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Auto-Tune the News #11: Pure Poppycock. (ft. Joel Madden)

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President Obama Throws Out First Pitch

Posted by: Audiegrl

President Barack Obama is congratulated by kids on the sidelines at Nationals Stadium moments after he threw out the first pitch before the game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals on Opening Day at Nationals Park on April 5, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photos by Pool/Getty Images North America)

EUR~It went wide right, but at least President Obama’s ceremonial first pitch to launch the 2010 Major League Baseball season found the glove of Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman without taking a bounce.

Dressed in a red Nationals jacket and khakis, the president stopped to greet wounded veterans before walking out to the mound amid lots of cheers and some audible boos at Nationals Park today.

The left-hander then pulled out a White Sox cap to represent his home team, placed it firmly on his head and wound up for the pitch.

The wild throw was perhaps an over-compensation for the opening toss at last year’s All-Star game in St. Louis, when Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols saved him the embarrassment of a short hop by moving up to scoop the low pitch inches off the ground.

Obama, an avid basketball player who has said baseball does not come naturally to him, prepared for Monday’s opener by throwing practice pitches to aides at the White House.

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The Obama Family Host the 2010 Easter Egg Roll

Posted by: Audiegrl

The First family are holding this year’s White House Easter Egg Roll on Monday, April 5, 2010 with the theme of “Ready, Set, Go!” promoting health and wellness. Over 30,000 people from all 50 states and DC will visit the South Lawn of the White House this year. The event features live music, sports courts, cooking stations, storytelling and, of course, Easter egg rolling. All of the activities will encourage children to lead healthy and active lives and follow the First Lady’s ‘Let’s Move!’ initiative, a national campaign to combat childhood obesity.

The 2010 White House Easter Egg Roll souvenir eggs are available for purchase online at the National Park Foundation website. Each wooden egg is expertly crafted, painted, and includes the signatures of the President and First Lady.

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The White House press office has announced the following performers and leaders in their field to participate in this year’s festivities:

  • Sara Bareilles, Justin Bieber, the cast of the television show Glee, Yo Gabba Gabba, Sesame Street, and Little Beat, The #1 Chinchilla and DJ Willy Wow! will perform on the Rock ‘n’ Egg Roll Stage
  • J.K. Rowling, Reese Witherspoon, Apolo Ohno, Mariska Hargitay, Dylan and Cole Sprouse, Elmo and Maria of Sesame Street and Betty DeGeneres will read on the Storytime Stage
  • Billy Jonas and Miss Amy will perform on the Ellipse
  • Chef Art Smith, Chef José Andrés, Chef Cliff Wharton, Chef Nora Poullion, Chef Robert Wiedmaier, Chef Susan Limb, Chef Victor Albisu, and the White House Chefs will prepare healthy eating demonstrations in the Play with your Food area.
  • Billie Jean King, Gigi Fernandez, Ilana Kloss, Delaney Rudd, Liezel Huber, Katrina Adams, Anna Rawson, Jane Geddes, Kris Tschetter, Martin Gramatica, Michele Smith, Al Bumbry and Earl Boykins will help organize games in the Sports Zones
  • NFL players will lead children in healthy activities as a part of the NFL Play 60 Movement. Those participating include Washington Redskins players Kevin Barnes, Alvin Bowen, Derrick Dockery, Reed Doughty, Chris Horton, Marko Mitchell, Will Robinson, Casey Rabach, Justin Tryon, Edwin Williams, Anthony Montgomery, Lorenzo Alexander, H.B. (Horatio Benedict) Blades, Doug Dutch as well as, Baltimore Ravens players Matt Lawrence and Sam Koch
  • Eggspress Yourself: Arts & crafts for the kids to enjoy
  • Music: The DC Youth Orchestra and the United States Marine Corps Band

Assistant Pastry Chef Susie Morrison puts the finishing touches on some marzipan chicks for an Easter Egg Village as the White prepares for the annual Easter Egg Roll, April 2, 2010. The White House Easter Egg Roll is a tradition that has spanned more than 130 years. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and daughters, Sasha and Malia, attend Easter Sunday service at Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., April 4, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

All of the headliner music acts and Storytime Stage readers will have their performances broadcast live on www.whitehouse.gov/eastereggroll. A full schedule will be posted on the morning of April 5th so citizens from across the country can participate in the event.

A more ambitious and comprehensive approach to sustainability was taken to minimize the environmental impact of the 2010 Easter Egg Roll. Some of the highlights include: the “greenest” souvenir egg in Egg Roll history, crafted from Forest Stewardship Council certified U.S. hardwood; goody bags made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic; the use of organically grown fruits and vegetables at the Play with Your Food station; and increased recycling and composting capabilities on the day of the event.

