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Pres. Obama and Trump let their guards down at White House

buzzz worthy. . . By Mona Austin President Obama and Donald Trump met for the first time on Thursday to begin talks about the official...

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Saturday, January 7, 2017


buzzz worthy. . .

Nashville, TN (January 4, 2017) — Motown Gospel is set to release a timely digital-only compilation project, ‘Heal: Songs of Hope for Our Nation,’ on January 13, 2017. In an unprecedented time of confusion, turmoil, and tension for our country, the 10-song collection will soothe our souls and reignite our trust in God through powerful songs of inspiration and encouragement.

Leading the project is “Heal (Find A Way),” an all-new song from GRAMMY®-nominated artist Brian Courtney Wilson. Written by Wilson and produced by Warryn Campbell, the passionate song of restoration showcases Wilson’s distinct vocals which resonate with emotion. “This song is for anyone who believes in God's power to heal and refuses to give up hope,” Wilson says.
The album also features a bevy of Motown Gospel’s GRAMMY®-winning and chart-topping artists including Tasha Cobbs, Tye Tribbett, Smokie Norful, VaShawn Mitchell, Myron Butler and more.

From social justice and civil rights issues to the inauguration of a new President, ‘Heal: Songs of Hope for Our Nation’ will unify us through music, reminding us of God’s ability to heal and restore.
Track Listing:
1.     Heal (Find A Way)—Brian Courtney Wilson
2.     Make A Way—Janice Gaines
3.     Put Your Armor On—Royce Lovett
4.     Not Too Late To Dream—Sheri Jones-Moffet
5.     Heaven’s Rain—Myron Butler & Levi
6.     Confidence—Tasha Cobbs
7.     Watching—VaShawn Mitchell
8.     Greater Than—Tye Tribbett
9.     Don’t Quit—Smokie Norful
10.  Worth Fighting For---Brian Courtney Wilson
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Friday, January 6, 2017


buzzz worthy. . .

The start of  2017 has gone from bad to worse for gospel singer Kim Burrell.  In retaliation to her controversial stance on homosexual relations, the Houston based pastor has been the subject of backlash both on and offline.  

During a New Year Eve service Burrell stated homosexuality is a sin and a perversion.  The video of the service went viral and the story made national news headlines in mainstream media.  Her career has taken a major hit.  First she was dis-invited from performing music from the movie "Hidden Figures" with Pharrell Williams on Ellen. Then her radio show was cancelled.  Today, music rights organization BMI joined the chorus of detractors issuing a statement saying Burrell will not take part in the upcoming Trailblazers of Gospel ceremony,essentially ousting her as an honoree. 

The BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music ceremony is an annual event exclusive to industry professionals that is designed to celebrate the music nd songwriting talent of accomplished gospel acts.  The event is highly anticipated.  This year along with Marvin Sapp, Kim  Burrell was to be a recipient of the honor. Each honoree is honored by being serenaded by their peers.

BMI  did not indicate how eliminating Burrell from the program will affect its format or whether she will be replaced.

Is Burrell being treated unfairly s someone exercising religious freedom or is she guilty of spewing hate speech?

The statement from BMI follows in its entirety:

BMI STATEMENT ON KIM BURRELLJanuary 6, 2017 -- BMI’s Trailblazers of Gospel Music is an annual celebration of gospel music and its many talented songwriters. Given the controversy surrounding this year’s co-honoree Kim Burrell, we have asked her to not take part in the ceremony in order to allow the focus to remain on the songwriters and their music. BMI was founded over 76 years ago with an open door policy to welcome songwriters across all genres, and that same spirit of tolerance, diversity and inclusiveness continues today.
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FULL TRANSCRIPT AND VIDEO: First Lady Michelle Obama champions education in final speech

buzzz worthy. . .

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- She barely held it together.  Others in the room couldn't help but shed a few tears when First Lady Michelle Obama got choked up delivering her final official message at the White House today in honor of the School Counselor of the Year. FLOTUS started the recognition ceremony five years ago and linked it to her Reach Higher education initiative in 2014. 

The  2017 School Counselor of the Year, is Terri Tchorzynski of Michigan who went beyond the call of duty to assist students with college readiness at the Calhoun Center in Michigan.

