These are the 7 most inspiring lines from Obama's triumphant return to politics.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

Barack Obama is back. We've missed you, Mr. President.

In a speech at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Obama officially returned to politics in a pointed talk about why people need to vote in this year's midterm elections.

You can watch the full speech here.


It was the first time Obama has mentioned President Trump by name since leaving office. And he made it count.

And it's just the beginning. On Saturday, Obama will rally for candidates in California before hitting the road to Ohio. And if this first speech is any indicator, his return to the political arena could have a real impact.

In the meantime, here are the 7 most important lines from his speech:

He said democracy itself is at stake.

"I’m here today because this is one of those pivotal moments when every one of us as citizens of the United States need to determine just who we are, what it is that we stand for. As a fellow citizen, not as an ex-president, I’m here to deliver a simple message, which is that you need to vote, because our democracy depends on it."

He pointed out that Trump literally doesn't have the backbone to criticize Nazis.

"We are Americans. We’re supposed to stand up to bullies, not follow them. We’re supposed to stand up to discrimination and we’re sure as heck supposed to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers. How hard can that be? Saying that Nazis are bad.

He made it clear that it didn't start with Trump but it can end with him.

“It did not start with Donald Trump. He is a symptom, not the cause,” Obama said to applause. “He’s just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years.”

He's campaigning for Democrats but he also called for a return to more traditional, partisan debate.

"None of this is conservative. I don't mean to pretend I'm channelling Lincoln now, but that's not what he had in mind, I don't think when he formed the Republican Party. It sure isn't normal. It's radical. It's a vision that says our protection of our power is all that matters.

He poured cold water on the anonymous New York Times op-ed about a "resistance" from within the White House.

“That is not a check. That’s not how our democracy’s supposed to work. These people aren’t elected. They’re not doing us a service by actively promoting 90 percent of the crazy stuff that’s coming out of this White House, and saying, ‘Don’t worry, we’re preventing the other 10 percent.’”

He said we must restore normalcy and our institutions if we we're to return to an honest debate about moving our country forward.

“I’m here to tell you that you should still be concerned and should still want to see a restoration of honesty and decency and lawfulness in our government. It should not be Democratic or Republican. It should not be partisan to say that we do not pressure the attorney general or the FBI to use the justice system as as a cudgel to punish our political opponents.”

Despite throwing some heavy punches, Obama once again reminded us about the power and importance of hope and change.

"In two months, we have the chance, not the certainty, but the chance, to restore some semblance of sanity to our politics. You cannot sit back and wait for a savior. You can't opt out because you don't feel sufficiently inspired by this or that particular candidate."
Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

via CNN / Twitter

Eviction seemed imminent for Dasha Kelly, 32, and her three young daughters Sharron, 8; Kia, 6; and Imani, 5, on Monday. The eviction moratorium expired over the weekend and it looked like there was no way for them to avoid becoming homeless.

The former Las Vegas card dealer lost her job due to casino closures during the pandemic and needed $2,000 to cover her back rent. The mother of three couldn't bear the thought of being put out of her apartment with three children in the scorching Nevada desert.

"I had no idea what we were going to do," Kelly said, according to KOAT.

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