First Lady Michelle Obama speaks to Native American youth at the first White House Tribal Youth Gathering. She told hundreds of Native American youths that they are all precious and sacred and that “each of you was put on this earth for a reason”
More than 1,000 Native American children gathered Thursday for the first-ever Tribal Youth Gathering at the White House, where first lady Michelle Obama called them precious and sacred members of society. “Each of you was put on this Earth for a reason. Each of you has something that you’re destined to do, whether that’s raising a beautiful family, whether that’s succeeding in a profession or leading your community into a better future,” she said. “You all have a role to play and we need you.” The first lady touched upon the historical struggles of Native Americans: being forced from lands they had lived on for generations, requiring young people to attend boarding schools designed to strip them of their cultural traditions and outlawing their religions and traditional ceremonies. She urged the individuals to learn about their elected officials, and run for local, state or federal office if they aren’t satisfied with their current efforts. “Make no mistake about it, your customs, your values, your discoveries are at the heart of the American story,” she told the crowd. “And yet, as we all know, America hasn’t always treated your people and your heritage with dignity and respect.”
The meeting was part of President Barack Obama’s vow to remove barriers that make it hard for Native American children to succeed. The children came from 230 tribes in 42 states to attend the inaugural summit and meet with the first lady, cabinet officials and members of the White House Council on Native American Affairs. They planned to discuss issues ranging from cultural protection and revitalization, to tribal justice and economic opportunity. Along with the meeting on Thursday, the White House announced several commitments aimed at ensuring Native children can thrive. DOI will issue $995,000 to be distributed to 20 tribal colleges and universities, and will award seven tribal applicants a total of $1.45 million in new funding to build their tribal education departments. And in September, there will be a second Native Languages Summit to identify ways to preserve and revitalize Native languages.
Gusccavedo Harrison of the Navajo Nation who is from Chinle, Arizona, cheers as First Lady Michelle Obama mentions the Navajo as being among the Nations present as she speaks to Native American youth at the first White House Tribal Youth Gathering
Shasta Dazen of Whiteriver, Arizona, who is the 53rd Miss Indian Arizona, and Deandra Antonio, right, both of the White Mountain Apache Nation and who serve on the White Mountain Apache youth council, take pictures of First Lady Michelle Obama
Valerie Bauman: Federal Money Adds 24 New Medical Residencies In Washington State’s Most Doctor-Starved Regions
As of this year, 24 new primary care residency spots will have been created in Washington through a five-year federal program dedicated to getting doctors to regions that need it most. The latest influx of federal money is $6.3 million, reported earlier this week, more than the combined $2.55 million that the program provided for Washington residencies between 2011-2013. Each new residency position is the equivalent of a three-year, guaranteed residency spot for one new doctor. It’s never been more important for Washington to grow its pipeline of new doctors, particularly in underserved urban and rural areas. The state’s projected doctor shortage has Washington State University considering opening its own medical school in Spokane.
Why people keep doubting Obama, I'll never know. The man turns Republican tears into wine every time.
It is unique because it partners medical residents with community health clinics that typically work with low-income or underserved populations. It benefits the resident by giving a new doctor real world experience, and helps communities by getting more doctors where they are needed most. The program was created in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act, and brought the first round of new residency spots to Washington in 2011. Initially, Yakima and Ellensburg received the funding for residents, but as more money has come in through the program, it’s been expanded to Tacoma, Spokane and to the Puyallup Tribal Health Authority.
On This Day – Pete Souza: “The President shows off his dance moves as he and the First Lady waited backstage during an intermission of daughter Sasha’s dance recital at Strathmore Arts Center in North Bethesda, Maryland.” June 16, 2013
10:0 am PT: President Obama departs Palm Springs
5:30 pm ET: Arrives White House
The Week Ahead
Tuesday: President Obama will travel to TechShop Pittsburgh to deliver remarks on the economy. Following this, he will travel to New York City to attend the DNC LGBT Gala and take part in another DNC Event.
Wednesday: The President will host the first ever White House Maker Faire and meet with students, entrepreneurs and everyday citizens who are using new tools and techniques to launch new businesses, learn vital skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and fuel the renaissance in American manufacturing.
