Barack After Dark™: Team USA Visits. Spring Has Sprung. The Gabriella Miller “Kids First” Research Act. Combating Climate Change.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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The President and First Lady Welcome Team USA to the White House

 

 

This afternoon, the President and First Lady hosted members of the 2014 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House, in honor of their performance in this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

 

 

 

 

At an event in the East Room of the White House, the First Lady told the athletes that she was “truly amazed” by their performances in Sochi:

 

I am really in awe of everything you do, as so many people here in America and across the globe are. Again and again, you all showed us that being an Olympian is about heart; it’s about guts; and it’s about giving it your all no matter what stands in your way. And that’s a message that I try to convey to young people all the time — the idea that if you work hard and commit yourselves to a goal, and then pick yourself up when you fall, that there is nothing that you can’t achieve.

 

President Obama echoed the First Lady’s remarks, saying that he and the First Lady “could not be prouder of Team USA.” The President commended the athletes for their “dominating performances” in this year’s Winter Games, noting the 46 medals they brought home this year.

 

From our ski jumpers who fought for equality, to the athletes and coaches who served our country in uniform … these athletes all send a message that resonates far beyond the Olympic Village. And that’s always been the power of the Olympics. In going for the gold and pushing yourselves to be the best, you inspire the rest of us to try to, if not be the best, at least be a little better.

 

“All of you remind us,” the President told the athletes, “the most important thing in life is not the triumph, but the fight.”

 

The President and First Lady, however, weren’t the only ones who enjoyed today’s event. Check out some of Team USA’s tweets and Instagram posts from their White House visit:

 

There are no words for how grateful I am to live the life I do. White House chillllin KARLY PIPER

There are no words for how grateful I am to live the life I do. White House chillllin
KARLY PIPER

Had an epic field trip to the BIG HOUSE! #whitehouse #kidsgonewild #teamusa KAITLYNFARR

Had an epic field trip to the BIG HOUSE! #whitehouse #kidsgonewild #teamusa
KAITLYNFARR

@KarlyShorr Hyperventilating because I'm so excited.

@KarlyShorr
Hyperventilating because I’m so excited.

@Hilary_Knight Some @usahockey  beauties visiting the White House. #USAreunion

@Hilary_Knight
Some @usahockey beauties visiting the White House. #USAreunion

@SkiFletch White House lawn with @jessicajerome #fancy

@SkiFletch
White House lawn with @jessicajerome #fancy

Catching some fresh air outside the White House with @sagekotsenburg and @guskenworthy! Not a bad place to be at today. #Obama #TeamUSA JOSS CHRISTENSEN

Catching some fresh air outside the White House with @sagekotsenburg and @guskenworthy! Not a bad place to be at today. #Obama #TeamUSA
JOSS CHRISTENSEN

@usasledsniper7 Made it to the White House with Team USA! #whitehouse #obama #TeamUSA

@usasledsniper7
Made it to the White House with Team USA! #whitehouse #obama #TeamUSA

@NickGoepper Follow Team USA walking into the white house!

@NickGoepper
Follow
Team USA walking into the white house!

Why not? Backflip at the White House #usolympics #WhiteHouseTour BRAD WILSON

Why not? Backflip at the White House #usolympics #WhiteHouseTour
BRAD WILSON

@AjaLEvans Headed inside the White House!!

@AjaLEvans
Headed inside the White House!!

@MattAntoine #TeamUSA at the White House!!

@MattAntoine
#TeamUSA at the White House!!

@PolinaEdmunds Off to the White House!!! @jasonbskates and I are so excited!!!! #olympicteam #paralympicteam

@PolinaEdmunds
Off to the White House!!! @jasonbskates and I are so excited!!!! #olympicteam #paralympicteam

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Remarks by the President and the First Lady at Visit of the 2014 Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Athletes

 

 

 

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Spring Has Sprung: The Sixth-Annual White House Garden Planting

 

Ed. note: This is cross-posted from the Let’s Move blog. See the original post here.

 

Yesterday, the First Lady welcomed local students andFoodCorps leaders on the South Lawn for the sixth-annual planting of the White House Kitchen Garden. The garden was first planted in 2009 to commence a nationwide conversation on healthy eating and inspired the First Lady to launch Let’s Move!

 

At this year’s planting, the First Lady hosted the founders of FoodCorps, a program dedicated to teaching our nation’s children about healthy food while ensuring they have access to it during the school day. This fall, FoodCorps members will serve D.C.-area schools including Cleveland Elementary School, Friendship Public Charter School, and Kimball Elementary School — and students from these schools accompanied FoodCorps at the garden planting. In addition, students from Bancroft Elementary School and Harriet Tubman Elementary School who have participated in previous White House Garden events also attended this year’s planting.

