General Info
A public service announcement from Davenport Parks and Recreation PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Ron Summers   
Friday, 18 May 2012 13:44
Due to roof construction at Vander Veer conservatory, the conservatory and store will be closed through Tuesday, May 22.  Vander Veer Park will remain open, but the conservatory and store will be closed due to the construction.  We apologize for any inconvenience.  Both the conservatory and store will reopen at 10am on Tuesday, May 22.

 
NASA asked to respond to allegations over Ames Research Center, Moffett Federal Airfield PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Grassley Press   
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 08:41

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa is asking the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to respond to allegations from whistleblowers regarding the agency’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Federal Airfield in Santa Clara County, California.

The allegations involve whether the Google corporation leases space at the federal airfield at a rate below market value to house its corporate airplanes and whether the company has purchased jet fuel from the government at a discounted price, allegedly well below the market price due to tax treatment.  Last month, Grassley asked the NASA Administrator to respond to allegations that the Ames Research Center allows foreign nationals to access sensitive materials contrary to International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

“The allegations are substantive,” Grassley said.  “NASA should address the allegations in the interest of public accountability.”

Whistleblowers sought out Grassley with their concerns because of his reputation of receptiveness to whistleblowers.

Grassley wrote to NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. on April 18, seeking an agency briefing on the allegations involving foreign nationals and the director of the Ames Research Center.  His office has not received a briefing from NASA officials, despite repeated follow-up inquiries.

Grassley wrote to Bolden on May 14 regarding the Google allegations.

The text of Grassley’s May 14 letter is available here.

The text of Grassley’s April 18 letter is available here.

-30-


 
National Dog Bite Prevention Week PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by LeKisha Franklin   
Tuesday, 15 May 2012 09:26
National Dog Bite Prevention Week is May 20th – 26th. This is a great time to help stop the many dog bites that happen every year.

“Veterinarians recognize, while there are 72 million good dogs in the United States, any dog can bite if it is frightened of feels threatened, even the family pet. Unfortunately, children are most often the victims,” say Dr. Larry M. Kornegay, AVMA Immediate Past President.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) provides resources to spread the word that dog attacks are preventable. Children, especially, should be taught the right and the wrong way to interact with dogs. These resources can be found at: http://www.avma.org/public_health/dogbite/default.asp.

 
True Sovereignty Coalition Calls for Balance in Hearings on L.O.S.T. PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Travis Korson   
Tuesday, 15 May 2012 08:43
Listen to More than the ‘American Anti-Sovereignty Campaign’

Washington, D.C., May 11, 2012- In a choreographed roll-out yesterday – transparently timed to coincide with the end of Senator Richard Lugar’s ill-fated primary race for reelection to the United States Senate, a group styling itself the “American Sovereignty Campaign” announced that it would be mounting an aggressive effort to secure ratification of the obsolete and defective Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST).  Given the threat LOST poses to U.S. sovereignty and vital interests, a better moniker for this entity would be the “American Anti-Sovereignty Campaign.”

A previously organized coalition that actually supports American sovereignty – the Coalition to Preserve American Sovereignty – responded by calling on Sen. Lugar, the Ranking Minority Member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and his Democratic counterpart, Chairman John Kerry, to assure the record reflects the insights of the treaty’s many critics, not just its boosters.
In a letter to the two Senators (below), the pro-sovereignty Coalition identified a number of LOST’s defects that should require close scrutiny.  It also identified a number of expert witnesses who could illuminate them and urged the Foreign Relations Committee to hear from such authorities.
The Coalition welcomes an honest, open debate about a treaty that was largely drafted when the Soviet Union and Non-Aligned Nations were still going concerns and dominated the United Nations and Law of the Sea negotiations.  If the Senate actually deliberates on this accord – rather than following the appalling 2010 precedent of hastily rubber-stamping the Obama administration’s unverifiable and inequitable New START Treaty, the outcome seems certain:  The Senate will reject the LOST Treaty, as did President Ronald Reagan 30 years ago.

Text of the Letter

10 May 2012

Hon. John Kerry
Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
444 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-0802

Hon. Richard G. Lugar
Ranking Minority Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
446 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-0802

Dear Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member Lugar:

We understand that you will soon convene hearings in connection with possible U.S. ratification of the United Nations’ Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST).  It is our view that this accord is seriously defective in a number of respects (several of which are enumerated below.)  Accordingly, we write to request that the individuals listed below be afforded an opportunity to testify in connection with the Foreign Relations Committee’s consideration of LOST with respect to the following problematic provisions of that treaty – an opportunity largely not afforded to critics of LOST during the last round of your panel’s hearings on the matter in 2003 and 2007.