Thursday: The President will award Corporal William “Kyle” Carpenter, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.), the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry.
Friday: The President will meet with Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand.
Paul Krugman: Yes He Could – Health Care And Climate: President Obama’s Big Deals
You should judge leaders by their achievements, not their press, and in terms of policy substance Mr. Obama is having a seriously good year. In fact, there’s a very good chance that 2014 will go down in the record books as one of those years when America took a major turn in the right direction. First, health reform is now a reality — and despite a shambolic start, it’s looking like a big success story. Remember how nobody was going to sign up? First-year enrollments came in above projections. Remember how people who signed up weren’t actually going to pay their premiums? The vast majority have.
Then there’s climate policy. The Obama administration’s new rules on power plants won’t be enough in themselves to save the planet, but they’re a real start — and are by far the most important environmental initiative since the Clean Air Act….Put it all together, and Mr. Obama is looking like a very consequential president indeed.
Colin H. Kahl: No, Obama Didn’t Lose Iraq: What The President’s Critics Get Wrong
As the senior Pentagon official responsible for Iraq policy during the first three years of the Obama administration, I had a front-row seat for the internal deliberations over how to end the war. Through the first half of 2011, there was a vigorous debate within the administration about whether U.S. forces should remain in Iraq beyond December, and if so, in what numbers and with what missions. Ultimately, at great political risk, President Obama approved negotiations with the Iraqi government to allow a force of around 5,000 American troops to stay in Iraq to provide counterterrorism support and air cover and to train the Iraqi army. But, as commander in chief, he was unwilling to strand U.S. forces in a hostile, anti-American environment without the legal protections and immunities required to ensure soldiers didn’t end up in Iraqi jails. These protections, which are common in nearly every country where U.S. forces operate, were guaranteed under the 2008 status of forces agreement negotiated by the Bush administration; Obama simply demanded that they continue under any follow-on accord. Iraq’s prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, told
U.S. negotiators that he was willing to sign an executive memorandum of understanding that included these legal protections. But for any agreement to be binding under the Iraqi constitution, it had to be approved by the Iraqi parliament. This was the judgment of every senior administration lawyer and Maliki’s own legal adviser, and no senior U.S. military commander made the case that we should leave forces behind without these protections. Even Sen. John McCain, perhaps the administration’s harshest Iraq critic, admitted in a December 2011 speech discussing the withdrawal that the president’s demand for binding legal immunities “was a matter of vital importance.” Moreover, because the 2008 security agreement had been approved by the Iraqi parliament, it seemed both unrealistic and politically unsustainable to apply a lower standard this time around. Unfortunately, Iraqi domestic politics made it impossible to reach a deal. Iraqi public opinion surveys consistently showed that the U.S. military presence was deeply unpopular
Matthew Lee: Kerry: US Open To Cooperation With Iran On Chaos In Iraq
Secretary of State John Kerry says the Obama administration is willing to talk with Iran over deteriorating security conditions in Iraq and is not ruling out potential U.S.-Iranian military cooperation in stemming the advance of Sunni extremists. Kerry also says U.S. drone strikes “may well” be an option.
In a Monday interview with Yahoo! News, Kerry said Washington is “open to discussions” with Tehran if the Iranians can help end the violence and restore confidence in the Iraqi government. Asked about possible military cooperation with Iran, Kerry said he would “not rule out anything that would be constructive.” However, he stressed that any contacts with Iran would move “step-by-step.”
New data show the number of students without health insurance on California State University campuses dropped by 60% after health insurance enrollment, defying concerns that not enough young people would sign up for health insurance. According to a poll released Thursday, at the 15 largest CSU campuses, between 25% and 30% of students were uninsured before enrollment began, and 10% were uninsured after. The drop accounts for 60,000 students who became insured, and illustrates the late surge of young people who signed up for policies. “These students proved that the folks we’re calling young invincibles do want health insurance,” said William Covino, president of Cal State Los Angeles. Walter Zelman, chair of the Cal State L.A. Public Health Department and director of the project, said that he believes the 10% uninsured rate among the students is “virtually unheard of in California.”
