Posts Tagged ‘facebook

22
Jun
17

‘Bigger Than Politics’

20
Jan
17

What To Do On January 20th

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Our 2,922+ Days with Prez Obama

“The road ahead will be long,
Our climb will be steep,
We may not get there in one year, or even one term,
But America, I have never been more hopeful
Than I am tonight that we will get there.”… (Prez Barack Obama, 11/4/2008)

Put down the Kleenex. Tilt your head up high. Now shout at the top of your lungs. YES WE DID!!! We Obamacrats, Americans, and world citizens can proudly puff out our chests and say we got us a really fine gem of a president. He not only served us productively during his 8-year tenure, he did so without a whiff of scandal, his diligence razor sharp, his humility and empathy never in doubt, and lit up our dreary moments with that smile and quick wit.

How many of us young and young at heart, and even detractors, can say we’ve ever been so absorbed day in and day out with any President at such a granular level, as we have Prez Barack Hussein Obama? Sure, the technologies of our age simulate such high levels of intimacy with political leaders we may never meet. But the Obamas made us live vicariously in the warm embrace of their hugs.

Beyond policy convergence, we felt their human connection to us to be genuine. Not posturing. And prior to winning the presidency, candidate Obama himself opened the sluice gates to many of us to dive into political engagement through both electronic media and human to human contact in the streets

How many of you got connected politically with complete strangers for the first time by signing up on http://www.barackobama.com and eagerly awaited David Plouffe’s weekly map update? How many of you created “Dashboard” pages on that website to organize people you knew, to volunteer, donate, host house meetings and parties, make calls, register people in the streets, enter registration data, or even quit your jobs to go to “Summer organizing school”?

Be honest, how many of us of a certain age (wink, wink) would have gotten clued in to much of Social media — Twitter, Snapchat, etc. or programs consumed mostly by millennials such as Between Two Ferns with Zack Galifianakis, and You Tube sensations like Ms. Glozell Green, Ingrid “Glamourazzi” Nilsen, Adande “sWoozie” Thorne…., and much of social media lingo, if not for Barack H. Obama?

Besides substantial policy advances, he and First Lady Michelle Obama, made us all indulge in the hip and cool. We dropped the mic and sang soul and karaoke along with them. We ooohed and aaaahed the marshmallow cannon and others at the geeky WH science exhibits. We clutched our virtual passports, got aboard Airforce One on its 400 flights, and trekked all 50 states of America and around the world with them – Dublin, Myanmar, Moneygall, Moscow, Canberra, Strasbourg, Prague, Havana, Dakar, Accra, ……

But why did many of us suspend our cynicism during the Obama presidency? Why did we believe him? The historical track record of politicians has earned that species a well-deserved cynicism. But not Barack Obama. Why? Sure, policy disagreements and all for some, but few besides his virulent opposition and rabid racists doubted his integrity.

We checked our cynicism at the door because he invited us, as thinking people, to embark on the tough journey of making America a “more perfect union” with him, warts and all. He also welcomed us to peer into the depths of his humanity (not like GW Bush looking into Putin’s soul), and many of us felt comfortable, even inspired. He was more than family even if some never physically met him. He never patronized us. He never left us out in the cold. Never.

Some of us ached with anguish when the opposition slammed the political barricades hard in his face at a time when this country teetered on the brink of economic collapse, and we thought “surely, country first, right?” Wrong.

With President Obama, many of us were jolted to the harsh reality that Republicans cared more about raw power than America’s wellbeing. They dragged us through an orgy of vileness on every front imaginable. Worst of all, the electorate rewarded them up and down this country with more power to destroy all the pillars of democracy and human rights that had been fought for with blood and toil. What country is this!

As a naturalized American citizen, whose very first vote in this country was for candidate Obama during the 2008 Democratic primaries, I, along with many of you feel a certain sense of co-ownership of the Obama presidential journey. It was us at our very best! We chose well. Eight years, no scandals. NONE! Competence, class, dignity, vision, empathy, real accomplishments.

