Equality

equality  .|iˈkwälitē| . noun

the state of being equal, esp. in status, rights, and opportunities..

In 1776 equality was one of the key ideals in the Declaration of Independence that was promised to every American.

But that equality was restricted to white, males.  What followed was the fight for women’s rights, for civil rights and now for equality for our LGBT Americans.

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Woman_suffrage_procession_March_3,_1913

The Woman Suffrage Parade of 1913 was a march down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. on March 3, 1913, organized by the suffragist Alice Paul for the National American Woman Suffrage Association. The march was scheduled on the day before President Woodrow Wilson‘s inauguration to “march in a spirit of protest against the present political organization of society, from which women are excluded”, as the official program stated.

The march and the attention it attracted were important in advancing women’s suffrage in the United States.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woman_Suffrage_Parade_of_1913

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MARCHING FOR THE VOTE: REMEMBERING THE WOMAN SUFFRAGE PARADE OF 1913

Sheridan Harvey

MOB HURTS 300 SUFFRAGISTS AT CAPITAL PARADE

“There would be nothing like this happen if you would stay at home.”

On Monday, March 3, 1913, clad in a white cape astride a white horse, lawyer Inez Milholland led the great woman suffrage parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in the nation’s capital. Behind her stretched a long line with nine bands, four mounted brigades, three heralds, about twenty-four floats, and more than 5,000 marchers.

Women from countries that had enfranchised women held the place of honor in the first section of the procession [picture]. Then came the “Pioneers” who had been struggling for so many decades to secure women’s right to vote. The next sections celebrated working women, who were grouped by occupation and wearing appropriate garb—nurses in uniform [picture], women farmers, homemakers, women doctors and pharmacists, actresses, librarians, college women in academic gowns. Harriet Hifton of the Library of Congress Copyright Division led the librarians’ contingent. The state delegations followed, and finally the separate section for male supporters of women’s suffrage. All had come from around the country to “march in a spirit of protest against the present political organization of society, from which women are excluded.”

The procession began late, but all went well for the first few blocks [picture]. Soon, however, the crowds, mostly men in town for the following day’s inauguration of Woodrow Wilson, surged into the street making it almost impossible for the marchers to pass [picture]. Occasionally only a single file could move forward. Women were jeered, tripped, grabbed, shoved, and many heard “indecent epithets” and “barnyard conversation.”5 Instead of protecting the parade, the police “seemed to enjoy all the ribald jokes and laughter and part participated in them.”6 One policeman explained that they should stay at home where they belonged. The men in the procession heard shouts of “Henpecko” and “Where are your skirts?” As one witness explained, “There was a sort of spirit of levity connected with the crowd. They did not regard the affair very seriously.”

For more: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/awhhtml/aw01e/aw01e.html

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100 years after suffrage march, activists walk in tradition of Inez Milholland

Wednesday, February 27, 6:20 PM By Lonnae O’Neal Parker – washingtonpost

At the 100th anniversary of Washington’s Women’s Suffrage Parade on Sunday, participants will march in the bold tradition of suffragette Inez Milholland — even if they, and most of America, have never heard of her. Of all the images and people invoked during this centennial celebration, perhaps the least remembered is the one woman said to have died for the cause.

Milholland, 27, sitting astride a white horse, in white, flowing, Joan of Arc robes is the most iconic image of that 1913 march. When she died three years later, she was hailed as a martyr of the women’s suffrage movement. That she is barely remembered today is part of the challenge and frustration for those who advocate for greater attention to women’s history and for those trying to build a national women’s history museum on the Mall.

The march, sponsored by Delta Sigma Theta sorority and including the National Women’s History Museum, the Sewall-Belmont House Museum and the National Organization for Women, retraces the original 5,000-person march down Pennsylvania Avenue. It will feature women in period costumes and focus broadly on women’s equality.

For more: http://goo.gl/1trK9

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US Women’s Rights Movement Timeline 1848 – 2016 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

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Rainbow_flag_and_blue_skies

OUT Mag 2015 Ally.Hero.icon

Out100 2015 Cover Revealed: President Barack Obama

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“It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. (Applause.) Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law –- (applause) — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. (Applause.) Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. (Applause.) Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity — (applause) — until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. (Applause.) Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia, to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.

That is our generation’s task — to make these words, these rights, these values of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life. It does not mean we all define liberty in exactly the same way or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time, but it does require us to act in our time. (Applause.) ”

1/21/13 President Barack Obama

Obama administration urges U.S. Supreme Court to strike down DOMA

‘Gay and lesbian people have been subject to a significant history of discrimination in this country’

February 22, 2013 lgbtqnation Staff Reports

The Obama administration on Friday filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing why it considers the federal Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional.

Filed in United States v. Windsor, a case challenging Section 3 of DOMA, the administration said “gay and lesbian people have been subject to a significant history of discrimination in this country,” and argued that laws targeting individuals based on their sexual orientation should face additional scrutiny by courts reviewing them.

In the brief, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli asked the court to uphold a federal appeals court ruling that found DOMA to be unconstitutional:

Section 3 of DOMA violates the fundamental constitutional guarantee of equal protection. The law denies to tens of thousands of same-sex couples who are legally married under state law an array of important federal benefits that are available to legally married opposite-sex couples. Because this discrimination cannot be justified as substantially furthering any important governmental interest, Section 3 is unconstitutional.

This case deals with Edith Windsor, who was forced to pay $363,000 in estate taxes in 2009 upon the death of her spouse, Thea Spyer. The two had lived as a couple for 44 years and married in Canada in 2007. Because her decades-long partner was a woman, the federal government did not recognize the same-sex marriage in legal terms, even though their home state of New York did.

Section 3 of DOMA, which bars legally married same-sex couples from any federal benefits or programs based on marriage, has been found unconstitutional in eight federal courts, including the First and Second Circuit Court of Appeals, on issues including bankruptcy, public employee benefits, estate taxes, and immigration.

