U.S. Announces Delegation To Africa: Ebola Virus Humanitarian Effort, “Conservative Politicians For 3rd World Nations Relief.”


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From VOX.com and Julia Belluz:

 

“A violent virus”: views from Ebola‘s ground zero

 

Aid worker Ishmeal Alfred Charles says getting abducted as a child soldier during Sierra Leone‘s bloody civil war when he was 15-years-old was less scary than living there now under the Ebola threat.

 

“You knew the rebels were coming,” said the Freetown native in a recent interview from Sierra Leone, where he is among hundreds of aid workers trying to beat back the deadly virus in what is now the biggest-ever outbreak and the first to hit West Africa. “They’d attack a town, and so you made a move. You knew to hide.”

Now, he can’t flee. It’s too expensive to fly elsewhere. And he can’t hide from an enemy that could be lurking anywhere. Instead, he has stopped shaking people’s hands and he installed a hand-washing station—a bucket filled with chlorinated water—outside his house.

 

“You don’t know if the person you’re sitting next to is infected with Ebola, so all you’re trying to do is be as conscious as you can. Because we have heard of situations where whole families get infected… and you lose everyone in the family.”

 

For most people, Ebola is a distant threat, a nightmarish word that conjures up images of sudden and violent hemorrhaging. But for West Africans like Charles, it’s now an everyday possibility. “Wherever you go—on Facebook, in the community, on the phone, in Whatsapp messages—people are talking about Ebola.”

 

As a program manager with the Catholic aid agency Caritas, Charles now works to educate people about a virus that only recently emerged in Sierra Leone. He goes door to door, school to school, church to church; he talks to everyone he can reach about the disease; and he hands out hand sanitizer and chlorine. Sometimes, he uses megaphones in town squares, relaying public-health messages about sanitation and prevention. It’s a tedious process, he says, but it’s necessary.

 

“A lot of people still have denial about Ebola,” Charles says. “That’s one of the biggest challenges.”

 

Stories about medical personnel and the government trying to kill or capture Africans circulate, and it doesn’t help that when patients are taken into quarantine, they most often never return.

 

Dispelling these myths isn’t easy. “We show them films, photos of Ebola,” says Charles. “We try to make sure they understand, first and foremost, there’s a virus called Ebola and it’s real.”

 

So far in the current outbreak, there have been 1,323 confirmed and suspected cases of Ebola, and 729 deaths. No one knows why the virus sometimes jumps from the fruit bat—which most scientists believe is its animal host—into the human population. But bad infrastructure and the lack of sanitation practices in what are some of the poorest countries on earth don’t help with its containment.

 

The shortage of resources has made the work very difficult, says Monia Sayah, a nurse with Doctors Without Borders.

 

Sayah, who normally resides in Brooklyn, New York, has just finished two stints on the front line in Guinea, the West African nation where the disease first reemerged in March.

 

When she arrived, she said her biggest challenge was not trying to get people to believe the disease is real: it was figuring out how to care for the reality of so many sick patients.

 

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“The workload was very high,” she says of dealing with up to a dozen Ebola patients in quarantine. So was the mortality rate: at the beginning, about eight in ten patients were dying, close to the numbers in previous outbreaks of the Zaire Ebola virus, which killed 79 percent of those infected. (The death rate in the current outbreak has dropped to around 60 percent.)

 

“It’s very stressful because you’re constantly on alert: a patient here, a patient there. The physical stress of working is very hard because you lose a lot of fluid (wearing protective clothing), and get very tired in the heat as well.” All the while, trying to make sure she didn’t expose herself to the virus or accidentally cross-contaminate any person or thing.

 

When she’d arrive at the treatment facility in the morning, she’d put on a gown and then a waterproof and airtight suit, headgear, goggles, two pairs of gloves, and rubber boots. “Every inch of the body is covered,” she says. When she left 12 hours later, everything except for her rubber boots—which get decontaminated with choline solution—was burned.

