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The Daily Word From Barack’s House


By Jueseppi B.

 

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  • Kori Schulman
    Kori Schulman

    June 27, 2013
    01:02 PM EDT

     

    This week, the First Lady is joining President Obama on an official visit to Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania. During the trip, Mrs. Obama will meet with young people across the continent and highlight the power of education.

     

    On Saturday, June 29th, the First Lady is hosting a special event that will connect young people in South Africa with young people in the U.S. to discuss the importance of education and our shared future — and you can be a part of it. Here’s how:

     

     

     

    During this event, in conjunction with MTV Base, an African youth and music TV channel, and Google+, the First Lady and MTV Base VJ Sizwe Dhlomo will join students in South Africa for a virtual discussion with young people in cities around the U.S., including:

     

    • Girl Up, a United Nations Foundation uniting girls to change the world, from Houston, Texas. In addition to the students joining the hangout, Girl Up is hosting dozens of watch parties around the country.
    • John Legend and students involved in his Show Me Campaign, a global campaign fighting for equal access to quality education, will join from Los Angeles, California.
    • Y Global Teens, a YMCA program that provides underprivileged youth with an international service learning experience, will join from New York City. Through the program, these students will visit the Cape Town YMCA.
    • From Google Fiber Space in Kansas City, participants will join that are part of the KC STEM Alliance to promote and inspire interest in science, technology, engineering and math education

     

     

    This Google+ Hangout with the First Lady kicks off a series of global virtual field trips on Google+ that will launch in the school year. Stay tuned for opportunities to participate in events with the State Department, Global Nomads Group, a nonprofit organization that facilitates cultural exchanges, and others.Check out the Global Nomads Google+ Community to connect with peers around the world right now and stay engaged.

 

 

 

Josh Earnest
Josh Earnest

June 27, 2013
06:45 PM EDT

 

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On Tuesday, President Obama announced his comprehensive plan to reduce carbon pollution and lead global efforts against climate change. With our country facing increasingly volatile weather, rising sea levels and dangerous levels of pollution, the President presented clear steps that the administration will take to address these problems.

 

However, as President Obama stated, climate change represents not only a challenge to America but also an opportunity for us to create sustainable employment and economic growth in the future in a vast array of fields, from building wind turbines in Iowa to designing the next generation of electric cars in California.

 

With so much at stake in this debate, from the strength of our economy to the type of world we leave our children, newspapers across the country reported on the President’s common-sense plan. Here’s a sample of the coverage:

 

CA – San Francisco Business Times (Riddell): SolarCity a big winner from Obama climate change speech Shares of SolarCity rocketed today after President Barack Obama’s no-holds-barred climate change speech in which he laid out a broad series of steps to reduce pollution and save energy including upping the federal government’s purchase of renewable energy to meet 20 percent of its total demand and encouraging widespread energy efficiency efforts. But the big boost to SolarCity, the San Mateo-based solar installer and project financing company, probably came from the Wal-Mart shout-out the President gave. He said more than 500 businesses, including Nike and General Motors, issued a declaration calling action on climate change “one of the greatest opportunities of the 21st century.”

 

NY – Syracuse Post-Standard (Weiner): President Obama to propose climate action plan President Barack Obama today will unveil a sweeping climate action plan that includes the first-ever carbon dioxide limits on new and existing power plants. Obama will outline his plan in a speech this afternoon at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where aides say he will propose mandatory reductions on power plant emissions, the nation’s single largest source of carbon-dioxide emissions.

 

MN – The Minneapolis Star-Tribune (McAuliffe): Minnesota likely out in front of carbon emissions, climate change mandatesHamilton and several others with interests in environmental issues and climate impacts on local communities praised Obama’s announcement of the effort to address climate change, mostly for its emphasis on curbing carbon pollution. Putting limits on carbon dioxide emissions, as has been done for decades on other pollutants, is long overdue, they said.

 

NJ – The Asbury Park Press (Moore): Obama climate plan proposes more post-Sandy protection The aftermath of superstorm Sandy shows what the United States can expect with a changing climate, and how the nation must prepare coastal communities while continuing to reduce carbon emissions and transition to cleaner energy, President Obama said Tuesday in an address outlining his administration’s climate action plan. Speaking outdoors at Georgetown University in Washington, Obama mopped his brow in the 92-degree heat, and defended his plan against critics from the right and left. He harkened back to the Clean Air Act of 1970, a measure passed with bipartisan support and signed by Republican President Richard Nixon.

