Rubio: Because of Modern Warfare We Will Never Have a Draft Again

Friday at the Republican presidential Faith & Family Forum in South Carolina, addressing the recent presidential primary issue of women becoming part of a military draft, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said due to modern warfare a draft will never be necessary again. Rubio said, “I think there was a question in the last debate, they asked about select service. First of all, I don’t even think we need selective service anymore. I don’t think we will ever have a draft again. Modern warfare — if it ever reaches that level, because of the weapons that exist I dont think you are ever going to see a draft instituted. Second of all, I do not support drafting woman and forcing them to be combat solders. I don’t support that. I never have and I don’t now.” Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN
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An Update on How We're Leading the Counter-ISIL Coalition

the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama


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An Update on How We’re Leading the Counter-ISIL Coalition

February 12, 2016 at 3:29 PM ET by Secretary Ashton Carter

Nearly 90 percent of the countries participating in the coalition’s military campaign have either stepped up their role or committed to do so.

This week in Brussels, I convened the first-ever meeting of defense ministers from 27?countries involved in the military coalition to defeat ISIL. ?

As I explained to my counterparts, when ISIL’s continued existence threatens not only the lives of the Iraqi and Syrian people, but also the security of our own citizens, all of our nations have a responsibility to accelerate this fight. There must be no free riders. ?

The United States will continue to lead this coalition, providing it with a campaign plan and a unique set of capabilities.?We are also prepared to do more to hasten ISIL’s lasting defeat and are actively taking steps to do so. At the same time, the campaign has enduring requirements that other nations have the capability to meet.

Last December, I reached out personally to dozen of defense defense ministers to urge them to consider filling critical military and non-military needs in the campaign.?

“Nearly 90 percent of the countries participating in the coalition’s military campaign have either stepped up their role or committed to do so in the coming days.”

I am gratified to report that coalition members responded to our challenge. This week, Canada announced a commitment to triple its training mission in Northern Iraq and double its intelligence efforts throughout the region. The Netherlands recently expanded its current air campaign over Iraq to include targets in Syria, and is contributing funds for medical assistance and rebuilding. In Brussels, I received additional commitments to the fight from the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, and Denmark pending final approval by their respective parliaments.

Contributions from Gulf nations, both in delegitimizing ISIL’s toxic ideology and confronting ISIL fighters on the ground, are particularly important to our larger effort. On Thursday, Saudi Arabia agreed to expand its role in the Coalition air campaign and provide additional support on the ground. Today, the United Arab Emirates said it will do the same. I appreciate both countries willingness to help us accelerate the campaign.

28 countries counter-ISIL

These new additions add to the substantial existing contributions from countries like Australia, France, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom which have significantly increased their efforts since the attacks in Paris, Istanbul, and beyond this fall.

In sum, nearly 90 percent?of the countries participating in the coalition’s military campaign have either stepped up their role or committed to do so in the coming days. Their decisions to expand air operations, provide additional trainers, logistical support, reconstruction assistance, or some other contribution will all help the coalition intensify the counter-ISIL campaign.

Our objectives are clear. We must destroy the parent tumor in Iraq and Syria by collapsing ISIL’s grip on its power centers in Mosul and Raqqa. That will destroy the false notion that this barbaric group maintains any semblance of a state. At the same time, we must confront the metastasis of the cancer. That means being prepared to confront ISIL and its offshoots in Libya, Afghanistan, and wherever it spreads. Since no nation is immune to this threat, we must do everything we can to protect our homelands.

“Any nation that cares about the safety of its people or the future of civilization must engage in this fight.”

Any nation that cares about the safety of its people or the future of civilization must engage in this fight. We need the full involvement of every government, not just every military. That means political engagement to help craft the long-term security architecture for the region. It means – in today’s connected world – cutting off ISIL’s finances, stemming the flow of foreign fighters, and countering ISIL’s wicked messaging on social media and elsewhere. And there’s even more that can be done. Humanitarian and reconstruction aid can be just as powerful a weapon in this fight as any precision guided munition.

