The Last 24™


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President Obama Delivers A Statement On The Situation In Ukraine.

 

President Obama announces expanded sanctions on Russia in Ukraine

 

Published on Jul 29, 2014

President Barack Obama is expected to announce a new round of U.S. sanctions against Russia Tuesday.

 

The U.S. penalties follow tougher sanctions agreed to by European Union leaders earlier in the day.

 

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says the EU sanctions are welcome news. He says he expects the European penalties to track closely with sanctions imposed by the U.S. about two weeks ago targeting major Russian banks, as well as energy and defense companies.

 

 

 

The President Speaks on the Situation in Ukraine, Then hits Kansas City.

 

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Agriculture Champions of Change

 

Published on Jul 29, 2014

The White House honors leaders from across the country who are doing extraordinary things to build the bench for the next generation of farming and ranching. July 29, 2014.

 

 

 

7/29/14: White House Press Briefing

 

 

 

White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Demo Day

 

Published on Jul 29, 2014

The White House hosts an event bringing together technologists, entrepreneurs, and members of the disaster response community to showcase tools that will make a tangible impact in the lives of survivors of large-scale emergencies. July 29, 2014.

 

 

 

Calling Kansas City

 

Published on Jul 29, 2014

Press Secretary, and Kansas City native, Josh Earnest places calls to hardworking Americans in Kansas City who wrote to the President and invites them to dinner with President Obama during his trip to America’s heartland.

 

 

 

Table For Five: Obama To Dine With Kansas City Penpals

 

Valerie, a single mom from Kansas City, Missouri, who owns a small business, wrote to President Barack Obama last week “in the middle of the night,” describing just how hard she works.

 

On Tuesday, she will get the chance to tell Obama in person as one of four people the president dines with in a visit to the midwestern city – part of a summertime White House campaign to rouse Democratic voters ahead of November midterm elections.

 

“Are you serious?” said Valerie – whose last name was not provided – to Josh Earnest, Obama’s press secretary, who phoned her to invite her to the dinner.

 

“Oh my God! I would love it!” she told Earnest in a video made by the White House.

 

Obama has crisscrossed the country for the past month dining with ordinary Americans who have written him with their concerns about the economy.

 

The visits are designed to motivate Democrats to vote in the November elections, when Republicans stand a good chance of taking control of the Senate and are expected to keep control of the House of Representatives.

 

If that happens, Obama will have a hard time advancing his legislative goals during his last two years in office.

 

Obama reads 10 letters a night selected by his staff from the tens of thousands received by the White House each day.

 

“In these letters, people tell me their stories,” Obama said in a speech earlier this month inAustin, Texas, after meeting another group of penpals.

 

“They talk about the hardships they’re going through, successes they’ve had, things they hope for, things that they’re afraid of when it comes to the future and their lives,” he said.

 

In Kansas City, Obama and Valerie will be joined by Becky, who wrote about her neighborhood association; Mark, who teaches people who have dropped out of high school; and Victor, who was helped by a student loan repayment plan.

 

The White House did not provide their surnames or ages.

 

But the snippets of phone calls provided revealed their delight in being invited to meet the president.

 

“I am just amazed that little bitty old me is going to get this chance,” said Becky.

 

 

Megyn Kelly Cuts Guest Off Show after Heated Argument leading to Shouting Match over Mumia Abu-Jamal

 

Published on Jul 29, 2014

On Fox News Megyn’s ‘The Kelly File’, Johanna Fernandez, coordinator for campaign to bring Mumia home. Supporters argue Mumia Abu-Jamal is innocent & a civil rights hero

 

 

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President Obama: “Russia Is Once Again Isolating Itself from the International Community”

 

 

This afternoon, President Obama spoke on the South Lawn about the situation in Ukraine, in the wake of the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 nearly two weeks ago.

 

“In the Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia, and countries around the world,” he said, “families are still in shock over the sudden and tragic loss of nearly 300 loved ones senselessly killed when their civilian airliner was shot down over territory controlled by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine.”

 

Noting that those families and their nations are America’s friends and allies, the President made clear that the U.S. “continues to do everything in our power to help bring home their loved ones, support the international investigation, and make sure justice is done.”

 

President Obama then explained that Russia, along with its proxies in Ukraine, are neither cooperating with the investigation, nor pursuing a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Ukraine

 

Statement by the President on Ukraine – Full Transcript

 

Read More.

