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Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States
A former homeless man in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, I am now back to my first love since being homeless no more, politics & racial oppression. Come join me on this adventure.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Remembering 9/11.....

By Jueseppi B.
Watch With Me, Remember With Me.
The September 11 attacks, were a series of four coordinated suicide attacks against targets in New York City and the Washington, D.C. area on September 11, 2001. On that morning, 19 terrorists from the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda hijackedfour passenger jets. The hijackers intentionally crashed two planes into the Twin Towers of theWorld Trade Center in New York City; both towers collapsed within two hours. Hijackers crashed athird plane into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. When passengers attempted to take control of the fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, it crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, preventing it from reaching its intended target in Washington, D.C. Nearly 3,000 died in the attacks.
Suspicion quickly fell on al-Qaeda, and in 2004, the group’s leader Osama bin Laden, who had initially denied involvement, claimed responsibility for the attacks. Al-Qaeda and bin Laden cited U.S. support of Israel, the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, and sanctions against Iraq as motives for the attacks. The United States responded to the attacks by launching the War on Terror, invadingAfghanistan to depose the Taliban, who had harbored al-Qaeda members. Many countries strengthened their anti-terrorism legislation and expanded law enforcement powers. In May 2011, after years at large, bin Laden was found and killed.
The destruction caused serious damage to the economy of Lower Manhattan. Cleanup of the World Trade Center site was completed in May 2002. The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is scheduled to open on September 11, 2011. Adjacent to the memorial the 1,776 feet (541 m) One World Trade Center is estimated for completion by 2013. The Pentagon was repaired within a year, and thePentagon Memorial opened, adjacent to the building, in 2008. Ground was broken for the Flight 93 National Memorial in November 2009, and the memorial is to be formally dedicated on September 10, 2011.
Never Forget, Never Again. Always Ready!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What Did You Come Away With???

By Jueseppi B.
I was watching this President tonight, make history by showing his willingness to put it out there on the line. He effectively put the ball in the court of Both of the Houses Of Congress with his “Pass This Jobs Bill! You Should pass it right away!!!!” comments. Throughout the speech, before a joint session or both Houses Of Congress, he placed the duty of creating jobs squarely on the shoulders of ALL Washington politicians. Where it belongs.
Now lets see what the GOPretenders do next. The Speech in it’s entirety follows….

His Very Own Words……
To create more jobs now, the President is sending Congress the American Jobs Act – a set of ideas supported by both Democrats and Republicans that Congress must pass right away. The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: put more people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans.  Here’s how: 
  • First, it provides a tax cut for small businesses, not big corporations, to help them hire and expand now, and provides an additional tax cut to any business that hires or increases wages.
  • Second, it puts more people back to work, including up to 280,000 teachers laid off by state-budget cuts, first responders and veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, and construction workers repairing crumbling bridges, roads and more than 35,000 public schools, with projects chosen by need and impact, not earmarks and politics.   And, it expands job opportunities for hundreds of thousands of low-income youth and adults through a new Pathways Back to Work Fund that supports summer and year round jobs for youth; innovative new job training programs to connect low-income workers to jobs quickly; and successful programs to encourage employers to bring on disadvantaged workers.
  • Third, it helps out-of-work Americans by extending unemployment benefits to help them support their families while looking for work and reforming the system with training programs that build real skills, connect to real jobs and help the long-term unemployed.    It bans employers from discriminating against the unemployed when hiring, and provides a new tax credit to employers hiring workers who have been out of a job for over 6 months. 

  • Fourth, it puts more money in the pockets of working and middle class Americans by cutting in half the payroll tax that comes out of every worker’s paycheck, saving families an average of $1,500 a year’ and taking executive action to remove the barriers that exist in the current federal refinancing program (HARP) to help more Americans refinance their mortgages at historically low rates, save money and stay in their homes.
  • Last, the plan won’t add a dime to the deficit and is fully paid for through a balanced deficit reduction plan that includes closing corporate tax loopholes and asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share.

