Cherry Bourbon Sours

Originally posted on Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide:

Black as your soul

Black velvety goodness

Didn’t make the cherries we posted last week? Well you’ll have to come up with your own drink while we enjoy these.

Cherry Bourbon Sours

  • 1/3 part cherry bourbon syrup
  • 1/3 part lemon juice
  • 1/3 part triple sec

Mix all ingredients in a glass with ice. Stir and sip.

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The Black Rose

Originally posted on Moonlight Sonata :

A symbol of death and despair for many
Rid of all hope and warm merriment
A sign of hatred and mistreatment
Broken hearts and vengeful intentions
Deeming the end of somethings existence
A fallacious judgment preconceived
Look behind its’ enigmatic nature
And you will see a concealed beauty
In its’ velvety silk pedals
Wrapped in elegance and perfection
A Bearer of true devotion and love
As rare as the rose itself

black rose wallpaper-1

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The Last 24™: July 30th, 2014.





Remarks by the First Lady at the Summit of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders


The Omni Shoreham Hotel
Washington, D.C.

11:01 A.M. EDT




MRS. OBAMA:  Oh, my goodness.  Look at you all!  (Applause.)  Oh, please sit, sit.  Rest.  (Laughter.)  How has everything been?  Exciting?  So you’ve talked to a lot of important people — my husband, he was here.  (Applause.)  That’s good.  And a few other people?  You’ve been traveling around the country doing great things.  It is such a pleasure, and such an honor and a joy to join you here today for this wonderful summit.


Let me start by thanking John for that beautiful introduction, but more importantly, for his outstanding leadership for young people — in particular, young girls — in Uganda.  And I want to take a moment to thank all of you for being part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.  Yes.  (Applause.)  We have been so excited about your presence here in this country.  We have been so excited.


Now, I’ve had the opportunity to read through your bios, and I have to tell you that I am truly in awe of what you all have achieved.  Many of you are barely half my age, yet you already have founded businesses and NGOs, you’ve served as leaders in your government, you’ve earned countless degrees, you know dozens of languages.  So you all truly represent the talent, the energy and the diversity that is Africa’s lifeblood, and it is an honor to host you here in the United States.  (Applause.)  We’re so proud.


Now, from what I’ve heard, you all have been making good use of this time here.  You’ve been learning new skills, questioning old assumptions, and having some frank conversations with experts and with each other about the challenges and opportunities in your countries.  And I want to use our time together today to continue that dialogue.  Today, I want us to talk -– and I mean really talk.  I want to speak as openly and honestly as possible about the issues we care about and what it means to be a leader not just in Africa but in the world today.


Now, one of the issues that I care deeply about is, as John alluded to, girls’ education.  And across the globe, the statistic on this issue are heartbreaking.  Right now, 62 million girls worldwide are not in school, including nearly 30 million girls in Sub-Saharan Africa.  And as we saw in Pakistan, where Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen, and in Nigeria where more than 200 girls were kidnapped from their school dormitory by Boko Haram terrorists, even when girls do attend school, they often do so at great risk.


And as my husband said earlier this week, we know that when girls aren’t educated, that doesn’t just limit their prospects, leaving them more vulnerable to poverty, violence and disease, it limits the prospects of their families and their countries as well.


Read More


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Michelle Obama: “the blood of Africa runs through my veins”


Published on Jul 30, 2014

(Reuters) First Lady Michelle Obama embraces her family’s African roots in a speech to a group of young Africans and calls for changes in traditional beliefs around the education of women.







Remarks by the First Lady Before a Roundtable with Young African Leaders

The Omni Shoreham Hotel
Washington, D.C.

11:41 A.M. EDT


MRS. OBAMA:  I don’t want to do too much talking because I just talked in there.  You heard my thoughts.  But I’m really interested in hearing from you.


As I’ve said — as you’ve heard, as Tina has shared with you — we are really focusing on education broadly in the United States, and girls’ education internationally.  And this isn’t just something that I care about now in my role as First Lady.  This is an issue that we’re going to have to continue to work on until I take my last breath.