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Bob McDonald Confirmed as the Next Secretary of Veterans Affairs

 

This afternoon, in a 97-0 vote, the Senate confirmed Robert “Bob” McDonald to serve as the next Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

 

In a statement, President Obama applauded the Senate for the confirmation, noting that McDonald is “uniquely equipped” to lead the Department:

 

I applaud the overwhelming, bipartisan confirmation of Bob McDonald as our next Secretary of Veterans Affairs.  As a veteran himself and a proud member of a military family, Bob is deeply committed to serving our veterans and their families.  And as an executive with decades of private-sector experience, he is uniquely equipped to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, and to help change the way the VA does business.  As a country, we have a solemn duty to serve our veterans as well as they have served us.  I know Bob will help us honor that commitment and make sure every veteran gets the care they deserve, the benefits they’ve earned, and the chance to pursue the American Dream they’ve risked so much to protect.

 

Watch video from McDonald’s nomination last month here:

 

 

 

Statement by the President on the Confirmation of Bob McDonald as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs – Full Transcript

 

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Presidential Nomination Sent to the Senate

NOMINATION SENT TO THE SENATE:

 

David Nathan Saperstein, of the District of Columbia, to be Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, vice Suzan D. Johnson Cook.

 

 

Message to Congress — Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Lebanon

 

FACT SHEET: Empowering America’s Agricultural Sector and Strengthening Food Resilience through the President’s Climate Data Initiative

 

White House Report: The Cost of Delaying Action to Stem Climate Change

 

Remarks by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice to the National Jewish Leaders Assembly

 

 

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The White House Blog Updates™


The Militant Negro

The Militant Negro

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President Barack Obama delivers remarks and answers questions at the Young African Leaders Initiative town hallPresident Barack Obama delivers remarks and answers questions at the Young African Leaders Initiative town hall in Washington, D.C., July 28, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

 

President Obama’s town hall today with 500 of Africa’s most promising young leaders provided an inspiring window into what the future holds for Africa, and the world.

 

The 500 participants in the Washington Fellowship program were selected from nearly 50,000 applicants from across Africa, as part of the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). YALI was launched by President Obama in 2010, as part of a long-term investment in the next generation of African leaders. It aims to sharpen their skills, to improve their networks, and to strengthen partnerships between the United States and Africa for years to come.

 

The President announced during the town hall that the Washington Fellowship was being renamed as the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, in honor of the former South African President, Nelson Mandela. Mandela Washington Fellows represent the best and brightest from communities across Africa, and fields ranging from education, medicine, law, business, and beyond. These are the young leaders whose skills, passion, and visions for the future, will help shape the fate of their countries and the world. It is in everyone’s best interest to help them prepare with the tools they need to build a healthier, more secure, more prosperous, and more peaceful Africa, which is why President Obama launched YALI in the first place.

 

Read More.

 

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Delivering the Goods: A Labor of Love for UPS Driver Jay Valentin

 

Ed. note: This is cross-posted on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s blog. See the original post here.

 

Like many Americans, when Jesus “Jay” Valentin – a UPS driver – goes to sleep at night in his New Jersey home, he’s got a lot on his mind.

 

He thinks about tomorrow’s deliveries and worries about what the traffic will be like and what the weather will mean for road conditions. He calculates how much next month’s mortgage payment will leave his family – his wife Jenny and four kids – for savings. He wonders how he will pay for his daughter Tiffany’s college education – she’s 16 now and thinking toward the future.

 

Last Friday, I had the chance to meet Jay and some of his coworkers at the UPS hub in Secaucus, New Jersey. It was an eye-opener in many ways.

 

Secretary Anthony Foxx meets with UPS staff (1)(Photo via the U.S. Department of Transportation)

 

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Unleashing Climate Data to Empower America’s Agricultural Sector

 

Today, in a major step to advance the President’s Climate Data Initiative, the Obama administration is inviting leaders of the technology and agricultural sectors to the White House to discuss new collaborative steps to unleash data that will help ensure our food system is resilient to the effects of climate change.

More intense heat waves, heavier downpours, and severe droughts and wildfires out west are already affecting the nation’s ability to produce and transport safe food. The recently releasedNational Climate Assessment makes clear that these kinds of impacts are projected to become more severe over this century.

Food distributors, agricultural businesses, farmers, and retailers need accessible, useable data, tools, and information to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of their operations – from water availability, to timing of planting and harvest, to storage practices, and more.

Today’s convening at the White House will include formal commitments by a host of private-sector companies and nongovernmental organizations to support the President’s Climate Data Initiative by harnessing climate data in ways that will increase the resilience of America’s food system and help reduce the contribution of the nation’s agricultural sector to climate change

 

Read More.