The brief also mentions Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage, and similar measures in other states as evidence of continued discrimination against gays and lesbians.

For more: http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2013/02/obama-administration-urges-u-s-surpeme-court-to-strike-down-doma/

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High court strikes down federal marriage provision

6/26/13 By MARK SHERMAN | Associated Press – 3 mins 4 secs ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that legally married same-sex couples should get the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.

The court invalidated a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that has prevented married gay couples from receiving a range of tax, health and retirement benefits that are generally available to married people. The vote was 5-4.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion.

Same-sex marriage has been adopted by 12 states and the District of Columbia. Another 18,000 couples were married in California during a brief period when same-sex unions were legal there.

The court has yet to release its decision on California’s ban on same-sex marriage.

“Under DOMA, same-sex married couples have their lives burdened, by reason of government decree, in visible and public ways,” Kennedy said.

“DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and make them unequal,” he said.

He was joined by the court’s four liberal justices.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/high-court-strikes-down-federal-marriage-provision-140557846.html

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US LGBT Rights Timeline 1903-2016  (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

Forward For Equality_sml

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47 thoughts on “Equality

  1. WH

    Friday, Marcy 1, 2013

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    10:05 AM
    President Obama hosts the bipartisan, bicameral leadership of Congress at the White House; Vice President Biden also attends.

    11:00 AM
    11:30 AM
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney briefs the press.

    11:35 AM
    President Obama makes a statement

    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  2. Woman Suffrage Parade of 1913

    The Woman Suffrage Parade of 1913 was a march down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. on March 3, 1913, organized by the suffragist Alice Paul for the National American Woman Suffrage Association. The march was scheduled on the day before President Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration to “march in a spirit of protest against the present political organization of society, from which women are excluded”, as the official program stated.

    The march and the attention it attracted were important in advancing women’s suffrage in the United States.

    For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woman_Suffrage_Parade_of_1913

    • MARCHING FOR THE VOTE: REMEMBERING THE WOMAN SUFFRAGE PARADE OF 1913

      Sheridan Harvey
      MOB HURTS 300 SUFFRAGISTS AT CAPITAL PARADE

      “There would be nothing like this happen if you would stay at home.”

      On Monday, March 3, 1913, clad in a white cape astride a white horse, lawyer Inez Milholland led the great woman suffrage parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in the nation’s capital. Behind her stretched a long line with nine bands, four mounted brigades, three heralds, about twenty-four floats, and more than 5,000 marchers.

      Women from countries that had enfranchised women held the place of honor in the first section of the procession [picture]. Then came the “Pioneers” who had been struggling for so many decades to secure women’s right to vote. The next sections celebrated working women, who were grouped by occupation and wearing appropriate garb—nurses in uniform [picture], women farmers, homemakers, women doctors and pharmacists, actresses, librarians, college women in academic gowns. Harriet Hifton of the Library of Congress Copyright Division led the librarians’ contingent. The state delegations followed, and finally the separate section for male supporters of women’s suffrage. All had come from around the country to “march in a spirit of protest against the present political organization of society, from which women are excluded.”

      The procession began late, but all went well for the first few blocks [picture]. Soon, however, the crowds, mostly men in town for the following day’s inauguration of Woodrow Wilson, surged into the street making it almost impossible for the marchers to pass [picture]. Occasionally only a single file could move forward. Women were jeered, tripped, grabbed, shoved, and many heard “indecent epithets” and “barnyard conversation.”5 Instead of protecting the parade, the police “seemed to enjoy all the ribald jokes and laughter and part participated in them.”6 One policeman explained that they should stay at home where they belonged. The men in the procession heard shouts of “Henpecko” and “Where are your skirts?” As one witness explained, “There was a sort of spirit of levity connected with the crowd. They did not regard the affair very seriously.”

      For more: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/awhhtml/aw01e/aw01e.html

    • 100 years after suffrage march, activists walk in tradition of Inez Milholland

      By Lonnae O’Neal Parker, Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 6:20 PM

      At the 100th anniversary of Washington’s Women’s Suffrage Parade on Sunday, participants will march in the bold tradition of suffragette Inez Milholland — even if they, and most of America, have never heard of her. Of all the images and people invoked during this centennial celebration, perhaps the least remembered is the one woman said to have died for the cause.

      Milholland, 27, sitting astride a white horse, in white, flowing, Joan of Arc robes is the most iconic image of that 1913 march. When she died three years later, she was hailed as a martyr of the women’s suffrage movement. That she is barely remembered today is part of the challenge and frustration for those who advocate for greater attention to women’s history and for those trying to build a national women’s history museum on the Mall.

      The march, sponsored by Delta Sigma Theta sorority and including the National Women’s History Museum, the Sewall-Belmont House Museum and the National Organization for Women, retraces the original 5,000-person march down Pennsylvania Avenue. It will feature women in period costumes and focus broadly on women’s equality.

      For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/museums/100-years-after-suffrage-march-activists-walk-in-tradition-of-inez-milholland/2013/02/27/532872c0-7f7a-11e2-b99e-6baf4ebe42df_story.html?hpid=z1

    • May 10, 2013

      Presidential Memorandum — Advancing Pay Equality in the Federal Government and Learning from Successful Practices

      MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

      SUBJECT: Advancing Pay Equality in the Federal Government and Learning from Successful Practices

      Almost 50 years ago, when President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963, women were paid 59 cents for every dollar paid to men. Today, women are paid 77 cents for every dollar paid to men. At the same time, nearly two-thirds of women are breadwinners or co-breadwinners for their families. Unjust pay disparities are a detriment to women, families, and our economy.

