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Barack & Michelle After Dark™: Michelle Visits Howard. Wounded Warrior Riders Visit Barack’s House. The West Wing Week.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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First Lady Michelle Obama And Bow Wow Spotted At Howard University

 

On Thursday, first lady Michelle Obama and rapper-slash-actor Bow Wow joined 37 students from Chicago public high schools for a tour of Howard University, our colleague Krissah Thompson reports. According to the first lady’s office, Obama specifically requested Bow Wow for the event, an annual college visit called “Escape to the Mecca” — a nod to the university’s nickname “the mecca.”

“This isn’t bad,” Obama said as she stepped inside a dorm room in Frazier Hall where one enterprising student had the perfect product placement on her desk: a portfolio and résumé. During the sneak peek, Obama encouraged the visiting students to step in and look around too. “You might be living here. I’m just visiting,” she said.

 

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From NBC 5 Chicago:

 

First Lady Welcomes Chicago Public School Students on College Visit 

 

CPS officials said 37 students were on the campus visit from 18 area schools

 

By Alexandria Fisher

First Lady Michelle Obama and rapper Bow Wow welcomed dozens of Chicago high schoolers to Howard University in Washington Thursday afternoon.

 

First lady Michelle Obama and Bow Wow, co-host of the television show “106 & Park,” along with high school students from Chicago, tour the Howard University dorms. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

First lady Michelle Obama and Bow Wow, co-host of the television show “106 & Park,” along with high school students from Chicago, tour the Howard University dorms. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

 

The First Lady joined the students on their college visit to promote the President’s “North Star” initiative, which aims to bring America’s proportion of college graduates back to the highest in the world by 2020.

 

Obama, a Princeton University and Harvard Law alum, toured dorm rooms and posed for a group photo with the juniors and seniors from Chicago Public high schools as Howard students shouted from dorm room windows.

 

Students cheer from their dorm room windows as they watch First Lady Michelle Obama take a tour of Howard University

Students cheer from their dorm room windows as they watch First Lady Michelle Obama take a tour of Howard University

 

Donning a maroon pant suit and black flats the First Lady showed her school spirit by waving a “Howard hand” and speaking to the students from a campus food court.

 

Bow Wow, formerly L’il Bow Wow, joined the First Lady Thursday to help moderate the students’ discussion.

 

First Lady Michelle Obama smiles at rapper Bow Wow at Howard University. The First Lady joined juniors and seniors from Chicago public high schools on the first day of their four-day visit to Howard University, as part of a program to immerse talented high school students in a college campus environment.

First Lady Michelle Obama smiles at rapper Bow Wow at Howard University. The First Lady joined juniors and seniors from Chicago public high schools on the first day of their four-day visit to Howard University, as part of a program to immerse talented high school students in a college campus environment.

 

“I’m very proud of you guys,” Bow Wow said, after starting off by shouting out Chicago neighborhoods.

 

Obama pumped her fist when he said “South Side.”

 

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The 27-year-old co-host of BET’s “106 & Park,” a weekday show on which the First Lady has appeared, didn’t attend college and instead pursued an entertainment career, according to his manager Bart Waters.

 

The First Lady commended Bow Wow, a child rapping prodigy, for his support for education and said she was “very proud of this young man.”

 

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She then went on to encourage the students to go to college or pursue other higher education.

 

“While there’s a lot of work that needs to be done on our end,” she said, referring to government, philanthropy and other resources, “you don’t have time to wait for everybody to fix the system.”

 

CPS officials said 37 students were on the campus visit from 18 area schools.

 

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“This has been the most phenomenal day of my life,” Pamela Mondane, 17, told Obama.

 

The senior at Whitney Young, Obama’s alma mater, said she intended to enroll at Howard University later this year.

 

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First lady Michelle Obama and Bow Wow, co-host of the television show “106 & Park,” along with high school students from Chicago, tour the Howard University dorms. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

First lady Michelle Obama and Bow Wow, co-host of the television show “106 & Park,” along with high school students from Chicago, tour the Howard University dorms. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

 

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Letters to the President: Stories of Health Reform

 

 

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Published on Apr 17, 2014

While in Austin, the President recently met with several Americans who wrote letters about the Affordable Care Act.

 

 

 

8 Million People Have Signed Up For Private Health Coverage Thanks To The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act (ObamaCARES). Read All About The 8 Million.

 

 

President Obama: 8 Million People Have Signed Up for Private Health Coverage

 

Speaking from the White House Briefing Room this afternoon, President Obama announced that 8 millionAmericans have signed up for private health coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

 

 

President Obama Speaks to the Press

 

Published on Apr 17, 2014

Before taking questions from the press in the White House Press Briefing Room, President Obama announces that 8 million people signed up for private health coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace. April 17, 2014.

 

 

 

He noted that 35 percent of those people are under 35 years old.

 

What’s more, costs associated with expanding coverage under the Affordable Care Act are lower than expected.

 

And health care costs are growing at the slowest level on record. That slower growth in spending is reflected across MedicareMedicaid, and private insurance.

 

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Take a look at a few more important numbers, from a fact sheet released today:

 

  • 8 million people signed up for private insurance in the Health InsuranceMarketplace. For states that have Federally-Facilitated Marketplaces, 35 percent of those who signed up are under 35 years old, and 28 percent are between 18 and 34 years old, virtually the same youth percentage that signed up in Massachusetts in its first year of health reform.

 

  • 3 million young adults gained coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act by being able to stay on their parents’ plan.

 

  • 3 million more people were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as of February, compared to before the Marketplaces opened. Medicaid and CHIP enrollment continues year-round.

 

  • 5 million people are enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards outside the Marketplace, according to aCBO estimate. When insurers set premiums for next year, they are required to look at everyone who enrolled in plans that meet ACA standards, both inside and outside the Marketplace.

 

  • 5.7 million people will be uninsured in 2016 because 24 states have chosen not to expand Medicaid — even though this expansion would be of no cost to states, as the President pointed out in today’s briefing.

 

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The bottom line, as the President said: “This thing is working.

 

#8Million #8Million #8Million

 

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@BarackObama The Affordable Care Act is working—for millions of Americans.

@BarackObama
The Affordable Care Act is working—for millions of Americans.

Can Ya'll Haters Please Kiss My Entire Black Ass?

Can Ya’ll Haters Please Kiss My Entire Black Ass?

 

 

 

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#8Million #8Million #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million  #8Million #8Million

#8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million #8Million

Eight Million.....And Counting.

