Barack After Dark™: The White House Blog Updates On New Years Eve….Happy New 2014


By Jueseppi B.




Kori Schulman
Kori Schulman

December 31, 2013
09:00 AM EST


At the White House, we’re always looking for new ways to engage with citizens online – and 2013 was no exception. As 2013 comes to an end, it’s time to look back at some of ourfavorite online moments of the past year.


This year, President Obama answered your questions about housing on, and connected directly with Americans from around the country during a Fireside Hangout on Google+after his State of the Union Address. In her first ever Twitter Q&A, the First Lady answered questions about Let’s Move! and healthy living in 140 characters.


In 2013, the White House joined TumblrInstagram and started sharing six-second videos on Vine. It’s also been a big year on Twitter – with new official accounts for the First LadyDr. Bidenand many more White House officials to engage on issues including the economy, foreign policy and immigration reform. We continued to open the doors of the White House by inviting folks from all over to join our first-ever White House hackathon and Instagram meet up.


Take a look at some of our favorite online moments below or over on Storify. And stay tuned for opportunities to engage with President Obama and the White House in the New Year by following us on TwitterFacebookGoogle+Instagram and Tumblr.


See All The 13 Favorite Online Moments of 2013.






Lights. Camera. Education!


Are you a student filmmaker? Know someone who is?


We want your help.


If you’re a student, we want you to make a short film — and have the chance to show it right here at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for the first-ever White House Student Film Festival. If you’re a parent or a friend, pass this on to a student you know.


The topic? Technology in classrooms. There’s huge power in what technology can do for education — from taking a course online, to collaborating with students from across the country (or the world!).


We’re looking for awesome student filmmakers to show the power of technology in classrooms in a short film.


If that sounds like you — or someone you know — go to and find out how you can participate.





Our schools are more high-tech than ever. There are laptops in nearly every classroom. You can take an online course on Japanese — and then video chat with a kid from Japan. You can learn about geometry through an app on your iPad. So, what does it all mean?


We’re looking for videos that highlight the power of technology in schools.








The White House Blog


The Year in Review: Our 17 Favorite FLOTUS Moments in 2013

As the year draws to a close, it’s time to take a look back at some of our favorite digital moments with First Lady Michelle Obama in 2013. Check them out and be sure to follow the First Lady on Twitter (@FLOTUS) and Instagram (@MichelleObama).




The Year in Review: The White House’s 13 Favorite GIFs of 2013

The White House joined Tumblr in 2013 and we’re pleased to share 13 of our favorite GIFs from the past year with you. They’re pretty amazing, so don’t forget to follow the White House on Tumblr.




The Year in Review: Top @WhiteHouse Tweets of 2013


Over the past twelve months, @WhiteHouse added almost a million new followers and continued to be an important tool for the White House to engage with the American people and give updates from President Obama and his Administration. Check out the top tweets of 2013 and be sure to follow @WhiteHouse on Twitter.







Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

December 31, 2013
12:40 PM EST


Ed. note: This is cross-posted from See the original post here.


January 1 marks not only the beginning of a New Year, but an exciting new day in health care as millions of Americans will now be able to access care, thanks to the coverage they found at the Health Insurance Marketplace. For many of the newly insured – people like Molly from Charlottesville, VA or Mark from Austin, TX – it will be the first time that they can enjoy the security that comes with health coverage.


For consumers whose Marketplace coverage begins on January 1, we’re doing everything we can to help ensure a smooth transition period.  If consumers have questions about their new private insurance coverage, they can contact their insurance company directly. Consumers can log into their account on to find their insurer’s customer service line or browse through a directory on


Before you go to the doctor or pharmacy using your new insurance for the first time, check out this tip sheet, and make sure to:


  • Get your insurance card or a temporary card with your new plan’s information. If you don’t have your card yet, ask your insurance company to give you another way to confirm your coverage.
  • Make sure you know when your first premium payment is due and pay it by the due date;
  • Check to see which doctors and pharmacies are in your network.


