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Shannon Watts, Everytown For Gun Safety: Fight Gun Violence With Your VOTE.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Mayors Against Illegal Guns/Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America.

 

If our elected officials won’t change our gun laws, it’s time to change our elected officials.

I was in the Senate gallery one year ago today when a minority of U.S. Senators blocked a bill to expand criminal background checks. They caved under pressure from the Washington gun lobby instead of standing up for more than 90% of the American people who supported the bill. They made the wrong choice.

That’s why I’m proud to announce the launch of Gun Sense Voter, an unprecedented initiative to mobilize Americans in all 50 states to fight gun violence with their votes.

I’m writing to ask you to pledge to vote for candidates in local, state and federal elections who support common-sense laws to reduce gun violence. And, at the same time, help us show others the door.

Will you take the pledge to become a Gun Sense Voter today?

Are you a Gun Sense Voter? Here’s how you’ll know:

 

  • You believe that felons and domestic abusers shouldn’t have access to guns.
  • You think guns don’t belong in places like churches, schools and playgrounds.
  • You think our elected officials should be as passionate about the safety of our communities as they are about the right to bear arms.
  • You understand that each and every vote matters when it comes to reducing gun violence — and you’re not afraid to use yours to create change.

 

If you’re a mom, a mayor, a survivor, a police officer, or a concerned citizen who thinks that our elected officials must do more to stop gun violence, then you’re a Gun Sense Voter.

 

Make it official and take the Gun Sense Voter pledge right now:

 

http://www.GunSenseVoter.org/

 

I’ve taken the pledge, and I hope you will too.

 

It’s the most important thing you can do to make sure we finally get the common-sense gun laws that will keep our fellow Americans safe from gun violence.

 

Thank you,

 

Shannon Watts
Founder
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense In America

P.S. — When you take the pledge, please make sure you check the box if you can volunteer in your community. The Gun Sense Voter team will be reaching out to some volunteers all across the country to organize trainings in the weeks ahead, and we hope to see you there!

Everytown for Gun Safety is a movement of Americans fighting for common-sense gun policies. We are moms, mayors, survivors, and concerned citizens. 



We depend on contributions from supporters like you to fund our important work to reduce gun violence.

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WHAT IS GUN SENSE?

 

Gun Sense is the simple idea that we can do more to keep our families and communities safe from gun violence. It’s the belief that we, as Americans don’t have to tolerate 31,000 deaths from gun violence every year.

If you believe that felons and domestic abusers shouldn’t have access to guns; if you think guns don’t belong in places like churches, schools and playgrounds; If you think our elected officials should be as passionate about the safety of our communities as they are about the right to bear arms: You have Gun Sense.

DOWNLOAD ORGANIZING TOOLS

We have everything you need to start organizing in your community. Download pledge cards, sign-in sheets, posters, and informational flyers.

  • DOWNLOAD

    Print these posters to show that you’re a Gun Sense Voter.

  • DOWNLOAD

    Got a clipboard or going to an event? Download this sheet to collect many pledges at once.

  • DOWNLOAD

    Print your own cards for people to pledge to be Gun Sense Voters.

  • DOWNLOAD

    Full of facts and info. Print these out to tell your friends and neighbors about gun sense.

NAVIGATION

New AD on Gun Safety: ‘Moms Demand Action’ For Gun Sense in America

 

 

 

Michael Bloomberg Announces $50 Million Project to Fight Gun Violence

 

Published on Apr 16, 2014

Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to spend at least $50 million this year to combat gun violence in the United States through a new lobbying group, Everytown for Gun Safety.
Bloomberg said in a New York Times article published Tuesday evening that he plans to spend the $50 million — at least — through Everytown’s advocacy work as well as “personal expenditures.”

 

“I put $50 million this year, last year into coal, $53 million into oceans,” he told the Times about the causes he supports. “Certainly a number like that, $50 million. Let’s see what happens.”

 

The group will have kick-off events in several cities across the country on Wednesday to spread the word and launch the “Gun Sense Voter” campaign that aims to mobilize 1 million voters to support officials and laws that tout gun safety.

 

 

 

 

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Reforming America’s Job-Driven Training Programs: Barack & Joey B. Visit Community College of Allegheny County in Oakdale, Pennsylvania.


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

Reforming America’s Job-Driven Training Programs

 

In this year’s State of the Union address, President Obama announced that Vice President Biden would lead a reform of America’s job training programs, making sure that these programs “train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now.”

 

This afternoon, the President and Vice President visited the Community College of Allegheny County in Oakdale, Pennsylvania to announce progress on that reform.

 

 

 

The President and Vice President Speak on Skills Training for Workers

 

Published on Apr 16, 2014

President Obama and Vice President Biden deliver remarks on the importance of jobs-driven skills training in a 21st century economy. April 16, 2014.

 

“CCAC is an outstanding model of the kind of job-driven training we’re trying to encourage all across the country,” said President Obama. “You’re doing something right that is making a difference in people’s lives — and we want to spread the word.”

 

The President first announced a nearly $500 million competition in which the federal government will award grants to community colleges and employers partnering together to develop job-driven training programs.

 

We’ve asked more community colleges to do what you’ve done here at Allegheny, and that is to figure out what skills local employers are looking for, and then partner with them to help design the curriculums and to prepare the students for those jobs. We want a seamless progression from community college programs to industry-recognized credentials and credit towards a college degree.

And today I’m announcing that we’re going to award nearly $500 million to those institutions who are doing it best in all 50 states — using existing money to create opportunity for hardworking folks like you.

 

He also announced a $100 million competition for American Apprenticeship Grants, which will expand the types of apprenticeships that help put young people and experienced workers on an upward career trajectory.

 

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker tour a classroom at the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in Oakdale, Pa.

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker tour a classroom at the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in Oakdale, Pa., April 16, 2014. Students Zach Kuzma and Stephanie Womack demonstrate equipment that teaches students how to manipulate gears, pulleys, sprockets, etc. to adjust the speed and/or torque of a motor or system. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

“When it comes to training our workers,” the President said, “not all of today’s good jobs require a four-year college degree. But I promise you, there’s not a job out there that’s going to pay a lot if you don’t have some sort of specialized training. So our best bet is keeping ahead in the skills race.”

 

Learn more about how the federal government — as well as employers, unions, and foundations — are supporting job-driven training.

 

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FACT SHEET – American Job Training Investments: Skills and Jobs to Build a Stronger Middle Class

 

 

Obama, Biden coming to CCAC

 

Published on Apr 15, 2014

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will visit the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center Wednesday to spotlight what they call “jobs-driven skills training.”

 

 

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Barack & Joey B. & Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto & Allegheny County Executive Fitzgerald at 171st Air Refueling Wing

Barack & Joey B.
& Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto & Allegheny County Executive Fitzgerald at 171st Air Refueling Wing

 

 

The President Tours The Community College of Allegheny Training Center

 

President Barack Obama tours a classroom with Paul Blackford, instructor of the Mechatronics Program, at Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center

President Barack Obama tours a classroom with Paul Blackford, instructor of the Mechatronics Program, at Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center

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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden tour the Community College of Allegheny West Hills Center with students in the Mechatronics program

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden tour the Community College of Allegheny West Hills Center with students in the Mechatronics program

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Barack & Joey B. talk with Tyron Baltimore and Melissa Ayers, students at CCAC West Hills Center.

Barack & Joey B. talk with Tyron Baltimore and Melissa Ayers, students at CCAC West Hills Center.

 

 

The President and Vice President Speak on Skills Training for Workers (Full Transcript)

 

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President Barack Obama is introduced by Vice President Joe Biden as he arrives at the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in Oakdale, Pa., The visit was to announce $600M in grants as part of the administration’s Opportunity for All program to train the work force for careers in fields with a growing demand.

President Barack Obama is introduced by Vice President Joe Biden as he arrives at the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in Oakdale, Pa., The visit was to announce $600M in grants as part of the administration’s Opportunity for All program to train the work force for careers in fields with a growing demand.

 

Hello, Allegheny County! (Applause.) Joe and I decided it was time for a guys’ trip. (Laughter.) Actually, Michelle and Jill wanted us out the house. (Laughter.) So we decided to take a little road trip. And we are thrilled to be back here with a lot of good friends and folks who are doing terrific work every single day.

 

 
We brought with us some people who are doing some important work, trying to make sure that we’re building on the kind of success that we’re seeing here — first of all, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker is here. Give Penny a big round of applause. (Applause.) We’ve got a great friend and an outstanding Senator — Bob Casey in the house. (Applause.) Congressman Mike Doyle is here. (Applause.)

 

 

One of the biggest Steelers fans we’ve got. (Laughter.) We’ve got County Executive Rich Fitzgerald here in the house. (Applause.) Outstanding Mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto is here. (Applause.) And your college president, Quintin Bullock is here. (Applause.)

 

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And of course, all of you are here. (Applause.) Yeah! Yeah! (Laughter.) Now, we’re here because CCAC is an outstanding model of the kind of job-driven training we’re trying to encourage all across the country. And Joe and I just spent some time checking out the machines and motors that are being used here to train folks in mechatronics. Now, I have to say that before I came here I didn’t know there was such a thing as mechatronics. (Laughter.) Sounds like something that Godzilla would be fighting. (Laughter.) It turns out it has to do with engineering, how stuff works. And we saw firsthand everything that you are doing to train more workers for new jobs and better jobs — jobs companies need to keep growing.

 

And what we want to do is we want to replicate your model across the country. You’re doing something right that is making a difference in people’s lives — (applause) — and we want to spread the word. (Applause.) So that’s why we’re here today in Allegheny County, because I’m taking some new action to expand this kind of job-driven training to all 50 states.

 

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And Joe talked a little bit about why we have to do this — because in today’s economy, it’s never been more important to make sure that our folks are trained for the jobs that are there — and for the jobs of the future.