Higher Education and fitness are the legacies of Michelle Obama. Naturally the speech was about young people and the future and it rang with optimism.  For 20 minutes Mrs. Obama talked about the importance of higher education and overcoming obstacles to reach goals.In her parting words she encouraged everyone to continue to dream. 

Tears welled up in her eyes as she concluded the speech saying, "Being your first lady has been the greatest honor of my life and I hope I've made you proud."

The crowd signified their approval with claps, cheers and tears.



Hello, everyone.  And, may I say for the last time officially, welcome to the White House.  Yes!  (Applause.)  Well, we are beyond thrilled to have you all here to celebrate the 2017 National School Counselor of the Year, as well as all of our State Counselors of the Year.  These are the fine women, and a few good men -- (laughter) -- one good man -- who are on this stage, and they represent schools from across this country. 

And I want to start by thanking Terri for that wonderful introduction and her right-on-the-spot remarks.  I’m going to say a lot more about Terri in a few minutes, but first I want to take a moment to acknowledge a few people who are here. 

First, our outstanding Secretary of Education, John King.  (Applause.)  As well as our former Education Secretary, Arne Duncan.  (Applause.)  I want to take this time to thank you both publicly for your dedication and leadership and friendship.  We couldn’t do this without the support of the Department of Education under both of your leadership.  So I’m grateful to you personally, and very proud of all that you’ve done for this country. 

I also want to acknowledge a few other special guests we have in the audience.  We’ve got a pretty awesome crew.  As one of my staff said, “You roll pretty deep.”  (Laughter.)  I’m like, well, yeah, we have a few good friends.  We have with us today Ted Allen, La La Anthony, Connie Britton, Andy Cohen -- yeah, Andy Cohen is here -- (laughter) -- Carla Hall, Coach Jim Harbaugh and his beautiful wife, who’s a lot better looking than him -- (laughter) -- Lana Parrilla, my buddy Jay Pharoah, Kelly Rowland, Usher --


MRS. OBAMA:  Keep it down.  (Laughter.)  Keep it together, ladies.  Wale is here.  And of course, Allison Williams and her mom are here. 

And all these folks are here because they’re using their star power to inspire our young people.  And I’m so grateful to all of you for stepping up in so many ways on so many occasions.  I feel like I’ve pestered you over these years, asking time and time again, “Well, where are you going to be?”  “I’m going to be in New York.”  “Can you come?  Can you come here?  Can you do this?  Can you take that?  Can you ask for that?  Can you come?  Can we rap?  Can we sing?”  (Laughter.)  So thank you all so much.  It really means the world to this initiative to have such powerful, respected and admired individuals speaking on behalf of this issue.  So congratulations on the work that you’ve done, and we’re going to keep working. 

And today, I especially want to recognize all these -- extraordinary leadership team that was behind Reach Higher from day one.  And this isn’t on the script so they don’t know this.  I want to take time to personally acknowledge a couple of people.  Executive Director Eric Waldo.  (Applause.)  Where is Eric?  He’s in the -- you’ve got to step out.  (Applause.)  Eric is acting like he’s a ham, but he likes the spotlight.  (Laughter.)  He’s acting a little shy. 

I want to recognize our Deputy Director, Stephanie Sprow.  Stephanie.  (Applause.)  And he’s really not going to like this because he tries to pretend like he doesn’t exist at all, but our Senior Advisor, Greg Darnieder.  (Applause.)  There you go.  Greg has been a leader in education his entire life.  I’ve known him since I was a little organizer person.  And it’s just been just a joy to work with you all.  These individuals, they are brilliant.  They are creative.  They have worked miracles with hardly any staff or budget to speak of -- which is how we roll in the First Lady’s Office.  (Laughter.)  And I am so proud and so, so grateful to you all for everything that you’ve done.  So let’s give them a round of applause.  (Applause.) 

And finally, I want to recognize all of you who are here in this audience.  We have our educators, our leaders, our young people who have been with us since we launched Reach Higher back in 2014.  Now, when we first came up with this idea, we had one clear goal in mind:  We wanted to make higher education cool.  We wanted to change the conversation around what it means and what it takes to be a success in this country.  Because let’s be honest, if we’re always shining the spotlight on professional athletes or recording artists or Hollywood celebrities, if those are the only achievements we celebrate, then why would we ever think kids would see college as a priority?

