a Message from OFA …


“It’s because of you.”

That’s what President Obama said before he took the stage in Iowa City right after health care reform passed. And I couldn’t agree more.

We’ve put together a quick video that highlights the incredible work you did over the last year, to honor and thank you for the history you made.

Please watch the video, then pass this email along to friends and family so they can co-sign historic health care reform legislation with the President.

It's Because of You: Watch the Video

Health care reform was a monumental achievement, and it would not have happened without you.

Check out the video, and pass it along to anyone else who is passionate about reform:

http://my.barackobama.com/ThisIsChange

Thanks for everything,

Jeremy

Jeremy Bird
Deputy Director
Organizing for America

P.S. — Great news: In addition to health and student loan reform, there’s even more change happening.

Thanks in large part to tax benefits in the Recovery Act, average tax refunds are up by almost 10 percent from last year.

And President Obama announced a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia, calling it “the most comprehensive arms control agreement in nearly two decades.”

Wednesday Hump News …cspan.org live-stream


Congress is still on break… It started out like another day of nasty weather all over the country and it does affect the mood but the sun came out and it’s warm, unlike the comments being made by right wing radio hosts, protesters, Republican Politicians and cable.  Words still matter, words hurt and this seems to have been lost on a whole lot of people on the right; some on the left as well. The blood pressure of Americans seems to have been pushed up by rhetoric that is just full of mis-information.  People need to fact-check not only the news but right-wing talk.   We the People, have new laws that will affect our lives, our children and our jobs.  The transition for people who previously were denied coverage due to an illness, people who have kids just about to turn 22, usually get dropped will now be able to stay on your insurance until age 26 and as for being a woman… def a pre-existing condition has been dealt with and while some of us didn’t have these new laws in place when we needed them it is with great pride that others will not be subjected to insurance and or health care discrimination; hopefully, all the changes will happen in a positive way; create healthier people and jobs in the future. Anyone with a mom, sister, daughter or wife should celebrate because the new law of the land will just increase her ability to live longer.

Republicans who are radio hosts, on cable news or Political tour campaigns need to know that 53% voted and it was a majority vote for President Obama.

To say politics in the country is experiencing new changes is a joke; it’s upsetting,  people seem to have forgotten how bad our economy truly was, why the steps taken were needed and maybe it was worse than what the new Administration was told, is now after months of trying to fix America with Republicans; will do the Peoples business on their own.  This includes needing Democrats to get out there to sell HCR, education reform, to promote the positive of a change that really needed to happen. Democrats need to rebut the nonsense that the Media is pushing; or dare i say what opinion news is saying but it isn’t happening much.

Other news maker(s),which, is getting more attention than the Pope and Vatican sex abuse cases, the violence from what seems to be on a new level is, who cheated on who; the politics of it because as we all know Politicians and Entertainers are cheating and in big ways, but the attention to it just seems extreme.  I am sorry for the people getting cheated on but everyday Americans go through the same thing and no one spends so much time researching, advertising and or talking about the research… come on; give them respect and privacy not …OMG … it’s offensive.  I do think that these women or men deciding to not only spill their guts but to pick up a sizable check for doing so is just as repulsive as the stories themselves; getting 75thou for telling the nastiest story about TW on a radio show was just strange and brings the Media to a whole new low on compassion toward families. We have to question the sincerity of these women; why? because TW and or JJ have been on tv, mags radio, people who know nothing about golf and or motorcycles know these guys … the advice … just say no to the married man HO… getting attorneys and trying to say i didn’t know? im thinking someone should go after these women for breaking up the marriage… there is past examples of married women suing the woman who decided to be so bold as to go after another woman’s man

