The Defining Challenge of Our Time


By 

Obama Goes All In on Income Inequality & Upward Mobility

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Today, as part of the Center for American Progress’ 10th anniversary celebrations, President Obama gave what some are are calling “one of the most important speeches of the Obama presidency.”

Just as he did in his landmark 2011 speech in Osawatomie, Kansas and throughout last year’s campaign, the president laid out why America needs an economy built from the middle class out that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few.

Unfortunately, as the president said today, today’s economy is defined by “a dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility that has jeopardized middle-class America’s basic bargain — that if you work hard, you have a chance to get ahead.” He called combating this growing inequality and lack of upward mobility the “defining challenge of our time.”

He’s right.

Here are the facts:

  • Salaries for CEOs have skyrocketed in the past 50 years.  In 2012, CEOS made 273 times more than the average worker.
  • While the rich are getting ahead, workers are being left behind.  If the minimum wage kept up with inflation, it would be $10.74 today.
  • Millionaires are making more money but paying less taxes.  In the past 50 years, the 400 richest families in America actually had their tax rates fall by 60 percent.
  • As union memberships fall, middle class incomes shrink.  The drop in union membership over the past 40 years is accompanied by an equally sharp drop in the middle class’ share of the nation’s income.
  • From 1947 to 1979, when the middle class received 54 percent of the nation’s total income on average, the economy grew at a steady clip of 3.7 percent per year. But from 1980 to 2010, when the middle class’s share of the nation’s total income fell to only 46 percent, growth fell by 1 percentage point to 2.7 percent.
  • Between 1979 and 2007, the richest top 1 percent of American households saw their income nearly triple.  On average, the wealthy saw an increase of $973,100 per household. In contrast, the middle class saw their incomes rise by less than 40 percent.
  • Despite enacting taxes cuts for the rich and for corporations, both Reagan and George W. Bush saw slower economic growth and job growth during their presidency than President Clinton.  In contrast to Reagan and George W. Bush, President Clinton actually raised taxes in 1993.

The president laid out a five key action areas:

  • Making sure our economy is growing faster. We must “relentlessly push a pro-growth agenda,” the president said.
  • Making sure we empower more Americans with the skills and education they need to compete in a highly competitive global economy. That includes making higher education affordable and reducing the crushing burden of student loans, as well as making investments in early childhood education.
  • Empowering our workers. That means protecting union rights, ending pay discrimination against women, and, finally, making it illegal to fire LGBT people just for who they are. It also means raising the minimum wage to put more money into the pockets of workers so they can buy things from businesses large and small, which creates a virtuous circle that grows the economy.
  • Providing targeted programs for the communities and workers that have been hit hardest by economic change and the Great Recession. That means making sure that “a child’s course in life should not be determined by the zip code he’s born in, but by the strength of his work ethic and the scope of his dreams.”
  • Revamping retirement to protect Americans in their golden years. That means shoring up both private and public retirement programs to make sure people can live out their golden years in dignity.

The president also took his argument straight to top Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY):

And as people in states as different as California and Kentucky sign up every single day for health insurance, signing up in droves, they’re proving they want that economic security.  If the Senate Republican leader still thinks he is going to be able to repeal this someday, he might want to check with the more than 60,000 people in his home state who are already set to finally have coverage that frees them from the fear of financial ruin, and lets them afford to take their kids to see a doctor.  (Applause.)

And House Republican Budget guru Rep. Paul Ryan (WI), who attacked safety net programs like food stamps as unemployment benefits as “a hammock that lulls able-bodied people to lives of dependency and complacency”:

The point is these programs are not typically hammocks for people to just lie back and relax. These programs are almost always temporary means for hardworking people to stay afloat while they try to find a new job or go into school to retrain themselves for the jobs that are out there, or sometimes just to cope with a bout of bad luck.

Finally, the president challenged Republicans, who still have not offered an alternative to Obamacare after relentlessly attacking it for more than four years, to put out their own ideas:

If you still don’t like Obamacare — and I know you don’t — (laughter) — even though it’s built on market-based ideas of choice and competition in the private sector, then you should explain how, exactly, you’d cut costs, and cover more people, and make insurance more secure.  You owe it to the American people to tell us what you are for, not just what you’re against.  (Applause.)  That way we can have a vigorous and meaningful debate.  That’s what the American people deserve.  That’s what the times demand.  It’s not enough anymore to just say we should just get our government out of the way and let the unfettered market take care of it — for our experience tells us that’s just not true.  (Applause.)

BOTTOM LINE: While Republicans were attacking Obamacare and holding a hearing on space aliens today, the president laid out a sweeping agenda to expand the middle class, extend ladders of opportunity, and build an economy for the 21st century.

Superb Kenya Food Dishes around Kenya


Posted on: December 5th, 2013 by hujamboafrica

a reblog … http://wp.me/p3KT1t-iD

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Although Kenya has a high influence and is highly recognized worldwide as a great African Safari destination the country is also immersed with superb and delicious, Kenya food dishes that would leave anyone craving for some more. Most of these Kenya food dishes have been adopted from different Kenya communities around the country.

By far, the locals have further sharpened their culinary skills astonishingly in order to produce the most finger-licking dishes from the former, Kenya food cuisines. Below is a short summary of the most top Kenya food dishes that worth a trial while in Kenya, either on Holiday or vacation.

