January 30, 2016

President Obama called for $4 billion Saturday to increase students' access to computer science classes, Wired reports. Under his outlined plan, another $100 million would go to school districts themselves to fund the programs.

Should Congress approve the Computer Science For All in the president's proposed 2017 budget, money would be distributed over three years to states that propose five-year plans to increase computer science access. Only 28 states currently allow students to count computer science courses toward their graduation requirements.

"Our economy is rapidly shifting, and educators and business leaders are increasingly recognizing that CS is a 'new basic' skill necessary for economic opportunity and social mobility," the White House said in a statement. Julie Kliegman

January 16, 2016

President Obama proposed a plan Saturday that would provide wage insurance to unemployed workers who take new jobs with lower pay, The Hill reports.

"It's a way to give families some stability and encourage folks to rejoin the workforce — because we shouldn't just be talking about unemployment; we should be talking about reemployment," Obama said in his weekly address.

The president also proposed mandating that all states provide unemployment insurance for at least 26 weeks, a threshold nine states currently don't meet.

Learn more about Obama's plan below. Julie Kliegman

January 3, 2016

President Obama is set to host a televised town hall about guns Thursday on CNN, the network announced Sunday.

In the coming days, after meeting Monday with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, he is also expected to announce executive action to expand background checks on guns.

Anderson Cooper will host the hour-long "Guns in America" at 8 p.m. ET. Obama will also take audience questions. Julie Kliegman

December 28, 2015

As President Obama prepares to enter his last full year in office, he is offering up some advice to the crowd of 16 candidates trying to take his place. In a recent interview with NPR's Steve Inskeep, Obama shared the one question he'd most want to pose to each candidate:

I might just ask somebody, why do you want to do this? And I suppose they'd give a cliché answer because that's what candidates do, but I will tell you as president, if you are interested just because you like the title or you like the trappings or you like the power or the fame or the celebrity, that side of it wears off pretty quick. At least it has for me.

And what sustains me, what lasts, what makes me happy, proud, frustrated sometimes, is the recognition that if you want this job then you really need to love this country and have a very clear vision and idea of what it is that you want to do to help make this country work even better. [NPR]

Watch the clip below and check out more of Inskeep's wide-ranging interview with Obama here. Julie Kliegman

December 21, 2015

Jerry Seinfeld released the trailer on Wednesday for the seventh season of his web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. On Dec. 30, he's kicking off the season with someone who isn't exactly a comedian by trade: President Obama.

The Washington Post caught up with Seinfeld both before and after he picked up Obama at the White House in a 1963 Corvette Stingray this summer:

"I wanna know how far he can get in his underwear before it's weird," Seinfeld said from the passenger seat of the SUV. "And can you really get a good night's sleep in this place? It's like Night at the Museum to me, sleeping in the White House. I just had another question: Are you ever talking to somebody and do you ever think, 'This guy's out of his mind'?"

Everything went as scheduled the following day. Obama drove the Stingray on the White House grounds. The pair chatted in a basement dining room and Seinfeld asked about presidential bathroom routines, and the difference between presidential garbage and non-presidential garbage. [The Washington Post]

The episode should prove a great addition to Obama's comedic resume, which already includes appearances on Between Two Ferns and WTF. Julie Kliegman

December 6, 2015

President Obama will address the nation Sunday evening from the Oval Office, the White House said Saturday. He plans to discuss Wednesday's fatal shooting in San Bernardino, California, and terror threats more broadly.

"He will reiterate his firm conviction that ISIL will be destroyed and that the United States must draw upon our values — our unwavering commitment to justice, equality, and freedom — to prevail over terrorist groups that use violence to advance a destructive ideology," the White House said in a statement Saturday, using an acronym for the Islamic State.

Though Obama has delivered many primetime addresses during his presidency, Sunday will mark just the third time he's done so from the Oval Office, CNN reports. The other instances, both in 2010, were regarding the end of U.S. operations in Iraq and the Gulf oil spill.

Networks will broadcast the address live at 8 p.m. ET. Julie Kliegman

November 2, 2015

As part of his ongoing push for criminal justice reform, President Obama is set to announce new initiatives Monday designed to help former prisoners get back on their feet, CNN reports.

In a trip to Newark, New Jersey, Obama is expected to call on Congress to "ban the box" on federal job applications, referring to the question on federal job applications that requires applicants to disclose their criminal histories. Obama will also promote tech training initiatives, proposed changes to affordable housing restrictions, and $8 million in Department of Education grants for communities that help adults after incarceration.

"Each year, more than 600,000 individuals are released from state and federal prisons," a White House statement read. "Advancing policies and programs that enable these men and women to put their lives back on track and earn their second chance promotes not only justice and fairness, but also public safety." Julie Kliegman

October 11, 2015

At a San Francisco fundraiser with Kanye West on Saturday, President Obama desperately set out to prove how hip he is by joking about the rapper's potential 2020 bid. He even shared a little advice with Kanye, The Washington Post reports.

"You got to deal with strange characters who behave as if they are on a reality TV show," he said in a nod both to Kanye's wife, Kim Kardashian, and Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.

Obama's jokes were a far cry from his 2009 comments calling Yeezus a "jackass" on TV. This time around, the president even made fun of himself for sharing certain qualities with Kanye.

"Do you really think this country is going to elect a black guy from the South Side of Chicago with a funny name to be president of the U.S.?" Julie Kliegman

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