All Articles Tagged "President Obama"
In case you haven’t noticed, BuzzFeed is out for total world domination. And after this latest stunt they just pulled, it might be time to concede the title.
Today, the site dropped a bomb on the internet. (Did that elicit an image of poop in the toilet for anyone else?) Anyway, they released another one of their hilariously accurate videos starring the one and only President Barack Obama.
I’m going to get off BuzzFeed’s jock in just a minute, but let that sink in. They had the “leader of the free world” star in a video they posted on YouTube and Facebook.
Now, that’s gangster… and President Obama is just a cool dude.
So, in this particular video we watch Obama and BuzzFeed’s Andrew Ilnyckyj do things that all people do but won’t admit…and of course it’s a plug for Healthcare.
Just watch it, it’s cute.
Chicago’s Beloved Jackie Robinson West Little League Team Stripped Of U.S. Title Due To Cheating Coach, Administrators
The first African American Little League team to win the National Championship has had their title stripped over rule violations. Sadly, rules were violated by the adults, and the kids are paying the price for it.
According to ESPN, Little League Baseball has suspended the coach of the Chicago-based Jackie Robinson West team because he recruited ineligible players who lived outside of the appropriate geographical area (the Washington Heights neighborhood) that the team represents. It was found that a falsified boundary map was used to find players, and that the coach, and others, worked together to bring players from neighboring areas and teams to Jackie Robinson West.
Because of his decision, the boys of Jackie Robinson West have lost the U.S. Championship title they worked so hard for, and it has been given to the team they beat–the Mountain Ridge Little League team from Las Vegas.
The Little League President and CEO, Stephen D. Keener, said it was a heartbreaking decision, but after investigating, it was one that had to be made.
“Quite honestly, we had to do this. We had no choice. We had to maintain the integrity of the Little League program. … As painful as this is, it’s a necessary outcome from what we finally have been able to confirm.
The real troubling part of this is that we feel horribly for the kids who are involved with this. Certainly, no one should cast any blame, any aspersions on the children who participated on this team. To the best of our knowledge, they had no knowledge that they were doing anything wrong. They were just kids out playing baseball, which is the way it should be. They were celebrated for that by many, many organizations, many people. What we’re most concerned about today is that it’s going to be hard on these kids. And that’s the part that breaks your heart.”
Watching this team skyrocket, beat Mountain Ridge, win the U.S. Championship, make it to the Little League World Series and come so close to winning that (they lost to South Korea in the Championships), it definitely sucks that things turned out like this. These boys were the darlings (as well as Mo’ne Davis) of the whole World Series, as they were the first African American team to compete in the tournament in many years, let alone get to the Championships. Afterwards, they were invited to the White House and met both President Obama and Michelle.
But after all that, including the parade upon their return to Chicago and being seen as heroes, this is how it all ends. The team will be stripped of their wins from last year’s Little League Baseball International Tournament, including their regional and finals wins. And not only has the coach been suspended, so has the manager, Darold Butler. And Illinois District 4 administrator Michael Kelly was fired, as he was supposed to verify the eligibility of the players. According to Keener:
“During our review, it became clear that both Jackie Robinson West officials and District Administrator, Mike Kelly signed documents to make players eligible who should not have been.”
President Obama is marking the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act by setting aside $50 million to restore various civil rights areas nationwide as part of a $4 trillion budget he just sent to Congress for approval.
Among the sites is the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail. This is the location of “Bloody Sunday” in which police viciously attacked attack by civil rights demonstrators, as portrayed in the Oscar-nominated film Selma. “Bloody Sunday” helped push the 1965 Voting Rights Act forward. The act “banned the use of literacy tests, added federal oversight for minority voters and allowed federal prosecutors to investigate the use of poll taxes in state and local elections,” reports The Grio.
According to the White House, the funding will be used for museum collections, oral histories and online access to collections.
Obama’s funding request also includes improvements at Arkansas’s Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site located in Atlanta.
It was at Central High that President Dwight D. Eisenhower was forced to send in federal troops in 1957 to escort nine Black children to the school. It is actually is still a working school in addition to being a national historical site. The King Historical Site includes King’s birthplace, churches and grave.
Obama is scheduled to visit Alabama in March to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.
Most consumers want to know right away when there has been a security breach at a retailer they frequent. But often times it takes weeks–or even months–for the retailer to disclose they have been the victim of a cyber attack.
