Watch President Obama’s final press conference

Watch President Obama's final press conference

President Obama delivered his final press conference today in a room packed with enthusiastic correspondents. The President was very generous with his time, and at ease with reporters, in stark contrast to President Elect Trump’s first press conference, which was fraught with tension.

President Obama proved once again that he will be a tough act to follow. He was dignified, thoughtful, courteous, and eloquent, with moments of understated humor. He looks forward to time to reflect and take stock of his service as President, after his long tenure in office, but acknowledged that some serious political, social and environmental issues will get him back out, as a private citizen, advocating for change.

Photo: Youtube.com

Video: Youtube.com / The WhiteHouse

Do you support Obama Care or the Affordable Care Act?

Do you support Obama Care or the Affordable Care Act?

In 2013, Jimmy Kimmel first sent his crew into the streets to ask ordinary Americans if they preferred Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act. The results were both hilarious, and sad. After all, they are the same exact thing. Surely most Americans know that one is merely a nickname for the other? No, they didn’t. And it makes for a funny video segment. But it’s also scary.

Well, Jimmy Kimmel just did it again, sending a fresh crew out in 2017 to ask the same ridiculous leading question. Apparently the American People haven’t learned much. Person after person appeared to actually think they were separate, mutually exclusive plans. Watching the clip is a forward slapping experience, to be sure. What’s up with Americans? Is it a lack of education, or just a kind of apathy? Does it perhaps show that an over reliance on social media, fake news and flimsy websites for information is actually turning out to be the disaster we always feared?

It’s not clear how many people Kimmel’s crew asked in order to glean these comic gems. Perhaps most people really do know the score, and Kimmel just edited his footage to showcase the few uninformed who walk among us? Maybe so, but it’s still a sobering clip to watch, for sure.

We need to redouble our efforts to teach history, civics, and current events to our students, and to get quality news to our adult citizens. Fake news, biased sources, and unadulterated fluff may in fact be hurting our nation. We face many threats, from global warming to ISIS that require quality information, and a mature understanding, to properly address. A poorly informed citizenry is a chink in our defensive armor that we can’t afford. After all, Citizens vote. Won’t poorly informed citizens vote poorly?

Senator Franken exposes weakness in Devos’s understanding

Senator Franken exposes weakness in Devos's understanding

During an enlightening line of questioning at Betsy Devos’s confirmation hearing, Senator Al Franken, formerly of Saturday Night Live, revealed that the nominee for Secretary of Education doesn’t know about an important debate in education between testing for proficiency vs growth. The candidate appears confused, and struggles to clarify the senator’s line of inquiry.

Devo’s credentials in the field have been sharply criticized by many liberals, and she’s widely viewed as unfit for the job, even factoring in political differences. She doesn’t posses an advanced degree in education, nor has she worked in a school. Her politics leans far to the right, and she appears to be very much in favor of states rights, charter schools, and vouchers for private school attendance.

Oddly, during another confirmation hearing clip, when asked about the role of guns in schools, she stated that some school systems might require guns to defend against grizzly bears, which hasn’t done much to heal her rift with the left, not to mention grizzly bear lovers the world over.

Photo & Video: USNewsBroadcasting / Yahoo / CNN

Observing the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Observing the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The management team of Face Activities extends our best wishes to our members and visitors on Martin Luther King Day. We recognize that Dr. King was a visionary civil rights leader, who lived to make the United States a better and more just nation. In commemoration and appreciation of his birthday, we happily present this classic speech, by Rom Emanuel, in honor of the visionary civil rights leader, which he delivered during his time in the U.S. Congress.

 

OBSERVING THE BIRTHDAY OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
______
SPEECH OF
HON. RAHM EMANUEL
OF ILLINOIS
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Mr. EMANUEL. Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor the life and memory of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to remember a great American and civil rights leader, a man committed to uniting people and healing the wounds inflicted by injustice and segregation.

Dr. King embodied the spirit of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. As a teacher, a preacher, and a leader, he tuned his membership of the board of directors of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and his role with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to help shape the nonviolent philosophy of the movement.

The 1956 Supreme Court decision declaring Alabama’s segregation laws unconstitutional was one early victory in his fight for equality and justice. This victory had a tremendous personal cost for Dr. King, as he was arrested, threatened, and his house was bombed. Throughout these arduous times, Dr. King remained strong.

rahm-emanuelIn 1957, Dr. King helped found and became the leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. This organization was formed to provide new leadership to the growing civil rights movement. Like Dr. King, the SCLC was committed to achieving its goals through nonviolent means.

He further refined his philosophy of nonviolence during a journey to India in 1959. He saw nonviolent protest as the key to achieving his goals of racial equality and social justice in the face of a sometimes violent opposition.

Despite the obstacles, Dr. King continued his struggle and spoke at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It was during this event that he delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial, proclaiming: “I have a dream, that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'”

The following year, Dr. King saw his hard work come to fruition with passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That same year, Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the youngest person awarded the Peace Prize at that time. He chose to donate the prize money he received to further the cause of the civil rights movement.

Tragically, Dr. King’s life was cut short on April 4, 1968 by a sniper’s bullet. His stirring words from his speech at the Lincoln Memorial still echo today and provide us with a goal we all share, that our “children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Madam Speaker, I urge everyone to remember and reflect on his words as we commemorate Dr. King’s birthday and honor his tireless work in making America a country where the rights of all people are respected and protected.

 

 

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).

 

Photo: By Herman Hiller / New York World-Telegram & Sun – Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c16775, Public Domain, Link

Photo (Rahm Emanuel): This United States Congress image is in the public domain. This may be because it is an official Congressional portrait, because it was taken by an employee of the Congress as part of that person’s official duties, or because it has been released into the public domain and posted on the official websites of a member of Congress. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

Martin Luther King: Soulforce (documentary short)

Martin Luther King: Soulforce (documentary short)

Martin Luther King: Soulforce (documentary short)

A short documentary film about the influence of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. It was created for a high school National History Day competition, winning 1st at regionals for best high school group documentary. Also took 1st at the DAFFY high school film awards, for best documentary.

President Obama, please honor Secretary Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton, DNC 2016 - Thursday

An open letter to President Obama:

 

Dear Mr. President,

We, the management team of Face Activities, thank you for your years of patriotic, dedicated and intelligent service to the United States. We are writing respectfully to ask that, in the final days of your administration, you publicly thank and honor another patriotic American, who has worked tirelessly over the course of a life time, in your administration as well as before, in order to serve the country and help ordinary folks live better lives—-former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

As your Secretary of State, as a Senator from New York, as First Lady under William Jefferson Clinton’s administration, and during her years as a lawyer and activist, we believe Secretary Clinton exemplifies the best values and traditions of a public servant. Her tireless work to help women and children, and promote civil rights and justice, cry out for recognition.

We are sad to recall how unfairly she was treated in the recent election, a hapless victim of fake news and declining standards in public discourse, and a general decline in critical thinking standards. We hope you can uplift her legacy, reminding the American People, and the world, of her many strengths, and important contributions, and good character.

Yesterday was a wonderful day, when you honored Vice President Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his dedication and contributions to our society. We hope that there is some way, at your discretion, to honor and praise Hillary Clinton for her years of assiduous and devoted service to the people.

Thank you very much, Mr. President, for your time. We wish you and your family well in your new adventure, returning to civilian life.

Sincerely,

The management team of Face Activities

Vice President Joe Biden surprised with Presidential Medal of Freedom

Vice President Joe Biden surprised with Presidential Medal of Freedom

President Obama surprised Vice President Joe Biden by awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s top civilian honor, during a ceremony secretly scheduled to honor the Vice President for his years of service (Joe Biden thought it was merely a friendly gathering to toast senior staff with the First Lady and his wife.) The vice president was moved to tears during the poignant award ceremony.

In the words of President Obama:

“For your faith in your fellow Americans, for your love of country and for your lifetime of service that will endure through the generations, I’d like to ask the military aide to join us on stage. For my final time as President, I am pleased to award our nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”

Video: youtube creative commons

 

The Vice President praised the President’s generous spirit, modestly stating that the award was more than he deserved. The President in turn praised Biden highly, acknowledging their close friendship, and joking about their “bromance,” which is frequently a humorous item in the press.

Joe Biden, 74 years old, is the 47th Vice President of the United States, served for 47 years as a U.S. Senator from Delaware (he was first elected at the age of 29, making him one of the youngest politicians to be elected to that high office.)

Learn more about Vice President Biden’s award (CNN)

 

Photo: whitehouse.gov

 

President Elect Trump concedes Russians were likely behind hacking

President Elect Trump concedes Russians were likely behind hacking

During his first Press Conference, and in a major break with his statements to date, President Elect Donald Trump finally acknowledged that Russia was probably behind the hacks that exposed Democratic National Committee e-mails unfavorable to Hillary Clinton during the Presidential election. Until now, the President Elect has resisted the widely accepted assertion that Vladimir Putin’s Russia was responsible for the security breach.

However, the President Elect refused to accept the notion that the e-mail hacks were perpetrated to help him win the election, or more accurately, in order to help defeat Hillary Clinton, whom Vladimir Putin reviles. To lend support to his claim, Trump insisted that the hackers also attacked the RNC, but their superior cyber security defenses prevented Republican e-mails from falling into unfriendly hands. It’s unclear where the President Elect got that information, which appears to contradict the consensus of the intelligence community on the matter.

President Elect Trump also rejected as “phony” reports that Russian operatives have collected information that could prove compromising to him. The story was called a “witch hunt” by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Buzz Feed, a hugely popular social media service, posted a story with unconfirmed reports that the alleged information collected by the Russian operatives was quite lurid in nature. President Elect Trump replied that this kind of accusation was something that would have happened in Nazi Germany, which in turn sparked criticism by those who felt the comparison trivialized the countless horrors of the Nazi regime.

It’s clear that Donald Trump started his first press conference with a bang. The affair was long on drama, conflict, and showmanship, but short on substance. It’s worrisome to note that this is a well established trend from the volatile campaign months of 2016, which does not seem to be reversing as the President Elect moves closer to assuming office.

Learn more about President Elect’s Russian hacking statements (CNN)

 

Photo: By Michael VadonDonald Trump, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

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