a message from President Obama …”I will not let it happen”

President Obama said this week that any budget that sacrifices a commitment to education is a budget that sacrifices our future:

“And I will not let it happen.”

Here’s why he’s taking a stand:

The cuts in the House Republican budget to education would be devastating for teachers, students, and families — costing 55,000 jobs, slashing financial aid for 8 million college kids, and dropping hundreds of thousands from Head Start, an early-education program proven to help low-income children graduate high school.

This week, the House passed another short-term extension of the federal budget that will fund the government through early April — between now and then, we need to find common ground.

President Obama is committed to commonsense spending cuts that allow us to live within our means without sacrificing key investments that will help us win the future.

With your support today, we can redouble our campaign for a responsible budget as the deadline nears, with OFA volunteers calling lawmakers and hand-delivering petitions to congressional offices.

Together, we’ll work to make sure that every family, principal, teacher, and student across the country understands that critical funding for education is at stake — and what they can do about it.

Please donate $3 or more today to support Organizing for America and fight to protect our investments in education.


House Republicans are proposing reckless cuts that would undo our progress on health reform, prevent the EPA from protecting our air and water, and hurt our economy and job creation.

The cuts are particularly bad for education, and when we’re talking about investing in children and schools, we’re talking about investing in our future.

If the House Republican budget cuts are adopted:

— More than 16,000 classrooms would close;

— 55,000 teachers would lose their jobs;

— Nearly 200,000 pre-kindergarten children would lose access to Head Start; and

— More than 8 million college students currently receiving tuition assistance would see their Pell Grants cut.

The budget the President signs must have bipartisan support, but he’s made it clear it also must invest in — not sacrifice — education.

Anything less is irresponsible and not worthy of our children.

Your support today will ensure all Americans understand what’s at stake. We’ll stand together and support the President as he tries once again to reach common ground with Republicans.

But we need your help.

Please donate $3 or more to support Organizing for America today:


Thanks for standing up for teachers, kids, and jobs.


Mitch Stewart


Take our quiz: What century are they from? a message from Marissa Graciosa

History is repeating itself

Can you tell the difference?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! They say today everyone is a little bit Irish.

It wasn’t always like that, though. When the Irish first came to America they were met with persecution, ignorance and fear. They were denied jobs, accused of lawlessness and of destroying the United States. Immigration became a rallying point for the Know-Nothings, a political party dedicated to punishing immigrants.

Flash forward to today. Hispanic immigrants are facing the same accusations and the same injustices. History is repeating itself, right in front of us. In fact, it’s getting impossible to tell the difference between rhetoric from the historical Know-Nothings and today’s Republican Party.

Take the quiz: Can you tell the difference?   http://act.reformimmigrationforamerica.org/go/1190?akid=652.164689.coTnOf&t=6

See if you can tell the difference between the historical Know-Nothings and today’s modern ones. Then, take action and tell some of the House’s most extreme right wing restrictionist voices not to keep repeating history. We need constructive solutions, not repackaged racism and xenophobia.

Thank you,

Marissa Graciosa

Reform Immigration FOR America

Environment: Polluter Profits Vs. Public Health

The rise of the Tea Party in Congress has inspired an all-out assault on public health and a clean environment. Several freshman Republicans have joined Newt Gingrich’s call to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency. Republicans in the House Energy Committee unanimously voted not once, not twice, but three times, to deny that climate change is real, despite the broad scientific consensus that “climate change is happening and human beings are a major reason for it.” Every House Republican voted against stripping big oil companies of taxpayer funded subsidies — which would have saved American citizens tens of billions of dollars. The Republican-controlled House Administration Committee even slashed Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) “Green the Capitol” initiative, ordering the switch of recyclable materials to non-biodegradable Styrofoam to be used in the House cafeterias. “It apparently no longer matters in Congress what health experts and scientists think,” Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) observed. “All that seems to matter is what Koch Industries thinks.”

GOP PROTECTING POLLUTER PROFITS: After hours of debate over the last few days, the Senate may vote as early as today on Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Sen. Jim Inhofe’s (R-OK) legislation to gut the EPA’s ability to set greenhouse pollution rules for coal plants and oil refineries. The language, which passed Upton’s energy committee this week, has been introduced by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as Amendment 183 to an unrelated small-business bill. Inhofe isn’t likely to get the 60 votes needed to pass, but enough Democrats are susceptible to the arguments of the coal and oil industries to join the science deniers in the Republican Party to cross the 50 vote threshold. The Hill reports that the “lead sponsors of House GOP legislation to kill EPA climate change rules” — the Committee From Koch’s Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) — “crossed Capitol Hill for Senate meetings Wednesday amid a pending effort by their Senate Republican counterparts to advance the same plan.” If this effort to prevent the EPA’s modest action on climate change fails, the enemies of a healthy planet have more plans up their sleeve: Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) is pushing a moratorium on climate action, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has introduced the constitutionally questionable REINS Act to require explicit Congressional approval for every agency rule, and House Republicans have defunded climate action and environmental protection in the spending bill for the remainder of 2011.

EPA PROTECTING LIVES: The Environmental Protection Agency yesterday unveiled its proposed rule to reduce mercury and air toxics for coal-fired power plants, after a ten-year delay. We are currently being exposed annually to 386,000 tons of 84 dangerous pollutants from uncontrolled coal plants, despite being classified as “air toxics.” These include arsenic, lead, mercury, dioxins, formaldehyde, benzene, acid gases such as hydrogen chloride, and radioactive materials like radium and uranium. Even in small amounts, “these extremely harmful air pollutants are linked to health problems such as cancer, heart disease, neurological damage, birth defects, asthma attacks and even premature death.” Coal-fired power plants produce more hazardous air pollution in the United States than any other industrial pollution sources. They were exempt from regulation until 2000, and then the Bush administration wasted its time with a system that was thrown out by the courts because it did not provide the protection required by the Clean Air Act. “Reducing mercury and other toxic air pollutants is a prescription for healthier babies , children, and seniors,” said CAPAF president John Podesta. “A mandate to slash these toxic airborne pollutants will drive utilities to develop and deploy innovative clean energy technologies.”

DIRTY COAL COMPLAINS: The dirty coal industry has attacked the proposed rules. The standards would result in “higher utility bills for households and businesses, substantial job losses and a significant weakening of the nation’s electricity reliability,” National Mining Association President Hal Quinn said in a statement. However, industry analysts have found that electric system reliability can be maintained and that “the capital investments related to these regulations will create needed jobs and will yield many hundreds of billions of dollars in annual health benefits.” The EPA estimates that for every dollar spent to reduce this pollution from power plants, there will be $5 to $13 in health benefits, up to $140 billion in total health benefits a year. Furthermore, a group of leading energy companies — Calpine Corporation, Constellation Energy, Exelon Corporation, PG&E Corporation, Public Service Enterprise Group, Inc., and Seattle City Light — congratulated the EPA for its proposed rule, saying there “ought to be no further delay” in its “effective implementation.” “We know from experience that constructing this technology can be done in a reasonable time frame, especially with good advance planning,” said Paul Allen, senior vice president and chief environmental officer of Constellation Energy, “and there is meaningful job creation associated with the projects.”


Here are stories published today on topics you identified as important to you.

 8 smart ways to spend a hefty windfall | 2011-03-17

It’s an unexpected pleasure and burden. What would experts do with a pile of cash? http://www.bankrate.com/finance/personal-finance/8-smart-ways-to-approach-a-hefty-windfall-1.aspx?ec_id=brmint_newsalert_20110317

National mortgage rates for March 17, 2011 | 2011-03-17

See rates from our survey of CDs, mortgages, home equity products, auto loans and credit cards. http://www.bankrate.com/finance/mortgages/interest-rate-roundup-for-march-17-2011.aspx?ec_id=brmint_newsalert_20110317

Auto loan rates for March 17, 2011 | 2011-03-17

Here are the average auto loan rates from Bankrate‘s weekly survey of large banks and thrifts. http://www.bankrate.com/finance/auto/national-auto-loan-rates-for-march-17-2011.aspx?ec_id=brmint_newsalert_20110317

CD rates for March 17, 2011 | 2011-03-17

Here are the average CD rates from Bankrate’s weekly survey of large banks and thrifts. http://www.bankrate.com/finance/cd/national-cd-rates-for-march-17-2011.aspx?ec_id=brmint_newsalert_20110317

Credit card interest rates for March 17, 2011 | 2011-03-17

Here are the average credit card rates from Bankrate’s weekly survey of large banks and thrifts. http://www.bankrate.com/finance/credit-cards/national-credit-card-rates-for-march-17-2011.aspx?ec_id=brmint_newsalert_20110317

Home equity loan rates for March 17, 2011 | 2011-03-17

Here are the average home equity rates from Bankrate’s weekly survey of large banks and thrifts. http://www.bankrate.com/finance/home-equity/national-home-equity-loan-rates-for-march-17-2011.aspx?ec_id=brmint_newsalert_20110317

Breaking: House takes on gun checks …Michael Bloomberg

Yesterday on Capitol Hill, I joined members of Congress to announce the introduction of the Fix Gun Checks Act of 2011 in the House of Representatives. This marks another milestone in our mission to fix the national gun background check system.

I want to take this moment to thank you for your support – and to ask for your help in the work to come.

The Fix Gun Checks campaign has reached a critical stage. As we work to get this legislation passed and signed into law by President Obama, our representatives in Washington need to hear that communities across the country demand swift action to stop dangerous people like the Tucson shooter from getting their hands on guns.

Today, 34 Americans will be murdered by a killer with a gun. Tomorrow, it will be another 34. That is why we must call on Congress to pass the Fix Gun Checks Act


The bill we announced yesterday would take two critical steps to fix our background check system:

Get all the names of dangerous people who should be prohibited from buying guns into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Require a background check for every gun sale in America.

Earlier this week, President Obama signaled his support for fixing background checks, adding to our campaign’s growing momentum.

But now that legislation has been introduced, we need to work harder than ever to ensure that Washington hears our clear message: we will not stand idly by while 34 Americans are shot and killed each day.


Right now, we have a moment of opportunity to make real change. I hope you’ll join me in asking Congress to do its part to keep our communities safe.


Thanks for standing with us.


Michael Bloomberg

Mayor, New York City