U.S. Ranger School Opens to Females

U.S. Army Rangers repel from a tower during demonstration during Army Ranger school graduation Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, at Fort Benning, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
U.S. Army Rangers repel from a tower during demonstration during Army Ranger school graduation Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, at Fort Benning, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

us soldiers creed

Capt. Kristen Griest (left) and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver (right) first women to receive their Ranger tabs
Capt. Kristen Griest (left) and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver (right) first women to receive their Ranger tabs

These are the Army’s first female Ranger School graduates

August 18, 2015 By Dan Lamothe – washingtonpost

For more than 120 days, Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver have ground it out at Ranger School, the Army’s famously difficult school designed to build elite leaders capable of withstanding the rigors of combat. They’ve withstood fearsome weather, exhausting hikes, sleepless nights and simulated combat patrols designed to test their reaction time, teamwork and tenacity under fire.

On Friday, the two women will become the first female soldiers ever to graduate from the course at Fort Benning, Ga., receiving the coveted black and yellow Ranger Tab alongside 94 male counterparts. Griest, a military police officer from Orange, Conn., and Haver, an Apache helicopter pilot from Copperas Cove, Tex., are among a group of 20 women who qualified to attend the first gender-integrated Ranger School beginning April 20, and the only two female soldiers to complete it to date.

The graduation of Haver and Griest, both in their 20s and alumnae of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., increases pressure on the Army to integrate women into more combat jobs. They have not previously been identified by the Army, but The Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor and Columbus Ledger-Enquirer in Georgia were able to do so after observing Ranger School training several times this year.

Ranger School was opened to women for the first time in April as the Army assesses how to integrate women into more jobs in combat units across the service. That followed a January 2013 decision by senior Pentagon leaders to open all jobs to women, with the services granted until this fall to make recommendations on whether anything should remain closed. Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter is expected to rule on each request by Jan. 1.

For more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/08/18/these-are-the-armys-first-female-ranger-school-graduates/?hpid=z5

After historic graduation, Army removes all restrictions on women attending Ranger School

September 2, 2015 Dan Lamothe – washingtonpost

The Army announced Wednesday that it is opening its legendary Ranger School to women on a full-time basis, following the historic graduation last month of two female soldiers.

The school, with headquarters at Fort Benning, Ga., has been a centerpiece of the military’s ongoing research on integrating women into more jobs in combat units. Capt. Kristen Griest, 26, a military policy officer, and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, 25, an Apache helicopter pilot, became the first women to graduate from school Aug. 21, after spending months alongside men enduring the grueling training.

Army Secretary John McHugh said in a statement that the service must ensure that the opportunity afforded to Griest and Haver is available to “all soldiers who are qualified and capable,” and that the Army is continuing to assess how to select, train and retain its best soldiers. Gen. Mark A. Milley, the service’s top officer, added in the same statement that combat readiness remains the Army’s top priority.

“Giving every qualified soldier the opportunity to attend the Ranger Course, the Army’s premier small unit leadership school, ensures we are maintaining our combat readiness today, tomorrow and for future generations,” Milley said.

For more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/09/02/after-historic-graduation-army-removes-all-restrictions-on-women-attending-ranger-school/


 US Women’s Rights Movement Timeline 1848 – 2015  (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

2015 National Fair Housing Conference

HUD FHEO Natl Training & Policy Confrnce

This September, HUD Secretary Julián Castro will deliver an address commemorating our 50th Anniversary at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. The ceremony will continue a series of events recognizing HUD’s proud legacy and will coincide with the signing of the bill by President Johnson that established HUD as a Cabinet-level agency on September 9, 1965.

In the months preceding and succeeding the Secretary’s remarks, HUD will also introduce a number of additional initiatives as part of our anniversary celebration.

The first is the launching of our HUD 50 website. I invite you to take a moment and discover some of the great content available on the page. For example:

  1. There’s an interactive timeline that allows you to trace the entire history of HUD, one that starts with the founding of the Federal Housing Administration in the midst of the Great Depression and ends with the crucial steps our Department took to stem the housing crisis of the Great Recession.
  2. You can also read about some of the extraordinary people who began their lives in public housing – a list that includes a former U.S. President, a current Supreme Court Justice, and the CEO of a billion-dollar corporation.
  3. And since none of HUD’s accomplishments would have been possible without our incredible employees, our site will acknowledge some of the inspirational women and men who’ve helped to shape our identity, while also highlighting some of the great work that our employees continue to perform each and every day.

