• Categories

  • Post Archives

    • > Follow us on Twitter
    • Latest Posts

    • Meta

    Posts Tagged
    ‘Barack Obama’



    News Round-Up: Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

    Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

    Thieves get away with $67 million in diamonds after a heist at Brussels International Airport; Oscar Pistorius claims he shot his girlfriend after believing her to be an intruder; Newtown shooter Adam Lanza may have been motivated by Anders Breivik; the death toll rises from a helicopter crash in Yemen; SCOTUS will hear a new campaign-finance challenge; and a Chinese army unit may be responsible for cyber-attacks on the U.S. Meanwhile, Pippa Middleton has a new boyfriend, and Michelle Obama calls her bangs a “midlife crisis.”

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Diamond heist at Brussels airport nets gang up to £30m in gems, http://rtvote.com/15siMCX
    On Monday evening, eight masked and armed men drove through a fence at Brussels International Airport and held up an armored van that was holding $67 million in diamonds. The diamonds were about to be loaded onto a plane leaving for Switzerland. The men did not shoot off their guns and made their getaway in two separate vehicles, one of which was found burned near the airport.

    PISTORIUS: THOUGHT LOVER AN INTRUDER IN SHOOTING, http://rtvote.com/VtwJwn
    Prosecutors have charged Olympian Oscar Pistorious with premeditated murder after his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, was found shot dead in his home. Pistorious claims that he believed Steenkamp to be an intruder, and that he shot her through his bathroom door multiple times because he felt vulnerable without his prosthetic legs on. The prosecutors’ main evidence is a bloody cricket bat that was also found in the runner’s home. Pistorious claims that he bashed the locked door in with the bat and then ran downstairs with Steenkamp in his arms. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel has responded to the argument that “It was all part of the preplanning. Why would a burglar lock himself inside the bathroom?” Pistorious wept during his hearing on Tuesday.

    Newtown shooter motivated by Norway massacre, sources say, 
    http://rtvote.com/XmNp6d
    Law enforcement officials have told CBS that Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old who killed teachers and students in Newtown, CT before turning the gun on himself, was trying to kill more people than Norway’s Anders Breivik. Breivik killed 77 people in Norway in 2011, setting off a bomb in downtown Oslo before killing 69 at a summer camp. Allegedly, Lanza chose Sandy Hook Elementary because it was the “easiest target” with the “largest cluster of people.” Officials also found evidence that Lanza was carrying out fantasies he conjured from videogames. A police spokesman has responded that Lanza’s motives are still “mere speculation” at this point.

    Deadly military aircraft crash in Yemen, http://rtvote.com/Vtzdux
    A military helicopter crashed into “Change Square” in the Yemeni capital of Sana Tuesday, killing five and injuring at least dozens. The pilot and seven passengers were killed immediately. The death toll will likely increase as fire and black smoke were left in the crash’s wake. “Change Square” is a residential area with many shops. A witness reportedly saw two houses completely destroyed on impact.

    Justices to Hear Campaign-Finance Challenge, http://rtvote.com/XmKDhj
    The Supreme Court will hear a case that asserts limits on campaign donations violate the First Amendment. Alabama businessman Shaun McCutcheon is challenging the rule. Currently, individual donors can contribute up to $46,200 to political candidates and $70,800 to political committees. A Washington federal court has already rejected McCutcheon’s challenge, but the Supreme Court will make its ruling on it before July 2014.

    Chinese Army Unit Is Seen as Tied to Hacking Against U.S., http://rtvote.com/15sjzno
    An investigation by security firm Mandiant has found that many of the cyber attacks on American corporations and government agencies have been carried out by a Chinese group called the People’s Liberation Army. The group used to focus on stealing intellectual property, but has moved on to trying to hack important infrastructure, such as a U.S. company that designs software for oil pipelines and power grids.

    Russians Wade Into the Snow to Seek Treasure From the Sky, http://rtvote.com/Vtxgya
    Citizens of Deputatskoye, the small Siberian town where a meteorite hit last Friday, have ventured out into the snow to collect rock fragments. Although selling meteorite fragments is illegal, one woman told The New York Times that she sold a fist-sized piece for $230, only to be offered $1,300 for it a few hours later.

