The Spirit of This Country

Ray of HOPE

“I want to take a moment to say that our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Boston. My husband continues to monitor the situation, and he has directed the full resources of the federal government to assist state and local authorities as they investigate this horrific act.

And what happened on Monday was a reminder that in times of crisis, here in America we respond with courage, and grit, and selflessness. That’s exactly what we saw from the people of Boston, and from all those who rushed to aid the victims, especially the police officers and firefighters, the first responders, and our men and women in uniform.

And that is the spirit of Boston, but it is also the spirit of this country. And in many ways, that’s the spirit of service and sacrifice that we are here to honor today.”

First Lady Michelle Obama 4/17/13

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Thursday, April 11 @ 11:00 AM ET
President Obama attends and delivers remarks at “Healing Our City: An Interfaith Service” dedicated to those who were wounded or killed in Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing.
First Lady Michelle Obama also attends
Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston, MA

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Healing Our City
An Interfaith Service
April 18, 2013
Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston, MA

Order of Service
10:30 AM ET
Music: “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”
Welcome & Opening Prayer: Reverend Liz Walker,
Roxbury Presbyterian Church
Metropolitan Methodios
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston, Brookline
Prayer & Reflection:
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino
Music: “My Life Flows on in Endless Song”
Reverend Nancy S. Taylor,
Senior Minister & CEO, Old South Church, Boston
Reading from Psalm 147:3
Rabbi Ronne Friedman,
Senior Rabbi Temple Israel, Boston
Nasser S. Wedaddy,
Chair of the New England Interfaith Council
Civil Rights Outreach Director, American Islamic Congress
Reverend Roberto Miranda,
Senior Pastor, Congregación León de Judá, Roxbury
Music: Boston Children’s Chorus, “Up to the Mountain”
Gospel Reading from Matthew 5:1-12
Bishop John M. Borders III,
Senior Pastor, Morning Star Baptist Church, Mattapan
Cardinal Seán O’Malley, OFM Cap.
Musical selection performed by Yo-Yo Ma
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick
President Barack H. Obama
Closing Blessing: Cardinal Seán O’Malley, OFM Cap.
Music: “America the Beautiful”

Streamed Live: http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

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Weekly Address: America Stands with the City of Boston

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House

April 20, 2013

On Monday, an act of terror wounded dozens and killed three innocent people at the Boston Marathon.

But in the days since, the world has witnessed one sure and steadfast truth: Americans refuse to be terrorized.

Ultimately, that’s what we’ll remember from this week. That’s what will remain. Stories of heroism and kindness; resolve and resilience; generosity and love.

The brave first responders – police officers, firefighters, EMTs, and National Guard – who ran toward danger to help their fellow citizens.

The race volunteers, spectators, and exhausted runners who rushed to help, including troops and veterans who never expected to see such scenes on the streets of America.

The determined doctors and nurses at some of the world’s best hospitals, who have toiled day and night to save so many lives.

The big-hearted people of Boston – residents, priests, shopkeepers – who carried victims in their arms; delivered water and blankets; lined up to give blood; opened their homes to total strangers.

And the heroic federal agents and police officers who worked together throughout the week, often at great risk to themselves, to keep our communities safe. As a country, we are eternally grateful for the profound sacrifices they make in the line of duty – sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice to defend the people they’ve sworn to protect.

If anyone wants to know who we are; what America is; how we respond to evil and terror – that’s it. Selflessly. Compassionately. And unafraid.

Through days that would test even the sturdiest of souls, Boston’s spirit remains undaunted. America’s spirit remains undimmed. Our faith in each other, our love for this country, our common creed that cuts across whatever superficial differences we may have – that’s what makes us strong. That’s why we endure.

In the days to come, we will remain vigilant as a nation. And I have no doubt the city of Boston and its surrounding communities will continue to respond in the same proud and heroic way that they have thus far – and their fellow Americans will be right there with them every step of the way. May God bless the people of Boston and the United States of America.

flotus-bostonstrong

April 22, 2013 2:50 PM ET
Boston observes moment of silence Bells across Boston rung as the city pauses to remember the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Obama_Biden_thumbnail

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36 Responses to The Spirit of This Country

  1. CR says:

    WH

    Thursday, April 18, 2013

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    Vice President Biden hosts a breakfast meeting with Hagel at the Naval Observatory.

    8:20 AM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama depart the White House en route Joint Base Andrews.

    8:40 AM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama depart Joint Base Andrews.

    9:00 AM
    9:55 AM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive in Boston.

    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    President Obama attends and delivers remarks at “Healing Our City: An Interfaith Service” dedicated to those who were wounded or killed in Monday’s bombing.
    First Lady Michelle Obama also attends
    Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston, MA

    12:00 PM
    President Obama Speaks to Boston Athletic Association Volunteers and families of the victims of the Boston Marathon boming
    Boston, MA

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    2:55 PM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama depart Boston.

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    4:15 PM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle arrive at Joint Base Andrews.

    4:30 PM
    President Obama and First Lady Michelle arrive at the White House.

    5:00 PM
    5:30 PM
    President Obama hosts a reception for Greek Independence Day; Vice President Biden also attends.