For more: http://hud50.hud.gov/join-hud-in-celebrating-50-years-of-opportunity/


September 2, 2015
9:00 AM ET
HUD Secretary Julian Castro delivers opening remarks
Attorney General Loretta Lynch delivers the keynote address 
2015 National Fair Housing Training and Policy Conference
Washington DC 

Live Stream: http://ow.ly/RBlNY 



Alaska GLACIER Conference

Alaska GLACIER Conference

The Conference on Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement and Resilience, or GLACIER, will highlight international and domestic priorities in the Arctic. At the direction of the U.S. Arctic Executive Steering Committee, the Department of State is developing the agenda for GLACIER in close coordination with the White House, and Departments and Agencies of the United States Government with Arctic responsibilities.

This global leadership focus on the Arctic is intended to generate momentum and expedite progress in addressing some of the most pressing issues facing the region. This conference will bring together Foreign Ministers of Arctic nations and key non-Arctic states with scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders from Alaska and the Arctic. Representatives of Arctic indigenous peoples will be invited to attend and encouraged to participate. GLACIER will discuss individual and collective action to address climate change in the Arctic; raise the visibility of climate impacts in the Arctic as a harbinger for the world, and the Arctic’s unique role in global climate change; identify ways that Arctic innovators are responding to these critical challenges; and share opportunities to prepare and respond to other issues in the changing Arctic.

GLACIER will take place during the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, but is not an Arctic Council sponsored event. GLACIER is also not directly related to the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (otherwise known as COP-21) taking place in late 2015. This conference will, however, help to focus attention on the challenges and opportunities that the Arctic Council intends to address and highlight how a region vulnerable to climate change is experiencing and responding to these impacts, helping to drive political will for ambitious action at COP-21.

The full-day event will begin with an opening plenary session, after which attendees may participate in one of three tracks. Foreign Ministers will participate in sessions focused on changes in the Arctic and global implications of those changes, climate resilience and adaptation planning, and strengthening coordination on Arctic issues.

For more:  http://www.state.gov/e/oes/glacier/index.htm

WH 2015 Alaska GLACIER Conference

Camai President Obama

Monday, August 31, 2015

President Obama participates in a roundtable with Alaska Natives
Dena’ina Center, Anchorage, Alaska

President Barack Obama announces a “secretarial order” that has officially restored the Koyukon Athabascan name of Denali to the tallest mountain in North America, previously known as Mt. McKinley
Dena’ina Center, Anchorage, Alaska

President Obama addresses the GLACIER Conference
Dena’ina Center, Anchorage, Alaska

President Obama meets with foreign ministers, scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders from Alaska and the Arctic region at the GLACIER Conference
Dena’ina Center, Anchorage, Alaska


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

President Obama hikes to the Exit Glacier
Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska

President Obama participates in a boat tour of Kenai Fjords National Park
Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska

President Obama announces New Investments to Enhance Safety and Security in the Changing Arctic

President Obama Announces New Investments to Combat Climate Change and Assist Remote Alaskan Communities


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

President Obama tours the Kotzebue Shore Avenue Project
Kanakanak Beach, Dillingham, Alaska

President Obama meets with local fisherman and families
Kanakanak Beach, Dillingham, Alaska

President Obama visits a local business
N&N Market, Dillingham, Alaska

President Obama attends a cultural performance
Dillingham Middle School, Dillingham, Alaska

President Obama delivers remarks on Energy Policy
Kotzebue HIgh School, Kotzebue, Alaska



Trump Piñatas Are Hotest Selling Item

Trump Pinata - street viewTrump Pinata - in-store view

Donald Trump Piñatas Become Popular Item In San Francisco’s Mission District

August 27, 2015 8:10 PM Don Ford – cbs

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – There’s a hot new item on San Francisco’s Mission Street. A likeness of Donald Trump, the kind you beat with a stick.

While piñatas are normally popular at children’s parties, the piñata of the 2016 presidential candidate has become popular with adults.

