Michelle Obama Interviews Richard Sherman For Lets Move.


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

 

Michelle Obama Interviews Richard Sherman

 

by  May 29, 2014

 

First lady Michelle Obama interviews NFL cornerback Richard Sherman in a new video promoting her Let’s Move! campaign.

 

Sherman was visiting the White House with his team, the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks, earlier this week.

 

During the video, Sherman demonstrates healthy cooking, and Obama jumps in as a sideline reporter, spoofing Sherman’s post-game rant that garnered national attention.

 

“Take me through your final plate,” the first lady says in the short clip.

 

“Well let me tell you,” Sherman responds. “We the best chefs in the game, so when you try us with an easy meal like salmon cakes and succotash, that’s the results you’re gonna get.”

 

Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign works to combat childhood obesity and encourages exercise and healthy eating.

 

Watch the full video below!

 

 

Thank you The Grio

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Campaign for Junk Food: First Lady Michelle Obama on Attempts to Roll Back Healthy Reforms.

 

 

The First Lady Speaks at a School NutritionDiscussion

 

Published on May 27, 2014

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks before a discussion with school leaders and experts on issues about school nutrition

 

 

 

From The New York Times:

 

The Opinion Pages | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

 

The Campaign for Junk Food: Michelle Obama on Attempts to Roll Back Healthy Reforms.

 

MAY 28, 2014

 

WHEN we began our Let’s Move! initiative four years ago, we set one simple but ambitious goal: to end the epidemic of childhood obesity in a generation so that kids born today will grow up healthy.

To achieve this goal, we have adhered to one clear standard: what works. The initiatives we undertake are evidence-based, and we rely on the most current science. Research indicated that kids needed less sugar, salt and fat in their diets, so we revamped school lunch menus accordingly. When data showed that the lack of nearby grocery stores negatively affected people’s eating habits, we worked to get more fresh-food retailers into underserved areas. Studies on habit formation in young children drove our efforts to get healthier food and more physical activity into child care centers.

Today, we are seeing glimmers of progress. Tens of millions of kids are getting better nutrition in school; families are thinking more carefully about food they eat, cook and buy; companies are rushing to create healthier products to meet the growing demand; and the obesity rate is finally beginning to fall from its peak among our youngest children.

So we know that when we rely on sound science, we can actually begin to turn the tide on childhood obesity.

But unfortunately, we’re now seeing attempts in Congress to undo so much of what we’ve accomplished on behalf of our children. Take, for example, what’s going on now with the Women, Infants and Children program, known as WIC. This is a federal program designed to provide supplemental nutrition to low-income women and their babies and toddlers. The idea is to fill in the gaps in their diets — to help them buy items like fresh produce that they can’t afford on their own — and give them the nutrition they’re missing.

Right now, the House of Representatives is considering a bill to override science by mandating that white potatoesbe included on the list of foods that women can purchase using WIC dollars. Now, there is nothing wrong with potatoes. The problem is that many women and children already consume enough potatoes and not enough of the nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables they need. That’s why the Institute of Medicine — the nonpartisan, scientific body that advises on the standards for WIC — has said that potatoes should not be part of the WIC program.

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Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated occurrence. We’re seeing the same kind of scenario unfold with our school lunch program. Back in 2010, Congress passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which set higher nutritional standards for school lunches, also based on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine. Today, 90 percent of schools report that they are meeting these new standards. As a result, kids are now getting more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other foods they need to be healthy.

This is a big win for parents who are working hard to serve their kids balanced meals at home and don’t want their efforts undermined during the day at school. And it’s a big win for all of us since we spend more than $10 billion a year on school lunches and should not be spending those hard-earned taxpayer dollars on junk food for our children.

 

Yet some members of the House of Representatives are now threatening to roll back these new standards and lower the quality of food our kids get in school. They want to make it optional, not mandatory, for schools to serve fruits and vegetables to our kids. They also want to allow more sodium and fewer whole grains than recommended into school lunches. These issues will be considered when the House Appropriations Committee takes up the annual spending bill for the Agriculture Department on Thursday.

 

 

Remember a few years ago when Congress declared that the sauce on a slice of pizza should count as a vegetable in school lunches? You don’t have to be a nutritionist to know that this doesn’t make much sense. Yet we’re seeing the same thing happening again with these new efforts to lower nutrition standards in our schools.

Our children deserve so much better than this. Even with the progress we have made, one in three children in this country is still overweight or obese. One in three is expected to develop diabetes in his or her lifetime. And this isn’t just about our children’s health; it’s about the health of our economy as well. We already spend an estimated $190 billion a year treating obesity-related conditions. Just think about what those numbers will look like in a decade or two if we don’t start solving this problem now.

The bottom line is very simple: As parents, we always put our children’s interests first. We wake up every morning and go to bed every night worrying about their well-being and their futures. And when we make decisions about our kids’ health, we rely on doctors and experts who can give us accurate information based on sound science. Our leaders in Washington should do the same.

 

 

Michelle Obama is the first lady of the United States.

 

 

Thank you The New York Times.

 

 

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The Campaign for Junk Food: First Lady Michelle Obama on Attempts to Roll Back Healthy Reforms.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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The First Lady Speaks at a School Nutrition Discussion

 

Published on May 27, 2014

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks before a discussion with school leaders and experts on issues about school nutrition

 

 

 

Michelle Obama vs. Congress

 

 

 

 

 

From The New York Times:

 

The Opinion Pages | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

 

The Campaign for Junk Food: Michelle Obama on Attempts to Roll Back Healthy Reforms.

 

MAY 28, 2014

 

WHEN we began our Let’s Move! initiative four years ago, we set one simple but ambitious goal: to end the epidemic of childhood obesity in a generation so that kids born today will grow up healthy.

To achieve this goal, we have adhered to one clear standard: what works. The initiatives we undertake are evidence-based, and we rely on the most current science. Research indicated that kids needed less sugar, salt and fat in their diets, so we revamped school lunch menus accordingly. When data showed that the lack of nearby grocery stores negatively affected people’s eating habits, we worked to get more fresh-food retailers into underserved areas. Studies on habit formation in young children drove our efforts to get healthier food and more physical activity into child care centers.

