Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Top 12 Republican Votes for the 1%

Republicans have earned their pay working for the 1% this year.  The majority of Americans foot the bill for the senator's salaries but its the wealthy and corporations who contribute to their re-election funds.  So guess who the republicans listen to?  The Center for American Progress has compiled a list of the 12 most damaging house republican votes against the middle class.  The excellent linked article describes the bills and shows how many republicans and democrats voted for each measure.  If you think the republican party is acting in the best interests of America, the article is a must read.  Below is a synopsis prepared by Think Progress.
  • Repealed health coverage for 32 MILLION Americans and countless new benefits and protections for all Americans (January 19, 2011).
  • Blocked new essential health benefits that must be covered by insurance companies (including things like contraception), putting Americans back at the mercy of the insurance companies (February 19, 2011).
  • Ended Medicare and gutted Medicaid in order to pay for more tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations (April 15, 2011).
  • Blocked a new database for consumer product safety information, making it more difficult for consumers to find out information about dangerous or unsafe products (February 19, 2011).
  • Blocked the Treasury Department from helping more homeowners avoid foreclosure under the Home Affordable Modification Program by terminating the program and providing no replacement (March 29,2011).
  • FOUR votes to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from protecting our clean air and clean water, essentially bailing out big polluters at the expense of the rest of us (April 7, July 13, and October 5 and 13, 2011).
  • Guaranteed 700,000 jobs would be killed and slashed programs for the 99 Percent, including Medicare and Social Security via the Tea Party-inspired Cut, Cap, and Balance plan (July 19, 2011).
  • Encouraged more economy-collapsing financial fraud by attempting to gut the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (July 21, 2011).
  • Put corporations above the law by allowing them to ignore 76 year-old protections for workers and labor unions (September 15, 2011).
  • Launched mean-spirited attacks and cuts in benefits directed at millions of unemployed Americans (December 11, 2011).
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Asparagus and Beef Stir Fry

The first batches of fresh asparagus have been showing up in the stores.  Here is our favorite family recipe for asparagus and beef stir fry.  We found the recipe in Sunset's Oriental cook book published in 1974.  One of the first cookbooks I purchased.

Asparagus and Beef Stir Fry

1 lb of flank steak (we use London broil or top sirloin)
1 tsp cornstarch
soy sauce
2 medium onions
2 pounds fresh asparagus
2 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons black bean sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
Thinly cut the meat across the grain and mix and marinate with:
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp soy sauce

Slice onions in 1/4 inch slices, break off tough asparagus stems and then slice asparagus into 1" to 2 " slices.
Smash garlic with flat of knife, and place in wok with 3 T of oil.  Cook on high heat just till garlic is browned, remove garlic then quickly stir fry meat.  Remove meat from wok, and add about 2 T of oil to the wok.  When the oil is hot add onion and stir fry for a couple of minutes.  Add 3 T of black bean sauce and continue to cook until onions are almost translucent.  Add asparagus with 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp sugar and 1 T of soy sauce, stir well and cover.  Cook covered for 3-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, just till asparagus is tender crisp.  Toss in the cooked meat and stir just till meat is reheated.  We always serve with rice.

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Stock Market under President Obama

From Think Progress
Who would have thought the stock market would respond so well to the supposed "socialist" president.  Sorry, Romney, we already have a president that understands business.

Happy Leap Day

2012 is a leap year, which means an extra day is added to the year, Feb. 29.
It takes the earth 365 days and 6 hours to complete a revolution around the sun.  If we didn't add a day every 4 years the calendar would gradually grow inaccurate.
Image from Wikipedia

Monday, February 27, 2012

Hypocrisy in Hollywood: SOPA, PIPA and ACTA

The next time you see an "anti-piracy" commercial on TV remember some of the information here. We need a free internet.
Hypocrisy in Hollywood
Created by: Paralegal