He pointed out that the 60% drop in the number of uninsured CSU students is vastly higher than the 26% reduction in the number of uninsured nationwide that was reported by a Gallup poll this month. CSU students were perhaps more likely to sign-up for insurance than expected because many are low-income and therefore qualify for Medi-Cal, the state’s low-income health program that was expanded under the federal health care law. Natasha Buranasombati, 23, signed up for an insurance plan through Covered California. A recent Cal State L.A. grad, she’d been off her parents’ insurance for a few years, and couldn’t afford a plan on the individual market. She now pays $117 a month for her new plan. “The issue is not invincibility, it’s affordability,” Zelman said.
Bloomberg: Taliban Fighters Warn Foreign Investors To Leave Pakistan
Pakistan’s military began a full-scale operation in the Taliban stronghold of North Waziristan, prompting insurgents to warn foreign investors, airlines and multinational companies to leave the country. “We’re in a state of war,” Shahidullah Shahid, a spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, said in a statement today. “Foreign investors, airlines, and multinational companies should cut off business with Pakistan immediately and leave the country or else they will be responsible for their damage themselves.”
The army said yesterday it would target local and foreign terrorists in North Waziristan, a tribal region near the Afghan border the U.S. has called the “epicenter” of terrorism. The operation, long sought by the U.S., comes a week after militants attacked the country’s biggest international airport. As Islamic militants capture cities in Iraq and the U.S. draws up plans to withdraw from Afghanistan, public opinion in Pakistan is shifting in favor of stronger action against fighters who were previously seen locally as more of a threat to America’s interests. The Taliban wants to impose its version of Islamic Shariah law in Pakistan, which includes a ban on music and stricter rules for women.
LA Times: Actors, Musicians Are Big Beneficiaries Of Obamacare
In 2011, actress Lynda Berg didn’t make enough money to qualify for health insurance through her union. And, on her own, she had trouble finding a plan she could afford because she’s a survivor of breast cancer, considered a preexisting condition. The uncertainty of not having a health plan was stressful and at times expensive, she recalls. A few years ago she fell and broke her hand and elbow and ended up paying $4,000 for her medical care. But all that has changed for Berg, 59. In March, she went online, signed up for a policy through Covered California, the state’s new health insurance marketplace set up under the Affordable Care Act, and now is getting medical care. More than most people, workers in the area’s vast entertainment industry are poised to benefit from the federal health law.
“When people think Hollywood, they think George Clooney and Meryl Streep, but that’s not the average person in this town,” said Dan Kitowski, director of health services for the western region of the Actors Fund, a national nonprofit that does Affordable Care Act outreach. Actress Berg, who lives in Beverlywood, now pays a premium of $145 a month for her Blue Shield of California plan. She’s using her coverage to get prescriptions for $5 a month that she was paying more than $100 to fill before. She plans to head to the doctor’s office soon for a checkup she’s been putting off. “It’s a tremendous blessing to actors and anyone who doesn’t have insurance,” she said. “Even if you get a plan with a large deductible, at least you have that safety net … and you’re not in debt for the next seven years.”
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Friday $70 million in funding available during Fiscal Year 2014 to tribal communities across the nation to improve Indian housing conditions and stimulate community development for low and moderate income families. The grants are available through HUD’s Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Program for a wide variety of community development and affordable housing activities. Read HUD’s ICDBG Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). The purpose of the ICDBG program is to develop viable Indian and Alaska Native communities, including decent housing, suitable living environments, and economic opportunities. Recipients can use the funding to support rehabbing or building new housing or to buy land for housing. They can use it toward infrastructure such as roads, water and sewer facilities. Recipients can also spur economic development including commercial and industrial projects.