And so that means that you all are going to be carrying a lot of this stuff that we begin over the finish line.  And it’s so important to hear your voices and understand directly from you how these issues impact your life, how do you think somebody in my position can utilize my platform and my resources, again, not just in my role as First Lady, but as the years go forward.


So I really want to hear from you.  And as you heard in my speech, I want us to speak as honestly and as openly as possible. Because I think that’s the only way we’re going to begin to chip away at some of these barriers and to really get a better, clear understanding of what the challenges really are if we’re going to solve this problem.


So with that, I’m going to stop talking.  And I understand that a few of you have some specific presentations, but I also want to know that — as the press clears out, which they will — that we can also — because I know you haven’t had an opportunity to talk to us one-on-one; you talked to the President — but if there are any questions that you have, I’d be happy, happy to take some time to talk to you, as well.


But let me just say I’m so proud of you all.  I really am.  And we’re really going to need your insight and your focus and your expertise.  So be bold, and be brave, and don’t be shy.


11:45 A.M. EDT




The President Speaks in Kansas City, Missouri


Published on Jul 30, 2014

President Obama delivers remarks on the economy, at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Missouri, July 30, 2014..




Parkville Coffee employees talk about the President’s visit


Published on Jul 30, 2014

Two employees from Parkville Coffee talk about what it was like to serve the President of the United States.




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Remarks by the President on the Economy — Kansas, City, MO

Uptown Theater
Kansas City, Missouri

11:06 A.M. CDT


THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Kansas City!  (Applause.)  Well, it is good to be back in Kansas City, back in the Midwest.  (Applause.)  And I have to say, I love these old theaters.  I mean, they are unbelievable.  This is just gorgeous.


It is good to see Governor Jay Nixon here today.  (Applause.)  Congressman Emanuel Cleaver is here.  (Applause.)  Congressman Lacy Clay is here.  (Applause.)  Mayor Sly James is here.  (Applause.)  And you’re here!  All of you are here.  (Applause.)


Now, if you have a seat, feel free to sit down, because I don’t want everybody starting to fall out.  (Laughter.)  If you don’t have a seat, don’t sit down.  But bend your knees a little bit.


It’s always good to spend a little time in Kansas City.  Last night, I had a chance to get some barbecue at Arthur Bryant’s.  (Applause.)  Now, they had run out of coleslaw, which I asked — I said, did you save some coleslaw for me?  They said, no, they hadn’t saved any.


AUDIENCE MEMBER:  (Inaudible.)


THE PRESIDENT:  I’m sorry, what are you hollering about?


AUDIENCE MEMBER:  (Inaudible) to God –


THE PRESIDENT:  I believe in God.  Thanks for the prayer.  Amen.  Thank you.  (Applause.)


AUDIENCE:  We love you!  We love you!


THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  I just want to be on record, though, because people have been asking me this question.  I deal with a lot of tough issues — I am not going to decide who makes the best barbecue in Kansas City.  (Laughter.)  Bryant’s barbecue was tasty.  And Victor is right, I did plow through it pretty good.  (Laughter.)  But I have not had enough samples to make a definitive judgment, so I’m going to have to try some other barbecue the next time I come in.  I have to say, by the way, Victor was not shy about eating either.  (Laughter.)  So I just want to be clear.


But I had a chance — I went there for the barbecue, but also I went there because I wanted to have a chance to talk to Victor and three other people from the area who took the time to sit down with me and talk, because they had written letters to me.  Some of you may know –


AUDIENCE MEMBER:  I wrote you, too!  (Laughter.)


THE PRESIDENT:  Well, you know what, if I had known, I would have had you over for dinner, too.  (Laughter.)


But what happens is, every night I read 10 letters that we receive.  We get 40,000 correspondence.  And then our correspondence office chooses 10, sort of a sample for me to take a look at.  And it gives me a chance to hear directly from the people I serve.  And folks tell me their stories — they tell me their worries and their hopes and their hardships, their successes.  Some say I’m doing a good job.  (Applause.)  But other people say, “You’re an idiot.”




