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What town matches my politics?

Ever wonder where you should go to surround yourself with people who think the way you do? Take a few minutes and answer the questions below to use the latest in Democratic campaign analytics from Clarity and the power of the TargetSmart data to find out.

No matter where you live, it’s a diverse world out there, and you'll find people who feel the same way you do in every state. The successful campaigns are the ones that cut through the noise and use data like this to move our country forward.

You can check out your neck of the woods at: http://www.claritycampaigns.com/townrank

*BOG GROUP* A Hard Day's Work Deserves a Fair Day's Pay

President Barack Obama from HuffPo Blog

It's been a good few days for America.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the Affordable Care Act. It is here to stay.

And, Democrats and Republicans in Congress paved the way for the United States to rewrite the rules of global trade to benefit American workers and American businesses.

On Friday, the Court recognized the Constitutional guarantee of marriage equality. With that ruling, our union became a little more perfect -- a place where more people are treated equally, no matter who they are or who they love.

These steps build upon America's steady progress in recent years. Out of the depths of recession, we've emerged ready to write our own future. Our businesses have created 12.6 million new jobs over the past 63 months -- the longest streak on record. More than 16 million Americans have gained health insurance. More kids are graduating from high school and college than ever before.

But more work lies ahead, if we are to succeed in making sure this recovery reaches all hardworking Americans and their families.

We've got to keep expanding access to affordable health care. Right now, 22 states haven't expanded Medicaid -- even though, under the ACA, they can. We'll keep encouraging those governors to do the right thing for their constituents. And we're making sure people know all the ways that they can benefit from the ACA. Wednesday, I'll go to Tennessee to meet Americans whose lives have been changed by this law, and to talk about how, instead of refighting settled battles of the past, we can move forward together.

We've got to keep making sure hard work is rewarded. Right now, too many Americans are working long days for less pay than they deserve. That's partly because we've failed to update overtime regulations for years -- and an exemption meant for highly paid, white collar employees now leaves out workers making as little as $23,660 a year -- no matter how many hours they work.

This week, I'll head to Wisconsin to discuss my plan to extend overtime protections to nearly 5 million workers in 2016, covering all salaried workers making up to about $50,400 next year. That's good for workers who want fair pay, and it's good for business owners who are already paying their employees what they deserve -- since those who are doing right by their employees are undercut by competitors who aren't.

That's how America should do business. In this country, a hard day's work deserves a fair day's pay. That's at the heart of what it means to be middle class in America.

As president, my top priority is to strengthen the middle class, expand opportunity and grow the economy. That's why I believe in middle-class economics -- the idea that our country does best when everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. It's driven me from day one. It's fueled our American comeback. And it's at the heart of the fundamental choice our country faces today.

Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do exceptionally well? Or will we push for an economy where every American who works hard can contribute to and benefit from our success?

Will we invest in programs that would help educate our children, maintain our roads and bridges, and train our workers for the high-paying jobs of the future? Or will we cut these programs, and decide to give more to the wealthiest Americans instead?

To me, the answer is clear. Let's invest in America's future. Let's commit to an economy that rewards hard work, generates rising incomes, and allows everyone to share in the prosperity of a growing America. Let's reverse harmful cuts to vital programs, and instead make the critical investments we need to grow our economy and strengthen the middle class.

That's what I'll be talking about this week -- this choice, and these priorities.

America is at its best when we look out for one another. We soar when we strive to do better for one another. That's what I'm focused on and that's what I'll fight for every day for the next 18 months.

Let's get to work.

*BOG GROUP* On Trade, Here's What the President Signed Into Law

When facts matter...which is always.



For six and a half years, we’ve worked to rescue the economy from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, to get it growing again and to rebuild it on a new foundation for prosperity. Today, our businesses have created more than 12 million new jobs in the past five years -- that's the longest streak of job growth on record; 401(k)s have been replenished; the housing market is stronger; and more than 16 million Americans have gained the financial security of health insurance. (Applause.)

But a constantly changing economy demands our constant effort to protect hardworking Americans and protect their success. And one of the things we ought to be doing is rewriting the rules of global trade to make sure that they benefit American workers and American businesses, and that they reflect American values -- especially now, while our economy is in a position of global strength. The two bills that I’ll sign today will help America do just that.

