WASHINGTON, April 5 (Reuters) – Former President Barack Obama returned to the White House on Tuesday for the first time since leaving office in 2017 to tout the benefits of his signature healthcare law and bolster his friend and former governing partner, President Joe Biden.
Obama arrived in the East Room to robust cheers from the assembled crowd of Congress members and administration staffers, and remarked on the changes that had been made in the White House since he was last there – notably the arrival of a feline.
“There’s a cat running around,” he said to laughter, “which I guarantee you Bo and Sunny would have been very unhappy about,” referring to his family’s dogs.
Obama jokingly referred to Biden as “vice president” before correcting himself, inspiring a salute from Biden, then offered broad praise of the Affordable Care Act, whose passage he described as a “high point” of his time in office.
“If you can get millions of people health coverage and better protection, it is, to quote a famous American, a pretty … big deal,” Obama said to hoots of laughter from the crowd, referencing an off-color Biden remark picked up by a hot mic when the law was signed.
Biden, who hosted Obama for lunch, joked that the two men did not know who should sit where when they dined, and lauded Obama for his leadership on the healthcare law.
“The Affordable Care Act has been called a lot of things but Obamacare is the most fitting,” Biden said.
While Obama remains a popular figure, Biden faces moribund public approval ratings thanks in part to high inflation and the lingering COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, Democrats risk losing control of at least one, if not both, chambers of Congress in November, which would bring Biden’s legislative agenda to a halt.
Biden unveiled a measure to fix an element of the healthcare law known as the “family glitch” that left family members of those with access to employer-provided health plans ineligible for certain subsidies, and he signed an executive order directing federal agencies to do all they could to expand healthcare coverage.
Before signing and as he finished his remarks, he quipped: “Barack, I’m going to remind you: it’s a hot mic.”
Focusing on healthcare has helped Democrats politically in the past. Obamacare was the former president’s top legislative accomplishment, and Republicans have repeatedly tried and failed to repeal it.
“But what the Affordable Care Act shows is that if you are driven by the core idea that, together, we can improve the lives of this generation and the next, and if you’re persistent … you can have an impact on millions of lives,” Obama said.
Obama and Biden became friends during Obama’s time in office, meeting for lunch weekly. Their families became close and Obama spoke at the funeral of Biden’s son, Beau.
White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said Obama and Biden had an expansive conversation and a walk. “They did go take a look at the Oval Office and take a walk around, and I know they enjoyed spending time together,” she said.
The White House said the proposed adjustment to the Affordable Care Act, put forward in a rule by the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service that must be finalized, would save hundreds of dollars a month for hundreds of thousands of families.
It said the “family glitch” affects some 5 million people and “has made it impossible for many families to use the premium tax credit to purchase an affordable, high-quality Marketplace plan.”
Tokyo Olympics: Simone Biles reunites with boyfriend back in Texas at NFL practice
Simone Biles reunited with boyfriend Jonathan Owens back in Texas as she attended his NFL team’s practice in Houston.
The Olympic great on Thursday arrived back in the United States from Tokyo, where she won a bronze medal in the beam after pulling out of a string of other events to concentrate on her mental health.
Ms Biles was greeted by her family and hundreds of cheering fans as she arrived back at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport from the Tokyo 2020 games.
She spent the day at the training camp and even posted a picture of their pair together on Instagram
“Morning with bae,” she wrote on on e social media post, while on another she said, “open practices aka bring your girlfriend to work day.”
Ms Biles lives near her parents and currently dates Mr Owens, a defensive player who is on a two-year contract worth $1.39m with the Texans.
“He would say I slid into his DMs,” Ms Biles told The Wall Street Journal.
“I saw him and I was like, ‘Oh, he’s pretty cute,’ so I said hi … and then I saw that he was in the Houston area, so we started chatting a little bit, and then we went to hang out a week or two later.”
Her sister eventually interrupted a FaceTime call and invited Mr Owens on a lake house trip, to which he brought his English bull dog Zeus, and Ms Biles took along her French bulldog, Lilo.