Eight Million…..And Counting.

Lets give a hand for eight million.

Lets give a hand for eight million.

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West Wing Week: 4/18/14 or, “Pull Together, Fight Back, and Win”

 

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Published on Apr 17, 2014

This week, the President nominated Sylvia Burwell as Secretary of Health and Human Services, hosted an Easter Prayer Breakfast and a PassoverSeder, discussed immigration reform with Faith leaders, welcomed the Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride, announced a major milestone in the continued implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and hit the road to New York City and Oakdale, Pennsylvania.

 

 

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Wounded Warriors Ride for Recovery

 

The Phoro Of The Year: President Obama Watches As The Riders Speed By.

The Phoro Of The Year: President Obama Watches As The Riders Speed By.

 

This morning, on the South Lawn of the White House, President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Shinseki welcomed riders participating in the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride.

 

Today was the fifth time President Obama has welcomed Soldier Ride to the White House. The ride begins in Washington, D.C. and ends in Friendship, Maryland, spanning a total of 58 miles.

 

The Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride at the White House

 

Published on Apr 17, 2014

President Obama welcomes Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House in celebration of the seventh annual Soldier Ride. A cycling event to help Wounded Warriors restore their physical and emotional well-being, the Soldier Ride also raises awareness of our nation’s Wounded Warriors who battle the physical and psychological damages of war.

 

 

 

Remarks by the President Welcoming the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride

South Lawn

11:06 A.M. EDT

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THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody!  (Applause.)  Welcome to the White House.  Thank you to Ric for not just a nice introduction, but more importantly, for your outstanding service to our country and for your service to our veterans and fellow wounded warriors.

Now, I also want to mention that our Vice President here has been relentless in his support, along with our spouses, Michelle and Jill Biden, for military families.  And we’re very proud of everything that Joe has done.

This is now the fifth time that I’ve had the honor of welcoming the Soldier Ride to the White House.  And I have to tell you, this is one of my favorite events of the year.  First of all, you know it’s spring when — or at least it’s supposed to be spring — (laughter) — when the Soldier Ride comes around.  But mainly, it’s because those who participate are such an incredible inspiration to me and to our country.

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To all the riders, you look outstanding, especially after biking 17 miles yesterday.  You’re doing another 17 miles tomorrow, another 17 miles after that — all told, nearly 60 miles.  Today we wanted to come cheer you on.  And I think we’ve got some folks from the Army here, is that right?  (Hooah!)  And the Navy.  (Hooyah!)  Air Force.  (Applause.)  Marines.  (Oorah!)  Oh, that was good.  (Laughter.)  Coast Guard.  (Applause.)  And we’ve got some extraordinary families here today.  (Applause.)  Yay, families.

By now, everybody knows the story about how this got started.  You had a bartender on Long Island, Chris Carney, who came up with the idea of riding his bike across America to support wounded warriors.  Chris couldn’t be here today.  He owns a gym now; I think you all inspired him to trade the bar in for some barbells.  But today there are Soldier Rides all across the country, and we want to thank everybody at the Wounded Warriors Project for their incredible support.

wwr2

I know some of you are doing this for the very first time; some of you have ridden three or four times.  Some of you are riding in tandem with your parents.  Biking nearly 60 miles in three days would be a challenge for anybody, but for all of you this is a lot more than a bike ride — this is a mark of how far you’ve come.

Many of you are recovering from devastating injuries.  Some of you have had to learn the basics all over again — how to stand again, how to walk again, how to run again.  And now you’re here today because that’s what Soldier Ride is all about — seeing each other through the finish line.

Lieutenant Commander John Jae Terry is here.  Three years ago, he was on foot patrol in Afghanistan when he was hit by an IED, ended up losing his leg.  But reflecting on his service, he said he would do it all again.  Now, he’s got a new goal — get in the best shape possible so he can play with his three kids.  And so today he’s here on his first Soldier Ride.

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You’ve got Master Sergeant Louis Alfonso Ramirez.  Serving in Afghanistan, he lost good friends in a terrible ambush.  He even assisted at the airport as they began their dignified transfer home.  Later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, credits the Wounded Warriors Project with helping him heal.  He says, “You know that they got you.”  This is now his fourth ride.

Sergeant Major Sedrick Banks is here.  An explosion in Iraq left him with injuries to his neck and his back, and traumatic brain injury.  But after years of rehab, Cedric is focused on the future.  He volunteers here in Washington, helps mentor young men with the life skills they need to succeed.  He calls himself now a “warrior for society.”  This is his first Soldier Ride.

Major Jeanette Nieves-Ayala is here.  And I first met Jeanette a few years ago at Walter Reed, where she was recovering from an injury received in Iraq.  As some of you know, when I visit with our troops I often hand out coins marked with the Seal of the President.  Jeanette shook my hand and she said, Mr. President, all these men think your coin is the best; I don’t.  I made a bet with them that there was a coin that could trump yours.  I said, what are you talking about?  She said, I want the First Lady’s coin.  (Laughter.)  The First Lady’s coin would beat yours.

wwr4

Now, it is true that the First Lady trumps me.  But Jeanette says her proudest accomplishment is being a peer mentor to other wounded warriors.  She says that during her recovery, “I was definitely being carried.  Now I feel like I am helping to carry others.”  So I want to thank you, Jeanette.

This ride is first and foremost for these incredible riders.  But it’s men and women like John and Louis and Cedric and Jeanette and all of you who make the ride so special for all of us, because you inspire us.  You inspire the country, some of whom will be out cheering along your ride.  You inspire me with your courage, your resolve, your resilience, your tenacity, your optimism.  It makes me proud to be your Commander-in-Chief.  And Michelle and I treasure every moment that we get to spend with you and your families.

Every day I have the honor of serving as this country’s Commander-in-Chief.  And as long as I have that honor, I will keep fighting to make sure you and your families get the care and treatment and benefits that you have earned and deserve.  When people ask of you to serve your country, to give your all to make your sacrifices, you’ve raised your hands.  You’ve stepped up.  You’ve held up your end of the bargain.  And it’s especially now, as we’re winding down the war in Afghanistan, after having ended over a decade of war, that we are standing up for you.  Our obligations to our veterans endure for your entire lives.  That’s our mission.  That’s why we’re here not just during this ride, but all year long.

wwr5

So with that, the sun is out.  It’s a spectacular day.  The racers look like they’re ready.  I think it’s time for us to get this party started.

