Text of the President’s address:
One year ago today, a quiet, peaceful town was shattered by unspeakable violence.
Six dedicated school workers and 20 beautiful children were taken from our lives forever.
As parents, as Americans, the news filled us with grief. Newtown is a town like so many of our hometowns. The victims were educators and kids that could have been any of our own. And our hearts were broken for the families that lost a piece of their heart; for the communities changed forever; for the survivors, so young, whose innocence was torn away far too soon.
But beneath the sadness, we also felt a sense of resolve – that these tragedies must end, and that to end them, we must change.
From the very beginning, our efforts were led by the parents of Newtown – men and women, impossibly brave, who stepped forward in the hopes that they might spare others their heartbreak. And they were joined by millions of Americans – mothers and fathers; sisters and brothers – who refused to accept these acts of violence as somehow inevitable.
Over the past year, their voices have sustained us. And their example has inspired us – to be better parents and better neighbors; to give our children everything they need to face the world without fear; to meet our responsibilities not just to our own families, but to our communities. More than the tragedy itself, that’s how Newtown will be remembered.
And on this anniversary of a day we will never forget, that’s the example we should continue to follow. Because we haven’t yet done enough to make our communities and our country safer. We have to do more to keep dangerous people from getting their hands on a gun so easily. We have to do more to heal troubled minds. We have to do everything we can to protect our children from harm and make them feel loved, and valued, and cared for.
And as we do, we can’t lose sight of the fact that real change won’t come from Washington. It will come the way it’s always come – from you. From the American people.
As a nation, we can’t stop every act of violence. We can’t heal every troubled mind. But if we want to live in a country where we can go to work, send our kids to school, and walk our streets free from fear, we have to keep trying. We have to keep caring. We have to treat every child like they’re our child. Like those in Sandy Hook, we must choose love. And together, we must make a change. Thank you.
9:25 AM EST: President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama observe a moment of silence and light candles for those lost at Sandy Hook
A Year Ago Today:
Dec. 14, 2012 – Pete Souza: “The President reacts as John Brennan briefs him on the details of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The President later said during a TV interview that this was the worst day of his Presidency.”
President Obama pauses during a meeting to observe a moment of silence in the Oval Office at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 21, 2012, in remembrance of the 20 children and six adults killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., Dec. 14. Joining the President, from left, are: Director of Communications Dan Pfeiffer; Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett; Chief of Staff Jack Lew; and Pete Rouse, Counselor to the President. (Photo by Pete Souza)
See more at ThinkProgress
Paul Krugman: A Health Care Mystery Explained
….. here’s the thing: Republicans don’t want to help the unfortunate. They’ll propound health-care ideas that will, they claim, help those with preexisting conditions and so on — but those aren’t really proposals, they’re diversionary tactics designed to stall real health reform….
Hence the rage of the right. Here they were, with a whole raft of ideas they could throw out, like chaff thrown out to confuse enemy radar, to divert and confuse any attempt to actually provide insurance to the uninsured. And those dastardly Democrats have gone ahead and actually incorporated those ideas into real reform.
…. There’s no mystery here; it’s just top-down class warfare as usual.
Full post here
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) December 13, 2013
ThinkProgress: The Six Worst Attacks On Reproductive Freedom In 2013
2013 hasn’t been a great year for reproductive rights. Ever since 2010, abortion opponents have imposed a flurry of state-level legislation intended to slowly chip away at abortion access, and that trend certainly continued this year.
But women’s health advocates also believe there was something different about 2013. This year, a far-right contingent of the anti-choice community appeared to abandon their incremental strategy — in which they undermine women’s access to abortion bit by bit, largely with indirect laws that don’t strike at the heart of Roe v. Wade — and get bolder. They started pushing for extremely harsh abortion restrictions that fly in the face of the constitutional right to choose, and they got more serious about shutting down abortion clinics one by one. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), lawmakers in more than 25 states proposed some kind of outright ban on abortion this year.
And they were largely successful. Here’s what the anti-choice community managed to accomplish in 2013…
The People’s View: Politifact’s Obama Derangement Syndrome Leads to Propaganda of the Year
Politifact, the Tampay Bay Times’ dubious “fact check” arm that rates political statements on a scale of “True” to “Pants on Fire” has picked President Obama’s promise to Americans that they could keep their health care plan if they liked it as their “lie of the year.” Because, I guess, the claim by numerous Republicans that letting America default on its debts would strengthen the economy was really a 50-50.
Politifact falls victim to its own Obama Derangement Syndrome and follows the trail of political inconveniences the insurance companies caused the president by scaring their customers and refusing to bring their plans into alignment with the ACA requirements for the last 3 years (but they changed the plans nonetheless so that they wouldn’t be eligible to be grandfathered in under the law) combined with the website problems and declares that the scare-storm caused by insurance companies and the political right was really the president’s fault.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) December 13, 2013
ThinkProgress: Why Doesn’t Twitter Take Gender-Based Harassment More Seriously?
Twitter caused quite a stir late Thursday regarding a change in its block policy, provoking outrage from victims of online harassment and advocates. The new policy, which would have allowed blocked users to keep following and retweeting their blockers, was reversed hours after its debut.
But while the decision to reverse the change was welcomed, it may not go far enough for those most vulnerable to violent threats and harassment — specifically women, people of color, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community.
Women took to Twitter soon after the announcement to protest the change, explaining they used the block function to shield themselves from rape and death threats. In a petition against the new policy, several users shared examples of how they had been stalked and threatened on Twitter.
On This Day:
President Obama whistles as he walks along the Colonnade of the White House following a holiday reception, Dec. 14, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Dec. 14, 2011 – Pete Souza: “During one of the Christmas Holiday receptions at the White House, I noticed the First Lady’s hands resting on the podium as the President made brief remarks.”
Dec. 14, 2011 – Pete Souza: “There was a sea of maroon berets as the President and First Lady greeted troops following remarks on the end of America’s war in Iraq, at Fort Bragg, N.C.”
First Lady Michelle Obama, with first dog Bo, at an annual event at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, Dec. 14, 2012