      The Federal Government is the Nation’s largest employer. It has a special responsibility to act as a model employer. While salary ranges in the Federal workforce are generally determined by law, the fixing of individual salaries and other types of compensation can be affected by the exercise of administrative discretion. Such discretion must be exercised in a transparent manner, using fair criteria and adhering to merit system principles, which dictate that equal pay should be provided for work of equal value.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/05/10/presidential-memorandum-advancing-pay-equality-federal-government-and-le

  3. rainbow-flag

    LGBT RIGHTS

    “It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. (Applause.) Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law –- (applause) — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. (Applause.) Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. (Applause.) Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity — (applause) — until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. (Applause.) Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia, to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.

    That is our generation’s task — to make these words, these rights, these values of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life. It does not mean we all define liberty in exactly the same way or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time, but it does require us to act in our time. (Applause.) ”

    1/21/13 President Barack Obama

    • Obama administration urges U.S. Supreme Court to strike down DOMA

      ‘Gay and lesbian people have been subject to a significant history of discrimination in this country’

      February 22, 2013 lgbtqnation Staff Reports

      The Obama administration on Friday filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing why it considers the federal Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional.

      Filed in United States v. Windsor, a case challenging Section 3 of DOMA, the administration said “gay and lesbian people have been subject to a significant history of discrimination in this country,” and argued that laws targeting individuals based on their sexual orientation should face additional scrutiny by courts reviewing them.

      In the brief, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli asked the court to uphold a federal appeals court ruling that found DOMA to be unconstitutional:

      Section 3 of DOMA violates the fundamental constitutional guarantee of equal protection. The law denies to tens of thousands of same-sex couples who are legally married under state law an array of important federal benefits that are available to legally married opposite-sex couples. Because this discrimination cannot be justified as substantially furthering any important governmental interest, Section 3 is unconstitutional.

      This case deals with Edith Windsor, who was forced to pay $363,000 in estate taxes in 2009 upon the death of her spouse, Thea Spyer. The two had lived as a couple for 44 years and married in Canada in 2007. Because her decades-long partner was a woman, the federal government did not recognize the same-sex marriage in legal terms, even though their home state of New York did.

      Section 3 of DOMA, which bars legally married same-sex couples from any federal benefits or programs based on marriage, has been found unconstitutional in eight federal courts, including the First and Second Circuit Court of Appeals, on issues including bankruptcy, public employee benefits, estate taxes, and immigration.

      The brief also mentions Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage, and similar measures in other states as evidence of continued discrimination against gays and lesbians.

      For more: http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2013/02/obama-administration-urges-u-s-surpeme-court-to-strike-down-doma/

      • Supreme Court indicates it may strike down marriage law

        3/27/13 By Lawrence Hurley and David Ingram | Reuters – 1 hr 4 mins ago

        WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Several Supreme Court justices on Wednesday indicated interest in striking down a law that denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples, presenting the possibility of a major change in a few months in gay marriage law.

        Justice Anthony Kennedy, a potential swing vote, warned of the “risks” that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) infringes upon the traditional role of the states in defining marriage.

        The 1996 U.S. law denies married same-sex couples access to federal benefits by defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Kennedy referred to DOMA as “inconsistent” because it purports to give authority to the states to define marriage while limiting recognition of those determinations.

        The court is expected to issue a ruling by the end of June.
        On the liberal side of the bench, Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan echoed some of Kennedy’s concerns about the states’ rights issue.

        “What gives the federal government the right to be concerned at all about the definition of marriage?” Sotomayor said.

        Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also raised concerns about the law, stressing how important federal recognition is to any person who is legally married.

        “It affects every area of life,” she said.

        Comparing marriage status with types of milk, Ginsburg said that a gay marriage endorsed by a state, but not recognized by the federal government, could be viewed as the equivalent of “skim milk.”

        The law is the focus of a second day of oral arguments before the high court as it tackles the gay marriage issue.

        It is possible the court would not reach the wider issue in the DOMA case because of preliminary legal matters relating to whether the court can hear it.

        For more: http://news.yahoo.com/supreme-court-next-gay-marriage-case-eyes-federal-050121766.html

    • SCOTUS allows Obama administration to participate in Prop. 8 oral arguments

      3/15/13 By DONOVAN SLACK – POLITICO44

      The Supreme Court on Friday granted permission to the Obama administration to participate in oral arguments in the Proposition 8 case.

      After President Obama had said he was cautious about intervening in the case seeking to strike down California’s gay-marriage ban, the administration ultimately filed a friend-of-the-court brief last month urging the court to strike down the ban and asking for 10 minutes to argue its case.

      Oral arguments in the case are scheduled March 26.

    • DOGMA

      It isn’t gay marriage that should trouble the Supreme Court, says Kevin Fisher-Paulson. It’s straight marriage.

      3/25/13 By Kevin Fisher-Paulson – KQED

      As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on the legality of my marriage, I came to the conclusion that they should be ruling on their own matrimony. The real threat to this sacred institution is opposite sex marriage.

      As religious leaders will tell you, the purpose of a marriage is to stay together forever and to raise children.

      So let’s look at the forever part. Opposite sex couples divorce almost one out of every two marriages: 41 percent of first marriages end in divorce, 67 percent of second marriages end in divorce and a whopping 74 percent of third marriage end in divorce. In other words, the more that a straight person marries, the more likely he or she is to divorce.

      Gays haven’t had much time to get married, let alone divorced, but currently straights are divorcing at twice the rate of gays. It’s that whole people from Venus business really do understand each other better than the people from Mars.

      And we all know that the purpose of marriage is to have children, right? Again, opposite sex couples are ruining this holy precept. In 1976, census data indicated that 10% of opposite sex marriages were childless, and by 2003, that number had almost doubled to 19%. On the other hand, now that gays and lesbians have the ability to parent in many but not all states, the percentage of same sex couples with children has tripled from a mere 8% in 2000 to one out of four gay couples now with children. And perhaps even more important, not one of us gay couples is having a child by accident. Like Chief Justice Roberts, many of us adopt. Our family is truly a family of choice.

