JanF

Weekly Address: President Obama – Creating New Pathways of Opportunity for Americans Like You

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, the President spoke to his priority of growing the economy and opening new avenues of opportunity for hardworking Americans. While the United States has already made economic progress, with more than 12 million new private sector jobs created over the past five years, there’s still more to be done. That’s why the President has continued to press for strong, high-standard trade agreements that are good for American workers and good for American businesses. And it’s why his Administration has partnered with mayors and governors across the country on issues such as minimum wage and paid leave that impact hardworking Americans. The President discussed impactful initiatives like these in his address before the Conference of Mayors on Friday.

President Obama: “Hatred across races and faiths pose a particular threat to our democracy and our ideals”

The President:

There is something particularly heartbreaking about the death happening in a place in which we seek solace and we seek peace, in a place of worship.

Mother Emanuel is, in fact, more than a church. This is a place of worship that was founded by African Americans seeking liberty. This is a church that was burned to the ground because its worshipers worked to end slavery. When there were laws banning all-black church gatherings, they conducted services in secret. When there was a nonviolent movement to bring our country closer in line with our highest ideals, some of our brightest leaders spoke and led marches from this church’s steps. This is a sacred place in the history of Charleston and in the history of America. […]

… just over 50 years ago, after four little girls were killed in a bombing in a black church in Birmingham, Alabama … Dr. King said … “we must be concerned not merely with who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers.”

SCOTUS Watch – Thursday, June 18th – UPDATED

June is SCOTUS Decision month, when all eyes turn to the Supreme Court for rulings on the cases argued this session (before the court adjourns on June 30th for the summer). The calendar calls for orders and opinions to be released every Monday – 9:30am for orders and 10:00am for opinions. However, history has shown that additional “opinion days” are often added as the month unfolds and this year is no different as we have our first Thursday opinion day.

As always, the Moose News Network will cover the SCOTUS events with the help of SCOTUSblog and Twitter.

 
All eyes turn to the court

UPDATE: Six decisions, reporting from SCOTUSblog
McFadden v. U.S. – “In a unanimous judgment (the Chief Justice concurs in part and concurs in the judgment), the Court holds that when an analogue is involved, the statute requires the government to establish that the defendant knew he was dealing with substance regulated under either the Analogue Act or the main federal Controlled Substances Act.”

Ohio v. Clark – “The Court is unanimous in its judgment that the child’s statements to his teachers (the introduction in court of a young child’s statements to his preschool teachers about child abuse at home, when the child was unfit to testify) did not violate the Confrontation Clause (the Sixth Amendment right of the accused to confront the witnesses against him.).”

Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans – “The majority holds that the specialty license-plate designs offered by Texas constitute government speech, and thus Texas was entitled to refuse the design proposed by the Confederate heritage group that featured a Confederate battle flag.”

Davis v. Ayala – “The Court rules five to four to reverse the Ninth Circuit and hold that a trial judge’s decision to exclude a criminal defendant’s attorney from part of a Batson v. Kentucky hearing, in which the prosecutor explained the basis of some of his peremptory strikes of jurors, was harmless error.”

Brumfield v. Cain – “The Court rules five to four … that there was sufficient evidence that a death-row inmate in Louisiana could show he was impaired by an intellectual disability that he was entitled to have his claims under Atkins v. Virginia (which bars the execution of inmates with a mental disability) considered by a federal court.”

Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona. – “In a unanimous judgment (with five other Justices joining Thomas’s opinion), the Court holds that the town’s relevant sign restrictions are content-based regulations that fail strict scrutiny.” (Overturning 9th Circuit)

The Supreme Court will be in session this morning for opinions starting at 10:00am Eastern. SCOTUSblog will liveblog at this link starting at 9:30am Eastern.

Included in the list of cases heard in the current term but not yet decided are these:
– The marriage equality cases, listed under Obergefell v. Hodges (6th Circuit ruled in favor of the state bans)
– The Affordable Care Act state exchange case, King v Burwell (4th Circuit ruled in favor of Burwell)
– The “can citizens redistrict?” case, Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (the district court upheld the redistricting, legislature appealed directly to Supreme Court)
– A death penalty case related to the drugs used, Glossip v Gross (Oklahoma wants to change its drug protocol, 10th Circuit ruled against the plaintiffs and for the state)
– Some other First Amendment cases:
– The Confederate license plate case, Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans (5th Circuit ruled against state, state appealed) DECIDED: State can ban racist plates
– A signage case Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona (9th Circuit ruled that the restrictions were reasonable, Reed appealed) DECIDED: Town cannot ban church signs
– An assault on the Fair Housing Act, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. (The 5th Circuit ruled against the state agency’s application of the Fair Housing Act)
– Three suits against the EPA over its regulation of utilities and “failure” to consider costs, listed as Michigan vs. the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (The states are appealing a ruling upholding EPA rule making procedures)
– A 4th Amendment case involving hotel guest registries, The City of Los Angeles vs. Patel (city is appealing 9th Circuit ruling that the registries do not need to be turned over)

A full list of pending cases (with links) is below the fold.

