President Barack Hussein Obama Addresses The 2014 Mid Term Election Results.


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President Barack Obama responds to a question during a press conference in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 5, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama responds to a question during a press conference in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 5, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Hussein Obama Addresses The 2014 Mid Term Elections.

 

Published on Nov 5, 2014

Following Republicans’ big wins in the Senate and House on election night, President Barack Obama and incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said they would try to avoid the gridlock that has gripped the government lately.

“To everyone that voted — I hear you,” Obama said in news conference Wednesday. “To the two-thirds who didn’t participate, I hear you too.”

 

 

Yesterday, millions of Americans cast their ballots. Republicans had a good night, and I congratulate all the candidates who won.

 

But what stands out to me is that the message Americans sent yesterday is one you’ve sent for several elections in a row now. You expect the people you elect to work as hard as you do. You expect us to focus on your ambitions — not ours — and you want us to get the job done. Period.

 

I plan on spending every moment of the next two years rolling up my sleeves and working as hard as I can for the American people. This country has made real and undeniable progress in the six years since the 2008 economic crisis. But our work will not be done until every single American feels the gains of a growing economy where it matters most: in your own lives.

 

While I’m sure we’ll continue to disagree on some issues that we’re passionate about, I’m eager to work with Congress over the next two years to get the job done. The challenges that lay ahead of us are far too important to allow partisanship or ideology to prevent our progress as a nation.

 

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As we make progress, I’ll need your help, too. Over the weeks and months ahead, I’ll be looking to Americans like you, asking you to stay engaged.

 

I am optimistic about our future. Because for all the maps plastered across our screens today, for all the cynics who say otherwise, we are more than a simple collection of red and blue states. We are the United States.

 

And yesterday, millions of Americans — Democrats and Republicans, women and men, young and old, black and white — took the time out of their day to perform a simple, profound act of citizenship. That’s something we shouldn’t forget amid the din of political commentary. Because making progress starts with showing up.

 

Let’s get to work.

President Barack Obama

 

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Remarks by the President in a Press Conference

East Room

2:57 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody.  Have a seat.

Today, I had a chance to speak with John Boehner and congratulated Mitch McConnell on becoming the next Senate Majority Leader.  And I told them both that I look forward to finishing up this Congress’ business, and then working together for the next two years to advance America’s business.  And I very much appreciated Leader McConnell’s words last night about the prospect of working together to deliver for the American people. On Friday, I look forward to hosting the entire Republican and Democratic leadership at the White House to chart a new course forward.

Obviously, Republicans had a good night, and they deserve credit for running good campaigns.  Beyond that, I’ll leave it to all of you and the professional pundits to pick through yesterday’s results.  What stands out to me, though, is that the American people sent a message, one that they’ve sent for several elections now.  They expect the people they elect to work as hard as they do.  They expect us to focus on their ambitions and not ours.  They want us to get the job done.

All of us, in both parties, have a responsibility to address that sentiment.  Still, as President, I have a unique responsibility to try and make this town work.  So, to everyone who voted, I want you to know that I hear you.  To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too.  All of us have to give more Americans a reason to feel like the ground is stable beneath their feet, that the future is secure, that there’s a path for young people to succeed, and that folks here in Washington are concerned about them.  So I plan on spending every moment of the next two-plus years doing my job the best I can to keep this country safe and to make sure that more Americans share in its prosperity.

This country has made real progress since the crisis six years ago.  The fact is more Americans are working; unemployment has come down.  More Americans have health insurance.  Manufacturing has grown.  Our deficits have shrunk.  Our dependence on foreign oil is down, as are gas prices.  Our graduation rates are up.  Our businesses aren’t just creating jobs at the fastest pace since the 1990s, our economy is outpacing most of the world.  But we’ve just got to keep at it until every American feels the gains of a growing economy where it matters most, and that’s in their own lives.