God bless you.  God bless America.  Let’s get this going.  (Applause.)

wwr8

END
11:13 A.M. EDT

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Cheering on riders at the Wounded Warrior Project's Solider Ride this morning. #JoiningForces

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President Obama high fives a rider as he welcomes the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House

President Obama makes a face as Nancy Loubin takes a photo of him at Wounded Warriors event at White House today

One of the riders taking part in the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride, with a President Obama bobblehead in his jersey, waits in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, April 17, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

One of the riders taking part in the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride, with a President Obama bobblehead in his jersey, waits in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, April 17, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

A Wounded Warrior exits the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House to participate in the Soldier Ride, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

A Wounded Warrior exits the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House to participate in the Soldier Ride, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Shinseki cheer on participants in the Soldier Ride, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Shinseki cheer on participants in the Soldier Ride, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Participants in the seventh annual Soldier Ride make their way around the South Lawn of the White House, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

Participants in the seventh annual Soldier Ride make their way around the South Lawn of the White House, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Shinseki welcome the Soldier Ride to the White House, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Shinseki welcome the Soldier Ride to the White House, April 17, 2014. (WH Photo by Pete Souza)

 

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Statements and Releases

 

Statement by the President on the Passing of Nobel Laureate Gabriel García Marquez

 

Readout of the President’s Call with Chancellor Merkel of Germany

 

FACT SHEET: Affordable Care Act by the Numbers

 

President Obama Signs Montana Disaster Declaration

 

Statement by the President on the Tragic Ferry Sinking Off the Coast of the Republic of Korea

 

First Lady Michelle Obama to Address 2014 Graduating Seniors

 

FACT SHEET: Building on Progress – Supporting Solar Deployment and Jobs

 

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President Obama Schedule || Friday, August 18,2014

 

10:00 am || Receives the Presidential Daily Briefing


10:45 am || Meets with Treasury Secretary Lew


11:35 am || Meets with the National Commander and Executive Director of the American Legion


2:00 am || Presents the Commander-in-Chief Trophy to the United States Naval Academy football team

 

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President Barack Hussein Obama Welcomes The Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride To His House.


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

Obama And Biden Welcome Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride To White House

 

The Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride at the White House

 

Published on Apr 17, 2014

President Obama welcomes Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House in celebration of the seventh annual Soldier Ride. A cycling event to help Wounded Warriors restore their physical and emotional well-being, the Soldier Ride also raises awareness of our nation’s Wounded Warriors who battle the physical and psychological damages of war.

 

 

 

WWP_Soldier_Ride_Logo_op_a

 

 

Remarks by the President Welcoming the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride

South Lawn

11:06 A.M. EDT

wwr0

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody!  (Applause.)  Welcome to the White House.  Thank you to Ric for not just a nice introduction, but more importantly, for your outstanding service to our country and for your service to our veterans and fellow wounded warriors.

Now, I also want to mention that our Vice President here has been relentless in his support, along with our spouses, Michelle and Jill Biden, for military families.  And we’re very proud of everything that Joe has done.

This is now the fifth time that I’ve had the honor of welcoming the Soldier Ride to the White House.  And I have to tell you, this is one of my favorite events of the year.  First of all, you know it’s spring when — or at least it’s supposed to be spring — (laughter) — when the Soldier Ride comes around.  But mainly, it’s because those who participate are such an incredible inspiration to me and to our country.

wwr

wwr1

To all the riders, you look outstanding, especially after biking 17 miles yesterday.  You’re doing another 17 miles tomorrow, another 17 miles after that — all told, nearly 60 miles.  Today we wanted to come cheer you on.  And I think we’ve got some folks from the Army here, is that right?  (Hooah!)  And the Navy.  (Hooyah!)  Air Force.  (Applause.)  Marines.  (Oorah!)  Oh, that was good.  (Laughter.)  Coast Guard.  (Applause.)  And we’ve got some extraordinary families here today.  (Applause.)  Yay, families.

By now, everybody knows the story about how this got started.  You had a bartender on Long Island, Chris Carney, who came up with the idea of riding his bike across America to support wounded warriors.  Chris couldn’t be here today.  He owns a gym now; I think you all inspired him to trade the bar in for some barbells.  But today there are Soldier Rides all across the country, and we want to thank everybody at the Wounded Warriors Project for their incredible support.

wwr2

I know some of you are doing this for the very first time; some of you have ridden three or four times.  Some of you are riding in tandem with your parents.  Biking nearly 60 miles in three days would be a challenge for anybody, but for all of you this is a lot more than a bike ride — this is a mark of how far you’ve come.

Many of you are recovering from devastating injuries.  Some of you have had to learn the basics all over again — how to stand again, how to walk again, how to run again.  And now you’re here today because that’s what Soldier Ride is all about — seeing each other through the finish line.

Lieutenant Commander John Jae Terry is here.  Three years ago, he was on foot patrol in Afghanistan when he was hit by an IED, ended up losing his leg.  But reflecting on his service, he said he would do it all again.  Now, he’s got a new goal — get in the best shape possible so he can play with his three kids.  And so today he’s here on his first Soldier Ride.

wwr3

You’ve got Master Sergeant Louis Alfonso Ramirez.  Serving in Afghanistan, he lost good friends in a terrible ambush.  He even assisted at the airport as they began their dignified transfer home.  Later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, credits the Wounded Warriors Project with helping him heal.  He says, “You know that they got you.”  This is now his fourth ride.

Sergeant Major Sedrick Banks is here.  An explosion in Iraq left him with injuries to his neck and his back, and traumatic brain injury.  But after years of rehab, Cedric is focused on the future.  He volunteers here in Washington, helps mentor young men with the life skills they need to succeed.  He calls himself now a “warrior for society.”  This is his first Soldier Ride.

Major Jeanette Nieves-Ayala is here.  And I first met Jeanette a few years ago at Walter Reed, where she was recovering from an injury received in Iraq.  As some of you know, when I visit with our troops I often hand out coins marked with the Seal of the President.  Jeanette shook my hand and she said, Mr. President, all these men think your coin is the best; I don’t.  I made a bet with them that there was a coin that could trump yours.  I said, what are you talking about?  She said, I want the First Lady’s coin.  (Laughter.)  The First Lady’s coin would beat yours.

wwr4

Now, it is true that the First Lady trumps me.  But Jeanette says her proudest accomplishment is being a peer mentor to other wounded warriors.  She says that during her recovery, “I was definitely being carried.  Now I feel like I am helping to carry others.”  So I want to thank you, Jeanette.