Today, we are seeing glimmers of progress. Tens of millions of kids are getting better nutrition in school; families are thinking more carefully about food they eat, cook and buy; companies are rushing to create healthier products to meet the growing demand; and the obesity rate is finally beginning to fall from its peak among our youngest children.

So we know that when we rely on sound science, we can actually begin to turn the tide on childhood obesity.

But unfortunately, we’re now seeing attempts in Congress to undo so much of what we’ve accomplished on behalf of our children. Take, for example, what’s going on now with the Women, Infants and Children program, known as WIC. This is a federal program designed to provide supplemental nutrition to low-income women and their babies and toddlers. The idea is to fill in the gaps in their diets — to help them buy items like fresh produce that they can’t afford on their own — and give them the nutrition they’re missing.

Right now, the House of Representatives is considering a bill to override science by mandating that white potatoes be included on the list of foods that women can purchase using WIC dollars. Now, there is nothing wrong with potatoes. The problem is that many women and children already consume enough potatoes and not enough of the nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables they need. That’s why the Institute of Medicine — the nonpartisan, scientific body that advises on the standards for WIC — has said that potatoes should not be part of the WIC program.

000000

Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated occurrence. We’re seeing the same kind of scenario unfold with our school lunch program. Back in 2010, Congress passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which set higher nutritional standards for school lunches, also based on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine. Today, 90 percent of schools report that they are meeting these new standards. As a result, kids are now getting more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other foods they need to be healthy.

This is a big win for parents who are working hard to serve their kids balanced meals at home and don’t want their efforts undermined during the day at school. And it’s a big win for all of us since we spend more than $10 billion a year on school lunches and should not be spending those hard-earned taxpayer dollars on junk food for our children.

 

 

Yet some members of the House of Representatives are now threatening to roll back these new standards and lower the quality of food our kids get in school. They want to make it optional, not mandatory, for schools to serve fruits and vegetables to our kids. They also want to allow more sodium and fewer whole grains than recommended into school lunches. These issues will be considered when the House Appropriations Committee takes up the annual spending bill for the Agriculture Department on Thursday.

 

 

 

Remember a few years ago when Congress declared that the sauce on a slice of pizza should count as a vegetable in school lunches? You don’t have to be a nutritionist to know that this doesn’t make much sense. Yet we’re seeing the same thing happening again with these new efforts to lower nutrition standards in our schools.

Our children deserve so much better than this. Even with the progress we have made, one in three children in this country is still overweight or obese. One in three is expected to develop diabetes in his or her lifetime. And this isn’t just about our children’s health; it’s about the health of our economy as well. We already spend an estimated $190 billion a year treating obesity-related conditions. Just think about what those numbers will look like in a decade or two if we don’t start solving this problem now.

The bottom line is very simple: As parents, we always put our children’s interests first. We wake up every morning and go to bed every night worrying about their well-being and their futures. And when we make decisions about our kids’ health, we rely on doctors and experts who can give us accurate information based on sound science. Our leaders in Washington should do the same.

 

 

Michelle Obama is the first lady of the United States.

 

 

Thank you The New York Times.

 

 

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Lets Move!: Help Spread The Word About Water


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Back in September, the First Lady joined the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) to launch Drink Up, a campaign to encourage everyone to drink more water.

PHA is now challenging everyone to spread the word about water and how it powers you during life’s important moments. Whether it’s finishing a race, helping your kids through a big test, or sitting down for a family meal, share how water is part of your life using the hashtag #spreadthewater on Twitter and Instagram.

Check out how two of our favorite furry friends at the White House are joining the effort to #spreadthewater:

Drink Up! With Sunny

 

Published on May 14, 2014

How does water power you? #SpreadTheWater

 

 

 

New Findings on Water Consumption

In addition to people joining in the movement, we are also excited that the campaign is starting to see results. Recently, Hank Cardello, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, shared an article about Drink Upand the campaign’s successful approach in bringing together various companies and entities around the goal of encouraging Americans to take a simple step to improve their health by drinking more water.

water launch event

Highlights of progress include a recent report by the Natural Marketing Institute reporting from a survey of 40,000 consumers that the number of eight-ounce servings of plain water drunk per day from all sources, including bottled, tap, and filtered, was up 2.7% for the quarter ending March 31, 2014, compared with the fall quarter of 2013 when Drink Up was launched.

In addition, restaurant data reported by NPD Group show that tap water servings rose 3% in the quarter ending December 31, 2013, compared with a 1% gain for the entire year.

While it is great to begin to see these results, we know there is more work to be done. We look forward to continuing efforts to encourage Americans of all ages to drink more water.

And remember, you are what you drink, and when you drink water, you drink up!

Thirsty for more? Visit www.youarewhatyoudrink.org to get involved.

For the full recap of recent activities and to get involved, visit the Let’s Move! blog, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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First Lady Michelle LaVaughn Obama Attends The Partnership For A Healthier America’s Building A Healthier Future Summit.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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The Building a Healthier Future Summit – one of the premiere gatherings of leaders working to end childhood obesity – provides a unique opportunity for business and industry leaders to sit with their nonprofit, academic and government counterparts and address this paramount issue. The Summit is about action, not talk. It’s about bringing leaders together in ways that will create new opportunities and walking away with tangible, actionable solutions that will help to make the healthy choice the easy choice.

 

Join us, as well as leaders from across the spectrum, on March 12-14, 2014, to focus on the change you can make and examine what you can do to help ensure the health of our nation’s youth.

 

First lady Michelle Obama keynoted the Partnership for a Healthier America's Building a Healthier Future Summit, which focused on ending childhood obesity.

First lady Michelle Obama keynoted the Partnership for a Healthier America‘s Building a Healthier Future Summit, which focused on ending childhood obesity.

 

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Remarks by the First Lady at The Partnership for a Healthier America’s Building a Healthier Future Summit

 

Hilton Hotel
Washington, D.C.

1:41 P.M. EDT

 

MRS. OBAMA:  Yay to everyone!  (Applause.)  Thank you so much.  You all, rest yourselves.  It is a pleasure to be here with all of you today.

