News Of The Day

Pete Souza: President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden provide encouragement to Erick Varela, who was about to introduce the President, prior to an event to outline new efforts to help the long-term unemployed, in the Green Room of the White House



Chicago Sun-Times: Foundation Launched To Pick Site For Obama Presidential Library

The first steps toward building President Barack Obama’s library and museum were announced on Friday with the launch of a foundation to oversee the competitive selection process with the target date of picking a site early in 2015. Martin Nesbitt, Obama’s close friend who will run the effort with two other Obama associates, told me in an interview they are committed to a “thoughtful, consistent, fair and transparent” process with the ultimate choice left to Obama and first lady Michelle. “We have no preconceived idea about what these proposals will look like. We want to create a blank canvass, create sort of a white canvas with some guiding principles that allow people to respond in a thoughtful and creative way and we will evaluate them when they come in,” Nesbitt said.

Incorporation papers for the newly created Barack H. Obama Foundation were filed Friday in Washington, D.C. The foundation is led by Chicagoan Nesbitt, the co-CEO of The Vistria Group and treasurer of Obama’s two White House campaigns; Julianna Smoot, a co-chair of the 2012 re-election bid and the 2008 National Finance Director and J. Kevin Poorman, the Wilmette businessman who took over several companies run by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker when she stepped down to join Obama’s cabinet. Obama asked Nesbitt to take on the duty of running the foundation last summer, and I broke the news that Nesbitt and Smoot would helm a foundation last July.

More here



Terry Tang: Tape Of Martin Luther King Jr. Ariz. Speech Found

Mary Scanlon had no idea a $3 purchase from a Goodwill store in Phoenix would turn out to be a rare link to the civil rights movement’s most revered leader. Last April, Scanlon was at the thrift store when she spotted a pile of 35 vintage reel-to-reel tapes, including one labeled with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s name. Despite the moldy and torn packaging, she snapped up all of them. “I didn’t really necessarily have any expectation that this tape would be rare,” Scanlon said. Arizona State University archivists have found that tape is the only known recording of speeches the slain civil rights leader gave at ASU and at a Phoenix church in June 1964.

The hour-long audio has since been digitized and is now available for listening on ASU’s website through June 30. The tape illustrates that King had been eager to visit supporters in Arizona, a state that would draw criticism more than 20 years later for rescinding the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Scanlon, who donated all the tapes to the school, said the find is one of the high points of her life. “To have anything about myself connected in any way to Martin Luther King, what more could a person ask for? I’m so proud,” Scanlon said.

More here




NYT: Ex-Port Authority Official Says ‘Evidence Exists’ Christie Knew About Lane Closings

The former Port Authority official who personally oversaw the lane closings at the George Washington Bridge, central to the scandal now swirling around Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, said on Friday that “evidence exists” the governor knew about the lane closings when they were happening. In a letter released by his lawyer, the former official, David Wildstein, a high school friend of Mr. Christie’s who was appointed with the governor’s blessing at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the bridge, described the order to close the lanes as “the Christie administration’s order”

and said “evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference” three weeks ago. During his news conference, Mr. Christie specifically said he had no knowledge that traffic lanes leading to the bridge had been closed until after they were reopened. “I had no knowledge of this — of the planning, the execution or anything about it — and that I first found out about it after it was over,” he said. “And even then, what I was told was that it was a traffic study.”

More here



Chris Geidner: Edith Windsor’s Lawyer Seeks To Argue In Utah Marriage Appeal

Three same-sex couples — represented by the New York lawyer who represented Edith Windsor in her successful challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act — have asked the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to allow them to intervene in the pending lawsuit challenging Utah’s marriage laws.

In a Friday filing at the court, Roberta Kaplan argued on behalf of the couples that they should be allowed to intervene in the appeal — a move they acknowledge would be an “exceptional case” — in order to raise questions about other portions of Utah law that prevent recognition of same-sex couples.

More here




TPM: Keystone XL Oil Pipeline Clears Major Hurdle For Construction

The proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada has cleared a significant hurdle after the State Department raised no major environmental objections to its construction. The department’s report was released Friday. It says Canadian tar sands are likely to be developed regardless of U.S. action on the pipeline and other options to get the oil from western Canada to Texas Gulf Coast refineries are worse for the environment. The latest environmental review stops short of recommending approval of the project. State Department approval of the project is needed because it crosses a U.S. border. A decision is not expected before the summer.

