Tag Archives: United States Senate

Observation …. word of the day


Today’s word of the day is all about the act of observation …

I have to ask everyone who is taking the time to read this —at what point will the various cable and main stream stations do the right thing and stick to the truth instead of skewing it -stop trying to do their part in swaying voters and report the news….tell me you don’t agree on partisan behavior, msm should be the place to get real news but it seems to be sliding …

It is only Tuesday and after days maybe weeks of offensive and down right discriminatory comments coming from Politicians already in office, folks running for office, even some pundits are riding the edge of truth but the reality is this kind of rhetoric, fear mongering could quite possibly put our democracy at risk. The only solution is to Vote for the Democratic Party ! End the #trumpTrifecta

Observe … all the things that the Obama2010admin as well as Congress has managed to achieve despite the Republican Tea Party. Observe and analyze who what when and why things have not improved as some out there on the left want and then remind them that a President that goes too far left of center is not representing all Americans. The truth is most people …most … used to be moderate and expect the President to be not just moderate but bipartisan; people  have got to realize he tried that and while folks on the right said one thing and did another on the floor of congress and this  is going to be standard behavior no matter what. If you were watching it makes you wonder if taking a hard left is the only way to solve the gridlock. Then reality comes back and we have to remember the Democratic Party has a huge tent with various degrees of democratic ideology, while the 2010-2013Republican Tea Party is united no matter what their colleagues say or do Dems on the other hand seem to fight to get good legislation on the floor of the Senate debated let alone get a winning vote and progress in the move toward the 21st Century. We all know our ability to move forward is being held hostage by the Republican2010-2013 Tea Party until they can ruin our barely recovering economy and my worry is that we will have no place to go or anyone to help if in fact we fall into a deep recession due to an insufficient amount of dollars and lack of cooperation from the right. I blame Republicans for any lack of progress made thus far.

I have to say my observation of “the Media” seemingly are not just giving Republicans more airtime but defending them in some cases and while it is obvious those folks know who is buttering their paychecks …the fair and balanced slogan when describing the news process is just a joke. I have been watching and listening to political shows with well educated people making comments about how much of a disaster the mid-term elections will be for President Obama’s future.  The fact is that Congress goes through change and this year there is really no difference than any other but the combination of the failure of the last guy, the deficit he left and finding out that Wall Street, Oil and the Banks as well as AIG made bets not only with the people’s money but against us – you would think some would understand that after years of corruption it might take a while to make all the corrections given the fact that some parts needed to make the fix are being held hostage by Republicans.  I am no expert but people need to compare their own lives to what happened  then times that by a trillion and realize the correction will take a long time especially since folks on the right were able to downsize/block or stall most of the financial fixes in the Senate. The Democratic Party, needs to get our arses out to vote. I don’t know how many vote by mail so it will be important to get informed, vote wisely and mail it in quickly… I do feel Mitdterm2018 is a pivotal moment and if we really want change folks we need to urge all those groups to make sure we all vote. Some folks do not understand why the process of change cannot only be done by the POTUS that Congress in both Chambers needs to do the work of the people and while the House is definitely representing $$$$ the Senate faces obstacles and the only solution is getting truer Dems on the floor of the Senate.  President Obama did the best he could with what the last admin gave him and again it took a long time to get here 2017 and while there are those on the right who choose to provoke fear; lately that has turned into action by those feeling certain TV or radio personalities were giving them subliminal instructions to act against those who support the President or the Democratic Party. That has got to stop; it would be even better if “the Media” would stop giving folks on the right passes when they make outrageous, racist, and sometimes exclusionary comments…we hear it from Fox News but now cable stations,depending on the day or hour seem to take a hard right and has this viewer wondering where the money is coming from, supporting the more extreme view on air?  What we are seeing by some reporters,pundits, talking heads engaging in the dance of News manipulation which is a sad representation of what real journalists, reporters and commentators used to be.

If you are trying to figure out exactly how we got into this mess? The once fabulous video “House of Cards” by David Faber…CNBC.  is the “for reel” in your face deal, it will explain all of it though i don’t believe it’s available

yes, i said … just sayin

a recognition of rebirth,holidays, festivals, gatherings, rituals or other celebrations


The winter solstice

It is the time at which the Sun appears at noon at its lowest altitude above the horizon. [2] In the Northern Hemisphere this is the Southern solstice, the time at which the Sun is at its southernmost point in the sky, which usually occurs on December 21 to 22 each year

Honestly, I have not heard enough negative media over the last 8 yrs. that would make me sign a petition stating my President is wrong, loony, and illegitimate or just does not know what he is doing.  There are strong feelings, passions and possible misunderstandings by  rwnj’s in this era of trump, but this new “panic button” they say we lefties are hitting is not only desperate but that we should be calling it game over,  uh no …  we must tell trump supporters that the game of politics is clearly  just beginning and at some point voters on both sides of the aisle will need to make some serious decisions in 2018 to change the faces of Congress to those who will NOT spend $$ on hearings, shutdown the government or hold America hostage.   So, in this New Year I pledge to continue to have strong opinions, post other opinions and views, but I won’t always side with all of them which is good The point to my blog; is to blow off steam … offer up some info from those who know, maybe question, challenge some who think they know, ask plead or yell for a call to action with signatures that can create change … Words do Matter contrary to how most conservatives seem to feel.

I thank everyone who even takes the time to visit my blog let alone read and respond to the articles and even some actually sign petitions … I thank you … much gratitude.

In this era of trump one might be thinking the end of days, what with republicans trying to legislate more guns in stadiums, schools, allowing concealed weapons least we think about what life will look like for the poor lower and middle class after the New Year. We must stand our ground and have the Audacity for Hope and Change.XMAS

Have a Merry Christmas  &

Happy New Years

A Historic Meeting … Cuba


whitehouselogoa repost

President Obama met with Cuban President Raul Castro in Panama City  — marking the first full meeting between the leaders of the two countries since we announced a new diplomatic path with Cuba.

The two presidents discussed our shared histories, significant policy changes, and the positive response in both countries to this thaw in relations. “This is obviously a historic meeting,” said President Obama — who was in Central America for the seventh Summit of the Americas, a tradition that brings together the leaders of North and South America to discuss issues that impact the region.

Watch the President’s remarks at the Summit and learn more about his trip.

The President speaks at the Summit of the Americas.

Weekly Address: Tuition-Free Community College

In this week’s address, the Vice President laid out his and the President’s plan to make two years of community college free for responsible students. A better-educated citizenry is necessary to ensure that the United States continues to out-compete the rest of the world. Making two years of community college free is good for workers, good for companies, and good for our economy.

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Why Conversion Therapy Hurts All of Us

More than 120,000 people signed a petition calling for a ban on the dangerous and unacceptable practice of conversion therapy — and on Wednesday, we responded. The overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that conversion therapy is neither medically or ethically appropriate and can cause substantial harm. That’s why the Obama administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.

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West Wing Week: “A Good Deal”

Last week, the President made an important announcement about preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, traveled west to champion high-tech jobs in Louisville and clean energy jobs in Salt Lake City, had some fun at the 137th-annual White House Easter Egg Roll, and flew to Jamaica for a meeting with leaders of Caribbean nations.

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Wind Energy Information


by Aaron Severn
Director, Grassroots and Federal Legislative Affairs
American Wind Energy Association

 

I wanted to loop you in on the latest updates on American wind power.  The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) recently released its Annual Market Report for 2013, as well as its First Quarter 2014 Market Report.

So what’s new?

The U.S. wind industry did not install much wind power capacity in 2013, reflecting the impact of the policy uncertainty that the wind industry faced throughout 2012

The numbers were small:

  • 1,087 megawatts (MW) installed in 2013, compared to 13,131 in 2012 – a 92% drop in new capacity
  • Corresponding drop in investment, $2 billion into the US economy in 2013,  compared to $25 billion in 2012
  • Loss of thousands of manufacturing jobs – ending the year with 50,500 total wind industry jobs, as compared to 80,700 jobs at the end of 2012

In total, though, wind power is making impressive contributions to the U.S. electricity supply:

  • Wind now provides over 4% of our electricity nationally
  • Iowa and South Dakota get over 25% of their electricity from wind power; nine states get more than 10% and six states get more than 15% of their electricity from wind power

As you may recall, Congress allowed the PTC to expire at the end of 2012.  Then, our legislators extended the credit in early January 2013, allowing projects that started construction by the end of 2013 to qualify for the credit (rather than requiring that they be operational by the end of 2013, as  required in the past).  The uncertainty throughout 2012 caused wind project development to come to a halt, and manufacturing orders to cease, resulting in little development and significant job loss as noted above.

How’s this year looking so far?

The PTC extension in 2013 allowed developers to put plans back in motion.  As a result, 2014 is off to a great start:

  • Over 13,000 MW of wind power under construction – more than any other time in history – and including over 95 projects across 21 states
  • 214 MW of wind power installed so far — more than in the first three quarters of 2013
  • Utility companies and corporate purchasers continue to announce agreements to purchase wind power – they announced 8,000 MW of power purchase agreements in 2013, and about another 1,000 MW so far this year  

Is there a catch?

Yes – federal policy for the wind energy industry is still uncertain.  The PTC expired again, at the end of 2013.  Without an extension, the wind industry is looking at the prospect of near-term downturns in project development, and job layoffs as well.

The Senate Finance Committee has acted to extend the PTC, and a credit that developers can choose instead of the PTC, the investment tax credit (ITC).  They extended these provisions as part of the EXPIRE Act in early April.  The bill moves to the Senate floor for consideration next, and we will keep you updated on that front.  It will be important to weigh in with your Senators about the importance of extending the PTC through the EXPIRE Act.

Thanks, as always, for your support.  I encourage you to check out these resources if you’re interested in more information:

Sincerely,
Aaron

Aaron Severn
Director, Grassroots and Federal Legislative Affairs
American Wind Energy Association

 

Mayor Rauner … seems to be against his constituents


  Rauner suspends $26 million in social services, public health grants

Rauner suspends $26 million in social services, public health grants

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office worked with the Departments of Human Services and Public Health “to see which grants could be suspended and prioritized essential services.”


Associated Press

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner suspended $26 million in social services and public health grants as part of his push to whittle away at a $1.6 billion shortfall in the current state budget.

The Republican’s office released a list of targeted programs late Friday that included funding to pay for the funerals and burials of public-assistance recipients, smoking cessation, teen programs, autism, and HIV and AIDS programs, among other things.

Rauner also froze $3.4 million in funding for immigrant integration assistance as part of ongoing efforts to keep the state rolling through the June 30 end of the fiscal year.

Rauner’s office said the check-writing halt – he also interrupted $180 million in parkland grants in March – is necessary because the expenditures were based on the assumption a temporary income tax would be extended past January, but it wasn’t after Rauner won the election.

“Part of the solution to solving the inherited $1.6 billion budget hole without raising taxes or increasing borrowing is to continue to evaluate the current fiscal year’s budget,” Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said. “The governor’s office worked with agencies to see which grants could be suspended and prioritized essential services.”

The cuts will save the state $21.8 million in Department of Human Services Grants and $4.5 million in unexpended funding through the Department of Public Health. The suspensions only affect this year’s funding, Kelly said.

But there’s always another price – this one paid for by constituents who, as soon as Monday morning, will be told through closed doors there’s no more money to help them.

Breandan Magee, senior director of programs for the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, said dozens of organizations assisted 102,000 legal immigrants in 2014 with applications for citizenship, English as a Second Language classes and health and nutrition programs for low-income immigrants.

“There are 299 jobs across 60 different immigrant-services agencies at risk” with funding ceasing, Magee said Saturday. “There are workshops scheduled for citizenship, applications for citizenship pending, ESL classes hallway through.”

Immigrant integration programs – which Rauner proposed eliminating entirely in the 2016 budget – will forfeit nearly half of their $6.7 million budget, according to figures provided by the governor’s office. Magee said he hopes the state will cover expenses he’s already incurred.

A copy of Friday’s letter from Human Services, obtained by The Associated Press, notifies the recipient to “immediately cease incurring additional obligations, costs or spending any further grant funds.” Agencies must submit records of all spending for the year. Jimi Orange of Children’s Home and Aid faces the unenviable task of telling up to 25 of the 100 children in Chicago’s impoverished West Englewood neighborhood they can’t come to Earle Elementary School for after-class tutoring and cultural activities because the state has recalled the remaining $3.1 million of Teen REACH money for kids ages 7 to 17.

“The staff’s concern is how to tell the families? What to tell the kids? How to tell the kids?” Orange said. “These are kids who already have abandonment issues, trust issues.”

Parkland-related grants Rauner has suspended this year include $90 million for park facility construction, $56 million for local governments to purchase open space for future parkland, and $30 million for museum capital-construction grants.

Grants suspended by Rauner include:

DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES

Funeral & Burial, $6.9 million

Rauner’s ‘turnaround budget’ has cuts called ‘reckless,’ ‘wrong priorities’

You be the judge. Look at the list below and decide if grants for the Homeless or for HIV assistance, Addiction  prevenetion, and so on are reckless.

Immigrant Integration Services, $3.4 million

Welcoming Centers, $191,300

ARC Lifespan, $118,100

Best Buddies, $250,000

Autism, $1 million

Group Home Loans, $20,000

Compulsive Gambling $406,000

Westside Health, $94,200

Addiction Prevention, $1.6 million

Assistance for Homeless, $300,000

Community Services, $2 million

Teen REACH, $3.1 million

Coalition F/Tech Assist-Child, $250,000

For Children’s Health Program, $231,600

Outreach to Individuals to Engage in Services, $380,700

Regions Special Consumer Support, $277,700

SMRF Training, $420,100

Transportation, $43,900

DD Latino Outreach, $87,500

Microboard Development and Outreach, $47,500

Epilepsy, $514,700

DHS TOTAL: $21.8 million

DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Brothers and Sisters United Against HIV/AIDS, $789,800

Increasing Access to Health Care-Wellness on Wheels, $180,000

Wellness on Wheels – Mobile Administration 2015, $135,000

Illinois Tobacco Quitline, $3.1 million

Project Safe Sleep Education and Outreach, $250,000

MidAmerica Regional Public Health Leadership Institute, $75,000

IDPH TOTAL: $4.5 million

DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES*

Park and Recreational Facility Construction, $89.5 million

Open Space Lands Acqusition and Development, $56.3 million

Museum Capital Grants, $30.4 million

Bike Paths, Mud-to-Parks, others, $2.6 million

IDNR TOTAL: $178.8 million

*Grants suspended in March

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