So we decided to flip the script and shine a big, bright spotlight on all things educational.  For example, we made College Signing Day a national event.  We wanted to mimic all the drama and excitement traditionally reserved for those few amazing football and basketball players choosing their college and university teams.  We wanted to focus that same level of energy and attention on kids going to college because of their academic achievements.  Because as a nation, that’s where the spotlight should also be –- on kids who work hard in school and do the right thing when no one is watching, many beating daunting odds.

Next, we launched Better Make Room.  It’s a social media campaign to give young people the support and inspiration they need to actually complete higher education.  And to really drive that message home, you may recall that I debuted my music career -- (laughter) -- rapping with Jay about getting some knowledge by going to college.  (Laughter and applause.) 

We are also very proud of all that this administration has done to make higher education more affordable.  We doubled investments in Pell grants and college tax credits.  We expanded income-based loan repayment options for tens of millions of students.  We made it easier to apply for financial aid.  We created a College Scorecard to help students make good decisions about higher education.  And we provided new funding and support for school counselors.  (Applause.)  Altogether, we made in this administration the largest investment in higher education since the G.I. Bill.  (Applause.)  And today, the high school graduation rate is at a record high, and more young people than ever before are going to college.

And we know that school counselors like all of the folks standing with me on this stage have played a critical role in helping us get there.  In fact, a recent study showed that students who met with a school counselor to talk about financial aid or college were three times more likely to attend college, and they were nearly seven times more likely to apply for financial aid. 

So our school counselors are truly among the heroes of the Reach Higher story.  And that’s why we created this event two years ago, because we thought that they should finally get some recognition.  (Applause.)  We wanted everyone to know about the difference that these phenomenal men and women have been making in the lives of our young people every day.  And our 2017 School Counselor of the Year, Terri Tchorzynski, is a perfect example.

As you heard, Terri works at the Calhoun Area Career Center, a career and technical education school in Michigan.  And here’s what Terri’s principal said about her in his letter of recommendation.  He said, “Once she identifies a systemic need, she works tirelessly to address it.” 

So when students at Terri’s school reported feeling unprepared to apply for higher education, Terri sprang into action to create a school-wide, top-to-bottom college-readiness effort.  Under Terri’s leadership, more students than ever before attended workshops on resume writing, FAFSA completion -- yes, I can now say FAFSA -- (laughter) -- and interview preparation.  I can barely say it.  (Laughter.)  They did career and personal -- personality assessments.  They helped plan a special college week.  And they organized a Military Day, hosting recruiters from all branches of our armed forces.  And because of these efforts, today, 75 percent of Calhoun’s seniors now complete key college application steps, and Terri’s school has won state and national recognition.

And all of this is just one small part of what Terri does for her students each day.  I can go on and on about all the time she spends one-on-one with students, helping them figure out their life path.  Terri told us -- as you heard, she told us about one of those students, so we reached out to Kyra.  And here’s what Kyra had to say in her own words.  Kyra wrote that “Mrs. Tchorzynski has helped me grow to love myself.  She helped me with my doubts and insecurities.”  She said, my life has changed “for the better in all aspects.”  Kyra said, “She held my hand through my hardest times.”  She said, “Mrs. Tchorzynski is my lifesaver.”  That’s what Kyra said.  (Laughter.) 

And this is what each of you do every single day.  You see the promise in each of your students.  You believe in them even when they can’t believe in themselves, and you work tirelessly to help them be who they were truly meant to be.  And you do it all in the face of some overwhelming challenges –- tight budgets, impossible student-counselor ratios -- yeah, amen -- (laughter) -- endless demands on your time. 

You all come in early, you stay late.  You reach into your own pockets -- and see, we’ve got the amen corner.  (Laughter.)  You stick with students in their darkest moments, when they’re most anxious and afraid.  And if anyone is dealing with a college [high school] senior or junior, you know what this feels like.  These men and women show them that those kids matter; that they have something to offer; that no matter where they’re from or how much money their parents have, no matter what they look like or who they love or how they worship or what language they speak at home, they have a place in this country.

