Visit WomensHistoryMonth.gov to learn about generations of women who’ve made invaluable contributions to society.
Here’s a sad fact: Each year millions of American families forgo valuable income when they fail to claim tax credits for which they are eligible.
That means that millions of dollars of tax credits go unclaimed every year. Tax credits — including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) — provide an indispensable financial boost to vulnerable women and families struggling to make ends meet. But women and their families have to know about these tax benefits in order to claim them.
This is why we need your help to spread the word about tax credits. And this is why we are so delighted to debut our new and improved Tax Credits Outreach Resources. We’ve made it easier than ever for advocates to spread the word about these credits.
Our new resources include:
If you work or volunteer with families that are likely eligible for tax credits and/or in a program that supports children and families, you can help get the word out! Simply hanging fliers in classrooms, hallways, and offices, sending them home with young children, or talking about tax credits at parent meetings could make a difference for the families you work with. Be sure to let us know how you’re spreading the word about tax credits, or if there’s anything we can do to help, by emailing Amy Qualliotine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for all that you do to help families learn about tax credits!
P.S. If you missed our webinar “Tax Credits Outreach Made Easy: Tips & Tools for Advocates,” you can find a recording of the presentation here.
|They’re at it again.
If you saw the President’s press conference today, it’s become clear that the right-wing noise machine has chosen to start to launch smears against potential Obama administration nominees, before they’re even nominated. Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham are already smearing Ambassador Susan Rice, who might be a nominee for Secretary of State.
And now, the right is even raising old, debunked Swift Boat attacks against Senator John Kerry.
On his FOX News show, last night, Sean Hannity (who never served a day in his life) promised an “investigative” report into Senator Kerry, a decorated Veteran, who volunteered for the war in Vietnam. Let’s put an end to this now.
According to Hannity, Senator Kerry needs to be “vetted,” and he’s just the guy to do it.
In reality, Hannity’s just planning to rehash the Swift Boating that occurred in 2004 – a blatant smearing of a Veteran who served our nation with honor. It’s disgusting.
Let’s stop this all of this smearing before it starts. Click here to sign our petition, today.
Thanks for your support.
As the fiscal showdown begins in earnest, Republicans have been trying to at least sound like they’re open to a real compromise on taxing the wealthy. But a closer look at what they’re actually proposing shows that it is no compromise at all. In fact, it’s almost identical to the tax plan none other than Mitt Romney just ran on — and lost.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) said the president should find common ground by adopting policies “just like Romney suggested.” This ridiculous argument has been echoed by numerous other Republicans, including Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
What Republicans are proposing is to lower tax rates for the wealthy, close some unspecified loopholes, and then through magic expect to get more revenue. Republicans relied on this same sort of magic math to suggest that the Bush tax cuts would result in massive job growth and enough revenue to completely pay off the national debt by 2010. Instead we got massive deficits and the worst job growth in decades.
During a White House press conference today, the president rejected this kind of magical thinking on taxes. Obama derided “dynamic scoring” — the revenue increases that conservatives claim will occur after tax cuts — saying he would oppose any efforts to only “sorta-kinda raise revenue”:
What I will not do is to have a process that is vague, that says we’re going to sorta-kinda raise revenue through dynamic scoring or closing loopholes that have not been identified. And the reason I won’t do that is I don’t want to find ourselves in a position six months from now or a year from now, where low-and-behold, the only way to close the deficit is to sock it to middle-class families.
BOTTOM LINE: We have to address our fiscal problems using math, not magic. President Obama received a mandate from voters to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share. Instead of trying recycle and repackage their failed plans, it’s time for Republicans to stop holding middle class tax cuts hostage and start making a deal.
Romney tells donors that Obama only won because of “big gifts” to blacks and Latinos.
UN declares access to contraception a “universal human right.”
Weeks after giving $100,000 to American Crossroads, coal company lays off workers.
Failure to extend unemployment insurance could cost 400,000 jobs.
Nancy Pelosi might be Speaker Pelosi again if not for the GOP’s extreme gerrymandering.
Romney co-chair says he would’ve “absolutely” won Wisconsin if the state’s voter ID law hadn’t been struck down.
How the tragic death of an Irish woman who was denied an abortion could become the norm in the U.S.