THE PRESIDENT:  No, no, I mean, this is how I know that I’m getting a good sample of letters.  (Laughter.)


Read More.


Kansas, City, MO: The Slide Show.


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World Hepatitis Day 2014


Published on Jul 30, 2014

U.S. and international leaders gather at the White House to commemorate World Hepatitis Day, discussing the global impact of viral hepatitis and the importance of public health leadership. July 30, 2014.




Agriculture Champions of Change


Published on Jul 29, 2014

The White House honors leaders from across the country who are doing extraordinary things to build the bench for the next generation of farming and ranching. July 29, 2014.




7/29/14: White House Press Briefing




White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Demo Day


Published on Jul 30, 2014

The White House hosts an event bringing together technologists, entrepreneurs, and members of the disaster response community to showcase tools that will make a tangible impact in the lives of survivors of large-scale emergencies. July 29, 2014.




The Video Israelis Should Be Ashamed Exists




US stands behind Israel after deadly strike on UN school




Suing Obama: GOP-led House Gives the Go-ahead




PBS NewsHour | Full Episode | July 30, 2014




Dan Pfeiffer: “House Republicans Just Voted to Sue President Obama”


Today, Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer sent the message below to the White House email list. Didn’t get it? Sign up for updates.



The House of Representatives just took a vote — and it wasn’t to raise the minimum wage, put in place equal pay, create jobs, or reform our broken immigration system.


Instead, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives just voted to sue the President for using his executive authority. This lawsuit will waste valuable time and potentially millions of taxpayer dollars.


This is the least productive Congress in decades. And instead of doing their job, they are suing the President for doing his.


The President is committed to making a difference for the millions of hardworking Americans trying to do right by their families and communities. While Republicans in Congress continue to waste taxpayer money, this President is going to keep doing his job.


If you’re doing your own job — and you support President Obama doing his — add your name.


House Votes to Sue Obama


Published on Jul 30, 2014

The House voted mostly along party lines Wednesday to authorize suing President Barack Obama, which Republicans called a principled move to rein in an increasingly lawless president and Democrats and the White House dismissed as a taxpayer-financed political stunt.


The resolution adopted 225-201 would authorize a lawsuit against the president over his implementation of the Affordable Care Act, with five Republicans joining all the Democrats in opposition — Paul Broun of Georgia, Steve Stockman of Texas, Scott Garrett of New Jersey, Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Walter B. Jones of North Carolina.


GOP leaders plan to sue over his decision to delay the employer mandate without authorization from Congress.




President Obama remains ready and willing to work with Republicans in Congress if they decide to get serious and do something for the American people. But he is also committed to acting even as Congress won’t. You’ve seen that time and time again this year — from raising the federal minimum wage on new federal government contracts, to expanding apprenticeship opportunities and making student loan payments more affordable.


The President is not going to back away from his efforts to use his authority to solve problems and help American families. In fact, the day after the vote, President Obama will announce his next executive action to crack down on federal contractors who put workers’ safety and hard-earned pay at risk. It’s just the next in a series of steps this Administration will be taking this year to make sure that American workers are getting a fair deal, and he has pledged to take executive action to deal with our broken immigration system in the months ahead.


That’s what this President is focused on. If you want to see it continue, and are sick and tired of stunts like the House Republicans’ lawsuit, then say so:




The Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Expansion: Giving More People a Chance


On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed both Medicare and Medicaid into law. Over the past 49 years, Medicare has provided comprehensive coverage to millions of seniors and people with disabilities, while Medicaid has provided coverage for millions of the most vulnerable Americans: low-income parents, children, and those with disabilities.


Bill Sheshko


Because of the Affordable Care Act, states are expanding their Medicaid programs to cover more Americans, and today, Medicaid covers over 66 million Americans.


