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Get the Word Out About One Nation ~ One Nation Working Together

Posted by: Audiegrl

One Nation Working Together For Jobs, Justice and Education for All

Who We Are..

We are One Nation, born from many, determined to build a more united America – with jobs, justice and education for all.

We are young people, frustrated that society seems willing to spend more locking up our bodies than educating our minds, yet still we find ways to succeed and shine.

We are students and newly-returned veterans – persevering in the face of mounting debt – determined not to be the first generation to end up worse off than our parents.

We are baby boomers and seniors – who saw hope killed in 1968 and will not let the dream of a united America be taken from us again.

We are conservatives and moderates, progressives and liberals, non-believers and people of deep faith, united by escalating assaults on our reason, our environment, and our rights.

We are workers of every age, faith, race, sex, nationality, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and ability – who have suffered discrimination but never stopped loving our neighbors, or our nation.

We are American Indians and Alaska Natives – citizens of Native nations – who maintain our cultures, protect our sovereignty, and strength America’s economy.

We are the new immigrants, raising our children in the torchlight of the Statue of Liberty, while confronting the shadows that are bigotry and mass deportations.

We are the native born.  We inherited the divided legacies of settlers and American Indians, black slaves and white and Asian indentured servants. And yet, in this moment of shared suffering, we rejoice in newfound friendships and new alliances.

We are people who got thrown out – thrown out of our jobs, schools, houses, farms and small businesses – while Wall Street’s wrongdoers got bailed out. We are families who pray every day – for peace and prosperity; for deliverance from foreclosures; for good jobs to come back to urban and rural America.

We are unemployed workers – forced to watch hopes for bold action dashed – because some Senators threaten filibusters, and other would-be champions fold in fear.

And yet, we are the majority – fueled by hope, not hate. We have the pride, power and determination to keep ourselves – and our country – moving up and out of the valley greed created.

And most importantly – from ensuring women are treated fairly at work, to expanding health care coverage for millions– we have been victorious whenever we worked together. We have proven the only thing we need to succeed is each other.

And so, on 10-2-10, we come back together – to march.

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Why We March…

We march for a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. We march for jobs, justice, and education. We march for an economy that works for all.  We march for a nation in which each person who wants to work can find a job that pays enough to support a family.

We march to create a million new jobs right away, because the national values that got us out of the Great Depression will get us out of the Great Recession.

We march to build a world-class public education system, from pre-school to community college and beyond – because our nation must start unleashing the greatness of every child today.

We march to end racial profiling and re-segregation– from Arizona to Atlanta. We march to defend the Voting Rights Act and the 14th Amendment.  We march to advance human rights, civil rights, equal protection, and dignity for all.

We march to fix the broken immigration system – because no child should live in fear that her parents will be deported.

We march to ensure every worker has a voice at work. We march for green jobs and safe workplaces, so no worker will have to choose between her livelihood and her life.

We march for a clean environment, so no child is ever forced to decide between drinking the water or breathing the air and staying healthy.

We march to move our nation beyond this moment when a handful of Senators can block urgently needed progress – skewing our national budget towards tax cuts for the wealthy, unjustified military spending and prisons.

We march to demand full equality for all women in all communities, indulging an end to wage discrimination.

We march for peace abroad and job creation at home. We march for energy independence, public safety, and public transportation because the nation we want to build most is our own.

We march to demand full equality for all women in all communities, indulging an end to wage discrimination.

And on 11-2-10, we will march again – into the voting booths. We will bring our families, our friends, and our neighbors. And once the ballots are counted, we will keep organizing, we will hold our leaders accountable, and we will keep making our dream real.

This movement will grow.  It will put America back to work, pull America back together, and keep us moving ever forward.

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Working together for the creation, protection, and advancement of good jobs

Create new jobs in every sector, so that everyone in our country who wants to work can find a job. There should be a job in America for everyone who wants to work.

