A belated post, but a holiday message nonetheless. This past Thursday, President Obama used his weekly address to deliver a Thanksgiving greeting:
Operation Reach B.L.A.C.K. is a Pan-African Blog with an acronym that stands for Building Leadership Awareness and Cultural Knowledge.
The goal of this blog is to become a "Blog of Black Thought" focusing on matters of social, economic and political awareness through education (re-education), self-affirmation and cultural expression. Above all, this blog will DEMAND respect and appreciation for one another as black men and women.
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"After decades in which the middle class was working harder and harder just to keep up, and a punishing recession that made it worse, we made the tough choices required not just to recover from crisis, but to rebuild on a new foundation for stronger, more durable economic growth.
Five years later, we have fought our way back. Our businesses have created 7.8 million new jobs in the past 44 months. Another 200,000 Americans went back to work last month.
The American auto industry has come roaring back with more than 350,000 new jobs – jobs churning out and selling the high-tech, fuel-efficient cars the world wants to buy. And they’re leading the charge in a manufacturing sector that has added jobs for the first time since the 1990s – a big reason why our businesses sell more goods and services “Made in America” than ever before.
We decided to reverse our addiction to foreign oil. And today, we generate more renewable energy than ever, more natural gas than anybody, and for the first time in nearly 20 years, America now produces more oil than we buy from other countries.
We decided to fix a broken health care system. And even though the rollout of the marketplace where you can buy affordable plans has been rough, so far, about 500,000 Americans are poised to gain health coverage starting January 1st. And by the way, health care costs are growing at the slowest rate in 50 years.
And one more thing: since I took office, we’ve cut our deficits by more than half. And that makes it easier to invest in the things that create jobs – education, research, and infrastructure.
Imagine how much farther along we could be if both parties were working together. Think about what we could do if a reckless few didn’t hold the economy hostage every few months, or waste time on dozens of votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act rather than try to help us fix it." (White House transcript)
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"Shortly after I took office, we invested in new American technologies to reverse our dependence on foreign oil and double our wind and solar power. And today, we generate more renewable energy than ever – with tens of thousands of good, American jobs to show for it. We produce more natural gas than anyone – and nearly everyone’s energy bill is lower because of it. And just this week, we learned that for the first time in nearly two decades, the United States of America now produces more of our own oil here at home than we buy from other countries.
That’s a big deal. That’s a tremendous step towards American energy independence.
But this is important, too: we reached this milestone in part not only because we’re producing more energy, but because we’re wasting less energy. We set new fuel standards for our cars and trucks so that they’ll go twice as far on a gallon of gas by the middle of the next decade. That’s going to save an average driver more than $8,000 at the pump over the life of a new car. We also launched initiatives to put people to work upgrading our homes, businesses, and factories so that they waste less energy. That’s going to save our businesses money on their energy bills – that's money they can use to hire more workers.
Here’s another thing. Between more clean energy, and less wasted energy, our emissions of dangerous carbon pollution are actually falling. That’s good news for anyone who cares about the world we leave to our kids." (White House transcript)
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"Now that more of them are coming home, we need to serve them as well as they served us. That requires more than a simple “thank you” – especially from those of us who’ve been elected to serve.
I’ve often said that my top priority is growing the economy, creating new jobs, and restoring middle-class security. And a very important part of that is making sure that every veteran has every chance to share in the opportunity he or she has helped defend. In addition to the care and benefits they’ve earned – including good mental health care to stay strong – that means a good job, a good education, and a home to call their own." (White House transcript)
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"Priorities. Choices. That’s what this is about. And the stakes for the middle class couldn’t be higher. If we don’t pick the right priorities now, make the right choices now, we could hinder growth and opportunity for decades, and leave our children with something less.
That includes the obsession with cutting just for the sake of cutting. That hasn’t helped our economy grow; it’s held it back.
Remember, our deficits are getting smaller – not bigger. On my watch, they’re falling at the fastest pace in 60 years. So that gives us room to fix our long-term debt problems without sticking it to young people, or undermining our bedrock retirement and health security programs, or ending basic research that helps the economy grow.
Here’s the bottom line. Congress should pass a budget that cuts things we don’t need, and closes wasteful tax loopholes that don’t help create jobs, so that we can free up resources for the things that actually do create jobs and growth.
Building new roads, and bridges, and schools, and airports – that creates jobs.
Educating our kids and our workers for a global economy – that helps us grow.
Investing in science, technology, and research – that keeps our businesses and our military on the cutting edge. It’s vital for our economic future.
So the question isn’t between growth and fiscal responsibility. We need both. The question can’t be how much more we can cut; it’s got to be how many more jobs we can create, how many more kids we can educate, and how much more shared prosperity we can generate." (White House transcript)
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"We did not fight so hard for this reform for so many years just to build a website. We did it to free millions of American families from the awful fear that one illness or injury – to yourself or your child – might cost you everything you’d worked so hard to build. We did it to cement the principle that in this country, the security of health care is not a privilege for a fortunate few, but a right for every one of us to enjoy. We have already delivered on part of that promise, and we will not rest until the work is done." (White House transcript)
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