74 Responses to “White House Mentorship and Leadership Graduation Ceremony”


  1. June 15, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    I so dearly love the work PBO is doing with these young people. It means so much, I know it does. I’ve seen it in the faces of everyone who’s ever had a reliable and loving mentor. BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO

  2. 15 Nena20409
    June 15, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Congrats J4O on your Gold ⭐
    FLOTUS, Daughters, Grandma and her Niece all in London 🙂
    So now this happened?

    Well now, let me see what Whoopi, MHP, etc would have to say now.

    • 16 vcprezofan2
      June 15, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      I still maintain this Dolezal person is bizarre, and I still don’t get why she’d want to disguise herself for so many years. This development now makes me wonder if she is devious enough to have perpetuated her actions all these years with this end purpose in mind – maybe she didn’t intend the change to last for so long before being discovered? Also, too, could her parents have been a party to it, since they didn’t speak out in the earlier stages – when she accepted the scholarship for example? Could it have been a family scheme that has taken too long to ‘pay off’ so the parties to the deal have gotten frustrated?

      Yes, my ideas are far-fetched, but really, you have to admit that this whole thing is really weird.

      • June 16, 2015 at 1:18 am

        VC, your ideas are not at “far-fetched.” I’ve not been paying particular attention to this story, but my daughter who has feels exactly the same as you do. My take is that Ms. Dolezal is delusional, but I think you description of her as “bizarre” and “weird” is more spot-on.

        • 18 vcprezofan2
          June 16, 2015 at 10:37 am

          Hi Nathk. The only thing I’m sure of in this situation is that Rachel has made her own bed and I hope she won’t profit unduly from it going forward.

    • 19 MightyPamela
      June 15, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      There you go!! This could be the new trend.. quite a country we have here, eh?

  3. 20 Nena20409
    June 15, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    So J.E.B. ! and Putin have one ugly habit in common? Tardiness? Jebbie was Over one hour starting late in starting his TV announcement and Putin kept The Pope waiting an hour plus at the Vatican?

  4. 21 JER
    June 15, 2015 at 6:42 pm

  5. June 15, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Shot:

    Chaser:

  6. 25 Nena20409
    June 15, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/15/sikh-us-army-religious-freedom

    A Sikh college student from New York said Monday he is excited about a federal court decision that will permit him to enroll in the US army’s reserve officer training corps without shaving his beard, cutting his hair or removing his turban.

    US district court judge Amy Berman Jackson issued the ruling Friday in Washington DC, saying 20-year-old Iknoor Singh’s adherence to his religious beliefs would not diminish his ability to serve in the military.

    “I didn’t believe it at first when I heard about the decision,” said Singh, who lives in the New York City borough of Queens.

  7. June 15, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Following VC example! 😉

  8. June 15, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    This is one of the ideas for fixing Obamacare that HRC has said she’s open to. It’s a funding source for ACA but you know, whatever.

  9. June 15, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    I know Jeremy Bird went to Texas to try and elect Wendy Davis and help pave the way for HRC but it’s not working out so much.

    • 31 Vicki
      June 15, 2015 at 7:41 pm

      Meta, I read as much of this as I could. Not working out very well is an understatement.
      Dems are avoiding voting even where a rising star, Julian Castro, won re-election. This is quite disappointing.

      All the GOP messaging along the lines of “government is broken and government is your enemy” has apparently been effective.

      How different would it be if the DNC and All Dems united in messaging,along with PBO, that “government is the friend who wants your healthcare secure. That is why we provided Obamacare. Gov’t wants you to have fulltime jobs at good pay. That’s why we……..”
      And so on. The polls would be flooded if President Obama’s message and achievements could be coming from All Democrats.

      Instead,we have had “distancing.” Failure.

      • June 15, 2015 at 7:45 pm

        Exactly on point. I keep saying this but it strikes me every day: I wouldn’t believe any of this could even remotely happen if I wasn’t witnessing it myself. A hugely successful POTUS, one of the best in our lifetimes, and all the Dems can do is fight him and run away from his achievements. Unfathomable to me. And really, really ugly.

        • 33 Vicki
          June 15, 2015 at 7:58 pm

          I said many months ago that the Democratic plan was deliberate failure. They keep their funding and enjoy railing against the GOP for the next 8 years.
          I also said, to considerable laughter, that HRC wouldn’t run. That it was a fund-raising scam like Newt Gingrich in 2012. I was wrong then and very well could be wrong now.

      • 34 Obama Grandmama
        June 15, 2015 at 9:22 pm

        I wish someone would challenge the GOP talking points concerning Government not working with a catchy talking point about why it is not working including the obstruction and policies aimed to help the rich not the average American.
        Also challenging Jeb and others on Obama’s slow economic growth with their own cutting government jobs and not approving infrastructure spending which would have meant jobs.

    • 35 COS
      June 15, 2015 at 7:42 pm

      Wow, this is shocking. Wasn’t this Juan Castro’s mayoral seat?

  10. June 15, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    GA TOD!

    …this is so amazing 😀

  11. 41 japa21
    June 15, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    GE all.