Provide immediate relief for those who are currently unemployed

  • Extend the federal unemployment program, COBRA, mortgage assistance, and other targeted initiatives helping those who are currently without a job
  • Target help for populations and communities in the greatest need, including youth summer jobs and training initiatives

Provide immediate action to stimulate job growth and retention; and consumer demand

  • Provide aid to states and cities—including direct job creation at local levels—especially in education, health care, social services and first responder workforces
  • Increase the ability of small businesses to obtain assistance and support, including short term loans, grants and other forms of assistance
  • Fund infrastructure investment that spurs higher economic growth, clean energy enterprises, and green jobs

Provide a fair chance for every worker in our country to succeed and advance in the workplace

  • Everyone who works in America should have the right to join with their co-workers to have a voice on the job
  • Pay all workers a living family wage
  • Increase and index the minimum wage
  • Close the race-, gender-, and all other unjust pay gaps
  • End all forms of workplace discrimination and expand anti-discrimination law to be inclusive of everyone
  • Protect, honor, fully apply, and expand equal opportunity and diverse business inclusion practices
  • Create employment pathways and training opportunities for workers who want to advance their careers
  • Make every job a safe job
  • Provide paid sick days and paid family leave for all workers

Rebuild the U.S. economy for the 21st Century

  • Reorient our country’s trade and tax policies to tackle job loss and currency manipulation, and promote the creation of good jobs at home
  • Create a national industrial policy to transform our economy into a sustainable one that provides good jobs and a good quality of life for America’s families
  • Provide greater national investment in new jobs, improved infrastructure, and public education instead of escalating military spending
  • Prevent the repeat of the economic crisis by addressing the problem of financial institutions, including those deemed “too big to fail”
  • Put an end to the exploitative practices that contributed to the economic crisis; increase watchdog powers of institutions such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and prohibit and punish predatory lending and mortgage scams

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Working together for justice and equal opportunity for all

Advance and implement policy principles and practices that prohibit and prevent discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or ability.

Enhance, strengthen and preserve voting rights for all Americans

  • Enact policies that expand access to the polls for everyone, including former felons
  • Preserve policies that established to address systematic voter disenfranchisement, including the elimination of deceptive practices
  • Secure voting representation in Congress and full democracy for the residents of the District of Columbia, so that our pledge of “liberty and justice for all” will apply equally to all who live in our nation’s capital

End discriminatory practices within the criminal justice system

  • End racial profiling by law enforcement officials
  • Eliminate statutes, such as mandatory minimums, which have had a disparately devastating impact on the poor as well as racial and ethnic minorities
  • Restore trust between police officers and the communities they serve by establishing competent civilian review boards with real authority to identify and address misconduct
  • Establish policies to help ex-felony offenders reintegrate into society, including job training, educational opportunities, and voting rights that reducing recidivism rates

Preserve and honor our history as a nation that is inclusive of immigrants and maintain respect for the rule of law

  • Fix our broken immigration system in a way that provides for due process; protects workers and our national security; quickly reunites families, holds employers accountable, and provides a fair path to citizenship.
  • Avoid or end ineffective, costly, and dangerous proposals or provisions that seek to round up, detain, and deport 12 million unauthorized workers, split families, encourage racial profiling, and divert scarce resources away from crime fighting.
  • Provide for a path to citizenship for individuals who are completing an education and/or serve in their community, or in the military

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Working together to protect and strengthen the safety net, and create opportunity for all

  • End the foreclosure epidemic and save the homes of America’s families
  • Require principal write downs in exchange for government aid for mortgage lenders or services
  • Reform bankruptcy laws to protect families, working people, seniors, and students
  • Prioritize safe, secure and affordable housing for all
  • Provide adequate resources to end all forms of discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of housing
  • Protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare
  • Repair private pension systems
  • Complete the promise of accessible and affordable health care for all people, including the public option and other effective means to provide coverage for all; and implementation of anti-discrimination provisions

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Working together for quality public education for all

  • Ensure that all people have equal access to affordable, adequately resourced, high quality public education throughout their lives, from preschool through college
  • Provide for quality teaching jobs with training, and support necessary to continuously improve classroom practice and safety, and serve students better
  • Increase federal support to institutions of higher education that provide opportunities for underserved communities, including women’s institutions, community colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Hispanic Serving Institutions
  • Increase access to higher education by increasing affordability and decreasing dependency on student loans
  • End the school-to-prison pipeline by investing in public education systems not prisons, and provide more education opportunities for incarcerated youth
  • Create systems and structures which maximize diverse community input to assist in ending all policies and actions that directly or indirectly lead to re-segregation by race or ethnicity of our public schools

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Conclusion

As One Nation Working Together we will work for policy principles that restore the inclusion of all communities striving to achieve the American Dream. One Nation Working Together will push for an economy that works for everyone by advocating for policy principles that result in good jobs, and well trained work forces. We will work for quality public education and training for our children, who are tomorrow’s work force. We will work for principles and laws that provide for equal opportunity for everyone, so that all have a chance to achieve the American Dream. Finally, we will support policy principles that create a path toward economic and environmental sustainability for today and for generations to come.

Join us. We are One Nation Working Together: For Jobs, For Justice, For Education, For All.

