Barack Obama Hub

President Obama Hijacks 'The Colbert Report' - VIDEO


President Obama dropped by The Colbert Report's broadcast from Washington, D.C. last night and decided since Colbert likes to take a swipe at how he does his job, the President would take a whack at Colbert's job. The President then took over the remainder of Colbert's cold open. By executive decree, so to speak. President Obama read Colbert's pre-planned address, opening with “I, Stephen Colbert, have never cared for our President." The segment then went on to make good comedic use of the graphics that usually display pithy jokes next to Colbert's face. Mediaite notes:

Most of the segment involved the president talking about getting rid of Obamacare, while jokes about himself, Republicans, and even Fox News popped up next to him. For example, Obama as Colbert said that appearing on a comedy show would be below his dignity; the words next to him then read “but above his approval ratings.”

And when President Obama said, “Young people don’t watch real news shows like this one,” the words next to him read “Or fake ones like Fox.”

Watch as President Obama temporarily puts Colbert on unemployment and sits down for an interview that covers everything from nuclear launch codes to Keystone XL, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "President Obama Hijacks 'The Colbert Report' - VIDEO" »

Obama and Lily Tomlin Had Fingers Crossed for Drag Queen Tribute at Kennedy Center Honors: VIDEO


The Kennedy Center Honors took place last night in Washington, D.C., and the annual performing arts honor was bestowed on Tom Hanks, Al Green, Sting, Patricia McBride, and Lily Tomlin.

Before the event took place, President Obama offered remarks for the honorees in the East Room of the White House and Obama's humor was particularly on point. Take a look at the whole speech.

Said the President of Tomlin's tribute:

"When asked what she hoped her tribute tonight would look like, she said, 'What I’d like to see is a big stream of gay drag artists come out as Ernestine.' I haven't talked to George Stevens.  I don’t know whether this has been arranged. Although, I’d like to see it, too.  I think -- "


(note: clip begins at Tomlin remarks - manually move it to beginning to hear full speech, including remarks on Green and McBride)

Continue reading "Obama and Lily Tomlin Had Fingers Crossed for Drag Queen Tribute at Kennedy Center Honors: VIDEO" »

Labor Department Takes Final Step Towards Implementing LGBT Anti-Discrimination Executive Order: VIDEO


The Labor Department yesterday announced that a new rule required to implement President Obama’s executive order banning workplace discrimination against LGBT government employees is now final, reports the Washington Blade.

Signing the executive order on July 21st, Obama said:

"It doesn't make much sense, but today in America, millions of our fellow citizens wake up and go to work with the awareness that they could lose their job, not because of anything they do or fail to do, but because of who they are -- lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender.  And that's wrong. We're here to do what we can to make it right -- to bend that arc of justice just a little bit in a better direction."

6a00d8341c730253ef01a73defccdf970d-200wiAlthough the order was signed in July, the process wasn’t yet complete because the Labor Department and the Office of Management & Budget had to draft a rule to implement the measure.

Once this final rule is published, it will become effective 120 days later and apply to federal contracts entered into or modified on or after that date.

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said in a statement:

“Americans believe in fairness and opportunity. No one should live in fear of being fired or passed over or discriminated against at work simply because of who they are or who they love.

"Laws prohibiting workplace discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity are long overdue, and we’re taking a big step forward today to fix that.”

Patricia Shiu, head of the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, which is responsible for enforcing the order, said:

“We are building on the work of presidents and members of Congress from both parties who have expanded opportunities for America’s workers.

"This rule will extend protections to millions of workers who are employed by or seek jobs with federal contractors and subcontractors, ensuring that sexual orientation and gender identity are never used as justification for workplace discrimination by those that profit from taxpayer dollars.”

The Labor Department has published Frequently Asked Questions for the final rule, known as EO 13672 Final Rule.

A group of about 140 religious leaders and advocates for religious freedom had petitioned the president for an exemption for faith-based groups.

