireh Youth Center

….. attending a dance performance during a visit to the al-Bireh Youth Center

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…… welcomed by Palestinian girls during his visit to Al Bera Youth Center

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President Shimon Peres and President Barack Obama embrace during a state dinner hosted by Peres in Jerusalem

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Meanwhile….

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Has Obama Turned A Generation Of Voters Into Lifelong Democrats?

Molly Ball:  Paul Ryan had a vision for the youth vote in 2012. In his speech accepting the Republican vice-presidential nomination, the Wisconsin congressman imagined legions of recent college graduates forced to “live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.” Ryan was sure those kids had recovered from their passing Obama fever and would either stay home or vote Republican. What happened, of course, was very different. The under-30 vote went nearly as strongly for Obama as it had before: Obama got 66 percent of the under-30 vote in 2008 and 60 percent in 2012, the best youth-vote showings for any presidential candidate since 1971, when the voting age was lowered to 18.

“These are voters who are in their formative years, politically,” Joel Benenson, the lead pollster for the Obama campaign, told me excitedly in the days after the election. “People frequently maintain the partisan identity that shapes their entry point into politics. What’s happening now is something people will hang on to for decades to come.” Could Benenson be right? Has Obama turned an entire generation of voters into lifelong Democrats? The answer, according to political scientists who study partisanship, may well be yes.

Read More Here

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A Toon or Two:

21
Mar
13

Heads Up: Pres. Peres Honors Pres. Obama with the President’s Medal

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WhiteHouse.Gov   (Audio Only)

CNN

CBS News (streaming has started)

Link From Israel

Link From Israel Is LIVE NOW with Dinner Guests Arrivals

21
Mar
13

Heads Up: President Obama Speaks to the Israeli People

11:0 AM EST

It’s started early, it’s on NOW!

Also at White House live * CNN (streaming has started) * CBS

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President Obama greets kids on Thursday at the Al-Bireh Youth Center in Ramallah, West Bank

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More photos and videos later.

21
Mar
13

Rise and Shine

obamacare

BizJournals:  To commemorate the third anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) released a story bank featuring stories of successful prevention initiatives in action from around the country.  Many of the stories focus on Community Transformation Grant (CTG) awardees, and show how this new program, made possible by the ACA, is already helping to improve the health of Americans.  CTGs are one of the hallmark programs of the ACA’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, which is a dedicated investment in community prevention and state and local public health programs and workforce.

Read More Here

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Biden Not Giving Up On Assault Weapons Ban

AP: The White House is still pushing for an assault weapons ban, Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday, even though Senate Democrats all but sealed its fate by dropping it from the gun-control package they plan to consider next month. “Attitudes are changing,” Biden said in an interview with NPR News. “The president and I are going to continue to push, and we haven’t given up on it.”

“I don’t see this as there’s an automatic endpoint, that, OK, there’s one vote, this is it, fails, now we move on,” Biden said. “We are going to continue to push for logical gun-safety regulations.”

Still, Biden acknowledged that if Congress expanded background checks but failed to adopt the assault weapons ban, the White House would not consider the broader effort a failure. “That would be gigantic,” Biden said.

More Here

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U.S. President Barack Obama views the Dead Sea Scrolls with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (not pictured) at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, March 21, 2013. REUTERS/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Pool

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In this handout image supplied by the Government Press Office of Israel (GPO) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and U.S. President Barack Obama visit the shrine of the book on March 21, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel.

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U.S. President Barack Obama greets Theresa Hannigan from New York, who is wearing a ReWalk bionic walking assistance system, at an Israeli technology exhibition at the Israel Museum on March 21, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel.

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U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu view a robotic snake used in search and rescue at an Israeli technology exhibition in the Israel Museum on March 21, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and U.S. President Barack Obama visit the shrine of the book on March 21, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel.

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President Obama Visits Israel Museum’s Shrine Of The Book

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First lady Michelle Obama talks with Jorge Ortiz during her visit to the Fisher House, located at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Wednesday, March 20, 2013, for a pre-Easter celebration with military families and children. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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First Lady Bears Gifts To Military Families

 AP:  Michelle Obama marked the first day of spring with an early Easter celebration as she handed out holiday treats to military families and children.

The first lady stopped by the Fisher House at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., on Wednesday as families decorated Easter cards.

Mrs. Obama, accompanied by first dog Bo, carried a basket full of cookies made by the White House pastry chefs in the shape of the Portuguese water dog.

She also brought tickets for the families to attend the White House Egg Roll on April 1.

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Anthony Robinson gets close to the Obama family dog, Bo, as first lady Michelle Obama watches during her visit to the Fisher House, located at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Wednesday, March 20, 2013, for a pre-Easter celebration with military families and children. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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First lady Michelle Obama shares a laugh with, from left, Sanae Bright, Kerry Bright and Ashanti Ferguson, during her visit to the Fisher House, located at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Wednesday, March 20, 2013, for a pre-Easter celebration with military families and children. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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AP:  The nation’s views on gay marriage are more favorable in large part because of a shift in attitudes among those who know someone who is gay or became more accepting as they got older of gays and lesbians, according to a national survey. The Pew Research Center poll also finds that a large group of younger adults who tend to be more open to gay rights is driving the numbers upward.

Overall, the poll finds 49 percent of Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, and 44 percent opposed to the idea. That’s more people now favoring gay marriage than opposing it. A decade ago 58 percent opposed it and a third supported it.

The 49 percent who now support same-sex marriage includes 14 percent who said they have changed their minds.

When asked why, almost one-third say it’s because they know someone who is gay — a family member, friend or acquaintance. A quarter said their personal views have changed as they thought more about the issue or just because they’ve grown older and more accepting.

More Here

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The GOP’s Self-Refuting Argument On Guns

Greg Sargent: The argument that we don’t need expanded background checks because “criminals don’t respect the law,” i.e., they won’t submit themselves to a background check, is a common one among the “gun rights” crowd. But this argument is self-refuting. It is actually an argumentfor expanding background checks, not against it. Here’s why: The loophole in the background check law — which the new proposal would close — is actually a leading reason why those who are prohibited from having guns are able to continue not “respecting the law.” The loophole in the law is a key reason they are able to get guns while not submitting themselves to background checks under the current system.

If the loophole were closed — and private sales were subjected to a background check, which law enforcement officials and other experts believe will severely limit the ability of criminals and/or traffickers to get guns — it would, in the view of those experts, become a lot harder for criminals not to “respect the law.” That is an outcome Boehner presumably wants. The fact that criminals don’t “respect the law” is why we need expanded background checks in the first place. The broader point here is that there’s no coherent policy argument against expanding background checks. That’s why Boehner accidentally admitted that background checks are good policy. That’s why the argument that we should not tighten up the law because criminals don’t obey laws is self-undermining. And that’s why opponents continually resort to the false claim that expanding background checks will create a “national gun registry,” when the law explicitly prohibits that outcome.

Read More Here

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All Times Eastern

11:00 AM

11:00AM: President Obama delivers remarks to the Israeli people.

11:00AM: Vice-President Biden joins New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at City Hall to discuss gun violence.

12:00 PM

12:00PM: VP Biden delivers remarks at the 2013 Irish America Hall of Fame luncheon.

12:10 PM

12:10PM: President Obama meets with U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv and U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem staff.

2:10 PM

2:10PM: President Obama delivers remarks at a dinner hosted by President Peres.

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