 

White House Report: The Cost of Delaying Action to Stem Climate Change

 

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Join a Twitter Q&A on Climate Change and the Cost of Inaction

 

Climate change is not a distant threat – we’re already experiencing its harmful impacts. That’s why President Obama has taken action to cut carbon pollution by moving to cleaner sources of energy and improving the energy efficiency of our cars, trucks, and buildings. But further steps are urgently needed to ensure that we leave our kids a planet that’s not polluted or damaged.

Today, the White House released a new report from the Council of Economic Advisers that breaks down the economic consequences of delaying action to combat climate change. The report finds that delaying policy actions by a decade increases total climate change mitigation costs by about 40%, and failing to take any action would risk substantial economic damage.

So how will this affect you and your community? Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, is taking to Twitter to answer your questions. Today, July 29 at 2:30 p.m. ET, join him for a Twitter Q&A on the economic impacts of climate change on his Twitter handle, @CEAChair.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Ask your questions now and during the live event on Twitter with the hashtag #WHClimateChat
  • Follow the Q&A live through the @CEAChair Twitter handle
  • If you miss the live Q&A, the full session will be posted on WhiteHouse.gov and Storify.com/whitehouse

 

Learn more about President Obama’s plan to combat climate change atWhiteHouse.gov/climate-change, and then join Jason Furman, @CEAChair, for a Twitter chat today, July 29, at 2:30 p.m. ET

 

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New Report: The Cost of Delaying Action to Stem Climate Change

 

The signs of climate change are all around us. The average temperature in the United States during the past decade was 0.8° Celsius (1.5° Fahrenheit) warmer than the 1901-1960 average, and the last decade was the warmest on record both in the United States and globally. Global sea levels are currently rising at approximately 1.25 inches per decade, and the rate of increase appears to be accelerating.

The scientific consensus is that these changes, and many others, are largely consequences of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases that have led to a warming of the atmosphere and oceans.

The Council of Economic Advisers released a report today that examines the economic consequences of delaying implementing policies to reduce the pace and ultimate magnitude of these changes; the findings emphasize the need for policy action today. The report was written under the leadership of Jim Stock, who recently resigned as a Member of the Council of Economic Advisers to return to his teaching position at Harvard University.

KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS

1. Immediate action substantially reduces the cost of achieving climate targets. Taking meaningful steps now sends a signal to the market that reduces long-run costs of meeting the target. Such action will reduce investments in high-carbon infrastructure that is expensive to replace and will spur development of new low- and zero-emissions technologies. For both reasons, the least-cost mitigation path to achieve a given climate target typically starts with a relatively low price of carbon to send these signals to the market, and subsequently increases as new low-carbon technologies are developed and deployed. An analysis of research on the cost of delay for hitting a specified climate target suggests that net mitigation costs increase, on average, by approximately 40 percent for each decade of delay.

 

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Labor Secretary Tom Perez is traveling with Education Secretary Arne Duncan to Toledo, Ohio, today to see first-hand model programs and partnerships that are equipping Americans with the knowledge, skills and industry-relevant education they need to get on the pathway to a successful career.

 

We want to make sure you see what they see, too. Follow along today to see live updates and highlights from their day.

 

First stop: The Toledo Technology Academy.

The path to good jobs begins in grade school. Students in grades 7 – 12 receive an intense integrated academic and technical education that prepares them for a rewarding, life-long career in engineering or manufacturing technologies. Along with more “typical” high school classes, they receive hands-on training in plastics technologies, automated systems, manufacturing operations, computer-automated design, electronics and other manufacturing technologies. The academy works closely with employers – including the local GM plant – to provide students with industry recognized credentials and certification. Students also can earn advanced credit at local 2- and 4-year colleges. In April, the Toledo Public School System was awarded a $3.8 million Youth CareerConnect grant that will expand the Toledo Technology Academy’s model to serve more students.

 

 

…Where students on the robotics team earn a varsity letter.

 

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On the Horizon: The 2015 White House Conference on Aging

 

Today at the White House, I was delighted to host a roundtable discussion with leaders from across the aging community who came together to discuss the White House Conference on Aging, which will take place in 2015 – the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security.

 

Just yesterday, the Medicare Trustees released their annual report finding that, since their report last year, the life of the Medicare Trust Fund has been extended by four additional years to 2030. When this Administration first took office, the Trust Fund was projected to go bankrupt more than a dozen years sooner, in 2017. The Trustees also project that – for the second year in a row – Part B premiums will not increase, allowing seniors to keep more of their Social Security cost-of-living increase.