And as I end my time in the White House, I can think of no better message to send our young people in my last official remarks as First Lady.  So for all the young people in this room and those who are watching, know that this country belongs to you –- to all of you, from every background and walk of life.  If you or your parents are immigrants, know that you are part of a proud American tradition –- the infusion of new cultures, talents and ideas, generation after generation, that has made us the greatest country on earth. 

If your family doesn’t have much money, I want you to remember that in this country, plenty of folks, including me and my husband –- we started out with very little.  But with a lot of hard work and a good education, anything is possible -- even becoming President.  That’s what the American Dream is all about.  (Applause.) 

If you are a person of faith, know that religious diversity is a great American tradition, too.  In fact, that’s why people first came to this country –- to worship freely.  And whether you are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh -- these religions are teaching our young people about justice, and compassion, and honesty.  So I want our young people to continue to learn and practice those values with pride.  You see, our glorious diversity -- our diversities of faiths and colors and creeds -- that is not a threat to who we are, it makes us who we are.  (Applause.)  So the young people here and the young people out there:  Do not ever let anyone make you feel like you don’t matter, or like you don’t have a place in our American story -- because you do.  And you have a right to be exactly who you are. 
But I also want to be very clear:  This right isn’t just handed to you.  No, this right has to be earned every single day.  You cannot take your freedoms for granted.  Just like generations who have come before you, you have to do your part to preserve and protect those freedoms.  And that starts right now, when you’re young. 

Right now, you need to be preparing yourself to add your voice to our national conversation.  You need to prepare yourself to be informed and engaged as a citizen, to serve and to lead, to stand up for our proud American values and to honor them in your daily lives.  And that means getting the best education possible so you can think critically, so you can express yourself clearly, so you can get a good job and support yourself and your family, so you can be a positive force in your communities.  

And when you encounter obstacles -- because I guarantee you, you will, and many of you already have -- when you are struggling and you start thinking about giving up, I want you to remember something that my husband and I have talked about since we first started this journey nearly a decade ago, something that has carried us through every moment in this White House and every moment of our lives, and that is the power of hope -- the belief that something better is always possible if you’re willing to work for it and fight for it.

It is our fundamental belief in the power of hope that has allowed us to rise above the voices of doubt and division, of anger and fear that we have faced in our own lives and in the life of this country.  Our hope that if we work hard enough and believe in ourselves, then we can be whatever we dream, regardless of the limitations that others may place on us.  The hope that when people see us for who we truly are, maybe, just maybe they, too, will be inspired to rise to their best possible selves.

That is the hope of students like Kyra who fight to discover their gifts and share them with the world.  It’s the hope of school counselors like Terri and all these folks up here who guide those students every step of the way, refusing to give up on even a single young person.  Shoot, it’s the hope of my -- folks like my dad who got up every day to do his job at the city water plant; the hope that one day, his kids would go to college and have opportunities he never dreamed of.

That’s the kind of hope that every single one of us -– politicians, parents, preachers –- all of us need to be providing for our young people.  Because that is what moves this country forward every single day -– our hope for the future and the hard work that hope inspires. 

So that’s my final message to young people as First Lady.  It is simple.  (Applause.)  I want our young people to know that they matter, that they belong.  So don’t be afraid –- you hear me, young people?  Don’t be afraid.  Be focused.  Be determined.  Be hopeful.  Be empowered.  Empower yourselves with a good education, then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise.  Lead by example with hope, never fear.  And know that I will be with you, rooting for you and working to support you for the rest of my life. 

And that is true I know for every person who are here -- is here today, and for educators and advocates all across this nation who get up every day and work their hearts out to lift up our young people.  And I am so grateful to all of you for your passion and your dedication and all the hard work on behalf of our next generation.  And I can think of no better way to end my time as First Lady than celebrating with all of you.

So I want to close today by simply saying thank you.  Thank you for everything you do for our kids and for our country.  Being your First Lady has been the greatest honor of my life, and I hope I’ve made you proud.  (Applause.) 

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Thursday, January 5, 2017


buzzz worthy. . .
 Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

On  Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017 outgoing Pres. Barack Obama, formally said farewell to the armed forces as Commander-In-Chief.  Obama praised service members and their families for a job well done while noting the military shrunk and sentiment toward the sacrifice of people in uniform waned. He especially saluted the military for taking down Osama bin Laden in the fight against terrorism. Sec. of Defense Ash Carter honored Pres.Obama with a service medal.