      Ironically, while opposite sex couples are casually doing driveby weddings in Vegas, we gays are treating marriage with tradition, and I daresay, reverence. Maybe it’s because we have to fight so hard for it.

      For the entire article and audio in statement: http://www.kqed.org/a/perspectives/R201303250735

      • GOP WRONG WAY

        Santorum: GOP Will Never Embrace Gay Marriage

        APRIL 9, 2013 TOM KLUDT 6:28 AM EDT, TPM

        Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R) said Monday that, despite calls for the party to moderate on social issues and polls that show more and more Americans embracing marriage equality, the GOP will never endorse gay nuptials and warned that such a change in positions would be “suicidal” for Republicans.

        http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/santorum-gop-will-never-embrace-marriage-equality?ref=fpa

        • RNC members reaffirm party’s opposition to same-sex marriage

          4/12/13 04:12 PM ET By Alexandra Jaffe – TheHill

          The Republican National Committee has reaffirmed its opposition to gay marriage with a slate of resolutions passed unanimously at its spring meeting.

          Several resolutions re-establishing the party’s official position were adopted without discussion on Friday.

          One resolution states the party’s belief that “the institution of marriage is the solid foundation upon which our society is built and in which children thrive; it is based on the relationship that only a man and a woman can form.”

          The RNC also expresses its “support for marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and as the optimum environment in which to raise healthy children for the future of America.”

          And one clause addresses the gay marriage cases currently under consideration by the Supreme Court, one concerning California’s ban on gay marriage and the other concerning the federal act that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.

          “The Republican National Committee implores the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the sanctity of marriage in its rulings on California’s Proposition 8 and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act,” the clause reads.

          Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/293657-rnc-reaffirms-opposition-to-gay-marriage

    • U.S. to begin aiding foreign LGBT groups

      4/8/13 Carolyn Lochhead – sfgate

      The U.S. Agency for International Development, the federal government’s main foreign aid arm, announced at a Monday event in Washington a major new initiative to promote LGBT rights in developing countries.

      Eighty-five countries and territories currently criminalize same-sex relationships, according to the agency. Seven impose a death penalty. In South Africa, lesbians are often subjected to “corrective rape,” while throughout the Middle East and Africa, LGBT people are murdered and tortured because of their sexual orientation, said Claire Lucas, a senior adviser at the agency who conceived of the project.

      Uganda is still considering a bill to impose the death penalty on gays and lesbians.

      The $11 million, four-year initiative is a public-private partnership between USAID and San Francisco-based Olivia Cruises, UCLA’s Williams Institute, the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

      The initiative will work with local LGBT groups to provide leadership training, research and other help, lending the imprimatur of the U.S. government to people who in many countries are outcast and vulnerable. The first work will take place in Equador, Honduras, Guatemala and Colombia. Officials said there has been a spike in violence against transgendered persons in Honduras since a 2009 coup in the country.

      For more: http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/2013/04/08/u-s-to-begin-aiding-foreign-lgbt-groups/

    • Delaware To Become 11th State With Gay Marriage

      MAY 7, 2013, 5:35 PM 833 RANDALL CHASE,ASSOCIATED PRESS

      DOVER, Del. (AP) — A divided Delaware state Senate voted Tuesday to make their state the 11th in the nation to allow same-sex marriage, after hearing hours of passionate testimony from supporters and opponents.

      The Senate’s 12-9 vote sends the bill to Democratic Gov. Jack Markell, who supports the measure and planned to sign it later in the day. It would go into effect July 1.

      “I think this is the right thing for Delaware,” the governor said after the vote, while posing for pictures with supporters outside his legislative office. “It took an incredible team effort.”

      Gay rights activists and their supporters in the chamber erupted in cheers and applause following the Senate vote.

      Delaware’s same-sex marriage bill was introduced in the Democrat-controlled legislature last month, barely a year after the state began recognizing same-sex civil unions. The bill won passage two weeks ago in the state House on a 23-18 vote.

      For more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/delaware-to-become-11th-state-with-gay-marriage.php

    • Minnesota Gov. Dayton signs gay marriage bill

      5/14/13 By PATRICK CONDON | Associated Press – 11 mins ago

      ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday signed a bill making gay marriage legal in Minnesota, the 12th state to take the step, as thousands of onlookers cheered.

      “What a day for Minnesota!” Dayton, a Democrat, declared moments before putting his signature on a bill. “And what a difference a year and an election can make in our state.”

      Rainbow and American flags flapped in a sweltering breeze during the ceremony, held on the Capitol’s south steps. The crowd, estimated by the State Patrol at 6,000, spilled down the steps and across the lawn toward downtown St. Paul.

      Dayton thanked legislators for “political courage” before signing the bill just a day after it passed the state Senate. It passed the House last week.

      The push for gay marriage was a rapid turnabout from just six months ago, when gay marriage supporters had to mobilize to turn back a proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned gay marriage. Minnesota already had such a law, but an amendment would have been harder to undo.

      But voters rejected the amendment, and the forces that organized to defeat it soon turned their attention to legalizing gay marriage. Democrats’ takeover of the Legislature in the November election aided their cause.

      The two main sponsors of the bill, Rep. Karen Clark and Sen. Scott Dibble, were among the onlookers as Dayton signed, capping their long and often discouraging struggle to advance gay rights.

      For more: http://news.yahoo.com/minnesota-gov-dayton-signs-gay-marriage-bill-221037512.html

      • SENATE PASSES GAY MARRIAGE BILL; SENDS IT TO GOVERNOR

        10:02 a.m. HST, Nov 12, 2013 By Star-Advertiser staff

        The state Senate, as expected, overwhelmingly approved a marriage equity bill today, sending the measure to Gov. Neil Abercrombie who has vowed to sign it and make Hawaii the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

        Today’s 19-4 vote, while historic, was a somewhat anti-climatic end to the 16-day legislative special session that included more than 55 hours of public testimony, followed by two day-long sessions in the House where lawmakers approved the bill late Friday night in a 30-19 vote.

        “I look forward to signing this significant piece of legislation, which provides marriage equity and fully recognizes and protects religious freedoms,” Abercrombie said in a statement after the Senate vote.

        For more: http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/20131112_State_Senate_meets_for_final_vote_on_samesex_marriage_bill.html

      • November 12, 2013

        Statement by the President on Marriage Equality in Hawaii

        I want to congratulate the Hawaii State Legislature on passing legislation in support of marriage equality. With today’s vote, Hawaii joins a growing number of states that recognize that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters should be treated fairly and equally under the law. Whenever freedom and equality are affirmed, our country becomes stronger. By giving loving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry if they choose, Hawaii exemplifies the values we hold dear as a nation. I’ve always been proud to have been born in Hawaii, and today’s vote makes me even prouder. And Michelle and I extend our best wishes to all those in Hawaii whose families will now be given the security and respect they deserve.

    • America’s Newest Diplomat Will Defend LGBT People Around the World

      LGBT people everywhere endure terrible discrimination. A new State Department envoy will try to fix that.

      Feb. 5, 2015 By Sam Brodey – motherjones

      LGBT communities around the world will soon have a powerful advocate in the State Department whose sole job is to watch out for their interests. Later this month, the State Department will name a special envoy to focus on the rights of LGBT people globally, a department official tells Mother Jones. In an emailed statement, the official said that Secretary of State John Kerry and his staff are in the final stages of selecting an openly gay Foreign Service officer as the United States’ first-ever diplomat to focus on LGBT issues. The position will not require Senate confirmation.

      Congress has attempted to push for a special envoy on LGBT issues in the past: In 2014, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced the International Human Rights Defense Act, which proposed establishing the position and taking steps to make the protection of LGBT individuals a foreign policy priority. Markey’s 2014 bill failed to become law. He reintroduced it last month, but the measure’s fate is uncertain—mostly because of opposition from congressional Republicans. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), the chairman of the House subcommittee on human rights, said last week in a hearing that he does “not construe homosexual rights as human rights,” and suggested that the White House’s public support of LGBT rights negatively affected the United States’ ability to work with Nigeria to combat terrorism. Nigerian police arrested a dozen people for attending a same-sex wedding.

      For more: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/02/law-would-make-protecting-lgbt-rights-foreign-policy-priority

    • Release No: NR-272-15

      July 13, 2015 dod.gov

      Statement by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on DOD Transgender Policy

      Over the last fourteen years of conflict, the Department of Defense has proven itself to be a learning organization. This is true in war, where we have adapted to counterinsurgency, unmanned systems, and new battlefield requirements such as MRAPs. It is also true with respect to institutional activities, where we have learned from how we repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” from our efforts to eliminate sexual assault in the military, and from our work to open up ground combat positions to women. Throughout this time, transgender men and women in uniform have been there with us, even as they often had to serve in silence alongside their fellow comrades in arms.

      The Defense Department’s current regulations regarding transgender service members are outdated and are causing uncertainty that distracts commanders from our core missions. At a time when our troops have learned from experience that the most important qualification for service members should be whether they’re able and willing to do their job, our officers and enlisted personnel are faced with certain rules that tell them the opposite. Moreover, we have transgender soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines – real, patriotic Americans – who I know are being hurt by an outdated, confusing, inconsistent approach that’s contrary to our value of service and individual merit.

      Today, I am issuing two directives to deal with this matter. First, DoD will create a working group to study over the next six months the policy and readiness implications of welcoming transgender persons to serve openly. Led by (Acting) Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Brad Carson, and composed of military and civilian personnel representing all the military services and the Joint Staff, this working group will report to Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work. At my direction, the working group will start with the presumption that transgender persons can serve openly without adverse impact on military effectiveness and readiness, unless and except where objective, practical impediments are identified. Second, I am directing that decision authority in all administrative discharges for those diagnosed with gender dysphoria or who identify themselves as transgender be elevated to Under Secretary Carson, who will make determinations on all potential separations.

      As I’ve said before, we must ensure that everyone who’s able and willing to serve has the full and equal opportunity to do so, and we must treat all our people with the dignity and respect they deserve. Going forward, the Department of Defense must and will continue to improve how we do both. Our military’s future strength depends on it.

  4. Gay marriage: why corporations are coming out against DOMA

    Nearly 300 US companies filed a brief on behalf of the New York woman whose challenge of DOMA has reached the Supreme Court. Why support gay marriage? For one, it’s just good business.

    February 27, 2013 By Daniel B. Wood, CSM Staff writer

    LOS ANGELES
    Wading into the highly emotional but quickly shifting national debate over gay marriage, 278 companies filed an amicus brief Wednesday in support of Edith Windsor, the New York woman whose challenge of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has been taken up by the United States Supreme Court.

    Among the companies filing the brief are behemoths Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Starbucks, corporate entities associated with America’s youth culture. But others include pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, insurance mainstay Aetna, and Citigroup.

    In addition to the challenge to DOMA, which centers on Ms. Windsor’s having had to pay a substantial federal estate tax following the death of her partner of more than 40 years, whom she married in Canada, the Supreme Court is also taking up California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage. Windsor would not have had to pay any federal estate tax on the inheritance had the United States recognized her marriage. The court will hear arguments on Prop. 8 on March 26, and on DOMA on March 27.

    So what interests do corporations, which usually shun controversy, have in urging the Supreme Court to sign off on gay marriage? One reason, it appears, is they think it’s just good business.

    Interviews with legal experts, marketing and public relations specialists, and others say the reasons are more complex than just the increased social acceptance of gay marriage, reflected in opinion polls and such actions as President Obama’s historic embrace of it last year. They say businesses are acting in the interest of their own economic bottom line.

    For more: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2013/0227/Gay-marriage-why-corporations-are-coming-out-against-DOMA?nav=89-csm_category-topStories

  5. February 28, 2013

    Statement from the President

    Today, Republicans in the Senate faced a choice about how to grow our economy and reduce our deficit. And instead of closing a single tax loophole that benefits the well-off and well-connected, they chose to cut vital services for children, seniors, our men and women in uniform and their families. They voted to let the entire burden of deficit reduction fall squarely on the middle class.

    I believe we should do better. We should work together to reduce our deficit in a balanced way – by making smart spending cuts and closing special interest tax loopholes. That’s exactly the kind of plan Democrats in the Senate have proposed. But even though a majority of Senators support this approach, Republicans have refused to allow it an up-or-down vote – threatening our economy with a series of arbitrary, automatic budget cuts that will cost us jobs and slow our recovery.

    Tomorrow I will bring together leaders from both parties to discuss a path forward. As a nation, we can’t keep lurching from one manufactured crisis to another. Middle-class families can’t keep paying the price for dysfunction in Washington. We can build on the over $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction we’ve already achieved, but doing so will require Republicans to compromise. That’s how our democracy works, and that’s what the American people deserve.

    • February 28, 2013

      Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney, 2/28/2013

      James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

      (Excerpt)

      Q Thanks. What is your understanding of how and when this thing is going to kick in tomorrow [3/1/13]? Some people on the Hill think that it’s 12:01 a.m. tomorrow morning. You mentioned 11:59 p.m. There’s also wording out there that the President has to sign —

      MR. CARNEY: My understanding — and I’m a layman in this, but my understanding is that the law has a provision that requires the President to order the sequester on March 1st, which is tomorrow. And that means that it has to be done by 11:59 p.m. tomorrow.

      For the entire transcript: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/02/28/press-briefing-press-secretary-jay-carney-2282013

  6. West Wing Week: 03/01/13 or “Hope Springs Eternal”

    Published on Feb 28, 2013

    This week, the President urged Congress to take a responsible approach to deficit reduction instead of the indiscriminate across-the-board spending cuts called the sequester. He also met with the Prime Minister of Japan, America’s Governors, and the country’s only all-black Ranger unit, and unveiled a truly moving monument to Rosa Parks.

  7. Motor Vehicle Sales

    Released On 3/1/2013 For Feb, 2013

    Prior Consensus Consensus Range
    Domestic Vehicle Sales 12.1 M 12.1 M 11.2 M to 12.3 M
    Total Vehicle Sales 15.3 M 15.2 M 15.0 M to 15.8 M

    Market Consensus before announcement
    Sales of total light motor vehicles proved steady and firm in January, at a 15.3 million annual rate versus December’s 15.4 million. Though the rate peaked to 15.5 million in October on replacement buying following Hurricane Sandy, January’s rate was still well above the low 14 million trend through most of last year. Sales of domestic-made vehicles came in at 12.1 million compare to the prior month’s 12.0 million, with foreign-made at 3.2 million versus December’s 3.4 million.

    Source: http://bloomberg.econoday.com/byshoweventfull.asp?fid=455393&cust=bloomberg-us&year=2013&lid=0&prev=/byweek.asp#top

  8. ISM Mfg Index

    Released On 3/1/2013 10:00:00 AM For Feb, 2013
    Prior Consensus Consensus Range Actual
    ISM Mfg Index – Level 53.1 52.8 52.0 to 54.5 54.2

    Market Consensus before announcement
    The composite index from the ISM manufacturing survey improved in January to 53.1 for the best rate of monthly growth since May. Growth was very convincing with all five components of the composite over 50. The new orders index is key and it was up, 3.6 points higher to 53.3. Employment was up more than two points to 54.0 which is a solid growth rate for this index.

    Source: http://bloomberg.econoday.com/byshoweventfull.asp?fid=456246&cust=bloomberg-us&year=2013&lid=0&prev=/byweek.asp#top

  9. Construction Spending

    Released On 3/1/2013 10:00:00 AM For Jan, 2013

    Prior Prior Revised Consensus Consensus Range Actual
    Construction Spending – M/M change 0.9 % 1.1 % 0.6 % -0.7 % to 1.0 % -2.1 %

    Market Consensus before announcement
    Construction spending in December jumped 0.9 percent, following a rise of 0.1 percent in November. The increase in December was led by a 2.2 percent gain in residential outlays after a 0.6 percent increase in November. Most of the latest improvement was from multifamily construction although single-family outlays also advanced. Public construction declined in the latest month. On a year-ago basis, overall construction was up 7.8 percent in December versus 9.1 percent in November.

    Source: http://bloomberg.econoday.com/byshoweventfull.asp?fid=456270&cust=bloomberg-us&year=2013&lid=0&prev=/byweek.asp#top

  10. 10:05 AM ET
    President Obama hosts the bipartisan, bicameral leadership of Congress at the White House; Vice President Biden also attends.

  11. Happy Palindrome Day!

    Franz Joseph Haydn – Sinfonia n. 47 “Palindrome” in sol maggiore – allegro

    Uploaded on Nov 22, 2009

    Orchestra da camera città di Legnano “franz joseph Haydn” in concerto al teatro Cantoni di via Galvani,49 Legnano (Milano).
    Sabato 21 novembre 2009 h 21.00

    • March 01, 2013

      Statement by the President on the Sequester

      James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

      11:39 A.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. As you know, I just met with leaders of both parties to discuss a way forward in light of the severe budget cuts that start to take effect today. I told them these cuts will hurt our economy. They will cost us jobs. And to set it right, both sides need to be willing to compromise.

