Global Carbon Emissions Standards for Commercial Airplanes

Commercial aviation produces primary combustion products, carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O), at a level comparable to its expenditure of fossil fuels, about 3 percent of global fuel consumption. Unlike ground-based combustion sources, aircraft deposit their combustion products at much higher altitudes, into the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (25,000 to 50,000 feet). Combustion byproducts deposited there can have long residence times, enhancing their impact. The apparent increased incidence of cirrus clouds and persistent contrails are visible examples of these effects. The major objective of AEAP is to provide periodic assessment of the impact of cruise altitude aircraft emissions on ozone change in the upper atmosphere and climate change, such as the impact of increased cirrus cloud cover on global warming. Source: http://www.aeronautics.nasa.gov/events/showcase/environ.htm
Commercial aviation produces primary combustion products, carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor (H2O), at a level comparable to its expenditure of fossil fuels, about 3 percent of global fuel consumption. Unlike ground-based combustion sources, aircraft deposit their combustion products at much higher altitudes, into the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (25,000 to 50,000 feet). Combustion byproducts deposited there can have long residence times, enhancing their impact. The apparent increased incidence of cirrus clouds and persistent contrails are visible examples of these effects. The major objective of AEAP is to provide periodic assessment of the impact of cruise altitude aircraft emissions on ozone change in the upper atmosphere and climate change, such as the impact of increased cirrus cloud cover on global warming. Source: http://www.aeronautics.nasa.gov/events/showcase/environ.htm

 

New  Aircraft CO2 Standard One Step Closer To Final Adoption

MONTRÉAL, 8 FEBRUARY 2016 – An eagerly awaited aircraft CO2 emissions standard made further and important headway today at the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). 

The new environmental measure was unanimously recommended by the 170 international experts on ICAO’s Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP), paving the way for its ultimate adoption by the UN agency’s 36-State Governing Council.
 
“It is particularly encouraging that the CAEP’s recommendation today responds so directly to the aircraft technology improvements which States have forged consensus on at recent ICAO Assemblies,” highlighted Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, President of the ICAO Council. “Every step taken in support of ICAO’s full basket of measures for environmental improvement is an important one, and I am sure the Council will be deeply appreciative of the this latest CAEP achievement.
 
Under the CAEP recommendation, the new CO2 emissions standard would not only be applicable to new aircraft type designs as of 2020, but also to new deliveries of current in-production aircraft types from 2023. A cut-off date of 2028 for production of aircraft that do not comply with the standard was also recommended. In its current form the standard equitably acknowledges CO2 reductions arising from a range of possible technology innovations, whether structural, aerodynamic or propulsion-based. 
 
The proposed global standard is especially stringent where it will have the greatest impact: for larger aircraft.  Operations of aircraft weighing over 60 tonnes account for more than 90% of international aviation emissions. They also have access to the broadest range of emissions reduction technologies, which the standard recognizes.
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FACT SHEET: U.S. Leadership in Securing First-Ever Global Carbon Emissions Standards for Commercial Airplanes

International Civil Aviation Organization sets carbon standards for commercial airplanes that will reduce carbon pollution and save on fuel costs

Today in Montreal, the U.S. and 22 other countries reached agreement on the first-ever global carbon standards for commercial aircraft. When fully implemented, the standards are expected to reduce carbon emissions more than 650 million tons between 2020 and 2040, equivalent to removing over 140 million cars from the road for a year. These technology standards, agreed to at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a specialized agency of the United Nations with 191 member countries, will apply to aircraft manufacturers once formally adopted by the ICAO Council.

Today’s announcement follows closely on the heels of the Paris Climate Agreement reached last December and demonstrates the international community’s continued commitment to take action on climate change and to put in place policies that reduce harmful carbon pollution. Globally, commercial aircraft emit 11 percent of carbon emissions from transportation. Without additional action, emissions from the aviation sector are projected to grow by nearly 50 percent. That is why, for more than five years, the United States has played a leadership role in developing these standards.

The aircraft standards agreed to today are part of a comprehensive approach by the United States and other ICAO countries to reduce carbon emissions from aviation through technology development, air traffic improvements, alternative fuels, and market mechanisms. The agreement on carbon emission standards is the first of two important opportunities this year to reduce carbon emissions from aviation.  The second opportunity is reaching an ICAO agreement on a market-based approach to ensure carbon-neutral growth in the global aviation industry after 2020, which has the potential to offset several gigatons of carbon through 2035. Today’s agreement is an important signal that the international community is well-positioned to rise to the challenge of implementing a global market-based approach to reduce aviation emissions later this year.

KEY FEATURES OF THE COMMERCIAL AIRLINE CARBON STANDARDS

The standards announced today will apply to new aircraft designs and, in a first for any type of ICAO standards for aircraft, will also apply to aircraft types currently in production.

The standards for new and in-production commercial airplanes will promote fuel efficiency improvements, with commensurate carbon pollution reductions of more than 650 million tons between 2020 and 2040. This standards address commercial airplanes that are responsible for more than 92 percent of aviation emissions. In the negotiations, ICAO members were considering a range of stringency options (SO) from 1 – 10. The standards announced today were finalized in the upper end of the range for large aircraft at SO8.5 and SO7.