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    • CR says:

      POTUS podium

      April 18, 2013

      WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

      10:30 AM ET
      “Healing Our City: An Interfaith Service” dedicated to those who were wounded or killed in Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing

      11:00 AM ET
      President Obama Speaks at Interfaith Service in Boston
      First Lady Michelle Obama also attends
      Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston, MA

      12:00 PM ET
      President Obama Speaks to Boston Athletic Association Volunteers
      Boston, MA

      —-

      ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/Live/

      8:31 AM ET
      House Committee Oversight and Government Reform
      U.S. Postal Service Reform, Postmaster General Testimony

      9:00 AM ET
      U.S. House of Representatives: Cybersecurity Legislation

      10:45 AM ET
      House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi holds her weekly briefing with reporters on Capitol Hill.

      11:00 AM ET
      President Obama Speaks at Interfaith Service in Boston

      12:00 PM ET
      President Obama Speaks to Boston Athletic Association Volunteers
      Boston, MA

      12:00 PM ET
      U.S. Senate: Votes on Amendments to Gun Legislation

      2:00 PM ET
      House Appropriations Subcmte.: Attorney Gen. Holder on 2014 Justice Dept. Budget

      2:00 PM ET
      2014 State Department budget hearing
      Secretary of State John Kerry testifies on his department’s budget needs before a Senate appropriations subcommittee.

      2:30 PM ET
      Senators discuss immigration overhaul bill
      Eight U.S. Senators will brief reporters on their recently-unveiled bill that, supporters say, would overhaul current U.S. immigration laws.

      5:00 PM ET
      Boston Marathon bombing briefing
      Officials update the search for suspects in this week’s bombings at the Boston Marathon.

      —-

      CSPAN http://www.cspan.org/

      8:31 AM ET
      House Committee Oversight and Government Reform
      U.S. Postal Service Reform, Postmaster General Testimony

      9:00 AM ET
      Sec. Napolitano Updates House on DHS 2014 Budget Request http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/217443

      9:00 AM ET
      U.S. House of Representatives: Cybersecurity Legislation

      9:30 AM ET
      U.S. Senate: Gun Legislation

      9:30 AM ET
      Sec. Kerry Testifies on Budget at Sen. Foreign Relations Cmte. http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/217436

      10:00 AM ET
      Dir. of Nat’l Intelligence Testifies on Current and Future Threats http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/217437

      10:00 AM ET
      Senate HELP Cmte. Hears from Labor Secretary Nominee http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/217439

      10:45 AM ET
      House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi holds her weekly briefing with reporters on Capitol Hill. http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/217445

      11:00 AM ET
      President Obama Speaks at Interfaith Service in Boston http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/217440

      2:00 PM ET
      House Appropriations Subcmte.: Attorney Gen. Holder on 2014 Justice Dept. Budget http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/217444

      2:00 PM ET
      2014 State Department budget hearing
      Secretary of State John Kerry testifies on his department’s budget needs before a Senate appropriations subcommittee.

      2:30 PM ET
      Senators discuss immigration overhaul bill
      Eight U.S. Senators will brief reporters on their recently-unveiled bill that, supporters say, would overhaul current U.S. immigration laws. http://www.c-spanvideo.org/event/217228

      5:00 PM ET
      Boston Marathon bombing briefing
      Officials update the search for suspects in this week’s bombings at the Boston Marathon. http://www.c-span.org/Events/Update-on-Investigation-into-Boston-Marathon-Bombing/10737439274-4/

  2. CR says:

    The Spirit of This Country”

    “I want to take a moment to say that our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Boston. My husband continues to monitor the situation, and he has directed the full resources of the federal government to assist state and local authorities as they investigate this horrific act.

    And what happened on Monday was a reminder that in times of crisis, here in America we respond with courage, and grit, and selflessness. That’s exactly what we saw from the people of Boston, and from all those who rushed to aid the victims, especially the police officers and firefighters, the first responders, and our men and women in uniform.

    And that is the spirit of Boston, but it is also the spirit of this country. And in many ways, that’s the spirit of service and sacrifice that we are here to honor today.”

    First Lady Michelle Obama 4/17/13

    • CR says:

      President Obama to travel to Boston for interfaith service on Thursday

      4/16/2013 5:42 PM By Matt Viser, Globe Staff

      WASHINGTON — President Obama is planning to travel to Boston on Thursday morning to attend an interfaith service dedicated to those who were wounded or killed in Monday’s bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

      Obama will speak at the interfaith service, which is scheduled to take place at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross at 11 a.m.

      The White House confirmed the president’s attendance just as Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced it during a press conference in Boston.

      Obama will no longer travel to the University of Kansas on Friday, which had been previously scheduled.

    • CR says:

      Obama to visit victims’ families in Boston

      4/18/13 10:36 AM EDT By REID J. EPSTEIN – POLITICO44

      BOSTON — President Obama will visit with the families of victims of the Boston Marathon bombing Thursday along with local first responders, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

      Earnest said Obama was briefed before leaving the White House by Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco on both the situation in Boston and the explosions and fire in West, Texas.

      Earnest said Obama will use his speech at the 11 a.m. memorial service to offer the nation’s condolences to the people of Boston.

      “You can expect that he will, in his remarks, offer his condolences on behalf of the First Lady and his family. But also on behalf of the American people, to the people of Boston,” Earnest said. “At the same time he will reiterate his confidence in the resilience in the people of Boston and remind the American people that the way the people of Boston responded to this terror attacks represents who we are as a country.”

