By Jueseppi B.
Today, President Obama delivered the commencement addressto the U.S. Naval Academy class of 2013.
Today, each of you can take enormous pride, for you’ve met the mission of this Academy. You’ve proven yourselves morally, living a concept of honor and integrity — and this includes treating one another with respect and recognizing the strength of every member of your team. You’re the most diverse class to graduate in Naval Academy history. And among the many proud young women graduating today, 13 will serve on submarines.
You’ve proven yourselves mentally. Now, I know that some think of this as just a small engineering school on the Severn. You’ve not only met its rigorous standards, you’ve helped this Academy earn a new distinction — the number-one public liberal arts school in America.
“And you’ve proven yourself physically,” President Obama said. “Last month I welcomed Coach Ken and the team back to the White House because you beat Air Force, you beat Army, and you brought the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy back to Annapolis.”
So, Class of 2013, in your four years by the Bay, you’ve met every test before you. And today is the day that you’ve been counting down to for so long. You will take your oath. Those boards and gold bars will be placed on your shoulders. And as your Commander-in-Chief, I congratulate each of you on becoming our newest officers — ensigns in the United States Navy, second lieutenants in the United States Marine Corps.
President Obama Speaks at the U.S. Naval Academy Commencement Ceremony
Published on May 24, 2013
President Obama delivers the 2013 commencement address at the U.S. Naval Academy. May 24, 2013.
Weekly Wrap Up: “You Will Not Travel That Path Alone”
May 24, 2013
04:06 PM EDT
West Wing Week: 05/24/13 or “Justice for Everybody”
Published on May 23, 2013
This week, the President continued his Jobs & Opportunity tour, this time highlighting bold new efforts in education and manufacturing in Baltimore, gave the commencement address at Morehouse College, invited the President of Myanmar, eight immigration reform advocates and DREAMers themselves, and Gershwin Prize winner Carol King and friends to the White House, and delivered a major counter-terrorism speech at the National Defense University.
Responding to the Tornadoes in Oklahoma: On Monday, the President spoke with Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin to express his concern for those who have been affected by the tornadoes in Oklahoma. The President told Governor Fallin that the administration is committed to providing all the assistance it can to Oklahoma as the response effort unfolds, including approving a Major Disaster Declaration, making federal funding available to support affected individuals, and providing additional federal assistance to support immediate response and recovery efforts.
On Tuesday, President Obama delivered a statement on the devastating tornadoes and severe weather that impacted Oklahoma. He outlined the response efforts underway, and assured the people of Moore and all the affected areas that they would have all the resources that they need at their disposal.
“Americans from every corner of this country will be right there with them, opening our homes, our hearts to those in need. Because we’re a nation that stands with our fellow citizens as long as it takes. We’ve seen that spirit in Joplin, in Tuscaloosa; we saw that spirit in Boston and Breezy Point. And that’s what the people of Oklahoma are going to need from us right now. “
Morehouse College: On Sunday, President Obama delivered the commencement address to the 2013 graduates of Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. The President told the graduates that their generation is uniquely poised for success unlike any generation of African Americans that came before it.
“It is one of the great honors of my life to be able to address this gathering here today,” President Obama told the graduates. He spoke about Morehouse’s history, and “the unique sense of purpose that this place has always infused — the conviction that this is a training ground not only for individual success, but for leadership that can change the world.”
Meeting with the President of Myanmar: On Monday,President Obama welcomed President Thein Sein of Myanmar to the White House for a bilateral meeting, the first visit to the United States by a leader of that country in almost 50 years. During the meeting, the President recognized President Thein Sein’s leadership in moving Myanmar down a path toward political and economic reform as the driving force for improved relations between our two countries.
“We very much appreciate your efforts and leadership in leading Myanmar in a new direction,” President Obama told President Thein Sein. “We want you to know that the United States will make every effort to assist you on what I know is a long, and sometimes difficult, but ultimately correct path to follow.”
DREAMers: On Wednesday, the President and the Vice President hosted a meeting in the Oval Office with young immigrants and the siblings and spouses of undocumented immigrants. The gathering was an important opportunity for the President and the Vice President to hear directly from people whose families are affected daily by our nation’s broken immigration system. The DREAMers shared how the President’s proposal changed their lives for the better and emphasized that they and their families need a permanent solution that will allow them to fully contribute to the country they call home. As the meeting was wrapping up, the President reiterated his commitment to passing a bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform bill this year.
Gershwin Prize: On Wednesday, as part of the “In Performance at the White House,” series, the White House hosted a concert honoring Carole King, the first woman to receive the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize. The Gershwin Prize honors individuals for lifetime achievement in popular music and Wednesday, King joined recording artists James Taylor, Gloria Estefan, Billy Joel, Jesse McCartney, Emeli Sande, and Trisha Yearwood in the East Room as she accepted the award on behalf of the co-writers she worked with throughout her career.
