What Did Barack Do Today™


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West Wing Week 07/25/14 or, “The Irrefutable Rightness of Your Cause”

 

This week, the President introduced a historic Executive Action for LGBT rights, continued to address the ongoing conflicts in the Ukraine and Gaza, hosted a town hall in support of his My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, and traveled to California to deliver his response to some very striking letters he’d received … in person.

 

 

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Celebrating 24 Years of the Americans with Disabilities Act

 

Tomorrow marks the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) — a landmark law that transformed American society for people with disabilities. It provided for full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for those of us living with disabilities, and also provided Americans with disabilities with legal remedies to safeguard all of those rights.

 

Watch the President’s ADA anniversary message below:

 

 

 

Presidential Proclamation — Anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act

ANNIVERSARY OF THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, 2014

- – – – – – -

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Over two decades ago, Americans — some in wheelchairs, some using sign language, and all with an abiding belief in our Nation’s promise — came together to strengthen our commitment to equality for all.  At a time when people with disabilities were turned away at movie theaters, rejected for employment, and measured by what so many thought they could not do, leaders and activists refused to accept the world as it was.  In small towns and big cities, they spoke out.  They staged sit-ins, authored discrimination diaries, and scaled the Capitol steps.  Finally, they realized their call for simple justice in one of the most comprehensive civil rights bills in our country’s history.  On the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), we honor those who fought against discrimination, and we recommit to tearing down barriers and guaranteeing all Americans the right to pursue their own measure of happiness.

 

The ADA promises equal access and equal opportunity — regardless of ability.  It secures each person’s right to an independent life, and it enables our country and our economy to benefit from the talents and contributions of all Americans.

 

Even as we commemorate this milestone, we recognize that too often, casual discrimination or fear of the unfamiliar still prevent disabled Americans from achieving their full potential.  That is why my Administration is pushing to fulfill the promise of and better enforce the ADA.  Fifteen years after the Olmstead decision — in which the Supreme Court ruled it discrimination to unjustifiably institutionalize someone with a disability — we have increased the number of homes integrated into communities that are available for persons with disabilities.  Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are banned from discriminating on the basis of pre-existing conditions, medical history, or genetic information.  Expanding on my Executive Order to establish the Federal Government as a model employer of individuals with disabilities, my Administration is also providing Federal contractors with the tools and resources to recruit, retain, and promote people with disabilities.

 

The nearly one in five Americans living with a disability are our parents, children, neighbors, colleagues, and friends.  They are entitled to the same rights and freedoms as everyone else.  Today, we celebrate their accomplishments, stand against discrimination in all its forms, and honor all who sacrificed so future generations might know a more equal society.

 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim July 26, 2014, the Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  I encourage Americans across our Nation to celebrate the 24th anniversary of this civil rights law and the many contributions of individuals with disabilities.

 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this  twenty-fifth day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.

 

BARACK OBAMA

 

 

Forward For Equality_sml

 

 

What You Missed: A Tumblr Q&A with Valerie Jarrett on Expanding Opportunity for the LGBT Community

 

 

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This afternoon, Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President, took to Tumblr to answer some of your questions on the President’s newest Executive Order that prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. She also answered your questions on marriage equality, bullying prevention, Star Wars, and more.

 

If you missed the live event, you can check out a full recap right here: A Tumblr Q&A with Valerie Jarrett 

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In September 2009, the President announced that—for the first time in history—White House visitor records would be made available to the public on an ongoing basis. Today, the White House releases visitor records that were generated in April 2014. This release brings the total number of records made public by this White House to more than 3.81 million—all of which can be viewed in our Disclosures section.

 

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Making the Business Case for Rural America

 

Ed. note: This is cross-posted from the USDA Blog, see the original post here.

 

These days, it seems like it’s easier than ever to turn a good idea into reality. This is the era of Kickstarter, where entrepreneurs can connect with potential investors at the click of a button.

 

Of course, it takes more than money to grow an idea. It takes an atmosphere that fosters creativity and rewards innovation. And at a deeper, less obvious level, it requires strong, secure infrastructure—roads and bridges, but also internet access and community facilities like hospitals and schoolsthat improves connectivity and access to information, moves products to market, and makes communities competitive and attractive to new businesses and investments.

 

Part of the challenge we face in rural America is that in too many places, infrastructure is outdated and cannot support the same kinds of opportunities that are easily found in cities and larger towns.

 

Read More.

 

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Joint Statement by the Presidents of the United States, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador

 

President Obama Meets with Central American Presidents

 

Published on Jul 25, 2014

After delivering remarks, President Obama meets with President Molina of Guatemala, President Hernandez of Honduras, and President Ceren of El Salvador, July 25, 2014.

