All Articles Tagged "President Obama"
“Scandal” is one of those shows that sucks you in so much that when an episode concludes, you kind of have to give yourself a little shake and make a mental note that it’s all fiction. While she may be based on a real-life “fixer,” our beloved Olivia Pope is not a real person. For the most part, even the most devoted Gladiator realizes that while the overall theme of some of the stories illustrated on the show were pulled from actual headlines, a lot of the details and heart-pounding craziness comes strictly from the imaginations of Shonda Rhimes and those über talented writers that she has on staff.
According to The Atlantic’s Robinson Meyer, President Obama and Mrs. O recently began watching the hit ABC drama. While it offers great entertainment, during a discussion about what he thought of the series, he expressed that it isn’t reflective of what’s really going down in the nation’s capital.
Well that’s relieving. I would probably run out of fingers and toes if I tried to count the number of times I’ve heard someone say that they would not be too pleased to find out that Obama had real-life Olivia Pope that he was creeping off to see. Not to mention all of the other scandalous deeds that happen on the show. I’d love to hear Lady O’s take on the series though.
“Promise Zones.” This is a new initiative to attack poverty from President Barack Obama aimed at boosting depressed areas. According to the White House, the first five of 20 distressed areas located in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, that will get tax breaks and federal aid, reports NBC News.
Obama made the announcement as Washington marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s launch of the War on Poverty.
According to Obama, there are communities across America “where for too many young people, it feels like their future only extends to the next street corner or the outskirts of town; too many communities where no matter how hard you work, your destiny feels like it has already been determined before you took that first step.” The effort is part a renewed emphasis from the White House in the past few weeks on poverty and economic opportunity, a theme he’ll touch on in his State of the Union speech.
And the efforts won’t only focus on urban areas, but will reach out to suburban and rural places as well that have fallen into economic distress as well.
The selected designations will receive preferential consideration for 25 federal grant programs and the federal government will invest direct technical support as the communities try to revitalize failing neighborhoods, reports USA Today. Obama is also urging Congress to set up tax breaks for firms that create businesses or hire workers in the promise zone communities.
“We believe the tax credits are a critical part in accelerating job creation in these communities. We can improve the housing, we can make sure the educational opportunities are there. But if there isn’t a job available at the end of that path, it’s going to be a heck of a lot harder for the kids (in these communities) to get ahead,” said Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.
The initiative is being backed by heavyweights from both sides of the aisle. Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, a potential 2016 presidential contender, is supporting the effort. Obama’s Promise Zones proposal is similar to Paul’s Economic Freedom Zones Act which Paul introduced in the Senate last month.
“I am supportive of the president’s ideas… What he said was uplifting and encouraging,” said Paul but added, “We need to do something more dramatic” than Obama’s proposed incentives for economically distressed areas.
This latest White House move is a return to a proposal Obama first made nearly a year ago in his 2013 State of the Union address. At that time he said his administration would “partner with 20 of the hardest-hit towns in America to get these communities back on their feet.” He added his administration would “work with local leaders to target resources at public safety, and education, and housing” and “give new tax credits to businesses that hire and invest.”
MN Exclusive: President Obama’s Brother, Mark Obama Ndesandjo, Talks Domestic Violence Endured By Their Father
President Obama’s half-brother Mark Obama Ndesandjo is a skillful pianist, author and businessman. Educated at Brown, Stanford and Emory Universities, he uses his skills to create art, pen memoirs, and teach the arts to orphans in Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China. After living there for 12 years, Ndesandjo says living in China helped find himself, whereas growing up in Kenya taught him survival skills and America overwhelmed him as he attempted to navigate the academic and dating scene.
In 2009, Nedesandjo published his semi-autobiographical novel, Nairobi to Shenzhen. Currently, he is preparing for his new memoir Cultures :My Odyssey of Self-Discovery to be published worldwide February 2014. On the heels of that release, we spoke with Ndesandjo about the book’s intimate details of the domestic violence he and his mother endured from Barack Obama, Sr. — the father he shares with President Obama.
What purpose will your memoir serve to you and the general public?
Michelle Obama, my sister-in-law called me the “wayward one.” She was joking gently but I think she was curious about my background. Although I am of mixed race, I zig-zaged from Kenya to America and now I am living in China. Because I was able to move across cultures, I have observed how people tend to find themselves. In doing so, I wanted to tell my story instead of other people telling it for me. Gandhi once said “To find yourself, you have to lose yourself at the service of others.” It is a really interesting point because my book brings out some real issues that can hopefully help other families to resolve their own challenges. I want my book to showcase the importance of helping others and combating domestic violence.
Does your brother (President Obama) approve of you writing it?