 

Let me start by thanking Larry, not just for his very kind introduction but for his outstanding leadership at PHA, as well as the entire staff of PHA, the board, Jim Gavin — all of you deserve a huge round of applause for your outstanding work.  I’m so proud of you all.  Thank you so much.  (Applause.)  PHA is doing critically important work to engage partners across the private sector, and over the past two days we’ve seen the fruits of their efforts.

 

And I am thrilled about the extraordinary commitments that have been announced at this summit, so I want to take a moment to recognize Dannon, Del Monte, Knowledge Universe, Kwik Trip, Nutri Ventures, and Sodexo.  So let’s give them another huge round of applause.  (Applause.)  These are major steps to making sure our families can lead healthier lives, and we are extremely grateful.

 

And of course, I want to thank all of you, the advocates and experts who’ve been working on the issue of childhood obesity long before it came into the national spotlight.  You all are truly our brain trust on this issue.  You know better than anyone where we’ve been and where we need to go.  And that’s really what I want to talk about today.  I want to talk about how much we’ve achieved, but more importantly, how much more we have left to do.

 

So let’s start with the good news:  Because of what we have all done together, today, 32 million kids are getting healthier school meals.  Tens of thousands of schools are removing junk food ads from their classroom.  Fifteen thousand childcare centers will be providing healthier snacks and getting those cute little kids up and moving.  Food and beverage companies have cut 6.4 trillion calories from their products.  We will soon have better nutrition labels on 700,000 food items.  Hundreds of new or renovated grocery stores are reaching millions of people in underserved communities — I could go on.  These are just a few of the highlights.  Absolutely amazing.  (Applause.)

 

And today, slowly but surely, healthy habits are becoming the new norm in this country.  Today, according to a recent CDC report that I know you have all discussed, obesity rates have fallen by 43 percent among children ages two to five years old.  And I think we should all be very proud of what we are achieving together, because in a fight this hard, we should celebrate every small victory we can get.

 

But that’s really what the CDC report represents.  Yes, it is an important achievement, but in light of the magnitude of this challenge, it is a small achievement.  It’s just a hint of the progress that’s possible on this issue.  So it is a very good thing that we have got so much momentum right now, because we still have a long way to go to solve this problem, particularly among our older children.

 

So now is not the time to take our foot off the gas and congratulate ourselves on a job well done — just the opposite.  Now is the time to fight even harder, because we now know it is possible to make a difference on this issue.  We know that our strategies are beginning to work.

 

So through Let’s Move, we plan to keep attacking this problem from every angle, because we know there is no one magic bullet.  So we plan to keep building healthier schools.  We plan to keep bringing fresh food into our communities.  We plan to keep urging businesses to provide healthy products and market them responsibly to our kids.  But we also need to keep innovating.  We need to keep pushing the envelope.  We need to find new ideas from every sector to help families make manageable, affordable changes that can transform our children’s health.

 

And today, I just want to talk briefly to give an example of one of those changes.  It’s a simple idea which will be a key focus of Let’s Move over the next year, but it is an idea that can help families create healthier new habits.  And the idea is to help families start cooking again.

 

Now, I know this might not seem like an earth-shattering notion — though neither was planting a garden in the White House, I will remind you.  (Laughter.)  But research clearly shows that home-cooking is one of the single most impactful ways for families to improve their health.

 

One study shows that home-cooking is actually a better predictor of how well families eat than their income.  And that’s not surprising, because food prepared at home is lower in saturated fat, sodium, cholesterol and calories than food prepared away from home.  Because when you cook at home, you’re in control of your nutrition.  You decide the ingredients to use.  You decide the portion sizes.  You decide whether there’s a vegetable on the plate or not.

 

But unfortunately, for many families, home-cooking has fallen by the wayside.  And many folks feel like they just don’t have the time to cook, or they don’t know how.  Some think it’s more expensive to prepare balanced home-cooked meals, so they don’t do it.  But it hasn’t always been that way.

 

See, back in the day — for you young people, the day is, like, when I was young — (laughter) — folks used to cook all the time.  That was certainly true in my family growing up.  My mother had a strict food budget, and every Saturday she wrote out her list for the week, headed to the grocery down the street.  And she had every meal planned out for the week -– that roast beef for Sunday dinner would be sandwiches for Monday and Tuesday lunches.  Wednesday night was liver night — it was a very sad night in our household, by the way.  (Laughter.)  Thursday might be spaghetti; Friday, fish.   And once in great a while, we’d order a pizza or pick up a burger at the drive-through, but we usually couldn’t afford to eat out so those were exceptions.

 

My grandmother had done the same thing for her family, and she worked full-time for most of her life.  See, back then, unless you were rich, cooking was a matter of survival.  It was a way of life.  But like a lot of folks in my generation, I found that by the time I grew up and went off to school and started my career, things had changed.

 

I remember one Saturday afternoon as a young lawyer working crazy hours, I was talking to my grandmother over the phone, and the first thing she asked me, she said, “what are you cooking?”  I was like, “Grandma, really?  I am a lawyer.  I do not cook.”  (Laughter.)

 

You see, my parents urged me to focus on my studies and career above all else.  They had worked hard to support my dreams, so they didn’t want me to worry about traditional things like cooking.  They felt like I could always learn to cook later.  And that was all well and good for a while, until I had a family of my own.

 

And I was fine when my kids were little, because we went from breastfeeding straight to what Barack and I called the “jar stage” — when an entire meal for a baby came in a single jar.  Barack and I, we loved the “jar stage.”  (Laughter.)  We were masters of the “jar stage.”  Providing a balanced meal was so easy — chicken and rice?  In a jar.  Peas and spinach?  Jar.  Peaches, bananas?  Jar — big jar.  No need to cook, boil, bake, it was all there for us in those marvelous little baby food jars.  It was heaven.

 

But then our babies outgrew the “jar stage,” and suddenly we were faced with the reality that we might actually have to use the appliances in our kitchen to feed our children.  And we slowly figured it out.  We started with the basics like broiled chicken and rice, and steamed broccoli, scrambled eggs — that’s really all Barack would do, the eggs.  (Laughter.)  And we did our best to cook regularly at home.  But like so many working parents, we both had demanding jobs, we were always exhausted.  And over time, we started giving in and popping things into the microwave, or spending way too much of our monthly budget ordering takeout, which, in turn, resulted in less than optimal health outcomes for our kids.