This ride is first and foremost for these incredible riders.  But it’s men and women like John and Louis and Cedric and Jeanette and all of you who make the ride so special for all of us, because you inspire us.  You inspire the country, some of whom will be out cheering along your ride.  You inspire me with your courage, your resolve, your resilience, your tenacity, your optimism.  It makes me proud to be your Commander-in-Chief.  And Michelle and I treasure every moment that we get to spend with you and your families.

Every day I have the honor of serving as this country’s Commander-in-Chief.  And as long as I have that honor, I will keep fighting to make sure you and your families get the care and treatment and benefits that you have earned and deserve.  When people ask of you to serve your country, to give your all to make your sacrifices, you’ve raised your hands.  You’ve stepped up.  You’ve held up your end of the bargain.  And it’s especially now, as we’re winding down the war in Afghanistan, after having ended over a decade of war, that we are standing up for you.  Our obligations to our veterans endure for your entire lives.  That’s our mission.  That’s why we’re here not just during this ride, but all year long.

wwr5

So with that, the sun is out.  It’s a spectacular day.  The racers look like they’re ready.  I think it’s time for us to get this party started.

God bless you.  God bless America.  Let’s get this going.  (Applause.)

wwr8

END
11:13 A.M. EDT

8735950858_c3acf7a84e_b

Cheering on riders at the Wounded Warrior Project's Solider Ride this morning. #JoiningForces

Cheering on riders at the Wounded Warrior Project’s Solider Ride this morning. #JoiningForces

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President Obama high fives a rider as he welcomes the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House

President Obama high fives a rider as he welcomes the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride to the White House

President Obama makes a face as Nancy Loubin takes a photo of him at Wounded Warriors event at White House today

President Obama makes a face as Nancy Loubin takes a photo of him at Wounded Warriors event at White House today

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Dr. Jill Biden Meets With LGBT Americans Benefiting From The Affordable Care Act.


 

By Jueseppi B.

lgbt-logo

 

 

Dr. Biden Meets with LGBT Americans Benefiting from the Affordable Care Act

 

 

Dr. Jill Biden Meets with Members of the LGBT community about ACADr. Jill Biden meets with members of the LGBT community who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, March 26, 2014.

 

An important deadline is coming up for all Americans, including the LGBT community: March 31 is the end of the open enrollment period for individuals to sign up for health care in the state and federal Marketplaces. If you miss the deadline, you may not be able to get health insurance again until next year.

 

The Affordable Care Act has the potential to improve the health and well-being of the LGBT community for generations to come.(Here’s how.) Many LGBT individuals across the country have signed up for coverage — and they’re already seeing the benefits.

 

Earlier today, Dr. Jill Biden met with the following LGBT individuals at the White House to hear about their experiences with health care coverage and how they are benefiting from the Affordable Care Act:

 

  • Simone Allender (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Neil Beresford (Decatur, GA)
  • Shannon Green (Fredericksburg, VA)
  • Regina Gray (Denver, CO)
  • Brad Holland (Tucson, AZ)
  • Eddie Martinez (Los Angeles, CA)
  • La’Tasha Mayes (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Michael Lappin and John West (Atlanta, GA)
  • Dan Waszak (Detroit, MI)

 

Dr. Biden heard from a gay man who lost his job in 2010, the same year he was diagnosed with HIV. Because of his pre-existing conditions, he went four years without health insurance — until he signed up for a plan through the federal Marketplace. At the meeting, he told Dr. Biden that the Affordable Care Act saved his life.

 

She also heard from a same-sex married couple from Atlanta, Georgia, who, as small business owners, previously had private health care plans. But thanks to the Affordable Care Act, they now have a plan with lower co-pays, lower deductibles, and lower out-of-pocket costs — and they’re saving more than $5,000 a year.

 

And she heard from a 21-year-old lesbian student from Virginia who switched from an expensive school-sponsored plan to one she bought on the Marketplace that is saving her hundreds of dollars each month.

 

Dr. Jill Biden Talks with Members of the LGBT Community About ACADr. Jill Biden talks with members of the LGBT community who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, March 26, 2014.

 

Stories like these highlight why the Affordable Care Act will make such a difference for LGBT people: because pre-existing conditions are not a barrier to coverage, because LGBT individuals can’t be denied coverage or charged a higher rate because of who they are, and because it is affordable.

 

To learn more, visit HealthCare.gov, or call the 24/7 call center, available in over 150 languages, at 1-800-318-2596 by March 31.

 

Gautam Raghavan is an Advisor in the White House Office of Public Engagement.

 


 

In case you missed it:

Related Topics: Health CareGeorgiaVirginia

 

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VPOTUSA Joseph Robinette “Joey B” Biden, Jr.: Standing Up For LGBTQA1 Rights Around The Globe.


 

By Jueseppi B.

lgbt-logo

 

 

Standing Up for LGBT Rights Around the World

 

 

Vice President Joe Biden gives the keynote address at the Human Rights Campaign gala in Los Angeles, Calif., March 22, 2014.Vice President Joe Biden gives the keynote address at the Human Rights Campaign gala in Los Angeles, Calif., March 22, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

 

“The rights of LGBT people [are] an inseparable part of America’s promotion of human rights around the world,” Vice President Joe Biden declared to a packed audience at the Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles gala on Saturday night.

 

In a world where homosexuality is a crime in almost 80 countries — punishable by death in 7 — the Vice President reasserted America’s unwavering commitment to LGBT rights in every corner of the world. “Hate,” he explained, “can never, never be defended because it’s a so-called cultural norm.”

 

The Administration has taken a number of steps to ensure that LGBT citizens of the world are afforded their universal human rights. American diplomats serving overseas — including 5 openly gay ambassadors — have integrated LGBT rights into our foreign policy priorities as we work to promote and protect the human rights of all people. We leverage foreign assistance to protect LGBT rights through such efforts as the Global Equality Fund and the LGBT Global Development Partnership. The United States also offers emergency support to LGBT people in danger, including refugees and asylum-seekers fleeing persecution. And we’re building a broad coalition to promote the rights of LGBT people by working with countries like Argentina, Brazil, France, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Mexico.

 

“We have a long road to travel to change hearts and minds and laws all around the world,” the Vice President said on Saturday, “but we’re beginning to do it.”

 

In communities across the globe, the United States has been encouraged by acts of justice and equality: in places like Albania, which recently added protections against hate crimes for sexual orientation and gender identity; Nepal, which is taking steps to recognize transgender citizens; and Mongolia, which celebrated its first pride week last year.