Before Barack became President he told me “go live your life.” My writing has been a tool for me to express how I feel about my family. We all often grow up with our own ideas of how our family is.
What were your thoughts on President Obama’s memoir “Dreams From My Father?”
I actually read his memoir a few years ago. To read a memoir about someone very close to you or a family member takes courage. It will take courage from him to read my book because we both have touched upon things that hit close to home. Barack and I disagree on things when it comes to our personal history. For example, at the time of Barack’s memoir he was trying to develop his political identity. He wanted to reconcile different cultures, to find the best of both cultures that were a part of him. Using our father’s identity, Barack then created his own. When I read the book, I found out there were a lot of things (at least regarding me and my family) that were not accurate. That said, we all have ways of looking at things. It is very natural. I see him as my brother, I don’t always see him as the President. There is always that difference and it is hard to grasp at times.
How do you portray your father in your book versus President Obama’s portrayal?
My book will show the reality of living in Kenya because I grew up there with my father. The portrait that is presented by Barack in his memoir of our father is a huge difference in how I portray our father. Our father is a man of great disillusion. In other words, I am referring to the drinking and domestic violence. In my book, chapters two and three are titled: “My Parents: A Failed Elopement” and “Dissolution: Johnnie Walker Black Label”. Johnnie Walker, Black Label is the whiskey he drank very often, almost daily. I remember him being around more through his scent of the whiskey than his actual face or presence. These are details that I do not think Barack has come to terms with.
Here’s some mind blowing news about O.J. Simpson.
The disgraced and former football hero who’s serving a 33-year sentence for assault, robbery and kidnapping in a Nevada prison has reportedly asked President Obama to set him free so he can treat his life-threatening brain cancer outside prison.
Yep, you read that correctly. According to a number of news outlets including the Huffington Post, the Telegraph and the National Enquirer, Simpson is taking desperate measures to secure clemency after undergoing tests on a brain tumor.
The Enquirer quotes “a source close to” Simpson who said, “He put off the doctors for weeks after he first started experiencing the symptoms because he was afraid of what they would find.”
Read more on O.J.’s condition at EurWeb.com
President Barack Obama is tops with Americans, according to a new Gallup poll. He and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have again been named the two most admired people in the world, Americans say.
Obama’s not the first U.S. president to be so honored. “The sitting president has won 57 times in the past 67 years that the question has been asked,” reports ABC News.
According to 16 percent of those polled Obama is the most admired man, followed not-so-closely by former President George W. Bush with a mere four percent of the vote. And Pope Francis, of whom 69 percent of Americans approve, according to a recent ABC News-Washington Post poll, has tied with Bush.
“Given his relative youth at age 52, the esteem in which Americans hold former presidents, and his historical significance as the first African-American president, should he live a long life he likely will also rank among the men with the most top 10 appearances for all time,” Gallup notes.
Obama’s number have dropped though. In 2012 30 percent said Obama, who has been named the most admired man for six consecutive years, was the most admired.
Clinton has named the most admired woman for 12 years straight. She has taken the title 18 times since 1993, more than any other woman in Gallup’s history. And she has been in the top 10 most admired 22 times.
But, this year was the first time that she has been the most admired woman while not holding an official government role, according to Gallup.
The top-10 most admired women list also included: Oprah Winfrey (six percent), Michelle Obama (five percent), Sarah Palin (also five percent), Malala Yousafzai, the teenager who survived a Taliban attack in Pakistan (two percent), Condoleezza Rice (also two percent), and with on percent each, German Chancellor Angela Merkel (one percent), Angelina Jolie, Duchess Kate, and Queen Elizabeth II.
President Barack Obama says he’s not worried about his daughters starting to date. After all, he’s got some help keeping an eye on them.
Malia, age 15, and Sasha, age 12, are “very sensible,” Obama told comedian and talk show host Steve Harvey in a television interview that aired on Friday.
“And the second thing is, I’ve got men with guns following them around all the time,” Obama quipped, referring to the Secret Service detail that is a constant presence around his family.
“This is the main reason I ran for re-election,” he joked in the light-hearted interview taped at the White House. “You know I’m going to have them covered for most of high school.” Obama and his family left for a two-week holiday in Hawaii on Friday.
He and his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, have worked hard to keep their daughters out of the public eye as much as possible during his presidency.
“They’re doing great, but they grow up so fast,” Obama said in the interview.
Read on at BlackVoices.com for President Obama’s dating advice.
The come up is so real right? Not too long ago, Steve Harvey was doing stand up at small comedy clubs. Then he had a successful sitcom with Cedric the Entertainer. A King of Comedy, radio host, author, radio, talk and game show host and now…interviewer of the President.