Most Americans support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
One of the biggest stories over the past week has been the record diversity in the electorate and the role that played in helping propel the president to victory. That very diverse electorate also voted to send the most diverse Congress in history to Washington — more women, more LGBT people (including the first ever openly gay Senator), more religious diversity, more racial diversity, and more younger members. The new Congress is still older, whiter, and more male than the country as a whole, but the incoming Congress will at least look a bit more like the rest of America.
The House Democratic caucus will not be majority white male for the first time ever. Meanwhile, the Republican caucus actually grew less diverse.
ThinkProgress’ Adam Peck, Scott Keyes, and Zack Beauchamp took a look at some the faces that will be coming to Washington for the 113th Congress. Here’s what they found:
New member diversity:
Marc Veasey (D-TX-33)
Steven Horsford (D-NV-04)
Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ-10)
Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-08)
Ted Cruz (R-TX-SEN)
Tony Cardenas (D-CA-29)
Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM-01)
Juan Vargas (D-CA-51)
Joe Garcia (D-FL-26)
Pete Gallego (D-TX-23)
Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-CA-35)
Filemon Vela (D-TX-34)
Raul Ruiz (D-CA-36)
Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ-09)
Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-02)
Ami Bera (D-CA-07)
First Buddhist senator
Mazie Hirono (D-HI-SEN)
Elizabeth Warren (D-MA-SEN)
Mazie Hirono (D-HI-SEN)
Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND-SEN)
Deb Fischer (R-NE-SEN)
Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ-01)
Julia Brownley (D-CA-26)
Jackie Walorski (R-IN-02)
Tammy Duckworth (D-IL-08)
Suzan DelBene (D-WA-01)
Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM-01)
Elizabeth Esty (D-CT-05)
Lois Frankel (D-FL-22)
Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-02)
Dina Titus (D-NV-01)
Ann Kuster (D-NH-02)
Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH-01)
Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-CA-35)
Grace Meng (D-NY-06)
Ann Wagner (R-MO-02)
Joyce Beatty (D-OH-03)
Susan Brooks (R-IN-05)
Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17)
Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ-09)
Tammy Baldwin (D-WI-SEN)
Mark Pocan (D-WI-02)
Mark Takano (D-CA-41)
Sean Maloney (D-NY-18)
Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ-09)
First openly gay person of color
Mark Takano (D-CA-41)
Born in the 1980s
Patrick Murphy (D-FL-18)
Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-02)
Joseph Kennedy III (D-MA-04)
Eric Swalwell (D-CA-15)
*- Leading his congressional race, but it has yet to be officially called
Support for repealing Obamacare hits all-time low.
Five ways the religious right imploded in 2012.
Paul Ryan blames “urban” vote instead of unpopular policies for his loss.
Corporations calling to “Fix the Debt” want $134 BILLION in tax breaks.
Incoming House Judiciary Committee Chairman said that Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional.
Top Republican admits raising taxes on millionaires “won’t kill the country.”
Congressional Republicans: Obama should “compromise” and accept Romney tax plan.
Hurricane Sandy was a tragic event that killed more than 100 people and may end up costing the economy as much as $50 BILLION. Unfortunately, Sandy is not the first and won’t be the last extreme weather event that is fueled by climate change.
Our colleagues at the Center for American Progress put out a report today on climate change and extreme weather events. The whole thing is worth reading, and has an interactive map with each county identified that was affected by at least one severe extreme weather disaster in 2011 or 2012. but just take a look this chart of the most destructive events to get a sense of what extreme weather events are already costing the U.S. just in the last two years. Nearly 1,000 people dead, and $116 billion in damages:
Conservatives argue that reducing our carbon pollution is too expensive, but it’s clear that we can’t afford not to take action on climate change.
Sandy has been so horrific an event that even the media, which has been notoriously bad at covering climate change, has taken notice of the connection between our warming world and extreme weather events like Sandy. For example, here’s the provocative cover of this week’s Bloomberg Businessweek:
Unlike in the 2008 election, only one major presidential candidate — Barack Obama — actually even believes in climate change. During the Republican primary, Mitt Romney came out as a climate science denier. And during his acceptance speech at the RNC, Romney famously mocked the president for wanting to tackle climate change — something that earned him a rebuke from President Clinton earlier this week.
During an event in Virginia today, Romney stood by silently as a protester confronted him on climate change.
MAN: Romney! What about climate? That’s what caused this monster storm! Climate change!