 

Thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act, we have improved the affordability of the program, while at the same time helping Medicare work better for seniors. For example, we are closing the prescription drug coverage gap or “donut hole” to make medications more affordable for Medicare beneficiaries. Just today, we learned that 8.2 million seniors and people with disabilities saved $11.5 billion since 2010 – over $1,000 on average for people hitting the donut hole. Additionally, Medicare now provides coverage without cost-sharing for many preventive benefits to help keep older Americans healthy. The Affordable Care Act also responds to older Americans’ desire to remain independent in their communities by creating incentives for states to provide the services and supports that help people remain at home as they age.

 

Read More.

 

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Press Secretary Josh Earnest: “The President Wants to Meet You”

 

This summer, President Obama is traveling across the country to meet with everyday Americans who have written him about what’s going on in their lives.

 

Ahead of the President’s trip to Kansas City this evening, White House Press Secretary and Kansas City native Josh Earnest called a few people in the area and invited them out to dinner with the President.

 

Watch the Press Secretary give them a call, and hear their reactions — we’re sure you’ll enjoy it:

 

Calling Kansas City

 

Published on Jul 29, 2014

Press Secretary, and Kansas City native, Josh Earnest places calls to hardworking Americans in Kansas City who wrote to the President and invites them to dinner with President Obama during his trip to America’s heartland.

 

 

 

Table For Five: Obama To Dine With Kansas City Penpals

 

Valerie, a single mom from Kansas City, Missouri, who owns a small business, wrote to President Barack Obama last week “in the middle of the night,” describing just how hard she works.

 

On Tuesday, she will get the chance to tell Obama in person as one of four people the president dines with in a visit to the midwestern city – part of a summertime White House campaign to rouse Democratic voters ahead of November midterm elections.

 

“Are you serious?” said Valerie – whose last name was not provided – to Josh Earnest, Obama’s press secretary, who phoned her to invite her to the dinner.

 

“Oh my God! I would love it!” she told Earnest in a video made by the White House.

 

Obama has crisscrossed the country for the past month dining with ordinary Americans who have written him with their concerns about the economy.

 

The visits are designed to motivate Democrats to vote in the November elections, when Republicans stand a good chance of taking control of the Senate and are expected to keep control of the House of Representatives.

 

If that happens, Obama will have a hard time advancing his legislative goals during his last two years in office.

 

Obama reads 10 letters a night selected by his staff from the tens of thousands received by the White House each day.

 

“In these letters, people tell me their stories,” Obama said in a speech earlier this month inAustin, Texas, after meeting another group of penpals.

 

“They talk about the hardships they’re going through, successes they’ve had, things they hope for, things that they’re afraid of when it comes to the future and their lives,” he said.

 

In Kansas City, Obama and Valerie will be joined by Becky, who wrote about her neighborhood association; Mark, who teaches people who have dropped out of high school; and Victor, who was helped by a student loan repayment plan.

 

The White House did not provide their surnames or ages.

 

But the snippets of phone calls provided revealed their delight in being invited to meet the president.

 

“I am just amazed that little bitty old me is going to get this chance,” said Becky.

 

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White House Schedule – July 29, 2014

 

2:50 PM: The President delivers a statement on the situation in Ukraine.

 

3:00 PM: The President departs the White House en route Bethesda, Maryland.

 

3:10 PM: The President arrives Bethesda, Maryland.

 

3:25 PM: The President visits the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

 

5:15 PM: The President departs Bethesda, Maryland en route Joint Base Andrews.

 

5:30 PM: The President departs Joint Base Andrews.

 

8:00 PM: The President arrives Kansas City, Missouri.

 

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Statements and Releases – July 29th, 2014

 

Presidential Nomination Sent to the Senate

 

Statement by the President on the Confirmation of Bob McDonald as the Secretary of Veterans Affairs

 

Message to Congress — Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Lebanon

 

Notice to Congress — Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Lebanon

 

FACT SHEET: Empowering America’s Agricultural Sector and Strengthening Food Resilience through the President’s Climate Data Initiative

 

Remarks by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice to the National Jewish Leaders Assembly

 

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Associated Press: President Obama Mulls Massive Move On Immigration.


 

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POTUSA Obama Mulls Massive Move on Immigration

 

Such a large-scale move on immigration could scramble election-year politics and lead some conservative Republicans to push for impeachment proceedings against President Barack Obama, a prospect White House officials have openly discussed.

 

Yet there’s little sign that the urgent humanitarian situation in South Texas, where unaccompanied minors have been showing up by the tens of thousands from Central America, has impeded Obama from making plans to address some portion of the 11.5 million immigrants now in this country illegally. Obama announced late last month that congressional efforts to remake the nation’s dysfunctional immigration system were dead and he would proceed on his own authority to fix the system where he could.

