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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Obama Farewell


A little late, but I wanted to record a few fun things, accomplishments and odds and ends. . .

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White House photographer's favorite photos of Obama:
http://www.boredpanda.com/barack-obama-photographer-pete-souza-white-house/
https://medium.com/obama-white-house/behind-the-lens-2016-year-in-photographs-9e2c8733bbb3#.dznpiavxs


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Obama/ Biden BROTUS memes! Some mentioned another Biden go at the presidency (please blog no) but we sure do love him here:
https://www.inverse.com/article/23764-best-joe-biden-memes

even cnn:
http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/14/politics/joe-biden-memes-trnd/

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This was a look at how the Obama White House handled letters from the public and how mail in general is handled, which given my particular interest in postcrossing and snail mail, I found fascinating:


To Obama With Love, and Hate, and Desperation
https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/01/17/magazine/what-americans-wrote-to-obama.html

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Five times Obama went viral:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQyM3-88FW0

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38572192

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The Meaning Of Sasha And Malia Obama
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-meaning-of-sasha-and-malia-obama_us_5873ae87e4b043ad97e49e4b

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Obama and books!
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/16/books/obamas-secret-to-surviving-the-white-house-years-books.html?smid=fb-share
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The early voting video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be0nydyj8MI
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From President Obama's Farewell Address:
http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-obama-farewell-speech-transcript-20170110-story.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/10/us/politics/obama-farewell-address-speech.html

Word cloud of his speech:
https://twitter.com/bbcworld/status/819165406342610944

Hard not to quote the whole thing but here are some favorite parts---

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This is where I learned that change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together to demand it.
...
It's the insistence that these rights, while self-evident, have never been self-executing; that We, the People, through the instrument of our democracy, can form a more perfect union.

(On inequality )
After all, if every economic issue is framed as a struggle between a hardworking white middle class and undeserving minorities, then workers of all shades will be left fighting for scraps while the wealthy withdraw further into their private enclaves.

(He had good advice for many groups in the context, but this hit home because I've heard people I know say these things in the course of my life and I know they are untrue and unjust and those things make me angry. Injustice makes me angry like few things do.)
For white Americans, it means acknowledging that the effects of slavery and Jim Crow didn't suddenly vanish in the '60s; that when minority groups voice discontent, they're not just engaging in reverse racism or practicing political correctness; that when they wage peaceful protest, they're not demanding special treatment, but the equal treatment our Founders promised.

(The key. And here he begins talking to everyone as in both parties, saying hard things, but necessary, where before he was talking everyone as in the nation.)
So regardless of the station we occupy; we have to try harder; to start with the premise that each of our fellow citizens loves this country just as much as we do; that they value hard work and family like we do; that their children are just as curious and hopeful and worthy of love as our own.

(Hitting the nail on the head)
This trend represents a third threat to our democracy. Politics is a battle of ideas; in the course of a healthy debate, we'll prioritize different goals, and the different means of reaching them. But without some common baseline of facts; without a willingness to admit new information, and concede that your opponent is making a fair point, and that science and reason matter, we'll keep talking past each other, making common ground and compromise impossible.

(So many good points, stressing participation, we need that right now.)
And all of this depends on our participation; on each of us accepting the responsibility of citizenship, regardless of which way the pendulum of power swings.

Our Constitution is a remarkable, beautiful gift. But it's really just a piece of parchment. It has no power on its own. We, the people, give it power - with our participation, and the choices we make. Whether or not we stand up for our freedoms. Whether or not we respect and enforce the rule of law. America is no fragile thing. But the gains of our long journey to freedom are not assured.


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Response that made the rounds- shared, copy/paste- what to say when someone says "I survived Obama!"
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/2/12/1632893/--We-suffered-for-eight-years-Now-it-s-your-turn

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Obama accomplishments and legacy
http://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/januaryfebruary-2017/obamas-top-50-accomplishments-revisited/

http://www.snopes.com/barack-obama-accomplishments/

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