The Security and Privacy in Your Car (SPY Car) Act

Automobile wifi

Sens. Markey, Blumenthal Introduce Legislation to Protect Drivers from Auto Security, Privacy Risks with Standards & “Cyber Dashboard” Rating System

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 markey.senate.gov

Washington (July 21, 2015) – As both Congress and the federal government struggle to develop a strategy for the Internet of Things and responding to the increasing use of connected devices, including automobiles, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), members of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, today introduced legislation that would direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to establish federal standards to secure our cars and protect drivers’ privacy. The Security and Privacy in Your Car (SPY Car) Act also establishes a rating system — or “cyber dashboard”— that informs consumers about how well the vehicle protects drivers’ security and privacy beyond those minimum standards.

Last year, Senator Markey released the report Tracking & Hacking: Security & Privacy Gaps Put American Drivers at Risk, which detailed major gaps in how auto companies are securing connected features in cars against hackers. For example, only two of the 16 car companies had developed any capability to detect and respond to a hacking attack in real time and, and most customers don’t even know that their information is being collected and sent to third parties.

“Drivers shouldn’t have to choose between being connected and being protected,” said Senator Markey. “We need clear rules of the road that protect cars from hackers and American families from data trackers. This legislation will set minimum standards and transparency rules to protect the data, security and privacy of drivers in the modern age of increasingly connected vehicles. I look forward to working with Senator Blumenthal to ensure auto safety and security in the 21st century.”

“Rushing to roll out the next big thing, automakers have left cars unlocked to hackers and data-trackers,” said Senator Blumenthal. “This common-sense legislation protects the public against cybercriminals who exploit exciting advances in technology like self-driving and wireless connected cars. Federal law must provide minimum standards and safeguards that keep hackers out of drivers’ private data lanes. Security and safety need not be sacrificed for the convenience and promise of wireless progress. I thank Senator Markey for his leadership and profoundly significant fact-finding in protecting consumers. The road to new auto technology is wide enough for both progress and privacy.”

For more: http://www.markey.senate.gov/news/press-releases/sens-markey-blumenthal-introduce-legislation-to-protect-drivers-from-auto-security-privacy-risks-with-standards-and-cyber-dashboard-rating-system

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The Ghost In The Car May Be A Hacker

JULY 21, 2015 1:49 PM ET npr

Andy Greenberg was minding his own business, driving a Jeep Cherokee on the highway in St. Louis when the SUV’s air vents suddenly started blasting cold air. Then the radio switched stations and began blaring hip-hop at full volume. Spinning the radio control knobs did nothing. Soon, the windshield wipers turned on and wiper fluid obscured Greenberg’s view.

Then things started getting really interesting.

Let’s stop the story for a moment. Greenberg is a senior writer for Wired and he knew he was taking part in a demonstration by Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek. For years, the two researchers have been hacking cars’ onboard computers to show that modern autos are vulnerable to various cyber exploits.

You may remember that NPR’s Steve Henn reported on their experiments in 2013. Back then, Miller and Valasek demonstrated that they could jerk the wheel of a Prius or kill the brakes of a Ford Escape — using laptops wired to the cars’ computer systems.

This time, though, they didn’t have to be in the car — or anywhere near it — to wreak havoc on the controls. From miles away, the researchers were able to use a cellular connection to access the Jeep with Greenberg behind the wheel.

Now, back to Greenberg’s 70 mph drive from hell:

“As the two hackers remotely toyed with the air-conditioning, radio, and windshield wipers, I mentally congratulated myself on my courage under pressure. That’s when they cut the transmission.

“Immediately my accelerator stopped working. As I frantically pressed the pedal and watched the RPMs climb, the Jeep lost half its speed, then slowed to a crawl. This occurred just as I reached a long overpass, with no shoulder to offer an escape. The experiment had ceased to be fun… .

“Cars lined up behind my bumper before passing me, honking. I could see an 18-wheeler approaching in my rearview mirror.

For entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2015/07/21/424988397/the-ghost-in-the-car-may-be-a-hacker

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End of Segregation in the U.S. Armed Forces – 67th Anniversary

http://www.history.army.mil/html/topics/afam/index.html
http://www.history.army.mil/html/topics/afam/index.html

Military History of African Americans spans from the arrival of the first black slaves during the colonial history of the United States to the present day. There has been no war fought by or within the United States in which African Americans did not participate, including the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, the World Wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as other minor conflicts.

African-Americans as slaves and free blacks served on both sides during the war. Black soldiers served in northern militias from the outset, but this was forbidden in the South, where slave-owners feared arming slaves. Lord Dunmore, the Royal Governor of Virginia, issued an emancipation proclamation in November 1775, promising freedom to runaway slaves who fought for the British; Sir Henry Clinton issued a similar edict in New York in 1779. Over 100,000 slaves escaped to the British lines, although possibly as few as 1,000 served under arms. Many of the rest served as orderlies, mechanics, laborers, servants, scouts and guides, although more than half died in smallpox epidemics that swept the British forces, and many were driven out of the British lines when food ran low. Despite Dunmore’s promises, the majority were not given their freedom. Many Black Loyalists’ descendants now live in Canada.

In response, and because of manpower shortages, Washington lifted the ban on black enlistment in the Continental Army in January 1776. All-black units were formed in Rhode Island and Massachusetts; many were slaves promised freedom for serving in lieu of their masters; another all-African-American unit came from Haiti with French forces. At least 5,000 African-American soldiers fought as Revolutionaries, and at least 20,000 served with the British.

List of African American Medal of Honor recipients

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

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http://www.history.army.mil/html/topics/apam/index.html
http://www.history.army.mil/html/topics/apam/index.html

Military History of Asian Americans  have fought and served on behalf of the United States since the War of 1812. During the American Civil War Asian Americans fought for both the Union and the Confederacy.  Afterwards Asian Americans served primarily in the U.S. Navy until the Philippine-American War.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Asian Americans began to attend U.S. military academies, and the first Asian Americans were awarded the Medal of Honor. World War I saw Asian Americans serving as “non-whites” in the National Army. After World War I, Asian American service fell into obscurity until World War II when significant contributions by Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, and Korean Americans were documented.

With the desegregation of the U.S. military in 1948, segregated Asian American units ceased to exist, and Asian Americans served in integrated armed forces. Asian American combatants in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts were awarded the Medal of Honor, and Asian Americans have continued to serve until the present day.

List of Asian American Medal of Honor recipients

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

http://www.history.army.mil/html/topics/hispam/index.html
http://www.history.army.mil/html/topics/hispam/index.html

Hispanic-Americans in the U.S. Military

Hispanics and Latinos have participated in the military of the United States and in every major military conflict from the American Revolution onward. Tens of thousands of Latinos are deployed in the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War, and U.S. military missions and bases elsewhere. Hispanics and Latinos have not only distinguished themselves in the battlefields but also reached the high echelons of the military, serving their country in sensitive leadership positions on domestic and foreign posts. Up to now, 43 Hispanics and Latinos have been awarded the nation’s highest military distinction, the Medal of Honor (also known as the Congressional Medal of Honor).

List of Hispanic Medal of Honor recipients

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hispanic_and_Latino_Americans#Militaryhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hispanic_Medal_of_Honor_recipients

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http://www.history.army.mil/html/topics/natam/index.html
http://www.history.army.mil/html/topics/natam/index.html

Native Americans in the U.S. Army

A Long Tradition Of Participation

American Indians have participated with distinction in United States military actions for more than 200 years. Their courage, determination, and fighting spirit were recognized by American military leaders as early as the 18th century.

Many tribes were involved in the War of 1812, and Indians fought for both sides as auxiliary troops in the Civil War. Scouting the enemy was recognized as a particular skill of the Native American soldier. In 1866, the U.S. Army established its Indian Scouts to exploit this aptitude. The Scouts were active in the American West in the late 1800s and early 1900s, accompanying Gen. John J. Pershing’s expedition to Mexico in pursuit of Pancho Villa in 1916. They were deactivated in 1947 when their last member retired from the Army in ceremonies at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona. Native Americans from Indian Territory were also recruited by Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders and saw action in Cuba in the Spanish-American War in 1898. As the military entered the 20th century, American Indians had already made a substantial contribution through military service and were on the brink of playing an even larger role.