National Defense University: Thursday, President Obama laid out a framework for U.S. counterterrorism strategy as we wind down the war in Afghanistan. President Obama discussed how the threat of terrorism has changed substantially since September 11, 2011 — and explained his comprehensive strategy to meet these threats.
“The quiet determination; that strength of character and bond of fellowship; that refutation of fear — that is both our sword and our shield. And long after the current messengers of hate have faded from the world’s memory, alongside the brutal despots, and deranged madmen, and ruthless demagogues who litter history — the flag of the United States will still wave from small-town cemeteries to national monuments, to distant outposts abroad. And that flag will still stand for freedom.”
More than Half of Doctors Now Use Electronic Health Records Thanks to Administration Policies
May 24, 2013
04:45 PM EDT
The Obama Administration has made improving the quality and efficiency of the health care system a priority. Already we have put in place new payment and care models that reward doctors and hospitals for providing high quality and efficient care to their patients. We are working with hospitals to identify gaps in patient safety and ways to reduce preventable readmissions that are harmful and expensive. Health information technology (IT) is critical to making these new models work.
Until the President made investments in health information technology by signing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, our health care system ran largely on paper. In 2008, only 17 percent of physicians were using advanced electronic health records and just 9 percent of hospitals had adopted electronic health records. Information is the lifeblood of modern medicine, but information can’t get where it needs to go when it’s on paper. That means doctors didn’t have the best information at their fingertips when making diagnosis and treatment decisions; that patients didn’t have easy access to their medical records; and that information is dropped when patients leaving a hospital transition to a nursing home or home care.
That’s why the President put in place a series of policies to promote adoption of electronic health records as well as their deployment in ways that improve care quality while reducing costs. This includes:
- Medicare and Medicaid incentives for the adoption and use of electronic health records;
- Technical assistance and direct support for primary care practices and rural practitioners to help them overcome barriers to adoption;
- Creation of certification standards that give providers confidence in what they’re buying and to ensure Medicare and Medicaid dollars are well-spent.
Equally important, the Affordable Care Act has created an environment where providers feel they need to invest in health IT to improve the value of the services that they provide.
This week, HHS announced that we have reached new milestones in wiring the health care system. More than half of eligible providers – doctors, dentists and other eligible providers – have qualified for and received incentive payments for adoption of certified electronic health records, exceeding the Department’s target for the end of 2013. Moreover, nearly 80 percent of eligible hospitals have reached this milestone.
The increase has been rapid; adoption of electronic health records doubled among office based physicians from 2008 to 2012 and quadrupled in hospitals. Incredible progress has been made, thanks to the hard work of our health care providers and public policies that support their efforts, like the Recovery Act and the Affordable Care Act.
Nurses Explain the Healthcare Law in 90 Seconds
Published on Jan 16, 2013
Wondering what the Affordable Care Act can do for you and your family? Check out what nurses have to say about the benefits of the healthcare law and then share this video with friends, family and co-workers!
* HealthLawBenefits.org is a joint campaign of SEIU, the Nurse Alliance of SEIU and 1199SEIU
Affordable Health Care Act Explained by Dr. Amer Kaissi
Published on Sep 15, 2012
On Sept. 11, 2012, the League of Women Voters of San Antonio hosted a discussion on Health Care Reform After the Supreme Court Decision.
The factual, non-partisan talk on the strengths and weaknesses of the Affordable Care Act was led by Trinity University’s Dr. Amer Kaissi.
First Lady Michelle Obama and actress Kerry Washington arrive to visit children at Savoy School
May 24, 2013
Raw Video: Freeze Dance with First Lady Michelle Obama
Published on May 24, 2013
At Savoy Elementary School in Washington, D.C., First Lady Michelle Obama joins Ms. Lyons Pre-K class in an exercise of Freeze Dance. The First Lady visited the Savoy School which is one of eight schools selected last year for The Turnaround Arts Initiative at the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Turnaround Arts Schools use the arts as a central part of their reform strategy, both to dramatically improve the culture and climate, and to bolster academic success in high poverty, traditionally under performing schools. Once the lowest performing school in the district with less than a fourth of its students proficient in reading and math in 2011, the school is already showing significant signs of success. Test scores are rising, enrollment is up 18%, student and teacher attendance is up, and due to the recent progress, the school is developing a cadre of new community and fine arts partnerships.
Michelle Obama gets her groove on with school kids
First Lady Michelle Obama visits Savoy School, one of eight schools selected last year for The Turnaround Arts Initiative at the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, May 24
Dr. Jill BidenMay 24, 2013
02:35 PM EDT
Ed. note: The full text of the op-ed by Dr. Jill Biden is printed below. The piece is published today on The Huffington Post, and can be found here.
The year my son Beau was deployed to Iraq with the Delaware Army National Guard, my family learned how much simple acts of kindness could lift our spirits. From the notice in the church bulletin to the neighbor who shoveled my daughter-in-law’s driveway during a snow storm, these gestures meant the world to us.
