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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.

 

 

 

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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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First Lady Michelle Obama & Epicurious, Host 3rd Recipe Challenge Promoting Healthy Eating Nationwide.


 

By Jueseppi B.

Calling All Kid Chefs! Submit your original recipe to enter the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge!

Calling All Kid Chefs!
Submit your original recipe to enter the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge!

 

First Lady Michelle Obama and Epicurious Host Third Recipe Challenge to Promote Healthy Eating Nationwide

 

“The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge” Welcomes Children and Their Parents to Create Healthy Lunch Recipes for an Invite to the Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House.

 

Recipes can be submitted through April 5th at recipe challenge. epicurious. com.

 

WASHINGTON, DC – With the overwhelming success of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ “State Dinner” in 2012 and 2013, First Lady Michelle Obama is again teaming up with Epicurious, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to host a nationwide recipe challenge to promote cooking and healthy eating among America’s youth.  Teaching kids to cook is a great way to ensure our children learn healthy habits early in life.

 

Research shows that children who help with cooking and meal preparation are more likely to consume fruits and vegetables, and they are more aware of the importance of making healthier food choices.  The third annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ “State Dinner” encourages kids across the country to come up with healthy, original creations.

 

The-Healthy-Lunchtime-Challenge-Kids-State-Dinner-White-House-800x600

 

“The Kids’ ‘State Dinner’ is one of my favorite events to host at the White House, and I am thrilled to announce the third annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge.  This event gives us the opportunity to showcase healthy creations from talented kids from across our country,” said First Lady Michelle Obama.  “I’m looking forward to seeing—and tasting—this year’s selections.  So young chefs, get creative and get cooking!”

 

The third Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids’ “State Dinner” invites parents or guardians and their children, ages 8-12, to create and submit an original lunch recipe that is healthy, affordable, and tasty.  In support of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, each recipe must adhere to the guidance that supports USDA’s MyPlate (at ChooseMyPlate.gov) to ensure that the criteria of a healthy meal are met.  Entries must represent each of the food groups, either in one dish or as parts of a lunch meal, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy foods, with fruits and veggies making up roughly half of the plate or recipe.

 

All U.S. states and territories, including Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands, are invited to participate.  Delta Air Lines will fly fifty-six children and their parent/guardian (one pair from each of the 50 states, plus the U.S. Territories, D.C., and Puerto Rico) to the nation’s capital where they will have the opportunity to attend a Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House hosted by Mrs. Obama.  A selection of the winning healthy recipes will be served.

 

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“The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge is a wonderful opportunity to help kids build healthy habits.  First Lady Michelle Obama, through the Let’s Move!Initiative, offers another shining example of how we can mobilize public and private sector resources to improve the lives of our children,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.  “The decisions parents make to keep their kids healthy often start with the meals made at home.  Young people who participate in this Challenge and are inspired by MyPlate encourage other children to eat healthier and build food preparation skills that will influence their food decisions into adulthood.”

 

Obama-KIDS-DINNER2012-13-24

 

“We are truly honored that Mrs. Obama is once again partnering with Epicurious to help raise awareness for the importance of healthy eating for kids,” said Carolyn Kremins, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Epicurious. “We hope the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge can show kids that meals, especially their school lunch, can be tasty, healthy and fun to prepare.”

 

The winning recipes will be chosen by a panel of judges, including Nilou Motamed, Tanya Steel, Let’s Move! Executive Director Sam Kass, U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Education representatives, as well as junior chefs.  At the conclusion of the Kids’ “State Dinner,” a free, downloadable and printable e-cookbook featuring the winning recipes, nutritional analysis, photos and drawings, will be available via LetsMove.govUSDA.govEd.govepicurious.com and recipe challenge.epicurious.com.

 

lunch

 

The White House Kids’ “State Dinner” will take place later this summer.

 

Recipes can be submitted March 5th through April 5th, online at recipechallenge.epicurious.com, or via mail at “The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge c/o Epicurious.com,” 1166 Avenue of the Americas, 15thFloor, New York, NY 10036. Winners will be notified in May.  For more information and contest rules visit recipechallenge.epicurious.com.

