President Obama issued a statement today regarding the twin mass shootings that occurred over the weekend.
After sharing condolences from his family for the victims of the attacks, Obama wrote, “No other nation on Earth comes close to experiencing the frequency of mass shootings that we see in the United State. No other developed nation tolerates the levels of gun violence that we do.”
He also called out those who say “tougher gun laws won’t stop all murders” because “the evidence shows that they can stop some killings.”
The former president also wrote of the accused El Paso shooter: “Troubled individuals who embrace racist ideologies and themselves obligated to act violently to preserve white supremacy.”
“We should soundly reject language coming of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racists sentiments; leaders who demonize those who don’t look like us, or suggest that other people, including immigrants, threaten our way of life, or refer to other people as sub-human, or imply that America belongs to just one certain type of people,” said Obama in closing.
According to a new article in The New Yorker, Donald Trump considered revoking President Obama’s security clearance.
Some of Trump’s most fervent supporters in the White House saw former Obama Administration officials as powerful enemies who threatened the new President’s rule, and they agitated for punishing them by revoking their security clearances. The idea was rebuffed by the national-security adviser at the time, H. R. McMaster, who signed a memo extending the clearances of his predecessors at the N.S.C., Republicans and Democrats alike.
As Trump stepped up his public and private attacks on Obama, some of the new President’s advisers thought that he should take the extraordinary step of denying Obama himself access to intelligence briefings that were made available to all of his living predecessors. Trump was told about the importance of keeping former Presidents, who frequently met with foreign leaders, informed. In the end, Trump decided not to exclude Obama, at the urging of McMaster.
It will come as no surprise that the Donald denies ever considering taking away Obama’s security clearance.
Does anyone believe Trump?
Fake News, of which there is soooo much (this time the very tired New Yorker) falsely reported that I was going to take the extraordinary step of denying Intelligence Briefings to President Obama. Never discussed or thought of!
Former White House photographer Pete Souza has announced a new book of his photography titled, Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents.
In announcing the book earlier this year, the publisher shared that the book would contrast the two presidents with “unforgettable images of President Obama delivering new power and meaning when framed by tweets, headlines, quotes, and other material from the first 500 days of the Trump administration.”
In revealing the cover via his Instagram, Souza wrote, “If OBAMA: An Intimate Portrait is a coffee table book, then SHADE is an every table book. If you’ve been following my Instagram feed since the last inauguration, then you have an idea what this book is about (but of course there will be some surprises.”
The photographer, who currently has almost 2 million followers on Instagram, regularly uses the platform to troll Donald Trump via photos from Obama’s presidency and contrasting with whatever is in the current news cycle.
At one point last year, he shared a series of 15 Time Magazine covers captioned: “Someone has a lot of catching up to do.”
If you don’t follow him there, you should. He’s very clever.
If you’ve been fortunate enough to have been born in America, imagine for a moment if circumstance had placed you somewhere else. Imagine if you’d been born in a country where you grew up fearing for your life, and eventually the lives of your children. A place where you finally found yourself so desperate to flee persecution, violence, and suffering that you’d be willing to travel thousands of miles under cover of darkness, enduring dangerous conditions, propelled forward by that very human impulse to create for our kids a better life.
That’s the reality for so many of the families whose plights we see and heart-rending cries we hear. And to watch those families broken apart in real time puts to us a very simple question: are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms, or are we a nation that values families, and works to keep them together? Do we look away, or do we choose to see something of ourselves and our children?
Our ability to imagine ourselves in the shoes of others, to say “there but for the grace of God go I,” is part of what makes us human. And to find a way to welcome the refugee and the immigrant – to be big enough and wise enough to uphold our laws and honor our values at the same time – is part of what makes us American. After all, almost all of us were strangers once, too. Whether our families crossed the Atlantic, the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we’re only here because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, how our last names sound, or the way we worship. To be an American is to have a shared commitment to an ideal – that all of us are created equal, and all of us deserve the chance to become something better.
That’s the legacy our parents and grandparents and generations before created for us, and it’s something we have to protect for the generations to come. But we have to do more than say “this isn’t who we are.” We have to prove it – through our policies, our laws, our actions, and our votes.
In an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts, the president described his thought process as an “evolution” that led him to this place.
“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors.
