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Barack Obama

Weekly Address: President Obama – Honoring the 70th Anniversary of V-E Day

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

 

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, the President honored the 70th anniversary of V-E Day. On this occasion, we commemorate the Allied victory in Europe during World War II. It is a day to pay tribute to the men and women who decades ago served and sacrificed for the cause of freedom. This was the generation that, by ending the war, literally saved the world, laying a foundation for peace.

The President asked that in addition to commemorating this important anniversary, we honor the men and women in uniform who currently serve our country, and recommit ourselves to the values we share with our allies in Europe and beyond: freedom, security, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law around the world.

Weekly Address: President Obama – Ensuring Every Child Gets a Great Education

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

 

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, the President reiterated his commitment to expanding access to education, and to spreading the joy of reading to more children and young adults.

Earlier this week, the President announced two new efforts that, building on the progress already made by his ConnectED initiative, will do just that: a challenge to mayors, libraries, and school leaders to help every student get a library card; and commitments from libraries and major publishers to provide more than $250 million in free e-Books for low-income students. In his address, the President also previewed his upcoming commencement speech at Lake Area Tech, in Watertown, South Dakota, where he will discuss his plan to make two years of community college as free and universal for every American as high school is today.

The President is working to ensure every child has the access to the education and resources they need to be successful.

President Obama Speaks About Baltimore: “This is not new …”

From the White House: President Obama on Freddie Gray’s Death

On April 12, Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old native of Baltimore, was arrested by the city’s police. He died a week later.

The Department of Justice is now investigating the events that led to his death and today, President Obama offered his thoughts to the family and friends of Freddie Gray who are appropriately looking for answers while at the same time making clear there is “no excuse” for violence.

He noted that events in Baltimore called attention to the urgent need throughout the country to build trust between communities and their police.

“We have some soul-searching to do. This is not new. It’s been going on for decades.”

– President Obama

“If our society really wanted to solve the problem, we could — it’s just that it would require everybody saying, ‘This is important, this is significant.'”  

– President Obama

“This has been going on for a long time,” the President said. “This is not new, and we shouldn’t pretend that it’s new. The good news is that perhaps there’s some newfound awareness, because of social media and video cameras and so forth, that there are problems and challenges when it comes to how policing and our laws are applied in certain communities and we have to pay attention to it.

Every American has role to play in tackling this longstanding challenge. “We don’t just pay attention to these communities when a CVS burns, and we don’t just pay attention when a young man gets shot or has his spine snapped,” the President said. We should be “paying attention all the time because we consider those kids our kids, and we think they’re important and that they shouldn’t be living in poverty and violence.”

Weekly Address: President Obama – Fighting for Trade Deals that Put American Workers First

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

 

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, the President laid out why new, high-standards trade agreements are important for our economy, our businesses, our workers, and our values. These new trade deals are vital to middle-class economics — the idea that this country does best when everybody gets their fair shot, everybody does their fair share, and everybody plays by the same set of rules. The President has been clear — any deal he signs will be the most progressive trade agreement in our history with strong provisions for both workers and the environment. It would also level the playing field — and when the playing field is level, American workers always win.

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Thank you, Eric Holder!

Attorney General Eric Holder: The People’s Lawyer

Eric Holder bids final farewell, heralds ‘Golden Age’ at Justice Dept.

Attorney General Eric Holder bid a final farewell to what he predicts will be recognized in the next half-century as a new “Golden Age” at the Department of Justice, leaving behind a historic six-year tenure as the first African-American man to serve as the nation’s top attorney.

“This is something that has meant the world to me, it has helped define me as an individual and as a lawyer, as a man,” Holder said in his final send-off Friday with the department employees who served under him. […]

In a nod to his historic achievements, the Justice Department released a video earlier in the day featuring prominent politicians from President Bill Clinton to Rep. John Lewis to Sen. Patrick Leahy, describing Holder’s legacy as “the people’s lawyer.” […]

Slipping off his wrist a black band with the inscription “Free Eric Holder” – a fashion statement among his supporters in the Justice Department during the months-long stand-off over Lynch’s confirmation – Holder tossed the rubber bracelet into the crowd in his final act as attorney general.

“I think we can officially say now that Eric Holder is free,” he said.

Transcript of farewell speech below the fold.

President Obama to Celebrate Earth Day at Everglades National Park

On April 22, Earth Day 2015, President Barack Obama will travel to Everglades National Park in Florida and talk about man-made climate change.

… on Earth Day, I’m going to visit the Florida Everglades to talk about the way that climate change threatens our economy.  The Everglades is one of the most special places in our country.  But it’s also one of the most fragile.  Rising sea levels are putting a national treasure – and an economic engine for the South Florida tourism industry – at risk.

 – President Barack Obama, Weekly Address April 18, 2015

#ActOnClimate

UPDATE: The President’s speech



Transcript



Great Egret at Everglades National Park in Florida – nps.gov

Rachel Maddow Show

Obama’s choice of the Florida Everglades as the setting for the speech is significant for the ecologically delicate nature of the area, as well as the fact that parts of the state are already routinely dealing with the effects of sea level rise as a result of climate change. Miami is regularly subject to “sunny day flooding” when tidal waters back up through the city’s drains. […]

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican candidate for the presidency in 2016, has questioned the role of humans in climate change and voted against an amendment holding Congress to the view that humans are causing climate change.