This Memorial Day, I hope you will take a moment to offer your own gesture of thanks to our men and women serving abroad and at home, as well as their families, and reflect on the service men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Over the past four years, First Lady Michelle Obama and I have had the privilege of meeting with military service members and their families all around the world. We’ve heard their concerns about school and career issues; we’ve shared their joy when service members returned from deployment, and we’ve tried to offer solace when they face difficult times. These stories and experiences – and our desire to say ‘thank you’ – inspired us to start the Joining Forces initiative, a nationwide effort to rally all Americans to support our veterans and military families.
Joining Forces brings together public and private resources to help with the employment, education and wellness of our returning servicemen and women and their families. Through theVeterans Job Bank and Veterans Recruiting Services, we’re connecting unemployed veterans with job openings. We’re working hard to encourage states to make it easier for military spouses – often teachers and nurses – to transfer their certifications across state lines. And we’re proud to have so many private sector partners committed to increasing the number of veterans they hire.
From a big initiative to a small gesture, Memorial Day is the perfect time to offer a simple act of kindness to our veterans and military families. You can send a message of thanks to our troops or a military family. Or pledge hours of service. Or even start your own volunteer project. And afterwards, please share your story - we want to hear about it!
Statements and Releases
May 24, 2013
May 24, 2013
Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 360
On Friday, May 24, 2013, the President signed into law:
H.R. 360, which provides for the presentation of a congressional gold medal to commemorate the lives of the four young African American victims of the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, in September 1963.
President Obama signs a bill in the Oval Office designating the Congressional Gold Medal to commemorate the four young girls killed during the 1963 bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, as (L-R) Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, Birmingham Mayor William Bell, Dr Sharon Malone Holder, Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep Terri Sewell (D-AL), Thelma Pippen McNair, mother of Denise McNair, Lisa McNair, sister of Denise McNair, Dianne Braddock, sister of Carole Robertson, Rev Arthur Price, Jr, pastor 16th Street Baptist Church, and former U.S. Attorney Gordon Douglas Jones look on. The medal, the highest Congressional civilian honor, was given posthumously to Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Denise McNair who died September 15, 1963 when a bomb planted by white supremacists exploded exploded at the church.
President Obama Signs a Bill Designating the Congressional Gold Medal
Published on May 24, 2013
President Obama signs a bill designating the Congressional Gold Medal commemorating the lives of the four young girls killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing of 1963.
President Obama signs a bill designating the Congressional Gold Medal commemorating the lives of the four young girls killed in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church of Birmingham, Alabama.
President Barack Obama signs a bill designating the Congressional Gold Medal commemorating the lives of the four young girls killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing of 1963, Friday, May 24, 2013, in the Oval Office of the White House. Standing, from left are, Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., and Lisa McNair. Seated at right is Thelma “Maxine” Pippen McNair, the mother of Denise McNair. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama speaks to the media in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Friday, May 24, 2013, before signing a bill designating the Congressional Gold Medal commemorating the lives of the four young girls killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing of 1963. From left are, Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin; Birmingham Ala. Mayor William Bell; Dr. Sharon Malone, wife of Attorney General Eric Holder; Attorney General Eric Holder; Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala. sponsor of the bill; the president; Thelma “Maxine” Pippen McNair mother of Denise McNair; seated, Lisa McNair; Dianne Braddock sister of Carole Robertson, Rev. Arthur Price Jr., pastor of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, and former US Attorney Gordon Douglas Jones. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin).
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama signed legislation Friday to award Congress’ highest civilian honor to four girls killed in an Alabama church bombing during the civil rights movement. He called it a tragic loss that “helped to trigger triumph and a more just and equal and fair America.”
The Congressional Gold Medal will go to Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Denise McNair.
Addie Mae, Carole and Cynthia, all 14, and Denise, 11, were killed when a bomb planted by white supremacists exploded at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham on Sept. 15, 1963. Twenty-two others were injured.
Denise’s mother and sister, and Carole’s sister were among those who stood around Obama’s desk in the Oval Office as he signed the bill.
“For us to be able to be in this Oval Office with so many people who have worked hard to make this day possible, and understanding that that tragic loss, that heartbreak helped to trigger triumph and a more just and equal and fair America, that’s an incredible thing for us to be able to participate in,” he said.
September will mark the 50th anniversary of the bombing, which helped spur passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Sisters of Denise and Carole sat in the House gallery during the debate and vote on the measure. Relatives of Addie Mae and Cynthia, also known as Cynthia Morris, have said they aren’t interested in a medal. Addie Mae’s sister lost an eye in the bombing.
Also present for the bill-signing was Attorney General Eric Holder and his wife, Sharon Malone. Her late sister, Vivian Malone Jones, was one of the first black students to enroll at the University of Alabama in 1963 in defiance of racial segregation.
Reps. Terri Sewell, a Democrat, and Spencer Bachus, a Republican, led the Alabama congressional delegation’s efforts to honor the bombing victims. They represent adjoining Birmingham districts in Congress.
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