Thursday, May 28, 2009

A home run

automat --

President Obama hit a home run with his nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court -- and not just because she's the "woman who saved baseball" by ending the strike in 1995, nor simply because she would be the first Latina ever to serve on the high court.

It was a home run because in her three-decade career as a prosecutor, judge, private litigator and law professor, she has time and again earned bipartisan praise as one of America's finest legal minds. And it was the right choice because Judge Sotomayor -- herself born and raised in a South Bronx housing project -- has summed up the American dream in her own incredible story and never once forgotten how the law affects our daily lives.

Now her historic nomination goes to the Senate. I know that process well, and I can tell you that the debate of the coming weeks and months will be shaped by the public response in the next few hours and days. It's critical that the Senate and the public clearly see where the American people stand.

Will you add your name to the growing list of Americans who are pledging to "Stand with Sotomayor" today? Your name and comments will become part of a public display of support at this crucial time.

Stand with Sotomayor

I've followed Judge Sotomayor's remarkable journey for years. I voted for her when President George H.W. Bush nominated her for the District Court in 1992, and I was proud to vote for her again when President Bill Clinton nominated her for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in 1998.

Born to a Puerto Rican family, Sotomayor grew up in a public housing project in the South Bronx. She was an avid reader from an early age, and was first inspired to pursue a legal career by the Nancy Drew mystery novels. Driven by her mother's belief in the power of education and her own relentless work ethic, she excelled in school. She won a scholarship to Princeton University, graduated summa cum laude, and then went on to attend Yale Law School where she served as an editor of the prestigious Yale Law Journal.

Like President Obama, Sotomayor passed up many more lucrative opportunities after law school to put her degree to work for the public good. She served as an Assistant District Attorney in New York, tackling some of the hardest cases facing the city, including robberies, assaults, murders, police brutality, and child pornography. Her growing reputation for fearlessness and legal brilliance prompted her first nomination to the federal bench, and she's only continued to soar.

If confirmed, she would start with more federal judicial experience than any Justice in a century, more overall judicial experience than any Justice in 70 years, and replace David Souter as the only Justice with firsthand experience as a trial judge. She has participated in over 3,000 panel decisions and authored roughly 400 opinions, expertly handling difficult issues of constitutional law, complicated procedural matters, and lawsuits involving complex business organizations.

In her years on the bench, Judge Sotomayor has earned acclaim from legal scholars and experts from both sides of the aisle for her intellectual toughness, her probing oral questioning, and her ability to issue decisions that hold both factual details and legal doctrines in equal measure. And she's never failed to apply a steady, common-sense analysis of how the law touches our daily lives.

Her story is incredible. Her qualifications are undeniable. And her judgment will serve us all well on the highest court in the land.

Please join me in becoming a part of this historic moment for the Court and our country. Add your name now to publicly show that you, too, "Stand with Sotomayor." In these crucial early hours, let us leave no doubt about the people's support for this extraordinary nominee.

http://my.barackobama.com/sotomayorstand

Thank you,

Vice President Joe Biden

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Supreme Court nominee

automat --

I am proud to announce my nominee for the next Justice of the United States Supreme Court: Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

This decision affects us all -- and so it must involve us all. I've recorded a special message to personally introduce Judge Sotomayor and explain why I'm so confident she will make an excellent Justice.

Please watch the video, and then pass this note on to friends and family to include them in this historic moment.

Watch a special message from the President

Judge Sotomayor has lived the America Dream. Born and raised in a South Bronx housing project, she distinguished herself in academia and then as a hard-charging New York District Attorney.

Judge Sotomayor has gone on to earn bipartisan acclaim as one of America's finest legal minds. As a Supreme Court Justice, she would bring more federal judicial experience to the Supreme Court than any Justice in 100 years. Judge Sotomayor would show fidelity to our Constitution and draw on a common-sense understanding of how the law affects our day-to-day lives.

A nomination for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land is one of the most important decisions a President can make. And the discussions that follow will be among the most important we have as a nation. You can begin the conversation today by watching this special message and then passing it on:

http://my.barackobama.com/SupremeCourt

Thank you,

President Barack Obama




 

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Friday, May 22, 2009

June 6th: It all begins

The Democratic Party
automat --

Remember this date: Saturday, June 6th, 2009. We will look back on that day as the moment when the fight for real health care reform began in your neighborhood -- perhaps even in your own living room.

On June 6th, in thousands of homes across the country, we'll gather to launch our grassroots campaign for health care. We'll watch a special message from the President. We'll build the teams and draw up the plans for winning health care reform the same way we won the election: Building support one block, one neighbor, one conversation at a time. And we'll put those plans into action.

These kickoffs are so crucial that President Obama will join confirmed hosts and attendees on a live conference call.

