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Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 08:49 AM PST

Stop Outsourcing Our Security!

by Jan Schakowsky

It seems that every week, we're hearing about another outrageous example of Private Military Contractors, especially Blackwater, (or Xe, as they now call themselves). Last week we were shocked to hear about allegations of how Blackwater billed the government for prostitution. Two weeks ago The Nation highlighted the heartbreaking story of Blackwater's youngest victim, a 9 year old who was shot by Blackwater guards. He was one of 17 victims that day in Nisour square.



As of mid-2009, the United States employed over 22,000 hired guns in Iraq and Afghanistan. And that number keeps going up. Our reliance on private, for-profit companies for the business of waging war is extremely dangerous. It's time we move to eliminate the use of these unaccountable and controversial mercenaries, and I ask you to join me as a citizen co-sponsor of legislation that I have just re-introduced, the Stop Outsourcing Our Security Act.

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Tue Oct 14, 2008 at 09:30 AM PDT

“Free to a Good Womb???”

by Jan Schakowsky

Cross-posted on Prairie State Blue

My good friend Colonel Jill Morgenthaler is the Democratic candidate for Congress from the Sixth District of Illinois. She’s running a strong campaign to unseat Congressman Peter Roskam. Those of us from Illinois know how extreme and how wrong Roskam is on almost every issue that matters to our nation – his support of Bush’s failed policies in Iraq, Bush’s giveaways to oil companies, and of course the deregulation that led to chaos on Wall Street.

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Last night I had the pleasure of being a guest on Rachel Maddow's new show on MSNBC.  Take a look at the video and let me know what you think.  

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Women -- Stop, Look and Listen! Especially now that women and women's votes are front and center in this Presidential election, you need to have some facts at your fingertips. John McCain and Sarah Palin want to convince you that they offer something new. But on the issues that really matter in our lives, they offer more of the same old Bush policies, and in some cases, worse than the same.

I'm supporting Barack Obama, my long-time friend and colleague, and Joe Biden because I know their strong record on behalf of women's economic and individual rights, a record you should check out at www.barackobama.com. Yet, I'm aware that some women have the wrong idea about John McCain and think, because at one time years ago he was considered a "maverick", that he might have positions that are different from those of George Bush on issues that most heavily impact them. Even though he's desperately trying to resurrect that "maverick" label, it couldn't be further from the truth. This is just a sampling of the many reasons that McCain-Palin should be rejected by the women of America.

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In 145 days, George W. Bush will no longer be President of the United States. And if we do everything we must do for the next 67 days, my friend of many years, Barack Obama, will take his place.

Imagine that day: January 20, 2009. You are on the West Lawn of the Capitol, warmed by the throngs of excited people, all ages and colors. With his hand on the Bible that Michelle holds, Barack Obama takes the oath of office as the 44th President of the United States.

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Hello.  This is Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.  This week I wanted to share with you a story that illustrates the health care crisis in the United States.

A week doesn’t go by in my district offices without some constituent, often several, calling in a panic about a personal health care crisis.  These calls come not only from people who aren’t insured, but increasingly from those who are – or think they are.  Most of the time, they are shocked and furious that, now that they actually need the coverage, their policies don’t seem to apply.  

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Two weeks ago, the House passed the 2009 Intelligence Authorization Act.  For the first time, the bill contained oversight measures calling for an inspector general, and strict restrictions on the use of contractors in interrogations.  Unfortunately, the very reform measures that I sponsored are cited by the Administration as examples of why they would veto the bill.  Currently, the bill is languishing in the Senate, and serves as a reminder of not only why we need to elect a Democratic President, but how important it will be to elect members of the House and Senate to help key progressive legislation from getting scuttled.

No sooner did the House of Representatives pass the 2009 Intelligence Authorization Act, the Administration threatened to veto it.  As a member of the Intelligence Committee I found the “Statement of Administration Policy” a rather tidy compilation of all the reasons that I was able to vote for it.

The bill passed on July 16 by a voice vote and was the product of bi-partisan agreement in the committee.

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Mon Jul 28, 2008 at 01:27 PM PDT

9th District Rally for Obama

by Jan Schakowsky

I have the great privilege of Representing Illinois' 9th District in Congress.  The 9th District is one of the most diverse in the country, stretching along the Northern part of Chicago's lakefront, including my home of Evanston, and west through suburbs North of Chicago, like Skokie, Niles, and Hillary Clinton's hometown of Park Ridge.  The 9th district could serve as a microcosm of the UN, with new Americans and immigrants from all over the globe speaking many languages, and practicing many faiths.  

I'm also proud to say that the 9th District is "Solid Blue," going 68% for Both Gore and Kerry.   In the 2004 contest, my Campaign organization, working with the Kerry Travelers, a group of grassroots volunteers, worked to capitalize on all that Democratic energy in the district by organizing bus loads of volunteers to travel to nearby Wisconsin.  While Illinois was a relatively "Safe" state for John Kerry, the state of Wisconsin was a crucial battleground state, where more boots on the ground would could translate to a Kerry victory, and it did.

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As Election Day approaches, we're going to be working hard to elect Barack Obama.  We also have an incredible opportunity to elect Daniel Biss, an exciting and young Progressive running for Change here at home, in Illinois, to the office of State Representative.

Recently, I had the honor of sitting down with Daniel and discussing our ideas for progressive change in Illinois and across the country.  I hope you’ll take a moment to view it view it .  I believe you’ll come to the same conclusion I have – Daniel, and the kind of campaign he has built and the kind of leader he will be, represent the future of the Progressive movement.  Please join me in supporting him.

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Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 01:03 PM PDT

Stop Outsourcing Security

by Jan Schakowsky

This is my first DailyKos posting and I’m really pleased to be joining this vibrant on-line community.  I wanted to share with you some of the work that I'm doing in Congress on the important issue of military contractors.  

One of the more disturbing developments nurtured by the Bush Administration has been the outsourcing of the “business” of war.  The truly big winners of the “War on Terror” and the U.S. occupation of Iraq are military contractors like Halliburton. Cheney’s former company is raking in billions of dollars for various service contracts in Iraq, including food that was never served, water that was contaminated, tents that made soldiers sick.

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