Mobilizing Private-Sector Support for Homegrown Clean Energy

From the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz:

Ingenuity is one of our country’s greatest assets. America’s entrepreneurs and innovators have a legacy of unleashing their creativity, grit, and imagination to invent, discover, and build solutions that not only contribute to our growing economy, but also solve some of the toughest challenges facing the nation. Investing in homegrown innovation, including the development of new, clean-energy technologies, is a crucial part of the fight against climate change – and is key to keeping America on the leading edge of the world’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

That’s why today, we’re hosting a Clean Energy Investment Summit at the White House, where we’re announcing $4 billion in independent commitments by major foundations, institutional investors, and others to fund innovative solutions to help fight climate change, including technologies with breakthrough potential to reduce carbon pollution.

Taken together, these commitments far surpass the initial $2 billion goal set at the launch of the Administration’s Clean Energy Investment Initiative last February. And we look forward to seeing this initiative continue to build momentum in the months ahead.

Vice President Biden:

Biden touts clean energy to investors

[T]he vice president addressed the White House Clean Energy Investment Summit, rallying charitable groups and large investors to commit $4 billion toward clean energy technologies.

“To state the obvious, I’m not an investment banker,” Biden said. “I wouldn’t go long on investments that lead to carbon pollution. I’d bet on clean energy.”

Biden said even China was beginning to understand the escalating health effects of carbon pollution.

“In the United States, even the climate deniers are preparing for greater impacts from more extreme weather, from heat waves wildfires, superstorms, droughts — all of which drastically effect local security and local economies,” he said.

(Transcript of Vice President Biden’s speech will be added when it becomes available.)

SCOTUS Watch – Monday, June 15th – UPDATED

June is SCOTUS Decision month, when legal geeks look to the Supreme Court for rulings on the cases argued this session before the court adjourns on June 30th for the summer. The calendar calls for orders and decisions to be released every Monday at 10:00am but history has shown that additional “decision days” are often added as the month unfolds.

This week, the decision days will be Monday and Thursday.

As always, the Moose News Network will cover the SCOTUS events with the help of SCOTUSblog and Twitter.

 
All eyes turn to the court

UPDATE: Decisions on three cases: Kerry v Din, Baker Botts v ASARCO, and Maya v Lynch

Back on Thursday! There are 17 cases left to rule on this term.

The Supreme Court will be in session this morning for orders and opinions starting at 10:00am Eastern. SCOTUSblog will liveblog at this link starting at 9:30am Eastern. The Thursday liveblog will begin at 9:30am Eastern with opinions at 10:00am.

Included in the list of cases heard in the current term but not yet decided are these:
– The marriage equality cases, listed under Obergefell v. Hodges (6th Circuit ruled in favor of the state bans)
– The Affordable Care Act state exchange case, King v Burwell (4th Circuit ruled in favor of Burwell)
– The “can citizens redistrict?” case, Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (the district court upheld the redistricting, legislature appealed directly to Supreme Court)
– A death penalty case related to the drugs used, Glossip v Gross (Oklahoma wants to change its drug protocol, 10th Circuit ruled against the plaintiffs and for the state)
– Some other First Amendment cases:
– The Confederate license plate case, Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans (5th Circuit ruled against state, state appealed)
– A signage case Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona (9th Circuit ruled that the restrictions were reasonable, Reed appealed)
– An assault on the Fair Housing Act, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. (The 5th Circuit ruled against the state agency’s application of the Fair Housing Act)
– Three suits against the EPA over its regulation of utilities and “failure” to consider costs, listed as Michigan vs. the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (The states are appealing a ruling upholding EPA rule making procedures)
– A 4th Amendment case involving hotel guest registries, The City of Los Angeles vs. Patel (city is appealing 9th Circuit ruling that the registries do not need to be turned over)

A full list of pending cases (with links) is below the fold.

Democratic Party Principles: From Four Freedoms Park

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held the first major event of her 2016 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination on Roosevelt Island at Four Freedoms Park. 

It is wonderful to be here with all of you.[…]

To be here in this beautiful park dedicated to Franklin Roosevelt’s enduring vision of America, the nation we want to be.

And in a place… with absolutely no ceilings. (Cheers, applause.)

