Posts Tagged ‘birmingham

16
Apr
17

54 Years Ago Today

15
Sep
13

Rise and Shine

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SmartyPants: Trust Vindicated

I don’t mind being called an Obamabot that much. Just like the President decided to embrace the label “Obamacare” that was initially meant as a slam, I suspect history will vindicate that supporting this administration was the right call. What I’ve typically reacted to negatively is the idea that I blindly trust President Obama because the fact is – I have my eyes wide open and am watching a fascinating presidency unfold. Over time what has happened is that when I don’t see the whole picture yet, I’ve learned to slow down my reactions and wait until I get more information. I also remind myself of who this man is that we’ve elected twice and how he’s handled things in the past…..

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The People’s View: Liberals Without A Conscience

You may think that by ‘liberals without a conscience,’ I am talking about people on the supposed Left who laughed at, dismissed, or shrugged off the children gasping for breath from the Syrian government’s chemical attacks, and you’d be right. You may think that I am using that term to refer to elected officials who pick and choose which humanitarian catastrophes we intervene in depending on who the president is, and you’d be right. You may think that by ‘liberals without a conscience,’ I’m digging at people on the Left that have suddenly found the anarchist Rand Paul and the statist Vladimir Putin to be their concurrent heroes, and you’d be right about that, too.

I have been coming to this realization for the last four years. I’m talking about people who stand in the way of progress, loud and proud, because they argue the progress isn’t enough, or refuse to recognize it as progress at all…..

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Jim Stuart’s New Blog: We Have A Deal

On balance, most of us in the US and elsewhere have a binary view of conflict: if you win, I lose, and vice versa. And we are completely immersed in the consciousness of scarcity, resource conflict, and fear of the other. Clearly, Gandhi, Mandela and King operated from a different level of consciousness, where abundance, peacemaking, and trust were the qualities seen first, and were part of each leader’s basic operating system. Developmental psychologists call this level of consciousness integral, and tell us that less than 5% of the world has attained this consciousness level. Obama, I believe, is part of this small percentage of people who see things whole; who trust the complexity of events to reveal deep structures and patterns, not single point answers or finite solutions; who know with absolute conviction that truth is found not in resolving paradox, but living in its tensions; that flow and generative action requires letting go of ego; and that all people, at every developmental level have something important to say, even your adversaries and enemies, because the brain is not capable of 100% error….

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The People’s View: How Putin “Outsmarted” Obama: By Completely Surrendering To All Of His Demands 

In certain parts of the world wide web – whether it be the “liberal” The Nation or any of the conservative outlets – the narrative is that Russian president Vladimir Putin “outsmarted” President Obama by coming up with a peaceful solution to Syria’s use of chemical weapons.

So let’s review, shall we? The United States gets a full disarmament of Syria – verifiably, completely, and and transparently. Russia, which until the G-20 refused to even talk about consequences for Syria is suddenly on board. Syria can’t act fast enough to show and turn over the chemical weapons that until last week it didn’t even admit it had. Chemical weapons? What chemic… here you go! (credit: Stephanie Miller) And to boot, the United States got Russia to agree to govern this agreement under the part of the Security Council documents that covers military action, even if Russia is still putting up a front against it…..

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Michael Wines: E.P.A. Is Expected to Set Limits on Greenhouse Gas Emissions by New Power Plants

Following up on President Obama’s pledge in June to address climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency plans next week to propose the first-ever limits on greenhouse gas emissions from newly built power plants. While details of the E.P.A.’s proposal remain confidential, experts predict that it will include separate standards for carbon dioxide emissions from plants fired by natural gas and by coal. Plants using comparatively clean gas would be permitted to emit perhaps 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour, a ceiling within easy reach using modern technologies.

Coal-fired plants, meanwhile, may be allowed to emit as many as 1,400 pounds per megawatt-hour. But coal is so heavily laden with carbon that meeting even that higher limit would require operators to scrub carbon dioxide from their emissions before they reach the smokestack, and then pump it into permanent storage underground.