Recognizing that aircraft technology and fuel efficiency will continue to improve over time, ICAO will complete a review of state-of-the art aircraft technology and projected improvements before 2019, to inform further tightening of the standard to keep pace with aircraft fuel-efficient technology improvements.

TODAY’S AGREEMENT BUILDS ON A ROBUST SET OF ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE U.S. TO REDUCE GLOBAL CARBON EMISSIONS

  • Paris Climate Agreement: After years of hard work, and thanks to principled American leadership, more than 190 countries came together to adopt the most ambitious climate change agreement in history.
  • Montreal Protocol Amendment: Along with Canada and Mexico, the United States proposed an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), potent greenhouse gases.
  • Mission Innovation: Last year, President Obama joined other world leaders to launch Mission Innovation, a landmark commitment to accelerate public and private global clean energy innovation, and dramatically expand the new technologies that will define a clean, affordable, and reliable global power mix.
  • American Business Act on Climate Pledge: 154 companies have signed the White House’s American Business Act on Climate Pledge.
  • Commitment to Reduce Financing for Coal: The United States fostered a commitment by more than 30 countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to dramatically reduce financing for coal-fired power plants overseas.

For the entire article: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/02/08/fact-sheet-us-leadership-securing-first-ever-global-carbon-emissions

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CLIMATE CHANGE AND PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ACTION PLAN https://www.whitehouse.gov/climate-change
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Happy Lunar New Year 2016

Lion dance performers pose with cardboard cutouts of President Obama and the First Lady at the Multicultural Festival in Canberra.http://canberra.usembassy.gov/events20100206.html
Lion dance performers pose with cardboard cutouts of President Obama and the First Lady at the Multicultural Festival in Canberra.

Asian Lunar New Year  refers to the beginning of the year in several calendars, it is based on a lunar calendar and is celebrated by the Chinese, Korean, Mongolian, Tibetan and Vietnamese cultures.  The lunar new year of the Monkey is celebrated on February 8, 2016.

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Xīnnián hǎo……..Kung Hei Fat Choy…….Saehae bog manh-i bad-euseyo……..Sheen Jileen Min Hurgee……..Losar La Tashi Delek…….Chúc mừng năm mới

WHIAAPI_Logohttp://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/aapi
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” Michelle and I want to send our best wishes to everyone celebrating the Lunar New Year, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Growing up in Hawaii, I remember all the excitement surrounding the Lunar New Year – from the parades and the fireworks to the smaller gatherings with family and friends.  It has always been a time for celebration and hope.”

President Barack Obama

#LunarNewYear

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DNC 2016 Democratic Presidential Candidates’ Debate – N.H.


Proud to be a Democrat


The Democratic National Party
For more than 200 years, our party has led the fight for civil rights, health care, Social Security, workers’ rights, and women’s rights.

We are the party of Barack Obama, John F. Kennedy, FDR, and the countless everyday Americans who work each day to build a more perfect union.

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2016 Presidential Democratic Candidates - Feb 2016

2016 Democratic Presidential Candidates’ Debate

Democratic National Committee announced that six debates are scheduled — at a pace of roughly one per month , this will give voters ample opportunities to hear the 2016 Democratic Presidential candidates discuss their visions for our country’s future.

Debates provide a opportunity for our candidates to engage in a rigorous discussion, not only with each other, but also to show the American people where Democrats stand. The Democratic National Committee has scheduled six debates that will highlight the stark differences between Democrats and Republicans, and help ensure that whoever caucus goers and voters choose as the Democratic nominee will become the 45th President of the United States.

 

What?

Our Democratic candidates are committed to fighting for middle-class families and expanding opportunities to pursue the American Dream, while Republicans continue to push for policies that are out of date and out of touch.

Who?

Hillary Clinton
Bernie Sanders

When?

February 4, 2016
9 PM ET
University of New HampshireNew Hampshire
Hosted by MSNBC/NH Union Leader moderated by “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow

Why?

The choice the American people will face in next November’s election couldn’t be more important. Voters across the country are going to decide between two very different plans for our country — an economy built to last that will strengthen and sustain our middle class, or the failed trickle-down economics of the past. These debates will highlight the Democratic Party’s policies, which will continue to strengthen the middle class, and we hope Americans across the political spectrum will tune in.

Since 1848, the Democratic National Committee has been the home of the Democratic Party, the oldest continuing party in the United States.

Today we are millions of supporters strong, fighting for progress and helping elect Democrats across the country to state government, Congress, and the White House.

There are several core beliefs that tie our party together: Democrats believe that we’re greater together than we are on our own—that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules. Our party, led by President Obama, is focused on building an economy that lifts up all Americans, not just those at the top.

That’s why Democrats are working to make progress on issues like job creation, equal pay, education, health care, and clean energy.

For more: http://www.democrats.org/Post/democratic-national-committee-announces-six-primary-debates

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Democratic Party
Democratic Party History
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DNC Youtube.

 

Hillary Clinton on the Issues

 (source: hillaryclinton.com)

Businesses

  • Launch a national effort to cut the red tape holding small businesses back.
  • Provide targeted tax relief for small businesses and simplify tax filing.
  • Give small businesses—in particular, minority and women-owned businesses—more access to the financing and new markets they need to grow.
  • Provide a tax credit for businesses that create high-quality apprenticeships that lead to jobs.