First, ratification of LOST would commit the United States to submit to mandatory dispute resolution with respect to U.S. military and industrial operations.  While LOST proponents argue that the United States will choose available arbitration mechanisms to avoid legal decisions from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) or the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), such arbitration panels are no-less perilous for U.S. interests as the decisive, “swing” arbiters would be appointed by generally unfriendly UN-affiliated bureaucrats.  The arbitration panels can also be relied upon to look to rulings by the ICJ or ITLOS to inform their own decisions.

Furthermore, while there is a LOST provision exempting “military activity” from such dispute resolution mechanisms, the Treaty makes no attempt to define “military activity,” virtually guaranteeing that such matters will be litigated – in all likelihood to our detriment – before one or another of LOST’s arbitration mechanisms.  And the rulings of such arbitrators cannot be appealed.

Subjecting our military to the risks of such mandatory dispute resolution is all the more imprudent given that LOST provides the Navy with no navigational rights and freedoms beyond those it already enjoys under customary international law and the U.S. Freedom of Navigation Program.  The Navy has successfully protected American interests on the seas for the past two hundred years without the United States becoming a party to LOST – including during the thirty years since LOST was concluded, in 1982.  We see no compelling reason why that record will be improved upon by entrusting the job to international legal arrangements.

Second, the Law of the Sea Treaty contains provisions that risk putting sensitive, militarily useful information and technology in the hands of America’s adversaries and its companies’ commercial competitors.  That accord’s proponents would have you believe that there is no problem with technology transfer since the Treaty’s relevant mandates were eliminated by a 1994 agreement relating to the implementation of LOST’s Part XI.  Unfortunately, this is another area that cries out for close examination by the Senate and the Nation.

For one thing, it is unclear to what extent the Treaty could be and was amended by the ’94 accord.  For another, a number of provisions obligating the transfer of potentially sensitive technology and data were not addressed in the latter agreement.  For example, LOST arbitration procedures specify that parties to a dispute would be required to provide an arbitral tribunal with “all relevant documents, facilities and information” – a potential avenue for compelling such transfers.

Third, the Law of the Sea Treaty entails commitments that have far-reaching implications for U.S. businesses, far beyond the possibility of mandatory technology transfers.  These include: embroiling this country in treaties bearing on commercial activities to which it is not a party; wide-ranging, intrusive and expensive environmental obligations; creating standing for foreign nationals to pursue alien torts in our courts; and jeopardizing our rights under the World Trade Organization, which was established after 1994.

Of particular concern is the fact that LOST creates an international taxation regime.  It does so by empowering the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to tax Americans for the purposes of meeting its own administrative costs and of globally redistributing revenue derived from the exploitation of seabed resources.  The wisdom of such compulsory payments to the ISA is highly questionable, considering the poor track record of international organizations’ management of finances.  Moreover, the ISA would be unconstrained in its discretion as to which countries or entities were to receive this redistributed American wealth, the recipients of which could include highly corrupt and undemocratic regimes or even countries identified by the Department of State as sponsors of terrorism.   

We believe the Foreign Relations Committee’s deliberations on the Law of the Sea Treaty will be incomplete, perhaps misleadingly so, unless they are informed by testimony on these and related points.  We formally request that you and your colleagues ensure that the following individuals are afforded an opportunity to provide such testimony:

Donald Rumsfeld                       Former Secretary of Defense
Edwin Meese                          Former United States Attorney General
John R. Bolton                         Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
John F. Lehman                         Former Secretary of the Navy
William Middendorf                     Former Secretary of the Navy
Douglas J. Feith                          Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
Admiral James A. Lyons                    Former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet
Vice Admiral Robert Monroe             Former Director, Research, Development, Test and Evaluation
Phyllis Schlafly                       Eagle Forum
Fred Smith                          Competitive Enterprise Institute
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.                           Center for Security Policy
Doug Bandow                         Cato Institute
Steven Groves                         Heritage Foundation
Baker Spring                         Heritage Foundation
Thomas P. Kilgannon                      Freedom Alliance
Peter Leitner                        Author, Reforming the Law of the Sea Treaty
Kevin Kearns                         U.S. Business & Industry Council
John Fonte                          Hudson Institute
Jeremy Rabkin                         George Mason University School of Law