Ft. Myer, VA:

Well, good afternoon.  It turns out these are easier when you're talking about somebody else.  (Laughter.)  At a moment like this, I think of all the times I’ve stood before our men and women in uniform.  Commissioning our newest officers.  Presiding over promotions.  Presenting the Commander-in Chief’s Trophy to -- the best football team in the military.  I will let you argue over that one.  (Laughter.)  I have never taken sides.

Secretary Carter, I could not be more grateful for your gracious words, but more importantly, for your outstanding leadership, across, as you noted, more than three decades and nearly all of my presidency.  You have always given me, Ash, your best strategic counsel.  You’ve made sure that we were investing in innovation for the long term and a strong Force of the Future.  As a physicist, Ash is also one of the few people who actually understands how our defense systems work.  And I know that our troops and their families are immensely grateful for the compassion that you and Stephanie have shown them over the years.  So to you and your family, on behalf of all of us, thank you for your outstanding service.  (Applause.) 

General Dunford, we’ve relied on you as Commandant of the Marine Corps, as our commander in Afghanistan, and now, as our nation’s highest-ranking military officer.  I thank you, and General Selva and the entire Joint Chiefs for the unvarnished military advice that you’ve always provided to me, for your dedication, for your professionalism, for you integrity.  Because of you, because of this team, our Armed Forces are more integrated and better prepared across domains -- a truly Joint Force.  Which is why, as a White Sox fan, I can overlook the fact that you love the Red Sox.  (Laughter.)  Moreover, on a personal note, outside of your professional qualities, you are a good man, and I am grateful to have worked with you.  And thank Ellyn for allowing you to do this.  (Applause.) 

To members of Congress; Vice President Biden -- who, along with Jill, has known the love and the pride and the sacrifice of a military family.  To Deputy Secretary Work; service secretaries; distinguished guests; dedicated civilians from across the Defense Department; my national security team; most of all, our men and women in uniform.  I thank you for this honor, and for the warmth and respect that you’ve always shown me, the support that you’ve shown Michelle and our daughters during these past eight years. 

And so, although I recognize that the formalities require me listening to praise directed in large part to me, I want to turn the tables -- I am still Commander-in-Chief, so I get to do what I want to do -- and I want to thank you.  Of all the privileges of this office -- and there are many -- I will miss Air Force One, I will miss Marine One -- (laughter) -- but I can stand before you today and say that there has been no greater privilege, and no greater honor, than serving as the Commander-in-Chief of the greatest military in the history of the world.  (Applause.) 
When I took office, I noted that Presidents and those of you in uniform swear a similar oath -- to protect and defend this country and the Constitution that we cherish.  By stepping forward and volunteering, by raising your right hand and taking that oath, each of you made a solemn pledge.  You committed yourself to a life of service and of sacrifice.  And I, in turn, made a promise to you, which, to the best of my abilities, I've  tried to uphold every single day since, that I would only send you into harm's way when it is absolutely necessary, with the strategy, the well-defined goals, with the equipment and the support that you needed to get the job done.  Because that’s what you rightfully expect and that is what you rightfully deserve.

I made that pledge at a time when less than one percent of Americans wear the uniform.  Fewer Americans know someone who serves.  And as a result, a lot of Americans don’t see the sacrifices you make on our behalf.  But as Commander-in-Chief, I do.  I’ve seen it when I looked into the eyes of young cadets, knowing that my decisions could very well send them into harm’s way.  I’ve seen it when I’ve visited the field -- at Bagram and Baghdad -- far from your families, risking your lives so that we can live ours safely and in freedom.  And so you’ve inspired me, and I have been humbled by you consistently.  And I want every American to know what I know -- through year after year after year of continuous military operations -- you have earned your place among the greatest generations.

The list of accomplishments that Joe and Ash so generously mentioned, they’re because of you.  It's what I tell my staff -- I'm the front man, but you're the ones doing the work.  Because of you, our alliances are stronger, from Europe to the Asia Pacific.  Because of you, we surged in Afghanistan, trained Afghan forces to defend their country, while bringing most of our troops home.  Today our forces serve there on a more limited mission -- because we must never again allow Afghanistan to be used for a safe haven in attacks against our nation.

