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SEEKONK, MASSACHUSETTS, United States

Sunday, August 27, 2017

THE CLASSROOM. WEBSITE CORRESPONDENCE: 10/22/2015- 3/16/2016.

                                         THE CLASSROOM.



THIS PAGE IS DEDICATED TO THE E-MAILS I RECEIVE EACH WEEK FROM ELECTED OFFICIALS, CANDIDATES FOR OFFICE, ACTIVISTS etc.

They also include Messages posted to my FACEBOOK PAGE.
               
         

THE PURPOSE.
-  For the Readers in the U.S., A Chance to Read what these Individuals really Think, without Focusing on Meaningless Rhetoric and Useless Soundbites.

-  For my Readers Outside the U.S., A Chance to Read, and perhaps Dispel Myths and Inaccuracies, about Politics in the United States.

-  THERE WILL BE NOTHING TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT.

-  THESE ARE EMAILS SENT TO MY PERSONAL ACCOUNT, I WILL NOT
INCLUDE ANY FROM ANOTHER SOURCE.



GUIDELINES.

-  Any Mail sent to the Website will be considered.

-  Content must have a Degree of Intellectual Value,
which encourages Thoughtful Consideration to the 
Subject Matter.

-  Libelous Material and Ad Hominem Attacks, will
not be Published.

-  Finally, This Page is for E-MAIL CONTENT ALONE.
I MAY COVER THESE ISSUES ON OTHER PAGES,
BUT WILL NOT DO IT HERE.  IN THIS WAY, NO ONE 
COMING HERE WILL BE CONFRONTED BY ANY TYPE
OF CRITICAL EVALUATION.  

ANY FEEDBACK WOULD BE APPRECIATED.
DAVID MCDONALD, PUBLISHER.


                    



THE CLASSROOM.

#1- 10/14/2015. 

Made in America: The latest on a progressive trade agreement.

From:  BARACK OBAMA.
info@barackobama.com
For the past few months, we've been hard at work finalizing the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- a trade agreement that puts American workers first, helps middle-class families get ahead, and levels the playing field for American farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers.

Last week, my administration reached that agreement with 11 other countries. That's good news for the global economy, and it's good news for American families and workers.

Now that the deal is agreed to, I want to make sure folks have the facts about the Trans-Pacific Partnership before it comes to a vote -- if a trade agreement that puts American workers first is important to you...

Over the next few months, this agreement will be discussed and debated. It's important to remember that with 95% of the world's customers outside the United States and nearly 12 million American jobs supported by exports of products made in America, we can't leave it to other nations to uphold the values we care about -- we need trade agreements with tough, enforceable environmental and labor standards.

From the day I took office, I've fought for middle-class families, and this trade deal is no different.


Barack Obama.

Date- 10/22/2015.

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Gun, Home, House, Gunpoint, Person, Male



THE CLASSROOM.

#2- 10/19/2015. (Date Received).                 

The American people or the NRA.

FROM- ELIZABETH WARREN.
U.S. SENATOR.

Who does this Congress work for: The American people? Or the NRA?


88 Americans die every day from gun violence. Seven of those people are children or teens. What has happened to us? If seven children were dying every day from a mysterious virus, our country would pull out all the stops to figure out what went wrong and fix it.

But day after day, month after month, tragedy after tragedy, Congress has done nothing. NOTHING...


  1. End the gun show loophole – everyone gets a background check.
  2. End straw purchases – the person who gets checked out has to be the true owner, and gun trafficking should be a serious federal crime to help law enforcement stop illegal guns from crossing state lines.
  3. Close the holes in the background check database and stop domestic abusers from purchasing guns – period.

Yes, we know that three steps won’t be enough to stop all gun violence in our communities. But these are meaningful steps in the right direction – steps that huge majorities of Americans support.

time for... Congress to make a choice: Do they work for the NRA or for the American people? Join Senate Democrats to demand action.

Thank you,

Elizabeth.

Date-  10/25/2015.

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Elephant, Safari, Animal, Defence, Color



THE CLASSROOM.

#3- 10/26/2015. (Date Received).                 

End Illegal Poaching.


FROM ED MARKEY.
U.S. SENATOR.

Cecil the Lion's death grabbed international headlines, and rightly so. Yet for every Cecil the Lion, there are thousands of other animals taken by poachers -- and all too often, those poachers are connected to organized crime.


Poaching networks can provide money to groups that cross borders, flout international law, and endanger our interests and our security. Ending illegal wildlife poaching and trafficking is more than our moral obligation. It is also smart policy.

I'm partnering with Sen. Chris Coons to stand against wildlife poaching and trafficking... 

It's important to understand the nature and the persistence of this problem. Ivory bans were enacted in the late 1980s, but the lack of enforcement mechanisms made them ineffective in practice. A booming international trade in illicit ivory has hit African elephant populations hard, reducing their numbers by 62% from 2002 to 2011.


The buyers in these illegal markets have, in recent years, come largely from Asia, but the problem is global. The cartels that move poached lions, elephants, and other animals around the world do not confine themselves to pelts and ivory.

The Chinese government has signaled that it will crack down on poaching and trafficking, but they have also said they will not act alone. America not only can lead, America must lead.

It's time to act against illegal wildlife poaching and trafficking. 
Thank you,

Ed.

Date-  10/31/2015.

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THE CLASSROOM.

#4- 11/7/2015.                 

LGBT Americans have waited too long.

FROM-  AL FRANKEN.
U.S. SENATOR.


Two years ago, the Senate passed the Employee Non-Discrimination Act. You may know it as ENDA. It was designed to give LGBT individuals legal protections in the workplace.

It never made it through the House.

With the huge victory of marriage equality in America earlier this year, it’s easy to think the job is done. Let’s all pack up and go home. But the fight for full LGBT equality is not done -- not by a long shot.

In too many states (and if you ask me, even one is “too many”), LGBT individuals can still be fired for who they are. Or evicted. They can be refused housing or denied credit.

And LGBT children who are bullied relentlessly in school, to the point that they fear for their physical safety, still do not have appropriate legal protections.

We protect people from racial discrimination and gender discrimination. We ban employers from discriminating on the basis of national origin or disability, too. It’s time we ended discrimination of the LGBT community in all areas of life -- workplace, education, housing, credit, everywhere.

We passed ENDA to end workplace discrimination, and it got stuck in the muck that is the House. So this time, we’re going for broke. We’ve got a new plan -- the Equality Act -- that presents comprehensive safeguards for LGBT people.

And this plan needs to go all the way.

The LGBT community has already waited too long...


Thanks.

Al.

Date-  11/7/2015.

