Barack & Michelle Obama Bid Farewell to the White House

Barack and Michelle Obama wave goodbye to Washington

Please feel free to post any photos, from today, that you can gather of Barack & Michelle . Thanks!

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Friday Open Thread | Thank You, President Barack Obama

To the 44th President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama II…

Official portrait of President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, Dec. 6, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

Official portrait of President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, Dec. 6, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

Dear President Obama,

As the close of your 8 years is upon us, I find it so hard to write this post.

I remember watching your speech in Boston in 2004, and I was fine with it. I was so happy that you were running for Senator, that I didn’t think more of your possibilities. When the Illinois Republican Party insulted us by running Alan Keyes, I became more settled in that we would once again have a Black person as Senator. I followed your positions, and how you tried to define yourself, and I couldn’t say that I was upset about it at all.

obama-2004-dnc-speech

obama-senate-win-1

Then came 2007, and the rumbling that you would run for President. I didn’t go down to Springfield that day, but I did watch it on C-Span. I didn’t give you great odds, but I was hoping for a ‘ good run’ for you.

potus-presidential-announcement

I don’t know when I first went downtown to volunteer, but it was after I paid the first time to see your wife. Before I believed in you, I believed in Michelle. She was dynamic, and that’s when I took myself to volunteer. I was only going the one time, you see…but then, one time got me to do another, and then your campaign received my weekends. Next thing I knew, I was on my way to Iowa, of all places. I don’t know if I believed that you could win All-White Iowa, but, I enjoyed going there with the varied people that I had met along the way, the only thing we had in common was that we knew this country was in serious trouble, and that it needed someone who wanted to turn it around. I volunteered for my whole family. My mother, born in the Police State known as Jim Crow Mississippi, tried to warn me about getting my expectations too high. It wasn’t that she didn’t believe in you, after all, she had voted for you against Bobby Rush in that Congressional race. There was no doubt in her mind of your qualifications…she just didn’t want me to hang my hopes ‘ on those folks doing the right thing when they get into the voting booth.’ I understood her fears; I shared them, but there was no down side in supporting you. If you were going to have a shot, then I was going to work with the others to help you get it.

I went back and found the ‘ Endorsement’ that I did on you on January 2, 2008.
My summation:

So, for me, Barack Obama is:
Qualified
Progressive
Electable
My best chance to rid this country of the Imperal Presidency
Would be the First Black President
Add all these together, and it’s the sum total of why I support Barack Obama and wish him well tomorrow in Iowa.

The next night was absolute magic.

Magic.

Unbelievable.

In a state with only a 3% Black population, you just didn’t place, you won. And, won big. It was the moment that made the impossible plausible. I remember the look on my mother’s face. This daughter of the Jim Crow South was beaming, yet her eyes expressed the disbelief that many of us felt. Did it really happen?

And, then you came onto the stage with Michelle and your daughters, and we knew that it was very very real. That night sealed the deal. I didn’t know how far you were going to go, but I was all in. Whatever hours I had to volunteer were yours. What I could squeeze out of the paycheck each month would be my financial contribution. I was IN.

DES MOINES, IA - JANUARY 03:  Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) thanks supporters following the Iowa caucuses January 3, 2008 in Des Moines, Iowa. Obama came in first in the Democratic caucus and will now move his campaign for the American presidency to New Hampshire which holds its primary next week.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

DES MOINES, IA – JANUARY 03: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) thanks supporters following the Iowa caucuses January 3, 2008 in Des Moines, Iowa. Obama came in first in the Democratic caucus and will now move his campaign for the American presidency to New Hampshire which holds its primary next week. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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Posted in 2016 Elections, Affordable Care Act, African Americans, Barack Obama, Black History, First Daughters, First Lady Michelle Obama, History, Open Thread, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 56 Comments

Executive Branch Criminal Activities By Presidential Administration

During President Obama’s 8 years in office, not one administration official was indicted.

No Drama Obama

executive-branch-criminal-activities-by-presidential-administration

Posted in Barack Obama, Black History, Current Events, History, News, Open Thread, Politics, President Obama, Presidential Politics | Tagged , , | 48 Comments

For those of you protesting this week, here’s a helpful hints guide

Here is a post from Balloon Juice giving helpful hints about protesting, and safety precautions that you might consider taking.

Peaceful Assembly and Personal Security – Re-upped
by Adam L Silvermanat
11:05 am on January 15, 2017

I know a number of you all are planning to join one of the marches that will begin taking place between now through, and then after, the inauguration. So I wanted to re-up the post for anyone that missed it the first time.

Congress shall make no law… abridging…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. — Amendment 1, Bill of Rights, US Constitution

One of our readers/commenters emailed me about a week ago and asked if I would put up a post about personal security for those going to peaceably assemble to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. I put a list together and ran it past a select group of our Balloon Juice legal eagles (those I’ve corresponded with before/have corresponded with me, so if you didn’t get asked, don’t be insulted I didn’t want to just impose on you with a cold request) – thank you all for getting back to me. Here’s my list of what I think anyone going to peacefully assemble should do to enhance their personal security.