      After several news outlets were forced to retract information about arrests Wednesday, Earnest cautioned journalists working the Boston story to use “caution” while reporting on the investigation.

      “I would just reiterate something that the FBI mentioned yesterday, is to urge caution as we’re reporting out some of these facts. There are often unintended consequences of these erroneous reports so I would just encourage caution.”

      Obama was joined for the short flight Thursday by Massachusetts Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Mo Cowan, along with several members of the state’s Democratic House delegation. Vicki Kennedy, the widow of former Sen. Ted Kennedy, was also on board.

      Cowan, along with Reps. Stephen Lynch and Bill Keating, made a brief visit to the plane’s press cabin shortly before landing at Logan International Airport.

  3. vitaminlover says:

    My lovely First Lady IS the spirit of America.

  4. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Like POTUS says, this is only round one. The fight for gun safety goes on. And we will never give up HOPE.

  5. CR says:

    Jobless Claims Little Changed as U.S. Job Market Stabilizes

    Apr 18, 2013 5:51 AM PT By Shobhana Chandra – bloomberg

    The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits was little changed last week, signaling the labor market is stabilizing.

    Applications (INJCJC) for jobless insurance payments increased by 4,000 to 352,000 in the week ended April 13, in line with the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. There was nothing unusual in last week’s data and two states, California and Kentucky, were estimated, a Labor Department official said.

    The report indicates employers have enough demand to hold on to workers, which means they may be prepared to boost hiring should sales pick up. Gains in consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy, will be needed to prevent growth from slowing as automatic cuts in federal spending take effect.

    “Businesses at least need the workers they have and probably could use some more,” said Tom Simons, an economist at Jefferies LLC in New York, who projected claims would rise to 350,000.

    “Claims will probably stay in this range for some time.”

    Stock-index futures held earlier gains after the report. The contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index maturing in June rose 0.3 percent to 1,551.3 at 8:43 a.m. in New York, indicating the index will rebound from a three-week low.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-18/jobless-claims-in-u-s-little-changed-as-job-market-stabilizes.html

  6. CR says:

    Consumer Comfort in U.S. Reaches Five-Year High as Finances Heal

    Apr 18, 2013 6:45 AM PT By Alex Kowalski – bloomberg

    Consumer sentiment jumped last week to the highest level in more than five years as record stock prices and the rebound in housing made more Americans feel the expansion will be maintained.

    The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index climbed to minus 29.2 in the week ended April 14, the highest since January 2008, from minus 34 during the prior period. A separate gauge of the economic outlook, issued once a month, was little changed in April at minus 4.

    Last week’s gain in confidence, the biggest in more than a year, was broad-based with every age group, all regions and most income brackets showing an advance, raising the odds that any slump in consumer spending will prove temporary. At the same time, the mood of those on the lower end of the pay scale remained depressed by higher taxes and a slowdown in hiring.

    “Upper-income Americans continue to feel buoyant on the sustainable recovery,” said Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York. “The difficulties that can be observed down the income ladder reflect the significant split in the fortunes of upper-income Americans and low-income cohorts.”

    Another report today showed little change in the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits. First-time jobless claims climbed by 4,000 to 352,000 in the week ended April 13, the Labor Department said.

    Stocks fell for a second day. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index declined 0.2 percent to 1,548.55 at 9:40 a.m. in New York.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-18/consumer-comfort-in-u-s-reaches-five-year-high-as-finances-heal.html

  7. CR says:

    Now Streaming…

    10:30 AM ET
    “Healing Our City: An Interfaith Service” dedicated to those who were wounded or killed in Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing

    WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

    • CR says:

      April 18, 2013

      Remarks by the President at Interfaith Service in Boston, MA

      Cathedral of The Holy Cross
      Boston, Massachusetts

      12:04 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, Boston!

      Scripture tells us to “run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Run with endurance the race that is set before us.

      On Monday morning, the sun rose over Boston. The sunlight glistened off the Statehouse dome. In the Common and the Public Garden, spring was in bloom. On this Patriot’s Day, like so many before, fans jumped onto the T to see the Sox at Fenway. In Hopkinton, runners laced up their shoes and set out on a 26.2-mile test of dedication and grit and the human spirit. And across this city, hundreds of thousands of Bostonians lined the streets — to hand the runners cups of water and to cheer them on.

      It was a beautiful day to be in Boston — a day that explains why a poet once wrote that this town is not just a capital, not just a place. Boston, he said, “is the perfect state of grace.” (Applause.)

      And then, in an instant, the day’s beauty was shattered. A celebration became a tragedy. And so we come together to pray, and mourn, and measure our loss. But we also come together today to reclaim that state of grace — to reaffirm that the spirit of this city is undaunted, and the spirit of this country shall remain undimmed.

      To Governor Patrick; Mayor Menino; Cardinal O’Malley and all the faith leaders who are here; Governors Romney, Swift, Weld and Dukakis; members of Congress; and most of all, the people of Boston and the families who’ve lost a piece of your heart. We thank you for your leadership. We thank you for your courage. We thank you for your grace.

      I’m here today on behalf of the American people with a simple message: Every one of us has been touched by this attack on your beloved city. Every one of us stands with you.

      Because, after all, it’s our beloved city, too. Boston may be your hometown, but we claim it, too. It’s one of America’s iconic cities. It’s one of the world’s great cities. And one of the reasons the world knows Boston so well is that Boston opens its heart to the world.