You know, President Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms are a testament to our nation’s unmatched aspirations and a reminder of our unfinished work at home and abroad. His legacy lifted up a nation and inspired presidents who followed.

Transcript via Vox: Hillary Clinton’s official campaign launch speech

The Four Freedoms speech in January 1941 warned the world that America was watching the rise of dictators and would stand with our allies when necessary. But President Roosevelt also reminded people about the foundations of a strong democracy, Democratic Party principles, goals that are still unmet 74 years later:

FDR: [There] is nothing mysterious about the foundations of a healthy and strong democracy. The basic things expected by our people of their political and economic systems are simple. They are:

– Equality of opportunity for youth and for others.
– Jobs for those who can work.
– Security for those who need it.
– The ending of special privilege for the few.
– The preservation of civil liberties for all.
– The enjoyment . . . the enjoyment of the fruits of scientific progress in a wider and constantly rising standard of living.

These are the simple, the basic things that must never be lost sight of in the turmoil and unbelievable complexity of our modern world. The inner and abiding strength of our economic and political systems is dependent upon the degree to which they fulfill these expectations.

Weekly Address: President Obama – Stand Up for American Workers and Pass TAA

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

From the White HouseWeekly Address

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week’s address, the President reiterated that his top priority is to grow the American economy and ensure that every hardworking American has a fair shot at success. It’s because of this commitment that the President has worked to enact smart new trade agreements that level the playing field for our workers, open new markets for our businesses, and hold other countries to the kinds of high standards that Americans are proud to hold ourselves to here at home. On Friday, Republicans and Democrats in the House took an important step by voting to help the United States negotiate and enforce high-standard trade deals. But they also failed to renew Trade Adjustment Assistance, despite the fact that it provides vital support to about 100,000 workers, and passed the Senate with bipartisan support. The President urged the House to pass TAA without delay so that more middle-class workers can earn the chance to participate and succeed in our global economy.

Graphic Evidence

From the anals annals of right-wing world, comes this new thing: Obamacare Truthers

In an interview with the Trussville Tribune earlier this week, freshman Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL) declared that, on net, no additional people have gained insurance since the passage of Obamacare. “I’m not sure that’s true that more people are covered,” Palmer declared after the host noted that more people have health care today than in 2010. “There’s just about as many people uninsured now as there were before the Affordable Care Act.”

Of course, when your political philosophy, teapartyism, requires ignoring pesky things like facts even a pictoral representation of the numbers can’t penetrate your ideological fog.

Lies from Gallup?

That ThinkProgress article included a link to this wonderfully titled piece by Jonathan Chait, also discussing that graph: “Uninsured Rate Falls Again for Random Reason Totally Unrelated to Obamacare”

Not long ago, the hypothesis that Obamacare would substantially reduce the uninsured rate was a point of fierce ideological disagreement. The National Center for Policy Analysis, a major conservative health-care think tank, predicted in 2013, “the massive law that was enacted to solve the problem of the uninsured in America is more likely to worsen it.” “At the end of the day, for all of the rhetoric and promises about what Obamacare would achieve, the health law’s most ardent supporters have stuck to their guns because of one thing: coverage expansion,” wrote Avik Roy, a leading Republican health-care adviser, in 2014. “But new data suggests that Obamacare may fail even to achieve this goal.” Obamacare would result in “essentially the same number of uninsured,” insisted Charles Krauthammer in February 2014.

Chait suggests that “it is starting to look possible that this trend is not some random fluke that has happened six straight quarters but is somehow related to the enactment of Obamacare.”

p.s. Rep. Palmer also contends that temperatures are not rising but are actually falling!

Lies from NOAA?

President Obama Speaks on Health Care in America

The President spoke about health care in America on Tuesday, June 9, 2015.

(Transcript: Remarks by the President at the Catholic Hospital Association Conference)

From President Obama:

On a day in early September of 2009, I received the following letter from Senator Edward Kennedy. He’d written in May of that year, shortly after he learned that his illness was terminal. He asked that it be delivered to me upon his death.

It is a letter about the cause of his career — what he called “that great unfinished business of our society” — health care reform.

“What we face,” he writes, “is above all a moral issue; that at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.”

Senator Kennedy never stopped asking what he could do for his country. Today, tens of millions of Americans are better for it.

And while Teddy didn’t live to see his life’s work signed into law, more than five years after its passage, the spirit of his words ring true. This is, fundamentally, about the character of our country. Doing right by one another.

It’s who we are.

Tomorrow, I will deliver remarks about health care in America. Get a history of where we’ve been, and let me know you’ll be watching.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

From the White House: Health Care in America

News about the latest attacks on the president’s health care initiatives are below …