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First Lady Michelle Obama To Governors: ‘Let’s Act‘ On Obesity

Posted by: Audiegrl

First lady Michelle Obama applauds the spouses of the nation's governors as she begins her address on childhood obesity at the at the start of the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

First Lady Michelle Obama applauds the spouses of the nation's governors as she begins her address on childhood obesity at the at the start of the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

(AP)~~First lady Michelle Obama appealed to governors on Saturday for help in reducing child obesity and said they had a moral and financial imperative to act.

She praised states for their steps already and assured state leaders that the federal government had no interest in taking over their efforts.

Let’s stop wringing our hands and talking about it and citing statistics,” she told governors at their winter meeting. “Let’s act. Let’s move. Let’s give our kids the future they deserve.”

The first lady found a high-powered audience to make the case for her new campaign on obesity. One in three American children is overweight or obese, a condition that raises their risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other illnesses.

Obama sought support from leaders of both parties and made sure to respect the influence of the states.

The way I see this, there is nothing Democratic or Republican, there is nothing liberal or conservative about wanting our kids to lead active, healthy lives,” she said. “There’s no place for politics when it comes to fighting childhood obesity. And I know all of you agree.”

The first lady’s campaign has four parts: helping parents make better food choices, serving healthier food in school vending machines and lunch lines, making healthy food more available and affordable, and encouraging children to exercise more.

In talking to the governors, she emphasized the importance of empowering parents who feel helpless because they don’t feel they have the time, money or information to provide healthy meals or safe places to exercise.

First Lady Michelle Obama is greeted by West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin III, as she is introduced to speak at the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

First Lady Michelle Obama is greeted by West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin III, as she is introduced to speak at the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Mindful that the governors face economic crises in their states, Obama said the obesity solutions need not be expensive. She encouraged them to take steps such as providing access at school ball fields to the community at nights, or requiring the construction of sidewalks when new roads are being built.

Comprehensive and coordinated doesn’t mean centralized,” she added. “I’ve spoken to so many experts on this issue and not a single one of them has said that the solution is for the federal government to tell people what to do. That doesn’t work.”

The governors are trying to find political solutions to soaring health care costs as President Barack Obama seeks to do the same. Michelle Obama said the money crunch cannot be solved without addressing child obesity.

If we think our health care costs are high now, just wait until 10 years from now and think about the many billions we’re going to be spending then,” she said. “Think about how high those premiums are going to be when our kids are old enough to have families of their own and businesses of their own.”


Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our brand new section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

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Video: BoBama frolics in the DC snow

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Holiday Season at the White House with the Obama’s ~ 2009

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November 27, 2009

First Lady Michelle Obama and First Daughters Kick Off Christmas at White House

First lady Michelle Obama, with her daughters Sasha and Malia, as they stand with the White House Christmas tree as it is delivered to the North Portico of the White House in Washington, Friday, Nov. 27, 2009.

First Lady Michelle Obama, with her daughters Sasha and Malia, as they stand with the White House Christmas tree as it is delivered to the North Portico.

AP/—The White House is open for Christmas. A day after celebrating Thanksgiving, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha received the official White House Christmas tree: an 18½-foot Douglas fir delivered from a farm in Shepherdstown, W.Va., by traditional horse-drawn carriage. Growers Eric and Gloria Sundback officially presented the tree to the Obamas on Friday. It’s the fourth time one of their trees has become the official White House tree.

Malia, Michelle, and Sasha Obama welcome Mark Steelhammer, left, and Eric and Gloria Sundback to the White House.

Malia, Michelle, and Sasha Obama welcome Mark Steelhammer, left, and Eric and Gloria Sundback to the White House.

It’s big enough for Sasha to climb in, I think,” Sundback joked after the Obamas walked from the North Portico of the White House to the driveway where the tree was tied up and lying in the carriage, pulled up the driveway from Pennsylvania Avenue by a pair of Belgian draft horses with red Christmas bows tied to their tails. A sign affixed to the side of the carriage said “White House Christmas Tree 2009.” “We’re excited,” Mrs. Obama told the Sundbacks. Asked by reporters whether the tree was the biggest she ever had, the first lady said: “Yeah, I think this wins.”

The 12-foot wide tree in the oval-shaped Blue Room on the State Floor of the White House, is the star attraction of Christmas at the White House, and will be oohed and aahed over by the thousands of people who will stream through in December for holiday parties and public tours of the executive mansion.