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Obviously, much of that will take action from Congress.  And I’m eager to work with the new Congress to make the next two years as productive as possible.  I’m committed to making sure that I measure ideas not by whether they are from Democrats or Republicans, but whether they work for the American people.  And that’s not to say that we won’t disagree over some issues that we’re passionate about.  We will.  Congress will pass some bills I cannot sign.  I’m pretty sure I’ll take some actions that some in Congress will not like.  That’s natural.  That’s how our democracy works.  But we can surely find ways to work together on issues where there’s broad agreement among the American people.

So I look forward to Republicans putting forward their governing agenda.  I will offer my ideas on areas where I think we can move together to respond to people’s economic needs.

So, just take one example.  We all agree on the need to create more jobs that pay well.  Traditionally, both parties have been for creating jobs rebuilding our infrastructure — our roads, bridges, ports, waterways.  I think we can hone in on a way to pay for it through tax reform that closes loopholes and makes it more attractive for companies to create jobs here in the United States.

We can also work together to grow our exports and open new markets for our manufacturers to sell more American-made goods to the rest of the world.  That’s something I’ll be focused on when I travel to Asia next week.

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We all share the same aspirations for our young people.  And I was encouraged that this year Republicans agreed to investments that expanded early childhood education.  I think we’ve got a chance to do more on that front.  We’ve got some common ideas to help more young people afford college and graduate without crippling debt so that they have the freedom to fill the good jobs of tomorrow and buy their first homes and start a family.

And in the five states where a minimum wage increase was on the ballot last night, voters went five for five to increase it. That will give about 325,000 Americans a raise in states where Republican candidates prevailed.  So that should give us new reason to get it done for everybody, with a national increase in the minimum wage.

So those are some areas where I think we’ve got some real opportunities to cooperate.  And I am very eager to hear Republican ideas for what they think we can do together over the next couple of years.  Of course, there’s still business on the docket that needs attention this year.  And here are three places where I think we can work together over the next several weeks, before this Congress wraps up for the holidays.

First, I’m submitting a request to Congress for funding to ensure that our doctors, scientists, and troops have the resources that they need to combat the spread of Ebola in Africa and to increase our preparedness for any future cases here at home.

Second, I’m going to begin engaging Congress over a new Authorization to Use Military Force against ISIL.  The world needs to know we are united behind this effort, and the men and women of our military deserve our clear and unified support.

Third, back in September, Congress passed short-term legislation to keep the government open and operating into December.  That gives Congress five weeks to pass a budget for the rest of the fiscal year.  And I hope that they’ll do it in the same bipartisan, drama-free way that they did earlier this year.  When our companies are steadily creating jobs — which they are — we don’t want to inject any new uncertainty into the world economy and to the American economy.

The point is it’s time for us to take care of business.  There are things this country has to do that can’t wait another two years or another four years.  There are plans this country has to put in place for our future.

And the truth is I’m optimistic about our future.  I have good reason to be.  I meet Americans all across the country who are determined, and big-hearted, and ask what they can do, and never give up, and overcome obstacles.  And they inspire me every single day.  So the fact is I still believe in what I said when I was first elected six years ago last night.  For all the maps plastered across our TV screens today, and for all the cynics who say otherwise, I continue to believe we are simply more than just a collection of red and blue states.  We are the United States.

And whether it’s immigration or climate change, or making sure our kids are going to the best possible schools, to making sure that our communities are creating jobs; whether it’s stopping the spread of terror and disease, to opening up doors of opportunity to everybody who’s willing to work hard and take responsibility — the United States has big things to do.  We can and we will make progress if we do it together.  And I look forward to the work ahead.

So, with that, let me take some questions.  I think that our team has got my list.  And we’re going to start with Julie Pace at Associated Press.

 

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The question & answer session can be found here: Press Conference Q & A

 

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The Day After The Last 24™: Complete 2014 Mid Term Election Results

 

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AMBER ALERT: Iowa Amber Alert, Blackhawk County. Nevaeh Hogan (Infant), Brooklyn Anne-Marie Gaffney (Child), Mia Elaine Gaffney (Child).


