Tag Archives: Point/Countpoint

Winter is Here !!!

Are you ready for the icy roads, extreme cold, and loss of heat, power, and communications that winter storms can bring?

oh, king county says you can now text to 911 though they really suggest calling is better !

A few thoughts on preparing:

  • Check the antifreeze levels in your car.
  • Keep a flashlight, extra batteries, a windshield scraper, a shovel, booster cables, water, snacks, hats and mittens in your vehicle.
  • Insulate pipes in your home and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing.
  • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
  • Keep fire extinguishers in your home, and make sure everyone knows how to use them.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms outside bedrooms and on each floor of your home.
  • Have rock salt or an environmentally friendly alternative on hand to melt ice on walkways. Have sand to improve traction.
  • Check out more good tips on what to do before, during and after winter storms and extreme cold.

Related publication:


Fact Sheet: The American Jobs Act … remember this

whitehouselogoThe White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
September 08, 2011

Fact Sheet: The American Jobs Act


1. Tax Cuts to Help America’s Small Businesses Hire and Grow

  • Cutting the payroll tax in half for 98 percent of businesses: The President’s plan will cut in half the taxes paid by businesses on their first $5 million in payroll, targeting the benefit to the 98 percent of firms that have payroll below this threshold.
  • A complete payroll tax holiday for added workers or increased wages: The President’s plan will completely eliminate payroll taxes for firms that increase their payroll by adding new workers or increasing the wages of their current worker (the benefit is capped at the first $50 million in payroll increases).
  • Extending 100% expensing into 2012: This continues an effective incentive for new investment.
  • Reforms and regulatory reductions to help entrepreneurs and small businesses access capital.

2. Putting Workers Back on the Job While Rebuilding and Modernizing America

  • A “Returning Heroes” hiring tax credit for veterans: This provides tax credits from $5,600 to $9,600 to encourage the hiring of unemployed veterans.
  • Preventing up to 280,000 teacher layoffs,while keeping cops and firefighters on the job.
  • Modernizing at least 35,000 public schools across the country,supporting new science labs, Internet-ready classrooms and renovations at schools across the country, in rural and urban areas.
  • Immediate investments in infrastructure and a bipartisan National Infrastructure Bank, modernizing our roads, rail, airports and waterways while putting hundreds of thousands of workers back on the job.
  • A New “Project Rebuild”, which will put people to work rehabilitating homes, businesses and communities, leveraging private capital and scaling land banks and other public-private collaborations.
  • Expanding access to high-speed wireless as part of a plan for freeing up the nation’s spectrum.

3. Pathways Back to Work for Americans Looking for Jobs.

  • The most innovative reform to the unemployment insurance program in 40 years: Aspartofan extension of unemployment insurance to prevent 5 million Americans looking for work from losing their benefits, the President’s plan includes innovative work-based reforms to prevent layoffs and give states greater flexibility to use UI funds to best support job-seekers, including:
    • Work-Sharing: UI for workers whose employers choose work-sharing over layoffs.
    • A new “Bridge to Work” program: The plan builds on and improves innovative state programs where those displacedtake temporary, voluntary work or pursue on-the-job training.
    • Innovative entrepreneurship and wage insurance programs: States will also be empowered to implement wage insurance to help reemploy older workers and programs that make it easier for unemployed workers to start their own businesses.
  • A $4,000 tax credit to employers for hiring long-term unemployed workers.
  • Prohibiting employers from discriminating against unemployed workers when hiring.
  • Expanding job opportunities for low-income youth and adults through a fund for successful approaches for subsidized employment, innovative training programs and summer/year-round jobs for youth.

4. Tax Relief for Every American Worker and Family

  • Cutting payroll taxes in half for 160 million workers next year: The President’s plan will expand the payroll tax cut passed last year to cut workers payroll taxes in half in 2012 – providing a $1,500 tax cut to the typical American family, without negatively impacting the Social Security Trust Fund.
  • Allowing more Americans to refinance their mortgages at today’s near 4 percent interest rates, which can put more than $2,000 a year in a family’s pocket.

5. Fully Paid for as Part of the President’s Long-Term Deficit Reduction Plan.To ensure that the American Jobs Act is fully paid for, the President will call on the Joint Committee to come up with additional deficit reduction necessary to pay for the Act and still meet its deficit target. The President will, in the coming days, release a detailed plan that will show how we can do that while achieving the additional deficit reduction necessary to meet the President’s broader goal of stabilizing our debt as a share of the economy.