 

 

 

First Lady Michelle Obama helps students water newly planted vegetables as she joins FoodCorps leaders and local students for the spring garden planting in the White House Kitchen Garden, April 2, 2014.First Lady Michelle Obama helps students water newly planted vegetables as she joins FoodCorps leaders and local students for the spring garden planting in the White House Kitchen Garden, April 2, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

 

 

We are excited to see that more and more people are now planting vegetable gardens across the nation. According to a report released yesterday by the National Gardening Association:

 

  • 35% of all households in America are growing food at home or in a community garden, a 17% increase in participation in the last five years.
  • 2 million more households are engaging in community gardening, an increase of 200% since 2008.

 

In addition, the first-ever White House Pollinator Garden was planted to support bees, monarch butterflies, and other pollinators. Nearly two-thirds of the foods we often consume are pollinated by bees, so we rely on bees for much of our food. Therefore, it’s important to have plants in the garden that support pollination, like the ones that were planted yesterday. This garden will also serve to raise awareness of the major environmental threats currently facing pollinators across the nation.

 

First Lady Michelle Obama joins FoodCorps leaders and local students for the spring garden planting in the White House Kitchen Garden, April 2, 2014.First Lady Michelle Obama joins FoodCorps leaders and local students for the spring garden planting in the White House Kitchen Garden, April 2, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

 

Interested in joining the millions of Americans who have started planting vegetable gardens? The First Lady has put together aKitchen Garden Checklist that provides you with easy-to-follow instructions on how to start a vegetable garden at your home. Planting a vegetable garden is a great project for the entire family, allowing children to learn while also providing healthy and delicious fruits and vegetables for meals this season.

 

 

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Press Briefings

April 03, 2014 | 53:01 | Public Domain

 

White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing.

 

 

 

 

 

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President Obama Signs the Gabriella Miller “Kids First” Research Act

April 03, 2014 | 3:51 | Public Domain

 

President Obama delivers remarks in the Oval Office before signing the Gabriella Miller “Kids First” Research Act, which will put millions of additional dollars into pediatric medical research.

 

 

 

Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 2019

On Thursday, April 3, 2014, the President signed into law:

H.R. 2019, the “Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act,” which terminates the entitlement of national committees of eligible political parties to payments from the “Presidential Election Campaign Fund” for presidential nominating conventions; transfers amounts maintained in the Campaign Fund for these national committees to a new “10-Year Pediatric Research Initiative Fund;” and authorizes appropriations out of the Initiative Fund for grants to be made by the National Institutes of Health for pediatric research.

 

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Statements and Releases – April 03, 2014

 

 

Statement by the Press Secretary on South Sudan

 

Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 4152, S. 2183

 

Readout of the President’s Conference Call on the Shooting at Fort Hood

 

 

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Combating Climate Change: Secretary Hagel Hosts the U.S.-ASEAN Defense Forum

 

 

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel hosts a roundtable meeting with defense ministers from the Association of South East Asian Nations in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 2, 2014.Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel hosts a roundtable meeting with defense ministers from the Association of South East Asian Nations in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 2, 2014. (DoD Photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo)

 

As this week’s report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reminds us, combating climate change requires more than cutting greenhouse gas emissions. We must also prepare for the impacts that we can’t avoid, and the United States must continue to help our allies and partners do the same. That’s what American leadership is about.

 

That leadership is on display this week in Hawaii, where Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is hosting the 10 defense ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for a first-of-its-kind gathering on U.S. soil. One of the goals of this meeting is to identify how our militaries can work together more effectively to tackle non-traditional security challenges, including climate change and natural disasters.

 

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel hosts a roundtable meeting with defense ministers from the Association of South East Asian Nations in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 2, 2014.Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel hosts a roundtable meeting with defense ministers from the Association of South East Asian Nations in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 2, 2014. (DoD Photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo)

 

 

As Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines showed last fall, natural disasters pose a growing threat to regional stability, security, and prosperity, and put countless lives and resources at risk. Even though we can’t attribute any one storm to climate change, as the President has said, we know that “in a world that’s warmer than it used to be, all weather events are affected by a warming planet.”

 

Climate change is not just an environmental problem; it’s an economic and security problem as well. The United States military is unmatched in its humanitarian assistance and disaster response capabilities, and Southeast Asia is one of the regions expected to face some of the worst effects of climate change — including floods, famines, and sea level rise. The Department of Defense expects the frequency, scale, and complexity of future humanitarian assistance and disaster response missions in the region to increase in the future.

 

The Asia-Pacific region is a critical part of the global economy, but its continued security and prosperity will be challenged by the impacts of climate change. This isn’t a challenge that any nation can handle on its own. As the Defense Department’s 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review makes clear, climate change “creates both a need and an opportunity for nations to work together.” Forging strong partnerships among military and civilian agencies is a key part of preparing for the impacts of climate change. That’s why Secretary Hagel and military leaders are working to bolster the capabilities of our allies and partners in these areas.