The tree, which the Sundbacks planted in 1996, was hand-picked on Oct. 20 on a visit to the Sundback’s farm by retired Rear Adm. Stephen Rochon, the White House chief usher, and Dale Haney, superintendent of the White House grounds. Besides the official tree, more than a dozen smaller trees from the Sundback farm will decorate other rooms in the White House, including the Oval Office. The Sundbacks, both in their 80s, earned the honor by winning the National Christmas Tree Association’s national contest this year for the fourth time. A tree from the winner’s farm is then chosen as the official White House tree, an annual tradition that dates to 1966. The Sundbacks have grown Christmas trees since 1956 and were thrilled by the opportunity to meet their fourth first lady.

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December 2, 2009

First Lady Michelle Obama Unveils White House Christmas Decorations

The First Lady debuts the 2009 White House Christmas decorations in the Cross Hall of the White House. She is accompanied by U.S. Marines as she promotes the Marine Corp's Toys for Tots program

The First Lady debuts the 2009 White House Christmas decorations in the Cross Hall of the White House. She is accompanied by U.S. Marines as she promotes the Marine Corp's Toys for Tots program

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama became the entertainers-in-chief, hosting nearly 30 parties during their first holiday season at the White House. More than 50,000 people have received invitations to attend one of the 17 holiday parties and 11 open houses at the White House that started in early December.

The Red Room of the White House, with holiday decorations, Dec. 2, 2009. This years holiday theme at the White House is reflect, rejoice and renew.

The Red Room of the White House, with holiday decorations, Dec. 2, 2009. This years holiday theme at the White House is reflect, rejoice and renew.

This isn’t just throwing open the White House doors and putting out some drinks and appetizers. The Obamas attended each party, greeted guests in a receiving line, posed for photos at most of the events and even mingled among the partygoers at a select few.

The Obamas pledged to open up the White House and make it a more open, welcoming place to average Americans. Guests at the White House holiday parties get to explore the mansion’s state floor, which holds famous rooms like the East, Red, Green and Blue rooms and the State Dining Room.

The White House tree is also lit with environmentally sound LED lights

The White House tree is also lit with environmentally sound LED lights

The theme of this year’s decorations is “reflect, rejoice and renew.” The displays are scaled down from previous seasons in an acknowledgment of the tough economic times and also to highlight the Obamas’ emphasis on recycling. Some of the decorations, in fact, are from previous administrations, but with an Obama twist.

We decided to do something just a little different,” Michelle Obama said earlier this month. “We took about 800 ornaments left over from previous administrations, we sent them to 60 local community groups throughout the country, and asked them to decorate them to pay tribute to a favorite local landmark and then send them back to us for display here at the White House.”

Guests still will be able to admire an annual, mouthwatering White House tradition — the gingerbread replica of the president’s mansion, made over the last six weeks by White House pastry chef Bill Yosses. The 400-pound White House is made out of white chocolate and gingerbread with flourishes of marzipan to create the vegetables in the Obamas’ garden and the furniture in the State Dining Room.

The ornaments are hung on the tree with blue ribbon embroidered with the words "reflect," "rejoice" and "renew" in several different languages

The ornaments are hung on the tree with blue ribbon embroidered with the words reflect, rejoice and renew in several different languages

The largest tree in the mansion — an 18 1/2 -foot Douglas fir adorning the Blue Room — is festooned with hundreds of ornaments, all recycled from previous administrations and spruced up by groups around the country to reflect cherished landmarks. Chicagoans clearly had a vote, since the city is represented in orbs singling out the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Chicago Theatre, the Art Institute of Chicago and the DuSable Museum of African American History. “Sweet home, Chicago” is the rhapsody on another ornament. It takes its place with ornaments depicting a Georgia peach, a Maryland crab and others heralding spots from Maine (the Wiggly Bridge near York Harbor) to California (the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Library).

A view of the White House Green Room

A view of the White House Green Room

Planning for the holidays began last summer, and the first of an expected 50,000-plus holiday visitors began streaming through December 1st. There were dozens of “elves” behind the decorating, which, while elaborate, was more understated than in recent years. Ninety-two volunteers from 24 states put in more than 3,400 hours of their time. Among the volunteers were some from the Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago. White House staffers and National Park Service workers also rolled up their sleeves in the effort.