The White House Easter Egg Roll is made possible by the hard work of close to 1,200 volunteers

Photos courtesy of Eddie Gehman Kohan/Obamafoodorama, Lynn Sweet/Chicago Sun-Times, Alex Wong/Getty Images North America, and Pete Souza/White House

The Mount Ennon Baptist Church Children’s Chorus from Clinton, Md., performs at the Easter Prayer Breakfast in the East Room of the White House, April 6, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Barack Obama (C) reads Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Suess, for a group of children and his family, first lady Michelle Obama (R) and daughters Malia Obama (L), 11, and Sasha Obama, 8, during the Easter Egg Roll at the White House April 5, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America)


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2010 Easter Egg Roll Performances/Readings

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

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Filed under Change, Children, Easter, First Daughters, First Lady Michelle Obama, Pres. Barack Obama, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube

This is What Change Looks Like…


To the untold numbers who knocked on doors and made phone calls, who organized and mobilized out of a firm conviction that change in this country comes not from the top down, but from the bottom up — this moment is possible because of you.

Organizing for America has put together a quick video that highlights the incredible work you did over the last year, to honor and thank you for the history you made.

Health care reform was a monumental achievement, and it would not have happened without you.

Check out the video, and pass it along to anyone else who is passionate about reform.

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President Obama Speaks On Health Care In Portland, Maine

Posted by: Audiegrl

President Barack Obama speaks at the Portland Expo Center April 1, 2010 in Portland, Maine. President Obama spoke to Mainers on the passing of the health care legislation during a quick trip to Maine before attending a fundraiser in Boston. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images North America)

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Obama Today Show Interview: Tea Party Built Around ‘Core Group’ Who Question His Citizenship, Believe He’s Socialist

Posted by: Audiegrl

AP~President Barack Obama says he believes the Tea Party is built around a “core group” of people who question whether he is a U.S. citizen and believe he is a socialist.

But beyond that, Obama tells NBC he recognizes the movement involves “folks who have legitimate concerns” about the national debt and whether the government is taking on too many difficult issues simultaneously.

In an interview broadcast Tuesday on NBC’s “Today” show, Obama said he feels “there’s still going to be a group at their core that question my legitimacy.” But he said he didn’t want to paint Tea Party activists “in broad brushes” and he hopes to win over members who have “mainstream, legitimate concerns.”

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President Obama Signs Largest Reform Of Student Aid In 40 Years

Posted by: Audiegrl

A Great Battle Pitting the Interests of the Banks and Financial Institutions Against the Interests of Students

President Barack Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 during a signing ceremony at Northern Virginia Community College March 30, 2010 in Alexandria, Virginia. (Photo by Pete Souza, White House)

Today at Northern Virginia Community College, President Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, the last step on health reform that provided fixes for some elements and which improved upon the core health reforms by increasing tax credits for the middle class, investing in community health centers, and strengthening efforts to fight waste and fraud.

But the legislation also include another major priority of the President’s that was often overshadowed by the health reform debate, as he explained: “But what’s gotten overlooked amid all the hoopla, all the drama of last week, is what happened in education — when a great battle pitting the interests of the banks and financial institutions against the interests of students finally came to an end.” The President was referring to reform of student loans to make higher education more affordable, allowing students to get loans without relying on large banks as unnecessary middlemen, and saving American taxpayers $68 billion in the coming years.

The President explained that the government will reinvest the savings back into education by upgrading community colleges, increasing Pell Grants, and making it easier for responsible students to pay off their loans. Brian Levine from the Middle Class Task Force explains how the Income Based Repayment program will benefit students and help borrowers avoid unmanageable debt burdens here. The Act will also invest savings in Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions.

Joined by Dr. Jill Biden, who spoke on the boost for community colleges in a video here earlier today, the President explained that this law takes another important step to invest in the country’s future through education:

For a long time, our student loan system has worked for banks and financial institutions. Today, we’re finally making our student loan system work for students and our families. But we’re also doing something more.

From the moment I was sworn into office, I’ve spoken about the urgent need for us to lay a new foundation for our economy and for our future. And two pillars of that foundation are health care and education, and each has long suffered from problems that we chose to kick down the road.

With the bill I signed last week, we finally undertook meaningful reform of our health care system. With this bill, and other steps we’ve pursued over the last year, we are finally undertaking meaningful reform in our higher education system. So this week, we can rightly say the foundation on which America’s future will be built is stronger than it was one year ago.