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THE CLASSROOM.

#5- 11/13/2015. (Date Received).  

THE SAVE BENEFITS ACT.         


MY EMERGENCY SOCIAL SECURITY BILL.
ELIZABETH WARREN.
U.S. SENATOR.
        
AND                                         
                                                        
CHARLES CHAMBERLAIN.              
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.                  
DEMOCRACY FOR AMERICA.          


Next year, for just the third time since 1975, seniors who receive Social Security won't be getting an annual cost of living increase. Neither will millions of other Americans whose...payments are pegged to Social Security.

Two-thirds of retirees depend on Social Security to pay for the basics,-  but seniors who usually get a small boost on January 1st won't see an extra dime next year. That's why I'm introducing the Seniors and Veterans Emergency (SAVE) Benefits Act -- a one-time payment equivalent to a Social Security benefits increase of 3.9%. 

This is about choices. We have the money to do this -- only right now that money goes to fund a loophole that benefits corporate CEOs. We could use exactly that same money to help out seniors and vets -- and make the Social Security system more stable. For me, it's pretty straightforward: Our spending should reflect our values.

So let's just do it. Let's close the loophole and let's use the money to give seniors and vets the support they need on January 1st. 

As Charles Chamberlain explains in the email below, Democracy for America is behind our plan 100%.

- Elizabeth




Charles Chamberlain, Democracy for America
Executive Director

Elizabeth Warren is asking for...help...to pass a one-time emergency boost in Social Security benefits by January 1.

At the beginning of each year there is usually a cost of living adjustment, giving seniors and veterans more money in their pocket to afford basic needs.

This year... because of the way the government calculates inflation, they're saying there's no need for a Social Security benefit increase. But ...Without a cost of living increase, many people on Social Security will struggle to pay their bills.

We have to do something about it before January 1. 

Sen. Warren just announced a plan to fix that and expand Social Security. She's proposing the Seniors And Veterans Emergency (SAVE) Benefits Act, which would give 70 million Americans an emergency benefit increase of about $580 -- that's 3.9% for 2016, the same raise that... CEOs got last year. Her proposal would also extend the life of Social Security, and would be paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes.

Elizabeth Warren's SAVE Benefits Act... would give 70 million Americans an emergency payment of about $580. Sen. Warren's bill would pay for it by closing the "performance pay" loophole... that subsidizes the...salaries that corporate CEOs receive.

- Charles




THE SAVE ACT.
AL FRANKEN.
U.S. SENATOR.

If we don’t take action, seniors will not see a cost-of-living increase in their Social Security benefits in 2016.

That is unacceptable, ... So I am joining with Senator Elizabeth Warren and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) to do something about it.

How does this work? It’s pretty simple, actually -- the SAVE Act, which I recently helped introduce with Elizabeth Warren, would eliminate a corporate tax loophole and use the extra money to give seniors the same 3.9% raise that CEOs got last year.

The SAVE Act puts money in seniors’ pockets, curtails Wall Street...strengthens Social Security. Experts tell us that this small cost-of-living increase is enough to lift a million seniors out of poverty. I can’t think of a good reason not to pass this bill.

Date- 11/15/2015.

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Grandparents, Grandmother, People, Happy



THE CLASSROOM.

#6-  11/26/2015.  (DATE RECEIVED).

TEN THINGS I'M LEAST GRATEFUL FOR THIS THANKSGIVING.
ROBERT REICH.
POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, ECONOMIST, AUTHOR.
PROFESSOR-  UNIVERSITY CALIFORNIA/BERKELEY.
U.S. SECRETARY OF LABOR.  1993- 1997.

1. Pfizer, which is deserting America because it doesn’t want to pay its tax bill here.

2. Walmart, which is spying on its employees.

3. Donald Trump, who’s leading America’s hate brigade.

4. Other Republican presidential candidates, who are also spewing venom and lies.

5. Wall Street lobbyists who are at this moment trying to water down regulations against excessive speculation.

6. Martin Shreki, CEO of drug company Turing, who raised price of drug used by AIDS patients from $13.50 a pill to $750 when he took over the company, and still refuses to lower the price.

7. Charles and David Koch, whose political organization is spending as much on the 2016 election as is each of the two major political parties.

8. Fox News, which continues to fill the heads of Americans with lies, distortions, hate, bigotry, and right-wing propaganda.

9. Republican governors and state legislators who are busy trying to suppress the votes of minorities through voter ID laws and gerrymandering

10. Cynics -- because cynicism is a self-fulfilling prophesy making it almost impossible to do anything about 1-9 above.

-  Robert

Date-  11/26/2015.

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Gun, Hands, Black, Weapon, Man, Crime





THE CLASSROOM.

#7-  12/3/2015. (DATE RECEIVED.)


ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: DEMAND CONGRESS TAKE ACTION TO MAKE
OUR COMMUNITIES SAFER FROM GUN VIOLENCE.

GABBY GIFFORDS AND MARK KELLY.
Americans for Responsible Solutions.

It seems like every week we sit down together to find the words to adequately express our heartbreak for another community that has been shattered by gun violence. 

We always fail to find the words to match our anger, heartache, and disgust. 

Today is no different. 

Today is another sad day. Today, once again, America mourns those taken from us by gun violence. 

Once again, a senseless act of gun violence has brought terror, tragedy and pain to one of our communities. This time, murderers with guns attacked the Inland Regional Center, a place of refuge and comfort for some of the most vulnerable among us. And that wasn't even the only mass shooting in the United States yesterday. 

We wish we could use words like 'unimaginable' and 'unthinkable' to describe the horror that unfolded yesterday in San Bernardino. But it is not. Not in our country. 

While we wait to learn exactly what happened and why, we are holding the San Bernardino community in our thoughts. We grieve for those lost, pray for strength for the injured, and hope for comfort for those whose loved ones were taken from them yesterday. We are also grateful to the first responders who worked to end these murderers' rampage. 

We want to repeat something we said just last week after the tragedy in Colorado Springs: As a country and a people, we must reckon with the fact that these types of gun tragedies simply don't happen as often in other countries. Other countries have evil people. Other countries have violent people. 

But our country stands nearly alone in the rate of people murdered with guns. 

America is an extraordinary place. But these tragedies make us stand out in the worst of ways. This is not the America we strive for. 

We have to do better. And we can. 

Tell Congress that enough is enough: it's time for them to act to make our communities safer from gun violence. 

There were more people killed during yesterday's mass shooting than any other since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. And in all of the time that has passed since Newtown, Congress has managed to do what many of us would have thought unthinkable: nothing at all.