 

Since there is no treatment or cure for Ebola, caring for patients meant hydrating them, feeding and washing them, helping them walk, and giving them antibiotics to ward off any bacterial infection so that their immune systems can fight the virus.

 

It also meant touching and comforting them. “They’re alone. They are isolated. Normally in this part of Africa people are never alone when they’re sick.” Most commonly, family members care for their loved ones at home—not strangers in a containment facility.

 

“We take them away from their families,” says Sayah. “We know we’re bringing them to a treatment facility, the place they should be to receive the best care, to isolate the virus. But the virus is inside a person.”

 

The other tricky thing about Ebola is how quickly it can overtake its host. “We have patients asking for lunch, and we would go to see them a few hours later, and suddenly they would just die. It’s a violent virus. You never know what’s going to happen.”

 

Since working in the field, she has seen people lose their entire families. She has watched teenagers perish before her eyes. In another case, she says, “I went to see a woman in the community, and she was lying in a pool of blood. I thought she had a miscarriage there was so much blood.” The medical team was able to get her to a treatment facility, and stop the bleeding, but she was already very weak and died shortly thereafter.

 

What’s so critical about Ebola, too, is making a differential diagnosis between what might be the lethal virus and any other number of diseases that have a similar profile at first.

 

“Trying to make a differential diagnosis is difficult because you’re in a village,” Sayah explained, “you have nothing with you. All you have is a thermometer.”  If you misdiagnose a negative patient, that can mean unnecessary isolation and trauma. If a positive patient is passed, that’s another potential site of infection—and more spread.

 

Ebola specialists believe one of the key reasons this outbreak has spread so far is because of the shortage of health-care personnel to deal with it: if you don’t have enough people on the ground doing the labor-intensive job of tracing the contacts of positive patients and ensuring they are identified before becoming ill too, each missed case is the new beginning of more human-to-human spread.

 

Those missed cases are what worries Tarik Jasarevic, a World Health Organization worker on the ground in Guinea. He says that because of the geographic dispersal of the current outbreak—the demand for so many specialists in a relatively rare disease over several countries—mobilizing people and getting systems in place to care for everyone is problematic.

 

According to Jasarevic, you need these basic resources to contain an Ebola outbreak: “You need to have enough treatment centers so infected persons can be treated in adequate conditions. You need to have surveillance systems. You need to have a system where suspect cases and deaths are being reported so we can go in very safely and check on suspect sick people. We need to have lab capacity to make sure the people infected are identified.”

 

The WHO and other aid organizations have been short on many of these fronts right now, and the UN just pledged $100-million to help quell the current outbreak.

 

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For now, Jasarevic says he’s doing what he can in a very uncertain environment. “You try to wash your hands as much as you can. You try to make sure you don’t touch people who are sick. But you just don’t know who may be in contact with the virus.”

 

Thank you VOX.com and Julia Belluz

 

satiretv

U.S. Announces Delegation To Africa: Ebola Virus Humanitarian Effort, “Conservative Politicians For 3rd World Nations Relief.”

 

On Friday the White House announced a massive humanitarian effort to help the African nations dealing with the Ebola Virus. The White House releaded the following statement:

 

The White House Office of the Press Secretary

August 01, 2014

 

The Obama Administration’s Government-Wide Response to The Ebola Virus Outbreak In Africa

 

In conjunction with the worldwide effort to address the Ebola virus outbreak in Africa, I have instructed the following AmeriKKKans to be immediately drafted into service in our joint efforts to assist this horrific virus in Africa. I put out a nationwide call to all “patriots” in my concern that the homeland of all civilization, be saved from this tragedy effecting Africa.

 

Since the month of August has been unofficially designated as “lazy ass politician vacation time”, I choose this month to ship all these “embarrassment to America fools”, off to Africa.