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President Obama: One Night in Afghanistan

Posted by: TheLCster

“I will never send you into harm’s way unless it’s absolutely necessary. I anguish in thinking about the sacrifices that so many of you make.”~President Barack Obama


On March 28, 2010, at 10:55 am ET (7:25 pm local), Air Force One touched down under the shroud of nightfall at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. President Obama had just made an unannounced 12 hour, 46 minute journey to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. He would take a short flight aboard Marine One to Kabul where the two delegations convened. Following their meetings, the President returned to Bagram Air Base where he spoke to a crowd of U.S. and allied troops:

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In his remarks, President Obama reiterated the mission before the troops:

“Our broad mission is clear: We are going to disrupt and dismantle, defeat and destroy al Qaeda and its extremist allies. That is our mission. And to accomplish that goal, our objectives here in Afghanistan are also clear: We’re going to deny al Qaeda safe haven. We’re going to reverse the Taliban’s momentum. We’re going to strengthen the capacity of Afghan security forces and the Afghan government so that they can begin taking responsibility and gain confidence of the Afghan people.”

He also reminded the troops of his unwavering support, noting efforts to improve pay and benefits, improving care for the wounded, moving forward with the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and increasing the VA budget.

President Barack Obama meets with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 28, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

“And I know that sometimes when you’re watching TV, the politics back home may look a little messy, and people are yelling and hollering, and Democrats this and Republicans that. I want you to understand this: There’s no daylight when it comes to support of all of you. There’s no daylight when it comes to supporting our troops. That brings us together. We are all incredibly proud. We all honor what you do. And all of you show all of America what’s possible when people come together, not based on color or creed, not based on faith or station, but based on a commitment to serve together, to bleed together and to succeed together as one people, as Americans.”

Full transcript
Photos courtesy of the White House by Pete Souza



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What Health Reform Does This Year: In 3 Minutes

While it will take about 4 years for health reform to be fully implemented, there are several benefits you can expect to see this year. Learn about them in just 3 minutes.
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The Extreme, Violent Rhetoric Of GOP Lawmakers Fanning the Flames of Hate

ThinkProgress/Lee Fang~Yesterday, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) falsely charged that his office was “directly threatened” in a gun attack. Cantor used the incident to provide partisan cover to his unruly GOP colleagues, who have been pandering to tea party activists with increasingly unhinged and extreme rhetoric.

Last weekend, as the House vote on health reform legislation neared, Republican lawmakers whipped tea party crowds into an angry mob. For instance, Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) spoke to the crowd with a megaphone, conjuring up debunked conspiracy theories about government spying into medical records and decrying what he called “tyranny.” Rep. Steve King (R-IA) held up a picture of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for the crowd, mocking it and “slapping” it. Throughout the day, the tea party protesters accosted Democratic members of Congress with racial and homophobic slurs, and one protester even spat on Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO).

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Obama/Biden Bumper Sticker Fuels Violent Political Road Rage in Tennessee

Harry WeisigerThinkProgress/Faiz Shakir~After picking up his 10-year old daughter from school yesterday afternoon, Nashville resident Mark Duren was driving home when he was suddenly and intentionally rammed from behind by Harry Weisiger. Enraged at the sight of Duren’s Obama bumper sticker, Weisiger gave Duren “the bird” and then hit him from behind, leading to a violent series of events.

Nashville’s WKRN reports:

“He pointed at the back of my car,” Duren said, “the bumper, flipped me off, one finger salute.”

But it didn’t end there.

Duren told News 2 that Weisiger honked his horn at him for awhile, as Duren stopped at a stop sign.

Once he started driving again, down Blair Boulevard, towards his home, he said, “I looked in the rear view mirror again, and this same SUV was speeding, flying up behind me, bumped me.”

Duren said he applied his brake and the SUV smashed into the back of his car.

He then put his car in park to take care of the accident, but Weisiger started pushing the car using his SUV.

Duren said, “He pushed my car up towards the sidewalk, almost onto the sidewalk.”

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According to WKRN, the man accused in an incident of road rage over an Obama bumper sticker Thursday afternoon says he was only trying to get around another car that had stopped in front of him.

Harry Weisiger, age 70 told News 2, “He slammed on his brakes, and I hit him in the bumper when I tried to go around him.”

Weisiger did not mention the Obama bumper sticker when News 2 spoke with him on the phone Friday, but did admit fault for leaving the scene of the accident. According to the police report, officers found Weisiger in the parking lot of Harris Teeter, where he said he had stopped to buy dinner.

David Todd, who witnessed the accident, said the SUV hit the car more than once.

He bumped him once,” Todd said, “and I stood up, and when I stood up, that’s when he just plowed into him and pushed him out of the way and kept on going.”

Weisiger is charged with two counts of reckless endangerment, driving under the influence, refusing to take a breath test, and leaving the scene of an accident.

More and video from Nashville’s WKRN

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