Ugali and Fish – This is a superb dish that’s loved by many people across Kenya Its preparation is rather easy and takes just a few minutes to be served. Ugali is prepared from a mixture of maize flour and water, simply mix the flour in boiled water until it hardens, the end result should be like form of a cake when it’s fully ready. The fish is simply fried fish in Kenya is commonly found in Nyanza because it’s near Lake Victoria and at the Coast because it’s near the Indian Ocean. Likewise, this Kenya food dish should be served when hot also some kachumbari is usually served alongside this dish in order to, further nourish the dish’s taste.

Githeri – This Kenya food dish comprises of a mixture of both maize and beans, and it’s a superb delicious meal especially when added some meat or avocado. This usually makes the dish tender and also makes its taste a craving one, nevertheless. Also worth knowing, this is a popular dish among the Kikuyu people mostly found in Central Province, in Kenya.

Mukimo – This dish is somehow similar to Githeri Kenya food dish, though the dish is usually mashed all together. It comprises of maize and beans mashed together with either, potatoes or crooked bananas. Because this dish can alleviate hunger to a wide range of people it’s found fit to be served in many occasions like weddings and party’s, around Kenya. Rice and meat soup are most of the time added onto the dish in order to tenderize the dish and further nourish, its taste.

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Mursik – This is a Kenya food drink which is normally prepared from a cow’s milk fermented in ash-treated gourds. Blood, on the other hand, may be added to fresh milk before fermentation or after the milk has already been fermented. Afterwards, the milk is heated to boiling point then cooled to a moderate temperature level. At this stage, the milk should be allowed to undergo spontaneous fermentation for a period of about 3-5 days before it’s ready, for consumption. Also worth knowing, this Kenya food drink is a popular food among the Kalenjins African culture people found, in Kenya.

Ingoho (Chicken) – Ingoho is a cultural Luhya name for chicken, in a great way the Luhya people from Western Kenya is deemed to love this dish, immensely. Likewise, if you happen to visit the place from either abroad or as a high prominent guest like a government official, the Luhya people will look forward to preparing you a superb Ingoho, of a kind.

Wali – Wali is a cultural Swahili name for rice it’s  the most popular Kenya food dish, among the Swahili people at the coast. For this particular dish to, further nourish its taste it’s normally added and cooked together with some coconut milk. Sure, the coconut milk works like magic and by far gives this dish an irresistible delicious, taste. Coconuts are also abundant at the Kenya’s coast, so the Swahili people can easily find them.

Kachumbari – This is another superb Kenya food dish loved by many people across the country. The dish comprises of a mixture of chopped tomatoes, onions, pepper, parsley and sometimes some avocado. Indeed, it’s quite a finger licking delicious dish that’s mostly served with Nyamachoma.

Nyama Choma – This is a superb Kenya food dish that’s widely consumed by a great mass of people in Kenya it’s, simply roast meat, which can be of different variety like Beef, chicken or fish. Beef, on the other hand, is widely available in many parts of the country and is also cheap compared to other types of animal meat around Kenya. More likely you’ll find this dish heavily consumed at parties, bars and restaurant – You ought to try some while in, Kenya.

Chapati – Chapati is another superb Kenya food dish loved by many people in Kenya, especially the teens and youths. The dish is made from wheat flour, which is shaped into small pieces of dough, rolled out into round flat discs and eventually, spread and fried on a pan. The dish is hugely delicious, and most times it’s served with meat stew in order to make it tender. Also worth knowing, you’ll find this dish prepared in many great occasions in Kenya, like family get together parties, weddings and much more.

 

Above are some of the superb and most consumed Kenya food dishes you’ll most likely find in Kenya, sure they’re immensely and fragrantly delicious, you’ll definitely crave more for another plate. More likely, if you’re a foodie junkie, you should really try some of these great dishes while in Kenya. Happy Travel!

CARE2 ~~ Unequal treatment


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Keep families in their homes: Call for an eviction moratorium in Seattle & King County


SeattleWAthumbpixsPutting an End to the Foreclosure Crisis in Seattle and King County.

By Olu Thomas (Contact)

To be delivered to: Seattle City Council and King County Council

PETITION STATEMENT
Declare an eviction moratorium in Seattle and King County, using eminent domain as a tool to force the banks to negotiate with homeowners and enforce principal reduction.

Petition Background

I am a victim — like millions of other Americans — of a predatory home loan. I am at risk of losing my home, thereby making my children and me homeless. I ended up here because of a death in the family and an injury restricting my ability to work. The banks refused to negotiate with me when I got into an emergency situation.

The banks claim that they have no legal obligation to negotiate with homeowners, but what about their moral obligations? They have completely forgotten that they were bailed out of their situation. They would rather foreclose on homes and make the people homeless and leave the homes vacant, sometimes for years. They are destroying the fabric of existing communities and neighborhoods. This is setting the stage for crimes and further encouraging gentrification. Housing is a human right.

This is another white collar crime.The banks think they are invincible. They believe they are too big to be fought. Of course they have forgotten the power of collective bargaining! Let us come together and bring down this “Tower of Babel.” There is no power like the power of the people!