Gabby Giffords & Mark Kelly.

Date-  12/5/2015.

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THE CLASSROOM.

#8-  12/12/2015.



IN THEIR OWN WORDS.

THE DEMOCRATIC PARTIES THREE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES, SEEKING THE ENDORSEMENT OF:
                                  
                                     Democracy for America.

                  HAVE SENT OUT THE FOLLOWING E-MAIL LETTERS.

THE FIELD:  HILLARY CLINTON, MARTIN O'MALLEY, BERNIE SANDERS.

ALL THREE E-MAIL LETTERS ARE BELOW,
PRESENTED IN ORDER OF BEING RECEIVED.

                                         
                                             



                                             BERNIE SANDERS.


As I travel across the country, I am constantly struck by the level of enthusiasm to do something about the rising levels of income inequality in this country, providing health care for all Americans, criminal justice reform, and reclaiming our democracy from a billionaire class buying candidates and elections.

This is not a time to think small. What is required in this moment is a political revolution that takes back our democracy from establishment politicians and the billionaire class. But that can only happen if we stand together. If we do, we will win. If we are divided, the big money interests win.


Elections should be determined by the power of good ideas, not who can hustle the most money from the rich and powerful. They should be about the issues that impact the lives of ordinary Americans -- not the day-to-day soap operas of campaign staffers, personal emails or fluctuations in the polls. I know that you agree.

In the meantime, let me be very blunt and tell you why I am running.
This country faces more serious problems today than at any time in modern history, and establishment politics will not successfully resolve them.
Corporate greed is rampant, and the very rich keep growing richer while everyone else grows poorer. Despite an explosion in technology and a huge increase in productivity, the middle class continues to disappear, most Americans work longer 
hours for lower wages, and 45 million live in poverty.

The skyrocketing level of income and wealth inequality is not only grotesque and immoral, it is economically unsustainable. It is unconscionable that a majority of all new income goes to the top 1%. It is absurd that the top one-tenth of 1% own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%, and that one family (the Waltons of Walmart) has more wealth than the bottom 130 million Americans.
As a result of the disastrous Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United, the billionaire class is spending huge amounts of money to buy candidates and elections. We are now witnessing the undermining of American democracy and the rapid movement toward oligarchy where a handful of very wealthy families and their Super PACs will control our government.

The scientific community is virtually unanimous in telling us that climate change is real, is caused by human activity, and is already bringing catastrophic damage to our planet. Yet, the Republican Party is prepared to reject science in order to gain campaign contributions from the Koch brothers, Big Energy companies and others who make billions on fossil fuels. If we do not act boldly on climate change, the planet we leave to our grandchildren may be uninhabitable.

The United States once led the world in terms of the percentage of our young people who had college degrees. Today, in a highly competitive global economy, we are now in 12th place. Hundreds of thousands of bright young people have given up on the dream of higher education, while millions of others leave school with oppressive debt.

Our infrastructure -- roads, bridges, rail, airports, water systems, wastewater plants, levees, dams -- is crumbling, and Congress refuses to appropriate anywhere near the necessary funds to rebuild it. If we do not invest substantially in infrastructure, a bad situation will only become much worse.

Despite substantial gains, we still have a long way to go to achieve equality for minorities. Instead of investing in opportunities, we are locking people up at an incredible rate. We now have the highest incarceration rate in the entire world with over 2 million in prison and millions more on probation or parole. We have a broken immigration system that divides families and keeps millions of hard-working people in the shadows.

Most of the major Wall Street financial institutions that we bailed out because they were "too big to fail," are now bigger than they used to be. The six largest financial institutions now have assets equivalent to nearly 60% of our GDP, issue 35% of the mortgages, and oversee 65% of credit cards. 

Our tax system is wildly unfair -- rigged to benefit the very rich. Major corporations that earn billions in profits stash their money in tax havens and pay nothing in federal income taxes, while billionaire hedge fund managers pay a lower effective tax rate than nurses or teachers.

Despite growing poverty among seniors, almost all Republicans, and some Democrats, want to cut Social Security and benefits for disabled veterans. They want more austerity for the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor, and more tax breaks for the rich.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost us thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. The United States spends more on the military than the next nine biggest-spending countries combined. Today, there are massive cost over-runs with defense contractors and the Pentagon cannot even pass an independent audit.
We are at a moment of truth. We need to face up to the reality of where we are as a nation, and we need a mass movement of people to change that reality.
Let's be clear. This campaign is not about Bernie Sanders. It's about a grassroots movement of Americans standing up and saying: "Enough is enough. This country and our government belong to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires."


I have discussed some of the major crises that we face. Let me give you the outline of an agenda that addresses these problems.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: The truth is that real unemployment in our country is not the "official" and widely-reported 5.4 percent. Counting those who are underemployed and those who have given up looking for work, real unemployment is almost 11 percent. Even more disturbingly, real unemployment for white and Hispanic youth is over 30 percent, while African-American youth unemployment is over 50 percent.
We need a major federal jobs program. The most effective way to do that is to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. To do that, I have introduced legislation that would invest $1 trillion over 5 years to modernize our country's physical infrastructure. This would create and maintain at least 13 million good-paying jobs. It would also make our country more productive, efficient and safe.

As a member of Congress who voted against NAFTA, CAFTA, Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China (PNTR) and is helping to lead the opposition against the TPP, I will continue my opposition to trade policies which have cost us millions of decent paying jobs as corporate America shuts down plants here and moves them to low-wage countries.

Raising Wages: Today, millions of Americans are working for starvation wages and median family income has declined by almost $5,000 since 1999. The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is totally inadequate. We need to raise the minimum wage to a living wage -- $15 an hour over the next few years. Our goal must be that no full-time worker in this country lives in poverty. We must also bring about pay equity for women. There is no rational reason why women should be earning 78 cents on the dollar compared to men who perform the same work.
Further, we need to implement "family values" for American working families. It is unacceptable that the United States is the only major country on earth that does not guarantee family and medical leave, sick time and paid vacations.
Wealth and Income Inequality: Today, the richest 400 Americans own over $2.2 trillion in wealth, more than the bottom 150 million Americans combined. Meanwhile, nearly half of all Americans have less than $10,000 in savings and have no idea how they will be able to retire with dignity.

In order to reverse the massive transfer of wealth and income from the middle class to the very rich that we have seen in recent years, we need real tax reform which makes the wealthy and profitable corporations begin to pay their fair share of taxes. It is fiscally irresponsible that the U.S. Treasury loses about $100 billion a year because corporations and the rich stash their profits in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and other tax havens.  We need a tax system that is fair and progressive. Children should not go hungry in this country while profitable corporations and the wealthy avoid their tax responsibilities.

