A tragedy even President Obama wanted to speak out about:
“Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets. The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin’s family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams.”
via release by the White House
Watch Robin Williams break down the last 10 years of politics (NSFW Language):
White House Photographer Pete Souza and his team are known for capturing some of the most remarkable moments of our time. They watch as major events stand on the welcome mat of history and with skill and talent, they bring to us the art of one brief moment. I watch the WH Flickr feed with a kind of childlike wide-eyed awe each time they upload new sets. But here’s a collection you’ll find funny. I guess Souza is taking a little enjoyment capturing some of these Secret Service agents. Here are some of the best:
All we need is for Congress to sit down and reason together, Stewart said. Well, we all know what happened. Nothing. Again. Thanks Congress. Your momma must be so proud.
There are so many questions here. Namely, how does Congress see something like this and not feel a huge sense of shame. And how do voters not see the disgusting dysfunction and start holding members responsible while they are back home in their districts this summer?
Jon Stewart: “I mean, this is so insane. We had an urgent crisis on the southern border. The President offers his solution. The Senate can’t even get theirs to an up or down vote. And the House passes a draconian version that somehow moves to the right of itself. At this point can anything be done?”
Enter John Boehner: “There are numerous steps the President can and should take that do not need Congressional action”
Stewart: “Did John Boehner just suggest that if Congress can’t pass a bill to change a law it doesn’t like that the President should? Cause… I’m pretty sure there’s a guy right now suing the President for….. that….“
How is it possible that you can literally change your story in less than 60 seconds while on national television Well, thats exactly what happened this Wednesday morning when Rep. Steve King went on CNN!
Do you suppose the GOP takes special trapeze lessons to be able to straddle an issue that well? Or maybe it’s a special bottle of Congressal™. Congressal™ is a new drug that emulates schizophrenia. It helps elected officials be two people at once so they can be on both sides of an issue.
Congressal™ – never be wrong – always get reelected. Ask for it by name.
So it turns out that when Republicans do something, it’s ok, but when Democrats do something similar it isn’t ok. House Speaker John Boehner is suing (or at least will try to sue) President Obama and the Office of the President of the United States for signing a series of Executive Orders that he feels are illegal and excessive.
The real facts? It turns out if you compare President Obama to other presidents his number is among the lowest. Oops.
Here’s a fun meme I caught online about it
Here’s a helpful timeline of Executive Orders per day via the MaddowBlog
President Barack Obama is speaking at the Working Families Summit on Monday afternoon, but before the summit began, his weekly Saturday address dealt with the issues that matter most to working families. (transcript below):
Hi, everybody. As President, my top priority is rebuilding an economy where everybody who works hard has the chance to get ahead.
That’s what I’ll spend some time talking about on Monday, at the White House Summit on Working Families. We’re bringing together business leaders and workers to talk about the challenges that working parents face every day, and how we can address them together.
Take paid family leave. Many jobs don’t offer adequate leave to care for a new baby or an ailing parent, so workers can’t afford to be there when their family needs them the most. That’s wrong. And it puts us way behind the times. Only three countries in the world report that they don’t offer paid maternity leave. Three. And the United States is one of them. It’s time to change that. A few states have acted on their own to give workers paid family leave, but this should be available to everyone, because all Americans should be able to afford to care for a family member in need.
Childcare is another challenge. Most working families I know can’t afford thousands a year for childcare, but often that’s what it costs. That leaves parents scrambling just to make sure their kids are safe while they’re at work – forget about giving them the high-quality early childhood education that helps kids succeed in life.
Then there’s the issue of flexibility – the ability to take a few hours off for a parent-teacher conference or to work from home when your kid is sick. Most workers want it, but not enough of them have it. What’s more, it not only makes workers happier – studies show that flexibility can make workers more productive and reduce worker turnover and absenteeism. That’s good for business.
At a time when women make up about half of America’s workforce, outdated workplace policies that make it harder for mothers to work hold our entire economy back. But these aren’t just problems for women. Men also care about who’s watching their kids. They’re rearranging their schedules to make it to soccer games and school plays. Lots of sons help care for aging parents. And plenty of fathers would love to be home for their new baby’s first weeks in the world.
In fact, in a new study, nearly half of all parents – women and men – report that they’ve said no to a job, not because they didn’t want it, but because it would be too hard on their families. When that many talented, hard-working people are forced to choose between work and family, something’s wrong. Other countries are making it easier for people to have both. We should too, if we want American businesses to compete and win in the global economy.
Family leave. Childcare. Flexibility. These aren’t frills – they’re basic needs. They shouldn’t be bonuses – they should be the bottom line.
The good news is, some businesses are embracing family-friendly policies, because they know it’s key to attracting and retaining talented employees. And I’m going to keep highlighting the businesses that do. Because I take this personally. I take it personally as the son and grandson of some strong women who worked hard to support my sister and me. As the husband of a brilliant woman who struggled to balance work and raising our young ladies when my job often kept me away. And as the father of two beautiful girls, whom I want to be there for as much as I possibly can – and whom I hope will be able to have families and careers of their own one day.
We know from our history that our economy grows best from the middle-out; that our country does better when everybody participates; when everyone’s talents are put to use; when we all have a fair shot. That’s the America I believe in. That’s the America I’ll keep fighting for every day. Thanks, and have a great weekend.
Yesterday President Obama had a meeting at the Department of the Interior and decided to break with tradition and walk over. With U.S. Secret Service in tow, the President proclaimed “The bear is loose!” via the pool reports. A black suit jacket slung over his left shoulder, he greeted tourists and DC regulars along the way “How’s business?” he asked a woman selling pretzels, hot dogs and egg rolls. “Yeah, business is doing all right,” the woman said.
The same thing happened on an episode of the West Wing, but was used for a political tactic instead of a simple enjoyment of the afternoon air. During a government shutdown and negotiations with the Republican Speaker, President Bartlett headed up to The Hill and stopped along the way to speak to a group of tourists who couldn’t visit the monuments or museums. He gave them his pitch about fully funding the government and then walked up Constitution Avenue.
President Obama recalled the experience later during a speech on tourism in Coopertown, New York at the Baseball Hall of Fame:
“When it comes to tourism, the good news is we’ve got a great product to sell. People want to come here. I was reminded of that yesterday. I took a walk from the White House to the Department of the Interior building. Keep in mind, I don’t get a chance to take walks very often. (Laughter.) Secret Service gets a little stressed. But every once in a while I’m able to sneak off. I’m sort of like the circus bear that kind of breaks the chain, and I start taking off, and everybody starts whispering, the bear is loose! (Laughter.)
“So I got out, take a walk — it was a beautiful day. And even though I went for several blocks — it was probably about a 10-minute walk — in that little span of time, I met tourists from Germany, and Israel, and Brazil, and China, and Ukraine on the National Mall. The fact that people come from all over the world to see our parks, to see our monuments, is something we should take great pride in as Americans. And it’s good for our economy.”