Civil Rights

  • It’s not enough to condemn campus sexual assault. We need to stop campus sexual assault.
  • Restore the crucial provisions of the Voting Rights Act.
  • Implement universal, automatic voter registration for eligible 18-year-olds.
  • Set a new national standard allowing early voting to begin 20 days or more before an election.

Climate Change

  • Create good-paying jobs by making the United States the clean energy superpower of the 21st century.
  • Set national goals to have 500 million solar panels installed; generate enough renewable energy to power every home in America; cut energy waste in homes, schools, and hospitals by a third; and reduce American oil consumption by a third.
  • Lead the world in the fight against climate change by bringing greenhouse gas emissions to 30 percent below what they were in 2005 within the next decade—and keep going.

Criminal Justice Reform

  • End the era of mass incarceration, reform mandatory minimum sentences, and end private prisons.
  • Encourage the use of smart strategies—like police body cameras—and end racial profiling to rebuild trust between law enforcement and communities.
  • Help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully re-enter society.

Defense

Disability Rights

  • Realize the promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Improve access to meaningful and gainful employment for people with disabilities.
  • Provide tax relief to help the millions of families caring for aging relatives or family members with chronic illnesses or disabilities.

Drug Addiction

  • Empower communities to implement preventive programming for adolescents about drug use and addiction.
  • Ensuring that everyone who needs access to continuing support and treatment.
  • All first responders have access to naloxone, which can prevent opioid overdoses from becoming fatal
  • Require licensed prescribers to meet requirements for a minimum amount of training, and consult a prescription drug monitoring program before writing a prescription for controlled medications.

Economy

  • Give working families a raise, and tax relief that helps them manage rising costs.
  • Create good-paying jobs and get pay rising by investing in infrastructure, clean energy, and scientific and medical research to strengthen our economy and growth.
  • Boost federal investment by $275 billion over the next five years.
  • Create a $25 billion infrastructure bank to support critical infrastructure improvements.
  • Harness public and private capital to fix and build new roads and bridges, expand public transportation, give every American access to broadband internet, and more.

Education

  • Ensure no student has to borrow to pay for tuition, books, or fees to attend a four-year public college in their state.
  • Enable Americans with existing student loan debt to refinance at current rates.
  • Hold colleges and universities accountable for controlling costs and making tuition affordable.
  • Invest in early childhood programs like Early Head Start.
  • Ensure that every 4-year-old in America has access to high-quality preschool in the next 10 years.
  • Provide child care and scholarships to meet the needs of student parents.

Election Reform

  • Overturn Citizens United.
  • End secret, unaccountable money in politics.
  • Establish a small-donor matching system to amplify the voices of everyday Americans.

Energy and Environment

  • Set national goals to have 500 million solar panels installed; generate enough renewable energy to power every home in America; cut energy waste in homes, schools, and hospitals by a third; and reduce American oil consumption by a third.
  • Lead the world in the fight against climate change by bringing greenhouse gas emissions to 30 percent below what they were in 2005 within the next decade—and keep going.

Foreign Policy

  • Defeat ISIS and global terrorism and the ideologies that drive it.
  • Strengthen our alliances and nurture new relationships to tackle shared challenges such as climate change, cyber threats, and highly contagious diseases.

Gun Violence

  • Strengthen background checks and close dangerous loopholes in the current system.
  • Hold irresponsible dealers and manufacturers accountable.
  • Keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, domestic abusers, other violent criminals, and the severely mentally ill.

Health Care

  • We can prevent, effectively treat, and make an Alzheimer’s cure possible by 2025.
  • Defend the Affordable Care Act and build on it to slow the growth of out-of-pocket costs.
  • Crack down on rising prescription drug prices and hold drug companies accountable so they get ahead by investing in research, not jacking up costs.
  • Protect women’s access to reproductive health care.
  • Guarantee up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.
  • Ensure at least a two-thirds wage replacement rate for workers.
  • Pay for paid leave by making the wealthiest pay their fair share—not raising taxes on working families.
  • Fight any effort to privatize or weaken Medicare and Social Security, and expand Social Security for future generations by asking the wealthiest to contribute more.
  • Reform our health care system to incentivize and reward quality care.

Homeland Security

  • Keep America safe and secure by defending our core values and leading with principle.

Immigration Reform

  • Enact comprehensive immigration reform to create a pathway to citizenship, keep families together, and enable millions of workers to come out of the shadows.
  • End family detention and close private immigrant detention centers.
  • Defend President Obama’s executive actions to provide deportation relief for DREAMers and parents of Americans and lawful residents, and extend those actions to additional persons with sympathetic cases if Congress refuses to act.

LGBT Equality

  • Ensure full federal equality for all LGBT Americans.
  • Support LGBT kids, parents, and elders.
  • Secure affordable treatment for people living with HIV and AIDS.