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AMBER Alert Information

NCIC: m102081269
Date: 2014-07-09
Time: 22:15:58
Location: blackhawk co
Destination: unknown

 

Vehicle Information

Color: red
Year: 2001
Make: pontiac
Model: grand am
License Plate Number: 832ypc

 

Abducted:

mia elaine gaffney (Child)

 

show-image

 

General Information
Race: white
Gender: female
Age: 6
Height: 400
Weight: 080
Hair: brown
Eyes: brown

 

 

Brooklyn Anne-Marie Gaffney (Child)

 

show-image (1)

 

General Information
Race: white
Gender: Female
Age: 8
Height: 4′ 4
Weight: 080
Hair: BRO
Eyes: BRO

 

 

Nevaeh Hogan (Infant) No image available

 

General Information
Race: W
Gender: F
Age: 8 mo

 

 

shaun michael hogan (Abductor)

 

show-image (2)

 

General Information
Race: black
Gender: male
Age: 36
Height: 603
Weight: 250
Hair: black
Eyes: brown
Other Important Information

 

Contact Information

 

Department: DPS
Contact Person: Alex Murphy
Telephone Number: 515 443 3014

 

AMBER Alert Home Page

 

Idea1

show-image

show-image (1)

Op-Ed By President Obama: White House Summit On Working Families. POTUSA & FLOTUSA Speak At The White House Summit On Working Families.


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Op-Ed by President Obama on the White House Summit on Working Families

In an op-ed published on the Huffington Post, President Obama writes about the importance of today’s White House Summit on Working Families and his commitment to creating a 21st century workplace that works for all Americans.

 

The following op-ed by President Obama appeared on the Huffington Post.

 

Family-Friendly Workplace Policies Are Not Frills — They’re Basic Needs

 

Family-Friendly Workplace Policies Are Not Frills — They’re Basic Needs

 

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As President, my top priority is rebuilding an economy where everybody who works hard has the chance to get ahead.

 

That’s the subject of the first White House Summit on Working Families, which is taking place today. We’re bringing together business leaders and workers to talk about the challenges that working parents face every day and how we can address them.

 

Take flexibility — the ability to take a few hours off for a school play or to work from home when your kid is sick. Most workers want it, but not enough of them have it — even though studies show that flexibility makes workers happier and helps companies lower turnover and raise productivity.

 

Take paid family leave. Many jobs don’t offer adequate leave to care for a new baby or an ailing parent, so workers can’t afford to be there when their families need them the most. And the United States is the only developed country in the world without paid maternity leave.

 

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Take childcare. Most working families I know can’t afford thousands a year for childcare, but often, that’s what it costs. I recently got a letter from a woman in Minnesota whose kids’ preschool is so expensive it costs more every month than her mortgage.

 

And take the minimum wage. Nearly 28 million Americans would benefit if we raised the minimum wage to $10.10. And we’re not just talking about young people on their first job — the average worker who would benefit from an increase is 35 years old. Many have kids. And a majority are women. Right now, many full-time minimum-wage workers aren’t even making enough to keep their kids out of poverty.

 

Family leave, childcare, flexibility and a decent wage aren’t frills. They’re basic needs. They shouldn’t be bonuses — they should be the bottom line.

 

Parents who work full-time should earn enough to pay the bills and go to work every day knowing that their kids are in good hands. Workers who give their all should know that if they need some flexibility, they can have it — because their employers understand that it’s hard to be productive when you’ve got a sick kid at home or a childcare crisis. And talented, hard-working people should be able to say yes to a great new opportunity without worrying that their families will pay the price. Nearly half of all working parents surveyed say they’ve chosen to turn down a job not because they didn’t want it, but because it would be too hard on their families. When that many members of our workforce are forced to choose between a job and their family, something’s wrong.

 

Some businesses are realizing that family-friendly policies are a good business practice, because they help build loyalty and inspire workers to go the extra mile. JetBlue offers a flexible work-from-home plan for its customer-service representatives. Google increased its paid parental leave to five months — and the rate of women leaving the company decreased by half. Cisco lets their employees telecommute as needed, which they estimate saves them over $275 million every year.

