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Mr. Jonathan Fleming, Freed From Prison After 25 Years, For Murder.


 

By Jueseppi B.

Welcome Home Mr. Jonathan Fleming. 25 years serving time for a crime you didn't commit...welcome to freedom.

Welcome Home Mr. Jonathan Fleming. 25 years serving time for a crime you didn’t commit…welcome to freedom.

 

Jonathan Fleming Released by Brooklyn D.A. 24 Years After Wrongful Conviction

 

Published on Apr 9, 2014

Jonathan Fleming is released after 24 years in prison, after being wrongfully convicted of a murder he did not commit.

 

 

 

Jonathan Fleming, center, exits the courthouse with his mother Patricia Fleming, left, and his ex-wife Valerie Brown in New York on April 8. Jonathan Fleming, who spent almost a quarter-century behind bars for murder, was freed on Tuesday and cleared of a killing that happened when he was 1,100 miles away on a Disney World vacation. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Jonathan Fleming, center, exits the courthouse with his mother Patricia Fleming, left, and his ex-wife Valerie Brown in New York on April 8. Jonathan Fleming, who spent almost a quarter-century behind bars for murder, was freed on Tuesday and cleared of a killing that happened when he was 1,100 miles away on a Disney World vacation. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

 

From CNN:

 

Jonathan Fleming, convicted in killing despite vacation alibi, freed after 25 years

 

New York (CNN) – A New York judge Tuesday vacated the conviction of a man who spent nearly a quarter of a century behind bars for a Brooklyn slaying that occurred while he was vacationing in Florida.

Jonathan Fleming, 51, was found guilty in 1989 in the death of Darryl Rush in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn and served the next 24 years and 8 months in prison, according to the Kings County district attorney’s office. He was released Tuesday afternoon.

Fleming has always maintained he was on a family trip to Disney World in Florida when Rush was shot to death early on the morning of August 15, 1989, in a dispute over stolen money. After years of reviewing documents and re-interviewing witnesses as part of a joint investigation between his attorneys and the Brooklyn district attorney’s Conviction Review Unit, it was determined that the only evidence tying him to the crime was an alleged witness who later recanted her statement.

“As you can imagine, after sitting in jail for 25 years for a crime he didn’t commit, he can’t help but feel vindicated,” said one of Fleming’s lawyers, Anthony Mayol. “On the flip side, that’s 25 years that have been stolen, that he’ll never get back.”

25 years later, man wrongfully convicted of murder goes free

 

At 2:20 P.M. Tuesday, New York Supreme Court Judge Matthew J. D’Emic made the pronouncement that Fleming and a courtroom of his family and friends had been waiting nearly 25 years to hear. “The motion to vacate is granted,” said the judge, regarding Fleming’s 1989 conviction and sentence for the murder of Darry Rush.

 

 

At his trial, defense lawyers provided family photos and home videos of Fleming in Florida around the time of Rush’s killing. But according to Taylor Koss, another of Fleming’s lawyers, they did not have evidence he was in Florida on the day of the slaying. The prosecution persuaded jurors to ignore the alibi.

Fleming told his attorneys he had paid a bill for phone calls made from his Florida hotel room the night before Rush was killed, and he believed the receipt was in his pocket when police arrested him. But authorities told the defense he had no such receipt, according to Koss.

In the course of the investigation, the Conviction Review Unit found the receipt in police records, time stamped and dated — solidifying Fleming’s claim that he was in Florida at the time of the killing, according to the district attorney’s office.

“This is proof of alibi that was basically purposely withheld,” Koss said.

The review unit also interviewed Fleming’s former girlfriend, who said she called Fleming the night of the killing while he was still at his hotel in Florida. The investigation found her story to be credible, with phone records to support it.

The prosecution also produced a witness who said she saw Fleming commit the crime.

According to Koss, the woman recanted her testimony weeks after Fleming’s conviction. She later testified in front of a judge that she was on parole and had been arrested with another woman for being in a stolen van the night of the killing. She said police persuaded her to give a statement against Fleming to avoid going back to jail.

Koss said the judge threw out her later testimony because she could not provide enough facts to back up her story.

A review unit search of police records years later came up with a timeline. The woman on probation was arrested with another woman on grand larceny charges and brought to the Brooklyn district attorney’s office, where she gave a statement. Within the hour, the investigation found, charges against her were dropped.

Koss said defense investigators even found a witness in South Carolina who claims to have been the getaway driver during Rush’s killing and who even identified someone they say is the real killer.