Other news …

**Reports on the BillPress show that President Obama will be announcing a move to open up oil-platforms in virginia and possibly mid west;exluding most of the westcoast …stay tuned; this could be a good thing or a mis-step

what’s on Cspan.org

President, First Lady Promote Flexible Work Hours.  While congress is out on Easter recess, the Obama Administration hosts a forum on workplace flexibility. The President and First Lady will give speeches on the importance of creating workplace practices that allow America’s working men and women to meet the demands of their jobs.   Also on the Washington Journal, Katie Corrigan, Co-Director for National Advisory Commission on Workplace Flexibility will discuss today’s White House Forum.

watch Katie Corrigan on WJ: C-SPAN at 9am ET
watch First Lady Speech: C-SPAN at 1:15pm ET
watch Pres. Obama Speech: C-SPAN at 4:15pm ET
visit Workplace Flexibility

UN gathers Haiti Donors To Discuss Long-Term Relief. The international community will gather at UN Headquarters for a conference on relief efforts in Haiti. The event will focus on the longer-term recovery and reconstruction needs of the country. At the conference, non-governmental organizations along with public and private assistance will be able to pledge new financial aid to help Haiti rebuild, and to mobilize a sustained international effort.


Afghanistan Ambassador on a New Foundation for Afghanistan. Afghanistan Ambassador to the U.S. Said Tayeb Jawad will be the keynote speaker at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), where he will discuss the future of his country and respond to the Sunday visit to Afghanistan by President Obama.

A message from Dr. Biden …


In Spring 2007, on a conference call with students, then-Senator Barack Obama called for major reform to federal student loans:

We shouldn’t be providing billions in taxpayer-funded giveaways to private banks. We should be providing an affordable, accessible college education to every American.

This morning, President Obama signed those historic reforms into law.

Dr. Jill Biden, an educator for 29 years, just recorded a short video explaining what these groundbreaking reforms mean for education in America. Click here to watch.

Watch the video

The bill the President signed this morning includes historic investments to make education more affordable, and delivers on a key campaign promise. The legislation:

Ends subsidies to special-interest private lending companies.

Doubles funding for Pell Grants to help more students afford a college education.

Will cap a graduate’s annual student-loan repayments at 10 percent of his or her income.

Helps an additional 5 million Americans earn degrees and certificates over the next decade, by revitalizing programming at our nation’s community colleges.

It’s a tremendous achievement, but the news may get lost in the excitement around the passage of comprehensive health care reform. So we need to make sure that when folks in Seattle open the local paper to the letters page this week, they’ll see notes from their neighbors supporting these important reforms.

Can you help? Watch Dr. Biden’s video and write a letter to the editor now — we’ll provide helpful talking points to get you started:

http://my.barackobama.com/StudentLoanReform

Thanks,

Mitch

Mitch Stewart
Director
Organizing for America

Under The Radar … thinkprogress.org … must read info


HEALTH CARE — HEALTH INSURERS WILL FOLLOW NEW REGULATIONS MEANT TO CLOSE LOOPHOLE ON INSURING CHILDREN: Despite trying to take advantage of loopholes in the new health care law that may allow insurers to deny coverage to uninsured children with pre-existing medical conditions, health insurers said Monday that they would accept new regulations that dispel any uncertainty that “children with medical problems can get coverage starting this year.” Insurers had previously said that the new law “does not require them to write insurance for the child and it does not guarantee the ‘availability of coverage’ for all until 2014,” when the majority of law’s provisions come into effect. In a harshly-worded letter, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius criticized insurers for seeking loopholes “that preserve a broken system” and do not “follow the spirit of the law.” To clarify the intent of the law, Sebelius will issue regulations “making it clear that the term ‘pre-existing exclusion’ applies to both a child’s access to a plan and to his or her benefits once he or she is in the plan.” The health insurance industry’s announcement appears to lessen the risk that new regulations will be challenged under the so-called Chevron test, which was named for a Supreme Court decision that found that federal agencies hold broad authority in interpreting statues as long as that interpretation is found to be reasonable. But at the same time, the decision was expected because as the Wonk Room’s Igor Volsky noted, the insurers will “simply increase premiums as a result.”

