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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."

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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RumorGuard by The News Literacy Project.

The 2016 election was a watershed moment when misinformation online became a serious problem and had enormous consequences. Even though social media sites have tried to slow the spread of misleading information, it doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

A NewsGuard report from 2020 found that engagement with unreliable sites between 2019 and 2020 doubled over that time period. But we don’t need studies to show that misinformation is a huge problem. The fact that COVID-19 misinformation was such a hindrance to stopping the virus and one-third of American voters believe that the 2020 election was stolen is proof enough.

What’s worse is that according to Pew Research, only 26% of American adults are able to distinguish between fact and opinion.

To help teach Americans how to discern real news from fake news, The News Literacy Project has created a new website called RumorGuard that debunks questionable news stories and teaches people how to become more news literate.

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A mom describes her tween son's brain. It's a must-read for all parents.

"Sometimes I just feel really angry and I don’t know why."

This story originally appeared on 1.05.19


It started with a simple, sincere question from a mother of an 11-year-old boy.

An anonymous mother posted a question to Quora, a website where people can ask questions and other people can answer them. This mother wrote:

How do I tell my wonderful 11 year old son, (in a way that won't tear him down), that the way he has started talking to me (disrespectfully) makes me not want to be around him (I've already told him the bad attitude is unacceptable)?

It's a familiar scenario for those of us who have raised kids into the teen years. Our sweet, snuggly little kids turn into moody middle schoolers seemingly overnight, and sometimes we're left reeling trying to figure out how to handle their sensitive-yet-insensitive selves.


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