 

 

Healthy-Lunchtime-Challenge-2013

 

 

From Let’s MOVE!

 

Calling All Young Chefs: The 2014 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge is Here

 

Posted by Kelly Miterko, Deputy Associate Director, Let’s Move! on March 05, 2014

 

Time to break out your chef hat! The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge is back.

 

First Lady Michelle Obama is again teaming up with the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Epicurious to host a nationwide recipe challenge to promote cooking and healthy eating among America’s youth.  We’re inviting parents or guardians and their children, ages 8-12, to submit an original lunch recipe that is healthy, affordable, and tasty, with the opportunity to be invited to attend a Kids’ “State Dinner” here at the White House where a selection of the winning healthy recipes will be served.

 

Don’t forget to use USDA’s MyPlate as a resource to make sure your recipe meets the healthy standards incorporated into the MyPlate icon. Entries should represent each of the food groups, either in one dish or as parts of a lunch meal, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy foods, with fruits and veggies making up roughly half of the plate or recipe.

 

Check out www.recipechallenge.epicurious.com for more details on the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge.

 

You’ve got until April 5th to submit your recipe, so head into the kitchen and get cooking! We can’t wait to see all of the nutritious and delicious recipe creations you come up with!

 

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Barack After Dark™: Dr. Jill. Joey B. Michelle Visits NYC. The Ukraine. The West Wing Week.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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The White House Blog

 

Responding to the Situation in Ukraine

 

Megan Slack
Megan Slack

February 20, 2014
07:05 PM EST

 

Readout of the President’s Call with Chancellor Merkel

 

Today, President Obama spoke by phone with Chancellor Merkelof Germany to consult on the situation in Ukraine. The two leaders agreed it is critical that the United States, Germany and the European Union continue to stay in close touch in the days ahead on steps we can take to support an end to the violence and a political solution that is in the best interests of the Ukrainian people.

 

See the readout from today’s call here and the statement released by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney here.

 

Before a bilateral meeting yesterday with President Peña Nieto of Mexico, President Obama said that “the United States condemns in strongest terms the violence that’s taking place” in Ukraine. “And we have been deeply engaged with our European partners as well as both the Ukrainian government and the opposition to try to assure that that violence ends,” he said.

 

 

 

But we hold the Ukrainian government primarily responsible for making sure that it is dealing with peaceful protesters in an appropriate way; that the Ukrainian people are able to assemble and speak freely about their interests without fear of repression.

 

And I want to be very clear that as we work through these next several days in Ukraine that we are going to be watching very carefully and we expect the Ukrainian government to show restraint, to not resort to violence in dealing with peaceful protesters.  We’ve said that we also expect peaceful protesters to remain peaceful.  And we’ll be monitoring very carefully the situation, recognizing, along with our European partners and the international community, there will be consequences if people step over the line.  And that includes making sure that the Ukrainian military does not step into what should be a set of issues that can be resolved by civilians.

 

So the United States will continue to engage with all sides in the dispute in Ukraine, and ultimately our interest is to make sure that the Ukrainian people can express their own desires.  And we believe that a large majority of Ukrainians are interested in an integration with Europe, and the commerce and cultural exchanges that are possible for them to expand opportunity and prosperity.

 

But regardless of how the Ukrainian people determine their own future, it is important that it is the people themselves that make those decisions.  And that’s what the United States will continue to strive to achieve.

 

And I do think there is still the possibility of a peaceful transition within Ukraine, but it’s going to require the government, in particular, to actively seek that peaceful transition, and it requires the opposition and those on the streets to recognize that violence is not going to be the path by which this issue will be resolved.

 

Check back at whitehouse.gov/ukraine for updates and more information as it is released.

 


 

More information on the Obama administration’s response to the situation in Ukraine:

 

 

 

Statement by the Press Secretary on Ukraine

We are outraged by the images of Ukrainian security forces firing automatic weapons on their own people.  We urge President Yanukovych to immediately withdraw his security forces from downtown Kyiv and to respect the right of peaceful protest, and we urge protesters to express themselves peacefully.  We urge the Ukrainian military not to get involved in a conflict that can and should be resolved by political means.   The use of force will not resolve the crisis – clear steps must be taken to stop the violence and initiate meaningful dialogue that reduces tension and addresses the grievances of the Ukrainian people.  The United States will work with our European allies to hold those responsible for violence accountable and to help the Ukrainian people get a unified and independent Ukraine back on the path to a better future.

