Jan Schakowsky

Call-in: Tell Your Rep. to Stand with Other Dems on Iran Deal

Supporting President Obama’s successful effort to win a diplomatic agreement with Iran and prevent another war in the Middle East should be a no-brainer for Democrats – especially Democrats who have supported diplomacy with Iran in the past.

But it’s not, unfortunately, because AIPAC is on the warpath against the Iran nuclear deal.

In July 2013, Scott Peters (CA-52), Jim Himes (CT-04), Collin Peterson (MN-07), Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09), and Alcee Hastings (FL-20) all signed the Dent-Price letter urging renewed efforts to engage with Iran following the election of President Rouhani on a promise of renewed engagement with the West. But two months ago, when 150 House Democrats signed a letter expressing strong support for President Obama’s ongoing negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, they did not join. That’s why these Representatives needs to hear from you now.

Call your representative now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer, you can say something like:

“I urge Rep. ______ to stand with other Democrats in support of President Obama’s agreement with Iran, and to pledge to vote against any Republican attempt to scuttle the deal.”

When you’ve made your call, please report it below.

And if you haven’t signed our joint petition with Win Without War and CREDO to Congress yet, you can sign it here:

http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/stopwarwithiran

94 Reps. urge Clinton to suspend aid to Honduras; 7 Senators ask State for info on Honduran compliance

On March 12, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and 93 fellow House members sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to raise the alarm over human rights violations in Honduras where human rights defenders, journalists, community leaders and opposition activists are subject to death threats, attacks and extrajudicial executions.

The letter asks the State Department “to suspend U.S. assistance to the Honduran military and police given the credible allegations of widespread, serious violations of human rights attributed to the security forces.” The letter also asks the State Department to continue efforts to pressure the Honduran government to protect the fundamental human rights of its citizens, investigate and prosecute abuses in the Bajo Aguán region and throughout the country, give an accounting of the specific status of cases, and hold accountable private security companies that have acted with impunity.

The Schakowsky letter is here.

On March 5, Sen. Barbara Mikulski and six other Senators sent a letter to  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, raising concerns over human rights violations in Honduras and requesting information from the State Department concerning whether Honduran authorities are adequately complying with provisions of the FY2012 Appropriations Act.

The Mikulski letter is here.

 

A "Pledge of Resistance" to Defend Social Security (and Defund the Empire)

For the third time in the last 20 years, establishment voices, with high-profile slots in traditional media, are trying to convince the public to accept cuts to Social Security by endlessly claiming such cuts are necessary without giving coherent evidence to justify the claim. Twice, under President Clinton and the second President Bush, these voices were defeated. But they didn't give up. And now they are in striking distance of their goal: the fact that Republicans have taken over the House, combined with the fact that the President appointed a deficit reduction commission which nearly recommended a cut in Social Security benefits, and might well have done so if Rep. Schakowsky hadn't worked to undermine the co-chairs' plan, means that one can't be complacent; some reports have suggested that the President may indicate support for cuts to Social Security in his State of the Union speech. Of the two principal Washington political actors who will shape the outcome - the Republican leadership and the President's team - one is a determined adversary of the public interest, the other a very uncertain ally. The most successful anti-poverty program in U.S. history is again in grave danger.

Twenty years ago, Social Security was called the "third rail" of U.S. politics. Touch it, you die. But it turned out that was not true. The Establishment greedheads were not, in fact, afraid to try to mess with this wildly popular program. Maybe Wall Street political power is the third rail.

In these two decades, Social Security hasn't been the third rail. Instead, it's been the Grey Goose of folk song legend. The knife couldn't cut him and the fork couldn't stick him. Try as they might, they couldn't kill him. Can the Grey Goose survive the next assault?