Bill Sheshko, a 55-year-old self-employed man from Fair Lawn, New Jersey, experienced the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion first hand. He’d been without health insurance for years, but with the Affordable Care Act, and because his state decided to expand Medicaid, he finally became eligible for Medicaid.


A few months ago, Bill began having difficulty breathing and noticed his legs and feet starting to swell. Because of his new coverage, Bill was able to make an appointment with his doctor and was subsequently diagnosed with congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. After a few scary days in the hospital, he is now home and working with his doctors to control his conditions with medication and diet. In a letter to the President, Bill wrote about the true meaning of his health coverage: “At least now I have a chance, all because of you.”



Like Mr. Sheshko, 34-year-old California native Anna Smith was given a chance, in her case after a traumatic accident. When she was 21 years old, Anna Smith fell out of a tree at a church picnic and fractured one of the vertebrae in her spine. She was instantly paralyzed, preventing her from walking or feeling her legs. Medical care suddenly became essential to her life. Because of her condition, she became one of over 3.7 million disabled Americans covered under both Medicare and Medicaid.


Anna Smith


Over the past 13 years since her accident, Medicare and Medicaid have helped Anna adjust to her new life and made it possible for her to pursue a master’s degree in social work. Anna wrote to President Obama to express her gratitude for the federal government’s Medicaid and Medicare programs: “I have been able to receive quality medical care without having to decide whether to pay a prescription copay or my electric bill.”


No one should have to make the choice between their health and paying the bills. There are millions of hardworking Americans across the country like Bill and Anna who rely on Medicaid and Medicare to get the health coverage they deserve. As Bill wrote in his letter to the President, “I think people have the wrong idea of what Medicaid is. I was doing good, and then the economic downturn happened, and suddenly I wasn’t doing so good.”


Forty-nine years ago, our country made a promise to older, disabled, and low-income Americans that they would have the medical care they need to live happier and healthier lives. Today, because of Medicare and Medicaid, millions of Americans are provided the same chance that Bill and Anna had. Millions more would benefit if all states expanded Medicaid under the health care law.


In speaking for millions of Americans across the country, Bill wrote to President Obama, “If this happened only 10 months ago I might be dead, or losing the house in which I was born and inherited from my parents. You have changed America, Mr. President. You saved my life and I will be forever grateful.”




Statements and Releases – July 30th, 2014


Remarks by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice “Africa and America: Partners in a Shared Future”


G-7 Leaders Statement on Ukraine








Pope Francis sounds too much like Obama to be honored by Congress, Republican says

Originally posted on The Fifth Column:

Pope Francis via AFP

Once again I say…history will not look kindly upon those wack-a-doodles in the 113th Congress.

The Raw Story

A bipartisan congressional resolution that would honor Pope Francis before his potential appearance in Philadelphia next year may not be acted upon because of Republican worries that the pontiff is perceived as being “too liberal,” The Hill reports.

House Resolution 440 aims to “congratulate Pope Francis on his election and recognize his inspirational statements and actions,” but according to one Republican backer of the legislation, the resolution is dead because Pope Francis is “sounding like Obama. [The pope] talks about equality — he actually used the term ‘trickle-down economics,’ which is politically charged.”

Republicans are upset because of comments the Pope made concerning the free market. Last November, for example, Francis published his Evangelii Gandium, in which he noted that “[a]s long as the problems of…

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STOP Angery Tantrums. START Passing Laws to Help Middleclass

Originally posted on Pro President Obama Blog:


Obama to GOP:Stop hating


President Barack Obama had some blistering words for congressional Republicans during a speech Wednesday in Kansas City, saying they need to stop “hating all the time.” “We could do so much more if Congress would just come on and help out a little bit,” Obama said. “Stop being mad all the time. Stop just hating all the time. Lets get some work done together.”

The president’s speech comes on the day that the House is set to vote on whether they will be moving forward in a lawsuit against Obama.

“Now everybody knows this is a political stunt,” Obama said of the lawsuit, “but it’s worse than that because every vote they’re taking like that means a vote they’re not taking to help you. And by the way, you know who is paying for this suit…

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