It's because of you -- particularly our remarkable Special Forces -- that the core al Qaeda leadership that attacked us on 9/11 has been decimated.  Countless terrorist leaders, including Osama bin Laden, are gone.  From South Asia to Africa, we have forged partnerships to go after terrorists that threaten us.  Because of you, we are leading a global coalition against ISIL.  These terrorists have lost about half of their territory.  They are losing their leaders.  Towns and cities are being liberated.  And I have no doubt this barbaric terrorist group will be destroyed -- because of you.

You've shown that when it comes to fighting terrorism, we can be strong and we can be smart.  Not by letting our forces get dragged into sectarian conflicts and civil wars, but with smart, sustainable, principled partnerships.  That’s how we’ve brought most of our troops home -- nearly 180,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan down to 15,000 today.  That’s how, even as we’ve suffered terrible attacks here at home, from Boston to Orlando, no foreign terrorist organization has successfully planned and executed an attack on our homeland these past eight years.   

Because of you, the world has seen the awesome reach of American Armed Forces.  In some of the first few weeks of my job, when Somali pirates took Captain Phillips, later on, when they kidnapped Jessica Buchanan, it was you that went in and you that risked everything, and you that brought these Americans home to their families. 

The world has seen your compassion -- the help you deliver in times of crisis, from an earthquake in Haiti to the tsunami in Japan.  Think of Ebola and the countless lives this Armed Forces saved in West Africa.  It was you that set up the architecture and set the example for the world's response.  One woman in West Africa said, “We thanked God first and then we thanked America second for caring about us.”  That’s the difference you make -- you continue to make -- in the lives of people around the world.

As you know well, with service comes great sacrifice.  And after 15 years of war, our wounded warriors bear the scars -- both seen and unseen.  In my visits to their bedsides and rehab centers, I have been in awe, watching a wounded warrior grab his walker and pull himself up and, and through excruciating pain, take a step, and then another.  Or hearing troops describe how they grappled with post-traumatic stress but summoned the strength to ask for help.  As a military and as a nation, we have to keep supporting our resilient and incredibly strong wounded warriors as they learn to walk and run and heal.  As they find new ways to keep serving our nation, they need to know that we still need your incredible talents.  You've given so much to America, and I know you have more to give.

And then you have not seen the depths of true love and true patriotism until you’ve been to Dover, when our troops receive our fallen heroes on their final journey home; until you have grieved with our Gold Star families who’ve given a piece of their heart to our nation -- a son or a daughter, a father or mother, a husband or wife, a brother or a sister.  Every one a patriot.  Every single one of these American families deserves the everlasting gratitude and support of our entire nation.     

Today, after two major ground wars, our Armed Forces have drawn down, and that is natural and it is necessary.  And after reckless budget cuts of sequester, we need to keep improving the readiness, and the training, and modernizing our forces.  So let me take this opportunity, while I still have it, to appeal to our friends from Congress who are here:  We cannot go back to sequestration.  There is a responsible way forward -- investing in America’s strengths, our national security and our economic security.  Investing in the reform and the equipment and support that our troops need, including the pay and the benefits, and the quality of life, and the education and the jobs that our troops and our veterans and all of your families deserve.   

But make no mistake, even with the challenges of recent years -- and there have been challenges-- our allies and adversaries alike understand America’s military remains, by far, the most capable fighting force on the face of the Earth.  Our Army, tested by years of combat, is the best-trained and best-equipped land force on the planet.  Our Navy is the largest and most lethal in the world -- on track to surpass 300 ships.  Our Air Force, with its precision and reach, is unmatched.  Our Marine Corps is the world’s only truly expeditionary force.  Our Coast Guard is the finest in the world. 

And we’re also the best because this military has come to welcome the talents of more of our fellow Americans.  Service members can now serve the country they love without hiding who they are or who they love.  All combat positions in our military are now open to women.  And Joe Biden and I know that women are at least as strong as men.  We’re stronger for it.  It’s one of the reasons that our military stands apart as the most respected institution in our nation by a mile.  (Applause.)  The American people look up to you and your devotion to duty, and your integrity, and your sense of honor, and your commitment to each other. 