 

 

 

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Obama Called “Antichrist” By Insane Heckler

 

Published on Jul 25, 2014

President Obama was confronted by an angry heckler who interrupted his speech and repeatedly called him “the antichrist.” This incident epitomizes the blind hatred Obama – America’s first African American President – has faced throughout his time in office.
The video of the heckler is courtesy of our friends over at Occupy Democrats

 

 

 

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Statements and Releases – July 25th, 2014

 

FACT SHEET: Visit of President Perez Molina of Guatemala, President Hernandez of Honduras, and President Sanchez Ceren of El Salvador

 

Statement by the Press Secretary on H.R. 255, H.R. 272, H.R. 291, H.R.330, H.R.356, H.R. 507, H.R. 697, H.R 876, H.R. 1158, H.R. 1216, H.R. 1376, H.R. 1813, H.R. 2337, H.R. 3110

 

 

Statement from the President on Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act

 

  • A Call Answered: Unlocking America’s Cell Phones

     

    Last year, over 114,000 of you made your voice heard and petitioned the Administration to restore a basic consumer freedom: to take your mobile service — and a phone or tablet you already own — to the carrier that best suits your needs.

     

    It’s common sense, good for competition and innovation, and essential to consumers.  That’s why the Administration declared last March that “It’s time to legalize cell phone unlocking,” and today the President commended Congress for doing just that:

     

    I applaud Members of Congress for passing the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act. Last year, in response to a “We the People” petition from consumers across our country, my Administration called for allowing Americans to use their phones or mobile devices on any network they choose. We laid out steps the FCC, industry, and Congress should take to ensure copyright law does not undermine wireless competition, and worked with wireless carriers to reach a voluntary agreement that helps restore this basic consumer freedom. The bill Congress passed today is another step toward giving ordinary Americans more flexibility and choice, so that they can find a cell phone carrier that meets their needs and their budget. I commend Chairmen Leahy and Goodlatte, and Ranking Members Grassley and Conyers for their leadership on this important consumer issue and look forward to signing this bill into law.

     

    Everyone has done their part to get here — from the FCC convening carriers, to the industry agreeing to voluntary steps to make their unlocking process transparent and reliable.  And as he said today, the President looks forward to signing this bill into law. It’s just one more way he is taking the lead in making life a little easier for the middle class, and ensuring our technology remains the envy of the world.

     

    You called, the President answered, and together we made cell phone unlocking happen.

 

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Connecting African Leaders to U.S. Industry Beyond the Beltway

 

The upcoming U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, which is the largest single engagement by any U.S. President with our African partners, will help the United States play a driving role in the continent’s future development.

Many Americans are aware that sub-Saharan Africa is a fast-growing region with tremendous potential, but they may not know about significant plans to develop infrastructure across the continent. We believe that these plans represent enormous business opportunities for U.S. companies of all sizes, and that is why we have invited key African decision-makers to meet with private-sector leaders in Chicago and Houston prior to the Summit.

These African Leaders’ Visits, which the U.S. Trade and Development Agency is partnering with the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Energy to host from July 30 to August 1, will highlight the United States’ experience fostering economic growth through key infrastructure investments. These Visits are the only commercially focused events to take African leaders to major U.S. cities outside of Washington, D.C. on the occasion of the Summit.

 

Read More.

 

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A Day in the Life: Deric from Baltimore

 

Meet Deric.

 

Deric Richardson had been out of work for over a year. He had a GED and a Microsoft Office certificate, but needed an opportunity to improve his skills. That opportunity came in the form of tuition-free training in laboratory skills provided by the nonprofit BioTechnical Institute of Maryland. Shortly after successfully completing the training, Deric was hired by Baltimore-based Paragon Bioservices in July 2010.

 

Today, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez is traveling to Baltimore to meet with him.

 

Deric’s story is just one great example of how job-driven training is working for Americans across the country. When we talk about “job-driven” training, we’re talking about making sure we’re providing people with the skills that employers are looking for right now to fill available jobs. Earlier this week, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which will elevate more job-driven programs like BTI.

 

This is the second in a series of “day in the life” trips Secretary Perez — in addition to other secretaries across the President’s cabinet — will be taking over the next few months. It’s a chance to talk directly with the people the Labor Department works for every day.

 

We want to make sure you see what he sees, too. Follow along today to see live updates and highlights from Secretary Perez’s day.

 

Read More.

 

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It's Raining Videos™

It’s Raining Videos™

 

ALERT: Russia Sending More Powerful Weapons to Rebels in Russia

 

Published on Jul 25, 2014

BREAKING: Russia is firing across border into Ukraine.
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) – Russia is launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border, the U.S. and Ukraine charged Friday in what appeared to be an ominous escalation of the crisis.
Russia accused Washington of lying and charged Ukraine with firing across the border on a Russian village. It also toughened its economic measures against Ukraine by banning dairy imports.

