Pres Obama’s 2009 Executive Order 13491 Banning Torture

12/10/2014

December 09, 2014

Statement by the President Report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

Throughout our history, the United States of America has done more than any other nation to stand up for freedom, democracy, and the inherent dignity and human rights of people around the world. As Americans, we owe a profound debt of gratitude to our fellow citizens who serve to keep us safe, among them the dedicated men and women of our intelligence community, including the Central Intelligence Agency. Since the horrific attacks of 9/11, these public servants have worked tirelessly to devastate core al Qaeda, deliver justice to Osama bin Laden, disrupt terrorist operations and thwart terrorist attacks. Solemn rows of stars on the Memorial Wall at the CIA honor those who have given their lives to protect ours. Our intelligence professionals are patriots, and we are safer because of their heroic service and sacrifices.

In the years after 9/11, with legitimate fears of further attacks and with the responsibility to prevent more catastrophic loss of life, the previous administration faced agonizing choices about how to pursue al Qaeda and prevent additional terrorist attacks against our country. As I have said before, our nation did many things right in those difficult years. At the same time, some of the actions that were taken were contrary to our values. That is why I unequivocally banned torture when I took office, because one of our most effective tools in fighting terrorism and keeping Americans safe is staying true to our ideals at home and abroad.

Today’s report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence details one element of our nation’s response to 9/11—the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, which I formally ended on one of my first days in office. The report documents a troubling program involving enhanced interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects in secret facilities outside the United States, and it reinforces my long-held view that these harsh methods were not only inconsistent with our values as nation, they did not serve our broader counterterrorism efforts or our national security interests. Moreover, these techniques did significant damage to America’s standing in the world and made it harder to pursue our interests with allies and partners. That is why I will continue to use my authority as President to make sure we never resort to those methods again.

As Commander in Chief, I have no greater responsibility than the safety and security of the American people. We will therefore continue to be relentless in our fight against al Qaeda, its affiliates and other violent extremists. We will rely on all elements of our national power, including the power and example of our founding ideals. That is why I have consistently supported the declassification of today’s report. No nation is perfect. But one of the strengths that makes America exceptional is our willingness to openly confront our past, face our imperfections, make changes and do better. Rather than another reason to refight old arguments, I hope that today’s report can help us leave these techniques where they belong—in the past. Today is also a reminder that upholding the values we profess doesn’t make us weaker, it makes us stronger and that the United States of America will remain the greatest force for freedom and human dignity that the world has ever known.

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Secretary Kerry on Release of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report
Secretary of State John Kerry
U.S. Department of State – Washington, D.C.

12-09-2014
Release of this report affirms again that one of America’s strengths is our democratic system’s ability to recognize and wrestle with our own history, acknowledge mistakes, and correct course. This marks a coda to a chapter in our history.

President Obama turned the page on these policies when he took office and during week one banned the use of torture and closed the detention and interrogation program. It was right to end these practices for a simple but powerful reason: they were at odds with our values. They are not who we are, and they’re not who or what we had to become, because the most powerful country on earth doesn’t have to choose between protecting our security and promoting our values.

Now this report sheds light on this period that’s more than five years behind us, so we can discuss and debate our history – and then look again to the future.

As that debate is joined, I want to underscore that while it’s uncomfortable and unpleasant to reexamine this period, it’s important that this period not define the intelligence community in anyone’s minds. Every single day, the State Department and our diplomats and their families are safer because of the men and women of the CIA and the Intelligence Community. They sign up to serve their country the same way our diplomats and our military do. They risk their lives to keep us safe and strengthen America’s foreign policy and national security. The awful facts of this report do not represent who they are, period. That context is also important to how we understand history.

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UN expert calls for prosecution of CIA, US officials for crimes committed during interrogations

9 December 2014 – A United States Senate report has confirmed what the international community has long believed – that there was a clear policy orchestrated at a high level within the Bush Administration which allowed to commit gross violations of international human rights law, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on counter terrorism and human rights said today.

Released this afternoon, the so-called Feinstein report, after long-time US Senator Dianne Feinstein who chaired the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that compiled the document, probes crimes of torture and enforced disappearance of terrorist suspects by the Bush-era CIA.

“It has taken four years since the report was finalised to reach this point,” said Ben Emmerson in a statement.