Reforming Wall Street: I have introduced legislation that would break up the largest financial institutions in the country. In my view, if a bank is too big to fail, it is too big to exist. Wall Street cannot continue to be an island unto itself investing trillions in risky financial instruments. We need banks that invest in the job-creating productive economy. We do not need more speculation and gambling in casino-type activities.

Campaign Finance Reform: We need to return to a one-person, one-vote democracy. It is not acceptable that the Koch brothers and other billionaires are spending endless sums of money to buy elections. I have introduced legislation that would overturn the horrendous Citizens United decision and will only appoint Supreme Court justices who are prepared to do that. We must also demand disclosure of all large campaign contributions. Long term, we need to move to public funding of elections.

Fighting Climate Change: The United States must lead the world in reversing climate change and make certain that this planet is habitable for our children and grandchildren. We must transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and into energy efficiency and sustainable energies. Millions of homes and buildings need to be weatherized, our transportation system needs to be energy efficient and we need to greatly accelerate the progress we are already seeing in wind, solar, geothermal and other forms of sustainable energy. Transforming our energy system will not only protect the environment, it will create good-paying jobs.
Health Care for All: The United States remains the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care for all as a right. Despite the modest gains of the Affordable Care Act, 35 million Americans continue to lack health insurance and many more are under-insured. Yet, we continue paying far more per capita for health care than any other nation. The United States must move toward a Medicare-for-All single-payer system.

Gun Violence Prevention: Here is the very sad truth: it is very difficult for the American people to keep up with the mass shootings we seem to see every day in the news. It is long past time for Congress to pass expanded background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill. We should ban the sale of assault weapons and high capacity magazines and close loopholes in our laws that allow stalkers and domestic abusers to buy guns. We should close the “terror gap” so that people on the FBI watch list can’t buy guns and we should vastly improve mental health care in this country so that people who need care can get care when they need it, regardless of their level of income. Those are just a few steps, of many, that we should take -- all of which enjoy the support of an overwhelming number of Americans.

Protecting Our Most Vulnerable: Today, the United States has more people living in poverty than at almost any time in the modern history of our country. We have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major nation, and millions of seniors and people with disabilities struggle to put food on the table because of insufficient Social Security benefits.

In my view, we have a moral responsibility to make certain that no American goes hungry or sleeps on the street. We must also make certain that seniors and people with disabilities can live in dignity. Not only must we vigorously oppose Republican attacks on the social safety net, we must expand benefits for those most in need. That is why I have recently introduced legislation that would extend the solvency of Social Security until 2065, while increasing benefits for those most in need.

Expanding Opportunity and Equality: We need to stop using prisons as a response to poverty. Our criminal justice system needs to be reformed so that we do not continue to house non-violent offenders at huge expense when that money could be used to rebuild communities and create opportunity. We need federal leadership to reform policing in America, to end racial profiling, and to fight the illegal activities of hate groups. We need comprehensive immigration reform that protects families and leads to a responsible and realistic path to citizenship.

Dismantling Structural Racism: Throughout much of our history, the elite in America has divided people along racial lines in an effort to consolidate wealth and power. We need to simultaneously address the structural and institutional racism which exists in this country while at the same time vigorously attacking the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality which is making the very rich much richer, and everyone else -- especially the African-American community -- much poorer. Meanwhile, too many people of color in this country find themselves subjected to a system that treats citizens who have not committed crimes like criminals. We have more people locked up in jail than any other country on earth. We need to invest in jobs and education, not jails and incarceration. Finally, no person should have to worry that a routine interaction with law enforcement will end in violence and death. Black lives matter: we must reform our criminal justice system, move away from the militarization of police forces, and invest in community policing.

College for All: The United States must join Germany and many other countries in understanding that investing in our young people's education is investing in the future of our nation. I have introduced legislation to make tuition in public colleges and universities free, as well as substantially lowering interest rates on student loans.

War and Peace: I voted against the war in Iraq, and that was the right vote. We must be vigorous in combatting terrorism, but we can't do it alone. We must be part of an international coalition that includes Muslim nations which not only defeats ISIS but which works hard to create conditions for lasting peace. I will vigorously oppose an endless war in the Middle East.

My approach to campaigning is pretty simple and straight-forward. We hold a lot of public meetings in towns that are big and small. People ask questions and make comments. We discuss the important issues facing our country. And that's it. Nothing very fancy. It's called democracy and I like that approach very much. It's something I've done my whole political life.

Let us never forget: This country belongs to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires.

-  Senator Bernie Sanders.






                                           

                                               Martin O'Malley.    


I'm the former Mayor of Baltimore and the former Governor of Maryland. I'm a life-long Democrat who is running for President to rebuild the truth of the American dream that you and I share and to build upon the progress made under President Barack Obama.

With fifteen years of executive experience, I have learned how to be a very effective leader. I have learned how to get things done. In Maryland, I made it easier -- not harder -- for workers to bargain collectively for better wages for all of us. Instead of cutting public education funding, we made our public schools the best public schools in America for five years in a row.

As governor, I brought people together to pass the Dream Act, to pass Marriage Equality, and to pass the most comprehensive gun safety legislation in the nation with background checks and a ban on the sale of combat assault weapons!
As a member of Democracy for America, you are part of an organized, grassroots movement that believes our country best moves forward when progressives are elected up and down the ticket. You grew tired of politicians who talked a big game, but were never able to deliver because they were beholden to powerful special interests.

Talking about progressive ideas on the campaign trail is one thing. Taking action when elected is what really matters, and I have proven that I am able to do so, while achieving progressive results.

Over the summer, I put forward 15 goals to rebuild the American Dream. I want to make the option of debt free college a reality within 5 years, expand Social Security, move America forward to a 100% clean electric energy grid by 2050, and create 5 million new jobs along the way.

Nothing you and I care about can be accomplished by words alone. We must take action. We must not resort to the worn out politics of the past. We must find our backbone again to stand up for what is best for our country and what is best for all Americans.

I have never represented Wall Street, and I sure as hell won't be taking economic orders from the big banks of Wall Street when I'm in your White House. And as your President, I will have the independence and the backbone to fight for you: If a bank is too big to fail, too big to jail, and too big to manage, then it's too damn big, and it needs to be broken up before it breaks our national economy once again!

We must also have the courage to put our children's safety and public safety -- each and every day -- ahead of the craven and morally bankrupt interests of the National Rifle Association.

We're not going to make our economy work again for all of us by trying to scrap capitalism and replace it with socialism. Nor are we going to make our economy work by turning a blind eye to criminal behavior on Wall Street, or by taking our orders from the big banks and submitting to the sort of crony capitalism that has wages declining for 70% of us -- creating an economy of the few, by the few, and for the few.

There is a better way. And that is the way forward. We need new leadership that can forge a new consensus to rebuild the American dream.


- Martin






Hillary, Clinton, President, Woman







                                         HILLARY CLINTON.


I'm excited...and...really looking forward to all the good we can do if I'm elected president.

I've said before that I'm a progressive who likes to get things done. So I want to talk to you about the things I'd like to accomplish in the White House.

First, I'll work to make sure all Americans are treated fairly -- no matter what you look like, where you live, or who you love. I'm going to fight hard for racial justice in this country: The first speech of my campaign was about ending mass incarceration, and I want to require body cameras for every police force in America. I support a pathway to citizenship for immigrants. I want to make sure everyone earns equal pay -- an issue that disproportionately affects women of color. And I'll work to make sure LGBT Americans finally have equal protection under the law, especially trans Americans, whose needs are too often ignored.

I'm going to raise wages for the middle class. I believe this is the defining challenge of our time. I'm the only Democrat in this race who's pledged not to raise taxes on families making less than $250,000 per year, and I have a comprehensive plan to grow small businesses, make health care and college more affordable, and give employees a chance to share in their companies' profits just like shareholders do.


I'll also work to bring the best of American values -- equality, justice, and innovation -- to tackle our biggest global challenges,whether that's climate change or the Syrian refugee crisis. When I was Secretary of State, I brought leaders to the table on issues like girls' education and LGBT rights in countries where those issues had previously been non-starters -- that's how you make progress. I hope to continue that work as president.

Finally, I want to make sure that my term in office would ensure a strong progressive legacy for decades to come. That means appointing the right judges to the Supreme Court and the federal bench, and it means protecting voting rights and overhauling campaign finance law to ensure that people -- not corporations -- are choosing our leaders. I'm going to get corporate money out of our electoral system, even if that means a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

We all know I'm not afraid to go after Republicans when I need to, but I'm also not afraid to roll up my sleeves and do the hard work of getting unlikely allies to join coalitions. I did that as first lady when I fought for the Children's Health Insurance Program (which still covers 8 million kids today), as a senator when I got health care for 9/11 first responders, and as Secretary of State when I convened a global coalition to bring sanctions against Iran.

I take a backseat to no one when you look at my record in standing up and fighting for progressive values. The plans I've outlined above aren't rhetoric; they're a concrete outline of what I will do everything in my power to accomplish if I'm elected president.

- Hillary


Korean, Child, Device, Tablet


THE CLASSROOM.

#9.-  12/22/2015. (DAY RECEIVED.)

TOM UDALL.
U.S. SENATOR.
NEW MEXICO.


THE ESSA.

When we give children access to quality education, we give them opportunity. Every child deserves this.

That’s why the recent passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was such a victory for our state. Not only will it benefit all of New Mexico’s students, it will help our Native students who need it the most.

For too long, Native children have encountered challenges that other students don’t. They are more likely to live in poverty, have lower graduation rates, and be victims of abuse.

ESSA, which President Obama signed into law, addresses these issues. It provides funding for violence, substance abuse, and suicide prevention in Native communities. ESSA also supports efforts to promote the teaching of Native languages and culture, while strengthening programs dedicated to improving the academic achievement of Native students.

In New Mexico, we’re proud of our unique cultural heritage and the role that our Native communities have played in shaping it.

I championed ESSA because I believe it’s an important step toward empowering Native children to get a quality education and preserve their cultural identity.

For New Mexico to have a bright future, we need to make sure all of our students have the opportunity to succeed. I’m proud to say that ESSA will help us get there.


-Tom.

Date-  12/26/2015.

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THE CLASSROOM.

#10.-  1/5/2015. (DAY RECEIVED.)

GABBY GIFFORDS AND MARK KELLY.
Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC



EXECUTIVE ACTIONS BY PRESIDENT OBAMA,
TO REDUCE GUN VIOLENCE IN THE U.S.

In the face of inaction from Congress, today President Obama is announcing executive actions:  requiring criminal background checks on more gun sales, and preventing fewer guns from falling into the wrong hands.

President Obama will:
  • Clarify what defines a gun dealer, so criminal background checks will be required on more sales at gun shows, online, and elsewhere, and step up enforcement on those who ignore the law.
  • Strengthen the background check system by increasing staff, introducing new technology, and encouraging states to include needed records.
  • Require federally licensed gun dealers to report lost or stolen guns, which will help reduce the illegal gun trade.
  • Call for a new increase in mental health funding and resources.
Because it will require many more gun sales to be covered by a criminal background check, these executive actions are the biggest victory for our federal gun laws since the Brady Bill.

Nearly 90% of Americans continue to support criminal background checks for all gun sales. But we know that the gun lobby and its allies in Congress won't be happy with President Obama taking action to make communities safer from gun violence -- no matter how few people agree with their views. 

Our country has a gun violence crisis, but today's... an important step to make communities safer from gun violence.
Sincerely,

Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly
Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC

Date- 1/5/2016.

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Barack Obama, Official Portrait


THE CLASSROOM. #11.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMAS 2016 SOTUS.
PT 1.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, my fellow Americans:
Tonight marks the eighth year I’ve come here to report on the State of the Union. And for this final one, I’m going to try to make it shorter. I know some of you are antsy to get back to Iowa.

I also understand that because it’s an election season, expectations for what we’ll achieve this year are low. Still, Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the constructive approach you and the other leaders took at the end of last year to pass a budget and make tax cuts permanent for working families. So I hope we can work together this year on bipartisan priorities like criminal justice reform, and helping people who are battling prescription drug abuse. We just might surprise the cynics again.

But tonight, I want to go easy on the traditional list of proposals for the year ahead. Don’t worry, I’ve got plenty, from helping students learn to write computer code to personalizing medical treatments for patients. And I’ll keep pushing for progress on the work that still needs doing. Fixing a broken immigration system. Protecting our kids from gun violence. Equal pay for equal work, paid leave, raising the minimum wage. All these things still matter to hardworking families; they are still the right thing to do; and I will not let up until they get done.


But for my final address to this chamber, I don’t want to talk just about the next year. I want to focus on the next five years, ten years, and beyond.


I WANT TO FOCUS ON OUR FUTURE.

Date-  1/16/2016.

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THE CLASSROOM. #12.

1/21/2016. (DAY RECEIVED.)


SIX YEARS LATER: CITIZENS UNITED'S WINNERS AREN'T DECLARED ON ELECTION DAY.

