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States With Anti-Gay Sex Education

The Supreme Court will decide in the current term whether all 50 states must allow same-sex couples to marry. No doubt the justices are aware of how public opinion on the issue has evolved. But while legal gay marriage has spread rapidly over the last several years (see this map), sex education laws in many states remain in the Dark Ages—even in states where gay marriage is allowed.
In Arizona, for example, two men or two women can tie the knot, but no student can be exposed to curriculum that "promotes a homosexual lifestyle" or "suggests that some methods of sex are safe methods of homosexual sex." In South Carolina, where same-sex couples have been able to marry since last year, students are forbidden from learning about homosexuality "except in the context of instruction concerning sexually transmitted diseases." 
Sex education is only mandated for middle or high schoolers in 22 states, but almost every state in the nation has policies governing what teachers should emphasize or avoid if they teach sex ed. In 20 states, this means spelling out how teachers should cover homosexuality: 9 states require that information on sexual orientation be "inclusive," while the 11 states in the chart above have either pro-heterosexual or anti-homosexual biases.

Source: Mother jones

Loretta Lynch confirmed as attorney general


Image: Loretta Lynch testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington
Loretta Lynch was confirmed Thursday as attorney general, the first black woman in American history to hold the country's top law enforcement post.
The Senate approved Lynch, a federal prosecutor from New York, after an unusually long confirmation delay, fraught with partisan bickering. President Barack Obama nominated her as the successor to Eric Holder in November.
Lynch, 55, faced staunch Republican objection to her support of the president's use of executive action on immigration policies, including the deferred deportation of up to 5 million undocumented immigrants.


Does Rick Santorum Have Any Gay Friends, So, He Can Go To Their Wedding



But what many don’t remember is that one of Santorum’s top aides and closest advisers in the Senate was an openly gay man, Robert Traynham.  Traynham is now a MSNBC Analyst 

President Barack Obama’s approval moving up





President Barack Obama’s approval rating is trending positive among American adults as optimism over the economy surges to its highest levels in nearly eight years, according to a new CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday.

Strengthening Communities By Welcoming All Residents and Promoting Immigrant & Refugee Integration



“For more than 200 years, our tradition of welcoming immigrants from around the world has given us a tremendous advantage over other nations. It’s kept us youthful, dynamic, and entrepreneurial. It has shaped our character as a people with limitless possibilities — people not trapped by our past, but able to remake ourselves as we choose.”
— President Barack Obama, November 21, 2014

Today, the White House Task Force on New Americans is taking an important step by outlining the federal government’s goals to strengthen its integration efforts nationwide and build welcoming communities in a new report released today. In the coming months, the Task Force will be guided by key goals identified in this plan. This December, it will also submit a progress report to the President.

Currently, 41.3 million foreign-born residents live in the United States and are contributing to the vitality of our country and their communities. This includes the over 3 million refugees who have resettled here since 1975 from countries that span the globe. These immigrants and refugees are adding much to our country’s social and cultural fabric, and are also critical to our country’s continued economic prosperity.

While 13 percent of the overall population is foreign-born, foreign-born workers represent close to 17 percent of the current U.S. labor force. Over the next 20 years, immigrants and their children will account for 85 percent of the net growth in the U.S. labor force. Immigrants are entrepreneurial, starting 28 percent of all new businesses. Moreover, a study by the Partnership for a New American Economy found that immigrants or their children have founded more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies, which collectively employ over 10 million people worldwide and generate annual revenues of $4.2 trillion.

Our success as a nation of immigrants is rooted in our historic success in integrating newcomers into the fabric of our country. Integration is a dynamic two-way process that brings together newcomers and the long-time residents of communities into which they settle to foster greater understanding, promote inclusiveness, speed economic success, and build secure, vibrant, and cohesive communities. We achieve a great deal for very little effort. Though we have had no official strategy for integration, the family members, employers, and communities where immigrants settle — combined with the efforts of immigrants themselves — result in a rapid pace of immigrants becoming productive members of society. At the same time, communities, business leaders, state and local governments, and policymakers are recognizing the value of undertaking deliberate integration efforts.

