Archive for March 25th, 2013

25
Mar
13

Seder

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama host a Passover Seder Dinner for family, staff and friends, in the Old Family Dining Room of the White House, March 25 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Love this – thanks @arapaho415!

25
Mar
13

A President Abroad: 2009 – 2013

President Obama’s first trip abroad – greeted at Ottawa airport by Governor General Michaelle Jean

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2009

Canada * United Kingdom * France * Germany* Czech Republic * Turkey * Iraq * Mexico * Trinidad and Tobago * Saudi Arabia * Egypt * Germany * France * Russia * Italy * Vatican City * Ghana * Mexico * Denmark * Japan * Singapore * China * South Korea * Norway * Denmark

25
Mar
13

A few words on hope

hope

How’s that hopey-changey thing goin’ for ya?

—Sarah Palin, half-term governor of Alaska, speaking about Barack Obama

Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops… at all. 

—Emily Dickinson

My life would be impossible without hope.

For as long as I remember, I’ve stuttered. Most of my life has been spent in compensation for this malady, trying to pass it off as no big deal, as no impediment to achieving my goals in life. But the fact is that, despite supportive friends and family, the world does view you differently when you’re different. But, even greater, you view yourself as Other, as not quite the same as those around you, magnifying your flaws to the point where they become huge boulders standing in your path.

With an affliction such as mine, one can go one of two ways: towards desperation, or towards hope. I count myself lucky; again, because of supportive friends and family, I always kept hope foremost in my mind, that something would break my way.

To make a long story short, I eventually found a doctor whose therapy worked. Thanks to keeping faith in things getting better, I’m now a librarian, talking my head off, reading and singing to children in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to do before my therapy.

I don’t tell this personal story to elicit commendation. I tell it to illustrate the centrality of hope in any decent human life.

Hope gives you a chance at a decent life. Hopelessness only leads to death.

Continue reading ‘A few words on hope’

25
Mar
13

Rise and Shine

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Today:

11:30: President Obama delivers remarks at a naturalization ceremony for active duty service members and civilians (White House live)

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12:10: Designates five new national monuments in a signing ceremony with VP Biden and Sec. Salazar

1:0: Josh Earnest briefs the press (White House live)

6:30: President Obama and Michelle Obama mark the beginning of Passover with a Seder at the White House

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The rest of the week:

Tuesday: The President will welcome the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and the Major League Soccer champion LA Galaxy to the White House

Wednesday: The President will attend meetings at the White House

Thursday: The President will welcome President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Joyce Banda of Malawi, and Prime Minister José Maria Pereira Neves of Cape Verde to the White House

Friday: The President will travel to Miami, Florida for an event on the economy

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BuzzFeed: President Barack Obama is ready to hit the road on a new campaign-style public relations trip, hoping to breathe new life into the push for stronger gun control laws.

…. A White House official said people should expect to see Obama travel outside DC to bolster his insistence that gun control measures “deserve a vote” in Congress.

Obama will have help. Over the coming two-week congressional recess, representatives of the Brady Campaign and Mike Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns tell BuzzFeed they’re gearing up for major campaigns aimed at ginning up votes for gun control….

More here

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Greg Sargent: Over the weekend, Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York announced that he would spend $12 million on ads pressuring a number of Senators in 13 states to support Obama’s gun reforms. The NRA has vowed to respond on the air, meaning the battle over guns will intensify in the states as Congress remains on recess for the next two weeks.

Bloomberg’s ads — which focus largely on the proposal to expand background checks — will target a number of GOP Senators. But the more interesting dimension to this is that they will also target red state Dems: Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mary Landrieu of Lousiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

So where are these red state Dems on expanding background checks?

More here

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Senator Richard Blumenthal (ThinkProgress): NRA leadership demonstrated yet again last week just how low they are willing to go in their unconscionable effort to block any and all common sense, life saving gun violence legislation. Their most recent repugnant tactic—repeated robo calls to Newtown families—mocks and betrays the courage and compassion demonstrated by the Newtown community just barely three months after one of the world’s most horrific acts of gun violence seized 26 beautiful and heroic young lives.

More here

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NYT: Organizing for Action, the political group that grew out of President Obama’s successful re-election campaign machinery, will jump into the immigration debate this week with an aggressive online effort to highlight the personal stories of immigrants.

The group has collected 7,000 stories from supporters, some of whom entered the country illegally or were brought as young children by their parents. Organizers say they will distribute the stories using Twitter, Facebook and blogs beginning this week.

The idea, officials with the group said, is to demonstrate support for efforts in Congress to overhaul immigration laws in ways that would provide 11 million illegal immigrants with a path to citizenship.

More here

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NYT Editorial: Republican leaders in Congress regularly denounce the 2010 Affordable Care Act and vow to block money to carry it out or even to repeal it. Those political attacks ignore the considerable benefits delivered to millions of people since the law’s enactment three years ago Saturday. The main elements of the law do not kick in until Jan. 1, 2014, when many millions of uninsured people will gain coverage. Yet it has already thrown a lifeline to people at high risk of losing insurance or being uninsured, including young adults and people with chronic health problems, and it has made a start toward reforming the costly, dysfunctional American health care system.

More here

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TPM: The Supreme Court is poised to hear two blockbuster cases on gay rights this week, with historic implications for a cause that is advancing politically at lightning speed.

The cases to be heard on Tuesday and Wednesday involve the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which bars married same sex couples from receiving federal benefits.

By the end of June, nine justices will either advance the cause of gay rights, set it back, or punt on the larger questions, as support for gay equality in various forms rises in the polls.

More here

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BWD linked to this on Twitter, ‘The 50 Most Perfectly Timed Photos Ever’, including the one above – have a look, some of them are amazing. See here

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Three years ago: President Obama greets Barack Stroud at the University of Iowa Field House in Iowa City, March 25, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)

They’re long-time pals:

December, 2007

April, 2012

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MooooOOOOOoooorning (again).

25
Mar
13

Morning!

President Obama hugs students during a visit to a pre-kindergarten classroom at the College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center in Decatur, Ga., Feb. 14, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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MoooOOOooooorning! See what happens when I’m spoilt by an army of blog tyrants? I’m late with Rise and Shine. So, chat among yourselves, early birds, and I’ll have it ready soon-ish.

Hundred gazillion thanks to LovelyPlains, UT and even Amk for their posts the last day and a bit – megastars!




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