Racial Justice

Seniors & Social Security

  • Demand lower prices for prescription drugs for seniors receiving Medicare.
  • Expand Social Security benefits for widows and those who took time out of the paid workforce to care for a child or sick family member.
  • Fight any effort to privatize or weaken Medicare and Social Security, and expand Social Security for future generations by asking the wealthiest to contribute more.

Supreme Court Appointees

Taxes

  • Close corporate tax loopholes and make the most fortunate pay their fair share.
  • Provide targeted tax relief for small businesses and simplify tax filing.
  • Provide a tax credit for businesses that create high-quality apprenticeships that lead to jobs.

Technology

  • Harness public and private capital to fix and build new roads and bridges, expand public transportation, give every American access to broadband internet, and more.

Unions

  • Strengthen unions and protect worker bargaining power.
  • Raise the minimum wage and strengthen overtime rules.
  • Support working families through equal pay, paid family leave, earned sick days, fair schedules, and quality affordable child care.

Veterans

  • Put our veterans needs first by ensuring access to timely and high quality care and blocking efforts to privatize the VA.
  • Ensure that the men and women who risk their lives for our country have access to a good education and good jobs when they come home by solidifying services and programs that connect veterans to jobs after their service.
  • Strengthen services and support for military families who serve alongside our service members.

Wall Street Reform

  • Veto Republican efforts to repeal or weaken Dodd-Frank.
  • Tackle dangerous risks in the big banks and elsewhere in the financial system.
  • Hold both individuals and corporations accountable when they break the law.

Women

  • Ensure equal pay for women.
  • Defend women’s health and reproductive rights against attacks.
  • Fight for paid family leave and affordable child care.

Hillary Clinton Presidential Primary 2016 Endorsements 

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Bernie Sanders on the Issues 

(source: berniesanders.com)

Businesses

  • Breaking up huge financial institutions so that they are no longer too big to fail.
  • Unions
  • Making it easier for workers to join unions by fighting for the Employee Free Choice Act

Civil Rights

  • We must rein in the National Security Agency and end the bulk collection of phone records, internet history, and email data of virtually all Americans.
  • Our intelligence and law enforcement agencies must have the tools they need to protect the American people, but there must be legal oversight and they must go about their work in a way that does not sacrifice our basic freedoms
  • U.S. must never again embrace torture as a matter of official policy. In an increasingly brutal world, the wanton use of torture by the Bush administration simply meant we lost our moral standing to condemn others who engage in merciless behavior.

Climate Change

  • Reclaim our democracy from the billionaire fossil fuel lobby
  • Accelerate a just transition away from fossil fuels
  • Invest in clean, sustainable energy
  • Revolutionize our electric and transportation infrastructure
  • Lead the international community to solve climate change and prevent international conflict

Criminal Justice Reform

Defense

  • U.S. military must be equipped to fight today’s battles
  • Our defense budget must represent our national security interests and the needs of our military, not the reelection of members of Congress or the profits of defense contractors
  • U.S. must never again embrace torture as a matter of official policy. In an increasingly brutal world, the wanton use of torture by the Bush administration simply meant we lost our moral standing to condemn others who engage in merciless behavior.
  • Close the Guantanamo Bay detention center

Disability Rights

  • Protect and expand the Social Security Disability Insurance Program (SSDI)
  • Increase employment and education opportunities for persons with disabilities
  • Fight for the U.S. ratification of the convention on the rights of persons with disabilities

Economy

  • Increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour by 2020
  • Putting at least 13 million Americans to work by investing $1 trillion over five years in infrastructure improvement
  • Reversing trade policies like NAFTA, CAFTA, and PNTR with China that have driven down wages and caused the loss of millions of jobs
  • Creating 1 million jobs for disadvantaged young Americans by investing $5.5 billion in a youth jobs program.
  • Fighting for pay equity by signing the Paycheck Fairness Act into law.

Education

  • Making tuition free at public colleges and universities throughout America
  • Setting student loan interest rates would go back to where it was in 2006
  • Allow Americans would be able to refinance their student loans at today’s low interest rates
  • Prevent the federal government from profiteering on the backs of college students and use this money instead to significantly lower student loan interest rates.
  • Require public colleges and universities to meet 100% of the financial needs of the lowest-income students
  • Enacting a universal childcare and prekindergarten program.

Election Reform

  • Fight to pass a constitutional amendment making it clear that Congress and the states have the power to regulate money in elections
  • Fight for a publicly financed, transparent system of campaign financing that amplifies small donations, along the lines of the Fair Elections Now Act
  • Insist on complete transparency regarding the funding of campaigns, including through disclosure of contributions to outside spending groups, via legislation, action by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Federal Election Commission, and Federal Communication Commission, and an executive order requiring government contractors to disclose their political spending.
  • Fight to eliminate super PACs and other outside spending abuses.
  • Work to aggressively enforce campaign finance rules.

Energy and Environment

  • Invest in clean, sustainable energy

Foreign Policy

  • Strength through diplomacy
  • Voted against the Iraq War
  • Prevent a nuclear Iran
  • U.S. must play a leading role in creating a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine
  • Expand our global influence by promoting fair trade, addressing global climate change, providing humanitarian relief and economic assistance, defending the rule of law, and promoting human rights.

