Happy Halloween 2014

10/29/2014

PBO WH Halloween

Steve Sack cartoon

Steve Sack cartoon

Tom Toles cartoon

Tom Toles cartoon

 

Don’t be tricked by the GOP candidates!

GOP WRONG WAY

Republicans Are Trying to Make Sure Minorities and Young People Don’t Vote This November

Control of the Senate could hinge on a few crucial court battles over voting rights.

Wed Oct. 8, 2014 6:00 AM EDT By Stephanie Mencimer – motherjones

As candidates across the country are kicking their get-out-the-vote efforts into high gear, many states are feverishly litigating to defend newly implemented voting restrictions that could prevent many voters from casting a ballot. The outcomes of those cases could shape critical races—and even influence which party wins control of the US Senate.

In a way, Barack Obama can be blamed for this. In 2008, his historic campaign inspired record turnout, drawing more people to the polls than the country had seen in 40 years. Almost all of the record increase came from black, Hispanic, and young voters, who tended to vote Democratic. Republican governors and GOP-controlled state legislatures, not surprisingly, saw this as a problem. They responded by throwing up a host of new obstacles to voting that disproportionately affect black, Latino, and low-income voters.

Since the last midterm elections in 2010, 22 states have passed strict new voting restrictions, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. Some of those measures took effect before the 2012 election, as in Florida, where long lines at polling stations apparently deterred at least 200,000 people from voting that year. Nationally, fewer people cast votes in the presidential race in 2012 than in 2004, even though the country saw the number of eligible voters increase by 8 million. In 15 states, this year’s midterms will mark the first federal election with a host of these new voting restrictions in action.

For more: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/voting-rights-november-voter-suppression-states

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5 Republican goals if they win the Senate Nov. 4

9/28/14 Associated Press By The Associated Press

Five things Republicans hope to do if they win control of the Senate this fall:

1. Try to pass measures backed by some congressional Democrats but opposed by President Barack Obama. This could include approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline and removing a tax on medical devices. Obama might find it difficult to veto such bipartisan efforts.

2. Highlight party differences on taxes, spending, regulations and other issues. Republicans could force Obama to veto — or Democratic senators to filibuster — GOP initiatives, painting Democrats as obstructionists.

3. Block confirmation of Obama’s judicial and executive nominees who do not satisfy Republicans’ demands.

4. Join the House in launching investigations into politically sensitive areas such as the Internal Revenue Service, environmental regulations and the killing of Americans in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.

5. Appeal to conservatives by passing bills to repeal Obama’s health care law and achieve other long-frustrated goals. Obama probably would veto such efforts, assuming they survive Democratic filibusters. But GOP lawmakers could argue they’re doing all they can, and voters should elect a Republican president in 2016 to complete the work.

FLOTUS VOTE

Give America a treat

 

Vote for Democrats in 2014

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Polling Place Locator http://pollingplaces.democrats.org


Infrastructure Investment

10/25/2014


Modes of transportation

 The U.S. faces a funding gap of $1 trillion in transportation, water, and electricity needs between now and 2020.  Treasury Jack Lew’sExpanding Our Nation’s Infrastructure through Innovative financing report examines the high costs of these investment deficiencies to the U.S. economy and outlines the critical importance of modernizing and maintaining our nation’s infrastructure to ensure economic growth, opportunity, and job creation, and to help American businesses compete effectively in the global economy.

“The Department of Transportation has put forward a long-term transportation bill called the GROW AMERICA Act that will help states, cities and towns tackle their transportation needs and plan for the future, all without adding to the deficit,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “It’s a significant step forward – but more must be done to make the most of our future growth.  The Build America Investment Initiative will leverage private investment along with public support to ensure our country’s future continues to burn bright.”

The Administration’s four-year transportation re-authorization bill, which President Obama put forward in his budget, is a long-term strategy to provide certainty to states, cities, as well as private investors.  While Congress passed a bill to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent through next May, the Administration’s proposal is a comprehensive approach that rebuilds America, creates construction and jobs, and tackles our most urgent repairs as soon as possible.  To help pay for these investments, the Administration’s proposal would use temporary, one-time savings from pro-growth business tax reform.

On July 17, 2014, President Obama called upon Secretary Lew and Secretary Foxx to co-chair an interagency working group to analyze how to increase public and private sector collaboration in infrastructure development; expand appropriate use of private sector infrastructure financing; and achieve gains in productivity, efficiency, and resilience.  The working group’s report is due to deliver to the President on November 14, 2014.

For more: http://www.dot.gov/briefing-room/treasury-and-transportation-host-infrastructure-investment-summit

Infrastructure Investments by Nation
Biden to headline economic forum

10/25/14 01:41 PM EDT By Kevin Cirilli – TheHill

Vice President Joe Biden will keynote an economic forum in Washington on Tuesday.