      The good news is the American people are strong and they’re resilient. They fought hard to recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and we will get through this as well. Even with these cuts in place, folks all across this country will work hard to make sure that we keep the recovery going. But Washington sure isn’t making it easy. At a time when our businesses have finally begun to get some traction — hiring new workers, bringing jobs back to America — we shouldn’t be making a series of dumb, arbitrary cuts to things that businesses depend on and workers depend on, like education, and research, and infrastructure and defense. It’s unnecessary. And at a time when too many Americans are still looking for work, it’s inexcusable.

      Now, what’s important to understand is that not everyone will feel the pain of these cuts right away. The pain, though, will be real. Beginning this week, many middle-class families will have their lives disrupted in significant ways. Businesses that work with the military, like the Virginia shipbuilder that I visited on Tuesday, may have to lay folks off. Communities near military bases will take a serious blow. Hundreds of thousands of Americans who serve their country — Border Patrol agents, FBI agents, civilians who work at the Pentagon — all will suffer significant pay cuts and furloughs.

      All of this will cause a ripple effect throughout our economy. Layoffs and pay cuts means that people have less money in their pockets, and that means that they have less money to spend at local businesses. That means lower profits. That means fewer hires. The longer these cuts remain in place, the greater the damage to our economy — a slow grind that will intensify with each passing day.

      So economists are estimating that as a consequence of this sequester, that we could see growth cut by over one-half of 1 percent. It will cost about 750,000 jobs at a time when we should be growing jobs more quickly. So every time that we get a piece of economic news, over the next month, next two months, next six months, as long as the sequester is in place, we’ll know that that economic news could have been better if Congress had not failed to act.

      And let’s be clear. None of this is necessary. It’s happening because of a choice that Republicans in Congress have made. They’ve allowed these cuts to happen because they refuse to budge on closing a single wasteful loophole to help reduce the deficit. As recently as yesterday, they decided to protect special interest tax breaks for the well-off and well-connected, and they think that that’s apparently more important than protecting our military or middle-class families from the pain of these cuts.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/03/01/statement-president-sequester

    • February 28, 2013

      Statement from the President

      Today, Republicans in the Senate faced a choice about how to grow our economy and reduce our deficit. And instead of closing a single tax loophole that benefits the well-off and well-connected, they chose to cut vital services for children, seniors, our men and women in uniform and their families. They voted to let the entire burden of deficit reduction fall squarely on the middle class.

      I believe we should do better. We should work together to reduce our deficit in a balanced way – by making smart spending cuts and closing special interest tax loopholes. That’s exactly the kind of plan Democrats in the Senate have proposed. But even though a majority of Senators support this approach, Republicans have refused to allow it an up-or-down vote – threatening our economy with a series of arbitrary, automatic budget cuts that will cost us jobs and slow our recovery.

      Tomorrow I will bring together leaders from both parties to discuss a path forward. As a nation, we can’t keep lurching from one manufactured crisis to another. Middle-class families can’t keep paying the price for dysfunction in Washington. We can build on the over $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction we’ve already achieved, but doing so will require Republicans to compromise. That’s how our democracy works, and that’s what the American people deserve.

      —————

      March 01, 2013

      Presidential Order — Sequestration

  12. Why Sequestration Could Really Hurt Long-Term Research
    The U.S. budget cuts that take effect tomorrow will demoralize future inventors, researchers, and disease curers.

    February 28, 2013 Jessica Leber – technologyreview

    The across-the-board U.S. budget cuts scheduled to take effect on March 1, known as sequestration, will have ripple effects that hurt scientific and health research for years to come, the heads of two federal research agencies said this week.

    In a note distributed to research institutions, the National Science Foundation, which awards research grants on topics like climate change, materials science, and computing, anticipates it will issue about 1,000 fewer new grants than it had expect this fiscal year. And Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, said the $1.5 billion cut from its $30 billion budget would slow research in diseases, specifically calling out a push to develop a universal influenza vaccine—”a project that is going extremely well,” he told reporters.

    Collins said his greatest concern is the effect on young scientists, because the NIH’s training grants would be cut. He noted the psychological effects to their dreams and visions, not just the monetary ones.

    This may sound mushy to someone not familiar with the world of research. But for students in or hoping to enter doctoral programs, it is a rough and long path to a career in science, one that many can’t sustain even in normal times. If a funding setback, a grant that should have come through, or the general uncertainy about the funding future is demoralizing for seasoned researchers, it has got to be worse for those in the early stages of their careers. Fewer grants means fewer opportunities and a leakier “pipeline” of scientific talent—and that, in the end, may be the worst effect of the series of budget crises that politics has left us.

  13. DHS 10 Year Anniversary

    March 1, 2013 5:31 pm dhs.gov

    Janet Napolitano Secretary

    Ten years ago today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began its operations, unifying 22 legacy agencies within a single department with a common mission: to safeguard America and integrate our Nation’s capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from threats and disasters of all kinds.

    DHS has helped transform the way we secure our Nation over the last ten years, making our efforts more agile, proactive, and coordinated. Today, we are also smarter about how we assess risks, and how we mitigate them.

    And a decade after the creation of a Cabinet-level agency bearing that name, homeland security has come to mean much more. It means the coordinated work of hundreds of thousands of dedicated and skilled professionals, and more than ever, of the American public: our businesses and families, communities and faith-based groups. We are safer and more secure than ever before, and DHS stands ready to confront our future challenges.

    During March, we will recognize and celebrate the work of DHS employees from across the country and around the world through a number of initiatives. Earlier this week, I delivered the State of Homeland Security at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. It summarizes the past (DHS 1.0), the present (DHS 2.0) and the future of the Department (DHS 3.0).

