Barack Obama

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wynton Marsalis to receive National Humanities Medal

Posted By on Wed, Sep 14, 2016 at 4:54 PM

Wynton Marsalis will receive a medal next week from the National Endowment for the Humanities. - CLAY MCBRIDE
  • Wynton Marsalis will receive a medal next week from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Add another award to the portfolio of Wynton Marsalis: the New Orleans trumpeter and composer will be awarded a National Humanities Medal next week in a White House ceremony hosted by President Barack Obama.

While Marsalis won't be at the ceremony — he's playing a concert at New York's Rose Theater that night —  it's an accolade he can add to his 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Music and several Grammy Awards. Marsalis is currently the director of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in New York.

Eleven other people will receive the medal that night, and the event will be livestreamed on the White House website

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Y@ Speak: Invest-ed

Posted By on Mon, Aug 29, 2016 at 5:40 PM

President Obama visits Louisiana following the August floods, Invest 99 Luftballoons pops its head into the Gulf, the Saints pick up some Duraflame logs to get started on this season's tire fire, and more from the final hours of The Worst Month.

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Y@ Speak: Oh! You pretty things

Posted By on Mon, Jan 18, 2016 at 1:15 PM

A David Bowie memorial parade and several streets-sized block party made the French Quarter on Saturday night look like the bottom of the box where you keep your glittery Christmas ornaments. Also: Everyone turns into a Powerball goblin, President Barack Obama visits New Orleans Baton Rouge, and Gov. John Bel Edwards is pope of Louisiana.

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Monday, August 31, 2015

Y@ Speak: 10 years and some days later

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 12:30 PM

If Twitter was around 10 years ago, what would New Orleans look like today? (I got in touch with friends and family through, um, Livejournal back then; Facebook wasn't really helpful.) Last week was most definitely a week. We talked about it, listened, goofed around, then Lil Wayne came home, we walked a lot, then cried a lot, then Thomas Morstead ended it appropriately by puking in a trash can.

Because I can't fit it all on here: read Michael Grunwald's tweets on the frustrations of reporting on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, all of the updates from Rising Tide X, and the story behind @skooks, in his words.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

#BlackLivesMatter co-founder Alicia Garza delivers keynote at Katrina memorial

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2015 at 10:57 AM


#BlackLivesMatter co-founder Alicia Garza told a packed audience at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center that despite the city’s largely positive message of recovery during the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures, there exists a “tale of two cities.”

Garza helped coin the hashtag and phrase, which has gained traction worldwide, in the wake of the George Zimmerman trial for the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012. She delivered the keynote speech for “Katrina 10 Year Memorial: Equity, Justice and Black Leadership for New Orleans” on Aug. 27.

Garza, special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, said Katrina and the levee failures were another chapter in the country’s “storm of structural racism and violence.” The government’s failure to protect black lives as infrastructure crumbled and levees collapsed, as well as its failure “to bring people home,” are among the “most defining moments of my generation,” she said.

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Atlantic conference discusses "New Orleans: Ten Years Later" after Hurricane Katrina

Posted By on Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 11:32 AM

Mayor Mitch Landrieu, left, being interviewed by The Atlantic national correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg.
  • Mayor Mitch Landrieu, left, being interviewed by The Atlantic national correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg.

This week will see dozens of events related to the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the federal floods, and today saw one of the biggest — The Atlantic's "New Orleans: Ten Years Later" conference at the Sheraton New Orleans. 

After an introduction by The Atlantic's editor in chief James Bennet, Gwen Ifill of PBS News Hour introduced writer/filmmaker Lolis Eric Elie, New Orleans native and national student poet Madeleine LeCesne, VAYLA executive director Minh Nguyen, writer Chris Rose, former City Councilman Oliver Thomas and Tracie Washington of the Louisiana Justice Center. 

Washington had the crowd's attention, questioning the city's recovery pointing out that 50 percent of black children in the city live in poverty — more than before the storm —  adding that special needs children are being ignored in the New Orleans school system. She also took exception to "resilient," which has emerged as the buzzword du jour of Katrina recovery. "I'm not resilient," she said, scoffing. “I have a right not to be resilient!”

