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Posts tagged ‘Senate’

20-Year Veteran Facing Jail

From Nation of Change
by Kevin Zeese
12 April 2012

20-Year Veteran to Face Jail Time for Act of Civil Disobedience

Retired Naval Commander Leah Bolger will appear in court Thursday, April 12th 2012 on charges stemming from her arrest on October 26th, 2011. Bolger, who is a peace activist and the President of Veterans For Peace, interrupted a public hearing of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, commonly known as the Super Committee.

In a calm, articulate manner Bolger spoke for nearly a minute in the well of the Senate hearing room before Capitol Hill police escorted her out and placed her under arrest. Prominent social activist Ben Cohen praised Bolger for her courageous stand in this video which includes footage of her action: http://youtu.be/aZVtPhVBM5Q Bolger accused the sole witness, Chief Budget Officer Douglas Elmendorf, of obfuscating the true costs of military spending, and implored the Committee to enact the people’s plan for reducing the deficit—end the wars and tax the rich.

Ralph Nader, a member of Veterans For Peace, applauded retired Naval Commander, Bolger’s effort to challenge the Super Committee for a minute of an un-scheduled reminder that cutting much needed social programs that saves lives rather than cutting the bloated military budget and taxing the 1% is Congressional insanity. “The government is dysfunctional, working for corporate interests rather than providing for the peoples necessities. Bolger showed what active citizens should be doing peacefully– confronting the corruption head on and making sure the public knows what is really going on. She should be honored for her actions.”

Bolger was a member of the Occupation of Washington,DC at Freedom Plaza. The occupation protested the Super Committee by holding an Occupied Super Committee hearing which was aired on C-SPAN, see CSPAN Coverage of Occupied Super Committee Hearings, and produced its own report. By cutting military spending and taxing the wealthy, the Occupied Super Committee reached the ten year deficit targets set by President Obama and Congress in two years, and was able to fund a jobs program, forgive student debt and secure social programs. See The 99%’s Deficit Proposal: How to create jobs, reduce the wealth divide and control spending. As a result of the actions of Bolger, the Occupy movement and other activists, the Super Committee, which had been on course to cut Social Security and Medicare, decided not to issue a report.

Read entire article at Nation of Change

Violence Against Women

From MoveOn.Org

“Violence against women is as American as apple pie. I know, not only as a legislator, but from personal experience.”

Yesterday, Wisconsin Representative Gwen Moore spoke of her own sexual assault in an impassioned stand for victims of domestic violence, calling for the immediate reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.1 We need to stand with her today.

The bill to reauthorize the act has enough cosponsors in the Senate to pass, but House Republicans are blocking it—which is why Rep. Moore spoke out so personally and passionately.2

Last year when House Republicans tried to redefine rape as “forcible” rape only, MoveOn members helped spark a public outcry with a massive petition, and House Republicans backed down.3 We need to spark that same kind of outcry right now, in order to keep essential protections in place for victims of domestic abuse.

Tell your Representative: Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act now. No delays, no excuses.

Why the sudden opposition to help for victims of domestic violence? Because some Republicans don’t want protections extended to rural and tribal populations, immigrant women, or LGBT victims of domestic violence.4 But no one deserves to be abused, regardless of their ethnicity, sexual orientation, or immigration status.

Imagine fleeing an abusive partner in the middle of the night, only to find that there’s nowhere to go and no one to turn to. No hotline to call for advice, no shelter to keep you safe, no advocate to help you in court. That could be the harsh reality for victims of domestic violence if House Republicans keep blocking reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

This is just the latest attack in the Republican war on women. From the attempts to redefine rape to limiting women’s access to breast cancer screening and contraception, the war on women’s health and safety is happening across the country.5 But some Republicans are starting to realize the political damage the war on women is doing to their party.

That creates a real opportunity for a grassroots campaign to stop Republicans from limiting protections for victims of domestic violence.

Saving Their Homes

Dear MoveOn member,

President Obama could help twelve million homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage.

The president needs to hear directly from us.