 

The Administration will continue its work in eliminating barriers to equality, fighting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and engaging LGBT communities at home and across the world.

 

As the Vice President said, “We’re in the early days of a long, long fight, but you should never underestimate the epiphanies that follow a culture that makes a breakthrough of conscience.”

 

 

 

lgbt folks

 

 

Remarks by the Vice President and Dr. Biden to the Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles Dinner

 

J.W. Marriott Los Angeles LA Live
Los Angeles, California

7:41 P.M. PDT

DR. BIDEN:  Thank you, Chad, for that kind introduction.  Joe and I are so proud to be with you tonight, and you are doing a phenomenal job leading HRC.  (Applause.)

Hello, Los Angeles, my name is Jill Biden.  (Applause.)  I am with you tonight as an educator who knows the kind of bullying and harassment that some of my students face in the classroom, and the rejection they encounter at home.

I am with you tonight as a military mom and someone who cares deeply for our service members and their families –(applause) — who saw the burden that “don’t ask, don’t tell” and DOMA placed on so many of our military families who serve this nation with just as much courage and patriotism and sacrifices as any other military family.  (Applause.)

And I am with you tonight as a mother and a grandmother — in fact, our granddaughter Finnegan is with us.  I, like you, want my children and grandchildren to grow up in an America where no matter who you are or whom you love, you are treated with dignity and respect — (applause) — an America where your rights can’t disappear from one state to the next, so that gay parents from California have the same rights when they take their kids to visit grandparents on Arizona.  That’s the kind of country we want to live in.  And for God’s sake, an America where the Vice President of the United States can speak up for basic human rights and equality and it’s not breaking news.  (Applause.)

I am so proud of Joe and his commitment.  Tonight, we celebrate the work that you do to change hearts and minds and open up opportunities for every American from our classrooms, to our boardrooms, to our locker rooms.  And I’m with you tonight and always ready to finish the important work that remains.  I am here with another ally and champion for equality, a man whose life purpose stems from a profound commitment to civil rights, a man who always speaks from the heart.  Please join me in welcoming my husband, our Vice President, Joe Biden.  (Applause.)

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much, Jill.  (Applause.)  Thank you, so please, please sit down.  I know it shocks you to hear that I sometimes speak my mind.  (Laughter.)  As a matter of fact, someone said not long ago no one ever doubts what Biden says, the problem is sometimes he says all that he thinks.  (Laughter.)

And I assure you it was no surprise in the Biden household when I spoke out on “Meet the Press.”

But, folks, before I begin I’d like to introduce you to my best friend in the world, my sister, Valerie, and her son, who is an attorney out here in Los Angeles, and my granddaughter.  Our granddaughter has come along with us, and the reason she’s with us is that I want her to understand, which she is now only beginning to understand, that what she thinks and all her generation thinks is starting to be thought by older folks, too.  (Laughter and applause.)

And so, ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to my sister, Valerie Biden, her son Cuffe — actually it’s not Biden.  She’s married.  Valerie Owens, her son Cuffe, and my granddaughter.  Oh, there they are.  (Applause.)

It’s easy to think the way we do when everyone who you know and respect thinks the same way.  Chad, thank you for your generosity and your kind comments.  And, Attorney General Harris, you have always been there.  It’s never been a question for you.

And Congressman — Mark?  Is Mark here?  I know he’s out there somewhere.  I believe he is.  Congressman, thank you for your great support.  And, Mr. Mayor, thank you for the passport to come back into the city.  (Applause.)  And, Ambassador David Heebner, I want to thank you as well.

Chad, I want to thank you as well for the kind words about Jill’s advocacy.  Folks, if you had known how Jill felt about standing before and speaking before large crowds seven years ago, you would marvel that she stood up here.  (Applause.)  But she’s taking it in stride.  Jill has always been — had a true north, a moral compass that no one has ever questioned, and she raised our three children and our five grandchildren — she hasn’t raised them, but she has impacted them so that they really feel it in their bones that it’s all about fairness and equity, and never to settle for anything less.

It’s overused, but Harvey Milk said, “Hope will never be silent.”  And you have never, never been silent, nor have you ever lost hope — even in some very, very difficult times.  It’s been a long struggle, and recently there’s been some real progress, but there’s so much left to do.

All of you spoke out and stepped up and came forward.  You came out and you marched.  You demanded to be recognized, demanded your constitutional rights, demanded a basic American Dream.  You demanded respect.

And because of what all of you have done, my granddaughter is going to grow up in a better country, a more just country, and a more fair country.  (Applause.)

And, folks, I know — I know not like you — but I know it wasn’t easy.  Many of you paid a personal and a professional price for stepping up and speaking out.  But your tenacity, your integrity and, yes, your physical courage and your pride bent the moral arc of this nation, and it’s finally moving in the right direction.

My mother used to have an expression, and I’m serious about this, she said, Joey, bravery resides in every heart, and the time will come when it will be summoned.

Every one of you in this room stepped up.  Every one of you stepped up.  I’m astonished by the bravery that resides in the heart of each and every one of you in this room.  I’ve been going around the country for a long time, and campaigns and doing my business as Vice President, and I constantly am thanked and given a great deal more credit than I deserve.  My main purpose in being here tonight is to say thank you.  Thank all of you.  Your actions not only liberated millions, millions in the LGBT community, but here’s the point I don’t think you fully understand, you liberated tens of millions of straight guys and straight women.  (Laughter and applause.)  No, no, you have.  You have.  (Applause.)

Those of you who are old enough — those of you who are old enough, 20 years ago, if four guys were sitting in a restaurant and there was a gay waiter and as he left the table, one of them made fun of it, the other three would remain silent.  Not today.  You freed them.  (Applause.)  You freed them to speak up because now they know — they know they’re not the exception, they know they’re the majority.  They know because of you.

And with regard to my being on “Meet the Press,” besides I told the President when he asked me to be Vice President two things:  I wasn’t going to wear any funny hats and I wasn’t changing my brand.  ((Laughter and applause.)  There was no way.  I’m too old, man.  I’m too old.  Seriously, seriously, just how could you remain silent any more.

I have had — and I continue to have faith in the American people.  I believed five years ago, I believe today that they’re so far ahead of the political leadership.  And when I spoke out, the great surprise, all of a sudden the polling data started rolling in and a majority — an absolute majority of the American people agreed with what I said.  But it wasn’t because of what I said, it’s because of all the sacrifices all of you made.

