No, you can’t deny women their basic rights and pretend it’s about your ‘religious freedom.’ If you don’t like birth control, don’t use it. Religious freedom doesn’t mean you can force others to live by your own beliefs.
President Barack Obama
HEY IMPORTANT THING. I just got this email:
BIG NEWS: President Obama just announced that he is taking major action against sexual assault by creating a presidential task force to fight rape on college campuses.1
Having the President on our side is huge at a moment when sexual assault on college campuses has reached an epidemic level. Right now, 1 in 5 women will be assaulted or raped during college.2
For over a year now, the UltraViolet community—that’s you!—has been taking action together to tackle rape culture and stand up for survivors. Together with our allies, we’ve helped bring the epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses into the spotlight and called on the Administration to address it.
That’s why the White House wants to know what solutions YOU want to see. As an advocate who has spoken out for survivors before, your input is valuable. This is a major opportunity to be heard by the President and White House.
Can you take 3 minutes to fill out a short, easy survey about what you think the Presidential Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault should do? We’ll deliver your response to the White House next week.
Presidential commissions have a mixed record—some have faded into historical footnotes, while others have changed the course of our country’s history. For example, President Reagan’s HIV/AIDS task force led to increased funding for drug trials and an end to federal discrimination against those who are HIV-positive.3
We know that searches for solutions to sexual assault and rape can end up victim-blaming instead of holding attackers accountable. It’s why we’re bombarded by media figures that blame alcohol, twerking, and teenage naivete for rape instead of the rapists.4 And just last year, campus after campus—from Yale to USC—was called out for mishandling rape cases.5
When colleges don’t take rape accusations seriously, it discourages survivors from reporting. Only 12% of survivors report the assault, and it’s more often the survivors rather than their attackers who drop out of school.6
A federal task force will create uniform guidelines that colleges should follow to stop sexual assault and punish rapists. Data and research is helpful, but input from citizens who care and know about the problem is critical to finding the right solutions.
Last year, Ultraviolet members spoke out and demanded the Department of Education start holding campuses accountable for failing to uphold Title IX—the federal law that bans sexual discrimination in education, including sexual assault. From Steubenville, Ohio, and Maryville, Missouri, to Yale University, you’ve spoken out time and again to demand justice for survivors who have been swept aside by school authorities, law enforcement, and their communities. Now the President himself is demanding more be done, and he wants to hear from you.
Thanks for speaking out.
—Nita, Shaunna, Kat, Karin, Malinda, Adam, and Gabriela, the UltraViolet team
This is super big!
Share any stories, even from friends or even if you haven’t actually been assaulted. Like I was actually stalked by and sent very vulgar and graphic messages from a male classmate more than twice my age when I was in college, and the school did nothing to protect me other than tell the man to stop talking to me, and it was the third time he’d done that to female classmates. I literally had to have someone chaperone me to and from my car because I was so scared of this guy.
Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC NEWS that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law. One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience “sticker shock.”
None of this should come as a shock to the Obama administration. The law states that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010 will be “grandfathered,” meaning consumers can keep those policies even though they don’t meet requirements of the new health care law. But the Department of Health and Human Services then wrote regulations that narrowed that provision, by saying that if any part of a policy was significantly changed since that date — the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example — the policy would not be grandfathered.
It’s not like consumer debt. If you or I have a bit of extra money, and we’re feeling conservative, we could put it in the bank. If the bank is conservative, it puts the money in U.S. government bonds. The bond is good because it’s backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. Alternatively, the bank could just fill a vault with paper currency … which would be a solid way to store value so long as the full faith and credit of the United States government backs the currency. The point is that pretty much all currency in the world is essentially an I.O.U. from one government or another. So some amount of debt is unavoidable if we’re going to have a functioning global economy. And, as the world reserve currency, “some amount of debt” is a really high number.
Total debt is far less important than the annual deficit. A very high percentage of the national debt is money owed by our government to itself.
The national debt helps global security. If we owe various people in China $1.3 trillion, we have $1.3 trillion in leverage over China. It’s a bit more complicated than that—because there are two ends to any lever. But having China dependent on us if it wants to see any of a significant portion of its assets again isn’t wholly a bad thing.
The perceived stability of U.S. debt is one of our more important assets. There aren’t a whole lot of things you could blow up that would be more damaging to the future of the country than that.
If you’re interested in things like “facts,” this is a good read.
Of course, if you believe Obama is the one responsible for a massive explosion in the size of our federal government, I think there just may not be any hope for you where “facts” are concerned… but whatevs.
“Success may not come quickly or easily. But if you strive to do what’s right, if you work harder and dream bigger, if you set an example in your own lives and do your part to help meet the challenges of our time, then I’m confident that, together, we will continue the never-ending task of perfecting our union.” —President Obama to Morehouse College graduates, 5/19/13.
POTUS was fired up at the UAW today.
POTUS is making gifsets now. Dang.
POTUS understands tumblr.
This is why I love my President. He understands me and my us for Tumblr as news.
I didn’t even realize his team was the ones who created this. Oh, he has the most awesome people working with/for him.