This has included community and health centers, energy conservation projects, or new businesses such as shopping centers, manufacturing plants, restaurants, convenience stores and gas stations. “Housing and infrastructure needs in Indian Country are severe and widespread, and far exceed what has been provided to tribes and their designated housing entities. This funding will go directly to the Native American and Alaska Native communities that are working hard every day to improve housing for the families who need it most,” said Rodger Boyd, HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Native American Programs. “HUD invests in people and neighborhoods across the country that promote development at the local level by those local leaders who know their communities best. This year we are committed to not only expanding housing opportunities but also helping to ensure healthier environments for those affected by mold.”
Eliza Griswold: Can General Linder’s Special Operations Forces Stop the Next Terrorist Threat?
On a searing morning this spring, Brig. Gen. James B. Linder leaned against the red-webbing seats of a C-130 as it flew over the Sahara. On his camouflaged knee, he balanced two dog-eared Moleskine notebooks and a map of Africa. Linder, who is in his early 50s, commands the United States Special Operations forces in Africa. He was on his way to visit a detachment of 12 Army Green Berets training with African troops to fight Al Qaeda and its affiliates in Niger. Through the plane’s scratched plexiglass portholes, dunes crested like waves in an ocean of sand, and hot blasts of wind buffeted the fuselage.
An hour’s flight to the south, his team of Special Forces was deployed along the Nigerian border, where the militant group Boko Haram was targeting children in its bid to establish an Islamic state. “My job is to look at Africa and see where the threat to the United States is,” Linder said as he unfolded his map and traced circles around the territories where he knew extremist groups were operating. “I see Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the Libyan problem set, Al Shabab in Somalia, Boko Haram in Nigeria, Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia, Benghazi and Darna.”
NYT: Starbucks To Provide Free College Education To Thousands of Workers
Starbucks will provide a free online college education to thousands of its workers, without requiring that they remain with the company, through an unusual arrangement with Arizona State University, the company and the university will announce on Monday. The program is open to any of the company’s 135,000 United States employees, provided they work at least 20 hours a week and have the grades and test scores to gain admission to Arizona State. For a barista with at least two years of college credit, the company will pay full tuition; for those with fewer credits it will pay part of the cost, but even for many of them, courses will be free, with government and university aid. Starbucks is, in effect, inviting its workers, from the day they join the company, to study whatever they like, and then leave whenever they like — knowing that many of them, degrees in hand, will leave for better-paying jobs.
In a low-wage service industry, Starbucks has for decades been unusual, doing things such as providing health insurance, even for part-timers, and giving its employees stock options. (Like other food and drink chains, it has also been accused of using improper tactics in fighting unionization drives.) Whether in spite of those perks or because of them, the company has been highly successful; its stock, which closed Friday at $74.69, has grown in value more than a hundredfold since it went public in 1992. The president of Arizona State, Michael M. Crow, something of an evangelist for online education, was scheduled to join Mr. Schultz and Arne Duncan, the education secretary, to announce the program on Monday in Manhattan. Arizona State has one of the largest online degree programs in the United States, with 11,000 students and 40 undergraduate majors, and one of the most highly regarded.
I’m here in Florida visiting my father, Ed Reich, who, at the young age of 100 and a half, just came up with one of the most incisive assessments I’ve heard of what’s happened in Iraq: “George W. Bush and the crooks he hired are responsible for this. If they hadn’t lied to the American people about weapons of mass destruction we wouldn’t have lost nearly 5,000 American lives and god knows how many Iraqi lives, and stirred up this hornet’s nest. Obama has spent his entire administration cleaning up Bush’s shit, like someone with a giant pooper scooper.” Dad has lived during the administrations of 17 presidents. “Bush was the worst,” he says. “Reagan the second worst.”
The Supreme Court says federal law does not allow a “straw” purchaser to buy a gun for someone else, even if both are legally eligible to own firearms. The justices ruled Monday that the federal background check law applied to Bruce James Abramski, Jr. when he bought a Glock 19 handgun in Collinsville, Virginia, in 2009 and later transferred it to his uncle in Easton, Pennsylvania. Federal officials brought charges against Abramski because he assured the Virginia dealer he was the actual buyer of the weapon, even though he had already agreed to buy the gun for his uncle.