The Obama Administration has studied immigrant and refugee integration efforts, maintained dialogue with stakeholders, and applied best practices and key principles, particularly those inspired by the “welcoming communities” movement. Welcoming communities are cities, counties, or towns that strive to bring immigrants and refugees and native-born residents together to create a positive environment for all. Early on, the Administration also identified three integration pillars — civic, economic, and linguistic integration — that have been its focus close to six years. Numerous agencies have worked to enhance opportunities across each of these pillars through programs that engage local communities and provide immigrants and refugees with access to training around language needs, career development, and support services.

To further these efforts, in November 2014, President Obama created a formal interagency body, the White House Task Force on New Americans (“Task Force”).  Sixteen federal departments, agencies, and White House offices are represented on the Task Force.  Its efforts are led by Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, and León Rodríguez, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The Task Force aims to further strengthen the federal government’s integration efforts by making them more strategic and deliberate. Key goals and actions include:

·         Building Welcoming Communities: Recognizing that integration is a two-way process that occurs primarily at the local level, the Task Force will support initiatives that build bridges among immigrant and receiving communities. Key actions include:

o   Building Welcoming Communities Challenge: This spring, the Task Force will launch a challenge to support existing efforts and encourage additional local governments to develop and implement integration strategies tailored to their communities’ needs.

o   Toolkit for Local Communities: Many communities have the will to build welcoming communities, but do not have models and resources to develop plans and implement reforms. The Task Force will develop a toolkit to guide these communities in their efforts and to share information on federal funding and other initiatives.

o   New Americans Corps to Build Local Capacity: Local communities, and states, are on the front lines of building welcoming communities, but their capacity is often limited. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) will inject energetic AmeriCorps VISTA members into communities to help them increase capacity, expand multisector networks, and develop and implement local integration plans.

·         Strengthening Existing Pathways to Naturalization and Promoting Civic Engagement: Every day, immigrants and refugees living in our country are seeking out opportunities to serve and, in the process, are reenergizing communities. Millions are also eligible to become citizens. The Task Force will take actions to encourage new Americans to volunteer, give back, and consider the benefits of naturalizing. Key actions include:

o   Citizenship Public Awareness Campaign: DHS will launch a national, multilingual media campaign to raise awareness about the rights, responsibilities, and importance of U.S. citizenship, and available citizenship preparation tools.

o   Citizenship and Integration Grants Program: In April, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced up to $10 million in competitive grant funding for citizenship preparation programs in communities across the country. 

o   Presidential Ambassadors to Promote Citizenship and Naturalization: The Task Force will harness inspirational stories of new Americans and others to promote naturalization, bolster integration initiatives, and increase awareness of the contributions of new Americans to our country.

o   Identify Opportunities to Inform Individuals Eligible for Naturalization: USCIS will notify permanent residents about their potential eligibility for naturalization.  This will include leveraging its existing case status and e-filing tools to notify permanent residents seeking to renew or replace a permanent resident card about potential eligibility for naturalization.

o   Expand Citizenship Outreach Partnerships. Over the past five years, USCIS has increased efforts to coordinate with cities and public libraries to provide information about citizenship in local communities. In 2015, USCIS will double the number of formal letters of agreement with local governments and seek out additional opportunities to expand these local partnerships.

o   Increasing Mobile Immigration Services: USCIS, will assess the feasibility of providing mobile services where underserved populations are located and will partner with federal agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), that have footprints in rural and other underserved communities.

o   Encourage New Americans to Serve: CNCS will promote volunteer opportunities among immigrants and refugees. In September 2015, Task Force members will promote opportunities for new Americans and others to volunteer and serve, and highlight successful stories of new Americans who are volunteering or serving, during annual Citizenship Week activities.

o   Refugee AmeriCorps Program: The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and CNCS will work toward implementing a Refugee AmeriCorps program to assist local communities with integration of refugee populations.