Gun Violence

Health Care

  • Guaranteeing healthcare as a right of citizenship by enacting a Medicare for all single-payer healthcare system.
  • Requiring employers to provide at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave; two weeks of paid vacation; and 7 days of paid sick days
  • Require Medicare to use its bargaining power to negotiate with the prescription drug companies for better prices – a practice that is currently banned by law.
  • Last year there were more than 37 million Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in private Part D plans. 90 percent of seniors take at least one prescription. Many seniors – almost two-thirds – take three or more prescription drugs.
  • Negotiate substantially reduce prices seniors and people with disabilities pay for drugs, it could save Medicare between $230 billion to $541 billion dollars over the next decade.
  • 83 percent of Americans support allowing the federal government to negotiate with drug companies for better prices.
  • Allow individuals, pharmacists, and wholesalers to import prescription drugs from licensed Canadian pharmacies.
  • Prohibit the United States from agreeing to provisions in international trade deals that would raise drug prices in the United States or extend the monopoly period when a brand name drug company has no generic competition.
  • Suspend the government’s authority to destroy packages of imported drugs at the border until new legislation is passed ensuring that Americans can import safe and affordable drugs from Canada.
  • Prohibit deals that keep generic drugs off the market
  • Enact stronger penalties for healthcare fraud
  • Require pricing and cost transparency

Homeland Security

  • Our country must remain vigilant to protect us from terrorist attacks at home, whether from organized international terrorist networks, or from “lone wolf” extremists

Immigration Reform

  • Allow immigrants to purchase health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
  • Issue whistleblower visas for workers who report abuse and employer violations.
  • Redirect resources away from boondoggle walls to modernize our border and ensure proper oversight that protects border communities.
  • Employ humanitarian parole to ensure the return of unjustly deported immigrants and unify broken families.
  • Ensure our border remains secure and protects local communities.
  • Regulate future flows via a reformed visa system and reworked trade agreements.
  • Put a stop to the notion that the border must be secured before a legalization can happen.
  • Dismantle inhumane deportation programs and private detention centers.
  • Reject “The Great Sanctuary City Slander” as the politics of fear, and support humane local and state laws that integrate immigrants to our society.

LGBT Equality

  • Sign into law the Equality Act, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, and any other bill that prohibits discrimination against LGBT people.
  • Work with HHS to ensure LGBT Americans have access to comprehensive health insurance which provides appropriate coverage and do not have to fear discrimination or mistreatment from providers.
  • Continue the great work of the State Department’s Special Envoy for LGBT Rights and ensure the United States helps protect the rights of LGBT people around the world.
  • Advance policies to ensure students can attend school without fear of bullying, and work to reduce suicides.
  • Require police departments to adopt policies to ensure fairer interactions with transgender people, especially transgender women of color who are often targeted by police unfairly, and institute training programs to promote compliance with fair policies.
  • Bar discrimination against LGBT people by creditors and banks so that people will not be unfairly denied mortgages, credit cards, or student loans.
  • Veto any legislation that purports to “protect” religious liberty at the expense of others’ rights.

Racial Justice

  • We must demilitarize our police forces so they don’t look and act like invading armies.
  • We must invest in community policing. Only when we get officers into the communities, working within neighborhoods before trouble arises, do we develop the relationships necessary to make our communities safer together
  • We must create a police culture that allows for good officers to report the actions of bad officers without fear of retaliation and allows for a department to follow through on such reports.
  • We need police forces that reflect the diversity of our communities, including in the training academies and leadership.
  • At the federal level, we need to establish a new model police training program that reorients the way we do law enforcement in this country
  • We need to federally fund and require body cameras for law enforcement officers to make it easier to hold them accountable.
  • We need to require police departments and states to collect data on all police shootings and deaths that take place while in police custody and make that data public.
  • We need new rules on the allowable use of force. Police officers need to be trained to de-escalate confrontations and to humanely interact with people who have mental illnesses.
  • States and localities that make progress in this area should get more federal justice grant money. Those that do not should get their funding slashed.
  • We need to make sure federal resources are there to crack down on the illegal activities of hate groups.

Rural Economies

  • Make sure that family farmers and rural economies thrive;
  • Expand support for young and beginning farmers;
  • Produce an abundant and nutritious food supply;
  • Establish an on-going regeneration of our soils; and
  • Enlist farmers as partners in promoting conservation and stewardship to keep our air and water clean and to combat climate change.
  • Family farms instead of factory farms
  • Fighting for America’s small and mid-sized farms.
  • Encouraging the growth of regional food systems
  • Reversing trade policies like NAFTA
  • Enforcing our country’s antitrust laws against large agribusiness and food corporations
  • Improving our electric grid
  • Investing in broadband and high-speed Internet services

Seniors & Social Security

  • Expanding Social Security by lifting the cap on taxable income above $250,000.
  • Restore discount drug prices for low-income seniors

Supreme Court Appointees

  • Only appoint Supreme Court justices who will make it a priority to overturn Citizens United and who understand that corruption in politics means more than just quid pro quo.

Taxes

  • Wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share in taxes

Technology

  • Improving our electric grid
  • Investing in broadband and high-speed Internet services

Veterans

  • Fully fund and expand the VA so that every veteran gets the care that he or she has earned and deserves.
  • Substantially improve the processing of Veterans’ claims for compensation.
  • Expand the VA’s Caregivers Program.
  • Expand mental health service for Veterans.
  • Make comprehensive dental care available to all veterans at the VA.