“The Latino community is a little bit upset, some are angry,” Mia Fregreso of San Francisco told KPIX 5. “So I guess they decided to make a piñata out of him, so people can beat the crap out of him basically.”

The store owner refused to go on camera, saying it’s all just good fun and political satire. And at nearly twice the cost of say, a Minnie Mouse piñata or a piñata of Woody from “Toy Story,” the price doesn’t seem to be an issue.

“Twenty Bucks! Yes! I guess people will pay twenty bucks to beat on Mr. Fake Donald Trump,” Fregeso said.

Lauren Weissman is getting one as a present. She is more than just a little excited. “I literally jumped off the bus and ran in here to buy this,” Weissman said.

Weissman said not everyone wants to bust open the piñata. In case some in her family are offended, she has a backup plan. “I can always keep it in the house and use it as a Voodoo Doll. Or use it to kick and punch whenever we get frustrated,” Weissman said.

For more: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/08/27/donald-trump-pinata-san-francisco-mission-district/


New Piñata Trumps Usual Party Props For Mexican Entrepreneur 

AUGUST 14, 2015 3:34 PM ET John Burnett – npr

Donald Trump never met Dalton Javier Ramirez. But the 69-year-old real estate mogul would have a grudging respect for the ambitious 28-year-old piñata entrepreneur.

Ramirez claims to be the first piñata maker in Mexico or the United States to create the Trump piñata. He’s based in the town of Reynosa, across the Rio Grande from Hidalgo, Texas. In the past two months, news stories about him have appeared around the world. And the Facebook page of Piñateria Ramirez has 11,000 likes and counting.

Ever since Trump spoke out against Mexico exporting its criminals to the United States, Latinos have expressed loathing of the GOP’s leading candidate. Despite his attempts to mollify our southern neighbor, it’s not working. Dalton Ramirez can’t make Trump piñatas fast enough.

For more: http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/08/14/432223192/candidate-pi-ata-trumps-usual-party-props-for-mexican-entrepreneur?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=storiesfromnpr

Europeans are obsessed with Donald Trump
The loud-mouthed billionaire businessman embodies what Europeans love to hate about the U.S.

8/28/15 By NICHOLAS VINOCUR – politico

PARIS — The media here has got a Continental strain of Trump fever.

Since the real estate mogul made a shocking surge to the top of the Republican presidential polls in the U.S., Europe has fixated on the unapologetic showman, churning out a steady stream of news coverage and commentary.

On Thursday, France’s Libération newspaper devoted its entire front page to a photo of a snarling Donald, with an inch-high headline that read: “Donald Trump — The American Nightmare.”

The Continent has its share of outrageous personalities on the political right of center: Britain’s Nigel Farage, Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi, France’s family Le Pen. But Trump fits many perceived European stereotypes of America: excess, vulgarity, ignorance, superficiality, love of wealth, to name a few.

“Trump represents the America that we love to hate,” said Marie-Cécile Naves, a sociologist and author of “Le nouveau visage des droites américaines” (“The New Face of the American Right”). “He is our negative mirror image, a man we see as brutal, who worships money and lacks culture — someone who lets us feel a bit superior about being European.”

In Europe’s capitals, feelings of superiority sometimes translate as concern for an ignorant American public that Trump, described by Britain’s Observer newspaper as a “malign buffoon,” is supposedly exploiting. “His constituency is ignorance,” the Observer wrote on Aug. 9 in an unsigned editorial. “In this, he is heir to a long, inglorious American tradition.”

In France, editorialist Alexandre Vatimbella called him a [“un clown provocateur” or] “provocative clown” whose brand of populism was dangerous for democracy, while Germany’s newspapers have reached a consensus around the label “Großmaul,” or loudmouth.

A YouGov poll this week showed that two-thirds of Germans had a negative view of him. And the commentary written about Trump in Europe’s newspapers, from Paris to London to Berlin, is almost uniformly disparaging.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/08/trump-europe-213141


Voto Inteligente. vote_democrat_sml

¡Votar Demócratas!


Death of Emmett Till – 60th Anniversary

Emmett Till Memorial

Emmett Till photographed by his mother on Christmas Day 1954
Emmett Till photographed by his mother on Christmas Day 1954

Emmett Louis Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was an African-American teenager who was murdered in Mississippi at the age of 14, after reportedly flirting with a white woman.