 

Readout of Vice President Biden’s Call with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych

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Dr. Biden Speaks at Summit Focused on Post-9/11 Veterans at The Bush Institute

 

Melanie Kaye
Melanie Kaye
February 20, 2014
03:07 PM EST

 

Dr. Biden delivers remarks at the George W. Bush Presidential CenterDr. Jill Biden delivers remarks at a Summit focused on supporting post-9/11 veterans at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas, Feb. 19, 2014. (Photo by Grant Miller)

 

Yesterday, Dr. Jill Biden joined President Bush at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas for a Summit focused on how Americans can support post-9/11 veterans as they transition back to civilian life. Dr. Biden noted that while the troops serving our nation represent only one percent of the population, the other 99 percent of Americans need to find ways to honor and support them.

 

In her remarks, Dr. Biden highlighted the many ways Americans have already stepped up since she and First Lady Michelle Obama started Joining Forces nearly three years ago:

 

  • Businesses have made it a priority to hire veterans and military spouses, not only because it is their patriotic duty, but because they know our service men and women are highly-skilled, hardworking employees;
  • Educators, including teaching colleges, are doing more to prepare teachers for the unique needs of military-connected children in the classroom, and higher education institutions are taking steps to help veterans succeed on campus; and
  • Doctors, nurses, and social workers have pledged support to enhance the preparation of our nation’s medical providers to care for returning service men and women, and their families.

 

But she also said that even small gestures of kindness can make all the difference for a military family, whether it is bringing over a warm meal or a neighbor shoveling the driveway.

 

Raising awareness about the military experience and transition back to civilian life is critical.

 

“…as more and more Americans have a real understanding of what it means to serve, the more they are ready to step up and do their part,” Dr. Biden said.

 

Learn more about how you can take action to support our servicemen and women, veterans and military families.

 

View Dr. Biden’s remarks here.

 

Empowering Our Nation’s Warriors: Remarks by Dr. Jill Biden

 

Published on Feb 19, 2014

Dr. Jill Biden, Second Lady of the United States and Co-Founder, Joining Forces, gives remarks at the Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative summit, Empowering Our Nation’s Warriors, on Feb. 19, 2014.

 

 

 

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First Lady Michelle Obama to Celebrate the Fourth Anniversary oF Let’s Move!

Published on Feb 20, 2014

The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, wants you to show her how you move. Use the hashtag #LetsMove to join in! http://www.letsmove.gov

 

 

 

WASHINGTON, DC – This week, First Lady Michelle Obama will kick off a celebration around the fourth anniversary of Let’s Move!, her initiative to ensure that all our children grow up healthy and reach their full potential.

 

Today, we are moving toward a healthier future and this movement is becoming the new norm all across the country.  From child care centers through high school, from sun up to sun down the country is moving toward a healthier future.

 

On this anniversary, Mrs. Obama will be highlighting examples of people, communities, and organizations that are participating in this movement.

 

To demonstrate the national scope of this movement, the First Lady is encouraging people of all ages, to show her how they move – through their everyday fitness routine, making better food choices, or by moving their community toward that new norm – on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, etc. using #LetsMove.  Click here to watch the First Lady explain this online challenge.

 

Follow @FLOTUS and @LetsMove on twitter and @MichelleObama on Instagram for live updates.

 

Mrs. Obama launched Let’s Move! on February 9, 2010 to unite the country around our kids’ health and create real support for families to live healthier lives.  Since then, parents, business leaders, educators, elected officials, military leaders, chefs, physicians, athletes, childcare providers, community and faith leaders, and kids themselves have stepped up to improve the health of our nation’s children.

 

Thanks in part to these efforts, our nation is moving towards a new, healthier norm.  More Americans now have access to healthy, affordable food closer to home, school health environments are changing, healthier foods are being marketed to kids, and making healthy choices is becoming easier for families.  A CDC report released last year showed that obesity among low-income pre-schoolers declined in 19 states over the past couple of years.