 

So as my story hopefully illustrates, while we often frame this cooking problem as a time problem or a budget problem, for many folks it’s actually a skills problem.  Because when you don’t have those basic cooking and budgeting skills that my mother and grandmother had, everything takes longer and costs much more.

 

You don’t know how to plan a full week of meals, so you go back and forth to the grocery store.  You don’t know how to cut a whole chicken yourself, so you pay more for the pre-cut parts.  You’ve never learned the basics of cooking, so even simple dishes take longer to prepare.  And today, a lot of folks think it’s quicker and cheaper to just grab some fast food.

 

But the fact is that with the right recipes and a few basic skills, there are countless recipes that families can prepare in less than 30 minutes –- meals that actually cost less than going to the drive-through.  For example, a fast food meal for a family of four could cost as much as $20, $25 or more.  But for less than $15, a family can cook a full chicken dinner complete with sides.

 

And cooking isn’t just good for our budgets or our physical health, it’s also good for our kids’ emotional health.  Research shows that when families share meals together, kids actually perform better in school, and they get along better with their peers.  And let’s not forget that cooking together can actually be fun.

 

So the benefits of cooking couldn’t be more clear.  The question is how do we help families start cooking again, even if it’s just one or two meals a week?  Can we work with supermarkets to do more to distribute recipes on how to cook, and do demonstrations?  Can we develop the home-ec class of the future that will give kids — both girls and boys –- the basic skills they need to feed themselves on a budget?  Can we inspire chefs to offer affordable cooking classes in their restaurants?

 

I mean, the possibilities here are endless.  And in the coming months, as we continue our existing efforts, we will be announcing some new initiatives along these lines.

 

But really, this is just one example of a very simple, creative approach that doesn’t require new legislation but can fundamentally change the way families take control of their own health.  And I know, looking around this room, that all of you have some great ideas of your own; many innovative, creative things to keep moving this issue forward.

 

And that’s why today, more than ever before, we need you all with us in this effort.  We need everyone in this room to keep tackling this problem from every angle, because we are just beginning to get traction on this issue.  After decades of struggle, we are just beginning to make some progress.  And I am proud of what we’ve achieved together.

 

But when one in three children in this country are still overweight or obese, when millions of kids are still on track to develop devastating illnesses like diabetes and heart disease, then we still have to do a gut check.  We need to ask ourselves, have we really done all that we can for our children?  Have we given them our very best?

 

And of course, the answer is, not really.  The truth is that right now, the biggest risk to our success is our own impatience, our desire to want big changes overnight.  Just think back to our first PHA Summit four years ago — I don’t know how many of you were there — I was there.  (Laughter.)  And I still remember all the excitement and determination we were feeling that day.  We didn’t listen to the skeptics who said we could never solve a problem this big and entrenched.  Instead, we all committed ourselves to one clear goal, and that was to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation so that kids born today will grow up healthy.

 

Now, this wasn’t a five-year goal or a ten-year goal.  It was a generational goal, because it took decades for this childhood-obesity crisis to develop and we knew it would take decades to fix it.  And today, just four years later, studies are beginning to show that our youngest kids –- kids born two to five years ago — are growing up healthier.

 

So we’re on track to achieve our goal, we are.  (Applause.)  We are on track.  But if we back down now, if we don’t keep innovating and pushing forward, I guarantee you that we will go right back to where we started.  And that’s not who we are.  That’s not what we do in this country.

 

We don’t just walk away when things get hard, especially when it comes to our children’s future.  And we cannot walk away from this issue until obesity rates drop for children of every age and every background.  We cannot walk away until every child in this country has a shot at a healthy life.  And that’s why I’m in this for the long haul — and I mean long after I leave the White House.  Because I believe in finishing what I start, and I know that you all do too.  (Applause.)

 

So now is the time for all of us to truly double down.  Now is the time to commit more effort, more innovation, more energy, more dollars, and more leadership to solving this problem.  That’s what I plan on doing, and if you continue to join me in this effort, if you keep on digging deep and pushing forward, then I know we can raise healthier kids who will become healthier adults, who will raise healthier families of their own.

 

And that’s how we make real and lasting change in this country.  That’s how we create a better future for generations to come.  So I look forward to working with all of you to create that future that we know we can achieve in the months and years ahead.

 

So thank you all.  Thank you for everything you’ve done.  Thank you for everything you continue to do.  I am so proud of you all.  God bless.  (Applause.)

 

END
1:58 P.M. EDT

 

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Michelle Obama Calls Families Back to the Kitchen

 

The first lady spoke about improving childhood obesity at the Building a Healthier Future summit.

 

By  & US News.

 

On Friday, the first lady gave the keynote speech at the Building a Healthier Future summit, a three-day conference hosted by the Partnership for a Healthier America, that brought together industry leaders and nonprofits to focus on creating solutions to the childhood obesity crisis.

 

First lady Michelle Obama has dedicated herself to building and promoting Let’s Move, a public-private collaboration since 2010, aimed at ending childhood obesity within a generation.

 

In her speech, Obama spoke about the recent achievements of the Let’s Move program and partner organizations: helping 32 million kids gets healthier meals, cutting 6.2 trillion calories from products, and improving nutrition labels on more than 700,000 food products.  Obama also mentioned that tens of thousands of schools would be removing junk food ads.

 

In addition, she cited a recent Centers for Disease Control report that showed a decline in obesity in children between the ages of 2 and 5. According to the Let’s Move website, 1 in 3 children in America is obese.

 

“Now is not the time to take our foot off the gas and congratulate ourselves on a job well done. Now is the time to fight even harder because we now know that it is possible to make a difference on this issue.”

 

The first lady also spoke about how her grandmother and mother planned and budgeted for each meal. “Back then unless you were rich, cooking was a matter of survival,” she said.

 

But as her life grew busier with a full- time job and two young children, when her grandmother phoned to ask her what she was cooking, Obama said, “Grandma, really? I am a lawyer, I do not cook.”