Barack Obama is the stuff legends are made of. And we were lucky to witness it, and co-write this chapter of America’s story. So yeah, tilt that chin up. Y’all did good.

“Hard things are hard,” is inscribed on a plaque in the Obama White House. Yep, they are. And once achieved they must be safeguarded with hawk eyes, else a Trump wrecking ball overruns us.

But as President Obama said, we’re just getting started. We’re not gonna turn him into a fossil to gaze at on a pedestal in a shrine. As CITIZENS our task, our vigilance shifts to second gear tomorrow. Foot to the pedal. Stay Woke.

P.S. Our gratitude knows no bounds for Chips and NerdyWonka, who captained this incredible electronic corner of bliss and sanity for our journey with the Obama Family, in a sea of venom. Thank you thank you, thank you.

And kudos to all you fellow travelers on this site. You made this Obama story possible. You made it fierce. Let’s ALL #staywoke.

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24
Nov
16

A Thanksgiving Message From President Obama

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President Obama

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30
Oct
16

Early Bird Chat: Happy Diwali

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President Obama

To all who are celebrating the festival of lights across America and around the world, happy Diwali. As Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists light the diya, share in prayers, decorate their homes, and open their doors to host and feast with loved ones, we recognize that this holiday rejoices in the triumph of good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. It also speaks to a broader truth about our shared American experience. It’s a reminder of what’s possible when we see beyond the differences that too often divide us. It’s a reflection of the hopes and dreams that bind us together. And it’s a time to renew our collective obligation to deepen those bonds, to stand in each other’s shoes and see the world through each other’s eyes, and to embrace each other as brothers and sisters – and as fellow Americans.

I was proud to be the first President to host a Diwali celebration at the White House in 2009, and Michelle and I will never forget how the people of India welcomed us with open arms and hearts and danced with us in Mumbai on Diwali. This year, I was honored to kindle the first-ever diya in the Oval Office – a lamp that symbolizes how darkness will always be overcome by light. It is a tradition that I hope future Presidents will continue.

On behalf of the entire Obama family, I wish you and your loved ones peace and happiness on this Diwali.

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26
Aug
16

Early Bird Chat

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Pete Souza: President Obama watches a virtual reality film captured during his trip to Yosemite National Park earlier this year. #nps100

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All Times Eastern

10AM: President Obama receives the Presidential Daily Briefing

11:30AM: Press Secretary Josh Earnest holds the White House Briefing

3:10PM: President Obama visits with wounded warriors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland

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24
Jun
16

The Vice President and President’s Day

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Vice President Joe Biden tours the Kilmainham Prison, where many of those who participated in the Easter Rising in 1916 were held, in Dublin, Ireland, June 23, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Vice President Joe Biden tours the Kilmainham Prison, where many of those who participated in the Easter Rising in 1916 were held, in Dublin, Ireland, June 23, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Vice President Joe Biden and grandson Hunter Biden tour one of the cells in Kilmainham Prison, where many of those who participated in the Easter Rising in 1916 were held, in Dublin, Ireland, June 23, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Vice President Joe Biden and grandson Hunter Biden tour one of the cells in Kilmainham Prison, where many of those who participated in the Easter Rising in 1916 were held, in Dublin, Ireland, June 23, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

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Vice President Joe Biden looks at James Joyce manuscripts in the Trinity College Library, in Dublin, Ireland, June 24, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Vice President Joe Biden looks at James Joyce manuscripts in the Trinity College Library, in Dublin, Ireland, June 24, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

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Vice President Joe Biden and his grandchildren tour the Trinity College Library, in Dublin, Ireland, June 24, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Vice President Joe Biden and his grandchildren tour the Trinity College Library, in Dublin, Ireland, June 24, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

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President Obama’s day started with the designation of Stonewall as a National Monument

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Full Video of President Obama’s speech and panel discussion

08
May
16

Happy Mother’s Day From President Obama!

15
Feb
16

“The Toil And Sacrifice Of Ordinary Men And Women”

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President Barack Obama

Happy Presidents Day, everyone! Last week, I traveled back to Springfield, Illinois – where I got a chance to reflect a little bit on my favorite president and fellow Illinoisan – Abraham Lincoln.