 

 

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel tours the USS Anchorage LPD-23 along with defense ministers from the Association of South East Asian Nations in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 2, 2014.Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel tours the USS Anchorage LPD-23 along with defense ministers from the Association of South East Asian Nations in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 2, 2014. (DoD Photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo)

 

In addition to touring some of our latest capabilities deployed to the Pacific — such as the Navy’s newest amphibious transport ship, the U.S.S. Anchorage — Secretary Hagel and the ASEAN defense ministers will visit NOAA’s Inouye Regional Center with NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, and will receive briefings on tsunami warning, threat, and detection. USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah will also lead a roundtable discussion exploring new ways we can better work together to enhance humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts.

 

During the Obama Administration, DoD has focused on adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change. DoD invests in energy efficiency, new technologies, and renewable energy sources at its installations because it helps service members carry out their mission. And these efforts are achieving real-world results.

 

In 2012, energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements like tactical solar gear at combat outposts in Afghanistan saved roughly 20 million gallons of fuel — taking 7,000 truckloads worth of fuel off the battlefield. By 2025, private-sector investments on DoD installations will be generating 3,000 megawatts of renewable energy. That’s enough to power 750,000 homes — 50 percent more power than the Hoover Dam. And because DoD knows that climate change is already underway, it is assessing its coastal and desert installations to ensure they will be resilient in the future. These initiatives all support President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which outlines how the United States will work with the international community in addressing these serious global challenges.

 

Planning for climate change and making smarter energy investments not only makes our military stronger. It also saves money, reduces demand, and protects the environment. That’s why President Obama and his administration will continue to lead and act on climate change wherever possible — including by forging strong partnerships with our regional allies and helping them prepare for and respond to their own climate challenges.

 

 

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From Wired.co.uk: Oju Africa Launches Set Of “Afro – Centric” Emoticons…Ahead Of Apple.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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From Wired.co.uk:

 

‘Afro’ emoticons combat lack of emoji diversity

 

by OLIVIA SOLON

 

Oju Africa has launched a set of ‘afro’ emoticons, following a debate over the lack of diversity of emojis—those silly little icons that iPhone and Android users add to texts frequently.

 

It started with an article by MTV journalist Joey Parker, who flagged up the fact that there are no (or barely any) non-white emojis in the basic range in most text-message apps used by Apple, Google and Microsoft. Parker contacted Apple’s CEO Tim Cook about the issue and, remarkably, received a reply. It wasn’t from ‘Big Tim’ himself, but from Katie Cotton, VP of worldwide corporate communications for Apple. She told Parker:

 

“Tim forwarded your email to me. We agree with you. Our emoji characters are based on the Unicode standard, which is necessary for them to be displayed properly across many platforms. There needs to be more diversity in the emoji character set, and we have been working closely with the Unicode Consortium in an effort to update the standard.”

 

You can see the standard Unicode list of 800 emojis here. Only two seem to be non-Caucasian: “man with gua pi mao” and “man with turban”. The list is looked after by the Unicode Consortium to ensure consistency and interoperability between mobile devices and carriers.

 

Since then a petition has been launched on DoSomething.org, to get Apple to update its default emojis in iOS7.

 

 

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It reads:

 

“Of the more than 800 Emojis, the only two resembling people of color are a guy who looks vaguely Asian and another in a turban. There’s a white boy, girl, man, woman, elderly man, elderly woman, blonde boy, blonde girl and, we’re pretty sure, Princess Peach. But when it comes to faces outside of yellow smileys, there’s a staggering lack of minority representation.”

 

Apple is singled out, the petition reads, because it has been “one of the biggest pioneers of emojis, from offering them as full-color images to introducing them to the American market in the first place.” Apple has introduced same-sex couple emojis and should therefore diversify the range to include “people of color.”

 

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Oju Africa, a division of African mobile manufacturer Mi-Fone, has launched its own range of Black emojis: Oju translates as “faces” in Nigeria’s Yoruba language. They have been designed for Android, but will also be released on iOS. Creative director Eserick Fouché says:

 

“We follow global trends but we are differentiated by our authentic African voice. So as a brand we wanted to do something that only Africa could pull off, something that could become so iconic that it would have the world talking. I believe what we have created will ensure that every African on the planet won’t be able to help but love it!”

 

Thank you Wired.co.uk.

 

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Shannon Watts, Mayors Against Illegal Guns: Another Tragedy At Fort Hood. STAND WITH FORT HOOD.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Military families shouldn’t have to fear for their lives here at home — especially on a major U.S. Army base. But just yesterday, another horrific mass shooting rocked the community of Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.

 

This is the second mass shooting at Fort Hood in five years. Our thoughts and prayers are with the community and with the families of those who were killed and wounded.

