WhiteHouse.gov—Pushing Forward on Jobs~~Following the best jobs numbers since 2007, the President recognizes that such trends are cold comfort to those who are struggling and pledges to continue pushing forward towards positive job growth. President Obama looks back at the Jobs Forum he hosted days before and looks ahead to further action. He emphatically restates why he ran for President in the first place: “to fight for a country where responsibility is still rewarded, and hard-working people can get ahead.”
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Given the holiday, we are releasing the President’s weekly address today. In this video, President Obama calls to our attention the men and women in uniform who are away from home sacrificing time with family to protect our safety and freedom. He also talks about the progress of health care reform, the Recovery Act, and job creation to ensure that next Thanksgiving will be a brighter day.
WhiteHouse.gov—In an address recorded in Seoul, South Korea, the President discusses his trip to Asia. He talks about his push to stop nuclear proliferation in North Korea, Iran, and around the world. He talks about promoting America’s principles for an open society in China while making progress on joint efforts to combat climate change. And talks in-depth about the primary objective of his trip: engaging in new markets that hold tremendous potential to spur job creation here at home.
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Op-Ed by Eugene Robinson
Eugene Robinson—The most dreadful burden of the presidency — the power to send men and women to die for their country — seems to weigh heavily on Barack Obama these days. He went to Dover Air Force Base to salute the coffins of fallen troops. He gave a moving speech at the memorial service for victims of last week’s killings at Fort Hood. On Veterans Day, after the traditional wreath-laying at Arlington National Cemetery, he took an unscheduled walk among the rows of marble headstones in Section 60, where the dead from our two ongoing wars are buried.
As he decides whether to escalate the war in Afghanistan, Obama should keep these images in mind. Geopolitical calculation has human consequences. Sending more troops will mean more coffins arriving at Dover, more funerals at Arlington, more stress and hardship for military families. It would be wrong to demand such sacrifice in the absence of military goals that are clear, achievable and worthwhile.
And what goals in Afghanistan remotely satisfy those criteria?
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the U.S. ambassador to Kabul, Karl Eikenberry, recently sent two classified cables to officials in Washington expressing what the newspaper described as “deep concerns” about sending more troops now.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, chosen by Obama to lead U.S. forces in Afghanistan, has asked for perhaps 40,000 additional troops to carry out a counterinsurgency campaign. Armchair Napoleons in Washington, comfortably ensconced in their book-lined offices, insist that Obama must “listen to the generals.” But Eikenberry was a four-star general until Obama named him ambassador earlier this year. He commanded U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2006-07. He needs to be heard as well.
Posted by Buellboy
U.S. Readies Jobless Aid and Help on Homes
New York Times/Jackie Calmes & David Stout—In separate actions to address Americans’ continuing economic hardship, the government moved Thursday to assist long-unemployed workers and struggling businesses, as well as home buyers and homeowners facing foreclosure.
Fannie Mae, the federally controlled mortgage company, announced a Deed for Lease program in which those in danger of eviction may be able to stay as tenants in their houses for at least a year.
At the same time, Congress gave final approval to a stimulus measure that will extend unemployment benefits for the longtime jobless, aid that will bring total assistance for many to nearly two years. Other provisions of the bill will expand two popular tax breaks — one for home buyers, the other for businesses operating at a loss.
President Obama will sign the measure into law on Friday morning, aides said. That will allow him to deliver a bit of good news just as the government releases the monthly unemployment report, which is expected to confirm that the jobless rate remained around 10 percent in October.
To that end, Democratic Congressional leaders expedited action on the legislation in recent days after six weeks of partisan wrangling in the Senate. The House, which passed a bill in September, voted Thursday by 403 to 12 to accept the version that the Senate finally approved unanimously on Wednesday. That sent the bill to the president.
The measure provides up to 14 weeks of additional assistance to unemployed people who have exhausted their state and federal benefits, but up to 20 additional weeks to those in about 26 states with unemployment rates exceeding 8.5 percent. In the past two months, more than 600,000 out-of-work people have exhausted their benefits, according to the National Employment Law Project, a liberal advocacy group. The legislation will not restore aid retroactively.
Posted by Audiegrl
Press Release—Frustrated with the health care ‘options’ coming out of Washington, D.C., six “Mad as Hell” Oregon physicians are taking an unprecedented road trip across America to lobby Congress for a single-payer health care system. A big part of their plan is to take the entire country with them.
Called a “Care-A-Van,” these road-tripping Oregon physicians will leave in a used motor home from Portland, Oregon on September 8th, inviting doctors and ordinary citizens from other states to join them on their twenty-city tour across the country. Their journey will culminate in a D.C.-based event on September 30th, scheduled to take place on the
steps of Congress. Demonstrating with the doctors will be thousands of fellow ‘Mad as Hell’ single-payer advocates, all adorned with the movement’s new symbol – the white ribbon. Their demand: Single-Payer Now!
“We’re mad as hell because our health care system is run by people who profit from illness” says Dr. Paul Hochfeld, lead Mad As Hell Doctor and producer of the documentary Health, Money and Fear. “The rest of the civilized world has test driven single payer and it works. But elected officials in America won’t even allow a discussion.”
“The public option is a trap.” Hochfeld continues. “It sounds very reasonable, but the problem with it, no matter what the final bill looks like, is that it will continue to allow private medical insurance companies to dictate America’s public health policies. And that’s just plain wrong.”
Several national, single-payer advocacy organizations including Physicians for a National Health Program, Health Care Now, Single Payer Action, and even groups like Progressive Democrats of America and Jobs with Justice are supporting the Oregon physicians by setting up Mad as Hell Town Halls across the country in anticipation of their arrival.
“People need to understand what single-payer is–and isn’t,” says Dr. Mike Huntington, a radiologist from Corvallis, Oregon and fellow Mad As Hell Doctor. “It isn’t Socialism, any more than police and fire are Socialism. And it doesn’t require any more money.
Simply put, single-payer is a way to take the current premium payments that go to a thousand different private insurance companies, and redirect them into a single, public fund that insures everyone. That’s all it is. But when we do this, lots of wonderful things happen, not the least of which is to save Americans 500 billion dollars a year starting day one. That’s billion – with a ‘b.’ America needs this information. That’s why we’re taking the tour.”
Click here for their website.
Check out a Mad As Hell Doctor on MSNBC’s The Ed Show
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