 

And there’s a bigger economic case here, too. The strength of our economy rests on whether we’re getting the most out of all of our nation’s talent — whether we’re making it possible for all our citizens to contribute to our growth and prosperity. That’s the key to staying competitive in the global economy. Right now, we’re leaving too many people on the sidelines who have the desire and the capacity to work, but are held back by one obstacle or another. It’s our job to remove those obstacles. That’s what supporting working families is all about.

 

States are getting on board, too. California, Rhode Island and New Jersey give workers paid family leave. Connecticut offers paid sick days. So does New York City. Since I asked Congress to raise the minimum wage last year, 13 states have taken steps to raise it on their own.

 

But all Americans should get to benefit from these policies. That’s why we need to see some action here in Washington.

 

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I’ll work with anyone — Democrats or Republicans — to increase opportunity for American workers. But in this year of action, whenever I can act on my own, I will.

 

Today, I’ll sign a Presidential Memorandum directing every agency in the federal government to expand access to flexible work schedules, and giving employees the right to request them.

 

I’m calling on Congress to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, because too many pregnant workers are forced to choose between their health and their job. They can get fired for taking too many bathroom breaks, or forced on unpaid leave just for being pregnant. It’s inhumane, and it needs to stop.

 

And to help parents trying to get ahead, I’m directing my Secretary of Labor to invest $25 million in helping people who want to enroll in job-training programs, but don’t currently have access to the childcare they need to do it.

 

I take this personally — as the son and grandson of some strong women who worked hard to support my sister and me; as the husband of a brilliant woman who struggled to balance work and raising our young ladies when my job often kept me away; and as the father of two beautiful girls, whom I want to be there for as much as I possibly can — and whom I hope will be able to have families and careers of their own one day.

 

We know from our history that our country does better when everybody participates; when everyone’s talents are put to use; when we all have a fair shot. That’s the America I believe in. That’s the America I’ll keep fighting for every day.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

Obama Grabs a Bite at Chipotle Before Summit

 

 

 

Obama: Paid Leave Basic Need, Not Bonus

 

 

 

President Obama Grabs a Bite at Chipotle Before Summit!!

 

 

 

The White House Summit on Working Families {Full Summit}

 

 

 

Remarks by President Obama at the White House Summit on Working Families | June 23, 2014

 

 

A Letter to the President: Rebekah

 

 

 

The First Lady Speaks at the Working Families Summit

 

 

 

President Obama Speaks at the Working Families Summit

 

 

 

REMEMBER! 2014-06-23t181333z_1404128242_gm1ea6o062q01_rtrmadp_3_usa-obama

TheObamaCrat™ Wake-Up Call For Friday The 20th Of March, 2014: Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand. Joey B. In Guatemala City.


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President Barack Obama meets on Friday with the Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key. Vice President Joey B. travels to Guatemala on Friday to discuss the rising tide of unaccompanied Central American minors crossing the U.S. border.

 

White House Schedule – June 20th, 2014

 

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY June 20th, 2014

 

THE WHITE HOUSE GUIDANCE & SCHEDULE
FRIDAY June 20th, 2014

 

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In the morning, the President will meet with Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand to highlight our increasingly close relationship with New Zealand and our collaboration on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, climate change, and military-to-military cooperation. The President looks forward to consulting with Prime Minister Key on these and other issues, including the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region, regional maritime security issues, and global security issues. There will be a pool spray at the bottom of the meeting.
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In the afternoon, the President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press.

 

Friday, June 20 2014 All Times ET

 

10:55 AM: The President holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand, Oval Office.

 

11:30 AM: The Vice President arrives at La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City. Local Event Time: 9:30 AM, La Aurora International Airport – Guatemala City.

 

12:10 PM: The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing, Oval Office.

 

12:15 PM: The Vice President attends a greet with Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina. Local Event Time: 10:15 AM, Palacio Nacional de la Cultura.