But I would not be doing this, I would not be signing these bills if I was not absolutely convinced that these pieces of legislation are ultimately good for American workers. I would not be signing them if I wasn’t convinced they’d be good for American businesses. I would not be signing them if I did not know that they will give us a competitive edge in this new economy, and that that new economy cannot be reversed. We have to embrace it.

This legislation will help turn global trade -- which can often be a race to the bottom -- into a race to the top. It will reinforce America’s leadership role in the world -– in Asia, and in Europe, and beyond. If I didn’t believe it, I wouldn’t have fought so hard to get these things done.

So this is a good day. And I want to thank everybody who has helped us get it -- get to this day...

So this is not the end of the road; this is just one step in a long path to making sure that the next generation enjoys the extraordinary prosperity that our parents and grandparents passed down to us. And although there are going to be disagreements between the parties on particular elements, I think what we can agree on is that in this country, if you work hard, you should be able to get ahead no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love.

More at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/economy/trade

VictoryLand set to reopen after court ruling

"You could be a winner, too!"

Maybe "Black Lives Matter" even in Alabama?

After Macon County and Tuskegee lost 2,000 jobs at VictoryLand initiated 2 administrations ago by ex-Gov. "Bingo Bob" Riley (R) who had no problem closing VictoryLand during the Great Recession - while leaving alone the three Indian casinos that operated electronic bingo machines in the exact same way - a ruling finally came out today:

Alabama can't keep 1,615 electronic bingo machines and $263,105 state law enforcement seized in raid on the VictoryLand racetrack's gaming facility two years ago, a judge ruled Thursday morning.

In his order Circuit Judge William A. Shashy stated that it appeared state officials had "cherrypicked" which bingo facilities it would allow to remain open and those it wanted closed.

Shashy, citing the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, dismissed the state's lawsuit seeking forfeiture of the machines and cash. "This court refuses to be used as an instrument to perpetuate unfair treatment," the judge stated in the order.

VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor indicated he plans to get back in business at the complex, which includes a casino, hotel and greyhound track about 20 miles east of Montgomery in one of Alabama's poorest areas, the Associated Press reported.


House Sends Trade Adjustment Assistance to President’s Desk


The House did Thursday what two weeks ago might have seemed impossible: Cleared for President Barack Obama the second and third of four necessary components to his ambitious and contentious trade agenda.

Lawmakers voted 286-138 on a bill to establish broad trade preferences and extend the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which facilitates trade between the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa.

The bill became a vehicle to also pass Trade Adjustment Assistance, which aids U.S. workers displaced by global trade agreements, and language to change TAA’s original offset, which would have used sequester cuts to Medicare.

All that’s left now is a bill to strengthen the customs process, which both chambers will go to conference on in the coming weeks.

Obama campaigned for single payer? I don't remember it that way.

It was (is?) a pretty consistent right-wing meme to matter-of-factly associate Obama's campaign position (and present intention) to implement single-payer universal government-controlled health care.

One of the reasons so many supported Hillary in that 2008 primary, she proposed a more comprehensive health care plan, but it was still not universal single-payer, but mandated private insurance. Remember?

June 29, 2009 FactCheck.org

On “Meet the Press” on June 28, former presidential candidate and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney falsely claimed that President Obama had called for a “single-payer” health care system on the campaign trail:

Romney: President Obama, when he was campaigning, said he wanted a single-payer system.

We debunked this falsehood when Sen. John McCain said it during the third presidential debate. McCain claimed that “as he said, his object is a single payer system.” But as a presidential candidate, Obama didn’t say that at all. And the plan he proposed wasn’t a single-payer system, one in which everyone is covered by health insurance through the government. As we said in our Oct. 16 article, Obama said at a town hall meeting in Albuquerque last summer that a single payer system would “probably” be his first choice “if” he were “designing a system from scratch.” But instead, he said, his “attitude is let’s build up the system we got, let’s make it more efficient, we may be over time – as we make the system more efficient and everybody’s covered – decide that there are other ways for us to provide care more effectively.”

Obama was really pretty consistent with skepticism about our ability to pass a single payer option:

If I were starting a system from scratch, then I think that the idea of moving towards a single-payer system could very well make sense. That’s the kind of system that you have in most industrialized countries around the world.