It’s been the honor of my lifetime to work alongside of so many of you, and particularly to see what we’ve achieved in the last five years.  Together, as this has been mentioned already, we passed the Matthew Shephard Hate Crimes Prevention Act; repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell;” reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act with protections for services for the LGBT community; passed the Affordable Care Act so no one can be denied health care because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity.  (Applause.)

We argued the case along Edie Windsor in the high court of the land because we knew it was unconstitutional, simply wrong for the federal government to discriminate.  We filed a brief on Prop 8 because we believed the loving relationships you see in this room, and California, and my home state of Delaware, all around the nation cannot, should not be denied the freedom to marry.  It’s basic.  And we rejoiced — we rejoiced as we saw that iconic picture of Kris and Sandra and Paul and Jeff joining hands in victory on the steps of the Supreme Court.  (Applause.)

But, folks, it’s a lot of progress in a relatively short time after this fight has begun, but guess what, there’s so much more to be done.  My grandkids, my children, and their kids are going to be shocked — it shocks the conscience that at this very moment in American history, in some states, an employer can fire you just because of who you are or who you love.  It’s close to barbaric.  I mean think about this — no, I really mean this, imagine, imagine 20 years from now, as America looks back, and says, how in the hell could that have ever been allowed?  (Applause.)  The country has moved on.  The American people have moved on.  It’s time for their Congress to move on and pass ENDA, pass ENDA now — not tomorrow, now.  (Applause.)

If you think about it, it’s outrageous we’re even debating this sucker.  I really mean it.  It’s almost beyond belief that today in 2014, I could say to you, because you’re employee in so many states, you’re fired because of who you love?  I mean think about that.  It is bizarre.  No, no, no, it really is.  It really is.  I don’t even think most Americans even know that employers can do that.

And so, folks, look, I was raised by a truly gracious and decent man.  He taught me and my sister and my two brothers that — a simple truth, that every single person in the world is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect.  And he taught us by his example, not by his lectures.

I can remember I was a junior in high school, and he was driving me into the city.  I lived in the suburbs, the city in Wilmington to apply for a job as a lifeguard in the city swimming pools.  And — I was a pretty good lifeguard.  (Laughter.)   Matter of fact, when I ran for the United States Senate, they said, all Biden has ever been is a lifeguard.  (Laughter.)  I was 29.  But any rate, it was close to true.  (Laughter.)

But I’ll never forget it, he pulled up in front of the city courthouse where we went and made the application.  And he didn’t want to park, he was dropping me off.  And we stopped at a red light.  When I looked over to my left, and there were two men kissing good-bye, and I looked, and it was the first time I’d seen that.  And my father looked at me and said, they love each other.  That’s the end.  That’s the end.  (Applause.)

But my point is because of you so many Americans have been freed.  Dignity and respect has to remain our North Star.  But as far as we still need to go, the rest of the world has so much further to go.

As you probably know I spend an awful lot of time traveling in foreign countries.  I’ve had the privilege of literally meeting every major head of state in the last 40 years because of the nature of my job in the Senate.  And I’ve traveled to most countries in the world, and I can tell you, they’re looking to us as an example, as a champion of LGBT rights everywhere.  In almost 80 countries today, it’s a crime.  More than half — almost more than half the countries in the U.N., it’s a crime to be gay.  It’s a crime.  In seven countries, it’s punishable by death.  And in many more places, LGBT people face violence, harassment, unequal treatment in the courts, mistreatment by the police, denial of health care, social isolation, always in the name of culture.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, the world God willing is beginning to change.  To paraphrase Pope Francis of all things, (laughter) — but think about this, think about what he said, one sentence he uttered, to paraphrase him, who are we to judge?  Who are they to judge you or me?  (Applause.)

In Nigeria, even supporting LGBT organizations can land you in prison for a decade.  Closer to home, in Jamaica, we hear corrective rape for lesbian women.  The world was outraged when we found out about genital mutilation that takes place in some African countries.  Corrective rape?  What in God’s name are we talking about?  How can a country that speaks in those terms be remotely considered to be a civil society?  (Applause.)

In June, the Russian government banned the dissemination of so-called propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to young people.  And by the way, as the great Soviet dissident, Andrei Sakharov said, “A country that does not respect the rights of its citizens will not respect the rights of its neighbors.”  And we’re seeing that today.  We’re seeing that today in Ukraine.  (Applause.)

Find me a country in the world that singles out a set of citizens, and I’ll guarantee you that country is where justice does not live.

Ladies and gentlemen, this week I met with a remarkable group of activists in the so-called Roosevelt Room in the West Wing, from all around the world, about eight of them.  They had one thing in common:  courage.  Many of them were taking incredible physical and personal risks in order to fight for the basic human rights, the rights of others.  One activist from India, a woman named Geethaw spoke of the importance of “street-to-street” connections between local LGBT organizations in different countries.

Another young woman, working in Uganda, Wanja — Uganda, a nation where you can go to prison for life for so-called aggravated homosexuality whatever the hell that is.  (Laughter.)  Aggravated homosexuality?  Whoa.  There are some sick people in the world.  (Laughter and applause.)

But here’s what she said, she said, the LGBT community has been chosen in her country as pawns in the question of, where do we look West, or do we look East?  And she went on to say it shouldn’t be either East or West, it’s a basic human right.  (Applause.)

Well, ladies and gentlemen, let’s think about it in basic terms.  And I know you know it, but sometimes even you forget it, the single most basic of all human rights is the right to decide who you love.  It’s the single basic building block.  It is.  It’s the single most important human right that exists.

And hate can never, never be defended because it’s a so-called cultural norm.  I’ve had it up to here with cultural norms.  (Applause.)  I really mean that.  A cultural norm, if it’s sick, it’s sick.  It’s simple.  There’s never a justification for a government or an individual politician to play up the bigotry and hatred.

A friend of mine who I’ve gotten to know years ago, Archbishop Desmond Tutu spoke out against what he called “a wave of hate” sweeping across his beloved continent against LGBT people.  He said, “Politicians who profit from exploiting this hate are fanning it.  They must not be tempted by the easy way to profit from fear and misunderstanding.”

And we have a simple obligation:  when it occurs, where it occurs, as individuals and as a government, we must speak up, speak out and do everything we can to confront it.

America’s strength, and I know you’re tired of hearing me say this the last six years, but America’s strength — I really mean this — does not lie in the exercise of its power.  It does not lie there.  It exercises — it lies in the exercise of its values.  In every aspect of American foreign policy, we should have as the focus in our foreign policy that we lead not merely by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.  That’s what makes us different.  That’s what makes us strong.  I really mean that.  (Applause.)