 

12:30 PM: The Vice President attends a bilateral meeting with President Pérez Molina, Local Event Time: 10:30 AM, Palacio Nacional de la Cultura.

 

1:00 PM: Press Briefing by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest, Brady Press Briefing Room. White House LIVE!! 

 

1:15 PM: The Vice President and President Pérez Molina deliver statements to the press. Local Event Time: 11:15 AM, Palacio Nacional de la Cultura.

 

1:30 PM: The Vice President attends a multilateral working lunch meeting with Pres. Molina; Pres. Salvador Sánchez Cerén of El Salvador; Jorge Ramón Hernández Alcerro, the Coordinator General of Honduras; and Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, the Mexican Secretary of Gov, Local Event Time: 11:30 AM.

 

4:30 PM: The Vice President attends a roundtable with reintegration leaders. Local Event Time: 2:30 PM, U.S. Ambassador’s Residence – Guatemala.

 

5:45 PM: The Vice President delivers a statement to the press at the residence of the US Ambassador to Guatemala. Local Event Time: 3:45 PM, U.S. Ambassador’s Residence – Guatemala.

 

 

VP Biden’s Trip to Guatemala

 

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden travels to Guatemala on Friday to discuss the rising tide of unaccompanied Central American minors crossing the U.S. border, but he is likely to face pressure from local leaders to improve migrant rights in the United States.ador as well as top officials from Honduras and Mexico’s Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong as the region seeks to solve a problem that has hit the U.S. border regions hard this year.

 

Responding to what President Barack Obama has called an urgent humanitarian crisis, the U.S. Congress on Tuesday advanced legislation boosting funds by as much as $2.28 billion to handle a surge of foreign children entering the United States illegally.

 

U.S. data show that between October and May more than 47,000 unaccompanied minors, mostly from Central America, have crossed into the U.S., nearly double the number in the previous year.

 

On Thursday, Obama spoke with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto about a strategy to deal with a flood of children coming from Central America to the United States, the White House said.

 

Obama “welcomed the opportunity to work in close cooperation with Mexico to develop concrete proposals to address the root causes of unlawful migration from Central America,” the White House said.

 

Many unaccompanied children have sought to escape drug-fueled conflicts in the region as well as rejoin family members who have already made the journey across the border.

 

Obama told Pena Nieto the United States and Mexico could work together to return children safely to their families, and noted that the children, many of whom are unaccompanied, were vulnerable to crime and abuse.

 

Looking ahead to Friday’s talks, El Salvador President Salvador Sanchez Ceren said he would press Biden for a reform that could help reunite existing family members in the U.S. with more recently arrived relatives.

 

“We’re going to ask the U.S. vice president to consider the need to find legal mechanisms that can achieve an orderly process of family reunification,” Sanchez Ceren told reporters.

 

“For us, it’s important to insist that a true immigration reform be achieved in the United States,” he added.

 

A partisan divide in the United States has stymied Obama’s efforts to achieve comprehensive immigration reform for years.

 

Sanchez Ceren’s sentiments were echoed by Jorge Ramon Hernandez, the senior representative of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez tapped to attend the meetings, who said the cases of children should not all be lumped together.

 

“There are children who might be fleeing violence in their communities, children who might be seeking to escape extreme poverty, and children who might be migrating because of domestic violence,” said Hernandez on Thursday.

 

“Each child should be analyzed individually,” he said.

 

In Guatemala, meanwhile, the government will seek more information from U.S. immigration officials.

 

“We need more coordination because there doesn’t currently exist documentation for all of the children who are in this process,” said Alejandra Gordillo, head of Guatemala’s national migration council.

 

Mexico’s foreign ministry, which will also send senior officials to Guatemala, had no immediate comment.