 

Now, we’ve spent the past five and a half years fighting back from the worst economic crisis in our lifetimes. The good news is our economy is growing again, our businesses are creating jobs. We’ve created nearly 9 million jobs over the past four years. We’ve cut our deficits by more than half. Our manufacturing sector that used to be losing jobs, just hemorrhaging jobs, is now adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s. (Applause.) The first time since the 1990s. High school dropout rates are going down. College attendance rates and graduation rates are going up. Our troops are coming home. (Applause.) We’re seeing an energy boom all across the country. And more than 7.5 million people have been able to sign up for health care, many for the very first time, through the Affordable Care Act. (Applause.) And 7.5 million people, by the way, is about the number that it would take to fill up Heinz Field 115 times.

 

So there are a lot of good trends that are taking place. And a lot of that has to do with the great work that our outstanding Vice President is doing. (Applause.) It has to do with the great work that folks like Mike and Bob and Rich are doing, and your outstanding Mayor in Pittsburgh and all he’s doing to help transform the economy there.

 

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But here’s the challenge — and a lot of folks here know it. A lot of people don’t feel that progress in their own lives yet. So the stock market is doing great. Corporate profits are soaring. Folks at the very, very top are doing better than ever. But too many Americans, if they’re lucky enough to have a job, are working harder and harder just to get by, much less to get ahead. For too many middle-class Americans, it feels as if the same trends that have been going on for decades are continuing. You’re working hard, but wages flat-line, incomes flat-line, cost of everything else going up.

 

So we’ve got to reverse those trends. We’ve got to make sure that we have an economy that’s not just growing from the top down — because it doesn’t really grow when it’s just from the top down. We’ve got to have an economy where it grows from the middle class out, and from the bottom up, and everybody has a chance. (Applause.)

 

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That’s the idea of America — if you work hard, you can get ahead. That’s the promise at the heart of this country. If you’re responsible, you’re willing to put in some sweat, you can get ahead. You may not be fabulously wealthy, but you can support a family; you can buy a home; make sure your kids are doing good and they can go to college; have something left over for retirement; have health care you can count on; maybe take a vacation once in a while — (laughter) — just the basics and knowing that you’re part of a community that is growing for everybody, not just some.

 

Restoring that idea is the defining issue of our time. And so the truth is — Joe and I, we were talking about this the other day — we sometimes sound like a broken record because we’ve been talking about this for six, seven, eight years, ever since we’ve been in public office. But it’s more urgent than ever now that we move forward. And we know what to do.

 

We’re pushing a four-part opportunity agenda. And the first part is more good jobs paying good wages — manufacturing jobs, construction jobs, jobs in energy, jobs in innovation, jobs in infrastructure, rebuilding our roads and our bridges — putting people back to work. There’s a lot more we could be doing.

 

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Number two, we’ve got to train more Americans with the skills to fill the jobs that are there, just like you do here at CCAC. Number three, we’ve got to guarantee every young American a world-class education. And number four, when people do have a job, we’ve got to make sure that job pays a decent wage and that you have savings you can retire on and health care you can count on. (Applause.)

 

These are the things we’ve got to be doing. You know it; I know it. That’s what would put our unemployment rate down faster. It would pull our wages up faster. It’s what we could do to create more jobs and economic security for a lot of families that have been reaching for it for years. And every single person you send to Washington should be focused on that issue. That’s what America needs right now.

 

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Today, the reason we came here is to focus on that second part of that agenda — training Americans with the skills that they need for the good jobs that are going to be here today and tomorrow.

 

Around here, you know better than most how in recent decades the economy hasn’t always worked for middle-class families. You saw outsourcing. There was a time when finding a good job in manufacturing wasn’t all that hard. If you were willing to work, you could go to the local factory, maybe the factory your dad was working in, and say, I’m ready to go, and they’d sign you up.

 

And over time, the economy changed, part of it because of globalization, some of it because of new technologies. And you’ve seen, sometimes painfully, where technology shutters factories and ships jobs overseas, and even makes some jobs obsolete.

 

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But you know what, we’re not going to reverse all those trends. We can’t stop technology. And you’ve got a global economy now where we’ve got to compete. We live in a 21st century global economy. Jobs know no borders, and companies are able to seek out the best-educated, most highly-skilled workers wherever they live. And that’s where the good jobs and the good pay and the good benefits is going to be.

 

Other countries know this. Countries like Germany, China, India — they’re working every day to out-educate our kids so they can out-compete our businesses. And each year, frankly, it shows that they’re making more progress than we are. We’re still ahead, we’ve still got the best cards, but they’re making some good decisions. We’ve got to make those same decisions.

 

And when it comes to training our workers, not all of today’s good jobs require a four-year college degree, but I promise you, there’s not a job out there that’s going to pay a lot if you don’t have some sort of specialized training. So our best bet is keeping ahead in the skills race.

 

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And you see what happens when we put effort into making sure workers have new skills — the education that’s required for this 21st century economy. At a time when traditional manufacturing is back on the rise, Pittsburgh is seeing new factories manufacturing new technologies across the board. And I know you’re County Executive and your Mayor and steel workers –everybody is — we’re focused on bringing jobs back. And the good news is they’re coming back. The problem is we’re having trouble filling some of those jobs.

 

I mean, there’s been great progress in this area. You’ve earned a great nickname — “Roboburgh” — because you’ve got high-tech plants and workplaces that are adding jobs faster than workers can fill them. That’s a good problem to have. But we’ve got a lot of Americans who are still looking for work or underemployed and not getting paid enough. That’s where what you do here is making a difference.