Biden will speak at the North American Strategic Infrastructure Leadership Forum to an audience of more than 400 public and private sectors executives.

It is hosted CG/LA Infrastructure and aims to bring together officials and sponsors from the top infrastructure 100 projects in North America, a CG/LA spokesperson shared first with The Hill.

“Infrastructure drives economic growth across the board. Vice President Biden understands this and has demonstrated leadership in developing a national vision to innovate and improve the state of U.S. infrastructure,” said CG/LA President and CEO, Norman Anderson in a statement.

For Biden, the forum offers a opportunity to highlight the administration’s continued calls to invest in infrastructure spending, which many Democrats have argued would help spur economic growth.

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Matthew Shepard & James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act – 5th Anniversary

10/25/2014

Shepard Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act

The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, also known as the Matthew Shepard Act, is an American Act of Congress, passed on October 22, 2009,  and signed into law by President Barack Obama on October 28, 2009, as a rider to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2010 (H.R. 2647). Conceived as a response to the murders of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., the measure expands the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gendersexual orientationgender identity, or disability.

The bill also:

  • Removes the prerequisite that the victim be engaging in a federally protected activity, like voting or going to school;
  • Gives federal authorities greater ability to engage in hate crimes investigations that local authorities choose not to pursue;
  • Provides $5 million per year in funding for fiscal years 2010 through 2012 to help state and local agencies pay for investigating and prosecuting hate crimes;
  • Requires the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to track statistics on hate crimes based on gender and gender identity (statistics for the other groups were already tracked).

The Act is the first federal law to extend legal protections to transgender people.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Shepard_and_James_Byrd,_Jr._Hate_Crimes_Prevention_Act

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FBI Contact Information: http://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/

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Equal_Love
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Attorney General Holder Announces Federal Government to Recognize Same-Sex Married Couples in Six Additional States

In the latest development following the Supreme Court’s decision earlier this month to decline to hear any pending cases regarding same-sex marriage, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Saturday that the federal government will now recognize same-sex married couples in six new states: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Last week, the Attorney General made a similar announcement with respect to seven other states: Colorado, Indiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. Saturday’s announcement adds to that list and brings the total number of states where same-sex couples are recognized by the federal government to 32, plus the District of Columbia.

The Attorney General’s announcement means couples married in these states will now qualify for a range of federal benefits, including those administered by the Social Security Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs.

“With each new state where same-sex marriages are legally recognized, our nation moves closer to achieving of full equality for all Americans,” the Attorney General said. “We are acting as quickly as possible with agencies throughout the government to ensure that same-sex married couples in these states receive the fullest array of benefits allowable under federal law.”

In addition, the Attorney General also announced that the Department of Justice has determined it can legally recognize marriages performed in Indiana and Wisconsin this past June. These marriages were performed immediately after federal district courts ruled that those states’ bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, but subsequent developments created confusion about the status of those marriages. Based on the Attorney General’s announcement, however, those couples married during that period will now have their unions recognized by the federal government.

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 White House – LGBT

 LGBT Democrats Facebook

US LGBT Rights Timeline 1903-2014  (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

Forward For Equality_sml


VOTE SMART & VOTE DEMOCRAT 2014

10/23/2014

2014 VOTE DEMOCRATS INTO SENATE 2014 Congressional Elections Vote Every Election

Vote Every Election

Let’s be very clear, while we’re tuning out and staying home on Election Day, other folks are tuning in.  Other folks are taking politics very seriously.  And they’re engaged on every level.  They’re raising money.  They’re making their voices heard –- and their issues known –- from City Hall to Washington, DC.  And I know that in the face of all of that money and influence, it can start to feel like ordinary citizens just can’t get a seat at the table.  And that can make you feel helpless and hopeless.  It can make you feel or think that you’re powerless.

But I’m here today because that’s simply not true.  We are not helpless or hopeless.  Time and again, history has shown us that there is nothing –- nothing -– more powerful than ordinary citizens coming together for a just cause.”

” I’m talking about the tireless, the thankless, relentless work of making change — you know, the phone-calling, letter-writing, door-knocking, meeting-planning kind of work.  That is the real work of democracy –- what happens during those quiet moments between the marches. “

“That is how we carry on that precious legacy we’ve inherited — by recommitting ourselves to that day-to-day, vitally important work that has always paved the way for change in this country.

What does that mean?  That means being informed.  It means following the news, and learning about who’s representing us, and how our governments work.  It means showing up to vote — and not just every four years, but every year in every election.  It means engaging with the folks we elect, following how they vote and how they spend our hard-earned tax dollars.  And if you don’t like what you see, then let them know, or better yet, run for a seat at the table yourself.  “

June 28, 2012 First Lady Michelle Obama at the AME Church Conference

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“The vote is the most powerful instrument, the most powerful non-violent tool in a democratic society.”