Sources: http://www.history.army.mil/html/topics/natam/index.html

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A Brief History of American Indian Military Service

5/28/12 Konnie LeMay – indiancountrytodaymedianetwork
Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/05/28/brief-history-american-indian-military-service-115318

Ask about Americans Indians serving in the U.S. military service and World War II generally comes to mind with the Navajo code talkers or perhaps Marine Cpl. Ira Hayes (Pima) in the photo of the U.S. flag raising at Iwo Jima. But the history of Native Americans in military services stretches in the past and the present much farther and deeper.

Basically from the time of European arrival on this continent, the indigenous people have taken sides and taken up arms in conflicts – though not always supporting the United States’ cause and sometime in conflicts against other tribal nations.

For more: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/05/28/brief-history-american-indian-military-service-115318
 

Native American Medal of Honor Recipients

Exec_Order_9981_End_Military_Discrimination

President Harry S. Truman signs Executive Order 9981 issued on July 26, 1948.

Executive Order 9981 is an executive order issued on July 26, 1948 by President Harry S. Truman (D). It abolished racial discrimination in the armed forces and eventually led to the end of segregation in the services.

In 1947, A. Philip Randolph, along with colleague Grant Reynolds, renewed efforts to end discrimination in the armed services, forming the Committee Against Jim Crow in Military Service and Training, later renamed the League for Non-Violent Civil Disobedience Against Military Segregation.

Truman’s Order expanded on Executive Order 8802 by establishing equality of treatment and opportunity in the Armed Services for people of all races, religions, or national origins.

The Order’s operative statement is:

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin. This policy shall be put into effect as rapidly as possible, having due regard to the time required to effectuate any necessary changes without impairing efficiency or morale.

The order also established a committee to investigate and make recommendations to the civilian leadership of the military to implement the policy.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_9981

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US – Cuba Embassy

US Cuban flags

Histiory of The Embassy of the United States in Havana Cuba

The United States established diplomatic relations with the Republic of Cuba in 1902, opening the first U.S. Embassy in Havana in 1923.  The Embassy was closed in 1961 when the United States severed diplomatic relations.  During President Carter’s administration in 1977, the United States and Cuba signed an agreement establishing the U.S. Interests Section (USINT) in Havana, and the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, DC.  Under the formal protection of the Embassy of Switzerland, USINT operated out of the former U.S. Embassy building, which first opened in 1953.  On December 17, 2014, President Obama announced the intention to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba.  After six months of negotiations, the two nations officially renewed diplomatic relations on July 20, 2015, and USINT became U.S. Embassy Havana.

For more: http://havana.usembassy.gov/about-us.html

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Kerry to host Cuba foreign minister in Washington on Monday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez in Washington on Monday, U.S. officials said, to mark the historic restoration of diplomatic ties between former Cold War foes severed more than five decades ago.

Kerry will host Rodriguez at the State Department after the Cuban official leads the formal reopening of the Communist state’s embassy, a hugely symbolic step in the thaw between the countries initiated by President Barack Obama and Cuba’s President Raul Castro in December.

The Cuban flag will be raised over its mission in Washington for the first time in 54 years. While the U.S. embassy in Havana will also be automatically reopened, no American flag will fly there until Kerry visits to preside over a ceremony, U.S. officials said on Friday. He is expected to travel there in August.

Rodriguez, the first Cuban foreign minister to visit Washington since around the time of the Cuban Revolution, will have a substantive discussion with Kerry instead of “just a passing handshake,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said.

He said the agenda would cover areas of possible cooperation, such as global health and the Cuban people’s expanded “access to telecommunications,” as well as points of contention, including Cuba’s human rights record and U.S. fugitives sheltering on the island.

Re-establishment of ties, agreed on July 1 after several rounds of talks, will be the latest phase in a normalization process expected to move slowly because of lingering disputes as well Havana’s desire to keep a tight rein on Cuba’s society and its state-run economy.

A U.S. economic embargo against Cuba will remain in place, and only Congress can lift it.