I am pleased, that this master tactician, said words that focused on the issue of jobs and how to create them, and didn’t once, revert to the name calling and childish rhetoric I witnessed last evening, during the GOP (Grand Obstructionists Party) debate.  He was poised, confident, classy, savvy, intelligent, eloquent, and right on the money with his focus on what is important to Americans, ALL Americans, even the “99′ers”. He hit this ball, out the ball park, onto Waveland ave. 
Now, lets see what spin the Monday morning quarterbacking corp puts on this speech. It started the second POTUS Obama was finished. I was watching the speech on ABC, who went immediately from POTUS Obama’s speech to broadcast a “Breaking News” story about an implied high threat on Sunday, the 10th anniversary of the 2001 9/11 attacks. They actually suspended coverage of the hand shaking and exchange of congratulations between POTUS Obama and supporters to talk about old news.
Nobody is NOT expecting some type of terror threat on the 10th year anniversary of 9/11…so that “Breaking News” story, was really not at all.
This speech was ground breaking in that some elected officials were absent, choosing to protest by boycotting. Did anyone even notice their absence? Right, me neither. But I am still curious as to what they were protesting, by being absent? Do they not agree with the President, that jobs are a major issue, and that this session before the joint Houses, was needed for the American people to see the importance of addressing this issue? Are they uncertain that a jobs bill is what is necessary? OR, are they just plain pissed, that this President solidified his position of “Me Against Them, For YOU”? As I stated in other post, respect the office of the President Of The United States.
In closing, I ask again, what did you think of his speech on a jobs bill….and do you agree with……..“Pass This Jobs Bill! You Should pass it right away!!!!”
“Disagree Intelligently, Use Facts & Truth.”
Pro ~ Con  Raging Liberals  ObamaCrats  VYC 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Blocking Your Vote

By Jueseppi B.
I have been following this for weeks, and it is now time to make you aware of this new GOPretender/tea party-bagger tactic to keep POTUS Obama from being re-elected, “By Any Means Necessary.” Blocking The Vote….aimed at Democratic voters. College students are being singled out…the elderly are being singled out….Black American are being singled out….our youth are being singled out. The number of states that have passed legislation to block Americans from casting their vote, and thus denying Americans their civil right, are staggering. Blocking the vote  violates the United States Constitution.  
The total number of states that have passed some form of blocking the vote legislation, is at 34 right now, and this is being done in key states won in 2008 by now POTUS, Barack Hussein ObamaRepublicans are citing voter fraud issues as their reason to stop people from voting, but the argument is false. According to Salon.com, A Department of Justice document found that “between the fall of 2002 and the fall of 2005, there were only 95 defendants charged with federal election-fraud-related crimes in the whole country. Salon also reports that Republicans have been “using foreclosure lists to challenge the edibility of voters.” Are Republicans trying to influence the outcome of elections in their favor by passing block the vote laws aimed at Democrats? HELL Yes.The assault on democracy by republicans threatens the entire American political system.
Republicans in Florida, Ohio and New Hampshire are following the lead of other states in passing laws to block the vote of people who tend to vote for Democrats. For the past 40 years, Democrats have been able to report updates to their personal information when they went to polling places to vote. No more. 34 different states now have voting laws that will block the vote of people who have had a change of address, got married or divorced and changed their name, or moved because they are serving in the military. Additional changes cut early voting ballot time from 14 days to 8, and places profound restrictions on absentee voting, which heavily impacts military families. Some states have removed the option of voting on the Sunday prior to the Tuesday general election polling day. This removes the option open to many Black churches, who would mobilize their older congregation members, and provide rides to the polling places from their churches. Bottom line….less turn out for The Democrats, and POTUS Obama.
This assault on voter rights is unacceptable. Americans, WE, have to fight this with all our might, allowing the cheating, stealing GOP (Grand Obstructionists Party) to get away with cutting up the United States Constitution is down right Un American.
“Disagree Intelligently, Use Facts & Truth.”
Pro ~ Con  Raging Liberals  ObamaCrats  VYC

The 99'ers .....Part One

By Jueseppi B.
The “99′ers”…..this is going to piss you guys off, if not all of you, I’m betting most of you. But then again, do I actually care about you being pissed off? No. I do not.
I got into a hot and heavy conversation, with a woman yesterday, who announced in one of the groups I administer and own with my partner in crime, Ms. Julie Kindle Driscoll, about her intentions to vote for every office on the ballot in “NO”vember of 2012, except the office of the President Of The United States. Now I can understand anger at being out of work, but to blame your work situation on POTUS Obama? AND would someone please explain to my dumb ass, exactly how protesting anything by NOT voting, accomplishes your goal? I mean, if you are not happy with the accomplishments of POTUS Obama, you think you will be thrilled with the Grand Obstructionists Party (GOP)?

Here’s my deal with you crying, whining, excuse making “99′ers”…..I have been on unemployment compensation, and I know personally how unemployment compensation works. The unemployment compensation system is NOT set up to provide you with a salary forever. Federal-State Unemployment Compensation (UC) Program, has two main objectives: (1) to provide temporary and partial wage replacement to involuntarily unemployed workers who were recently employed; and (2) to help stabilize the economy during recessions. The Department Of Unemployment Compensation, is NOT responsible or set up, for you being paid LONG TERM unemployment benefits.

I am NOT insensitive to the plight of the unemployed, or the “99′ers’. I am however, insensitive to people who say they can not find a job in 99 weeks. Why? Because I know there are jobs out there, I see “Help Wanted”, “Now Interviewing” & “Taking Applications” signs all over this small town of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, all day long. Problem is, these signs are connected with the jobs no “99′er” will accept. Fast food restaurants, car washes, waitressing, or bus boy, cutting lawn for a lawn care service, convenience store clerk, jobs that are unskilled, but still a JOB.
It is, however very easy to blame POTUS Obama, for your being unable to locate employment in 99 weeks. Blame POTUS Obama for everything that is rotten in your life, but that doesn’t make it true, now does it? There are many alternatives to sitting online in Facebook, starting up groups and pages to moan and bitch about unemployment benefits being extended. Bull shit. There is no need or point to extend unemployment benefits past 99 weeks. And here is the reason why. Jobs are available, just not the jobs you want. CNA…nursing homes are always hiring CNA’s, that is a “high turn over rate” profession. There are even some nursing homes that will train you free of charge, and supply you a position upon your passing the state CNA test, if you agree to work for that nursing home for a year, after getting licensed.

Then there are the jobs nobody wants, the manual labor jobs, such as day labor jobs. There are three day labor jobs agencies here in Cedar Rapids, who offer daily jobs for daily pay, which means you get to the office by 6am, they send you out to work, you finish the days work, you get paid. It is a temp agency for the unskilled worker, which is not the dream job you might have gotten that college degree for, or have been trained for, but it is a job. I find that the “99′ers” want the job they want, but that might not be a possibility, so take any job. Any job, even that as a bagger at your local grocery store, is better than not having a job period, and worrying about your benefits running out.

You are asking “how can he say that about those poor unfortunate people”? Because I was one of those “poor unfortunate people”. I spent three months, thats 90 days, from January through April, homeless. Thats being homeless in the dead of winter, out in the street, no roof over my head, no security of a home or a bed or a bathroom, no place to go when it snowed or rained or was minus 9 degrees. Never once was it POTUS Obama’s fault, nor was it his fault when I was able to get my life back together. Blaming this administration for NOT extending unemployment benefits past the 99 week limit, is as stupid as blaming hurricane Irene on this administration. AND even if it made good sense to extend the 99 week limit, which it does not, Congress would NOT pass legislation. The GOPretenders (Grand Obstructionists Party, or GOP for short) would block that legislation, as they have obstructed all other nominees, appointments and pieces of legislation since POTUS Obama took office. You “99′ers” looking to blame someone in Washington for your being unemployed for 99 weeks, and want more time to be unemployed, blame both Houses Of Congress.

In closing, I am asking this question of the “99′ers” who threaten to skip the election process, of voting for the Office Of President Of These United States, or ANY American who says or thinks they will NOT vote in “NO”vember of 2012, ….what exactly will you skipping this election process achieve, what will NOT voting for the office of POTUS, gain you or your family? What will being a coward and sitting at home, hiding from your civic responsibility, accomplish for your situation? Please help me understand?
“99′ers”….YOU better wake the fuck up!

“Disagree Intelligently, Use Facts & Truth.”
Pro ~ Con Raging Liberals VYC ObamaCrats

99'ers....Part two

 By Jueseppi B.
 I published a post here yesterday, on the issue of 99′ers and their anger, and their fight to have unemployment benefits extended past the 99 week limit. That post drew a few comments, and from the comments, I immediately understood that many didn’t comprehend what they read….or actually read what I wrote. Unemployment Insurance was never developed to replace your job, or your salary. Thats why you only get a percentage of what you were making before you lost your job. I know this first hand because I was myself, unemployed. Unemployed Insurance (UI) was created to, and I quote…”The program has two main objectives: (1) to provide temporary and partial wage
replacement to involuntarily unemployed workers who were recently employed; and
(2) to help stabilize the economy during recessions.” In other words, It ain’t permanent.

All the bitching and moaning that the Obama administration needs to extend the UI benefits, is bull shit in my mind. Why? Because if you can not locate a job, and I mean any job, in 99 weeks, what is an extension going to do for you? 99 weeks is FIVE weeks shy of TWO YEARS. In one year, ten months and three weeks, if you can not find a job doing SOMETHING….you expect the government to give you how much more time??? What would make you unemployed Americans happy?? I would appreciate an answer too. How long would you consider agreeable, for the United States government to support you while you look for work? If 99 weeks, thats one year, ten months, three weeks, ain’t enough, what is??

You 99′ers are pissed at this POTUS, because he won’t push for extending UI benefits past 99 weeks. I do not blame him, how do you expect he will float this legislation to extend past 99 weeks, when the GOPukes want to cut Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, to line their pockets and the pockets of their corporation buddies? Think POTUS Obama has a magic wand? Wave it over both Houses Of Congress and it shall be done? Wake the fuck up.

There are agencies equipped to help assist you if you are out of work for the long term, welfare programs, food assistance programs, emergency food stamp programs, WIC for women with infants & children. There are emergency rent agencies, agencies that will assistance with utilities, free cell phone companies that provide free cell phones for the indigent. ALL these agencies set up to help you if you are out of work long term. UI is NOT set up for long term support, what part of that is unclear? There are jobs out there people, I see the signs all day long seeking workers, I will repeat it again….take that job you think is beneath you, accept a minimum wage job. Do work you didn’t go to college for, or find something with a lower pay grade than you are used to.

If you happen to be disabled, or out of work due to a disability, you already know there is SSI/SSDI available, and the process is lengthy to be accepted, so if you know you’re unable to work due to your disability, start the process to get accepted into SSI/SSDI immediately upon starting your UI benefits. Don’t blame government for your situation, if you are nearing the end of your UI benefits, thats 99 weeks of money, then you should already have a back up plan in place, this is YOUR survival we are talking about.

There were comments as to my political desires being pushed off on the 99′ers. Wrong again. NOT voting is not the way to bring about change, you want change to the UI regulations….vote in a POTUS who will make those changes. You want improvements and extensions to the 99 week rule…vote in a candidate who supports your desires. IF you can locate one. I seriously doubt you can. You don’t like the Obama administration….vote for the other idiots, and in a few years, lets talk about how America is doing. Lets see the outcome if the GOPretenders win in 2012.

I hope this clears up your emotional thinking process, and shows you that the UI program was never intended to support your unemployment indefinetly.
If you don’t think 99 weeks is enough support, then you tell me what is enough support? Just how long should you receive payment from the government, how long is enough for you to find a job, any job? And where exactly do you expect the money should come from, for you to receive cash payments past 99 weeks of unemployment?

“Disagree Intelligently, use Facts & Truth”.
Pro ~ Con VYC Raging Liberals ObamaCrats

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What Has "Obama" Done Lately???

By Jueseppi B.
This is a summation of the first two years of theObama Administration’s accomplishments to remind us all about what it means to have the majority in Congress that can actually pass legislation and effect the kind of change that guided the State of our country’s affair in the right path. Whether we like what the Obama Administration accomplished or not is beside the point but it takes a majority to push for something as we had witnessed during the first two years of the Obama Administration.
This is also a reminder about why we need to reverse the power structure in 2011 by electing more and better Democrats to achieve more of what we had started in the first two years of this Administration. I understand some folks will try to undermine the progress we have made but we must highlight them so that the false narrative of some does not feel like the reality.
Share it to all that you think will help inform and to those who appreciate what we have accomplished in the first two years of the Obama Administration.  And, tell ‘em that these were all possible because we had Democratic Majority and why it is important not to be complacent come election 2012.
The accomplishments of the first two years of the Obama Administration:

On reducing and assisting people that have become victims of the increased poverty made worse by economic crisis

1) A $20 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps.
2) A $1 billion in funding for the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) that is intended to revitalize low-income communities via “Job training and placement assistance”, “Financial literacy programs”, et al, to helping families become self-sufficient.
3) A $2 billion in new Neighborhood Stabilization Funds that will allow ailing neighborhoods be kept maintained.
4) A $1.5 billion in Homelessness Prevention Funds to keep people in their homes and prevent homelessness.
5) A $5 billion increase for the Weatherization Assistance Program to help low income families save on their residential energy expenditures by making their homes more energy efficient.
6) A $4 Billion program, The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010,  ”authorizes funding for federal school meal and child nutrition programs and increases access to healthy food for low-income children.”
7) As part of the HCR bill, subsidies will be available to the uninsured and families with income between the 133 percent and 400 percent of poverty level($14,404 for individuals and $29,326 for a family of four).
8 ) Estabilished Open Doors to end the 640,000 men, women and children who are homeless in America by 2020.
9) Increased the amount of federal Pell Grant awards so that funds are available to those with less access to have opportunity.
10) Provided $510 Million for the rehabilitation of Native American housing.
11) Expanded eligibility for Medicaid to all individuals under age 65 with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level ($14,400 per year for an individual).
12) Providing assistance to low-income workers through the Earned Income Tax Creditgiving millions of working families the break they need.
13) Education being the way out of Poverty, kicked off the “Race to the Top”, a $4.3 billion program, that rewards via grants to States that meet a few key benchmarks for reform, and states that outperform the rest.

On Health Care Reform:

1)  Coverage can’t be denied to children with pre-existing conditions.
2)  Adults up to age 26 can stay on their parents’ health plans.
3)  Free preventive care.
4)  Rescinding coverage is now illegal.
5)  Eliminating lifetime limits on insurance coverage.
6)  Restricting annual limits on insurance coverage.
7)  More options to appeal coverage decisions.
8 )  $5 billion in immediate federal support to affordable Coverage for the Uninsured with Pre-existing Conditions.
9)  $10 billion investment in Community Health Centers.
10) Create immediate access to re-insurance for employer health plans providing coverage for early retirees.
11) Made an $80 billion dealwith the pharmaceutical industry to contribute to cut prescription drug costs for the nation’s seniors reduce the size of the “donut hole” in the Medicare (Part D) Drug Benefit.
12) Provides a $250 rebate to 750,000 Medicare Beneficiaries who reach the Part D coverage gap in 2010. As of March 22, 2011, 3.8 million beneficiaries had received a $250 check to close the coverage gap, according to an HHS report.
13) Businesses with fewer than 50 employees will get tax credits covering up to 35% of employee premiums effective 2011 and a 50% tax credit effective 2013.
14) Creates a state option to provide Medicaid coverage to childless adults with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level. By 2014, States are required to provide this coverage.
15) Provides a 10% Medicare bonus payment for primary care services and also a 10% Medicare bonus payment to general surgeons practicing in health professional shortage areas.
16) Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) requires that insurance companies spend at least 80 to 85 percent of the proportion of the premium dollars on clinical services. As an example,WellPoint’s Anthem Blue Cross unit in California has reduced its proposed rate increase.

On Jobs and the Economy:

1)  The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) has worked. The Economy Has Been Growing – take a look at the graph of GDP growth between 2007 thru 2010.
2)  The $787 billion economic stimulus package has created or saved nearly 2 million jobsslowing the bleeding
3)  Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 that extended Unemployment benefits up to 20 weeks and more.
4)  Provided $14.7 billion in small business loans increasing minority access to capital.
5) The $26 billion aid to states package preventing large-scale layoffs of teachers and public employees.
6) As of March 31, 2011, created 1.8 million Private sector jobs since Jan 2010.
7) US auto industry rescue plan saved at least 1 million jobs
8 ) Helpedmake the Auto Industry start making huge profits again with Ford sales up 19% over last year. GM up 11%. Chrysler up a whopping 31%.
9) Jobs for Main Street Act (2010)injected $27.5 Billion for Highways, $8.4 Billion for Transit into the country’s transportation system to create jobs and spur economic activity.
10) A $33 Billion Jobs Packagethat will allow Small businesses to get $5,000 tax credit for new hires.
11) A $26 billion State Aid Package Jobs Bill saving 300,000 teachers and public workers jobs from unemployment.
12) As part of the 2010 tax extension, Unemployment Insurance was extended to 7 million Americans who would have been without income.

On Banking and Financial Reform

1)  Signed a sweeping bank-reform bill (the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act)into law
2)  Managed the $700 Billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) that Banks have repaid more than 100% of TARP funds ($251 of the $245 banks owed) as of March 2011 exceeding the original investment by $6 billion.
3) Cuts Salaries of 65 Bailout Executives
4) Closed offshore tax safe havens, tax credit loopholes on companies that use the tax laws to ship American Jobs oversees. HR 4213.
5) Signed into law the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act to fight fraud in the use of TARP and recovery funds, and to increase accountability for corporate and mortgage frauds.
6) Signed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act

On Education

1) Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010 that increased the amount of federal Pell Grant awards and enabled the stripping of banks privileges as intermediaries for student loan servicing saving the US government about $68 billion dollars over 11 years.
2) Created the Race to the Top Fund, a $4.35 billion program to reward States that submit the best proposals for change.
3) As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, funded over$100 Billion for reforms to strengthen Elementary and Secondary education, early learning programs, college affordability and improve access to higher education, and to close the achievement gap.

On Energy

1) Implemented renewable fuels mandate of 36 billion gallons by 2022, four times what we currently consume.
2) Automakers will be required to meet a fleet-wide average of New Gas Mileage Standards at 35.5 MPH by 2016.
3) A $60 billion investment in renewable and clean energy.
4) developed a Biofuels Roadmap to determine the next steps in growing an advanced biofuels economy to meet the goal to use at least 36 billion gallons of bio-based transportation fuels by 2022 helping create more green energy jobs.
5) established EPA regulations which require large U.S. ships to cut soot emissions by 85 percent.
6) pledged via the Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future that in a decade from now to cut our oil dependency by one-third, and put America’s energy future by producing more oil at home and reducing our dependence on oil by leveraging cleaner, alternative fuels and greater efficiency.

On Housing

1) $275 billion dollar housing plan - $75 billion dollars to prevent at-risk mortgage debtors already fallen victim to foreclosures and $200 billion to bring about confidence to offer affordable mortgages and to stability the housing market.
2) Established “Opening Doors” to end the homelessness of 640,000 men, women, and children in the United States in 10 years.
3) Provided $510 Million for the rehabilitation of Native American housing.
4) Provided $2 billion for Neighborhood Stabilization Program to rehab, resell, or demolish in order to stabilize neighborhoods.
5) Provided $5 billion for Weatherization Assistance Program for low income families to weatherize 1 million homes per year for the next decade.
6) Provided grants to encourage states and localities to take the first steps in implementing new building codes that prioritize energy efficiency.

On Medicaid/Medicare/Social Security

1) giving $250 economic stimulus check to 55 million Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients in 2009.
2) Cutting prescription drug costs for Medicare recipients by 50% and began eliminating the plan’s gap (“donut hole”) in coverage.
3) Passing as part of H.R.3962 (Preservation of Access to Care for Medicare Beneficiaries and Pension Relief Act of 2010) a $6.4 billion measurereversing a 21 percent cut in physician payments that would have started a flood of rejections by some doctors of seniors covered by Medicare.
4) Expanded eligibility for Medicaid to all individuals under age 65 with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level ($14,400 per year for an individual).
5) Committed to ensuring that Social Security Budget Will Not Be Cut nor would change the retirement age.

On Military Veterans and Families

1) A $112.8 billion VA budget, an increase of 15.5 percent over 2009, the largest percentage increase for VA requested by a president in more than 30 years.
2) Implemented a strategic planto increase the hiring of Veterans and Military spousesthroughout the Federal civil service.
3) Provided for the expenses of families of to be at Dover AFB when fallen soldiers arrive.
4) Passed the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2009 increasing the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans.
5) Declared the end of the war in Iraqi bringing back nearly 100,000 U.S. troops home to their families.
6) Donated 250K of Nobel prize money to Fisher House, a group that helps provide housing for families of patients receiving medical care at military and Veterans Affairs medical centers
7) Ended media blackout on war casualties; giving access to the return home of a dead US soldier for the first time since an 18-year ban on coverage was lifted.
8 ) Create a ‘Green Vet Initiative‘ to promote environmental jobs for veterans
9) Signed into law the 2009 Military Spouses Residency Relief Act, that will allow military spouses to claim residency in the same state as their sponsor and retain that residency as long as the service member is in the military, in the process avoiding the states where they currently reside from taxing their earned income.
10) Signed the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010

On LBGTQ issues

1) Extended  benefitsto same-sex partners of federal employees
2) Signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act
3) Instructed HHS to require any hospital receiving Medicare or Medicaid funds (virtually all hospitals) to allow LGBT visitation rights.
4) Banned job discrimination based on gender identity throughout the Federal government (the nation’s largest employer)
5) Signed the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act and while more funding is needed per the 2012 proposed budget, an increase of $80 million to domestic and global HIV/AIDS programs committed
6) Extended the Family and Medical Leave Act to cover Gay employees taking unpaid leaveto care for their children of same-sex partners
7) Lifted the HIV Entry Ban.
8 ) Implemented HUD Policies that Would Ban Discrimination Based On Gender Identity
9) Appointed the first ever transgender DNC member
10) Named open transgender appointees (the first President ever to do so)
11) Eliminated the discriminatory Census Bureau policy that kept LGBT relationships from being counted
12) Extended domestic violence protections to LGBT victims
13) Repealedthe Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) Discriminatory law.
14) Declared DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) unconstitutional and stopped Defending In Court
15) Endorsed a U.N. declaration calling for the worldwide decriminalization of gays and lesbians around the world in an efforts to make it a worldwide policy.

Tax deal extending Bush’s tax cut for two years which often gets criticized will do the following:

Damn it, the TAX DEAL is not PERMANENT

1) Keep $3,000 in tax savings annually
2) Unemployment Benefit for 7,000,000 Americans worth $56 Billion.
3) $2,500 in tax savings to help pay for college tuition and other expenses
4) A $2,000 payroll tax savings to someone making $100,000 or a $1,000 payroll tax savings ata 2% employee-side payroll tax cut for over 155 million workers
5) Child tax credit of $1,000 per child with the $3,000 maximum credit threshold.
6) Earned Income Tax Credit that will give on an average $600 in additional assistance to families with 3 or more children
7) A 65 percent tax credit to help cover the cost of COBRA for those who lost their jobs in the recession
8 ) forecast to creating approximately 1.6 million jobs  increasing the GDP for 2011
9) extended the credit for adoption-related expenses that reduces families tax bill up to $13,170 in 2011 through 2012 with a maximum of $12,170 in credit.

Other Notables

1) signed the Health Package For 9/11 Responders bill that puts $4.3 billion into a fund to assist folks that are suffering from problems caused by breathed-in dust and debris during the 9/11 clean up.
2) signed into law a sweeping Food Safety Act bill that contains 18 major changes to food safety laws.
3) made an excellent choice selecting a new Chief of Staff, William Daley, who Eric London has made a super case for why it was a smart choice.
4) made a $78 billion spending cut to the U.S. military and defense department budget, including reducing the size of the Army and Marine Corps.
5) signed in to law the START Treaty with Russia, a sweeping new arms reduction pact that will reduce the stockpile nuclear weapons in both countries adding new verification plan.
6) The passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act enabling the rights of workers to sue employers over wage discrimination claims.
7) The expansion of SCHIP health-care program for children worth $33 Billion.
8 ) The declaration of two million more acres of wilderness in one of the most omnibus Public Lands bill.
9) Government Transparency as noted by Common Cause, Democracy 21, League of Women Voters and U.S. PIRG– “The cumulative effect of the Administration’s actionshas been to adopt the strongest and most comprehensive lobbying, ethics and transparency rules and policies ever established by an Administration to govern its own activities“. You can read full report in all of the seven areas the report is graded.
10) signed the Tribal Law and Order Act – an important step to help the Federal Government better address the unique public safety challenges that confront tribal communities.
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