 

NJ – The Press of Atlantic City (Watson): Some New Jersey energy goals are ahead of President Obama’s President Obama’s sweeping federal policy announcements Tuesday for how the country will address climate change has cast attention on how New Jersey is handling the issues. Among the efforts Obama announced is setting limits for the first time on how much carbon power plants can release, upgrading the nation’s electric grid, doubling the amount of energy produced by alternative-energy sources by 2020 and requiring all projects built with federal money to meet standards to withstand sea-level rise and extreme weather. Some of these concepts already are in place in New Jersey, and the state intends to use its efforts to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy as a “working model” for how to fortify the coast and prepare towns for sea-level rise and severe storms, said Larry Ragonese, state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman.

 

FL – The Palm Beach Post (Stapleton): President urges action on climate change protection, cleaner energy productionPresident Barack Obama declared the debate over climate change and its causes obsolete Tuesday and announced a wide-ranging plan to tackle pollution and prepare communities for global warming. During an hour-long speech at Georgetown University, Obama warned Americans of the deep and disastrous effects of climate change, urging them to take action before it’s too late. Obama announced he was directing the Environmental Protection Agency to launch first-ever federal regulations on heat-trapping gases emitted by new and existing power plants — “to put an end to the limitless dumping of carbon pollution.”

 

UT – The Deseret News (O’Donoghue): Obama says time to act is now on climate change President Barack Obama unveiled an ambitious plan to address climate change, building on his initiatives to embrace more dependence on renewable energy, increase fuel economy for vehicles and to cut carbon pollution from power plants. In a Tuesday speech under sweltering heat at Georgetown University, Obama declared the debate on climate change over and stressed the time for action is now. “The question is not whether we need to act,” he said. “The question now is whether we will have the courage to act before it is too late.”

 

MA – Boston Globe (Daley): Obama offers plan to fight climate dangers President Obama on Tuesday unveiled a comprehensive blueprint to combat rising seas and more frequent severe weather caused by climate change, including a long-awaited promise to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant at existing power plants. The 21-page plan would expand production of solar and wind energy and includes billions of dollars in loan guarantees to develop cleaner fossil-fuel and other energy technologies. It also funds new efforts to armor communities against flooding, wildfires, and drought, and puts more emphasis on working with countries such as India and China to jointly lower emissions of gases that warm the atmosphere.

 

IA – Des Moines Register (Noble): Obama climate plan could remake energy landscape in Iowa President Barack Obama’s plan for addressing climate change could remake the landscape for power generation in Iowa and reignite the state’s alternative energy industry, experts said, although to what extent remains uncertain. The “climate action plan” unveiled by the president during a speech Tuesday at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., encompasses numerous new and expanded policies, all of which Obama said could be enacted by his administration without congressional action.

 

CA – San Jose Mercury News (Rogers): Obama announces sweeping new global warming plan In the largest environmental initiative of his presidency, President Obama will announce this morning the nation’s first mandatory restrictions on greenhouse gases from new and existing power plants.

 

NJ – The Newark Star-Ledger (Augenstein): Obama to unveil climate-change proposals this afternoon President Barack Obama is expected to unveil his plan to address climate change this afternoon. The president will lay out a sweeping guideline for reducing carbon emissions and other greenhouse-gas pollution this afternoon, according to a video released by the White House. “This Tuesday at Georgetown University, I’ll lay out my vision for where I believe we need to go,” the president said, citing his second-term inaugural address in January.

 

UT – The Desert Sun (Kaufmann): Obama’s climate change speech and solar opportunities — a bird’s-eye view What seems to be the best impetus for getting homeowners and businesses to consider solar, beyond personal politics, is its economic advantages. In the Coachella Valley, most installers will tell you, the potential for getting out from under the region’s high electric bills is solar’s strongest selling point. President Barack Obama made just that point in his speech Tuesday, outlining his plan to fight global warming. Answering the naysayers who routinely attack renewable energy and other efforts to cut carbon emissions as overly expensive job killers, the president noted that more than 500 businesses had recently signed a Climate Declaration, calling action on climate change “one of the great economic opportunities of the 21st century.”

 

 

 

 

 

Valerie Jarrett
Valerie Jarrett

June 26, 2013
05:04 PM EDT

 

Today was a truly historic day in our nation’s history, as the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. As President Obama stated, “this ruling is a victory for couples who have long fought for equal treatment under the law; for children whose parents’ marriages will now be recognized, rightly, as legitimate; for families that, at long last, will get the respect and protection they deserve; and for friends and supporters who have wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and have worked hard to persuade their nation to change for the better.”