The American people understand that the economic crisis and the deep recession weren’t created overnight and won’t be solved overnight. The economic security of the middle class has been under attack for decades. That’s why President Obama believes we need to do more than just recover from this economic crisis – we need to rebuild the economy the American way, based on balance, fairness, and the same set of rules for everyone from Wall Street to Main Street. We can work together to create the jobs of the future by helping small business entrepreneurs, by investing in education, and by making things the world buys. The President understands that to restore an American economy that’s built to last we cannot afford to outsource American jobs and encourage reckless financial deals that put middle class security at risk.

To create jobs, the President unveiled the American Jobs Act – nearly all of which is made up of ideas that have been supported by both Democrats and Republicans, and that Congress should pass right away to get the economy moving now. The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: put more people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans. And it would do so without adding a dime to the deficit.

Tax Cuts to Help America’s Small Businesses Hire and Grow

New Tax Cuts to Businesses to Support Hiring and Investment:The President is proposing three tax cuts to provide immediate incentives to hire and invest:

  • Cutting the Payroll Tax Cut in Half for the First $5 Million in Wages:This provision would cut the payroll tax in half to 3.1% for employers on the first $5 million in wages, providing broad tax relief to all businesses but targeting it to the 98 percent of firms with wages below this level.
  • Temporarily Eliminating Employer Payroll Taxes on Wages for New Workers or Raises for Existing Workers:The President is proposing a full holiday on the 6.2% payroll tax firms pay for any growth in their payroll up to $50 million above the prior year, whether driven by new hires, increased wages or both. This is the kind of job creation measure that CBO has called the most effective of all tax cuts in supporting employment.
  • Extending 100% Expensing into 2012:The President is proposing to extend 100 percent expensing, the largest temporary investment incentive in history, allowing all firms – large and small – to take an immediate deduction on investments in new plants and equipment.
  • Helping Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses Access Capital and Grow: The President’s plan includes administrative, regulatory and legislative measures – including those developed and recommended by the President’s Jobs Council – to help small firms start and expand. This includes changing the way the government does business with small firms. The Administration will soon announce a plan to accelerate government payments to small contractors to help put money in their hands faster. The President is also charging his CIO and CTO to, within 90 days, stand up a one-stop, online portal for small businesses to easily access government services. As part of the President’s Startup America initiative, the Administration will work with the SEC to conduct a comprehensive review of securities regulations from the perspective of these small companies to reduce the regulatory burdens on small business capital formation in ways that are consistent with investor protection, including expanding “crowdfunding” opportunities and increasing mini-offerings. Finally, the President’s plan calls for Congress to pass comprehensive patent reform, increase guarantees for bonds to help small businesses compete for infrastructure projects and remove burdensome withholding requirements that keep capital out of the hands of job creators.

Putting Workers Back on the Job While Rebuilding and Modernizing America

  • Tax Credits and Career Readiness Efforts to Support Veterans’ Hiring:The President is proposing a Returning Heroes Tax Credit of up to $5,600 for hiring unemployed veterans who have been looking for a job for more than six months, and a Wounded Warriors Tax Credit of up to $9,600 for hiring unemployed workers with service-connected disabilities who have been looking for a job for more than six months, while creating a new task force to maximize career readiness of servicemembers.
  • Preventing Layoffs of Teachers, Cops and Firefighters:The President is proposing to invest $35 billion to prevent layoffs of up to 280,000 teachers, while supporting the hiring of tens of thousands more and keeping cops and firefighters on the job. These funds would help states and localities avoid and reverse layoffs now, requiring that funds be drawn down quickly. Under the President’s proposal, $30 billion be directed towards educators and $5 billion would support the hiring and retention of public safety and first responder personnel.
  • Modernizing Over 35,000 Schools – From Science Labs and Internet-Ready Classrooms to Renovated Facilities:The President is proposing a $25 billion investment in school infrastructure that will modernize at least 35,000 public schools – investments that will create jobs, while improving classrooms and upgrading our schools to meet 21st century needs. This includes a priority for rural schools and dedicated funding for Bureau of Indian Education funded schools. Funds could be used for a range of emergency repair and renovation projects, greening and energy efficiency upgrades, asbestos abatement and removal, and modernization efforts to build new science and computer labs and to upgrade technology in our schools. The President is also proposing a $5 billion investment in modernizing community colleges (including tribal colleges), bolstering their infrastructure in this time of need while ensuring their ability to serve future generations of students and communities.
  • Making an Immediate Investment in Our Roads, Rails and Airports: The President’s plan includes $50 billion in immediate investments for highways, transit, rail and aviation, helping to modernize an infrastructure that now receives a grade of “D” from the American Society of Civil Engineers and putting hundreds of thousands of construction workers back on the job. The President’s plan includes investments to improve our airports, support NextGen Air Traffic Modernization efforts, and resources for the TIGER and TIFIA programs, which target competitive dollars to innovative multi-modal infrastructure programs. It will also take special steps to enhance infrastructure-related job training opportunities for individuals from underrepresented groups and ensure that small businesses can compete for infrastructure contracts.The President will work administratively to speed infrastructure investment through a recently issued Presidential Memorandum developed with his Jobs Council directingdepartments and agencies to identify high impact, job-creating infrastructure projects that can be expedited in a transparent manner through outstanding review and permitting processes. The call for greater infrastructure investment has been joined by leaders from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka to U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue.
  • Establishing a National Infrastructure Bank:The President is calling for Congress to pass a National Infrastructure Bank capitalized with $10 billion, in order to leverage private and public capital and to invest in a broad range of infrastructure projects of nationaland regional significance, without earmarks or traditional political influence. The Bank would be based on the model Senators Kerry and Hutchison have championed while building on legislation by Senators Rockefeller and Lautenberg and the work of long-time infrastructure bank champions like Rosa DeLauro and the input of the President’s Jobs Council.
  • Project Rebuild: Putting People Back to Work Rehabilitating Homes, Businesses and Communities. The President is proposing to invest $15 billion in a national effort to put construction workers on the job rehabilitating and refurbishing hundreds of thousands of vacant and foreclosed homes and businesses. Building on proven approaches to stabilizing neighborhoods with high concentrations of foreclosures, Project Rebuild will bring in expertise and capital from the private sector, focus on commercial and residential property improvements, and expand innovative property solutions like land banks. This approach will not only create construction jobs but will help reduce blight and crime and stabilize housing prices in areas hardest hit by the housing crisis.
  • Expanding Access to High-Speed Wireless in a Fiscally Responsible Way: The President is calling for a deficit reducing plan to deploy high-speed wireless services to at least 98 percent of Americans, including those in more remote rural communities, while freeing up spectrum through incentive auctions, spurring innovation, and creating a nationwide, interoperable wireless network for public safety.

Pathways Back to Work for Americans Looking for Jobs

  • Reform Our Unemployment Insurance System to Provide Greater Flexibility, While Ensuring 6 Million People Do Not Lose Benefits: Drawing on the best ideas of both parties and the most innovative states, the President is proposing the most sweeping reforms to the unemployment insurance (UI) system in 40 years help those without jobs transition to the workplace. Alongside these reforms, the President is reiterating his call to extend unemployment insurance, preventing 6 million people looking for work from losing their benefits and extending what the independent Congressional Budget Office has determined is the highest “bang for the buck” option to increase economic activity.
  • Reemployment Assistance: States will be required to design more rigorous reemployment services for the long-term unemployed and to conduct assessments to review the longest-term claimants of UI to assess their eligibility and help them develop a work-search plan. These reforms are proven to speed up UI beneficiaries’ return to work.
  • Work-sharing:The President will expand “work-sharing” to encourage arrangements using UI that keep employees on the job at reduced hours, rather than laying them off.
  • State Flexibility for Bold Reforms to Put the Long-Term Unemployed Back To Work:The President is proposing to provide additional funds to allow states to introduce new programs aimed at long-term unemployed workers, including:
  • Bridge to Work” Programs:States will be able to put in place reforms that build off what works in programs like Georgia Works or Opportunity North Carolina, while instituting important fixes and reforms that ensure minimum wage and fair labor protections are being enforced. These approaches permits long-term unemployed workers to continue receiving UI while they take temporary, voluntary work or pursue work-based training. The President’s plan requires compliance with applicable minimum wage and other worker rights laws.
  • Wage Insurance: States will be able to use UI to encourage older, long-term unemployed Americans to return to work in new industries or occupations.
  • Startup Assistance: States will have flexibility to help long-term unemployed workers create their own jobs by starting their own small businesses.
  • Other Reemployment Reforms: States will be able to seek waivers from the Secretary of Labor to implement other innovative reforms to connect the long-term unemployed to work opportunities.
  • Tax Credits for Hiring the Long-Term Unemployed:The President is proposing a tax credit of up to $4,000 for hiring workers who have been looking for a job for over six months.
  • Investing in Low-Income Youth and Adults: The President is proposing a new Pathways Back to Work Fund to provide hundreds of thousands of low-income youth and adults with opportunities to work and to achieve needed training in growth industries. The Initiative will do three things: i) support summer and year-round jobs for youth, building off of successful programs that supported over 370,000 such jobs in 2009 and 2010; ii) support subsidized employment opportunities for low-income individuals who are unemployed, building off the successful TANF Emergency Contingency Fund wage subsidy program that supported 260,000 jobs in 2009 and 2010; and iii) support promising and innovative local work-based job and training initiatives to place low-income adults and youths in jobs quickly.
  • Prohibiting Employers from Discriminating Against Unemployed Workers: The President’s plan calls for legislation that would make it unlawful to refuse to hire applicants solely because they are unemployed or to include in a job posting a provision that unemployed persons will not be considered.

More Money in the Pockets of Every American Worker and Family

  • Cutting Payroll Taxes in Half for 160 Million Workers Next Year: The President’s plan will expand the payroll tax cut passed last December by cutting workers payroll taxes in half next year. This provision will provide a tax cut of $1,500 to the typical family earning $50,000 a year. As with the payroll tax cut passed in December 2010, the American Jobs Act will specify that Social Security will still receive every dollar it would have gotten otherwise, through a transfer from the General Fund into the Social Security Trust Fund.
  • Helping More Americans Refinance Mortgages at Today’s Historically Low Interest Rates: The President has instructed his economic team to work with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, their regulator the FHFA, major lenders and industry leaders to remove the barriers that exist in the current refinancing program (HARP) to help more borrowers benefit from today’s historically low interest rates. This has the potential to not only help these borrowers, but their communities and the American taxpayer, by keeping borrowers in their homes and reducing risk to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Fully Paid for as Part of the President’s Long-Term Deficit Reduction Plan.

  • To ensure that the American Jobs Act is fully paid for, the President will call on the Joint Committee to come up with additional deficit reduction necessary to pay for the Act and still meet its deficit target. The President will, in the coming days, release a detailed plan that will show how we can do that while achieving the additional deficit reduction necessary to meet the President’s broader goal of stabilizing our debt as a share of the economy.

mondaish &some News …


just another rant …

    about abortion, jobs, guns, our debt/deficit religious freedom and more seem to be just lying in wait while some Republicans have edged over the cliff to bring up these topics now. Those on the extreme right who belong to the birther crowd and getting more airplay are demanding or questioning the validity of our President’s birth place while demanding people stay out of their personal lives.  Both factions are odd and offensive … just sayin

Is it just me or is “this do as we say not as we do” Political Party of NO have your blood-boiling like mine because as the comments, complaints and vile talk about our President’s background, history and earlier behavior became major topics of discussion on the airwaves crops back up. The same people who call themselves Republicans, Tea party members and or Conservatives continue to feel they are above the questions and cannot be held accountable, questioned or treated just like the President. These same people have accused President Obama of withholding information from the public yet they get offended when asked to provide more information please because they are running for public office. I feel their constituents deserve to know, the public and Americans deserve to know how these people will vote on issues of religion…will their beliefs dictate to how the vote and impact our constitutional rights.

If you are listening and are paying attention conservatives and some conservadems are pushing the discussion of women’s rights, religion, race and gender preference up to the surface to rile their base again and  leading up to the 2012 the talk will become even more vitriolic.  I have to say how confusing it is to hear conservatives, mostly southern men still having a need to control women, their bodies, our healthcare needs, and our rights in the year 2011/2012.

 It’s bad enough that women on the Republican side mostly extreme tea party members say they are fiscal conservatives and want less government in their(our) lives yet topics like abortion, stem cell research/experiments and religious freedom have them not just flustered but their undies are in full bunch mode. I could not vote for anyone let alone a woman who feels I have no right to choose because they are pro-life. I am pro-life but people …women and families should have the right it choose alternative options. The fact is no one chooses to have an abortion just because and if nothing else having a safe procedure is better than having a woman be desperate enough to take actions that would put her life at risk. I happen to feel strongly that the notion of “It is my body” is has been pushed aside  and The Hyde amendment should be enough for folks on the right and or left to accept as the law of the land though more laws banning abortion creates more babies, families with more need more poor. I also wonder if as one conservative woman said… the need for babies to adopt is great and banning abortion could create the environment for parents who want to adopt…. What? My first thought was these people say they are pro-life, against anchor babies yet they want to implement some sort of baby factory for American families, which is so odd for a Political Party with that Family Values Platform they seem to live by. It always makes me want to scream hey, stay out of my life and like others I am sounding off the alarm because they will be working on making it harder for women to have the right to choose . We must all  ask how many in Congress will support the good’ole days and  back up these archiac bills . Though we are in 21st Century the ideology is barbaric and because the old school dogma crosses the line, it solidifies how elitist the comments and behavior from Republicans as of late. If you live under a Republican State or conservative ideology, which promotes a class system, that feels they want government out of their lives but not the people they represent or practices systematic discrimination or blatant hate, you should think about the impact repealing, replacing and eliminating will have on his or her own families, friend’s co-workers. The idea that some Republicans want to go back to a time when women and people of colour had no rights sounds silly but before you laugh, take some time and listen closely.

just when I thought, we were all moving into the 21st century


Other News

“C-SPAN letter to Chief Justice Roberts on TV camera coverage of health care case”

Scholars & Journalists Debate the Future of Pakistan

Report: Challenging Times for Young America

Concerns Exist About Malaria in Africa

Harvard’s Kennedy School Names “Top American Leaders” of 2011

GOP Governors on Issues Facing the States

Bullying judges

Human Rights Campaign

Bullying judges?

NOM targeted three independent Iowa justices to send a message:

Follow our radical anti-gay agenda – or else.

Stop NOM

The nation’s #1 anti-gay organization just struck a blow to our nation’s courts.

In 2009, every Iowa Supreme Court justice agreed that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. This election season, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) set its political bulls-eye on ousting three of those justices. On Election Day, all three lost.

It was a calculated warning shot aimed at judges nationwide, all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court: Either you cast aside centuries of judicial independence and rule according to our radical, anti-gay ideology – or we’ll come get you.

We may not always see eye to eye with Chief Justice Roberts, but we can all agree that judges should be independent. NOM’s actions were a blatant, ideological assault on our nation’s courts. Iowa’s judicial retention elections were created to prevent fraud, misconduct or malfeasance. They were never intended to allow one hate group and its fringe allies to dump $600,000 into a state over a single — and unanimous — decision they didn’t like.

But that’s exactly what happened. Last month, NOM’s president Brian Brown said: “If the people of Iowa… remove these judges, there will be reverberations throughout the country all the way to the United States Supreme Court.”

Wow. Is that an ultimatum? That’s how bullies operate.

It gets worse. Marriage equality is in jeopardy. As NOM’s Brown boasted post-election: “We now have the ability to roll back same-sex marriage in Iowa and New Hampshire and pass a constitutional amendment in Minnesota.”

It’s time to speak out, like HRC and the Courage Campaign are doing at NOMExposed.org. NOM cannot be allowed to dismantle our independent judiciary. Iowa can’t be a beginning. It must be an end. Tell Chief Justice John Roberts to stick up for the judiciary and decry this attack on our independent court system.

A fair and independent judiciary is important for all Americans, and crucial to protecting the rights of LGBT people. Learn about what HRC is doing to educate the next generation about our judicial system at www.hrc.org/equalityinthecourts.

NOM’s gone rogue. It’s slash-and-burn, no matter the consequences. Being anti-gay is one thing. Tearing down our justice system is something quite different.

Enough is enough.


Joe Solmonese
Joe Solmonese


24 hours … a message from Arshad Hasan

This is it. Tonight, we’re making our final decisions on where to invest extra resources in these last 24 hours before the election. The more we raise by tonight, the more places we’ll be able to invest in — so please, contribute $10 right now and put our candidates over the top.

Contribute $10 right now — before we make the final decisions on where to invest in the last 24 hours.

When it’s all said and done, DFA members are providing the difference for progressives in top races around the country. Just look at the work we’ve done together:

  • $1 million raised for endorsed candidates up and down the ballot across the country
  • 750,000 calls to swing states and districts where progressives are running
  • 250,000 volunteer hours made by DFA members for endorsed campaigns
  • Trained staff on the ground in 10 of the most important races nationwide

And that’s not all. We’ve run ads and polls that have fundamentally changed the debate of this election time and again. This is the final push. With just 24 hours left, we’re making our final decisions on which races need extra resources right now to get over the top. Your contribution today will help us work in more places than ever.

This is DFA’s biggest Get Out The Vote program ever — Contribute $10 now to finish the job.

We’ve come this far. Join us today and deliver the win.


Arshad Hasan, Executive Director
Democracy for America