Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas
To All B4B Warriors !

President and 1st Lady's
Holiday Weekly Address

For the first time in a weekly address, the President is joined by the First Lady as they celebrate Christmas. They both honor those serving overseas, those who have sacrificed for their country, and the families that stand by them.

WATCH: Holiday Weekly Address

Visit B4B Site
if video did not appear through email server


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Senate Passes The Holiday Gift
of Health Care Reform Bill

WATCH President's R

Although it's Christmas Eve, I wanted to share some exciting news: The Senate just passed a historic health reform bill.

In all the back and forth, it's easy to lose sight of what this incredible breakthrough really means. But consider this: This Christmas, there are millions of Americans without health insurance who risk losing everything if they get sick.

There are mothers and fathers who wonder how they'll provide for their children because an illness has wiped out their savings. There are small business owners who worry that they'll have to lay off a long-time employee because the cost of insurance is rapidly rising.

If we finish the job, all this can change. We will have beaten back the special interests who have for so long perpetuated the status quo. We will have enacted the most important piece of social policy since the Social Security Act in the 1930s, and the most important health reform since Medicare in the 1960s.

In Decembers to come, millions more will have access to affordable coverage. Parents will have the security and stability of knowing their insurance can't be revoked at a moment's notice. And the skyrocketing costs plaguing our small businesses will be brought under control.

When you make calls, write letters, organize, this is the change you're making -- a better life for your family and for men and women in every state.

There is still more to do before I can sign reform into law -- a last round of negotiations and final votes in the Senate and the House -- and I'm counting on your help every step of the way. But for now, I hope that as you celebrate this holiday season, you remember that the work you are doing is making our union more perfect, one step at a time. For that, I am grateful to you.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays,

President Barack Obama

President's Response
to Historic Landmark

Visit B4B Site
if video did not appear through email server


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Health Care Reform-
" Progressives who argue for killing the Senate bill
and starting over should explain their position to the
30 million Americans without health insurance "...

Pulitzer Prize Winner
Washington Post

When all is said and done—and, yes, there is a bit more saying and doing to endure, which means that anything can happen—the health care reform legislation that President Barack Obama now seems likely to sign into law, while an unlovely mess, will be remembered as a landmark accomplishment.

The bill making its way through the Senate by the slimmest of margins is imperfect, to say the least. But before listing its many flaws, let’s consider the measure’s one great virtue: For the first time, we will enshrine the principle that all Americans deserve access to medical care regardless of their ability to pay. No longer will it be the policy and practice of our nation to ration health according to wealth.

When you blow away all the smoke, that’s what this fight is about. The Senate bill lacks a public health insurance option, the House bill is burdened by gratuitous abortion restrictions, and the final product of a House-Senate conference will probably have both those failings. But once the idea of universal health care is signed into law, it will be all but impossible to erase. Over time, that idea will be made into reality.

The loose ends are so many and varied, in fact, that it will probably be necessary to revisit the health care issue sooner rather than later. Even if it takes years to get it right, eventually is better than never. History suggests that major new social initiatives have to be perfected over time—and that basic entitlements, once established, are rarely taken away.

Progressives who argue for killing the Senate bill and starting over should explain their position to the 30 million Americans without health insurance who would be covered under this insufficiently progressive legislation. They should recall that when Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress began this crusade, public opinion was solidly in favor of reform. With polls now showing widespread wariness, with Republicans having confused and frightened many voters who already have adequate health insurance, why would anyone think that beginning from scratch is likely to produce a more progressive result?

It surely wouldn’t. For anyone who believes it is shameful that the richest, most powerful nation in the world cares so little about the health and welfare of its citizens, this is the moment. It should be seized, not squandered.

Is it ridiculous that the Senate bill essentially bribes Sen. Ben Nelson with special Medicaid reimbursements for Nebraska alone? Yes. Is it galling that the public option and the idea of a Medicare buy-in fell victim to Sen. Joe Lieberman’s whims? Supremely so. But our eyes should be kept on the prize.

The bill has been described as a gift to the health insurance companies since it provides them with 30 million new customers and no competition from a public plan. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that the stock prices of health insurers are soaring. But I also don’t believe the main point of this exercise was to stick it to the insurance companies, however satisfying that might be.

Someday, perhaps, we will deal with the perversity of having for-profit health insurance companies. Executives of those firms have a duty to maximize value for shareholders, which gives them the incentive to behave badly—rejecting those who are most in need of health care, denying reasonable claims, raising premiums whenever possible. If health care is a fundamental right and a societal good, then why should its allocation be mediated by the private sector? But this is not the debate we’ve just had.

Eventually, we probably will ask that question. While the reform package nearing completion bends the curve of rising health care costs, more bending is going to be needed. Ultimately, we’re going to have to take a more fundamental look at how the health industry is structured.

So this isn’t the end of a process that leads to a rational, sustainable, more efficient health care system. It’s the beginning. But when a reform bill passes, as now seems likely, Obama and congressional leaders will have achieved a goal that progressives have sought for decades. They will have established that quality health care should be for all, not just for those who can afford it.

We have a system now in which Americans go bankrupt trying to pay doctors and hospitals to keep them alive. When you have the opportunity to change this, you take it—even if it means winning ugly.

Greg Jones' B4BNOTE: I'm reminded of the imperfection of previous, now historic bills/laws that have been passed throughout our country's history. The Civil Rights Act, Womens Rights, Child Labor Laws, Fair Housing, Voters Rights Act just to name a few, all of which are still being 'tweaked' toward perfection to this day. But despite their flaws, in these monumental cases, Americans are thankful that the opposition was unable to Kill The Bill.

Although Imperfect...
Now is the time for health care reform.

Monday, December 21, 2009

My Health Care Reform FLIP-FLOP

Greg Jones
National Director

I, as many of you, have worked for months toward health care reform and lately some have been surprised by my lack of automatic enthusiasm of the bill as being proposed by the Senate. I have had a number of concerns since my primary objective has always been to see that the needs of the 47 million hard-working Americans who are struggling through life without the basic right to access quality health care are met. I have been very vocal about the vital urgency of affordability and how, without it there should be no mandate. I have voiced my disappointment of the secrecy of the Senate's process as well as the reports stating that the bill may not go into a full conference for amendments or changes to be made to the Senate's version, resulting in the bill being signed off basically as-is by Speaker Nancy Pelosi , then sent directly to The President for final signing.

But call it an EPIPHANY. Call it a flip-flop. Call it what you want but the more I see about what this health care reform bill will do for those in need, the more I LOVE IT ! Now don't get me wrong, there are a number of components of the bill that will need to be worked on or improved in the future, but I now truly feel that this is in fact an incredibly historic bill that will save the lives of many. One thing that prompted my transformation and makes me feel very good about the bill is certain things that I heard during last nights debate before the 1AM cloture vote. When I wrote my original draft of this piece I spelled it all out, word for word. Then, after listening to some right-wing radio today, and their declaration to ratchet up any and all obstruction they can muster to block the bill's passing, I deleted my 'breakdown' of what I feel is ahead to make certain of not supplying their much needed ammunition. And forgive my evasiveness but let's just say that I now have a clearer understanding of what Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Ia) meant when he said that the passing of the bill is "like buying the starter home; we're not done". In fact, he is now openly saying " we're going to revisit the public year we can revisit it. There are other ways to get it ". (hope he's not being TOO open)

So I now see the strategy. An incredibly effective move on the part of the Democrats. They're going to push this bill through, possibly having Speaker Pelosi sign-off on the bill with minimal changes to get it to The President's desk as quickly and untouched as possible, and once signed into law, during the formulation period, they plan to slide in some of the changes reflective of what we all want. All hoopla free. Absolutely BRILLIANT.

So yes, I now see the true greatness of what is transpiring here. For the first time in seven Presidencies a health reform bill will be passed that no longer allows insurance companies to refuse coverage to someone because of having a pre-existing condition. For the first time millions of Americans will have access to truly affordable coverage erasing the embarrassing need for traveling, make-shift free clinics like a third-world country. Now, more people who fall in the lower economic bracket will be covered through Medicaid while seniors will have less burden with the so-called doughnut hole they have been forced to deal with. This bill will limit big-buck executive compensation and administrative costs of the insurance profiteers while creating an exchange that will give care seekers various options.

Through the passing of this bill , and thanks to Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) there will be a $10 BILLION investment in community health centers. Sanders has stated that this investment will "help bring about a revolution in primary health care in America and create new or expanded health centers in an additional 10,000 communities. The provision would also work toward creating an additional 20,000 primary care doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and mental health professionals for expanded mental health counseling". It is also anticipated that the community centers will save Medicaid billions of dollars by providing primary care to those in need. Sanders is also giving a significant hint of future improvements to the bill by saying, "the day after this bill passes we can improve it'.

While those are but a few of the incredible benefits of this historic health care bill, there are still elements of concern. Although many of the pre-existing clauses kick-in immediately (which is great) the start date for the majority of the plan is 2014, longer than I would like to have seen. The Medicaid costs to states could pose a future problem as states struggle financially. Here in Ohio they have just decided to stop giving prisoners coffee as a way to save money. Due to the fact that the Senate bill allows the insurance companies to charge up to 3 times the normal rate for older aged people and those with pre-existings, there will be a need for stern monitoring of this aspect to assure affordability, something that I feel The President will stay on top of due to his mother's personal experience with this issue.

One of the other issues that has been of great concern of mine has been the mandate/law which requires all individuals to purchase coverage or be penalized. My concern had always been the thought of penalizing someone for being guilty of not earning enough money. But we are now getting reports, although unconfirmed, that there is what they're calling a 'hardship clause' in the bill which will make those who truly can not afford coverage exempt from the mandate, a component of the bill that I find to be absolutely great.

One thing for sure is the fact that our current health care system has been terrible. I live in Cleveland, Ohio, home of The Cleveland Clinic, one of the finest medical facilities in all the world. But up until now, due to the lack of health care coverage, a large majority of Clevelanders could only hope for the day that they may be able to access such a fine facility. This bill creates that opportunity and serves as evidence of the Democratic idea that, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stating during the cloture debate, "health care is a right" proven by the filibuster proof 60 votes last night which included every Democratic Senator, even those originally labeled as obstructionists like Senators Lieberman, Baucus, Lincoln, Landrieu and even the Blue Dogs, all under the powerful leadership of Senator Harry Reid; all of which-in my opinion-actually deserve a sincere hat-tip.

In my own defense, although I have been a strong supporter of President Obama since 2004, which lead me to create Blacks4Barack in February of 2007 to invigorate and stimulate support toward The Presidency, I will always study the issues to determine what is best for our country and the American people before automatically signing-on. That's just the way I am. And when it comes to this health care bill...I Feel Good !

Throughout the entire campaign and since day one in office, "Yes We Can" has been the driving motto promoted by President Barack Obama. In just 11 months in office he has achieved more than most Presidents have done in 8 years with much more yet ahead. The passing of this historic health care reform bill will not only illustrate the tenacity, vision and determination of a great Leader, but also displays 'The Power of WE'...those who have fought the good fight and will continue to do so, working together in Unity, for The Recovery of America. Very special thanks to all of The Warriors....and Thank You Mr. President. Now, it may not be perfect (yet) but let's get the bill passed !

Greg Jones

Saturday, December 19, 2009

So they'll 'FIX IT'


Greg Jones

As Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid gears up for the big spin, representing the Senate's supposed 'historic' health care reform bill as if it were great, giving affordable health care to 31 million, people nationwide can't help but be concerned about both the actual ineffectiveness of the bill combined with the new law/mandate that will force millions of struggling Americans to buy the already unaffordably high-priced coverage from the very insurance companies who created the need for health care reform. The massive disapproval of the inclusion of the mandate has triggered a drumbeat of protest calling for the removal of the mandate with chants such as "Just Say NO to Mandates"..."NO MANDATE or KILL THE BILL" and many others.

The problem is that since the bill does not include a method that would create truly affordable coverage like a Public Option or Medicare Buy-In, now that they have been stripped from the Senate version of the bill, most Americans are very concerned that the 47 million Americans struggling through life without health care will still be unable to afford coverage through this bill. But now, there is the mandate or law demanding that if you don't buy the insurance you will be PENALIZED, labeled as a lawbreaker and treated as such, all because of not earning enough money. That is the biggest flaw in this bill; the penalizing of those in need.

Many of the still hopeful are anticipating that once the bill passes in the Senate, positive changes/amendments will be made to the bill such as the insertion of a public option or the omission of the mandate when the bill goes into Conference; the process by which representatives from the Congress meet with Senate reps to fine tune, tweak and strengthen the bill. In fact, many Democratic politicians are stating that we need to get this bill passed in the Senate, as flawed as it is, and then it will be 'corrected' in the Conference process with almost a 'they would never pass THIS' spirit.

