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Posts Tagged ‘Kucinich’

I don’t know how you feel about the US/Afghani war, but I want you to ponder this. Today, Dennis Kucinich presented his bill in the House to end the war in 30 days, or, by no later the December 31st, 2010, if conditions on the ground warrant it.  Another 33 billion dollars is about to be budgeted for the military and war effort. That does not include the money being spent from other venues, like the Small Business Administration grant monies to fund mercenaries.

The Bill is labeled: H.Con. Res.248, Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove the United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan., HERE.

Against this backdrop, Republicans have held up small bills, like the 45 million dollar one that would have been allocated money to support Afghani women, in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee since 2007.

Enter the new administration.

An Afghanistan and Pakistan Regional Stabilization Strategy was issued on January 1st of this year. Senator Boxer wrote President Obama, over her concerns that women were only mentioned once. In February, a revised strategy was issued. Boxer purports that it includes women throughout the strategy. The full strategy can be found HERE. I Found 115 instances of the word “women” on 23 of the 50 pages in the pdf document. Surely, this alone is an improvement, and though women are not specially mentioned in the list of proposed milestones for either country, they are in the Afghani Key Initiatives for agriculture.

Yet, It’s not clear to me at this point exactly how women are to be counted in this document, because I couldn’t find any line items in the report that elucidated direct expenditures to women or women’s groups. It is clear, however, that the State Dept. administration considers women vulnerable; so, some portion of that line item will assuredly go to them. The question is how much, or, is this a sop, designed to placate women?  What kind of movement toward adjudication of half the population of two countries is satisfactory?

In February, Senator Boxer and Senator Casey convened a joint hearing of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations, Human Rights, Democracy and Global Women’s Issues and on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs. The hearing was entitled “Afghan Women and Girls: Building the Future of Afghanistan.” Four people were invited to testify.

In her testimony, the Honorable Melanne Verveer, discussed the various ways in which the US is helping to women to change their lives. Then she mentioned that the State Dept was currently supporting four programs, for a total of 2 million dollars, which: “support women’s rights at the local level by engaging religious leaders and local officials to engage in the electoral process and develop women’s participation in local governance.” Another 26.3 million was engaged for small flexible grants to empower Afghan led NGO’s. No other monetary figures are mentioned.

In his testimony, James A. Bever, Director of the USAID Afghani-Pakistan task force, states that they have spent, in Afghanistan, an assistance estimate of 500 million on women and children since 2004, or 50 million a year.

Dr. Sima Samar had much to say on the distance yet to go in order to stabilize Afghanistan, citing lack of health care for women, lack of fundamental rights, and institutions that will train women on human rights democracy and advocacy. However, funding was not mentioned.

Finally, MS, Rachel Reid, for Human right Watch in Afghanistan recognized that 150 million was allocated this year, by the US. At the same time, her statement was the most disturbing, in regards to her views on the Taliban, and President Karzai’s recent moves to reduce women’s rights. While all the testimony was interesting, Reid’s made riveting reading. She also, however, failed to mention funding.

There may be other funding directed to women and children in the State Department’s budget for Afghanistan and Pakistan, but if it really so much more than the 78.3 million this year, mentioned in all that reporting and talking, that I found, you would have thought they would have crowed a heck of a lot louder. The sum of monies in the State Dept spread sheets in their report add up to 22,849.2 million or 22 billion for the years of 2009, 2010 and 2011, of which 3,252.5 million or 3.3 billion is defense related expenditures not counted by the Defense Dept. it’s really a hefty sum, that spreads out pretty equitably over the three years, averaging 8.43 billion.

Of course it’s true that the money is intended for the good of all the Afghani and Pakistani people. Energy projects are a prime example. Still, even though this is an improvement over what came before, it looks like a line item mentality to me, rather than real 51% participation for women.

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This is good news. So it’s voluntary; for now, this will help. If you have ever looked at the fine print on the arbitration clauses of your credit card, or tried to win a dispute, you’ll realize you signed your right to complain over to the arbiter that the bank chooses. Thank you, Representative Kucinch, and the House Domestic Policy Subcommittee! I don’t know how many of us can get a new credit card right now, or if any of these banks are really issuing new ones, but the change in the arbitration clause is worth planning around if you are in the market. Don’t give up your rights!

Kucinich Announces Credit Cards That Don’t Cost You Your Legal Rights

Kucinich 111th1

Washington, Dec 17 –

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) released the following statement:

“This holiday shopping season, consumers have the choice of using credit cards that don’t take away their legal rights.  Until now, all major banks have required their customers – through provisions hidden in the fine print of credit card agreements — to give up their constitutional right to their day in court. Those agreements have required customers to settle their disputes through a process called arbitration.  In July, the House Domestic Policy Subcommittee, of which I am the Chairman, held a hearing in which we showed that mandatory arbitration is arbitrary, and that results depend more on the arbitrator to whom the case is assigned than on the facts or the law that applies.