RUSS FEINGOLD.
DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE. 
FOR U.S. SENATE. 
(WISCONSIN.)

As we watch the Republican primary unfold, it's easy to forget for most of the candidates, there are two campaigns. There's one official campaign, of course, but with only a couple exceptions, the Republican candidates have set up their own multi-million dollar super PACs. In some cases those super PACs have taken over responsibilities that used to be held by the campaigns themselves.

The pundits on TV all talk about how super PACs and other groups will affect who wins; whether Bush's outside group can keep him in in the race; whether Rubio's will attack Cruz; whether the billionaires bankrolling Wisconsin governor Scott Walker's super PAC wasted their money on his mismanaged presidential campaign.

It's common practice to think about the influence of money in politics by simply looking who wins elections or loses them, but winning one individual election or another isn't the goal of the corporate interests exploiting Citizens United. But all these questions miss the point.

As we mark the sixth anniversary of the lawless Citizens United decision, we always have to remember the real corrupting power of the decision: the long-term, year-to-year influence big money has over the policies that affect middle-class and working families.

How this influence plays out is even more harmful than it seems, because candidates for office now rely on the support of super PACs to run viable campaigns. So potential candidates for president, or senators up for reelection, are expected to court the support of the billionaires who fund super PACs. To do that, they take positions -- or votes -- that align with the kinds of economic policies that benefit CEOs, not middle-class and working families.

One of the huge donors to Marco Rubio's super PAC is Larry Ellison, the 5th richest person in the world, worth about $54 billion. The billionaire behind the group backing Jeb Bush owns the New York Jets. Ted Cruz's billionaire is a hedge fund mogul. These political benefactors may not be expecting to call the shots if their preferred candidate is elected. But to gain their support in the first place, you can be sure that not one of the candidates will support making sure the wealthiest pay their fair share.

And to be clear, this is not an exclusively Republican problem. For too long, Democrats and Republicans alike haven't done enough to fight back against the type of system that drags the entire policy debate towards corporate-friendly policies. You can bet that the billionaires and corporations funding outside groups don't favor raising the minimum wage.

That's why, a month into my campaign for Senate in Wisconsin, I offered the Badger Pledge, as bipartisan agreement modeled off the successful "people's pledge" from Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown's Senate race in 2012. A pledge like this -- where both sides agree to donate to charity 50% of the cost of any independent expenditure -- like an attack ad on tv -- paid for by an outside group. The benefits of a pledge like this are significant: ads are less negative, issues are focused more on what voters care about, and the huge outside groups don't get to drown out the voices of everyday people. And as we've seen in the years since Citizens United, the pledge only works if both parties accept it.

My opponent, the incumbent Republican Senator, has not accepted the pledge, and it's hard not to conclude that it's because he actually likes the system we have now -- where giant corporations can spend unlimited amounts of money to influence our system of government.

In the years to come, a future Supreme Court must overturn the Citizens United decision, and I strongly believe it will happen if we elect Democratic presidents. But as election season continues, we can't forget that the hundreds of millions of dollars flooding our elections isn't deciding who wins or loses -- it's deciding whether or not our economy is rigged.

Date-  1/21/2016.

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THE CLASSROOM. #13.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMAS 2016 SOTUS.
PT 2.


We live in a time of extraordinary change – change that’s reshaping the way we live, the way we work, our planet and our place in the world.  It’s change that promises amazing medical breakthroughs, but also economic disruptions that strain working families.  It promises education for girls in the most remote villages, but also connects terrorists plotting an ocean away.  It’s change that can broaden opportunity, or widen inequality.  And whether we like it or not, the pace of this change will only accelerate.

America has been through big changes before – wars and depression, the influx of immigrants, workers fighting for a fair deal, and movements to expand civil rights.  Each time, there have been those who told us to fear the future; who claimed we could slam the brakes on change, promising to restore past glory if we just got some group or idea that was threatening America under control.  And each time, we overcame those fears.  We did not, in the words of Lincoln, adhere to the “dogmas of the quiet past.”  Instead we thought anew, and acted anew.  We made change work for us, always extending America’s promise outward, to the next frontier, to more and more people.  And because we did – because we saw opportunity where others saw only peril – we emerged stronger and better than before.

What was true then can be true now.  Our unique strengths as a nation – our optimism and work ethic, our spirit of discovery and innovation, our diversity and commitment to the rule of law – these things give us everything we need to ensure prosperity and security for generations to come.

In fact, it’s that spirit that made the progress of these past seven years possible.  It’s how we recovered from the worst economic crisis in generations.  It’s how we reformed our health care system, and reinvented our energy sector; how we delivered more care and benefits to our troops and veterans, and how we secured the freedom in every state to marry the person we love.

But such progress is not inevitable.  It is the result of choices we make together.  And we face such choices right now.  Will we respond to the changes of our time with fear, turning inward as a nation, and turning against each other as a people?  Or will we face the future with confidence in who we are, what we stand for, and the incredible things we can do together?

Date- 1/26/2016.

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THE CLASSROOM. #14.

ELIZABETH WARREN.
U.S. SENATOR.

ONE WAY TO REBUILD OUR INSTITUTIONS.

( This was first in print on January 29, 2016, on page A29 of the New York 
Times Opinion Page. Sent to SEARCHINGFORREASON.NET on January, 30, 2016 by the Author.)


WASHINGTON — WHILE presidential candidates from both parties feverishly pitch their legislative agendas, voters should also consider what presidents can do without Congress. Agency rules, executive actions and decisions about how vigorously to enforce certain laws will have an impact on every American, without a single new bill introduced in Congress.

The Obama administration has a substantial track record on agency rules and executive actions. It has used these tools to protect retirement savings, expand overtime pay, prohibit discrimination against L.G.B.T. employees who work for the government and federal contractors, and rein in carbon pollution. These accomplishments matter.

Whether the next president will build on them, or reverse them, is a central issue in the 2016 election. But the administration’s record on enforcement falls short — and federal enforcement of laws that already exist has received far too little attention on the campaign trail.

I just released a report examining 20 of the worst federal enforcement failures in 2015. Its conclusion: “Corporate criminals routinely escape meaningful prosecution for their misconduct. ”In a single year, in case after case, across many sectors of the economy, federal agencies caught big companies breaking the law — defrauding taxpayers, covering up deadly safety problems, even precipitating the financial collapse in 2008 — and let them off the hook with barely a slap on the wrist. Often, companies paid meager fines, which some will try to write off as a tax deduction.

The failure to adequately punish big corporations or their executives when they break the law undermines the foundations of this great country. Justice cannot mean a prison sentence for a teenager who steals a car, but nothing more than a sideways glance at a C.E.O. who quietly engineers the theft of billions of dollars.
These enforcement failures demean our principles. They also represent missed opportunities to address some of the nation’s most pressing challenges. Consider just two areas — college affordability and health care — where robust enforcement of current law could help millions of people.

When the Education Management Corporation, the nation’s second-largest for-profit college, signed up tens of thousands of students by lying about its programs, it saddled them with fraudulent degrees and huge debts. Those debts wrecked lives. Under the law, the government can bar such institutions from receiving more federal student loans. But EDMC just paid a fine and kept right on raking in federal loan money.

When Novartis, a major drug company that was already effectively on federal probation for misconduct, paid kickbacks to pharmacies to push certain drugs, it cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and undermined patient health. Under the law, the government can boot companies that defraud Medicare and Medicaid out of those programs, but when Novartis got caught, it just paid a penalty — one so laughably small that its C.E.O. said afterward that it “remains to be seen” whether his company would actually consider changing its behavior.


Enforcement isn’t about big government or small government. It’s about whether government works and who it works for. Last year, five of the world’s biggest banks, including JPMorgan Chase, pleaded guilty to criminal charges that they rigged the price of billions of dollars worth of foreign currencies. No corporation can break the law unless people in that corporation also broke the law, but no one from any of those banks has been charged. While thousands of Americans were rotting in prison for nonviolent drug convictions, JPMorgan Chase was so chastened by pleading guilty to a crime that it awarded Jamie Dimon, its C.E.O., a 35 percent raise.

To be fair, weak enforcement is sometimes a result of limited authority. Despite the company’s history of egregious safety failures, for example, the former C.E.O. of Massey Energy was convicted only of a single misdemeanor in the deadly Upper Big Branch mine disaster that killed 29 miners in West Virginia in 2010, because federal mining laws are too weak. It’s on Congress to stiffen such penalties.

But in many instances, weak enforcement by federal agencies is about the people at the top. Presidents don’t control most day-to-day enforcement decisions, but they do nominate the heads of all the agencies, and these choices make all the difference. Strong leaders at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Labor Department have pushed those agencies to forge ahead with powerful initiatives to protect the environment, consumers and workers. The Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, a tiny office charged with oversight of the post-crash bank bailout, has aggressive leaders — and a far better record of holding banks and executives accountable than its bigger counterparts.

Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission, suffering under weak leadership, is far behind on issuing congressionally mandated rules to avoid the next financial crisis. It has repeatedly granted waivers so that lawbreaking companies can continue to enjoy special privileges, while the Justice Department has dodged one opportunity after another to impose meaningful accountability on big corporations and their executives.

Each of these government divisions is headed by someone nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The lesson is clear: Personnel is policy.

Legislative agendas matter, but voters should also ask which presidential candidates they trust with the extraordinary power to choose who will fight on the front lines to enforce the laws. The next president can rebuild faith in our institutions by honoring the simple notion that nobody is above the law, but it will happen only if voters demand it.

Date-  1/31/2016.

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THE CLASSROOM. #15.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMAS 2016 SOTUS.
PT 3.


So let’s talk about the future, and four big questions that we as a country have to answer — regardless of who the next President is, or who controls the next Congress.

First, how do we give everyone a fair shot at opportunity and security in this new economy?Second, how do we make technology work for us, and not against us — especially when it comes to solving urgent challenges like climate change?Third, how do we keep America safe and lead the world without becoming its policeman?And finally, how can we make our politics reflect what’s best in us, and not what’s worst?

Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction. What is true — and the reason that a lot of Americans feel anxious — is that the economy has been changing in profound ways, changes that started long before the Great Recession hit and haven’t let up. Today, technology doesn’t just replace jobs on the assembly line, but any job where work can be automated. Companies in a global economy can locate anywhere, and face tougher competition. As a result, workers have less leverage for a raise. Companies have less loyalty to their communities. And more and more wealth and income is concentrated at the very 
top.

For the past seven years, our goal has been a growing economy that works better for everybody. We’ve made progress. But we need to make more. And despite all the political arguments we’ve had these past few years, there are some areas where Americans broadly agree.

We agree that real opportunity requires every American to get the education and training they need to land a good-paying job. , and together, we’ve increased early childhood education, , . In the coming years, we should build on that progress, by providing Pre-K for all and -- (applause) -- offering every student the hands-on computer science and math classes that make them job-ready on day one. We should recruit and support more great teachers for our kids. 

And we have to make college affordable for every American. Because no hardworking student should be stuck in the red. We’ve already reduced student loan payments to ten percent of a borrower’s income. Now, we’ve actually got to cut the cost of college. Providing two years of community college at no cost for every responsible student is one of the best ways to do that, and I’m going to keep fighting to get that started this year.


Date-  2/5/2016.

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Art, Auguste Rodin, Bronze, Famous



THE CLASSROOM #16.

AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL ASSOCIATION board statements condemn bullying and harassment, support academic freedom.


From:  APA@apaonline.org
(I am a member of the APA- David McDonald)

Day Received- 2/12/2016.


Today, the American Philosophical Association released a statement on bullying and harassment in light of significant abuse endured by philosophers who have authored high-profile, public essays. This statement comes just one day after the APA board of officers issued a response to the recent firings at Mount St. Mary's University.

The statement on bullying and harassment, approved at the quarterly meeting of the APA board on Wednesday, denounces the "vilification, racist and/or sexist verbal abuse, and outright threats of bodily harm" such as those directed toward Professor George Yancy in response to his essay "Dear White America" (New York Times, 24 Dec. 2015). The statement "condemns the activities of those who seek to silence philosophers through bullying, abusive speech, intimidation, or threats of violence" and calls on the APA membership to speak out against these kinds of attacks.

In yesterday's letter to the president and board of trustees of Mount St. Mary's University, the APA board of officers voiced concerns about the university's recent firing of two faculty members, including one with tenure, and removal of others from positions in the university administration. The letter called for the university "to, first, take swift action to ensure that all university faculty, including those fired in recent days, receive the full protections of academic freedom and due process required under AAUP guidelines, and second, promote the free and open debate that is a hallmark of higher education."

The APA has a longstanding commitment to supporting philosophers and defending their professional rights. The members of the board encourage all APA members to join us in standing against these abuses.
Amy E. Ferrer
Executive Director

Date-  2/13/2016.

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THE CLASSROOM. #17.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMAS 2016 SOTUS.  
PT 4.