1. Go with a buddy, that way you have at least one person looking out for you/watching your back and vice versa.
2. Carry cash and make sure to carry a valid picture ID!
3. Bring a pocket flashlight.
4. Get and wear a go pro that is automatically updating to the cloud.
5. Bring a pocket charger for your cell phone and go pro regardless of whether it is supposed to be a long day.
6. Make sure your personal electronic devices all have sufficient password protection and encryption on them. And have them set to upload to the cloud at a regular interval.
7. Turn off fingerprint access to unlock your phone and delete your finger prints from the memory. Some jurisdictions allow law enforcement to compel you to unlock your phone if it has finger print based access. Or get a disposable phone just for this occasion.
8. Turn off your phone and other personal electronic devices option to connect to known wifi as it can be used as a way to fail your encryption.
9. Bring a bandana or neck gaiter and water so you can make a make shift gas mask in case things get out of hand and tear gas or pepper spray is deployed.
10. Bring a bottle of saline eye rinse in case you need to rinse your eyes out if tear gas or pepper spray is deployed.

Rest of post at link above.

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Thursday Open Thread | First Lady Michelle Obama

michelle obama 999b

President Obama: Michelle, for the past twenty-five years, you’ve been not only my wife and mother of my children, but my best friend. ….you made the White House a place that belongs to everybody. You have made me proud, and you have made the country proud.

I dare say that there would be no Barack Obama without Michelle Obama.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama hold hands as they step from Air Force One, Friday, April 11, 2014, at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, as they travel to the Al Sharpton's National Action Network’s 16th Annual Convention. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama hold hands as they step from Air Force One, Friday, April 11, 2014, at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, as they travel to the Al Sharpton’s National Action Network’s 16th Annual Convention. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Dear Mrs. Obama,

As I sit here writing this, I don’t even know what to say. In 2007, I saw a reply in a post on a blog about you and your importance, and I never forgot it:

yogo

I joke a lot about these two, but something sticks out at me about the whole campaign. especially after seeing this interview:

I like her. And not because of any strong this and that, she just seems genuine.

Is America ready for a First Lady who looks like her? A regular black woman? Not a passable biracial curly girl that they call black, but a regular black woman from the south side of Chicago? With dark skin?

Is she going to be the face of The Woman on the largest pedestal in the country? A self-confessed “loud-mouth” black woman?

If they succeed, it turns white supremacy upside down. And not, in my opinion, because a black man is in the White House, it’s because a black woman is in there. And she didn’t have to come in the back door to lie in bed with the president.

May 24, 2007 at 1:34 pm

Michelle+Obama+First+Lady+Visits+London+Part+WYxCybMP2gol

I admit this, without hesitation..

As much as I wanted to see your husband elected President…

I wanted to see you as First Lady that much more.

From the first time I read an article about you, any doubts that I had about your husband…

About Hawaii and Indonesia….they were gone.

They were gone because I knew you.

michelle-obama-59c12e8dd07ef846

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Posted in Black History, First Lady Michelle Obama, FLOTUS, History, Michelle Obama, Open Thread, Politics, President Obama | Tagged , , , , | 74 Comments

Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Pick for Education Secretary, Won’t Rule Out Defunding Public Schools

Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Pick for Education Secretary, Won’t Rule Out Defunding Public Schools
by Emma Margolin

Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Education, faced tough questions on Tuesday from Democratic lawmakers at her charged confirmation hearing.

DeVos refused to promise that she would not privatize or strip funding from the public schools she would oversee if confirmed.

Asked bluntly by Sen. Patty Murray of Washington whether she would commit to keeping funding for public schools intact, DeVos dodged the question.

“I look forward, if confirmed, to working with you to talk about how we address the needs of all parents and all students,” she said.

…………………….

Tuesday’s hearing turned testy before DeVos had even said a word. Virtually every Democratic member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee repeatedly asked the chairman, Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, for more time to question the cabinet nominee. But each time Alexander refused, citing a “precedent” of five-minute rounds of questioning for education secretary nominees. Multiple Democratic members said they’d never heard of such a rule.

DeVos has raised numerous concerns for her support of school choice and voucher programs that critics say would pull resources from struggling public schools and stifle diversity. Supporters say such programs would force schools to be competitive, fostering an environment that would create educational innovation as well as offer parents more choices when it comes to their children’s education.

DeVos’ nomination has also been opposed for her family’s ties to anti-LGBT groups and for her lack of experience in public education.

She doesn’t believe in public education.
She doesn’t believe in funding education for children with disabilities.
She’s even said she supports child labor.
CHILD.LABOR.

These people are a nightmare.
The Hunger Games has come to Education.

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Trump: The Kremlin Candidate?

Hat tip: Eliihass

trump-the-kremlin-candidateIn the week of the new President’s inauguration, Panorama reports on Russia’s role in Donald Trump’s election victory and asks what’s behind the relationship between Vladimir Putin and Trump. Reporter John Sweeney – who has met and challenged both men – travels to Moscow and the United States to find out how sure we can be that Russian cyber-warriors influenced the US election and if there’s any truth to claims that Russian intelligence has compromising material about the President elect. And from Lithuania and the battlefields of Ukraine, he investigates what this will mean for security in Europe and the rest of the world.

Posted in 2016 Elections, Current Events, Democracy, Espionage, HACKING, Open Thread, Politics, Presidential Politics, Treason, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments