President Barack Obama opened his summer reading list post with encouragement to read or re-read Toni Morrison and then suggested ten other titles including the following:
• Sometimes difficult to swallow, The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead is a necessary read, detailing the way Jim Crow and mass incarceration tore apart lives and wrought consequences that ripple into today.
• Exhalation by Ted Chiang is a collection of short stories that will make you think, grapple with big questions, and feel more human. The best kind of science fiction.
• Haruki Murakami’s Men Without Women examines what happens to characters without important women in their lives; it'll move you and confuse you and sometimes leave you with more questions than answers.
See the rest of President Obama's picks here.
image: President Barack Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia shop for books at Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C., on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
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THE LOWDOWN: Here's an immigration lawyer's first-hand account of confronting former President Barack Obama on family detention centers. Trump's a monster, but failings of previous administrations paved the way for his abuses. Read the rest
Students at an elementary school in Jackson, Mississippi have elected to rename their institution in honor of the legitimately elected 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.
Via the Root:
According to NBC News, the Davis Magnet International Baccalaureate Elementary School in Jackson, Miss., will now be called the Barack Obama Magnet International Baccalaureate Elementary starting the beginning of the next school year, the school’s PTA president, Janelle Jefferson, announced at a Jackson Public Schools Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday night.
Jefferson said that the name change came up after the issue was raised by a student.
“They know who [Davis] was and what he stood for,” she said. “This has a great impact on them because [Obama] is who they chose out of anybody else they could. This is the person that the whole school supported. He was their No. 1 choice.”
Jefferson said that the students at Davis, 98 percent of whom are black, selected Obama because they were alive during his presidency and felt that he shared and represented their principles.
There is no sense in honoring the men who attempted to split the United States so they could maintain the practice of slavery. Read the rest
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 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. Read the rest
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.
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
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
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:
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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. Read the rest
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. Read the rest
The folks at HealthTrends.com put together this GIF that tracks Obama from childhood to present day. Read the rest
The two famous Chicagoans joined forces to remind everyone that December 15 is the deadline to get covered for healthcare for 2017. Read the rest
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
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
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 made his first public comment on the recent FBI/Clinton email hijinks, just days before the election. Read the rest