For more: http://goo.gl/NbYbxz

#USCuba

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Stream Protection Rule

Stream Protection Rule


Interior Department Unveils Proposed Stream Protection Rule to Safeguard Communities from Coal Mining Operations

Proposal updates 32-year old regulations, provides protections for communities and environment, while setting expectations for responsible mining

07/16/2015 doi.gov

WASHINGTON – Following a robust public process, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Janice Schneider, and Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) Director Joseph Pizarchik today released proposed regulations to prevent or minimize impacts to surface water and groundwater from coal mining. The proposed rule would protect about 6,500 miles of streams nationwide over a period of 20 years, preserving community health and economic opportunities while meeting the nation’s energy needs.

“This proposed rule would accomplish what Americans expect from their government – a modern and balanced approach to energy development that safeguards our environment, protects water quality, supports the energy needs of the nation, and makes coalfield communities more resilient for a diversified economic future,” said Secretary Jewell. “We are committed to working with coalfield communities as we support economic activity while minimizing the impact coal production has on the environment that our children and grandchildren will inherit.”

The proposed Stream Protection Rule released today would include reasonable and straightforward reforms to revise three-decades-old regulations for coal mining in order to avoid or minimize impacts on surface water, groundwater, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources. The proposed rule, which reflects updated science, would replace the 1983 regulations and would better protect the resources.

For more: http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/interior-department-unveils-proposed-stream-protection-rule-to-safeguard-communities-from-coal-mining-operations.cfm

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Safe Harbor Agreement – 20th Anniversary

Safe Harbor Agreements are voluntary agreements between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and cooperating non-Federal landowners. They are designed to benefit federally endangered and threatened species by giving landowners assurances that at no future time would the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service impose restrictions on their land as a result of conservation actions on their part. In other words, these agreements essentially relieve landowners of liability under the Endangered Species Act if conservation practices on their land attract and/or perpetuate federally listed species. To date, nearly three million acres of land have been enrolled in Safe Harbor Agreements, benefiting a variety of listed species.

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2016 Democratic Presidential Candidates @ IA Democratic Party Hall of Fame Dinner

L-R: Lincoln Chafee, Hillary Clinton,  Martin O'Malley, Bernie Sanders and Jim Webb
L-R: Lincoln Chafee, Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders and Jim Webb

Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Dinner

Former Governors Lincoln Chafee (D-RI) and Martin O’Malley (D-MD), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and former Senator James Webb (D-VA) speak at the 2015 Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Celebration

Learn more: http://iowademocrats.org/hall-of-fame-waitlist-signup-closed/

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2016 Democratic Presidential Candidates:

Lincoln Davenport Chafee (born March 26, 1953) is an American politician from Rhode Island who has served as the Mayor of Warwick (1993–1999), a U.S. Senator (1999–2007) and as the 74th Governor of Rhode Island (2011–2015).

Born in Providence, Chafee is the son of Republican politician John Chafee, who served as the 66th Governor of Rhode Island (1963–1969), the United States Secretary of the Navy (1969–1972) and a U.S. Senator (1976–1999). Lincoln Chafee was educated at Providence Country Day School and Phillips Academy, before graduating with a degree in Classics from Brown University. He then moved to Bozeman, Montana, studying to become a farrier at Montana State University, then working at harness racetracks in the United States and Canada.

Chafee returned to Rhode Island and entered politics as a Republican in 1985 as a delegate to the Rhode Island Constitutional Convention. A year later, he was elected to the Warwick City Council, where he served until his election as Warwick’s mayor in 1992. When his father died in 1999, Governor Lincoln Almond appointed the younger Chafee to his father’s seat in the U.S. Senate. He won the 2000 election to a full term, defeating Democrat Robert Weygand by 57% to 41%.

A liberal Republican, Chafee was frequently ranked as the least conservative Senate Republican, and to the left of some conservative Democrats. He opposed eliminating the estate tax, voted to increase the top federal income tax rate, voted against allowing drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, supported an increased minimum wage and was the only Republican Senator to vote against authorising the use of force in Iraq. Chafee is pro-choice, supports same-sex marriage, affirmative action, gun control and federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and opposes the death penalty and a Flag Desecration Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Political party Republican (1999–2007)
Independent (2007–2013)
Democratic (2013–present)

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

 Lincoln Chafee for President website

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Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (born October 26, 1947) is an American politician. She was United States Secretary of State in the administration of President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013, a United States Senator representing New York from 2001 to 2009, and, as the wife of President Bill Clinton, First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001. A leading candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination to the 2008 presidential election, she has announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 presidential election.

