First Lady Michelle Obama embraces President Barack Obama as he surprises her during the White House Kitchen Garden Fall Harvest
Pete Souza: President Obama talks with Debra Eschmeyer, Executive Director of “Let’s Move!”, and former Executive Director of “Let’s Move!” Sam Kass during the fall harvest in the White House Kitchen Garden
President Barack Obama plays basketball during a visit to the McIntosh family farm in Missouri Valley, Iowa, Aug. 13, 2012. The President toured a cornfield on the family farm to view the effect the drought is having on crops ( Photo by Pete Souza)
ThinkProgress: Dying Teen Is Being Denied A Heart Transplant Because He’s Had Trouble With The Law
Fifteen-year-old Anthony Stokes has less than six months to live unless he receives an emergency heart transplant. But his family has been told that Anthony doesn’t qualify for the transplant list because he has a “history of non-compliance” — partly due to his history of earning low grades and having some trouble with the law.
…. Regardless of Anthony’s specific past, his story fits into a larger pattern of racially-motivated skepticism about young black men. The routine criminalization of black youth — thanks in large part to the so-called “school-to-prison pipeline,” which funnels a disproportionate number of black teens into the justice system for minor infractions — ensures that teens like Anthony are often seen as threats. And once society labels those kids as criminal, suspect, or “non-compliant,” their lives are typically considered to have less value.
President Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama leave after dining at The Sweet Life Cafe in Oak Bluffs, August 11
USA Today: Chef Sam Kass Helps The Obamas, Nation’s Kids Eat Right (There’s video at the link. A delightful must watch)
White House chef Sam Kass eyed the corn ripening in the garden tucked in a corner of the South Lawn but decided to pluck a cucumber off the vine instead. “We had corn two days ago,” he explained. Vegetables and fruits are on the menu for the first family and for kids across the country who are heading back to school, a cause for Michelle Obama and Kass, the Obamas’ family chef and executive director of the first lady’s Let’s Move! initiative. In an interview Friday with USA TODAY’s Capital Download, Kass discussed the impact the campaign against childhood obesity seems to be having.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made headlines last week with the release of a study that showed obesity rates among low-income preschoolers declining for the first time in decades — down in 17 states and up in only three. On the same day, Gallup reported that the percentage of Americans who went to fast-food restaurants at least once a week had dropped by 9 percentage points since 2006.
“I think we’re right at a tipping point,” Kass said, shedding his jacket as he sat at a picnic table in the sweltering August heat. The White House garden, the first big vegetable patch on the grounds since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden during World War II, produces about a thousand pounds of produce a year. “Last year, fruit and vegetable consumption was up 6%, which came as a great surprise. We’re seeing much greater awareness across the board about what we’re eating and how much we’re eating and trying to make sure we’re getting balanced meals on our kids’ plates.” President Obama insisted last week on NBC’s Tonight Show that his favorite food was broccoli. Really? “Broccoli is a go-to staple here,” Kass confirmed. “He likes his greens. I mean, he’ll eat any kind of green vegetable. There’s nothing that’s not in play.” For Obama, he typically blanches the broccoli or sautés it with a little olive oil.
President Barack Obama talks with Senior Advisor David Axelrod on the Colonnade of the White House, Aug. 13, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas discuss the 2012 Summer Olympic Games during an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”, Aug. 13, 2012 (Photo by Sonya N. Hebert)
President Barack Obama greets Military Aide Lt. Col. Dave Kalinske and his family in the Oval Office, during Kalinske’s departure ceremony, Aug. 13, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Steve Benen: …. It’s a safe bet the Bishops won’t be satisfied, but it’s a pretty straightforward fix: religiously-affiliated employers that don’t want to pay for contraception coverage as part of their benefits packages won’t have to, but these employees will still get the coverage because the White House will instruct insurers to pick up the costs.
…. several major stakeholders in this fight have already offered praise for the White House move. Planned Parenthood, for example, endorsed the compromise …. Similarly, EMILY’s List said it was “reassured” by the new policy, and NARAL Pro-Choice America’s statement struck a similar note.
What’s more, Sister Carol Keehan and the Catholic Health Association have also endorsed the administration’s position, which not only offers the White House some political cover, but also further isolates the Bishops…..
For the White House, having support from both the Catholic Health Association and Planned Parenthood was critical…..
Greg Sargent: …. the Obama team is betting that any further objections to this policy will unmask opponents primarily as hidebound foes of birth control at any costs, a politically difficult position to sustain, rather than as defenders of religious liberty. Indeed, this looks like an effort to reframe the debate to Obama’s advantage: If Team Obama has its way, the argument will now be about whether all women should have access to contraception, and not about whether these institutions are having their religious freedom impinged upon.
For those who freaked out about a major compromise with the Catholic church (eh, me):
When will I ever learn?
Don’t miss Liberal Librarian’s first post at The People’s View – it’s predictably brilliant
President Obama signs the Ultralight Aircraft Smuggling Prevention Act of 2012 as former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly look on. The bill was the last piece of legislation on which Giffords voted before she resigned in January, a year after she sustained a gunshot wound to the head.
First lady Michelle Obama high-fives the Dallas Cowboys mascot Rowdy as she arrived at the Kleberg-Rylie Recreation center in Dallas
Michelle Obama judges food, along with assistant White House chef and food initiative coordinator Sam Kass and “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio, during a taping of the TV cooking show “Top Chef” in Dallas