2015 Earth Day

Earth Day
Earth Day is April 22

Environmental Action means taking the simple steps in the place where we live. By choosing to act on five or more of these ideas you are joining thousands of others who are doing all they can to be a good and responsible citizen of the world.

Volunteer or Attend a Earth Day Event near you

Environmental Action You Can Take:

The Obama Administration is committed to protecting the air we breathe, water we drink, and land that supports and sustains us. From restoring ecosystems in the Chesapeake Bay and the Everglades, to reducing mercury pollution from power plants, we are bringing together Federal agencies to tackle America’s greatest environmental challenges such as:





April 22, 2015
President Obama delivers remarks on climate change
Everglades National Park, Florida



42 thoughts on “2015 Earth Day

  1. WH

    Wednesday, April 22, 2015

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:20 AM
    President Obama departs White House en route to Miami
    South Lawn

    10:35 AM
    President Obama departs Joint Base Andrews
    Joint Base Andrews

    11:00 AM
    First Lady Michelle Obama Q&A With Children at Take-Our-Daughters-And-Sons-To-Work Day
    East Room

    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    President Obama arrives Miami
    Miami International Airport, Miami Florida

    1:50 PM
    President Obama tours Everglades
    Everglades National Park, Homestead, Florida

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    President Obama delivers remarks on climate change
    Everglades National Park, Homestead, Florida

    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    5:45 PM
    President Obama departs Miami
    Miami International Airport, Miami Florida

    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    7:55 PM
    President Obama arrives Joint Base Andrews
    Joint Base Andrews

    8:00 PM
    8:10 PM
    President Obama arrives White House
    South Lawn

    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    • Weekly Address: Climate Change Can No Longer Be Ignored

      Remarks of President Barack Obama
      Weekly Address
      The White House
      April 18, 2015

      Hi everybody. Wednesday is Earth Day, a day to appreciate and protect this precious planet we call home. And today, there’s no greater threat to our planet than climate change.

      2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record. Fourteen of the 15 hottest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century. This winter was cold in parts of our country – as some folks in Congress like to point out – but around the world, it was the warmest ever recorded.

      And the fact that the climate is changing has very serious implications for the way we live now. Stronger storms. Deeper droughts. Longer wildfire seasons. The world’s top climate scientists are warning us that a changing climate already affects the air our kids breathe. Last week, the Surgeon General and I spoke with public experts about how climate change is already affecting patients across the country. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security.

      And on Earth Day, I’m going to visit the Florida Everglades to talk about the way that climate change threatens our economy. The Everglades is one of the most special places in our country. But it’s also one of the most fragile. Rising sea levels are putting a national treasure – and an economic engine for the South Florida tourism industry – at risk.

      So climate change can no longer be denied – or ignored. The world is looking to the United States – to us – to lead. And that’s what we’re doing. We’re using more clean energy than ever before. America is number one in wind power, and every three weeks, we bring online as much solar power as we did in all of 2008. We’re taking steps to waste less energy, with more fuel-efficient cars that save us money at the pump, and more energy-efficient buildings that save us money on our electricity bills.

      So thanks in part to these actions, our carbon pollution has fallen by 10 percent since 2007, even as we’ve grown our economy and seen the longest streak of private-sector job growth on record. We’ve committed to doubling the pace at which we cut carbon pollution, and China has committed, for the first time, to limiting their emissions. And because the world’s two largest economies came together, there’s new hope that, with American leadership, this year, the world will finally reach an agreement to prevent the worst impacts of climate change before it’s too late.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/17/weekly-address-climate-change-can-no-longer-be-ignored-0

    • 04/21/2015

      DOI, EPA, NOAA announce Resilient Lands and Waters Initiative to prepare natural resources for climate change

      Sites in southwest Florida, Hawaii, Washington, and the Great Lakes selected to showcase climate resilience approach

      WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of the Interior (DOI), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today recognized four collaborative landscape partnerships across the country where Federal agencies will focus efforts with partners to conserve and restore important lands and waters and make them more resilient to a changing climate. Building on existing collaborations, these Resilient Lands and Waters partnerships – located in southwest Florida, Hawaii, Washington and the Great Lakes region – will help build resilience in regions vulnerable to climate change and related challenges. They will also showcase the benefits of landscape-scale management approaches and help enhance the carbon storage capacity of these natural areas.

      The selected lands and waters face a wide range of climate impacts and other ecological stressors related to climate change, including sea level rise, drought, wildfire, and invasive species. At each location, Federal agencies will work closely with state, tribal, and local partners to prepare for and prevent these and other threats, and ensure that long-term conservation efforts take climate change into account. Additionally, the initiative will focus on conserving coastal wetlands and marine conservation areas, protecting drinking water for urban areas, and providing habitat for wildlife. These collaborative efforts will include the use of existing tools to benefit the entire landscape as well as the development of new tools. For example, in the Great Lakes, partners are developing a coastal wetland prioritization tool that will help determine where restoration efforts are most needed. And in the He’eia watershed on the island of O’ahu, organizations are using NOAA’s Sea Level Rise Viewer to see maps of the potential impacts of sea level rise on the region.

      For more: http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/doi-epa-noaa-announce-resilient-lands-and-waters-initiative-to-prepare-natural-resources-for-climate-change.cfm

    • April 22, 2015

      Remarks by the President on the Impacts of Climate Change

      The Everglades, Florida

      3:16 P.M. EDT

      THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody! Please have a seat. It’s good to be back in Florida. So I can’t think of a better way to spend Earth Day than in one of our nation’s greatest natural treasures, the Everglades. (Applause.) And anybody who comes here to visit — and I advise everybody who’s watching who hasn’t been down here to come on down. You can see what makes this unique landscape so magical — what the poet Emma Lazarus called “the savage splendor of the swamp.” Although I was informed it’s not technically a swamp. (Laughter.)

      I want to thank our outstanding Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, who’s here. (Applause.) Her team at the Interior Department and the National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis for helping to protect places like this. (Applause.) The Everglades National Park Superintendent Pedro Ramos is doing outstanding work. (Applause.) I want to thank Miami-Dade Congressmen Murphy and Carvalho who are here doing outstanding work, as well as Debbie Wasserman Schultz. (Applause.) You’ll be pleased to know that they are all in when it comes to protecting the Everglades, and we’re very proud of the good work that they’re going. We even have the Science Guy, Bill Nye, here. (Applause.) There’s Bill.

