Saturday, June 25, 2016

Help keep up the progress on climate change

Organizing for Action
Diane --

What a difference we can make in a few years. When President Obama laid out his climate action plan three years ago today, pundits and reporters were asking if he was really going to be able to get it done. No one cared enough to take it seriously, they said.

And climate deniers were running amok, refusing to accept basic scientific principles, let alone take congressional action to address climate change.

But despite the doubters and the deniers, we've seen incredible progress. Clean renewable energy sources like wind and solar are booming, President Obama's Clean Power Plan will dramatically cut carbon pollution from our power plants, and the U.S. led nearly every country in the world to join the Paris Climate Agreement -- the first truly global agreement to fight climate change.

These achievements were possible because people like you wouldn't leave this issue on the back burner. Supporters have stepped up to keep this work going, and we can't afford to slow down now in pushing for meaningful action.

Help make sure the progress we've already made on climate change continues -- chip in to support OFA today.

Issues like climate change are bigger than the day-to-day squabbles we usually see in Washington. They require us to stand taller, look farther, and consider what kind of legacy we want to leave for our children.

Climate change is on our doorstep. We've experienced record temperatures every month for most of the last year. The systems our society and economy rely on are under pressure, from droughts and floods affecting agriculture, to heat waves and air pollution affecting public health. Sea level rise is increasing the risks of catastrophic storms like Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina.

This isn't a hopeless fight. I believe that we can push the deniers to the fringes and continue to shift our economy to clean sources of energy that will power our country and the world for centuries to come -- as long as we work together to keep up the progress.

Stand up for continued action, and pitch in now:

https://my.barackobama.com/Continued-Climate-Progress

Thanks,

Jack

Jack Shapiro
Director of Policy and Campaigns
Organizing for Action
















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News you can share: gun violence as a public health crisis, honoring Stonewall, and more

Organizing for Action


Diane, you're one of the best messengers we've got in this movement. Here's some recommended reading that's easy to share.

More Than 500 People Were Shot In America During the Week After Orlando
The Trace // Jennifer Mascia


During the seven days between the end of the siege at Pulse and the following Sunday at the same time, at least 228 people were fatally shot across the country, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research collective which tallies gun deaths and injuries. As weekend reports trickle in, that tally will likely rise.

American Medical Association says gun violence is a public health crisis
CNBC // Dan Mangan


A congressional ban on CDC research of gun violence actually was lifted by an executive order from President Barack Obama in early 2013, after the massacre of 20 children and six adults in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. But Congress has since blocked funding for such research.

U.S. will spend $2.6 trillion less on health care than expected before Obamacare, study projects
The Washington Post // Carolyn Johnson


A new study predicts that the federal forecast of national health care spending under President Obama's signature health law was a big overestimate -- by $2.6 trillion over a five-year period.

Still no Obamacare alternative from House Republicans, five years on
Los Angeles Times // Noam N. Levey


Rather than showcasing the party's seriousness about policy, Ryan's plan may reinforce widespread skepticism about the GOP's interest in tackling complex healthcare policy.

The interesting thing that happened when Kansas cut taxes and California hiked them
The Washington Post // Jim Tankersley and Max Ehrenfreund


In 2012, voters in California approved a measure to raise taxes on millionaires, bringing their top state income tax rate to 13.3 percent, the highest in the nation. Conservative economists predicted calamity, or at least a big slowdown in growth. Also that year, the governor of Kansas signed a series of changes to the state's tax code, including reducing income and sales tax rates. Conservative economists predicted a boom. Neither of those predictions came true.

With Stonewall, Obama designates first national monument to gay rights movement
The Washington Post // David Nakamura and Juliet Eilperin


The designation of Stonewall reflects the ongoing cultural shift the national park system has experienced during Obama's presidency, as the president has used his executive authority to recognize sites that resonate with the country's diverse makeup. Some of his previous designations have singled out places that correspond to seminal moments for African Americans, women, Latinos, Native Americans and Asian Americans, or are located near communities of color.

Boost Minimum Wage and Babies Benefit: Study
U.S. News & World Report // Amy Norton


The researchers, who looked at three decades of data, found a pattern: states that had a minimum wage that was $1 above the federal level had a 4 percent decrease in infant deaths. At the same time, the number of newborns with a low birth weight dipped by 1 percent to 2 percent.







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Friday, June 24, 2016

100 days

Organizing for Action
Diane --

Today marks 100 days since President Obama fulfilled his constitutional duty and nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.

For more than three months, Senate leaders have refused to hold a hearing for Judge Garland, despite his sterling legal credentials, impeccable record, and past bipartisan support. Just this week, the American Bar Association -- a non-partisan organization -- gave Judge Garland its highest possible rating, calling him "well qualified" to serve on the Supreme Court.

