Monday, January 18, 2010

President Obama honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

President Obama spoke on Sunday at the Vermont Avenue Baptist Church in Washington, DC in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
So let us hold fast to that faith, as Joshua held fast to the faith of his fathers, and together, we shall overcome the challenges of a new age. Together, we shall seize the promise of this moment. Together, we shall make a way through winter, and we're going to welcome the spring. Through God all things are possible. President Obama

Political Girl: Guess Who Came Out of Hiding?

Former President Bush.

Source: Associated Press
Besides the occasional Dallas Cowboys game, we have not seen former President George Bush in almost an entire year. However this week when asked by President Obama to spearhead a fundraising effort with former President Bill Clinton, he didn't heistate to help.

My favorite line from the former president when asked what Americans can do...
"Just send your cash," stated former President Bush.

Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today is the opportunity to do something nice for someone. It doesn't even have to be much. A smile, a helping hand, or even a kind word. Happy Birthday Dr. King.  He would have been 81 on this past Friday.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is not only for celebration and remembrance, education and tribute, but above all a day of service. All across America on the Holiday, his followers perform service in hospitals and shelters and prisons and wherever people need some help. It is a day of volunteering to feed the hungry, rehabilitate housing, tutoring those who can’t read, mentoring at-risk youngsters, consoling the broken-hearted and a thousand other projects for building the beloved community of his dream.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Help 4 Haiti

Image: Reuters

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Haiti, and those with family and loved ones living in Haiti. What makes this tragedy so sad is that the earthquake happened so suddenly and so fast that many didn't have a chance to take cover or prepare for what was coming. One can only imagine what they and their families are going through and I continue to lift them up in prayer.

The thing that makes America so great is our willingness to help those in need. President Obama spoke earlier today about the devastation and how we can help here in America.

I have directed my administration to respond with a swift, coordinated, and aggressive effort to save lives, stated President Obama.

If you want to help here is some of the information.

You can also help immediately by donating to the Red Cross to assist the relief effort. Contribute online here, or donate $10 to be charged to your cell phone bill by texting "HAITI" to "90999."
Also Wyclef Jean has also been instrumental in providing assistance to Haiti. His organization, Yele is also accepting donations and you can get more information from here,

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2010 Elections: Candidates Off to Early Start

It didn't take long for the 2010 Midterm elections to get interesting. In the past couple of days there has been a lot of movement on who is running and who is not in the upcoming election cycle. If you are looking for political theatre look no further than the November elections.

According to the New York Times, Harold Ford, Jr. is considering a Democratic primary challenge against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. Sen. Gillibrand was appointed to the junior NY seat after Hillary Clinton was announced as Secretary of State. You might remember Mr. Ford from running a heated race in his home state of Tennessee and moved to New York soon after losing the election.

Yesterday, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) announced that he will not seek re-election in 2010. This came as a shock to Democrats who were caught off guard about his statement. North Dakota, a solid red state, might have a chance of turning the seat with John McCain winning the state in the presidential election by almost 10 percentage points.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Political Girl: Dr. Jill Biden hosts FAFSA Workshop

Photo: Paul Wood, Department of Education
Today, Dr. Jill Biden participated in an event with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to bring awareness to the new streamlined application for FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Aid). Wife of Vice President Joe Biden, she has been an educator for almost 30 years teaching English in Delaware. Since moving to Washington, D.C. she continues to teach several English classes at a local community college.

Here are some of her remarks from the White House Blog...

"As a community college instructor, I feel right at home in the classroom – and so I was thrilled to spend time this morning with local students at DC's Banneker Senior High School to talk with them about their goals of pursuing a college education. It was a great morning - I joined Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Senator Jack Reed from Rhode Island to showcase the new and more streamlined Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which is now available to students. know first-hand as a parent and as a former high school and current college instructor just how challenging and overwhelming all of the financial aid forms and paperwork can be - and it was great to see how the current forms have fewer questions, easier navigation and are more user-friendly. I spoke with students at the computer lab who expressed relief to be working on the more user-friendly FAFSA."

Monday, January 4, 2010

Politicalgirl: Headlines - National Security

By now everyone knows about the attempted terrorist attack on a Northwest flight headed to Detroit on Christmas Day. It's been almost two weeks since the thwarted attack, and the administration is still trying to figure out what went wrong. Here are some of the major headlines.

Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, has come under fire from Republicans for saying that "the system worked really smoothly" the Sunday after the failed Christmas attack. However President Obama has said that he has faith in her and her ability to lead the department. Maureen Dowd, an outspoken opinion writer from the New York Times, wrote an interesting piece on her on Sunday.

Also over the weekend, TSA ordered tougher screening for 14 countries that started Monday at midnight. Passengers leaving the countries headed toward the US will have to go through secondary screening like pat-downs, full body screening, and inspection of carry on bags. The 14 countries include Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria who are listed as state sponsors of terrorism. Additionally, Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen are classified as countries of interest.

The US and Britian embassies have closed in Yemen because of security threats. *Just learned that France, Germany and Japan have also closed their embassies as well. I think we will be hearing alot more about Yemen in the coming months as a new training ground for terrorism as news that the local Al Queda group in Yemen trained Umar Abdulmutallab, the suspected Christmas Day bomber.

President Obama has a high level meeting with all of his intelligence advisors Tuesday that will include discussions on what went wrong on Christmas Day and the new changes being implemented to circumvent more terrorism threats.

I always skirted over foreign affairs in favor of women's history and presidential biographies, however with all the recent news I'm finding myself wanting to learn more and more about foreign policy. As our world becomes smaller and smaller national security will continue to dominate our headlines. With the recent attempted plot, it's really becoming clear to me the deep hatred that so many individuals have for the US. I, like many others thought the threat was limited to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran yet we are seeing additional countries being added to the list. I really hope in the future that we not only focus on the above countries, but smaller countries that have Al Queda forces in them as well. With so much money focused on the 2 wars we have forgotten that Al Queda's threat and influence is spreading and isn't limited to just one location. xoxo, politicalgirl

Sunday, January 3, 2010

On the Horizon - 2010

There will be a range of topics on the political horizon in 2010. Congress will undertake the growing unemployment numbers and tackle financial regulation reform. Also up this year are the congressional midterm elections and whether Democrats will hold on their majorities in Congress. A couple more topics are listed below.
Things to look for in 2010

Health care finally enters its last stage, conference committee
President Obama gives his first "official" State of the Union Address
Possible 2nd Stimulus and other steps to improve the economy and decrease the 10% unemployment numbers
Congress will decide whether to take up the issue of climate change and the environment
Stronger reforms on financial regulations
Congressional Midterm Elections in November - Will Democrats hold on to their large numbers in the House of Representatives  and their 60 seat majority in the Senate?
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