Now it is time to take action, he added. “The individuals responsible for the criminal conspiracy revealed in today’s report must be brought to justice, and must face criminal penalties commensurate with the gravity of their crimes,” he said.

Identities of the perpetrators, and many other details, have been redacted in the published summary report but are known to the Select Committee and to those who provided the Committee with information on the programme.

“The fact that the policies revealed in this report were authorized at a high level within the US Government provides no excuse whatsoever. Indeed, it reinforces the need for criminal accountability,” Mr. Emmerson explained.

International law prohibits the granting of immunities to public officials who have engaged in acts of torture. This applies not only to the actual perpetrators but also to those senior officials within the US Government who devised, planned and authorised these crimes.

The US is legally obliged, by international law, to bring those responsible to justice. The UN Convention Against Torture and the UN Convention on Enforced Disappearances require States to prosecute acts of torture and enforced disappearance where there is sufficient evidence to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction.

For more: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=49560#.VIhmd4s9dbw

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Guantanamo Bay detention camp

The Guantanamo Bay detention camp, also referred to as GuantánamoG-bay or GTMO (pronounced ‘gitmo’), is a United States military prison located within Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, which fronts on Guantánamo Bay in Cuba. At the time of its establishment in January 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld said the prison camp was established to detain extraordinarily dangerous persons, to interrogate “detainees” in an optimal setting, and to prosecutedetainees for war crimes.Detainees captured in the War on Terror, most of them from Afghanistan and much smaller numbers later from Iraq, the Horn of Africa and South Asia were transported to the prison.

The facility is operated by the Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) of the United States government in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. Detainment areas consisted of Camp Delta (including Camp Echo), Camp Iguana, and Camp X-Ray (which is now closed).

After Bush political appointees at the U.S. Office of Legal CounselDepartment of Justice advised the Bush administration that the Guantanamo Bay detention camp could be considered outside U.S. legal black jurisdiction, military guards took the first twenty detainees to Guantanamo on 11 January 2002. The Bush administration asserted that detainees were not entitled to any of the protections of the Geneva Conventions. Ensuing U.S. Supreme Court decisions since 2004 have determined otherwise and that the courts have jurisdiction: it ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld on 29 June 2006, that detainees were entitled to the minimal protections listed under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. Following this, on 7 July 2006, the Department of Defense issued an internal memo stating that detainees would, in the future, be entitled to protection under Common Article 3.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guantanamo_Bay_detention_camp#President_Obama.27s_attempt_to_close_the_camp

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President Obama’s attempt to close the camp

During his 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama described Guantánamo as a “sad chapter in American history” and promised to close down the prison in 2009. After being elected, Obama reiterated his campaign promise on 60 Minutes and the ABC program This Week.

On 22 January 2009, President Obama stated that he ordered the government to suspend prosecutions of Guantánamo Bay detainees for 120 days to review all the detainees’ cases to determine whether and how each detainee should be prosecuted. A day later, Obama signed an executive order stating that Guantánamo Detention Camp would be closed within the year. His plan encountered a setback when incoming officials of his administration discovered that there were no comprehensive files concerning many of the detainees, so that merely assembling the available evidence about them could take weeks or months. In May, Obama announced that the prosecutions would be revived. On 20 May 2009, the United States Senate passed an amendment to the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009 (H.R. 2346) by a 90–6 vote to block funds needed for the transfer or release of prisoners held at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. In November 2009, President Obama admitted that the “specific deadline” he had set for closure of the Guantánamo Bay camp would be “missed.” He said the camp would probably be closed later in 2010, but did not set a specific deadline.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guantanamo_Bay_detention_camp#President_Obama.27s_attempt_to_close_the_camp

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The Lives of People of All Colors DO MATTER

12/04/2014

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Thursday, December 4, 2014
Attorney General Holder to Hold Roundtable Meetings in Five More Cities as Part of Justice Department’s “Building Community Trust” Initiative

On the heels of President Obama’s national call to foster strong, collaborative relationships between local police and the communities they protect and serve, the U.S. Department of Justice announced today the upcoming cities where Attorney General Eric Holder will hold regional roundtable meetings as part of the department’s Building Community Trust initiative.  Those cities are: Cleveland, Memphis, Tennessee, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Oakland, California.

The roundtables will serve as an opportunity to bring law enforcement, elected officials and members of the community together to discuss next steps that the administration will take to improve relationships between law enforcement and the community, increase the integrity within our justice system, and share best practices for policing.