Look, I don’t want this just to be a rah-rah speech here.  I mean what I say, it’s clear we have a long road to travel to change hearts and minds and laws all around the world.  But we’re beginning to do it.  We’re beginning to do it.

I want to talk to you about what the President and I are doing to help us get there.  Barack and I believe that the rights of LGBT people is an inseparable part of America’s promotion of human rights around the world.  No, no, no, it really — it cannot, is not distinguishable.  It’s a false distinction made in the past.  The first and most important thing this administration has done is to use the bully pulpit of the most powerful nation on Earth to stand up in defense of LGBT rights around the world.  It means speaking up against the criminalization of LBGT status or conduct, as President Obama has ordered all agencies working overseas to do.

It means our annual State Department report on human rights now speaks out by name — naming countries that mistreat LGBT people.  It is consequential.

It means providing training and tools to our diplomats around the world so that they can integrate LGBT rights into how we do American foreign policy in the 21st century.  And by the way, five of these missions are now run by openly gay ambassadors.  (Applause.)

The second thing we’re doing and are going to continue to do is use foreign assistance to protect LGBT rights.  We’ve set up and contributed to a global equity fund which is working in over 50 countries to support unbelievably brave LGBT activists working on the ground, around the world often in unimaginably difficult and dangerous circumstances.

Thirdly, we offer emergency support to LGBT people in danger, including refugee status and asylum-seekers fleeing persecution.

Fourth, we’re building as broad a coalition, as broad as we can.  We’re working with partners like Albania, which just added protections against hate crimes for sexual orientation and gender identity — Albania.  Nepal — Nepal, which is taking steps to recognize transgender citizens; Mongolia, which just held its first pride week last September.  (Applause.)  And Russia calls these countries backward?

We’re working with countries like Argentina, Brazil, France, Norway, Sweden and Mexico, as well on UN Human Rights Council, the World Bank, regional bodies like the Organization of American States and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

We’re working with businesses who can vote with their capital for those economies that respect the rights of LGBT employees.  We’re supporting organizations such as the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, which is working with grassroots advocates — (applause) — you all are working with grass-roots advocates all across China to help them start their own community organizations.

And we’re excited to work with you -— the Human Rights Campaign -— through your new Global Engagement Program, to which you take the same passion and remarkable courage you’ve brought to fighting for LGBT rights in this country to help people around the world.

And, folks, we’re in the early days of a long, long fight.  But you should never underestimate the epiphanies that follow a culture that makes a breakthrough of conscience.  And that’s what you helped start here.

As we used to say in the Senate, I’d like to make in closing a point of personal privilege.  I want to thank Chad for being the person he is.  (Applause.)  Now, let me explain what I mean by that.  You all know him.  He’s a good man.  But let me explain what I mean.  It was April of 2012.  I was campaigning for Democratic candidates around the country, and I was here in Los Angeles with leaders of the LGBT community of Southern California at the home of Michael Lombardo and Sonny Ward, and a young man, who was standing against the wall in the living room as I was answering questions, that young man was Chad.  And Chad asked me one of the most sincere and plaintive questions I’ve ever been asked in my political career, particularly on this issue.  He looked at me and just asked a simple question.  He said, Mr. Vice President, what do you think of me?  A simple, straightforward question:  What do you think — I’d never meet him before.  What he was saying was, what do you think of me, I am a homosexual.  What do you think of me?

No one ever asked me that question before, and it made me sad to think that anyone — any of you in this audience, any of my acquaintances, my friends, my employees who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender have to go through any part of your life looking at people who don’t know you and wondering, what do they think of me.  What do you think of me?  What a profound question.

And all I could think of was, if all Americans understood that there are people with different sexual orientations in every walk of life, every sector of America, every nook and cranny of this country, and that you are no different.  You are us.  We are one.  And all I could think to say to Chad — it was spontaneous was — I wish every American could have been in the kitchen.  They always take me in through kitchens.  (Laughter.)  You think I’m kidding, I’m not.

I walked into Michael and Sonny’s home through the kitchen.  They were standing there, and their two beautiful, young children — five and seven — were standing between their parents.  And the first thing I did, the little girl put her arms out — actually the little boy did first, so I bent down, crouched and gave them a big hug.  And we talked a little bit before I even said hi to Sonny who was standing at my right.  And after a few minutes, the little girl turned to her father and said, Daddy, is it okay if the Vice President comes out in the backyard and plays with me and you speak?  (Laughter.)  I swear to God.  By the way, I like kids better than people.  (Laughter.)

And all I could think of was, I mean this sincerely, folks, if every American could have just been there and seen the love these kids had for their parents, just seen how normal it all was in the perverted notion some people have, they wouldn’t have any doubt about what the right policy is, what the right thing to do.  And it reinforced in me the certitude that the only way to prevail is to continue to step up and speak out because we are all one.  People fear that which they do not know.  And you all continue to do that.

That’s why things are changing.  Not because of Barack Obama or Joe Biden, but because of you.  It’s powerful.  It’s powerful.

So I mean what I said at the front end, thank you for not only liberating people who have been persecuted and pummeled, but thank you for getting us in the way of liberating all of America.  It’s a fight we will win.  I don’t have a single, solitary doubt in my mind.  I am absolutely confident my grandchildren’s generation has already moved and will continue to move far beyond the prejudice of the past and of today.  That’s why I’m so confident that the future is only going to get better.

Just as some of you heard me say through the campaign, I will fight to ensure that my four granddaughters have every single, solitary opportunity I mean without exception that my grandsons have, and as long as I have a breath in me, I will not be satisfied till everyone in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community is afforded the dignity, the freedom and the equality that my father spoke so clearly of because that’s the only way.  Only when you do that will we be a whole nation.  Only when you do that will we be a whole nation.  (Applause.)

God bless you all, God bless your families, and my God protect our troops.  (Applause.)  Thank you for what you do.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

                                      END

8:14 P.M. PDT

 

 

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Where In The World Is Barack Hussein Obama? The Presidents Week Ahead: The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, The Vatican & The Pope And Saudi Arabia.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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The President Travels to The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, The Vatican And Saudi Arabia.

 

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22nd, 2014

 

DAILY GUIDANCE AND SCHEDULE FOR
FRIDAY, MARCH 22nd, 2014

 

White House Schedule

 

On Sunday, the President will depart Washington en route The Netherlands. The President’s departure from the South Lawn is open press.