“When I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together…
“When I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage…
“At a certain point I’ve just concluded that, for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”
His endorsement came less than a week after Vice President Joe Biden embraced the issue during an appearance on Meet The Press.
And I feel that made a world of difference.
Please note – the sky has not fallen. Just saying…
Former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are reported to be in advanced talks with Netflix to produce a new series of high-profile shows that could explore the former president’s interest in the intersection of politics and media.
Under terms of a proposed deal, which is not yet final, Netflix would pay Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, for exclusive content that would be available only on the streaming service, which has nearly 118 million subscribers around the world. The number of episodes and the formats for the shows have not been decided.
Mr. Obama does not intend to use his Netflix shows to directly respond to President Trump or conservative critics, according to people familiar with discussions about the programming. They said the Obamas had talked about producing shows that highlight inspirational stories.
But the Netflix deal, while not a direct answer to Fox News or Breitbart.com, would give Mr. Obama an unfiltered method of communication with the public similar to the audiences he already reaches through social media, with 101 million Twitter followers and 55 million people who have liked his Facebook page.
The Obamas are a hot commodity. In addition Netflix, other media companies like Apple and Amazon have expressed interest in content creation with the former White House residents.
Viewership of President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address is down slightly in the Nielsen ratings compared to his first televised address to Congress last February as well as President Barack Obama’s first such address.
On broadcast, Tuesday’s coverage of the speech drew 7.1 million viewers on NBC, 7 million on CBS, 5.4 million on ABC, and 3.6 million on Fox for a combined 23.1 million viewers.
On cable, Fox News led by a wide margin with 11.5 million viewers tuning into the network’s coverage of the speech. CNN was second with 3.1 million, with MSNBC drawing 2.7 million. That means that President Trump’s address drew 40.4 million viewers across broadcast and cable
Obama’s first State of the Union in 2010 drew 48 million viewers across broadcast and cable, while his first address before a joint session of Congress in February 2009 drew 52.4 million viewers. That means that Trump trailed Obama’s first State of the Union by approximately 16 percent in total viewers.
Beginning January 12, David Letterman will return to talk show TV with his new Netflix series, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman.
The monthly series, consisting of one-hour chats, has announced six episodes thus far.
And Letterman’s first guest is quite the get – former President Barack Obama in his first talk show appearance since leaving the White House.
Future guests include George Clooney, Malala Yousafzai, Jay-Z, Tina Fey and Howard Stern.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, each episode will focus on just one guest with Letterman engaging in in-depth chat. Additionally, the show will have field segments also related to that installment’s guest.
The launch of the new show marks Letterman’s first return to regular appearances since he left CBS in 2015.
Former President Obama made this video message for late-night host Jimmy Kimmel’s special World AIDS Day event encouraging folks to take part in supporting the fight against HIV/AIDS.
“This World AIDS Day, everyone has a role to play. Jimmy Kimmel’s not just a talk-show host, he’s an activist. Bono’s not just a musician, he’s ring master of a whole shopping extravaganza,” Obama says in the video. “And me, I’m not just a former president, I’m a husband who hasn’t done his Christmas shopping yet.”
“When it comes to the fight against HIV/AIDs, there’s some genuinely good news to share,” Obama said. “For the first time in history, more than half of all people living with the virus are on life-saving medication.”
And he’s right. But those kinds of changes only happen when people actually DO something.
Hit the video below and find out what you can do this World AIDS Day, Friday December 1, 2017.
p.s. Remember what it was like to have a smart, dignified president who spoke about important issues like saving lives…?
Median household income rose to $59,039 in 2016, a 3.2 percent increase from the previous year and the second consecutive year of healthy gains, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday.
The nation’s poverty rate fell to 12.7 percent, returning nearly to what it was in 2007 before a financial crisis and deep recession walloped workers in ways that were still felt years later.
“There’s a danger that this is as good as it gets,” said Peter Atwater, president of Financial Insyghts. “We are already at a 16-year low in unemployment. The likelihood of significant job growth from here is limited.”
Trump promised that a combination of tax cuts, infrastructure investment packages, renegotiated trade deals and the repeal of Obama administration regulations would deliver a burst of job creation and attendant economic growth.
So far, no such boom can be found.
In Trump’s first seven months, the U.S. economy has added about 25,000 fewer jobs per month than it did during the last seven months of Barack Obama’s presidency.
It’ll be interesting to see how the next three years go under Trump having been handed a healthy U.S. economy.