 

Since then he’s asked Congress for $3.7 billion to deal with the crisis of unaccompanied youths, a request that’s gone unmet even as the House and the Senate scramble to see if they can vote on some solution to the crisis this week before adjourning for their annual August recess.

 

Meanwhile, White House officials led by Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Munoz and White House Counsel Neil Eggleston, along with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, have been working to chart a plan on executive actions Obama could take, hosting frequent meetings with interest groups and listening to recommendations from immigration advocates, law enforcement officials, religious leaders, Hispanic lawmakers and others.

 

Advocates and lawmakers who were in separate meetings Friday said that administration officials are weighing a range of options including reforms to the deportation system and ways to grant relief from deportation to targeted populations in the country, likely by expanding Obama’s two-year-old directive that granted work permits to certain immigrants brought here illegally as youths. That program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, has been extended to more than 500,000 immigrants so far.

 

Advocates would like to see deferred action made available to anyone who would have been eligible for eventual citizenship under a comprehensive immigration bill the Senate passed last year, which would be around 9 million people. But Obama told them in a meeting a month ago to “right-size” expectations, even as he pledged to be aggressive in steps he does take.

 

That’s led advocates to focus on other populations Obama might address, including parents or legal guardians of U.S. citizen children (around 3.8 million people as of 2009, according to an analysis by Pew Research’s Hispanic Trends Project) and parents or legal guardians of DACA recipients (perhaps 500,000 to 1 million people, according to the Fair Immigration Reform Movement).

 

“Our parents deserve to live without the fear of deportation,” Maria Praeli, a 21-year-old from New Haven who came to the United States from Peru 16 years ago, said at a protest outside the White House on Monday. “It is time for the president to go big and to go bold.”

 

Another focus could be the potentially hundreds of thousands of people who might be eligible for green cards today if current law didn’t require them to leave the country for 10 years before applying for one.

 

At the same time, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says it is actively working to determine whether there are steps Obama could take by executive action that could help the business community.

 

For Obama, the political repercussions of broad executive action on immigration could be unpredictable, and extreme.

 

Republicans are warning he could provoke a constitutional crisis.

 

“It would be an affront to the people of this country which they will never forgive, it would be a permanent stain on your presidency,” Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said on the Senate floor Monday, while urging language to block such executive action be made part of any legislation to address the border crisis.

 

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., announced plans to use an oversight hearing on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency Tuesday to raise questions about Obama’s plans, which he warned could “worsen the border crisis and encourage many more to come.”

 

On the other side, some Democrats have debated the best timing for Obama to take executive action, raising questions as to whether acting before the midterms could hurt vulnerable Senate Democrats in close races while boosting turnout among the GOP base.

 

But liberal advocates noted that Obama’s move on deferred action two years ago gave him a boost heading into his re-election and could help this year with Latino voters discouraged over the failure of immigration reform legislation and record-high deportations on Obama’s watch. Republicans would be in a position of deciding whether to come out in favor of deporting sympathetic groups, such as parents, and many liberals say impeachment talk would only shore up Democratic base voters.

 

“Most Democrats will be thrilled” if Obama acts boldly on immigration, said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, a leading advocacy group. “And Republicans will keep lurching to the right and cementing their reputation as the anti-immigrant party.”

 

Associated Press writers Jim Kuhnhenn and Alicia A. Caldwell contributed to this report.

 

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The Last 24™


The Militant Negro

The Militant Negro

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President Obama Awards the 2013 National Medals of Arts and Humanities

 

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This afternoon, the President and the First Lady honored the 2013 National Medals of the Arts and Humanities recipients at the White House. The President told the recipients that their “accomplishments enrich our lives and reveal something about ourselves and our country.”

 

This year’s recipients consisted of a diverse array of indidivuals and groups who have done groundbreaking work in the arts and humanities, including architecture, choreography, East Asian Studies, and documentary filmmaking – all of whom have made significant contributions to the human experience.

 

When we read a great book or experience a powerful documentary, we are often transformed – and these experiences can help us understand the world around us just a little bit better. The President illustrated what these experiences mean to those who witness the great work of this year’s honorees.

 

“The moments you help create – moments of understanding or awe or joy or sorrow – they add texture to our lives,” the President said. “They are not incidental to the American experience; they are central to it – they are essential to it. So we not only congratulate you this afternoon – we thank you for an extraordinary lifetime of achievement.”