Judge Matthew D’Emic Tuesday vacated the conviction after a “careful and thorough review of this case, and based on key alibi facts that place Fleming in Florida at the time of the murder,” said District Attorney Ken Thompson.

Koss and Mayol say the next step is ensuring that Fleming has a way to support himself after he is released.

“He has no job, no career, no prospects,” Koss said.

“We’re suing everybody, let’s be honest,” Koss added, saying Fleming’s legal team intends to bring a civil rights lawsuit against the city and seek reparations from the state under a provision set up to redress wrongful convictions.

Thompson, who became district attorney at the beginning of the year, has already released two men who had been in prison for more than half their lives in connection with three killings after DNA evidence tore holes in their convictions in February.

Antonio Yarbough and Sharrif Wilson were teenagers when they were imprisoned. But after reviewing DNA evidence, Thompson said the previous convictions for the 1992 murders in Brooklyn would most likely not stand up in court and agreed the two men should be freed.

Those cases, as well as Fleming’s, are not connected to investigations into Detective Louis Scarcella, whose questionable tactics have led to a review of some 50 other cases, the district attorney’s office said.

On Monday, Thompson named Harvard law professor Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr. as special counsel to the district attorney for the Conviction Review Unit. Sullivan, who heads Harvard’s Criminal Justice Institute, will guide the group in future cases brought for review, according to the District Attorney’s office.

 

 

Prisoner Freed After 25 Years

 

Published on Apr 9, 2014

NEW YORK – A New York man has been exonerated over a 1989 murder as part of larger review of questionable convictions. 51 year old Jonathan Fleming had been on holiday in Disney World at the time of the murder and had documents supporting his alibi, but he was still convicted. Since then, a key eyewitness has recanted and prosecutors turned up a hotel receipt proving he was in Florida hours before the killing.

 

 

 

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HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Does Her Job: 9.1 Covered Under ObamaCARES. Now Time To Move On.


 

By Jueseppi B.

Job well done, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Resigning

Job well done, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Resigning.

 

All The TeaTardedRepubliCANT Pseudo-Freudian Psycho-Sexual Secret-Whore Pro-caucasian Pro-Racist Anti-LGBTQA1 Anti- Feminist Reich Wing GOPretender Conselfishservative NRA-Gun Loving Nut Bag Party members who said: ““She had an impossible task: nobody can make Obamacare work,” Eric Cantor Verified @GOPLeader turned out to be lying dumbass fool.

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Official: Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius resigning

 

From CNN:

 

By Jim Acosta and Greg Botelho, CNN

 

(CNN) – Kathleen Sebelius — who weathered heavy criticism over the flaw-filled launch of the Obamacare website, then saw the program through as it topped a major milestone — is resigning as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, a White House official said Thursday.

President Barack Obama intends to nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, current director of the Office of Management and Budget, to replace Sebelius, according to the official.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell

Sylvia Mathews Burwell

A former Kansas governor and, before that, state insurance commissioner, Sebelius was sworn in as HHS secretary in April 2009.

Her time as head of the federal health agency coincided with the passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the bill often referred to as Obamacare.

Sebelius came under fire last fall for the rocky rollout of HealthCare.gov, the website central to the new law’s implementation.

That included being subject of a “Saturday Night Live” parody and talk show one-liners panning her. Republicans in Congress were especially critical of what they saw as her lack of leadership shepherding through what they saw as an ill-conceived, ill-advised law. Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso went so far as to characterize her last October as the “laughingstock of America.”

But Sebelius, 65, held on to her job, insisting America shouldn’t abandon the legislation and all that it hopes to achieve.

In an interview with CNN’s Sanjay Gupta, she admitted that Obama didn’t know of the website’s many technical problems until “the first couple of days” after it went live October 1.

“There are people in this country who have waited for decades for affordable health coverage for themselves and their families,” Sebelius said, explaining why the website’s launch wasn’t pushed back despite anticipated problems. “…So waiting is not really an option.”

The website’s performance did improve significantly, prompting the calls for her job to die down as well. Earlier this month, in a letter to department employees, Sebelius reflected on Obamacare enrollment exceeding its target of 7 million as evidence of “the progress we’ve made, together,” while stating “our work is far from over.”

“I know that this law has been at the center of much debate and discourse in Washington, but what this enrollment demonstrates is that the Affordable Care Act is working and much needed,” she said in the note.

Obamacare hits 7.5 million sign-ups, Sebelius says

According to senior Obama administration officials, Sebelius told the President in early March that she thought the enrollment period would end well and, after that, she planned to step down. Even granted the initial uproar over the website, her decision to resign was on her own accord, the officials said.