      Now, they’re all here and we’re all here because this 1.5 million acres is unlike any place on Earth. It’s no wonder that over a million people visited last year alone. The sawgrass prairies and mangrove forests are home to an incredible diversity of wildlife — bald eagles, herons, hundreds of plant species, from pine trees to wild orchids. Believe it or not, south Florida is the only place in the world where you can find both alligators and crocodiles in the same habitat. I’m told this is a good thing. (Laughter.)

      In the words of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, who helped preserve this land: “There are no other Everglades in the world.” But part of the reason we’re here is because climate change is threatening this treasure and the communities that depend on it, which includes almost all of south Florida. And if we don’t act, there may not be an Everglades as we know it.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/22/remarks-president-impacts-climate-change

      • ive New National Historic Landmarks Highlighting America’s Diverse Heritage

        04/15/2015 dol,gov

        WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis today announced the designation of five new national historic landmarks, ranging from a 19th century reservoir in Massachusetts to a home in Indiana designed by Frank Lloyd Wright to provide affordable housing.

        The new landmarks also include a historic covered bridge in California, a hotel in Yellowstone National Park, and a conference center in Detroit designed by renowned architect Minoru Yamasaki.

        “These sites join more than 2,500 other landmarks that help tell America’s story,” said Secretary Jewell. “From the remarkable strides made in engineering during the 19th century to the vision of our great architects, they are an important part of the tapestry of our nation’s heritage.”

        “National historic landmarks preserve some of our nation’s most remarkable places and demonstrate the power of partnerships between the National Park Service and historic property owners,” said Director Jarvis. “These new landmarks offer opportunities for more Americans to make personal connections with our nation’s cultural and historical heritage and have the potential to drive tourism and boost local economies.”

        National Historic Landmarks recognize places that possess exceptional value and quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. The five new landmarks are:

        * Samara (John E. and Catherine E. Christian House), West Lafayette, Indiana

        * Lake Hotel, Yellowstone National Park, Teton County, Wyoming

        * California Powder Works Bridge, Santa Cruz County, California

        * McGregor Memorial Conference Center, Detroit, Michigan

        * Brookline Reservoir of the Cochituate Aqueduct, Brookline, Massachusetts

        For more: http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/secretary-jewell-director-jarvis-announce-five-new-national-historic-landmarks-highlighting-americas-diverse-heritage.cfm

    • President Obama & Bill Nye Talk Earth Day in the Everglades

      Published on Apr 24, 2015

      As you know, President Obama celebrated Earth Day this week by visiting the Florida Everglades where he spoke about the threat that climate change poses to our economy and to the world, in the latest part of his effort to call attention to act on the threat of climate change. The President also announced how we’re investing millions in new funding to protect our parks, as well as new actions the Department of Agriculture will take in partnership with farmers, ranchers and forest land owners to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions. While in Florida the President sat down with Bill Nye the Science Guy in the Everglades to discuss climate change, conservation, and science education in America.

  2. Hundreds Protest as US Justice Dept. Opens Baltimore Police Probe

    April 21, 2015 10:50 PM VOA News

    The U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday it is investigating the death of an African-American man who suffered spinal injuries while in police custody in the eastern U.S. city of Baltimore, Maryland.

    The federal investigation will look for civil rights violations in the case of Freddie Gray, 25, who was arrested April 12.

    After the probe was announced, at least 1,000 people gathered at a previously planned rally at the site of Gray’s arrest.

    Protesters marched to a police station a couple of blocks away, chanting and holding signs that read “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace” – slogans that have come to embody what demonstrators believe is widespread mistreatment of blacks by police.

    Among the crowd were members of Gray’s family, including his mother, Gloria Darden, who was overcome with grief, writhing and sobbing uncontrollably, her face obscured by a hood and dark glasses.

    Suspended with pay

    Earlier in the day, six Baltimore police officers were suspended with pay while authorities investigate why Gray was stopped and what led to his injury. They were identified as Lt. Brian Rice, 41; Officer Caesar Goodson, 45; Sgt. Alicia White, 30; Officer William Porter, 25; Officer Garrett Miller, 26; and Officer Edward Nero, 29. Their specific roles in the arrest weren’t disclosed.

    Pricilla Jackson carried a sign reading, “Convict Freddie’s killers,” that listed the names of the six officers. Jackson, who is black, said she wants Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to know that she and others have been brutalized by police.

    Details about what happened to Gray are scarce. Baltimore authorities said he “was arrested without force or incident” after police “made eye contact” with him and another man in an area known for drug activity and the two started running.

    For more: http://www.voanews.com/content/hundreds-protest-as-us-justice-department-opens-baltimore-police-probe-/2729604.html

    • White House officials to attend Freddie Gray funeral in Baltimore

      April 27, 2015, 10:19 am By Jordan Fabian – TheHill

      The White House is sending a delegation to the funeral of Freddie Gray, a black man who died of a spinal cord injury while in police custody in Baltimore.

      Broderick Johnson, a White House Cabinet secretary and chair of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force, will represent the Obama administration. Broderick, a native of Baltimore, will be joined by Heather Foster, an adviser in the White House Office of Public Engagement, and Elias Alcantara, with the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

      Gray, 25, died one week after sustaining a spinal injury while he was detained by police in West Baltimore on April 12. His death set off a wave of protests around the city, which turned violent over the weekend.

      Gray’s funeral will take place Monday in Baltimore. Thousands are expected to attend, including relatives of Eric Garner, a black man who died in July, after police in New York City placed him in a chokehold.

      • 10,000 Strong Peacefully Protest In Downtown Baltimore, Media Only Reports The Violence & Arrest of Dozens

        April 27, 2015 by AJ Woodson in Across The Nation

        10,000 people from across the country peacefully protested in Baltimore in support of the seeking of justice of the death of Freddie Gray. Despite the fact that 100 of the 10,000 acted up and approximately 35 people were arrested after the peaceful protest, (that’s about 1%), much of the mainstream media used attention grabbing words in their headlines like ‘Protest Turns Destructive, (USA Today)’ ‘Scenes of Chaos In Baltimore… (NY Times), Dozens Arrested After Protest Turns Violent (WBAL TV). One website BreitBart.com’s headlines read: 1,000 Black Rioters In Baltimore Smash Police Cars, Attack Motorists In Frenzied Protest.

        The truth is you had 10,000 plus people come together in unity in support of the fight for justice for Freddie Gray. While the numbers vary, 100 or so were the ones you saw acting up on the news and the 35 persons who were arrested were the ones you read about. But reporting that won’t bring in the ratings that attract a heavy advertising revenue.