BUT, I have been trying to warn people for weeks now that they are NOT, I repeat NOT going to allow significant changes in Conference/Congress, stating that the bill is 'too fragile' and that they need to push it through for the sake of time.


Here is a statement from the article we have attached below from Salon:
" But Nelson also says he isn't necessarily on board for the long haul. "This cloture vote is based on a FULL UNDERSTANDING that there will be a LIMITED CONFERENCE between the Senate and House," he told reporters Saturday morning."

So as promised to Senator Nelson by Majority Leader Harry Reid, there will be a 'limited conference' which is the process known as Ping-Ponging. Through this process Speaker Nancy Pelosi will simply sign off on the Senate version of the bill as-is (maybe a weak change or two to make it look like they did something)...then the bill will go straight to the President for MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

It is of vital importance that all Americans be aware of exactly what is taking place. On Monday at 1:00AM (actually Tuesday early morning) the Senate will vote to close the debate (cloture) allowing the bill to go to the next phase toward their rushed, and frankly fake, Christmas eve deadline. So it is ACTION TIME ! This week we MUST contact our Senators/Congresspeople and The White House to demand that: 1) a full conference be allowed 2) That a truly affordable alternative to the high-priced insurance plans that currently exist such as a strong Public Option or Medicare Buy-In be implemented 3) If not, then they MUST remove the mandate or Kill The 'Unaffordable' Bill and start over creating a bill that does create true affordability.

The next few days are the key to the future of 47 million hard-working Americans, many of whom are forced to stand in long lines for as long as 8 hours while sick, at traveling, make-shift free clinics for the simple, basic right to be seen by a doctor, just like a third-world country. THEY are whom health care reform is SUPPOSED to be for...not the benefit of the insurance profiteers.


The time is NOW to...

Call...Fight...DEMAND !!!



Thursday, December 17, 2009

MUST SEE/Share !
Keith Olbermann's
Powerful Special Comment


Olbermann: " I call on all those whose conscience urges them to fight, to use the only weapon that will be left to us if this bill becomes law. WE MUST NOT BUY FEDERALLY MANDATED INSURANCE if this cheesy counterfeit of reform is all we can buy. No single payer? No sale. No public option? No sale. No Medicare buy-in ? No sale....I hereby pledge that I will not buy this perversion of health care reform. Pass this at your peril, Senators, and sign it at yours, Mr. President. I will not buy this insurance. Brand me a lawbreaker if you choose. Fine me if you will. Jail me if you must. "

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

B4B NOTE: This MANDATE combined with unaffordability will simply create millions of uninsured LAWBREAKERS who will be PENALIZED. People with pre-existing conditions will be FORCED BY LAW, with no choice, to pay up to 3 TIMES the already high rates for coverage (which of course, they can't afford) ! ALSO: (as a further example of the Health Care Hoodwinking of America) this bill reportedly may NOT go into Conference/Congress for amendments/changes using a process called 'ping-ponging' saying that the bill is 'too fragile' to make any changes to and that we need to 'get it done fast'. Congress will sign-off as-is...then this terrible bill goes straight to The President for quick signing. Contact The White House...Contact Your Senator...

No Mandate...

Visit B4B site
if video did not appear through email server


Tuesday, December 15, 2009


By Greg Jones

As the health care reform debate continues we are witnessing a watering-down to such a degree that the end result could actually be worse than what we have now. This has transformed from a vision of affordable health care coverage for the 47 million hard-working Americans currently struggling throughout life without the basic right to quality health care, to simply a bailout to the insurance profiteers through the mandate/law which will force all Americans to buy the expensive coverage or be PENALIZED.

Either through a well orchestrated plot or in a move to appease the obstructionists, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has gotten rid of ALL of the mechanisms that would have been enacted to create affordable health care coverage for all. First, the public option plan was taken out; and now we hear that the plan to allow people ages 55 to 64 to 'buy-in' to Medicare has been scrapped as well. In all fairness the one element of this reform debate that has remained constant throughout the debate (which could be passed as a single law/bill) is the banning of insurance company discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions, who will through this plan, be allowed to buy coverage, only if they can afford it (interestingly a problem President Obama's mother was faced with making it an issue most dear to The President's heart).

But EVERYTHING else about this plan is absolutely PATHETIC ! The majority of the 47 million struggling uncovered are doing so, not because they can't find coverage, but because they simply can not AFFORD the current high rates of coverage-which continue to rise. And this potentially 'historic' plan does absolutely nothing to make coverage even $1 cheaper. Worse yet, the Democratic politicians are now claiming what a great plan this will be because it " will give coverage to 31 million Americans". Sorry, but that's a lie. This plan isn't GIVING anything. This plan will FORCE the struggling uninsured to buy the unaffordable coverage from the insurance cartel or be PENALIZED by way of huge fines for being unable to afford it, like a penalty for being too poor ! When you combine the threat and fear of becoming labeled a lawbreaker, due to not having enough money, with the fact that the millions struggling will STILL be uncovered, STILL need to stand in long free-clinic lines while sick like a third-world country, the fact is it will actually be WORSE for millions of Americans if this 'historic' plan is passed.

You call THIS reform ? How does this plan help in any way the 47 million struggling, uncovered, hoping to NOT become one of the 44,000 that DIE each year due to the lack of access to quality health care ? Or the millions 'under-covered' like my younger sister Karen who just dropped dead on her bedroom floor a couple of months ago ? How will this plan help the thousands and thousands currently forced to stand in long lines for as long as 8 hours, while sick, at make-shift free clinics just to be seen by a doctor ? How does this plan solve the embarrassing health care needs of Americans in the richest country in the world. Not only does this plan NOT solve the true needs, but it doesn't even come close.

The ONLY thing this plan is is a blatantly obvious, stipulation-free, mandated gift to the insurance profiteers on the backs of the struggling.
As evidence, if the politicians weren't so well bribed/lobbied they would have at least told the cartel they must reduce their rates 10-20-30% or so for The People in exchange for the new 30 million people being forced to buy their product or be penalized, but instead it is exactly like the stipulation-free bank bailouts which is why we say....


This Plan is NOT for The People therefore
The People should NOT be for this Plan !

ANYONE who says that this plan should be accepted is ONLY thinking politically (and probably HAS coverage) or on behalf of the cartel. Health Care should not be a political issue but rather a matter of life or death !