More here




Jonathan Chait: Six Reasons Chris Christie Is Probably Guilty

1. Wildstein is claiming evidence exists that Christie knew. He would look bad if such evidence does not come to light. 2. Wildstein spent time with Christie while the lanes were closed. If you had been ordered to close traffic lines for punitive reasons, and you saw the governor, wouldn’t you either tell him about it, or else already know he approved?

Undertaking an action like that without knowing the governor approved it, and without having any desire to take credit, seems like an implausible motivation. 3. Christie has changed his story about when he knew about the lane closings. Having first asserted he learned on October 1, Christie later claimed he learned earlier, though would not say when. 4. His campaign manager is pleading the fifth.

More here




Dylan Scott: Study: Thousands Of People Will Die In States That Don’t Expand Medicaid

As many as 17,000 Americans will die directly as a result of states deciding not to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, according to a new study. Researchers from Harvard University and City University of New York have estimated that between 7,115 and 17,104 deaths will be “attributable to the lack of Medicaid expansion in opt-out states” in a study published in Health Affairs.

“The results were sobering,” Samuel Dickman, one of the authors, said, according to theMorning Call. “Political decisions have consequences, some of them lethal.” They projected that 423,000 fewer diabetics would receive medication to treat their disease. If opt-out states had expanded Medicaid, 659,000 women who are in need of mammograms and 3.1 million women who should receive regular pap smears would have become insured, the study found.

More here


Powerful commercial. Native Americans are human beings and the NFL is disgusting for not treating them as such


Sahil Kapur: Boehner Promises GOP No Path To Citizenship In Immigration Reform

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told House Republicans that the immigration blueprint his leadership team released on Thursday was “as far as we are willing to go” to make reform happen, according to a source in the room.

The blueprint supports legal status for undocumented immigrants, which is already further than many conservatives want to go. If Democrats demand the promise of citizenship for people living in the U.S. illegally, as the bill passed by the Senate would do, the Speaker said the House would block reform.

More here



OFA: What Does Health Insurance Mean To This 20-Something?

In 2009, I was healthy, preparing to graduate from college, and getting ready to start on a career that I love with an exciting opportunity at a new startup in an emerging field. And when I say startup, I mean startup. Shoe-string, even. There were only two of us. It was pretty risky, but I was beyond excited.

But then—out of the blue—I was diagnosed with a chronic condition that nearly derailed it all. Luckily, I was able to get treatment and was soon back to being myself. But I had two things added to my life: daily medicine to keep the condition in check, and a “pre-existing condition.” That’s when I really got why this whole health insurance thing matters.

thanks to the Affordable Care Act, it’s going to stay that way. When it was time for me to shop on the marketplace for my own coverage this winter, I was protected: No plan could deny me because of my pre-existing condition. I found one that is really comprehensive and is still within my budget. Now, I’m healthy, and I’ve got my own plan that I can afford and rely on.

More here



Reuters: Two Obamacare Exchanges See More Health Insurer Competition

At least two U.S. states running their own Obamacare health insurance exchanges expect new insurers to enter their marketplaces and bolster competition in 2015, officials said on Friday.

Kynect, which is Kentucky’s marketplace, and the Rhode Island Health Benefits Exchange have had separate talks about 2015 with health insurers that could opt to join the online marketplaces set up under President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law. Kentucky also expects an expansion of physician networks available within current plans.

Increased competition would increase consumer choices and tend to put downward pressure on health insurance cost trends. It could also help ensure the future of Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which depends on the success of new online marketplaces.

More here




Pete Souza: POTUS during Google+ hangout today

109 Responses to “News Of The Day”

  1. 1 99ts
    January 31, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Wow – so much news – winner NW

  2. 24 Nerdy Wonka
    January 31, 2014 at 9:19 pm

  3. January 31, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    WOW, NW!!!!! What a treat on a Friday evening – especially for all of us who have not had an opportunity to keep track of all these developments. Thank you so much and hope you have a delightful weekend.

    Regarding that tweet about WV ‘drinking water’ – that image should become the inescapable #KOCHBro icon. We can help make it so …

    Yes We Can

  4. January 31, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Nerdy? I adore you. What a fantastic post. Thank you, Legend.

  5. January 31, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Whew! So much news Nerdy Wonka. Thanks for this thorough round-up.