 

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America has got a choice to make. We can do nothing — which is the strategy that some folks in Washington seem to have — or we can do what we’ve always done best: We pull together; we fight back; and we win. (Applause.) That’s what we do best.

 

So earlier this year, I asked Joe to work with Penny Pritzker and Tom Perez, our Labor Secretary, to lead an across-the-board reform of all of our federal training programs to make sure they’ve got one clear mission: Train Americans with the skills employers need. Not something that looks good on paper, but doesn’t give you a job; find out what are the jobs that need to be filled and make sure folks are being trained and matched to those good jobs.

 

We’ve got to move away from what our Labor Secretary, Tom Perez, calls a “train and pray” approach. We train them and we pray that they can get a job. (Laughter.) Because the problem there is students, when they go to a community college, they go to a four-year university, they’re taking out debt. They’re straining their budgets. We got to make sure that it pays off for them. So we need to take a job-driven approach. And that’s what you’ve done here in Allegheny County. That’s what you’re doing here. (Applause.)

 

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So we’re rewarding high schools that redesign their curriculums to help students gain ready-to-work skills even earlier because there’s no reason why you got to wait for college. Our high schools could be providing more relevant education and making kids more job-ready. (Applause.)

 

We are supporting partnerships between employers and local governments and nonprofits to help unemployed workers who’ve been sidelined for too long, help them get the skills that they need, help to connect them to the jobs that require those skills. We’re working with a bipartisan coalition of governors and mayors across the country to make job training partnerships a reality for more Americans.

 

But we could be doing a lot more. And I’ve asked Congress to invest in serious programs that connect ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs. (Applause.) And in fairness, Mike Doyle, he’s supportive of that and Bob Casey is supportive of it. But, unfortunately, there are some other folks in Washington that haven’t acted yet. They haven’t been getting the job done so far. And Americans can’t afford to wait.

 

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So today, I’m taking two significant actions that don’t require Congress — (applause) — that don’t require Congress. First, we’ve asked more community colleges to do what you’ve done here at Allegheny, and that is to figure out what skills local employers are looking for, and then partner with them to help design the curriculums and to prepare the students for those jobs. We want a seamless progression from community college programs to industry-recognized credentials and credit towards a college degree.

 

And today I’m announcing that we’re going to award nearly $500 million to those institutions who are doing it best in all 50 states — using existing money to create opportunity for hardworking folks like you. (Applause.) That’s good.

 

Second — and this is related — we’re launching a $100 million competition for what we’re calling American Apprenticeship Grants. Now, these are awards that are going to expand the kinds of apprenticeships that help young people and experienced workers get on a path towards advancement, towards better jobs, better pay, a trajectory upwards in their careers.

 

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And apprenticeships are a way to link more Americans to jobs in some of our in-demand fields, like IT and health care. They let you earn while you learn. And sometimes it makes — it’s possible for them to also create college credits on the job, even as you’re pursuing a degree or a better job.

 

Right now, nearly nine out of 10 apprentices — folks who are in apprenticeships, they get hired when they’re finished — which makes sense, right? You get an apprenticeship; you’re there, you’re learning on the job. People see that you’re serious about working. So nine out of 10 folks, once they get an apprenticeship, they get hired. And by the way, they make an average of $50,000.

 

So we’re streamlining efforts by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Labor to help veterans access their GI Bill benefits for apprenticeships. Businesses, unions, community colleges, nonprofits — we’re getting them to work with us as well. The UAW is joining with the Big Three and John Deere and others to add nearly 2,000 apprentices. Some of the biggest manufacturers are partnering with community colleges in North Carolina and Texas and California on high-skill training programs.

 

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And now we want to work with national industry associations to help partnerships like these take root all across the country — so that anybody, in any city, any state, can earn the training they need to get the good jobs of tomorrow. So the bottom line is if you’re willing to put in the work to get a job or earn a promotion in today’s economy, America’s job-training system should give you every possible chance.

 

And you’re doing it here. When we took that tour, we saw young people and some not-so-young people — I won’t say who. I don’t want to offend. (Laughter.) But these are folks who — many of them were in a job right now, but they saw that it was a dead-end and they wanted to make sure that they could get a better job. Some of them were just getting started. But either way, their investment and their effort was being rewarded.

 

One person we met is a gentleman named Tim Wright. He was showing us some of the computer systems that folks are working on. Now, Tim worked as a shift laborer for 13 years, loading rail cars, moving equipment, working nights, working weekends. And he always had his eye on moving into industrial maintenance so he could repair and oversee the factory’s equipment, but he couldn’t pass the skills test. I love this about Tim. He did not give up. He didn’t say, well, I guess I can’t get to my dream. Instead he started on this mechatronics training at CCAC.

 

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So he’d squeeze in classes whenever he could, while he was still working his shifts. And after six months of hard work, he graduated as an industry-certified mechatronics technician. He re-took the test. He passed the test. (Applause.) Today, Tim is doing what he set out to do. (Applause.) So today he’s working on a factory floor, making sure the machines do what they’re supposed to do. He earns more money, he works better hours. He has more time to spend with his family.