 

The List Of Conservative “Volunteers”:

 

War Whore Senator John McCain

 

Ladyboy Senator Lindsey Graham

 

Batshit Crazy Rep. Michelle Bachman

 

Canadian Immigrant Senator Ted Cruz

 

Drunk House Speaker John Boehner

 

Outgoing Idiot Eric Cantor

 

Moron Rep Louie Gohmert

 

Dumbass Rep Steve King

 

Misogynist Mitch McConnell

 

The following civilians have been enlisted to accompany the politicians on this humanitarian effort….

 

Ted Nugent

 

Sarah Palin

 

Rush Limbaugh

 

Glenn Beck

 

Ann Coulter

 

Sean Hannity

 

The Complete Fox News Staff

 

Don Lemon

 

Andrea Mitchell

 

Wolf Blitzer

 

Jake Tapper

 

Chuck Todd

 

Allen West

 

Wayne LaPierre

 

George Zimmerman

 

The Koch Brothers have graciously volunteered their jet plane for the travel accommodations and have agreed to accompany this delegation to Ebola infected Africa.

 

The citizens of The United States Of America applaud these brave AmeriKKKans and our thoughts & prayers are with them.

 

If they return from this humanitarian voyage and are not infected with the deadly Ebola Virus, the FAA has made arrangements for this delegation to travel over the Ukraine war zone, in hopes the great Vlad Putin will shoot the aircraft down, using Russian supplied surface to air missiles.

 

God Bless The United States of America, and these brave selfless AmeriKKKans.

 

 

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New Adult Swim Comedy: The Spirit Of The Most High — Black Jesus.


By Jueseppi B. The Militant Negro

By Jueseppi B. The Militant Negro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Black Jesus Expanded Trailer | Black Jesus | Adult Swim

 

Published on Jul 18, 2014

Get ready to feel The Spirt of the The Most High — Black Jesus — a new comedy from the creator of The Boondocks. Premieres Thursday, August 7th, at 11p ET on [adult swim].
http://www.facebook.com/BlackJesus

 

 

About Black Jesus:
Black Jesus is a half hour live-action scripted comedy series on Adult Swim from Peabody award-winning creator Aaron McGruder (The Boondocks, Red Tails) and Mike Clattenburg (Trailer Park Boys). The series finds Jesus living in present day Compton, CA on a daily mission to spread love and kindness throughout the neighborhood with the help of his small but loyal group of downtrodden followers. Check out the latest from Black jesus on AdultSwim.com.

 

About Adult Swim:
Adult Swim is your late-night home for animation and live-action comedy. Enjoy some of your favorite shows, including Robot Chicken, Venture Bros., Tim and Eric, Aqua Teen, Childrens Hospital, Delocated, Metalocalypse, Squidbillies, and more. Watch some playlists. Fast forward, rewind, pause. It’s all here. And remember to visit http://AdultSwim.com for all your full episode needs. We know you wouldn’t forget, but it never hurts to make sure.

 

The 1st Trailer for Aaron McGruder’s New Adult Swim Series ‘Black Jesus’ Will Likely Ruffle a Few Feathers

 

And if it didn’t, it certainly wouldn’t be an Aaron McGruder series, would it?

 

Adult Swim has announced their new half-hour live-action scripted comedy “Black Jesus” from writer/producer, Aaron McGruder (“The Boondocks”), will premiere on Thursday, August 7th at 11pm (ET/PT).

 

The series finds Jesus living in present day Compton, CA on a daily mission to spread love and kindness throughout the neighborhood, with the help of his small but loyal group of downtrodden followers.

 

The series stars newcomer Gerald “Slink” Johnson as “Black Jesus.”

 

Charlie Murphy, Corey Holcomb, John Witherspoon, Kali Hawk, Andra Fuller, Antwon Tanner, Andrew Bachelor, Angela Gibbs, and Valenzia Algarin round out the starring cast.

 

McGruder is executive producer through his 5 Mutts Productions, along with director Mike Clattenburg, LEG’s Norman Aladjem, John Bravakis and Stu Schreiberg, with Robert Wise and Meghann Collin.