    First of all, to people traveling in the Midwest, specially Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan, safe travels. The rain is the heaviest I have ever seen.

    Secondly, over the weekend I discovered a city with worse rush hour traffic than Chicago or LA. Toronto, you win the prize.

    • 42 vcprezofan2
      June 15, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      {{{Japa}}}
      .
      .

      What?!!

      Just wait one minute there, mister!
      😯 You were in Toronto, and only now admitting it! ….. W-he-ell, I never! I never would have believed it if someone else had told me Japa came into my backyard and never even waved at me! 😯

  12. June 15, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    “Big defense contracts awarded to big defense contractors are usually a big cause for concern. They tend to go over budget, often for things we don’t really need (like a certain type of fighter plane). But a couple weeks ago, the Pentagon announced a contract with a big-time defense contractor that good-government and energy-efficiency types should cheer—and demand grow more common. Honeywell Building Solutions, a unit of the conglomerate Honeywell, got a $22.4 million contract to overhaul the energy system at Rock Island Arsenal—an ancient military outpost on an island in the Mississippi River between Iowa and Illinois. A tad boring? Maybe. But it’s an example of how the private sector can easily and cheaply be harnessed to work for the public interest, all while saving energy and cutting emissions. Because they own so much property and consume so much energy, government agencies have a great deal to gain from upgrading their equipment with renewable technology.

    But in this era of sequesters, the Pentagon and its sister agencies can’t afford to buy new boilers, air conditioners, efficient light bulbs, and hybrid trucks—even though they would pay off relatively quickly in the form of lower operating costs. Under a type of contracting that is growing increasingly popular, however, companies offer to install the new equipment while guaranteeing energy and monetary savings—all for no money down. The trend toward what’s known as guaranteed performance contracting started more than 30 years ago, propelled in part by Shirley Hansen’s book Schoolhouse in the Red, about maintenance issues in the educational sector. In this model, a financial institution fronts the money to do the upgrades. The contractor guarantees the work it does will produce a certain amount of savings, thus capping or even reducing the government entity’s annual energy bill. The government repays the bill for the upgrades over time (10 years, 15 years, 20 years) simply by making payments that are the same—or lower—than its existing energy bills…continued”

  13. June 15, 2015 at 7:24 pm

  14. June 15, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Interesting how First Lady Obama’s arrival dress emulates the Ukrainian national colors and symbol 🙂

  15. June 15, 2015 at 7:30 pm

  16. June 15, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    Did you know that Game of Thrones is secretly about the world’s terrible failure to stop climate change? Well, it is, and this video explains why:

    “The show’s much more entertaining stand-in for climate change is the White Walkers, the north-of-the-Wall monsters that command a gigantic zombie army. The White Walkers are a threat to all humanity: their zombie minions are equally happy to rip apart people of all nations and noble houses. Yet instead of uniting to combat the shared threat to human existence itself, the noble houses in the show spend basically all their time on their own petty disagreements and struggle for power. White Walkers are generally ignored; some nobles deny their existence outright. Swap climate change for White Walkers and “countries” for noble houses, and it starts to sound a lot like the real world.

    Specifically, it sounds like the problem of international coordination on climate change. No one country can prevent catastrophic warming on its own: every country that’s a major greenhouse gas emitter is part of the problem. Yet the biggest emitters, like the United States and China, are also geopolitical competitors: both are wary of the other’s intentions, making it hard for them to see any kind of deal that limits their emissions as win-win. And even if you get over the US-China hurdle, you have to get a deal that’s acceptable to most every other country in the world — including developing ones that need cheap energy to fuel economic growth…continued”

    • 60 Vicki
      June 15, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      Yes, climate change and Henry VII. Henry VII was the first Tudor, raised in France and secretly trained to be a king and overthrow the Lancasters. (Lannisters, in GOT) Tudor white/vs Lancaster red. AKA The war of The Roses.
      London/King’s Landing Scotland/The North Not a perfect fit but a loose affiliation.
      i know—this is TOD. Out of place.

  17. June 15, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    A new world for Turkey, in_deed ….

    • June 15, 2015 at 7:58 pm

      Erdogan and his Sunni roots being disrupted both internally by #HDP and externally by Kurdish Peshmerga …. couldn’t happen to a more disgusting creature ….

  18. 63 vcprezofan2
    June 15, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    TODobots, if you haven’t already, you really should read this article. If you are a slow reader, like me, it will take a while but it’s well worth it, I think. I inserted ***** where I wanted to highlight sections as I forgot how to do that in WordPress.

    Chips brought us the link earlier >> http://www.fastcompany.com/3046756/obama-and-his-geeks << in this tweet ↓ ↓ ↓

    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    // …………………………..
    [IMO even though it’s talking about government technology, this part of the article very aptly describes some of the politicians opposing PBO’s trade deal right now ]

    “The complexity is formidable. If you put your engineer’s hat on, Dickerson says, you can look at government’s approach to tech and decide that it’s pretty much insane. But if you consider it as an anthropologist might ("If you’re studying this alien culture," he says, "and you ask, Why do they behave so strangely?"), you see that D.C. has developed its dysfunctions for deep, structural reasons. For instance, Washington has plenty of smart people, Dickerson says. *****But they have been removed from the extraordinary growth—only occurring during the past decade, really—***** of the handful of West Coast companies that can now manage "planet-scale websites," as Dickerson puts it.