 

And I want to read what Tim said here about this. He said, “That extra training made all the difference in the world. Those were the skills I needed to get to the next level.”

 

So I couldn’t be prouder of Tim. Those are the victories — they don’t get a lot of publicity. Tim’s name won’t be in the papers — although now it may be because I just talked about him. (Laughter.) But that’s what America is all about, each of us working to try to move forward. And by each of us moving forward, we all move forward. And then, we reach back and we help other folks.

 

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Companies that are represented here today — like Alle-Kiski and Schroeder and Aerotech — they’re helping. They want to help even more of their workers to take their skills to the next level, whether it’s through a community college partnership like Tim’s, or working with organizations like New Century Careers here in southwestern Pennsylvania. (Applause.) More workers getting apprenticeships. We know it works. And if it worked for folks like Tim and some of the men and women who are standing behind me here today, who took the initiative to upgrade their skills and stay ahead of the jobs curve and prepare themselves for a new job or a better job, then it can work all across the country.

 

We want that for every American. Everybody who works hard and takes responsibility deserves a chance to get ahead. That is what this country is built on. That’s what the moment requires. That’s what Congress should be working on. (Applause.) That’s what Joe is working on. That’s what I’m working on. That’s what you’re working on. And if we keep on working, we’re going to move forward.

 

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Thank you, everybody. God bless you. God bless America. (Applause.)

 

 

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The Teflon Dons On The Tarmac Before Boarding Their Respective Planes Home

The Teflon Dons On The Tarmac Before Boarding Their Respective Planes Home

The Smile That Makes Females Swoon.

The Smile That Makes Females Swoon.

The best selfie ever taken

The best selfie ever taken

Barack Landing At Andrews Air Force Base

Barack Landing At Andrews Air Force Base

Compassion was his thing even back in 1995 as he read to neighborhood children in his days as a community organizer.

Compassion was his thing even back in 1995 as he read to neighborhood children in his days as a community organizer.

Somebody explain to me, Where were these concerned Bundy Ranch protesters when a mentally ill homeless BLACK man was killed by New Mexico cops two weeks ago.....ain't THAT the gubmint taking away his freedom to be on public land?

Somebody explain to me, Where were these concerned Bundy Ranch protesters when a mentally ill homeless BLACK man was killed by New Mexico cops two weeks ago…..ain’t THAT the gubmint taking away his freedom to be on public land?

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Barack After Dark™: The West Wing Week. National Action Network. The Obama/Biden Administrations Taxes.


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

 

This week, the President honored soldiers who lost their lives last week at Fort Hood, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and picked up his pen to take action toward ensuring equal pay. Check out what else you may have missed in this week’s wrap up.

 

 

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West Wing Week 4/11/14 or, “Love Never Ends”

 

 

This week, the President honored Equal Pay Day and signed two executive orders to support efforts to level the playing field for women, pushed for better access to skills-based high school training, hosted the Prime Minister of Tunisia, and traveled with the First Lady to the memorial at Fort Hood and then to Austin, to honor the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.

 

 

 

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President Obama Speaks at the National Action Network Convention

 

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President Obama Speaks at the National Action Network Convention

 

Published on Apr 11, 2014

President Obama delivers remarks at the National Action Network’s 16th Annual Convention. April 11, 2014.

 

 

 

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President Obama and Vice President Biden’s 2013 Tax Returns

 

 

Today, the President released his 2013 federal income tax returns. He and the First Lady filed their income tax returns jointly and reported adjusted gross income of $481,098. The Obamas paid $98,169 in total tax.

 

The President and First Lady also reported donating $59,251 – or about 12.3 percent of their adjusted gross income – to 32 different charities. The largest reported gift to charity was $8,751 to the Fisher House Foundation. The President’s effective federal income tax rate is 20.4 percent. The President pushed for and signed into law legislation that makes the system more fair and helps the middle class by extending tax cuts to middle class and working families and asks the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share. In 2013, as a result of his policies, the President was subject to limitations in tax preferences, as well as additional Medicare and investment income taxes, for high income earners. The President and First Lady also released their Illinois income tax return and reported paying $23,328 in state income tax.

 

DOWNLOAD THE OBAMAS’ TAX RETURNS

 

 

The Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden also released their 2013 federal income tax returns, as well as state income tax returns for both Delaware and Virginia. The Bidens filed joint federal and combined Delaware income tax returns. Dr. Biden filed a separate non-resident Virginia tax return. Together, they reported adjusted gross income of $407,009. The Bidens paid $96,378 in total federal tax for 2013, amounting to an effective tax rate of 23.7 percent. They also paid $14,644 in Delaware income tax and Dr. Biden paid $3,470 in Virginia income tax. The Bidens contributed $20,523 to charity in 2013, including contributing the royalties received from Dr. Biden’s children’s book, net of taxes, to the USO.

 

DOWNLOAD THE BIDENS’ TAX RETURNS

 

 


 

 

Learn more:

Jay Carney is the White House Press Secretary.