The East Room is decorated with fresh garlands, blue hydrangea, seeded eucalyptus and beaded fruit

The East Room is decorated with fresh garlands, blue hydrangea, seeded eucalyptus and beaded fruit

They helped erect a large, ornate nativity scene in the East Room, graced by four fireplaces wearing opulent fresh garlands on their mantels. There, as in the other rooms on the State Floor, Mother Nature is amply represented with adornments of dried hydrangea (leftovers from White House floral arrangements), honeysuckle vine, magnolia branches, cranberries, gigantic pine cones and painted magnolia leaves. Several ruby-red wreaths were created from the magnolia leaves. Two 8-foot topiary trees were crafted from dried pepper berries, all from California. The flowers? They range from pink-tinged white amaryllis, fringed with pepper berry, to pale pink roses married with boxwood.

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December 3, 2009

The 86th Anniversary–Lighting of The National Christmas Tree

The National Christmas Tree Lighting once again provided an opportunity for all Americans to come together to celebrate the season and to share the message of peace.

Presented by the National Park Service and National Park Foundation, an all-star lineup of stars offered a diverse program of holiday music, including traditional songs with dashes of pop, folk and hip-hop.

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December 13, 2009

Christmas at the White House: An Oprah Primetime Special


Oprah Winfrey ushered in the holidays at the White House, visiting President Barack Obama and the First Lady as they prepared for their family’s first Christmas there.

The intimate, informative and entertaining hour-long special included a one-on-one conversation with the President, marking the first time Oprah had interviewed him since he took office, as well as an exclusive sit-down interview with the first couple. The special showcased behind-the-scenes preparations as the White House gets ready for the holiday season. Winfrey’s special included a tour of White House holiday decorations and an appearance by Bo, the family’s dog.

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December 16, 2009

The White House Hanukkah Party: A Special Menorah from Prague, Kosher Foods, and a Larger Guest List

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama watch as a child lights the Hanukkah candles

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama watch as a child lights the Hanukkah candles

Obama Foodorama—December 16th was the sixth night of the Jewish Festival of Lights, and President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted their first Hanukkah party at the White House. The event spilled between the State Dining Room and the East Room, and a Jewish student choir will perform. A very special 19th century menorah was loaned to the White House for the traditional candle lighting ceremony, and it was lit by the two young children of a Jewish soldier deployed in Iraq. The special koshering of the White House kitchen was overseen by Rabbi Levi Shemtov, who heads the Washington office of the American Friends of Lubavitch.

President Barack Obama with First Lady Michelle greets the crowd before his speech at Hradcansky square in Prague on April 5, 2009

President Barack Obama with First Lady Michelle greets the crowd before his speech at Hradcansky square in Prague on April 5, 2009

The sterling silver menorah is on loan from the Jewish Museum in Prague, at the request of Mrs. Obama, who visited when she was touring Prague’s Jewish Town in April, while President Obama was on his first official visit there. The menorah dates from 1783, and is the work of Viennese silversmith Cyril Schillberger. On December 1, Leo Pavlat, director of the Jewish Museum, handed the menorah over to Mary Thompson-Jones, Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of the United States of America, in a brief ceremony. Pavlat noted that the museum was pleased to loan the menorah to the Obamas, and regarded it as a symbolic connection between the Jewish communities in Moravia and Bohemia and those in the United States. When she was in Prague, Pavlat acted as Mrs. Obama’s tour guide during her tour of Jewish historical sites.

Pavlat and Thompson-Jones during the menorah hand off in Prague

Pavlat and Thompson-Jones during the menorah hand off in Prague

On Dec. 11, the first night of Hanukkah, President Obama sent holiday greetings from the White House, in Hebrew and English:

הצהרת הנשיא אובאמה לרגל חג החנוכה

מישל ואנוכי שולחים את מיטב איחולינו לכל מי שחוגג בימים אלה את חג החנוכה ברחבי העולם. סיפור חנוכה של המכבים ושל הנסים שהם חוו מזכירים לנו שאמונה והתמדה הן כוחות עצומים המסוגלים לקיים אותנו בתקופות קשות ולעזור לנו לגבור על מכשולים כנגד כל הסיכויים.

חנוכה הוא העת לא רק לחגוג את אמונת העם היהודי ואת מנהגיו, אלא להעלות על נס את השאיפות המשותפות של בני כל הדתות. בשעה שבני משפחה, חברים ושכנים נאספים יחדיו כדי להדליק את הנרות, מי יתן והלקחים של חנוכה ישמשו השראה לכולנו להודות על החסד שנפל בחלקינו, למצוא מקור אור בתקופות אופל ולפעול יחדיו למען
עתיד יותר מלא אורה ותקווה

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Rahm Emanuel, White House chief of staff to President Barack Obama, addresses attendees at the 2009 Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Ceremony at the Ellipse, near the south grounds of the White House

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Emmanuel joined two Rabbis in a cherry picker at the top of the menorah to ignite three oil lamps marking the 3rd night of the eight-day festival

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December 16, 2009

First Lady Michelle Obama Delivers Toys for Tots

First Lady Michelle Obama praised the soldiers and volunteers who worked on the Marine Corps program.

