Archive for Admin

Women and the American Jobs Act

Last week President Barack Obama’s address articulated his vision for an American Jobs Act.  He put a critical eye on putting Americans back to work and reversing the deep economic recession caused by the banking crisis three years ago

During his speech the president advanced several positive initiatives including extending the payroll tax cut and extending unemployment benefits for the chronically unemployed. His $450 billion jobs program is a significant deposit on the scope and size of the economic and jobs problem our country currently faces.

With employment growth for women lagging behind that of their male counterparts and with nearly two-thirds of women being breadwinners or co-breadwinners for their families, the Obama Administration touts that the plan they set forth last week will have a significant impact on women.

Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor for President Obama, emphasized the following points to drive home how the American Jobs Act will benefit women in particular.

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The GOP’s War on Voting

Civil and human rights organizations, voting rights advocates, labor organizations and elected officials from around the country are beginning to make a clarion call for the U.S. Department of Justice to intervene on the destructive pattern of voter suppression legislation being introduced by GOP governors from states such as Florida, Michigan and Georgia .

Disenfranchisement tactics such as voter ID proposals threaten decades of work by African-Americans and other racial minorities to run for and win elected office yielding major gains in civic participation and representation. The right to vote, particularly for racial and ethnic minorities, youth, the elderly and people with disabilities, is under assault.

Measures requiring stringent voter identification, proof of citizenship for registration, and cutbacks to early voting, eliminating same day, on-site voter registration, have been or are being pushed in 38 states.

Proponents of voter ID laws have long claimed that such restrictions are necessary in order to protect against phantom voter fraud schemes. Reality has never been an underpinning of these arguments.  Such initiatives are harmful to our democracy and will result in restricting and reducing – rather than expanding – access to voting, and the percentage of our population that will cast votes in elections.

Earlier this year Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law legislation that will make it more difficult for students, seniors and minority residents to register, vote, and then have their ballots counted.

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Women. More Effective Politicians?

The lack of political parity in the United States is shocking.  Despite making up 51 percent of the United State’s population, women only hold 17 percent of Congressional seats and 23 percent of state elected offices around the country.

As Americans sat and watched debt ceiling negotiations between the President and House Speaker John Boehner, which ultimately led to the first credit downgrade our country as seen; one can’t help but ask how this situation and many others would have played out if women had been at the helm?

The role of women in American society is ever changing; from homemakers and motherhood to entrepreneurs and professional athletes the need for more women to hold public office is immense.

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Debt Ceiling Deal May Take a Toll on Women

President Barack Obama and congressional leaders seem to have brokered a deal to raise the debt ceiling over the weekend, avoiding the August 2nd deadline. The pending legislation has received criticism from both Democrats and Republicans and has many people asking if the deal represents a shared sacrifice.

Women’s rights organizations are also sounding off on the issue.  Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, said today the debt ceiling deal will take a toll on the economic security of millions of women.  In the a press release issued today she wrote,

“The debt ceiling agreement reached by the White House and congressional leaders over the weekend deals a serious blow to women’s economic security. If approved by both houses of Congress, the agreement will impose $1 trillion in cuts to programs such as family planning clinics, food stamps, college tuition assistance, child care and a host of other programs that disproportionately serve and employ women. But that is just the first part of the agreement.

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How to End the War on Women

Whether you are a two or 92 year old woman (or somewhere in between), the Republican Party has declared war on you. From the moment that the extremist Tea Partiers took over the House of Representatives, the idea of any help for women and families became an obscene notion. It seems like the pure existence of women—powerful women, poor women, elderly women, toddlers and so on are bothersome to these men.

So, we have to ask what the heck is going on? We have a Senate and President of one party with the House of Representatives being run by a small fraction of the Republican party—the Tea Party faction.

When I think about factions, I think back to Federalist #10. If you haven’t had the opportunity to read this one, you should sit down and not only read it but also think about it—absorb it.