Dr. Howard Dean Says KILL THE BILL


Monday, December 14, 2009

We MUST Fight for

Greg Jones


As the health reform debate continues, we are hearing of the continuous watering-down of the bill for the purpose of appeasing various Democrats including Senators Joe Lieberman, Mary Landreiu, Blanche Lincoln and Ben Nelson. But there is a process available to be used by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid which would make these obstructionists absolutely meaningless.

RECONCILIATION is the process by which a bill can be passed with 51 votes instead of 60. THIS is what we must DEMAND Reid uses to pass a bill with a strong, robust, national, competitive Public Option...the ONLY way to create affordable, competitive premiums for the 47 million Americans struggling throughout life without the basic right to be seen by a doctor. It is absolutely PATHETIC that hard-working Americans are forced to stand in long lines while sick, for as long as 8 hours, at make-shift free clinics just to be seen by a doctor, as recently occurred in Kansas City; a scene reminiscent of a third-world country.

This is a 2 part FIGHT....

FIRST...we must FIGHT for a STRONG, Competitive Public Option. In the same call or email we must DEMAND that Harry Reid uses the RECONCILIATION process. As The President has said

The Time is NOW....

44,000 Americans DIE each year due to the lack of affordable health care. This must end NOW...and it can...through RECONCILIATION !!!!

Please help spread the word as if your life depended on it.

One just might !!!

Contact Sen. Harry Reid/YOUR Senator/THE MEDIA...Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, Keith Olbermann etc. to say




Saturday, December 12, 2009

Picture of the Week !

President Obama !


Friday, December 11, 2009

We Are SO Proud of
Our 1st Family !

Article by Lynn Sweet
From Chicago to Oslo:
Michelle Obama's First Year

(click to read)


Thousands, sick in line at make-shift free clinic...
like a third-world country !

B4B NOTE: This so-called 'reform' is getting worse everyday !
Article from New York Times

High Premiums in
Senate Democrats' Health Plan !

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats have provided few details about their latest health care proposal, but this much seems clear: Anyone who wants to buy the same health benefits as members of Congress, or to buy coverage through Medicare, should be prepared to fork over a large chunk of cash.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, a family of four earning $54,000 in 2016, when the health legislation is fully in effect, would be eligible for a subsidy of $10,100 to help defray the cost of insurance under the health legislation being debated by the Senate. By then, one of the most popular federal plans, a nationwide Blue Cross and Blue Shield policy, is projected to cost more than $20,000.

That could leave the family earning $54,000, slightly more than the current median household income, with monthly premium costs of more than $825.

The Democrats’ proposal would also allow some people ages 55 to 64 to “buy in” to Medicare, starting in 2011. That could cost about $7,600 a year per person or $15,200 for a couple, according to a budget office analysis of an earlier version of the concept. No subsidies would be available until 2014.

Senate Democrats have been careful to say that their proposal is not intended to offer exactly the same benefits that members of Congress have. In many cases, federal subsidies would cover a smaller share of the premium than what the government contributes to the cost of health insurance for federal employees.

The Medicare buy-in proposal is intended to fill a gap in the social safety net for millions of people nearing retirement who are unable to obtain or afford insurance. In general, the new Medicare option would be available only to people who are uninsured. People 55 to 64 who have employer-sponsored insurance would be expected to keep it.

Preliminary back-of-the-envelope calculations reflect the steep challenges that Senate Democrats face as they await a new cost analysis of their plan. The numbers also reflect potential pitfalls in the politically appealing message to constituents that they might get benefits similar to those of federal lawmakers.

Affordability for individuals and families, however, is hardly the only challenge facing Senate Democrats as they struggle to put together a proposal that can win the 60 votes needed for passage of the broader health care bill.
(Read rest of article)

Related Article: Health care stocks RISE after Dems drop Public Option

The Time is NOW to
Call...Shout...DEMAND !!!



Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Public Option OUT !


Democrats Agree to Tentatively
Trade Opt-Out for Trigger,
Medicare 'Buy-In' and More !

(TPM) An aide briefed on the negotiations among the gang of 10 offers up the rundown of the most important aspects of the public option compromise being sent to CBO.

If this trade-off carries the day, the opt out public option is gone.

In its place will be many of the alternatives we've been hearing about, including a Medicare expansion and a triggered, federally-based public option, the aide said.

As has been widely reported, one of the trade-offs will be to extend a version of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan to consumers in the exchanges. Insurance companies will have the option of creating nationally-based non-profit insurance plans that would offered on the exchanges in every state. However, according to the aide, if insurance companies don't step up to the plate to offer such plans, that will trigger a national public option.

Beyond that, the group agreed--contingent upon CBO analysis--to a Medicare buy in.

That buy-in option would initially be made available to some uninsured people aged 55-64 in 2011, three years before the exchanges open. For the period between 2011 and 2014, when the exchanges do open, the Medicare option will not be subsidized--people will have to pay in without federal premium assistance--and so will likely be quite expensive, the aide noted. However, after the exchanges launch, the Medicare option would be offered in the exchanges, where people could pay into it with their subsidies.

It appears as if liberals lost out on a Medicaid expansion that would have opened the program up to everybody under 150 percent of the poverty line. That ceiling will likely remain at 133 percent, as is called for in the current bill.
(Read rest of Article)

B4B NOTE: HEALTH REFORM UPDATE: This article contains a good summary of where things stand with health care reform. Note that Public Option is OUT and may be TRIGGERED in 'later' if insurance profiteers don't 'do the right thing' (yea right). Unfortunately, looks like everything about the plan points to continued UNAFFORDABLE health coverage...but now with a LAW/MANDATE stating that if you don't buy it (can't afford) you'll be PENALIZED !...left still struggling WITHOUT the basic right to quality health care. Also note aides' statement that Medicare 'buy-in' 'could be expensive', while asking yourselves 'what about the millions struggling under age 55' ??? Without affordability, this in no way answers the needs of the 47 million care seeking Americans, many of whom stand in long lines while sick at make-shift free clinics just to see a doctor, like a third-world hopes of NOT becoming one of the 44,000 who DIE per year due to the lack of health care. America is being hoodwinked and bamboozled ! The time is NOW to call...Fight...DEMAND...truly affordable health coverage for ALL.

Anything short is simply a mandated gift to the profiteers !

