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President Barack Obama “To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill,”

 

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President Obama April 8, 2014 “Today, the average full time working woman earns just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns…  Equal pay day means a woman has to work about this far into 2014 to earn what a man earned in 2013.”

Stephen Colbert “Yes, to get the same amount of pay women’s work year is three months longer, so good news ladies.  If you’re 38 years old, financially you’re just 29.”

http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/l9zuu1/obama-s-equal-pay-orders

 

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Closing out a week of commemorating progress from the Civil Rights Movement, President Barack Obama on Friday sharply criticized Republicans for leading efforts in some parts of the country to prevent citizens from voting.

Obama’s administration has challenged states that have implemented voter ID laws and other restrictions in the wake of a Supreme Court decision that struck down part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, designed to prevent discrimination at the polls.

Strict voting rights laws are said to disproportionately affect minorities and lower-income Americans, many of whom tend to vote for Democratic candidates.

“The stark, simple truth is this: The right to vote is threatened today in a way that it has not been since the Voting Rights Act became law nearly five decades ago,” Obama told a meeting of the National Action Network, a group founded by civil rights leader and MSNBC television anchor Reverend Al Sharpton.

“Across the country, Republicans have led efforts to pass laws making it harder, not easier, for people to vote,” he said.

Last year the Obama administration sued North Carolina to block rules including a requirement for voters to show photo identification at the polls. The Justice Department also sued to keep Texas from carrying out a voter identification requirement enacted in 2011.

Proponents of such rules argue they are needed to prevent voter fraud.

North Carolina Republican Governor Pat McCrory signed the state’s sweeping voting changes into law in August, saying: “Common practices like boarding an airplane and purchasing Sudafed require photo ID, and we should expect nothing less for the protection of our right to vote.”

Obama rejected that argument, saying studies showed such abuse was extremely rare.

“The real voter fraud is people who try to deny our rights by making bogus arguments about voter fraud,” he said to applause from the crowd.

“But it’s a fact this recent effort to restrict the vote has not been led by both parties. It’s been led by the Republican Party,” he continued. “If your strategy depends on having fewer people show up to vote, that’s not a sign of strength. That’s a sign of weakness.”

Obama flew to Texas earlier this week to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the landmark legislation spearheaded by President Lyndon B. Johnson that helped end America’s segregationist past.

Obama: GOP efforts to stifle voting rights are ‘a sign of weakness’ | The Raw Story

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FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: But, first, here’s my take: President Barack Obama gave a much- anticipated speech on Friday outlining reforms in the American government’s surveillance activities. Before I give you my reaction to the speech, I want to give you some context.

The American government and many U.S. companies are routinely the targets of cyber-attacks from all over the world. For example, the National Nuclear Security Administration, which is an arm of the Energy Department and monitors America’s nuclear power plants, was the target of 10 million cyber-attacks every day in 2012.

By contrast, the entire United Kingdom suffered 44 million cyber- attacks in the entire year of 2011.

Some of these are efforts to spy on America, enter into communication systems, telecom systems, steal secrets from the government or from private companies, look at phone records, e-mails.

Others are efforts to disrupt normal life or kill civilians. Last year, the head of the FBI testified that cyber-attacks from foreign sources, often including terrorist groups, had surpassed traditional terrorism as the single most worrisome threat to the United States.

I’m trying to remind you that this debate about American policy cannot take place in a vacuum. There are other countries out there, and groups of militants and terrorists, and they are actively using whatever cyber-tools they have to tap into phone systems, emails, bank records, power plant operation systems, nuclear facilities, and more.

In that context, President Obama has taken on a worthy task, to see if American intelligence has gotten out of control as it deals with these threats and challenges there. His speech suggests that, no, the NSA is not a rogue outfit.

But he acknowledged that two facts need to be kept in mind. First, that the United States has unique capabilities in this area and second, that after 9/11, the American government went too far in its efforts to search for and counter terrorist threats.

So he’s proposed a series of reforms that strike me as a good balance between security and liberty. He’s preserved the basic structure of American intelligence gathering while putting in more checks and safeguards.

One case where he may have gone too far is in limiting America’s ability to spy on foreign leaders. This was probably inevitable and a political sop to foreign heads of government like Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff and Germany’s Angela Merkel.

It’s a good idea for the United States to protect civil liberties, institute checks and balances, and have periodic reviews of the whole system. But let’s also keep in mind that I haven’t heard much about the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s intelligence reform proposals, and I don’t expect we will be hearing much from him, or President Vladimir Putin or many other foreign leaders.

