5 Facts on Obama's BRAIN Intiative

Today President Obama unveiled the BRAIN initiative. The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative is "the next great American project." The White House describes the brain project as "a bold new research effort to revolutionize our understanding of the human mind and advance the president's vision for creating jobs and building a thriving middle class by investing in research and development."

Here's Five Facts on BRAIN:

1. It is designed to map the inner workings of the brain, seeking answers to challenges such as epilepsy, autism, and Alzheimer's disease. 

2. Job creation - the project would lead to developing technologies at the intersections of nanoscience, imaging, engineering, informatics, and other rapidly emerging fields of science and engineering - all opening new innovative careers for American students.

3. Three government agencies are uniting to lead the project: The National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Science Foundation.

4. All of this for just $100 million - miniscule by government spending standards (after all, the comparable, Human Genome Project was three BILLION).

5. Fact: It's about time. "As humans we can identify galaxies light-years away, study particles smaller than an atom but we still haven’t unlocked the mystery of the three pounds of matter than sits between our ears."

For more, WATCH HERE:

DFA applauds innovative efforts for progress. After all, as President Obama said: "We are a nation of dreamers and risktakers." What do you think of the BRAIN initiative? And what dream projects would you like to see the government invest in?

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Categories: Healthcare Education

The Real Sequestration Absurdity

In a world of Sequester turned Snowquester, Republicans are outraged that the Obama administration would cancel all White House tours indefinitely (beginning March 9th). Former NYC Mayor called the closing "absurd." Yet for the majority of American families there are greater problems to be addressed than White House tours temporarily ending. What we find to truly be absurd is that it's March 6th--5 days after the sequester-- and Congress still hasn't remedied cuts.

Here’s 7 cuts under sequester that make Democrats outraged:

1.  Education

·  Head Start will be cut by $406 million, kicking 70,000 children out of the program.

·  Special education is cut by $840 million.

2.  Medicare

·  $9.9 billion (yes Billion!) will be cut from Medicare

3.  Health Care

·  National Institutes of Health is cut by $1.6 billion.

·  Eliminates care for more than 373,000 ‘seriously mentally ill’ people, according to the White House.

·  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cut by $323 million.

·  Global health programs are cut by $433 million.

i.  Millenium Challenge Corp $46 million cut.

ii.  USAID $291 million cut.

·  Up to 424,000 HIV Tests would cut—thousands of people with HIV would lose access to life-saving medications.

4.  Natural disaster relief

·  FEMA’s Disaster Relief budget is cut by $375 million.

·  Funding for the government’s emergency response system will be significantly slashed.

5.  Energy, Scientific research, and Environmental protection

·  NASA cut by $970 million.

·  The National Science Foundation gets cut by $388 million.

·  Energy Department’s program for securing our nukes is cut by $650 million.

·  Nuclear Regulatory Commission is cut by $55 million.

6.  American Programs for the Poor

·  Public Housing support is cut by $1.94 billion.

·  More than 100,000 formerly homeless people would lose their current housing as a result of sequestration.

·  125,000 low-income families would be at risk of losing their housing cause of rental assistance cuts.

7.  Over 700,000 jobs lost under sequestration - harmful budget cuts could hit everyone from teachers to medical researchers.

(More Sequester content and figures from the Washington Post)

So while the GOP Congressman are introducing legislation to prevent the President from playing golf—yes, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) did indeed bring such an absurd amendment to CongressDemocrats are looking for solutions. Tonight the President has invited about a dozen Republican Senators to dinner in an effort to reach a bipartisan agreement.

Democracy for America continues to strongly call for no cuts on Medicare. We would love to see the President strike a deal but only a deal we can proud of where education, health care, and American jobs and housing for families can be protected.

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Categories: Healthcare Environment Budget and Taxes Economy and Jobs Education

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