Republican Budget Cuts; Losing a Generation

From Service  
In 2011 AmeriCorps received 582,000 applications for just 82,000 jobs.  In the last two years our nation has turned down over a million applicants.  With the current high unemployment and interest rates at almost zero it's almost criminal not to dramatically increase funding for AmeriCorps.  Yet, last year Eric Cantor (R) tried to completely cut funding for the program, and it was only restored after a huge outpouring of support for AmeriCorps.  These young people are volunteering to work in our parks, schools, nursing homes and economically hard hit neighborhoods for practically nothing.  There is no money for these energetic young people.  Billions for Afghanistan and Iraq, but nothing for America.  America the home of fading infrastructure, crumbling cities and failing education amid the rise of the Super Rich.   This is the lasting immutable legacy of the Bush tax cuts and the two wars. 
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Republicans meet the Women's Strikeforce

We are Republicans, Democrats, and Independents joining together to fight for women.  

Our bi-partisan group will work to support and elect candidates who will bring respect for women back to an arena of civil discourse and put a stop to the legislative attacks on women.

Rebecca Geller talks about the PAC she helped form in Virginia in response to the republican transvaginal ultrasound bill. The multi-party PAC is dedicated to removing from office every delegate that voted for either the personhood amendment or the transvaginal sonogram bill. Del. Dave Albo (R-Fairfax County) claims that he fixed the bill. The only way this bill is going to be fixed is when it's torn into tiny little pieces and thrown in the face of the republican male delegates who voted for this invasive, costly, unnecessary, insulting and demeaning bill.
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Friday, February 24, 2012

The Daily Bread

Should Romney's Super Pac Pay Voters to Attend Romney Rallies?

Think Progress made this photo comparison.  Thousands at President Obama's 2008 rally and 1200 people at Mitt Romney's.  Williard Romney's budget has more big tax cuts for the rich and his super pac is doing exceedingly well.  "Restore our Future" started the month off with 16 million in cash.   The Romney Super Pac might consider paying voters to attend Romney Rallies. Surely, they could afford to drop 200,000 or 500,000 per rally to ensure that Mitt's message is getting out to "packed audiences".   It would also help our economy placing money in the pockets of the 99% instead of the large media corporations.  This is also a promising strategy for the democrats; the more people know about Mitt Romney the less they like him.  My feeling is voters would weary of Romney even if they received a c note or 2 to attend.  In the near future you may see ads in magazines and Craiglist:  "wanted enthusiastic republican's to attend Romney rally, $200 cash for attending a 2 hour rally.  No previous experience, or education required."  Just remember to be enthusiastic, because Romney likes to fire people. 
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Happy Friday

This particular orchid we've had for a long time.  Somehow it flourishes under mild neglect.  A couple of years
ago, it created a new plant on a long stem,  after a year we potted the new plant and it has bloomed every year since we potted it. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Testimony Rep. Issa (R-Ca) Didn't Want You To Hear

Republican Chairman Issa personally excluded Ms. Sandra Fluke from testifying as she was unqualified and "irrelevant". She was invited to speak at the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committe on women's health and contraception. 

President Obama Responsible for Rising Gas Prices?

Republicans have been blaming President Obama for the rising price of gasoline.  Republicans say that the price for a gallon of gas when President Obama took office was 1.85.  But republicans don't want you to see this chart:
See that big cliff in the middle of the chart?  That's when our economy almost died thanks to the unregulated  big banks unrestrained gambling spree.  Three months before President Obama took office gas was selling for 4.39 in the US under the Bush administration.  Over the last few years we have seen steadily rising gas prices.  These rising prices are a function of an economy gathering strength and the global price of gasoline.  The republicans say that President Obama's policies are leading to increased gas prices.  This is just complete nonsense.  The US, under President Obama has dramatically increased its domestic oil production from the Bush years.  So if we have more gas, why is the price going up?  Good question, its exported.  Guess what is the US' number one export?   Fuel!!
Oil companies are making record profits shipping our gasoline to South America, India, etc.   wherever they can make the biggest buck.

  Oil is a global market and President Obama, or even the republicans cannot control the global price of oil.  Even President Bush was unable to reduce the price of gasoline when it was $4.39 a gallon in the summer of 2008 and consumers were screaming.  Historically, political instability or wars in the Middle East has exerted an upward pull on the price of oil.  Every republican presidential candidate with the exception of Ron Paul wants to bomb Iran and says so often.  Bombing Iran could easily lead to a doubling or tripling of the world's oil price and economic slowdowns across the global economy.