 

8:50 PM: THE PRESIDENT departs the White House, The South Lawn.

 

9:05 PM: THE PRESIDENT departs Joint Base Andrews, Virginia Gate, Joint Base Andrews, for The  Netherlands.

 

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Schedule for the Week of March 24th – March 28th,2014

 

On Monday, the President will arrive in The Netherlands. In the morning, the President will tour the Rijksmuseum and hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Rutte of The Netherlands. In the afternoon the President will participate in a bilateral meeting with President Xi Jinping of China at the United States Ambassador’s residence before arriving at the World Forum to participate in the Nuclear Security Summit.  In the evening, the President will attend a G-7 leaders meeting on Ukraine at Catshuis, the official residence of the Prime Minister. Afterwards, he will join His Majesty King Willem-Alexander for dinner at the Royal Palace. The President will remain overnight in The Netherlands.

 

On Tuesday, the President will visit the World Forum to participate in the Nuclear Security Summit. Afterwards, the President will hold a bilateral press conference with Prime Minister Rutte.  In the evening, the President will participate in a bilateral meeting with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates, at the United States Ambassador’s residence, and a trilateral meeting with President Park Geun-Hye of the Republic of Korea and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan.  He will then meet with employees and family members of the U.S. Embassy to The Netherlands. The President will then travel to Brussels, Belgium where he will remain overnight.

 

On Wednesday, the President will visit Flanders Field Cemetery with Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo of Belgium and His Majesty King, Philippe. In the afternoon, he will participate in the EU-U.S. Summit at the Council of the European Union. Afterwards, the President will meet with employees and family members of the U.S. Tri-Mission to Belgium, EU, and NATO before meeting with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. In the evening, the President will deliver remarks at The Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR) and then travel to Rome, Italy where he will remain overnight.

 

On Thursday, the President will visit the Vatican where he will meet with His Holiness Pope Francis followed by a meeting with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin. Afterwards, the President will participate in a bilateral meeting with President Giorgio Napolitano of Italy at the Quirinal Palace. Later, the President will participate in a bilateral meeting and joint press conference with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy at Villa Madama. In the evening, the President will tour the Colosseum and meet with employees and families of the U.S. Tri-Mission to Italy, The Holy See, and the UN Agencies in Rome.

 

On Friday, the President will travel from Rome, Italy to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. While in Saudi Arabia, the President will participate in a bilateral meeting with His Majesty Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  The President will remain overnight in Saudi Arabia.

 

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Ben Rhodes on the President’s Travel to The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, The Vatican and Saudi Arabia.

 

Press Briefing

March 22, 2014 | 52:31 | Public Domain

Ben Rhodes give The Presidents schedule for his trip to The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, the Vatican and Saudi Arabia. White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Roomin the West Wing.

 

 

Ben Rhodes briefing the White House Press Corps on President Obama's upcoming trip to The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, the Vatican and Saudi Arabia.

Ben Rhodes briefing the White House Press Corps on President Obama’s upcoming trip to The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, the Vatican and Saudi Arabia.

Good to see Ambasaddor Rice laughing, she is a good woman and a great government employee.

Good to see Ambasaddor Rice laughing, she is a good woman and a great government employee.

Ambassador Susan Rice explaining the Presidents trip to The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, the Vatican and Saudi Arabia...to the White House Corp. YES they need things explained to them.

Ambassador Susan Rice explaining the Presidents trip to The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, the Vatican and Saudi Arabia…to the White House Corp. YES they need things explained to them.

 

 

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President Obama Plans to Visit Pope Francis in March

 

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President Barack Obama will travel to Italy in March to meet with Pope Francis for the first time, the White House announced Tuesday.

 

The March 27 visit to the Vatican comes as part of a European tour during which Obama will also visit the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy.

 

“The president looks forward to discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality,” said a White House statement.

 

Before arriving in Vatican City, Obama will spend two days in the Netherlands participating in the Nuclear Security Summit, hosted by the Dutch government. Those gathered will discuss security processes for nuclear materials, the statement said.

 

Obama will then travel to Brussels for a meeting with presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, and will also hold meetings with Belgian government officials and with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

 

While in Italy, Obama will also meet with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and Prime Minister Enrico Letta.

 

Obama and first lady Michelle Obama visited the Vatican in 2009 to meet with Pope Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.

 

 

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President Barack Obama meets with Pope Francis on Thursday, departing for an overseas swing on Sunday evening—with an added starter in talks at other stops—figuring out how to punish Russia for invading Ukraine, since economic sanctions haven’t done much so far. The Sunday New York Times featured a front page story on Obama’s work with black Roman Catholic groups in Chicago in the 1980s.

 

It will be the first time Obama meets with the current pope. In July, 2009, Obama and First Lady Michelle (who wore a mantilla—a black lace head covering) visited with Pope Benedict XVI. (Former Obama advisor David Axelrod, now back in Chicago, was also part of the group.)

 

Discussing the upcoming audience with the pope at the Vatican, White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes used a phrase during  Friday briefing—“income inequality”—that is a term embraced by Obama, the White House and Democrats to pressure Republicans to raise the minimum wage and approve other Obama proposals to help low-and-middle income earners.

 

Be aware of that when you read Rhodes’ comments in the next paragraphs about Obama’s meeting with the pope.

 

Rhodes said on Friday, Obama “will begin his day with an audience with Pope Francis. He has long looked forward to meeting Pope Francis. He has very much admired the leadership he has provided in his first year as Pope, his commitment to address issues like income inequality, and his leadership of the church more broadly. So that will be an important time for the President to have some personal interaction with the Pope and to hear about the very ambitious agenda that he has launched in his first year.”

 

Obama in the next week will travel to the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, the Vatican and Saudi Arabia.

 

The New York Times story is headlined, “The Catholic Roots of Obama’s Activism: He Found His Voice in a Chicago Parish. Now He’ll Speak With the Pope,” and reported by Jason Horowitz who quotes, among others, Andrew Lyke, the director of the Chicago Archdiocese’s Office for Black Catholics.

 

Excerpt: “Mr. Obama’s old friends in the priesthood pray that Francis will discover a president freed from concerns about re-election and willing to rededicate himself to the vulnerable.

 

“…But the Vatican — aware that Mr. Obama has far more to gain from the encounter than the pope does, and wary of being used for American political consumption — warns that this will hardly be like the 1982 meeting at which President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II agreed to fight Communism in Eastern Europe.”

 

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