    CULTURAL:

    A detailed look from White House photographer Pete Souza at Barack Obama, Copy Editor in Chief,http://rtvote.com/VtxAwY

    Nudes check out nudes at Austrian museum, http://rtvote.com/15sl4ly

    ‘Flipper’ and ‘Lassie’ Hollywood animal trainer-turned activist Pat Derby dies in California, http://rtvote.com/Vty9a4

    Pippa Middleton: new boyfriend’s mother says couple ‘very happy’, http://rtvote.com/YwXej0

    Michelle Obama: My Bangs Were a ‘Midlife Crisis!’, http://rtvote.com/VtAzph

    Caitlin Maguire
    Bio: Caitlin is the Marketing & Operations Manager for Rock the Vote
    @caitlinmagu
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    Last Night’s State of the Union Address

    Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

    John Boehner’s attempts to look enthused, the many faces of Joe Biden, and a plethora of awkward bipartisan interactions were not the only highlights from last night’s State of the Union. President Obama took a more aggressive stance than usual in his annual address. He asserted that the public had voted in favor of his agenda and hinted that he would not be as willing to compromise in his second term.

    The president promised to wind down – by next year — a conflict that has defined my generation. He announced an end to the war in Afghanistan as his headline issue. This spring, he promised, American forces would draw back into a support role and allow Afghan security teams to take over the brunt of the effort. “Beyond 2014, America’s commitment to a unified and sovereign Afghanistan will endure, but the nature of our commitment will change,” the president said. Beyond the war’s end, he claimed, the administration will work with the Afghan government to train its forces, as well as to allow Americans to proceed with counterterrorist efforts focused on al Qaeda.

    As was to be expected, the president allotted much of the hour to speaking about his economic agenda. Most notably, he addressed the subject of minimum wage, an issue frequently neglected over the past few years.  You may see a little extra cash in your pocket at your summer job, as the president plans to advocate for raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour “so that it finally becomes a wage you can live on”.

    As a college sophomore, I am all too familiar with the seemingly unreasonable price tag stuck on a university education and was glad to hear the president address the importance of bringing down higher education costs. Obama highlighted how his administration had used tax credits, grants, and better loans to make college affordable, but noted that taxpayers could no longer bear the burden of “subsidizing higher and higher costs for higher education.” He called upon Congress to improve the Higher Education Act, altering it to account for college affordability and value. Universities would then receive federal aid based on their ratio of affordability to value.

    The president also found time to touch briefly upon reforms that could ease your voting experience come the next election. He announced the creation of a non-partisan presidential Voting Commission designated to improve the American voting process. The Commission would be chaired by top attorneys from both the Obama and Romney campaigns. “When any Americans–no matter where they live or what their party—are denied that right simply because they can’t wait for five, six, seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying out ideals,” Obama said on the right to vote.

    Liza Dee
    Bio:

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: Wednesday, February 13, 2013

    Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

    President Obama advocates for bipartisanship and economic reforms in his State of the Union speech; Marco Rubio responds with a now infamous swig of water; Christopher Dorner is presumed dead from a fire; the pope gives his last public mass before his retirement; the Senate Armed Services Committee approves Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense; and a New York Times reporter finds that calorie listings on foods can be highly inaccurate. Meanwhile, a rare Affenpinscher named Banana Joe wins the Westminster Dog Show; Justin Bieber says The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney should be ‘slapped around;’ and more revealing pictures of Kate Middleton are set to be released.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    Obama Pivots Left on Economy in State of the Union Speech, http://rtvote.com/11GAtzA
    In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama advocated for bipartisanship within the government and economic reforms. “It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth,” he said. Obama went on to call for an increased minimum wage, a reformed pre-school education system, carbon regulation, immigration reform, and stricter gun laws.

    Did the police start fire that killed Christopher Dorner?, http://rtvote.com/15cBX3i
    The search for Christopher Dorner is over as a cabin he barricaded himself in was burned to the ground last night. Unconfirmed audio for a police scanner points to police starting the fire, which most likely killed Dorner. The ex-LAPD officer stole a car and shot two officers, killing one, during a shootout where he escaped into the cabin.

