The goal of this article is to evaluate how women and women's issues have fared during President's Obama's first term. We'll examine the entire four years in order to gauge progress and unresolved shortcomings.
I took this photograph exactly 11 years ago this morning, at 9:58 am, just as the South Tower of the World Trade Center began to collapse. I still do not know the names of the people in the picture, but would love to. Please share this picture in the hopes they contact me.
[A lovely image of our humanity in the face of tragedy. Thank you, Patrick Witty. -jkl]
Gov. Jerry Brown (D-Calif.) has a big decision to make for the cause of women’s rights. On his desk at the moment is a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights that recently passed both houses of the California legislature. The bill only needs Gov. Brown’s signature to become law; if he doesn’t sign it before September 30, it automatically becomes law.
The Bill of Rights–Assembly Bill 889 [PDF]–guarantees domestic workers overtime pay and lunch and rest breaks, and assures live-in workers that will be allowed sufficient sleep in adequate conditions. The Bill covers nannies, housekeepers and caregivers employed by private agencies, as well as those hired by individual families.
The provisions of the bill are hardly radical. They are rights that many of us wouldn’t think twice about. Of course, people deserve the right to eat lunch and should have the right to a full night’s rest. Why are we even talking about this?
Because these basic rights are routinely denied to household workers.
Beverly Bell interviews Leslie Thatcher, content relations editor at Truthout, one of a number of independent, non-commercial news sites that offer an alternative to corporate-controlled media. In a world where corporations are considered persons and a few individuals are funding the lion's share of the presidential elections, independent media is critical to keeping citizens informed and motivated defenders of democracy.
"Is it any wonder that we have right-wing politicians in every state trying to roll back women’s rights when a prominent “Christian” waxes nostalgic on national television about the days when a man could beat his wife and jokes that the answer to a wife who won’t behave is to become a Muslim so he can beat her?"
[I have long called these busy-bodies CINOs: Christians In Name Only. This is the best example of the worst. -jkl]
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by ROBIN MARTY, RH Realtity Check, via Common Dreams
Photo (REUTERS/Eric Thayer)
"To this end, Democrats have introduced a long line of female speakers, politicians and advocates to address the issues explicitly facing women and their families, and have planned numerous events to rally their support.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker kicked off events at a Planned Parenthood Federation of America rally by drawing a stark contrast between the two conventions--the RNC spoke at women, while the Democrats were prepared to advocate for women.
He added, “I heard people stand up and say, ‘I love women.” I heard people say, ‘I’ve got a sister, I’ve got a mother.’ That’s like saying you’re not a bigot because you have a black friend. That’s like saying, ‘I love Latinos, I go to Taco Bell every week,’” drawing laughter and cheers from the crowd.
“When it comes to your actions, when it comes to your deeds, when it comes to what you do every day, you are denigrating those very people you claim to love,” he said. “So I don’t understand how somebody can say they love women when they are denying women access to health care, when they are denying women strategies to protect their life, when they are implementing policies that undermine all the ground that we have gained, not as just women, but as this nation.”
In 1983, 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the U.S. At the time, Ben Bagdikian was called "alarmist" for pointing this out in his book, The Media Monopoly. In his 4th edition, published in 1992, he wrote "in the U.S., fewer than two dozen of these extraordinary creatures own and operate 90% of the mass media" -- controlling almost all of America's newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations, books, records, movies, videos, wire services and photo agencies. He predicted then that eventually this number would fall to about half a dozen companies. This was greeted with skepticism at the time. When the 6th edition of The Media Monopoly was published in 2000, the number had fallen to six. Since then, there have been more mergers and the scope has expanded to include new media like the Internet market.
In 2004, Bagdikian's revised and expanded book, The New Media Monopoly, shows that only 5 huge corporations -- Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch's News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS) -- now control most of the media industry in the U.S. General Electric's NBC is a close sixth.
Now available for streaming or downloading. This is a fast hour!
Do you know the CODE? Some call it "dog-whistling". Can you explain the value of secret meanings to everyday words like "patriot"? How can we ignite the fire we call American ingenuity and solve the many issues of the day if secret meaning to words keeps us from trusting one another?
The show begins with Aquene Fairchild from Public Citizen telling us about their DEMOCRACY IS FOR PEOPLE campaign, a grass roots movement to reverse or override the Citizens United Decision.
LUNCH WITH LOUDEN, Thursdays at 12:00 Noon Pacific
Ian McEwan, The Guardian Saturday, 15 September 2001
"The building was on fire and there was no way down the stairs. She was calling to say goodbye. There was really only one thing for her to say, those three words that all the terrible art, the worst pop songs and movies, the most seductive lies, can somehow never cheapen. I love you.