 

Before presenting the medals to the honorees, the President concluded with a story illustrating the effect that the arts and humanities have had on American history, dating back to a historic event that took place at the White House in 1862:

 

President Lincoln called together a meeting of his Cabinet to present them with the Emancipation Proclamation. But that was not the first item on his agenda. This is a little-known story. Instead, he began reading out loud from a story from the humorist Artemis Ward. It was a story called, “High-Handed Outrage at Utica.” According to one often-repeated account, after he finished a chapter, Lincoln laughed and laughed. His cabinet did not. So Lincoln read them another chapter. And they still sat there in stony silence. Finally, he put the book down, and said, “Gentlemen, why don’t you laugh? You need this medicine as much as I do.”

 

To be clear, I probably will not be trying this in my Cabinet meetings. Certainly not if I’m presenting something like the Emancipation Proclamation. But what Lincoln understood is that the arts and the humanities aren’t just there to be consumed and enjoyed whenever we have a free moment in our lives. We rely on them constantly. We need them. Like medicine, they help us live.

 

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The President Presents the 2013 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal

 

Published on Jul 28, 2014

President Obama delivers remarks at the presentation of the 2013 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal, in the East Room of the White House, July 28, 2014.

 

 

 

Here is the full list of recipients from this year’s event:

 

2013 National Medal of Arts

  • Julia Alvarez, Novelist, Poet, and Essayist
  • Brooklyn Academy of Music, Presenter
  • Joan Harris, Arts Patron
  • Bill T. Jones, Dancer and Choreographer
  • John Kander, Musical Theater Composer
  • Jeffrey Katzenberg, Director and CEO of DreamWorks
  • Maxine Hong Kingston, Writer
  • Albert Maysles, Documentary Filmmaker
  • Linda Ronstadt, Musician
  • Billie Tsien and Tod Williams (receiving individual medals), Architects
  • James Turrell, Visual Artist

 

2013 National Humanities Medal

  • M.H. Abrams, Literary Critic
  • David Brion Davis, Historian
  • Darlene Clark Hine, Historian
  • Anne Firor Scott, Historian
  • William Theodore De Bary, East Asian studies scholar
  • Johnpaul Jones, Architect
  • Stanley Nelson, Filmmaker
  • Diane Rehm, Radio Host
  • Krista Tippett, Radio Host
  • American Antiquarian Society, Historical Organization

 

Find out more about the recipients of the 2013 National Humanities Medal and the 2013 National Medal of Arts.

 

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Empowering Africa’s Next Generation of Leaders

 

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President Obama’s town hall today with 500 of Africa’s most promising young leaders provided an inspiring window into what the future holds for Africa, and the world.

 

The 500 participants in the Washington Fellowship program were selected from nearly 50,000 applicants from across Africa, as part of the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). YALI was launched by President Obama in 2010, as part of a long-term investment in the next generation of African leaders. It aims to sharpen their skills, to improve their networks, and to strengthen partnerships between the United States and Africa for years to come.

 

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The President announced during the town hall that the Washington Fellowship was being renamed as the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, in honor of the former South African President, Nelson Mandela. Mandela Washington Fellows represent the best and brightest from communities across Africa, and fields ranging from education, medicine, law, business, and beyond. These are the young leaders whose skills, passion, and visions for the future, will help shape the fate of their countries and the world. It is in everyone’s best interest to help them prepare with the tools they need to build a healthier, more secure, more prosperous, and more peaceful Africa, which is why President Obama launched YALI in the first place.

 

President Obama also took today’s opportunity to preview another historic event planned for next week. The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit will be hosted in Washington, by President Obama, and will represent the largest gathering any American president has ever hosted with African heads of state and government.

 

The President Holds a Town Hall with Young African Leaders

 

Published on Jul 28, 2014

President Obama delivers remarks at the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Presidential Summit Town Hall in Washington, D.C., July 28, 2014.

 

 

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The President pointed out today, “even as we deal with crises and challenges in other parts of the world that often dominate the headlines; even as we acknowledge the real hardships that so many Africans face every day — we have to make sure that we’re all seizing the extraordinary potential of today’s Africa, the youngest and fastest-growing continent.”

 

YALI is about capitalizing on the creativity and talent of Africa’s young leaders by empowering them with the skills, training, and technology necessary to make lasting change, and meaningful progress back home. And to do so, we are engaging public and private sector partners to create new Regional Leadership Centers across Africa to reach more young leaders.  We’re joining with American universities, African institutions and business partners like Microsoft and MasterCard Foundation. Starting next year, young Africans can come to these centers to network, access the latest technology, and get training in management and entrepreneurship. The first centers will be located in Senegal, Ghana, South Africa and Kenya —  and will provide tens of thousands of young Africans the resources they need to put their ideas into action.