    Marco Rubio Winsome in Response to Obama, Rand Paul Mostly Feisty, http://rtvote.com/YdwJz2
    On Tuesday night, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio responded to President Obama’s State of the Union speech on behalf of the Republican party. Rubio attacked the president for his stance on taxes and government spending. A particularly memorable moment was when Rubio paused to drink from a water bottle in the middle of speaking. The moment immediately went viral on the Internet. On Good Morning America, Rubio said in regard to the sip, “God has a funny way of reminding us we’re human.”

    Pope Says Exit Is for ‘Good of the Church’, http://rtvote.com/11GF7O3
    In what is most likely his last public Mass as pope, Benedict XVI said that he is resigning for the “good of the church.” He also went on to thank his followers for their “love and support.” He cited his health as the reason for his retirement, explaining that he could no longer carry out his responsibilities effectively. The pope’s resignation will take effect February 28.

    Senate Armed Services Committee approves Hagel 14 to 11, http://rtvote.com/YdxW9u
    The Senate Armed Services Committee approved Chuck Hagel as the president’s Secretary of Defense. Hagel was barely approved with the committee voting 14 to 11 to have his nomination go to a vote in the Senate.

    Thai insurgents attack army base, troops kill 16, http://rtvote.com/11GE0Ol
    Sixteen Muslim insurgents were killed by Thai troops in a raid on Wednesday morning. The insurgents were trying to invade a military base in northern Thailand when Thai marines opened fire. The attack indicates the increased number of Muslim insurgents entering Thailand, which is a Buddhist-controlled country.

    Casey Neistat finds that calorie listings on foods can be highly inaccurate in “Calorie Detective,” http://rtvote.com/15cHxTz

    CULTURAL:

    “30 Rock” star Alec Baldwin expecting child with new wife, http://rtvote.com/11GDMa3

    Lady Gaga suffers ‘show injury,’ postpones tour for a week, http://rtvote.com/XLmUZl

    Want a Dog Like Banana Joe? There Are 7 For Sale in America, http://rtvote.com/11GG1tU

    Chi Magazine Defends Kate Middleton Baby Pics: U.K. Channel ITV Apologizes for Showing Unblurred Cover,http://rtvote.com/11GG6he

    Justin Bieber Responds to Black Keys’ Drummer Grammy Diss, http://rtvote.com/11GG8Wg

    Caitlin Maguire
    Bio: Caitlin is the Marketing & Operations Manager for Rock the Vote
    @caitlinmagu
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

    Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

    Obama will announce the withdrawal of 34K troops from Afghanistan in his State of the Union address; North Korea conducts its most powerful nuclear test yet; a new report reveals that Pope Benedict XVI had secret heart surgery; a blast on Turkey and Syria’s border kills 14; ex-LAPD cop Steve Dorner may have had an accomplice; the Philippines hope for Asia’s first pope; and Twitter and Amex allow customers to buy items via hashtags. Meanwhile, wrestling will no longer be an Olympic sport; Adele’s Grammy crasher is arrested; and Rihanna takes a sad bath in her new music video.

    Caitlin

    CRUCIAL:

    AP SOURCE: OBAMA TO ANNOUNCE THAT 34K US TROOPS TO BE HOME FROM AFGHANISTAN A YEAR FROM TODAY,http://rtvote.com/Y9S0cV
    According to the Associated Press, President Obama will announce the withdrawal of 34,000 troops from Afghanistan one year from today. He is set to reveal these plans during tonight’s State of the Union address. Yesterday, Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to Army Staff Sgt. Clinton L. Romesha, who fought to save his fellow soliders during an insurgent attack orchestrated by al Qaeda. During the State of the Union, President Obama will most likely address the economy, the middle class, and his presidency. The address begins at 9:00 PM E.T.

    North Korea Confirms It Conducted 3rd Nuclear Test, http://rtvote.com/XGxbGa
    North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test yet last night, defying U.N resolutions. The test has caused strong condemnation from other countries, including China which is the country’s only major ally. President Obama called the detonation “highly provocative” and said that it “undermines regional stability.”  U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the test as a “clear and grave violation” of the U.N.’s resolutions. North Korea is working to enhance its nuclear systems, yet it is a long time away from miniaturizing devices for missiles.

