All Articles Tagged "President Obama"

How Much Is The First Family Worth?

May 19th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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"The Obamas pf"


According to USA Today, the Obamas have their listed assets valued at about $2 million to $7 million. Although for the average citizen, this information would be private, White House spokesperson Jay Carney reminds us that the opposite goes for the First Family.

“The Ethics in Government Act of 1978 requires high-level federal officials to publicly disclose their personal financial interests. The public filing system serves to prevent financial conflicts of interest by providing for a systematic review of the finances of government officials,” said Carney.

We see the President and First Lady so often, we think of them as celebrities. And many celebrities make many millions. So to see that the Obamas — he’s the leader of the free world and she’s the bomb — don’t have more in the bank might be a little jarring. (Mitt Romney, for instance, is said to be worth hundreds of millions.) But keep in mind, the President’s salary is $450,000, a figure that hasn’t gone up in the past fiscal year.

CNN Money tells us the Obamas have invested between $1 million to $5 million assets into U.S. Treasury securities. Their daughters, Malia and Sasha, will not have to take loans to fund their college educations; their parents allocated between $200,000 and $400,000 in 529 college savings plans for them.

However, some time has passed since President Obama’s bestselling books were smash hits. In comparison to their 2010 stats, the President’s memoir sales this year earned him about $165,000, a big drop from their $1.1 million sales. President Obama’s personal assets are reportedly worth between $1.95 and $7.15 million.

Their mortgage was the only liability listed by the Obamas in their financial disclosure.

Mississippi Democratic Congressman Criticizes Opposition To President Obama As Racial Bias

May 4th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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thompson bashMississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson (D) went on the record again with CNN to explain why he thinks Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is an “Uncle Tom” who “doesn’t stand up for African Americans.”

“Well if you look at his decisions on the court, they have been adverse to the minority community, and the people I represent have a real issue with an African American not being sensible to those issues,” he told CNN’s Dana Bash.

“The people that I represent, for the most part, have a real issue with those decisions–voter ID, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act–all those issues are very important and for someone in the court who’s African American and not sensitive to that is a real problem,” he continued.

Rep. Thompson’s original remarks were made last weekend during an appearance on a New Nation of Islam radio show. He also accused Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) of racism and attributed the current “anti-government” attitude on the fact that President Obama is black.

“That Mitch McConnell would have the audacity to tell the president of the United States — not the chief executive, but the commander-in-chief — that ‘I don’t care what you come up with we’re going to be against it.’ Now if that’s not a racist statement I don’t know what is,” Rep. Thompson said.

He also slammed Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant for turning down funds for expanding Medicaid. (The governor said he did so in case the Affordable Care Act gets repealed. None of the many Republican efforts to get the law overturned have been successful.)

Rep. Thompson calls out Speaker of the House, Rep. John Boehner (R-Oh), and others for their sharp opposition to the Affordable Care Act while they showed no opposition to President George W. Bush’s prescription drug program.

“When a black man comes up with the idea, you understand,… there’s something wrong with it,” Rep. Thompson said. “So once again, it’s that race that’s creeping into the picture.”

On the anti-government attitude of those like Cliven Bundy, Rep Thompson said, “That kind of attitude has just been around the last 5 1/2 years.”

Buzzfeed has excerpts from the recording.

In his responses to CNN’s Bash, Rep. Thompson maintains that the topics he brought up have never been issues for other presidents. Thompson has been in Congress for 11 terms.

Your thoughts on Rep. Thompson’s comments? Per Bash’s question, are they appropriate?

Hollywood Actors Speak Out Against Sexual Assault In Obama Administration PSA

April 30th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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How many times have our mothers, grandmothers, aunts and fathers advised us on how to prevent the sexual assault that they knew was sure to come. They told us not to wear too short, too tight clothes, warned us about leaving our drinks unattended at parties and forwarded e-mails about how to protect ourselves from the potential attacks of strange men in the darkness.

Most of us have heard these things. But speeches about rape, consent and street harassment were rarely discussed with our brothers, cousins and, in the case of mothers, our sons.

