100 days of Failure


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Assessing The Republican Congress’s First Hundred Days

When Republicans took control over the Senate after last year’s midterms, new Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that his main goal for the party was to be responsible, not scary . Yesterday marked the first 100 days of the GOP-controlled 114th Congress, and the results have proven that McConnell and his caucus have not lived up to their promise. Since January, House and Senate Republicans have supported policies that threaten the future of our economic recovery, would limit access to health care, protect big polluters by obstructing action on climate change, and put our national security at risk.

Here are just a few of the many examples of the GOP’s’ failed leadership so far this Congress:

The GOP-led Congress prioritized the interests of the few, with budgets that would hurt working families.

  • Congressional Republican leaders’ rhetoric is now filled with references to inequality, the struggling middle class, and stagnant wages. But in reality, their budget would slash education funding for 1.9 million disadvantaged students, strip 16.4 million Americans of health care coverage, eliminate job training for 2 million workers, cut 2,250 medical and scientific research grants, drop 35,000 preschoolers from Head Start and more.
  • On top of that, House GOP leaders plan to give even more tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, including an expected vote to repeal the estate tax this week.

Congress continued to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, despite the fact that over 16 million Americans are now covered thanks to the law.

  • One of the first votes in the House of Representatives of the 114th Congress was to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This is just one in the now nearly 60 votes in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act over the past five years, with more expected when this Congress votes on a budget in the coming weeks. And despite their many promises, Republicans still haven’t offered a significant replacement bill.
  • Through King v. Burwell, a suit brought by conservatives, the Supreme Court could also strike a major blow to the ACA later this year. Yet Republicans have refused to offer a legislative fix to protect the millions of Americans that would lose insurance and prevent the health care system from devolving into chaos.

GOP leadership is trying to obstruct efforts to address climate change, with no energy policy of their own.

  • There is no other issue on which the 114th Congress has actively tried to stunt progress or do harm as much as climate and energy. According to a new report by the Center for American Progress, this Congress has held more roll-call votes on energy and environmental issues than any other topic, with 8 in the House and 22 in the Senate related to the Keystone XL pipeline alone.
  • In fact, the U.S. Senate has cast more votes to remove protections of wilderness areas, block new parks, and sell-off public lands than it has to address defense, immigration, and veterans’ issues combined.

The Republicans’ mass deportation agenda was front and center, even putting national security at risk.

There are many other issues they have failed to lead on as well. Rather than pass proactive legislation to improve women’s health, for example, this Congress has introduced over 20 bills to restrict access to abortion and inserted harmful and irrelevant abortion restrictions in important bills, impeding their progress. And Senate Republicans have continued to hold hostage the nomination of Loretta Lynch for attorney general, despite her bipartisan support and overwhelming qualifications.

BOTTOM LINE: With Congress under new management, the body has completely become a place where the interests of working families are put on the chopping block, where attacks on education, health care, a clean and safer planet are commonplace while immigrant families are repeatedly threatened. In these first 100 days of the GOP-controlled Congress, only the wealthiest and the biggest polluters have come out ahead.

Clean Bandit … Easter Sunday Concert in MN


Clean-Bandit-Extraordinary-2014-1200x1200

https://screen.yahoo.com/live/event/clean-bandit

I think Yahoo made the Clean Bandit concert on Easter Sunday available to watch over and over if you are so inclined; for those who got too busy, forgot, tuned in late or got the time completely wrong and missed it all. I was using Minneapolis time 2hrs earlier; thankfully, I only missed one song ~ I lucked out.  I hope no one missed the concert because of my misinformation

The concert! My take …   Check it out !

It was tight; this crowd from the Midwest danced, sang with and appreciated Clean Bandit with a fab house electronic sound! The smooth transitions from song to song made it more fun… Elisabeth troy works that voice hard and sounds unbelievable live. The backdrop and lighting were great! I definitely loved what Elisabeth and Grace wore, the boys looked tidy. My favourites, probably all fan favourites got some major play on Easter Sunday and they added Nightingale!, Stronger ,did the classic “Show Me Love” probably betta than any along with one of a couple of new songs they have called “Superstar” as Elisabeth troy, said…. something Jack has been cooking up in the lab; it was hot and well Jack’s got skills on that song, sounding hot on the sax. If anything maybe the background girls need to be just a little louder on that song, but not too loud, because fans want to hear Elisabeth’s voice! and Damn! Elisabeth did some things with her voice, no one else can. I have to say, Grace is sounding better, Neil is kinda skinny, but by far the best looking skilled house music/classical violinist I have seen ever; time to get him more violin solos and  maybe singing with Elisabeth suffice it to say Jack on the sax was incredible and luke ..yes we kind of leave him out but the guy is an expert on the drums or as we say percussions because if you have seen him, he is clearly NOT just a drummer!.. hey, we all love that they are adding more instruments ..it’s exciting

The connections/interactions love of music between Elisabeth and Neil are always a highlight …um yeah they hot and we love them for it!

Overall, they were incredible! Hey, that’s just my view

 @cleanbandit https://screen.yahoo.com/live/event/clean-bandit via @YahooLive

Check it out yourself, if it’s still available

Thanks to Yahoo and Clean Bandit for a great Easter Show

#music #house #garage #youtube #concerts #cleanbandit #beaseedforchange

Mayor Rauner has an election in 2016 … exercise your right to vote Illinois


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

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

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


Associated Press

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grants suspended by Rauner include:

DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES

Funeral & Burial, $6.9 million

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

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

Immigrant Integration Services, $3.4 million

Welcoming Centers, $191,300

ARC Lifespan, $118,100

Best Buddies, $250,000

Autism, $1 million

Group Home Loans, $20,000

Compulsive Gambling $406,000

Westside Health, $94,200

Addiction Prevention, $1.6 million

Assistance for Homeless, $300,000

Community Services, $2 million

Teen REACH, $3.1 million

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

For Children’s Health Program, $231,600

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

Regions Special Consumer Support, $277,700

SMRF Training, $420,100

Transportation, $43,900

DD Latino Outreach, $87,500

Microboard Development and Outreach, $47,500

Epilepsy, $514,700

DHS TOTAL: $21.8 million

DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

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

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

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

Illinois Tobacco Quitline, $3.1 million

Project Safe Sleep Education and Outreach, $250,000

MidAmerica Regional Public Health Leadership Institute, $75,000

IDPH TOTAL: $4.5 million

DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES*

Park and Recreational Facility Construction, $89.5 million

Open Space Lands Acqusition and Development, $56.3 million

Museum Capital Grants, $30.4 million

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

IDNR TOTAL: $178.8 million

*Grants suspended in March

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Countdown: 30 Days Until Earth Day


45th Anniversary of Earth Day and this year “It’s Our Turn to Lead.”  Earth Day is only 30 days away – so join 1 billion people to take action!  With Earth Day rapidly approaching, we are reaching out to people like you who are committed to protecting and preserving our planet to help us lead the fight against climate change.

We need you to host an event on Earth Day or during Earth Week (April 18-25) to promote awareness of environmental issues and more importantly, to take concrete actions to create a sustainable planet and solve climate change.

Earth Day Network has developed toolkits to help you create change:

1. Government Officials: We call on all government officials to host town halls and Earth Day events to engage constituents and community members in a dialogue about environmental challenges and solutions to those challenges.

2. Universities: University students and activists are one of the most effective vehicles for social action. Host a  Climate Communication Forums on your college campuses this year. Students can translate their education and knowledge into tangible action promoting sustainability within their school and larger community.

3. Schools or K-12 Education: We invite educators to participate in Climate Education Week, April 18-25th. Earth Day Network will soon be releasing an easy-to-use, ready-to-go online toolkit on Climate Education that educators can utilize throughout the week.

4. Faith: Faith leaders have been a driving force behind the most important and successful social movements. We encourage all people of faith across the globe to join us on Earth Day this April as we show the world that it’s our turn to lead.

5. Let’s commit 100%: We are calling on cities and municipalities to commit to using 100% renewable energy sources by 2050.  Cities and municipalities face difficult challenges such as disaster relief, food and water shortages, and providing clean transportation to residents.  Committing to be 100% renewable is fundamental to addressing these challenges.

6. Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day:  Marking the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, Earth Day Network and Global Poverty Project present Global Citizen 2015 Earth Day. This comes during a pivotal time to protect the planet and ensure that world leaders end global poverty and solve climate change. Add your voice to 250,000 other leaders and stars on the National Mall, April 18.

With only 30 days until Earth Day, don’t miss your opportunity to make a lasting impact in your community and on our planet.  Commit to hosting an Earth Day event and register your event here.

— The Earth Day Network Team

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