The only problem is that we’re not starting from scratch. We have historically a tradition of employer-based health care. And although there are a lot of people who are not satisfied with their health care, the truth is, is that the vast majority of people currently get health care from their employers and you’ve got this system that’s already in place. We don’t want a huge disruption as we go into health care reform where suddenly we’re trying to completely reinvent one-sixth of the economy.

From July 16, 2009 PolitiFact

In other statements, Obama has spoken favorably of single-payer in concept, but always adding qualifiers:

In February 2004, about a month before the primary election in the U.S. Senate race, the Associated Press reported the stance of all the candidates on universal health care. "Obama says he supports the idea of universal health care but does not think a single-payer government system is feasible. He says the government should be the health care provider of last resort for the uninsured." In a rundown of all the candidates' positions, the Associated Press summarized Obama's position as "Support, but 'probably not at this stage,' a single-payer government system."

In his book The Audacity of Hope, published in October 2006 when he was a U.S. senator, Obama described single-payer as the hope of the left, while those on the right wanted a market-based approach. "It's time we broke this impasse by acknowledging a few simple truths," Obama wrote, suggesting a system much like the one he supports today.

In April 2007, a few months after he declared his candidacy for presidency, the Chicago Tribune reported, "Obama has pledged that, if elected, all Americans would have health-care coverage by the end of his first term. He has said he is reluctant to switch to a 'single-payer' national health insurance system because of the difficulty in making a quick transition from the employer-based private system."

At his town halls as president, he routinely answers questions about single-payer by saying he would favor it if he were starting a system "from scratch." But he consistently adds that's not the goal of the current reform. "For us to transition completely from an employer-based system of private insurance to a single-payer system could be hugely disruptive, and my attitude has been that we should be able to find a way to create a uniquely American solution to this problem that controls costs but preserves the innovation that is introduced in part with a free-market system," Obama said in Annandale, Va., on July 1, 2009.

You say you want a revolution?

Don't you know it's gonna be all right?

*BOG GROUP* Senate Gives Obama Huge Win On Trade

Bipartisan legislation (60-37)! 13 Senate Democrats took a stand for America's future and voted to authorize our Democratic president to negotiate trade agreements following Congressional rules and guidelines.

The Senate on Tuesday handed President Barack Obama the biggest legislative victory of his second term, with a dramatic vote clearing the way for major trade agreements with Pacific Rim nations and the European Union.

The vote all but ensures the passage of legislation that will allow Obama to "fast-track" the trade pacts he negotiates through Congress, preventing filibusters or amendments. Liberals have long assailed Obama's trade agenda, but Republicans successfully wooed a bloc of Democrats led by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to secure enough votes to overcome a filibuster.

The vote came down to the wire, thanks to an eleventh-hour reversal by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who announced his opposition in a bombastic an op-ed for Breitbart News that sent Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) scrambling for additional Democratic support.

With the 60-vote threshold clearred, the path is now open for the Senate to take a final vote on the legislation on Wednesday.


*Hillary Group!* Hillary Clinton Dominates 2016 Democratic Field, Leads GOP Rivals

Hillary Clinton is leading her nearest Democratic competitor by a whopping 60 points, and she holds the early general-election advantage against the top Republican White House contenders, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Seventy-five percent of national Democratic primary voters favor Clinton in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination - compared with 15 percent who pick Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., four percent who choose former Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., and two percent who select former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley.

What's more, 92 percent of Democratic voters say they could see themselves supporting Clinton for the Democratic nomination, which is up six points since March.

More at: http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/hillary-clinton-dominates-2016-democratic-field-leads-gop-rivals-n379836

*Hillary Group* What We Care About - WSJ/NBC News Poll

Tired of "dynasty, inevitability, coronation, Clinton fatigue" meme 'out there'?

Well, here is what our fellow Americans think, from newest poll!

Americans express far more alarm about the influence of money in politics than the fact that another Bush and Clinton are running for the White House, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.

Democrats were most likely to cite the influence of corporations and wealthy individuals as the top concern, with roughly half of self-described liberals and Democratic primary voters ranking it as their primary anxiety as the 2016 White House race gears up. Only 21% of core Republican voters said it was their top concern.

Sounds exactly like Hillary who supports a constitutional amendment and new SC justices to overturn Citizens United!

In a race that features three candidates whose family members have pursued previous White House bids—Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republicans Jeb Bush and Rand Paul—only 4% of Americans said that was their primary concern.


Another "issue" that isn't actually an issue!
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