 

(Reporting by Mike McDonald in Guatemala City, Dave Graham in Mexico City, Gustavo Palencia in Tegucigalpa and Nelson Renteria in San Salvador; Editing by Ken Wills)

 

 

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From The Pro President Obama Blog:

 

Guatemala

Vice President Biden and Guatemalan President Molina hold a bilateral meeting
National Palace, Guatemala City, Guatemala

 

Vice President Biden and Guatemalan President Molina hold a press conference
National Palace, Guatemala City, Guatemala

 

Vice President Biden attends a multilateral working lunch meeting with Guatemalan President Molina; El Salvadoran President Sánchez; El Salvadoran President Sánchez Cerén; Honduran President Hernández; the Coordinator General of Honduras; and Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, the Mexican Secretary of Gov
National Palace, Guatemala City, Guatemala

 

Vice President Biden attends a roundtable with reintegration leaders
U.S. Ambassador’s Residence, Guatemala City, Guatemala

 

Vice President Biden delivers a statement to the press at the residence of the US Ambassador to Guatemala
U.S. Ambassador’s Residence – Guatemala City, Guatemala

 

Thank you Pro President Obama Blog

 

 

 

 

 

Remarks to the Press by the Vice President and Dominican President Medina

The Presidential Palace
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

2:30 P.M. EDT

 

PRESIDENT MEDINA:  (As interpreted.)  Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to welcome Vice President Joe Biden and his delegation in the name of the government and the people of the Dominican Republic, as well as in my own name.

 

I would like also to take the opportunity of our distinguished guest to send a message of friendship and solidarity to President Barack Obama and to the people of the United States.

 

Read More.

 

 

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Statements and Releases- June 20th, 2014

 

Fact Sheet: The Economic Challenge Posed by Declining Pollinator Populations

 

President Obama Announces His Intent to Nominate Carolyn Watts Colvin as Commissioner of Social Security

 

FACT SHEET: Promoting Energy Security in the Caribbean

 

Statement by the President on Massachusetts Taking Action Toward Raising its Minimum Wage

 

President Obama Nominates Two to Serve as U.S. Attorneys

 

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

 

Presidential Nominations Sent to the Senate

 

President Obama Announces Nominates Two to Serve on the United States District Courts

 

Statement by the President on the Observance of Juneteenth

 

 

Speeches and Remarks- June 20th, 2014

 

Remarks by the Vice President at Maritima Solar

 

Remarks by the First Lady at DC-CAP Graduation Celebration

 

Remarks by the President on the Situation in Iraq

 

Remarks by the President at Presentation of The Medal of Honor to Corporal William Kyle Carpenter

 

Remarks by the Vice President and President Santos of Colombia in a Joint Press Statement

 

 

 

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CNN reporter roughed up during Hamas protest

 

 

 

Lazy Crew – GEICO

 

 

 

Supreme Court just said lying is free speech

 

 

 

Strip club interrupting nuns’ prayer time

 

 

 

The Mississippi Freedom Summer – Bob Moses Reality Asserts Itself (1/8)

 

 

 

ISIS Born from Occupation of Iraq, not Syrian Civil War

 

 

 

June 19th, 2014: Photo of the Day

 

President Barack Obama talks with Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, outside the Oval Office following a meeting in the Situation Room of the White House, June 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama talks with Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, outside the Oval Office following a meeting in the Situation Room of the White House, June 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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First Lady Michelle LaVaughn Obama’s Fight For YOUR Children’s Health.


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Michelle Obama‘s food fight

 

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By Susannah Bradley & MSN Healthy Living:

 

My toddler is going through a phase. If the breakfast, lunch or dinner menu involves anything other than peanut butter on a spoon, my sweet little boy turns into King Joffrey and I’ve got a fight on my hands.

 

On the other side of the country, another mom – Michelle Obama – is also engaged in a food fight. In her case, it’s not about one little boy’s sweet tooth, but our entire nation’s obesity epidemic.

 

Specifically, she’s fighting against efforts to roll back the school nutrition standards that were enacted with the passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. At the time, the standards, which aim to deliver more nutrients to growing kids by setting limits on calories and salt, phasing in whole grains, and requiring that students take at least one fruit or vegetable per meal, enjoyed wide support. Today, there’s a concerted effort led by the School Nutrition Association (SNA) (a trade group backed by Coca-Cola, Domino’s Pizza and Pepsico) and certain members of Congress to roll them back.