Women

  • Sign the Paycheck Fairness Act into law to end wage discrimination based on gender.
  •  Expand, not cut, funding for Planned Parenthood, the Title X family planning program, and other initiatives that protect women’s health, access to contraception, and the availability of a safe and legal abortion
  •  Nominate Supreme Court justices who understand that Roe v. Wade is the law of the land and recognize the rights of women to have access to family planning services
  • Make high-quality childcare and Pre-K available to every American, regardless of income.
  • Increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour would significantly boost the wages of more than 15 million women and help close the gender wage gap.
  •  Increasing the tipped minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2023 would lift millions of women out of poverty and significantly reduce the gender pay gap
  • Substantially increase funding for this program so that every low-income mother and her children receive the nutrition they need to live healthy lives.


Bernie Sanders Presidential Primary 2016 Endorsements

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2016 Democratic Presidential Candidates’ Debate
February 4, 2016
9:00 PM ET
University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire
Hosted by MSNBC/NH Union Leader
 

Live Stream: MSNBC.com/DemDebate

#DemDebate

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15th Amendment – 146th Anniversary

15th_Amendment

 

The Fifteenth Amendment (Amendment XV) to the United States Constitution prohibits the federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen’s “racecolor, or previous condition of servitude.” It was ratified on February 3, 1870, as the third and last of the Reconstruction Amendments.

In the final years of the American Civil War and the Reconstruction Era that followed, Congress repeatedly debated the rights of the millions of black former slaves. By 1869, amendments had been passed to abolish slavery and provide citizenship and equal protection under the laws, but the election of Ulysses S. Grant to the presidency in 1868 convinced a majority of Republicans that protecting the franchise of black voters was important for the party’s future. After rejecting more sweeping versions of a suffrage amendment, Congress proposed a compromise amendment banning franchise restrictions on the basis of race, color, or previous servitude on February 26, 1869. The amendment survived a difficult ratification fight and was adopted on March 30, 1870.

United States Supreme Court decisions in the late nineteenth century interpreted the amendment narrowly. From 1890 to 1910, most black voters in the South were effectively disenfranchised by new state constitutions and state laws incorporating such obstacles as poll taxes and discriminatory literacy tests, from which white voters were exempted by grandfather clauses. A system of whites-only primaries and violent intimidation by white groups also suppressed black participation.

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

"The first vote" A.R. Waud. Wood engraving. 1867. Prints & Photographs Division. Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-19234
“The first vote”
A.R. Waud.
Wood engraving. 1867.
Prints & Photographs Division.
Reproduction Number:
LC-USZ62-19234

Our Documents, 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, National Archives and Records Administratio

American Treasures of the Library of Congress – The Fifteenth Amendment

#RestoreTheVRA

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Zika Virus

Zika 101

Summary:
The Zika virus is spread to people through the bite of infected mosquitos. About 1 in 5 people who get infected with Zika virus will show symptoms.

In the past several weeks, increased cases of Zika virus disease (Zika) have been reported in South and Central America, and to a limited degree in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a US territory, and the US Virgin Islands.  Zika is a little known illness spread by a certain type of mosquito. Although most people who may be exposed to Zika virus will have only mild or no symptoms, there has been evidence linking Zika virus to negative effects on pregnancies in some cases, which has received widespread public attention. We understand that this news is concerning, especially to pregnant women and their families who may travel to or live in affected areas. Here are some answers to common questions about Zika.

What is Zika?

The Zika virus is spread to people through the bite of infected mosquitos. About 1 in 5 people who get infected with Zika virus will show symptoms. Most of those who get sick experience only mild symptoms that last about a week. The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes (conjunctivitis). It’s rare for someone infected with Zika to become seriously sick or die. Zika is not spread through routine direct person-to-person contact.

Zika and Pregnancy

While anyone can be infected with Zika, what makes it stand out from other mosquito-borne illnesses, is the effect it appears to have on pregnancy. We know that Zika can spread from a pregnant mother to her baby, and that infection during pregnancy may be linked to birth defects, such as a condition called microcephaly (when a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared with babies of the same sex and age). Our understanding of the link between Zika and pregnancy is evolving.

Because of the possible risk to unborn babies, CDC recommends that women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant consider postponing travel to areas with local Zika transmission. If you are pregnant and must travel to one of these areas, talk to your healthcare provider first and strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites. As we learn more about this disease, our guidance may change based on new information important for the public to know.

How to Protect Yourself from Zika

Because there are currently no vaccines or treatment for Zika, the best way to protect yourself is to prevent mosquito bites. You can do this by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants and treating your clothing and other items with permethrin. Use an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellant as directed. You shouldn’t use insect repellant on babies younger than 2 months of age; instead, dress your baby in clothing that covers arms and legs and cover the crib, stroller, or baby carrier with mosquito netting.

If you’ve recently traveled to an area with Zika and develop a rash, joint pain, or red eyes, tell your doctor that you traveled to a country with Zika virus. Because the symptoms of Zika are similar to dengue and chikungunya, special blood tests may be needed.