 Could there be a connection between republican presidential candidates frequent threats to bomb Iran and the rising price of oil?  Who would profit under such a scenario?  President Obama can no more control the price of oil, than republicans can stop the lies coming out of their mouths. 

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New DNC Ad: Romney the Most Extreme GOP Candidate on Immigration

72% of Latino's feel that the republican party either doesn't care or is hostile to the Latino Community.  This DNC ad demonstrates why.

The Daily Bread

"Where Are The Women?"

Rep Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) asked in response to rep. Darrel Issa's (R-Ca) panel of all male "experts" on women's contraception: "What I want to know is, where are the women?  I look at this panel [of witnesses], and I don't see one single individual representing the tens of millions of women across the country who want and need insurance coverage for basic preventive health care services, including family planning."

Emily's List
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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Women Fighting Back

Georgia State Rep. Yasmin Neal

Georgia State Rep. Yasmin Neal has introduced a new bill squarely targeting the Republican War on Women. 
"Thousands of children are deprived of birth in this state every year because of the lack of state regulation over vasectomies. It is patently unfair that men can avoid unwanted fatherhood by presuming that their judgment over such matters is more valid than the judgment of the General Assembly, while women's ability to decide is constantly up for debate throughout the United States. Women, our bodies, and what we do with it are always up for debate.
"This bill has been drafted for all women who have the wherewithal to choose. The day has come where men should feel the same pressure and invasion of privacy that women have faced for years. I have introduced this legislation because it is the purpose of  the General Assembly to assert an invasive state interest in the reproductive habits of the men of this state and substitute the will of the government over the will of adult men.
"This bill states that vasectomies can be performed to avert the death of a man or to avert serious risk of substantial or irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the man. This bill mimics the abortion bills throughout the nation, and just like the abortion bills interfere with a woman’s right to choose, it’s only fair that the General Assembly debate the men’s right to choose, as well."
I'm not sure why Rep. Yasmin Neal left out a completely unnecessary yet state mandated rectal exam, a mandatory 2 day waiting period, a prepared speech that the doctor must read to the patient and samples of sperm to be placed in the patients permanent medical record, perhaps those items could be added as an amendment.  

Mae Ploy Green Curry with Campbells Cream of Chicken Soup

My youngest son praised my Mexican style chicken soup made with Campbells cream of chicken soup.   This was a fortuitous accident, the substitution occurred only because we were out of chicken noodle soup.  We both wondered how the rich cream of chicken soup would taste in a Thai curry.  It tastes wonderful.  We usually add raw beef or chicken, to the curry, but leftovers regain new life and taste in the curry.  Of course, you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand, bean sprouts would have been a great addition.
1-3 T of Mae Ploy Curry paste
1 can Campbells Cream of Chicken soup
1 can of water
1 can coconut milk
1 onion
1 head of broccoli
3 carrots
1 small Indian eggplant
2 stems of Bok Choy
The last 2 inches of a head of Napa cabbage
1" piece of ginger, sliced thinly
2 garlic cloves sliced thin
 Choice of chicken, or beef we used leftover roast beef sliced thin

Add 2 T of oil to wok and the 2 T of curry paste, cook on medium low for a couple of minutes.  Add the soup, water and coconut milk, garlic, ginger, the sliced beef and simmer till beef is tender.  Add the vegetables and cook several minutes or until tender crisp.  Serve with rice.
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The Daily Bread

A lame attempt at showing the sponge on the bread.

Ladies, We Need You In Government

Women comprise 51% of the population of the US, yet only 17% of congress is female.  While women comprise 60% of college graduates they represent only 3% of the media corporate structure.  The republicans are waging full time war on women's reproductive rights and Rick Santorum wants women to stay at home and have babies, while the media portrays women as young, beautiful and breedable.  Some women are fighting back.

from Miss
The film Miss Representation exposes how American youth are being sold the concept that women and girls’ value lies in their youth, beauty and sexuality. It’s time to break that cycle of mistruths.
In response we created, a call-to-action campaign that seeks to empower women and girls to challenge limiting media labels in order to realize their potential.
We are uniting individuals around a common, meaningful goal to spark millions of small actions that ultimately lead to a cross-generational movement to eradicate gender stereotypes and create lasting cultural and sociological change.