    Pope Benedict Had Heart Surgery Three Months Ago, Il Sole Says, http://rtvote.com/XGE6Pw
    The newspaper Il Sole is reporting that Pope Benedict XVI, who announced his retirement yesterday, had heart surgery and a new pacemaker put in three months ago. The Vatican confirmed that the pope has been using a pacemaker for a long time, but that he is in good health. The surgery, which was kept secret, had no complications but made the pope reconsider whether he is well enough for the post.

    Deadly bus blast hits Turkey’s Syria border, http://rtvote.com/159elNc
    At least 14 were killed and 26 wounded after a minibus exploded near Turkey and Syria’s border Tuesday. The explosion took place at a popular crossing for Syrian refugees. A spokesman for the Turkish government said that Syrian forces were behind the “powerful explosion.”  He went on to add that, “The information that we have for now is that a minibus with Syrian number plates coming from the other side exploded.”

    Dorner may have had help in trying to flee to Mexico, http://rtvote.com/XGySn2
    Authorities are considering the possibility that Steve Dorner, the ex-LAPD cop who is wanted for the murder of three, may have had an accomplice that helped him escape to Mexico. A report detailing Dorner’s path after the murders was released in court records Monday. It highlights Dorner’s efforts to steal a boat and subdue its captain in San Diego. There is a $1 million reward for Dorner’s capture. Murder and attempted-murder charges have already been filed against him.

    Busted toilets, hot rooms, headaches after fire strands cruise ship in Gulf, http://rtvote.com/159az6t
    A Carnival cruise ship is currently stranded off of the Gulf of Mexico with 3,143 passengers on board. An engine fire caused the ship to become immobile on Sunday. Passengers are facing a shortage of running water, electricity, and food. One passenger reported “sewage running down the walls and floors” and that those on board were being asked to defecate in bags and urinate in showers. Lines for food surpass 3.5 hours, and many passengers are sleeping outside due to the lack of air conditioning.

    Philippines Catholics hope, pray for Asia’s first pope, http://rtvote.com/11E1eog
    The Philippines’ Catholics, the largest Christian community in Asia, are hoping that their own Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle will replace Pope Benedict XVI when he resigns on February 28th. “The announcement also brought sadness to us. We felt like children clinging to a father who bids them farewell,” said Tagle regarding the pope’s retirement. While his election is far from certain, Tagle has a reputation as a lively Vatican insider and former adviser to the pope.

    Twitter and Amex to let you pay with a hashtag, http://rtvote.com/11DYuY5
    Twitter and American Express have teamed up to allow customers to purchase items via a hashtag. Users who sign up to buy items will be able to tweet an Amex related hashtag when ready to purchase. The customers will know their purchase has gone through once they’ve received a confirmation hashtag from Amex. The new initiative will begin Wednesday morning.

    CULTURAL:

    IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics, http://rtvote.com/11DYpne

    Adele’s Grammy Speech Crasher Arrested After Getting Stink-Eye From Jennifer Lopez, http://rtvote.com/Ya2MQh

    Rihanna’s ‘Stay’ Video, Featuring Mikky Echo: The Saddest Bath In The World, http://rtvote.com/11E3Ja7

    ABC, Univision unveil joint venture’s name: Fusion, http://rtvote.com/XGJdiN

    Justin Timberlake Calls New Album ‘The Best Stuff I’ve Ever Done’, http://rtvote.com/XGJhiy

    Caitlin Maguire
    Bio: Caitlin is the Marketing & Operations Manager for Rock the Vote
    @caitlinmagu
    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com



    News Round-Up: Monday, February 11, 2013

    Monday, February 11th, 2013

    Pope Benedict XVI becomes the first pope to resign since 1415, the search for an ex-cop at the center of an LAPD revenge plot widens, and sources predict an aggressive State of the Union address from Obama. Meanwhile, Grammy winners celebrate their awards, Justin Timberlake makes his musical return with a retro Grammy performance, and Tiger Woods may be dating Lindsay Vonn.