News on Tuesday … cspan live-stream


Today, the President will sign the reconciliation part of HCR and the education reform bill into law; I am hopeful that when people actually read both bills instead of listening to the noise that Republicans are hoping will block out the facts… like, this Bill could possibly help more than 32million people because HCR is also a Jobs Bill; it’s not talked about but the number of people needed to handle all the people who will now be eligible for coverage will increase our labour force.  As far as the education reform bill ? What person would think saving money is a bad thing; the money from the educational reform bill will be re-invested and more Pell grants given instead of becoming bank merit raises.   I don’ t know anyone sane who would vote or be against that, who would be against students being covered by their parents insurance until 26, who in their right mind doesn’t want what our Congress is already getting? the plans might be a little different but ask any former state, city or federal worker and you will see that HCR is in fact similar.  There is also news that repeal/replace is just another smoke screen Republicans plan to feed Americans.  Repeal/Replace can not be done without a majority vote in Congress to help bring it down; people need to do more fact checking for themselves before assuming leaders in the Republican Party truly are telling the … truth. Our Congress is still on Easter Break, though cable coverage of right wing behavior toward representatives and their reactions have been in the news quite often.  Is it just me or does it appear as if cable prefers to cover not only the negative side of Democrats but it also has been questioning just exactly what is the meaning behind the protests, the nasty signs and word or spitting and name calling instead of doing what might seem like a common sense approach … question is what is the common sense approach.

Other News …

**Washington State waits to see if the threat of a Garbage strike becomes a reality; as talks continue, most companies are lining what Unions call scabs:the conflict? wage increases vs health-care benefits; King and Snohomish counties will be affected;local unions authorized the strike.

**The Vatican believes they are not liable for the recent or past child abuse cases;this situation is not over or solved and will be revisited by many

**Seattle Public Schools; 9 districts in Washington; received Federal grants for needed improvements in Education

**President Obama stated that he wants to sign the financial reform bill by May/feels it’s an absolutely realistic time frame

**China tries to smooth over relations  with US …and agrees to push Iran/Tehran to accept proposals…and the G8 calls for stronger Iran measures

**Washington State***Seattlepi.com for full article… The announcement comes on the same day Gov. Chris Gregoire signed an education reform bill — the substance behind Washington’s own bid for the federal cash — into law. Coming directly from the bill signing ceremony, many involved in the shaping of this year’s legislation expressed renewed optimism about the state’s chances in round two

**UW expert: McKenna health care lawsuit ‘meritless’
Stewart Jay, the University of Washington law professor and constitutional expert, has this to say about Attorney General Rob McKenna’s lawsuit over the new federal health care law: “If it’s not frivolous, it’s close to frivolous.”.

and what’s on cspan.org

watch White House Press Briefing

watch Defense Dept. Briefing

President to Sign Health Care & Ed. Reconciliation Bill into Law. Pres. Obama will sign the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which includes provisions to help with student loans, in a ceremony at Northern Virginia Community College. He is also expected to speak on the goals that will make higher education affordable.watch Pres. Remarks: From Earlier

Conference Emphasizes Patient Physician Relationship. U.S. Surgeon Gen. Regina Benjamin will be the keynote speaker before the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, a coalition of health care stakeholders that seek to improve the American medical system. Dr. Benjamin will discuss her priorities as Surgeon General and address the summit’s theme, cultivating long-term relationships between patients and physicians.


Pres. Obama and French Pres. Sarkozy held joint press conference. President Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy wrapped up a joint press conference at the White House. Later, the two leaders will dine with their wives at the White House. In a speech yesterday, President Sarkozy said he would urge President Obama to press harder for global regulation of the financial markets.

Fmr. UN Amb. Discusses the State of U.S. Sovereignty.  In an address at the Heritage Foundation, fmr. U.N. Amb. John Bolton (2005-06) claims that national sovereignty is undermined by the partnership between the United Nations and the Obama Administration. Mr. Bolton argues that policies made under the U.N. impose a foreign influence that weakens America’s ability to govern itself.