2012 Presidential Debate Schedule
Under Obama, taxes hit a 30-year low.
But that doesn’t stop Republicans from lying about the facts.
July 4 marks the 46th birthday of the Freedom of Information Act. President Lyndon Johnson signed the historic law on July 4, 1966, at his ranch in Texas. FOIA has become a cornerstone of American democracy, making it possible for Americans to find out what their government is doing and to hold it accountable for its actions.
The origins of FOIA, however, are surrounded by myths and forgotten (and, in one case, surprising) heroes.
The real – and regrettably forgotten – hero of FOIA was Rep. John E. Moss, a liberal California Democrat who served in the House for 13 terms, from 1953 to 1979. He was never defeated in any election.
Moss’s campaign for open government began on November 7, 1955, when he conducted public hearings on government secrecy. If July 4 is the birthday of FOIA, November 7 is certainly its moment of conception. Interestingly, a Cold War issue stimulated his concern about secrecy. In 1953, he asked the Civil Service Commission for information about the reported 2,800 people that lost their jobs because of the Federal Loyalty Program. The commission denied him that information. Intrigued, Moss asked the House to create the Special Subcommittee on Government Information, which it did in 1955, selecting him as its chair.
Moss quickly found that the habit of secrecy had grown unchecked in federal agencies. The Civil Service Commission told him it had “inherent power” to withhold information. Even the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission kept some of its reports secret. And in 1957 the Pentagon’s general counsel interrupted a Moss hearing three times with tirades against challenges to secrecy.
Moss’s persistent badgering of presidents and federal agencies finally bore fruit in 1966 with FOIA. Forgotten by all but a few Americans, Moss is today honored by the John E. Moss Foundation and the John E. Moss Federal Building in Sacramento, California. He is a true American hero who deserves more public recognition for his great contribution to the democratic process.
Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) spoke in Congress on Thursday, introducing a new bill that would seek to implement a program that would teach staff at universities to screen college students for serious mental illnesses.
This is super important. I haven’t seen anything about this in any major news outlet, but people need to write to their congresspeople in support.
My bill focuses on higher education because many mental illnesses are “adult onset conditions,” meaning onset of full symptoms generally occurs in late adolescence or young adulthood—just as young people are headed off to college. Therefore, the audiences for this vital training will encompass on-campus counseling center staff, dormitory resident advisers, university threat assessment teams, members of disciplinary committees, coaches and faculty members. The instruction will highlight available mental health resources in local communities including Community Mental Health Centers, emergency psychiatric facilities, hospital emergency rooms and other programs offering psychiatric crisis beds.
In this time of austerity, the training is not only important, because it will save lives, it is also inexpensive. Courses costs about $180, a small price to pay to potentially save lives.
In closing, yes, we are in a presidential election year and the political season often highlights the issues that divide us as Americans. But the Mental Health First Aid Higher Education Act is not one of them.
In reference to Neil Monro, who works at The Daily Caller.
Remember when George W. Bush was in the White House and the Republicans were yelling at us all the time to “respect the president” … “support your president”?
How come Republicans are never concerned for the lack of respect shown to President Obama?
Oh, that’s right, 2 sets of rules… One for Democrats & One for Republicans.
Mitt Romney doesn’t think he should be held accountable for his dismal job record during the first three years he was governor, but thinks the President is responsible for job losses that happened in the month he took office.
Obama for America Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter breaks down this hypocrisy and explains how, even by Romney’s own standard, President Obama still has a stronger record on job growth than Romney did in Massachusetts. Take a look, and then share this video with your friends and family.
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