Posts Tagged ‘Obama
If you’re a regular reader of Ashton Kutcher’s Twitter feed (and you very well may be, as the actor and prankster has over 2.5 million followers), you may have done a double take when he tweeted on Sunday that the White House had asked him to help get the word out about National HIV Testing Day.”I’ve been asked by the white house to twet this” wrote Kutcher, who provided a link to a White House blog post and accompanying video noting the 14th commemoration of National HIV Testing Day. But did the White House really reach out to Kutcher and ask him to promote their initiative? Or was Kutcher just trying to “punk” us and make us think he’s oh-so-cool because he’s in touch with the White House?
Turns out: Kutcher wasn’t lying. The White House confirmed that it did, in fact, seek Kutcher’s help in promoting the blog post.
“As technology impacts how and where people are communicating online, we are constantly looking for new ways to engage with the public,” said White House assistant press secretary Reid Cherlin. “Our efforts to promote National HIV Testing Day included participation from popular users of Twitter, as well as broad social media engagement by agencies across the government.”
Kutcher was one part of the strategy: The White House has also provided online and text message resources to help people find a local testing site, launched a Twitter hashtag on the subject (#NHTD09) and set up e-cards that individuals can use to encourage others to get tested for HIV/AIDS.
And this isn’t the first time the Obama administration has gotten involved with Twitter. Earlier this month, the State Department asked Twitter to postpone a scheduled shutdown in order to aid anti-government protesters in
LAPD Job Ratings UP!
The strong endorsement of the LAPD cuts across racial and ethnic lines, according to a new Los Angeles Times Poll — with the percentages of ablack and Latino voters who say they approve of how the police do their jobs almost as high as the level among white voters. That result is particularly notable given the long history of tensions between the police and the city’s black and Latino communities
Chris Brown Hearing Today to be a Media Spectacle
The crowd expected at this afternoon’s preliminary hearing for R&B singer Chris Brown will be on a different order. Fifty-two media outlets have asked to attend the proceeding, far more than were on hand for Paris Hilton’s re-jailing, Britney Spears’ divorce, the DUI cases of Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie, or the murder trials of Robert Blake or Phil Spector.
Sandra Bullock Tops the Box Office with “The Proposal”
People are giving The Proposal a big “I Do.” The comedy featuring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds finished at No. 1 with 34.1 million dollars in its opening weekend. In other movie news, “The Hangover” and “Ice Age 3D” are great too!
WANTED: Healthcare Reform
Republicans and some Democrats oppose increasing the government’s role in healthcare — it already runs the Medicare and Medicaid systems for the elderly and indigent — fearing it would require vast public funds and reduce the quality of care. But the Times/CBS poll found 85 percent of respondents wanted major healthcare reforms and most would be willing to pay higher taxes to ensure everyone had health insurance. An estimated 46 million Americans currently have no coverage.
I have a newsflash for y’all….if we continue to have politicians at the beckon call of lobbyists and big business who funds their campaigns, we will never have a TRULY representative democracy. Our representatives forget about their constituents because we are not paying for their office runs. Campaign finance reform is the root of this issue, and the only way to solve MANY of our current problems is to force our representatives to actually do their job….REPRESENT US!
Iran held its election yesterday/today and voter turnout so far is unprecedented. The world is now holding its breath to see if extreme right winger Ahmedinejad will remain in power or if reformer and more liberal Mousavi will prevail to dethrone one of the most controversial leaders in our world today and open Iran to a new era of global engagement.
Along with many others, last night I flagged the New York Times article in which opponents of a ‘public option’ in the health care reform bill are saying that the ‘public option’ (which is essentially the federal government entering the field with its own health insurance plan) would be so efficient and inexpensive that it might drive for-profit health insurance companies out of business.
Why this is a problem for anyone else beside the for-profit health insurance companies, whose lobbying muscle in Washington kept them out of Dante’s third cirlce of hell, is not clear.
But a few readers written in to say, Look, Medicare (which is probably the closest analogue to what a public option might look like) isn’t perfect. Many doctors won’t accept Medicare, it doesn’t cover enough, etc. etc. etc.
I don’t think anyone who seriously follows health care policy debates honestly disputes that Medicare insures a ton of people with very low overhead. But you only need relatives in their sixties to know that people have problems finding doctors who will accept Medicare or who feel that Medicare doesn’t cover enough and so forth.