    I suppose the next press release from the Christie administration will be:

    “Christie: ‘Upon further reflection, what I now know is that I forgot what I knew and when I knew it.'”

  6. 43 globalcitizenlinda
    January 31, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    a few days ago, I made a comment here that Mr. Cody (POTUS’ director of speechwriting) should consider cutting off his beard because it make him look older that his really age.

    I am happy that in the West Wing Week video, PBO “agrees” with me and jokingly asks Mr. Cody to consider trimming his beard “because you are going to be on camera”

  7. 44 amk for obama
    January 31, 2014 at 9:43 pm

  8. 45 Nerdy Wonka
    January 31, 2014 at 9:44 pm

  9. 46 99ts
    January 31, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    I missed the Mayor on Rachel (I blame giraffes) – heard the tail end where he is talking about the lady Christie appointed to the authority – who graciously agreed to meet with him – hmmmmmm – I am still wondering what was said in that meeting – that the mayor initially said he didn’t want to have.

  10. 50 globalcitizenlinda
    January 31, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    I missed watching live PBO’s Goggle Hangout session;

    thanks for providing the video of this event;

    the questions from the people were respectfully delivered and touched different important topics;

    I really liked the excitement of the last questioner – he asked a question that goes to the heart of the matter for all of us who love and respect PBO namely : how is he really doing as a person, …. is he happy in spite of the multiple challenges that come across his desk every day. I hope this gentleman really gets a chance to have a beer with PBO one day – I think both would enjoy the back and forth

    • January 31, 2014 at 10:06 pm

      That guy was such a breath of fresh air, asking a thoughtful and considerate question. He did speak for all of us!
      I’m hoping maybe POTUS will have him over for one of his home brews.

  11. 52 amk for obama
    January 31, 2014 at 10:01 pm

  12. 63 jacquelineoboomer
    January 31, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    I just love this story. Bring tissues when you play the audio (link below) – it’ll give you chills, especially if you haven’t heard it yet.

    Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech at Goodwin Stadium, Arizona State University, June 3, 1964. The recording includes a brief talk with Arizona NAACP supporters at the Tanner AME Church in Phoenix earlier the same day (48:25). That recording begins with introductions in progress.

    And here’s the tape, now digitized and on the ASU website through June (with permission of The King Center):


    • 64 jacquelineoboomer
      January 31, 2014 at 11:10 pm

      Still listening to Dr. King’s two speeches in Phoenix, in the background … the second one at the church is before an audience that included local NAACP and CORE chapter members in AZ. Fifty years later, everything Dr. King said that June, when many of us were just graduating from high school, still rings true:

      ” … we are working not merely to free 20 million Negroes but we are working to save the soul of America and to free not only Negroes but also the white man, for the festering sword of segregation debilitates the white man as well as the Negro … “

  13. 66 99ts
    January 31, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Must away – enjoy the evening night owls

  14. January 31, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    • 68 forus50
      January 31, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      I saw “12 Years A Slave” last Saturday and every day since I’ve had such sad thoughts about it. What a terrible, sickening history for this country. I didn’t realize until I saw it that it is a non-fiction film based on a free man who lived up in New York and was kidnapped and sold into slavery. The film doesn’t hold anything back on the torturous degrading life they were forced into.

      • January 31, 2014 at 10:29 pm

        Forus, I’m ashamed to say I haven’t seen it yet, when I saw the reviews I just didn’t think I could bear it. But I have to see it, soon.

        • January 31, 2014 at 10:33 pm

          I knew I couldn’t watch it in a theater. I know I have to watch it in my home.

          • January 31, 2014 at 10:36 pm

            Oh, exactly LL, that’s the only way I could watch it, the clips I saw were too much, need to be away from the crowd when I see it.

            • 72 forus50
              January 31, 2014 at 10:59 pm

              I went to a noon showing of it at a big theatre so it was about 1/2 full. You could hear a pin drop through the entire thing other than some people quietly crying. I think it’s one of those types of films best seen at a theatre if you can bear it.

              • 73 LDS
                February 1, 2014 at 12:09 am

                I saw the movie when it first came out.
                As an AA woman, it is still difficult for me to watch certain movies concerning the struggles we endured then and now. I must say through the tears, pain and sorrow that was inflicted on this man’s life and his family, I have never been so proud of My people as a whole. We never gave up. Inspite of everything this country has tried to do, we have never gave up.
                The strength, resilience, pride, love, determination! is what I got from the movie of a people who still have to endure racisim because of the color of our skin.