 

 

 

Senator Rips Republicans for ‘Nickel and Diming’ Veterans After Wasting Trillions on Iraq War

 

 

 

NYPD’s “chokehold” killing of father sparks outrage

 

Published on Jul 25, 2014

The New York City Police Department is under intense fire from community members after video emerged online of Eric Garner, a 43-year-old father of six, dying after officer’s placed him in a chokehold for selling bootleg cigarettes. Critics are equating the department’s use of the controversial move with murder, angry it continues to be widely used despite a more than 20-year-old ban. RT’s Anastasia Churkina speaks to activists and takes a look at the practices use nationwide.

 

 

 

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: The science of identifying a tragedy

 

Published on Jul 25, 2014

Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on the the science that will help bring closure to the families who lost loved ones on MH-17

 

 

 

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Dove of Peace

 

 

By Jueseppi B. The Militant Negro

By Jueseppi B. The Militant Negro

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Dumbfuckery Of The Day: Boehner: Why We Must Now Sue The President. {Cause We Can’t Beat Him Legally}


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From CNN:

 

Boehner: Why we must now sue the President

 

 Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, is speaker of the House of Representatives. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. Which means he does jack shit all day long.

 

 

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(CNN) — Every member of Congress swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So did President Barack Obama.

 

But too often over the past five years, the President has circumvented the American people and their elected representatives through executive action, changing and creating his own laws, and excusing himself from enforcing statutes he is sworn to uphold — at times even boasting about his willingness to do it, as if daring the American people to stop him.

 

Boehner: Why we must sue the President

 

Published on Jul 6, 2014

House Speaker John Boehner says he will introduce legislation that will authorize Congress to sue the President.

 

 

That’s why, later this month, we will bring legislation to the House floor that would authorize the House of Representatives to file suit in an effort to compel President Obama to follow his oath of office and faithfully execute the laws of our country.

The President’s response: “So sue me.”

obama-teachers

What’s disappointing is the President’s flippant dismissal of the Constitution we are both sworn to defend. It is utterly beneath the dignity of the office. I know the President is frustrated. I’m frustrated. The American people are frustrated, too.

After years of slow economic growth and high unemployment under President Obama, they are still asking, ‘where are the jobs?’ The House has passed more than 40 jobs bills that would help. But Washington Democrats, led by the President, just ignore them.

Even worse, the President’s habit of ignoring the law as written hurts our economy and jobs even more. Washington taxes and regulations always make it harder for private sector employers to meet payrolls, invest in new initiatives and create jobs — but how can those employers plan, invest and grow when the laws are changing on the President’s whim at any moment?

 

I don’t take the House legal action against the President lightly. We’ve passed legislation to address this problem (twice), but Senate Democrats, characteristically, have ignored it.

In the end, the Constitution makes it clear that the President’s job is to faithfully execute the laws. And, in my view, the President has not faithfully executed the laws when it comes to a range of issues, including his health care law, energy regulations, foreign policy and education.

 

There must be accountability. We have a system of government outlined in our Constitution with the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch. Congress has its job to do, and so does the President. When there are conflicts like this — between the legislative branch and the executive branch — it is my view that it is our responsibility to stand up for this institution in which we serve, and for the Constitution.

 

If you look back over American history, there has always been a tension between the inherent powers of the executive branch versus the inherent powers of the legislative branch. This issue is as old as Marbury vs. Madison and as fresh as the unanimous Supreme Court ruling last week that the President overstepped his authority on recess appointments.

Over the last five years, starting — not coincidentally — when his political party lost the majority in the House of Representatives, the President has consistently overstepped his authority under the Constitution, and in so doing eroded the power of the legislative branch.

The legislative branch has an obligation to defend the rights and responsibilities of the American people, and America’s constitutional balance of powers — before it is too late.

 

Opinion: Dear Speaker Boehner: Do your job instead

Opinion: GOP left Obama no choice but to act on immigration

 

 

Obama: Boehner’s lawsuit is ‘a stunt’

 

(CNN) – President Barack Obama called House Speaker John Boehner’s plans to file a lawsuit over the President’s use of executive action “a stunt,” in an interview with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos.

“You notice that he didn’t specifically say what exactly he was objecting to. I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something while they’re doing nothing,” the President said.

 

Barack Obama Dismisses John Boehner Lawsuit as a Stunt on GMA Interview 

 

Published on Jun 27, 2014

6-27-14 – (ABC) – The first part of George Stephanopoulos’ interview with President Barack Obama aired Friday morning on Good Morning America (more to come Sunday on This Week) and during their talk the president addressed House Speaker John Boehner’s proposed lawsuit against him for the first time. “You notice that he didn’t specifically say what exactly he was objecting to,” Obama told Stephanopoulos during his trip to Minnesota. “I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something while they’re doing nothing.”

