Obama participated in a 45-minute Q&A during the American Institute of Architects’ annual conference at the Orange County Convention Center on Thursday. She spoke about adjusting to life after the White House and discussed her goals for the future and causes she hopes to support. “One issue that I am excited about continuing to work on is … to help young girls get an education around the world,” she said, citing the Let Girls Learn initiative she launched as first lady. Obama also stressed the need to combat violence against women and improve their access to healthcare.
Obama said said she and her family were enjoying the freedoms of post-White House life, such as being able to open their windows at night, travel without a motorcade and answer their own front door. Despite her hesitance to seek elected office in the future, Michelle Obama pledged that she and her husband will be active in social causes. “Barack and I have been in public service our whole lives,” she said. “Public service will always be in our blood.”
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)
President Barack Obama speaks during the White House Precision Medicine Initiative Summit. President Obama announced the precision medicine initiative last year to accelerate research efforts into new treatments that are tailored to individual patients
moderator Dr. James Hamblin, Sonia Vallabh, Ph.D. student at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Howard Look, president and founder of Tidepool, and Dr. W. Marston Linehan, chief of the urologic oncology branch at the National Cancer Institute
Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL Brett McGurk, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford stand alongside President Barack Obama as he makes a statement after meeting with his National Security Council at the State Department
President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, Natioanl Security Advisor Susan Rice, Secretary of State John Kerry and Samantha Power United States Ambassador to the United Nations, attend the “Leader’s Summit on Countering ISIL and Countering Violent Extremism” at the United Nations
First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama joins the “Let Girls Learn” Global Conversation at The Apollo Theater in New York City
Glamour’s Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive (R) led a panel discussion with Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Founder of Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project and U.N. Messenger of Peace Charlize Theron, First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama and Girl ambassador from Plan International Nurfahada during Glamour “The Power Of An Educated Girl” at The Apollo Theater
President Barack Obama smiles as he arrives to deliver a speech at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at the United Nations Compound in Nairobi. President Obama’s visit to Kenya is focused on trade and economic issues, as well as security and counterterrorism cooperation
President Barack Obama and Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta take part in a roundtable with young businesspeople at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit
President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. He told African entrepreneurs in Kenya on Saturday they could help counter violent ideologies and drive growth in Africa, and said governments had to help by ensuring the rule of law was upheld and by tackling corruption
3:45: President Obama delivers remarks at the Armed Forces Farewell Tribute in honor of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Joint Base Myer-Henderson (C-Span)
NYT: It happened a few minutes before the beginning of Jim Langevin’s junior cadet shift back in 1980 …. A bullet ricocheted off a locker and went right through the boy’s neck, severing his spinal cord.
At 16, he would never walk again and never fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer.
Now, three decades later and seven terms into his career as one of Rhode Island’s two members of the House of Representatives, Mr. Langevin, 48, is the only quadriplegic ever to serve in Congress….
For the past month, he has been on a quiet campaign to persuade his colleagues to give up their guest passes to next Tuesday’s State of the Union address by President Obama so that victims of gun violence can attend.
That way, he said, when the nation’s highest officeholders look up from the floor of the House to those watching from the gallery, they will not be able to avoid seeing the human toll that guns can exact.
Upworthy: It’s a fact so jaw-dropping it’s unbelievable — people thought it was a crazy Internet rumor until Politifact verified it. But it’s true: More Americans have died just since 1960 from gun incidents — suicides, accidents, and homicides — than died in every war in U.S. history. The deadliest war the U.S. has ever had is the war we waged against ourselves.
Politifact: Politifact: Since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, supporters and opponents of gun control have thrown out statistics to support their point of view.
Here’s one that caught our eye, offered by liberal commentator Mark Shields on the Dec. 21, 2012, edition of the PBS NewsHour.
Shields told host Judy Woodruff, “You know, Judy, the reality is – and it’s a terrible reality – since Robert Kennedy died in the Ambassador Hotel on June 4, 1968, more Americans have died from gunfire than died in … all the wars of this country’s history, from the Revolutionary through the Civil War, World War I, World War II, in those 43 years. … I mean, guns are a problem. And I think they still have to be confronted.”……
CNN: A group of four senators working behind the scenes on a bipartisan bill to expand background checks on gun sales is making significant progress, according to sources in both parties familiar with their work.
The group includes Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, who has an A rating with the National Rifle Association, Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, a long time advocate of gun rights, and Chuck Schumer, D-New York, a long time supporter of gun control.
CNN is told the legislation they are working on would effectively require background checks on private gun purchases made with non-licensed gun dealers, according to sources in both parties. That would include closing the so-called gun show loophole.
NYT: President Obama may have run his last political campaign, but that does not relieve him of his obligations to the Democratic Party.
The president, who has a vested interest in Democrats retaining their Senate majority and trying to narrow Republican control of the House, is already making plans to return to the campaign trail. He has agreed to hold at least 14 separate fund-raising events this year, a Democratic official familiar with the plans told The New York Times, characterizing it as an “aggressive schedule.”
…. Mr. Obama will appear at 10 events outside Washington: five for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and five for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He will also host one event for each committee in Washington as well as appearing at two joint fund-raising galas for House and Senate candidates.
Reuters: A rise in exports and lower imports of oil helped push the trade deficit to its narrowest point in nearly three years in December, suggesting the economy did much better in the fourth quarter than initially estimated.
The country’s trade gap narrowed to $38.5 billion during the month, the Commerce Department said on Friday. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a deficit of $46 billion.
“Trade data for December paint a reassuring and encouraging picture of the US economy at the end of last year,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.
‘President Obama has outlined his plan for fixing our broken immigration system. Add your name to stand with the President’ – here
BuzzFeed: One of President Obama’s two nominees Thursday for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Todd M. Hughes, would become the first out gay appeals court judge in the country, if confirmed by Congress.
Hughes currently is the deputy director of the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Civil Division at the United States Department of Justice….. The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, which runs the Presidential Appointments Project to support out LGBT candidates for appointments, praised the nomination.
NYT: Cardiss Collins, who reluctantly ran for a Chicago Congressional seat left vacant when her husband died in a plane crash and went on to become Illinois’s first black congresswoman, serving for nearly 25 years as a voice for racial and gender equality and expanded health care for the poor, died on Sunday in Arlington, Va. She was 81.
….. She campaigned little but easily won the primary in April and cruised through the general election in June with 92 percent of the vote. Six years later, and after some early struggles in office — she had never considered a political career before she was thrust into one — she became chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. For much of the 1980s, she was the only black woman in Congress.
TPM: Outgoing Energy Department Secretary Steven Chu, who announced his resignation last week, took to his Facebook page Thursday to make light of an article from parody news site “The Onion” alleging that he woke up next to a solar panel after a night of partying in D.C. As Chu wrote in a post on his Facebook page:
“I just want everyone to know that my decision not to serve a second term as Energy Secretary has absolutely nothing to do with the allegations made in this week’s edition of the Onion. While I’m not going to confirm or deny the charges specifically, I will say that clean, renewable solar power is a growing source of U.S. jobs and is becoming more and more affordable, so it’s no surprise that lots of Americans are falling in love with solar.”
People: My song with my husband: Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together”
Michelle Obama: Barack and I danced to “Let’s Stay Together” at this Inauguration, and it was such a special moment for us. We had spent all day together with our family and friends at different Inaugural events, and at the end of the day the dance was really our one-on-one moment with each other. Well, each other and everyone watching on TV!