One White House official praised her overseeing “one of the most consequential initiatives of this administration” as well as her efforts to “improve children’s health, expand mental health care, reduce racial and ethnic disparities, bring us closer to the first AIDS-free generation and promote women’s health.”

“The President is deeply grateful for her service,” the official said.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican, thanked Sebelius for her five years in the federal government — while taking at a swipe at the legislation she is most closely associated with.

“She had an impossible task: nobody can make Obamacare work,” Cantor tweeted.

Other Republicans weren’t that gracious. Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee said Sebelius’ departure “has been a long time coming after a litany of failures and total mismanagement.”

Not surprisingly, given the sharp partisan divide that defines the Obamacare debate, Democrats came to her support. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi commended the outgoing health secretary for her dedication “to a single purpose: to make health care a right, not a privilege, for all Americans.”

“When all is said and done,” tweeted ex-Obama senior adviser David Axelrod, “Sebelius has lots to be proud of, including the surprisingly strong finish on exchange signups after rocky start.”

Sebelius is expected to be by the President’s side at 11 a.m. Friday when he announces Burwell’s nomination, according to a White House official.

Burwell, 48, was confirmed to her current Cabinet-rank position in April 2013. She came to the White House from her spot atop the Walmart Foundation — the giant retail chain’s charitable organization which, according to its website, donated nearly $1 billion to causes worldwide in 2011.

Prior to that, Burwell worked for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and in President Bill Clinton’s administration under then-Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.

States work with Obamacare to help undocumented immigrants

CNN‘s Jake Tapper contributed to this report.

Thank you CNN.

 

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wave goodbye to the du,nass 113th CongrASS, thats the 113th Do Nothing CongrASS

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wave goodbye to the du,nass 113th CongrASS, thats the 113th Do Nothing CongrASS

 

From ABC News:

 

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will announce Friday she is stepping down, ABC News has confirmed.

 

The president will nominate Sylvia Burwell, director of the Office of Management and Budget, to replace her.

 

Sylvia Mathews Burwell

Sylvia Mathews Burwell

 

Sebelius approached President Obama about a month ago and asked to step down after the health care sign-up numbers were released, two senior administration officials and a confidante of Sebelius’ told ABC News.

 

The White House always worried about finding someone to win confirmation at HHS, but Burwell was overwhelmingly confirmed as budget director with a vote of 96-0 about a year ago.

 

Earlier today Sebelius was on Capitol Hill to announce that 400,000 additional people have chosen insurance plans through the Obamacare exchanges as of this week, raising the total number of enrollees to approximately 7.5 million.

 

“As of this week, 400,000 additional Americans have signed up and we expect that number to continue to grow,” Sebelius said at a Senate Finance Committee hearing Thursday.

 

Last week, the administration announced 7.1 million people had enrolled as of April 1.

 

“From her work on Head Start, to expanding mental health coverage, to advancing cutting-edge health care research and, of course, her unwavering leadership in implementing the Affordable Care Act, Secretary Sebelius often calls her work here the most meaningful of her life,” an HHS official said in a statement. “As she closes this chapter, Secretary Sebelius is extremely thankful to President Obama and very proud of the historic accomplishments of this Administration.”

 

ABC ’s Arlette Saenz and Devin Dwyer contributed reporting.

 

Thank you ABC News

 

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President Obama Announces his Intent to Nominate Dr. William “Bro” Adams as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities

 

President William (Br0) Adams

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Dr. William “Bro” Adams as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

President Obama said, “Bro brings demonstrated leadership and decades of experience as an administrator at major universities and liberal arts institutions.  His clear dedication and lifelong commitment to the humanities make him uniquely qualified to lead the nation’s cultural agency. I’m proud to nominate Bro as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and look forward to working with him in the months and years to come.”

