President Obama speaks before the lighting of the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse. December 6, 2012
Over the last week we’ve asked you what $2,000 more in taxes would mean to you and your family, and we’ve already received more than 370,000 responses — including one from Tiffany.
Today, President Obama will meet Tiffany and her family in their Northern Virginia home, where he’ll talk more about why it is so important for Congress to pass the middle-class tax cuts before the end of the year, both for families like hers and our economy.
Continuing the Progress in Tribal Communities
Yesterday, President Obama hosted the 2012 White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of Interior. This conference continued to build upon the President’s commitment to strengthen the government-to-government relationship with Indian Country
|| Dear Friend of the Museum,I want to thank you for making 2012 an exciting year of progress for the Museum.
It has been a busy, productive year.
Of course, the biggest event over the past 12 months was our groundbreaking in February. It was marked by a special ceremony attended by President and Mrs. Obama, and featured speeches by the President and other dignitaries. This event stands as one of our major milestones and accomplishments thus far.
Today, our future site on the National Mall is a hive of activity. The bulldozers, backhoes and other construction equipment are drawing a lot of attention from people visiting the Capitol, the national monuments, and the museums that line the Mall.
I cannot begin to tell you how excited we are knowing that in 2015, the National Museum of African American History and Culture will open its doors and take its place among the great family of Smithsonian institutions — provided we continue to progress on schedule.
Your support is vital to the Museum. Now, before we ring in the New Year, I hope you will consider making a special year-end contribution and help ensure we stay on schedule. Remember, your gift is tax-deductible to the full extent of the law — so, while you are helping the Museum, you are benefiting with a tax deduction, too.
Let me take this opportunity to wish you and yours all the best in the coming year. Thank you for your kind generosity to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture — and for making this dream a reality.
Thank you for all you did to secure marriage equality in Washington
Planning on getting married? Or know someone who’s getting ready to walk down the aisle?
This past election, people across the county watched as you made history in Washington. Washingtonians voted to approved Referendum 74, which allows loving same-sex couples to legally marry in the state. This law will take effect tomorrow, Thursday, December 6, 2012. We wanted to make sure you have access to this information about implementation of marriage equality in Washington.
How do I obtain a marriage license in Washington?
Once licenses are made available to same-sex couples, the procedures will be the same as the existing ones for other married couples. They are issued at the county level and procedures/fees may vary slightly; links to information from individual counties is available online. Marriage licenses will be available starting Thursday, December 6. Don’t forget about the three-day waiting period – marriages will begin to take place on Sunday, December 9.
What rights and responsibilities do same-sex couples who legally marry receive in Washington?
Same-sex spouses receive the same rights and responsibilities provided to different-sex spouses under Washington law, including health care decision-making, property and inheritance rights. Married same-sex couples do not receive access to the more than 1,100 federal rights and responsibilities based on marriage because of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and the new law in Washington does not change that.
What do I have to do if I’m a Washington resident who is legally married in another jurisdiction?
You do not have to get married in Washington or otherwise register your marriage in Washington. Washington’s marriage equality law recognizes as valid lawful marriages between same-sex couples from other jurisdictions.
What does the law mean if I have entered into a domestic partnership with my partner in Washington?
In 2007, Washington enacted statewide domestic partnerships, and expanded them in 2009 to grant all the rights and benefits of marriage to registered domestic partners. A couple who is currently in a registered domestic partnership can marry and their domestic partnership will dissolve. On June 30, 2014, the remaining domestic partnerships will automatically convert to marriages unless they are dissolved. Domestic partnerships will continue, however, for couples (gay and straight) where at least one partner is at least 62.
Associate Director, Online Mobilization
And soon-to-be married Seattle, WA resident
After sweeping into complete control of state government for the first time in almost a decade following the 2010 election, Michigan Republicans wasted little time before pursuing numerous pieces of right-wing legislation, including
*The emergency manager law was repealed via referendum by Michigan voters last month; however, the Michigan legislature is rushing to pass a new version as we speak.
Despite pursuing this extreme agenda and other anti-union measures, Republicans had chosen to set aside one of the right’s favorite goals: a so-called “right to work” anti-union law. Indiana Republicans passed such a law in 2011 and well-known fights over anti-union measures occurred in numerous other states including Ohio and Wisconsin. For his part, Snyder even went so far as to say that right to work legislation was “divisive” and not “appropriate for Michigan in 2012.”
Mere months after making those comments, Snyder has flip-flopped and endorsed a last-minute, lame duck effort by Republicans in the legislature to push through a right to work bill. Worse yet, Republicans are including a provision in the bill that will make it impossible for voters to repeal the measure via referendum.
ThinkProgress’ Travis Waldron explains why such laws are accurately referred to as “right to work for less” by unions and pro-worker groups:
Though Snyder refers to his agenda as “pro-worker,” a quick glance at studies of “right-to-work” legislation paints a different picture. According to the Economic Policy Institute, right-to-work laws have virtually no impact on job growth and have a negative impact on both union and nonunion workers, reducing wages by up to $1,500 a year. A Ball State University study conducted during Indiana’s push to pass right-to-work found that “no impact is likely” for job growth or wages in the manufacturing sector. Another EPI study suggests that right-to-work laws had a negative impact on Oklahoma’s economy and that right-to-work is “is ineffective as a strategy for increasing a state’s employment.”
The right-to-work experiment failed miserably the last time it was tried in the Midwest. Indiana originally passed right-to-work laws in 1957, but workers hated the new laws so much that they were repealed just eight years later.
Check out this recent Center for American Progress report for more on why right to work is wrong.
It should come as no surprise that the Koch Brothers and their Americans for Prosperity front group are heavily involved in this anti-union push, just as they have been in other states like Wisconsin, Indiana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Ohio.
Unfortunately, it appears that the measure could become law within the next few days. A bill narrowly cleared the Michigan House just within the past hour. Since several Republicans opposed the measure and Democrats actually picked up seats in the Michigan House in last month’s elections, it’s clear why Republicans are rushing this and other controversial measures through at the last minute during a lame duck session.
The situation on the ground is evolving very quickly and the state capitol in Lansing has been the site of large protests today. Earlier today, the doors of the capitol were locked in order to prevent demonstrators from entering; however, an injunction ordering the capitol to be re-opened. A few demonstrators able to make it inside were arrested and pepper-sprayed after they attempted to enter the senate chamber.
Stay tuned to ThinkProgress for the latest updates.
BOTTOM LINE:Stronger unions mean a stronger middle class, so right-wing attacks on unions are really just attacks on all working and middle-class Americans.
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