I’m very pleased that so many nations have stepped up and answered the call in recent days, and I am encouraged by our meeting. But my challenge to coalition members to accelerate our military campaign will not end in Brussels, any more than America’s resolve to lead and make more contributions itself will end there. It will continue.?

Indeed, the determination my counterparts brought to our Brussels Ministerial?–?and the accelerated actions we take against ISIL on the battlefield?–?must continue so that we can truly deal ISIL a lasting defeat.

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Marco Wins Top Award from Family Research Council Action

This week, Family Research Council Action, one of America’s most prominent social-conservative advocacy groups, recognized Marco with its “True Blue” Award. The award recognizes legislators who have a 100 percent rating according to FRC Action’s legislative scorecard, as he did last year. Here’s what the group’s president, Tony Perkins, had to say about Marco: We…
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Obama: We’re Not ‘Wildly Overspending,’ A Lot of Stuff People Put On Internet and News Is ‘Factually Inaccurate’

President Obama argued, “there are a bunch of folks who say that we’re wildly overspending, even though we aren’t” and that many things on the Internet and news broadcasts “are just factually inaccurate” on Friday’s broadcast of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Obama said, “The amount of stuff that is just put out there on the Internet, or on, sometimes news broadcasts that are just factually inaccurate is surprising, and it’s really hard to catch up. Since I came into office, we reduced the deficit by two-thirds. But if you ask the average person, they’re sure that spending has shot up, and the reason is because, there are a bunch of folks who say that we’re wildly overspending, even though we aren’t. And that’s just one small example, but it happens all the time, and that’s something that we have to fix, partly by people paying more attention to what’s going on every single day. And it’s hard. People are busy.” Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
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Jeb: Imagine My Dad or Brother ‘Shouting Out Obscenities in Front of Children’

Friday at the Republican presidential Faith & Family Forum in South Carolina, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, citing the example of his father, former President George H.W. Bush, and his brother, former President George W. Bush, spoke of respect for the office of the presidency as he asked, “Is anybody here worried about the front-running candidate shouting out obscenities in front of children?” Bush said, “I think how you lead your life as a president is as important as your five point plan to deal with whatever subject it is. And restoring decency back to the public life — I mean is anybody here worried about the front running candidate shouting out obscenities in front of children? This is like — what is going on? I guess I have had a little front row seat watching history unfold just given the uniqueness of my family — I can’t imagine my dad — It’s just it—yeah, not going to do it — or my brother who always wore a suit into the Oval Office because he walked in there and he thought, this is hollowed ground, this is important.” Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN
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Here’s How Communities Used Innovative Ideas to Get Covered This Open Enrollment Period

the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama


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Here’s How Communities Used Innovative Ideas to Get Covered This Open Enrollment Period

February 12, 2016 at 12:19 PM ET by Jerry Abramson

At the end of the most recent Affordable Care Act open enrollment period, the White House has announced the winner of its Healthy Communities Challenge.

A few months ago, my office began our usual calls to local leaders to see how we could support them in the third open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act. With more information on enrollment, our team knew that leaders would need to get creative to reach those who still were uninsured and inform them that quality, affordable healthcare was available on the Marketplace.

That’s why the White House decided to challenge 20 communities from across the country, large and small, to enroll the most new consumers as possible. The White House Healthy Communities Challenge engaged key communities with large numbers or high percentages of uninsured in states across the country where strong federal, state and community collaboration could (and did) have a meaningful impact on reaching the uninsured.

Today, the White House is announcing that the winner of the White House “Healthy Communities Challenge” is Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Under the leadership of Mayor Tom Barrett and County Executive Chris Abele, over 38,000 people in the Milwaukee area newly selected a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace during this open enrollment period. Together with returning Marketplace consumers, over 89,000 people in the Milwaukee area selected a 2016 Marketplace plan. To increase enrollment, Mayor Tom Barrett opened libraries for enrollment events, delivered thousands of flyers to promote enrollment events, and participated in robocalls and phone banking. County Executive Chris Abele ran digital signage on County buses, directing people to and additional services available through 211 to help individuals with the application process.