 

Since then, she has changed her perspective and is calling American families back to the kitchen.

 

“The idea is to help families start cooking again,” Obama said.

 

“This is just one example of a very simple creative approach that doesn’t require new legislation but can fundamentally change the way families take control of their own health,” she added later.

 

Obama pointed to research that demonstrated the importance of family meals. “Cooking isn’t just good for our budgets or good for our physical health, but it’s also good for our children’s emotional health.”

 

She also spoke about other research that suggests food prepared at home is lower in saturated fat, sodium, cholesterol and calories than food prepared away from home.

 

Obama promised she will continue her work to fight childhood obesity even after she leaves the White House.

 

“I believe in finishing what I start and I know that you do too.”

 

Also at the summit, the Partnership for a Healthier America announced three new partners: Del Monte, a food corporation that produces primarily canned fruits and vegetables, Kwik Trip, a convenience store chain with stores across the Midwest, and Dannon a global food corporation that’s primary product is yogurt. Each company promised to improve the nutrient density of it its products.

 

“We hope very much that our example will encourage others to join in this important partnership,” said  Steve Loehr, vice president of operations for Kwik Trip.

 

 

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Michelle Obama Attends "Building a Healthier Future Summit"

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A Day In The Life Of Barack & Michelle™: Miami For The Weekend.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Taking off from The South Lawn & Joint Base Andrews.

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Touching down at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Homestead Florida.

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The White House Blog

 

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Opening Today: The 2014 Easter Egg Roll Ticket Lottery

 

Kasie Coccaro
Kasie Coccaro

March 07, 2014
12:30 PM EST

 

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Don’t miss your chance to join the First Family for the 136th annual White House Easter Egg Roll. The big event is on Monday, April 21 and more than 30,000 people will join in on the fun. Guests will have a chance to participate in activities including games, stories, singing, dancing, and of course, the traditional egg roll – all on the White House South Lawn.

 

This year’s theme  “Hop into Healthy, Swing into Shape,” encourages children to lead healthy, active lives in support of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative. In addition to the fun and games, the day’s activities will help educate families on smart ways to incorporate healthy eating and exercise choices into their daily routines.

 

Starting today, you can enter the lottery at www.recreation.govfor a chance to join in on the fun. The event is open to children ages 13 years and younger and their families. Be sure to enter the lottery before it closes on Monday, March 10 at 10:00 a.m. ET.

 

Families and schools who can’t make the trip to Washington, D.C. but want to participate in the festivities can enter the annual poster contest. The First Lady will select the winning design to be used as part of the White House 2014 Easter Egg Roll program.

 

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Ask President Obama Your Health Care Questions on WebMD

 

Kori Schulman
Kori Schulman

March 07, 2014
11:00 AM EST

 

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Next week, President Obama will sit down for his first-ever interview with WebMD, the leading source of health information for consumers and health care professionals, to discuss the importance of signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. During a conversation with the site’s health care reform expert Lisa Zamosky, the President will answer questions about health care and the ACA directly from WebMD users in an interview that will air on March 14.

 

What’s your question for President Obama? Ask now at WebMD.com/AskObama

 

The President’s interview with WebMD continues efforts by the administration to encourage as many Americans as possible to sign up for health insurance for 2014 by the end of open enrollment on March 31.

 

And it’s just one of many innovative and targeted strategies used by the White House to speak with Americans directly — especially women, young adults and the uninsured — about quality, affordable health care options available. As the leading source for health information, WebMD has enormous reach. According to WebMD, the site’s more than 156 million unique visitors per month is made up of 60 percent women, 33 percent of its audience is ages 18-34 and 38 percent of those younger users are uninsured.

 

So, go ahead and submit your questions now – then tune in on March 14 to watch the full interview and find out if the President answered your question.

 

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Carole King: What I’d Say to My Kids

 

Published on Mar 7, 2014

Carole King has a special message to share with families: “If you were my child I would tell you – get health care now. HealthCare.gov is there for you. It is a way that you can find health care. It’s available, it’s affordable. Enrollment ends March 31st, so don’t wait! Just get on HealthCare.gov. Enroll today. That’s what I’d say to my kids.”

 

 

 

Getting Covered with Carole King

 

 

 

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The Employment Situation in February

 

Jason Furman
Jason Furman

March 07, 2014
09:38 AM EST

 

February 2014 was the 48th straight month of private-sector job growth, with businesses adding 8.7 million jobs over that time. Despite a major snowstorm that hit the East Coast during the reference week for the labor market surveys, the rate of job growth picked up from the December and January pace. Nevertheless, the unemployment rate remains elevated, and for too many Americans, wages have been slow to rise.

 

This week, the President put out a budget that can make progress on these issues by investing in education, job training, and innovation, by expanding tax credits for working Americans, and by extending the emergency unemployment benefits that has expired for 2 million Americans. And while the President encourages Congress to act on his proposals, he will also continue to take action on his own wherever possible to support job growth and expand economic opportunity.

 

FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS

1. The private sector has added 8.7 million jobs over 48 straight months of job growth. Today we learned that total non-farm payroll employment rose by 175,000 in February, with 162,000 of that increase in the private sector. Revisions to private employment in the previous months were small and offsetting, so that that over the past twelve months, private employment has risen by 2.2 million, or an average of 183,000 a month. This is almost identical to the pace of job gains over the preceding twelve-month period (182,000 a month).

 

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Remarks by the President on Preparing for College

Coral Reef Senior High School
Miami, Florida

 

President Obama Speaks on College Opportunity

 

Published on Mar 7, 2014

President Obama discusses his plan to equip all Americans with the education and skills they need to compete in today’s economy and announces a new FAFSA Completion Initiative to give more Americans the opportunity to afford, attend and graduate from college. March 7, 2014.

 

 

 

Untitled

 

3:05 P.M. EST

 

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Miami!  (Applause.)  Hello, Cuda Nation!  (Applause.)  Hello!  It is good to be here at Coral Reef Senior High.  (Applause.)  You guys are just happy because it’s warm down here all the time.  (Laughter.)  I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but the rest of the country is cold.  (Laughter.)  Listen, Michelle and I are so grateful for the warm welcome.  It is great to be here.  I want to thank some people who are doing outstanding work.

