President Barack Obama on Monday nominated U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange to the board of trustees for the Harry S Truman Scholarship Foundation.
Miles-LaGrange has been the chief judge in the western district of Oklahoma, based in Oklahoma City, since 2008. She has been a federal judge since 1994. She has also served as U.S. attorney and as an Oklahoma state senator.
The foundation, established by Congress, awards scholarships for graduate studies to students committed to a career in public service.…
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President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama released their tax returns on Friday, as did Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill. The returns can be viewed here
The Obamas had adjusted gross income of $789,674 last year. After deductions and exemptions, their taxable income was $496,376. Their federal income tax bill was $162,074, and they’re due a refund of $24,515.
According to the White House, about half of the income was the president’s salary and the rest came from sales of his books.…
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Mike Turpen, the colorful and energetic Oklahoma City Democrat who once served as Oklahoma Attorney General, lost his mother this week. Marge Turpen Shahan was 84.
Former President Bill Clinton sent a letter eulogizing Shahan. Turpen has long been friends with Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Clinton’s letter is here.
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Sen. Jim Inhofe on Wednesday called it “absolutely disgraceful” that a federal agency put on a lavish training conference in 2010 at a Las Vegas resort. Inhofe, R-Tulsa, wants the Democratic-controlled Senate to hold a hearing on an inspector general’s report about the General Services Administration conference, which cost more than $823,000. The Republican House has already scheduled hearings to investigate it.
Said Inhofe, “It is absolutely disgraceful that as Americans grapple with a struggling economy, we find out that the GSA is partying it up in Las Vegas and sending the $823,000 bill to the American taxpayer.…
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All seven members of Oklahoma’s congressional district sent a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood promoting Southwest Airlines proposal for a direct flight from Oklahoma City to Washington, DC. The lawmakers cite several reasons, including the large federal presence in Oklahoma City that requires travel to and from the nation’s capital. Of course, there is also the fact that members of Congress must fly frequently between Oklahoma City and Washington.
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Oklahoma is one of ten states that won’t have to comply with all of the requirements under the education law known as No Child Left Behind, a White House official confirmed Thursday morning. Oklahoma was among the first 11 states to apply for a waiver after the Obama administration announced last fall that it would relax some of the most controversial provisions.
More later when the official announcement is made, but here is the application Oklahoma submitted for the waiver.…
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Magistrate Judge Robert E. Bacharach, who has been nominated for a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, has been given the highest rating from the American Bar Association: unanimously well-qualified.
Bacharach, who has been a federal magistrate judge in the Western District of Oklahoma, based in Oklahoma City, since 1999, was nominated by President Barack Obama on Jan. 23 for the appeals court. He would replace Robert Henry, who is now president of Oklahoma City University.…
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Rep. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, says he is “outraged” by the Obama administration’s decision requiring birth control to be part of health insurance plans offered by some organizations with a religious affiliation, such as Catholic hospitals or Christian universities.
“I met with presidents of several of Oklahoma’s Christian-affiliated universities this week, and they expressed grave concern about their freedom to practice their faith and values without interference from the federal government,” Lankford said in a statement.
“I share this concern for them and religious organizations across our nation – church, para-church and educational institutions alike.…
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In remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, President Barack Obama said scripture was the basis for some of his policy proposals, including health care reform and financial reform.
You can watch the speech here, and the transcript is below:
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
AT THE NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST
9:10 A.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Please, please, everybody have a seat. Well, good morning, everybody. It is good to be with so many friends united in prayer.…
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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The story of African Americans is a story of resilience and perseverance. It traces a people who refused to accept the circumstances under which they arrived on these shores, and it chronicles the generations who fought for an America that truly reflects the ideals enshrined in our founding documents. It is the narrative of slaves who shepherded others along the path to freedom and preachers who organized against the rules of Jim Crow, of young people who sat-in at lunch counters and ordinary men and women who took extraordinary risks to change our Nation for the better.…
Read the rest of President Barack Obama’s Proclamation for National African American History Month