 

For more information on how we’ve moved towards a healthier norm over the past four years, visit: http://go.wh.gov/RZ3TsD

 

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Thursday, February 20th, 2014

 

New York, NY * 10:45 AM ET – Inspired by the Drink Up initiative, First Lady Michelle Obama will visit the Taking Back the Streets exhibit at the New Museum in New York City.  The exhibit, developed by WAT-AAH, is a celebration of street art in honor of Drink Up, the Partnership for Healthier America’s initiative that encourages all Americans to drink more water.  TheTaking Back the Streets exhibit will use the visual arts to remind kids and parents that choosing to drink water is one of the best and easiest decisions we can make each and every day.

 

This event is pooled press.

 

New York, NY – Later in the afternoon, the First Lady will tape an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”  During her interview, Mrs. Obama will highlight the fourth anniversary of her Let’s Move! initiative.  Her appearance will air that evening.

 

 

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Washington, DC * 11:00 AM ET – First Lady Michelle Obama will join United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for an announcement on school wellness and to highlight the incredible progress being made in school health environments across the country.

 

This event in the East Room is open press. Members of the media who wish to cover the event must RSVP with “SCHOOL WELLNESS” in the subject line to firstladypress@who.eop.gov by 12 PM, Monday, February 24th. who do not have a White House Hard Pass must also include: Full Legal Name, Date of Birth, Social Security Number, US Citizenship Status, Country of Origin, and Current City/State.

 

Miami, FL * 4:30 PM ET– Following the Let’s Move! School Wellness Event, the First Lady will travel to Miami, Florida.  While in Miami, she will visit a local parks and recreation center to make a major announcement about healthy out-of-school time.

 

This event is open press. Members of the media who wish to cover the event must RSVP with “OUT OF SCHOOL TIME” in the subject line to firstladypress@who.eop.gov by 12 PM, Monday, February 24th. Those who do not have a White House Hard Pass must also include: Full Legal Name, Date of Birth, Social Security Number, US Citizenship Status, Country of Origin, and Current City/State.

 

Following her event in Miami, the First Lady will join Mario Lopez for an interview for Extra.  This interview will air the following day.  Later that afternoon, the First Lady will join Satcha Pretto for an interview with¡Despierta América!.  This interview will air the following day.

 

 

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Washington, DC * 11:00 AM ET—The First Lady will make an announcement regarding proposals to help parents and other consumers make healthier choices.

 

This event is in the East Room and is open press. Members of the media who wish to cover the event must RSVP with “HEALTHIER CHOICES” in the subject line to firstladypress@who.eop.gov by 12 PM, Wednesday, February 26th.  Those who do not have a White House Hard Pass must also include: Full Legal Name, Date of Birth, Social Security Number, US Citizenship Status, Country of Origin, and Current City/State.

 

Following the event, the First Lady will join Rachael Ray for an interview.  This interview will air the following week on The Rachael Ray Show.

 

Bowie, MD * 2:30 PM — Later that afternoon, the First Lady will travel to Bowie, Maryland for an announcement with a local child care facility. Since 2011, nearly 12,000 child care providers have committed to providing healthy environments and encouraging healthy habits among our nation’s preschoolers through Let’s Move! Child Care.  These child care providers are increasing physical activity, limiting screen time, serving healthier food and beverages, and supporting breastfeeding mothers.  More than 1 million children are being reached by early childhood education networks that have committed to Let’s Move! Child Care.

 

This event is pooled press.  Following her event at a local child care facility, the First Lady will join Jenna Bush Hager for an interview with the Today Show.  This interview will air the following day.

 

 

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First lady Michelle Obama highlights drink-more-water show in NYC

 

NEW YORK (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama is helping a New York City museum spread some advice on health: Drink up — water, that is.

 

The first lady and fitness advocate was at the New Museum on Thursday to view a street-art-inspired exhibit that aims to make the health-conscious message eye-catching.

 

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She signed a massive paint-by-numbers artwork created for the show and chatted with eighth-graders who helped paint it and created a poster of their own.