It’s no secret that there is gross ignorance, misunderstanding and apathy among men when it comes to the sexual assault women experience, on a daily basis, in this country. But the White House is trying to combat that. After Vice President Joe Biden, delivered a speech on protecting students from sexual assault, the Obama administration introduced their new PSA and campaign against sexual assault.

The commercial features actors like Daniel Craig, Benicio Del Toro, Steve Carell, Seth Meyers and Dulé Hill as well as the president and vice president. It’s the second commercial in the president’s 1 is 2 Many campaign which featured celebrities like Eli Manning, Jeremy Lin and David Beckham.

Take a look at the PSA above and spread the word.

VP Joe Biden Joined Instagram Yesterday & It’s Already Great

April 17th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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Caption: "Found a friend to join my first selfie on Instagram. Thanks for following and stay tuned. –VP"

Caption: “Found a friend to join my first selfie on Instagram. Thanks for following and stay tuned. –VP”

VP Joe Biden joined Instagram yesterday and clearly he’s got a knack for it. He’s already posted the greatest selfie since the greatest celebrity selfie ever at the Oscars. And, knowing that we all love Uncle Joe and his wacky brand of cool, he posted this gem below, with his aviators.

vp joe aviators


The caption on that one: “Vice President Biden’s getting ready to head to Pennsylvania with President Obama this afternoon, where he’ll lay out steps we can take to train America’s workers with the skills they need for good middle-class jobs. Follow @VP for the latest from the Vice President, and the occasional aviators pic.” We’ll have more about that trip today as well.

Already, the Vice President has more than 61,000 followers.

We’re seeing more of the VP in the past week than we’ve seen in a while. Besides the appearance in Pennsylvania, he was also in Boston for the memorial service of the marathon bombing.

“America will never ever ever stand down. We are Boston. We are America. We respond. We endure. We overcome. And we own the finish line,” he said at one point in a speech that we’ve heard people applaud for its poignancy.

President Obama also fielded a question on CBS This Morning about whether he would support VP Biden if he ran for President in 2016. So the additional IG presence could be an attempt to draw more followers in preparation for a run for the White House. CBS’ White House correspondent Major Garrett says Biden “clearly” has intentions of running again though, when asked, Biden himself hasn’t said that.

“If I absolutely knew I wasn’t going to run or I absolutely knew I was, there’s nothing I’d do differently over the next seven, eight, 10 months,” Biden told CBS. “But that decision hasn’t been made, for real, and there’s plenty of time to make that. We have a lot of work to do between now and November.”

And as for the President’s endorsement, he says, “I’ve got somebody who I think will go down as one of the finest vice presidents in history, and he has been … a great partner in everything that I do. I suspect that there may be other potential candidates for 2016 who have been great friends and allies. Whoever the Democratic standard bearer is, is going to be continuing to focus on jobs, making sure that our kids are getting a great education, making sure that we’re rebuilding prosperity from the middle class out in this country – and I am very much interested in making sure that some of the stuff we’ve gotten started continues.”

That’s a great non-answer. In the meantime, enjoy the Vice President’s IG feed.

[h/t Business Insider]

He’s Got Her Back! President Obama Prevents Michelle’s Wardrobe Malfunction

April 12th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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President Obama Prevents Michelle's Wardrobe Malfunction 1

Source: AP Images

Ladies, you know how it is. The weather breaks and you want to show a little leg in a nice full skirt that just so happens to hit you right above the knee.

And that’s all fine and dandy until the wind decides to expose all of your business for the world to see. It happens to the best of us. Even our beloved First Lady, Michelle Obama, almost fell victim to this terrible fate. But her husband, President Obama, being the gentleman that he is, was there to save the day.

Earlier this week, Mr. and Mrs. Obama were boarding Air Force One in Houston when a gust of wind blew the First Lady’s skirt into the air. Her man was there to catch it though and prevented what could have been a terribly embarrassing moment…and no doubt a source for more Republican scrutiny (aka trolling).

The first couple were on this way to Austin, Texas to visit the Lyndon B Johnson Presidential Library where President Obama delivered an address to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act.

The couple finished their week with a viewing of Raisin in the Sun in New York City on Broadway. According to the Associated Press, the president and Mrs. Obama went backstage to greet the actors during intermission.

Gotta love these two!