We desperately need women's voices in government.  Ladies, please step up and serve.  The nation needs you to break up the testosterone fueled debacle on Capitol Hill.  We need leadership, not brinksmanship.  
 We need intelligent human and humane leadership.   Ladies, tell me you can't beat this "See Spot Run" speech by Mitt Romney?

"A little history -- I was born and raised here. I love the state. It seems right here. Trees are the right height.  I like -- I like seeing the lakes. I love the lakes. Something very special here. The Great Lakes but also all the little inland lakes that dot the parts of Michigan.  "I love cars. I don't know -- I mean, I grew up totally in love with cars.... I love cars. I love American cars."
Every (male) Republican on Capitol Hill wants to defund Planned Parenthood.  In  2011, 92 abortion restriction  provisions were passed by mostly (male) republican legislatures across the US.  Every single (male) republican presidential candidate is in favor of the personhood bill which will outlaw most birth control methods used by women.  More Independent or Democratic women in Congress will mean a less effective (male) Republican War on Women.
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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Newt Gingrich: "You Can't Put a Gun Rack in a Volt"

Newt wrong again

Virginia Republicans Vote for "State Sponsored Rape"

Virginia republicans have passed a bill (in the house) that will require any woman who wants an abortion to have a state mandated medically unnecessary trans-vaginal sonogram.  The bill also calls for a mandatory waiting period of 2-24 hours so women have the time "think" about their actions.  
Last week rep. Darrel Issa (R-Ca) held a hearing about the new health care law violating the conscience of religious leaders by providing birth control to women.  It's most unlikely he will hold any hearings about the State of Virginia violating the bodies of women.  
Full text of SB484
Charniele Herring Virginia's Minority Whip has called the republican sponsored mandatory ultrasound bill: "state sponsored rape".   Del. L. Kaye Kory, D-Fairfax, said it would require women to “submit to involuntary vaginal penetration.”
This is the FBI's new definition of rape:
“The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”
A Christopher Newport University/Richmond Times-Dispatch poll found that 55% of Virginians opposed the bill with only 36% supporting it.  Monday approximately 1000 men and women attended a silent rally at the Virginia capitol.  The increased media scrutiny of this bill has temporarily stalled it's progress but Governor McDonnell has indicated his willingness to sign this legislative hubris.  

The Virginia-Pilot editorial on Feb. 3, 2012
Under any other circumstances, forcing an unwilling person to submit to a vaginal probing would be a violation beyond imagining. Requiring a doctor to commit such an act, especially when medically unnecessary, and to submit to an arbitrary waiting period, is to demand an abrogation of medical ethics, if not common decency.
That's what Virginia's Senate did this week when it passed SB 484. In a scarcely veiled effort to make abortion impossible, 21 senators used the power of government to do something grotesque.
The old white mostly male republican majority in Virginia also is pushing its very own personhood amendment, that would make SB484 (the mandatory sonogram bill) moot.  The personhood amendment would make abortion illegal in ALL circumstances, and would also outlaw most common forms of reliable birth control.
In a state where 25% of all bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete its a wonder that the republican party of both houses has the time to manage every uterus in the state of Virginia, because obviously the women of Virginia can't manage their own bodies and desperately need the guidance of old white republican men.
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Murray on Senate Floor: The Fight to Protect Women's Health Must Continue

Senator Murray starts with the Komen Reversal and then summarizes republican attacks on women's health care in the republican led House of Representatives.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Time to Break Up Bank of America Before they Break Our Economy, Again

Last November Bank of America reached a settlement with the justice Department for illegally foreclosing on 175 active service members. But now they are reviewing 1400 other foreclosures that were on active service members. We have all heard of various nefarious practices by the big banks but if they can't even follow a simple rule of not foreclosing on our service members when they are overseas fighting for our nation, then they are too big, and need to be broken up into smaller pieces that have the time to follow our nations laws.

