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Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), the longest-serving member of Congress in US history, died earlier this morning at a Virginia hospital. He was 92.
Politico leads off with Byrd’s rise through West Virginia and his time in the Ku Klux Klan before endorsing President Obama. They follow up with a collection of remembrances from the Senate, including Mitch McConnell:
“Sen. Byrd combined a devotion to the U.S. Constitution with a deep learning of history to defend the interests of his state and the traditions of the Senate. We will remember him for his fighter’s spirit, his abiding faith, and for the many times he recalled the Senate to its purposes.”
There are currently no plans for Byrd’s funeral, but a successor will be chosen shortly.
The New York Times leads off with the health care debate and Senator Byrd’s condition:
Mr. Byrd’s death comes as Senate Democrats are working to pass the final version of the financial overhaul bill and win other procedural battles in the week before the Independence Day recess. In the polarized atmosphere of Washington, President Obama’s agenda seemed to hinge on Mr. Byrd’s health. Earlier this year, in the final days of the health care debate, the ailing senator was pushed onto the Senate floor in his plaid wheelchair so he could cast his votes.
The Charleston Gazette brings up Senator Byrd’s infamous bid to move the CIA offices and reaction to being named Porker Of The Year in 2002 by Citizens Against Government Waste (“Such criticism rolled off me like water from a duck’s back,” Byrd wrote in his autobiography.)
At The Takeaway, Senator Byrd’s defiant and poetic attitude is clearly summed up in an exchange outside the Senate:
Once during the height of the Iraq War, Byrd slowly passed through a group of reporters on his way to the Senate floor. I remember him stopping, turning toward us and wagging his finger. “The Fourth Estate. The Fourth Estate! Defenders of liberty!” he shouted as he shot his index finger into the air. “Defend it,” he said, as he looked at each of us. “Defend it.”
If your name happens to be Rolling Stone, Stanley McChrystal or David Petraeus, the last 48 hours have been a non-stop viral media roller coaster.
Whether it’s happenstance or kismet that President Obama chose to speak an hour before Game 6 of the NBA Finals for his first Oval Office speech on the Gulf oil spill remains to be seen. The president’s confidence in the Lake-show may falter tonight, but his message for BP and the coast likely won’t.
The New York Times makes the case that comparing the oil spill to the economy may not be far off, “Now the president must strike the same sort of balance in talking to the nation about the oil spill. And he has chosen to do so from the familiar office that Americans since the dawn of the television age have come to associate with big moments — for them, and for presidents.”
It’s tough to get a straight answer these days about Facebook’s troubled privacy policies but Mark Zuckerberg was coerced into unveiling a secret of his own at the Wall Street Journal’s D8: All Things Digital conference – what’s inside his hoodie.
Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher had Zuckerberg on the hot seat when Swisher skillfully slid in the request. The young CEO was reluctant at first until the warm stage lights and the thick hoodie added up to one sweaty situation. Zuckerberg unzipped, and Swisher joked we were witnessing a “great moment in Internet history.”
So what is printed inside the Facebook hoodie? Their mission motto: Making the world more open and connected. Swisher likened the design to “a secret cult” and wondered if the “weird symbol” in the middle was for the Illuminati. Take a look below and click here for more from the Zuckerberg D8 interview.
School may soon be out for the summer, but First Lady Michelle Obama has a lesson for hundreds of chefs around the country: healthy eating = healthy kids.
That simple equation means a big assignment for celebrity chefs, culinary experts and cooks who are being recruited for the “Chefs Move! to Schools” program, part of “Let’s Move!” – the First Lady’s initiative aimed at fighting childhood obesity within a generation. The adopt-a-school program will pair a cooking expert with a public school in order to teach students about nutrition and healthy eating.
Some familiar faces are helping to kick-off the program this afternoon on the White House South Lawn. POLITICO reports Rachael Ray will be on hand, as well as other Food Network stars including: Cat Cora, Anne Burrell, Aaron Sanchez, Ellie Krieger and Alex Guarnaschell.
Watch the event LIVE at 12:30PM EDT here on WHCInsider.com.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs wowed the crowd at The Wall Street Journal’s 8th D: All Things Digital conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. In 2007, when Jobs last spoke to All Things Digital conference attendees, the world hadn’t touched an iPhone or imagined the iPad. What a difference a few years can make.
Check out what Jobs had to say in these clips of his speech to this year’s sold out D8 conference, including his thoughts on the smartphone market and the love hate relationship Apple has with Adobe’s Flash.
The three-day conference brings top innovators to the table to discuss media and technology – but this is Southern California, after all, so they also let their hair down at the AOL after party. Check out the photos of movie moguls and top tech geeks, including FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Rupert and Wendi Murdoch, Arianna Huffington, Eric Hippeau, Tim Armstrong, and Jennifer Khoury, enjoying a set from Natasha Bedingfield.
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President Barack Obama will be striking up the band tonight when he presides over an all-star tribute to Sir Paul McCartney at the White House. The famed Beatle is being honored with the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
The prize, named after the American songwriting team of brothers George and Ira Gershwin (“I Got Rhythm,” “S’Wonderful”), celebrates McCartney’s fifty years in the music business. 2009 Gershwin Prize winner Stevie Wonder will be on hand to mark the occasion, as will Herbie Hancock, Elvis Costello, and the Jonas Brothers (who dazzled fans with a free concert at Warner Theatre early this morning).
McCartney is the first non-American to receive the prize after Wonder in 2009 and Paul Simon in 2007. Tonight’s concert will be televised on July 28.