Call...Fight...DEMAND !!!
Time Is Running Out !!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Opt-In, Opt-Out, Co-Op, Trigger,
Medicare 'Buy-In'..with NO Public Option
Beware of the Health Reform

By Greg Jones
National Director

As the Senate health care reform debate enters it's ninth day, one can't help but to stop...take a pause for the ask oneself...what is the cause ? Why exactly are we in need of health care reform ? Then I'm reminded that reform is needed so that the 47 million hard-working Americans will finally have access to quality health care; something that should be a basic right, but in America is not. I'm reminded that the 47 million are struggling throughout life without the right to see a doctor for health care, not because they don't want to be able to get health care when sick, but in most cases it comes down to the simple fact that they can not afford it. That is why, during the past number of months, thousands of sick Americans have been forced to visit make-shift traveling free clinics for the rare opportunity to be seen by a doctor, a vision usually reserved to third-world countries. But, if they are not turned away due to overcrowding, sick Americans stand in the long lines for hours for the basic right to health care, in hopes of not becoming one of the 44,000 who die each year due to the lack of health care access.

From day one, this is whom health care reform is supposed to be for. Reform is supposed to create an affordable means of health care for the 47 million struggling without. But as we watch the reform debate unfold one can't help but notice that the supposed purpose of reform is becoming more and more watered down each day. With intentional 'plans' being proposed specifically for the purpose of not truly serving the needs of the struggling, we hear of new catch phrases like opt-in, opt-out, co-op, trigger, now there's even a new hammer...all designed to not meet the health care needs of the millions.

It has become obvious to all that the health insurance industry basically bribes our politicians through 'lobbying' (legalized bribery) and that most of our politicians, our 'servants of the people', are really in fact servants for the insurance cartel, which is why it is of vital importance that We The People stay focused on the true health care needs of our Country while not allowing ourselves to be hoodwinked and bamboozled throughout the process.

During the entire debate, one component of health care reform that has remained constant is the fact that there will be a mandate/law forcing all Americans to have or buy health care insurance or be penalized; absolutely fantastic news to the insurance profiteers. This would not be a terrible idea if a truly affordable alternative to the existing high priced insurance coverage was created. Keep in mind, the 47 million want coverage...they simply can not afford it ! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if a mandate/law is put into affect, but the rates are still unaffordable, the end result will still remain millions of Americans uncovered, still struggling without health care; but now they'll be under added stress because they'd also be labeled 'lawbreakers' for not earning enough money. And when they get so severely sick that they are forced to go to the emergency room for care will they refrain in fear of getting 'caught' ?

We're hearing about 'subsidies' (government covering part of the premium cost) which will be initiated to help insurance premiums become more 'affordable' for the struggling, but no one has discussed exactly how theses subsidies will work. If the government is going to pay the greatest portion of the monthly premium then that's one thing. But if the government wants and expects the struggling to pay the high monthly premiums out-of-pocket only to be subsidized through a tax deduction or tax credit come tax time in April, that would be disastrous, considering the fact that struggling Americans simply do no not have 5, 6, 7 hundred or more extra dollars a month to make the monthly high-priced premium payments. So they're bound to be forced to go without, still sick, struggling without health care, but now a lawbreaker. And without the alternative lower-costing plan in affect such as a strong, competitive public option, who knows how high the monthly payments could end up. So the key question that must be answered is how the subsidies will be administered.

As a new twist, we are now hearing this brilliant concept of allowing individuals, possibly as young as age 55 to 'buy-in' to Medicare; a plan being proposed instead of a strong, competitive public option which would drive down costs through competition. The key phrase here (which the politicians and the media seem to leave out) is 'buy-in'. As I listened to callers on CSPAN this morning saying what a great idea that more people will be able to 'get' Medicare, it was obvious that they were unaware that more people aren't going to 'get' it...but now a certain group of people (estimated to be approximately 3 million) will have the opportunity to 'buy it'. Before we jump up and down with glee over this new proposal we must ask but one simple question: How much will it cost ? If the cost is not significantly cheaper than what exists now through the cartel, what's so great about it it ? It would still be unaffordable.

And common sense should lead us to another question: What about everyone else...the care seeking struggling people who are under the age of 55 ? What...just no reform for them at all ? So if you're between the ages of 27 and 54 you're supposed to just be forced to pay-since there would not be a strong public option under this brilliant plan-the current high cartel rates, which are increasing rapidly, or continue to struggle, sick without health care access while, again, becoming labeled a lawbreaker. And to our politicians I ask, "You call this reform ?"

Mark my words, a health care reform bill is going to pass because our politicians are going to do everything they can to make sure the mandate goes into affect. (evident by the fact that not one Democrat NOR Republican is speaking out against the mandate) But we must ask ourselves, if there is no 'truly affordable' health care plan developed...should there be a mandate ? We must not be fooled into thinking that our objective is to simply 'get something passed' for political purposes, as we are hearing, but rather get something passed that truly addresses the health care needs of the struggling. In other words...true reform !

If we don't ask the right DEMAND answers and true, affordable access to quality health care for all, then one day we could look up, and after everyone comes from under the ether from all of the bragging about the historic passing of the health care bill, we could actually find ourselves in worse shape than we are in now. Don't be hoodwinked. Ask the questions...get the answers as if your life depended on it. One day, it just might.

Greg Jones

Call...Fight...DEMAND !!!
STRONG Public Option ONLY !!!


Saturday, December 5, 2009

President Obama's Weekly Address:
Pushing Forward On Jobs

PLUS: President Takes Jobs Message to Allentown, Pa.

(From THE WHITE HOUSE) Following the best jobs numbers since 2007, the President recognizes that such trends are cold comfort to those who are struggling and pledges to continue pushing forward towards positive job growth. He looks back at the Jobs Forum he hosted days before and looks ahead to further action. He emphatically restates why he ran for President in the first place: to fight for a country where responsibility is still rewarded, and hard-working people can get ahead.

President Obama Addresses Jobs
in Allentown, Pa.

Visit B4B Site if videos did not appear through server

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

President Obama's Afghan Speech


Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release December 1, 2009


Eisenhower Hall Theatre

United States Military Academy at West Point

West Point, New York

8:01 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. To the United States Corps of Cadets, to the men and women of our Armed Services, and to my fellow Americans: I want to speak to you tonight about our effort in Afghanistan -- the nature of our commitment there, the scope of our interests, and the strategy that my administration will pursue to bring this war to a successful conclusion. It's an extraordinary honor for me to do so here at West Point -- where so many men and women have prepared to stand up for our security, and to represent what is finest about our country.