First Lady Michelle Obama praised the soldiers and volunteers who worked on the Marine Corps program.


First Lady Michelle Obama visits the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toy for Tots warehouse in Stafford, VA to deliver some of the more than 500 toys collected during a White House drive. Started in 1947, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation collects and distributes toys to less fortunate children for Christmas. The program helps make sure needy children have something to unwrap on Christmas morning. The First Lady was told about an abundance of toys for younger children. She asked the public to think about needy older children when shopping for toys to donate.

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December 17, 2009

Gloria Estefan Interviews President Obama in the White House for the Univision special “Our Christmas”


In an interview for Univision, singer Gloria Estefan interviewed the President, asking the “very important question…which chimney will Santa be coming down?”

The answer: the chimney in the Yellow Room in the middle of the Residence, “so that’s where we are going to set the cookies and the milk, because after working all night, giving the gifts…. we want to make sure when it comes to the White House that he feels like he is getting good service.” The Obamas will also set out “a little reindeer snack.”

At the end of the interview the President sent seasons greetings and a call to service to viewers and military families in the Hispanic community…en Español. “En esta temporada festiva, todos queremos estar con nuestros seres queridos, pero también podemos tomar el tiempo para ayudar a nuestras comunidades. Cada persona puede hacer una gran diferencia. Michelle y yo les deseamos una Feliz Navidad.”

Translation: “In this holiday season, we would all like to be with our loved ones, but we should also take the time to help our communities. Each person can make a big difference. Michelle and I wish you a Merry Christmas.”

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December 20, 2009

The 11th Annual Christmas in Washington Concert

TNT rang in the holidays in musical style with 11th annual presentation of Christmas in Washington. Performers included were Mary J. Blige, Neil Diamond, Sugarland, Usher, Rob Thomas and Justin Bieber joined host George Lopez in this spectacular holiday celebration.

Annually attended by the President and First Lady and other Washington VIPs, Christmas in Washington is a holiday musical celebration taped at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., with proceeds going to the National Children’s Medical Center.

Before the show started, four little girls dressed as elves helped the first couple place a gift for the Children’s National Medical Center under a Christmas tree. President Obama deemed the quartet – Avery, age 4, Anna, age 6, Abigail, age 4, and Reagan, age 7 – “Santa’s little helpers,” and introduced each, replacing their last name with “Elf.”

Though Anna Elf (on the left), seemed unimpressed, telling the President: “I’ve never seen you before!” He responded, laughing, “I’ve never seen you before.”

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Sugarland's  Kristian Bush, left, Mary J Blige, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle and George Lopez sing Christmas carols

Sugarland's Kristian Bush, left, Mary J Blige, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle and George Lopez sing Christmas carols

President Obama spoke of helping those in need during the holidays, as well as honoring those in the military: “With our men and women in uniform serving far from home, in harm’s way, our fervent wish remains this season, and all seasons: Let there be peace on earth,” he said. Near the end of the show, Lopez introduced President Obama and First Lady Michelle. The President thanked the performers and offered some holiday thoughts:

This season we celebrate that sacred moment. The birth of a child, the message of the love we preach to the world. We are our brother’s keeper. We are our sister’s keeper. And pure in heart, we do unto others as we have them do unto us. We devote ourselves to good works. We are summoned to be peacemakers. More the 2,000 years later,that spirit still inspires us. That’s why this celebration tonight benefits Children’s National Medical Center and all the children whose lives they touch and they save.

That’s why so many of our fellow citizens struggle during tough times. We are called upon to help neighbors in need. That’s why, with our men and women in uniform serving far from home, in harm’s way, our fervent wish remains this season, and all seasons to let there be peace on Earth. To all Americans, from our family to yours, Merry Christmas and God bless.”

After addressing the crowd, the Obamas stayed on stage with all the performers to sing carols, starting with “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.” The president wiped a tear from his eye during the sing-along.

Mary J. Blige Sings Oh Holy Night

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Usher Sings Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

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Justin Bieber Sings Some Day At Christmas

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Mary J. Blige Sings the Christmas Song

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Sugarland Sings Gold and Green

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Usher Sings Peace on Earth

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Rob Thomas Sings New York Christmas

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December 21, 2009

First Lady Michelle Obama and First Daughters Malia & Sasha Answer Kids’ Questions, While Bo Barks At Santa

President Barack Obama says the only Christmas presents he needs from his daughters are hugs.