 

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Remarks by the President Nominating Sylvia Mathews Burwell as Secretary of Health and Human Services

 

The President Nominates Sylvia Mathews Burwell: Secretary Of Health And Human Services.

 

First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter And Senator Elizabeth Dole Hosting The Joining Forces Initiative For Caregivers.

 

Statement by President Obama on the Retirement of Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns

 

Presidential Nomination Sent to the Senate

 

President Obama Announces Presidential Delegation to the Holy See to Attend the Canonization Mass of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II

 

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April 11th 2014: Photo of the Day

 

President Barack Obama reaches down to 6-month-old Sabina Johnson, from Beaumont, Texas, who was visiting the Oval Office with her uncle, Elbek Elibaev, for his Make-A-Wish visit at the White House, April 11, 2014 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama reaches down to 6-month-old Sabina Johnson, from Beaumont, Texas, who was visiting the Oval Office with her uncle, Elbek Elibaev, for his Make-A-Wish visit at the White House, April 11, 2014 (Photo by Pete Souza)

 

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Rand Corp. Study Of ObamaCARES Effect On Health Insurance: 9.3 Million New Insured And Counting.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Rand’s Obamacare stats: 9.3 million new insureds, and counting

 

By Michael Hiltzik

 

The long-awaited Rand Corp. study of Obamacare’s effect on health insurance coverage was released Tuesday and confirmed the numbers that had been telegraphed for more than a week: At least 9.3 million more Americans have health insurance now than in September 2013, virtually all of them as a result of the law.

 

 

Just the start? President Obama announces preliminary Affordable Care Act signups. (Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images / April 1, 2014)

Just the start? President Obama announces preliminary Affordable Care Act signups. (Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images / April 1, 2014)

 

That’s a net figure, accommodating all those who lost their individual health insurance because of cancellations. The Rand study confirms other surveys that placed the number of people who lost their old insurance and did not or could not replace it — the focus of an enormous volume of anti-Obamacare rhetoric — at less than 1 million. The Rand experts call this a “very small” number, less than 1% of the U.S. population age 18 to 64.

 

 

The Rand study was eagerly anticipated in part because of the dearth of hard information from other sources, including the federal and state governments, which are still compiling their statistics and may not have a full slate for months.

 

Rand acknowledges that its figures have limitations — they’re based on a survey sampling, meaning that the breakdowns are subject to various margins of error, and they don’t include much of the surge in enrollments in late March and early April. Those 3.2-million sign-ups not counted by Rand could “dramatically affect” the figures on total insureds, the organization said.

A few other important takeaways:

–The number of people getting insurance through their employers increased by 8.2 million. Rand said the increase is likely to have been driven by a decline in unemployment, which made more people eligible for employer plans, and by the incentives in the Affordable Care Act encouraging more employer coverage. The figure certainly undermines the contention by the healthcare law’s critics that the legislation gave employers an incentive to drop coverage.

–Of the 3.9 million people counted by Rand as obtaining insurance on the individual exchange market, 36% were previously uninsured. That ratio is expected to rise when the late signups are factored in. Medicaid enrollment increased by 5.9 million, the majority of whom did not have insurance before signing up.

–These figures are only the leading edge of a long-term trend. “It’s still early in the life of the ACA,” Rand said. Its experts expect more enrollments “as people become more familiar with the law, the individual mandates increase to their highest levels, the employer mandate kicks in, and other changes occur.” But their bottom line is that the law already has led to “a substantial increase in insurance coverage.”

 

 

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The Obamacare success stories you haven’t been hearing about

 

Last summer Ellen Holzman and Meredith Vezina, a married gay couple in San Diego County, got kicked off their long-term Kaiser health plan, for which they’d been paying more than $1,300 a month. The cause wasn’t the Affordable Care Act, as far as they knew. They’d been living outside Kaiser’s service area, and the health plan had decided to tighten its rules.

 

That’s when they discovered the chilly hazards of dependence on the individual health insurance market. When they applied for a replacement policy with Anthem Blue Cross of California, Ellen, 59, disclosed that she might have carpal tunnel syndrome. She wasn’t sure–her condition was still being diagnosed by Kaiser when her coverage ended. But the possibility was enough to scare Anthem. “They said, ‘We will not insure you because you have a pre-existing condition,’” Holzman recalls.

 

But they were lucky, thanks to Obamacare. Through Covered California, the state’s individual insurance marketplace, they’ve found a plan through Sharp Healthcare that will cover them both for a total premium of $142 a month, after a government subsidy based on their income. They’ll have a higher deductible than Kaiser’s but lower co-pays. But their possible savings will be impressive.

 

More important than that was knowing that they couldn’t be turned down for coverage come Jan. 1. “We felt we didn’t have to panic, or worry,” Holzman says. “If not for the Affordable Care Act, our ability to get insurance would be very limited, if we could get it at all.”

 

Holzman and Vezina are exactly the type of people Obamacare is designed to help–indeed, rescue from the cold, hard world of individual health insurance of the past. That was a world where even an undiagnosed condition might render you uninsurable. Where your insurance could be canceled after you got sick or had an accident. Where your financial health was at risk as much as your physical well-being.