 

President Obama: “If you’re a strong man, you should not feel threatened by strong women.”

 

Published on Jul 28, 2014

President Obama participated at a Young African Leaders Presidential Summit Town Hall in Washington, D.C., July 28, 2014

 

 

 

As last year came to a close, the world said goodbye to one of the brightest lights the world has ever known — President Nelson Mandela. His life was proof of the power within each of us to leave the world better than we found it. Yet, as that brilliant star dimmed, we now have the opportunity to see 500 more shine brightly this week.

 

One of this summer’s Fellows, Sobel Ngom from Senegal, captured the spirit of his experience in the YALI program this way: “Here, I have met Africa. The [Africa] I have always believed in. She is beautiful, young, full of talent, motivation and ambition.”  And being here with all of his Fellow Mandela Washington Fellows — learning together, working together, dreaming together — has only strengthened his determination, he says, to realize his aspirations for his country and his continent.

 

Click here for more information on the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.

 

Click here for more information on President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

 

 

The Young African Leaders Initiative

 

Published on Jul 28, 2014

The Obama administration’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is a signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders. Nearly 1 in 3 Africans are between the ages of 10 and 24, and approximately 60 percent of Africa’s total population is below the age of 35. President Obama launched YALI in 2010 to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa.

 

 

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Speeches and Remarks – July 28th, 2014

 

Remarks by the President at the Presentation of the 2013 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal

 

Remarks by the President in Town Hall with the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

 

 

 

Statements and Releases – July 28th, 2014

 

President Obama Announces Presidential Delegation to the Kingdom of Belgium to Attend the World War I Centennial Commemoration

 

Readout of the President’s Video Teleconference with Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom, President Hollande of France, Chancellor Merkel of Germany, and Prime Minister Renzi of Italy

 

President Obama Signs Nebraska Disaster Declaration

 

President Obama Announces Another Key Administration Post

 

FACT SHEET: The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

 

BACKGROUND & FACT SHEET: The President’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI)

 

Statement by the President on the Occasion of Eid-al-Fitr

 

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Boosting Our Global Competitiveness: It’s Time to Invest in America’s Roads, Rails, and Bridges

 

When it comes to investing in our infrastructure, the President’s message has been loud and clear: We must upgrade our roads and rails and bridges to grow our economy and create good American jobs. Over the last five decades, U.S. investments in transportation have fallen by nearly 50 percent as a percentage of GDP. So it is not surprising that in the most recent World Economic Forum rankings, the U.S. has fallen from 7th to 18th overall in the quality of our roads in less than a decade.

Earlier this month, we released a report that shows our transportation infrastructure system is in dire need of investment. The data tells an important story: 65 percent of America’s major roads are rated in less than good condition; one in four bridges require significant repair or cannot handle today’s traffic; and 45 percent of Americans lack access to transit.

We know what we need to do – and there are two compelling reasons for doing it right now. First, our global competiveness is directly linked to the strength of our infrastructure – investing in it can serve as a clear source of competitive advantage. Second, these investments will create jobs, help American businesses, and grow our economy. The President has put forth a long-term proposal that would make these investments and pay for them by closing unfair tax loopholes and making commonsense reforms to our business tax system. The President’s GROW AMERICA Act would support millions of jobs and position our economy for lasting growth.

 

Read More.

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Medicare Trustees Report Shows Significant Improvements for Seniors and Taxpayers

 

Today’s annual report from the Medicare program’s Boards of Trustees brings good news about the program’s financial future: Its Trust Fund will last four more years, to 2030, and projected Part B premiums for 2015 will not increase for the second year in a row.

 

As we celebrate Medicare’s 49th birthday this week, we will recommit to ensuring that the program continues providing health and economic security for the nation’s elderly and people with disabilities through the 21st century and beyond. Today’s news shows that we are on the right track, and we are optimistic that the promising results we’ve seen in recent years can continue into the future.

 

In 2009, the Trustees projected the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund would not be able to pay its bills in 2017 – just three years from now. Today’s new date is 2030, 13 years later than that projection – an improvement that is thanks in part to reforms in the Affordable Care Act (Chart 1). The law implemented changes to promote value-based payments, reduce waste and fraud, and strengthen the program’s benefits. These changes, for example, have reduced hospital spending on preventable readmission, helping to lower hospital costs, which constitute a significant portion of trust fund spending.

 

Read More.