During an interview on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, Obama said he and First Lady Michelle Obama decided several years ago not to buy each other presents. Obama says that doesn’t always save him money because he makes up for that on birthdays and Mother’s Day, but it does save him some wrapping time around the holidays.

Although the President said all he wants for Christmas is hugs from his daughters, first daughters Sasha and Malia have other plans. During a Q&A with kids at the Children’s National Medical Center on Tuesday, the girls revealed they’re getting their father “sports stuff.” They also talked about how Christmas will be different now that they’re in the White House and what they’re planning for the holidays. Bo the First dog came along for the visit.

December 21, 2009

President Obama Visits Boys & Girls Club, Reads To Children

Barack Obama brought a beloved book to read. He brought a press entourage. He brought cookies shaped like Bo the dog. Hey, he brought himself.

But the president of the United States still got a little Christmas reality Monday from a bunch of kids: High-tech toys rule.

Dashing into a Boys & Girls Club in northeast Washington, Obama asked about 25 youngsters what they wanted from Santa Claus.

An Ipod. A video game. A TV. A video game. A cell phone. A video game.

Now let me ask you a question here guys,” Obama finally said. “What ever happened to, like, asking for a bike?”

For a president snowbound in the White House, a visit to this community center was a nice mix of missions: a way to give back, a nice photo opportunity with a cute collection of children, and a chance to tell the country that the holidays are about generosity of spirit – not just gifts.

Obama took off his suit coat and read “The Polar Express,” a magical Christmas classic, holding it forward so the seated children could see the pictures.

The children paid quiet attention throughout. Obama rewarded them by grabbing his red velvet-wrapped basket of cookies and offering the children a choice of shapes: Bo the family dog, a gingerbread man or a Christmas maple leaf.


December 22, 2009

Photostream: Holidays at the White House

Holiday season at the White House began with a very simple idea: to include as many people, in as many places, in as many ways as possible. In this spirit, they’ve posted a video tour of this year’s decorations and the making of the gingerbread White House; now see the holidays through the lens of the White House Photo Office.
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December 23, 2009

The Official White House Christmas Portrait of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pose for a formal portrait in front of the official White House Christmas Tree in the Blue Room of the White House, Dec. 6, 2009

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pose for a formal portrait in front of the official White House Christmas Tree in the Blue Room of the White House, Dec. 6, 2009


December 23, 2009

First Lady Michelle Obama Reads The Night Before Christmas

First Lady Michelle Obama visits Children’s National Medial Center in Washington D.C. to read “The Night Before Christmas“. Joined by daughters Malia and Sasha, along with dog Bo, the First Lady continues this tradition of visiting with patients which dates back to Bess Truman.

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December 24, 2009

President Obama’s Weekly Address: Celebrating Christmas and Honoring Those Who Serve

For the first time in a weekly address, the President is joined by the First Lady as they celebrate Christmas. They both honor those serving overseas, those who have sacrificed for their country, and the families that stand by them. December 24, 2009.
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December 24, 2009

Mele Kalikimaka: The Obama Family’s Annual Christmas Vacation

Hawaii’s home-grown president, Barack Obama and the First Family traveled back in Honolulu on Dec. 24. They celebrated both Christmas and New Year’s in the islands.

In the past, Obama made a point of celebrating Christmas with his grandmother Madelyn Payne Dunham. The woman who raised Obama when his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was working and studying in Indonesia, died last November.

Also in past years, Obama would spend time with his sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng. The President’s sister and her husband, Konrad Ng, are also expected back in Honolulu. They were living in Washington, D.C., this year while Ng, a University of Hawaii professor, was scholar-in-residence at the Smithsonian Institution’s Asian Pacific American program.