Till was from Chicago, Illinois, visiting his relatives in Money, Mississippi, in the Mississippi Delta region, when he spoke to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, the married proprietor of a small grocery store there. Several nights later, Bryant’s husband Roy and his half-brother J. W. Milam went to Till’s great-uncle’s house. They took Till away to a barn, where they beat him and gouged out one of his eyes, before shooting him through the head and disposing of his body in the Tallahatchie River, weighting it with a 70-pound (32 kg) cotton gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire. Three days later, Till’s body was discovered and retrieved from the river.

Till’s body was returned to Chicago. His mother, who had raised him mostly by herself, insisted on a public funeral service with an open casket to show the world the brutality of the killing. “The open-coffin funeral held by Mamie Till Bradley exposed the world to more than her son Emmett Till’s bloated, mutilated body. Her decision focused attention not only on American racism and the barbarism of lynching but also on the limitations and vulnerabilities of American democracy”. Tens of thousands attended his funeral or viewed his casket and images of his mutilated body were published in black-oriented magazines and newspapers, rallying popular black support and white sympathy across the U.S. Intense scrutiny was brought to bear on the condition of black civil rights in Mississippi, with newspapers around the country critical of the state. Although initially local newspapers and law enforcement officials decried the violence against Till and called for justice, they soon began responding to national criticism by defending Mississippians, which eventually transformed into support for the killers.

In September 1955, Bryant and Milam were acquitted of Till’s kidnapping and murder. Protected against double jeopardy, Bryant and Milam publicly admitted in an interview with Look magazine that they killed Till. Problems identifying Till affected the trial, partially leading to Bryant’s and Milam’s acquittals, and the case was officially reopened by the United States Department of Justice in 2004. As part of the investigation, the body was exhumed and autopsied resulting in a positive identification. He was reburied in a new casket, which is the standard practice in cases of body exhumation. His original casket was donated to the Smithsonian Institution.

The trial of Bryant and Milam attracted a vast amount of press attention. Till’s murder is noted as a pivotal event motivating the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Events surrounding Emmett Till’s life and death, according to historians, continue to resonate, and some writers have suggested that almost every story about Mississippi returns to Till, or the region in which he died, in “some spiritual, homing way”.

For more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmett_Till


Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. Speaks at Emmett Till Tree Planting Ceremony at the U.S. Capitol
Washington, D.C.,
United States
Monday, November 17, 2014 justice.gov
Thank you all, and especially Senator [Susan] Collins, Senator [Thad] Cochran, Senator [Roger] Wicker, Stephen Ayers, and my good friend Janet Langhart Cohen, for the opportunity to be here this morning.
Nearly six decades have passed since the terrible night when young Emmett Till – a 14-year-old Chicagoan on a trip to visit relatives in Mississippi – was abducted, in the early-morning darkness, by violent men with hatred in their hearts.  Yet even today, the pain from this unspeakable crime, this unspeakable tragedy, still feels raw – perhaps because those responsible for this hate crime were never held to account.  Or perhaps because the progress that generations have fought and died to achieve – progress that made possible my own life and career, and those of leaders like President Obama – came too late for Emmett Till.  Or perhaps even because, despite the extraordinary steps forward our country has witnessed in the years since that murderous, hate-filled summer night, our nation’s journey – along the road to equality, acceptance and opportunity for all – is not yet complete.  And perhaps because our history – including our recent history – is dotted with the stories of far too many other Emmett Tills, Matthew Shepards, and James Byrds: talented, thriving people, many of them young, with promising futures stretching out before them – all cut down, brutally and unnecessarily, because of what they looked like or who they were.
Although today our hearts still ache for Emmett Till, and for so many others – before and since – who have suffered the same fate, from the darkness of these tragic losses there have arisen great sparks of humanity that have transformed our nation to be more strong, more equal, and more free.  Just months after Emmett Till was laid to rest, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus, later saying she had thought of this young man the moment she was challenged.  In the decades that followed, countless Americans – from brave young people who integrated schools and universities across the South, including my late sister-in-law, Vivian Malone; to leaders like Dr. King and the legendary John Lewis; to Freedom Riders and activists who launched the Mississippi Freedom Summer – have carried with them the memory of what happened, one night in 1955, on the banks of the Tallahatchie River.
So although Emmett Till died senselessly – and far too soon – it can never be said that he died in vain.  His tragic murder galvanized millions to action.  And today, we commemorate this legacy by planting a tree in his honor – a tree that will become his living memorial, here at the heart of our Republic, in the shadow of the United States Capitol.
Like the work it symbolizes and the cause it represents, this tree will outlast us.  Like our ongoing efforts, it will honor the enduring legacy of a young man – a boy, really – who never had the chance to grow old.  And it will ensure that Emmett Till’s story, his example, and his too-short life will be preserved forever – on these grounds now made hallow, but also in the memories of all who knew him, in the work of those who carry on his fight, and in the hearts and minds of generations yet to come.  In remembering that young man in the way we do today, we ennoble our nation and make our union more perfect.
Thank you.