U.S. Representative John Robert Lewis

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voter-protection-hotline

VOTE SMART & VOTE DEMOCRAT 2014

التصويت على 5 نوفمبر

投票于11月4日

Vote sur Novembre 4

Abstimmen am 4. November

הצביעו ב -4 בנובמבר

Vota il 4 novembre

11月4日投票

11 월 4 일 투표

Votação em 4 de novembro

Проголосовать 4 ноября

votar el 4 de noviembre

Bình chọn vào ngày 4 tháng 11

Vote Forward


United Nations Day 2014

10/22/2014

In 1947, the United Nations General Assembly declared 24 October, the anniversary of the Charter of the United Nations, as which “shall be devoted to making known to the peoples of the world the aims and achievements of the United nations and to gaining their support for” its work.

“UN Day is a day on which we resolve to do more.  More to protect those caught up in armed conflict, to fight climate change and avert nuclear catastrophe; more to expand opportunities for women and girls, and to combat injustice and impunity; more to meet the Millennium Development Goals.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

For more: http://www.un.org/

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October 23, 2014 Presidential Proclamation — United Nations Day, 2014

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7/8/14 U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that The United Nations now recognizes the gay marriages of all its staffers


George Washington’s Culper Spy Ring

10/21/2014
Culper Spy Ring map route

Culper Spy Ring map route

The Culper Ring was a spy ring organized by American Major (later Colonel) Benjamin Tallmadge under orders from General George Washington in the summer of 1778 during British occupation of New York City at the height of the American Revolutionary War. The “Culper” name was suggested by Washington who devised it from Culpeper County, Virginia. The two main members of the Ring, Abraham Woodhull and Robert Townsend, used “Samuel Culper, Sr.” and “Samuel Culper, Jr.” respectively, as aliases. Tallmadge was in direct contact with and control of the Ring but Washington often directed its operations. Tallmadge was referred to by the alias of “John Bolton.”

The Ring’s task was to send messages to General Washington about the activities of the British Army in New York City, the British headquarters and base of operations. The members of the Ring operated mostly in New York City, Long Island, and Connecticut. The Ring’s covert operations started in about late October 1778 and continued through the British evacuation of New York in 1783, but its heyday was between 1778 and 1781.

The Culper Ring provided valuable information to General Washington including that the British planned a surprise attack on the newly allied French forces under Lieutenant General Rochambeau at Newport, Rhode Island before the French could fully recover and set up defenses after their arduous sea journey to America; that the British planned to counterfeit American currency on the actual paper used for the Continental dollars, prompting the Continental Congressto retire the bills; that British Major General William Tryon’s raid in Connecticut in July 1779 was a diversion to induce Washington to divide his forces so British Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton could attack them piecemeal; and that a high ranking American officer, soon shown to be American Major General Benedict Arnold, had been plotting with British Major John Andre to surrender the garrison and to turn over the vitally important American fort at West Point, New York on the Hudson River to the British.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culper_Ring

A page from the Culper Ring's code book, with noteworthy people and place names listed side-by-side with numeric representations
A page from the Culper Ring’s code book, with noteworthy people and place names listed side-by-side with numeric representations

George Washington – Profile

George Washington Papers

George Washington, Goodfellow, Women’s History and Agent “355”

The Founding Fathers of American Intelligence

Spies of the Revolution

Manuscripts of Benjamin Tallmadge

Caleb Brewster – Revolutionary War Hero

Break the Code

“TURN” THE UNTOLD STORY OF AMERICA’S FIRST SPY RING

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Waiting for Congress’ Approval – The Need for a US Surgeon General

10/19/2014

A Surgeon General nominee ‘tied up in politics’

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10/15/14 04:54 PM—UPDATED 10/15/14 06:48 PM By Steve Benen – maddowblog
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There’s a fair amount of public anxiety about the Ebola virus, and it’s important to have U.S. officials communicating clearly and effectively with the public so Americans understand the nature of the problem. That might ordinarily be the job of the U.S. Surgeon General, but as of now, we don’t actually have one.
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As regular readers may recall, President Obama nominated Dr. Vivek Murthy to the post nearly a year ago, and at first blush, this seemed like a no-brainer – Murthy is an impressive medical professional with sterling credentials. He’s an attending physician, an instructor, and a public-health advocate, so when Obama nominated him for the post, no one questioned his qualifications.
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But Murthy, like so many in his field, also sees a connection between gun violence and public health, which meant Republicans and the NRA decided to destroy his nomination. Senate Democrats could have confirmed him anyway, but red-state Dems got election-year jitters, which means. at least for now, Murthy has been temporarily derailed and the Surgeon General’s office is empty during a public-health scare.
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Contact your legislator Contact your Congress person to TELL THEM TO START WORKING WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA!!

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