 

Please send your personal message of support, and we’ll make sure it is delivered to the families affected by the Fort Hood shooting.

 

In the days ahead, we’ll learn the details of this tragedy. But right now, the most powerful thing we can do is come together in support of the families and hold them in our thoughts and prayers.

 

This is a devastating moment for Fort Hood, filled with sorrow and confusion. A simple message of kindness and support can be especially powerful at a time like this.

 

 

Let the families of Fort Hood know they are in your heart:

http://act.demandaction.org/letter/FortHoodMessage

 

Thank you for standing with the those affected by gun violence.

 

 

STAND WITH FORT HOOD

 

Please share your personal message of condolence with the survivors and family members of victims of the shooting — and we’ll deliver them to the families of Fort Hood.

 

 

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected
by the shooting at Fort Hood.”

 

 

My condolences go to you and your family during this difficult time. Please accept my best wishes for healing, peace and recovery as you cope with this horrific tragedy.

 

The main gate at the U.S. Army post at Fort Hood, Texas, is pictured in this undated file photograph obtained on November 5, 2009. A gunman opened fire in the Fort Hood Army base area in central Texas on April 2, 2014 injuring an unknown number of people, police said, and the base has issued a shelter in place order for all personnel on post. REUTERS/III Corps Public Affairs/U.S. Army/Handout/Files

The main gate at the U.S. Army post at Fort Hood, Texas, is pictured in this undated file photograph obtained on November 5, 2009. A gunman opened fire in the Fort Hood Army base area in central Texas on April 2, 2014 injuring an unknown number of people, police said, and the base has issued a shelter in place order for all personnel on post. REUTERS/III Corps Public Affairs/U.S. Army/Handout/Files

U.S. President Obama makes a statement about the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas while in Chicago U.S. President Barack Obama stands alone as he makes a statement about the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas, while in Chicago, April 2, 2014. Obama said on Wednesday he was "heartbroken" that another shooting had occurred at the Fort Hood Army base and described the situation there as fluid. At least one gunman opened fire on Wednesday, injuring an unknown number of people at the U.S. Army base in central Texas that was the scene of a shooting rampage in 2009, officials said. REUTERS/Larry Downing

U.S. President Obama makes a statement about the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas while in Chicago
U.S. President Barack Obama stands alone as he makes a statement about the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas, while in Chicago, April 2, 2014. Obama said on Wednesday he was “heartbroken” that another shooting had occurred at the Fort Hood Army base and described the situation there as fluid. At least one gunman opened fire on Wednesday, injuring an unknown number of people at the U.S. Army base in central Texas that was the scene of a shooting rampage in 2009, officials said. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Krystina Cassidy, left, and Dianna Simpson attempt to make contact with their husbands who are stationed inside Fort Hood while standing outside of the Bernie Beck Gate on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Fort Hood, Texas. At least one person was killed and 14 injured in the shooting, and officials at the base said the shooter is believed to be dead. (AP Photo/ Tamir Kalifa)

Krystina Cassidy, left, and Dianna Simpson attempt to make contact with their husbands who are stationed inside Fort Hood while standing outside of the Bernie Beck Gate on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Fort Hood, Texas. At least one person was killed and 14 injured in the shooting, and officials at the base said the shooter is believed to be dead. (AP Photo/ Tamir Kalifa)

 

The President Delivers A Statement About The Shooting At Fort Hood: Four Dead, 14 Injured At Ft. Hood, Texas.

 

The President Delivers a Statement About the Shooting at Fort Hood

 

 

Tonight, the President delivered remarks about the ongoing situation in Fort Hood.

 

 

Obama: We will get to the bottom of Fort Hood shooting

 

Published on Apr 2, 2014

President Obama gives a statement on the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas.

 

 

 

Remarks by the President on the Shooting at Fort Hood

 

Chicago Cut Steakhouse Chicago, Illinois

 

6:46 P.M. CDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody.  I just got off the phone with Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of StaffSandy Winnefeld to get the latest report on the situation in Fort Hood.  Obviously we’re following it closely.  The situation is fluid right now.  But my national security team is in close contact with not just the Defense Department but the FBI.  They are working with folks on the ground to determine exactly what happened to make sure that everybody is secure.  And I want to just assure all of us that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.

Any shooting is troubling.  Obviously this reopens the pain of what happened at Fort Hood five years ago.  We know these families.  We know their incredible service to our country and the sacrifices that they make.  Obviously our thoughts and prayers were — are with the entire community.  And we are going to do everything we can to make sure that the community at Fort Hood has what it needs to deal with the current situation, but also any potential aftermath.