“Since that hearing, my staff has been communicating with all the major banks, and today I can announce that six of those banks will not have arbitration clauses in their new credit card agreements.   Those banks are JPMorganChase, CapitalOne, PNC Bank, TD Bank, Bank of America and Regions Bank.  I want to congratulate those banks for their decisions.

“I particularly want to congratulate JPMorganChase and CapitalOne.  Those two banks will be issuing new credit card agreements that also allow their customers the right to a jury trial and the right to participate in a class action.  I strongly encourage the other banks to follow their lead.

“For the first time in years, you can choose what credit card to use by considering all its terms—interest rate, minimum payment, fees, rewards, and whether it requires you to give up your right to use the courts that our state and federal Constitutions have created for you.”

http://kucinich.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=163669

Contact: Nathan White (202)225-5871

Now, if we can just get rid of the usurious rates. Debt load is a magical thing. If it’s lower, we can breath a little life into the economy, and the banks get a write off on an artificial loan they should have never had.

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Update 091119 5:06 PST

For more on the the number of bills and the amendment combined with H.R. 3962 go HERE.

There seems to be some confusion in bloggerland about the health care bill. Perhaps ABC gives the best general information about the status of the bill, HERE.

To synopsize:

A House bill entitled “Affordable Health Care for America Act”, H.R 3692, was passed by the House and sent to the Senate . The download pdf is 1948 appears to have been 1990 pages( I originally got it from Speaker Pelosi’s website). The Stupak amendment was passed as part of H.R. 3692. Representative Stupak’s comments are HERE.

I have been having problems, downloading some, but not all of the documents at the Senate Site. However, if you go HERE, you will see the currently active list including H.R. 3692, and the attendant Senate bills of: “Affordable Health Choices Act”, S. 1679, from the Health, Education, and Labor Committee, in 283 pages, and “America’s Healthy Future Act, 2009”, S. 1796, from the Senate Finance Committee in 346 pages.

If you go to the section entitled “Popular Documents”  in the above Senate link, you will see a selection of many health related materials. Majority Leader Reid’s amendment would not download for me at this time. I am wondering if some documents are being withheld until the Senate has a cloture vote on whether to debate the bill(s).

I want to empathize that, I think like many of us, I am struggling through the effort to understand. There may be other bills involved that have been, or will be attached to the health care bill.  ABC has reported that the bills from the two entities combined are more than 4000 pages. As I find them I will include them as updates. Or perhaps the missing pages are the supporting documents in the Senate Popular Documents section.

Senator Boxer has released a statement today, 11/19/09, HERE. In part, she says:

[…Senator Reid also has crafted language that will keep women from being discriminated against when it comes to their reproductive health care.   The Senate bill maintains the compromise that has been in place for decades that prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion, but allows a woman to use her own private funds.



There are many issues that I am still working on, including ensuring that California is not hurt by cuts to the Disproportionate Share Hospital Program, which helps our hospitals that serve the neediest among us.
 


I am also working to ensure that the bill includes better preventative health care coverage for women…. ]

Senator Feinstein has not yet released a new comment on her site, but had done one on Oct 23, HERE, expressing her thoughts and reservations about it.

For your Info,

Representative Speier’s Statement has two statements, one against the Stupak Amendment, HERE, and one here on the passage of the House bill, HERE.

Representative Kucinich’s statement on the House Bill is HERE.

Ralph Nader’s comment is HERE.

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In the wake of the near and record high temperatures we are having in CA, there was no choice yesterday, but to get some other work done. A month’s worth of laundry left out to dry greenly in the sun, and weed pulling.  Those nasty little critters start growing in December. Give them three days of daytime warmth and they are suddenly two feet high. If you don’t get them in this first flush of warm weather, and before the moisture is out of the soil, you’ll never get them out of the clay soil we have. (more…)

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What more can be said, but keep track and try to fix the mess after: (more…)

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What DandelionSalad said:

http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2008/11/13/beth-ann-kucinich-sister-of-congressman-kucinich-dies/

I Own My Vote, PUMA, The Denver Group, Just Say No Deal

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Selected Speeches from 2008, and Obama’s 2004 Convention Speech

I always like to read the texts of speeches. For one thing, they load well on dial-up. For another, new meanings and better understandings arise. I like to compare them. Just for fun, when you read these, search the texts to see how often they use buzz words. Try union, labor, worker, education, teacher, family, etc. See if the presidential nominee actually addressed your interest, or let someone else say the words. So, for your use, here are several of the DNC convention speeches: (more…)

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