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and their children Sasha and Malia leave the White House

The First Family Arrives In Honolulu, Hawaii

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet soldiers and their family members for Christmas during a visit to Marine Corps Base Hawaii on December 25, 2009 in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii



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Dan Brown’s New Book, 2012 – Are You Ready for the Consciousness Shift?

dan-brown-lost-symbol-420x0Doc Childre and Deborah Rozman Ph.D.—Like The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown’s new book, The Lost Symbol, is creating controversy. This time it’s about what’s real and what’s not in his interpretations of the many mysterious symbols that are in our nation’s capitol. Were our founding fathers, who carefully designed and placed these mystical symbols, trying to tell us something? (They were Freemasons whose motto is ordo ab chao or “order out of chaos“.) Are Brown’s descriptions of noetic science (exploring the nature and potentials of consciousness) and quantum-indeterminate electronic noise REGS (Random Event Generators) fact or fiction? Are his assertions true that existing organizations had “categorically proven that human thought, if properly focused had the ability to affect and change physical mass” and that “our thoughts actually interacted with the physical world, whether or not we knew it, effecting change all the way down to the subatomic realm?

noeticscienceBrown states in The Lost Symbol that in the hours following the horrifying events of September 11, 2001 the field of noetic science made a quantum leap forward in proving a connection between science and mysticism and bringing order out of chaos. “Four scientists discovered that as the frightened world came together and focused in shared grief on this single tragedy, the outputs of thirty-seven different Random Event Generators around the world suddenly became significantly less random. Somehow, the oneness of this shared experience, the coalescing of millions of minds, had affected the randomizing function of these machines, organizing their outputs and bringing order form chaos.” His fictional character Trish talks about “software that quantifies the nation’s emotional state.” Brown goes on. His fictional scientist Katherine “created beautifully symmetrical ice crystals by sending loving thoughts to a glass of water as it froze. Incredibly the converse was also true: when she sent negative, polluting thoughts to the water, the ice crystals froze in chaotic, fractured forms.” What is Dan Brown trying to tell us?

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Congress Set To Allow Gay Marriage In Nation’s Capital

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PORTUGAL-GAY-MARRIAGE

Washington Post/Tim Craig—Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill said it appears unlikely that Congress will block a bill to be introduced Tuesday that would allow same-sex marriages in the District.

D.C. Council leaders have vowed to expedite the bill and said they hope to put it to a final vote before Christmas. But even if same-sex couples start marrying next year, the long-term survival of the practice would be in doubt for years, depending on the makeup of the House and Senate, congressional officials said.

I hate to say this, but I think this is going to be rough sledding,” said Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.). “I don’t think [conservatives] are going to give us a pass. . . . I don’t think we can always escape this issue coming to the floor.”

On Tuesday morning, D.C. Council member David A. Catania (I-At Large) will introduce his bill, which says that “any person . . . may marry any other eligible person regardless of gender.” The legislation, which has 10 co-sponsors including Catania, is expected to sail through the council’s committee process. Under Home Rule, Congress will have 30 legislative days to review the council’s action before it becomes law.

Given the stakes for the gay community locally and nationally, many city leaders and activists have begun calculating how Congress might react to the sight of same-sex couples getting married in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol.

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HBO Documentary Films: Outrage: Do Ask. Do Tell

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<i>Outrage: Do Ask. Do Tell</i>

Outrage: Do Ask. Do Tell

An official selection of the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival, OUTRAGE investigates the hidden lives of some of the country’s most powerful policymakers – from now-retired Idaho Senator Larry Craig, to former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevy – and examines how these and other politicians have inflicted damage on millions of Americans by opposing gay rights. Equally disturbing, the film explores the mainstream media’s complicity in keeping those secrets, despite the growing efforts to “out” them by gay rights organizations and bloggers.

Barney Frank, the best-known openly gay member of Congress

Congressman Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts)

Through a combination of archival news footage and exclusive interviews with politicians and members of the media, OUTRAGE probes the psychology of a double lifestyle, the ethics of outing closeted politicians, and the double standards that the media upholds in its coverage of the sex lives of gay public figures. As Barney Frank, perhaps the best-known openly gay member of Congress explains, “There is a right to privacy, but not a right to hypocrisy. It is very important that the people who make the law be subject to the law.”

The film also spotlights Michael Rogers, a gay activist and founder of blogACTIVE, a Washington, D.C.-based website dedicated to outing closeted public figures. Rogers feels it is necessary to expose the hypocrisy of those who may live one way in public and another way in private, explaining that his work is not about outing people who are gay, but rather about “reporting on individuals who are working against the community that they then expect to protect them.”

OUTRAGE was written and directed by Kirby Dick; producer, Amy Ziering; executive producers, Tom Quinn, Jason Janego, Ted Sarandos, Chad Griffin, Kimball Stroud, Bruce Brothers and Tectonic Theater Project; co-producer, Tanner Barklow; editors, Doug Blush and Matt Clarke; music, Peter Golub. For HBO: senior producer, Nancy Abraham; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.

Outrage: Do Ask. Do Tell is premiering Monday, October 5 at 9pm only on HBO. For more information, visit HBO.com.




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