The Attorney General hosted the first such Building Community Trust roundtable meeting at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Monday.  There, he discussed President Obama’s announcement to create the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, the federal review on the use of military-style equipment for local law enforcement, and the new Community Policing Initiative to fund up to 50,000 additional body-worn cameras for law enforcement agencies.  At a community town hall meeting held at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, the Attorney General announced that the department will soon release new guidelines on the use of racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies.

For more: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/attorney-general-holder-hold-roundtable-meetings-five-more-cities-part-justice-departments

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Building Community Trust Tour with Attorney General Eric Holder

Published on Dec 15, 2014

Attorney General Eric Holder was in Memphis, TN. to lead the third of five planned “Building Community Trust” roundtable discussions. Born out of the President’s call for an increased effort to help rebuild trust in local law enforcement and the justice system, the Attorney General met with local leaders to discuss next steps to share best practices for community policing. Held at the Lorraine Motel, site of where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968 and home to the National Civil Rights Museum.

 

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In Oakland, The Disconnect Between Young People And Police

December 05, 2014 JOI SMITH – youthradio

Oakland has a history of tensions between police and the community. The police department there is under federal oversight for its use of force, among other problems.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some people are also seeking a way forward, as we hear from Joi Smith of Youth Radio.

JOI SMITH, BYLINE: Oakland has a long history of tensions between police and the community. In fact, the Oakland Police Department is under federal oversight for its use of force and its reporting of misconduct, among other problems. Twenty-five-year-old Alex Sipp says it feels like there’s no end in sight. He says in his neighborhood, he notices resentment towards police starting at a young age.

ALEX SIPP: Like, I’ve heard little kids, you know, point out the police coming down the street for no reason. It’s almost like a sense of fear, like, uh oh, here they come instead of – oh no, that’s the police. They’re here to protect me.

ARNOLD PERKINS: We make bogeymen out of people that you don’t talk to.

SMITH: That’s Arnold Perkins, the former director of the Alameda County Department of Public Health. He understands why people are reacting and taking it to the streets. But he believes both protesters and police have to hear each other out. Protests have turned violent in Oakland, and Perkins had been hoping for a more productive outcome.

PERKINS: What would happen if the group would have marched down to the police station and contacted the chief before and says, you know, we want to sit down and, you know, have a conversation. We keep tearing up our city. It leads us nowhere but more anger and more frustration.

SMITH: Olis Simmons is the founding CEO of East Oakland community organization Youth Uprising. She thinks Oakland can be a leader in raising a national dialogue about racial justice and relationships with the police.

OLIS SIMMONS: Holding young people who are at the epicenter of violence dearest to my heart has created a place where I’ve had to be in dialogue with the police department about their leadership, about their professional development, about their oversight.

SMITH: Simmons brings police officers to East Oakland to speak to the youth. She says when police and community members meet face to face, it can start to break down the tension.

For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2014/12/05/368640589/in-oakland-there-s-a-disconnect-between-young-people-and-police

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The Lives of People of All Colors DO MATTER

Hands of Color

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White House Council for Women and Girls of Color

11/12/2014

Expanding Opportunity and Addressing Unique Challenges Facing Women and Girls of Color

When President Obama founded the White House Council on Women and Girls (CWG) within the first two months of taking office, he charged us with working to address inequalities and barriers facing women and girls in our schools, workplaces, and throughout American life. And as women’s role in society and our economy continues to evolve and grow, so too has the importance of ensuring that all women and girls succeed, including women and girls of color who often face compounded disparities.

A CWG report released yesterday delves into the inequities and distinct challenges facing women of color, while examining some of the efforts underway to close unfair gaps in educational outcomes, pay, career opportunity, health disparities, and more.

Since its inception, the CWG has focused on issues which disproportionately affect women of color. As part of this ongoing effort, the CWG is convening a Working Group to bring together policy staff from the White House and across the federal agencies, with advocates and experts from around the country. Together, this group will focus on issues including education, economic security, health, criminal and juvenile justice, violence, and research and data collection. By detailing both the progress we have made and the challenges that still remain, this report should serve both as a reminder of what is possible and as a call to action to do so much more.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/11/13/expanding-opportunity-and-addressing-unique-challenges-facing-women-and-girls-color

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November 12, 2014

White House Report: Women and Girls of Color: Addressing Challenges and Expanding Opportunity

Today, the White House Council on Women and Girls released a report entitled “Women and Girls of Color: Addressing Challenges and Expanding Opportunity”. This report highlights work the Administration has done over the last six years to reduce barriers to success for everyone including women and girls of color. From continuing to fight to increase the minimum wage, encouraging women to enter STEM-related fields, providing increased access to health screenings and much more, this report re-emphasizes the Administration’s commitment to helping all women succeed in every area of their lives. Read a copy of that report here.