Sen. Barack Obama greets supporters a campaign rally at Kettering High School June 16, 2008 in Flint, Michigan
Sen. Barack Obama, former U.S. vice president Al Gore and Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm appear on stage together after Gore spoke endorsing him at a rally at Joe Louis Arena June 16, 2008 in Detroit, Michigan
President Obama picks up a fly he swatted during an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood in the East Room of the White House, June 16, 2009 (Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
President Obama gives a fist-bump to personal aide Reggie Love in the Oval Office of the White House on June 16, 2009. Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is at left (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama arrives to speak the American Nurses Association House of Delegates June 16, 2010 in Washington, DC.
President Obama walks with his daughter Malia as they follow First Lady Michelle Obama into the Strathmore Music Center June 16, 2013 in Bethesda, Maryland. The Obama’s were attending a dance performance with where their daughter Sasha was performing.
President Obama interacts with children while flanked by First Lady Michelle Obama and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman David Archambault II during the Cannon Ball Flag Day celebration at the Cannon Ball Powwow Grounds on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota
Man in the crowd: “We love Michelle too!” Pres. Obama smiles: “Of course you love Michelle. Who doesn’t love Michelle?” #PrezRezVisit
On This Day: President Obama looks at the view from the InterContinental Yokohama Grand Hotel in Yokohama, Japan, Nov. 13, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Today (all times Eastern):
10:50: President Obama and VP Biden meet with faith leaders
1:30: Dr Jill Biden delivers remarks at event titled “Improving Veterans’ College Graduation Rates” hosted by Google at the Army and Navy Club in Washington
2:15: Jay Carney briefs the press
3:30: President Obama delivers remarks at the 2013 Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of Interior
A small group of faith leaders will meet with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and top staffers Valerie Jarrett, Cecilia Munoz and Melissa Rogers today to map strategy to push the GOP-controlled House to pass immigration reform. According to a White House official, here are the faith leaders who will be at the meeting:
· Leith Anderson, President, National Association of Evangelicals
· Eusebio Elizondo, Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Seattle
· Joel Hunter, Senior Pastor, Northland Church, Orlando, FL
· Hyepin Im, President and CEO, Korean Churches for Community Development, Los Angeles, CA
· Mike McClenahan, Senior Pastor, Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, Solana Beach, CA
· Russell Moore, President, Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Nashville, TN
· Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition
Igor Volsky: ‘If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep It’ Is Easier Said Than Done
Flooded with news stories and constituent calls from Americans losing their health care plans, a bipartisan group of lawmakers have proposed seemingly easy solutions that they say will allow everyone keep their existing insurance coverage. On Friday, the House will consider such a measure, spearheaded by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI). Several Democrats in vulnerable districts are expected to back the effort. On Tuesday, even Bill Clinton threw his support behind the change and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said she would vote for similar legislation being introduced in the Senate by Mary Landrieu (D-LA).
But lawmakers who have fought for years to enact a law that expands health care coverage to sick people, overcame almost insurmountable legislative hurdles, and survived a constitutional challenge before the Supreme Court, should be wary of supporting measures that take away key consumer protections from millions of Americans and increase costs for millions more.
The truth is, letting everyone in the individual health care market maintain their existing coverage would have real consequences for health care reform.
I think a successful ACA is trying to emerge, through the fog of political war. Do not think the GOP can reverse the process; the policy fundamentals are in place. For me the question is not whether a working ACA will emerge, but when this will be recognized….
…. I, too, worry about the website, the slow enrollment uptake, the GOP onslaught, and their and the MSM’s total assurance that the ACA is and will remain an unmitigated catastrophe. But the facts on the ground tell me that major seeds have been planted, that they will not be dug up, that they will, now planted, grow naturally into a splendid harvest that will not be prevented.
Republicans are making a fatal and permanent mistake in seeking all-out to destroy the ACA with no attempt to replace it with something that could address the same issue of the uninsured.
…. So what is trying to emerge from the fog of political war? A gold mine of help to the poor and the middle class, and to the country’s economy by helping to tame healthcare costs; and this gold mine is the much maligned ACA!
Over the weekend, The Hill published an interesting piece suggesting congressional Republicans, who had been fully committed to repealing the entirety of the Affordable Care Act since its inception, have “shifted their strategy.”