        CNN reported: Protesters angry over the death of Freddie Gray got into physical altercations with police Saturday night in downtown Baltimore near the city’s famed baseball stadium.

        Some of the hundreds who confronted lines of police officers got into shoving matches with helmeted cops while other demonstrators threw objects. At least five police cars were damaged by people who smashed windows and jumped on them.

        Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she was profoundly disappointed by the violence, adding that 95% of the protesters were respectful but a “small group of agitators intervened.”

        Time.com reported: The demonstration was aimed at police, who had Gray in their custody when he suffered injuries that would prove fatal. Baltimore police said 35 people, including four juveniles, were arrested and six officers suffered minor injuries during the latest protest.

        As you read most of the nationwide coverage, the various news media and websites do admit that most of the protesters were peaceful as you read further down their stories, despite the attention grabbing headlines that speaks of only the violence, destruction and criminal mischief of a few. Unfortunately there will always be a few agitators in any crowd this size. Some of which are purposely positioned among the peaceful protesters for just that reason.

        For more: http://blackwestchester.com/2015/04/27/10000-peacefully-protest-bmore/

      • 4/28/15
        Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Abe of Japan in Joint Press Conference
        Rose Garden

        Chris Jansing of NBC asks President Obama a question on the events in Baltimore

        Q: Thank you, Mr. President. As you know, the National Guard is now on the streets of Baltimore — the latest aftermath in a series of what have been high-profile confrontations between black men and police officers. And there seems to be growing frustration among African American leaders that not enough is being done quickly enough. Marc Morial of the Urban League said, “The U.S. is in a state of emergency of tremendous proportions.” The president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund says, “We are in the throes of a national crisis.”

        Are we in the throes of a national crisis? What are you prepared to do about it, both in terms of Baltimore and the larger picture? And what do you say to critics who say that since the death of Trayvon Martin, you have not been aggressive enough in your response?

        President Obama answers Chris Jansing

        A: “With respect to Baltimore, let me make a couple of points. First, obviously our thoughts continue to be with the family of Freddie Gray. Understandably, they want answers. And DOJ has opened an investigation. It is working with local law enforcement to find out exactly what happened, and I think there should be full transparency and accountability.

        “Second, my thoughts are with the police officers who were injured in last night’s disturbances. It underscores that that’s a tough job and we have to keep that in mind, and my hope is that they can heal and get back to work as soon as possible.

        Point number three, there’s no excuse for the kind of violence that we saw yesterday. It is counterproductive. When individuals get crowbars and start prying open doors to loot, they’re not protesting, they’re not making a statement — they’re stealing. When they burn down a building, they’re committing arson. And they’re destroying and undermining businesses and opportunities in their own communities that rob jobs and opportunity from people in that area.

        So it is entirely appropriate that the mayor of Baltimore, who I spoke to yesterday, and the governor, who I spoke to yesterday, work to stop that kind of senseless violence and destruction. That is not a protest. That is not a statement. It’s people — a handful of people taking advantage of a situation for their own purposes, and they need to be treated as criminals.

        Point number four, the violence that happened yesterday distracted from the fact that you had seen multiple days of peaceful protests that were focused on entirely legitimate concerns of these communities in Baltimore, led by clergy and community leaders. And they were constructive and they were thoughtful, and frankly, didn’t get that much attention. And one burning building will be looped on television over and over and over again, and the thousands of demonstrators who did it the right way I think have been lost in the discussion.

        The overwhelming majority of the community in Baltimore I think have handled this appropriately, expressing real concern and outrage over the possibility that our laws were not applied evenly in the case of Mr. Gray, and that accountability needs to exist. And I think we have to give them credit. My understanding is, is you’ve got some of the same organizers now going back into these communities to try to clean up in the aftermath of a handful of criminals and thugs who tore up the place. What they were doing, what those community leaders and clergy and others were doing, that is a statement. That’s the kind of organizing that needs to take place if we’re going to tackle this problem. And they deserve credit for it, and we should be lifting them up.

        Point number five — and I’ve got six, because this is important. Since Ferguson, and the task force that we put together, we have seen too many instances of what appears to be police officers interacting with individuals — primarily African American, often poor — in ways that have raised troubling questions. And it comes up, it seems like, once a week now, or once every couple of weeks. And so I think it’s pretty understandable why the leaders of civil rights organizations but, more importantly, moms and dads across the country, might start saying this is a crisis. What I’d say is this has been a slow-rolling crisis. This has been going on for a long time. This is not new, and we shouldn’t pretend that it’s new.

        The good news is, is that perhaps there’s some newfound awareness because of social media and video cameras and so forth that there are problems and challenges when it comes to how policing and our laws are applied in certain communities, and we have to pay attention to it and respond.

        What’s also good news is the task force that was made up of law enforcement and community activists that we brought together here in the White House have come up with very constructive concrete proposals that, if adopted by local communities and by states and by counties, by law enforcement generally, would make a difference. It wouldn’t solve every problem, but would make a concrete difference in rebuilding trust and making sure that the overwhelming majority of effective, honest and fair law enforcement officers, that they’re able to do their job better because it will weed out or retrain or put a stop to those handful who may be not doing what they’re supposed to be doing.

        Now, the challenge for us as the federal government is, is that we don’t run these police forces. I can’t federalize every police force in the country and force them to retrain. But what I can do is to start working with them collaboratively so that they can begin this process of change themselves.

        And coming out of the task force that we put together, we’re now working with local communities. The Department of Justice has just announced a grant program for those jurisdictions that want to purchase body cameras. We are going to be issuing grants for those jurisdictions that are prepared to start trying to implement some of the new training and data collection and other things that can make a difference. And we’re going to keep on working with those local jurisdictions so that they can begin to make the changes that are necessary.

        I think it’s going to be important for organizations like the Fraternal Order of Police and other police unions and organization to acknowledge that this is not good for police. We have to own up to the fact that occasionally there are going to be problems here, just as there are in every other occupation. There are some bad politicians who are corrupt. There are folks in the business community or on Wall Street who don’t do the right thing. Well, there’s some police who aren’t doing the right thing. And rather than close ranks, what we’ve seen is a number of thoughtful police chiefs and commissioners and others recognize they got to get their arms around this thing and work together with the community to solve the problem. And we’re committed to facilitating that process.

        So the heads of our COPS agency that helps with community policing, they’re already out in Baltimore. Our Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division is already out in Baltimore. But we’re going to be working systematically with every city and jurisdiction around the country to try to help them implement some solutions that we know work.