 

First of all, your superintendent, Superintendent Carvalho, is doing great work.  We’re really proud of him.  (Applause.)  Your principal, Principal Leal, is doing great work.  (Applause.)  All the Coral Reef teachers and staff, you guys are all doing a great job.  (Applause.)  And you’re doing what is necessary to help young people get ready for college and careers.  So that’s why we’re here.  We are proud of what’s being done at this school.

 

I want to mention a few other folks who are here who are fighting on behalf of the people of South Florida every day.  We’ve got Congressman Joe Garcia is here.  (Applause.)  We’ve got Congresswoman Frederica Wilson here.  (Applause.)  We’ve got Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.  Your former Governor Charlie Crist is here.  (Applause.)

 

And most of all, I want to thank the people that Michelle and I came all the down here to see, and that is the students of Coral Reef.  (Applause.)  We had heard great things about your school.  We had heard great things about the students.  We wanted to come down here and just see what was going on.  (Applause.)  And Michelle and I just had a chance to visit with some of your classmates who are going through some of the scholarship applications, and we had a chance to talk to them and hear what their plans were.  And first of all, Michelle and I looked and we said, these must be actors playing students, because they were all smart and good-looking and organized.  (Laughter.)  And I asked them, what are you going to do?  And they’re — well, I’m going to be applying to business school, and then I’m going to start a company, and then I — when I was your age, I didn’t know what I was doing.  I was lucky if I had gotten out of bed on time.  (Laughter.)  So you guys are ahead of the game.

 

And we’re here to tell you that you’ve got to keep up the good work, because by working hard every single day, every single night, you are making the best investment there is in your future.  And we want to make sure you’ve got everything, all the tools you need to succeed.  We want every young person to have the kinds of teachers and the kind of classes and the kind of learning experiences that are available to you here at Coral Reef.  (Applause.)  Because that’s the best investment we can make in America’s future.  (Applause.)

 

Now, keep in mind, Michelle and I, we’re only here today because of the kind of education that we got.  That was our ticket to success.  We grew up a lot like many of you.  I was raised by a single mom; she was a teenager when I was born.  We moved around a lot, we did not have a lot of money, but the one thing she was determined to see was that my sister and I would get the best education possible.

 

And she would press me.  Sometimes she’d make me wake up, do my lessons before I even went to school.  She was not going to let me off the hook.  And at the time, I wasn’t happy about it, but now I’m glad she pressed me like that.  Because, thanks to my mother and my grandparents, and then great teachers and great counselors who encouraged me, and a country that made it possible for me to afford a higher education, I was able to go to college and law school.

 

And then when I met Michelle, I saw that — (applause) –there were a couple of things I noticed.  I noticed she was smart.  (Applause.)  I noticed she was funny — she’s funny, she’s funnier than I am.  (Laughter.)  Obviously, I noticed she was cute, yes.  (Applause.)  But one of the things I also realized was, even though we had grown up in very different places, her story was a lot like mine.  Her dad worked at a city water plant.  He didn’t go to college.  He was a blue-collar worker.  Michelle’s mom — my mother-in-law, who I love to death — she was a secretary.  No one in her family had gone to college.  But because she had worked hard and her parents understood the value of education, and she had great teachers and great opportunities, and because the country was willing to invest to make sure that she was able to pay for college, she ended up going to some of the best universities in the country.  (Applause.)

 

So the point is she and I have been able to achieve things that our parents, our grandparents would have never dreamed of.  And that’s the chance this country should give every young person.  That’s the idea at the heart of America.  (Applause.)

 

What makes this country great, what makes it special when you look around, and Miami is a great example of it, you’ve got people coming from everywhere, every background, every race, every faith.  But what binds us together is this idea that if you work hard, you can make it — that there’s opportunity for all.  The belief that no matter who you are, no matter where you come from, no matter what your last name is, if you are responsible and put in the effort, you can succeed.  There’s no limit to what you can do.  That’s what America is all about.  (Applause.)

 

Opportunity is what drew many of your parents and grandparents to America.  And we’ve got to restore that idea for your generation, so that everybody has the same chance Michelle and I did.  That’s why we’re working on what we call an opportunity agenda to create more jobs and train more workers with new skills; to make sure hard work is rewarded with a paycheck that supports a family; to make sure that everybody can get health care when they need it, so that nobody has to get into financial trouble because somebody in the family gets sick.  (Applause.)

 

And for the students here, a lot of you, you may not think about these issues all the time.  You’re spending a lot of time on homework and sports, and this and that.  But you also oftentimes see your own family struggling and you worry about it.  And one of the single-most important parts of our opportunity agenda is making sure that every young person in America has access to a world-class education — a world-class education.  (Applause.)  So that’s why we are here.

 

I believe we should start teaching our kids at the earliest ages.  So we’re trying to help more states make high-quality preschool and other early learning programs available to the youngest kids.  (Applause.)  I believe that our K-12 system should be the best in the world.  So we started a competition called Race to the Top, to encourage more states like Florida to raise expectations for students like you, because when we set high expectations, every single one of you can meet them.  (Applause.)  You’re recruiting and preparing the best teachers.  You are turning around low-performing schools.  You’re expanding high-performing ones.  You’re making sure every student is prepared for college or a career.

 

I believe that every student should have the best technology.  So we launched something we called ConnectED to connect our schools to high-speed Internet.  And I want to congratulate Miami-Dade and your superintendent, because you have achieved your goal of installing wi-fi in every single one of your schools.  (Applause.)

 

So the good news is, in part because of some of these reforms we’ve initiated, when you add it all up our nation’s high school graduation rate is the highest on record.  The drop-out rate has been dropping, and among Latino students has been cut in half since 2000.  (Applause.)  Miami-Dade’s graduation rate is higher than it’s ever been.  That’s all because of the efforts of so many people, including the parents and students who have been putting in the effort.  It’s because of the teachers and administrators and staff who are doing such a great job.  You should be proud.  We’re making progress — we’re making progress.  (Applause.)