Though he’s already sat with Michelle Obama, not Steve Harvey came to the White House to sit with the president. Keeping things light and easy, the two talked about more personal subjects than politics. Harvey told NBC4, “The greatest moment in that interview for me was when he was talking about his grandmother, who he misses so. She passed in her eighties and my mom passed in her eighties. And I said to the president. ‘I heard a rumor that your mother and my mother had met and they are on the front row watching us right now. And that was a pretty cool moment.”
In addition to their lost loved ones Harvey said the interview is a man-to-man discussion that touches on fatherhood, family and holiday plans. He specifically asked the president about Sasha and Malia dating.
Harvey said, “He has developed some theories about dating. I was pretty proud of my president on that one.”
As you may expect some have criticized the interview for being too fluff and not addressing the hard hitting issues. But then again, people are never satisfied with President Obama so…
The interview will air on the Steve Harvey show, Friday, Dec 20 at 2 pm.
You knew it was going to happen. There was no way Saturday Night Live was going to let Saturday night’s episode go by without making fun of the week’s international pieces of news. So they ahead and kicked off the episode with it.
Jay Pharoah played President Obama and he “addressed the nation,” talking about the week’s events:
“I felt like Lemony Snicket because I experienced a series of unfortunate events. I mean, first I got roped into taking a selfie with the blonde, female Danish Prime Minister. Some people said Michelle was angry at me for that, but I talked to her afterwards and I can assure you, she was furious.”
As the skit went on Pharoah, as Obama, began to address the healthcare issues and that’s when Keenan Thompson popped into the shot as the South African sign language interpreter who turned out to be a fraud.
Thompson made different hand and body gestures when “President Obama” said certain words.
The skit may or may not have been funny but one thing is clear: Jay Pharoah does a hell of a President Barack Obama impersonation, doesn’t he? The voice is perfect!
Check out the clip above.
Your smartphone just might be a lot cooler than our President’s mobile device. While everyone is flocking to Apple to purchase the new iPhone 5S, Barack Obama must tote around a once-popular phone that has grown obsolete — the dreaded BlackBerry, LA Times reports.
During an event promoting the Affordable Care Act at the White House, Obama admitted that he’s forbidden from owning an Apple mobile device. ”I’m not allowed for security reasons to have an iPhone,” he told the crowd. The Secret Service, according to The Week, is less wary of the Blackberry due to its “superior encryption standards.”
It’s important to note that back when Obama was sworn into office in 2009, the Secret Service didn’t even want him to own a BlackBerry either. But Obama begged to keep the business-oriented device; he told the agency that the phone could be programmed so that only 10 people can have access to his personal email. The secret service conceded. (The President does have an Apple iPad.)
If Obama did own an iPhone, his e-mail, GPS coordinates, personal photos, texts, and countless other classified material could easily be hacked by gadget-savvy troublemakers. So although the BlackBerry is seemingly doomed for failure among its rivals, the antiquated smartphone finds loyal customers within the political atmosphere.
Apple has been working on tightening its security measures “like encryption, forced PIN entry, and the ability to wipe your phone remotely if it’s stolen,” said Slate, but White House members just aren’t ready to risk using an iPhone.
Now as Obama’s comments imply that the iPhone compromises privacy, it brings up questions about the NSA and its data gathering practices, used for spying on Americans. It has been revealed that the NSA collects five billion geolocation records daily!
Slate writes, ”Apple was one of several major tech companies identified in leaked NSA documents as being part of the agency’s PRISM surveillance program. And while Apple has insisted that its users’ iMessages are secure, hackers have called those claims into question.”
As for Malia and Sasha, they are totally allowed to own Apple smartphones. Obama’s points out that his phone bill consistently reminds him of his daughters’ iPhone obsession. Those shots of the First Daughters snapping selfies at dad’s inauguration speak to that.
Nelson Mandela’s death has resonated through the hearts of millions around the globe — an inarguable truth as tens of thousands admirers filled the Johannesburg stadium to commemorate the great anti-apartheid activist and the founder of modern South Africa. The tribute housed a plethora influential figures from China to Zimbabwe. Representing the U.S., the Bush and Clinton families were in attendance along with former president Jimmy Carter and, of course, President Obama.
Obama, after a 16-hour trip to South Africa from Washington, delivered a grandiose eulogy that delved into Mandela’s inspirational legacy that left a momentous mark in our history. “The world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us,” he said to South Africans. “We will never seen the likes of Nelson Mandela again.” With his wife Michelle seated nearby, Obama received a standing ovation for his speech. All of the President’s gestures were watched closely.