Congratulations to Milwaukee, winner of the Healthy Communities Challenge.

As the victorious community, Milwaukee receives bragging rights, a healthier community, and a visit from President Obama to celebrate their success in helping ensure Americans have health coverage. President Obama will visit Milwaukee in the coming weeks.

Chicago, Ill.; Atlanta, Ga.; Detroit, Mich. and Oakland, Calif. rounded out the top five for the Challenge. Altogether, participating communities saw over 1.6 million new enrollees, representing people who were uninsured for years as well as Americans finding coverage as they go through changes in life, such as being between?jobs, striking out as entrepreneurs, or aging off their parents’ plans. Many more renewed their previous Marketplace coverage.

Mayor Barrett and Executive Abele are only two of the many state and local elected officials who made tremendous efforts to reach out to their constituents ahead of the January 31st deadline for this third open enrollment period. Below are some of the best practices these leaders found in ensuring that their communities would have peace of mind:

  • Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins worked with the Dallas County Community College District to remind students to enroll on campus during National Youth Enrollment Day.
  • In Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney participated in a telethon for Latino radio stations and sent an email to the public school system’s parent portal about enrollment.
  • Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s team distributed tens of thousands of fans throughout community centers, churches and libraries. The fans listed enrollment sites and provided Covering Tampa Bay’s 1-800-number to set up appointments to enroll.
  • Mayor Kasim Reed in Atlanta attended open enrollment events to remind people of enrollment locations and to share information on benefits of the Affordable Care Act.?
  • In Seattle and King County, “Health-Care Happy Hours” were held at social events that focused on small businesses and arts/culture.
  • Mayor Sly James in Kansas City created Public Service Announcements that were aired over 330 times on radio stations.
  • In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel directed the City’s 311 non-emergency services line to inform all callers of their insurance options under the Affordable Care Act and provided guidance to operators to connect callers to enrollment opportunities.
  • Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf set up a storefront for enrollment at City Hall for consumers to find information and enrollment assistance.
  • Mayor Ben McAdams in Salt Lake County focused on connecting navigators with a population of formerly incarcerated individuals and also with members of the refugee community.
  • Nashville Mayor Megan Barry released information about open enrollment during key festivities such as the Music City Bowl and the New Years’ Eve festival, where about 250,000 people were in attendance.
  • Mayor Mitch Landrieu in New Orleans created a challenge with barbershops and beauty salons to spread the word about open enrollment.
  • In California, Mayor Robert Garcia of Long Beach recruited community organizations to undertake large canvassing efforts in areas with high-uninsured, subsidy-eligible populations.?

As we approach the sixth anniversary of the law’s enactment, nearly 18 million Americans have gained health care coverage and our nation’s uninsured rate has fallen below 10 percent for the first time ever. This figure reflects, in large part, the hard work and leadership on the part of state and local elected officials across the country in getting their communities informed and enrolled. The lessons learned from every participating community will be invaluable in guiding enrollment efforts nationwide for years to come. These great American communities participating in the Healthy Communities Challenge utilized effective practices to increase enrollment and ensure that their friends and neighbors receive the healthcare and peace of mind that they, and their community overall, deserve.

?The rankings for the White House Healthy Communities Challenge.?

Jerry Abramson

Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs

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Carson: Vets Should Have ‘Medical Empowerment Account’ That Can Be Used Anywhere, Including the VA

Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson outlined his plan for veterans which includes “an external support system, that follows them throughout their entire career, stays with them for three to five years afterwards, and begins working on their reintegration into society” and “a medical empowerment account, which is like a savings account” that can be used at any facility, including the VA on Friday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson.” Carson said, [relevant remarks begin around 2:45] “I think what we should do, when someone is accepted into the military, the voluntary military, we also pair them with an external support system, that follows them throughout their entire career, stays with them for three to five years afterwards, and begins working on their reintegration into society, a year before they’re discharged, so that they quit on Friday, they start their new job on Monday. They have a medical empowerment account, which is like a savings account, with no bureaucrats, which allows them to go to any healthcare facility that they want to go to, including the VA, if they want to, and it’s subsidized.” Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett
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