Petition to Financial Regulators:
We, the undersigned, call on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Financial Stability Oversight Council to break up Bank of America. Under section 121 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, you have the authority to break up “too big to fail” banks into smaller, simpler and safer institutions.
If Bank of America in its current form were to fail, it would devastate the U.S. economy. You must act preemptively to make sure that never happens. We cannot wait and find out whether another financial crisis strikes. If that happens, it will be too late to act.

Sign The Petition 
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rep. Issa(R-Ca) Takes Male Privilege to New Heights

Clueless Rep. Darrel Issa Photo from Think Progress
Who would have a hearing on contraception without any women on the witness panel?  Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA)
"Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama administration trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?"  The hearing title, a lesson in obfuscation, lacks any reference to contraception which is at the heart of this Catholic bishops and Republican inflated controversy.  These old men get to testify how their "consciences" are offended by women having access to birth control,  but no women are there to testify about their rights and medical needs for birth control.  What a joke, but its not funny.  Tara Murtha of the Philadelphia Weekly tweeted this:
“Inspired by @DarrellIssa, I’m holding a panel on the rights of mice. Inviting 9 of my favorite cats to speak.”

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Ca) and congresswoman Eleanor Norton also spoke out on Hardball about the hearing. 
To their credit, three Democratic representatives walked out of the hearing.  I'm leaving the final word here to Katie Halper who wrote: Ten Deep Thoughts on the All-Male Panel on My Vagina

  10. I'm holding a hearing in which an all female panel will testify for weekly colonoscopies performed on the male clergy and GOP members who participated in today's hearing. We will also discuss Virginia State Sen. Janet Howell's amendment requiring men to have a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication.
Emily's List has a petition:
 Tell the GOP to leave women's health care to women!

Planned Parenthood has a Petition:
Tell Congress: Stop trying to block women's access to Birth Control
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Washington State, You Make Us Proud

Representative Maureen Walsh speaks from the heart and votes for same sex marriage.

Representative Maureen Walsh and her daughter also appeared on The Last Word

Stop the Blunt Amendment

 The Republicans in DC are trying to let employers use "religion" as an excuse to not cover birth control.  They want to let your boss decide whether or not you have access to reproductive health.  The US Chamber of Commerce is going to love this one.  Worse the amendment is so loosely worded that many employers could use "religious beliefs or moral convictions" as an excuse to avoid covering many medical conditions.  27 Senators have signed onto this outrageous discriminatory amendment.  Mitch McConnel is leading the fight to take this country back to the dark ages.  Senator Ben Nelson is the only "Democrat" to sign onto this terrible bill. 
Elizabeth Warren talked to Slate about the Blunt Amendment:
“This is an all new attack on health care. Any insurance company could leave anyone without health care, just when they need it most... This is an extreme attack on every one of us. It opens the door to outright discrimination. It would let insurance companies and corporations cut off pregnant women, overweight guys, older Americans, or anyone — because some executive claims it’s part of his moral code. Maybe that wouldn’t happen, but I don’t want to take the chance.”

The full text of the Blunt Amendment

Planned Parenthood Petition to Congress

I don't want my boss telling me I can't have insurance coverage for birth control -- but that's exactly what some members of Congress are trying to put into law. It's 2012, and 99% of sexually-active women rely on birth control at some point. Trying to block access to contraception is offensive, wrong, and totally out of touch. Tell Congress to back off on birth control:
Contact your Senators through the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Credo petition: to your representatives in Congress

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Pestilent Republican Oil Puppets Pushing the Putrid Pipeline, Again

Sign the petition today, please
Senate Republicans officially filed an amendment Monday afternoon to the transportation bill that would authorize the Keystone XL pipeline. The amendment is sponsored by Sens. John Hoeven, Mitch McConnell, Richard Lugar, David Vitter, Mike Johanns and Orrin Hatch.
All the republican presidential candidates want to build the 1700 mile toxic sludge pipeline across America.
Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Eric Cantor have vowed to resurrect the pipeline President Obama cancelled because of an inadequate environmental review and 1700 other excellent reasons.  We need to swamp DC with petitions.
Sign the petition, please
793,000 signatures in 24 hours!!! 
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Governor Christine Gregoire Signs Same Sex Marriage Bill

Go Washington, we are proud of our state, legislators and Governor Gregoire.