President Obama announced his intent to nominate Dr. William “Bro” Adams as Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities:

Dr. William “Bro” Adams, Nominee for Chairman, National Endowment for the Humanities
Dr. William “Bro” Adams is President of Colby College, a position he has held since 2000.  Previously, he was President of Bucknell University from 1995 to 2000.  Dr. Adams was Vice President and Secretary of Wesleyan University from 1993 to 1995, and was Program Coordinator of the Great Works in Western Culture program at Stanford University from 1986 to 1988.  Earlier in his career, he held various teaching positions at Stanford University, Santa Clara University, and the University of North Carolina.  Dr. Adams served in the Vietnam War as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army.  In 1977, he became a Fulbright Scholar and conducted research at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes and the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, France.  Dr. Adams is a member of the Board of Directors of the Maine Film Center and the Maine Public Broadcasting Corporation.  Dr. Adams received a B.A. from the Colorado College and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

 

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Statement by the President

Today, the Minnesota Legislature took action to increase the state minimum wage, giving more hardworking Minnesotans the raise they deserve. With this important step, Minnesota joins a growing coalition of states, cities, counties and businesses that have taken action to do the right thing for their workers and their citizens. I commend the state legislature for raising their minimum wage and we look forward to Governor Dayton signing the bill into law soon.  I urge Congress to follow Minnesota’s lead, raise the federal minimum wage, and lift wages for 28 million Americans.  Congress should listen to the majority of Americans who say it’s time to give America a raise and help ensure that no American who works full time has to raise a family in poverty.

 

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Statement by the President

Today, Senate Republicans overwhelmingly blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act – preventing it from even receiving an honest debate, let alone a simple yes-or-no vote.  The Paycheck Fairness Act is commonsense legislation that would strengthen the 1963 Equal Pay Act and reinforce our country’s commitment to the principle of equal pay for equal work.  Yesterday, I took two actions that will make it easier for working women to earn fair pay, and my Administration will continue to do everything we can to make sure that every hard-working American earns the respect and wages that they deserve on the job.  But Republicans in Congress continue to oppose serious efforts to create jobs, grow the economy, and level the playing field for working families.  That’s wrong, and it’s harmful for our national efforts to rebuild an economy that gives every American who works hard a fair shot to get ahead.

 

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Statement by the President

The Maryland Legislature did the right thing for its workers today by increasing the state minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Maryland’s important action is a reminder that many states, cities and counties – as well as a majority of the American people – are way ahead of Washington on this crucial issue. I applaud Governor O’Malley and the state legislature for leading by example and giving more Maryland workers the raise they deserve. But there’s only one group who can get the job done for the entire country – that’s Congress. They should follow Maryland’s lead and lift wages for 28 million Americans by passing legislation to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10, helping to ensure that no American who works full time has to raise a family in poverty, and that every American who works hard has the opportunity to succeed.

 

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From Politics Early & Often, Chicago Sun-Times:

 

House kills effort to ban ‘conversion therapy’ for gay kids

 

State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, voted against a bill to outlaw “conversion therapy” -- intended to make gay, bisexual and transgender youth heterosexual. File Photo | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, voted against a bill to outlaw “conversion therapy” — intended to make gay, bisexual and transgender youth heterosexual. File Photo | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

 

SPRINGFIELD-A bid to block therapists from engaging in “conversion therapy” with gay, bisexual and transgender youth in order to make them heterosexual failed Thursday in the Illinois House.

 

The measure, proposed by Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, lost on a 44-51 roll call despite her plea to colleagues to stop gay, bisexual and transgender teens 17 and under from being “horribly and humiliatingly abused.”

“This treatment plan causes depression, causes suicidal actions and is incredibly harmful to children,” said Cassidy, who is openly lesbian and one of the lead architects of Illinois’ same-sex marriage law.

“The practice of conversion therapy is dismissed by every major scientific organization and should not be utilized. There’s not a single scientific basis for one’s sex orientation being a disorder,” she said. “We need to protect our children.”

House Bill 5569 states that being lesbian, gay or bisexual is not a disease, and that mental health practitioners should not be treating it as such. Conversion therapy would be considered “unprofessional conduct” under Cassidy’s bill and those who perform it could have their state licenses sanctioned.

 

Twenty-two House members didn’t vote on her legislation either because they chose not to or decided to begin their two-week break early Thursday. Because the legislation failed to receive 47 votes, Cassidy could not keep her measure alive for another vote.

Critics of the bill included conservative Republicans, who argued state lawmakers lacked the knowledge about whether such therapy works or not and that, ultimately, people should decide what type of professional help is right for them.

 “I honestly don’t believe there’s one single individual in this body that’s absolutely able to stand here and say that they know enough about this area to make a decision on what is appropriate or what is not appropriate, “ said Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, who voted against the bill.

“This is not stuff we should be legislating on at all. Let people decide for themselves what they need to have for themselves,” Ives said.

 

Thank you Politics Early & Often, Chicago Sun-Times.

 

Seems we are headed back to the stone ages, or rather the ages of stoning witches, or members of The LGBTQA1 community. Lets “Pray The Gay Away” legislation!

 

 

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The Pope Meets The President. Photos Taken From Every Angle Imaginable.