Here’s the story: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac hold 60% of mortgages—but the agency that oversees them is run by Bush appointee Ed DeMarco who refuses to allow underwater homeowners to adjust their mortgages to reflect the true value of their home.

Homeowners are struggling to make ends meet. And helping them not only means saving their homes, it will also stabilize the market and help get the economy back on track for everyone.

President Obama has the power to replace DeMarco and make sure Fannie and Freddie provide relief to the millions of Americans struggling with mortgage debt.

That’s why on Thursday, March 15—the same day the Senate banking committee meets in D.C. to discuss the fate of homeowners—we’re organizing big rallies at Obama for America campaign offices around the country. We’ll tell the president: We’re sinking in underwater mortgages—throw the 99% a lifeline to keep us in our homes. In communities without OFA offices, we’ll rally in front of Wall Street bank branches and homes threatened by foreclosure to let the public and the media know that the 99% is standing up to save our homes.

Will you host a Save Our Homes rally on Thursday, March 15?

Yes, I can organize an event!

In late January, MoveOn members organized events at OFA offices calling on President Obama to order a real investigation into Wall Street banks. Just days later, the president did just that! We know that when Obama voters and volunteers get together, the president listens.

Now, we need him to step up to help struggling homeowners. We’ll support him in taking bold steps—from demanding that Fannie and Freddie readjust mortgages, to replacing anyone who continues holding back the housing recovery.

Can you host a rally in Santa Cruz to ask the president to save our homes?

Click here to host!

Hosting an event is powerful and easy. Once you sign up, you’ll get the petitions from MoveOn members and all the materials you’ll need for a successful event.

Thanks for all you do.

–Elena, Laura, Sarah, Amy, and the rest of the team

America’s Backbone

Raphael and Enedina are true Americans. They have lived in California for most of their lives and raised five wonderful children, who are all excellent students or have graduated and are now working themselves. Raphael has labored long hours in the strawberry fields, picking the delicious fruit we take for granted in this part of the world. Enedina, in spite of numerous health problems, has worked at home raising the children.

This family is like countless others who have immigrated to this country, dug deep roots and made a better life for their children. They are also unlike most of us who were born here. In the midst of everything else they have done to survive, they have also been studying English and practicing to take their exams to become US citizens, which is not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination.

I can attest to the painful experience of trying to learn another language as an adult, let alone another country’s history and government. I took Spanish in High School. I took Spanish in College. I attended a class at the Santa Cruz Adult School. I listened to tapes and tried speaking with Spanish-speaking friends. All these attempts ended in dismal failure. Other than rudimentary Spanish, I still can not retain or speak the language.

Raphael and Enedina, on the other hand, not only continued working while studying English, but they also had to memorize and learn more about our country than any native-born American has ever had to do. Not knowing which questions would be asked on their citizenship exams, they had to learn the answers in English and Spanish to more than one-hundred and fifty questions (many with multiple answers, such as the Bill of Rights, The Pledge of Allegiance and the thirteen original colonies)!

How many of us (those who were born and raised in the US) know the answers to these questions? What does the red, white and blue stand for in the American flag? How old must one be to run for the US Senate? What can the Senate do that the House of Representatives cannot do? How many amendments do we now have in the Constitution? What is the Fourth Amendment? What is the Eighth Amendment? Name ten cabinet positions that advise the president. What is the purpose of the United Nations? What are the three ways that bills become laws?

Raphael and Enedina studied year after year for this exam and recently passed on their first attempt! They can now apply for federal jobs, petition for relatives to join them in the U.S. and most importantly, vote. They will now have a say in the country they have made their home, in the country in which they have lived, worked and paid taxes for decades.

Their presence has made this country a better nation. Their presence and accomplishments should inspire us all. They are true Americans. Americans who deeply understand our democratic republic and the constant vigilance and hard work required to keep it a land of freedom and opportunity. They know what it truly takes to be an American citizen.

If you would like to help other hard working individuals and families learn English and/or study for citizenship, contact your local literacy program. Along with Native Americans, immigrants are the backbone that keeps America standing.

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