To address these important issues, it's important to recall why America and our allies were compelled to fight a war in Afghanistan in the first place. We did not ask for this fight. On September 11, 2001, 19 men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000 people. They struck at our military and economic nerve centers. They took the lives of innocent men, women, and children without regard to their faith or race or station. Were it not for the heroic actions of passengers onboard one of those flights, they could have also struck at one of the great symbols of our democracy in Washington, and killed many more.

As we know, these men belonged to al Qaeda -- a group of extremists who have distorted and defiled Islam, one of the world’s great religions, to justify the slaughter of innocents. Al Qaeda’s base of operations was in Afghanistan, where they were harbored by the Taliban -- a ruthless, repressive and radical movement that seized control of that country after it was ravaged by years of Soviet occupation and civil war, and after the attention of America and our friends had turned elsewhere.

Just days after 9/11, Congress authorized the use of force against al Qaeda and those who harbored them -- an authorization that continues to this day. The vote in the Senate was 98 to nothing. The vote in the House was 420 to 1. For the first time in its history, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization invoked Article 5 -- the commitment that says an attack on one member nation is an attack on all. And the United Nations Security Council endorsed the use of all necessary steps to respond to the 9/11 attacks. America, our allies and the world were acting as one to destroy al Qaeda’s terrorist network and to protect our common security.

Under the banner of this domestic unity and international legitimacy -- and only after the Taliban refused to turn over Osama bin Laden -- we sent our troops into Afghanistan. Within a matter of months, al Qaeda was scattered and many of its operatives were killed. The Taliban was driven from power and pushed back on its heels. A place that had known decades of fear now had reason to hope. At a conference convened by the U.N., a provisional government was established under President Hamid Karzai. And an International Security Assistance Force was established to help bring a lasting peace to a war-torn country.

Then, in early 2003, the decision was made to wage a second war, in Iraq. The wrenching debate over the Iraq war is well-known and need not be repeated here. It's enough to say that for the next six years, the Iraq war drew the dominant share of our troops, our resources, our diplomacy, and our national attention -- and that the decision to go into Iraq caused substantial rifts between America and much of the world.

Today, after extraordinary costs, we are bringing the Iraq war to a responsible end. We will remove our combat brigades from Iraq by the end of next summer, and all of our troops by the end of 2011. That we are doing so is a testament to the character of the men and women in uniform. (Applause.) Thanks to their courage, grit and perseverance, we have given Iraqis a chance to shape their future, and we are successfully leaving Iraq to its people.

But while we've achieved hard-earned milestones in Iraq, the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated. After escaping across the border into Pakistan in 2001 and 2002, al Qaeda’s leadership established a safe haven there. Although a legitimate government was elected by the Afghan people, it's been hampered by corruption, the drug trade, an under-developed economy, and insufficient security forces.

Over the last several years, the Taliban has maintained common cause with al Qaeda, as they both seek an overthrow of the Afghan government. Gradually, the Taliban has begun to control additional swaths of territory in Afghanistan, while engaging in increasingly brazen and devastating attacks of terrorism against the Pakistani people.

Now, throughout this period, our troop levels in Afghanistan remained a fraction of what they were in Iraq. When I took office, we had just over 32,000 Americans serving in Afghanistan, compared to 160,000 in Iraq at the peak of the war. Commanders in Afghanistan repeatedly asked for support to deal with the reemergence of the Taliban, but these reinforcements did not arrive. And that's why, shortly after taking office, I approved a longstanding request for more troops. After consultations with our allies, I then announced a strategy recognizing the fundamental connection between our war effort in Afghanistan and the extremist safe havens in Pakistan. I set a goal that was narrowly defined as disrupting, dismantling, and defeating al Qaeda and its extremist allies, and pledged to better coordinate our military and civilian efforts.

Since then, we've made progress on some important objectives. High-ranking al Qaeda and Taliban leaders have been killed, and we've stepped up the pressure on al Qaeda worldwide. In Pakistan, that nation's army has gone on its largest offensive in years. In Afghanistan, we and our allies prevented the Taliban from stopping a presidential election, and -- although it was marred by fraud -- that election produced a government that is consistent with Afghanistan's laws and constitution.

Yet huge challenges remain. Afghanistan is not lost, but for several years it has moved backwards. There's no imminent threat of the government being overthrown, but the Taliban has gained momentum. Al Qaeda has not reemerged in Afghanistan in the same numbers as before 9/11, but they retain their safe havens along the border. And our forces lack the full support they need to effectively train and partner with Afghan security forces and better secure the population. Our new commander in Afghanistan -- General McChrystal -- has reported that the security situation is more serious than he anticipated. In short: The status quo is not sustainable.

As cadets, you volunteered for service during this time of danger. Some of you fought in Afghanistan. Some of you will deploy there. As your Commander-in-Chief, I owe you a mission that is clearly defined, and worthy of your service. And that's why, after the Afghan voting was completed, I insisted on a thorough review of our strategy. Now, let me be clear: There has never been an option before me that called for troop deployments before 2010, so there has been no delay or denial of resources necessary for the conduct of the war during this review period. Instead, the review has allowed me to ask the hard questions, and to explore all the different options, along with my national security team, our military and civilian leadership in Afghanistan, and our key partners. And given the stakes involved, I owed the American people -- and our troops -- no less.

This review is now complete. And as Commander-in-Chief, I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan. After 18 months, our troops will begin to come home. These are the resources that we need to seize the initiative, while building the Afghan capacity that can allow for a responsible transition of our forces out of Afghanistan.

I do not make this decision lightly. I opposed the war in Iraq precisely because I believe that we must exercise restraint in the use of military force, and always consider the long-term consequences of our actions. We have been at war now for eight years, at enormous cost in lives and resources. Years of debate over Iraq and terrorism have left our unity on national security issues in tatters, and created a highly polarized and partisan backdrop for this effort. And having just experienced the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the American people are understandably focused on rebuilding our economy and putting people to work here at home.

Most of all, I know that this decision asks even more of you -- a military that, along with your families, has already borne the heaviest of all burdens. As President, I have signed a letter of condolence to the family of each American who gives their life in these wars. I have read the letters from the parents and spouses of those who deployed. I visited our courageous wounded warriors at Walter Reed. I've traveled to Dover to meet the flag-draped caskets of 18 Americans returning home to their final resting place. I see firsthand the terrible wages of war. If I did not think that the security of the United States and the safety of the American people were at stake in Afghanistan, I would gladly order every single one of our troops home tomorrow.