 

“The suit is a stunt,” he added.

 

“What I’ve told Speaker Boehner directly is, ‘If you’re really concerned about me taking too many executive actions, why don’t you try getting something done through Congress?'” Obama continued, mentioning immigration reform as one area in which Americans want action. “You’re going to squawk if I try to fix some parts of it administratively that are within my authority while you’re not doing anything?”

 

On Wednesday, Boehner held a press conference in which he announced the planned lawsuit and criticized Obama for “bragging” about taking executive action on issues. But, he added, “This is not about impeachment, this is about his faithfully executing the laws of our country.”

 

 

 

“You know, the suit is a stunt. But what I’ve told Speaker Boehner directly is, ‘If you’re really concerned about me taking too many executive actions, why don’t you try getting something done through Congress?'”

 

The interview aired on ABC’s “Good Morning America”Friday morning. It was conducted Thursday during the President’s trip to Minneapolis, where Obama held a town hall meeting.

 

The President touted the accomplishments of his first five years in office but lamented the tone in Washington.

 

“What I do worry about is that right now we’ve got a Republican Party that seems to only care about saying no to me.” Obama said.

 

 

Obama Dismisses Boehner Lawsuit as a ‘Stunt’ on GMA

 

Published on Jun 27, 2014

The first part of George Stephanopoulos’ interview with President Barack Obama aired Friday morning on Good Morning America (more to come Sunday on This Week) and during their talk the president addressed House Speaker John Boehner’s proposed lawsuit against him for the first time.

 

 

 

He repeated his frustrations about the immigration reform bill passed a year ago by the Senate that’s been stalled in the House, and having to use executive action.

 

“The majority of American people want to see immigration reform done. We had a bipartisan bill through the Senate, and you’re going to squawk if I try to fix some parts of it administratively that are within my authority while you are not doing anything?'” the President added.

 

Responding to Obama’s comments, Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said Friday in a statement that “the American people, their elected representatives, and the Supreme Court have all expressed serious concerns about the President’s failure to follow the Constitution. Dismissing them with words like, ‘smidgen’ or ‘stunt’ only reinforces their frustration.”

 

Republicans argue that the President is breaching his constitutional power by side-stepping the legislative process. Obama has used executive actions as a way to bypass a deeply divided Congress, avoiding inaction on issues the White House has made hallmarks of the President’s second term agenda.

 

So far, the Republican-controlled House has passed two bills aimed at curbing executive orders by the President, neither of which have gone anywhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

 

At this point in his presidency, Obama has issued less executive orders than his most recent two-term predecessors in the White House, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Ronald Reagan.

 

In speaking of immigration during the interview, the President was asked about the thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America coming across the southern border. He implored their parents to not send their kids.

 

“Our message absolutely is, ‘Don’t send your children unaccompanied on trains on through a bunch of smugglers.’ That is our direct message to the families in Central America. ‘Do not send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they’ll get sent back. More importantly, they may not make it’,” he said.

 

CNN Senior Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh contributed to this story

 

 

The United States Of AmeriKKKa

The United States Of AmeriKKKa

 

The following video has nothing to do with the topic of this post, but is so magnificently stupid that I felt compelled to post it here and now….

 

Waitresses openly carry guns at restaurant in Rifle, Colorado

 

Published on Jul 8, 2014

While “open carry” firearm laws are being debated across the country, there’s been a push back from some businesses about allowing owners to carry handguns in public. Barry Petersen reports on a Colorado establishment taking the opposite approach.

 

 

 

Doc Holiday was a gunslinger/killer……John Henry “Doc” Holliday (August 14, 1851 – November 8, 1887) was an American gambler,gunfighter, and dentist of the American Old West who is usually remembered for his friendship with Wyatt Earp and his involvement in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

 

Doc was no joke, he’d shoot you as soon as look at you. Doc wore his peacemaker in the only position proven to allow  fast draw with accuracy…over his left hip high up with the handle angled to his right side, at hand height. The dumbass females in the above video, as well as the patrons of Shooters Grill, all have their weapons on them for show only. You can not fast draw with any accuracy with a weapon holstered on the hip low down on your dominant side.

 

In other words, if “bad guys” were to walk into Shooters Grill to kill, every last idiot armed with a weapon, they would all be dead.

 

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Now this is a real gunslinger, and this is how real killers wear their side arms…..this ain’t for show.

 

 

This is an example of fools ready to die…….

 

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This bullshit is clearly a marketing tool to get dumbass rednecks into this place of business….

 

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So when in Rifle, Colorado…stop into Shooters Grill….where you’ll be safe cause good guys with guns hang out there.