 

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Slide Show Time……

 

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The Last 24™


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From Denver to Austin: “The Bear Is Loose” Again

 

 

President Barack Obama has lunch with Rebekah Erler at Matt's Bar in Minneapolis, Minn., June 26, 2014. Erler is a 36-year-old working wife and mother of two pre-school aged boys who had written the President a letter about economic difficulties. President Barack Obama has lunch with Rebekah Erler at Matt’s Bar in Minneapolis, Minn., June 26, 2014.Erler is a 36-year-old working wife and mother of two pre-school aged boys who had written the President a letter about economic difficulties. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) 

Going all the way back to the early days of the campaign, whenever President Obama shook off his schedule and busted out of the bubble, we would say “the Bear is loose.”

 

Lately, the Bear has been loose a lot, and this week will be no different. The President is hitting the road on a three-day swing to Colorado and Texas, where he will meet with Americans who’ve written him letters and whose stories – their challenges and successes – resonate with folks from across the country.

 

While congressional Republicans continue to block votes on important issues like equal pay and the minimum wage and undertake taxpayer-funded political stunts like Speaker Boehner’s plan to sue the President for doing his job, the President will continue to do everything in his power – with and without Congress – to create economic opportunity for all Americans.

 

The day after the State of the Union, a woman named Alex received a raise, allowing her to pay rent and afford groceries without worry. Alex’s boss was inspired by the President’s call and increased her wage right away. Earlier this year, Alex wrote the President to say “thank you.”

 

Tonight, the President will deliver his reply in person when he meets Alex for dinner in Denver. And tomorrow, she’ll introduce the President before his remarks in Denver.

 

On Thursday in Austin, TX, the President will highlight the actions his Administration has taken – more than 40 since January – to benefit hardworking Americans. From helping to create new manufacturing jobs, to expanding apprenticeships and job training, and from making student loan payments more affordable, to cutting carbon pollution, the President’s used his pen and phone on behalf of folks all across the country.

 

We’ve come a long way since President Obama took office. Thanks to the grit and resilience of the American people, we’ve made progress and there’s reason to be optimistic. Last week, our latest jobs report showed that we’ve undergone the fastest job growth in the United States in the first half of the year since 1999, with five consecutive months of job growth over 200,000. Yet we know there’s still much more to do.

 

The President will continue to do his part – focusing on growing our economy from the middle out, not the top down. And he’ll continue to urge Republicans in Congress to join him in working for the folks he hears from every day – Americans like Alex, whom the leaders in Washington were sent to serve.

 

 

White House Schedule – July 8, 2014

 

In the morning, the President will meet with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the White House.  Ahead of the NATO summit in Wales this September, the President looks forward to discussing with the Secretary General the crisis in Ukraine and related reassurance measures for our NATO allies; improving allied defense investment; further work on bolstering NATO’s network of partners; and NATO’s post-2014 non-combat mission in Afghanistan.  The Secretary General’s visit underscores the vital importance the United States places on NATO as the cornerstone of our alliance with Europe.  The Vice President will also attend.  There will be a photojournalist spray at the top of this meeting in the Oval Office.

 

In the afternoon, the President and First Lady will host the Diplomatic Corps Reception in the East Room.  This event is closed press.

 

Later in the afternoon, the President will travel to Denver, Colorado.  The departure from the South Lawn and arrival at Denver International Airport are open press.

 

The President will remain overnight in Denver.

 

All times are Eastern Time (ET)

 

11:00 AM: The President meets with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen; the Vice President also attends

 

12:45 PM: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Josh Earnest

 

2:00 PM: The President and the First Lady host the Diplomatic Corps Reception

 

4:20 PM: The President departs the White House

 

4:35 PM: The President departs Joint Base Andrews

 

7:55 PM: The President arrives Denver, Colorado

 

The President will remain overnight in Denver.

 

 

President Obama Shoots Pool With Gov. Hickenlooper

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A game of pool deserves a pint.

A game of pool deserves a pint.

 

 

 

 

 

The nerve of some asshole, like Rick Perry, to imagine The POTUSA needs to cow-tow to them.