                More importantly, I thank God for giving us music, rythm, song and dance that kept hope alive during those terrible times. Some may say take all of that and go vote. Well, I say we DID that and they still find ways to steal and cheat. But I personally did not leave the movie theatre with hate in my heart. That surprised even me. We were never taught to hate and I am grateful for the love they poured into us during some hard times.
                They never gave up.

      • 76 vcprezofan2
        January 31, 2014 at 11:57 pm

        I don’t think I’ll ever be able to watch it, but time will tell. Am still debating whether going with a group of friends will make it easier, or buying the DVD when it becomes available and watching in small doses at home might make it more accessible to me.

        • 77 LDS
          February 1, 2014 at 12:31 am

          VC, go with a group of friends and discuss your feelings over coffee or tea and your favorite dessert, of course.
          It is remarkable acting all over. it is so refreshing not to see the same old actors. Enough already!
          Another thing that I forgot to add up above is that is one movie that I do not need the Academy Awards stamp of approval on.
          This is about so much more than that….

          • 78 vcprezofan2
            February 1, 2014 at 9:09 am

            Thanks for your insight, LDS. A couple of friends have discussed off and on if we want to go and each time someone in the group says ‘not sure I can handle it’. My reaction to the kind of cruelty and inhumanity presented is always anger, and because I’m not sure what to do with anger, I usually avoid stirring it up. However, you have made some thoughtful comments. It’s not like I wouldn’t have to travel ‘far’ to see it, so we might just make a trip of it. (We had to do 35mins highway driving to go and see ‘Mandela’ – they don’t usually bring movies like these into my corner, and if they do it’s a very, very brief visit, because the response is not lucrative enough, I guess.)

    • 79 jacquelineoboomer
      January 31, 2014 at 11:54 pm

  15. 80 Ladyhawke
    January 31, 2014 at 10:18 pm


    (Rigid Ideology, Lies & Distortions, Caring Rhetoric vs Dismal Voting Record)

    1) When Biography Trumps Substance


    2) Another bogus Obamacare story: The GOP’s ‘Bette’


  16. 81 Layla
    January 31, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    I went to the store the other day, and I was in there for only about 5 minutes. When I came out there was a damn motorcycle cop writing a parking ticket. So I went up to him and said, “Come on, buddy, how about giving a girl a break?”

    He ignored me and continued writing the ticket. So I called him a pencil-necked Nazi. He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having worn tires! So I called him a piece of horse shit. He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first. Then he started writing a third ticket! This went on for about 20 minutes.

    The more I abused him, the more tickets he wrote.

    I didn’t care. My car was parked around the corner.

    I try to have a little fun each day. It’s important.

  17. 84 yardarm756
    January 31, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    You heard it here first. The Presidential Library for 44 will be established and maintained at the University of Chicago on the Southside of Chicago.

  18. 85 jackiegrumbacher
    January 31, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    NW, you’re a lifesaver and I can’t thank you enough for this cornucopia of news at the end of the day. Despite all my good intentions this morning, the day has been so busy, I just could not keep up and now you have laid it all out like a late night feast. You are simply the best! Several times in the last few days, I have heard diehard Republicans tell me that there really should be more federal regulation of business to avoid situations like West Virginia and to lessen the total insanity of things like hedge fund management. And I am hearing more and more discussions about income disparity that would not have been talked about a year ago. Maybe we’re seeing the beginning of a disconnect between Republicans who live in the real world and the US House. Our task is to help people to see that voting Republicans all the time does not and never will make things better.

  19. 86 isonprize
    January 31, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 CHECK IT OUT!!! 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

    The foundation for the future Barack H. Obama Presidential Library


    • 87 jacquelineoboomer
      January 31, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      I saw that beautiful news, and I thought to myself: Something ‘Obama-related’ to follow after 2017!!!! Yeehaw.

      • 88 forus50
        January 31, 2014 at 11:05 pm

        Would the coolest thing EVER be to have all TOD’ers meet up at the Obama Presidential Foundation in Chicago?!! It would be a good way to say goodbye to those who are moving on and for others who want to continue a friendship beyond TOD.

