raebutton

One night President Obama and his wife Michelle decided to do something out of routine and go for a casual dinner at a restaurant that wasn’t too luxurious. When they were seated, the owner of the restaurant asked the President’s Secret Service if he could please speak to the First Lady in private. They obliged and Michelle had a conversation with the owner. Following this conversation President Obama asked Michelle, “Why was he so interested in talking to you?” She mentioned that in her teenage years, he had been madly in love with her. President Obama then said, “So if you had married him, you would now be the owner of this lovely restaurant,” to which Michelle responded, “No. If I had married him, he would now be the President.”

One night President Obama and his wife Michelle decided to do something out of routine and go for a casual dinner at a restaurant that wasn’t too luxurious. When they were seated, the owner of the restaurant asked the President’s Secret Service if he could please speak to the First Lady in private. They obliged and Michelle had a conversation with the owner. Following this conversation President Obama asked Michelle, “Why was he so interested in talking to you?” She mentioned that in her teenage years, he had been madly in love with her. President Obama then said, “So if you had married him, you would now be the owner of this lovely restaurant,” to which Michelle responded, “No. If I had married him, he would now be the President.”

After nearly three years, the White House began installing solar panels on the First Family’s residence this week, a White House official confirmed Thursday.

(Haraz N. Ghanbari - AP)

(Haraz N. Ghanbari – AP)

The Obama administration had pledged in October 2010 to put solar panels on the White House as a sign of the president’s commitment to renewable energy.

worldclimatewatch

worldclimatewatch:

The plan consists of a wide variety of executive actions, has three pillars:

1) Cut Carbon Pollution in America -

  • Deploying Clean Energy - Cutting Carbon Pollution from Power Plants; Promoting American Leadership in Renewable Energy; Unlocking Long-Term Investment in Clean Energy Innovation;
  • Building a 21st-Century Transportation Sector - Increasing Fuel Economy Standards; Developing and Deploying Advanced Transportation Technologies;
  • Cutting Energy Waste in Homes, Businesses, and Factories - Reducing Energy Bills for American Families and Businesses
  • Reducing other Greenhouse Gas Emissions - Curbing Emissions of Hydrofluorocarbons; Reducing Methane Emissions; Preserving the Role of Forests in Mitigating Climate Change
  • Leading at the Federal Level - Leading in Clean Energy; Federal Government Leadership in Energy Efficiency;

2) Prepare the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change

  • Building Stronger and Safer Communities and Infrastructure - Directing Agencies to Support Climate-Resilient Investment; Establishing a State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness; Supporting Communities as they Prepare for Climate Impacts; Boosting the Resilience of Buildings and Infrastructure; Rebuilding and Learning from Hurricane Sandy;
  • Protecting our Economy and Natural Resources - Identifying Vulnerabilities of Key Sectors to Climate Change; Promoting Resilience in the Health Sector; Promoting Insurance Leadership for Climate Safety; Conserving Land and Water Resources; Maintaining Agricultural Sustainability; Managing Drought; Reducing Wildfire Risks; Preparing for Future Floods; 
  • Using Sound Science to Manage Climate Impacts - Developing Actionable Climate Science; Assessing Climate-Change Impacts in the United States; Launching a Climate Data Initiative; Providing a Toolkit for Climate Resilience 

3) Lead International Efforts to Combat Global Climate Change and Prepare for its Impacts

  • Working with other Countries to Take Action to Address Climate Change - Enhancing Multilateral Engagement with Major Economies; Expanding Bilateral Cooperation with Major Emerging Economies; Combating Short-lived Climate pollutants; Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation; Expanding Clean Energy Use and Cut Energy Waste (Natural Gas, Nuclear Power, Clean Coal, Energy Efficiency); Negotiating Global Free Trade in Environmental Goods and Services; Phasing out Subsidies that Encourage Wasteful Consumption of Fossil Fuels; Leading Global Sector Public Financing Towards Cleaner Energy; Strengthening Global Resilience to Climate Change; Mobilizing Climate Finance
  • Leading Efforts to Address Climate Change through International Negotiations

Read more here.

Overall, the plan was more ambitious than expected. Now we need action.

Breakdown of the Climate Action Plan

smdxn
smdxn:

Obama Plans 3 Nominations for Key Court

President Obama will soon accelerate his efforts to put a lasting imprint on the country’s judiciary by simultaneously nominating three judges to an important federal court, a move that is certain to unleash fierce Republican opposition and could rekindle a broader partisan struggle over Senate rules.
In trying to fill the three vacancies on the 11-member United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit at once, Mr. Obama will be adopting a more aggressive nomination strategy. He will effectively be daring Republicans to find specific ground to filibuster all the nominees.

smdxn:

Obama Plans 3 Nominations for Key Court

President Obama will soon accelerate his efforts to put a lasting imprint on the country’s judiciary by simultaneously nominating three judges to an important federal court, a move that is certain to unleash fierce Republican opposition and could rekindle a broader partisan struggle over Senate rules.

In trying to fill the three vacancies on the 11-member United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit at once, Mr. Obama will be adopting a more aggressive nomination strategy. He will effectively be daring Republicans to find specific ground to filibuster all the nominees.

What was your favorite badaboom in President Obama’s routine at the White House Correspondents dinner? Here’s mine, from when he was talking about how “the media landscape is changing so rapidly”:

You can’t keep up with it. I mean, I remember when BuzzFeed was just something I did in college around two A.M. (Laughter.) It’s true! (Laughter.)

Obama’s joke shows how far we’ve come since the not-so-long-ago days when standard operating procedure for a politician outed on pot smoking was to plead “youthful experimentation,” express contrition, and boast modestly of having straightened up and flown right. This President, as far as I know, has never said any such thing; he has no apparent regrets in that department. His joke allowed the tuxedoed, evening-gowned, middle-aged audience at the Washington Hilton to feel, for a precious moment, hip. The subtext was that smoking pot, whether a lot or a little, is just a normal part of growing up—maybe even, for some, part of being grown up. Marijuana doesn’t seem to have ruined his life, which has been pretty successful so far. Nor has it done much to blight the lives of the other people in the Hilton ballroom, most of whom, like the rest of the media, political, and Hollywood élites, have smoked pot, too.

There are still states where simple possession can theoretically put you in prison for life if it’s your third strike, but outrages like the one John Lennon immortalized thirty years ago are rare. Even so, tens of thousands of people still languish in federal and state prisons for marijuana offenses in a typical year, and just about everybody who gets busted for pot spends time locked up. Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, estimates that from fifty to a hundred thousand Americans are behind bars for pot, and only pot, on any given night. The longer-term consequences can be a lot worse than a few hours of humiliating inconvenience. If you’re employed, you can lose your job. If you’re in college, you can lose your financial aid and you will lose your eligibility for student loans, as have some two hundred thousand of your peers. If you’re undocumented, you’ll probably get deported. If you’re a parolee, you’re apt to find yourself back in jail for the remainder of your sentence. All of which, of course, is but a small part of the suffering caused by the gargantuan, perpetual “war on drugs.”