Archive for the 'Articles' Category

03
Mar
15

The President And First Lady’s Day

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama announce a new government-wide coordinated strategy to help millions of girls around the world attend and stay school called “Let Girls Learn” in the East Room of the White House. Saying that she will focus on this program beyond her time in the White House, First Lady Michelle Obama will soon travel to Japan and Cambodia to promote the new initiative.

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White House: Working Together To Open The Doors Of Education For Girls Around The World

To educate a girl is to build a healthier family, a stronger community, and a brighter future. Unfortunately today, 62 million girls around the world are not in school. Half of them are adolescents. We know that countries with more girls in secondary school tend to have lower maternal mortality rates, lower infant mortality rates, lower rates of HIV/AIDS, and better child nutrition. But too often, a girl who could change her world for the better is locked out of that future by the circumstances of her birth or the customs of her community. We know that a girl with an education can shape her own destiny, lift up her family, and transform her community.

That is why President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be championing our efforts to help adolescent girls around the globe attend and complete school through the Let Girls Learn initiative, which will build upon the public engagement campaign the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched last summer. Let Girls Learn is a government-wide effort that will leverage the investments we have made and success we have achieved in global primary school, and expand them to help adolescent girls complete their education. A key part of Let Girls Learn will be to encourage and support community-led solutions to reduce barriers that prevent adolescent girls from completing their education.

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President Barack Obama embraces Peace Corps volunteer Charlene Espinoza

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First Lady Michelle Obama playfully takes a bow as she is introduced by President Barack Obama

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Barack Obama, Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama playfully gestures as President Barack Obama makes a joke

First lady Michelle Obama smiles at U.S. President Barack Obama during the announcement of the  "Let Girls Learn" initiative at the White House in Washington

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President Barack Obama makes a statement after meeting with the Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and US Army General Martin Dempsey in the Oval Office. President Obama gave remarks on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address given during a joint meeting of the United States Congress.

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03
Mar
15

Small Businesses Prospering. Thanks, ObamaCare

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Amy Lynn Smith: Michigan Small Business Offers Competitive Employee Benefits Thanks To The ACA

Ryan Irvin and Amanda Stitt are the kind of small business owners who want to do the right thing for their employees. But they’re also business owners who need to pay attention to the bottom line. Fortunately, they’re able to do both. The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace at Healthcare.gov gives businesses with less than 50 employees everything they need to find the right plan for their employees and get them all covered. Last year, Irvin and Stitt — who are married with a baby girl, Amelia — were paying for their own insurance after Stitt transitioned from her previous job to become chief executive officer of Change Media Group. They were also paying the premiums of one full-time employee who purchased her coverage at Healthcare.gov.

But setting up an employer plan through the SHOP Marketplace made a lot more sense, says Irvin. For Amanda, Amelia and myself, we were paying $1,282 in premiums last year. We’ll get to deduct those premiums from our taxes but we won’t get the small business tax credit offered through SHOP. Add on what we were paying for our employee’s coverage and we were paying $1,539 a month. For 2015, with our SHOP plan, we’ll be paying $1,448 a month for our family and that one employee, which is a savings of $100 a month in premiums. Plus, instead of a tax deduction of 25-30% for our premiums we’ll get a 40-50% tax credit to the business for the premiums we pay.

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28
Feb
15

A feature, not a bug

I have been growing increasingly bemused as Anno Domini MMXV continues to unfold apace. And by “bemused”, I really mean, “Goddammit, we’re heading to hell in a handbasket!”

But nothing matches the complete clusterfuck around funding the Department of Homeland Security, a department born in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and which, if you will recall, Republicans held up as a sacred institution to protect God-fearing Americans from those hordes of brown people seeking to kill them. (Union protections for DHS workers? Why do you love Al-Qaeda??)

Let’s recap. In last year’s Cromnibus (soon to appear in the next Transformers movie), Congress left out funding for DHS. Why? Well, fast forward to this year. John Boehner and his merry pranksters passed a DHS funding bill. But they wanted to show that Kenyan in the White House that treating “illegals” like children of God was not going to wash with Republicans in firm control of both chambers. So they attached several riders to a must-pass bill stripping all of President Obama’s actions for DREAMers and his executive action on the undocumented. There, that’ll show him! Done and dusted, and the first round of drinks are on Rusty Boehner!

Continue reading ‘A feature, not a bug’




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