 

Yes, you guys — by the way, you can all sit down.  I didn’t realize everybody was still standing up.  Sit down.  Take a load off.  You guys can’t sit down though, because you don’t have chairs, although bend your knees so you don’t faint.  (Laughter.)

 

But here’s the key thing, Coral Reef:  We still have more work to do, all of us — elected officials, principals, teachers, parents, students.  Because, as Michelle says, education is a two-way street.  Folks like us have to work hard to give you the best schools and support that you need.  But then, you’ve got to hold up your end of the bargain by committing to your education.  That means you’ve got to stretch your minds.  You’ve got to push through subjects that aren’t always easy.  And it means continuing your education past high school, whether that’s a two-year or a four-year college degree or getting some professional training.

 

So I want to talk about an easy step that high school students like you can take to make college a reality.  And it’s something you already know here at Coral Reef, but I’m speaking to all the young people out there who may be watching.  It’s called FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

 

It is a simple form.  It used to be complicated; we made it simple.  It doesn’t cost anything — that’s why the word “free” is right there in the name.  (Laughter.)  It does not take a long time to fill out.  Once you do, you’re putting yourself in the running for all kinds of financial support for college — scholarships, grants, loans, work-study jobs.

 

For the past five years, we’ve been working to make college more affordable.  We took on a college loan system that gave billions of dollars of taxpayer money to big banks to manage the student loan system.  We said, we don’t need the banks, let’s give the money directly to students, we can help more students.  (Applause.)  We can help more students that way.  So we expanded the grants that help millions of students from low-income backgrounds pay for college.  We’re offering millions of people the chance to cap their student loan payments at 10 percent of their incomes once they graduate.

 

Today, more young people are earning college degrees than ever before.  That’s a great thing.  (Applause.)  That is a great thing.  But we still need to do more to help rein in the rising cost of tuition.  We need to do more to help Americans who feel trapped by student loan debt — because no striving, hardworking, ambitious, young American should ever be denied a college education just because they can’t afford it — nobody.  (Applause.)

 

Unfortunately, there are still a lot of young people all across the country who say the cost of college is holding them back.  Some of you may have sat around the kitchen table with your parents wondering about whether you’ll be able to afford it.  So FAFSA is by far the easiest way to answer that question.  And I know the Barracudas know all about FAFSA.  (Applause.)  Last year, you had the second-highest completion rate of any large high school in the state.  (Applause.)  You should be proud of that.  Your teachers and parents should be proud of that.

 

But last year, almost half of high school graduates in Florida didn’t fill out the FAFSA form.

 

AUDIENCE:  Booo –

 

THE PRESIDENT:  That ain’t right.  (Laughter.)  Not only is it not right, but it also ain’t right.  (Laughter.)  And as a result, they lost out on over $100 million in Pell grants.  Think about that — $100 million that could have helped Florida students help pay for college was just left on the table.  That’s just in Florida.  Nationwide, over one million high school students did not fill out the FAFSA form.  That happens every year.

 

So my challenge today to every high school student in America:  Fill out the form.  Even if you think you might not qualify for financial aid, fill out the form.  You might qualify.

 

And we’re making it easier than ever.  We put the FAFSA form online.  We made it shorter.  It takes about half an hour to fill out.  And it could change the rest of your life.  We’ve updated it to save your parents a lot of hassle as well.  And today, I’m announcing another improvement.

 

Today, I’m directing the Department of Education to tell every governor that, starting today, they can, if they choose, confidentially let high school administrators know which students have filled out the FAFSA form and which haven’t.  So that way, if Principal Leal wants to check in with the seniors –

 

AUDIENCE:  Wooo –

 

THE PRESIDENT:  I know, everybody is like, wow.  (Laughter.)  I know she’s already on top of stuff, but this way, she could check and seniors who had not filled it out, she could then help them answer the questions and figure out what’s holding her back — what’s holding them back.

 

Anybody will be able to go online and find out the number of students who have filled out the form at each high school, so we can track it.  So if you want to have a friendly competition with Palmetto High or Miami Killian — (applause) — to see who can get a higher completion rate on your FAFSA, you can do that.  (Applause.)  You achieved the second-highest rate in the state, but I mean if you want to settle for number two, that’s okay —  you might be able to get number one.  (Applause.)  Huh?  I’m just saying you could go for number one.  (Applause.)

 

So these are things I can do on my own, but I’m here to also tell you I need — I could use some help from folks in Washington.  There are some things I don’t need Congress’s permission for, and in this year of action, whenever I see a way to act to help expand opportunity for young people I’m just going to go ahead and take it.  I’m just going to go ahead and do it.  (Applause.)

 

So earlier this year, Michelle and I hosted a College Opportunity Summit, where over 150 colleges and universities and nonprofits made commitments to help more low-income students get to college and graduate from college.  (Applause.)  But I’m also willing to work with anybody in Congress — Democrat, Republican, don’t matter — to make sure young people like you have a shot to success.

 

So a few days ago, I sent my budget to Congress.  And budgets are pretty boring — but the stuff inside the budgets are pretty important.  And my budget focuses on things like preschool for all; like redesigning high schools so students like you can learn real-world skills that businesses want — (applause) — like preparing more young people for careers in some of the fields of the future — in science and technology and engineering and math to discover new planets and invent robots and cure diseases — all the cool stuff that we adults haven’t figured out yet.  (Laughter.)

 

These are not just the right investments for our schools; they’re the right priorities for our country.  You are our priority.  We’ve got to make sure we have budgets that reflect that you are the most important thing to this country’s success. If you don’t succeed, we don’t succeed.  (Applause.)

 

We’ve got to make sure all of you are prepared for the new century, and we’ve got to keep growing our economy in other ways:  attracting new high-tech jobs, reforming our immigration system — something Congressman Garcia is fighting for.  (Applause.)   And the rest of Congress needs to stop doing nothing, do right by America’s students, America’s teachers, America’s workers.  Let’s get to work.  Let’s get busy.  (Applause.)  We’ve got work to do. All of us have work to do — teachers, school counselors, principals, superintendents, parents, grandparents.