Emmett Till 60th year commemoration events planned

Aug 26, 2015  Cheryl Lasseter – WLOX-TV Biloxi

This weekend, take a look back at the legacy of Emmett Till, 60 years after his death, with “The Emmett Till Legacy: 60th Year Anniversary Commemoration, A Time for Unity, Reflection & Remembrance.”

  • Thursday, Aug. 27: A documentary of Mamie Till Mobley’s visit in 2002. Cornerstone MBC, 1118 Martin Luther King St., Jackson, 6 p.m..
  • Friday, Aug. 28: Time for unity in black and white. Wear black and white attire. Observe a moment of silence at noon.
  • Friday, Aug. 28: Remembering Emmett Louis Till’s Legacy & Luncheon, 60 years later. Smith Robertson Museum, 528 Bloom Street, Jackson, 12-2 p.m.
  • Friday, Aug. 28: Candlelight vigil and prayer for peace. Jackson State University, 7:45-9 p.m..
  • Friday, Aug. 28: Meet and greet the Till family. Mediterranean Bar & Grill, 6550 Old Canton Road, Ridgeland, 10 p.m. – 1 a.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 29: Emmett Till Parade, featuring Till family as grand marshals. Begins at Freedom Corner at 9:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 29: A Delta, MS bus and walking tour. 12 p.m.-10 p.m..
  • Sunday, Aug. 30: Worship with Emmett Till family and Team Mississippi. Wear all white. Alabaster COGIC, 940 McDowell Road, Jackson,11:30 a.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 30: Film screening: ‘Who Killed Emmett Till’ and ‘The Story of Mamie Till Mobley’. Community discussion to follow. New Highlights Building on Tougaloo College Campus, 4-6 p.m.

For the entire article: http://www.wlox.com/story/29885097/emmett-till-60th-year-commemoration-events-planned


Hurricane Katrina – 10th Anniversary

Hurricane Katrina 10th Anniversary

Hurricane Katrina 
New Orleans was catastrophically affected by what the University of California Berkeley’s Dr. Raymond B. Seed called “the worst engineering disaster in the world since Chernobyl,” when the Federal levee system failed during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. By the time the hurricane approached the city at the end of August 2005, most residents had evacuated. As the hurricane passed through the Gulf Coast region, the city’s federal flood protection system failed, resulting in the worst civil engineering disaster in American history. Floodwalls and levees constructed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers failed below design specifications and 80% of the city flooded. Tens of thousands of residents who had remained in the city were rescued or otherwise made their way to shelters of last resort at the Louisiana Superdome or the New Orleans Morial Convention Center. More than 1,500 people were recorded as having died in Louisiana, most in New Orleans, and others are still unaccounted for. Before Hurricane Katrina, the city called for the first mandatory evacuation in its history, to be followed by another mandatory evacuation three years later with Hurricane Gustav.

A snapshot of recovery a decade after the unprecedented natural disaster

August 18, 2015 Brian Sullivan hud.gov

WASHINGTON – On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast of the United States, forcing more than a million people from their homes and tragically taking more than 1,800 lives. Katrina remains the most devastating and costliest natural disaster in our nation’s history. Today, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro and a team of recovery experts briefed reporters on the progress of long-term disaster recovery efforts and the lessons learned over the past decade. Read Hurricane Katrina: By the Numbers.

