The Choice is Clear

Aug 23, 2012 by    

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President Bill Clinton: “This election to me is about which candidate is more likely to return us to full employment.”
“This is a clear choice. The Republican plan is to cut more taxes on upper income people and go back to deregulation. That’s what got us in trouble in the first place.”
President Obama has a plan to rebuild America from the ground up, investing in innovation, education, and job training. It only works if there is a strong middle class.”
“That’s what happened when I was President. We need to keep going with his plan.”

Dozens of Women and Children Perish in Ethnic Clash in Kenya


At least 52 people have died in a serious ethnic attack in Kenya on Tuesday. AFP notes that most of the victims were women and children. The original toll of 48 casualties reported on Tuesday was raised to 52 after four more people perished from sustained injuries on Wednesday.

The tragedy was sparked by the long rivalry between Pokomo and Ormo people in a remote corner of Kenya near the Tana River district. Police chief Joseph Kitur said that 31 women perished, along with 11 children and six adult men. Kitur also told reporters that 34 of the victims were hacked to death and 14 were burnt.

The attack occurred in a rural corner of southeast Kenya, about 185 miles away from the capital of Nairobi. The New York Times notes that the gruesome incident was staged by numerous members of an armed militia from the Pokomo group who entered the Ormo village and began to slash residents before setting many of the homes on fire.

One member of Parliament, Danson Mungatana, thought the attacks were probably a backlash after an Ormo cattle raid that occurred last week. Battles for water and land resources between the two groups in this part of Kenya are reportedly very common. Another clash between the two groups back in 2001 caused around 130 deaths. The Pokomo reportedly practice subsistence farming, while the Ormo tend towards a pastoral livelihood. The Kenya Red Cross was at the scene and reported that they sent seven people to the hospital with severe injuries.

The most tragic aspect of the current episode is the high number of children lost in the conflict, along with women and unsuspecting male village members. Both the AFP and the New York Times note that this most recent attack is a reminder of the post-election ethnic violence of 2007, when there were contested election results between two candidates from different ethnic backgrounds, which pitted populations against each other, resulting in more than 1,000 deaths.

In January, the International Criminal Court charged four Kenyan officials with crimes related to the post-election deaths. The next set of elections are planned for next year, according to UPI. The most recent violence has sparked discomfort and is an unsettling reminder that elections could also pose more danger for Kenyans next year.


Act Now to End the Federal Judicial Crisis

AAUW Action Network

With all of the attention on the presidential and congressional elections right now, it can be easy to forget that there’s a third branch of government. But the judicial branch is just as important – and it needs our help.

Our constitutional rights and individual liberties are protected by a strong and effective judiciary. But our courts are in crisis because of the “judicial emergency” created by vacancies in courtrooms nationwide. Why? Because an average of 1 out of every 10 judicial seats is vacant nationwide.

Ask your senators to help protect our freedoms by moving forward with judicial confirmations!

A strong judiciary is critical to American women. Not only can the federal courts be a shield for civil rights laws like Title IX and the Equal Pay Act, but they’re also often the last, best hope for women who have experienced discrimination in education, employment, health care, and in other aspects of their lives. Yet with the Senate dragging its heels, we’ve got 32 federal courts in a state of “judicial emergency,” which means there are far too few judges to keep up with all the cases. Half of these courts have pending nominees – but the Senate still hasn’t acted to fill those vacancies.

Furthermore, the slow confirmation process is also affecting the diversity of the courts. While President Obama has nominated an impressive number of women and people of color for the bench, that’s only half the battle. The only way to increase the diversity of the judiciary is for the Senate to confirm qualified nominees. Of the 32 nominees pending before the Senate, 19 of them are women or people of color. This is not acceptable.

To be sure, President Obama has not been nominating people to fill the vacancies as quickly as he could – and AAUW has told him that. But the fact remains that there are 32 nominees, 22 of whom have already been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, that the Senate could confirm when it returns from recess next month.

So that’s why we need you to send a message to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Ask your senators to urge Sens. Reid and McConnell to quickly call for confirmation of the federal judicial nominees from your state and move all consensus nominations to the Senate floor immediately for confirmation.

The vacancy crisis can have an easy solution, but we need your help. To send a letter to your senators, click the “Take Action” link or visit AAUW’s Two-Minute Activist.

Get FREE Breastfeeding Resources info …

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7), HHS’s Office on Women’s Health and GSA’s Federal Citizen Information Center have created the FREE Breastfeeding Resources Action Kit. With it, you can:

  • Learn the physical and psychological benefits of breastfeeding for babies and moms.
  • Discover the financial benefits of breastfeeding for families, employers, and communities.
  • Find out how to support breastfeeding in your community.
  • Confidently use breastfeeding tips, and much more.

You can read, download, or print the publications, or order FREE, printed information.

YouTube …

Recently, President Obama met with some youth with disabilities. He wanted to hear their thoughts about the future of disability policy. So, he sat down with participants from the American Association of People with Disabilities internship program. These young people are passionate and strong representatives for millions of people with disabilities across the country. They represent a brighter future for America. President Obama is ready to stand with them each and every day.More