She said it over and again before the line went dead. And that is what they were all saying down their phones, from the hijacked planes and the burning towers. There is only love, and then oblivion. Love was all they had to set against the hatred of their murderers."
Last week, European Union Justice Minister Viviane Reding proposed requiring 40 percent female representation on all European Union (EU) public company boards by 2020 (state-owned companies must meet the requirement by 2018).
The 30 percent target is rooted in theories about critical mass (not to be confused with the cycling event). "Critical mass" refers to appointing enough women to a board of directors (or any leadership body) so as to impact the culture and substantive decisions of that board. Assuming a board comprised of about ten members, just one female board member may not necessarily make a difference, but two is better than one, and three is significantly better than two.
According to the 30 Percent Coalition’s research, hitting 30 percent female representation on boards affects governance in several ways. The content of boardroom discussion is more likely to include the perspectives of the multiple stakeholders that are affected by company performance, including employees, customers, and the community at large. A recent study about the substantive difference in opinion among female versus male economists underscores the importance of gender diversity in decision making bodies.
For the first time in a decade, the Sept. 11 attacks and the wars that resulted are not the focus of the presidential campaign.
President Barack Obama, who leads Republican Mitt Romney in polling on national security issues, may try to change that this fall as he seeks to sway undecided voters and traditional GOP constituencies in a tight race.
"In a world of new threats and new challenges, you can choose leadership that has been tested and proven," the president said last week while accepting the Democratic Party's nomination, attempting to draw a contrast with a GOP presidential ticket that has little foreign policy experience.
"I promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11. And we have," Obama added. "A new tower rises above the New York skyline; al-Qaida is on the path to defeat; and Osama bin Laden is dead."
[Today] marks the 11th anniversary of the attacks that left nearly 3,000 people dead and led to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. [MORE]
The direct warnings to Mr. Bush about the possibility of a Qaeda attack began in the spring of 2001. By May 1, the Central Intelligence Agency told the White House of a report that “a group presently in the United States” was planning a terrorist operation. Weeks later, on June 22, the daily brief reported that Qaeda strikes could be “imminent,” although intelligence suggested the time frame was flexible.
But some in the administration considered the warning to be just bluster. An intelligence official and a member of the Bush administration both told me in interviews that the neoconservative leaders who had recently assumed power at the Pentagon were warning the White House that the C.I.A. had been fooled; according to this theory, Bin Laden was merely pretending to be planning an attack to distract the administration from Saddam Hussein, whom the neoconservatives saw as a greater threat.Intelligence officials, these sources said, protested that the idea of Bin Laden, an Islamic fundamentalist, conspiring with Mr. Hussein, an Iraqi secularist, was ridiculous, but the neoconservatives’ suspicions were nevertheless carrying the day.
In response, the C.I.A. prepared an analysis that all but pleaded with the White House to accept that the danger from Bin Laden was real.
Republican Mitt Romney thrust God to the center of the White House race Saturday, in a culture war strike that prompted Barack Obama's team to brand him extreme and divisive.
Romney plays God card in swing state struggle
by MICHAEL MAATHES, Agence France-Presse
Romney appeared with televangelist Pat Robertson in the key swing state of Virginia, and seized upon the row at last week's Democratic convention sparked when delegates removed language about God from their platform.
After reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, Romney told the crowd: "I will not take God out of... our platform. I will not take God out of my heart. We are a nation that's bestowed by God."
Romney said Americans needed a new president who will "commit to a nation under God that recognizes that we, the American people, were given our rights not by government but by God himself."
The former Massachusetts governor also appeared to imply that Democrats wanted to remove the phrase "In God We Trust" from US currency.
The Obama campaign swiftly responded to Romney's rhetoric, describing it as a "Hail Mary" pass -- a desperate long throw in the dying moments of an American football game when defeat is nigh.
Spokeswoman Lis Smith accused the Republican nominee of launching "extreme and untrue attacks against the president and associating with some of the most strident and divisive voices in the Republican Party."
"This isn't a recipe for making America stronger, it's a recipe for division and taking us backward," Smith said.
Our 2012 Iowa Character Awards dinner was held on August 3. Among the 13 award recipients was Dr. David Maxwell, president of Drake University. The following is an excerpt from Dr. Maxwell’s speech.
‘. . . We realize that freedom of thought and freedom of expression produce conflict and challenge. We encourage civil debate and discussion of divergent perspectives and opinions in a manner that affirms our community. We seek to create a community in which shared purpose transcends difference and respect for human dignity transcends conflict. . .
[A Coffee Party Core Value, Civility: We empathize and engage with one another exercising humility, listening, honesty and respect, in order to provide an emotionally safe environment even when we disagree. (Thanks to CitizenNow for providing inspration and contributing heavily to this work.) - jkl]