If you get sick with Zika, make sure to get plenty of rest and fluids, and take medicines like acetaminophen or paracetamol to reduce fever and pain. Don’t take aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen. You can also prevent others from getting sick by avoiding mosquito bites during the first week of illness following the same steps outlined above, because Zika virus can stay in the blood during the first week of infection.

Zika in the Continental US?

Although Zika has been in the news recently, outbreaks of Zika have previously been reported in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. In May 2015, the Pan American Health Organization issued an alert for the first confirmed infection in Brazil. Since then, local transmission of Zika virus has been reported in more than 20 other countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean. Because the mosquitoes that spread Zika are found throughout the tropics, outbreaks of the disease will likely continue.

Zika is currently not found in the continental United States, but cases of Zika have been reported in returning travelers. Because of the recent outbreaks in the Americas, we expect to see more cases of Zika in travelers visiting or returning to the United States. Many areas in the continental U.S., primarily in the Southeast and Gulf Coast regions, have mosquitoes that can become infected with and spread Zika virus, so it is possible that these imported cases could result in local spread of the virus in some areas of the United States. Limited local transmission may occur in the mainland United States, but we believe it is unlikely that we will see widespread transmission of Zika in the mainland United States. Recent outbreaks in the United States of chikungunya and dengue were quite small compared with outbreaks in South America.

For more: http://www.hhs.gov/blog/2016/01/28/zika-101.html

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Centers For Disease Control & PreventionCDC.gov

 

 

WHO Director-General summarizes the outcome of the Emergency Committee on Zika

WHO statement on the first meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee on Zika virus and observed increase in neurological disorders and neonatal malformations

1 February 2016

 

I convened an Emergency Committee, under the International Health Regulations, to gather advice on the severity of the health threat associated with the continuing spread of Zika virus disease in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Committee met today by teleconference.

In assessing the level of threat, the 18 experts and advisers looked in particular at the strong association, in time and place, between infection with the Zika virus and a rise in detected cases of congenital malformations and neurological complications.

The experts agreed that a causal relationship between Zika infection during pregnancy and microcephaly is strongly suspected, though not yet scientifically proven. All agreed on the urgent need to coordinate international efforts to investigate and understand this relationship better.

The experts also considered patterns of recent spread and the broad geographical distribution of mosquito species that can transmit the virus.

The lack of vaccines and rapid and reliable diagnostic tests, and the absence of population immunity in newly affected countries were cited as further causes for concern.

After a review of the evidence, the Committee advised that the recent cluster of microcephaly cases and other neurological disorders reported in Brazil, following a similar cluster in French Polynesia in 2014, constitutes an “extraordinary event” and a public health threat to other parts of the world.

In their view, a coordinated international response is needed to minimize the threat in affected countries and reduce the risk of further international spread.

Members of the Committee agreed that the situation meets the conditions for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

For more: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2016/emergency-committee-zika-microcephaly/en/

#Zika

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act – 7th Anniversary

Your Right To Equal Pay

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 (Pub.L. 111–2, S. 181) is a federal statute in the United States that was the first bill signed into law by President Barack Obama on January 29, 2009. The Act amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The new act states that the 180-day statute of limitations for filing an equal-pay lawsuit regarding pay discrimination resets with each new paycheck affected by that discriminatory action. The law directly addressed Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 550 U.S. 618 (2007), a U.S. Supreme Court decision that the statute of limitations for presenting an equal-pay lawsuit begins on the date that the employer makes the initial discriminatory wage decision, not at the date of the most recent paycheck.

An earlier bill seeking to supersede the Ledbetter decision, also called the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, was first introduced in the 110th United States Congress but was not successfully enacted at that time, as it was passed by the House but failed in the Senate.

During the campaign for the 2008 elections, the Democrats criticized Republicans for defeating the 2007 version of the bill, citing Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s opposition to the bill and candidate Barack Obama’s support.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilly_Ledbetter_Fair_Pay_Act_of_2009

 

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
UPON SIGNING THE LILLY LEDBETTER BILL
East Room

January 29, 2009
10:20 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: All right. Everybody please have a seat. Well, this is a wonderful day. (Applause.) First of all, it is fitting that the very first bill that I sign — the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act — (applause) — that it is upholding one of this nation’s founding principles: that we are all created equal, and each deserve a chance to pursue our own version of happiness.

It’s also fitting that we’re joined today by the woman after whom this bill is named — someone who Michelle and I have had the privilege to get to know ourselves. And it is fitting that we are joined this morning by the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. (Applause.) It’s appropriate that this is the first bill we do together. We could not have done it without her. Madam Speaker, thank you for your extraordinary work. And to all the sponsors and members of Congress and leadership who helped to make this day possible.

Lilly Ledbetter did not set out to be a trailblazer or a household name. She was just a good hard worker who did her job — and she did it well — for nearly two decades before discovering that for years, she was paid less than her male colleagues for doing the very same work. Over the course of her career, she lost more than $200,000 in salary, and even more in pension and Social Security benefits — losses that she still feels today.