      Over successive generations, you’ve welcomed again and again new arrivals to our shores — immigrants who constantly reinvigorated this city and this commonwealth and our nation. Every fall, you welcome students from all across America and all across the globe, and every spring you graduate them back into the world — a Boston diaspora that excels in every field of human endeavor. Year after year, you welcome the greatest talents in the arts and science, research — you welcome them to your concert halls and your hospitals and your laboratories to exchange ideas and insights that draw this world together.

      And every third Monday in April, you welcome people from all around the world to the Hub for friendship and fellowship and healthy competition — a gathering of men and women of every race and every religion, every shape and every size; a multitude represented by all those flags that flew over the finish line.

      So whether folks come here to Boston for just a day, or they stay here for years, they leave with a piece of this town tucked firmly into their hearts. So Boston is your hometown, but we claim it a little bit, too. (Applause.)

      I know this because there’s a piece of Boston in me. You welcomed me as a young law student across the river; welcomed Michelle, too. (Applause.) You welcomed me during a convention when I was still a state senator and very few people could pronounce my name right. (Laughter.)

      Like you, Michelle and I have walked these streets. Like you, we know these neighborhoods. And like you, in this moment of grief, we join you in saying — “Boston, you’re my home.” For millions of us, what happened on Monday is personal. It’s personal.

      Today our prayers are with the Campbell family of Medford. They’re here today. Their daughter, Krystle, was always smiling. Those who knew her said that with her red hair and her freckles and her ever-eager willingness to speak her mind, she was beautiful, sometimes she could be a little noisy, and everybody loved her for it. She would have turned 30 next month. As her mother said through her tears, “This doesn’t make any sense.”

      Our prayers are with the Lu family of China, who sent their daughter, Lingzi, to BU so that she could experience all this city has to offer. She was a 23-year-old student, far from home. And in the heartache of her family and friends on both sides of a great ocean, we’re reminded of the humanity that we all share.

      Our prayers are with the Richard family of Dorchester — to Denise and their young daughter, Jane, as they fight to recover. And our hearts are broken for 8-year-old Martin — with his big smile and bright eyes. His last hours were as perfect as an 8-year-old boy could hope for — with his family, eating ice cream at a sporting event. And we’re left with two enduring images of this little boy — forever smiling for his beloved Bruins, and forever expressing a wish he made on a blue poster board: “No more hurting people. Peace.”

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/04/18/remarks-president-interfaith-service-boston-ma

    • CR says:

      Very moving service

  8. CR says:

    April 18, 2013

    Statement from the President on the Explosion in West, Texas

    Today our prayers go out to the people of West, Texas in the aftermath of last night’s deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant. A tight-knit community has been shaken, and good, hard-working people have lost their lives. I want to thank the first responders who worked tirelessly through the night to contain the situation and treat the wounded. My Administration, through FEMA and other agencies, is in close contact with our state and local partners on the ground to make sure there are no unmet needs as search and rescue and response operations continue. West is a town that many Texans hold near and dear to their hearts, and as residents continue to respond to this tragedy, they will have the support of the American people.

  9. CR says:

    12:00 PM ET
    President Obama Speaks to Boston Athletic Association Volunteers
    Boston, MA

    • CR says:

      April 18, 2013

      Remarks by the President to First Responders and Volunteers in Boston, MA

      Cathedral High School
      Boston, Massachusetts

      12:35 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you, everybody. Well, listen, we just had a wonderful interfaith service, and I want to thank Governor Patrick for helping to organize that. I want to thank both the Governor and your extraordinary Mayor, Tom Menino — (applause) — for the incredible leadership and cool under pressure, the organization, the mobilization and the courage that they have shown reflective of this great city and reflective of this great Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

      Now, I’m not going to speak long. I’m just — he started calling me Reverend Obama, so I know — (laughter) — I know I was — I don’t want to go on any longer than I need to. The main message, in addition to just giving — having a chance to shake some hands and give some hugs, is just to say how proud the whole country is of you — (applause) — how grateful we are — how grateful we are that in the face of chaos and tragedy, all of you displayed the very best of the American spirit.

      You displayed grit. You displayed compassion. You displayed civic duty. You displayed courage. And when we see that kind of spirit, there’s something about that that’s infectious. It makes us all want to be better people. You’ve inspired the entire country. You’ve inspired the world. And for that, you should be profoundly proud.

      But as Deval and I were talking as we were driving in from the airport, the key is that we hang on to a little bit of that, because it’s right there under the surface every day. And it expresses itself, obviously, in the Marathon. It expresses itself in Patriot’s Day. It expresses itself in all the small interactions, the gestures of kindness and generosity and tolerance and compassion that make up the fabric of our lives. And we don’t always pay attention to it, and we don’t always celebrate, and it’s certainly not usually on a television screen, it’s not always reported on. But that’s who we are.

      And if there’s anything that was a theme in that interfaith service it’s that out of these ashes, out of the blood that’s spilled and the injuries borne, out of that, we get a chance to see and highlight and appreciate that spirit. And we’ve got to sustain it, because in all of our lives at some point there are going to be some troubles, and there’s evil in the world, and there’s hardship. But if that spirit is evident and manifest, and that’s what we’re teaching our kids and that’s what we’re embodying in our own lives, then who can stop us? Who can touch us? (Applause.)