 

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Opportunity For All: My Brother’s Keeper Blueprint For Action.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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President Barack Obama on Friday gets a status report on his My Brother’s Keeper Task Force.

 

My Brother’s Keeper Task Force report: “The My Brother’s Keeper Task Force was established to develop a coordinated Federaleffort to improve significantly the expected life outcomes for boys and young men of color (including Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans) and their contributions to U.S. prosperity, so that all youth have an equal opportunity at the American dream. It is important to note that there is significant diversity within and among these groups of the population. Differences of language status, income, disability, sexual orientation and many other factors influence the identity and  experience of these young people, just as any other population.”

 

The My Brother’s Keeper Initiative

 

Published on May 30, 2014

President Obama is taking action to launch My Brother’s Keeper — a new initiative to help every boy and young man of color who is willing to do the hard work to get ahead. Learn how you can get involved at http://whitehouse.gov/my-brothers-keeper

 

 

 

FACT SHEET & REPORT: Opportunity for All: My Brother’s Keeper Blueprint for Action

 

The My Brother’s Keeper Task Force Report to the President can be found HERE.

 

Over the past five years, the hard work and grit of the American people pulled our economy back from the brink of collapse.  We are now moving forward again.  But there is more work to do, and for decades opportunity has lagged behind for some, including millions of boys and young men of color.  Boys of color are too often born into poverty and live with a single parent.  And while their gains contributed to the national high school graduation rate reaching an all-time high, in some school districts dropout rates remain high.  Too many of these boys and young men will have negative interactions with the juvenile and criminal justice system, and the dream of a college education is within grasp for too few.  Our society can and will do more to help remove barriers to all young people’s success, because America prospers not only when hard work and responsibility are rewarded but also when we all pull forward together.

 

Rebuilding that core American value—community—is why the President launched My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative designed to determine what works to help young people stay on track to reach their full potential.

 

The Administration is doing its part by identifying programs and policies that work, and recommending action that will help all our young people succeed.  Since the launch of My Brother’s Keeper, the President’s Task Force has met with and heard from thousands of Americans, through online and in-person listening sessions, who are already taking action.  Cities and towns, businesses, foundations, faith leaders and individuals have made commitments to helping youth get a strong start in school and life and later connect them to mentoring, support networks and specialized skills they need to find a good job or go to college and work their way up into the middle class.  As President Obama has said, “We are stronger when America fields a full team.”

 

Today, the President met with his Cabinet to discuss the Task Force’s initial assessments and recommendations and the President called on the American people to get engaged through mentorship opportunities nationwide.

 

 

Call to Action

The President is calling on Americans interested in getting involved in My Brother’s Keeper to sign up as long-term mentors to young people at WH.gov/mybrotherskeeper.  This effort will engage Americans from all walks of life to sign up to develop sustained and direct mentoring relationships that will play vital roles in the lives of young people.

 

It is important that all children have caring adults who are engaged in their lives.  But too many young people lack this support.  For example, roughly two-thirds of Black and one-third of Hispanic children live with only one parent.   Moreover, research suggests that a father’s absence increases the risk of his child dropping out of school among Blacks and Hispanics by 75 percent and 96 percent respectively.  We see significant high school dropout rates—as high as 50 percent in some school districts—including among boys and young men from certain Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander populations. And some 27 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives live in poverty, compared to 11.6% of White Americans.

 

Presidential Task Force 90-Day Report

As part of its 90-day report, the Task Force has identified a set of initial recommendations to the President, and a blueprint for action by government, business, non-profit, philanthropic, faith and community partners.

 

In developing its recommendations, the Task Force identified key milestones in the path to adulthood that are especially predictive of later success, and where interventions can have the greatest impact:

 

  1. Getting a healthy start and entering school ready to learn;
  2. Reading by third grade;
  3. Graduating from high school ready for college and career;
  4. Completing post-secondary education or training;
  5. Entering the workforce;
  6. Keeping kids on track and giving them second chances.

 

By focusing on these key moments, and helping our young people avoid roadblocks that hinder progress across life stages, we can help ensure that all children and young people have the tools they need to build successful lives.  Focused on areas of action that can improve outcomes at these key moments, the President’s Task Force today presented him with recommendations including:

 

Cross-Cutting Recommendations

  • Launch a public-private campaign to actively recruit mentors for youth and improve the quality of mentoring programs.
  • Make the status and progress of boys and young men of color and other populations more visible by improving data collection and transparency.

 

A Healthy Start and Ready for School

  • Eliminate suspensions and expulsions in preschool and other early learning settings.

 

Reading at Grade Level by the End of Third Grade

  • Close the word gap by launching a public and private initiative to increase joint and independent reading time outside of school and build a reading culture in more homes.

 

Graduating from High School

  • Increase focus on transforming the schools and districts producing the majority of the country’s dropouts.

 

Completing Post-Secondary Education or Training

  • Increase college completion by expanding students’ access to and successful completion of rigorous courses, such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and dual enrollment options in high school.

 

Entering the Workforce

  • Increase awareness about youth summer employment and use of pre-apprenticeships as good entry-level jobs.

 

Reducing Violence and Providing a Second Chance

  • Institutionalize community oriented policing practices in the field and employ methods to address racial and ethnic bias within the juvenile and criminal justice systems.

 

The recommendations identified by the President’s Task Force mark the starting point of what must and will be a long-term effort.  The Task Force and public, private and philanthropic actors will continue to develop recommendations and support community solutions well beyond this 90-day progress report.

 

In addition to today’s announcements, in coming weeks and months, leading foundations will independently announce specific commitments to help ensure young people can succeed.  The following foundations will together seek to invest at least $200 million:  The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The California Endowment, The Ford Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Open Society Foundations, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Kapor Center for Social Impact, and the Nathan Cummings Foundation.

 

 

My Brother’s Keeper

 

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Remarks by the President at DSCC Dinner — Chicago, IL: “I need a Democratic Senate.” Don’t Forget A Democratic House.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Remarks by the President at DSCC Dinner — Chicago, IL

Private Residence
Chicago, Illinois

8:17 P.M. CDT

 

THE PRESIDENT:  First of all, to Fred and Dan, I’m so grateful for you guys hosting us here today.  I’m trying to remember — was it two years ago or three years ago that I was here?

 

Response from audience:  Two years ago.  And you were here in –

 

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I’ve been here a lot, I know.  (Laughter.)  I meant most recently.  I have abused Fred’s hospitality for quite some time.  But it is wonderful to be home now that is has warmed up.  (Laughter.)  And it is wonderful to be with a lot of old friends.

 

There are a couple other people I just want to acknowledge real quickly.  Obviously, our Governor Pat Quinn is in the house.  Please give him a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  Pat is doing a lot of hard stuff, and he’s doing it the right way.  And I’m very appreciative for all the efforts that he’s making down in Springfield.

 

We also have two of our finest public servants in the country.  The first has the thankless job of being the chair of the Democratic Senatorial Reelection Committee, and that is our outstanding senator from Colorado, Michael Bennet.  (Applause.)  And the second guy is the person who, upon my election to the United States Senate, essentially taught me everything that he knew and kept me out of trouble, and supported me every step of the way when I ran for President, and has been a great friend and champion on behalf of working families not just in Illinois, but all across the country.  He is a great friend.  I couldn’t be prouder to be associated with him — Dick Durbin.  (Applause.)

 

So the goal here is not for me to give a long speech, because I want to have a conversation with you, but let me just set the context.  A little over five years since I’ve been elected.  We’ve gone from losing 800,000 jobs a month to creating over 9 million jobs.  The unemployment rate has come down.  The housing value has come up.  The stock market — gone up.  Trillions of dollars of wealth restored for families all across the country.  The deficit — you wouldn’t know it always from reading the newspapers — has been cut by more than half.

 

Clean energy — we’ve doubled.  Greenhouse gases — we’ve lowered.  Exports — we’re on track to double.  College enrollment hitting all-time peaks.  High school dropout rates going down.  Latino dropout rates cut in half since 2000.

 

We’ve ended two wars.  We are — or we’ve ended one war and we’re in the process of ending the second.  We’re producing more energy than we ever have before, and we’re importing less foreign oil than we have in close to two decades.

 

So there are a whole bunch of metrics — a whole bunch of measures by which you’d say, indisputably, that we are better off now than we were when I came into office.  And a lot of that has to do with the incredible resilience and grit and hard work of the American people.  And yet, there’s still anxiety all across America.  And some of it is that people still feel the trauma of seeing their home values drop, or their 401(k)s plunge, or losing their job, or seeing a friend of theirs lose their home.  And you don’t shake those things off right away.  It feels as if the ground is less firm under your feet.

 

But a lot of it has to do with the fact that we’ve got trends that have continued over the course of decades in which those of us, frankly, in this room continue to do better and better.  Folks at the top have seen their incomes and their wealth soar.  And ordinary Americans have seen their wages and incomes flat-line at the same time as the costs of everything has gone up.  And so they’re less confident that not only they will be able to retire with some dignity and maintain their standard of living; more importantly, they’re concerned that their kids are not going to be able to match their standard of living and the upward trajectory of their lives — the idea that if you work hard, if you take responsibility in this country, you can get ahead.

 

Now, there are a lot of issues that we face in this country, but nothing is more important than restoring, making real that ideal that if you work hard in this country, you can make it.  And everything I think about every single day that I’m President revolves around that issue, along with keeping the American people safe.  And the problem I’ve got right now is not that we’re on the wrong side of issues.  There’s not an issue out there in which we do not enjoy majority support.  Immigration reform — the majority agrees with us.  Minimum wage — the majority agrees with us.  Equal pay for equal work — the majority agrees with us.  Increasing clean energy — the majority agrees with us.  Invest in education, early childhood education, making college more affordable — folks on our side.  That’s not my problem.  That’s not our problem.

 

Our problem is very simple:  We have a Congress that currently is controlled, at least half of it, by an ideological faction that is not representative of the traditions of the Republican Party as I understood them — maybe because I come from the land of Lincoln.  I thought we believed in investing in infrastructure.  I thought we believed in science.  I didn’t think those were partisan issues.  I thought we believed in education.  But this crowd doesn’t believe in science; doesn’t really believe in investing in our kids to make sure that upward mobility exists; doesn’t believe in climate change; doesn’t think that there’s really a problem in terms of the pay gap between men and women; isn’t interested in providing help for families.

 

They operate on a single theory — which is, if government is dismantled and folks at the top can do more and more without restraint, that everybody else is going to benefit from it.  I don’t know if they actually believe it, but that’s what they say.  And this is not a situation of equivalence where the Democrats are this far-left crazy group and we’re not willing to meet in the middle.  And if you need a better example than that, take a look at a health care law that uses the private sector to encourage people to buy insurance and has brought health care inflation down to its lowest rate in 50 years.  And you would think that I had dismantled the entire free-market system — despite the fact that we now have somewhere between 13 and 15 million people who have insurance now that didn’t have it before.

 

So I need a new Congress.  But at a minimum, I’ve got to have a Democratic Senate.  And that’s why you’re here.  Which leads me to my last point:  If, in fact, people agree with us, why is it so hard for us to get a Democratic Senate and a Democratic House?  Well, part of it is demographics.  I was in Brooklyn with de Blasio — this is right before he was about to be elected — and we were coming from this wonderful school that’s training kids in math and science.  And we’re driving down Brooklyn and crowds are cheering, and we go into this place to buy some cheesecake and people are hugging me — and, oh, my uncle just got on Obamacare and it’s terrific.  And a woman yells out, what can I do to help?  And I said, move to Nebraska!  (Laughter.)  I don’t need 80 percent of the vote in New York City — (laughter) — or Chicago.  But Democrats tend to congregate a little more densely, which puts us at a disadvantage in the House.  Obviously, the nature of the Senate means that California has the same number of Senate seats as Wyoming.  That puts us at a disadvantage.  Gerrymandering in many of these states puts us at a disadvantage.

 

So there are some structural reasons why, despite the fact that Republican ideas are largely rejected by the public, it’s still hard for us to break through.  But the second reason is we have a congenital disease, which is we don’t like voting in midterms.  Our voters are younger, more minorities, more single women, more working-class folks who are busy and trying to get to work, trying to find work.  And oftentimes we opt out during midterms.  If we had the same turnout in 2012 that we had had in 2010, I might have lost.  Instead, of course, we had a very significant and solid victory.

 

So this is pretty straightforward — I need more votes.  I need more people voting to reflect our values and what we care about and our stance on the issues, which, in turn, leads to senators and congressman who then vote on behalf of actually getting stuff done.  A bunch of you, because you’ve known me for a long time, came up and commiserated while we were taking pictures — oh, these folks are so mean and there’s always slinging and hurling stones and arrows at you, and all this.  And I said, you know what, it turns out — maybe I’m from Chicago — I’m a tough guy.  It doesn’t really bother me too much.

 

There is one thing that bothers me, which is when I hear folks saying, oh, you know, if you just play golf with John Boehner more — (laughter) — and we’re just trying harder to be more bipartisan, then we’d get more stuff done.  That’s not the problem.  (Laughter.)  On every issue we are more than happy to sit down in reasonable fashion and compromise.  The problem is not that we’re too mean or we’re too partisan.  The problem is I don’t have enough votes — full stop.

 

The first two years, when we had a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate, we had the most productive legislature since the 1960s, since Lyndon Johnson — more significant, meaningful domestic legislation than any time since Medicare was passed.  House Republicans take over and we now have — you remember Harry Truman with the do-nothing Congress?  This is a less productive Congress than the do-nothing Congress.  (Laughter.)  This Congress makes the do-nothing Congress look like the New Deal.  (Laughter.)

 

So I need everybody to feel a sense of urgency.  That’s what we’re here tonight to talk about.  And whatever else I say, whatever issues you are concerned about, ultimately it translates into math — are we turning out voters who, in turn, produce majorities that allow us to advance the values that we care about.  Everything else is just talk.  And if we don’t feel that sense of urgency in this election, we’re going to have problems.  And if we do, then in the next two and half years we can make as much progress as we did the first two years I was in office.