One of my proudest achievements is that I have been able to, I think, communicate through the constant partisan haze, along with so many others, how special this institution is, and the esteem in which our military is held has held steady and constant and high throughout my presidency.  And I’m very grateful for that.  Because you remind us that we are united as one team.  At times of division, you’ve shown what it means to pull together.

So my days as your Commander-in-Chief are coming to an end, and as I reflect on the challenges we have faced together and on those to come, I believe that one of the greatest tasks before our Armed Forces is to retain the high confidence that the American people rightly place in you.  This is a responsibility not simply for those of you in uniform, but for those who lead you.  It’s the responsibility of our entire nation.

And so we are called to remember core principles:  That we must never hesitate to act when necessary to defend our nation, but we must also never rush into war -- because sending you into harm’s way should be a last and not first resort.  It should be compelled by the needs of our security and not our politics.  We need to remember that we must not give in to the false illusion of isolationism, because in this dangerous time, oceans alone will not protect us, and the world still seeks and needs our leadership as the one indispensable nation. 

We have to remember that our military has to be prepared for the full spectrum of threats, conventional and unconventional, from 20th century-style aggression to 21st century-style cyber threats.  And when we do go to war, we have to hold ourselves to high standards and do everything in our power to prevent the loss of innocent life, because that’s what we stand for.  That’s what we should stand for.  We have to remember that as we meet the threats of our time, we cannot sacrifice our values or our way of life -- the rule of law and openness and tolerance that defines us as Americans, that is our greatest strength and makes us a beacon to the world.  We cannot sacrifice the very freedoms that we’re fighting for.

And finally, in our democracy, the continued strength of our all-volunteer force also rests on something else -- a strong bond of respect and trust between those in uniform and the citizens that you protect and defend.  At a time when too few Americans truly understand the realities or sacrifices of military service, at a time when many political leaders have not served, if some in the military begin to feel as though somehow they are apart from the larger society they serve those bonds can fray. 

As every generation learns anew, freedom is not free.  And so while less than 1 percent of Americans may be fighting our wars, 100 percent of Americans can do their parts -- at the very least -- to support you and your families.  Everybody can do something -- every business, every profession, every school, every community, every state -- to reach out and to give back, and to let you know that we care, to help make the lives of our troops and your families just a little bit easier.  Everybody can do something. 

And that’s why Michelle and Jill Biden have mobilized more Americans to honor and support you and your families through Joining Forces.  And that’s why, even after we leave the White House, Michelle and I intend to keep on looking for ways to help rally more of our fellow citizens to be there for you, just like you’ve always been there for us. 

So we can’t say it enough and we can’t show it enough.  Thank you for your patriotism.  Thank you for your professionalism.  Thank you for your character in representing the very best of the American spirit.  Our nation endures -- we live free under the red, white and blue -- because of patriots like you. 

It has been a privilege of a lifetime to serve with you.  I have learned much from you.  I’m a better man having worked with you.  I’m confident that the United States and our Armed Forces will remain the greatest force for freedom and security that the world has ever known. 

God bless you and your families.  And God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.) 

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Lady Gaga to headline 2017 Super Bowl

buzzz worthy. . .

