Obama speech generator

Want to hear a president talk again? Talk Obama To Me accepts up to 180 characters of text and pieces together a speech by Barack Obama. [via] Read the rest

U.S. Senators seek answers on Russia-Trump links, and his spying accusation against Obama

U.S. Senators gathered on Capitol Hill today seeking answers on Trump's relationship with Russia, and Trump's obviously bogus claim that U.S. President Barack Obama spied on his presidential campaign.

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The Women's March and the Judean People's Front: After Occupy, after trumpism, a new networked politics

Doubtless you've laughed at the ideological war between the Judean People's Front and the People's Front of Judea. I laughed along with you: having grown up in politics, I know firsthand about the enmities that fester between groups that should be allies -- groups whose differences can only be parsed after months of study, but who are seemingly more at odds with one another than their obvious political opponents on the "other side" of the debate.

Trump's NSA will be able to share its firehose of surveillance data with 16 government agencies (Thanks, Obama)

The new data-sharing rules enacted by the Obama administration will allow the NSA to lawfully share the unredacted, full take of its surveillance databases with sixteen other US government agencies -- meaning that, for example, Trump's door-to-door deportation squads could use that data to figure out who's doors to break down, and his Muslim surveillance database could bootstrap itself with NSA data. Read the rest

Chelsea Manning on the short list for commutation: call the White House at 202-456-1111 to help her!

Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "Whoah. This is huge news. NBC is reporting that Chelsea Manning is on President Obama's "short-list" for commutation. It even appears that the DOJ has recommended that she be released. Chelsea has suffered immensely at the hands of the U.S. government, all for doing what she thought was right and trying to help people. I hope everyone will drop what they are doing today to call the White House at 202-456-1111 and tell President Obama go do the right thing and reduce Chelsea's sentence to time served. Read a statement from Chelsea's attorney and Fight for the Future here." Read the rest

Look back on the best White House photos of 2016

Every year Chief White House photographer Pete Souza rounds up his best photos, and this year’s collection is especially poignant as it’s the last one of the Obama administration. Souza was looking for “behind-the-scenes moments that give people a more personal look at the President and First Lady.” The whole collection is available over on Medium and a few of my favorites are below:

“My favorite months in the Oval Office are late fall to early winter when occasionally the afternoon light will be at just the right angle to create some interesting backlight if the President is working at the Resolute Desk.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

“President Obama watches a virtual reality film captured during his trip to Yosemite National Park earlier this summer as Personal Aide Ferial Govashiri continues working at her computer.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

“What an honor to watch these girls grow up. Malia, foreground, and Sasha were both invited guests for the State Dinner in honor of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and Mrs. Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau. Following the actual sit-down dinner in the East Room, they made their way down the Great Hall to the State Dining Room for the musical entertainment.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

“The Vice President chases children and members of the press with a super soaker during the 2016 Biden Beach Boardwalk Bash held at the Naval Observatory Residence in Washington, D.C." (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

“After a meeting with actor and human rights activist George Clooney, the President invited him and three of his colleagues to shoot hoops on the White House basketball court. Read the rest

'Russians were responsible for hacking the DNC,' says Obama in final 2016 press conference

U.S. President Barack Obama met with reporters today for the final press conference of 2016, before the new administration is due to take over. Live tweets below.

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FBI and ODNI now back CIA's assessment that Russia hacked U.S. election for Trump win

Federal Bureau of Investigations chief James B. Comey and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper today indicated the FBI and ODNI support a recent CIA assessment that Russia committed internet attacks targeted at America's elections, with the intent in part being to help Donald Trump win.

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In this one GIF, watch Barack Obama age from boyhood to 2016

The folks at HealthTrends.com put together this GIF that tracks Obama from childhood to present day.

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Bill Murray and President Obama play golf to promote health care

The two famous Chicagoans joined forces to remind everyone that December 15 is the deadline to get covered for healthcare for 2017.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates on Obama's blackness, America's white supremacy, and Trump's victory

Ta-Nehisi Coates's 17,000-word history of the Obama presidency in the Atlantic is called "My President Was Black," but it's about the very special kind of blackness that Obama embodied -- not because whites saw the biracial politician differently, but because Obama's extraordinarily supportive white family and unique boyhood in Hawai'i spared him the racial trauma visited on other young black people in America. Read the rest

Petition: commute Chelsea Manning's sentence to time served

Evan from Fight for the Future sez, "Chelsea Manning has already spent more time behind bars than any other whistleblower in U.S. history. She's been systematically mistreated, subjected to torture, and denied access to desperately needed health care while serving a 35 year sentence in an all-male military prison." Read the rest

Full interview: President Obama with Bill Maher

Bill Maher went to the White House to interview President Obama for a special episode of Real Time. Here's the full 37-minute interview. It's worth watching because Maher brings up topics that most journalists aren't interested in, like the war on drugs (Obama wants to treat it as a public health issue), and rights of atheists. Read the rest

President Obama slams FBI's Comey on email decision: ‘We Don’t Operate on Incomplete Information’

President Obama made his first public comment on the recent FBI/Clinton email hijinks, just days before the election.

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President Obama reads mean tweets about himself

@nathan: "Barack Obama is the Nickelback of presidents."

@DJ_lcpl: "Barack Obama...bro, do you even lift!?" (Obama's response: "Well, I lifted the ban on Cuban cigars, that's worth something.")

@realDonaldTrump: "President Obama will go down as perhaps the worst president in the history of the United States!" (Obama's response: "Well, @realDonaldTrump, at least I will go down as a president.")

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President Obama's plan to take us to Mars

In a CNN op-ed, President Obama outlines his plan for the United States to partner with private companies to get humans to Mars (and back!) by the 2030s.

I still have the same sense of wonder about our space program that I did as a child. It represents an essential part of our character -- curiosity and exploration, innovation and ingenuity, pushing the boundaries of what's possible and doing it before anybody else. The space race we won not only contributed immeasurably important technological and medical advances, but it also inspired a new generation of scientists and engineers with the right stuff to keep America on the cutting edge...

This week, we'll convene some of America's leading scientists, engineers, innovators and students in Pittsburgh to dream up ways to build on our progress and find the next frontiers. Just five years ago, US companies were shut out of the global commercial launch market. Today, thanks to groundwork laid by the men and women of NASA, they own more than a third of it. More than 1,000 companies across nearly all 50 states are working on private space initiatives.

We have set a clear goal vital to the next chapter of America's story in space: sending humans to Mars by the 2030s and returning them safely to Earth, with the ultimate ambition to one day remain there for an extended time. Getting to Mars will require continued cooperation between government and private innovators, and we're already well on our way.

"Barack Obama: America will take the giant leap to Mars"

(above: NASA image of Mars from the Viking Lander, 1977, via Wikipedia) Read the rest

U.S. accuses Russia of trying to “interfere with the U.S. election” through internet attacks

“We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities,” said a statement today from the Obama administration about a series of cyberattacks on U.S. political figures and organizations.

Them's fightin' words.

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