    For more: http://www.dhs.gov/blog/2013/03/01/dhs-10-year-anniversary

    • March 01, 2013

      Presidential Proclamation — 10th Anniversary of the United States Department of Homeland Security

      10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNITED STATES
      DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

      – – – – – – –

      BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

      A PROCLAMATION

      Ten years ago, when the tragic events of September 11 were fresh in our hearts and our Nation found itself in a more uncertain world, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) opened its doors with a single task: keeping the American people safe. Day by day, hour by hour, the Department has advanced that critical mission through a decade of shifting threats and new challenges. We take this opportunity to recognize its accomplishments and pay tribute to the people who have made them possible.

      Alongside its partners in government and the private sector, DHS has taken action to make our borders and ports more secure, our critical infrastructure and cyber networks more resilient, and our people more engaged in addressing the dangers we face. While threats persist, America is better prepared to meet them, and we stand ready to overcome whatever challenges the future holds.

      Homeland security cannot begin and end with the Federal Government; it takes commitment from every part of society. By forging lasting partnerships with stakeholders at home and abroad, DHS has worked to streamline our legal immigration system, stem the tide of illegal immigration, and chart a course toward sensible reform. And in a decade marked by national emergencies and natural disasters, the Department has invested in communities nationwide, improving our preparedness for times of crisis.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/03/01/presidential-proclamation-10th-anniversary-united-states-department-home

  14. WH

    Saturday, March 2, 2013

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  15. March 2, 2013

    Weekly Address: Congress Must Compromise to Stop the Impact of the Sequester

    Hi, everybody. On Friday, I met with leaders of both parties in Congress to try and find a way forward in light of the severe budget cuts – known in Washington as “the sequester” – that have already started to inflict pain on communities across the country.

    These cuts are not smart. They will hurt our economy and cost us jobs. And Congress can turn them off at any time – as soon as both sides are willing to compromise.

    As a nation, we’ve already fought back from the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, and we’ll get through this, too. But at a time when our businesses are finally gaining some traction, hiring new workers, bringing jobs back to America – the last thing Washington should do is to get in their way. That’s what these cuts to education, research, and defense will do. It’s unnecessary. And at a time when too many of our friends and neighbors are still looking for work, it’s inexcusable.

    Now, it’s important to understand that, while not everyone will feel the pain of these cuts right away, the pain will be real. Many middle-class families will have their lives disrupted in a significant way.

    Beginning this week, businesses that work with the military will have to lay folks off. Communities near military bases will take a serious blow. Hundreds of thousands of Americans who serve their country – Border Patrol agents, FBI agents, civilians who work for the Defense Department – will see their wages cut and their hours reduced.

    This will cause a ripple effect across the economy. Businesses will suffer because customers will have less money to spend. The longer these cuts remain in place, the greater the damage. Economists estimate they could eventually cost us more than 750,000 jobs and slow our economy by over one-half of one percent.

    Here’s the thing: none of this is necessary. It’s happening because Republicans in Congress chose this outcome over closing a single wasteful tax loophole that helps reduce the deficit. Just this week, they decided that protecting special interest tax breaks for the well-off and well-connected is more important than protecting our military and middle-class families from these cuts.

    I still believe we can and must replace these cuts with a balanced approach – one that combines smart spending cuts with entitlement reform and changes to our tax code that make it more fair for families and businesses without raising anyone’s tax rates. That’s how we can reduce our deficit without laying off workers, or forcing parents and students to pay the price. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. It’s the kind of approach I’ve proposed for two years now. A majority of the American people agree with me on this approach – including a majority of Republicans. We just need Republicans in Congress to catch up with their own party and the rest of the country.

    Now, I know there are Republicans in Congress who would actually rather see tax loopholes closed than let these cuts go through. And I know there are Democrats who’d rather do smart entitlement reform than let these cuts go through. There’s a caucus of common sense. And I’m going to keep reaching out to them to fix this for good.

    Because the American people are weary of perpetual partisanship and brinksmanship. This is America, and in America, we don’t careen from one manufactured crisis to another. We make smart choices. We plan. We prioritize. So I’m going to push through this paralysis and keep fighting for the real challenges facing middle-class families. I’m going to keep pushing for high-quality preschool for every family that wants it, and make sure the minimum wage becomes a wage you can live on. I’m going to keep pushing to fix our immigration system, repair our transportation system, and keep our children safe from gun violence.

    That’s the work you elected me to do. That’s what I’m focused on every single day. Thanks.

  16. Chad says soldiers in Mali kill al Qaeda’s Belmokhtar

    3/2/13 By Madjiasra Nako | Reuters – 9 mins ago

    N’DJAMENA (Reuters) – Chadian soldiers in Mali have killed Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the al Qaeda mastermind of a bloody hostage-taking at an Algerian gas plant in January, Chad’s military said on Saturday.

    The death of one of the world’s most wanted jihadists would be a major blow to al Qaeda in the region and to the Islamist rebels forced to flee towns they had seized in northern Mali by an offensive by French and African troops.

    “On Saturday, March 2, at noon, Chadian armed forces operating in northern Mali completely destroyed a terrorist base (…) The toll included several dead terrorists, including their leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar,” Chad’s armed forces said in a statement read on national television.

    On Friday, Chad’s President Idriss Deby said his soldiers had killed another al Qaeda commander, Adelhamid Abou Zeid, among 40 militants who died in an operation in the same area as Saturday’s assault – Mali’s Adrar des Ifoghas mountains near the Algerian border – on Monday.

    France – which has used jet strikes against the militants’ mountain strongholds – has declined to confirm the killing of either Abou Zeid or Belmokhtar.

    Analysts said the death of two of al Qaeda’s most feared commanders in the Sahara desert would mark a significant blow to Mali’s Islamist rebellion.

    For more: http://news.yahoo.com/chad-soldiers-mali-kill-al-qaeda-commander-belmokhtar-200331623.html

  17. ********************
    THIS POST IS NOW CLOSED NBLB

    Come on over to my newest post titled: ” Selma’s Bridge Crossing Jubilee”

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