Intelligence is called the world’s second oldest profession for a reason. Everyone does it.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1401/19/fzgps.01.html

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President Barack Obama “And we know we can’t do this by ourselves. It comes as a shock at a certain point where you realize, no matter how much you love these kids, you can’t do it by yourself. That this job of keeping our children safe, and teaching them well, is something we can only do together, with the help of friends and neighbors, the help of a community, and the help of a nation. And in that way, we come to realize that we bear a responsibility for every child because we’re counting on everybody else to help look after ours; that we’re all parents; that they’re all our children.

This is our first task — caring for our children. It’s our first job. If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right. That’s how, as a society, we will be judged.

And by that measure, can we truly say, as a nation, that we are meeting our obligations? Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children — all of them — safe from harm? Can we claim, as a nation, that we’re all together there, letting them know that they are loved, and teaching them to love in return? Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?

I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer is no. We’re not doing enough. And we will have to change.

Since I’ve been President, this is the fourth time we have come together to comfort a grieving community torn apart by a mass shooting. The fourth time we’ve hugged survivors. The fourth time we’ve consoled the families of victims. And in between, there have been an endless series of deadly shootings across the country, almost daily reports of victims, many of them children, in small towns and big cities all across America — victims whose — much of the time, their only fault was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law — no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society.

But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this. If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that — then surely we have an obligation to try.

In the coming weeks, I will use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens — from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators — in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. Because what choice do we have? We can’t accept events like this as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?”

http://www.npr.org/2012/12/16/167412995/transcript-president-obama-at-sandy-hook-prayer-vigil

Posted December 17, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day, Religion

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Barack Obama “We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future. From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service and that is the legacy that we honor and applaud tonight.

In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.”

“I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics that tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym, or saw folks working late in a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you’ll discover something else.

You’ll hear the determination in the voice of a young field organizer who’s working his way through college and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity.

You’ll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who’s going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift.

You’ll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse whose working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home.

That’s why we do this. That’s what politics can be. That’s why elections matter. It’s not small, it’s big. It’s important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy.

That won’t change after tonight, and it shouldn’t. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.”

Read more at http://global.christianpost.com/news/president-obama-acceptance-speech-2012-transcript-text-video-of-victory-speech-84544/#cYqU4GGfTjEfysMb.99

Posted November 7, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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FAREED ZAKARIA: Michael Lewis enters into a world and writes vividly about it. Whether it’s the bond trading rooms of Salomon Brothers for his best selling “Liar’s Poker” or the locker rooms of the Oakland A’s for “Moneyball.” This time he entered an even more rarefied world. Flying on Air Force One sitting in the Oval Office, getting a tour of the White House private resident and playing basketball with the president of the United States. The result published in this month’s “Vanity Fair” is a unique and fascinating account of the day-to-day life of a sitting president. Thanks for joining me, Michael. MICHAEL LEWIS, AUTHOR: Good to see you again…………

ZAKARIA: Interesting. Now, I was — I was just shocked by something else. He shows you his private office, that little cubbyhole, and there are a lot of books in it, which, you know, we know he’s a reading president. But there’s a novel on top, Julian Barnes. And we know from a couple of other things that you think — I mean, he must be the most — the most writerly president — a person to have become president in a long, long time. Because it’s not just about reading, I mean, lots of them read, but he’s reading novels.

LEWIS: If he had time, he’d likely be writing them, too. That’s the interesting thing to me. I think that he’s as literary a president as we ever had, and more literary than probably anybody since Lincoln anyway. In that he lives — the written word means a lot to him, and he — and you know, this isn’t in the piece, but I can remember talking to him about this a bit. Because he was an indifferent student in high school up to toward the end, and he had a very late awakening as — in his mind. And I kind of identify with this, because I was a very late bloomer in high school, and I had the same sort of experience with books. He was — I said he was like passing by a church yard sale in Hawaii when he was a junior in high school and he saw all these novels. And they were available for a nickel apiece. It was “Moby Dick”, it was Dostoyevsky, it was Saul Bellow. He thought, a nickel? You know, I’ll get these books. And he took them, and he took them, and he started reading them and just in a kind of innocent way he got very absorbed. And his first, in a way, a writer learns — I mean he just kind of blended with the books.

And when he got out of school, the first thing he started to do is write short stories. And I don’t know if anybody — I don’t know if anybody knows that. I didn’t put this in the piece, but he tried to submit short stories to literary magazines, and they’re very literary short stories, so that’s — it’s an unusual trait in political — in someone who ends up being a political person. That’s right.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1209/16/fzgps.01.html