 

By Jueseppi B.

These two icons & mavericks will meet for the first time, scheduled for this Thursday.

These two icons & mavericks met for the very first time today.

 

There are so many photos floating around of Barack Hussein Obama and Jorge Mario Bergoglio. These are my favorites…in no particular order whatsoever….cause that makes it just that more fun.

 

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Readout of the President’s Audience with His Holiness Pope Francis

 

Excerpts of the President’s remarks on his meeting with His Holiness Pope Francis are below, from a press conference:

 

Q   Mr. President, in your meeting with His Holiness, Pope Francis, did he register any objections with you about the contraception coverage mandate in the Affordable Care Act or your efforts to advance the rights of gays and lesbians in the United States that worry so many Catholics?  And what were his concerns?

 

And on Russia, with reports of troops building on the Ukrainian border, by taking the military option off the table are you sending a signal to Vladimir Putin that other parts of Ukraine are his for the taking?  And why not send multinational peacekeepers to the Ukrainian border as a deterrent?

 

And to you, Mr. Prime Minister, the President said yesterday that the U.S. would defend any NATO ally.  Are you making that same commitment when it comes to Russia?

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  In terms of the meeting with His Holiness, Pope Francis, we had a wide-ranging discussion.  I would say that the largest bulk of the time was discussing two central concerns of his.  One is the issues of the poor, the marginalized, those without opportunity, and growing inequality.

 

And those of us as politicians have the task of trying to come up with policies to address issues, but His Holiness has the capacity to open people’s eyes and make sure they’re seeing that this is an issue.  And he’s discussed in the past I think the dangers of indifference or cynicism when it comes to our ability to reach out to those less fortunate or those locked out of opportunity.

 

And then we spent a lot of time talking about the challenges of conflict and how illusive peace is around the world.  There was some specific focus on the Middle East where His Holiness has a deep interest in the Israeli-Palestinian issue, but also what’s happening in Syria, what’s happening in Lebanon, and the potential persecution of Christians.  And I reaffirmed that it is central to U.S. foreign policy that we protect the interests of religious minorities around the world.  But we also touched on regions like Latin America, where there’s been tremendous progress in many countries, but there’s been less progress in others.

 

I think the theme that stitched our conversation together was a belief that in politics and in life the quality of empathy, the ability to stand in somebody else’s shoes and to care for someone even if they don’t look like you or talk like you or share your philosophy — that that’s critical.  It’s the lack of empathy that makes it very easy for us to plunge into wars.  It’s the lack of empathy that allows us to ignore the homeless on the streets.  And obviously central to my Christian faith is a belief in treating others as I’d have them treat me.  And what’s I think created so much love and excitement for His Holiness has been that he seems to live this, and shows that joy continuously.

 

In terms of domestic issues, the two issues that we touched on — other than the fact that I invited and urged him to come to the United States, telling him that people would be overjoyed to see him — was immigration reform.  And as someone who came from Latin America, I think he is very mindful of the plight of so many immigrants who are wonderful people, working hard, making contribution, many of their children are U.S. citizens, and yet they still live in the shadows, in many cases have been deported and are separated from families.  I described to him how I felt that there was still an opportunity for us to make this right and get a law passed.

 

And he actually did not touch in detail on the Affordable Care Act.  In my meeting with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Parolin, we discussed briefly the issue of making sure that conscience and religious freedom was observed in the context of applying the law.  And I explained to him that most religious organizations are entirely exempt.  Religiously affiliated hospitals or universities or NGOs simply have to attest that they have a religious objection, in which case they are not required to provide contraception although that employees of theirs who choose are able to obtain it through the insurance company.

 

And I pledged to continue to dialogue with the U.S. Conference of Bishops to make sure that we can strike the right balance, making sure that not only everybody has health care but families, and women in particular, are able to enjoy the kind of health care coverage that the AC offers, but that religious freedom is still observed.

Q    Mr. President, I just want to follow up on Jim’s question on your meeting with the Pope today.  Do you think some of the schisms that he referenced on social issues would stand in the way of you and Pope Francis collaborating or forming a strategic alliance to tackle income inequality?

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  First of all, I just want to make clear — maybe it wasn’t clear from my answer to Jim — that we actually didn’t talk a whole lot about social schisms in my conversations with His Holiness.  In fact, that really was not a topic of conversation.  I think His Holiness and the Vatican have been clear about their position on a range of issues, some of them I differ with, most I heartily agree with.  And I don’t think that His Holiness envisions entering into a partnership or a coalition with any political figure on any issue.  His job is a little more elevated.  We’re down on the ground dealing with the often profane, and he’s dealing with higher powers.