The “pivot,” the article said, was from repealing the health care to law to helping “fix” it through something called the Keep Your Health Plan Act, sponsored by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.). “The GOP,” The Hill reported, “wants to rebuild its political capital and public credibility by solving ObamaCare’s implementation problems.”
With respect to The Hill, whose reporting I rely on frequently, the piece was a little naive. To think that House Republicans, a month after shutting down the government over a health care law they hate with blinding rage, suddenly want to improve the Affordable Care Act is hard to take seriously. Upton’s Keep Your Health Plan Act is about a partisan game to undermine the law and put Democrats on the defensive – and little else.
Igor Volsky: 6 Reasons Why Obamacare Enrollment Is Going Better Than You Think
The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that between 40,000 and 50,000 uninsured Americans signed up for health care coverage in the 36 states where the federal government is running the Obamacare exchanges. But the initial estimate doesn’t tell the whole story about how many people are connecting to coverage. Here is what you need to know about the enrollment figures
More than 500,000 have signed up for insurance overall. Avalere Health, a consulting firm tracking sign-ups, estimates that at least 440,000 people have signed up for Medicaid and another 49,000 people enrolled in coverage in 12 states and the District of Columbia that are operating their own exchanges. Significantly, that state number don’t appear to include enrollment from California, Massachusetts, or Oregon. Thus, all told, more than 529,000 have enrolled in coverage.
Sahil Kapur: Red State Dems Push Reforms That Would Damage Obamacare
A trio of face-saving changes to Obamacare proposed by conservative Democratic senators would do significant damage to the law, according to health policy experts.
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) wants to make sure people can keep their insurance plans even if they fail to meet basic benefit standards under Obamacare. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) wants to delay by one year the tax penalty for failing to comply with the individual mandate. And ten Democrats want to give people more time to enroll on the exchanges.
“I think each of these [proposals] would be significantly disruptive to the law’s goals,” said Tim Jost, a professor at Washington and Lee University and leading expert on Obamacare.
Sara Kliff: One In 10 Veterans Lacks Health Insurance. Obamacare Could Change That
The Veterans Administration operates the country’s largest health-care system. It has more than 1,700 hospitals and clinics across the country. Doctors there had about 50 million appointments with veterans in 2012. This sweeping system does not, however, cover everyone: One in 10 veterans lacks health insurance.
Haley and Kenney wrote a follow-up paper in March 2013, looking at what the Affordable Care Act would mean for uninsured veterans. They estimate that about 40 percent of uninsured veterans earn less than 138 percent of the federal poverty line (about $15,000 for an individual) and would therefore qualify for Medicaid, if their state had opted to expand the program.
The economy is growing much more quickly than expected. Inflation is basically nonexistent. The federal budget deficit has been slashed dramatically. The stock market is reaching all-time highs. One of our long-running wars is over, and the other is winding down. The status of the United States as the world’s preeminent economic and military power is unchallenged.
Last week’s announcement that the U.S.economy grew at a 2.8 percent annual rate in the third quarter was stunning. That news was followed by the October employment numbers, which were also promising: a total of 204,000 new jobs. The federal deficit for fiscal 2013 was just $680 billion. That sounds like a lot of money — all right, it is a lot of money — but it’s an incredible 37 percent less than the deficit for fiscal 2012.
If you listen to President Obama’s critics, especially his Republican adversaries on Capitol Hill, you’d think the economy was wheezing its last gasps. But investors obviously disagree, since the Dow closed Monday at a record high — and has nearly doubled since Obama took office. Put simply, money talks.
President Obama signs the Tribal Law and Order Act joined by congressional and tribal leaders at a bill signing ceremony in the East Room at the White House in Washington on July 29, 2010
ABC: Tribal Leaders Thank Obama For Redskins Comments
Native American leaders used a meeting at the White House on Tuesday to thank President Barack Obama for wading into the controversy over the Washington Redskins team name and voicing his concern that the nickname was offensive.