“The road to recovery has been long and not without serious challenges, but it’s also shown that though the storm was strong, the resilient spirit of the Gulf Coast was even stronger,” Secretary Castro said. “And as long as there are people who want to come home and communities that need to be rebuilt our job is not done.”

Over the last 10 years, HUD investments have had a major impact on the recovery in the Gulf region. Working closely with state disaster recovery leaders in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama and Florida, HUD’s allocated nearly $20 billion through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program. This funding greatly contributed to long-term recovery of the region’s housing stock, economy, and infrastructure.

Housing: More than $14 billion in HUD recovery funds supported State-run housing programs:

* 158,000 households received direct compensation for their economic loss
* 2,894 families received help to purchase homes
* 12,660 rehabilitated/reconstructed housing units
* 767 newly constructed housing units
* 35,597 affordable rental housing units

Infrastructure: Using CDBG-DR funds, States invested a combined $1.6 Billion to replace/improve streets, utilities, sewer lines, schools, hospitals dikes and dams. For example, the State of Louisiana used HUD investments to construct or rehabilitate:

* 82 new schools
* 11 higher education facilities
* 13 healthcare facilities (including the redevelopment of former Charity, Methodist and VA Hospitals in New Orleans).
* 20 parks and recreational facilities
* 52 water and sewer projects
* 22 fisheries in nine coastal parishes

Economic Development: CDBG –DR funds helped thousands of businesses responsible for creating and retaining thousands of jobs in the Gulf Region. Through a variety of programs, its estimated HUD funds assisted nearly 5,500 businesses, creating 6,500 permanent jobs. This assistance helped to sustain Gulf Coast economies during the more recent economic downturn as well as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.

For more: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2015/HUDNo_15-108


August 19, 2015

FACT SHEET: President Obama to Commemorate 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

Since taking office, President Obama has made it a key priority to continue and expedite the recovery and rebuilding efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history.

Over the past six and a half years, the Administration has focused on supporting the needs of survivors and bolstering the recovery efforts already underway by state, local and federal officials by cutting red tape to deploy important resources quickly, investing in hard hit communities, and ensuring that affected communities build back stronger and more resilient.

The President has directed his Administration to take an all-of-Nation approach – to work closely with and support the work of all of our partners, including state and local governments, tribal and volunteer organizations, the private sector, and families.

As we commemorate the 10th anniversary of the storm, the Administration will continue its all-of-Nation approach, with the President and members of his cabinet planning to visit impacted areas to highlight some of the many remarkable recovery and resilience stories across the region.

For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/08/19/fact-sheet-president-obama-commemorate-10th-anniversary-hurricane

Thursday, August 27, 2015
President Obama and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate  meet with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and New Orleanians to review the Administration’s efforts to help the city return to life ten years after Hurricane Katrina
New Orleans, Louisianna



Women’s Equality Day 2015

Women’s Equality Day is a day proclaimed each year by the United States President to commemorate the granting of the vote to women throughout the country. Women in the United States were granted the right to vote on August 26, 1920, when the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was certified as law. The amendment was first introduced many years earlier in 1878. Every president has published a proclamation for Women’s Equality Day since 1972, the year after legislation was first introduced in Congress by Bella Abzug. This resolution was passed in 1971 designating August 26 of each year as Women’s Equality Day.

Equal Pay - Women Breadwinners

The Paycheck Fairness Act is proposed legislation that would add procedural protections to the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Fair Labor Standards Act as part of an effort to address male–female income disparity in the United States. A Census Bureau report published in 2008 stated that women’s median annual earnings were 77.5% of men’s earnings, newer studies suggest, when the data is controlled for certain variables, the residual gap is around 7%, the same study concludes that the residual is due to the fact that “hours of work in many occupations are worth more when given at particular moments and when the hours are more continuous. That is, in many occupations earnings have a nonlinear relationship with respect to hours.”

The House of Represen­tatives approved the bill in January 2009. The United States Senate failed to move the bill forward in November 2010. President Barack Obama said in March 2011 that he will continue to fight for the goals in the Paycheck Fairness Act. The bill was reintroduced in both houses of Congress in April 2011.