The nerve of some assholes, like Rick Perry, to imagine The POTUSA needs to cow-tow to them.

 

 

RICK PERRY TO BARACK OBAMA: NO SHAKE, BUT YES TO MEETING

 

Texas Gov. Rick Perry and President Barack Obama will meet in Texas on Wednesday to discuss the crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border, a governor’s spokeswoman said Tuesday.

 

“Gov. Perry is pleased that President Obama has accepted his invitation to discuss the humanitarian and national security crises along our southern border, and he looks forward to meeting with the president tomorrow,” spokeswoman Lucy Nashed wrote in an email to POLITICO. Nashed said that the meeting will be in Dallas.

 

White House press secretary Josh Earnest confirmed the meeting at Tuesday’s press briefing, saying that the administration is “pleased” that the two will have a chance to discuss the border situation on Wednesday.

 

The announcement comes after a back and forth this week between the governor and Obama, who will be in the state for two days this week.

 

Perry declined an official White House offer to greet President Barack Obama when he lands at Austin’s airport Wednesday.

 

“I appreciate the offer to greet you at Austin-Bergstrom Airport, but a quick handshake on the tarmac will not allow for a thoughtful discussion regarding the humanitarian and national security crises enveloping the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas,” Perry wrote in a letter on Monday to the president, according to the Austin American-Statesman. “I would instead offer to meet with you at any time during your visit to Texas for a substantive meeting to discuss this critical issue. With the appropriate notice, I am willing to change my schedule to facilitate this request.”

 

FUCK you Rick Perry. The only way you will ever occupy the Oval Office is on a White House Tour.

 

 

‘N*GGER’ OP-ED AUTHOR ON CNN: PEOPLE STILL ‘THINK OF OBAMA AS THE N*GGER’

 

Published on Jul 8, 2014

James Lincoln Collier, author of a controversial op-ed called “The N*gger in the White House,” appeared on CNN Monday to explain why he felt it necessary to title his pro-Obama piece in such an offensive manner. (CNN.7.7.2014)

 

 

 

7/8/14: White House Press Briefing

 

Published on Jul 8, 2014

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

 

 

 

Worse President Ever….What A Day

 

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Discussed the Summit with President Obama (NATO Secretary General’s Blog)

 

 

 

On the Road in the DRC – Dr. Mukwege & Panzi Hospital

 

Published on Jul 8, 2014

Bukavu is home to Panzi Hospital, which has cared for more than 19,000 victims of sexual and gender-based violence, a widespread problem in the DRC affecting millions of Congolese women and children.

 

Dr. Biden met with survivors, heard their stories, and saw firsthand the response services provided to them. She also met with U.S. government partners who are working to prevent and respond to this dire situation.

 

 

 

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Speeches and Remarks – July 8th, 2014

 

Remarks as Prepared by White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf Region Philip Gordon at the Ha’aretz Israel Conference for Peace

 

 

Statements and Releases – July8th, 2014

 

FACT SHEET: Emergency Supplemental Request to Address the Increase in Child and Adult Migration from Central America in the Rio Grande Valley Areas of the Southwest Border

 

Letter from the President — Regarding Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Request to Address the Increase in Child and Adult Migration from Central America in the Rio Grande Valley Areas of the Southwest Border; and Wildfire Suppression

 

Message to the Congress — Regarding the Democratic Republic of the Congo

 

President Obama Signs New York Disaster Declaration

 

Factsheet on the Democratic Republic of the Congo Executive Order

 

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

 

 

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It’s A Twitter Storm™ That’s Raining Videos™


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It’s A Twitter Storm™ That Is Raining Videos™

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My new favorite anti gun ad……Listen to the accidental shooting statistics after the video.

 

 

 

 

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The Last 24™


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President Obama Hosts the 2013 Presidents Cup Team

 

Published on Jun 24, 2014

President Obama welcomes the 2013 Presidents Cup Team to the White House and delivers remarks, June 24, 2014.