Sign up today to host or attend a Health Care Organizing Kickoff.

Host a Health Care Organizing Kickoff

There's no prior experience required. We'll send you the details for dialing into the President's call and provide you everything you need to make your meeting a success.

After the election, people gathered at over 9,000 meetings across every state to set priorities for health care reform. Our voices were heard. Now the race is on to make sure Congress produces a plan that reflects the President's call for reduced costs, guaranteed choice, and quality care for all.

To make that happen, we need to build a groundswell of support in every district and every state, and we have no time to lose. All summer we'll be reaching out to our neighbors, knocking on doors, serving in our communities, and building a grassroots network strong enough to win.

These gatherings on June 6th are just the beginning of a battle between those who fought and believe in change and those who would protect a broken status quo. The stakes for our country could not be greater.

Some call this strategy pie-in-the-sky. They say we'll never have enough volunteers to make a real impact; that you need insiders and Washington lobbyists to make a difference. But you and I know firsthand how wrong they are. Starting June 6th, it's once again time to show this country how bottom-up change is done.

Please sign up today to host or attend a kickoff near you.

http://my.barackobama.com/HCkickoff

These kickoffs will be both effective and fun. You'll meet likeminded supporters in your neighborhood, share stories, enjoy good company and a shared mission, and know that no matter what this effort requires of us, if we work together we'll be ready to face it and persevere.

I look forward to joining you and the President to chart our course.

David Plouffe
Organizing for America

P.S. -- This week, President Obama asked us to send in our personal health care stories. Hundreds of thousands of people have already responded, and the stories are simply incredible. Here are just few that help remind us what we're fighting for:

I am a single parent and have lost my teaching job effective in June. I'm scared to death because my son has a serious pre-existing condition (Neurofibromatosis) and can't go without medical insurance. However, my employer has just informed me that continuing my family coverage under COBRA will cost $1,400.00 a month! That's a house payment for me. Or three times my car payment! How can I keep my family covered without going under financially?

--Cathy
Apple Valley, Minnesota

Since I lost my job in 2006, I have had no health insurance. After paying for insurance through my employer for 30 years, I have no major medical. But now that I am approaching 60, I may need insurance more than ever. I have not had a mammogram for three years because it would be too stressful to find anything suspicious. Risky but true.

--Kathy
Macon, Georgia

My husband isn't getting enough hours at his job to qualify for health insurance so we have been looking around for a provider. He has a pre-existing health condition (non-epileptic seizures) and he is being denied left and right. We don't make a lot of money, about $23,000/year and we can't afford to not have insurance, in case he needs to go to the doctor. And it looks like we can't afford to have it either. We are stuck.

--Amanda
Pasadena, California

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

automat, I need your voice on health care

automat --

The chance to finally reform our nation's health care system is here. While Congress moves rapidly to produce a detailed plan, I have made it clear that real reform must uphold three core principles -- it must reduce costs, guarantee choice, and ensure quality care for every American.

As we know, challenging the status quo will not be easy. Its defenders will claim our goals are too big, that we should once again settle for half measures and empty talk. Left unanswered, these voices of doubt might yet again derail the comprehensive reform we so badly need. That's where you come in.

When our opponents spread fear and confusion about the changes we seek, your support for these core principles will show clarity and resolve. When the lobbyists for the status quo tell Congress to hold back, your personal story will give them the courage to press forward.

Join my call: Ask Congress to pass real health care reform in 2009.

After adding your name, please consider sharing your personal story about the importance of health care reform in your life and the lives of those you love.

I will be personally reviewing many of these signatures and stories. If you speak up now, your voice will make a difference.

http://my.barackobama.com/HealthCareOrganizing

American families are watching their premiums rise four times faster than their wages. Spiraling health care costs are shackling America's businesses, curtailing job growth and slowing the economy at the worst possible time. This has got to change.

I know personal stories can drive that change, because I know how my mother's experience continues to drive me. She passed away from ovarian cancer a little over a decade ago. And in the last weeks of her life, when she was coming to grips with her own mortality and showing extraordinary courage just to get through each day, she was spending too much time worrying about whether her health insurance would cover her bills. She deserved better. Every American deserves better. And that's why I will not rest until the dream of health care reform is finally achieved in the United States of America.

Please add your name to join my call. Then share your personal story about why you too will not rest until this job is done.

http://my.barackobama.com/HealthCareOrganizing

Last November, the American people sent Washington a clear mandate for change. But when the polls close, the true work of citizenship begins. That's what Organizing for America is all about. Now, in these crucial moments, your voice once again has extraordinary power. I'm counting on you to use it.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Head-to-head with Michael Steele

The Democratic Party
automat --

Tomorrow morning I'll go head-to-head in a debate with Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele on NBC's "Meet the Press," and I want to invite you to watch.