So, no, I do not make this decision lightly. I make this decision because I am convinced that our security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is the epicenter of violent extremism practiced by al Qaeda. It is from here that we were attacked on 9/11, and it is from here that new attacks are being plotted as I speak. This is no idle danger; no hypothetical threat. In the last few months alone, we have apprehended extremists within our borders who were sent here from the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan to commit new acts of terror. And this danger will only grow if the region slides backwards, and al Qaeda can operate with impunity. We must keep the pressure on al Qaeda, and to do that, we must increase the stability and capacity of our partners in the region.

Of course, this burden is not ours alone to bear. This is not just America's war. Since 9/11, al Qaeda’s safe havens have been the source of attacks against London and Amman and Bali. The people and governments of both Afghanistan and Pakistan are endangered. And the stakes are even higher within a nuclear-armed Pakistan, because we know that al Qaeda and other extremists seek nuclear weapons, and we have every reason to believe that they would use them.

These facts compel us to act along with our friends and allies. Our overarching goal remains the same: to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to prevent its capacity to threaten America and our allies in the future.

To meet that goal, we will pursue the following objectives within Afghanistan. We must deny al Qaeda a safe haven. We must reverse the Taliban's momentum and deny it the ability to overthrow the government. And we must strengthen the capacity of Afghanistan's security forces and government so that they can take lead responsibility for Afghanistan's future.

We will meet these objectives in three ways. First, we will pursue a military strategy that will break the Taliban's momentum and increase Afghanistan's capacity over the next 18 months.

The 30,000 additional troops that I'm announcing tonight will deploy in the first part of 2010 -- the fastest possible pace -- so that they can target the insurgency and secure key population centers. They'll increase our ability to train competent Afghan security forces, and to partner with them so that more Afghans can get into the fight. And they will help create the conditions for the United States to transfer responsibility to the Afghans.

Because this is an international effort, I've asked that our commitment be joined by contributions from our allies. Some have already provided additional troops, and we're confident that there will be further contributions in the days and weeks ahead. Our friends have fought and bled and died alongside us in Afghanistan. And now, we must come together to end this war successfully. For what's at stake is not simply a test of NATO's credibility -- what's at stake is the security of our allies, and the common security of the world.

But taken together, these additional American and international troops will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces, and allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011. Just as we have done in Iraq, we will execute this transition responsibly, taking into account conditions on the ground. We'll continue to advise and assist Afghanistan's security forces to ensure that they can succeed over the long haul. But it will be clear to the Afghan government -- and, more importantly, to the Afghan people -- that they will ultimately be responsible for their own country.

Second, we will work with our partners, the United Nations, and the Afghan people to pursue a more effective civilian strategy, so that the government can take advantage of improved security.

This effort must be based on performance. The days of providing a blank check are over. President Karzai's inauguration speech sent the right message about moving in a new direction. And going forward, we will be clear about what we expect from those who receive our assistance. We'll support Afghan ministries, governors, and local leaders that combat corruption and deliver for the people. We expect those who are ineffective or corrupt to be held accountable. And we will also focus our assistance in areas -- such as agriculture -- that can make an immediate impact in the lives of the Afghan people.

The people of Afghanistan have endured violence for decades. They've been confronted with occupation -- by the Soviet Union, and then by foreign al Qaeda fighters who used Afghan land for their own purposes. So tonight, I want the Afghan people to understand -- America seeks an end to this era of war and suffering. We have no interest in occupying your country. We will support efforts by the Afghan government to open the door to those Taliban who abandon violence and respect the human rights of their fellow citizens. And we will seek a partnership with Afghanistan grounded in mutual respect -- to isolate those who destroy; to strengthen those who build; to hasten the day when our troops will leave; and to forge a lasting friendship in which America is your partner, and never your patron.

Third, we will act with the full recognition that our success in Afghanistan is inextricably linked to our partnership with Pakistan.

We're in Afghanistan to prevent a cancer from once again spreading through that country. But this same cancer has also taken root in the border region of Pakistan. That's why we need a strategy that works on both sides of the border.

In the past, there have been those in Pakistan who've argued that the struggle against extremism is not their fight, and that Pakistan is better off doing little or seeking accommodation with those who use violence. But in recent years, as innocents have been killed from Karachi to Islamabad, it has become clear that it is the Pakistani people who are the most endangered by extremism. Public opinion has turned. The Pakistani army has waged an offensive in Swat and South Waziristan. And there is no doubt that the United States and Pakistan share a common enemy.

In the past, we too often defined our relationship with Pakistan narrowly. Those days are over. Moving forward, we are committed to a partnership with Pakistan that is built on a foundation of mutual interest, mutual respect, and mutual trust. We will strengthen Pakistan’s capacity to target those groups that threaten our countries, and have made it clear that we cannot tolerate a safe haven for terrorists whose location is known and whose intentions are clear. America is also providing substantial resources to support Pakistan’s democracy and development. We are the largest international supporter for those Pakistanis displaced by the fighting. And going forward, the Pakistan people must know America will remain a strong supporter of Pakistan’s security and prosperity long after the guns have fallen silent, so that the great potential of its people can be unleashed.

These are the three core elements of our strategy: a military effort to create the conditions for a transition; a civilian surge that reinforces positive action; and an effective partnership with Pakistan.

I recognize there are a range of concerns about our approach. So let me briefly address a few of the more prominent arguments that I've heard, and which I take very seriously.

First, there are those who suggest that Afghanistan is another Vietnam. They argue that it cannot be stabilized, and we're better off cutting our losses and rapidly withdrawing. I believe this argument depends on a false reading of history. Unlike Vietnam, we are joined by a broad coalition of 43 nations that recognizes the legitimacy of our action. Unlike Vietnam, we are not facing a broad-based popular insurgency. And most importantly, unlike Vietnam, the American people were viciously attacked from Afghanistan, and remain a target for those same extremists who are plotting along its border. To abandon this area now -- and to rely only on efforts against al Qaeda from a distance -- would significantly hamper our ability to keep the pressure on al Qaeda, and create an unacceptable risk of additional attacks on our homeland and our allies.

Second, there are those who acknowledge that we can't leave Afghanistan in its current state, but suggest that we go forward with the troops that we already have. But this would simply maintain a status quo in which we muddle through, and permit a slow deterioration of conditions there. It would ultimately prove more costly and prolong our stay in Afghanistan, because we would never be able to generate the conditions needed to train Afghan security forces and give them the space to take over.