 

She told them their involvement in the campaign would make “a huge, huge impact on the health of our nation.”

 

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The exhibit is a collaboration with the WAT-AAH! (WAH’-tah) bottled-water brand.

 

Mrs. Obama is celebrating the fourth anniversary of “Let’s Move,” her anti-childhood obesity initiative.

 

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Vice President Biden Speaks at America’s Central Port on the Fifth Anniversary of the Recovery Act

 

Marc Aidinoff
February 20, 2014
01:15 PM EST

 

Vice President Joe Biden marks the fifth anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment ActVice President Joe Biden marks the fifth anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by delivering remarks on the need for continued investment in infrastructure, at America’s Central Port Intermodal Hub, in Granite City, Illinois, Feb. 19, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

 

“The Recovery Act is the largest public works project since President Eisenhower laid out our nation’s interstate highway system—and all of you here at America’s Central Port are continuing this American story of boldness and doing big things that are so deeply ingrained in our history,” Vice President Biden said at an event marking the fifth anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which saved our country from an economic depression and helped rebuild the middle class.

 

Speaking on the Mississippi River at America’s Central Port in Granite City, Illinois on Wednesday. February 19, the Vice President outlined how the Recovery Act’s TIGER grants at the port and across the country have modernized the way we do business, created good-paying middle-class jobs, and strengthened our global economic competitiveness.

 

Joined by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, current Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, along with local and port officials, the Vice President described how the grants significantly improve the way we finance and strengthen the capacity of our nation’s ports, railroads, and highways. At America’s third largest inland port, the TIGER program has already helped hire workers who installed new levee relief wells, laid down a new rail track, and started work on a new harbor, all of which help increase the Port’s efficiency and reduce shipping costs.

 

And these grants have leveraged significant state and private sector investments—since the federal investment more than a dozen businesses have moved to the port and invested more than $300 million in the area. The Vice President noted that from 2009-2013, the more than $3 billion invested in federal TIGER grants across the country leveraged an additional $13.6 billion from state and local governments and took private investment off the sidelines.

 

Overall, the Recovery Act and other Administration investments have improved more than 350,000 miles of roads, 6,000 miles of rail, and 20,000 bridges since 2009—generating millions of dollars of economic activity that support and create middle-class jobs across the country.

 

From the first National Road and the Erie Canal to the Intercontinental Railroad and the interstate highways, the Vice President reminded Americans that the best way to predict our future is to create it. That it is America’s enduring commitment to ingenuity and capability– a continued and relentless effort to expand and modernize—that has made us the greatest economic power in the world.

 

The Vice President closed by saying, Build—build the most modern infrastructure in the world, and the world will come to us,”reminding us that Recovery Act and its subsequent infrastructure investments have generated the kind of economic growth and dynamism that built our country and built our middle class—and will continue to do so.

 

 

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West Wing Week 02/21/14 or “Don’t Make Small Plans, Make Big Plans”

 

Published on Feb 20, 2014

This week, the President traveled to the North American Leaders Summit in Toluca, Mexico, to California to address the current drought and to meet with the King of Jordan, and to Upper Marlboro, Maryland to announce an increase in fuel efficiency standards for heavy trucks.

 

 

 

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Strengthening the Patent System

 

Published on Feb 20, 2014

The White House highlights the Administration’s commitment to strengthening the patent system to ensure it encourages innovation and invention, inspires and rewards creativity, drives investment, and spurs job creation. February 20, 2014.

 

 

 

Raw Video: President Obama Meets With Japanese American WWII Veterans

 

Published on Feb 20, 2014

On Tuesday, February 18th, the President invited a group of seven Japanese American World War II veterans to the Oval Office, to honor their service during a period when the U.S. Government actively discriminated against Japanese Americans. The group served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which is one of the most decorated units in U.S. military history, and in the Military Intelligence Service, and were in town as part of a “homecoming” celebration for recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal.

 

 

 

2/20/14: White House Press Briefing

 

Published on Feb 20, 2014

White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing.

 

 

 

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Happy Four Year Anniversary Let’s Move! Let the Celebrations Begin!