      So thank you, everybody. I’m proud of you. I’m proud of Boston. And as I just said, I’m looking forward to the 118th Boston Marathon. God bless you. (Applause.)

      END
      12:39 P.M. EDT

  10. CR says:

    Please join me in lighting a candle for our President, First Family and our Nation.

    http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=PBO

  11. CR says:

    House approves cybersecurity overhaul in bipartisan vote

    4/18/13 01:00 PM ET By Pete Kasperowicz and Jennifer Martinez – TheHill

    The House on Thursday approved cybersecurity legislation that sets up a framework for companies and the federal government to share information about threats.

    The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), H.R. 624, was approved in a 288-127 vote despite ongoing fears from some lawmakers and privacy advocates that the measure could give the government access to private information about consumers.

    Ninety-two Democrats voted with Republicans in favor of the bill, and just 29 Republicans opposed it.

    That’s greater support than last year, when a similar bill passed 248-168 with the support of 42 Democrats. Twenty-eight Republicans opposed that bill.

    Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/294771-house-votes-to-let-companies-government-share-info-on-cyber-threats

  12. CR says:

    More Senators Vote To Loosen Gun Laws Than Tighten Them

    APRIL 18, 2013, 11:10 AM 4654  SAHIL KAPUR - tpmFifty-seven senators voted Wednesday to dramatically expand gun rights after the background check legislation was scuttled, a sign that even amid the most concerted gun control push in two decades, there remains more Senate support for loosening gun laws than tightening them.

    The National Rifle Association-backed measure, brought by Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) as an amendment to gun legislation, would have made a concealed carry permit in one state valid in other states. In other words, if it passed, California would be forced to let someone carry a concealed weapon in public if they were permitted to do so, say, by the state of Kansas.

    The bill failed as it was subject to a filibuster-proof 60 vote threshold, like all amendments. But thirteen Democrats joined all but one Republican (Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk) in voting for it. It received more votes than background check legislation, which would have modestly tightened the nation’s gun laws and managed to find 55 supporters.

    “This amendment would wreak havoc in large portions of America — suburban and urban areas,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said just before the vote on Cornyn’s amendment. “Because there are no residency requirements, criminals from all states could go to states, Florida is one, get a concealed carry permit and legally — criminals, felons — concealed carry in other states.”

    “Let Wyoming do what they want to do on concealed carry, but don’t impose that on New York, and vice versa,” he said.

    Cornyn said his legislation was “designed to protect the fundamental Second Amendment rights of American citizens who are traveling or temporarily away from home while they hold a concealed handgun license.” He called it “background checks on steroids.”

    Pro-gun proponents love the measure. Similar legislation was brought in 2009 by Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and received 58 votes. Democratic leaders worked hard to ensure its defeat this time around, worrying that its inclusion could poison and likely scuttle the final legislation.

    Along with the Cornyn measure Wednesday, well over a majority of senators also voted for amendments offered by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Richard Burr (R-NC) that contained provisions gun control advocates feared would weaken gun safety laws. By contrast, fewer than a majority of senators to ban assault weapons or restrict high-capacity ammunition clips.

    The votes reveal that the filibuster, shortly after killing expanded background checks supported by 90 percent of the public, worked to protect a priority of the gun control side.

    Fifty-five senators supported the background check bill. The final tally was 54-46 because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), switched his vote to no in the last minute to reserve the right to bring up the bill again, which he later pledged to keep fighting for.

  13. Kat 4 Obama says:

    Good and HOPEful Thursday, CR and all friends!

    >^..^<

    Wonderful interfaith service today. President Obama called on us to live up to our highest ideals.

  14. CR says:

    5:30 PM ET
    President Obama hosts a reception for Greek Independence Day; Vice President Biden also attends.

  15. CR says:

    ‘Gang of Eight’ urge lawmakers to join them in supporting immigration bill

    4/18/13 By Chris Moody, Yahoo! News | The Ticket – 34 mins ago

    It’s not every day that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Republican activist Grover Norquist are spotted in the same room.

    On Thursday, however, they stood inches from each other while a bipartisan group of senators rolled out a comprehensive immigration reform proposal that Congress will debate for the next several months.

    The “Gang of Eight” on Thursday promoted their new 844-page immigration bill on Capitol Hill, released earlier in the week. It’s the product of months of intense private negotiations that supporters say will secure the borders and provide a path to legality for nearly 12 million people currently living in the nation illegally.

    Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York, Richard Durbin of Illinois, Michael Bennet of Colorado and Bob Menendez of New Jersey joined Republican Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Marco Rubio of Florida, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lindsay Graham of Arizona, who each took turns speaking. The press conference was the first time they had all appeared publicly together since the group released its goals for the bill in January.

    The lawmakers joked about the process of negotiating the bill and gave thanks to their staff, who worked through many sleepless nights to hammer out the details between some of the most conservative and liberal members in the chamber.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/gang-eight-urge-lawmakers-join-them-supporting-immigration-201612483–politics.html

  16. CR says:

    5:00 PM ET
    Boston Marathon bombing briefing
    Officials update the search for suspects in this week’s bombings at the Boston Marathon.

    ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/Live/

    CSPAN http://www.c-span.org/Events/Update-on-Investigation-into-Boston-Marathon-Bombing/10737439274-4/

    • CR says:

      WASHINGTON, DC

      Thursday, April 18, 2013
      5:25 PM ET

      The FBI and Massachusetts state officials provide an update on the investigation into the bombing at the Boston Marathon on Monday. Three people died and over a 170 were injured when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the marathon.

      ———–

      There are two suspects that the FBI needs the public’s help in identifying; for photos and video
      FBI.gov: http://www.fbi.gov/news/updates-on-investigation-into-multiple-explosions-in-boston/updates-on-investigation-into-multiple-explosions-in-boston

      ———–

      To Provide Tips in the Investigation

      If you have visual images, video, and/or details regarding the explosions along the Boston Marathon route and elsewhere, submit them on https://bostonmarathontips.fbi.gov/. No piece of information or detail is too small.

      You can also call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324), prompt #3, with information.
      All media inquiries should be directed to the FBI’s National Press Office at (202) 324-3691.

      - Boston FBI
      - Boston Police Department

      • CR says:

        1 of 2 Mass. bomb suspects dead; suburbs shut down

        4/19/13 By EILEEN SULLIVAN, MEGHAN BARR and KATIE ZEZIMA | Associated Press – 12 mins ago

        WATERTOWN, Mass. (AP) — Two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing killed an MIT police officer, injured a transit officer in a firefight and threw explosive devices at police during their getaway attempt in a long night of violence that left one of them dead and another still at large Friday, authorities said as the manhunt intensified for a young man described as a dangerous terrorist.

        The suspects were identified to The Associated Press as coming from the Russian region near Chechnya, which has been plagued by an Islamic insurgency stemming from separatist wars. A law enforcement intelligence bulletin obtained by the AP identified the surviving bomb suspect as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, a 19-year-old who had been living in Cambridge, just outside Boston, and said he “may be armed and dangerous.”

        Two law enforcement officials told the AP that Tsarnaev and the other suspect, who was not immediately identified, had been living legally in the U.S. for at least one year.

        In Boston, still on edge over the attack on the marathon, and its western suburbs, authorities suspended mass transit and urged people to stay indoors as they searched for the remaining suspect, a man seen wearing a white baseball cap on surveillance footage from Monday’s deadly bombing at the marathon finish line.

        “We believe this man to be a terrorist,” said Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. “We believe this to be a man who’s come here to kill people.”

        Authorities urged residents in Watertown, Newton, Arlington, Waltham, Belmont, Cambridge and the Allston-Brighton neighborhoods of Boston to stay indoors. At least a quarter of a million people live in those suburbs. All mass transit was shut down, and businesses were asked not to open Friday. People waiting at bus and subway stops were told to go home.

        For more: http://news.yahoo.com/1-2-mass-bomb-suspects-dead-suburbs-shut-101813648.html

      • CR says:

        Boston Marathon bombing suspect captured: police

        4/19/13 By Aaron Pressman and Stephanie Simon | Reuters – 33 mins ago

        WATERTOWN, Massachusetts (Reuters) – Police captured a 19-year-old man on Friday night suspected of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombings with his older brother after a day-long manhunt using helicopters and heavily armed officers in a Boston suburb.

        The Boston Police Department said on Twitter that the suspect was in custody and officers were sweeping the area. Authorities identified him earlier as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, one of two brothers believed to have carried out Monday’s attack at the world-famous event, killing three people and injuring 176.

        Police cars and armored vehicles surrounded a house in Watertown on Friday night shortly after police told a news conference that the suspect fled on foot and was still on the loose.

        The apparent break in the investigation came after an intense manhunt that virtually closed the city of Boston.

        Monday’s bombing on the finish line of the marathon was described by President Barack Obama as “an act of terrorism.” It was the worst such attack on U.S. soil since the plane hijackings of September 11, 2001.

        For more: http://news.yahoo.com/police-descend-house-search-boston-bombing-suspect-004709255.html

        • CR says:

          Russia caught bomb suspect on wiretap

          4/28/13 By EILEEN SULLIVAN and MATT APUZZO | Associated Press

          WASHINGTON (AP) — Russian authorities secretly recorded a telephone conversation in 2011 in which one of the Boston bombing suspects vaguely discussed jihad with his mother, officials said Saturday, days after the U.S. government finally received details about the call.

          In another conversation, the mother of now-dead bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was recorded talking to someone in southern Russia who is under FBI investigation in an unrelated case, officials said.

          The conversations are significant because, had they been revealed earlier, they might have been enough evidence for the FBI to initiate a more thorough investigation of the Tsarnaev family.

          As it was, Russian authorities told the FBI only that they had concerns that Tamerlan and his mother were religious extremists. With no additional information, the FBI conducted a limited inquiry and closed the case in June 2011.

          Two years later, authorities say Tamerlan and his brother, Dzhohkar, detonated two homemade bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring more than 260. Tamerlan was killed in a police shootout and Dzhohkar is under arrest.

          In the past week, Russian authorities turned over to the United States information it had on Tamerlan and his mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva. The Tsarnaevs are ethnic Chechens who emigrated from southern Russia to the Boston area over the past 11 years.

          For more: http://news.yahoo.com/russia-caught-bomb-suspect-wiretap-105240857.html

      • CR says:

        April 19, 2013

        Statement by the President

        10:05 P.M. EDT

        THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Tonight our nation is in debt to the people of Boston and the people of Massachusetts. After a vicious attack on their city, Bostonians responded with resolve and determination. They did their part as citizens and partners in this investigation.