 

 

 

Working Families Summit: “Career Ladders and Leadership”

 

Published on Jun 23, 2014

Mika Brzezinski moderates the third plenary session at the
White House Summit on Working Families in Washington, D.C., June 23, 2014.

 

 

 

Working Families Summit: “A 21st Century Economy that Works for Business and Workers”

 

Published on Jun 23, 2014

Claire Shipman and Katty Kay moderate the second plenary
session at the White House Summit on Working Families in Washington, D.C., June 23, 2014.

 

 

 

PBS News Hour For Tuesday, June 24, 2014

 

 

 

SCOTUS Ruling Limits EPA Regulatory Power

 

Published on Jun 24, 2014

Pubic Justice Executive Director Paul Bland and EcoWatch founder Stefanie Spear explain why SCOTUS ruling is being claimed as victory by environmentalists and coal industry alike.

 

 

 

Inside Story – Who are Nigeria’s Boko Haram?

 

Uploaded on Nov 8, 2011

After a wave of attacks hit Nigeria, Inside Story asks what motivates the Islamist group’s increasing violence in Africa’s most populous country.

 

 

 

Freedom Summer‘ leaders recall pivotal fight against racism

 

Published on Jun 24, 2014

A new documentary “Freedom Summer” looks back to the deeply segregated Mississippi of 1964, and the young people who came from around the country to lend a hand in the struggle against racism. For a look back at the moment, Gwen Ifill is joined by Freedom Summer coordinator Robert Moses, Freedom Summer volunteer Rita Schwerner Bender, as well as director of the film, Stanley Nelson.

 

 

 

The Road to Freedom Summer — Bob Moses on Reality Asserts Itself (5/8)

 

Published on Jun 23, 2014

Mr. Moses says one of the main ways we get to Freedom Summer is the assassination of Medgar Evers.

 

 

 

SD Republican Party votes to impeach Obama

 

Published on Jun 24, 2014

Impeaching President Barack Obama is a long-standing desire for many, but delegates for the South Dakota Republican Party decided to act instead of merely wish. In a 191-176 vote in favor of impeachment, delegates voiced their approval Saturday for removing from office the 44th president of the United States. Citing what the delegates claim are numerous violations of the oath of office, the resolution calls for Representatives in the House “to initiate impeachment proceedings.” RT’s Ameera David speaks with Robert Burgess, communications director for the South Dakota Republican Party, to learn more about the vote.

 

 

 

6/24/14: White House Press Briefing

 

Published on Jun 24, 2014

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

 

 

 

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Dan Pfeiffer: “POTUS Replies”

 

 

This morning, Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer sent the message below to the White House email list to share the story of Rebekah — a hardworking mom from Minneapolis who wrote the President to share her story, and will meet with him later this week.

Didn’t get the email? Be sure to sign up.


Hi, all –

Every day, the Office of Presidential Correspondence sorts through thousands of letters. Every night, President Obama reads ten of them. Some people write to share what his decisions mean in their daily lives, to talk about the economy, or to ask a question about a policy. Others just write in to say hello.

Each letter is a chance for President Obama to hear directly from folks across the country about the sorts of issues they face every day.

The President makes notes in the margins, and sits down to reply personally. He often sends the letters to the staff as reminder of what we are fighting for or to ask us to follow up on an issue raised in the letter. So when Rebekah, a hardworking mom from Minneapolis, wrote in to share how much harder it’s become to get ahead and do right by her family, you can bet the President set that letter aside for a reply.

But he’s not just doing that. He’s meeting Rebekah in person this Thursday to spend a day in her shoes. Watch President Obama tell her story, and find out why he’s traveling to her town.

 

When the President travels to Minnesota, he’ll launch the first in a series of “day-in-the-life” visits across the country this summer. He’ll spend a day with Rebekah — and he’ll meet with her family and community members to discuss the issues that matter to them, host a town hall, and talk about the steps we need to take as a country to help more Americans like Rebekah get ahead.