Now, Lilly could have accepted her lot and moved on. She could have decided that it wasn’t worth the hassle and the harassment that would inevitably come with speaking up for what she deserved. But instead, she decided that there was a principle at stake, something worth fighting for. So she set out on a journey that would take more than ten years, take her all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States, and lead to this day and this bill which will help others get the justice that she was denied.

Because while this bill bears her name, Lilly knows that this story isn’t just about her. It’s the story of women across this country still earning just 78 cents for every dollar men earn — women of color even less — which means that today, in the year 2009, countless women are still losing thousands of dollars in salary, income and retirement savings over the course of a lifetime.

Equal pay is by no means just a women’s issue — it’s a family issue. It’s about parents who find themselves with less money for tuition and child care; couples who wind up with less to retire on; households where one breadwinner is paid less than she deserves; that’s the difference between affording the mortgage — or not; between keeping the heat on, or paying the doctor bills — or not. And in this economy, when so many folks are already working harder for less and struggling to get by, the last thing they can afford is losing part of each month’s paycheck to simple and plain discrimination.

So signing this bill today is to send a clear message: that making our economy work means making sure it works for everybody; that there are no second-class citizens in our workplaces; and that it’s not just unfair and illegal, it’s bad for business to pay somebody less because of their gender or their age or their race or their ethnicity, religion or disability; and that justice isn’t about some abstract legal theory, or footnote in a casebook. It’s about how our laws affect the daily lives and the daily realities of people: their ability to make a living and care for their families and achieve their goals.

For the entire transcript: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-upon-signing-lilly-ledbetter-bill

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

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GET THE FACTS

GOP Blocks Equal Pay

GOP_Elephant_WRONG_WAY_small

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January 29, 2016
11:00 AM ET
South Court Auditorium, The White House
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#equalpay

#WageGap

Forward For Equality_sml

Child Hunger in America

Child Hunger in America

Building on the Administration’s ongoing commitment to expanding access to opportunity and reducing food insecurity, the event brought together families, academics, practitioners, advocates, religious leaders, and federal, state, and local officials to discuss the persistence and effects of hunger in America and what must be done to ensure all American families have access to an adequate, nutritious diet.

Today, the White House will host a conversation about child hunger in America, with experts and direct service providers discussing how hunger continues to harm children across the country. Participants will discuss the role of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other core nutrition programs in ensuring American children have the fuel they need to thrive. The conversation will include SNAP recipients, academics, direct service providers, advocates, faith leaders, and federal, state, and local officials and will focus on the critical role of SNAP in reducing food insecurity and poverty, and the high-cost consequences when benefits are not enough to sustain a family to the end of the month.  The agenda for today’s event is available HERE.

The Obama Administration is dedicated to ensuring American children and families have the support they need to build a better future, especially when weathering life’s ups and downs, such as loss of a job, illness, or work that pays less than a livable wage. SNAP and other nutrition programs, like school meals, make a real and measurable difference in the lives of children and their families and provide a stronger future for the entire country. Building on its commitment to expanding access to opportunity for all, today the Obama Administration will announce additional actions to ensure American children have the food they need to grow, learn, and succeed.

NEW FEDERAL ACTIONS

  • Ensuring all low-income children have year-round access to the food they need to learn and grow. 
  • Allowing States to use Medicaid data to automatically link low-income children to school meals. 

For the entire article: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/01/27/fact-sheet-obama-administration-announces-major-investments-preventing

 

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A White House Conversation on Child Hunger in America

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Agenda

1:00 PM
Opening Remarks
Secretary Thomas Vilsack, U.S. Department of Agriculture

1:20 PM
Panel: Research Evidence on Child Hunger in America and the Role of SNAP

  •  Moderator: Dr. Shiriki Kumanyika, Emeritus Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  •  Dr. Hilary Hoynes, Professor of Public Policy and Economics, Haas Distinguished Chair in Economic Disparities, Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California Berkeley
  •  Dr. Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, Faculty Fellow, Institute for Policy Research; Associate Professor, Human Development and Social Policy, Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy
  • Dr. Adam Drewnowski, Professor of Epidemiology, Director, Nutritional Sciences Program, School of Public Health, University of Washington
  •  Dr. Hilary Seligman, Associate Professor, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine; Lead Scientist and Senior Medical Advisor, Feeding America
  • Dr. Parke Wilde, Associate Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University

2:45 PM
Break

3:00 PM
Panel: Practitioner and Beneficiary Perspectives on SNAP, Hunger, and Children’s Life Outcomes

  • Moderator: Representative Jim McGovern (MA)
  •  Dr. Sandra Hassink, Immediate Past President of the American Academy
     of Pediatrics
  •  Dawn Pierce, former SNAP recipient, Boise, ID
  •  Clint Mitchell, Principal, Bel Air Elementary School, Prince William County, V
  •  Carlos Rodriguez, Executive Director, Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean
    Counties, Neptune, NJ
  •  Les Johnson, Vice President of Grant Management Services, Area Resources for
    Community and Human Services, St. Louis, MO

4:15 PM
Closing remarks
Cecilia Muñoz, Assistant to the President and Director of Domestic Policy Council

January 27, 2016 – 1:00 PM ET
A White House Conversation on Child Hunger in America
The White House

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Live Stream: WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

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