President Obama Prevents Michelle's Wardrobe Malfunction

Source: AP Images


“I Thought We Settled This 50 Years Ago”: Obama Discusses Voting Rights At National Action Network Conference

April 11th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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via Tonya Garcia

via Tonya Garcia

President Obama shut down New York City (literally) to make a brief appearance today at the National Action Network’s annual conference, where he spoke to a crowd that included press, government officials (we spotted Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), and esteemed guests (we also spotted Martin Luther King III) about the need for vigilance in the fight for voting rights. Moreover, Obama expressed his disbelief over the fact that we’re even having this discussion in 2014. Truth!

“We should not be having an argument over this,” the President said at one point. He set his sights squarely on the Republican party, which has taken up a fight in many states to make it harder to vote. The President brushed aside the assertion that these laws are meant to tackle voter fraud with statistics — 40 voters out of 197 million have been indicted for fraud. But among the rules that are being passed is a mandate for some to present a passport to register to vote.

“Just because you don’t have the money to travel abroad doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to vote at home,” the President said. He later added, “The real voter fraud is people who try to deny us our rights with bogus arguments.”

But more than that, he called on everyone to take responsibility for getting to the polling place. The problem, he said, is “people giving up the right to vote.”

Patience is also required if change will come once and for all.

“Change doesn’t happen overnight, but it happens as long as we don’t give our power away,” the President remarked.

Obama made his way to New York just hours after appearing at the White House with outgoing Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, and his new choice, Sylvia Mathews Burwell. Obama opened his speech by referencing the success of the healthcare law — more than seven million enrolled — and again taking a swipe at Republicans.

“We have states who, just out of political spite, won’t let people get health insurance,” he said.

A quick clip about the event after the jump.

Living In The Last Days: Red Sox Player David Ortiz Snaps What Might Be The Last Presidential Selfie

April 7th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Who knew selfies could get you into trouble with the government?!

During a visit to the White House, Red Sox player, David Ortiz, aka Big Papi, took a selfie with President Obama. What President Obama didn’t know is that Ortiz is a “social media insider” for Samsung. Reportedly, Ortiz was coached about the selfie prior to the visit. So when the snapshot went up, Samsung used it as a promotional tool on Twitter, noting that it was taken with a Galaxy Note 3.

White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer says President Obama’s lawyers got in touch with Samsung after receiving news Ortiz took the picture for their company. “As a rule the White House objects to attempts to use the president’s likeness for commercial purposes. We object in this case,” WH Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a press conference last week. Now the Big Papi selfie could be the last ever with President Obama.

Pfeiffer reports via The Business Insider:

“He obviously didn’t know anything about Samsung’s connection to this and, perhaps, maybe, this will be the end of all selfies. Whenever someone tries to use the president’s likeness to promote a product, that’s a problem with the White House counsel.”

Carney has gone on to say that there’s “no discussion of a ban,” but Samsung has been contacted about the stunt. We haven’t seen any further comment about the selfie from Samsung on Twitter. But Farhad Manjoo, a NY Times tech columnist says whoever came up with the idea “deserves a raise” because it’s been “brilliantly successful.” The incident has been widely reported.

Do you think the White House is overreacting?

Obama Hurting Black Business, CEO Of The National Black Chamber of Commerce

April 6th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Harry Alford speaking last month. via Facebook

Harry Alford speaking last month. via NBCC’s Facebook page

Harry Alford knows a thing or two about the corporate world. He’s worked in the executive ranks of Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson.  And for the past 20 years he has promoted African-American owned businesses as founder and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce.

An an interview with Fortune, he spoke about the state of black business and surprisingly agreed with Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) recent and controversial remarks on inner cities and the culture and value of work.

Alford says while he’s positive about the state of black business, there is an incredible amount of growth yet to be done. “There is a positive trend. Black business owners are the fastest-growing segment for business ownership. We grew at a rate of 60 percent from 2002-2007 according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and there about 1.9 million businesses currently owned by African Americans in the U.S. That’s about 7.3 percent of all small businesses, which is small but progress is being made,” he told Fortune.