Mr Owen has told Texas Monthly that he did not know who Ms Biles was when they first met, despite her international success and fame.
Ms Biles, 24, won four Olympic gold medals at Rio 2016 in the team event, the individual all-around, the vault, and the floor exercise, as well as a bronze medal in the balance beam.
Gymnasts have described the predicament as a mental block where the athlete’s body feels disconnected from their brain and they do not know where they are in the air.
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All The Celebrities Who Went Wild Over Jennifer Aniston & Brad Pitt’s SAG Awards Reunion
Fans weren’t the only ones who went wild over Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt’s Screen Actors Guild Awards reunion.
Celebrities all over social media also expressed shock and excitement after photos of the famous exes chatting and embracing at the gala spread through the internet.
As RadarOnline.com readers know, Aniston’s Friends co-star and best friend Courteney Cox liked a series of social media posts about the reunion, including a comment posted by a Twitter fan that read: “They still love each other, no doubt.”
Fans know that while the actors divorced in 2005 after seven years together, they recently rekindled their friendship following Pitt’s split from Angelina Jolie. The Ad Astra actor, 56, even attended his ex’s 50th birthday party, and referred to her as a “good friend” in an interview before their SAG run-in.
While both have denied romance rumors, photos of Pitt holding Aniston’s hand and gazing lovingly at her while backstage at the awards show renewed fans’ hopes of a romantic reunion.
“This is my ‘Do not break our hearts again, Brad’ face,” Michelle Monaghan captioned an Instagram selfie.
“Kelly Kapoor losing her sh**,” comedienne Mindy Kaling captioned a photo of Pitt and Aniston’s reunion, referencing her character on The Office.
Various other stars, including Jamie Lynn Spears, Rumer Willis, Morgan Stewart, Jordin Sparks, Stephanie Shepherd and Brooklyn Decker reacted to a post about the reunion shared on E! News’ Instagram.
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“WE WILL BE TELLING OUR GRANDKIDS ABOUT THIS. THATS sic HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS,” Spears, 28, wrote, clearly thrilled.
“My tender heart can’t take this,” Willis, 31, joked.
“I’m not emotionally prepared to handle this at this stage in my life,” Stewart, 30, wrote, possibly referencing her recent split from husband Brendan Fitzpatrick.
“Omg,” Sparks, 30, commented along with a crying emoji.
“I AM NOT OKAY,” Shepherd, 30, admitted.
“Is that a finger UNDER a lapel?!?” Decker, 32, asked.
“Oh,” Modern Family star Sarah Hyland wrote, seemingly speechless.
“AHHHHHHH,” Bachelorette star JoJo Fletcher commented.
Even Blink-182 got in on the action, writing, “Fell in love with the girl at the SAG show,” twisting the lyrics of their 2001 song “The Rock Show.”
At the ceremony, Aniston, 50, won the award for outstanding female in a drama series for her role on The Morning Show, while Pitt took home the SAG Award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role for his part in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Pitt went backstage to watch Aniston give her acceptance speech on a TV nearby. He got emotional while cheering her on in silence. When E! News shared the clip on Twitter, celebrities and fans could not contain their delight.
Scarlett Johansson Just Talked About Ex Husband Ryan Reynolds For The First Time In Years
Once upon a time Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson fell madly in love and got married. The two were very private about their relationship, and there are little to no photos of them online and they rarely talked about each other in the media. Their marriage ended eight years ago and it’s been pretty quiet, but recently Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds’ marriage was talked about for the first time in a while.
Johansson discussed her first marriage with Reynolds in an interview with Vanity Fair.
When asked about her experience with divorce, she shared what she’s learned from it, and didn’t mention Reynolds by name.
She said, “I mean, the first time I got married I was 23 years old. I didn’t really have an understanding of marriage. Maybe I kind of romanticized it, I think, in a way. It’s a different part of my life now. I feel like I’m in a place in my life, I feel I’m able to make more active choices. I’m more present, I think, than I’ve been before.”
The actress didn’t say more about Reynolds but kept her answer short and sweet.
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Johansson was also married to Romain Dauriac for three years, which ended in 2017. They share daughter Rose who’s five-years-old.