As I said there, Lincoln wasn’t always the giant of history that we think of today. He didn’t have formal schooling. His businesses and his law practice often struggled. He left Congress after just one term because his opposition to the Mexican-American War damaged his reputation. But then, something happened that shook his conscience. Congress effectively overturned the Missouri Compromise, that flawed law that had prohibited slavery in the North and legalized it in the South.

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Over the next six years, his arguments with Stephen Douglas and others helped shape the national debate around slavery. And it was on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield where he uttered those brilliant words, that “A house divided against itself cannot stand;” and that “this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free.”

Lincoln went on to become the first Republican President, and I believe our greatest president. Through his will, his words, and most of all, his character, he held a nation together and helped free a people.

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Late at night, I sometimes walk down the hall to a room Lincoln used as his office that contains an original copy of the Gettysburg address. I linger on a few words that have helped define our American experiment: “A new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Lincoln grasped, maybe more than anyone, the burdens required to give those words meaning. And he understood that it is through the toil and sacrifice of ordinary men and women that our country is built and freedom is preserved.

10
Nov
15

Chat Away

10
Aug
15

The Fruits Of Peace And True Security

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Bill R

I posted this on my face book page this morning:

These days Jeanette and I are doing childcare a full two days a week for our three grandchildren, four year old Matilda, and the five month old twins, Lucia and Paul. As I watch them grow and go through developmental stages I am reminded of how important it is for human beings to learn ways to calm their mind and emotions in order to react constructively with others in this world. That process starts early. And there are too many examples of human beings not learning that important skill with sad and tragic consequences both as individuals and nations.

The great spiritual leaders of our time and before, like Bishop Tutu, the Dalai Lama, and Pope Francis speak of the essential value of learning to resolve conflict with our enemies in a peaceful way so that we can live in the fruits of peace and true security. The prophet Micah says that there is no security unless all are secure. It begins with feeling secure and safe within ourselves with calm and stable thoughts and emotions.
We are at a critical juncture in our nation where a debate rages between choosing the present opportunity of resolving conflict with Iran, birthplace of a 6,000 year old ancient and advanced civilization, a nation declared by many to be an enemy. We have the opportunity- now sanctioned and authorized by a vote of the United Nations Security Council as international law- to choose diplomacy with international enforcement or unilateral war with Iran, another Middle East War with boundless catastrophic consequences.

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This should be an easy choice. However, we have a faction in our country that has made a policy choice of regime change through war,and will accept no peaceful agreement that allows that govt. to stay in power. Led by a foreign govt,, funded by sympathetic billionaires Congress may likely vote disapproval of diplomacy and international law (although it is unlikely there are the votes to overcome a veto). What is needed is rational and constructive thinking and intention. Contrary to media reports, Congress does not have the authority to block this international law from implementation(see article below), but it can make impediments for implementation that will only harm the United States and US businesses.

Now is an important time especially here in Oregon as one of our senators, Ron Wyden, under the influence of a foreign govt. and its agent here in the US, is reported to be leaning toward a war decision. It is important that he hear from Oregonians as I write. Once before Senator Wyden made a rational decision to not support the war in Iraq. I am hoping he will do likewise in this case.

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Those of you who know me, know that I have a life commitment to a strong meditation practice, because for me it has been the way of inner peace, harmony of mind and emotion, and healing of the soul. It is this spiritual commitment that leads me to talk to my Facebook friends, in a not customary fashion, about a vital policy decision facing our country. To make a decision to turn our backs on an internationally supported decision for diplomacy with enforcement to make a decision of a path towards war, a plan overwhelmingly supported by the scientific and weapons control community, which will actually harm our our stated policy objective of preventing nuclear proliferation, would be tragic and lead to tragic consequences for generations to come, a decision that affect even these little grandchildren of ours. Deliberate unilateral decision to deny the opportunity of peaceful resolution and choose a war of regime change is evil and destructive. It is a choice our Congress will vote on in Sept. just a few weeks. I am posting this for your own reflection and discernment, and not to invite a debate on this site.




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