    ……….. snip …………..

    *****Above all, there is the inertia of the past.***** One of the first lessons Dickerson learned about D.C. when he arrived was that the city traditionally conflates the importance of a task with its cost. Healthcare.gov ultimately became an $800 million project, with 55 contracting companies involved. "And of course it didn’t work," he says. "They set aside hundreds of millions of dollars to build a website because it was a big, important website. But compare that to Twitter, which took three rounds of funding before it got to about the same number of users as ¬Healthcare.gov—8 million to 10 million users. In those three rounds of funding, the whole thing added up to about $60 million." Dickerson believes that the Healthcare.gov project could have been done with a similar size budget. But there wasn’t anyone to insist that the now-well-established Silicon Valley practice of building "agile" -software—rolling out a digital product in stages; testing it; improving it; and repeating the process for continuous ¬improvement—would be vastly superior to (and much, much cheaper than) a patchwork of contractors building out a complete and monolithic website. In his Fast Company interview, President Obama remarks that he made a significant mistake in thinking that government could use traditional methods to build something—Healthcare.gov—that had never been built before. "When you’re dealing with IT and software and program design," the president explains, "it’s a creative process that can’t be treated the same way as a bulk purchase of pencils."

    ………………………………… //

    • June 15, 2015 at 7:57 pm

      Agree, it’s a great piece. It really shows what he’s been trying to do to revolutionize govt via technology. Brilliant.

      • 65 vcprezofan2
        June 15, 2015 at 8:06 pm

        Meta dear, we have ‘lucked out’ big time in our two terms choice of President Obama!!! We who know this now will have gotten the best of the deal because we made sure we are a part of it as it happens, and we will enjoy it after his time is up as well! While his opponents rant, rave and posture, he’s using the roads less-traveled, or not previously traveled at all, to move the nation #FORWARD. His leadership makes me sooooo happy! 😀 😀 😀

        I hope I remember to play the 2012 #FORWARD theme song once the trade packet gets to his desk.

        • June 15, 2015 at 8:08 pm

          You’re so right and I thank you profusely for your constant reminders to revel in the NOW. Let’s keep going for the next year and half and support in every way we can. Keeping up with POTUS & FLOTUS has been one of the great joys of my life!!

          • 67 vcprezofan2
            June 15, 2015 at 8:23 pm

            YVW, M! 🙂 🙂

            The NOW is so great (as you said) *in spite of* the naysayers that we simply cannot afford to let them cheat us of it. I *never* ever thought I’d live to see a black US president, one with such character, wisdom, family values, and super intelligence. One who knows where he wants to take the nation and different, and legitimate, routes how to get there, or as close as possible while circumventing road blocks.

            Think how sweet it is to LIVE it NOW, and then to be able to review it as history (if the fates grant us that opportunity).

            ♫Oh no, they ♪ caaan’t take ♫that a-♫way from meee!♪ 🙂 🙂 I will not give the haters that power!

          • 70 HZ
            June 16, 2015 at 12:26 am

            Chips, vc, and meta, thanks for your comments. Chips, thanks for reminding us all of the greatness of this brilliant president that we elected twice. Plus, I have never given up on his quiet spirit, and hardworking of find ways to make government run more efficiently by using technology that he so brilliantly used in his campaign. Such brilliant minds to gather and put to work where he saw such a great vision in helping improve how the different departments could work and should work in our government.

            While the haters and non visionary people in Washington stand still, PBO still moves forward. This is the man that I know and love, and I thank Chips for having this beautiful place here where we can respect him, support him, and encourage each other to stand with him as he brings closure to these 18 months; but still we will see even more great things from him and our First Lady when they leave the WH.

            I love my president! Goodnight, Chips and my TOD family. HZ

  19. June 15, 2015 at 7:55 pm

  20. 72 vcprezofan2
    June 15, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    ——————————————————————————————————————–
    “There’s an attitude in the entrepreneurial private sector where we don’t care what came before us: We’re going to disrupt it,” ……
    …………………………..
    Dickerson adds, “It will not work, and you will not go far, if you come here with a big attitude, saying, ‘You people are stupid, get out of the way and we’ll show you how it’s done.’ ”
    —————————————————————————————————————–

    This quote that I’ve separated between the lines above comes from the article about PBO’s ‘new’ tech team, and it reminds me of some of the talented and bright young people I encounter.
    They are intelligent.
    They are excellent at what they do.
    They can regularly deliver.
    They are super-confident – all good qualities. Unfortunately they are often super arrogant and unabashedly uncaring of other people’s feelings so they often manage to alienate those with whom they have to work, creating friction in the workplace. Which IMO is such a pity as they have so much to offer.

    http://www.fastcompany.com/3046756/obama-and-his-geeks

  21. June 15, 2015 at 7:59 pm


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