        Boston police and state police and local police across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts responded with professionalism and bravery over five long days. And tonight, because of their determined efforts, we’ve closed an important chapter in this tragedy.

        I’ve been briefed earlier this evening by FBI Director Mueller. After the attacks on Monday, I directed the full resources of the federal government to be made available to help state and local authorities in the investigation and to increase security as needed. Over the past week, close coordination among federal, state, and local officials — sharing information, moving swiftly to track down leads — has been critical to this effort.

        They all worked as they should, as a team. And we are extremely grateful for that. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to all our outstanding law enforcement professionals. These men and women get up every day, they put on that uniform; they risk their lives to keep us safe — and as this week showed, they don’t always know what to expect. So our thoughts are with those who were wounded in pursuit of the suspects and we pray for their full recovery.

        We also send our prayers to the Collier family who grieve the loss of their son and brother, Sean. “He was born to be a police officer,” said his chief at MIT. He was just 26 years old. And as his family has said, he died bravely in the line of duty, doing what he committed his life to doing — serving and protecting others. So we’re grateful to him.

        Obviously, tonight there are still many unanswered questions. Among them, why did young men who grew up and studied here, as part of our communities and our country, resort to such violence? How did they plan and carry out these attacks, and did they receive any help? The families of those killed so senselessly deserve answers. The wounded, some of whom now have to learn how to stand and walk and live again, deserve answers.

        And so I’ve instructed the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security and our intelligence community to continue to deploy all the necessary resources to support the investigation, to collect intelligence, and to protect our citizens. We will determine what happened. We will investigate any associations that these terrorists may have had. And we’ll continue to do whatever we have to do to keep our people safe.

        One thing we do know is that whatever hateful agenda drove these men to such heinous acts will not — cannot — prevail. Whatever they thought they could ultimately achieve, they’ve already failed. They failed because the people of Boston refused to be intimidated. They failed because, as Americans, we refused to be terrorized. They failed because we will not waver from the character and the compassion and the values that define us as a country. Nor will we break the bonds that hold us together as Americans.

        That American spirit includes staying true to the unity and diversity that makes us strong — like no other nation in the world. In this age of instant reporting and tweets and blogs, there’s a temptation to latch on to any bit of information, sometimes to jump to conclusions. But when a tragedy like this happens, with public safety at risk and the stakes so high, it’s important that we do this right. That’s why we have investigations. That’s why we relentlessly gather the facts. That’s why we have courts. And that’s why we take care not to rush to judgment — not about the motivations of these individuals; certainly not about entire groups of people.

        After all, one of the things that makes America the greatest nation on Earth, but also, one of the things that makes Boston such a great city, is that we welcome people from all around the world — people of every faith, every ethnicity, from every corner of the globe. So as we continue to learn more about why and how this tragedy happened, let’s make sure that we sustain that spirit.

        Tonight we think of all the wounded, still struggling to recover. Certainly we think of Krystle Campbell. We think of Lingzi Lu. And we think of little Martin Richard. Their lives reflected all the diversity and beauty of our country, and they were sharing the great American experience together.

        Finally, let me say that even as so much attention has been focused on the tragic events in Boston, understandably, we’ve also seen a tight-knit community in Texas devastated by a terrible explosion. And I want them to know that they are not forgotten. Our thoughts, our prayers are with the people of West, Texas, where so many good people lost their lives; some lost their homes; many are injured; many are still missing.

        I’ve talked to Governor Perry and Mayor Muska and I’ve pledged that the people of West will have the resources that they need to recover and rebuild. And I want everybody in Texas to know that we will follow through with those commitments.

        All in all, this has been a tough week. But we’ve seen the character of our country once more. And as President, I’m confident that we have the courage and the resilience and the spirit to overcome these challenges — and to go forward, as one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

        Thank you very much, everybody.

        END 10:11 P.M. EDT

        • CR says:

          From Boston to Newtown to Aurora and beyond: Obama’s sad role as national grief counselor

          4/18/13 By Walter Shapiro – yahoonews

          Just moments after he raised his right hand to take the oath of office at a time of economic despair in 2009, Barack Obama spoke of the resilience of the American people. In that first inaugural address, Obama paraphrased the lyrics from a 1930s Fred Astaire musical as he declared, “Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.”

          Thursday afternoon, at a memorial service in Boston’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Obama invoked the story of 78-year-old marathoner Bill Iffrig who was knocked off his feet by the bomb blast just 15 feet from the finish line. Talking of the resilience of Boston and America in the face of harrowing violence, Obama said, “We may be momentarily knocked off our feet, but we’ll pick ourselves up. We’ll keep going. We will finish the race.”

          Obama was very careful with his language, describing “this heinous act” and the perpetrators as “small, stunted individuals.” The president never mentioned “terrorism” or referred to foreign threats, but he pointedly used the verb “terrorize.” The president’s words were a way of gliding over all the public uncertainty surrounding the bombings and their cause. It was probably wiser and definitely more uplifting for the president to celebrate Boston and its gritty, yet intellectual self-image than to dwell on the fear unleashed on Patriot’s Day.

