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?
Fox News' Chris Wallace calls Rep. Paul Ryan out for writing a budget assuming Obamacare will be repealed.
Wallace: Are you saying that as part of your budget you would repeal — you assume the repeal of Obamacare?
Wallace: Well that’s not going to happen.
You know things are rough when Fox News disagrees with a Tea Party Sweetheart and potential 2016 presidential candidate. It's troubling that Ryan would put such effort forth into the budget that assumes the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) will be repealed-- after all the act has failed to be repealed over 30 times not to mention being authorized by a Supreme Court ruling. Ryan's nonsensical ideology will leave Congress in worse fix to come up with a real responsible budget for the American people.
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:
· Head Start will be cut by $406 million, kicking 70,000 children out of the program.
· Special education is cut by $840 million.
· $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.
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 Congress—Democrats 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.
Today Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles unveiled there new $2.4 trillion deficit-reduction plan. However, this plan is back with more cuts and less revenue than the original. $600 billion—a full quarter of the deficit reduction would come from healthcare.
Former co-chairs of President Obama’s deficit reduction commission, Allen Simpson is a former Republican Senator of Wyoming and Democrat Erksine Bowles was President Clinton’s White House Chief of Staff.
The plan is titled: “A Bipartisan Path Forward to Securing America’s Future.”
As March 1st sequester looms ahead, the new plan was formed in hopes to bridge differences between the President and the Congressional Republicans—an agenda better known for uncompromising Tea Party antics.
A new plan framed for ultra-conservatives to moderates, leaves no room for the people’s progressive voices at all—moreover, the plan as a whole still manages to thrill no one. There are significant cuts to Medicare and Medicaid and yet Republicans still loudly object to new revenues?
Not only does the plan gut Medicare and Medicaid and it will “reform” Social Security by tying it chained CPI which will drastically change our healthcare--more importantly, the most significant cuts the plan makes will fall on the programs that benefit the nation’s growing senior population.
Join DFA and be a citizen supporter, Congressmen Alan Grayson and Mark Takano are fighting back and asking their colleagues to join them on a letter that states: We will vote against any and every cut to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits -- including raising the retirement age or cutting the cost of living adjustments that our constituents earned and need.
We must stand up to protect Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid—calling for NO cuts. As the Simpson and Bowles plan is received and we get closer to the March 1st deadline—DFA will follow and continue our efforts to protect the people’s healthcare.
Marco Rubio's response to the President's State of the Union buried the headline: Republicans want to make devastating cuts to Social Security benefits. Maybe you missed it because Rubio awkwardly took a sip of water and then tried to sell those cuts to the American people as a plan to reduce the deficit and "save" Social Security.
The Republican plan to "save" Social Security? It's just another scheme to push down working families and prop up subsidies for big corporations.
That's why we're joining Rep. Alan Grayson and our friends at the PCCC in telling Democrats to take any and all benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid off the table and pass a jobs bill that will put Americans back to work.
Republicans can't cut Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid on their own -- they'll try to use the next budget showdown to force Democrats to join them in passing these cuts.
We can't let that happen. We need to get Democrats on the record right now -- we need them to pledge to vote no on any benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid. We get enough Democrats to do that, and we win.