Every star has their own unique rituals they practice before a big show.  Lady Gaga ha a unique way of preparing for the Super Bowl half time show she will be headlining on Feb. 5 -- horse back riding!  Gaga posted a pic of herself riding through the trails on her beautiful white horse Arabella.  Maybe a relaxing ride through nature sends relaxing vibes to the vocal chords. Hey, we're not judging.  Whatever works we re looking forward to seeing her put on a dynamic show as usual on February 5, 2017.
Global superstar LADY GAGA, winner of six Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, and Academy Award nominee, will headline the PEPSI ZERO SUGAR SUPER BOWL LI HALFTIME SHOW on FOX at NRG Stadium in Houston on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017.
Lady Gaga is a one-of-a kind artist and performer. Her new single "Perfect Illusion" off her upcoming fifth studio album "Joanne," due out October 21st debuted at #1 on iTunes in 60 countries. She holds the distinction of generating three consecutive Number One albums on the Billboard Hot 100, has won an aforementioned six Grammy Awards, and was recently featured as Billboard's "Woman of the Year." She has amassed an outstanding 30 million global album sales and 150 million single sales, making her one of the best-selling musicians of all time. Lady Gaga expanded her talents to television last Fall when she appeared as The Countess on the fifth season of Ryan Murphy's anthology series "American Horror Story: Hotel" for FX Network. Subsequently, she won the Golden Globe Award for "Best Actress -- Miniseries or Television Film" for her performance on the show. Next up she will star in the Bradley Cooper-directed film "A Star is Born" for Warner Bros. Pictures.
This will be Lady Gaga's second time performing on the Super Bowl stage, after having sang the National Anthem at Super Bowl 50 last February.
This announcement is just the beginning. On Sunday, October 2, fans are encouraged to tune in to the FOX NFL Sunday Pregame Show at 12:00 PM ET on local FOX stations for an exclusive in-studio interview, as Lady Gaga joins Curt Menefee and Michael Strahan to offer a glimpse into what she has in store for this historic Halftime Show.
Leading up to Super Bowl LI, fans may visit Pepsi.com for behind the scenes looks into Lady Gaga's journey to the Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show and a chance to win sideline passes to see her perform live at NRG Stadium in Houston.
Lady Gaga joins an esteemed list of recent halftime acts including Coldplay, Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Madonna, The Who, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Prince, the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, U2 and more.
The Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show is the most-watched musical event of the year. More than 116.5 million viewers in the U.S. watched last year's show. Super Bowl LI and Halftime Show will be broadcast by FOX Sports from NRG Stadium in Houston.
Super Bowl LI marks Pepsi's fifth year as title sponsor of the Super Bowl Halftime Show and 15th year as an NFL partner. Pepsi and the NFL have teamed up again to provide fans with a halftime experience worthy of pop-culture's biggest stage.
Visit Pepsi.com leading up to Super Bowl LI to see what this historic Halftime Show has in store for fans. For more information about Super Bowl LI, visit SuperBowl.com. For more Lady Gaga visit www.ladygaga.com and www.littlemonsters.com.
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buzzz worthy. . .

The hit series “L.A. Hair,” featuring the incomparable celebrity hair stylist Kim Kimble, returns on Thursday, January 5 at 9:00 PM ET/PT.  This season, Kim brings in five new stylists for a coveted spot at her salon, while preparing for a business and product line expansion. She also continues to grow her list of celebrity clientele, with Mya, Anthony Anderson, Chrisette Michelle, LisaRaye, and Toccara among the high-profile clients featured over the course of the season.
“Kim Kimble is successful, talented and fierce, and we are glad to bring viewers back into her ‘Kimpire’ for a fifth season of ‘L.A. Hair,’ which has been a hit with viewers since its inception,” said Marc Juris, WE tv’s president.  “The show is an important part of our lineup and a big part of the reason that WE tv is the #1 cable network for African-American adults and women on Thursday nights.”
Season 4 was the highest rated season of “L.A. Hair” to date, with more than one million total viewers on average per episode. In season 5 of “L.A. Hair,” Kim remains determined to continue dominating the hair industry in Los Angeles and decides to clean house, bringing in a whole new staff. Stacey Morris, MaCray Huff, Jay Jones, Giorgio Van Gogh, James Wright and Tiger all join her team, but it remains to be seen if they live up to Kim’s high standards. In addition, to stay ahead of the competition, Kim enters an unlikely joint venture with her arch nemesis, Jonathan Antin.
Following the premiere of returning series “L.A. Hair,” WE tv will premiere new paranormal docu-series “Ghosts In the Hood,” on January 5th at 10:00 PM ET/PT. “Ghosts In the Hood” blends humor with the supernatural and follows a group of diverse ghost hunters as they investigate strange and unexplained supernatural phenomena in some of the most haunted places in Los Angeles.
“L.A. Hair” is produced for WE tv by 3 Ball Entertainment and executive produced by Todd A. Nelson, JD Roth, DJ Nurre and Jen McClure-Metz.   Lauren Gellert, Angela Molloy and Sitarah Pendelton-Eaglin are the executive producers for WE tv.

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