Barack Obama Honors Jay Z With Songwriters Hall Of Fame Induction Speech [Watch]

first_imgJay ended his string of “thank yous” by returning Obama’s sentiments: “And the greatest rapper of all time OBAMA. Thank you 44.”Congrats, Hov! On Thursday, The Songwriters Hall of Fame officially inducted Jay Z, making him the first rapper to receive the honor. The induction ceremony included the screening of a video made by former president and all-around cool guy Barack Obama, who congratulates Hov, refers to him as “a friend of mine and a first-ballot Hall of Famer” and, among other amazing sound bytes, jokes that they both “have wives that are significantly more papular than we are.”Obama continues, “I think Mr. Carter and I understand each other. Nobody who met us as younger men would have expected us to be where we are today. We know what it’s like not to have a father around. We know what it’s like to not come from much, and to know people who didn’t get the same breaks as we did. So we try to prop open those doors of opportunity so that it’s a little easier for those who come up behind us have it a littler easier as well. Like all of you, I am a fan: I’ve been listening to Jay since I was a young and hungry state senator. I sampled his lyrics to close his speech at Selma, and tweeted a reference to ‘My First Song’ when I was putting the finishing touches on my final State of the Union address. I had to ‘brush some dirt off my shoulders’ during a campaign. So I’m pretty sure I’m still the only president to listen to Jay Z’s music in the Oval Office.”In closing, Obama repeated a quote that the rapper once said: “I never looked at myself and said ‘I need to be a certain way to be around a certain sort of people.’ I’ve always wanted to stay true to myself and I managed to do that. People have to accept that.”This year’s other inductees include Babyface, Berry Gordy, Robert Lamm, Max Martin, and more. Past inductees include the likes of Robert Hunter, Jerry Garcia, Marvin Gaye, Tom Petty, Elvis Costello, Nile Rodgers, Bob Seger, Gordon Lightfoot, Allen Toussaint, Leonard Cohen, and more.You can watch Obama’s speech honoring this year’s Songwriting Hall of Fame inductees (and, specifically, Jay Z) below:Jay Z was not in attendance to accept the honor in person, but posted a rare series of tweets thanking the organization (and President Obama) for the honor and calling out a host of MCs who influenced his work over the years:last_img read more

IBM awards more than $500,000 in grants to Vermont community organizations

first_imgIBM announced today it has awarded $525,540 in grants, ranging from $500 to $10,000, to more than 100 Vermont not-for-profit organizations and schools throughout the state. The grants were awarded as part of IBM’s celebration of its 100th anniversary in 2011, and made to organizations where IBM employees are volunteers. The grants fund organizations throughout the state supporting the arts, education, disaster and emergency response, the environment, health and youth services, and libraries. These grants bring the approximate value of IBM’s corporate and employee community support in Vermont to $2.7 million for 2011. This includes Centennial Celebration of Service grants and other corporate grants, employee pledges to the company’s annual Employee Charitable Contribution Campaign, and the value of more than 45,000 hours of recorded employee volunteer service. The Centennial grants include 20 IBM Community Impact grants for $10,000 each that support IBM employees’ involvement in local projects that link IBM’s community priorities with a school or not-for-profit organization. In addition, earlier this year IBM announced a $10,000 grant to the DREAM mentoring program and a $100,000 corporate Centennial Grant ‘ one of only 11 awarded worldwide ‘ for an energy efficiency project for HowardCenter and the Vermont State Colleges. IBM is providing nearly $12 million in grants worldwide to schools and not-for-profit organizations this year in recognition of its 100thanniversary. ‘Every one of these IBM grants came to Vermont based on the personal commitment and involvement of IBM employees to community organizations, both as individuals and teams,’ said Janette Bombardier, senior location executive for IBM in Vermont.  ‘IBM’s combined community support reached nearly every corner of the state and is representative of the positive impact made by IBM and its employees in Vermont every year, and particularly during this IBM Centennial year.’ The grants support organizations providing services both regionally and statewide. Some examples include funding for: — A swift water rescue team for Grafton Fire and Rescue — Emergency shelter project of the Northern Vermont Chapter of the American Red Cross — Installation of e-911 signs by Fairfax EMS. — The annual Vermont State Science and Math Fair. — Creation of an environmental curriculum for YMCA’s Camp Hochelega. — Expansion of Linking Learning to Life’s career awareness program into Lamoille and Addison. counties. — Educational programs of Vermont Works for Women.  IBM Vermont 12.20.2011last_img read more

Clawson Hoping For Election Win In Southwest Florida

first_imgCurt Clawson is one of three candidates in a special election for U.S. Congress in Florida on Tuesday. (Image: Facebook)Voters in Southwest Florida have an opportunity to select a Batesville native for U.S. Representative during a special election Tuesday.Curt Clawson, a 1978 graduate of Batesville High School, won the Republican Primary in April.He is one of three candidates to replace former U.S. Rep. Trey Radel who resigned in January after pleading guilty to drug possession.Clawson is the favorite to win the congressional seat Tuesday in the heavily Republican district.He is challenged by Democrat April Freeman and Libertarian Ray Netherwood.The candidate that is voted in will head to Washington D.C. to be sworn in to congress.Clawson led the state of Indiana in scoring as a senior basketball player for the Bulldogs and went on to have a successful playing career for the Purdue Boilermakers. A former CEO and top executive in the auto industry, Clawson has ran his campaign as, “The Outsider For Congress.”last_img read more