She talked about her child right before discussing Reynolds.
The Avengers star told Vanity Fair, “The idea of building a family, making a family, and having that work, I like that idea. I think that would be wonderful. I’ve always wanted that. I wanted that also in my marriage to my daughter’s father as well. It just wasn’t the right person.”
Now 35-years-old, Johansson is engaged to Colin Jost from Saturday Night Live. Incidentally, that’s the same show that Reynolds made a surprise appearance on last weekend.
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Reynolds has been happily married to Blake Lively since 2012, and they share three daughters together, one of whom was born earlier this year.
The couple loves to have fun in Instagram photos, are often spotted going out for date nights, and even roast each other on social media.
Golf: Phil Mickelson shows off dramatic body transformation
Phil Mickelson used to get shredded by the media and golf fans about his portly appearance — now he is shredded.
The five-time major winner affectionately known as Lefty used to be one of the larger players on tour, prompting one scribe to write this about Mickelson in 2009.
“One of the reasons I love to watch athletes is that besides their talents, they are awesome physical specimens to behold. Even though Phil Mickelson seems to be a nice guy and a pretty good golfer who can eke out a win when Tiger’s home with the family rehabbing his knee. He has got man boobs,” the scribe wrote.
“Mickelson is not even really fat. He just suffers from male pattern boobness. Guybags. Senor snubes. Mister Titster. He-man Hooters. Boyzoombas. Cock ‘n Knockers. Mancans. Chesticles with Testicles. Papa Tatas. Mickelson Mogambos.
“Now as snarky as this sounds, I am not even saying his daddy dumplings turn me off. I am just saying that when Mickelson strides down the fairway, he looks like a breasty shift manager at the local Best Buy who cannot say ‘no’ to doughnuts in the break room, not a kick ass world class athlete.”
Mickelson was even forced to address it himself a decade ago when his commitment to winning was questioned. “I have put on some weight,” Mickelson told Golf magazine in 2010. “I tend to fluctuate with my wife, Amy. When she’s pregnant, I seem to put on weight. When she’s not, I seem to lose it with her. The weight fluctuations are an emotional thing, I guess …
“I wish I had visceral fat instead of subcutaneous fat. When I gain weight I gain it underneath the skin rather than beneath the muscle.”
Chelsea Manning reacts to Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover amid Grimes romance
Chelsea Manning doesn’t care if she’s on Elon Musk’s Twitter “ban list.”
When a follower tweeted at the famed whistleblower Monday that she should be “careful” because she is “first on his ban list,” Manning responded, “who cares?”
The Tesla founder purchased the social medium for $44 billion earlier Monday and tweeted that he hoped even his “worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means,” so perhaps Manning stands a chance.
If not, she told the aforementioned follower that she will “just play minecraf [sic].”
Manning’s blasé attitude toward the history-making deal comes after Page Six broke the news that she is dating Musk’s ex Grimes.
“They’re getting serious. They U-Hauled it,” an insider told us in March of the fast-paced nature of the relationship. “They’ve been living together in Austin.”
While neither has publicly addressed their romance, Manning, 34, has been engaging sarcastically with the new Twitter owner, 50, since he announced his interest in buying the tech company.
Enlarge ImageElon Musk waves
Twitter accepted the Tesla founder’s $44 billion bid Monday.
“If our twitter bid succeeds, we will defeat the spam bots or die trying!” Musk tweeted last week, to which Manning responded with a meme about “occupying a billionaire’s mind rent free.”
Red State deputy managing editor Brandon Morse called out Manning over the tweet, writing, “You’re dating HIS ex, using a platform HE’S about to buy and commenting on HIS tweet after he hasn’t mentioned YOU one time. You’re living in his head? Seems you’re living in his world.”
A former US soldier, Manning made headlines in the early 2010s for leaking hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks. She was sentenced to 35 years in prison after being found guilty of 20 crimes, including six violations of the Espionage Act.
Grimes, meanwhile, announced in March that she and Musk had broken up again. The singer, 34, and the billionaire have two children together.
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