This isn't an abstract issue. Yesterday, the court was unable to reach a decision on President Obama's immigration actions, tying 4-4. That means millions of people across the country -- people who live here and have raised families here -- will still be denied the opportunity to work, pay taxes, and more fully contribute to this country free from fear.

Real people are being affected because Mitch McConnell, Chuck Grassley, and their colleagues remain more committed to partisanship and politics than to fulfilling the basic requirements of their job by holding a hearing and a vote.

Speak up if you agree that Senate leaders should do their jobs and give Judge Garland a fair hearing.

The fair consideration of a Supreme Court nominee has been extended to every president in recent history. On average, it's taken 67 days to confirm Supreme Court nominees since 1975. And since 1900, six presidents have filled a Supreme Court vacancy in an election year. Senate leaders' refusal to act is unprecedented political gamesmanship.

Let's be clear: It is the Senate's job to fairly consider a Supreme Court nominee. For the past 100 days, Senate leadership has simply refused to do it -- it has real consequences, and it's unacceptable.

Make your voice heard -- call for a fair Supreme Court nomination process:

https://my.barackobama.com/This-Is-Unacceptable

Thanks,

Jack

Jack Shapiro
Director of Policy and Campaigns
Organizing for Action
















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Thursday, June 23, 2016

UPDATE: Today's Supreme Court ruling on immigration reform

Organizing for Action
Diane --

The Supreme Court just tied 4-4 -- again. Their inability to reach a decision today effectively blocks the President's common-sense immigration actions.

This is another consequence of congressional leaders failing to do their jobs. Not only are Republican Senate leaders hobbling our judicial system with their unprecedented obstruction of President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, but our immigration system remains broken because Congress continues to kick the can down the road on finding a comprehensive solution.

Congress needs to come together and fix our broken immigration system -- add your name today and join thousands of Americans calling for comprehensive immigration reform.

After years of organizing, and waiting, and hoping for a legislative solution, the President proposed a set of common-sense actions that would give millions of people in the United States -- many of whom have been here for years -- the ability to qualify for temporary relief from deportation. Not only would this have strengthened our communities by keeping families together, but it would have added $230 billion to the economy over 10 years. With these actions effectively blocked, it's up to Congress to come up with a comprehensive solution.

As long as Republican leaders in the House and the Senate refuse to come together to find solutions -- while continuing their unprecedented obstruction of President Obama's Supreme Court nominee -- we'll be stuck in a vicious cycle that repeatedly fails to address the major issues we face as a country.

Add your name and join thousands of OFA supporters urging Congress to find a path forward to fix our broken immigration system:

https://my.barackobama.com/Fix-The-Immigration-System

Thanks for your support,

Jack

Jack Shapiro
Director of Policy and Campaigns
Organizing for Action
















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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Our country's national parks:



Diane --

Over the weekend I visited two of our country's spectacular national parks. I can tell you that seeing Carlsbad Caverns or Yosemite Valley in person is an experience that you just can't capture on a screen or in a picture. You've got to see it in person and breathe it in yourself.

National Parks -- spectacular natural treasures that are available to everybody, not just the lucky few -- have been called America's best idea. Under my administration, we've protected more than 265 million acres of public lands and waters -- more than any administration in history. I've been proud to build on the work of the giants of conservation and environmental protection who came before me, like President Lincoln who first protected the Yosemite Valley in 1864, and President Teddy Roosevelt, who spoke so eloquently about why our strength and future as a nation relied on protecting our precious natural resources.

But there is more we must do to protect our parks and to protect this planet for generations to come. Make no mistake: The biggest challenge we are going to face in protecting them is climate change.

That's why we've worked so hard to jump-start a clean energy revolution and to build a solar industry that's growing by leaps and bounds. That's why we're tackling carbon pollution through the Clean Power Plan here in America and by rallying the whole world to tackle climate change together through the Paris Agreement.

OFA is one of the groups working to support effective responses to the threats of climate change. If you're ready to stand up for decisive action on climate change, you can add your name with them today.

Climate change is no longer just a threat; it's already a reality. Yosemite meadows are drying up. Bird ranges are shifting further north. Alpine mammals are being forced further upslope to escape higher temperatures. We're also seeing longer, more expensive, and more dangerous wildfire seasons -- fires that are raging across the West right now.

In the coming years and decades, rising temperatures could mean no more glaciers at Glacier National Park and no more Joshua trees at Joshua Tree National Park. Rising seas could destroy vital ecosystems in the Everglades and at some point might even threaten landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Doing nothing to stop those changes is not the example we want to set for the next generation.

We have to take seriously the idea that these treasured places could be marred or lost to history. We can't deal with it later or think that it's somebody else's problem. And we can't let climate change deniers carelessly suggest that we don't need to get serious about the carbon pollution being released into our atmosphere or that we should scrap an international climate treaty that we spent years putting together. We can't afford to go backward.

Add your name with OFA today to take a stand for decisive action to fight climate change:

https://my.barackobama.com/Stand-For-Climate-Action

Thanks,

Barack Obama



















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Saturday, June 18, 2016

News you can share: an important new study on gun laws, clean air vindication, and more

Organizing for Action


Diane, you're one of the best messengers we've got in this movement. Here's some recommended reading that's easy to share.

48 people were shot during yesterday's 15-hour filibuster on gun control
Vox // Zachary Crockett and Javier Zarracina


Yesterday, in an effort to force legislative action on gun control, Sen. Chris Murphy staged a 15-hour filibuster on the Senate floor. It lasted from 11 am Wednesday through 2 am Thursday, eventually ending with the GOP agreeing to vote on a gun control bill. As politicians recounted stories of gun violence before the Senate, there were 38 shootings that killed 12 people and injured 36 more across America.

Study Calls Snub of Obama's Supreme Court Pick Unprecedented
The New York Times // Adam Liptak


In every one of the 103 earlier Supreme Court vacancies, the professors wrote, the president was able to both nominate and appoint a replacement with the Senate's advice and consent.

America doesn't have more crime than other rich countries. It just has more guns.
Vox // Zack Beauchamp


Why does the US have such a high rate of gun murders, by far the highest in the developed world? Is it because of guns, or is there something else going on? Maybe America is just more prone to crime, say, because of income inequality or cultural differences?

Supreme Court rejects case challenging key White House air pollution regulation
The Washington Post // Brady Dennis


The Supreme Court on Monday left intact a key Obama administration environmental regulation, refusing to take up an appeal from 20 states to block rules that limit the emissions of mercury and other harmful pollutants that are byproducts of burning coal.

A huge international study of gun control finds strong evidence that it actually works
Vox // Zack Beauchamp


The authors are careful to note that their findings do not conclusively prove that gun restrictions reduce gun deaths. However, they did find a compelling trend whereby new restrictions on gun purchasing and ownership tended to be followed by a decline in gun deaths.

Study: Repealing ObamaCare would increase uninsured by 24M
The Hill // Peter Sullivan


The study from the Urban Institute finds that 14.5 million fewer people would have coverage through Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program and 8.8 million fewer people would have individual private coverage like that offered on the health law's marketplaces. Another 700,000 fewer people would have health insurance through their jobs.

EDITORIAL: MAKE IT STOP.
The Boston Globe


In this country, the federal government limits duck hunters to weapons that carry only three shells, to protect the duck population. But you can buy an assault weapon in seven minutes and an unlimited number of bullets to fire with it.







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This movement is powered by small-dollar donations from organizers across the country. Chip in today to help keep it going.

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Add your name if you agree it's time for action

DemocratsJoin us.
Diane --

It's hard to believe that it's been five and a half years since I got the call that there had been a mass shooting at a constituent event in Tucson, Arizona and that my friend, Gabby Giffords, had been shot. The shooter was armed with a semi-automatic pistol and high-capacity magazines. Six were killed, and Gabby and a dozen others were shot point-blank and critically injured before he could be stopped.

It's hard to believe so much time has passed -- because in spite of all our hope and resolve that families and loved ones would never again have to be on the receiving end of a call like that, nothing has changed. In 2011, we pleaded for commonsense gun reform. We did it again in 2012, after 20 first graders and six adult teachers were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School. And again in 2015, after nine worshipers were killed at their historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.

And we find ourselves there again today, after the worst shooting in U.S. history, when 49 of our fellow Americans were killed and many others injured in a gay club after a night of celebrating, like so many of their LGBT brothers and sisters across the country, this month of Pride.

Last year, President Obama said, "At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn't happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it."

And yet nothing has been done -- because after every tragedy like this, when we should be able to unite as Americans, instead we find ourselves divided because of leadership that lacks the conviction to stand up to special interests and take commonsense, bipartisan action.

This November, we have the power to do something about it. We saw how Donald Trump behaved in the aftermath of yesterday's events. Rather than show he can comport himself like a leader, he fed into the bigotry and divisive rhetoric that creates bigger problems for us rather than try to solve the ones we can if we unite around a common goal -- and moral imperative -- to do better as a country.

If you're committed to that, as I know I am, I know we -- along with President Obama and every Democrat on the ballot in November -- can make a difference. Add your name if you're with us:

http://my.democrats.org/Commonsense-Reforms

Thank you.

Debbie

Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Chair
Democratic National Committee





































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