 

These are the stories you’re not hearing amid the pumped-up panic over canceled individual policies and premium shocks–many of which stories are certainly true, but the noise being made about them leads people to think they’re more common than they are.

 

We’ve compiled several alternative examples for this post. They’re anecdotes, sure, just like the anecdotes you’ve been seeing and reading about people learning they’ll be paying more for coverage next year.

 

The difference is that Americans learning that they’ll be eligible for coverage perhaps for the first time, or at sharply lower cost, are far more typical of the individual insurance market. Two-thirds of the 30 million Americans who will be eligible for individual coverage next year are uninsured today, whether because they can’t afford it now or because they’re barred by pre-existing condition limitations, which will no longer be legal. And more than three-quarters will be eligible for subsidies that will cut their premium costs and even co-pays and deductibles substantially.

 

Let’s hear from a few more of them.

 

David Shevlino, 51, is an artist in Delaware. Between the COBRA policy that extends the coverage his wife, Kathy, received at a former job and the bare-bones policy that covers himself and their 15-year-old son, they’ve been laying out $1,000 a month in premiums. Next year they’ll pay $650 a month, after the government subsidy, for a plan through Blue Cross of Delaware that covers the entire family and provides many services that have been excluded up to now.

 

That makes a big difference, especially for Kathy, who is still dealing with injuries she suffered in a cycling accident and that would have made her uninsurable once her COBRA ran out less than a year from now. “She had already been turned down by Aetna and Blue Cross, the very company that will now insure her,” Shevlino says. “This is a really significant thing–to me, the fact that insurance companies could turn you down didn’t make sense in terms of what healthcare is supposed to be for.”

 

And Judith Silverstein, 49, a Californian who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007. Her family helps her pay the $750 monthly cost of her existing plan–which she only had because of federal law requiring that insurers who provide employer-based insurance continue to offer coverage if the employer goes out of business, as hers did. Next year she’ll get a subsidy that will get her a good “silver” level plan for $50.

 

For Silverstein that coverage is indispensable. Her case is relatively mild, but MS is a progressive condition that typically has made its sufferers pariahs of the individual insurance market in the past. “I researched the options,” she says. “Nobody’s going to sell you insurance in the individual market if you have MS.” But these customers can’t be excluded or saddled with big premium markups any more.

 

It’s not only recipients of subsidies who are benefiting. Jason Noble, 44, who has his own property management firm in Southern California, found a gold plan that will cover his wife and their three children–a daughter, 9, and 5-year-old twins–for a little less than $1,300 a month. That’s slightly more than they’d be paying next year for their existing Blue Shield plan, but the benefits are much greater, including pediatric dental coverage. Their family deductible will fall from $3,400 to zero. Last year, the family had a health scare that ran them $1,800 in out-of-pocket expenses; a similar event next year would cost them nothing. “It’s definitely a good deal,” Noble says.

 

It’s fair to observe that not all these people are enamored with their enrollment experience. Ellen Holzman found Covered California’s website “definitely clunky,” and she and Vezina are still awaiting enrollment documents from Sharp that they say are well overdue.

 

Brian Sheppard, 58, a self-employed Southern California attorney, says he spent five to seven hours on the website before determining that he could upgrade from the existing Kaiser plan covering him and his wife for an additional $100 a month, but with lower deductibles and prescription costs. He’s still waiting to hear whether he’ll be eligible for a subsidy that would slash his expenses significantly.

 

“I’m persistent, I’m a lawyer, and I found it very difficult to work through that system,” he says. But for him it was worth the effort. “In 2010, when people were being canceled because they got sick, there was all this outrage,” he observes. “People have forgotten that.”

The difficulties of the federal government’s healthcare.gov and some state enrollment websites are real, and have kept hundreds of thousands of Americans, even millions, from enrolling. But many of those who understand the benefits of the Affordable Care Act know that obsessing about the technical glitches is like mistaking the scoreboard for the game.

Political opportunists (like House Speaker John Boehner), exploit near-term difficulties to obscure the tangible benefits the Affordable Care Act will bring to tens of millions of their constituents. When they say “this law has to go,” as Boehner’s spokesman did this weekend, they’re talking about returning people to the era of exclusions for pre-existing conditions. To people learning they’re uninsurable because of injuries from accidents, or chronic diseases, or the sheer bloody-mindedness of insurance company bureaucrats.

Let’s hear Boehner and his people explain to Holzman and Vezina, the Shevlinos, the Nobles, the Sheppards, and Silverstein–and to 20-30 million other Americans like them who might be locked out of the individual insurance market without the law they ridicule as “Obamacare”–how they’d be better off that way.

 

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Read The Full Rand Corporation Report

 

 

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The Latest Hitler Inspired Anti-ObamaCARES Ad By Foster Friess: Hitler finds out he can’t keep his doctor under Obamacare

This is what America has become, The United States Of AmeriKKKa. This idiot posted this “preamble” to his racist anti-Semitic video…

 

Since people were subscribing to my YouTube channel, I felt the pressure to produce, produce, produce! So, here’s another take on “Hitler finds out..” 

 
This time, Hitler learns that he is losing his doctor because Dr Steiner is not in the network for his new health insurance.