Now President Obama has proposed a 30-day time limit for companies to disclose security breaches. According to the White House, Obama will call for new laws to make sure American companies tell their customers about consumer information being stolen in hack attacks, reports The New York Times.
Obama just proposed the new law, to be called the Personal Data Notification and Protection Act, during his recent speech at the Federal Trade Commission.
“If the proposal becomes law, the discovery of a breach would trigger a ’30-day shot clock’ requiring companies to disclose information. The law will also make it a crime to sell a person’s information overseas. The Federal Trade Commission, meanwhile, will be empowered to issue penalties to companies that fail to comply,” reports The Next Web.
Obama discussed another important issue: student privacy. “The president also proposed the Student Data Privacy Act, which would prohibit technology firms from profiting from information collected in schools as teachers adopt tablets, online services and Internet-connected software. And he will announce voluntary agreements by companies to safeguard home energy data and to provide easy access to credit scores as a ‘early warning system’ for identity theft,” reports The New York Times.
But Obama’s proposals might face some obstacles when facing the Republican-controlled Congress.
By now you might have heard the news that President Obama wants to make college free, at least for the first couple of years.
According to the fact sheet on White House.gov, the America’s College Promise proposal aims to provide free college, up to two years, for “responsible” American students. The proposal is estimated to save 9 million students, on average, $3,800 in tuition per year.
As the White House writes about the “whys” of this proposal:
“By 2020, an estimated 35 percent of job openings will require at least a bachelor’s ecegree and 30 percent will require some college or an associate’s degree. Forty percent of college students are enrolled at one of America’s more than 1,100 community colleges, which offer students affordable tuition, open admission policies, and convenient locations. They are particularly important for students who are older, working, need remedial classes, or can only take classes part-time. For many students, they offer academic programs and an affordable route to a four-year college degree. They are also uniquely positioned to partner with employers to create tailored training programs to meet economic needs within their communities such as nursing, health information technology, and advanced manufacturing.”
According to the proposal, students with a GPA of 2.5 or above and who are already attending college half-time will be eligible to have their tuitions waived. Likewise, the program aims to work with community colleges to help them offer “programs that either (1) are academic programs that fully transfer to local public four-year colleges and universities, giving students a chance to earn half of the credit they need for a four-year degree, or (2) are occupational training programs with high graduation rates and that lead to degrees and certificates that are in demand among employers.”
The proposal doesn’t say specifically how it plans to pay for the tuition waivers, which is estimated to cost $60 million over a decade. However, the White House writes that it is hoping to partner with interested states and will reimburse them for seventy-five percent of tuition costs for each individual student.
Admittedly, I haven’t been the biggest fan of all of the president’s policies; however, I must tip my hat to him for taking on such an ambitious proposal. If he is able to pull this off, he might be the most socially progressive president in our history. And that is a big “if.”
First, what I do like about the program is that it acknowledges what has long been a widely-known, but closely-held secret among many students and even faculty at four-year institutions: the first two-years of college are kind of bullshit. Okay, not exactly…
But there is a reason why most college guidance counselors advise students, particularly those who have yet to decide their majors, to explore and sample a variety of disciplines in your first couple of years in college before committing to a program in your final two years.
Personally speaking, I loved my humanities, political science and sociology classes. They added much needed perspective to my learning experience. However, there were other classes, which felt more like refreshers from high school. And while those classes were also helpful, I didn’t feel like they should have cost the same amount, per credit, as classes, which were more directly related to my major.
And this is important to note, as my tuition costs for the first two years of classes, which were unrelated to my major, started around $12 thousand. (That number includes on-campus living expenses.) That was the cost in the late ‘90‘s. Well over a decade later and the price of higher education has risen to astronomical levels. Even worse than the cost of college is the questionable job market, which in spite of its recovery, fails to produce sustainable incomes to college students upon graduation. This is important to highlight as American students are currently over $1 trillion dollars in debt and it is starting to have an effect on the overall economy, according to this article in Time magazine. Therefore, this proposal has the potential to make a four-year educational experience more cost-effective, which means less student loans.
Not to mention the proposal also seeks to make community college credits more easily transferrable to four-year institutions. As this report from the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education notes, both “affordability and transfers” have long been major obstacles to four-year degree programs for over the 40 percent of all American students currently enrolled at community college.