·         Supporting Skill Development, Fostering Entrepreneurship and Small Business Growth, and Protecting New American Workers: New Americans are contributing significantly to our economy, as workers and entrepreneurs. Task Force members will continue promoting the economic integration of immigrants and refugees. Key actions include:

o   Small Business Training Courses and Toolkit for New Americans: Small Business Administration (SBA) will pilot new “101” classes in targeted cities with concentrations of immigrants and refugees, in collaboration with local partners. SBA will also create a new toolkit to help new American entrepreneurs understand business and financial fundamentals so they can become lender-ready.

o   Made It in America Campaign: To promote success stories and motivate individuals to take advantage of SBA tools and resources, SBA will launch a new campaign, “Made It in America,” to highlight notable new American entrepreneurs who have used SBA as a small business resource. The Department of Commerce will also promote immigrant entrepreneurship through the President’s Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship program and Business Sunday initiative.

o   Implement New Workforce Programs in Partnership with New Americans: As the federal government implements its new workforce training and education law — the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014 — the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Education (ED) will promote funding opportunities and best practices so that new Americans are provided the tools to succeed.

o   Career Pathways and Credentialing Toolkit for New Americans: DOL, ED, and HHS will collaborate to release a career pathways and credentialing toolkit. This toolkit will provide information for states, localities, and will include examples of immigrant-focused career-pathways programs.

o   Bolster Outreach to Immigrants and Refugees to Promote Awareness of Labor Protections and Rights: DOL, in partnership with Department of Justice (DOJ), USCIS, and others, will provide information regarding worker rights and protections to new Americans.

o   Meaningful Access to Housing Programs: HUD will launch “HUD Speaks,” a two-year pilot to improve communication with and enhance efforts to serve ELs and LEP individuals. As a part of these efforts, HUD will develop interactive tools that provide information on HUD programs in multiple languages, redesign “I Speak” cards for staff, and distribute posters to spread awareness about HUD programs and services.

o   Expanding Opportunities for Linguistic Integration and Education: English language acquisition is vitally important for new Americans’ success. The Task Force will implement cradle-to-career strategies to enhance access to high-quality language acquisition and increase opportunities for postsecondary education and training. Key actions include:

o   Early Learning Toolkit for Parents: ED and HHS will create a parent toolkit to provide families, including new American families, with information about the importance of early learning for their children and resources on how to find high-quality early learning programs.

o   Highlight Promising Practices and Resources for Serving English Learners (ELs): ED will highlight effective, evidence-based interventions for ELs and new Americans, for use in federal programs such as the existing program for immigrant children under Title III. These interventions should include professional development for educators to meet the unique needs of new Americans and ELs as a whole.

o   Encourage Employers, Educational Systems, State and Local Governments, and Other Career-Building Institutions to Increase Access to ESL Courses: Federal agencies, such as Commerce and SBA, will provide information and tools to employers about increasing access to ESL courses, education services, and other training programs for frontline immigrant and refugee workers. ED, in partnership with other Task Force members, will also explore opportunities to pilot and support innovative models of providing ESL instruction.

o   Highlight Effective Institutional Programs, Community Models, and State Policies that Enhance Opportunities for New Americans: ED will highlight effective institutional programs, community models, and state policies that serve young people who are new Americans. For example, Café College, in San Antonio, Texas, offers community-based college and career advising opportunities to new Americans and their children.  

o   Identify Education Grant Programs with Untapped Potential to Support New Americans, Including Programs that Employ Place-Based Strategies: ED, as well as other Task Force members, will take issues confronting new Americans into consideration when developing education grant programs, or when awarding grants for programs under which new Americans are eligible to receive services.