 

I sat down with the First Lady to talk about the school lunch reforms she’s trying to save, and why we’ve come too far in the fight against childhood obesity to turn back now.

 

Why this matters

The childhood obesity crisis has been years in the making, but the school lunch reforms are the first organized, widespread move directed at shrinking the problem. At their core, the reforms are based on the idea that we need to relearn how to feed our kids.

 

“Before coming to the White House, I struggled, as a working parent with a traveling, busy husband, to figure out how to feed my kids healthy, and I didn’t get it right. Our pediatrician had to pull me aside and point out some things that were going wrong. I thought to myself, if a Princeton and Harvard educated professional woman doesn’t know how to adequately feed her kids, then what are other parents going through who don’t have access to the information I have?

 

When I first came to the White House, one of the first things I knew I wanted to take on was this issue, because now we know that there is a childhood obesity epidemic, and a lot of it comes from the fact that we have lost that core understanding of how to best nourish our kids. And the most important place to start tackling this issue is in our schools,” said Mrs. Obama.

 

Power to the parents

Mrs. Obama recognizes that mealtime battles are an inevitable part of trying to raise healthy eaters, and she says that the school nutrition reforms give parents an ally in the effort.

 

“It’s so important for our schools to make the hard calls for our kids, because parents are struggling enough at home. So once you make that decision to set the rules, you don’t want to be undermined when your kids go to school and have some sweet cereal for breakfast with chocolate milk followed by a donut and then a burger and fries for lunch. That’s why we’re in the state that we’re in right now, in regards to the epidemic of childhood obesity.

 

We have to be the ones in charge of what our kids eat. We have to set the tone and provide the examples, because what they learn now is what they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives. I want to make sure that my girls know what healthy meals look like and feel like, so that when they leave my home and go to college, they at least have the knowledge to make the best choices for themselves.”

 

Responding to opponents

Those who are working to roll the reforms back cite reasons that should be familiar to most parents. Namely, that healthy food costs more than processed alternatives and is more difficult to prepare, and that kids don’t like eating their vegetables.

 

According to the SNA’s website, “Whole-grain items, fresh fruits and vegetables and low-fat snacks in particular have resulted in increased costs.”

 

Mrs. Obama refutes the claim that the cost of healthy food is a burden for schools, because 90 percent of schools are complying with the standards. In fact, she says, many schools implemented the standards before they had to.

 

“Many schools started implementing the standards before they were mandatory, because the principals understood that nutrition isn’t just about feeding good food to our kids, but it’s also about setting them up for academic success. Many of these schools have seen the difference in academic performance that these kids have when they have vegetables and whole grains, when they start out with a complete breakfast that carries them through the morning, when they’re getting regular physical activity. Schools have seen their test scores rise and attendance rates improve and disciplinary issues go away.”

 

As for complaints that kids just don’t like eating the healthier foods, Mrs. Obama has little patience.

 

“It is our job as adults to make sure that our kids eat what they need, not what they want. I struggle with that in my own life, and I tell you, if I let my kids dictate what we have for dinner every day, it would be French fries, chips and candy, but we don’t run our households like that, and we can’t run our schools like that.

 

The first step is not to roll back the standards, but to help the schools that are struggling do a better job at making the meals more enjoyable for the kids. Good health and flavor go hand in hand.

 

What we need to do is lend a hand to the schools that are struggling, not roll back the standards and say, Oh, well. The kids don’t like it so let them eat cake. We can’t afford to do that.”

 

A call to action

Mrs. Obama urges parents to find out where their representatives stand on this issue, but also to talk to principals and school nutritionists to get informed about what’s working and what’s not at their kids’ schools.

 

 

“That’s our job as parents, to roll up our sleeves and know what’s going on on the ground.”

 

 

Thank you Susannah Bradley & MSN Healthy Living & First Lady of The United States Of America, Michelle LaVaughn Obama.

 

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