        And I’ll make my final point — I’m sorry, Mr. Prime Minister, but this is a pretty important issue for us.

        We can’t just leave this to the police. I think there are police departments that have to do some soul searching. I think there are some communities that have to do some soul searching. But I think we, as a country, have to do some soul searching. This is not new. It’s been going on for decades.

        And without making any excuses for criminal activities that take place in these communities, what we also know is that if you have impoverished communities that have been stripped away of opportunity, where children are born into abject poverty; they’ve got parents — often because of substance-abuse problems or incarceration or lack of education themselves — can’t do right by their kids; if it’s more likely that those kids end up in jail or dead, than they go to college. In communities where there are no fathers who can provide guidance to young men; communities where there’s no investment, and manufacturing has been stripped away; and drugs have flooded the community, and the drug industry ends up being the primary employer for a whole lot of folks — in those environments, if we think that we’re just going to send the police to do the dirty work of containing the problems that arise there without as a nation and as a society saying what can we do to change those communities, to help lift up those communities and give those kids opportunity, then we’re not going to solve this problem. And we’ll go through the same cycles of periodic conflicts between the police and communities and the occasional riots in the streets, and everybody will feign concern until it goes away, and then we go about our business as usual.

        If we are serious about solving this problem, then we’re going to not only have to help the police, we’re going to have to think about what can we do — the rest of us — to make sure that we’re providing early education to these kids; to make sure that we’re reforming our criminal justice system so it’s not just a pipeline from schools to prisons; so that we’re not rendering men in these communities unemployable because of a felony record for a nonviolent drug offense; that we’re making investments so that they can get the training they need to find jobs. That’s hard. That requires more than just the occasional news report or task force. And there’s a bunch of my agenda that would make a difference right now in that.

        Now, I’m under no illusion that out of this Congress we’re going to get massive investments in urban communities, and so we’ll try to find areas where we can make a difference around school reform and around job training, and around some investments in infrastructure in these communities trying to attract new businesses in.

        But if we really want to solve the problem, if our society really wanted to solve the problem, we could. It’s just it would require everybody saying this is important, this is significant — and that we don’t just pay attention to these communities when a CVS burns, and we don’t just pay attention when a young man gets shot or has his spine snapped. We’re paying attention all the time because we consider those kids our kids, and we think they’re important. And they shouldn’t be living in poverty and violence.

        That’s how I feel. I think there are a lot of good-meaning people around the country that feel that way. But that kind of political mobilization I think we haven’t seen in quite some time. And what I’ve tried to do is to promote those ideas that would make a difference. But I think we all understand that the politics of that are tough because it’s easy to ignore those problems or to treat them just as a law and order issue, as opposed to a broader social issue.

        That was a really long answer, but I felt pretty strongly about it.”

        Source: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/28/remarks-president-obama-and-prime-minister-abe-japan-joint-press-confere

    • Monday, April 27, 2015

      Statement by Attorney General Lynch on the Situation in Baltimore
      Attorney General Loretta Lynch released the following statement on the situation in Baltimore, Maryland:

      “I condemn the senseless acts of violence by some individuals in Baltimore that have resulted in harm to law enforcement officers, destruction of property and a shattering of the peace in the city of Baltimore. Those who commit violent actions, ostensibly in protest of the death of Freddie Gray, do a disservice to his family, to his loved ones, and to legitimate peaceful protestors who are working to improve their community for all its residents.

      “The Department of Justice stands ready to provide any assistance that might be helpful. The Civil Rights Division and the FBI have an ongoing, independent criminal civil rights investigation into the tragic death of Mr. Gray. We will continue our careful and deliberate examination of the facts in the coming days and weeks. The department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services has also been fully engaged in a collaborative review of the Baltimore City Police Department. The department’s Community Relations Service has already been on the ground, and they are sending additional resources as they continue to work with all parties to reduce tensions and promote the safety of the community. And in the coming days, Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division, and Ronald Davis, Director of Community Oriented Policing Services, will be traveling to Baltimore to meet with faith and community leaders, as well as city officials.

      “As our investigative process continues, I strongly urge every member of the Baltimore community to adhere to the principles of nonviolence. In the days ahead, I intend to work with leaders throughout Baltimore to ensure that we can protect the security and civil rights of all residents. And I will bring the full resources of the Department of Justice to bear in protecting those under threat, investigating wrongdoing, and securing an end to violence.”

    • Toya Graham, mom who beat son for rioting in Baltimore, speaks with ABC2 News

      ABC 2 News – WMAR

      Published on Apr 29, 2015

      Video that was published by ABC2 News went viral during the protests and riots over police violence in Baltimore.

    • 6 Baltimore Police Officers Charged in Freddie Gray Death

      MAY 1, 2015 By ALAN BLINDER and RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA – nytimes

      BALTIMORE — Baltimore’s chief prosecutor charged six police officers on Friday with a range of crimes including murder and manslaughter in the arrest and fatal injury of Freddie Gray, a striking and surprisingly swift turn in a case that has drawn national attention to police conduct.

      The state’s attorney for Baltimore, Marilyn J. Mosby, filed the charges almost as soon as she received a medical examiner’s report that ruled Mr. Gray’s death a homicide, and a day after the police concluded its initial investigation and handed over their findings. Officials had cautioned that it could take considerable time for her office to complete its own investigation and decide whether to prosecute.

      All six officers were arrested and were being arraigned, a public safety department spokesman said.

      For more: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/02/us/freddie-gray-autopsy-report-given-to-baltimore-prosecutors.html?_r=1

      • May 01, 2015

        Remarks by President Obama on the death of Freddie Gray

        “It is absolutely vital that the truth comes out on what happened to Freddie Gray.

        And it is my practice not to comment on the legal processes involved; that would not be appropriate. But I can tell you that justice needs to be served. All the evidence needs to be presented. Those individuals who are charged obviously are also entitled to due process and rule of law. And so I want to make sure that our legal system runs the way it should.

        And the Justice Department and our new Attorney General is in communications with Baltimore officials to make sure that any assistance we can provide on the investigation is provided. But what I think the people of Baltimore want more than anything else is the truth. That’s what people around the country expect. And to the extent that it’s appropriate, this administration will help local officials get to the bottom of exactly what happened.