As First Lady of the United States, her major initiative, the Clinton health care plan of 1993, failed to gain approval from the U.S. Congress. In 1997 and 1999, she played a leading role in advocating the creation of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Adoption and Safe Families Act, and the Foster Care Independence Act. Her years as First Lady drew a polarized response from the American public. The only First Lady to have been subpoenaed, she testified before a federal grand jury in 1996 regarding the Whitewater controversy, but was never charged with wrongdoing in this or several other investigations during her husband’s presidency. Her marriage to the president was subjected to considerable public discussion following the Lewinsky scandal of 1998.

After moving to New York, Clinton was elected in 2000 as the first female senator from the state; she is the only First Lady ever to have run for public office. Following the September 11 attacks, she supported military action in Afghanistan and the Iraq Resolution, but subsequently objected to the George W. Bush administration’s conduct of the Iraq war. She opposed most of Bush’s domestic policies. Clinton was re-elected to the Senate in 2006. Running in the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries, Clinton won far more primaries and delegates than any other female candidate in American history, but narrowly lost the nomination to Obama.

As Secretary of State in the Obama administration from January 2009 to February 2013, Clinton was at the forefront of the U.S. response to the Arab Spring and advocated the U.S. military intervention in Libya.

Political party Democratic (1968–present)
Other political affiliations Republican (Before 1968)

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

Hillary Clinton for President website

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Martin Joseph O’Malley (born January 18, 1963) is an American politician who served as the 61st Governor of Maryland, from 2007 to 2015. Prior to being elected as Governor, he served as the Mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007, having previously served as a Baltimore City Councilor from 1991 to 1999. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the Chair of the Democratic Governors Association from 2011 to 2013. Following his departure from public office in early 2015, he was appointed to the Johns Hopkins University’s Carey Business School as a visiting professor focusing on government, business and urban issues.

As Governor, in 2011, he signed a law that would make certain undocumented immigrants eligible for in-state college tuition on condition; and in 2012, he signed a law to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland. Each law was challenged to a voter referendum in the 2012 general election and upheld by a majority of the voting public.

Political party Democratic

For more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_O%27Malley

Martin O’Malley for President website

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Bernard “Bernie” Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is an American politician and the junior United States Senator from Vermont. He has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 presidential election.

Sanders is the longest-serving independent in U.S. congressional history. A self-described democratic socialist, he favors policies similar to those of social democratic parties in Europe, particularly those of Scandinavia. He caucuses with the Democratic Party and has been the ranking minority member on the Senate Budget Committee since January 2015.

After unsuccessful candidacies for Vermont’s governor and U.S. senator, Sanders was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont’s most populous city, in 1981. He was reelected to three more two-year mayoral terms before being elected to represent Vermont’s at-large congressional district in the United States House of Representatives in 1990. He served as a congressman for 16 years before being elected to succeed the retiring Republican-turned-independent Jim Jeffords in the U.S. Senate in 2006. In 2012, he was re-elected by a large margin, capturing almost 71% of the popular vote.

Political party Independent (caucuses with the Democratic Party)
Other political affiliations Liberty Union (1971–1979)
Vermont Progressive

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

Bernie Sanders for President website

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James Henry “Jim” Webb, Jr. (born February 9, 1946) is an American politician and author. He has served as a United States Senator from Virginia, Secretary of the Navy, Assistant Secretary of Defense, Counsel for the House Veterans Affairs Committee, and Marine Corps officer. In the private sector he has been an Emmy-award winning journalist, a filmmaker, and the author of ten books. In addition, he taught literature at the United States Naval Academy and was a Fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics. As a member of the Democratic Party, Webb announced on November 19, 2014, that he was forming an exploratory committee to evaluate a run for President of the United States in 2016. On July 2, 2015, he announced that he would be joining the race for the Democratic nomination for President.