In his June climate action plan, Mr. Obama ordered the E.P.A. to propose new greenhouse-gas rules covering existing plants by next June, and to issue final standards by June 2015.

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Jim Kuhnhenn: Obama To Use Lehmann Anniversary To Cite Progress

President Barack Obama is marking the fifth anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse by trying to lay claim to an economic turnaround and warning Republicans against moves that he contends would risk a backslide. His message to the GOP: don’t oppose raising the nation’s debt limit, don’t threaten to close down the government in a budget fight, and don’t push to delay the health care law or starve it of federal money.

The economic emphasis, after weeks devoted to the Syrian crisis, begins coming into focus in a series of events kicked off by a Rose Garden speech Monday. The White House argues that a better capitalized and better regulated financial sector is extending more credit, fueling an economy now able to withstand headwinds such as spending cuts and tax increases.

“You can draw this straight line from the health of the financial system to the ways the financial system impacts the economy,” said Jason Furman, the chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. Obama can point to a growing economy, rising housing prices, 35 straight months of hiring, a rebounding stock market and other signs of recovery. Five years after the federal government stepped in and infused banks with $245 billion in taxpayer money to avert a financial meltdown, the government has been paid back nearly in full.

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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden wait with members of the economic team in the Oval Office before a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House, Sept. 15, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Daily Beast: Oh Look, There Goes The Deficit

A funny thing happened on the way to the debt-ceiling battle: a big chunk of our annual budget quietly melted away. Daniel Gross on the good news you didn’t see coming.

…. we’ve long argued that we live in a Golden Age of Deficit Reduction. The August Treasury Monthly statement, released Thursday, and a Congressional Budget Office report released earlier this week, show just how far we’ve come in the space of a year.

In August, revenues were $185 billion, up 3.4 percent from $178.9 billion in August 2012. Spending was $333 billion, down 9.7 percent from $369 billion. The result: the deficit for the month of August was $147 billion, down 22 percent from $190 billion in August 2012.

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Bo, the Obama family dog, lounges in the West Garden Room of the White House, Sept. 15, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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USA Today: Obama Travels To Asia Next Month

President Obama travels to four Asian nations for three economic summits between Oct. 6-12 … The stops are in Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines.

From the White House: “In Indonesia, he will attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders meeting … The president will then travel to Brunei for the U.S.-ASEAN Summit and the East Asia Summit (EAS) and to meet with the Sultan of Brunei….

“In Malaysia, the president will meet with Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia to highlight our growing bilateral ties with Malaysia, and will deliver the keynote address to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit…..

“The president will then travel to the Philippines, the fifth Asian treaty ally he has visited during his presidency. He will meet with President Aquino to reaffirm the strong economic, people-to-people, and security links between our two countries.”

More here

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First Lady Michelle Obama and Darden Restaurants chef Julie Elkinton greet diners following an event at an Olive Garden restaurant in Hyattsville, Md., Sept. 15, 2011. The First Lady joined Darden Restaurants and Partnership for a Healthier America to announce the company’s committment to reduce its calorie and sodium footprints, and to provide greater choice and variety to families through changes to its kids’ menus. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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Bryce Covert: California Poised To Raise Its Minimum Wage To $10 An Hour

After a bill to raise California’s minimum wage to $9 per hour as of July 2014 and then $10 by January 2016 was approved by both houses of the California state legislature on Thursday, it now heads to Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) desk for signature. Brown voiced his support earlier in the week in a press release, saying, “This legislation is overdue and will help families that are struggling in this harsh economy.”

When voters are asked to vote on whether to raise the minimum wage, they almost always approve it with substantial majorities, as was the case in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, and Ohio in past years. Eighty percent of Americans support a national raise to $10.10 an hour, including two-thirds of Republicans.