        In the meantime, I’m gratified that we’ve seen the constructive, thoughtful protests that have been taking place, peaceful but clear calls for accountability — that those have been managed over the last couple of days in a way that’s ultimately positive for Baltimore and positive for the country. And I hope that approach to nonviolent protest and community engagement continues.

        And finally, as I’ve said for the last year, we are going to continue to work with the task force that we put together post-Ferguson. I’m actually going to be talking to mayors who are interested in figuring ways to rebuild trust between the community and police, and to focus on some of the issues that were raised by the task force right after this meeting. Our efforts to make sure that we’re providing greater opportunity for young people in these communities — all those things are going to be continuing top priorities for the administration. And we’ll probably have some more announcements and news about that in the days and weeks to come.”

        Source: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/05/01/remarks-president-world-press-freedom-day

    • Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Delivers Remarks at a Press Conference Announcing Investigation into Baltimore Police Department

      Washington, DCUnited States ~ Friday, May 8, 2015 – doj.gov

      Good morning, and thank you all for being here. I am joined today by Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division, and Director Ron Davis of the Community Oriented Policing Services Office, or COPS.

      Over the past few days and weeks, we have watched as Baltimore struggled with issues that face cities across the country today. We have seen the tragic loss of a young man’s life. We have seen a peaceful protest movement coalesce to express the concern of a beleaguered community. We have seen brave officers upholding the right to peaceful protest, while also sustaining serious injury during the city’s unfortunate foray into violence. And we have watched it all through the prism of one of the most challenging issues of our time: police-community relations.

      When I traveled to Baltimore earlier this week, I had an opportunity to see the significant work that the city and the police department had done with the COPS Office over the last six months through a collaborative reform process. But despite the progress being made, it was clear that recent events – including the tragic in-custody death of Freddie Gray – had given rise to a serious erosion of public trust. And in order to address this issue, I was asked – by city officials and community leaders – to augment our approach to the situation with a court enforcement model. I have spent the last few days with my team considering which of the Justice Department’s tools for police reform best meets the current needs of the Baltimore Police Department and the broader Baltimore community.

      Today, the Department of Justice is opening an investigation into whether the Baltimore Police Department has engaged in a pattern or practice of violations of the Constitution or federal law. This investigation will begin immediately, and will focus on allegations that Baltimore Police Department officers use excessive force, including deadly force; conduct unlawful searches, seizures and arrests; and engage in discriminatory policing. The COPS Office will continue to work with the Baltimore Police Department and the collaborative reform process will now convert to the provision of technical assistance to the Baltimore Police Department. Some may ask how this differs from our current work with the Baltimore Police Department. The answer is: rather than examining whether the police department violated good policies, we will now examine whether they violated the Constitution and the community’s civil rights. This approach has been welcomed by the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police, and I want to thank them for their support and their partnership as we move forward.

      In the coming days, Civil Rights Division attorneys and investigators conducting the investigation, and the police experts who will assist them, will be engaging with community members and law enforcement. We will examine policies, practices and available data. And at the conclusion of our investigation, we will issue a report of our findings. If unconstitutional policies or practices are found, we will seek a court-enforceable agreement to address those issues. We will also continue to move forward to improve policing in Baltimore even as the pattern or practice investigation is underway.

      For more: http://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/attorney-general-loretta-e-lynch-delivers-remarks-press-conference-announcing

    • Prosecutor: 6 officers indicted in death of Freddie Gray

      5/21/15 By JULIET LINDERMAN – Associated Press

      BALTIMORE (AP) — The state’s attorney in Baltimore says all six officers charged in the police-custody death of Freddie Gray have been indicted by a grand jury.

      State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby made the announcement Thursday. The charges returned by the grand jury were similar to the charges Mosby announced about three weeks ago.

      Mosby has said Gray’s neck was broken because he was injured while being handcuffed, shackled and placed head-first into a police van. She says his pleas for medical attention were repeatedly ignored.

      Gray was arrested April 12. He died in a hospital a week later and became a symbol of what protesters say was police brutality against blacks.

  3. U.S. Home Prices Rose More Than Estimated in February

    April 22, 2015 by Kathleen M Howley – bloomberg

    U.S. house prices rose more than economists estimated in February as the strongest labor market in seven years gives Americans the confidence to bid on property.

    Prices climbed 0.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from January, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said in a report Wednesday. The average economist estimate was for a 0.5 percent increase, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

    Housing demand is climbing as consumer confidence hovers close to an eight-year high. A National Association of Realtors index that measures contracts to buy homes increased in February to the highest level for that month since 2006. The number of U.S.
    households jumped to 2 million at the end of 2014, a nine-year high.
    “As we continue to see improvement and strengthening in the labor market we’re seeing better household formation numbers,” said Anika Khan, an economist with Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Jobs are the key to housing demand.”

    In February and March, the unemployment rate was 5.5 percent, a level the Federal Reserve defines as “full employment,” meaning anyone who wants a job has one. The rate may fall to as low as 5 percent by the end of the year, according to projections from the central bank last month.

    The gauge measures transactions for single-family properties financed with mortgages owned or securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It’s a repeat-sales index, meaning it tracks price changes on individual properties — a method many economists consider more accurate than using a national average of all sales.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-22/u-s-home-prices-rose-more-than-estimated-in-february

  4. Mortgage applications rose in latest week: MBA

    4/22/15 Caroline Valetkevitch – Reuters

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Applications for U.S. home mortgages rose last week as interest rates declined, an industry group said on Wednesday.

    The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, rose 2.3 percent in the week ended April 17.

    The MBA’s seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications rose 0.6 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases, a leading indicator of home sales, rose 5.0 percent to its highest level since June 2013.

    The refinance share of total mortgage activity fell to 56 percent of applications, its lowest level since October, from 58 percent the week before.

    Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 3.83 percent in the week, the lowest level since January. They were down 4 basis points from 3.87 percent the previous week.

    For more: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/mortgage-applications-rose-latest-week-110323897.html;_ylt=AwrSbmaQrzdVkLYAIgBXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEzcXBmNGpsBGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDVklQNjE1XzEEc2VjA3Nj

  5. Sales of Existing U.S. Homes Rise to Highest Level Since 2013

    April 22, 2015 bloomberg

    Sales of previously owned homes climbed in March to the highest level since September 2013 as job growth and cheap borrowing costs helped sustain the progress in residential real estate.

    Closings, which usually take place a month or two after a contract is signed, increased 6.1 percent to a 5.19 million annualized rate last month, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed Wednesday in Washington. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected sales would increase to a 5.03 million rate. Prices rose by the most since February 2014.