 

I do think that there is a potential convergence between what policymakers need to be thinking about and what he’s talking about.  I think he is shining a spotlight on an area that’s going to be of increasing concern, and that is reduced opportunities for more and more people, particularly young people — who, by the way, have more and more access to seeing what’s out there and what’s possible because they have access to the Internet or they have access to other media, and they see the inequality and they see themselves being locked out in ways that weren’t true before. And that’s true internationally, not just within countries.

 

And so, for him to say that we need to think about this, we need to focus on this, we need to come up with policies that provide a good education for every child and good nutrition for every child, and decent shelter and opportunity and jobs — he is not going to get into details of it, but he reminds us of what our moral and ethical obligations are.  It happens also to be good economics and good national security policy.  Countries are more stable, they’re going to grow faster when everybody has a chance, not just when a few have a chance.

 

So he’s, hopefully, creating an environment in which those of us who care about this are able to talk about it more effectively.  And we are in many ways following not just his lead but the teachings of Jesus Christ and other religions that care deeply about the least of these.

 

 

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And just for the heck of it…..here’s a video of the meeting…..

 

Vatican – President Obama meet Pope Francis for first time (March 27 2014)

 

Published on Mar 27, 2014

President Barack Obama and Pope Francis met for the first time Thursday at Vatican City.

 

 

 

Thought we were done did you?

 

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OK, we’re done now.

 

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History Accomplished: POTUSA Barack Hussein Obama And Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis, Meet For The First Time.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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From CNN:

 

President Obama, Pope Francis meet for first time

 

Vatican – President Obama meet Pope Francis for first time (March 27 2014)

 

Published on Mar 27, 2014

President Barack Obama and Pope Francis met for the first time Thursday at Vatican City.

 

 

 

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By Halimah Abdullah, CNN

 

(CNN) – U.S. President Barack Obama and Pope Francis met for the first time Thursday at Vatican City.

 

The two world leaders greeted each other with a smile and a handshake, and posed for pictures before sitting down across a table from each other.

The tete-a-tete was an opportunity for a reset of sorts between the Obama administration and Catholic leadership following several years of strained relations.

The goal: focus on areas where two of the world’s most influential men agree and gently tread ground where they differ.

That means the President and the Pontiff will, as the White House said in a statement, focus on “shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing (income) inequality” and gingerly navigate such thornier topics as same-sex marriage, contraception and abortion.

“In general, they’ll be looking for areas of conversation where there is great agreement between the Vatican and the administration,” said Steve Schneck, director of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America.

“The Pope will likely bring up immigration in a broad way … and I do think there’s a possibility the bishops’ concerns about contraception in the (Affordable Care Act) might be mentioned,” Schneck said.

The meeting takes place two days after the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on a contraception mandate included in the President’s signature health care reform law.

While the law exempts churches and houses of worship from the requirement, nonprofit, religiously affiliated groups are required to either directly provide contraception coverage to their employees or do so through a third-party insurer.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has been vocal in its opposition to the provision, said Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokeswoman for the organization.

“Religious liberties and right-to-life issues are a concern,” she said of the tension between American Catholic leadership and the administration. However, “the U.S. Bishops have appreciated the administration’s cooperation on issues of mutual concern.”

Those areas of “mutual concern” include immigration and poverty — issues where the President and the Pope could find common ground.

Francis underscored his commitment to the plight of immigrants during a trip to the Italian island of Lampedusa last year, a place where thousands of African migrants desperately fleeing political upheaval and poverty pour onto European shores. Many die in the attempt to cross.

Next month, a group of American Catholic leaders, including Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, will follow suit and travel to the U.S.-Mexico border in order to highlight immigration concerns.

On Wednesday, the day before Obama’s meeting with the Pope, the administration renewed its public call for immigration reform by backing an effort by House Democrats to force a vote on the matter.

“Immigration reform is the right thing to do for our economy, our security, and our future,” the White House said in a statement.

Tensions between the administration and many leaders in the American Catholic community began early in the President’s tenure over his support for abortion rights.

A number of bishops criticized the University of Notre Dame‘s decision in 2009 to award Obama an honorary law degree and invite him to give the commencement address.

Relations frayed further over abortion funding in Obamacare, leading the U.S. Conference of Bishops to pan the law.

“It was a very tough year,” said Christopher Hale, a senior fellow with Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good who helped lead national Catholic outreach for Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. “It was hard to find any reasonable Catholic who thought the Health and Human Services mandate was handled well.”