Make the Catholic Bishops Ban Viagra, Too

The catholic church should lose their tax exempt status over this fake controversy by the catholic bishops.  Whats next, vegetarian Hindus refusing to pay for USDA meat inspectors as a matter of conscience.  The US has engaged in two wars of choice over the last decade, never heard the catholic bishops get in an uproar over that.  But women having access to birth control?  Mike Huckabee at CPAC declared, "we are all catholics now".  Why is there no outcry against male erectile drugs which are covered by almost every health insurance program?  
The GOP and the Catholic bishops are saying that sex should be for procreation purposes only, then why the silence on Viagra, Cialis?
Sign the Petition
Stop the immoral recreational use of male erectile drugs and devices.
Honorable Bishops, we the citizens of the United States, petition you to ban
the recreational use, by Catholic men, of Viagra, Cialis and any other male erectile stimulation drugs or devices, except, by written request of a woman to whom he is bonded by holy matrimony, and then for no longer than one week, for procreation purposes only.  Recreational use is to be strictly forbidden and prohibited.  A physical examination shall be performed by the parish priest with a medical doctor in attendance.  If the man is unable to initiate an erection after being manually stimulated by the priest, the medical doctor can take that failure into consideration in determining if the drug or device merits dispensation.  Thank you for your thoughtful consideration
Sign the Petition

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

White House Protects Women's Right to Contraception with No Copay

Protecting the Health of Women While Accommodating Religious Liberty
By Cecilia Muñoz, Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council
Thank you for using We the People to make your voice heard about the Obama Administration's decision to ensure that women have access to free preventive care with no co-pays, including contraceptive services, no matter where they work.
As background, the Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to cover preventive services, including preventive care for women, without charging a co-pay, starting on August 1, 2012. These preventive services include well women visits, domestic violence screening, and contraception, and all were recommended to the Secretary of Health and Human Services by the independent Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science.
The policies we have proposed exempt churches, other houses of worship, and similar organizations from covering contraception on the basis of their religious objections. But some religious organizations have raised religious liberty concerns about providing contraception in particular in recent weeks.
Today, President Obama has announced that his Administration will implement this policy in a manner that fully accommodates religious liberty while protecting the health of women. As the President said:

Nearly 99 percent of all women have relied on contraception at some point in their lives –- 99 percent. And yet, more than half of all women between the ages of 18 and 34 have struggled to afford it. So for all these reasons, we decided to follow the judgment of the nation’s leading medical experts and make sure that free preventive care includes access to free contraceptive care. Whether you’re a teacher, or a small businesswoman, or a nurse, or a janitor, no woman’s health should depend on who she is or where she works or how much money she makes. Every woman should be in control of the decisions that affect her own health. Period. This basic principle is already the law in 28 states across the country.

Now, as we move to implement this rule, however, we've been mindful that there's another principle at stake here –- and that's the principle of religious liberty, an inalienable right that is enshrined in our Constitution. As a citizen and as a Christian, I cherish this right. In fact, my first job in Chicago was working with Catholic parishes in poor neighborhoods, and my salary was funded by a grant from an arm of the Catholic Church. And I saw that local churches often did more good for a community than a government program ever could, so I know how important the work that faith-based organizations do and how much impact they can have in their communities.
Video of his entire statement is available here.
Here are a few basic facts:
  • Under the policy, women have access to preventive care with no co-pay that includes contraceptive services.
  • All churches and houses of worship are exempt from the requirement to provide coverage for contraception or refer for contraception.
  • If a woman's employer is a religious non-profit organization, such as a charity hospital that has a religious objection to providing contraceptive services as part of its health plan, her insurance company -- not the hospital or charity -- will be required to reach out and provide her contraceptive care free of charge if she chooses to use it.
There are tremendous health benefits for women that come from using contraception. Contraception is a safe and effective way of preventing unintended pregnancies which can be associated with increased health risks, and doctors also prescribe contraception for medical and health reasons, including helping to reduce the risk of some cancers, serious infections and cysts. Yet many women skip contraceptive care because of cost.
President Obama is also committed to preserving religious liberty and he listened to the concerns raised by certain religious organizations and took them seriously.
You can learn more about the policy here.
This is an issue where people of good will on both sides of the debate have been grappling to find a solution that works for everyone, and the policy announced today has done that. The right to religious liberty will be fully protected, and a law that requires preventive care without co-pays will not discriminate against any woman, anywhere. Here are a few statements from groups involved in the issue:
Catholics United:
President Obama has shown us that he is willing to rise above the partisan fray to deliver an actual policy solution that both meets the health care needs of all employees and respects the religious liberty of Catholic institutions.
Catholic Health Association:
We are pleased and grateful that the religious liberty and conscience protection needs of so many ministries that serve our country were appreciated enough that an early resolution of this issue was accomplished.
Planned Parenthood:
The Obama administration has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring all women will have access to birth control coverage, with no costly co-pays, no additional hurdles, and no matter where they work.
Today's announcement makes it clear that President Obama is firmly committed to protecting women's health.
Thank you again for participating in the We the People platform to make your voice heard on this important issue.