 

All right.  Thank you very much, everybody.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

 

END
8:32 P.M. CDT

 

 

And The Very Next Morning At Breakfast…..

 

Obama Breakfasts At Old Chicago Favorite

It was an old home kind of Friday for President Obama. The president — and former Chicago resident — had breakfast at a favored old stomping ground, Valois Restaurant in Hyde Park. Obama, who dined with Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, ordered two eggs over medium with bacon and hash browns, and then plopped down a pair of $20 bills. “I don’t take free food,” Obama said.

It was a familiar place for Obama. A glass cabinet featured Valois coffee mugs adorned with Obama’s face, while assorted Obama clippings and photos hung on a wall. A separate menu board featured “President Obama’s favorites,” including “N.Y. steak and eggs”; two eggs with bacon or sausage; two pancakes; steak omelet; Mediterranean omelet; and an “all-vegi” egg white omelet.

 

 

Obama gives hugs, selfies at Chicago restaurant at Valois Cafeteria in Hyde Park 

 

 

 

 President Obama gets breakfast at Valois Cafeteria in Chicago, IL, eggs, bacon & hash browns

President Obama gets breakfast at Valois Cafeteria in Chicago, IL, eggs, bacon & hash browns

Barack greets diners during a breakfast stop at Valois Cafeteria in Chicago, on the South SIIIIDDDDEEEE.

Barack greets diners during a breakfast stop at Valois Cafeteria in Chicago, on the South SIIIIDDDDEEEE.

 

Back home briefly, Obama breakfasts with Illinois governor

 

Published on May 23, 2014

After a quick overnight at his Chicago house for the first time in almost a year, the president patronized one of his favorite local haunts, Valois Restaurant, with Gov. Pat Quinn, D-Ill.

 

 

 

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Returing Home

 

 

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The White House Blog Updates™: A Message From The President. The White House Beards.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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President Barack Obama: 7.1 million Americans.

 

Last night, the first open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act came to an end.

 

And this afternoon, we announced that 7.1 million Americans have now signed up for private insurance plans through the new Health Insurance Marketplaces.

 

7.1 million.

 

That doesn’t count the more than 3 million young adults who have gained insurance under this law by staying on their families’ plans. It doesn’t count the millions more who have gotten covered through the expansion of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. It doesn’t include the more than 100 million folks who now have better care — who are receiving additional benefits, like mammograms and contraceptive care, at no extra cost.

 

Now, millions of our fellow Americans have the comfort and peace of mind that comes with knowing they’re no longer leaving their health and well-being to chance. For many of them, quality health insurance wasn’t an option until this year — maybe because they couldn’t afford it, or because a pre-existing condition kept them locked out of a discriminatory system.

 

Today, that’s changed. And while our long-broken health care system may not be completely fixed, it’s without question a lot better. That’s something to be proud of — and there’s no good reason to go back.

 

Regardless of your politics, or your feelings about the Affordable Care Act, millions more Americans with health coverage is something that’s good for our economy and our country.

 

At the end of the day, that is what this law — and the other reforms we’re fighting for, from a 21st-century immigration system to a fairer wage for every American who’s willing to work for it — are all about:

 

Making sure our country lives up to our highest ideals.

 

I am thankful to be your President today, and every day. And I am proud that this law will continue to make life better for millions of Americans in the years to come.

 

Thank you.

President Barack Obama

 

 

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Announcing the President’s Council on Beards

 

 

 

Today, President Obama announced the creation of the President’s Council on Beards, a committee of volunteer citizens and officials dedicated to honoring our nation’s history, and promoting men’s health and wellness.

 

Finding inspiration from today’s visit by the renowned beard enthusiasts from the 2013 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, the President has pulled together an experienced, enthusiastic, and hairy team of council members to advise him on issues related to beard growth, health, and styles.

 

 

Catching up with the Curator: Presidential Beards

 

Published on Apr 1, 2014

In the latest installment of “Catching up with the Curator”, White House curator Bill Allman discusses the history of beards at the White House. Learn more athttp://WhiteHouse.gov/beards

 

 

 

Led by chair Jay Carney, also known as “The Briefing Beard,” council members include:

 

 

For more on the history of beards at the White House, watch our latest installment of “Catching up with the Curator” with Bill Allman.

 

 

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Statements and Releases – April 01, 2014

 

Message to the Congress — Iceland and the Fisherman’s Protective Act

 

Readout of the Vice President’s Meeting with Business Executives from Information Technology Companies

 

Statement by the Press Secretary on the House Republican Budget

 

 

Remarks by the President Honoring the 2013 World Series Champion Boston Red Sox

 

 

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