 

By Jueseppi B.

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THE LET’S MOVE! ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION IS HERE

 

Four years ago, First Lady Michelle Obama launched a national movement, Let’s Move!, to create a healthier future for kids and families. Four years later, Let’s Move! has moved a nation in a healthier direction, and this nation is on the move. This healthier movement is becoming the new norm, and it is happening all over the country. From child care centers through high school and after school, from sun up to sun down, the country is moving faster every day towards a healthier future.

 

It’s been an exciting year for Let’s Move! From launching Let’s Move!Active Schools in order to bring physical activity back to schools to making improvements in marketing healthier products to kids; we’re continuing to move this nation towards a healthier future.

 

Check out more Let’s Move! milestones and collaborations from the last year. And be sure to stay tuned as we celebrate the fourth anniversary of Let’s Move! throughout the next week. We encourage you to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to stay updated on all of our anniversary activities and to participate in some of our digital Let’s Move! anniversary celebrations.

 

CHECK OUT NEW FIRST LADY FAVORITE RECIPES

 

One year ago, First Lady Michelle Obama announced an exciting partnership between some of the top recipe creators, Pinterest, MyPlate, and the Partnership for a Healthier America to make it easier to find healthy recipes online. Together, they created a one-stop, easy-to-access tool for parents looking to make healthier choices in the kitchen for their families – a MyPlate board on Pinterest – which includes nutritious and delicious recipes that are inspired by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate icon.

 

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In celebration of the anniversary of this partnership and the fourth anniversary of Let’s Move!we’re bringing you more of the First Lady’s favorite recipes! Be sure to check out the First Lady’s Favorite board to find a variety of new recipes from Spicy Chicken Burgers to Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie and more!

 

 

HEALTHY TIP OF THE WEEK

 

Keep fresh fruits and vegetables where kids can see and reach them so it’s easy to grab a healthy bite on the go.

 

 

BLOG HIGHLIGHTS

 

Hiking, Snowshoeing, and More! Enjoy America’s Great Outdoors this Winter
In many parts of the country, a winter chill is upon us. Despite the cool temperatures, there are a multitude of activities offered throughout the National Park Service to get outside and get active! We know that regular exercise out in nature improves kids’ physical and mental health. Let’s Move! Outside was created to help kids and their families take advantage of America’s great outdoors – which abound in every city, town and community.

 

Beaumont, TX becomes the first Let’s Move! City, Town or County to Earn Gold Medals in Every LMCTC Goal!
The City of Beaumont, Texas recently became the first Let’s Move!city, town or county to earn gold medals in all five goals of Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC). Beaumont ranks first among over 400 communities participating in LMCTC and is an example of how city government, the school district, hospitals, non-profits and the private sector can work together to help our most valuable asset – our children.

 

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 Visits The “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” Thursday,

Mrs. Obama hits New York for Fallon and a high-dollar Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the home of Obama “bundler” Maneesh Goyal. The funder is billed as a roundtable with the tab ranging from $10,000 to $15,000 per person. Mrs. Obama did a California swing for the DNC last month and more DNC events are in her pipeline.

A year ago, First Lady Michelle Obama and Jimmy Fallon created a YouTube hit with their dance skit, “Evolution of Mom Dancing.” On Thursday, Mrs. Obama teams up again with Fallon, guesting during his inaugural week of hosting the “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”

 

 

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First lady Michelle Obama highlights drink-more-water show in NYC

 

by Associated Press

 

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NEW YORK (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama is helping a New York City museum spread some advice on health: Drink up — water, that is.

 

The first lady and fitness advocate was at the New Museum on Thursday to view a street-art-inspired exhibit that aims to make the health-conscious message eye-catching.

 

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She signed a massive paint-by-numbers artwork created for the show and chatted with eighth-graders who helped paint it and created a poster of their own.

 

She told them their involvement in the campaign would make “a huge, huge impact on the health of our nation.”

 

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The exhibit is a collaboration with the WAT-AAH! (WAH’-tah) bottled-water brand.

 

Mrs. Obama is celebrating the fourth anniversary of “Let’s Move,” her anti-childhood obesity initiative.

 

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