Ray Halbritter of the Oneida Nation, which has led efforts to get the National Football League team to change its name, thanked the president for speaking out. Other tribal leaders responded with applause during the meeting in the Roosevelt Room.
In an October interview with The Associated Press, Obama said that if he owned the Redskins he would consider changing the name. He said that while fans get attached to nicknames, nostalgia isn’t a good enough reason to keep a name that offends “a sizable group of people.”
The problem is that Richard Cohen thinks being repulsed isn’t actually racist, but “conventional” or “culturally conservative.” Obstructing the right of black humans and white humans to form families is a central feature of American racism. If retching at the thought of that right being exercised isn’t racism, then there is no racism.
Context can not improve this. “Context” is not a safe-word that makes all your other horse-shit statements disappear. And horse-shit is the context in which Richard Cohen has, for all these years, wallowed. It is horse-shit to claim that store owners are right to discriminate against black males. It is horse-shit to claim that Trayvon Martin was wearing the uniform of criminals. It is horse-shit to subject your young female co-workers to “a hostile work environment.”It is horse-shit to expend precious news-print lamenting the days when slovenly old dudes had their pick of 20-year old women. It is horse-shit to defend a rapist on the run because you like “The Pianist.”
If you’re a conservative strongly opposed to abortion, shouldn’t you want to give all the help you can to women who want to bring their children into the world? In particular, wouldn’t you hope they’d get the proper medical attention during and after their pregnancy? This would seem a safe assumption, which is why it ought to be astonishing that conservatives are positively obsessed with trashing the Affordable Care Act’s regulation requiring insurance policies to include maternity coverage.
Never mind that we who are lucky enough to have health insurance end up paying to cover conditions we may never suffer ourselves. We all want to avoid cancer, but we don’t begrudge those who do get it when the premiums we pay into our shared insurance pools help them receive care.
A week after the 2013 elections, there’s one incredibly close race the political world is watching with great interest: who’ll be Virginia’s new state attorney general?
The vote-counting process ended last night, and as the dust settled, Democrat Mark Herring finished with 163 more votes than Republican Mark Obenshain – out of more than 2.2 million votes cast. Overnight, Herring declared victory.
So, is that it? Of course not. Given the margin, Obenshain has not conceded the race – it stands to reason that if the roles were reversed, Herring wouldn’t concede, either – and a statewide recount is probably inevitable. That, however, can’t begin until these preliminary tallies are certified, and that won’t happen until Nov. 25.
President Barack Obama returns to the White House following the Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C., Dec. 5, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
5:05: The First Family attends the National Christmas Tree Lighting
President Obama hugs Brian Cladoosby, President and Chairman of the Swinomish Nation, as he arrives at the White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Interior Department in Washington, December 5
‘Barack Black Eagle: He Who Helps People Throughout the Land’ (Link)
Hey, this pic can never be posted enough …. the look PBO gave Scott Walker at the White House yesterday. #Win
Completely random pics:
Completely random videos:
Whaddya mean it’s obvious this post was a rush job when it contains absolutely no news, only a few pics and videos. Well.😕
Will catch up with the news in the morning. Promise. Ish.
July 2012 marked the two-year anniversary of the enactment of the Tribal Law and Order Act …. Lisa Iyotte, a Lakota woman, a survivor, shared her personal story of her brutal rape that occurred in her home on a reservation as her young daughters watched. The man who raped her was never prosecuted for his crimes against her.
As President Obama put it:
“When one in three Native American women will be raped in their lifetimes, that is an assault on our national conscience; it is an affront to our shared humanity; it is something that we cannot allow to continue.”
I just thought of this video tonight, after the events of today. The President wasn’t meant to appear until Lisa Iyotte introduced him, but while speaking for every victim of rape (because, needless to say, it’s not just the native American community that suffers from this horror), she was overcome, so he came out early to comfort her.
It was what ‘Romney/Ryan/Legitimate Rape 2012’ would never recognize:
President Barack Obama and former president Bill Clinton tour a building under construction in Washington as part of President Obama’s Better Building Initiative to promote energy efficient buildings
WH: President Obama today announced nearly $4 billion in combined federal and private sector energy upgrades to buildings over the next 2 years. These investments will save billions in energy costs, promote energy independence, and, according to independent estimates, create tens of thousands of jobs in the hard-hit construction sector.
