Barack Obama

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Stephen Colbert catches out Fox News admitting Trump might be a racist

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After comparing America’s gun culture to Chernobyl on Monday, Stephen Colbert began Tuesday night’s Late Show with a few more pointed minutes on Donald Trump’s continued struggles to respond presidentially to the previous weekend’s shootings in Texas and Ohio — including a quick rundown of the El Paso officials who really don’t want a President whose rhetoric seems to have inspired the shooter to pay them a visit. 

“It really speaks to your leadership when a town in mourning after an unspeakable tragedy thinks you would bring the mood down.”

After reading out Barack Obama’s equally pointed statement on language from leaders that “normalizes racist sentiment” — without naming any leaders in particular — Colbert played a Fox News clip where the gang at Fox & Friends deduce that Obama’s statement might have been referring to Donald Trump. Aggrieved Fox host Brian Kilmeade went on to ask whether George W. Bush ever condemned Obama after Sandy Hook. Read more…

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The Wing poaches Snap’s comms director

Women-focused co-working space The Wing has hired Rachel Racusen as vice president of communications. Racusen has been the director of communications at Snap, the developer of Snapchat, since late 2016.

Racusen’s exit represents the latest in a series of departures at the “camera company.”

Earlier this year, the company’s chief financial officer Tim Stone stepped down. Shortly after, The Wall Street Journal reported that Snap had fired its global security head Francis Racioppi after an investigation uncovered that he had engaged in an inappropriate relationship with an outside contractor. Snap CEO Evan Spiegel reportedly asked the company’s HR chief Jason Halbert to step down as a result of the investigation’s findings.

Racusen worked under Snap’s chief communications officer Julie Henderson, who had joined late last year from 21st Century Fox.

Racusen has a history in politics similar to several other executives at The Wing. Ahead of her Snap tenure, she served as the associate communications director under President Barack Obama . Before that, she was a vice president at MSNBC and the public affairs firm SKDKnickerbocker, where The Wing co-founder and chief executive officer Audrey Gelman worked prior to launching her business.

Four months after closing a $75 million Series C, The Wing is making two other key additions to its management team. The company has brought on Nickey Skarstad as vice president of product and Saumya Manohar as general counsel. Skarstad joins from Airbnb, where she was a product lead on the Airbnb Experiences team. Saumya Manohar spent the last three years as Casper’s vice president of legal.

Backed by Sequoia Capital, Upfront Ventures, NEA, Airbnb, WeWork and others, The Wing has raised more than $100 million to date.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing this group of seasoned and talented women to build out our executive team,” Gelman said in a statement. “The Wing is the perfect home for leaders who thrive on fast growth and want to combine their social values with their work practice.”

Ciitizen raises $17 million to give cancer patients better control over their health records

Ciitizen, the company founded by the creators of Gliimpse (an Apple acquisition that’s been incorporated into the company’s HealthKit) which is developing tools to help patients organize and share their medical records, has raised $17 million in new funding.

Ciitizen, like Gliimpse before it, is an attempt to break down the barriers that keep patients from being able to record, store, and share their healthcare information with whomever they want in their quest for treatment.

The digitization of health records — a featured element of President Barack Obama’s overhaul of the healthcare system back in 2009 — remains an obstacle to quality care and proper treatment nearly a decade later. Hospitals spend millions and the US healthcare system spends billions on Electronic Health Records annually. All with very little too show for the expense.

Those kinds of challenges are what attracted investors in the Andreessen Horowitz -led round. New investors Section 32, formed by the former head of Google Ventures, Bill Maris; and Verily, one of the healthcare subsidiaries that spun out of Google X and is a part of Google’s parent company, Alphabet.

“Ciitizen uniquely understands the challenges cancer patients face – including the intense friction patients experience when managing their medical records in our current healthcare system,” said Vijay Pande, a general partner in Andreessen Horowitz’s Bio fund, in a statement. “Using their deep insights, the Ciitizen team have developed sophisticated technology and tools that remove this friction, putting the power back in the patients’ hands and literally saving lives.”

Pande may be a little biased since Andreessen Horowitz also led the company’s seed funding last July, in what was, at the time, one of the earlier investments from the Bio fund’s latest $450 million second investment vehicle.

“The continued support from Andreessen Horowitz reaffirms the rapid progress we have already made and further validates our potential to significantly impact healthcare globally. Adding Section 32 and Verily to our effort further enhances our ability to transform the way patients engage with their health data,” said Anil Sethi, CEO and Founder of Ciitizen, in a statement.

MSNBC trolls Donald Trump with Obama ‘Merry Christmas’ montage

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According to Donald Trump, Donald Trump is solely responsible for coining the term “fake news,” Making America Great Again, and of course, bringing the phrase “Merry Christmas” back into the White House.

On Wednesday, Donny T. delivered a tax reform speech in St. Charles, Missouri, that started and ended with a focus on Christmas. Trump bragged and bragged about how he is the one bringing Christmas back to America, acting as though former presidents straight-up banned the holiday from the calendar or something.

MSNBC decided to investigate his claims, and believe it or not, it turns out Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, did in fact have those two words in his vocabulary. Can you imagine? Read more…

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Obama to end silence with first post-presidency speaking appearance in Chicago

Former U.S. President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama have been enjoying an extended post-presidency vacation around the world, but that’s about to end. Barack Obama is slated to break his silence in Chicago on Monday, April 24. If you’re hoping he will rip into Donald Trump, we’ve got sad news for you.

(more…)

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Barack Obama and Malia had an awesome night out in NYC and looked awesome doing it

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After a nice Italian dinner on Thursday and a rock star’s welcome from the public Friday afternoon, Barack Obama continued his post-vacation jaunt around NYC—and he took cool teen Malia along for the ride.

On Friday night, the two were spotted at a performance of the current Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s play The Price. The show stars Danny DeVito and Mark Ruffalo, which made for a pretty decent photo op afterward — one of those rare ones where all parties involved are excited to be meeting a celebrity.

Malia reportedly wants to be a filmmaker, so perhaps this was also a preliminary casting call. (Danny DeVito appears to be in the lead so far, yes?) Read more…

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Thrive Capital hires Obama’s Director of Product Josh Miller to focus on tech for the underprivileged

josh_miller_white_house Connections between the Obama administration and Silicon Valley abound, but particularly for Josh Kushner. The latest? Kushner’s venture firm Thrive Capital just hired Josh Miller, a member of the White House Office of Digital Strategy under President Barack Obama.
Miller, just 24 when he left Facebook to serve as the White House director of product, starts Monday at Thrive and… Read More

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Prepare to be very jealous of President Obama's custom Air Jordans

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It’s good being president. Not only do you get to hang with celebs like Tom Hanks and Solange, you also get some pretty cool gear.

No, we’re not talking about President Barack Obama’s dad jeans. On Monday, he got a visit from the Chicago Cubs, who presented him with his very own personalized pair of Air Jordans.

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Barack Obama just awarded Joe Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom

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In a speech meant to honor Vice President Joe Biden, President Barack Obama did the unexpected and awarded Biden with the Presidential Medal of Freedom with distinction.

.@VP breaks down as @POTUS awards him Presidential Medal of Freedom with distinction pic.twitter.com/mOniQBm1An

— Mashable News (@MashableNews) January 12, 2017

“For the final time as president, I am pleased to award our nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom,” Obama said, prompting a standing ovation. Instantly, Biden broke down in tears.

Biden is one of just a few to receive the award. Past recipients include Colin Powell and Ellsworth Bunker. Read more…

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