Sincerely,

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
Coalition to Preserve American Sovereignty
###

 
Braley, DeLauro Introduce Legislation to Strengthen Middle Class PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Monday, 14 May 2012 13:42

Braley, DeLauro Introduce Legislation to Strengthen Middle Class

Comprehensive Bill Makes Investments, Creates Stability, Restores Fairness Necessary to Rebuild America 

 

Washington, DC – Representatives Bruce Braley (D-IA) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), co-chairs of the Populist Caucus, today introduced the Rebuild America Act, comprehensive legislation to rebuild the American middle-class.  The bill invests in our future through three main tenants: investment to foster jobs and growth, creating financial stability for middle-class families and restoring fairness to the tax code.  This stands in direct contrast to the vision for America Republicans are pushing today: slashing the social safety net to fund tax cuts for the wealthy.

 

“The Rebuild America Act is the kind of comprehensive plan we need to strengthen the middle class, grow America’s economy, and invest in the future,” Braley said.  “From the modernization of America’s schools to the expansion of renewable energy, from a national manufacturing strategy to raising the minimum wage, this bill is the kind of bold vision that will put America back on a path to prosperity and progress.  Congress has been paralyzed by inaction, but I believe this common sense plan can appeal to people regardless of partisanship.”

 

“The debate in Washington has gone on for too long.  We need to stop talking and start implementing solutions to get America back to work,” DeLauro said.  “The Rebuild America Act makes bold, critical investments in our future to create jobs and promote the financial stability so crucial to middle-class Americans.  These families have been facing pressures on all fronts, from struggling schools to declining manufacturing to the squeeze on pensions and retirement security.  This bill will help both individuals and businesses start to pull themselves out of the morass we have been in and prepare our economy for future challenges.”

 

The Rebuild America Act has three overarching principles:

 

  1. Investing in America to Create Jobs and Future Growth
  2. Creating Financial Stability and a Better Future for Middle-Class Families
  3. Restoring Fairness to the Tax Code and Ensuring Fiscal Responsibility

 

Investing in America to Create Jobs and Future Growth

Creating solid middle-class jobs that cannot be outsourced will lay the foundation for long-term economic growth.  To do this, we need to move from being a nation that consumes to one that builds and exports.  The Rebuild America Act invests in our schools and teachers, renewable energy and roads, bridges and infrastructure.  It also rebuilds our manufacturing power through expanded tax credits and access to credit for business.

 

Creating Financial Stability and a Better Future for Middle-Class Families

Middle-class families are facing enormous financial pressures, both during their working years and in retirement.  The Rebuild America Act helps ease this stress by strengthening social security, establishing a fair minimum wage and ensuring paid sick days are available for workers across the country.

 

Restore Fairness to the Tax Code and Ensuring Fiscal Responsibility

Our current tax system is unfair, too complex and keeps us on a path of perennial deficits.  The Rebuild America Act takes action to level the playing field for all Americans.  The bill includes the Buffet Rule, ends tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and makes Wall Street take responsibility for their irresponsible actions that led to the 2008 financial collapse.  Crucially, the Rebuild America Act protects the pensions that workers are counting on to get through retirement by encouraging employers to continue to provide pensions and creating additional protections for people whose pension is a casualty of bankruptcy.

 

The following organizations support the Rebuild America Act:

 

SEIU

AFSCME

AFL-CIO

AFT

Building Trades Unions

Machinists Union

UAW

NEA

IAFF

USW

IUPA

Main Street Alliance

American Sustainable Business Council

Campaign for America’s Future

American Dream

National Women’s Law Center

National Partnership for Women and Families

National Employment Law Center

Urban League

US Action

Community Change

Moms Rising

NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Children’s Defense Fund

Young Invincibles

Social Security Works

Coalition on Human Needs

Family Values at Work

ADA

First Five Years Fund

NAEYC

CLASP

NWLC

PEW

PreKnow

Independent

NACCRAA

ECE Consortium

Zero to Three

Head Start

First Focus

Voices

NAWB

Workforce Alliance

JAG

American Progress

Knowledge Works

Alliance for American Manufacturing

American Small Manufacturer Coalition

Industrial Unions Council

United Spinal Association

The Arc

 

Formed in 2009, the House Populist Caucus is the only caucus in Congress dedicated soley to strengthening America’s middle class.  The Populist Caucus has 28 members.

 

# # #

 
<< Start < Prev 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 Next > End >>

Page 299 of 432