President Barack Obama smiles with Emma Didlake, the oldest known World War II veteran at 110 years old, in the the Oval Office of the White House. Didlake was a Private during the course of her service and her decorations include the Women’s Army Corps Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal
President Obama met with a 110-year-old woman believed to be the nation’s oldest veteran at the White House Friday. The president said it was a “great honor” to speak with Emma Didlake, a longtime Detroit resident and veteran of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps during World War II. “It’s a great reminder of not only the sacrifices that the greatest generation made on our behalf but also the kind of trailblazing that our women veterans made,” Mr. Obama told reporters. “We are so grateful that she is here with us today.”
Known to family as “Big Mama,” Didlake was a 38-year-old wife and mother of five when she “wanted to do something different” and signed up for the WAAC in 1943, said her granddaughter, Marilyn Horne. She served stateside for about seven months during the war, as a private and driver. After she was discharged, she and her family moved to Detroit in 1944 – and she quickly joined the local NAACP chapter. She marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963, and received a lifetime achievement award two years ago from the chapter.
I woke up this morning to a disturbingly silly headline. President Obama is the worst president since World War II, according to a plurality of voters in a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday. When you look beneath the numbers, it’s not what it looks like. Only about 33 percent of those polled called Obama the worst president, but that number roughly mirrors the percentage of Americans who identify themselves as Republicans, a group which has tried to sabotage, block, sue and impeach the president in recent years. So for the moment, forget what the polls say. The facts tell the real story of the Obama presidency, and the facts are damn good, especially compared to his predecessor. Under President Obama, the unemployment rate has fallen from 10 percent in 2009 to 6.3 percent today. Under George W. Bush, on the other hand, the unemployment rate rose from 4.2 percent to 7.8 percent. Under President Obama, the U.S. economy is gaining 200,000 jobs a month.
When Bush left office, however, we were losing 700,000 jobs a month. Under President Obama, at least 24 million people have gotten health insurance. The rate of uninsured has declined from 18 percent to 13.4 percent and the rate for Blacks has dropped dramatically from 20.9 percent to 14.7 percent. And despite all the exaggerated GOP claims that Obamacare would be a “job killer,” we’ve actually added more than 9 million new private sector jobs since the president signed the law. Under President Obama, businesses are also booming again. In the first few weeks of his presidency, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was sitting at 6547. Today it’s close to 17,000, a 10,000 point increase in five years!
And corporate profits hit an all-time record high just last year. President Obama ended the war in Iraq, drew down troops in Afghanistan, captured Osama Bin Laden, averted a second depression, helped to rescue the financial sector, stabilized home prices and saved more than a million jobs in the auto industry. At the same time, he enacted the most sweeping health care reform legislation in 50 years, something Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton couldn’t do, and which Ronald Reagan and the two Bushes never wanted to do. as a student of history, as an unapologetic liberal, as an African-American, as a gay man, as a supporter of equal rights for women and as someone who knows what it’s like to lose a job and live without health insurance, I’d say President Obama has done more good for this country than any president before him.
A World War Two veteran greets President Barack Obama as they participate in the 70th French-American commemoration D-Day ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, France on Friday, June 6, 2014
Continuing live streaming from France
President Obama travels from Normandy to Paris this afternoon where he will meet with embassy staff and family members. He then returns to Washington – he is scheduled to arrive at 8:45 PM ET.
The President’s address this morning
An Image or Two from France
@Stcrow: AWKWARD FAMILY PHOTO – President Obama, Queen Elizabeth, Petro Poroshenko, President-Elect of Ukraine (left) and Putin on right
President Obama and Russian President Putin pose during a group photo for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Benouville June 6, 2014. Between Obama and Putin are (L-R) Britian’s Queen Elizabeth, French President Francois Hollande and Danish Queen Margrethe II
President Obama with Prince Charles at Sword Beach this morning
President of France Francois Hollande speaks while flanked by President Barack Obama, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, Denmark’s Queen Margrethe and Russian President Vladimir Putin during a luncheon for Heads of State at Chateau de Benouville in Benouville
Steve Benen: Job creation remains steady, 217k jobs added in May
Once in a while, the expectations for the new jobs report and the actual data line up remarkably well.
The new report from Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the U.S. economy added 217,000 jobs in May, which is almost exactly what economists expected. The overall unemployment rate, meanwhile, remained at 6.3% – still at its lowest point since September 2008, nearly six years ago.
… All told, over the last 12 months, the U.S. economy has added over 2.38 million jobs overall and 2.36 million in the private sector. What’s more, May was the 51st consecutive month in which we’ve seen private-sector job growth. The year isn’t quite half over, but 2014 is currently on track to be the best year for U.S. job creation since 1999.
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk towards Marine One as they leave Normandy for Paris on June 6, 2009. Seeing them off are National Security Advisor James Jones, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, and Senior Advisors Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama greets the staff of the U.S. Embassy at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Paris, France on June 6, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama lifts a baby while meeting the staff of the U.S. Embassy at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Paris, France, June 6, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama tours the Centre Pompidou modern art museum in Paris, June 6, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama shakes hands with French President Nicolas Sarkozy during a bilateral meeting in Caen, France, June 6, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
June 6, 2009 – Pete Souza” “After his speech in Normandy, a crush of people tried to get close to the President to shake his hand. I noticed this guy waiting patiently and then literally being pushed back into the crowd. I felt bad for him, and mentioned the incident to the President’s trip director, Marvin Nicholson. Marvin pulled the guy out of the crowd, found him a wheel chair, and brought him over to meet the President. He was a French veteran. The man’s face shows his emotion.”
President Obama gives a ‘thumbs-up’ to a group of World War II veterans sitting behind him on stage following his speech at the 65th anniversary of the D-Day invasion in Normandy, France, June 6, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
American D-Day veteran Clyde Combs gets a hug from President Obama at the Normandy American Cemetery on June 6, 2009 in Colleville-sur-Mer, France
President Obama embraces his great uncle Charles Payne following the President’s speech at the 65th anniversary of the D-Day invasion in Normandy, France, June 6, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama greets his great uncle Charles Payne and his wife Melanie, who is reacting to seeing First Lady Michelle Obama, before the ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, France, on the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings, June 6, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama former Senator Max Cleland of Georgia before the ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, France, on the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings, June 6, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama adjusts Dick Van Dyke’s tie during the Ford’s Theatre reception in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Sunday, June 6, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama talks on the phone with Prime Minister Mario Monti of Italy aboard Air Force One, June 6, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama walks across the tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, Calif., June 6, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Trip Director Marvin Nicholson watches as President Obama signs items after delivering remarks at the LGBT Leadership Council Gala in Beverly Hills, Calif., June 6, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama views a math project during a tour of Mooresville Middle School in Moorseville, N.C., Thursday, June 6, 2013