Political party Democratic

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

Jim Webb for President website

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Friday, July 17,  8:00 PM ET
Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Dinner
Cedar Rapids Convention Center, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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Live Stream: http://www.c-span.org/video/?327043-1/iowa-democratic-party-hall-fame-dinner

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Pres Obama visits Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma & El Reno FCI

PBO Choctaw Nation OKChoctaw Chief Gary Batton on PBO visit

PRESIDENT OBAMA TO VISIT CHOCTAW NATION IN OKLAHOMA ON WEDNESDAY

July 11, 2015 nativenewsonline.net

WASHINGTON—The White House announced on Friday, President Barack Obama will visit the Choctaw Nation next week.

“On Wednesday, July 15th, the President will travel to Durant, Oklahoma, where he will visit the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and deliver remarks on expanding economic opportunity,” White House spokesman Keith Maley said.

The president will remain overnight in Oklahoma and visit a federal prison the next day where he will be interviewed for a documentary about the American justice system. The documentary will be broadcast this fall.

The president’s visit will be his second visit to an American Indian tribe since he became president of the United States. In June 2014, President Obama visited the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation in North Dakota.

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FACT SHEET: ConnectHome: Coming Together to Ensure Digital Opportunity for All Americans

Today, the President will travel to Durant, Oklahoma, to announce ConnectHome, a new initiative with communities, the private sector, and federal government to expand high speed broadband to more families across the country. The pilot program is launching in twenty-seven cities and one tribal nation and will initially reach over 275,000 low-income households – and nearly 200,000 children – with the support they need to access the Internet at home. Internet Service Providers, non-profits and the private sector will offer broadband access, technical training, digital literacy programs, and devices for residents in assisted housing units.

ConnectHome is the next step in the President’s continued efforts to expand high speed broadband to all Americans and builds on his ConnectED initiative that is on track to connect 99 percent of K-12 students to high-speed Internet in their classrooms and libraries over the next five years.  ConnectHome will help ensure that these students still have access to high-speed Internet once they are home.

For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/07/15/fact-sheet-connecthome-coming-together-ensure-digital-opportunity-all

Choctaw soldiers in training in World War I for coded radio and telephone transmissions

Choctaw soldiers in training in World War I for coded radio and telephone transmissions

Wednesday, July 15, 2015
President Obama meets with Choctaw Nation Chief Batton and Tribal Elders on expanding economic opportunity for for communities across the country
Durant High School, Choctaw Nation, Durant, Oklahoma

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US Government & Indigenous Peoples Timeline 1819-2014 ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™

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(BOP) – On Thursday, July 16th, President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI), El Reno, Oklahoma. This visit marks the first time in history a United States President has visited a federal prison while in office. He will be accompanied by Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Charles E. Samuels, Jr.

The President will meet with inmates and speak with staff. This is a great opportunity for the Bureau of Prisons (Bureau) to show President Obama, and the Nation, the outstanding work performed daily at all Bureau institutions in meeting our mission to protect society and prepare inmates for reentry. The Bureau is honored that the President decided to make this visit.

FCI El Reno is a medium-security federal prison housing more than 1,000 male offenders. Another 248 male offenders reside at an adjacent minimum-security camp. Originally authorized by Congress in 1930 as a facility to rehabilitate, train and educate young offenders, FCI El Reno has a long and diverse history within the agency. It is home to one of the two remaining farms in operation within the Bureau, the other being at the Federal Correctional Complex, Lompoc, California.

Excerpts from 7/14/15 President Obama’s remarks at the 2015 NAACP Conference:

“The United States is home to 5 percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.

Our incarceration rate is four times higher than China’s.

We keep more people behind bars than the top 35 European countries combined.

In 1980, there were 500,000 people behind bars in America — half a million people in 1980. In 2015 there are 2.2 million.  It has quadrupled since 1980.  Our prison population has doubled in the last two decades alone.

Studies show that up to a certain point, tougher prosecutors and stiffer sentences for these violent offenders contributed to the decline in violent crime over the last few decades.  Although the science also indicates that you get a point of diminishing returns.  But it is important for us to recognize that violence in our communities is serious and that historically, in fact, the African American community oftentimes was under-policed rather than over-policed.  Folks were very interested in containing the African American community so it couldn’t leave segregated areas, but within those areas there wasn’t enough police presence.