We’re heartbroken that something like this might have happened again.  And I don’t want to comment on the facts until I know exactly what has happened, but for now, I would just hope that everybody across the country is keeping the families and the community at Fort Hood in our thoughts and in our prayers.  The folks there have sacrificed so much on behalf of our freedom.  Many of the people there have been on multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.  They serve with valor; they serve with distinction. And when they’re at their home base they need to feel safe.  We don’t yet know what happened tonight, but obviously that sense of safety has been broken once again.  And we’re going to have to find out exactly what happened.

The Pentagon will undoubtedly have further briefings for you as we get more details [about what happened.]

Thanks, everybody.

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From The Associated Press:

Fort Hood shooter identified as Ivan Lopez

The shooter, identified as 34-year-old soldier Ivan Lopez, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, theJustice Department said.

Six of the victims were transported to Scott & White Hospital with gunshot wounds. “Their conditions range from quite stable to quite critically injured,” Glen Couchman, Scott & White’s chief medical officer, said. Couchman said the hospital was not currently in need of blood donations from individuals.

Emergency crews, FBI and SWAT teams were called in to the base following the shooting, which occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m. at a medical support building on the sprawling base. Soldiers and area residents were ordered to shelter in place as police pursued reports of a possible second shooter. The lockdown was lifted several hours later.

A Texas congressman has identified the suspect in the shooting at Fort Hood as Ivan Lopez.

A Texas congressman has identified the suspect in the shooting at Fort Hood as Ivan Lopez.

Thirteen Dead In Mass Shooting At Fort Hood

A Texas congressman has identified the suspect in the shooting at Fort Hood as Ivan Lopez.

Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley said Wednesday that four people were killed including the shooter and 16 others were wounded in the attack.

Milley says there is no indication the shooting was related to terrorism.

He also told the media the shooter was a soldier who served in Iraq 2011 and was undergoing a diagnosis of PTSD. He says the shooter is married.

Miley said the shooter fired shots within the first medical brigade area and Batallion area. He opened fire at one location, drove to another location, and opened fire there too.

Military police responded and engaged him in a parking lot.

“Our focus now is to focus on the families of the injured and killed,” said Miley.

All-clear sirens have sounded at Fort Hood as the lockdown was lifted hours after a deadly shooting at the Texas Army post.

Lucy Hamlin and her husband, Spc. Timothy Hamlin, wait for permission to re-enter the Fort Hood military base, where they live, following a shooting on the base, Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Fort Hood, Texas. (PHOTO/Tamir Kalifa, AP

Lucy Hamlin and her husband, Spc. Timothy Hamlin, wait for permission to re-enter the Fort Hood military base, where they live, following a shooting on the base, Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Fort Hood, Texas. (PHOTO/Tamir Kalifa, AP

Hundreds of cars began streaming from the giant complex, including children who had been kept in locked-down schools.

 

 

A U.S. law enforcement official said reports circulating within the Justice Department indicate the shooter died of what appears to be a self-inflicted wound. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is still ongoing.

The injured were taken to Darnall Army Community Hospital at Fort Hood and other local hospitals. Dr. Glen Couchman, chief medical officer at Scott and White Hospital in Temple, said the first four people admitted there had gunshots to chest, abdomen, neck and extremities and that their conditions range from stable to “quite critical.”

The Texas Army base was the scene of a mass shooting in 2009. Thirteen people were killed and more than 30 wounded in what was the deadliest attack on a domestic military installation in history.

The Army said on its official Twitter feed that the post was still on lockdown. Injured people were being treated at the post’s Carl R. Darnall Medical Center and other local hospitals.

Hours after the shooting, a fatigue-clad soldier and a military police officer stood about a quarter-mile from the main gate waving away traffic. Other lanes were blocked by a police car and van.

Meanwhile, relatives of soldiers waited for news about their loved ones.

Tayra DeHart, 33, said she had last heard from her husband, a soldier at the post, that he was safe, but that was hours earlier.

“The last two hours have been the most nerve-wracking I’ve ever felt. I know God is here protecting me and all the soldiers, but I have my phone in my hand just hoping it will ring and it will be my husband,” DeHart said.

Brooke Conover, whose husband was on base at the time of the shooting, said she found out about it while checking Facebook. She said she called her husband, Staff Sgt. Sean Conover, immediately to make sure he was OK, but he couldn’t even tell her exactly what was going on, only that the base was locked down.

“I’m still hearing conflicting stories about what happened and where the shooting was exactly,” Conover said in a telephone interview, explaining that she still doesn’t know how close the incident was to her husband.

“I just want him to come home,” said Conover, who moved to Fort Hood with her husband and three daughters two years ago.

In Chicago, President Barack Obama vowed that investigators will get to the bottom of the shooting, seeking to reassure the nation whose sense of security once again has been shaken by mass violence

In a hastily arranged statement, Obama said he and his team were following the situation closely but that details about what happened at the sprawling Army post were still fluid. He said the shooting brought back painful memories of the 2009 attack.

Obama reflected on the sacrifices that troops stationed at Fort Hood have made _ including during multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan.