But he says the push to become entrepreneurs needs to start by supporting the black community. “The need for job creation in African-American communities. There is a calling for those who dare to take risks for the sake of future rewards… You know if you look at engineering, IT, and construction management there is a great amount of young talented African American entrepreneurs,” he explains.

According to Alford, the inequality gap must be addressed. “We do $136 billion in revenue, if we were at parity that would be $1.4 trillion in revenue. We employ 910,000 workers. If we were at parity that would be 7.1 million workers. Also, we have 1.9 million firms — at parity that would be 3.3 million firms. We still have a long ways to go,” he points out.

And Alford says he’s unhappy about President Obama’s support for construction unions, which historically have excluded workers of color. “President Obama has a strong love for construction unions. Construction unions have a fierce hatred for small business, particularly black, Hispanic, and woman-owned firms,” says Alford. “Consequently, black contractors are doing much less federal work than any other president since Eisenhower. SBA-backed loans to blacks have been cut by more than half. The small business goal by the federal government has not been met in any of the six years of the Obama administration. His heavy regulation pace is crippling us. His administration is not good for business and especially black business.”

He does however like some of Rep. Ryan’s ideas. As you recall, Ryan said men in the inner city do not want to work and don’t value hard work. “Yes, I would agree,” admits Alford. “I see it in the South Side and West Side of Chicago; South Central L.A., all of Detroit, etc. It is one of the reasons my wife and I started the NBCC — to economically empower African-American communities through entrepreneurship and self-help.”

What do you think about his comments?

Google Honors Godmother Of The Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Dorothy Irene Height

March 24th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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 Dr. Dorothy Irene Height



Today, as we logged onto the web, we saw Google honoring the late Dorothy Irene Height with a Google Doogle on what would have been her 102nd birthday!

Dubbed the “Godmother of Civil Rights” by President Obama, Height has been credited with bridging together the feminist and civil rights movement for African American women. For her work, Entertainment Weekly reports, Height was awarded both the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1994) and Congressional Gold Medal ten years later, in 2004. Along with feminist anchors Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedman, Height also helped co-found the National’s Women’s Political Caucus. notes, Height was dismissed from Barnard College because of her race prior to her freshman year of college, with the university’s administration telling her they filled their African-American student quota. Height, instead, graduated from New York University with a Bachelor’s in Education and Master’s degree in Psychology. She was a member of the Divine Nine sorority Delta Sigma Theta and notably stood behind Dr. Martin Luther King as he delivered his icon, “I Have A Dream” speech.

Below is President Obama presenting Dr. Dorthy Irene Height’s eulogy.

President Obama Wants You To Get Your Money Honey, Calls For New Rules For Overtime Pay

March 13th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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President Obama has sent word to the Labor Department to rework the rules on overtime pay, which should raise wages for workers who, up to this point, are considered exempt from the extra income.

Republicans in Congress have already stated that they plan to fight the President’s efforts to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. As a result, the President is turning to executive order, which will make “several million” fast-food workers, loan officers, managers of various sort, and others eligible for overtime. At the moment, the rule says that if someone is an “executive or professional” worker, they’re exempt from overtime. Of course, many businesses classify workers as “executive or professional” to avoid paying them more.

The measure is also in keeping with the President’s stated effort to begin the process of closing the wage and inequality gap in this country that stifles the financial ambitions of many lower-income, middle class and working class Americans.

“We need to fix the system so folks working hard are getting compensated fairly,” said Labor Secretary Cecilia Muñoz. Critics say that raising wages will force businesses to cut workers.

Over the past 30 years, The New York Times says, corporate profits have skyrocketed while the share of gross domestic income that went to workers fell to a record low of 42 percent in 2012. At the moment, if a salaried worker is making $455 per week or less, they must be given time-and-a-half for overtime if the additional time is put in. That figure was put in place in 2004.

Economists don’t yet agree on what the outcome of this will be. But NPR says, “… [A] ‘supervisor’ could earn as little as $24,000 a year, while working well beyond 40 hours. In some cases, such a worker might put in enough hours to end up getting paid — in effect — less than the minimum wage.” In that case, not only is this person not even earning a living wage, they’re not left with enough time to get a second job or start a little something on their own to supplement their income. This is untenable.

Overtime is sounding pretty good to us.