Over the last few decades, we’ve also locked up more and more nonviolent drug offenders than ever before, for longer than ever before.   And that is the real reason our prison population is so high.  In far too many cases, the punishment simply does not fit the crime.  If you’re a low-level drug dealer, or you violate your parole, you owe some debt to society.  You have to be held accountable and make amends.  But you don’t owe 20 years.  You don’t owe a life sentence.  That’s disproportionate to the price that should be paid.

[United States] taxpayers are picking up the tab for that price.  Every year, we spend $80 billion to keep folks incarcerated — $80 billion.  Now, just to put that in perspective, for $80 billion, we could have universal preschool for every 3-year-old and 4-year-old in America.  That’s what $80 billion buys.  For $80 billion, we could double the salary of every high school teacher in America.  For $80 billion, we could finance new roads and new bridges and new airports, job training programs, research and development.  We’re about to get in a big budget debate in Washington — what I couldn’t do with $80 billion. For what we spend to keep everyone locked up for one year, we could eliminate tuition at every single one of our public colleges and universities.”

For the entire transcript: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/07/14/remarks-president-naacp-conference

FACT SHEET: Enhancing the Fairness and Effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System

Today the President will lay out the case for meaningful juvenile and criminal justice reform that makes our system, fairer, smarter and more cost-effective while keeping the American people safe and secure.  Across the political spectrum, there is a growing consensus to make reforms to the juvenile and criminal justice systems to ensure that criminal laws are enforced more fairly and efficiently.  Unwarranted disparities and unduly harsh sentences undermine trust in the rule of law and offend the basic principles of fairness and justice.  In an era of limited resources and diverse threats, there is a public safety imperative to devote the resources of the criminal justice system to the practices that are most successful at deterring crime and protecting the public.

This Administration has taken a series of actions to enhance fairness and efficiency at all phases of the criminal justice system and to better address the vicious cycle of poverty, criminality and incarceration that traps too many Americans and weakens too many communities.  Now, it is time for Congress to act.  Meaningful sentencing reform, steps to reduce repeat offenders and reform of the juvenile justice system are crucial to improving public safety, reducing runaway incarceration costs and making our criminal justice system more fair.

* A Smarter and Fairer Approach to Charging and Sentencing

* Enhancing the Credibility and Accountability of the Justice System

* Focus on Effective Prisoner Reentry and the Cycle of Incarceration

* Support for State and Local Law Enforcement

* Working with State and Local Law Enforcement to Build Community Trust

* Working with State and Local Law Enforcement to Build Community Trust

For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/07/14/fact-sheet-enhancing-fairness-and-effectiveness-criminal-justice-system

Thursday, July 16, 2015
President Obama delivers remarks on Enhancing the Fairness and Effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System
El Reno Federal Correctional Institution, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

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2015 White House Conference on Aging

older WH Conf on Aging

WH Conference on AgingActive Seniors

THE 2015 WHITE HOUSE CONFERENCE ON AGING

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security. The 2015 White House Conference on Aging is an opportunity to recognize the importance of these key programs as well as to look ahead to the issues that will help shape the landscape for older Americans for the next decade.

In the past, conference processes were determined by statute with the form and structure directed by Congress through legislation authorizing the Older Americans Act. To date, Congress has not reauthorized the Older Americans Act, and the pending bill does not include a statutory requirement or framework for the 2015 conference.

However, the White House is committed to hosting a White House Conference on Aging in 2015 and intends to seek broad public engagement and work closely with stakeholders in developing the conference. We also plan to use web tools and social media to encourage as many older Americans as possible to participate. We are engaging with stakeholders and members of the public about the issues and ideas most important to older individuals, their caregivers, and families. We also encourage people to submit their ideas directly through the Get Involved section on this website.

THE ISSUES

The face of America is growing older and more diverse as the first baby boomers reached retirement age in 2011, accelerating a population surge in the number of Americans over the age of 65. Each day for the next 15 years, thousands more will reach retirement age, creating new opportunities for how we define what it means to be an older American. The 2015 White House Conference on Aging allows us to highlight the contributions of older adults today, and to shape the landscape of aging for the decade to come.