    Employment gains, low mortgage rates and better weather have the potential of unleashing pent-up demand as the spring selling season gets under way. Bigger wage gains and more housing inventory to make properties more attainable would help provide another leg up for residential real estate.

    “Existing-home sales are certainly not back to cycle highs, but they’re pretty close to something you would consider to be normal,” Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities LLC in Stamford, Connecticut, said before the report. “Employment and income are doing much better, and you’re moving further and further away from the bust, so people who had been cautious for a while are starting to dip their toe in the water.”

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-22/sales-of-existing-u-s-homes-rise-to-highest-level-since-2013

  6. April 22, 2015

    Remarks by the First Lady in Q&A With Children at Take-Our-Daughters-And-Sons-To-Work Day

    East Room

    11:05 A.M. EDT

    MRS. OBAMA: How are you guys doing today?

    CHILD: Great!

    MRS. OBAMA: Great! Was that a — that was great. It’s been great? Why has it been so great?

    CHILD: It’s fun.

    MRS. OBAMA: It’s fun.

    CHILD: Because we’re at the White House.

    MRS. OBAMA: You’re at the White House! It’s pretty cool. How many people — how many of you have been here before? Oh, see — (laughter) — I knew I recognized some of you. Is it living up to the hype?

    CHILDREN: Yeah.

    MRS. OBAMA: Yeah? Well, since you — many of you have been here before, you know that this is really your time. You can ask me anything you want. But before we get started with questions, I just wanted to make sure that you guys understood why it’s important for me to spend time with you.

    For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/22/remarks-first-lady-qa-children-take-our-daughters-and-sons-work-day


    Happy Earth Day! Unless You’re Running for President in the GOP

    Earth Day finds Republican candidates questioning global warming.

    Apr 22, 2015 3:27 AM PDT Mark Drajem – bloomberg

    It’s Earth Day, but that isn’t stopping Republican presidential candidates from questioning whether global warming is real, whether humankind is causing it or whether plans to address the problem will bankrupt the economy.

    It’s an awkward dance for Republicans, who face divergent pressures: a party electorate skeptical of a top priority of President Barack Obama; a public increasingly convinced of the scientific consensus that the Earth is warming; and donors tied to oil and coal eager to head off new government mandates.

    “Republicans have essentially painted themselves into a corner on climate change in the last few years,” said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. “They’re between a rock and a hard place.”

    To shimmy through, each candidate is walking a slightly different path.

    To be sure, not all of the difficulty is felt by Republicans. Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton faces pressure from environmental activists to denounce the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that was under her review while she was Secretary of State. And former Democratic Senator Jim Webb has said he opposes the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to cut carbon emissions. The Virginian, whose state has a coal dependent economy in its southwest corner, says the Clean Air Act wasn’t intended to target carbon dioxide.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-04-22/happy-earth-day-unless-you-re-running-for-president-in-the-gop

  8. WH

    Thursday, April 23, 2015

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    President Obama attend meetings at the White House

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    President Obama delivers a statement on the Deaths of Warren Weinstein and Giovanni Lo Porto

    Brady Press Briefing Room

    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    12:30 PM
    White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest briefs the press

    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    Vice President Biden delivers remarks about the importance of preventing sexual assault on college campuses
    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

    First Lady Michelle Obama at Joining Forces Employment Event
    Micron Technologies, Manassas, Virginia

    2:15 PM
    President Obama welcomes the Super Bowl XLIX Champion New England Patriots
    South Lawn

    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    4:55 PM
    President Obama delivers remarks at a meeting of Organizing for Action, Obama’s “grass roots” political organization
    Ritz Carlton Hotel , Washington DC

    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    Vice President Biden delivers remarks at the 67th-annual Israeli Independence Day Celebration
    Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium – Washington

    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  9. Super Bowl champs to be honored at White House

    4/17/15 AP

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Super Bowl champion New England Patriots will be honored at the White House.

    The Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX. It was New England’s fourth NFL title since the 2001 season.

    The White House announced Thursday that the team will be welcomed by President Barack Obama on April 23, continuing a tradition of Obama honoring sports teams for giving back to their community.

  10. April 23, 2015

    Statement by the Press Secretary

    It is with tremendous sorrow that we recently concluded that a U.S. Government counterterrorism operation in January killed two innocent hostages held by al-Qa’ida. Our hearts go out to the families of Dr. Warren Weinstein, an American held by al-Qa’ida since 2011, and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian national who had been an al-Qa’ida hostage since 2012. Analysis of all available information has led the Intelligence Community to judge with high confidence that the operation accidentally killed both hostages. The operation targeted an al-Qa’ida-associated compound, where we had no reason to believe either hostage was present, located in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan. No words can fully express our regret over this terrible tragedy.

    We also believe two other Americans were recently killed in U.S. Government counterterrorism operations in the same region. We have concluded that Ahmed Farouq, an American who was an al-Qa’ida leader, was killed in the same operation that resulted in the deaths of Dr. Weinstein and Mr. Lo Porto. We have also concluded that Adam Gadahn, an American who became a prominent member of al-Qa’ida, was killed in January, likely in a separate U.S. Government counterterrorism operation. While both Farouq and Gadahn were al-Qa’ida members, neither was specifically targeted, and we did not have information indicating their presence at the sites of these operations.

    The President directed that the information being shared today, which was properly classified until now, be declassified and shared with the American people. He takes full responsibility for these operations and believes it is important to provide the American people with as much information as possible about our counterterrorism operations, particularly when they take the lives of fellow citizens. The uniquely tragic nature of the operation that resulted in the deaths of two innocent hostages is something we will do our utmost to ensure is not repeated. To this end, although the operation was lawful and conducted consistent with our counterterrorism policies, we are conducting a thorough independent review to understand fully what happened and how we can prevent this type of tragic incident in the future.

    Many within our government spent years attempting to locate and free Dr. Weinstein and Mr. Lo Porto. The pain of their deaths will remain with us as we rededicate ourselves to adhering to the most exacting standards in doing all we can to protect the American people.

    • April 23, 2015

      Statement by the Press Secretary

      It is with tremendous sorrow that we recently concluded that a U.S. Government counterterrorism operation in January killed two innocent hostages held by al-Qa’ida. Our hearts go out to the families of Dr. Warren Weinstein, an American held by al-Qa’ida since 2011, and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian national who had been an al-Qa’ida hostage since 2012. Analysis of all available information has led the Intelligence Community to judge with high confidence that the operation accidentally killed both hostages. The operation targeted an al-Qa’ida-associated compound, where we had no reason to believe either hostage was present, located in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan. No words can fully express our regret over this terrible tragedy.

