Fight for Your Seat: President Obama traveled to New York City to deliver his first commencement address of the year at Barnard College, one of the famous “Seven Sisters” private female liberal arts colleges. HIs first piece advice to the graduates was: “Don’t just get involved. Fight for your seat at the table. Better yet, fight for a seat at the head of the table.”
Celebrating Soccer Champions: On Tuesday, President Obama welcomed the L.A. Galaxy to the White House to congratulate the team on their 2011 Major League Soccer Cup Championship. The star-studded team won a tough championship match after going undefeated at home all season long, and as President Obama noted, “You combined star power, hard work; it paid off.”
What Comes with the Badge: President Obama visited the U.S. Capitol for a ceremony where he paid tribute to law enforcement officials who were killed in the line of duty in the previous year. “Every American who wears the badge knows the burdens that come with it – the long hours and the stress; the knowledge that just about any moment could be a matter of life or death. You carry these burdens so the rest of us don’t have to,” the President said, acknowledging the bravery and sacrifice of all of those who serve as law enforcement officers across our country.
Above and Beyond: On Wednesday, President Obama awarded a Medal of Honor for valor above and beyond the call of duty to Leslie H. Sabo, Jr., an Army Specialist who died while serving in Cambodia in 1970. In honoring Sabo, who received the award posthumously, President Obama also paid tribute to those who served alongside him in the Vietnam era: “This medal is bestowed on a single soldier for his single courage. But it speaks to the service of an entire generation, and to the sacrifice of so many military families.”
Spruce Street at Taylor Gourmet: President Obama joined Small Business Administrator Karen Mills at Taylor Gourmet, a quickly expanding hoagie shop in Washington, D.C. for a roundtable with the business’ owners. President Obama discussed his To-Do List for Congress which includes passing legislation to help hard working small business owners create jobs by giving them a tax credit for new hires and tax relief for investments they make.
Fighting Global Hunger: At Friday’s Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security, President Obama announced that leaders at the G8 meeting this weekend at Camp David would devote a special session to the chronic hunger facing nearly 1 billion people around the world. G8 and African leaders will launch a major new alliance with private sector partners with a clear goal of reducing hunger and lifting 50 million people out of poverty by investing in Africa’s agricultural economy.
Yesterday, the New York Times reported on new census data which showed, for the first time, that non-white births made up over 50 percent of all births in the United States last year.
It marked an important milestone, indicative of a changing United States that has long been considered the world’s melting pot. Or, if you’re the conservative, Phyllis Schlafly-backed Eagle Forum, it’s a clarion call that America is in grave danger of being overrun by uneducated, un-American brown people:
It is not a good thing. The immigrants do not share American values, so it is a good bet that they will not be voting Republican when they start voting in large numbers.
[…] Instead, the USA is being transformed by immigrants who do not share those values, and who have high rates of illiteracy, illegitimacy, and gang crime, and they will vote Democrat when the Democrats promise them more food stamps.
Setting aside for a minute the offensive way in which the Eagle Forum dismisses all of “the immigrants” as thoughtless criminals, it’s telling that The Eagle Forum views this as simply a political problem. The Eagle Forum’s political allies have long insisted on treating immigrants as second-class citizens, and rather than pivot their policy proposals to better accommodate the nation’s shifting demographics, the group seems instead to want to curb minorities’ procreation.
The Eagle Forum doesn’t dwell on the fringes of the conservative movement either. The group still wields considerable influence in conservative circles, and has achieved more than a few legislative victories, like derailing the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s and staunchly opposing bills aimed at protecting a women’s right to choose.
The post goes on to accuse immigrants — and, for reasons passing understanding, The New York Times for reporting on this — of seeking to “destroy the American family,” arguing that immigrants do not share American values. Of course, this is hardly the first time The Eagle Foundation has pushed xenophobia.
Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett — the state’s top election official — made an appearanceon a local radio show yesterday in which he threatened to keep President Obama’s name off of the state’s November ballot unless the state of Hawaii provides his official birth certificate.
BENNETT: First of all, I’m not playing to the birthers, I’m not a birther. I believe that the president was born in Hawaii, or at least I hope he was…Hawaii has a special provision in their law that allows other government officials from other states to request what’s called a verification in lieu of a certified copy of a birth certificate. So I’m not asking for the certified copy of the birth certificate at all…I was frankly expecting that they would very quickly and very simply say ‘yes.’ Eight weeks later, they haven’t said, I can’t seem to get them to say yes.
In fact, Hawaii said “yes” over a year ago. Last April, Obama released a certified copy of his long form birth certificate to the public. And while that did nothing to quell the furor of birthers like Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, it more than meets Bennett’s verification requirement.
And yet Bennett is insisting on still more costly and time-consuming work by the state of Hawaii to verify they have the original document on hand. The reason for his suspicion? Arpaio’s sham investigation into the copy released by President Obama raised sufficient questions:
BENNETT: When Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s posse released a press conference a few week ago, or a month ago or whenever it was, that the birth certificate posted on the White House website might be fraudulent, I started getting, as you might imagine, literally over 1,200 emails from people saying ‘well that’s proof, you should require the president to produce the original of his birth certificate in order to be on the ballot of Arizona.’
Arpaio’s press conference more closely resembled an SNL parody than a serious investigation, and it was widely ridiculed for employing faulty “science” and drawing wild conclusions based on little more than technological anomalies.
Bennett is hardly the first person to propose removing Obama from the general election ballot this fall, but as secretary of state, he is in a position to actually act on those threats. Bennett’s insistence that he is not a birther and is simply doing his due diligence as the state’s top election official is a distinction without difference, as it ignores the fact that he is accepting as possibility that Obama’s publicly available birth certificate is fraudulent.