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President Barack Obama talks with New York Times photojournalist Joao Silva in the Oval Office, Sept. 15, 2011. Silva lost both his legs when he stepped on a mine while accompanying U.S. soldiers on patrol near the town of Arghandab, in southern Afghanistan, Oct. 23, 2010, and was at the White House on assignment to photograph Dakota Meyer receiving the Medal of Honor. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

The President has no public events scheduled

3:0 EDT: VP Biden delivers remarks at Sen. Tom Harkin’s 36th Annual Steak Fry in Indianola, Iowa

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wait with Dakota Meyer in the Blue Room of the White House before the start of the Medal of Honor presentation ceremony in the East Room, Sept. 15, 2011. Meyer, then a Marine Corps Corporal, received the Medal of Honor for his actions on Sept. 8, 2009, while serving in the Kunar Province, Afghanistan. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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24
May
13

The Day in Images

President Obama congratulates Alexis Marisa Werner with open arms during the US Naval Academy commencement ceremony in Annapolis

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Text of the President’s remarks here

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First Lady Michelle Obama visits Savoy School, one of eight schools selected last year for The Turnaround Arts Initiative at the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, May 24

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Text of the First Lady’s remarks at Savoy Elementary School here

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President Obama signs a bill in the Oval Office designating the Congressional Gold Medal to commemorate the four young girls killed during the 1963 bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, as (L-R) Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, Birmingham Mayor William Bell, Dr Sharon Malone Holder, Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep Terri Sewell (D-AL), Thelma Pippen McNair, mother of Denise McNair, Lisa McNair, sister of Denise McNair, Dianne Braddock, sister of Carole Robertson, Rev Arthur Price, Jr, pastor 16th Street Baptist Church, and former U.S. Attorney Gordon Douglas Jones look on. The medal, the highest Congressional civilian honor, was given posthumously to Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Denise McNair who died September 15, 1963 when a bomb planted by white supremacists exploded exploded at the church

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24
May
13

Catching Up

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Later Today:

1:10: President Obama returns from the United States Naval Academy to the White House

2:15: Signs a bill designating the Congressional Gold Medal commemorating the lives of the four young girls killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing of 1963

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The Hill: President Obama will sign a bill Friday awarding the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously to the four girls killed in the 1963 Birmingham church bombing, the White House said Thursday.

The bombing at the church, which civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ralph David Abernathy used as a meeting place, by members of the Ku Klux Klan proved a pivotal turning point in the push for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The dynamite blast killed four girls — Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Denise McNair — and injured an additional 22 others.

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award bestowed by the legislative branch…

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“These children, unoffending, innocent, and beautiful were the victims of one of the most vicious and tragic crimes ever perpetrated against humanity,” said the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a eulogy for the four children–Addie Mae Collins, 14, Denise McNair, 11, Carole Robertson, 14, and Cynthia Wesley, 14. “They died nobly. They are the martyred heroines of a holy crusade for freedom and human dignity.”

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Paul Krugman: Obamacare Will Be A Debacle — For Republicans

… the biggest test case was always going to be California …. well, the preliminary numbers are in – and they’re looking very good, with costs coming in below expectations. At this point, it looks as if this thing is indeed going to work.

….. the whole political calculus was supposed to be that Republicans in red states could point to the horrors of Obamacare and ride them to political victory. Instead, it looks as if we’re going to see blue-state residents reaping the benefits of a functional health care system, while red-state residents are denied many of those benefits, for what looks like no better reason than mean-spirited spite – because what’s going on is, indeed, mean-spirited spite.

Predictions that Obamacare will be a big political issue are probably right – but not in the way gleeful conservatives imagined.

Full post here

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CNN Money: Health insurers in California will charge an average of $304 a month for the cheapest silver-level plan in state-based exchanges next year, according to rates released Thursday by Covered California, which is implementing the Affordable Care Act there. But many residents will pay a lot less than that for coverage.

Rates will vary by region, age and level of coverage, and many lower-income Californias will qualify for federal subsidies that will greatly lower the premiums…..

…. Oregon and Washington recently posted their rates, as well. They were also lower than some had expected.

“Many people will see rates similar to what they’re paying now, or in some cases, lower – and with substantially better benefits,” the Washington Insurance Department wrote in a blog post. “We’re definitely not seeing the huge rate increases that some insurers had predicted.”

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