      We also believe two other Americans were recently killed in U.S. Government counterterrorism operations in the same region. We have concluded that Ahmed Farouq, an American who was an al-Qa’ida leader, was killed in the same operation that resulted in the deaths of Dr. Weinstein and Mr. Lo Porto. We have also concluded that Adam Gadahn, an American who became a prominent member of al-Qa’ida, was killed in January, likely in a separate U.S. Government counterterrorism operation. While both Farouq and Gadahn were al-Qa’ida members, neither was specifically targeted, and we did not have information indicating their presence at the sites of these operations.

      The President directed that the information being shared today, which was properly classified until now, be declassified and shared with the American people. He takes full responsibility for these operations and believes it is important to provide the American people with as much information as possible about our counterterrorism operations, particularly when they take the lives of fellow citizens. The uniquely tragic nature of the operation that resulted in the deaths of two innocent hostages is something we will do our utmost to ensure is not repeated. To this end, although the operation was lawful and conducted consistent with our counterterrorism policies, we are conducting a thorough independent review to understand fully what happened and how we can prevent this type of tragic incident in the future.

      Many within our government spent years attempting to locate and free Dr. Weinstein and Mr. Lo Porto. The pain of their deaths will remain with us as we rededicate ourselves to adhering to the most exacting standards in doing all we can to protect the American people.


      Thursday, April 23, 2015 USAID.gov

      WASHINGTON, D.C. – On behalf of USAID, our deepest condolences go out to the family of American aid worker Dr. Warren Weinstein who was killed in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan while being held hostage by al-Qa’ida.

      When he was taken hostage, Dr. Weinstein was working for J.E. Austin Associates on a USAID program to improve the lives of the Pakistani people. He dedicated his career to helping poor people around the world, including with the Peace Corps and USAID. Many of our staff remember him well, and we feel a deep loss at this tragic time.

      Weinstein is survived by his wife and two daughters. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

  11. Jobless Claims in U.S. Little Changed in Payroll Survey Week

    April 23, 2015 5:30 AM PDT bloomberg

    Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits held below 300,000 for the seventh straight week, pointing to a rebound in payrolls after hiring eased last month.

    Jobless claims increased by 1,000 to 295,000 in the week ended April 18, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington. The median forecast of 55 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 287,000. The figures correspond to the week the government surveys employers to calculate the monthly payroll data, indicating hiring probably firmed in April.

    Muted firings are helping boost prospects of a healthy labor market even as employers slowed hiring in March amid weaker foreign demand, chillier temperatures and fallout from the West Coast port workers’ dispute. Projections for more robust employment growth ahead may keep Federal Reserve officials on course to raise the benchmark interest rate this year for the first time since 2006.

    “Layoffs are close to historical lows,” said Brett Ryan, a U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in New York, who correctly projected the claims figure. “There’s no reason why companies shouldn’t be feeling better about the outlook.”

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-23/jobless-claims-in-u-s-little-changed-in-payroll-survey-week

  12. Loretta Lynch Confirmed as U.S. Attorney General After Five-Month Wait

    Apr 23, 2015 11:04 AM PDT Kathleen Hunter and Del Quentin Wilber – bloomberg

    Loretta Lynch was confirmed by the Senate as the first black woman to become U.S. attorney general after a five-month wait marked by partisan fights and Republican arguments that she won’t be independent enough from President Barack Obama.

    The vote was 56-43. Lynch is replacing Attorney General Eric Holder, who has served in the job since Obama took office in 2009. After Obama nominated Lynch on Nov. 8, a confirmation vote was held up in part because Republicans insisted on first resolving a dispute with Democrats over an unrelated bill.

    “She’s as qualified a candidate as I’ve ever seen in my time in the Senate,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat. “Loretta Lynch’s confirmation this time around should have sailed through the Senate.”

    The Justice Department isn’t likely to dramatically change direction under Lynch. She has worked closely with Holder on many issues and served as his top prosecutor in Brooklyn, New York. She also will have a relatively short tenure to make changes, as Obama is set to leave office in January 2017.

    When Obama nominated Lynch, 55, she wasn’t expected to run into much turbulence during confirmation because of her personal biography and tenure as a tough-on-crime federal prosecutor. Still, Republicans said they were skeptical that she would be sufficiently independent from Obama, and they criticized her support for his executive actions on immigration.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-04-23/lynch-confirmed-as-u-s-attorney-general-after-five-month-wait

    • April 23, 2015

      Statement by the President on the Confirmation of Loretta Lynch as Attorney General

      Today, the Senate finally confirmed Loretta Lynch to be America’s next Attorney General – and America will be better off for it. Loretta has spent her life fighting for the fair and equal justice that is the foundation of our democracy. As head of the Justice Department, she will oversee a vast portfolio of cases, including counterterrorism and voting rights; public corruption and white-collar crime; judicial recommendations and policy reviews – all of which matter to the lives of every American, and shape the story of our country. She will bring to bear her experience as a tough, independent, and well-respected prosecutor on key, bipartisan priorities like criminal justice reform. And she will build on our progress in combatting newer threats like cybercrime. Loretta’s confirmation ensures that we are better positioned to keep our communities safe, keep our nation secure, and ensure that every American experiences justice under the law.

    • Statement by the Attorney General on the Senate Confirmation of Loretta Lynch

      Thursday, April 23, 2015 justice.gov

      Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement on the Senate confirmation of Loretta Lynch:

      “Loretta Lynch is a gifted attorney, a consummate professional, and a dedicated public servant. I am pleased that the United States Senate has recognized her clear qualifications and the need for her confirmation as Attorney General of the United States.

      “At every stage of her career, Loretta has earned the trust and high regard of allies and adversaries alike, both in Washington and throughout the country. She is respected by law enforcement officers, civil rights leaders, and criminal justice officials of all political stripes. In every case and every circumstance, she has demonstrated an unfailing commitment to the rule of law and a steadfast fidelity to the pursuit to justice.