Of course, a great education isn’t all we need in this new economy. We also need benefits and protections that provide a basic measure of security. After all, it’s not much of a stretch to say that some of the only people in America who are going to work the same job, in the same place, with a health and retirement package, for 30 years, are sitting in this chamber. For everyone else, especially folks in their forties and fifties, saving for retirement or bouncing back from job loss has gotten a lot tougher. Americans understand that at some point in their careers, they may have to retool and retrain. But they shouldn’t lose what they’ve already worked so hard to build.

That’s why Social Security and Medicare are more important than ever; we shouldn’t weaken them, we should strengthen them. And for Americans short of retirement, basic benefits should be just as mobile as everything else is today. That’s what the Affordable Care Act is all about. It’s about filling the gaps in employer-based care so that when we lose a job, or go back to school, or start that new business, we’ll still have coverage. Nearly eighteen million have gained coverage so far. Health care inflation has slowed. And our businesses have created jobs every single month since it became law.

Now, I’m guessing we won’t agree on health care anytime soon. But there should be other ways both parties can improve economic security. Say a hardworking American loses his job — we shouldn’t just make sure he can get unemployment insurance; we should make sure that program encourages him to retrain for a business that’s ready to hire him. If that new job doesn’t pay as much, there should be a system of wage insurance in place so that he can still pay his bills. And even if he’s going from job to job, he should still be able to save for retirement and take his savings with him. That’s the way we make the new economy work better for everyone.

I also know Speaker Ryan has talked about his interest in tackling poverty. America is about giving everybody willing to work a hand up, and I’d welcome a serious discussion about strategies we can all support, like expanding tax cuts for low-income workers without kids.

But there are other areas where it’s been more difficult to find agreement over the last seven years — namely what role the government should play in making sure the system’s not rigged in favor of the wealthiest and biggest corporations. And here, the American people have a choice to make.

Date-  2/23/2016.

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THE CLASSROOM. #18.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMAS 2016 SOTUS.  
PT 5.


I believe a thriving private sector is the lifeblood of our economy.  I think there are outdated regulations that need to be changed, and there’s red tape that needs to be cut.  But after years of record corporate profits, working families won’t get more opportunity or bigger paychecks by letting big banks or big oil or hedge funds make their own rules at the expense of everyone else; or by allowing attacks on collective bargaining to go unanswered.

Food Stamp recipients didn’t cause the financial crisis; recklessness on Wall Street did.  Immigrants aren’t the reason wages haven’t gone up enough; those decisions are made in the boardrooms that too often put quarterly earnings over long-term returns. 

It’s sure not the average family watching tonight that avoids paying taxes through offshore accounts.  In this new economy, workers and start-ups and small businesses need more of a voice, not less.  The rules should work for them.  And this year I plan to lift up the many businesses who’ve figured out that doing right by their workers ends up being good for their shareholders, their customers, and their communities, so that we can spread those best practices across America.

In fact, many of our best corporate citizens are also our most creative.  This brings me to the second big question we have to answer as a country:  how do we reignite that spirit of innovation to meet our biggest challenges?

Sixty years ago, when the Russians beat us into space, we didn’t deny Sputnik was up there.  We didn’t argue about the science, or shrink our research and development budget.  We built a space program almost overnight, and twelve years later, we were walking on the moon.


That spirit of discovery is in our DNA.  We’re Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers and George Washington Carver.  We’re Grace Hopper and Katherine Johnson and Sally Ride.  We’re every immigrant and entrepreneur from Boston to Austin to Silicon Valley racing to shape a better world.  And over the past seven years, we’ve nurtured that spirit.

We’ve protected an open internet, and taken bold new steps to get more students and low-income Americans online.  We’ve launched next-generation manufacturing hubs, and online tools that give an entrepreneur everything he or she needs to start a business in a single day.

But we can do so much more.  Last year, Vice President Biden said that with a new moonshot, America can cure cancer.  Last month, he worked with this Congress to give scientists at the National Institutes of Health the strongest resources they’ve had in over a decade.  Tonight, I’m announcing a new national effort to get it done.  And because he’s gone to the mat for all of us, on so many issues over the past forty years, I’m putting Joe in charge of Mission Control.  For the loved ones we’ve all lost, for the family we can still save, let’s make America the country that cures cancer once and for all.

Medical research is critical.  We need the same level of commitment when it comes to developing clean energy sources.

Look, if anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, have at it.  You’ll be pretty lonely, because you’ll be debating our military, most of America’s business leaders, the majority of the American people, almost the entire scientific community, and 200 nations around the world who agree it’s a problem and intend to solve it.

But even if the planet wasn’t at stake; even if 2014 wasn’t the warmest year on record – until 2015 turned out even hotter – why would we want to pass up the chance for American businesses to produce and sell the energy of the future?

Seven years ago, we made the single biggest investment in clean energy in our history.  Here are the results.  In fields from Iowa to Texas, wind power is now cheaper than dirtier, conventional power.  On rooftops from Arizona to New York, solar is saving Americans tens of millions of dollars a year on their energy bills, and employs more Americans than coal – in jobs that pay better than average.  We’re taking steps to give homeowners the freedom to generate and store their own energy – something environmentalists and Tea Partiers have teamed up to support.  Meanwhile, we’ve cut our imports of foreign oil by nearly sixty percent, and cut carbon pollution more than any other country on Earth.


Gas under two bucks a gallon ain’t bad, either.

Date-  3/9/2016.






Supreme Court, Building, Usa, Washington


THE CLASSROOM. #19.

PRESIDENT OBAMA ANNOUNCES HIS 
NOMINATION FOR THE OPEN SEAT ON 
THE U.S. SUPREME COURT.


(TRANSCRIPT TAKEN FROM THE WHITE HOUSE.GOV VIDEO.)

Today, I'm proud to nominate Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. No one is more qualified to serve our country right now in this critical role. Judge Garland has earned bipartisan praise as one of the best appellate judges in the country - a brilliant, meticulous jurist with a reputation for building consensus. He has dedicated his life to public service, choosing to serve our country and take on some of the most difficult and significant anti-terrorism cases in America's history including prosecuting Timothy McVeigh in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing. But beyond the courtroom, Judge Garland is a committed mentor and dedicated family man, advising hundreds of law clerks and tutoring elementary school kids in reading and math.

I said I would take this process seriously, and I did. I chose Merrick Garland. Take a few minutes to watch this video and meet him for yourself. I'm confident you will share my belief that Chief Judge Merrick Garland is not only eminently qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice, but that he deserves a fair hearing and an up-or-down vote in the Senate. I have fulfilled my Constitutional duty. Now it's time for the Senate to do theirs.

Date-  3/16/2016.

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