“They serve with valor, they serve with distinction and when they’re at their home base, they need to feel safe,” Obama said. “We don’t yet know what happened tonight, but obviously that sense of safety has been broken once again.”

The president spoke without notes or prepared remarks in the same room of a steakhouse where he had just met with about 25 donors at a previously scheduled fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee. White House officials quickly pushed tables to the side of the room to make room for Obama to speak to the nation.

The November 2009 attack at Fort Hood happened inside a crowded building where soldiers were waiting to get vaccines and routine paperwork after recently returning from deployments or while preparing to go to Afghanistan and Iraq.

Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan was convicted and sentenced to death last year in that mass shooting.

According to testimony during Hasan’s trial last August, Hasan walked inside carrying two weapons and several loaded magazines, shouted “Allah Akbar!” _ Arabic for “God is great!” _ and opened fire with a handgun.

Witnesses said he targeted soldiers as he walked through the building, leaving pools of blood, spent casings and dying soldiers on the floor. Photos of the scene were shown to the 13 officers on the military jury.

The rampage ended when Hasan was shot in the back by Fort Hood police officers outside the building, which left him paralyzed from the waist down. Hasan is now on death row at the military prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

After that shooting, the military tightened security at bases nationwide. Those measures included issuing security personnel long-barreled weapons, adding an insider-attack scenario to their training, and strengthening ties to local law enforcement, according to Peter Daly, a vice admiral who retired from the Navy in 2011. The military also joined an FBI intelligence-sharing program aimed at identifying terror threats.

In September, a former Navy man opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard, leaving 13 people dead, including the gunman. After that shooting, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the Pentagon to review security at all U.S. defense installations worldwide and examine the granting of security clearances that allow access to them.

Asked Wednesday about security improvements in the wake of other shootings at U.S. military bases, Hagel said, “Obviously when we have these kinds of tragedies on our bases, something’s not working.”

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TheObamaCrat™ Wake-Up Call For Thursday The 3rd Of April. Fort Hood. Chicago. Gardens. Olympians.


 

By Jueseppi B.

Before leaving Chicago Cut, President Obama signed a menu. | @ChicagoCut photo

Before leaving Chicago Cut, President Obama signed a menu. | @ChicagoCut photo

 

 

White House Schedule – April 3rd, 2014

 

President Barack Obama briefs congressional leaders on his trip to Europe and the situation in Ukraine on Thursday and greets 2014 Sochi Winter games Olympic and Paralympic athletes at the White House.

 

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3rd, 2014

 

DAILY GUIDANCE AND SCHEDULE FOR
THURSDAY, April 3rd, 2014

 

In the morning, the President and the Vice President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press.

 

In the afternoon, the President and Vice President will meet for lunch in the Private Dining Room. This lunch is closed press.

 

Following lunch, the President and First Lady will welcome members of the United States teams and delegations from the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi to the White House.  The President and the First Lady’s remarks in the East Room are open press.

 

Later in the afternoon, the President will sign H.R. 2019, the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act, into law. There will be a pool spray of the signing in the Oval Office.

 

In the evening, the President and Vice President will meet with the bicameral, bipartisan Congressional Leadership to discuss his recent trip to Europe and the ongoing situation in the Ukraine.  The meeting will take place in the Oval Office.  This meeting is closed press.

 

 

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 All Times ET

 

10:30 AM: THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing, Oval Office.

 

 

12:00 PM: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, The Brady Press Briefing Room.

 

 

12:35 PM: THE PRESIDENT and VICE PRESIDENT meet for lunch, Private Dining Room.

 

 

3:20 PM: THE PRESIDENT and THE FIRST LADY welcome the 2014 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams to the White House, East Room.

 

 

4:00 PM:  THE PRESIDENT holds a bill signing ceremony, Oval Office.

 

 

6:00PM: THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet with the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Leadership, Oval Office.

 

 

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Schedule for the Week of April 3rd to April 4th, 2014.

 

On Thursday, the President and First Lady will host members of the United States teams and delegations from the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games at the White House.

 

On Friday, the President will host Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa of Tunisia at the White House.  During the meeting, the President looks forward to discussing the commitment Tunisia’s leaders have made to advancing Tunisia’s democracy and how the United States can further support Tunisia’s historic transition.  The leaders will discuss a broad range of bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest, including U.S. economic, political, and security assistance to support the Prime Minister’s reform agenda and Tunisia’s stability.  Prime Minister Jomaa’s visit is a demonstration of the strong bonds of friendship between the American and Tunisian people, and America’s enduring commitment to Tunisia’s democratic transition. The Vice President will also attend.

 

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When Barack Comes Home Sweet Home, Chicago.