 
Also, I would like to apologize to anyone who is, is related to, or knows any proctologists named Feingold. The use of the name Dr. Feingold is not meant to make fun of any individual, except for President Obama.
Make your own Hitler video at http://downfall.jfedor.org/

 

This Crapplefratz is truly a dumbass full of dumbfuckery.

 

 

 

Amazing that something that helps 9.3 million Americans can be hated by AmeriKKKans.

 

 

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A New Feature On WhiteHouse.gov: Tools You’ll Use.


 

 

By Jueseppi B.

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There are a lot of .gov websites out there. But with so many, you might miss some of the ones that are most useful for you.

That’s why we’re launching WhiteHouse.gov/Tools: It’s a collection of tools from across the government that can make your life easier.

And those are just some of the tools we’re spotlighting.

 

 

TOOLS YOU’LL USE

 

Spotlighting government tools that make your life easier.

 

 

COLLEGE SCORECARD

 

I want to find a college that’s a good fit for me or my kids.

You can use the scorecard to get a sense of a college’s affordability and value – helping you make an informed decision about which college to attend. Additionally, you can get scorecards based on programs or majors offered, location, and enrollment size.

 

College Scorecards in the U.S. Department of Education’s College Affordability and Transparency Center make it easier for you to search for a college that is a good fit for you. You can use the College Scorecard to find out more about a college’s affordability and value so you can make more informed decisions about which college to attend.
To start, enter the name of a college of interest to you or select factors that are important in your college search. You can find scorecards for colleges based on factors such as programs or majors offered, location, and enrollment size.

 

 

 

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Assess the energy efficiency of your home and see how it measures up:

 

EPA‘s Home Energy Yardstick provides a simple assessment of your home’s annual energy use compared to similar homes. By answering a few basic questions about your home, you can get:

  • Your home’s Home Energy Yardstick score (on a scale of 1 to 10);
  • Insights into how much of your home’s energy use is related to heating and cooling versus other everyday uses like appliances, lighting, and hot water;
  • Links to guidance from ENERGY STAR on how to increase your home’s score, improve comfort, and lower utility bills; and
  • An estimate of your home’s annual carbon emissions.

Learn more about how the Home Energy Yardstick works.

See a sample results page.

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Getting Started:

To calculate your Yardstick score, all you need is some basic information about your home:

  • Your ZIP code;
  • Your home’s square footage;
  • Number of full time home occupants;
  • A list of all the different fuels used in your home (e.g., electricity, natural gas, fuel oil); and
  • Your home’s last 12 months of utility bills (usually found in the 12 month summary provided on your bill or through a Green Button file ?).

Having trouble with the Home Energy Yardstick? Contact us at yardstick@energystar.gov.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass

 

With the tools below, learn about how USDA and our federal partners support local and regional food economies; see communities putting these resources to work; and explore the map to find out what’s happening near you. Use the tools and get involved!

 

 

Welcome to the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass

 

Uploaded on Feb 28, 2012

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan introduce the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass, an electronic document and interactive map that will help you support local and regional food systems.

 

 

 

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To select different vehicle pairs including non-hybrid models or to consider additional cost factors, visit the Vehicle Cost Calculator at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center.

Note: This tool compares hybrids to their non-hybrid counterparts in very simple terms—only fuel costs and MSRP are considered. Other factors, such as insurance, maintenance, or resale value, are not considered since they can vary widely.

Every effort was made to match each hybrid vehicle with a conventional vehicle from the same manufacturer that is as similar as possible in terms of amenities and utility. For unique hybrids with no conventional counterpart like the Toyota Prius, Prius c and the Honda Insight, a different model was chosen from the same manufacturer if it appeared to be reasonably similar. Ultimately, consumers will have to judge for themselves how similar the vehicles are.

 

 

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We developed a shorter, simpler credit card agreement that spells out the terms for the consumer. Note that this is not a model form, and use is not mandatory. Our prototype is shown here. We believe our approach will help consumers better understand their credit card agreements. Tell us what you think of it.

 

Review the sample agreement below. (You can also view a PDF copy.) The terms that are underlined in the agreement are defined in a separate list of definitions of credit card contract terms. Click any section of the agreement to learn more about it. Then leave your comments about the agreement or the definitions at the bottom of the page.

 

If you want to see what current agreements look like, check out our Credit Card Agreement Database.

 

 

 

 

Been Sued or Gotten a Demand Letter?
Answers To Common Questions About Abusive Patent Litigation

Received a letter about or been sued over a patent? You’re in the right place. See below for answers to common questions:

 

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In June 2013, President Obama ordered the creation of this website to empower those who have received a demand letter or may be threatened with a patent lawsuit with information about their options. In response, the USPTO has created this site.

The information presented on this site does not constitute legal advice. It should not be considered to replace advice from an attorney. Reference to any specific organizations, attorneys, law firms, corporations, or websites does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the USPTO.

We welcome your comments and suggestions in the box below.

 

 

Have you seen something we should feature here? Tell us about it.

 

See something you think we should spotlight? Tell us here. And for even more, go to USA.gov.

 

 

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