The President believes that older Americans are a tremendous national asset and has consistently worked to support their needs by, for example, strengthening Medicare and protecting Social Security. The White House Conference on Aging offers a unique opportunity to reflect on this work while looking forward to the next decade. We intend to use the year ahead to engage with older Americans, families, researchers, caregivers, leaders in the field of aging, and other stakeholders about the issues of most importance to them.

In our conversations to date, some common themes have emerged, including: how to ensure we prepare for financial needs in retirement; how to remain healthy as we age; what types of services and supports can help older Americans remain independent in the community as we age and how to support this care and the caregivers who provide it; and how to protect older Americans from financial exploitation, abuse, and neglect. The 2015 White House Conference on Aging provides an opportunity to listen to older Americans and engage with the American public about strategies to continue to maximize the contributions of older Americans to our country.

  • RETIREMENT SECURITY
  • HEALTHY AGING
  • LONG-TERM SERVICES AND SUPPORTS
  • ELDER JUSTICE

Learn more: http://whitehouseconferenceonaging.gov/

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Resources from the National Institute on Aging at NIH

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: What is a White House Conference on Aging?

A: The White House has held a Conference on Aging each decade since the 1960s to identify and advance actions to improve the quality of life of older Americans. The 2015 White House Conference on Aging is an opportunity to look ahead to the issues that will help shape the landscape for older Americans for the next decade.

Q: When will the next White House Conference on Aging be held and what is its purpose?

A: The White House Conference on Aging will be held in 2015. 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security. The 2015 White House Conference on Aging is an opportunity to recognize the importance of these key programs as well as to look ahead to the next decade.

Q: How will the 2015 White House Conference on Aging be organized?

A: In the past, conference processes were determined by statute with the form and structure directed by Congress through legislation, as part of the authorization of the Older Americans Act.

At this point in time, Congress has not reauthorized the Older Americans Act, and the pending bill does not include a statutory requirement or framework for the Conference.

However, the White House is committed to convening the 2015 conference and we will seek broad public engagement and work closely with stakeholders in the lead-up to the conference. We also plan to use web tools and social media to encourage as many older Americans as possible to participate.

The Conference Web site www.WhiteHouseConferenceOnAging.gov provides regular updates on Conference activities. The website also provides opportunities for older Americans and leaders in the field of aging to provide their input and personal stories.

Q: How are issues being selected for the 2015 White House Conference on Aging?

A: We are engaging with stakeholders and members of the public about the issuesmost important to older individuals, their caregivers, and families. To listen and learn from key aging leaders and older Americans, the Administration is participating in listening sessions with older Americans and advocates across the country. These listening sessions began in July 2014 and will continue up to and during the Conference.

As we listen to aging leaders and older Americans, some of the common themes we hear include the following:

  • Retirement security is a vitally important issue. Financial security in retirement provides essential peace of mind for older Americans, but requires attention during our working lives to ensure that we are well prepared for retirement.
  • Healthy aging will be all the more important as baby boomers age. As medical advances progress, the opportunities for older Americans to maintain their health and vitality should progress as well and community supports, including housing, are important tools to promote this vitality.
  • Long-term services and supports remain a priority. Older Americans overwhelmingly prefer to remain independent in the community as they age. They need supports to do so, including a caregiving network and well-supported workforce.
  • Elder justice is important given that seniors, particularly the oldest older Americans, can be vulnerable to financial exploitation, abuse, and neglect. The Elder Justice Act was enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act, and we need to realize its vision of protecting seniors from scam artists and others seeking to take advantage of them.

Q: What activities are planned as we move forward to the 2015 White House Conference on Aging?

A: Monthly webinars for older adults, their families, stakeholders, and others, beginning in December of 2014, will examine the most important issues for older Americans. Additionally, a series of Regional Forums are being planned, and the Executive Director of the White House Conference on Aging is holding listening sessions with stakeholder groups across the country. The Conference website also features a regular blog that provides information and resources on topics of interest to older Americans, their families, caregivers, and others.

2015 WH Conference on Aging Tour

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THE 2015 WHITE HOUSE CONFERENCE ON AGING
Monday, July 13
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET

#WHCOA

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