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Washington Post:

With legislative efforts dead on Capitol Hill in the face of Republican opposition, Obama has sought to move forward on his own in ways large and small. The trip, on Earth Day, to the 734 square-mile tropical wetlands is aimed at highlighting a region that the administration said is threatened by global warming.

“The Everglades are flat, and they border a rising ocean,” Brian Deese, a senior adviser to Obama, wrote on the White House blog. “As the sea levels rise, the shorelines erode, and that salty water travels inland, threatening the aquifers supplying fresh drinking water to Floridians.”

Deese tied the potential damage to the economy — namely, the state’s tourism industry — and added that “we’re far beyond a debate about climate change’s existence. We’re focused on mitigating its very real effects here at home.”

More on the Everglades below the fold …

Weekly Address: President Obama – Climate Change Can No Longer Be Ignored

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

 

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, the President spoke about his commitment to combatting the threat of climate change and to keeping ourselves and future generations safe. The effects of climate change can no longer be denied or ignored – 2014 was the planet’s warmest year recorded, and 14 of the 15 hottest years on record have happened this century.

Climate change poses risks to our national security, our economy, and our public health. The President has already taken historic steps to address climate change, but there’s more that the United States and the international community can do. That’s why next Wednesday, on Earth Day, in the latest part of his effort to call attention to and act on the threat of climate change, the President will visit the Florida Everglades and speak about the threat that climate change poses to our economy and to the world.

From the White House: “A Historic Meeting”

Over the weekend, President Obama traveled to Panama City for the Summit of the Americas. The White House reports:

This past week, President Obama participated in the seventh Summit of the Americas, in Panama City, Panama. The Summit of the Americas is a tradition that brings together the leaders of North and South America to discuss issues that impact the Americas. President Obama’s participation in the Summit highlights the continuing commitment of the U.S. to upholding the role that independent civil society and the private sector play in a shared democratic agenda.

While in Panama City, President Obama participated in a CEO summit along with prominent business executives and heads of state from Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago.

During the Summit, President Obama sat down with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. The two discussed shared priorities, like food security and climate change.

President Obama also sat down with Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela to discuss the partnership between the U.S. and Panama on security, the economy, and education, and how they could further deepen ties between the two countries.

Additionally, in a historic first, President Obama met with Cuban President Raul Castro, in their first full meeting since the U.S. decided to chart a new course in relations with Cuba.



President Barack Obama participates in a pull-aside with Cuban President Raul Castro during the Summit of the Americas Second Plenary Session at the Atlapa Convention Center in Panama City, Panama, April 11, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

President Obama and President Castro discussed our shared histories, and the significant change in policy and the relationship between our two countries. Both leaders agreed that the majorities of the American people and Cuban people had responded positively to the thaw in relations.

“This is obviously a historic meeting.”

– President Obama on his first full meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro

President Obama announced that both Cuba and America were working on the next step in normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba, and were working to open embassies in both Havana and Washington, D.C.

Smile! You’re In Jamaica :)

President Obama traveled to Jamaica on Thursday and part of his visit included a trip to the Bob Marley Museum.



Barack and Jamrock

Jamaican smiles all around!



You’re in Jamaica: C’mon and smile!

(In Jamaica, y’all) Get it together, y’all!

(In Jamaica) Get it together, now!

In Jamaica, y’all.

Soulful town, soulful people:

Said, I see you’re having fun,

Dancin’ to the reggae rhythm,

Oh, island in the sun:

Oh, smile!

Oh, and he was also in Jamaica to launch his Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) to expand opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs and civil society activists. From a Town Hall:

President Obama: “Greetings, massive! Wah gwaan, Jamaica?”

The White House @WhiteHouse

“If there’s one thing I know from my own life, it’s that with hard work and hope, change is always within our reach.” -Obama in Jamaica

Transcript below the fold.

The White House: Kicking off National Health Week

From the White House, “Our Endangered Climate”:

On Monday, President Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation declaring this week, April 6-12, 2015, as National Public Health Week.

As part of the effort to support public health with a sense of purpose and determination, the Obama administration has focused on how climate change affects our environment. Our public health is deeply tied to the health of our environment. As the planet warms, we face new threats to our health and well-being, and the President is taking steps to counteract those threats.

Tuesday, President Obama spoke at Howard University Medical School in Washington, D.C., joined by the Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murphy, and Gina McCarthy, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, at a roundtable. The President explained what the Administration has already done to reduce the dangerous levels of carbon dioxide that are contributing to climate change, and discussed ways to prepare our communities for the impacts that cannot be avoided.



President Barack Obama gives remarks to the press during a roundtable discussion on climate change and public health at the Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C., April 7, 2015

In keeping with the President’s directive to make government as open as possible, as well as his commitment to combating climate change, the Administration also announced this morning that it’s expanding its Climate Data Initiative to include more than 150 health-relevant datasets on climate.data.gov.

Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.