 

I also want to congratulate the plaintiffs in the Proposition 8 case, as the Court today declined to overrule a lower court’s decision that Prop 8 is unconstitutional and unenforceable.

 

It is fitting that these two decisions came during LGBT Pride Month, when we remember the contributions of LGBT individuals, while looking ahead in the fight for greater equality.

 

Valerie Jarrett speaks at Pentagon Pride on June 25, 2013Valerie Jarrett recognizes Brigadier General Tammy Smith and her wife Tracey Hepner during a speech at the Pentagon on June 25, 2013. (Official Photo by Department of Defense)

 

In fact, just yesterday, I had the privilege of speaking at an event celebrating LGBT Pride Month at the Pentagon.

 

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Acting Secretary of the Air Force, Eric Fanning, and I spoke at the event commemorating the contributions that lesbian and gay service members have made in defending our country and its citizens.

 

When I look back over the last four and a half years since President Obama took office, nothing better exemplifies that kind of profound, meaningful, historic change than the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”   It is one of the most significant civil rights accomplishments of President Obama’s career.

 

Last September, on the first anniversary of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” I once again invited a small group of gay and lesbian service members – officers, and enlisted personnel from every service, some of whom brought their partners– to the White House— this time, to share stories about how their lives had changed since the repeal.

 

Read More

 

 

 

Working Toward Pre-K for All

 

Roberto Rodriguez
June 27, 2013

 

Yesterday, I joined Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a meeting with early education stakeholders who are working to advance a call that the President made in his State of the Union address.  These organizations shared with the Administration all they have been doing to raise their voice and their support all over the country to advance the President’s proposals for early education.

 

In the State of the Union address the President said:

Study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road. But today, fewer than 3 in 10 four year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program. Most middle-class parents can’t afford a few hundred bucks a week for a private preschool. And for poor kids who need help the most, this lack of access to preschool education can shadow them for the rest of their lives. So tonight, I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every single child in America. That’s something we should be able to do.

 

The President has called for three proposals to support our youngest Americans: Preschool for All, Early Head Start-Child Care Parnterships, and an expansion of the Home Visiting program. These are proposals we should implement because the beginning years of a child’s life are critical for building the early foundation needed for success later in school and in career.  Leading economists agree that high-quality early education programs can help level the playing field for children from lower-income families on vocabulary, social and emotional development, while helping students to stay on track and stay engaged in the early elementary grades.

 

Read More

 

 

The President’s Early Learning Proposal

 

Published on Jun 27, 2013

Early learning programs help kids start healthy, productive lives. Learn how the President’s early childhood plan would benefit children from birth to age 5.

 

 

 

 

 

The Preschool Mandate: How Do We Get It Right?

 

President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address heralded the importance of starting education “at the earliest possible age.” He called for a bold partnership with states “to make high-quality preschool available to every single child in America.” But is universal preschool the panacea some claim or a costly, simplistic attempt to solve a far more complex problem? This panel will first present the economic and scientific case for investing in early childhood education. Then the viability of the president’s proposal will be examined by key legislators, policymakers and business leaders. The panel will discuss what we’ve learned about the benefits and disappointments of universal preschool, how to optimize the return from educational investments, the merits of varied delivery models and whether our overburdened public schools are prepared for this challenge.

 

 

 

 

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President Barack Obama looks out a window as he and First Lady Michelle Obama tour the Maison des Esclaves (House of Slaves) Museum on Gorée Island, Senegal, June 27, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama looks out a window as he and First Lady Michelle Obama tour the Maison des Esclaves (House of Slaves) Museum on Gorée Island, Senegal, June 27, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 

US President Obama and daughter Malia arrive at Goree Island in Dakar

 

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U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama receive a bouquet as they arrive on Goree Island near Dakar

 

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11 Responses

  1. Thank you so much for this post and capturing the Obama Family in Africa, Mr. J.B. This is historic. I have a friend who has been to the House of Slaves. He said there was a profound sadness that enveloped him as if who could feel the fear and pain of the slaves all around that area.

  2. Michelle looks like she is hiding against the wall

  3. …and the photo of him getting ready to shake hands….what! love it

  4. I just love how you are so on top of the news about the Prez.

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