 

We all have work to do, because we want to see you succeed, because we’re counting on you, Barracudas.  (Applause.)  And if you keep reaching for success — and I know you will, just based on the small sampling we saw of students here — if you keep working as hard as you can and learning as much as you can, and if you’ve got big ambitions and big dreams, if you don’t let anybody tell you something is out of your reach, if you are convinced that you can do something and apply effort and energy and determination and persistence to that vision, then not only will you be great but this country will be great.  (Applause.)  Our schools will be great.  (Applause.)

 

I want us to have the best-educated workforce in America.  And I want it to be the most diverse workforce in the world.  That’s what I’m fighting for.  That’s what your superintendent and your principal are fighting for, and I hope that’s what you fight for yourselves.  (Applause.)  Because when I meet the students here at Coral Reef, I am optimistic about the future.  Michelle and I walked out of that classroom, and we said, you know what, we’re going to be in good hands, we’re going to do okay.  (Applause.)  Because these young people are coming, and nobody is going to stop them.

 

Thank you, everybody.  God bless you.  God bless America.  (Applause.)

 

END
3:25 P.M EST

 

FACT SHEET: Opportunity for All: Promoting College Opportunity and Graduation

 

American Royalty: Barack & Michelle at Coral Reef High School

American Royalty: Barack & Michelle at Coral Reef High School

Barack's biggest Fan is front & center at Coral Reef High School

Barack’s biggest Fan is front & center at Coral Reef High School

The crowd goes wild at Coral Reef High School...who dat in the "front row?"

The crowd goes wild at Coral Reef High School…who dat in the “front row?”

 

 

Statement by the President on Bloody Sunday

Forty-nine years ago, a determined group of Americans marched into history, facing down grave danger in the name of justice and equality—walking to protest the continued discrimination and violence against African Americans.  On a day that became known as “Bloody Sunday”, these brave men and women met billy-clubs and tear gas with courage and resolution.  Their actions helped set an example for a generation to stand up for the fundamental freedoms due to all people.  We recognize those who marched that day—and the millions more who have done their part throughout our nation’s history to bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice.

 

49 years ago today Rep. John Lewis led peaceful march from Selma to Montgomery and was beaten by Alabama state troopers

49 years ago today Rep. John Lewis led peaceful march from Selma to Montgomery and was beaten by Alabama state troopers

 

 

Statement by NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice’s Travel to the United Arab Emirates and Djibouti

National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice is traveling to the United Arab Emirates and Djibouti from March 6-8.  In the United Arab Emirates she is meeting with senior Emirati officials including Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed to discuss U.S.-UAE cooperation on a range of regional issues.  In Djibouti, she will meet with President Guelleh to discuss our strategic partnership and visit U.S. troops at the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa at Camp Lemonnier.

 

 

Remarks by the President to Travel Pool

Classroom in Coral Reef Senior High School
Miami, Florida

 

2:47 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  One of the reasons we’re down here, Michelle and I are both working on encouraging school districts to adopt some terrific stuff that’s being done down here in order for young people to know if they’ve done the work, if they’re being responsible, they’re outstanding students, then financing should not be a barrier for them being able to go to college.  And we just don’t have enough information that’s getting out there about how easy it is now to fill out the FAFSA form and other scholarships that are available.  But this school district is doing some great work on it.  So this is an example of where we want all our young people to be.

So, great job.

END
2: 48 P.M. EST

 

 

Statement by NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on Deputy National Security Advisor Antony Blinken’s Meeting with United Nations-Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Joint Mission in Syria Special Coordinator Sigrid Kaag

Deputy National Security Advisor Antony Blinken met yesterday with Sigrid Kaag, Special Coordinator of the United Nations-Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Joint Mission to eliminate the chemical weapons program in Syria, to discuss the Joint Mission’s progress and to reiterate strong U.S. support for its work.  Their conversation focused on ensuring the Syrian government maintains regular, substantial, and uninterrupted activities to remove its chemical weapons to enable destruction in accordance with the June 30 deadline set by the OPCW Executive Council and the U.N. Security Council, and on the continued readiness of the United States and the international community to support the Joint Mission’s efforts to facilitate the Syrian government’s meeting its obligations.  Deputy NSA Blinken thanked Special Coordinator Kaag for her leadership and for the dedication and bravery of her staff.

 

 

Readout of the President’s Call with Prime Minister Abe of Japan

The President spoke to Prime Minister Abe late last evening regarding the situation in Ukraine. The two leaders agreed that Russia’s actions are a threat to international peace and security and emphasized the importance of preserving Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.  They committed to work with other G-7 partners to insist that Russia abide by its obligations and commitments to Ukraine’s sovereignty, including under the UN Charter and the 1997 basing agreement, but noted that there is an opportunity for Russia to resolve the situation diplomatically, in a way that addresses its interests as well as those of Ukraine and the international community.  Both leaders also agreed to work bilaterally and through the International Monetary Fund to support the government of Ukraine as it works to stabilize its economy and prepare for May elections. The President noted that his April visit to Japan will offer an important opportunity to advance the many diplomatic, defense, and trade initiatives the United States and Japan are pursuing in Asia and around the globe.

 

 

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And finally….In the evening, the President and the First Lady will remain in Key Largo, Florida for the weekend….causing numerous GOPuke, bottom feeding, racist, conselfishservative, ass backwards, white supremacists, Koch Brother lovin, A.L.E.C. controlled morons, guided by a bunch of “cash under the table from greedy wealthy caucasian special interest groups” to have conniption fits, strokes and seizures all over AmeriKKKa.

 

 

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Sunday at 2 AM....spring your clocks ahead 1 hour. Sorry but the GOPukes will still be living in 1865.

Sunday at 2 AM….spring your clocks ahead 1 hour. Sorry but the GOPukes will still be living in 1865.

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The future of AmeriKKKa. Feeling Lucky,...PUNK?

The future of AmeriKKKa. Feeling Lucky,…PUNK?

Free Marissa Alexander. Imprison Angela Corey.

Free Marissa Alexander. Imprison Angela Corey.

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The Chicago Bears released Devin hester, the record holder for ANY & ALL kick return concerns. Now you know why Da Bears are Da Losers.

The Chicago Bears released Devin hester, the record holder for ANY & ALL kick return concerns. Now you know why Da Bears are Da Losers.

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