Differences over same sex-marriage only added to the tense relationship.

Francis will likely not wade into politically charged conversations during the meeting, religion experts say.

“The Vatican has to be very careful to not create a gap between what they’re saying and the bishops are saying,” Schneck said. “They will be very careful not to undercut the American bishops in that regard.”

The meeting with Pope Francis, whose approval ratings are in the high 80s, might also boost Obama in that regard. His standing with the public has hovered in the low 40s.

After all, the Pope’s name and quotes have been invoked in everything from discussions over unemployment insurance, the minimum wage and the bigger issue of income inequality.

“If I was advising President Obama, I would say the number one spokesperson on American immigration reform should be Pope Francis,” Hale said. “He has so much capital in this city. You have Catholics, Jews and Atheists on the Hill quoting him.”

House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican and a Catholic, recently invited the Pope to address a joint session of Congress.

“Everybody on the planet would like to have their picture taken with the Pope these days,” Schneck said. “One of the things that would delight Obama is if some of that popularity would rub off. Given the President’s current low numbers, he is hoping for a bit of a boost.”

CNN‘s Ed Payne contributed to this report.

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Thank you CNN.

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These two icons & mavericks will meet for the first time, scheduled for this Thursday.

These two icons & mavericks will meet for the first time, scheduled for this Thursday.

 

 

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Statement By The Press Secretary On Ukraine: March 16th, 2014


 

By Jueseppi B.

America’s ambassador to the UN, Ms. Samantha Power, berates her Russian counterpart saying his country stood alone and its actions were wrong.

America’s ambassador to the UN, Ms. Samantha Power, berates her Russian counterpart saying his country stood alone and its actions were wrong.

 

 

Statement by the Press Secretary on Ukraine

 

The United States has steadfastly supported the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine since it declared its independence in 1991, and we reject the “referendum” that took place today in the Crimean region of Ukraine.  This referendum is contrary to Ukraine’s constitution, and the international community will not recognize the results of a poll administered under threats of violence and intimidation from a Russian military intervention that violates international law.

 

No decisions should be made about the future of Ukraine without the Ukrainian government.  Moreover, this vote was not necessary.  The Ukrainian government has made clear its willingness to discuss increased autonomy for Crimea, and the presidential elections planned for May 25 provide a legitimate opportunity for all Ukrainians to make their voices heard on the future of their country.

 

In addition, Ukraine, the United States, the EU, the OSCE, the UN, and others have called for Russia to allow international monitors into the Crimean peninsula to ensure that the rights of ethnic Russians in Ukraine are being upheld.  Russia has spurned those calls as well as outreach from the Ukrainian government and instead has escalated its military intervention into Crimea and initiated threatening military exercises on Ukraine’s eastern border.

 

Russia’s actions are dangerous and destabilizing.  The UN Security Council recognized this in a vote yesterday that only Russia opposed.  As the United States and our allies have made clear, military intervention and violation of international law will bring increasing costs for Russia – not only due to measures imposed by the United States and our allies but also as a direct result of Russia’s own destabilizing actions.

 

In this century, we are long past the days when the international community will stand quietly by while one country forcibly seizes the territory of another.  We call on all members of the international community to continue to condemn such actions, to take concrete steps to impose costs, and to stand together in support of the Ukrainian people and Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

 

 

Statement of G-7 Leaders on Ukraine

 

Statement by the Press Secretary on the Visit of Prime Minister Yatsenyuk of Ukraine

 

Readout of the President’s Calls with President Berzins of Latvia, Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom, President Grybauskaite of Lithuania, President Hollande of France, President Ilves of Estonia, and Prime Minister Renzi of Italy

 

 

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President Obama’s Bilateral Meeting with Prime Minister Yatsenyuk of Ukraine

March 12, 2014 | 15:26 |Public Domain

 

The President Obama and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk of Ukraine speak to the press after a bilateral meeting to discuss finding a peaceful resolution to Russia’s ongoing military intervention in Crimea that would respect Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity. The leaders also discussed support the international community can provide to help Ukraine confront its economic challenges, and the importance of uniting Ukraine and working to fulfill the aspirations of the Ukrainian people as they prepare for May presidential elections.

 

 

 

President Obama Speaks on Ukraine

March 06, 2014 | 4:20 | Public Domain

President Obama delivers a statement on Ukraine.