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Mitt the "Job Creator"

Republicans have been saying for a decade that we can't tax the job creators.  Mitt Romney has enough money to be a job creator, but how many jobs has he created in the last decade?   We know he has provided some employment for illegal immigrants to do his yardwork but has he built any factories in the last 10 years?   Nope.   Has he started any small business in the last decade? Nope.  Worse yet, Mitt wanted Detroit to declare bankruptcy which would have been the end of American Automobile Manufacturing in the US.  Mitt doesn't care about American jobs.  Instead of providing jobs for Americans Mitt sent his money on a decade long vacation in the Cayman Islands. Last year he closed his Swiss Bank Account, because he thought it might look bad. Mitt was right about that. Mitt hasn't been creating any jobs for the last decade and in spite of his 5 year long hunt, Mitt can't even find a job for himself. Would you hire Mint Raw Money, as Norman Goldman calls Williard Romney?  Would you work for Mint Raw Money?  The one percent are not job creators, they already have a full time job just hanging onto the money they have and trying to avoid paying taxes.  The 99% are the job creators because we create demand, if our tax system favored the 99 percent instead of the 1% we would create a lot more jobs.  Let's do a decade long test, make the wealthy pay 50% and everyone else pay 15% and we'll really see who the job creators are. 
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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Happy Friday

Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage, S. Van Dyk (JPL/IPAC), R. Chandar (U. Toledo), D. De Martin & R. Gendler
M66 in the constellation Leo, 36 million light years away from Hubble

No Spin Report on Afghanistan By Lt. Col. Davis

Truth, lies and Afghanistan
How military leaders have let us down
I spent last year in Afghanistan, visiting and talking with U.S. troops and their Afghan partners. My duties with the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force took me into every significant area where our soldiers engage the enemy. Over the course of 12 months, I covered more than 9,000 miles and talked, traveled and patrolled with troops in Kandahar, Kunar, Ghazni, Khost, Paktika, Kunduz, Balkh, Nangarhar and other provinces.
What I saw bore no resemblance to rosy official statements by U.S. military leaders about conditions on the ground.
Entering this deployment, I was sincerely hoping to learn that the claims were true: that conditions in Afghanistan were improving, that the local government and military were progressing toward self-sufficiency. I did not need to witness dramatic improvements to be reassured, but merely hoped to see evidence of positive trends, to see companies or battalions produce even minimal but sustainable progress.
Instead, I witnessed the absence of success on virtually every level.
 Rest of Lt. Col. Daniel Davis article in the Armed Forces Journal

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J. C. Penney

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Stop The Keystone XL Pipeline

Republicans and the oil industry are busy pushing the environmentally disastrous pipeline again.  Bill McGibbon from is asking citizens to mail their senators the following note. 


I oppose the Keystone XL pipeline, and I believe you should do everything in your power to stop it.

This pipeline is a scam: it won't deliver on jobs, it threatens water and human health on its entire length, and worst of all it is the fuse to North America's largest carbon bomb, the Canadian tar sands. Tar sands oil is the dirtiest oil there is, and NASA's top scientist says that burning it means 'essentially game over for the climate.'