But this seems to me to be the heart of the case — and the real tell about the opposition to the public options within the insurance industry. If it’s really true that lots of the best doctors aren’t going to accept the ‘public option’ subscribers, then I have to imagine that’s going to put a big brake on migration out of for-profit health insurance and into the public option. In other words, the problem — to the extent there are ones — should be self-correcting. Assuming the ‘public option’ has to exist on something like the same basis as the private carriers, the private carriers only have something to worry about if the ‘public option’ is just demonstrably better insurance.
Angelina Jolie has dethroned Oprah Winfrey as the world’s most powerful celebrity, according to Forbes.
The actress grabbed the No. 1 spot from the talk show queen on the magazine’s annual Celebrity 100 list, which ranks the rich and famous based on media exposure and career earnings over the past year.
Jolie, a reigning tabloid fixture, earned $27 million, bumping her up from third place on last year’s list, Forbes said, adding that she wields more power due to high-profile turns in hit films such as “Wanted” and “Kung Fu Panda.”
At No. 2, Winfrey is still the highest earner _ $275 million.
Madonna came in third, trailed by Beyonce, Tiger Woods, Bruce Springsteen and Steven Spielberg.
Two other celebs tied up in Jolie’s tabloid universe _ Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt _ came in at eighth and ninth place, respectively.
Tenth place goes to Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, thanks in part to endorsement deals scored after the Beijing Olympics.
About halfway down the list sits a very familiar face: President Barack Obama. At No. 49, Obama’s the first sitting head of state to appear on this Forbes fixture because of his worldwide fame, his historic election and his career as a best-selling author.
In a speech today at Cairo University in Egypt, President Obama pledged to “seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world.” Obama “was forceful and at times scolding as he promoted democracy in Egypt, sent a warning to Israelis against building new settlements, and acknowledged that the United States had fallen short of its ideals, particularly in the Iraq war.”
• More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.
• Just as Muslims do not fit a crude stereotype, America is not the crude stereotype of a self-interested empire. The United States has been one of the greatest sources of progress that the world has ever known. We were born out of revolution against an empire. We were founded upon the ideal that all are created equal, and we have shed blood and struggled for centuries to give meaning to those words – within our borders, and around the world. We are shaped by every culture, drawn from every end of the Earth, and dedicated to a simple concept: E pluribus unum: “Out of many, one.”
• And finally, just as America can never tolerate violence by extremists, we must never alter our principles. 9/11 was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our ideals. We are taking concrete actions to change course. I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States, and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year.
In an interview with Fox News yesterday, Cheney cleared things up about the Iraq/9/11 connection, “On the question of whether or not Iraq was involved in 9-11, there was never any evidence to prove that.”
Asked in 2004 if Iraq was involved in the attacks, Cheney was less clear, telling CNBC, “We don’t know.” He criticized the “irresponsible” media for reporting that there were no links between al-Qaeda and Iraq. “There clearly was a relationship. It’s been testified to. The evidence is overwhelming,”
The $328,835 snapshots of an Air Force One backup plane buzzing lower Manhattan last week will not be shown to the public, the White House said yesterday.
“We have no plans to release them,” an aide to President Obama told The Post, refusing to comment further.
The sole purpose of the secret photo-op, which sent thousands of New Yorkers running for cover, was to take new publicity shots of the presidential jet over the city.
“The photos . . . are classified — that’s ridiculous,” Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., said.
A “furious” President Obama has ordered a review of the decision to fly a Boeing 747 frighteningly close to the lower Manhattan skyline, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday.
The review will focus on “why that decision was made and to ensure that it never happens again,” Gibbs said. Jim Messina, a deputy chief of staff, will lead the effort.
On Tuesday, Obama told reporters, “It was a mistake. It was something we found out about along with all of you. And it will not happen again.”
Officials said that when Obama first found out about the incident, he was “furious.”
The incident has led to a large amount of criticism from New Yorkers and politicians.
After a YouTube video showed panicked New Yorkers scrambling as the plane flew frighteningly close to the lower Manhattan skyline, a former Homeland Security adviser questioned whether the man who approved the flyby should remain in his White House office.
Fran Townsend, who advised President George W. Bush for more than three years, called the move “crass insensitivity” in the wake of 9/11
http://www.theblockfm.com @ 10:15am PST to find out what we think about the news
Biden: Cheney Is “Dead Wrong,” And He Made U.S. Weaker
Vice President Biden told CNN that Dick Cheney is “dead wrong” in his denouncements of the Obama White House’s national security policies: “This administration — the last administration left us in a weaker posture than we’ve been any time since World War II: less regarded in the world, stretched more thinly than we ever have been in the past, two wars under way, virtually no respect in entire parts of the world.”
WaPo: Biden To Lead Push In Senate For Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
The Washington Post reports that President Obama will be putting Vice President Biden in charge of shepherding the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty through the Senate. Biden led the previous push in the Senate for ratification in 1999, when he was the ranking minority member of the Foreign Relations Committee, coming up 19 votes short of the 67 needed in the then-Republican controlled chamber.
At a press conference in Turkey, President Obama casually rebuked the old chestnut that the United States is a Judeo-Christian nation.
“One of the great strengths of the United States,” the President said, “is … we have a very large Christian population — we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.”
Rep. Eric Cantor, the no. 2 Republican in the House, suggested Thursday that Democrats are “overreacting” to the economic crisis:
The Virginia Republican, speaking to reporters at the Christian Science Monitor breakfast Thursday morning, praised Rush Limbaugh for his “ideas” and for avoiding the Democratic error of “overreacting, if you will, which this town often does, to crisis… Rahm Emanuel said, ‘We’re not going to miss the opportunity to take advantage of this crisis because we’re going to do all the things we couldn’t get done before.”
He went on to criticize Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s recent statement that the biggest danger was “doing too little” to deal with the meltdown.
Barack gives the Queen an iPod/she gives him a pic of herself
Michelle and Queen touch
Michelle fashion – rocks JCrew
Warhead cuts with Russia
Collaboration v. N.Korea
The art of protesting – 86 arrested, 1 dead
Tonight, Michelle Obama will attend a “girls night” at 10 Downing St. with Brown’s wife, Sarah, JK Rowling (I wonder if she’ll do a Harry Potter reading), and Naomi Campbell (dang, how the HELL did she get that invitation?!), among others.
According to the Daily News, meanwhile, the Obamas spent their flight from Washington reviewing the protocols of royal etiquette for their meeting with Queen Elizabeth, such as “you may touch the queen’s hand but not shake it,” and, if the Queen stops eating, then everyone else must too. President Bush offended the Queen by winking at her and joking that she’s been around since 1776. OMG this made my day. Remember the past eight years watching with great anticipation to see what Bushy would do next…he made for great reality TV.
President Barack Obama left for Europe Tuesday, packing a weighty agenda as he heads for critical economic and political talks in his first journey across the Atlantic since taking office two months ago.
Obama’s focus: a G-20 meeting of the world’s major economic powers and a NATO summit marking the 60 years since the alliance was founded to blunt Soviet aggression in Europe.
First up: a summit of the world’s economic powers in London to address the global financial meltdown that has defined the first two months of Obama’s administration.
The main event in London is Thursday’s summit on the global financial crisis among the Group of 20 wealthy and developing nations. Together, they represent 85 percent of the world’s economy. But it appears that the biggest winners of the G-20 are going to be the developing countries, seeming that we are spending all our GDP on bridges for Microsoft.
And everyone is all Lady GaGa over BHO going to Turkey. “First trip to a Muslim country.” Wow, get over it.
Call it Round Two of the news conference, with a big Internet twist.
President Barack Obama took questions from the White House press corps on Tuesday in a prime-time, East Room session that represented the most formal and time-honored of president-and-reporter interactions. On Thursday, he is taking to that same room for another public grilling _ this time by regular folks armed with questions submitted via the Internet and in person, as part of a political strategy to engage Americans directly.
Vice President Joe Biden’s ailing mother is feeling well enough to give him grief for not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day.
Biden told a White House crowd Tuesday night that he got up at 2:30 in the morning to get to the Philadelphia hospital where his 92-year-old mother, Catherine Eugenia “Jean” Biden, is recovering from surgery for a broken hip.
Biden laughed as he noted that he hadn’t given much thought about colors while dressing at that early hour.
When he greeted Irish and Irish-American guests at the White House, Biden pointed out his green necktie and said, “Mom, I got my green on tonight.”
Jean Biden was admitted to the hospital Sunday after a fall at Biden’s home in Greenville, Del.