Forward on Climate Rally – February 17, 2013



On February 17, nearly 50,000 Americans and 168 different organizations marched to the president’s front door to demand we go forward on climate.

This wasn’t just a one-time rally — it was the beginning of a movement. Now we need to show President Obama that those marchers represented millions of us across the country.

There are three steps President Obama can take right now, without waiting on Congress, to start fulfilling his promise to lead on climate. It’s up to you to help him take those steps.

Call the White House today at (202) 456-1111 and tell them that, for the sake of our future, we need President Obama to:

  1. Stop Keystone XL and other tar sands infrastructure
  2. Enact strong standards to limit carbon pollution from our nation’s dirty power plants
  3. Protect America’s lands — including the Arctic — from oil, coal, and unregulated fracking

If the line is busy, keep trying!

What President Obama Wants to Do for Education

What You Need to Know About President Obama’s Plan to Provide High-Quality Early Education for All ChildrenThe beginning years of a child’s life are critical for building the early foundation needed for success later in school and in life. Leading economists agree that high-quality early learning programs can help level the playing field for children from lower-income families on vocabulary, social and emotional development, while helping students to stay on track and stay engaged in the early elementary grades. Children who attend these programs are more likely to do well in school, find good jobs, and succeed in their careers than those who don’t.

That’s why, in his State of the Union Address, President Obama called on Congress to expand access to high-quality pre-school to every child in America.

Find out more about President Obama’s plan to help our children and our future.

But fewer than three in ten four year olds are enrolled in a high-quality pre-school program

Obama Administration Launches College ScorecardFollowing the State of the Union, the Administration released an interactive “College Scorecard” that empowers families to make smart investments in higher education. As the President said in his State of the Union Address, we want to help families get the most bang for their educational buck.

The College Scorecard – part of President Obama’s continued efforts to hold colleges accountable for cost, value and quality – highlights key indicators about the cost and value of institutions across the country to help students choose a school that is well-suited to meet their needs, priced affordably, and is consistent with their educational and career goals.

Check out the College Scorecard.

Open for Questions: The State of the Union and Education

Last week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sat down to answer questions about President Obama’s State of the Union Address and what it means for education.

Check it out:

Sec. Arne Duncan participates in an Open for Questions on Education

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Estimated Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on Employment and Economic Output from October 2012 Through December 2012

Estimated Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on Employment and Economic Output from October 2012 Through December 2012

As required by law, CBO prepares regular reports on its estimate of the number of jobs created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which was enacted in response to significant weakness in the economy.

In total, CBO estimates that ARRA will increase budget deficits by about $830 billion over the 2009–2019 period. By CBO’s estimate, close to half of that impact occurred in fiscal year 2010, and more than 90 percent of ARRA’s budgetary impact was realized by the end of December 2012.

From the Middle Class Out

ThinkProgress War Room

Creating an Economy That Works for Everyone

For the last thirty years, we’ve been experiencing one long, failed experiment in so-called trickle-down economics. In practice, this means that the rich have gotten richer (exponentially so) while the middle class has fallen further and further behind. Trillions of dollars in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and corporations, the one goal that binds the GOP together, utterly failed to trickle down, stifled economic growth, and contributed to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

We need a different model — an economy that grows from the middle class out. What does this mean? How does that work? One of our colleagues, Senior Economist Heather Boushey, lays it all out in a new video:

BOTTOM LINE: The wealthy and corporations simply aren’t paying their fair share so in order to reduce our deficit in a smart way and still make investments in the middle class, we need to get rid of hundreds of billions of dollars in wasteful loopholes and giveaways in our tax code.

Evening Brief: Important Stories That You Might’ve Missed

57 terrible consequences of the sequester cuts that the GOP is allowing to kick in next week.

Bitter pill: why medical bills are killing us.

Oops: GOP senator accidentally gets behind Roe v. Wade.

Laura Bush supports marriage equality, she just doesn’t want anyone to know.

One top senator’s latest racist excuse for opposing the Violence Against Women Act.

The public takes President Obama’s side on major issues we need to deal with.

Anti-spending GOP reps wants taxpayer funds to turn George W. Bush’s boyhood home into a national park.

GOP rep won’t support pathway to citizenship because he wants to keep immigrants in “the dirtiest jobs.”

Austerity: still failing.

Drone medal outranks Purple Heart?
Have you heard about the Pentagon‘s new Distinguished Warfare Medal?It ranks above the Purple Heart and is awarded to drone operators and cyberwar practitioners for “extraordinary achievement” in a post 9/11military operation.

A number of VoteVets members have expressed their opinions about the distinction, but we want to hear from you, as well.

Do you think the medal should rank above the Purple Heart? Let us know here:

Here’s a few of the comments we received on our Facebook page:

Christopher C. No problem with the medal itself. Serious problem with its hierarchy ranking: It should not be above medals awarded for combat actions. I am seriously surprised that anyone would think it is reasonable to giving it that level of precedence.

Ethan C. I think their service should be recognized with some kind of award but combat valor medals recognize real life and death situations on the actual battlefield. Combat awards should be given the highest placement.

Let us know what you think and we’ll be sure to share your thoughts with Senator Hagel after he’s confirmed as our next Secretary of Defense.

There’s been a lot of conversation about the new medal in the traditional media and online. I look forward to hearing your thoughts, as well.


Jon Soltz                     Iraq War Veteran                     Chairman,