CROWD: BOO! USA! USA! USA!
In addition to opposing action on climate change, Mitt Romney also has curious views on federal disaster relief spending. Just last year, Romney said federal spending on disaster relief was “immoral” and suggested that we privatize the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Finally, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. who endorsed George W. Bush in 2004 and did not endorse in 2008, endorsed President Obama today, primarily citing climate change:
The devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to New York City and much of the Northeast – in lost lives, lost homes and lost business – brought the stakes of Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief.
The floods and fires that swept through our city left a path of destruction that will require years of recovery and rebuilding work. And in the short term, our subway system remains partially shut down, and many city residents and businesses still have no power. In just 14 months, two hurricanes have forced us to evacuate neighborhoods – something our city government had never done before. If this is a trend, it is simply not sustainable.
Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be – given this week’s devastation – should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.
But we can’t do it alone. We need leadership from the White House – and over the past four years, President Barack Obama has taken major steps to reduce our carbon consumption, including setting higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks. His administration also has adopted tighter controls on mercury emissions, which will help to close the dirtiest coal power plants (an effort I have supported through my philanthropy), which are estimated to kill 13,000 Americans a year.
Bloomberg also knocked Romney for his lurch rightward on the issue, adding that we need “determined leadership determined leadership at the national level to move the nation and the world forward.”
(It’s also worth noting that Bloomberg also pointed to sharp differences between Romney and Obama on women’s health and marriage equality, saying he “want[s] our president to be on the right side of history.”)
BOTTOM LINE: As Hurricane Sandy and other extreme weather events vividly illustrate, we simply cannot afford to wait any longer to take decisive action to reduce the amount of carbon pollution we are putting into the atmosphere.
|Lonnie Bunch, museum director, historian, lecturer, and author, is proud to present A Page from Our American Story, a regular on-line series for Museum supporters. It will showcase individuals and events in the African American experience, placing these stories in the context of a larger story — our American story.
A Page From Our American Story
Freddie Stowers, the grandson of a South Carolina slave, holds a unique spot in America’s pantheon of war heroes — as the only African American awarded the Medal of Honor for service in World War I. Stowers’ story, however, must be told in two parts. The first part of the story is his act of heroism in 1918; the second part is that it took more than 72 years before Stowers finally received the recognition he was due.
The United States was the last major combatant to enter World War I, the “war to end all wars.” The conflict began in Europe in 1914, but in the U.S., isolationist sentiments were strong resulting in a foreign policy of non-intervention. However, in April 1917, after a German U-boat sank the British ship Lusitania, killing 128 Americans on board, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany. Three months later, on July 3, 1917, American troops landed in France.
Corporal Freddie Stowers came to France as part of the all-black Company C, 371st Regiment, 93rd Division that deployed in September, 1918. His service in France was short but courageous and memorable.
More than 50 years after the Civil War, America’s military was still segregated. The French, however, had no such rules, and Stowers and Company C were sent to the front lines to serve alongside French troops.
On September 28, just days after arriving in France, Stowers’ company was in the midst of an attack on Hill 188, Champagne Marne Sector, France, when enemy forces appeared to be giving up.
According to the War Department, German soldiers emerged from their trenches waving a white flag, arms in the air — military actions that signal surrender. It was a ruse, however. As Americans, including Cpl. Stowers, went to capture the “surrendering” Germans, another wave of the enemy arose and opened fire.
Very quickly, Company C’s lieutenant and non-commissioned officers were killed in the fight. This left the 21-year-old Stowers in command. Without hesitation, he implored his men to advance on the Germans.
Stowers would be mortally shot during the exchange. Wounded and dying, Stowers continued to fight on, inspiring his men to push the enemy back. With Stowers leading the counter-attack, Americans took out an enemy machine gun position and went on to capture Hill 188.
Following the battle, Stowers’ commanding officer nominated him for the Medal of Honor, but the nomination was never processed. The Pentagon said the paperwork was misplaced. Some raise the possibility that the nomination wasn’t misplaced at all, but deliberately lost. They point to the fact that American troops were segregated and suggest that racial bias in the military might be the reason for Stowers’ missing paperwork.
The final part of Freddie Stowers’ story begins in 1990. As the Department of Defense began to modernize its data systems, it ordered a review of all battlefield medal nominations. When Stowers’ recommendation was found, the Pentagon quickly took action to give the corporal the long overdue recognition and honor he deserved.