 

 

 

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From The Daily Mail:

 

US v Russia in clash of diplomats: America’s ambassador to the UN berates her Russian counterpart saying his country stood alone and its actions were wrong

 

  • 13 countries voted for the motion, Russia against, China abstained
  • Russia Foreign Ministry blasted vote as American plot to interfere
  • Samantha Power of US said Crimea will stay Ukrainian unless law changes

 

Russia defied the world yesterday as it vetoed a UN resolution that declared today’s referendum on the status of Crimea invalid.

 

Samantha Power, America’s ambassador to the UN, berated her Russian counterpart, Vitaly Churkin, at an emergency meeting of the Security Council in New York, saying his country stood alone and its actions were wrong. 

 

Thirteen countries voted in favour of the resolution. Russia voted against the motion, while China abstained.

 

Visibly enraged, she discussed options with Ukraine's Yuriy Sergeyev (second left) ahead of the vote.

Visibly enraged, she discussed options with Ukraine’s Yuriy Sergeyev (second left) ahead of the vote.

 

Later, the Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the resolution as another American attempt to interfere in Ukraine.

 

But Ms Power – an Irish-born diplomat and academic who has held various senior positions in Barack Obama’s administration – said: ‘Crimea will be part of Ukraine unless and until its status is changed in accordance of Ukrainian and international law.’

 

Mr Churkin was the only country to vote against the motion. China abstained, and 13 voted in favour.

Mr Churkin was the only country to vote against the motion. China abstained, and 13 voted in favour.

 

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Thank you The Daily Mail.

 

 

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Violence in Ukraine

 

Don’t listen to Obama’s Ukraine critics: he’s not ‘losing’ – and it’s not his fight

 

TheObamaCrat™ Wake-Up Call For Monday March 3rd, 2014. Ukraine. Ukraine, Ukraine.

 

Latest Ukraine Updates Photos And Video.

 

10 Reasons Why Russia Is Invading Ukraine

 

The White House Weekend: The Week Ahead. Ukraine Updates.

 

 

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President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk of Ukraine in the Oval Office, March 12, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk of Ukraine in the Oval Office, March 12, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Vladimir Putin has responded to journalists’ questions about the invasion with “What invasion? I don’t hear anybody complaining about any invasion. Now go away, I’m busy protecting these cardboard targets.”

Vladimir Putin has responded to journalists’ questions about the invasion with “What invasion? I don’t hear anybody complaining about any invasion. Now go away, I’m busy protecting these cardboard targets.”

Look closely at this foot Vladimir, cause it's about to be lodged up your ass.

Look closely at this foot Vladimir, cause it’s about to be lodged up your ass.

the United States, Germany and Italy during a rally in Independence Square on March 2.

the United States, Germany and Italy during a rally in Independence Square on March 2.

An Orthodox clergyman stands at the gate of a Ukrainian military base in Crimea that was surrounded by several hundred Russian-speaking soldiers March 2. Behind him are Ukrainian soldiers standing just inside the gate.

An Orthodox clergyman stands at the gate of a Ukrainian military base in Crimea that was surrounded by several hundred Russian-speaking soldiers March 2. Behind him are Ukrainian soldiers standing just inside the gate.

A young Ukrainian soldier stands behind the gate inside a Ukrainian military base that was surrounded by several hundred Russian-speaking soldiers March 2 in Crimea.

A young Ukrainian soldier stands behind the gate inside a Ukrainian military base that was surrounded by several hundred Russian-speaking soldiers March 2 in Crimea.

Ukrainian soldiers, left, and unidentified gunmen, right, stand at the gate of an infantry base in Perevalnoye, Ukraine, on March 2.

Ukrainian soldiers, left, and unidentified gunmen, right, stand at the gate of an infantry base in Perevalnoye, Ukraine, on March 2.

A Maidan self-defense unit member stands in support of Ukraine in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, on March 2.

A Maidan self-defense unit member stands in support of Ukraine in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, on March 2.

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AP PHOTO/ANDREW LUBIMOV A man in unmarked uniform rides military vehicle in Balaklava, on the outskirts of Sevastopol in the Crimean region of Ukraine. One day after sending in thousands of troops, Russian President Vladimir Putin got permission from parliament to use military force in the autonomous region of Crimea, where most residents are ethnic Russians.

AP PHOTO/ANDREW LUBIMOV
A man in unmarked uniform rides military vehicle in Balaklava, on the outskirts of Sevastopol in the Crimean region of Ukraine. One day after sending in thousands of troops, Russian President Vladimir Putin got permission from parliament to use military force in the autonomous region of Crimea, where most residents are ethnic Russians.

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