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bush, Clinton visits added to Hurricane Katrina 10th anniversary events

Posted By on Thu, Aug 20, 2015 at 1:09 PM

Yesterday it was announced President Barack Obama would be coming to New Orleans Aug. 27 to tour the city on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Now former President George W. Bush and former President Bill Clinton will be coming to New Orleans next week as well to participate in some of the commemoration ceremonies.

Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush will visit Warren Easton Charter School Aug. 28 for an education round table discussion, at which the former president also will offer remarks. Clinton will come to the "Power of Community" event Aug. 29 at Smoothie King Center, the city's main event in the weeklong Katrina commemoration. Faith leaders and many New Orleans musicians will perform, and journalist Soledad O'Brien will host. The event is open to the public and free, and organizers say tickets are available at city libraries, or can be reserved via the city's website.

These are only two of many events — official and unofficial — going on next week as part of the Katrina commemoration. Our list of community events is here, and under the jump is the city's list of official events, and how you can attend.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Obama will make New Orleans visit for Katrina anniversary

Posted By on Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 10:30 AM

President Barack Obama in New Orleans in 2013. - JEANIE RIESS
  • President Barack Obama in New Orleans in 2013.

President Barack Obama will visit New Orleans on Aug. 27 to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the federal levee failures. In 2010, for the fifth anniversary of the storm, Obama told a crowd at Xavier University that Katrina was a "natural disaster but also a man-made catastrophe — a shameful breakdown in government that left countless men, women and children abandoned and alone." (That 2010 trip also included his famous visit to Parkway Bakery for a po-boy.)

According to a statement from the White House, Obama's visit next week includes talks with Mayor Mitch Landrieu and trips to several neighborhoods speaking with residents. He'll deliver his remarks "on the region’s rebirth and what’s possible when citizens, city and corporate leaders all work together to lift up their communities and build back in ways that make them more innovative and positioned for economic growth."

Obama's last visit to New Orleans used the Port of New Orleans for his pitch for infrastructure investments and job creation.

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Watch: Jindal to Wall Street Journal: I'll keep the American dream from becoming the European nightmare

Posted By on Mon, Jun 22, 2015 at 1:18 PM

Gov. Bobby Jindal told The Wall Street Journal: "We don't just need a Republican in the White House; we need a Republican that's going to make big changes."
  • Gov. Bobby Jindal told The Wall Street Journal: "We don't just need a Republican in the White House; we need a Republican that's going to make big changes."

Gov. Bobby Jindal's "Geaux Bobby" event will be held Wednesday at Kenner's Pontchartrain Center, where he'll end all the suspense and let us in on his decision whether or not to run for the Republican nomination for president. He sat for an interview Friday with The Wall Street Journal's Reid Epstein, and outlined the case he'd make if he does run:

If I run, it'll be to make big changes in D.C. My big concern is President Obama is in the process of changing the American dream into the European nightmare — defining success as government dependence, government spending, government borrowing. We don't just need a Republican in the White House; we need a Republican that's going to make big changes.

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Michelle Obama congratulates New Orleans on ending veteran homelessness

Posted By on Mon, Apr 20, 2015 at 2:44 PM


First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama commended New Orleans' efforts to eliminate veteran homelessness, which officials say is the first in the country to do so. Obama was the guest of honor at a conference this morning at Gallier Hall, attended by a host of city officials, including Mayor Mitch Landrieu, police superintendent Michael Harrison and members of the New Orleans City Council.

Obama and Jill Biden launched an initiative among U.S. mayors to reduce veteran homelessness in their cities by the end of 2015, with President Barack Obama also aiming to end veteran homelessness nationwide. Mayor Mitch Landrieu says the city — with a partnership involving federal, state and local nonprofit agencies — was able to house more than 200 veterans by the end of 2014 by using a "housing first" system. The Landrieu administration says another 42 veterans have been housed since January.

"We seem to resign ourselves to a reluctant acceptance of this reality," Obama said. "We feel badly about it, we know it is not right, but we've almost come to believe this problem is too big, too entrenched, to ever solve. I want to be very clear. The vasty majority of veterans who return whom, they come home in good health, in good spirits, they go on to build strong families and good jobs, and they keep serving. ... But even one homeless veteran is an outrage. And when we have tens of thousands of veterans who don't have somewhere to go when in rains, that is a stain on our nation. ... When they come home kissing the ground, none of them should ever have to sleep on it."

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