Please stand strong against the tricks and backroom deals that Big Oil will use to force approval of this pipeline.

Thank you.

Here is the link to send a note to your Senators

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One Million Strong For Women, Sign On

The next battle over the Obama administration's decision to make contraception more affordable under the new health care law is already underway. It's hard to believe that in the 21st century we have to fight for access to birth control, but that is the fact -- and there will be many more fights in the weeks ahead.
We need you, and hundreds of thousands more Americans like you, right now.
We've got to build a grassroots force that's ready to take them on whenever and wherever they attack women's rights and women's health. And we'll do it by coming together. Please join us.
It doesn't matter who you are -- man or woman, young or old, married or single: We need your support.
After all, when our opponents target women, especially lower-income women who depend on organizations like Planned Parenthood for crucial health care services, they're coming after all of us.
But we need to be ready. We need to be organized. And we need you to be with us.
Please stand with us: Click here to add your name to One Million Strong for Women now, and help us fight back against the next attack on women's health!
By joining One Million Strong for Women, you'll be signing up for a powerful grassroots team that will fight back against attacks on women's rights and help elect more leaders to Congress to keep up that fight.
 U.S. Senators
Chuck Schumer
Barbara Boxer
Kirsten Gillibrand
Patty Murray
Frank Lautenberg
Ben Cardin
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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rick Santorum Lectures Republicans on "Listening to the People" in Victory Speech

You better start listening to the voice of the people.
But then again, I wouldn't be surprised if he isn't listening. Why would you think he would be listening now? Has he ever listened to the voice of America before?
He's someone who -- well, let's just go look at the record. If you look at when it came to the -- the Wall Street bailouts, did the president of the United States listen to you when it came to bailing out the big banks?
Why? Because he thought he just knew better. He and his friends on Wall Street knew better than what was -- what was good for this country.
Since it was George Bush that bailed out the banks he must be talking about republicans not listening to the people.  He's right republicans don't listen to the people.  Every poll I've seen this year and last shows a clear majority of Americans want to raise taxes on millionaires and stop the tax breaks for oil companies.  Not a single elected republican wants to do that, the republicans are clearly not listening to the people on taxation.

Every single republican presidential candidate is for the personhood amendment, making almost all popular forms of contraception illegal.  Contraception is considered a right by most women and the personhood amendment even failed to pass in Mississippi.  Clearly the republicans are not listening to the people on contraception. 

Every single republican presidential candidate wants to eliminate Obamacare.  Most Americans don't want to go back to being denied health care because of  "pre-existing conditions".  The republicans are not listening to the people on healthcare.

With the exception of Ron Paul all the other republican candidates want to bomb Iran.  Americans do not want to bomb or invade any other countries, especially a muslim country.  Clearly, the republicans are not listening to the people on foreign policy.  

Most Wisconsinites didn't want Governor Scott Walker to eliminate bargaining rights for unions or to cut billions from the education budget, while giving huge tax breaks to big business.  The republicans didn't listen to the people here either, and Mr. Walker is facing a recall election in a few months.

Most Ohioans didn't want Governor Kasich to strip bargaining rights from public unions.  They held an initiative last month and repealed Governor Kasich's signature bill SB 5.  Governor Kasich didn't listen to the people either and his popularity rating is 33%. 

A very clear majority of Americans want strict financial regulations on Wall Street banks.  All the republican presidential candidates want to eliminate the new financial regulations and go back to the days of no financial regulation during the Bush years.  Clearly, the republicans are not listening to the American people on financial regulation. 

Most Americans don't have a problem with gay marriage, but every republican presidential candidate (except Fred Karger) does.  Clearly, the republicans are not listening to the American people on civil rights.

Since Rick Santorum doesn't want unions, ObamaCare, gay marriage, contraceptive use, taxes on oil companies, taxes on millionaires or any regulation of wall street maybe he ought to take his own advice and start listening to the people of America instead of trying to recreate a biblical stoneage culture in modern America because you think like Bush: "you know better". 

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