On April 24, 1991, more than 72 years after Stowers made the ultimate sacrifice for his nation, his sisters Georgiana Palmer and Mary Bowens, 88- and 77-years-old at the time, were presented his Medal of Honor by President George H. W. Bush.
Long before Stowers was honored by his nation, he, along with other members of Company C, received recognition from the French government: “For extraordinary heroism under fire.” Stowers and his unit received the Croix de Guerre – the French War Cross — the highest military medal France awards to allied soldiers.
Prior to World War I, 49 African Americans had been awarded the Medal of Honor, including 25 men who fought for the Union in the Civil War. There were 119 Medals of Honor recipients in World War I, with Stowers being the only African American. His long overdue recognition in 1991 is a small but important sign of the progress we as a nation have made.
|The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the newest member of the Smithsonian Institution’s family of extraordinary museums.
The museum will be far more than a collection of objects. The Museum will be a powerful, positive force in the national discussion about race and the important role African Americans have played in the American story — a museum that will make all Americans proud.
For some real-time reporting on all of the hard news on the election, check out the ThinkProgress Election Day live blog.
But as we all wait for the first polls to close at 7:00 p.m., it’s also worth taking a look back some of the highs and lows (mostly lows) of the past two years of constant campaigning. Here they are, as chronicled by ThinkProgress’ Igor Volsky:
1) Oops. During a GOP primary debate in November 2011, Rick Perry struggled to name the three federal agencies he would eliminate as president. “Commerce, Education, and the —what’s the third one there?”
3) Invisible Obama. In what was a poorly kept “surprise” appearance, actor/director Clint Eastwood delivered a bizarre speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, during which he spoke to an empty chair with an invisible Obama:
4) $10,000. During a GOP presidential debate in December 2011, Romney responded to Rick Perry’s claim that the he had advocated for a federal mandate to purchase health care coverage by trying to wager $10,000:
5) Barbarians. Throughout the campaign, Michele Bachmann refused to comment on allegations that her husband’s Christian counseling clinics instruct gay patients that they could change his sexual orientation through therapy and prayer. Marcus Bachmann had previously referred to gays as ”barbarians”:
6) I am America. The classic Herman Cain ad features chief of staff Mark Block blowing smoke into the camera, Cain smiling, and the ballot “I Am America”:
7) Moon colony. In a speech ahead of Florida’s GOP presidential primary, Newt Gingrich made a bold pledge to establish a permanent U.S. base on the moon “by the end of my second term”:
8) Binders full of women. During the second presidential debate, Romney falsely claimed that he initiated a study to seek “binders full of women” to fill leadership roles in his administration as the governor of Massachusetts:
9) Romnesia. President Obama unveiled a new line of attack against Mitt Romney during a campaign stop at George Mason University in October, arguing that the GOP presidential candidate — who has changed his views on key policy issues — suffers from Romnesia, a condition that causes one to forget their past statements and beliefs:
10) Work out. An October issue of Time magazine featured several pictures of Paul Ryan — who is known for following the P90X workout plan — pumping iron in a grey shirt and backwards baseball cap:
BONUS: Meatloaf. The 1980s power ballad singer endorses Mitt Romney:
Social media played a central role in the campaign and ThinkProgress’ Annie-Rose Strasser has catalogued 2012′s most memorable tweets:
To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.
— Jon Huntsman (@JonHuntsman) August 18, 2011
I’d never vote for Obama. Romney again distorting truth. Obamacare=Romneycare. Mitt is unelectable. ht.ly/9QnvK
— Rick Santorum (@RickSantorum) March 23, 2012
SECRET VIDEO: Romney Tells Millionaire Donors What He REALLY Thinks of Obama Voters bit.ly/OygcQU
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) September 17, 2012
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 31, 2012
Big Bird: My bed time is usually 7:45, but I was really tired yesterday and fell asleep at 7! Did I miss anything last night? — Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) October 4, 2012
Romney wis debate
— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) October 4, 2012
While re-electing President Obama is obviously very good news for progressives, so much more happened to bring progressive change to communities across America. These victories are further evidence of an emerging progressive majority in this country that will help take us forward as we all fight for change in ways large and small.
Here’s the rundown of some of last night’s winners and losers.