I know the President is excited to talk with her — and Americans like her. So all this summer, he’ll meet with folks who’ve written in to share what their lives are like. He’ll be hitting the road and traveling to communities across the country — sitting around diner booths and kitchen tables to talk about the issues that matter to them.

Rebekah’s story is representative of the experiences of millions of Americans: Even though our economy’s made a historic comeback, too many middle-class Americans are still stretched too thin, and there’s more work to do.

Make sure you see Rebekah’s story — and then tune in on Thursday as the President travels to Minnesota.

 

 

A Letter to the President: Rebekah

 

Published on Jun 23, 2014

The President reads a letter from Rebekah, a hardworking mom from Minneapolis who wrote to the President about what she sees, what she thinks needs changing, and her struggle to get ahead. The President chose to highlight Rebekah’s story because it is representative of the experiences of millions of Americans: While our economy’s made a comeback, too many Americans are still stretched too thin and the President knows there’s more work to do.

 

 

 

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Here’s What You Missed: The White House Summit on Working Families

 

 

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the White House Summit on Working Families, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C., June 23, 2014President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the White House Summit on Working Families, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C., June 23, 2014 (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 

Yesterday, the White House, in partnership with the Department of Labor and the Center for American Progress, hosted a Summit on Working Families with the aim of having a national conversation and set a concrete agenda to bring American workplaces into the 21st century.

 

That conversation brought together businesses, economists, labor leaders, legislators, advocates, and working citizens to talk through the very real issues facing the full spectrum of working families — from low-wage workers to executives.

 

And you didn’t have to be in Washington to participate join in. Americans across the country tuned in and raised their voices online.

 

As Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett noted yesterday: “This is a movement, not a moment.” So if you missed the event yesterday, you can still add your voice. Take a look at our recap of yesterday’s Summit, and if you’ve got a story tell — get involved.

 

Read More

 

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Senate Delays Hurting Our National Security

 

 

As the President’s National Security Advisor, I am focused every day on keeping our country secure and our citizens – at home and abroad – safe. But these goals are hindered and our stature abroad is weakened when we are not fielding a full team. That’s why I urge the Senate to let the President’s qualified ambassadorial nominees get to work on behalf of the American people.

Right now, 48 nominees for ambassador are pending and 26 are on the Executive Calendar and eligible for confirmation by the full Senate – 16 of whom are career Foreign Service Officers. Together, all ambassadorial nominees have been waiting an average of 161 days, while those on the Executive Calendar have been waiting an average of 262 days. This is simply too long.

These crucial posts are vacant and American interests are therefore underrepresented. The longer we wait to fill these roles the harder it becomes to maintain our effective American diplomacy.

ambassadors10

 

Consider:

  • Kuwait borders Iraq and is a vital strategic partner that requires the highest level engagement given the current situation. Yet our post there remains without an ambassador. Now more than ever, it is crucial that our ambassador to the State of Kuwait is confirmed.

 

  • In Africa, a quarter of our ambassadors are awaiting Senate confirmation. And in combating regional instability and serious challenges such as Boko Haram, key partners including Niger, Cameroon, and Mauritania – as well as our delegation to the African Union – need ambassadors in place now. And with the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit planned for later this summer, it’s crucial that we display our commitment to partnering with leaders from across the continent for the good of Africa and the United States.

 

  • ASEAN will play a crucial role in the East Asia Summit in November 2014, which the President will attend. Substantively and organizationally, we need an ambassador in place to lay the groundwork for a successful Summit. We need a leading voice in our seat at the ASEAN table as tensions in the region have escalated surrounding China’s actions in the South China Sea.

These are only a few of many reasons it is critical to our national security that America fields a full team in our global engagement. The qualified individuals nominated to serve our country need to be confirmed without delay and allowed to do their important work leading our complex and vital interagency teams that are working to protect American interests around the world.

While there is a potential path to confirmation without bipartisan support, our nation’s security is stronger when we act together, and so I call on all members of the Senate to agree to confirm these nominees today so we can get them in place now.