 

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Training a Workforce for Today’s and Tomorrow’s Jobs

 

It’s no secret that the American economy is changing, and some of the most in-demand skills today barely existed a generation ago. The average worker graduated high school around twenty years ago, when the personal computer was in its infancy, and only the most technical professions demanded a fluency in information technology (IT).

 

But times have changed, and some of the best ladders to well-paying, middle-class jobs are in IT fields across our economy. That’s because the average salary in a job that requires IT skills — whether in manufacturing, advertising, hospitality, or banking — is more than one and a half times higher than the average private-sector American job.

 

This week, the President and Vice President are announcing important reforms in the way Federal programs train and retrain workers. To meet the demand for IT and cybersecurity skills, we will also be kicking off a significant new effort focused on bridging the gap between workers, technology skills, and employers.

 

Read More.

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7/28/14: White House Press Briefing

 

Published on Jul 28, 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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Silence of a Nation (GAZA The Broken Hearted)

 

Uploaded on May 10, 2010

Dedicated to the children of GAZA……. Excerpts from a speech by: Chris Hedges…….. The author spoke at the Revolution Books Town Hall Meeting at Ethical Culture Society on January 13, 2009 condemning Israel and USA complicity in Israel’s murderous destruction and genocide of the innocent men, women and children of GAZA and the West Bank.

 

 

 

GRAPHIC: Children killed in missile attack on Gaza refugee camp

 

Published on Jul 28, 2014

At least seven children have been killed after more rockets were showered on a Palestinian refugee camp. The Israel Defence Forces pointed the finger at Hamas, saying it bombed its own territory. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Palestinians must brace themselves for a prolonged operation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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George Will: We Should Say ‘Welcome To America’ To Undocumented Minors. A Voice Of Reason From The Reich Wing.


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From Talking Points Memo:

 

George Will: We Should Say ‘Welcome To America’ To Undocumented Minors

 

 

“I think Kirsten is largely right. My view is that we have to say to the children, ‘Welcome to America. You’re going to go to school and get a job and become Americans,'” he said.

 

“We have 3,141 counties in this country. That would be 20 per county. The idea that we can’t assimilate these 8-year-old criminals with their teddy bears is preposterous,” he continued, mocking Republicans for warning that many of the young immigrants are dangerous.

 

Host Chris Wallace seemed surprised by Will’s take, though the conservative columnist has called for immigration reform before. Wallace asked Will what he would say to someone who feels the U.S. should not have to take care of Central America’s problems.

 

“We can handle this problem, is what I’m saying,” Will responded, adding that the U.S. has accepted larger waves of immigrants before.

 

Watch the clip via Media Matters

 

The Ugliness Of The United States Of AmeriKKKa…

 

“Inscription on the Statue of Liberty”

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

FPTV: Immigration Protest

 

Published on Jul 22, 2014

Conservatives explain to us how the Gays, the Muslims, the Mexicans, and President Obama are all working hand in hand to destroy the moral fabric of America. Filmed on site at an anti-immigration protest in Houston, pro-immigration supporters also chime in while dancing to Salsa music. Esta muy muy crunk.

 

 

 

Murrieta Immigration Protest

 

 

 

Riot at Illegal-Alien-Invasion Protest in Murrieta

 

Published on Jul 4, 2014

A group of about a dozen self-described anarchistic communists started a minor riot at the Murrieta protest against Obama’s illegal-alien trafficking on Independence Day, 2014.

 

One of the communists reportedly crossed the street and slapped a woman on the anti-illegal-immigration side. When the police arrest her, she resists and pandemonium breaks out. Five communists are eventually arrested in total.

 

 

 

Illegal Immigration ‘Nationwide Protest’ ~Update! Stop The Invasion! 7/19/14

 

Published on Jul 18, 2014

Updated Times for Saturday July 19th 2014!
Please post pictures of protests, videos and video links from our more than 320 protests and any article or new reports here as a central collection point!

http://www.alipac.us/f8/protest-times…

http://www.alipac.us/f8/illegal-immig…

 

 

Related…..

 

Dumb And Dumber Headed To Texas Border

 

The United States Of AmeriKKKa's Poster Idiots For Dumbfuckery

The United States Of AmeriKKKa’s Poster Idiots For Dumbfuckery

 

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Amazing. First we have an Italian “discovering” The Americas, which were already settled by indigenous people, The many tribes of Native Americans. Then we have a murderous nation of racist caucasian folks, The “Americans”, killing those Native Americans for “THEIR” land, and stealing that land. Now we have dumbass “AmeriKKKans” telling people who originally owned TexASS, to go “home.”

 

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