This is a great chance to show folks the difference between what our two parties have to offer the American people, and why President Obama and Democrats in Congress have the leadership we need to get our country back on track.

Check your local listings for the time and channel.

After the show is over, take a minute to let me know what you thought.

Also, if you have friends or family who have questions about where each party stands on important issues, tomorrow's conversation could be a good chance for them to see the difference. Please forward them this note, and pass on my personal invitation to watch.

By bringing more people into the Democratic Party, we can better advance the big goals we share -- like top-quality education, clean energy, and affordable health care for all.

Building this party is up to all of us. So tomorrow morning, let's do it together. I hope you can tune in.

http://www.democrats.org/MeetThePress

Thank you for your support,

Governor Tim Kaine
Chairman

P.S. -- Get involved with the Democratic party's online conversation -- join us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Stand with Obama on health care

The Democratic Party
automat --

Monday morning, an unlikely gathering of health care industry and union leaders emerged from the White House, announcing a historic agreement to lower medical costs and save the average family up to $2,500. This kind of broad coalition would have been unthinkable in the past, when the old politics of division and short-term self interest held sway. But this is a new day.

Yesterday afternoon, President Obama announced the three bedrock principles that any comprehensive health care reform must achieve: (1) reduce costs, (2) guarantee choice, and (3) ensure all Americans have quality, affordable health care. And he set a hard goal for getting it done by the end of this year.

For those determined to oppose reform, the President's announcement means lobbyists are already scrambling across D.C. For the rest of us, it means there's no time to lose. As we speak, Congress is negotiating the details for health care reform, so the first step is showing where the American people stand.

Please click below to sign a declaration of support urging Congress to follow President Obama's three core principles for health care reform -- and to enact them before the end of this year:

Watch the President's remarks and sign the declaration

(The more signatures we have, the more powerful our message will be, so please add your name and then forward this note on to family and friends.)

The health care crisis is not new, but it's getting worse. For decades, real health care reform has been blocked by special interest lobbying and political point-scoring. We simply cannot go any further down this dangerous road of delay and denial. But we don't have to.

Yesterday's agreement marks only the beginning of the broad coalition we need. The most important reason this round of health care reform will be different is you. Last fall millions of regular people came together and did the impossible. Now, we've got to roll up our sleeves, join hands with those new to our movement, and do it again.

Congress is already hammering out the details of the health care package, and it could still go any number of ways. Our representatives need to understand that when the President lays out these three bedrock principles, Americans of every stripe are standing with him. Yesterday's diverse gathering was a powerful start -- and now it's up to us.

It's time to stand up. Please sign the declaration of support today:

http://my.barackobama.com/OrganizingforHealthcare

Reducing costs, guaranteeing choice, and ensuring care for all are ambitious goals, but they are nothing less than what the American people deserve. And passing real health care reform this year is nothing less than what the American people need.

Thank you,

Mitch

Mitch Stewart
Director
Organizing for America

P.S. -- Here are some excerpts from the President's announcement yesterday that lay out the three principles for health care reform and why we need it this year. Please forward this note to people who want to know where the President stands.

###

In the coming weeks and months, Congress will be engaged in the difficult issue of how best to reform health care in America. I'm committed to building a transparent process where all views are welcome. But I'm also committed to ensuring that whatever plan we design upholds three basic principles: First, the rising cost of health care must be brought down; second, Americans must have the freedom to keep whatever doctor and health care plan they have, or to choose a new doctor or health care plan if they want it; and third, all Americans must have quality, affordable health care.

These are principles that I expect to see upheld in any comprehensive health care reform bill that's sent to my desk -- I mentioned it to the groups that were here today. It's reform that is an imperative for America's economic future, and reform that is a pillar of the new foundation we seek to build for our economy; reform that we can, must, and will achieve by the end of this year.

Ultimately, the debate about reducing costs -- and the larger debate about health care reform itself -- is not just about numbers; it's not just about forms or systems; it's about our own lives and the lives of our loved ones. And I understand that. As I've mentioned before during the course of the campaign, my mother passed away from ovarian cancer a little over a decade ago. And in the last weeks of her life, when she was coming to grips with her own mortality and showing extraordinary courage just to get through each day, she was spending too much time worrying about whether her health insurance would cover her bills. So I know what it's like to see a loved one who is suffering, but also having to deal with a broken health care system. I know that pain is shared by millions of Americans all across this country.

And that's why I was committed to health care reform as a presidential candidate; that's why health care reform is a key priority to this presidency; that's why I will not rest until the dream of health care reform is finally achieved in the United States of America.

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