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Washington DC Breakfast with Senator Diane Feinstein

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Today we had breakfast with Diane Feinstein and her staff and dozens of people from California. It was fantastic, and moving to hear her talk with passion about her work. She talked to us about climate change and the volatility of our weather, changes in available water and certain gasses that do not dissipate in our atmosphere. The most chilling thing she said this morning was "We CAN kill this planet." Her message is that the atmosphere, without which we cannot exist, is in trouble and that scientists have indicated that there is a limited period of time to take action to quell global warning, after which it will be irreversible.

The Senator asked the children present questions such as who is the leader of the House of
Representatives and how many members of the Senate are there. Very few could answer all the question. Her point was to illustrate how tragic it is that the government structure and process is not thoroughly taught in schools and her concern is that it is resulting in a lack of awareness about what is available to us and possible through the government structure in our country.

She talked with passion about health insurance saying "Every American must have health insurance." She said that what is happening today with health insurance reform is a very big deal and the final arguments happening this very day are key. The court will next deliberate and make a decision about President Obamas reforms.

The Senator's staff talked about projects they are supporting her on such as:
* Water quality
* Intelligence Committee
* Questioning why taxes are being raised on renewable energy and taxes staying the same for fossil fuel energy
* Crime issues involving online pharmacies and white collar crimes and exploring how to prevent the purchase of opiates by young people over the internet
* Violence against women act, to combat sexual abuse and stalking
* Banning BPA chemicals from children's products (BPA's are shelf extenders, known as "Plastic Poison" which the CDC has determined is now everywhere. California, by the way, is the 11th State to enact a BPA ban. The FDA is making a decision this Friday about BPA's
* A Bill to lower taxes for companies that produce and manufacture innovative products in the United States
* Defense of Marriage Act. The Senator explained that the Defense of Marriage Act was passed 16 years ago which essential determined that same sex couples lost all Federal rights, which the Senator believes is unconstitutional. She said that as more States legalize same sex marriage, her bill will stand a better chance of passing.
After breakfast, we walked to the White House and on the way stopped at the National Washington Monument. We couldn't enter the monument because of the damages from the recent earthquake and we couldn't enter the White House (you need to make a reservation months in advance.)

Breakfast near the White House fueled our engines for the Smithsonian Museum of American History, followed by the National Art Gallery and then a walk in the rain back to our favorite restaurant and finally, sitting down with aching feet, we're uploading our photos.

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