      • 92 Obama Grandmama
        January 31, 2014 at 11:08 pm

        I told my brother just last week that I will continue donating to this president after he leaves office. He had a questioning look on his face. I said I intend to donate to help build his library then I intend to make a trip to visit it. We then got into a discussion on whether it would be in Hawaii or in Chicago.

        • 93 forus50
          January 31, 2014 at 11:20 pm

          Me too Obama Grandmama! The only politician that I donate for the person as much as the cause. I’m trusting yardarm in this thread a few comments up with his pronouncement that it will be located in Chicago. 🙂

  20. 94 mtmarilyn
    January 31, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Thank you for this great roundup NW!! Thank you for posting the “Proud to Be” ad! This is very dear to my heart. Also the msm should be on the West Virginia water situation.

  21. 96 PoliticalJunkessa
    January 31, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Just catching up………LOVED the snippet of the Google interview featuring Rob!!!!! How awesome was he?!?! You can tell PBO was truly affected by the exchange, and I hope they do in fact have a chance to kick back and share some beers together.

    Maybe one of our more active social media-ites can let SweetiePie Rob know that he has fans over here at The Obama Diary! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    • 97 hopefruit2
      January 31, 2014 at 11:02 pm

      This exchange between Rob and the President was so refreshing and heartwarming that it surely must’ve restored the most die-hard cynic’s faith in humanity. I must say though, had Rob heckled the President, or acted in some rude/disrespectful fashion, Rob would be all over the cable TV airwaves this evening. In fact, a “disrespectful” Rob probably would have secured an invitation on Meet the Republicans with David Gregory on Sunday, or Candy “I-heart-GOP” Crowley SOTU on CNN.

  22. 99 hopefruit2
    January 31, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    First Lady Michelle Obama Shows Her Love And Admiration For Nancy Pelosi

    // Michelle Obama made a speech on Friday during the DNCC Women’s Luncheon held in San Francisco at the Fairmont Hotel. Prior to the First Lady speaking, folk legend Joan Baez performed to the delight of the entire audience. But, as is usually the case when she is there, the First Lady rocked the house and warmed the hearts like only she can. In her typically gracious manner, she made sure to give some real props to a true living legend of the Democratic Party, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who was also in attendance.

    Almost immediately into her speech, Mrs. Obama had this to say about Nancy Pelosi: “And speaking of fabulous women, I want to start by thanking Leader Nancy Pelosi not just for that kind introduction but for her outstanding and historic leadership in Congress. She is a fighter. She has courage. She’s willing to take the risks, and she has been behind our President every step of the way. We love you. We love your family. You are amazing. Thank you so much…”//


  23. 101 vcprezofan2
    January 31, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Goodness Gracious, Utal, this is like a R & S! Now I have to rub the sleep out of my eye in order to do it justice! 😀

  24. 102 vcprezofan2
    January 31, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    Remember my favourite ‘political’ movie maker during the last big elections? Well, he’s still at it.

  25. 106 vcprezofan2
    January 31, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    Thinking, maybe if I drop my suggestions in early re PBO’s libraries the seed may fall on fertile ground. You never know!

    The main libraries could tour some of all the many gifts the Pres received, on a schedule, to the international branches. I bet Obots in other countries would absolutely enjoy fundraising to have their own PBO subsidiary library, especially if they knew they could showcase some of his genuine ‘artificats’ in conjunction with the main library.

    • 107 jackiegrumbacher
      February 1, 2014 at 7:26 am

      VC, I think this is a brilliant idea. PBO is really the first truly international president and the only one who’s fought for peace rather than US domination. An international library would be very fitting.

      • 108 vcprezofan2
        February 1, 2014 at 8:57 am

        GM, JG! I do strongly believe ‘An international library would be very fitting.’ They could start with places abroad that were meaningful to him and/or places where he may have made special visits. I would wager that some of the places would be eager to offer good space for such a venture. I also think with all PBO has done and all the lovely gifts he has received it would pose no problem at all to rotate ‘special’ mementoes through an international library system. If they can lend pandas or whatever, they can lend Obama memorabilia. Heck, some of us could help by supplying some of the items for the branch in our hometown. 😉 [Did you see that little hometown plug?]
        This is one time I truly wish I was a billionaire so that I could put some money behind such an idea, because the more I think of it, the more logical, feasible, AND RIGHT it seems.

  26. 109 Jovie
    February 1, 2014 at 7:49 am

    Good old New Jersey pols… Crooks!

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