    CRUCIAL: 

    Pope Benedict XVI To Resign, http://huff.to/VPiqiC
    Pope Benedict XVI announced today that he will resign the papacy on February 28, citing health concerns and old age. The pope, who is 85, will the be the first pope to resign since 1415. “After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to a certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry,” said Pope Benedict. Benedict had already been the oldest pope elected in nearly 300 years when he was elected in 2005 at age 78. Since there will be no need for the mourning period that traditionally follows the death of a pope, the Vatican will hold a conclave to elect a new pope by mid-March.

    Search for ex-cop at center of LAPD revenge plot widens, http://bit.ly/Y4Icz7
    Authorities are entering the second week of a manhunt for former LAPD cop Christopher Dorner, who released an online manifesto targeting police officers and their families. Dorner says he is seeking revenge for being fired from the police department and is so far accused of killing three, including the daughter of a former LAPD police chief and another former cop. The search for Dorner has widened to become one of the largest in the history of Southern California. Los Angeles announced a $1 million reward on Sunday for help in catching Dorner.

    Obama’s State of the Union 2013: Aggressive, http://politi.co/WEATlU
    Democrats close to Obama hint that the president plans to use his State of the Union speech on Tuesday to challenge the Republican Party and put his opposition on the defensive. West Wing leaks suggest viewers should expect an address much more aggressive than his 2009 SOTU, in which he called for peaceful, bipartisan collaboration. The address is likely to build upon Obama’s progressive Inauguration speech and supposedly will center on jobs creation, the middle class, and infrastructure projects, all key areas for partisan debate. The speech will also mark the debut of Cody Keenan, who wrote for Ted Kennedy, as Obama’s new chief speechwriter. Florida Senator and rising Republican star Marco Rubio will likely generate buzz when he delivers the GOP’s rebuttal speech.

    Graham on Brennan, Hagel: ‘No confirmation without information,’ http://bit.ly/12mIT9R
    Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that he would hold up Obama’s nominees to head the CIA and Defense department until he gets more information about the administration’s response to September’s Benghazi attack. “No confirmation without information,” Graham said, addressing whether he would allow the nominations of John Brennan and Chuck Hagel to go forward. Graham specifically asked whether Obama had called Libyan officials and asked them to allow a rescue team to go to the consulate that night, saying he believes American lives could have been saved had the president called the government. ” I don’t think we should allow Brennan to go forward for the CIA directorship, Hagel to be confirmed secretary of defense until the White House gives us an accounting,” he said.

    Tornado tears through southern Mississippi, http://bit.ly/Wc6ZDM
    At least 12 were injured when a tornado touched down in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on Sunday, prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency in four counties. The University of Mississippi, located in Hattiesburg, received significant damage to several buildings as a result of the storm, though none were injured there. No one has been killed so far, authorities reported, though many town structures were impacted. “If there is a good thing about this, it happened on a Sunday when most of these structures were vacant,” mayor of Hattiesburg John DuPree said.

    Local Students Want “Traditional Prom”, Gays Banned, http://bit.ly/Y4iRHc
    A group of students, parents, and at least one teacher at a high school in Sullivan, Indiana are advocating for a “traditional” prom that would ban gay students. Sullivan High School insisted that they cannot legally allow such a prom, inspiring the group to organize at a church on Sunday and discuss options for holding a separate prom. “We want to make the public see that we love the homosexuals, but we don’t think it’s right nor should it be accepted,” one high school student said. Though the movement has garnered support from several local pastors, not all in the community agree with it. “The feeling of being loved and belonging is universal,” said local Jim Davis.

    CULTURAL: 

    Grammy Awards 2013: Mumford & Sons’ ‘Babel’ Wins Album of the Year, http://lat.ms/YktKnp

    Justin Timberlake Makes Musical Return With Retro Performance, http://bit.ly/Z4kdGS

    Grammy Dresses: The Bold and the Beautiful, http://bit.ly/14MGQ21

    Tiger Woods Dating Lindsay Vonn; Source Says Relationship is New, http://bit.ly/151O43b

    Liza Dee
    Bio:

    Email the author at: blog(at)rockthevote.com