About the Report:

In recent years, on indicators ranging from educational attainment to economic security to health and well-being, women and girls of color have made tremendous progress. The number of businesses owned by women of color has skyrocketed, and women of color have ascended to the upper ranks of workplaces across industries. Teen pregnancy rates for girls of color have plummeted, and high school and college graduation rates have risen.

Yet, these achievements may obscure the very real challenges and disparities that persist for women and girls of color. Girls of color still lag behind in their performance on standardized tests, and they are more likely to be suspended from school. Women and girls of color still face higher rates of poverty and receive lower wages for their work than their white peers, and they are more likely to become involved in the criminal justice system. Women of color still have some of the highest rates of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and other serious conditions, and they experience high rates of domestic violence. And when women are the primary or sole breadwinners for nearly half of all households of color, these disparities do not just affect them, but their families and communities as well.

Further, as President Obama recently noted, women of color “struggle every day with biases that perpetuate oppressive standards for how they’re supposed to look and how they’re supposed to act. Too often, they’re either left under the hard light of scrutiny, or cloaked in a kind of invisibility.” When addressing the challenges women and girls of color face – challenges that often lie at the intersection of race and gender – we often fail to fully acknowledge, and account for, this complexity.

President Obama created the White House Council on Women and Girls in the first months of his presidency precisely for the purpose of addressing issues like these. The Council’s mandate is to ensure that every agency, department and office in the federal government takes into account the needs and aspirations of women and girls in every aspect of their work. Since it was established, the Council has worked on a number of issues and policies that impact women and girls of color across the country. Highlights of these initiatives – as well as numerous others across the federal government – are detailed in this report.

In detailing both the progress we have made and the challenges that still remain, this Report should serve both as a reminder of what is possible and as a call to action to do so much more.

Looking Ahead:

As part of its efforts to address barriers and disparities that still exist for so many Americans and so many women and girls of color in particular, the Council is convening a Working Group on Challenges and Opportunities for Women and Girls of Color. This Working Group will bring together policy staff from the White House and across federal agencies – as well as experts, leaders and advocates from outside the government – to focus on issues including education, economic security, health, criminal and juvenile justice, violence, and research and data collection. More information on the Working Group will be released at a later date.

Consistent with President Obama’s commitment to ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to succeed, in January, 2015, the Department of Education, the White House Domestic Policy Council, the White House Council on Women and Girls and Georgetown University will convene thought leaders, policy makers, practitioners, researchers, advocates, and marginalized girls and young women to focus on increasing access to STEM and CTE opportunities. We will address barriers to access, including cultural competency, race and gender stereotypes, discrimination, and lack of sufficient resources to support programs in schools and communities. This convening will produce and inform policy and programmatic proposals to help disrupt patterns of gender-based occupational segregation by increasing young women’s and girls’ participation in programs that prepare them for high-skill, high-wage jobs, including non-traditional occupations. The aim is to develop a strategy to prepare students for in-demand careers in high-growth industry sectors.

For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/11/12/white-house-report-women-and-girls-color-addressing-challenges-and-expan

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Council on Women and Girls—Women and Girls of Color: Addressing Challenges and Expanding Opportunity
The White House

Live: http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

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Women_for_Obama

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Liberals Don’t You Dare Give Up!

11/06/2014
37% Voted on Novemeber 4, 2014 - DID YOU VOTE FOR OUR FUTURE?

37% Voted on Novemeber 4, 2014 – DID YOU VOTE FOR OUR FUTURE?


Yes, we Dems got beat this election. I DID NOT appreciate it that campaigning Democrats dissed President Obama.  Enough young and minority Democrat voters stayed home and the GOP voters came out in full force to vote. Now there is a GOP majority in the House and Senate.