      “I have known and worked closely with Loretta for many years, and I know that she will continue the vital work that this Administration has set in motion and leave her own innovative mark on the Department in which we have both been privileged to serve. I am confident that Loretta will be an outstanding Attorney General, a dedicated guardian of the Constitution, and a devoted champion of all those whom the law protects and empowers. I congratulate her on her confirmation, and I look forward to all that the Department of Justice will do and achieve under her exemplary leadership

    • April 23, 2015

      FACT SHEET: Vice President Biden Announces It’s On Us Progress and Marks Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

      “Violence against women is not a women’s issue alone. It’s a man’s issue as well… So to all of the guys out there—you have to step up. That’s how we can change the culture on campus and around the country to one that understands no means no.” – Vice President Biden

      In remarks at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Vice President Biden will honor Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month with an important update on the Administration’s efforts to help combat instances of sexual assault, including on college and university campuses.

      President Obama and Vice President Biden have made it a national priority to root out sexual violence and assault wherever it exists, especially in our schools. As part of their efforts, they launched a public awareness and education campaign last year called It’s On Us. The campaign seeks to empower college students – and all members of campus communities – not only to respond effectively to sexual assault, but also to prevent it in the first place. That is why It’s On Us was launched in partnership with student body leadership from nearly 200 colleges and universities across the country, collegiate sports organizations such as the NCAA, and private companies that have strong connections with students at colleges and universities, in addition to Generation Progress.

      For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/23/fact-sheet-vice-president-biden-announces-it-s-us-progress-and-marks-sex

  13. April 23, 2015

    Remarks by The First Lady at Joining Forces Employment Event

    Micron Technologies
    Manassas, Virginia

    2:07 P.M. EDT

    MRS. OBAMA: Thank you so much. (Applause.) Good afternoon, everyone. (Applause.) I see we have some “Take Our Daughters To Work” people here. (Laughter.) Yay for taking our daughters to work! (Applause.)

    Let me start by thanking April, as well as Tamika, for that wonderful, very kind introduction, and for her outstanding service to our country. I also want to thank everyone here at Micron for hosting us today, and for letting us destroy your factory — (laughter) — as well as all the business owners, the government leaders, and, of course, our veterans and military families who have joined us for this event.

    And before I go any further, there is somebody I just want to take a moment to recognize from my team, and that is Colonel Steve Parker. Where is Steve Parker? (Applause.) Yes, I’m going to embarrass you for a moment. Steve is in the back of the room.

    Steve has been our Executive Director for Joining Forces for the past year. We only get our executive directors for a short period of time, and it’s always amazing how much they can accomplish in a year. But unfortunately, Steve is going to be leaving us at the end of the month for an assignment at the National Defense University. He’s been such a terrific leader on this initiative. He is a funny guy. He’s warm. (Laughter.) He’s one of the few men in my office, so he takes a lot of ribbing, but he does it with good humor. (Laughter.)

    So we’re going to really be sad to see him go. But we wish Steve — Steve, we wish you the best, as well as your wife and your beautiful kids. And come and see us, all right? Let’s give Steve a round of applause. Thank you, Steve. Great job. (Applause.)

    For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/23/remarks-first-lady-joining-forces-employment-event

  14. April 23, 2015

    Remarks by the President Honoring Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots

    South Lawn

    2:27 P.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody. Welcome to the White House. Please have a seat. And, well, maybe before you have a seat, give it up for the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots! (Applause.) All right, now you can have a seat.

    A couple of points I’d make at the outset. First of all, it’s usually warmer on the South Lawn this time of year but given the kind of winter that Boston and New England had, I guess this feels pretty balmy to you. (Laughter.) Second of all, for some reason that I don’t fully understand, there is a disproportionate number of Patriots fans in the White House. (Laughter and applause.) I obviously did not screen properly when I was hiring, but there are a lot of Patriot fans in the White House and there are also a lot of Patriot fans in Congress. I just also want to point out that, despite the fact that he travels probably more than any human on Earth, somehow my Secretary of State, John Kerry, found a front row seat to be here today. (Laughter and applause.) So give it up for John Kerry. (Applause.)

    I want to offer my congratulations, first of all, to Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and I also want to acknowledge Coach Bill Belichick. I said to the team, and I think even those of us who have other teams we root for, the Patriots organization is as good an organization as there has ever been in professional sports. (Applause.) And to be able to maintain that kind of consistent excellence is a rare thing in any field, including on the football field. And that’s a testament to outstanding ownership. It’s a testament to a Hall-of-Fame coach. And I’m particularly grateful that Coach decided to dress up today. (Laughter.) We had some scissors if he wanted to cut the sleeves off. (Laughter.) Formal hoodies are allowed. (Laughter.)

    For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/23/remarks-president-honoring-super-bowl-champion-new-england-patriots

  15. April 23, 2015

    Remarks by the President at the Organizing for Action Summit

    The Ritz Carlton
    Washington, D.C.

    5:13 P.M. EDT

    THE PRESIDENT: Hello, hello, hello! (Applause.) Hello, OFA! Thank you. (Applause.) You guys sound fired up. All right, all right, settle down, settle down. (Laughter.) Settle down. You guys are — what did they put in your coffee? (Laughter.) That’s — I met you. Sit down. (Laughter.) Sit down, everybody. Golly. They’re still taking pictures.

    So, first of all, I want to thank José for the introduction. He is an example of what inspires me every day. You get a chance to meet people all across the country who are just doing extraordinary things. And all of you are in that category. I could not be prouder of each and every one of you and everything that you’re doing. You are out there every day, you’re talking to your neighbors, you’re talking with your coworkers. You’re doing the work to change your communities. And that’s how a democracy is supposed to work. That’s how America is supposed to work. That’s how this country has always moved forward. And that’s how it’s going to keep moving forward.

    Before I start with some other issues, I want to say publicly, for the first time — I’ve been looking forward to saying this — that I am very pleased that Loretta Lynch has now been confirmed as America’s next Attorney General. (Applause.) And America will be better off for it. She’s spent her life fighting for the fair and equal justice that’s the foundation of our democracy. She’s going to do a great job helping our communities — keeping them safe, but also making sure our citizens are protected by equal justice under the law.

    She’s got credibility with law enforcement, but she’s also got credibility with communities. And she knows that one of the things that I want to work with her on is making sure that all around the country we are rebuilding trust with respect to our police forces, and making sure that they and the communities together are working so that everybody feels safe and everybody feels like the law is working on their behalf. And I can’t think of a better person to do it. We are very, very proud of her. She’s going to do a great job. (Applause.)

    So I’m proud of all of you, and I hope all of you are proud of what we’ve done together.

    For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/23/remarks-president-organizing-action-summit

  16. 7:00 PM
    Vice President Biden delivers remarks at the 67th-annual Israeli Independence Day Celebration
    Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium – Washington

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