President Obama to Deliver Remarks at the White House “Champions of Change for Working Families”

April 16th, the President will deliver remarks at the White House to honor “Champions of Change for Working Families.” These Champions have worked with businesses, communities, and organizations to advocate for commonsense policies such as paid family leave, paid sick days, equal pay and pregnancy accommodations, that support our families, businesses, and economy.

The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities. The event will be open press and streamed live on www.whitehouse.gov/liveTo learnmore about the White House Champions of Change program, visit www.whitehouse.gov/champions. Follow the conversation at #WHchamps.

At approximately 12:00 PM ET, before the President delivers remarks, there will be an opportunity to attend a pre-program. The pre-program will feature two panels on working families and remarks by the following individuals, listed in order of appearance.

 Speakers (in order of appearance):
·         White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett
·         U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez
·         Tina Tchen, Executive Director, White House Council on Women and Girls

WHEN:          Pre-program: 12:00PM ET April 16th, 2015
Program: 2:10PM ET April 16th, 2015

WHERE:        Eisenhower Executive Office Building, South Court Auditorium

Who is Clinton's Campaign Manager Robby Mook

Robby Mook

35-year-old Mook has been involved with the Clintons in the past, and has now been invited into their famously closed inner circle to lead their campaign back to the White House.
Mook began his political career at 16 years old, supporting Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign, and he also worked on Hillary’s team in 2008. However, it seems his full potential only became apparent to the Clintons when he worked as campaign manager for their close friend Terry McAuliffe last year, in his successful bid to become Governor of Virginia.
The Vermont-born strategist is said to be a low key, camera shy political geek, who is more at home digesting mounds of political data than he is on social media – where you’ll find he doesn’t have any accounts. His quiet, hard working style is desirable to the Clintons as they’re aiming for a humble, low drama, but highly effective race to the White House. The U.S. news outlet Mother Jones describes him as being “largely unknown beyond the insular world of Democratic staffers but well-liked within it.”
Clinton announced her campaign in a video message released on Sunday, which featured the stories of many ordinary Americans, including two same sex couples – one of whom said they were planning to marry this summer. A long time campaigner for gay rights, we took a look at Clinton’s record last week, before she made her announcement.

 Oh and I didn't mention he is the first out of the closet Gay to manage a presidential campaign, if you think Donna Brazile was not out of the closet in 2000

Jeb Bush Responds To Clinton Campaign


$JebBush #JebBushFail
On the heels of the Clinton announcement on Sunday, Jeb Bush was quick to release a video stating what America needs to do in order to re-affirm America's standing amongst it's allies in the world..
"We must to do better than the Obama-Clinton foreign policy that has damaged
relationships with our allies and emboldened our enemies,"
Here's Jeb's offering in full..
xx xx

HEDGE FUND BARON BANKROLLING PRO-TED CRUZ CAMPAIGN

Robert Mercer
Robert Mercer, a Wall Street hedge-fund magnate 

The two men share a passion for unbridled markets, concerns about the Internal Revenue Service and a skeptical view of climate change.
Now the two — Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, and Robert Mercer, a Wall Street hedge-fund magnate — share another bond that could link them through November 2016: Both want to see Mr. Cruz elected president.
Mr. Mercer, a reclusive Long Islander who started at I.B.M. and made his fortune using computer patterns to outsmart the stock market, emerged this week as a key early bankroller of Mr. Cruz’s surprisingly fast campaign start. He is believed to be the main donor behind a network of four “super PACs” supporting Mr. Cruz that reported raising $31 million just a few weeks into his campaign.”
In 2013, Mercer’s household staff sued him. In the suit they claimed that the millionaire didn’t pay them overtime pay and docked wages for not replacing shampoo bottles or straightening pictures.