 

Air Force One sits on the runway at O'Hare.  |  AP Photo

Air Force One sits on the runway at O’Hare. | AP Photo

Air Force One sits on the runway at O'Hare.  |  AP Photo

Air Force One sits on the runway at O’Hare. | AP Photo

Obama exits Air Force One after landing at O'Hare.  |  AP Photo

Obama exits Air Force One after landing at O’Hare. | AP Photo

Marine One helicopter with Obama aboard, arrives and lands near an Osprey helicopter seen in the foreground at the Soldier Field landing zone.  |  AP Photo

Marine One helicopter with Obama aboard, arrives and lands near an Osprey helicopter seen in the foreground at the Soldier Field landing zone. | AP Photo

Obama talks with Gov. Pat Quinn while walking to Marine One helicopter at O'Hare.  |  AP Photo

Obama talks with Gov. Pat Quinn while walking to Marine One helicopter at O’Hare. | AP Photo

Willis Tower is seen through a window of an Osprey helicopter traveling with Obama.  |  AP Photo

Willis Tower is seen through a window of an Osprey helicopter traveling with Obama. | AP Photo

U.S. President Obama makes a statement about the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas while in Chicago U.S. President Barack Obama stands alone as he makes a statement about the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas, while in Chicago, April 2, 2014. Obama said on Wednesday he was "heartbroken" that another shooting had occurred at the Fort Hood Army base and described the situation there as fluid. At least one gunman opened fire on Wednesday, injuring an unknown number of people at the U.S. Army base in central Texas that was the scene of a shooting rampage in 2009, officials said. REUTERS/Larry Downing

U.S. President Obama makes a statement about the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas while in Chicago
U.S. President Barack Obama stands alone as he makes a statement about the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas, while in Chicago, April 2, 2014. Obama said on Wednesday he was “heartbroken” that another shooting had occurred at the Fort Hood Army base and described the situation there as fluid. At least one gunman opened fire on Wednesday, injuring an unknown number of people at the U.S. Army base in central Texas that was the scene of a shooting rampage in 2009, officials said. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Obama pauses as he makes a statement on the shooting at the Fort Hood.  |  Getty Images

Obama pauses as he makes a statement on the shooting at the Fort Hood. | Getty Images

 

Chicago Cut Steakhouse – Chicago, IL

 

Published on Mar 13, 2014

Chicago is one of those cities that’s already well known for steak, but The Chicago Cut Steakhouse takes things to a whole new level. Though relatively young in comparison to the city’s old guard of established steakhouses, “The Cut” only serves America’s best beef – which is arguably the best beef in the world as it is – they also do all their own in-house aging to make sure you get the best at your table. This along with countless other details and efforts in service and atmosphere make The Chicago Cut a must if you want to get serious about having a great meal in one of the greatest cities on the continent.

 

 

Official snipers are getting ready for President #Obama during the round-table

Official snipers are getting ready for President #Obama during the round-table

Official snipers are getting ready for President #Obama during the round-table

Official snipers are getting ready for President #Obama during the round-table

 

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White House LIVE!! Streaming.

 

 

live

 

Next Up…
April 03, 2014 10:00 AM EDT

White House Champions of Change: Gun Violence Prevention Leaders

The White House, Watch White House LIVE!! Streaming.

 

 

 

April 03, 2014 12:00 PM EDT

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

The White House, Watch White House LIVE!! Streaming.

 

 

 

April 03, 2014 3:20 PM EDT

President Obama and the First Lady Welcome the 2014 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Teams to the White House

The White House, Watch White House LIVE!! Streaming.

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The White House Blog

 

The President Delivers A Statement About The Shooting At Fort Hood: Four Dead, 16 Injured At Ft. Hood, Texas.

 

U.S. President Obama makes a statement about the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas while in Chicago U.S. President Barack Obama stands alone as he makes a statement about the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas, while in Chicago, April 2, 2014. Obama said on Wednesday he was "heartbroken" that another shooting had occurred at the Fort Hood Army base and described the situation there as fluid. At least one gunman opened fire on Wednesday, injuring an unknown number of people at the U.S. Army base in central Texas that was the scene of a shooting rampage in 2009, officials said. REUTERS/Larry Downing

U.S. President Obama makes a statement about the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas while in Chicago
U.S. President Barack Obama stands alone as he makes a statement about the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas, while in Chicago, April 2, 2014. Obama said on Wednesday he was “heartbroken” that another shooting had occurred at the Fort Hood Army base and described the situation there as fluid. At least one gunman opened fire on Wednesday, injuring an unknown number of people at the U.S. Army base in central Texas that was the scene of a shooting rampage in 2009, officials said. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Obama: We will get to the bottom of Fort Hood shooting

 

Published on Apr 2, 2014

President Obama gives a statement on the shooting at Fort Hood in Texas.

 

 

 

 

It’s A Garden Party At First Lady Michelle Obama’s House. School Children & FoodCorps Leaders Plant A White House Kitchen Garden.