Finally, there are those who oppose identifying a time frame for our transition to Afghan responsibility. Indeed, some call for a more dramatic and open-ended escalation of our war effort -- one that would commit us to a nation-building project of up to a decade. I reject this course because it sets goals that are beyond what can be achieved at a reasonable cost, and what we need to achieve to secure our interests. Furthermore, the absence of a time frame for transition would deny us any sense of urgency in working with the Afghan government. It must be clear that Afghans will have to take responsibility for their security, and that America has no interest in fighting an endless war in Afghanistan.

As President, I refuse to set goals that go beyond our responsibility, our means, or our interests. And I must weigh all of the challenges that our nation faces. I don't have the luxury of committing to just one. Indeed, I'm mindful of the words of President Eisenhower, who -- in discussing our national security -- said, "Each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs."

Over the past several years, we have lost that balance. We've failed to appreciate the connection between our national security and our economy. In the wake of an economic crisis, too many of our neighbors and friends are out of work and struggle to pay the bills. Too many Americans are worried about the future facing our children. Meanwhile, competition within the global economy has grown more fierce. So we can't simply afford to ignore the price of these wars.

All told, by the time I took office the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan approached a trillion dollars. Going forward, I am committed to addressing these costs openly and honestly. Our new approach in Afghanistan is likely to cost us roughly $30 billion for the military this year, and I'll work closely with Congress to address these costs as we work to bring down our deficit.

But as we end the war in Iraq and transition to Afghan responsibility, we must rebuild our strength here at home. Our prosperity provides a foundation for our power. It pays for our military. It underwrites our diplomacy. It taps the potential of our people, and allows investment in new industry. And it will allow us to compete in this century as successfully as we did in the last. That's why our troop commitment in Afghanistan cannot be open-ended -- because the nation that I'm most interested in building is our own.

Now, let me be clear: None of this will be easy. The struggle against violent extremism will not be finished quickly, and it extends well beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan. It will be an enduring test of our free society, and our leadership in the world. And unlike the great power conflicts and clear lines of division that defined the 20th century, our effort will involve disorderly regions, failed states, diffuse enemies.

So as a result, America will have to show our strength in the way that we end wars and prevent conflict -- not just how we wage wars. We'll have to be nimble and precise in our use of military power. Where al Qaeda and its allies attempt to establish a foothold -- whether in Somalia or Yemen or elsewhere -- they must be confronted by growing pressure and strong partnerships.

And we can't count on military might alone. We have to invest in our homeland security, because we can't capture or kill every violent extremist abroad. We have to improve and better coordinate our intelligence, so that we stay one step ahead of shadowy networks.

We will have to take away the tools of mass destruction. And that's why I've made it a central pillar of my foreign policy to secure loose nuclear materials from terrorists, to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, and to pursue the goal of a world without them -- because every nation must understand that true security will never come from an endless race for ever more destructive weapons; true security will come for those who reject them.

We'll have to use diplomacy, because no one nation can meet the challenges of an interconnected world acting alone. I've spent this year renewing our alliances and forging new partnerships. And we have forged a new beginning between America and the Muslim world -- one that recognizes our mutual interest in breaking a cycle of conflict, and that promises a future in which those who kill innocents are isolated by those who stand up for peace and prosperity and human dignity.

And finally, we must draw on the strength of our values -- for the challenges that we face may have changed, but the things that we believe in must not. That's why we must promote our values by living them at home -- which is why I have prohibited torture and will close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. And we must make it clear to every man, woman and child around the world who lives under the dark cloud of tyranny that America will speak out on behalf of their human rights, and tend to the light of freedom and justice and opportunity and respect for the dignity of all peoples. That is who we are. That is the source, the moral source, of America’s authority.

Since the days of Franklin Roosevelt, and the service and sacrifice of our grandparents and great-grandparents, our country has borne a special burden in global affairs. We have spilled American blood in many countries on multiple continents. We have spent our revenue to help others rebuild from rubble and develop their own economies. We have joined with others to develop an architecture of institutions -- from the United Nations to NATO to the World Bank -- that provide for the common security and prosperity of human beings.

We have not always been thanked for these efforts, and we have at times made mistakes. But more than any other nation, the United States of America has underwritten global security for over six decades -- a time that, for all its problems, has seen walls come down, and markets open, and billions lifted from poverty, unparalleled scientific progress and advancing frontiers of human liberty.

For unlike the great powers of old, we have not sought world domination. Our union was founded in resistance to oppression. We do not seek to occupy other nations. We will not claim another nation’s resources or target other peoples because their faith or ethnicity is different from ours. What we have fought for -- what we continue to fight for -- is a better future for our children and grandchildren. And we believe that their lives will be better if other peoples’ children and grandchildren can live in freedom and access opportunity. (Applause.)

As a country, we're not as young -- and perhaps not as innocent -- as we were when Roosevelt was President. Yet we are still heirs to a noble struggle for freedom. And now we must summon all of our might and moral suasion to meet the challenges of a new age.

In the end, our security and leadership does not come solely from the strength of our arms. It derives from our people -- from the workers and businesses who will rebuild our economy; from the entrepreneurs and researchers who will pioneer new industries; from the teachers that will educate our children, and the service of those who work in our communities at home; from the diplomats and Peace Corps volunteers who spread hope abroad; and from the men and women in uniform who are part of an unbroken line of sacrifice that has made government of the people, by the people, and for the people a reality on this Earth. (Applause.)

This vast and diverse citizenry will not always agree on every issue -- nor should we. But I also know that we, as a country, cannot sustain our leadership, nor navigate the momentous challenges of our time, if we allow ourselves to be split asunder by the same rancor and cynicism and partisanship that has in recent times poisoned our national discourse.

It's easy to forget that when this war began, we were united -- bound together by the fresh memory of a horrific attack, and by the determination to defend our homeland and the values we hold dear. I refuse to accept the notion that we cannot summon that unity again. (Applause.) I believe with every fiber of my being that we -- as Americans -- can still come together behind a common purpose. For our values are not simply words written into parchment -- they are a creed that calls us together, and that has carried us through the darkest of storms as one nation, as one people.

America -- we are passing through a time of great trial. And the message that we send in the midst of these storms must be clear: that our cause is just, our resolve unwavering. We will go forward with the confidence that right makes might, and with the commitment to forge an America that is safer, a world that is more secure, and a future that represents not the deepest of fears but the highest of hopes. (Applause.)

Thank you. God bless you. May God bless the United States of America. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)

END 8:35 P.M. EST


Support Our Troops...Support Our President
Support Our Country

Visit B4B Site if video did not appear through email server