          This has been a harrowing week for Obama. All the emotion that flowed from his last memorial service for the victims in Newtown led to defeat and dejection with the expected—yet still brutal—Senate rejection of expanded background checks for gun buyers Wednesday afternoon. Even the memory of 20 dead small children was not enough to turn the legislative tide. As Obama put it Wednesday, not bothering to mask his anger over vote, “This was a pretty shameful day for Washington.”

          Grief counseling is not mentioned in the Constitution, nor does it ever come up in presidential debates. But part of the job of any president in this already tear-stained century is to channel our collective sadness, to speak for all Americans at a time of national tragedy.

          Obama was still in the first year of his presidency when he said during a memorial service at Fort Hood after the shootings there, “We pay tribute to 13 men and women who were not able to escape the horror of war, even in the comfort of home.” In 2011, at a memorial service for the victims of the shootings in a Tucson parking lot, Obama sadly admitted, “There is nothing I can say that will fill the sudden hole torn in your hearts.”

          Last year, in response to the massacre in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, Obama said, “If there’s anything to take away from this tragedy, it’s the reminder that life is very fragile. Our time here is limited and it is precious.” And at the memorial service for the victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Obama said, “Here in Newtown, I come to offer the love and the prayers of a nation. I am very mindful that mere words cannot match the depths of your sorrow, nor can they heal your wounded hearts.”

          Yes, there is a sameness to much of Obama’s funereal oratory. The fault lies not with the president or the White House speechwriters, but with the limits of human speech at a time of grief. These are the same limitations that Abraham Lincoln referred to in 1863 when he dedicated a national cemetery at Gettysburg near where nearly 8,000 soldiers died: “We cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.”

          The difference, of course, is that Lincoln was speaking on a military battlefield, while Obama as president has been primarily mourning those killed at home following everyday pursuits—watching a famous race, attending a leafy elementary school, going to the movies or meeting with their congresswoman in a supermarket parking lot. Each innocent setting makes the carnage crueler and more macabre.

          The three deaths and the scores of maimed bodies at the finish line in Boston also speak to the profound uncertainty of our age. Was this a new front in the war that toppled the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001? Or was this the latest reminder (as if we needed one after Newtown and Aurora) that Americans are a violent people—and that walking among us are individuals with crazed grievances and a warped desire to inflict pain, suffering and death.

          The hair-trigger mood was symbolized Wednesday by the wildly wrong rumors about an impending arrest that were legitimized by major news organizations like the Associated Press and CNN. To be charitable, it was almost as if amid our fears, the news media abandoned traditional rules of reliable sourcing in a desperate effort to add a note of the-worst-is-over calm to our continuing anguish.

          Politicians and the media often give way to an irresistible impulse to automatically brand any horrific act “terrorism.” In the immediate aftermath of Monday’s bloodbath, Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, flatly said, “My understanding is that it’s a terrorist incident.” Two Maine senators, Susan Collins and Angus King—both members of the Intelligence Committee—were even more unequivocal, saying that the bombings “bear the hallmarks of a terrorist attack.”

          Using the word “terrorism” before there is any certainty that the attack had any remote connection with an organized group—let alone the remnants of al-Qaida—can only fan frightening memories of 9/11 and Oklahoma City. That is why Obama’s restraint today in Boston and in his prior remarks at the White House has been admirable. The images of dead bodies and maimed limbs on Boylston Street are wrenching enough without politicians in Washington resorting to rhetorical fear-mongering.

          Obama ended his 20-minute reflections with a passionate affirmation of an open society where “we come together to celebrate life, to walk our cities and to cheer for our teams.” As the nation’s first truly urban president since John Kennedy, Obama instinctively understands the vibrancy of cities like Boston. That may be why he places such a high premium on living without fear amid the hubbub of the Hub. And in the resilience of Bostonians and all Americans.

          Source: http://news.yahoo.com/from-boston-to-newtown-to-aurora-and-beyond–obama’s-sad-role-as-national-grief-counselor-193800181.html

  17. CR says:

    Day of Silence – April 19, 2013

    The Day of Silence is the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s (GLSEN) annual day of action to protest the bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students and their supporters. Students take a day-long vow of silence to symbolically represent the silencing of LGBT students and their supporters.

    For more: http://dayofsilence.org

    • CR says:

      Secretary Arne Duncan Observes National Day of Silence

      Last month, on National Day of Silence, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called on Americans to help address and prevent bullying of LGBT students:

      I want to encourage all of us NOT to be silent on an important issue: the need to address and eliminate bullying and harassment in our schools.

      No student should ever feel unsafe in school. If students don’t feel safe, they can’t learn. And if left unaddressed, bullying and harassment can rapidly escalate into even more serious abuse.

      I want to remind students, parents, and administrators of the power of supportive clubs, like the Gay Straight Alliances or GSAs, to foster safe school environments. The Department of Education has provided guidance to schools on their obligations under federal laws to provide equal access to extracurricular clubs, including GSAs, as well to address bullying and harassment and gender-based violence.

      Let’s work together to end bullying and harassment in schools.

      To learn more, please visit StopBullying.gov and find additional resources from the Department of Education below–including school obligations under federal law

      * Equal access to extracurricular clubs
      * Bullying and harassment
      * Gender-based violence
      * Sexual violence on college campuses

  18. CR says:

    ********************
    THIS POST IS NOW CLOSED NBLB

    Come on over to my newest post titled: ” This is NOT the end. It is just the beginning.”

    ********************

    To get to the newest post click on “HOME” at the top of the thread

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