Of course, this proposal is contingent on Congress’ approval and as Ben Miller, senior educational policy analyst at the New America Foundation tells the LA Times, “Anything involving more money to pay for things is going to be difficult in this Congress.”
Likewise there are concerns about the impact such a change will have on cheapening standards at traditional four-year universities and colleges. Public eduction advocate Diane Ravitch highlighted some of the opposition to the White House’s proposal on her personal blog. In particular, she references a letter she received from a college faculty member working at a university in Tennessee, which already offers free tuition for two years at community colleges. More specifically, the faculty member notes:
“Here is a concrete example from my university, The University of Memphis (UofM), that should give a pause to the celebration of free higher education. Last year, shortly after the announcement of a $20 million cut to UofM’s budget, came the announcement of Tennessee Promise that offers free education to all TN residents at public community colleges. In my opinion, TN Promise is a perfect example for taking money away from high quality education (UofM, in this case), and use the extra funds to invest in low quality education (community colleges). Then this lower quality education is offered to the masses as a solution to their educational needs.
To make the high-to-low quality education transformation explicit, I remark that we at UofM are now pressured to start accepting lower level courses to our major requirements to “ease the transition of students from community colleges to our university.”
In addition to the questions of who will pay for it and the impact such a proposal will have on traditional four-year institutions, I do also wonder the impact this proposal will have specifically on historically Black colleges and universities. Recent federal changes to the Pell Grant and to student loan qualifications have been really tough on many HBCUs that largely serve an economically-insecure student body who rely on federal assistance. This proposal has the potential to financially cripple those institutions even more by transferring a big chunk of dollars into the hands of community colleges.
Hopefully, the White House can get those issues sorted before – and if – this becomes an actual program. Or else the old adage about the road to Hell being paved with good intentions might ring true…
President Obama may have signed fewer executive orders than past presidents, but he’s been using a form of executive action known as the presidential memoranda more often than any other president in history.
When looking at both executive orders and presidential memoranda, Obama is on the road to take more high-level executive actions than any president since Harry Truman seven decades ago, found a USA Today review of presidential documents.
Among the executive orders Obama has issued is to give federal employees the day after Christmas off, to impose economic sanctions, and to determine how national secrets are classified. Meanwhile he has signed presidential memoranda for gun control policy, and to enact immigration and labor regulations. Most recently, he used a memorandum to declare Bristol Bay, AK, off limits to oil and gas exploration.
Presidential memoranda are similar to executive orders in that they don’t require action by Congress. “They have the same force of law as executive orders and often have consequences just as far-reaching. And some of the most significant actions of the Obama presidency have come not by executive order but by presidential memoranda,” reports USA Today.
Thing is President Obama has boasted of his low use of executive orders. Just last July he said in a speech in Austin, “The truth is, even with all the actions I’ve taken this year, I’m issuing executive orders at the lowest rate in more than 100 years. So it’s not clear how it is that Republicans didn’t seem to mind when President Bush took more executive actions than I did.”
As of December 16, Obama has issued 195 executive orders and 198 presidential memoranda. Obama thus far has signed 33 percent more presidential memoranda in less than six years than Bush did in eight. And he’s issued 45 percent more than the last Democratic president, Bill Clinton.
Other memoranda signed by Obama:
–In his State of the Union Address in January, Obama proposed a new retirement savings account for low-income workers called a MyRA. The following week, he issued a presidential memorandum for the Treasury Department to develop a pilot program.
— In April, Obama directed the Department of Labor to collect salary info from federal contractors and subcontractors to examine whether they’re paying women and minorities fairly.
— In June, Obama instructed the Department of Education to allow certain borrowers to cap their student loan payments at 10 percent of income.
–After the Sandy Hook school shooting two years ago ordered federal law enforcement agencies to track any firearm that’s part of a federal investigation, expanded the info available to the national background check system, and told federal agencies to research the causes and possible solutions to gun violence.
“Two more recent memos directed the administration to coordinate an overhaul of the nation’s immigration system — a move that congressional Republicans say exceeded his authority. Of the dozens of steps Obama announced as part of his immigration plan last month, none was accomplished by executive order,” reports USA Today.
Stacey Dash Reveals That Her Family, Including Damon Dash, Turned Their Back On Her Because Of Her Political Views
Remember back in the day when everybody used to love Stacey Dash? Well, these days, the love has gone ever since the actress decided to be a very outspoken Conservative and harshly criticize everyone from President Obama to Beyoncé and Jay Z, Kanye West (whose “All Falls Down” video she starred in back in the day), Democrats, and black folks in general (we’re “uneducated” and “feel worthless” under President Obama, according to her). Dash’s opinions haven’t necessarily been embraced (except by Fox News, who she now is a contributor for), and she knows that. But who knew that they affected her relationships with her family and friends?
In an interview with The Edit to promote her upcoming book, There Goes My Social Life, Dash revealed that her family was the main group of people telling her to keep her extreme right-wing opinions to herself, and when she didn’t, they fell out. She says that she’s also lost some friends for
being so thirsty her political views:
Being told that she is a traitor to her race because she turned her back on Obama and urged to kill herself must have been upsetting. But it was the effect Dash’s defection had on her personal life that hurt her most. “My family and I have not spoken,” she says more quietly. “My cousin Damon and my brother [Darien, CEO of DME Interactive Holdings] were role models to me because they were great capitalists. Now we’re not really talking because they were the ones who told me to keep my mouth shut. They felt that I should do certain things because I’m black.” She pauses. “Certain friends don’t speak to me any more either. But you know what? In the street I get [approached by] so many people of every color saying: ‘Thank you so much for standing up and being so brave.’ I thought it was time to have a black president and that it would unite us in such a profound way. But as a country, I don’t think we’ve been so divided since the Civil Rights Movement. I mean, isn’t it extraordinary that we are even discussing race in 2014?”
Stacey and Dame definitely used to seem pretty close, so it’s a shame that her views have put a dent in her relationship with those she cares about. And that’s all I’m going to say about that…
But what do you think?
ICYMI: Wills and Kate are in New York City and it’s great. (For people who spend too much time following the Royal Family at least.) (Yes I am one of those people. #RoyalWatcher) We’re already getting snapshots of the the Royal couple as they make their way up and down the East Coast. The Duchess of Cambridge was in Harlem today meeting the First Lady of New York Chirlane McCray (also an MN Boss) to wrap gifts for needy children at the Northside Center.
Then there was a meeting with volunteers and the children.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 8, 2014
The media is out in full force to cover every step the Royals make during their time in the city.
Meanwhile, we’re getting a double dose of yessss from Prince William and his visit to the White House with President Obama.
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) December 8, 2014
According to Time , they talked about the craziness surrounding the birth of Prince George last year. Prince George is hanging at home for this trip. Prince William then addressed The World Bank Group’s Biennial Meeting of the International Corruption Hunters Alliance, speaking as president of the group United for Wildlife.
Next, the Royals will be attending a Brooklyn Nets game tonight with the possibility that they will meet Jay Z and Beyonce. OMG… #BreaktheInternet. We heard on the news this morning that seats next to the Royal couple are going for as much as $17,000. No word on how close that would even be. Probably not as close as this lucky — and very happy — little boy.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 8, 2014
“We Lost Robin, We Lost Joan, And We Kind Of Lost Cosby”: Chris Rock Talks Bill Cosby, Obama, And His Daughters Preferring Kevin Hart
In the new issue of The New Yorker (which he covers), Chris Rock talks in depth about the struggle to be as funny as he wants to be in a politically correct-obsessed culture, fatherhood, the suicide of Robin Williams (and the dark sides of comedians), the ups and downs of Obama’s presidency, and of course, the accusations against Bill Cosby. There are quite a few great quotes as the Top Five (movie out on Friday, and it’s hilarious!) star has always been deep and hilarious at the same time, but these are the tidbits that stuck out to us the most:
Criticism Over His Jokes About Not Wanting To Visit The One World Trade Center After 9/11 And Political Correctness:
Oh, it’s back stronger than ever. I don’t pay that much attention to it. I mean, you don’t want to piss off the people that are paying you, obviously, but otherwise I’ve just been really good at ignoring it. Honestly, it’s not that people were offended by what I said. They get offended by how much fun I appear to be having while saying it. You could literally take everything I said on Saturday night and say it on Meet the Press, and it would be a general debate, and it would go away. But half of it’s because they think they can hurt comedians.
Which Comedian Gave Him A Hard Time When He First Came Out:
I mean, maybe Cosby early on, but he turned pretty quick. Other than that, nobody.
His Thoughts On The Allegations Against Bill Cosby:
I don’t know what to say. What do you say? I hope it’s not true. That’s all you can say. I really do. I grew up on Cosby. I love Cosby, and I just hope it’s not true. It’s a weird year for comedy. We lost Robin, we lost Joan, and we kind of lost Cosby.
What He Thought About Robin Williams’ Suicide:
Comedians kill themselves. Talk to 100 comedians this week, everybody knows somebody who killed themselves. I mean, we always say ignorance is bliss. Well, if so, what’s the opposite? Some form of misery. Being a comedian, 80 percent of the job is just you notice sh*t, which is a trait of schizophrenics too. You notice things people don’t notice.
You try to give yourself other things to focus on. I always say, my children saved me from my miserable self.
His Thoughts On President Obama’s Legacy:
I’m trying to figure out the right analogy. Everybody wanted Michael Jordan, right? We got Shaq. That’s not a disappointment. You know what I mean? We got Charles Barkley. It’s still a Hall of Fame career. The president should be graded on jobs and peace, and the other stuff is debatable. Do more people have jobs, and is there more peace? I guess there’s a little more peace. Not as much peace as we’d like, but I mean, that’s kind of the gig. I don’t recall anybody leaving on an up. It’s just that kind of job. I mean, the liberals that are against him feel let down because he’s not Bush. And the thing about George Bush is that the kid revolutionized the presidency. How? He was the first president who only served the people who voted for him. He literally operated like a cable network. You know what I mean?
He’s the first cable-television president, and the thing liberals don’t like about Obama is that he’s a network guy. He’s kind of Les Moonves. He’s trying to get everybody. And I think he’s figured out, and maybe a little late, that there’s some people he’s never going to get.
There’s an advantage that Bush had that Obama doesn’t have. People thinking you’re dumb is an advantage. Obama started as a genius. It’s like, What? I’ve got to keep doing that? That’s hard to do! So it’s not that Obama’s disappointing. It’s just his best album might have been his first album.
If There Has Been Much Change In Race Relations:
There’s always going to be people that don’t know that the war’s over. I’m more optimistic than you, but maybe it’s because I live the way I do. I just have a great life, so it’s easier for me to say things are great. But not even me. My brothers drive trucks and stock shelves. They live in a much better world than my father did. My mother tells stories of growing up in Andrews, South Carolina, and the black people had to go to the vet to get their teeth pulled out. And you still had to go to the back door, because if the white people knew the vet had used his instruments on black people, they wouldn’t take their pets to the vet. This is not some person I read about. This is my mother.
If His Daughters Find Him Funny:
Sometimes. My daughter Lola was like, “Kevin Hart’s funnier than you.”
Be sure to read Rock’s full interview with The New Yorker here and share your thoughts, and be sure to check out the new movie, Top Five, written and directed by Rock, out on Friday.
Smoking Gun Exposes Elizabeth Lauten’s Run-In With The Law As A Teen After Rude Comments About Malia And Sasha Obama
We told you yesterday that Elizabeth Lauten, the Republican congressional aide who publicly chastised Malia and Sasha Obama, resigned from her post as the communications director for Steven Fincher, a rep. from Tennessee. If you’ll recall, she criticized the 16 and 13-year-old sisters for looking bored and wearing skirts that were shorter than what she thought they should have on while President Obama pardoned some turkeys the day before Thanksgiving. She felt their behavior and attire didn’t show “respect” for their roles in the White House.
You would have thought they actually did or said something for all the pettiness she spewed on her Facebook page. But alas, with some people (folks with political beefs), you just can’t win no matter what.
Well, after apologizing (then taking that apology down) and then resigning, Lauten hasn’t found herself in the free and clear with people as of yet, and certainly not with The Smoking Gun. The website did some digging and shared that Lauten “was once arrested for larceny during her own ‘awful teen years,’ court records show.”
Back in December of 2000, a then-17-year-old Lauten was caught stealing from a department store in her hometown of North Carolina. As a first-time offender, her case was handled through a deferred prosecution program, and eventually her charges were dropped when she agreed to stay out of trouble. Others online have also dug up less than flattering photos of a young Lauten chugging a beer with friends:
At the end of the day, young people make mistakes so I’m not going to attack Lauten for those made back when she was 17. However, she should have kept her own past in mind before she decided to attack a 13 and 16-year-old, just because they weren’t smiling at the pardoning ceremony for some damn turkeys. Girl, bye.