And at your first visit:

  • Bring your insurance card with you to the doctor or pharmacy. If you don’t have a card, ask your doctor or pharmacy what other proof of insurance they may accept.
  • If you thought you enrolled in health coverage but aren’t showing up in the system, call your insurance company directly. If you don’t have your insurer’s contact information call the Marketplace Call Center (1-800-318-2596) and a trained representative can provide it to you.


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First Lady Supports Robin Roberts Coming Out As Gay

Originally posted on GOOD BLACK NEWS:

Robin Roberts and Michelle Obama

LOS ANGELES — Michelle Obama (pictured) is leading an outpouring of support for Robin Roberts, after the “Good Morning America” news anchor gave her first public acknowledgement of her 10-year, same-sex relationship with massage therapist Amber Laign.

The First Lady wrote Monday on Twitter:

I am so happy for you and Amber! You continue to make us all proud.

In a Facebook post Sunday, Roberts thanked her “longtime girlfriend” for providing encouragement during Roberts’ battle with myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare blood and bone marrow disease.  Many celebs also took to Twitter to send Roberts messages, including Ellen DeGeneres, who tweeted, “Good morning, America! Congratulations.”

Comedian Wanda Sykes wrote, “Go on with your bad self!”

Country singer Chely Wright, who came out in 2010, also expressed support through the social media site.

article via

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Christmas Home Invasion Lands Homeowner In Jail For Murder

Originally posted on End Stand Your Ground:

Many home invasions are reported across America during the holidays, but one zealous Pennsylvania homeowner who was a victim on Christmas Day, then chased and gunned down the intruder an hour later, using the intruder’s own rifle, has been charged with murder.

mickie shaffer

Mickie Shaffer

Mickle Joe Shaffer, 54, of Fayetteville, Pennsylvania, is being held without bond in the death of 21-year-old Janoris Hughes.

Janoris Hughes is listed in online court records as a resident of Naples, Florida and a fugitive from justice on burglary charges in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, about 12 miles from Fayetteville. His past includes arrests for indecent exposure and obstructing an officer.

Janoris Hughes

Janoris Hughes

The York Daily Register reports that Hughes entered Shaffer’s home about 5:15 a.m. Christmas morning and ordered Shaffer and several other people into a bedroom.

One of those people, Terry “Dread” L. Fulton, 36, was shot three times as he fought with Hughes. Both he and Hughes ran…

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Menswear Brand Ikiré Jones Mixes High Fashion with African Aesthetics

Originally posted on GOOD BLACK NEWS:

ikire jones menswear wale oyejideIkiré Jones is the brainchild of Wale Oyejide, crowned by Esquire Magazine as one of the “Best Dressed Real Men in America.” His clothing line is a sly mix of fashion forward eclectic designs with an urban sensibility. Rather than creating beautiful garments that lack the functionality to be worn every day, Ikiré Jones designs high quality attire that’s at home in the office or after work. His dapper style can best be described as “West Africa meets Brooklyn.”

We recently sat down with Wale to discuss his clothing line, his background and his road to entrepreneurship.

BlackEnterprise.comWhat made you decide to launch a line of menswear?

Wale Oyejide: I’ve always seen myself as something of a creative. Before I went to law school and entered the practice of law, I spent a few years as an independent musician. I put out a few albums before…

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Shocking Number Of Wrongful Convictions In U.S. Courts Revealed

Originally posted on Prison Reform Movement's Weblog:

Staggering number of falsely convicted. “873 exonerated defendants spent a combined total of more than 10,000 years in prison, an average of more than 11 years each.”


More than 2,000 people who were falsely convicted of serious crimes have been exonerated in the United States in the past 23 years, according to a new archive compiled at two universities.

There is no official record-keeping system for exonerations of convicted criminals in the country, so academics set one up. The new national registry, or database, painstakingly assembled by the University of Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law, is the most complete list of exonerations ever compiled.

The database compiled and analyzed by the researchers contains information on 873 exonerations for which they have the most detailed evidence. The researchers are aware of nearly 1,200 other exonerations…

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