|Dear All… A Letter From Eve in Congo
Eve Ensler has been in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for the last month. Here she shares with you all her experiences with the women at City of Joy, life on the V-World farm, and how she ROSE with women and girls of Congo on 14 February.
First let me begin with the deepest thank you to all of you who believed in City of Joy and have stood by us with your confidence and support. I have spent the month here and all I can say, is you would be proud. Let me start by describing the current state of Bukavu. It is nothing short of catastrophic. In one of the richest resourced countries in the world, the poverty is inconceivable. In a place where it rains almost every day, there is no water.
It is a country with the most fertile green fields, people are starving. There is no electricity. Most of the month the children have been sent home from school as the teachers are on strike. (they have not been paid). Even the policemen are begging for food. The road is better but most of the time we have not driven on it as there are so many reasons for detours. This is the environment our director Christine and her astounding staff face and transcend every day. Then of course there is the issue of security. The month I have been here there have been no incidents, but it feels arbitrary as there is no real political basis for security and one feels anything can happen at any time.
I will not even begin to tackle here the many proposals that seem to be circulating for peace in Congo. They either feel rhetorical or implausible. I think it is safe to say that if Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi were to get out of Congo, if there were real leadership and a functioning government in Kinshasa, there would be change. But that is not the nature of what I am writing about. We made a decision four years ago to put our energy into the grassroots women of Congo, to support their visions, their plans, their desires, their futures. To believe in their strength. To find the support for them to heal from gender violence of all forms, to be trained and educated in skills and their rights, to become leaders in their communities so that they could build a grassroots movement that eventually would be strong enough to transform this country and turn pain to power.
Special thank you to Paula Allen for the photographs featured here.
- China plans FDA-like food, drug watchdog: report (marketwatch.com)
- Activists fight FDA approval of AquaBounty’s genetically engineered salmon (mcclatchydc.com)
- FDA panel sees risk in long-used osteoporosis drug (kfwbam.com)
- FDA panel sees risk in long-used osteoporosis drug (wfaa.com)
Today Senate Republicans again blocked an up-or-down vote to confirm Caitlin Halligan, first nominated by President Obama in 2010 to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. As President Obama said today:
A majority of the Senate agrees that Ms. Halligan is exactly the kind of person who should serve on this court, and I urge Senate Republicans to allow the Senate to express its will and to confirm Ms. Halligan without further delay.
Ms. Halligan, who has bipartisan support from lawyers and law enforcement, has suffered endless delays in the Senate — and she’s not the only one.
In Case You Missed It
Here are some of the top stories from the White House blog:
The Changing Face of Veteran Reintegration For generations, when veterans took off their uniform, their desire to serve did not end. That’s just as true today. Some very creative post 9/ll veterans’ charities have adapted to this desire and have created models for continued service and engagement.
President Obama Announces Three Nominees to Help Tackle “Our Most Important Challenges” President Obama announces his nominees for Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Secretary of Energy, and Administrator of the EPA.
Hanging Out with First Lady Michelle Obama Mrs. Obama joins a virtual conversation about Let’s Move!, her initiative to ensure our nation’s kids grow up healthy and reach their full potential.
Last Floor Action below … 3/7/2012
- Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of Executive Session and consideration of Executive Calendar #43, John Owen Brennan, of Virginia, to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
- The Senate will recess from 12:30pm until 2:00pm for caucus meetings.
- Prior to adjournment, in the early morning of Thursday, March 7th, cloture was filed on the Brennan nomination. Under the rule, that vote would be one hour after the Senate convenes on Saturday.
The Senate has reached an agreement that results in up to 2 roll call votes beginning at approximately 3:15pm today.
- If all time is used at approximately 3:15pm, the Senate will proceed to a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on Executive Calendar #43, the nomination of John Owen Brennan, of Virginia, to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.If cloture is invoked, the Senate would proceed immediately to a roll call vote on confirmation of the nomination.
3:03pm The Senate began a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on Executive Calendar #43, the nomination of John Owen Brennan, of Virginia, to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; Invoked: 81-16
3:30pm The Senate began a roll call vote on confirmation of Executive Calendar #43,
the nomination of John Owen Brennan, of Virginia, to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; Confirmed: 63-34
ROLL CALL VOTES
1) Motion to invoke cloture on the nomination of Executive Calendar #43, John Owen Brennan, of Virginia, to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; Invoked: 81-16
2) Confirmation of the Brennan nomination; Confirmed: 63-34
Adopted S.Res.71, designating the week of March 4 through March 8, 2013, as “Military and Veterans Caregiver Week”.
Adopted S.Res.73, designating March 11, 2013, as “World Plumbing Day”.
No EXECUTIVE ITEMS
The Senate reached an agreement to place on the Calendar of Business H.R.933, a bill making appropriations for the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other departments and agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013, and for other purposes. We expect to consider the bill next week.
At 5:00pm on Monday, March 11, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session to consider the following nominations:
– Executive Calendar #9 Richard Gary Taranto, of Maryland, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Federal Circuit; and
– Executive Calendar #17 Andrew Patrick Gordon, of Nevada, to be United States District Judge for the District of Nevada.
There will be up to 30 minutes of debate equally divided and controlled between Senators Leahy and Grassley or their designees on the nominations. Upon the use or yielding back of time (approximately 5:30pm), there will be up to 2 roll call votes on confirmation of the Taranto and Gordon nominations. We expect the Gordon nomination to be confirmed by voice vote.
Last Floor Action:
12:04:56 P.M. – The Speaker announced that the House do now adjourn.
The next meeting is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on March 11, 2013.
|12:00:57 P.M.||The House convened, starting a new legislative day.|
|12:01:14 P.M.||The Speaker designated the Honorable Blake Farenthold to act as Speaker pro tempore for today.|
|12:01:39 P.M.||Today’s prayer was offered by Reverend Gene Hemrick, Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.|
|12:02:39 P.M.||The Speaker announced approval of the Journal. Pursuant to clause 1, rule I, the Journal stands approved.|
|12:02:54 P.M.||PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Chair led the House in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.|
|12:04:04 P.M.||Congress, the Clerk transmitted to the House a notification that Porter J. Goss, David Skaggs, Yvonne Burke, Jay Eagen, Karan English, Bill Frenzel, Allison Hayward, Mike Barnes, Omar Ashmawy, Kelly Brewington, William Cable, Mary K. Flanagan, Scott Gast, Kedric L. Payne, Paul Solis, and Nate Wright have each signed an agreement not to be a candidate for the office of Senator or Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress for purposes of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 until at least 3 years after he or she is no longer a member of the board or staff of the Office of Congressional Ethics.|
|12:04:56 P.M.||The Speaker announced that the House do now adjourn. The next meeting is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on March 11, 2013.|