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Sylvia Mathews Burwell Sworn In as the New HHS Secretary

 

 

Vice President Joe Biden swears in Sylvia Matthews Burwell as Secretary of Health and Human ServicesVice President Joe Biden swears in Sylvia Mathews Burwell, as Secretary of Health and Human Services, with her husband Stephen holding the bible, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. June 24, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

 

This afternoon, the Vice President ceremonially swore in Sylvia Mathews Burwell as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services.

On June 5, Secretary Burwell was confirmed by a strong, bipartisan majority of Senators. In a statement that day, President Obama commended the Senate and reiterated his support for Secretary Burwell as a proven manager:

 

I applaud the strong, bipartisan majority of Senators who today confirmed Sylvia Mathews Burwell as America’s next Secretary of Health and Human Services. Sylvia is a proven manager who knows how to deliver results, and over her career she has built deep relationships with Democrats and Republicans alike. I’m confident Sylvia’s unparalleled experience will serve her well in her new role as she works to ensure the safety of our food and drug supply, protect our nation from outbreaks or bioterror attacks, keep America at the forefront of medical research, and make sure every American has access to quality, affordable healthcare.

 


 

Learn more:

Related Topics: Health Care

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President Obama Joins a Roundtable Discussion at the Working Families Summit

June 23, 2014 | 1:42 | Public Domain

 

President Obama participates in a roundtable discussion at the White House Summit on Working Families in Washington, D.C.

 

 

 

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Speeches and Remarks

Remarks by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice at the White House Forum on Global LGBT Human Rights

 

 

Dr. Jill Biden, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, and U.S. Ambassador Catherine Russell to Travel to Africa

Dr. Jill Biden will travel to Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sierra Leone from June 30 – July 7, 2014. Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Catherine Russell, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, will also travel with Dr. Biden.

 

During their travel, Dr. Biden, Administrator Shah, and Ambassador Russell will highlight how girls’ education and women’s participation in government, the economy, and civil society can accelerate economic development, improve health and educational outcomes, strengthen democratic governance, and foster peace and security. These themes will also be woven throughout the upcoming U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit held in Washington, D.C. in early August.

 

Additional details about the trip are forthcoming.

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Statements and Releases

FACT SHEET: Advancing The Human Rights Of LGBT Persons Globally

Remarks by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice at the White House Forum on Global LGBT Human Rights

It’s great to be here, and particularly great to see such a wonderful collection of faith leaders, human rights activists, private sector representatives and colleagues in government all in one place.  Protecting and upholding human rights, especially for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender brothers and sisters, is work to which we all are called, so thank you, thank you so much for joining us here today.

 

The inexhaustible pursuit of equality, the drive to expand opportunity, the unshakeable conviction that human dignity and human rights are the natural endowment of all humankind—these are qualities that are fundamental to our American character.  For many Americans, they are also essential to our personal story.  I would not be standing here today if those who came before me had not pried open doors that had long been shut to people who look like me.  So, I feel a responsibility and a personal passion to help others enjoy the same opportunities that I have been blessed to receive.  It’s what drives me as a public servant and as a mother, because I do not want my children, or anyone else’s, to have their life choices limited by how they look, who they worship, or whom they love.

 

Universal human rights are not bestowed by governments or powerful majorities, they are God’s gift and the birth right of all people.  They belong to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women as surely as they belong to anyone in the human family.  As President Obama has said so eloquently, “If we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

 

It offends our common humanity when men or women anywhere in the world are beaten or abused, or when individuals anywhere have their rights restricted because of who they are.  And, it doesn’t just harm those who are targeted.  It rends the bonds that knit society together.  Trust recedes; suspicion spreads.  Entire countries are deprived of vital contributions from citizens in minority groups.

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Presidential Actions

Presidential Memorandum — Delegation of Reporting Functions Specified in Section 1206(b) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014

 

Presidential Memorandum — Enhancing Workplace Flexibilities and Work-Life Program

 

 

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