The 2010 bill had no Republican Party co-sponsors, though a group of four Republican senators had supported an earlier bill to address gender-based wage discrimination, including Susan CollinsKay Bailey HutchisonLisa Murkowski and Olympia Snowe. On June 5th, 2012 the bill fell short of the 60 votes necessary to override a filibuster and did not make it to the Senate floor for debate. The vote went along party lines, excluding a vote against by Democrat Harry Reid. (A vote which left Democrats the option to introduce the bill again at a later time.) On April 9, 2014, in another straight-party-line vote, the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 2199; 113th Congress) was again blocked by a Republican filibuster in the U.S. Senate. Once again, Senator Reid changed his vote from support to oppose, as a tactical maneuver to keep the bill alive.

The 2010 Senate version of the bill had the support of the Obama administration and that of Democrats in the Senate. The American Civil Liberties Union supported S.182, citing the 2008 data from the United States Census Bureau that women’s median annual earnings were 77.5% of the male median, African-American women’s median annual earnings were 64% of the white male median, and Hispanic women’s median annual earnings were 54% of the white male median. The American Association of University Women also supported the bill, citing the organization’s 2007 research report, Behind the Pay Gap, which showed that women earn less than their male colleagues just one year out of college. The pay gap has widened 10 years after graduation.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paycheck_Fairness_Act


Did You Know That Women Are Still Paid Less Than Men?

On average, full-time working women earn just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. This substantial gap is more than a statistic — it has real life consequences. When women, who make up nearly half the workforce, bring home less money each day, it means they have less for the everyday needs of their families, and over a lifetime of work, far less savings for retirement.

President Obama supports passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, a comprehensive and commonsense bill that updates and strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which made it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform substantially equal work.



GOP Blocks Equal Pay

Senate Republicans again kill Paycheck Fairness Act

4/09/14 01:06 PM – Steven Benen – maddowblog

The third time was not the charm. Democratic efforts to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act failed to overcome Republican opposition in the 111th Congress and the 112th Congress, and as of this morning, it failed once again at the hands of a GOP filibuster.

Senate Republicans filibustered a debate on a Democratic pay equity bill backed by President Barack Obama Wednesday.

Sixty votes were needed to allow the bill to be debated on the Senate floor, but Republicans refused to allow the bill to come up for debate after complaining Democrats weren’t allowing votes on their amendments.

The roll call from the vote is online here. Note that the final tally was 54 to 43 – six votes shy of the supermajority needed to end Republican obstructionism – but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) switched his vote for procedural reasons, leaving it at 53 to 44.

The legislation received exactly zero Republican votes, as was the case with previous efforts to pass the bill.I

In case anyone needs a refresher, the Paycheck Fairness Act is a perfectly credidble piece of legislation that would “enhance the remedies available for victims of gender-based discrimination and require employers to show that wage differences are job-related, not sex-based, and driven by business necessity. The measure would also protect employees from retaliation for sharing salary information, which is important for deterring and challenging discriminatory compensation.”

As we’ve discussed, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was an important step forward when it comes to combating discrimination, but it was also narrowly focused to address a specific problem: giving victims of discrimination access to the courts for legal redress. The Paycheck Fairness Act is a broader measure.

Republicans have responded that they endorse the idea of equal pay for equal work, but in recent years, much of the party remains opposed to policymakers’ efforts to do something about it. (This morning, some GOP senators also raised procedural objections about amendments.)

As for the electoral considerations, aren’t GOP lawmakers worried about rejecting measures like these in an election year?

Apparently not.

Senate Republicans aren’t sweating a ramped-up push by Democrats and President Barack Obama for new pay equity legislation – pushing forward women Republicans to rebut charges they have a woman problem and doubting the issue will resonate with voters. […]

Republicans argue that the Democrats’ bill – along with their so-called “Fair Shot” agenda for the year – is a political ploy that will not fool voters.

I’m not sure who’s trying to fool whom in this model. Dems put together a bill; the bill is popular; and they’ve pushed it repeatedly for six years. That sounds less like a p.r. stunt and more like an effort to address a problem.

As for the midterms, Republicans have struggled of late with the gender gap. At a minimum, today’s vote won’t help.



US Women’s Rights Movement Timeline 1848 – 2009 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)


Forward For Equality_sml


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