Pres. Barack Obama

LBJ Presidential Library and Museum

President  Obama delivered a speech today at the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum at the Civil Rights Summit celebrating 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act. 

Obama paid tribute to Johnson's tenacity and vision in fostering the passage of the Civil Rights Act —  as well as other landmark legislation including the Voting Rights Act, the Immigration and Nationality Act and the Fair Housing Act. He characterized the Texan president as strong-willed -- but flawed, despite his successes -- and said that the fight for equality isn't  over. 

President Barack Obama is speaking this afternoon at the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum in Austin.

The summit, gathering four U.S Presidents and dozens of other speakers, marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Civil Rights Act.

Caleb Bryant Miller for KUT News

President Barack Obama will be in Austin today to give the keynote address at the Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Library. The event is marking the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.

How to Hear Obama's Address:

While it is not possible to get into the auditorium to see the President’s address unless you already have a ticket – there is an opportunity to see some of the other summit panels.

A standby line will begin forming at 1:30 p.m. on the east side of Sid Richardson Hall – next to the LBJ Library. Open seats for the panels starting at 2, 3 and 4 o’clock will be filled with people from the standby line.

KUT 90.5 will air Obama’s address at the Civil Rights Summit live starting around 11:30 a.m. This is made possible with a partnership with the Longhorn Network. UT will also stream the address online at

Kate McGee, KUT News

Update: For the second time in five years, President Obama arrived at Fort Hood to mourn alongside those grieving the loss of their family members in a shooting on post. Three men were killed and sixteen were injured in the shooting on April 2.  

Fort Hood families know death is a part of war: 576 soldiers Fort Hood have died serving in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“As an army we accept this a dangerous profession, and all who wear this wonderful uniform and pledge to defend our nation and its way of life, understand they may be called to make that ultimate sacrifice," says John M McCue, Secretary of the Army. “But inside these gates, behind these walls, we expect a much different order of things.”

LBJ Presidential Library at the University of Texas

Four U.S. Presidents headline a three-day summit in Austin this week, kicking off a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Life before the act can sometimes seem foreign to those of us who came after the landmark legislation was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Organizers say that alone is a great reason to hold a summit.

"Of course it's appropriate to look back. I mean, I myself am a child of the segregated South. So I grew up in that world and I know in ways that our students really don't, what things were like before this legislation,"  LBJ School of Public Affairs Dean Robert Hutchings says.

U.S. Army,

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are expected to attend a memorial service Wednesday to honor the three soldiers killed in last week’s shooting at Fort Hood.

Obama visited Fort Hood in November 2009 under similar circumstances following the shooting by Maj. Nidal Hasan that left 13 dead and 32 wounded. Hasan was convicted in August 2012 of those killings and was sentenced to death.

The Obamas were already planning to travel to Texas this week. On Thursday, the President will speak at the LBJ Presidential Library’s Civil Rights Summit to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act.

Leaders of high-tech companies, including Google and Facebook, descended on the White House Friday for a meeting with President Obama on the subject of privacy. The meeting itself was private. But aides say Obama wanted to hear from the CEOs about their concerns with the government's high-tech surveillance.

Marsha Miller, University of Texas at Austin

President Obama is planning to be in Austin on April 10 to deliver the keynote address at a Summit on Civil Rights. The event at the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum commemorates 50 years since President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. 

“I think we see the Obama Administration has taken active part in the national dialogue about the progress we’ve made over the past 50 years since the passage of the Civil Rights Act," says Ranjana Natarajan, a civil rights expert and professor at the University of Texas School of Law. "They’ve been working on policies to further that process, whether it’s healthcare or criminal justice reform."

Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

President Barack Obama wrote a hand-written apology to a University of Texas art history professor this week.

Ann Johns, a senior lecturer at UT-Austin's Department of Art and Art History, complained via the White House website about the president's remarks in a speech at a Wisconsin factory last month. As CNN notes, stumping for education initiatives, President Obama said "You folks can make a lot more, potentially, with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree."

Viewership is declining. Washington seems increasingly dysfunctional and irrelevant to the daily lives of Americans. The presidency isn't the bully pulpit it used to be.

In an age of social media and divided audiences, the annual, constitutionally mandated State of the Union speech is beginning to look like a stuffy relic from a bygone era.

It's an institution in need of a makeover, which is precisely what the White House intends to do Tuesday night.

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden says that when he leaked classified documents about some of the United States' most sensitive surveillance programs, he did so alone and without any help.

In an interview with The New Yorker, Snowden called whispers that he received help from Russia's security service "absurd."

Obama is expected to announce changes to the NSA after revelations of a massive domestic surveillance program on US citizens and others around the globe. Obama's been fielding critics since the first of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's leaks last June.

You can watch livestream of the announcement below: 

Patrick Samansky/AP

President Obama will announce changes this morning to how the National Security Agency does its job. This comes after months of revelations of massive warrantless data gathering on US citizens and others around the globe. Obama's been fielding critics since the first of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's leaks last June.

Ben Philpott/KUT

Texas Senator Ted Cruz was in Austin today speaking at the Texas Public Policy Foundation's annual policy orientation. He spent his time attacking what he sees as a disregard for federal laws by President Obama.

Senator Cruz’s speech to lawmakers, policy wonks and grassroots activists gave several examples of the President using executive authority to supersede federal laws. Pointing specifically to immigration reform, marijuana prosecutions and the Affordable Care Act.

(This post was updated at 6:30 p.m. ET)

A panel looking into U.S. electronic surveillance activities in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations has recommended removing the NSA's authority to collect and store Americans' telephone data.

The key recommendation was one of dozens that the panel put forward; however, it did not propose a wholesale scaling back of domestic spying by the National Security Agency and other intelligence branches.

President Obama tried Wednesday to turn the conversation back to the economy, calling the growing income gap the "defining challenge of our time."

After successfully staring down congressional Republicans in the shutdown-debt ceiling fight, President Obama pivoted to immigration in a move with almost no downside.

That makes it perfect as the next vehicle for him to use to cause the GOP major indigestion.

Before being re-elected last year, President Obama said he hoped the Republican "fever" of opposition to him would break during his second term. But if the just-completed standoff is any indication, that temperature is still spiking.

Update At 3:50 p.m. EDT.

President Obama on Friday praised the Senate for passing a spending bill to keep the federal government operating and called House GOP efforts to tie approving the measure to defunding the Affordable Care Act "political grandstanding."

He said that despite Republican hopes that Obamacare will be repealed, "That's not going to happen," accusing Republicans of threatening to "blow up the entire economy."

No one has the right to precipitate such a crisis, he said, "just because there are a couple of laws you don't like."

Should the U.S. Intervene in Syria?

Sep 11, 2013

In the wake of a chemical weapons attack that reportedly left more than 1,400 Syrians dead , the debate has begun on whether the U.S. should intervene. The American people now wait for what steps, if any, the United States will take in the coming weeks.

The Takeaway has responded to this call for a national conversation with special programming.

In a prime-time speech that followed two weeks of high-stakes drama, President Obama asked the American people to support a military strike against Syria, even as he pursued a diplomatic solution to the standoff.