This faction has taken over the Republican Party. As I see it in that party, if you aren’t a tea partier, you are bending to their will because you are scared of a political challenge from your right. Either way, you now are the Republican Tea Party.

This party is playing chicken and acting like children when playing with the debt ceiling—which is really the American and thus world economy. Should the debt ceiling not be increased, massive (and I cannot underline massive as much as its needed here) cuts and changes to lives of millions of people—in particular women and children—will happen.

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So, What has President Obama REALLY Accomplished?

Coming out of the our annual convention, we wanted to take a moment to think about what President Obama has really done in the less than three years he’s been in office.

If you search “President Obama Accomplishments” online, you certainly will not find a definitive list of accomplishments by the Obama Administration even though they have accomplished a myriad of major milestones in under three years.  President Obama isn’t one to brag. He isn’t a talker—he’s a doer.  He is a real Illinoisan who doesn’t sit on his laurels but rather puts his head down, rolls his sleeves up—and gets to work.

Unfortunately, too often we hear—what has President Obama REALLY accomplished while in office? What has he REALLY done for me?

Well, let’s help you answer that.

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Double-Talking Congressman Joe Walsh Continued:

While we are all facing the high gas prices at the pump almost on a daily basis, we are also dealing with the continued rise in the cost of health care.

Let’s see how Double-Talking Joe feels about it:

Health Care Reform:

Congressman Walsh:there are 14 some million Americans and growing who are out there in the individual [health insurance] market who have a much tougher battle” than he and his wife (who has a pre-existing condition).

Congressman Walsh: “I can simply, honestly say that this is going to impact my wife and I to a fairly serious degree, like it would any average American out there”

Congressman Joe Walsh: “We will do what we have to do, to shut down the government if we have to, to choke Obamacare if we have to.”

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Double Talking Joe

Need a sign the 2012 Election Cycle is in full swing? Just take a look at the GOP candidates talking out of both sides of their mouth.

One of the Congressmen with the most flexible mouth is Illinois’ very own Congressman Joe Walsh representing Illinois’ 8th District. So this week we’ve decided to take a look at some of the ways Congressman Walsh has been double-talking about some of the most important issues we’re facing.

We’ll begin with an issue we face at least once a week:

Subsidies for Oil, Gas, And Other Fossil Fuel Companies:

It seems like Congressman Walsh can’t seem to keep track of where he stands on the almost $4 billion per year US taxpayers pay to oil, gas, and other similar companies.

February 18: Congressman Joe Walsh voted against an amendment that would close a loophole allowing oil companies to drill in the Gulf of Mexico for free without paying any royalties. According to the press release from the House Committee on Natural Resources: “The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has estimated that taxpayers could lose up to an additional $53 billion over the next 25 years as a result of royalty-free drilling when oil prices are high. The Interior Department also informed Rep. Markey that American taxpayers will lose $1.5 billion just this year from this free drilling.” [emphasis ours]

April 28: After being confronted by an amazing constituent at a Schaumburg Town Hall meeting who asked “How about reforming the laws that give away our tax dollars to giant oil companies making record-breaking profits?” Joe Walsh replied: “Energy subsidies. Absolutely. Absolutely. Get rid of subsidies for oil companies.” [emphasis ours]

May 1: So after telling his constituents we should “Get rid of subsidies for oil companies”, Congressman Walsh voted against a motion to recommit proposed by House Democrats to cut the taxpayer-funded subsidies paid to the five largest oil companies. This year, Exxon Mobil alone is expecting a 50% increase in profits (not sure if that’s including what you’re paying at the gas pump and in your taxes)

So, Congressman Joe Walsh is for energy subsidies when he’s voting, but against them when campaigning.

Today’s lesson: Congressman Walsh wants you to pay oil companies at the pump and with your taxes but doesn’t want you to remember that when you head to the polls…

Tomorrow: Ol’ Joe and health care.