Watch President Obama announce the executive order a White House reception celebrating LGBT Pride Month, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Labor Department Takes Final Step Towards Implementing LGBT Anti-Discrimination Executive Order: VIDEO" »

Obama, Holder, and De Blasio React to Grand Jury Decision in Eric Garner Case: VIDEOS


Attorney General Eric Holder said this evening that the U.S. Department of Justice will open a federal civil rights investigation into the Eric Garner case after a  Staten Island grand jury voted to bring no criminal charges against a white police officer who placed Garner, a black man, in an illegal chokehold which killed him in July.

Said Holder:

"All lives must be valued. All lives. Mr. Garner's death is one of several recent incidents across our great country that have tested the sense of trust that must exist between law enforcement and the communities they are charged to serve and to protect. This is not a New York issue nor a Ferguson issue alone. Those who have protested peacefully across our great country following the grand jury's decision in Ferguson have made that very clear."

President Obama and New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio reacted swiftly to the news of the grand jury's decision.

De Blasio became emotional during the press conference, telling reporters that he had to warn his own son about police officers that may not be out to protect him.

Said De Blasio:

"This is profoundly personal to me. I was at the White House the other day, and the president of the United States turned to me, and he met Dante a few months ago, and he said that Dante reminded him of what he looked like as a teenager. And he said I know you see this crisis through a very personal lens....And I said to him I did. Because Chirlane and I have had to talk to Dante for years about the dangers that he may face. A good young man, law-abiding young man who would never think to do anything wrong. And yet, because of a history that still hangs over us, the dangers he may face, we've had to literally train him—as families have all over this city for decades—in how to take special care in any encounter he has with the police officers who are there to protect him."

Said Obama in a separate statement:  

"We are not going to let up until we see a strengthening of the trust and a strengthening of the accountability that exists between our communities and our law enforcement."

Watch Holder, Obama, and De Blasio speak, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Obama, Holder, and De Blasio React to Grand Jury Decision in Eric Garner Case: VIDEOS" »

The Smithsonian Explains The Science Behind A 3D-Printed Bust Of President Obama - VIDEO

Obama 3d bust

President obama 3d bustRecently, the Smithsonian stopped by the White House to take a 3D-printed portrait of President Obama.

The finished product will be be the highest resolution digital model of a head of state.

Earlier this year, the Smithsonian Institution added hundreds of artifacts to document LGBT history including a selection of props and memorabilia from Will & Grace.

Take a look at an official White House video of the process, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "The Smithsonian Explains The Science Behind A 3D-Printed Bust Of President Obama - VIDEO" »

FDA Committee Inches Closer Toward Repealing Gay Blood Donor Ban

Picture 7The FDA Committee is meeting today to discuss proposals of removing the ban that prohibits gay men from donating blood reports The New Civil Rights Movement. Talks of repealing the ban appeared last month when The Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Blood & Tissue Safety & Availability voted to drop the ban for any man who has not had sex with another man in at least a year. A Williams Institute study finds that repealing the ban would save over 1.8 million lives.

However, the one-year abstinence stipulation is still considered discriminatory, and the few gay men that are eligible to donate would yield little increase in the amount of blood donated. Ryan James Yezak, found of the National Gay Blood Drive, finds the new stipulation discriminatory and absurd.

Said Yezak:

"The policies that are in place, the lifetime ban, perpetuates negative stereotypes and stigma. It assumes that all gay and bisexual men are likely to have HIV and therefore must be blanket banned and that's just not necessary in this day and age when they have the testing and other countries have moved to deferral time period."

Although Yezak is disappointed with the methods of the new stipulation, he agrees that it's at least a step in the right direction toward repealing the ban completely. Of course, the anti-gay right wing disagrees. Anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera, the head of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, staunchly affirmed his position on keeping the ban.

Said LaBarbera:

"First of all, HIV rates and sexually transmitted diseases are rising among homosexual-practicing men. So why would we be talking about softening the blood ban at a time when [STDs] are on the rise among men who have sex with men?"

The ACLU disagrees, saying criteria for becoming a blood donor should be based on science, not misinformed assumptions and discriminatory stereotypes. LaBarbera and his fellow constituents choose to ignore the fact that HIV is as much an issue for heterosexual people as it is the LGBT community. Fortunately, President Obama reaffirmed his support of those living with, and affected by, HIV and AIDS in a speech the day before the observance of World AIDS Day this year. 


Towleroad - Blogged