Tell the EPA: Don’t Delay -a word from RepoWer America

I’m Christina Simeone, Policy Director here at Repower America, and I wanted to share an important piece of news with you.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to limit global warming pollution from big fossil fuel industries like power plants and petroleum refineries. These industries alone account for about 40% of the global warming pollution in the U.S. — making them the two largest sources of emissions.

Here’s where you come in. The EPA is charged with developing rules called New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) that will protect public health, reduce the pollution that causes climate change, and send a signal to polluters that they need to invest in clean energy technologies.

It’s crucial that the EPA sticks to its schedule and develops strong rules. Between now and March 18, the EPA is accepting comments on their plans. They will definitely be receiving comments from the coal, gas and oil industries. Make sure they hear from you, too.

These rules are common sense. The EPA was created to understand our impact on our environment and protect the health of our people. An overwhelming majority of scientists are united in their understanding of the effects of global warming pollution and the EPA is charged with developing rules based on that science. Yet strong special interest groups are working to derail that process.

The EPA needs to hear that you support their efforts to limit global warming pollution from these industries. That’s why you need to encourage the EPA to issue strong New Source Performance Standards without delay.

The science is clear: Climate change is happening. Unfortunately, big polluters will make big profits if they mislead the American public about that fact. We need you to counteract and counterbalance their money and their voice by sending a comment to the EPA today.

Fill out the form below, and we’ll deliver your comment to the EPA before the March 18 deadline:


Christina Simeone

Policy Director

Repower America

Tell Senate Democrats: Stand up to Republican budget cuts

Right now, Republicans are trying to cut programs that provide access to basic health care, housing assistance and job training. For many families, what happens could mean the difference between stability and homelessness, or life and death.

The GOP‘s war on Black, poor and working folks is bad enough. But as we’ve seen in the past, Democrats often refuse to fight for us. If that happens this time, the most vulnerable among us will be left in the cold while the wealthiest Americans continue to receive massive tax breaks.

Please click the link below to demand that Democrats defend the programs we need, not use them as bargaining chips as they negotiate with Republicans. Then ask your friends and family to do the same. It only takes a moment:

Republicans and Democrats in Congress are in a battle over the government’s budget. Congress has reached a deal to keep the government from shutting down for the next week while it negotiates a longer-term spending bill.1 While that short-term deal cuts some important funding for education and transportation, the truly devastating cuts are being debated now.2

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has proposed a plan to cut $61 billion from the budget, and many of their proposed cuts target services crucial to our communities’ well being. If Democratic leadership in the Senate and President Obama don’t commit to looking out for our interests this month, Black and low income communities will sink even deeper into economic crisis. Here’s what’s at stake:

Federal grants that help cities create jobs and revitalize neighborhoods would be cut. The Republican plan calls for cutting $2.5 billion in Community Development Block Grants, a 62% reduction nationwide. Cities use these funds to do things like provide affordable housing, expand business opportunities and support a range of services for low- and middle-income folks.3

Low-cost access to reproductive health will be seriously undermined. The GOP’s plan calls specifically for defunding Planned Parenthood nationwide, which means that pre-natal care, cervical cancer screenings and testing for HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections will move out of reach for people who can’t afford it or whose insurance doesn’t cover these vital services. As our families know well, Planned Parenthood offers a range of life-saving care. It’s the largest family planning provider in the country, offering the birth control that makes needing to make the difficult choice of having an abortion less likely.4

Half of the budget for a program that helps low-income people heat and cool their homes will be wiped out. Given these tough economic times, the number of people using the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is on the rise. More than 8 million households used it in 2010, up from 7.7 million and 5.8 million during the previous two years. President Obama has himself suggested cuts to this program, and we need him to change course. 5

The Women Infants and Children (WIC) program would face severe cuts. The budget for this key service providing baby formula, food and other services to poor women and their children would be cut by 10%.6

AmeriCorps will shut its doors. The national service program trains and places hardworking young people in jobs in our communities. Its 83,000 members work at places like Habitat for Humanity and Boys and Girls Clubs teaching, mentoring, and building homes among other crucial jobs.7

The list doesn’t end there. If Senate Democrats and President Obama don’t stand strong, we could see $1 billion cut from Head Start programs, nearly $6 billion cut from the need-based Pell Grant program that gives our young people access to higher education, and other cuts to elder and child care, job training, transportation and health programs that help our families stay afloat.8

Please join us in calling on Democratic leaders to stand up for our communities in the current budget battle. And when you do, please ask your family and friends to do the same. It only takes a moment.

Thanks and Peace,

— James, Gabriel, William, Dani, Matt, Natasha and the rest of the team

March 10th, 2011

Here are stories published today

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Islamaphobia: The Lyin’King

Yesterday, Rep. Peter King (R-NY), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, held a four-and-a-half hour hearing titled, “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response,” which targeted the entire Muslim American community for supposedly aiding and abetting domestic radicalization. Many in the civil rights community urged King to not focus exclusively on American Muslims, noting that doing so would not only serve to shore up animosity against America’s law-abiding Islamic community and empower extremists, but that it would also ignore the deep threat to America from non-Muslim terrorists. But King ignored these criticisms and continued with his hearing anyway, using it as a platform to claim that Muslims are failing to cooperate with law enforcement and homeland security officials. Yet Democrats on the committee, as well as several of the witnesses testifying, turned the tables on King, debunking his smears and demonstrating the fact that the Muslim American community is an ally in the fight against terrorism, not an enemy.

THE BACKGROUND: King, who became the chairman of the House Homeland Security committee in January, announced the hearings months ago. Since then, a broad coalition of civil rights advocates, national security experts, and other Americans who want an America that is both secure, free and tolerant have come together to condemn the hearings and the singling out of the Muslim American community. As time went along, panelists chosen by King began to drop like flies, as Americans realized the extremism that these figures represented. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who asserted that “we are at war with Islam,” was the first to go. Next, Walid Phares was dropped from the witness list following an investigation of his past as a member of a violent Lebanese Christian militia that was implicated in atrocities. And of course, King himself was a vocal supporter in the past of the Irish Republican Army, which engaged in terrorism that led to the deaths of countless people, including one American. Throughout the process of putting together his panel, King claimed that his goal was to single out the Muslim American community because “it makes no sense to talk about other types of extremism, when the main threat to the United States today is talking about al Qaida.” Yet a January 2011 terrorism statistics report from the Muslim Public Affairs Council compiled using publicly available data from the FBI and other crime agencies — finds that terrorism by Muslim Americans has only accounted for a minority of terror plots since 9/11. Since the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, Muslims have been involved in 45 domestic terror plots. Meanwhile, non-Muslims have been involved in 80 terrorist plots. King’s hearing failed to look at some of the root causes of Muslim radicalization, like the exploitation of Muslim grievances about U.S. foreign policy by extremists, the social marginalization of extremists, and ways to prevent radicalization — which involve close cooperation and introspection within and between Muslim American communities and law enforcement. By excluding such issues, King’s hearing exposed itself as nothing more than a witch hunt before it had even begun.

KING’S FALSE CLAIMS: King’s own words at the hearing were full of misstatements and outright lies. In his opening statement to the committee, King claimed that the reason he decided to single out Muslim Americans is because the threat from them was particularly unique. He explained, “Indeed, by the Justice Department’s own record, not one terror-related case in the last two years involved neo-Nazis, environmental extremists, or anti-war groups.” King’s statement would be surprising to residents of Fall River, MA. This past December, white racist and neo-Nazi sympathizer Justin Vieira “broke a natural gas line and threatened to blow up a three-decker” house and was arrested shortly after by police. Additionally, there have been at least four other neo-Nazi or neo-Nazi sympathizer terror plots since September 2009. Throughout the hearing, King’s Democratic colleagues — including Reps. Bennie Thompson (MS), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX), and Laura Richardson (CA) — brought up the fact that the congressman said in 2007 that there are “too many mosques in this country,” prompting him to say that he “never said” such a thing, a clear lie as ThinkProgress documents in a video fact check.

TOLERANCE FIGHTS BACK: Throughout the hearings, King’s Democratic colleagues and the witnesses called before the committee spoke eloquently on behalf of the American Muslim community and its contributions to battling radicalism. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim ever elected to Congress, made headlines when he gave his emotional testimony in which he recounted the story of Muhammad Hamdani, a Muslim first responder who gave his life saving people trapped in the Twin Towers on 9/11. “Muhammad Salman Hamdani was a fellow American who gave his life for other Americans. His life should not be defined as a member of an ethnic group or a member of a religion, but as an American who gave everything for his fellow citizens,” said Ellison. Hamdani’s mother, Talat Hamdani, told Politico last week that she along with two other family members of 9/11 victims had been promised a meeting with King — where she planned to urge him to cancel the hearings — but that he failed to show up at the meeting. In addition to pointing out that King himself has expressed extreme anti-Islamic sentiments before, many of King’s Democratic colleagues expressed solidarity with American Muslims. Jackson Lee said the effort was nothing more than “an effort to demonize” Muslims. Rep. Richardson said the hearings were “discriminatory” and “questioned why other House committees weren’t holding hearings on threats to American children involving other religions, a veiled but some say clear reference to the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.” One of King’s own handpicked witnesses, Abdirizak Bihi, who was an uncle of a radicalized Muslim son, essentially debunked the chairman’s assertion that Muslim Americans are not cooperating with law enforcement, recounting one story of how the Somali Muslim community stepped forward to report its own radicalization, saying, “We the Somali community should get the credit!”

TGIF …&some News

It has been a tough week. I spent a lot of time wondering why people are blaming my President for everything in sight telling us this President hasn’t done enough and the bottom line is the last guy did way too much and FYI here we are people, get a grip. The President can only do so much and in some cases whatever he does needs to be timed, done with NATO or the UN or both and on the local level folks have forgotten that Congress not only makes the laws they tweak them manipulate them and pass them, not our President. We all know the crap that got passed in the Republican led House of Representatives probably will be torn to shreds in the Senate and if not the VETO Pin will be unleashed. I definitely am convinced after watching the “Muslim hearings”; Americans need to fight back against the nonsense that Rep. Peter King laid before the vast viewers in America. I believe he used this platform to promote fear to continue the fear mongering his Political Party started in 2008 and yes it is possible he abused his position and power as chairman at homeland security. There were no real experts from the Department of Homeland Security and though a police officer was there no one from an actual government agency was which gave this viewer pause. I want to know how this was tolerated to begin with, happy that Representatives such as Sheila Lee and others spoke up and out against the hearings and its intent. I urge anyone reading this to lodge a complaint because the days of McCarthyism should have been a warning, a deterrent yet this man who had ties to the IRA has a mission, an agenda and it did not make me feel safer, proud or more American. I was upset, offended, and embarrassed that a narrow view such as his was able to get on a national level. I know that the various fathers and family felt they needed to speak out about their experiences. I think it was a part of the process but as the police officer stated the problem was small and with that comment the public should get it. The obvious is this first meeting accomplished absolutely nothing but scare people, Representative Peter King intends to keep holding more of these hearings stating his next one might be about the radicalization of Muslims in our prisons . These hearings should worry all Americans as the regression back to the days when discrimination was accepted as the norm is being forced on all our lives on some level by those who vote right of center.

 We all know life goes on or gets in the way. Today, around 4am I woke in a start did the usual then thought better turn on the radio and TV? First, I hear that our President definitely will be holding a press conference then word of Japan’s earthquake of 8.9 and the Hawaii Tsunami warnings only to realize better go local and yep California and the West Coast had been warned. I do not live on the Coastal Water Ways but family and friends do so let the worrying commence. I hope everyone who does live near the San Juan islands, Grays Harbor, Santa Barbara have moved to higher ground.

I live near water but it is a manmade lake … did not think I’d ever be happy about that but I am.

The change we hoped for and believed in was just one lobbyist , one huge insurance company like AIG or bank between Americans wanting great health care, green energy and educational reform rather than settle for the mediocre or privatization like the Republicans are trying to force upon us right now. The downfall of our economy did not just happen contrary to what folks continue to push on us. I still wonder at what point did someone anyone see the problem for what it was and flag it. I still wonder about the time it took to expose the corruption our system had and did the house of bush know or was he just too busy playing with a surplus, waging 2wars and when you think about it what could he have done for Americans that could have prevented the economic crisis and didn’t.

We all need to remind folks who slowed down the stimulus, who said let’s stop, do tax cuts but who had no type of plans for an economic recovery. Now, almost 3yrs later we find out after the Republican Tea Party engaged in blocking, stalling, making the democratic party scale back bills and or attaching foul language to great amendments that no one could vote for in good faith that those jobs, jobs, jobs they talked about were actually public service jobs, union jobs. Those American jobs our American jobs-Union jobs are the Republican Tea Party target they want to destroy not created with the intent to privatize them if they can. The warnings came from our own President and no one listened cared or decided to listen but to the wrong people, now our lives as we all use to know it could be in trouble because elections have consequences.

This Country is in more trouble now since the midterm elections and even though both political parties should try to solve the crisis Americans are now facing the truth is out, Americans now know who our real enemy is, and it is the Republican Tea Party. Republicans are acting as if the USA is a playground and they symbolize some jerk child who has drawn a line in the sand instead of agreeing to help solve the problem putting your their self-interests aside for once which could get this Country back on its feet.

We are in a fight for our lives and like I stated before –We now know who our enemy is and it is the Republican Tea Party.

Other News …

**Japan suffers 8.9 earthquake Hawaii and the whole West Coast is subject to Tsunami

**Libyan forces are taking more land and oil

**S.C. Senate oks bill to criminalize immigration -fake docs

**Saudi protests scheduled on Friday

**S.Palin calls the union thugs .. she is such a moron

**IPad 2 goes on Sale Friday

**Markets fall in response to Japan’s equake

**Wis Republicans officially cut collective bargaining

**Unions believe collective bargaining is a right not a privilege

**Indonesia volcano erupts

**Airfares are going up

**Retail sales rise for 8th straight month


White House to Brief on Rising Energy Prices

U.S. oil reserves to remain untouched

House Inspects Food and Drug Safety Budget

U.S. to Meet with Libyan Rebel Leaders

Congress’ Accountant Clarifies GAO Report to Lawmakers

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the White House is close to speaking more publicly about its strategy for dealing with domestic terrorist threats. This came in response to a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on the subject of Muslim Americans. At this briefing we also hear more about NATO’s latest moves to pressure the Gadhafi regime in Libya.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi held a news conference marking the first anniversary of health care law, which was signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010. She was joined by Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL).

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama along with the Department of Education, and the Department of Health and Human Services welcomed students, parents, teachers and others to The White House for a Conference on Bullying Prevention. The conference brought together communities from across the nation who have been affected by bullying as well as those who are taking action to address it.