The $4 billion investment announced today includes a $2 billion commitment, made through the issuance of a Presidential Memorandum, to energy upgrades of federal buildings using long term energy savings to pay for up-front costs, at no cost to taxpayers.
In addition, 60 CEOs, mayors, university presidents, and labor leaders today committed to invest nearly $2 billion of private capital into energy efficiency projects; and to upgrade energy performance by a minimum of 20% by 2020 in 1.6 billion square feet of office, industrial, municipal, hospital, university, community college and school buildings. This announcement builds on a commitment made by 14 partners at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in June to make energy upgrades across 300 million square feet, and to invest $500 million in private sector financing in energy efficiency projects.
Media Matters: Following breaking news that the unemployment rate dropped from 9 percent to 8.6 percent in November, Fox & Friends aired the following on-screen graphic:
Washington Post: The U.S. military transferred control of its sprawling headquarters outside Baghdad to the Iraqi government Friday, a deeply symbolic moment that launched the final month of a nearly decade-long U.S. presence.
The last few soldiers at Camp Victory, a base that once housed 68,000 military personnel and contractors, departed early Friday afternoon. There are currently 12,000 U.S. troops left in Iraq at five bases, down from a peak of 170,000 at 500 bases in 2007, military spokesman Col. Barry Johnson said. All will be gone by the end of the year.
The Hill: Manufacturing grew for the 28th straight month and faster than it has since June, a report showed Thursday.
The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index increased to 52.7 percent in November, up from 50.8 percent in October. The index’s most recent high was 55.3 percent. Earlier in the year the sector was expanding above 60 percent each month before the economy hit a rough patch in the early summer. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.
President Obama smiles for a photo with a group Marine Corps Navajo Code Talkers after delivering remarks at the White House Tribal Nations Conference, Dec. 2
Robert Shrum: …. Mitt Romney is at heart a con man …. he would govern as he campaigns, no matter what he actually believes. That’s why the rest of us should be afraid of what Mitt Romney’s America would look like.
In Mitt Romney’s America, unemployment could escalate – or soar …. His long-term fiscal policy would shred the social safety net and devastate programs ranging from college loans to research and development and environmental protections. The wealthy would never be asked to pay their fair share by a president who would never risk alienating Grover Norquist….
Thus the “jobs” candidate could become the jobs destroyer as president – which, of course, was what he was when he dismembered companies and fired workers during his years in the private sector…
….. Medicare would be voucherized and Social Security would be privatized. Insurance companies would be free again to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions and to cancel policies as the costs of life-saving treatment mounted. Tens of millions more would be left without health insurance.
And Mitt Romney’s America would be a narrow and bigoted place, too. He opposed the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” He’s proposed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages. His Supreme Court nominees would tip the balance and overturn Roe v. Wade. And what about civil rights? Romney has become an immigrant-baiter who now wants to build that “danged fence” along the border. The co-chair of his Justice Advisory Committee is Robert Bork, who called the 1964 Civil Rights Act “unsurpassed ugliness”. On issues of equality, Mitt Romney’s America would look a lot like Ted Kennedy’s famous description of Robert Bork’s America, where “rigid ideology will tip the scales of justice against the kind of country [this] is and ought to be.”
….. And that’s why I hope we never have to live in Mitt Romney’s America.
Steve Benen: Every single time the Huntsman campaign releases another anti-Romney video, I have the same reaction: “Hey, that’s pretty good!”
I thought that about the “pretzel” video, the flipping-toy-monkey video, the weathervane video, and this week’s “Mittstant Replay” video.
Today, via Taegan Goddard, Huntsman’s team offers another gem, this time connecting Romney’s incessant flip-flopping to his background with the Olympics. It turns out, Romney flips with all the grace of a crashing gymnast:
You know the way GOPolitico is obsessed with the President and Israel and spends its days searching for polls that suggest he is struggling with the Jewish community? Well, spare a thought for them, today was a very difficult day: