Tag Archives: military families

State of the Union

For those of you who missed the State of the Union address, I’ve got it for you.

A few facts about the SOTU:

• Since the last SOTU, the economy has created 1.9 million private sector jobs. [Source]

• The top one percent take home 24 percent of the nation’s income, up from about nine percent in 1976. [Source]

• Private sector job creation under Obama in 2011 was larger than seven out of the eight years Bush was president. [Source]

• The top one percent of Americans own 40 percent of our country’s wealth, while the bottom 80 percent owns only seven percent. [Source]

• Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 2.5 million young adults gained health insurance. [Source]

• For every one job opening, there are four people looking for work. [Source]

• Last year, China spent nine percent of its GDP on infrastructure. The U.S. spent 2.5 percent. [Source]

• 2.65 million seniors saved an average of $569 on prescriptions last year thanks to the Affordable Care Act. [Source]

• “In 2011, the United States killed Al Qaeda’s most effective propagandist, Anwar al-Awlaki; its operating chief, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman; and of course its founder, chief executive and spiritual leader, Osama bin Laden.” [Source]

• Union membership is at a 70-year low. [Source]

• Unemployment benefits have lifted 3.2 million people out of poverty. [Source]

• The United States used to have the world’s largest percentage of college graduates. We’re now #14. [Source]

• One quarter of all contributions to federal campaigns come from 0.01 percent of Americans. [Source]

• 47.8 percent of households that receive food stamps are working, because having a job is not enough to keep them out of poverty. [Source] (A friend of mine asked me about how many of our military families are on food stamps. I don’t have that answer, but usage of food stamps is clearly up in the military.)

• In the last three years, 30 major corporations spent more on lobbying than they paid in taxes. [Source]

• 50 percent of U.S. workers make less than $26,364 per year. [Source]

• More than one in 70 homes faced foreclosure last year. [Source]

• Since 1985, the federal tax rate for the 400 wealthiest Americans dropped from 29 percent to 18 percent. [Source]

We need to do what? Where?

afghanistanI don’t know. I simply don’t get it. I voted for someone who was a progressive. I voted for someone who wanted us out of these wars. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say cause right now I don’t see it. 30,000 more troops. Why?

From TPM:

By June 1, there will be about 100,000 troops in Afghanistan with a mission of weakening the Taliban, rooting out Al Qaeda and helping the Afghan government bolster its own forces.

President Obama’s wartime decision comes after weeks of private Situation Room meetings between key Cabinet members, generals and his national security team. After nine of those meetings, Obama also has spoken with world leaders and allies who are backing him by sending more troops of their own.

Republicans after weeks of blasting Obama for taking too long already are hailing the decision as the right one. Meanwhile, left-leaning groups question the cost in both blood and treasure, and Code Pink is out with a tough new flier mocking Obama’s “hope” slogan and marching in front of the White House today. Continue reading We need to do what? Where?

President Obama speaks at Arlington National Cemetery

It is time to bring everyone home. I’m not sure want we are trying to achieve in Afghanistan. Whatever it is, I’m not sure that staying in Afghanistan will achieve it.

President Barack Obama delivers a wonderfully thoughtful and short speech at Arlington National Cemetery today.

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From Obama’s Speech:

I know that there is nothing I will not do to keep our country safe, even as I face no harder decision than sending our men and women to war — and no moment more difficult than writing a letter to the families of the fallen. And that’s why as long as I am President, I will only send our troops into harm’s way when it is absolutely necessary, and I will always provide them with the equipment and support they need to get the job done. (Applause.)

I know that military families sacrifice more than we can understand, and feel an absence greater than we can comprehend. And that’s why Michelle and I are committed to easing their burden.

And I know what a grateful nation owes to those who serve under its proud flag. And that’s why I promise all our servicemen and women that when the guns fall silent, and you do return home, it will be to an America that is forever here for you, just as you’ve been there for us. (Applause.)

With each death, we are heartbroken. With each death, we grow more determined. This bustling graveyard can be a restless place for the living, where solace sometimes comes only from meeting others who know similar grief. But it reminds us all the meaning of valor; it reminds us all of our own obligations to one another; it recounts that most precious aspect of our history, and tells us that we will only rise or fall together.

So on this day of silent remembrance and solemn prayer I ask all Americans, wherever you are, whoever you’re with, whatever you’re doing, to pause in national unity at 3:00 this afternoon. I ask you to ring a bell, or offer a prayer, say a silent “thank you.” And commit to give something back to this nation — something lasting — in their memory; to affirm in our own lives and advance around the world those enduring ideals of justice, equality, and opportunity for which they and so many generations of Americans have given that last full measure of devotion. (more…)