The new GOP Congress will spend their time trying to repeal Obamacare for the 50+ time, repealing voters rights and other civil rights, crippling EPA laws, trying to passing stricter immigration laws, keeping things like phantom issues in the forefront instead of passing legislation to help the 99% [when they actually are in town and at work in Congress], blocking presidential cabinet and department appointees and blocking the appointment of liberal judges.

Whom ever becomes president in 2016 [HRClinton or E. Warren] will also have those GOP Senator winners of last night to deal with in their presidency four years.

Now we Democrats have to pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off and get back on our feet! Think of our forefathers who fought and died for your democracy!

We have to thank all the Democrat volunteers and voters who worked so hard.

We can appreciate that the US has fared way better then most countries economically coming out of that recession because of actions of President Obama.

We have to start becoming more politically involved and keep up with the news.

Every election creates change for you, your family, your community and your nation. We can start to prepare and vote for Democrats in every election

Work to Take Back Congress!

Aloha,

CR who is proud to be a Democrat!

Proud to be a Democrat

PBO Post Election Promise

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The Right to Vote

11/02/2014

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VOTE Make a Difference

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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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Democrats have a long and proud history of fighting for voting rights that continues to this day. And while we’ve made significant progress in securing the right to vote for all eligible Americans, many voters still face difficulties in the voting process, from registering to casting a ballot to having their votes counted. Those often disproportionately affected are communities of color, young people, the elderly, low-income individuals, and disabled voters, as well as military members and veterans. In many parts of the country, voters are underserved by a lack of polling places, outdated voting machines, and unnecessarily complicated laws.

As Republican politicians try to make it harder to vote, Democrats are working to expand access to the polls. And we won’t stop working to promote a system of elections that is accessible, open, and fair — a system that ensures that every eligible person can cast a vote and that every lawfully cast vote is counted.

To learn more about why voting rights matter, visit: www.votingrightsmatter.com.

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Homeless People’s Voting Rights 202-462-4822

US Election Assistance Commission 866-747-1471 (toll free) or 202-566-3100

US Acerca de la EAC  866-747-1471 (teléfono gratuito) 202-566-3100

使用本明信片表格和指南在您的 所在州登记投票 – Chinese .
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このはがき用紙とガイドをもとに 自分の居住する州で 投票登録を行なってください — Japanese .
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주정부유권자 등록 신청을 위한 우편엽서 양식 및 안내서 – Korean .
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Dokumento para sa Pambansang Rehistrasyon ng Botanteng Maghuhulog ng Balota sa Koreo — Tagalog
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Ghi danh Bỏ phiếu tại Tiểu bang của quý vị bằng cách sử dụng Cẩmw nang Hướng dẫn và Mẫu đơn dạng Bưu thiệp này — Vietnamese .
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voter-protection-hotline

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

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VOTE SMART & VOTE DEMOCRAT 2014

Vote Forward


Happy Halloween 2014

10/29/2014

WH Halloween 2014

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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GOP WRONG WAY

Republicans bank on fear in this election

November 2 at 6:23 PM By Rachel Maddow – washingtonpost

Rachel Maddow hosts MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” and writes a monthly column for The Post.

I know it wasn’t planned this way, but there is a certain genius in how we snug Election Day up against Halloween on the calendar. We scare each other for fun and profit on the last day of October every year, but then in even-numbered years, we keep going. We scare each other on the first Tuesday thereafter, too, rolling right from our night of haunted houses and zombie costumes into a national election that’s being directed like the shower scene from “Psycho.”

This year, the closing argument from the Republican side is a whole bunch of ghastly fantasies: Ebola, the Islamic State, vague but nefarious aspersions about stolen elections and a whole bunch of terrifying fantasies about our border with Mexico. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) still hasn’t explained why only he knows about the “at least 10 ISIS fighters who have been caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas.” Ten fighters from the Islamic State are in custody in Texas, but only Hunter knows about it?

Once and would-be future senator Scott Brown says it’s polio that’s sneaking across the border. Polio, or maybe whooping cough. Or Ebola. Or the Islamic State! Whichever. Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), another Senate candidate, says Mexican drug cartels and the Islamic State are colluding to mount a sneak attack on Arkansas. Boo!

For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/rachel-maddow-republicans-bank-on-fear-in-this-election/2014/11/02/6be71d4c-6133-11e4-91f7-5d89b5e8c251_story.html?hpid=z3

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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


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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