 

The First Lady delivers remarks at the sixth-annual planting of the White House Kitchen garden, emphasizing the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables.

The First Lady delivers remarks at the sixth-annual planting of the White House Kitchen garden, emphasizing the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables.

 

 

 

Raise The Minimum Wage: Barack Speaks At Michigan University, Ann Arbor – Full Speech.

 

President Barack Obama speaks on raising the national minimum wage at the University of Michigan on April 2, 2014 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Obama unveiled a proposal to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour in his State of the Union address in January. / JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

President Barack Obama speaks on raising the national minimum wage at the University of Michigan on April 2, 2014 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Obama unveiled a proposal to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour in his State of the Union address in January. / JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

 

 

 

 

Next Battle: The “NO”vember 4th, 2014 Mid-Term Elections.

 

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The 2014 United States elections will be held on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. During this midterm election year, all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate will be contested in this election along with 38 state and territorial governorships, 46 state legislatures (except LouisianaMississippiNew Jersey and Virginia), four territorial legislatures and numerous state and local races.

 

 

 

President Obama Delivers a Statement on the Affordable Care Act

April 01, 2014 | 18:13 |Public Domain

 

Following the closing of the first open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act, the President delivers remarks in the Rose Garden, announcing that 7.1 million Americans have now signed up for private health coverage.

 

 

 

 

The 2013 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox Visit the White House

April 01, 2014 | 10:53 |Public Domain

 

The President delivers remarks honoring the 2013 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox from the White House South Lawn.

 

 

 

 

The White House Safety Datapalooza USDA, DOT, State, CPSC and DOL Open Data in Action

 

Published on Apr 2, 2014

The second annual White House Safety Datapalooza highlighted innovators from the private, nonprofit, and academic
sectors who have used freely available government data to build products, services, and apps that advance public safety in creative and powerful ways. The event featured new safety data resources in the areas of transportation, food, occupational and consumer product safety as well as tools to improve disaster preparedness and emergency response.

 

 

 

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Speeches and Remarks – April 02, 2014

 

Remarks by the President at DNC Dinner

 

Remarks by the President on the Shooting at Fort Hood

 

Remarks by the First Lady at Sixth Annual Kitchen Garden Planting

 

Remarks by the President on Minimum Wage — Ann Arbor, MI

 

 

 

Statements and Releases – April 03/02, 2014

 

 

Readout of the President’s Conference Call on the Shooting at Fort Hood

Tonight aboard Air Force One, the President convened a conference call with Department of Defense and FBI leadership to receive an update on the shooting at Fort Hood. He commended the military personnel, first responders, and medical staff who responded swiftly and heroically to the horrific shooting.

The participants of the call included Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, Chief of Staff of the Army General Ray Odierno, FBI Deputy Director Mark Giuliano, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff Rob Nabors.

The President directed his team to utilize every resource available to fully investigate the shooting. As the President said earlier tonight, these brave men and women serve with valor and distinction, and when at home they need to feel safe. The Fort Hood community is strong and resilient, and the President emphasized the importance of doing everything we can to ensure the community has every resource needed to recover, heal, and come back stronger than before.

The Department of Defense has the lead on the investigation with support from federal partners including the FBI, as well as state and local law enforcement personnel. The President will continue to receive updates as new information becomes available and has directed that his team do everything it can to assist the families of those lost and wounded today. The President and First Lady’s thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the killed and wounded individuals.

Please send your personal message of support, and we'll make sure it is delivered to the families affected by the Fort Hood shooting.

Please send your personal message of support, and we’ll make sure it is delivered to the families affected by the Fort Hood shooting.

 

President Obama Signs Washington Disaster Declaration

 

 

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April 2014: Photo of the Day

 

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For the AAers: Pres Obama at Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

For the AAers: Pres Obama at Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

President Barack Obama visits with patrons during a stop for lunch at Zingerman's Delicatessen in Ann Arbor, Mich., April 2, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama visits with patrons during a stop for lunch at Zingerman’s Delicatessen in Ann Arbor, Mich., April 2, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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The selfie....Big Papi definitely had a better angle than me! @davidortiz @RedSox

The selfie….Big Papi definitely had a better angle than me! @davidortiz @RedSox

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Barack Obama walks into the Oval Office for his first full day in office, January 21, 2009, by Souza

Barack Obama walks into the Oval Office for his first full day in office, January 21, 2009, by Souza

 

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April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month. Here are 6 Creative Ways to Show Your Support


Originally posted on Things My Belly Likes:

artwork by Penny Teem, image courtesy the Parkinson's Disease Foundation

artwork by Penny Teem, image courtesy the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF)

Last month cancer got all the headlines and no-make-up selfies were flying around the internet faster you could say: “Prevent cancer, eat real food!”

View original 718 more words

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