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Game Change …

 By ThinkProgress War Room

How to Make the State of Our Union Stronger

Last night President Obama unveiled a variety of new proposals focused growing our economy, strengthening the middle class, and keeping Americans safe. Here’s a closer look at six of the president’s proposals that could be real game-changers.

1. Executive action on climate change. “I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change…If Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. Obama urged Congress to pass a standard cap and trade bill along the framework developed by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman. That measure ultimately failed, and Obama warned that if Congress does not act, he will take executive action and direct the Environmental Protection Agency to limit emission standards for power plants imposed under the Clean Air Act. Obama also proposed a federal fund for states that pursue energy efficiency and halve their energy use. After all, climate change is contributing to a growing number of extreme weather events that that is costing the United States billions:

2. Investing in infrastructure and creating jobs. “I propose a “Fix-It-First” program to put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs, like the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country.” The average American bridge is now 43 years old — and a 2008 Department of Transportation survey determined that 72,868 are “structurally deficient,” while 89,024 are “functionally obsolete.” Obama’s plan calls for “$50 billion in frontloaded infrastructure investment includes $40 billion that would be targeted to the most urgent upgrades, like the 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country.” Economistsestimate that new federal spending for infrastructure “would generate $1.44 of economic activity for each $1 spent” and in reviewing the economic impact of the Recovery Act, the Congressional Budget Officefound that infrastructure investments and purchases by the federal government for goods and services had the largest jobs multiplier impact of all the stimulus elements”:

3. Universal preschool. “I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America. Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on – by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime.” Obama is urging Congress to provide low- and moderate-income 4- year-old children with high-quality preschool, while allowing states a great deal of latitude and flexibility to run their own programs. At-risk children without early childhood education are more likely to drop out of school, become teen parents, or get arrested for violent crime, and they are less likely to attend college. Investing in those children early would reduce societal and economic costs later in their lives, while also increasing economic mobility. A recent study showed that Chicago’s preschool program generates “$11 of economic benefits over a child’s lifetime for every dollar spent initially on the program.” As the University of Chicago’s James Heckman has found, “investing in early childhood development for disadvantaged children provides a great return to society through increased personal achievement and social productivity.” Another study found even larger benefits:

Large return on investment

4. A pathway to citizenship. “Real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship – a path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning English, and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally.” Immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship is essential to the economy. A naturalized immigrant will earn “between 5.6 percent and 7.2 percent more within two years of becoming a citizen,” boosting consumer spending and overall economic growth. Immigration reform would add up to $5.4 billion in new tax revenue over the first three years, and a cumulative $1.5 trillion to the U.S. economy over a decade:

5. A livable wage. “Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour.” Raising the minimum wage to $9 “restores the inflation-adjusted value of the minimum wage back to where it was in 1981.” In fact, had the minimum wage had simply kept up with inflation since the 1960s, it would be over $10 per hour today. The increase will disproportionately help women and minorities, since they make up a majority of low-wage workers, without negatively effecting employment:

6. Enhancing gun safety. “Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress. If you want to vote no, that’s your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote.” In the aftermath of the Newton tragedy, a bipartisan group of lawmakers have begun working on legislation to ensure that everyone who purchases a firearm undergoes a background check, among other reforms limiting access to military-style weapons. Residents in 45 states can buy guns through private sales without undergoing the otherwise-mandatory background check. 40 percent of all gun sales are purchased without any screening, including 80 percent of guns used in crimes:

Evening Brief: Important Stories That You Might’ve Missed

They deserve a vote.

Marco Rubio wants to bring back Bushonomics.

No, Speaker Boehner, raising the minimum wage won’t kill jobs.

The GOP’s “savior” mocks climate change.

The president’s home refinancing plan will boost the economy.

Republicans reach out to Latinos by opposing the policies they support.

The case for making preschool available to every American child.

Second Connecticut senator and congresswoman who represents Newtown slam the NRA for its lobbyist’s offensive comments.

Marco Rubio’s story doesn’t add up.

PBO NRA and Rambo

Do you agree?

The 4 Words Our President Spoke That Resonate Now More Than Ever

Or is he?

Surely, ‘Rambo’ Is All For Assault Rifles, Right?

Which reason is it going to be, folks? WATCH :

JON STEWART: The NRA Can’t Make Up Their Mind On Why They Need Guns

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The Colonel reacts : Rolf Skar, Greenpeace

Ask KFC’s board to take real action to protect the rainforest. Take Action
Please email KFC’s Board of Directors today and ask them to cut deforestation out of their supply chain and keep Sumatran tiger habitat standing in Indonesia.
take action today

KFC recently announced the start of a process to examine where it gets its paper for things like napkins and chicken buckets.
This is a good first step and a sign that the company is starting to take your concerns seriously. But a process alone isn’t going to help save the 400 remaining Sumatran tigers from extinction. What we need from KFC is a global zero deforestation policy to ensure they won’t buy from companies like Asia Pulp & Paper (APP). And now’s the time to ask for it.
CEO David Novak will be the person responsible for whatever policy comes out of this process. It’s up to us to make sure he does what’s needed to save the Indonesian rainforest by developing a global policy that rules out deforestation.
And there is one group of people who can definitely make sure Mr. Novak does just that: KFC’s Board of Directors.
Send a message to KFC’s Board of Directors and ask them to persuade David Novak to cut rainforest destruction out of KFC products. For good.
To make things a bit more interesting we’ve decided to do a little promotion of our own.
If over 30,000 people take this action, we’ll host a livestream event for people around the world and dip the Colonel himself into a tank of one of his own sauces. We think the Colonel needs a wake-up call.
Every message we send to KFC’s Board of Directors matters. This is a critical time for the campaign and your support right now is crucial as the company begins the process of developing a policy. Please email KFC’s Board of Directors today and ask them to cut deforestation out of the company’s supply chain and keep Sumatran tiger habitat standing in Indonesia.
Indonesia’s rainforests are one of the largest in the world. During the last 50 years an area larger than Texas has been destroyed — logged, burned, or pulped — and its products shipped round the planet. Often for things like chicken buckets and napkins.
There’s no need to throw-away one of the most amazing, diverse places on earth.
For the forests,
Rolf Skar Greenpeace Forest Campaign Director
P.S. Want to see the Colonel dunked in a tank full of sauce?

Help us send 30,000 messages to KFC’s Board of Directors by taking action and sharing with your friends.

Get ready to Vote ! Be Informed …

Please click on the photo to read what is says … Every State should be required to send this mailer out to each and every person with an address  . Call your States Elections Office and push for the Presidential elections to be National process.