Hillary's Team 2016

RANKPLAYERTEAMRISING OR FALLING
1CHARLOTTE CLINTON MEZVINSKY
Told you we like babies the most! As Rand Paul is to doctor, Hillary Clinton is to grandma.
Clinton
2JOHN PODESTA
Closest thing to a Wise Person in the Beltway Democratic Party.
Inveterate Insider
3JOEL BENENSON
Obama's whiz pollster makes a home in Brooklyn -- and he's about as far from Mark Penn in disposition as you can get.
Obama
4ROBBY MOOK
The young campaign manager who worked miracles on the Terry McAuliffe campaign should bring the magic as long as he stays off email listserves.
Obama
5HUMA ABEDIN
Lifetime friend and trusted right-hand woman; is of talismanic importance to Hillary.
Clinton
6PHILIPPE REINES
Will be the last guy in the Hillary Clinton foxhole; universally reviled by the press he's supposed to deal with.
Clinton
7JENNIFER PALMIERI
Genial Podesta protégé has seen fire and rain as an ex-John Edwards flack.
Inveterate Insider
8KRISTINA SCHAKE
Turned Michelle Obama into a spunky everywoman -- can she work her magic again?
Obama
9 (TIE)MANDY GRUNWALD & JIM MARGOLIS
This is the new ads team. Grunwald's been Team Hillary from the beginning and will join with frenemy Margolis, who handled Obama last time.
Clinton/Obama
10MELANNE VERVEER
Shoulder to lean on for the last 30+ years.
Clinton
11KAREN FINNEY
Former DNC flack and MSNBC host with good younger Beltway connections.
Inveterate Insider
12NICK MERRILL
Hillary's main press flack -- who is so good at turning the attention to Hillary, we couldn't even find a photo of him -- will invariably be by her side in the biggest campaign of her life.
Clinton
13CHELSEA CLINTON
If Hillary is going to young it up, she needs Chelsea to emerge as a star. Elle magazine is already on the case.
Clinton
14BILL CLINTON
Bill says he's not a good campaigner anymore, and has promised be a quiet adviser -- we'll see.
Clinton
Photos: Getty, Associated Press, CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images
Sourse huffingtonpost.com

Weekly Address: Tuition-Free Community College



In this week's address, the Vice President laid out his and the President's plan to make two years of community college free for responsible students.
Access to higher education has a tangible impact on a student's success: Those with an associate's degree earn 25% more than folks who graduated high school, and those with a four-year degree make 70% more. Not only that, but a better educated citizenry is necessary to ensure that the United States continues to out-compete the rest of the world.
Making two years of community college free is good for workers, good for companies, and good for our economy. And this proposal is part of the President's broader vision for middle-class economics: that everybody who works hard deserves their fair shot and the chance to get ahead.



TSARNAEV MOM: AMERICANS ARE ‘TERRORISTS’




Convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s mother, Zubeidat, has reportedly posted a statement online declaring Americans “the terrorists here” and calling her son “the best of the best.” In a message sent to a family friend on Russian social media site VKontakte, Zubeidat Tsarnaev wrote, “I will never forget it. May god bless those who helped my son. The terrorists here are the Americans and it’s known to everyone. My son is the best of the best.” Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty on all 30 counts against him and now faces the death penalty. Zubeidat said she was outraged at the verdict in an interview with Vocativ over WhatsApp: "TODAY THEY ARE KILLING MUSLIMS, ANDTOMORROW WILL COME YOUR TURN AND HE, WHO DOUBTS THIS IS DEEPLY MISTAKEN!!!!!” . "THEY WILL PAY FOR MY SONS AND THE SONS OF ISLAM, PERMANENTLY!!! THE TEARS OF THEIR MOTHERS WILL BE FUEL FOR THEM IN HELL, AND ALSO THEIR BLOOD, I AM DOUBTLESS AND ETERNALLY GLAD THAT I KNOW THIS FROM THE WORDS OF THE CREATOR, NOT JUST ANYONE’S WORDS!!!!!!"
READ IT AT VOCATIV    
 
 
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