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What’s Going On from Playing For Change

AOC Adopts An Anthem For GlamTribale: Marvin’s “What’s Going On” By Playing For Change”

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Sunday
Jul012012

Hillary Clinton's Last Tour of Duty | Are Clean Cookstoves Making A Difference? | WaterAid At Work

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Today’s New York Times profiles America’s Secretary of State in Hillary Clinton’s Last Tour as a Rock-Star Diplomat. She was pleased beyond words to read in the first sentence that “Hillary Rodham Clinton followed a scrum of Chinese ministers around an exhibition of clean cookstoves.” In 2009, Clinton took up the cookstove cause, including it in her portfolio of “smart power” issues. The men of the State Department tend not to go for these “shiny objects” issues that focus on improving women’s lives.

What the Times makes clear is that the media may have been focused on the drama on a blind Chinese dissident putting the Secretary in a tight situation in Chinese-American relations. But Clinton herself was multitasking. Knowing that the smoke from poorly ventilated stoves kills nearly two million people a year, Secretary Clinton argued that a killer worse than malaria deserves some attention.

Will America Keep Its Promise of $50 Million for Clean Cookstoves AOC World Sept. 22, 2010

Writing today for the New York Times, Elisabeth Rosenthal praises the initiative in Money for Stoves; the Other Pledges? She also raises a key question that is concerning all of us, one raised earlier this year by Bill Gates in AOC’s Is America Triple-Promising Global AID Dollars?

With all the problems in running America’s government, we are concerned that our public announcements about global aid may be just window-dressing, announcements that can be thwarted by individual congress people and political parties. Aid to women has always been a political target, with Republicans and Conservatives thwarting almost any program that didn’t stipulate some form of sexual abstinence and no birth control — even if the aid dollars are for cooking pots or a similarly innocuous and life-enhancing project.

AID That Works

A recent article in Bloomberg asks Can Cleaner Cookstoves Help Save the World?

From 2005-2010, overseas aid from US private groups jumped by 164 percent, compared to an 8 percent increase in official development assistance from America. In 2010 Americans donated $22.8 billion to global causes.

A recent study investigated how well the clean-cookstove movement is working.

Three researchers Rema Hanna of Harvard, and Esther Duflo and Michael Greenstone of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, expected to confirm the health benefits of 2,600 $12.50 mud-based, chimneyed cookstoves installed in 44 villages in India’s Orissa state.

Clean cookstoves have been shown to release fewer pollutants and burn more efficiently than traditional cooking methods in laboratory experiments. What happens in the real world?

The results in Orissa were sobering. Initially the cleaner cookstoves did reduce pollutants in the air. But the stoves broke down. Without repair, they were useless — the same problem with a hot water project a few years ago.

The Bloomberg piece isn’t negative in the least about philanthropy projects in developing countries. Rather it stresses the complexity of making these countless philanthropy projects effective.

A group that AOC profiled in 2011 is addressing this very question of broken down equipment.

Ram Rati is a leader in her community, rising above her runaway bride status and wheat grinder. Married at age 11, Rati seems to be always a take-charge woman. Rati tired of the wells in her village always breaking down and decided to take matters into her own hands. In the Indian district of Mahoba, one-third of the 4,000 drinking water wells are broken.

Rati was one of the first people to apply to WaterAid,an organization training micro-entrepreneurs in the well maintenance business in 26 countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific region. New well mechanics like Rati have fixed 300 hand pumps in 2 years, impacting the water supply of 300,000 people.

Saturday
Jun302012

Sister Simone's 'Nuns on the Bus' Hits Philadelphia | Women Win Under ACA | Obama's Women Vote 2012 Summits

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Nuns on the Bus

Just in! Anne has returned from a most emotional and moving morning with Nuns of the Bus and Sister Simone Campbell, featured in this video. AOC readers know that Sister Simone was specifically mentioned in the Vatican’s condemnation of American nuns. Follow this new AFP read ‘Nuns on the Bus’ Taking America by storm, while Anne prepares her own story.

Anti-Choicers Can’t Stop Lying About the ACA Decision Slate

For one who designates herself “pro-life” (who isn’t?), yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act should be a cause for celebration. After all, actual people with actual lives will see those lives saved, extended, and the quality of them improved. It’s estimated that 45,000 people die a year from lack of insurance, people with families and conscious points of view, who can feel pain and fear. These lives should matter if one wears the moniker “pro-life” to mean that you support life.

Obama’s ‘Women Vote 2012 Summits’

The first summit is July 1 in Denver, Colorado, one of several swing states where women will be decisive in determining the winner of the presidential election. Confirmed now are Pennsylvania, Florida, and Nevada. Anne will be attending in Philadelphia.

Issues include paycheck fairness, health care including birth control, abortion rights, and education.

Women Win Under ACA

Demonstrators in favor of the Affordable Care Act marched in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. (Saul Loeb, AFP / Getty Images)A practice that Anne knows well — “gender rating.” in which insurers can charge women higher premiums than men — without maternity coverage included — will officially end in 2014, thanks to the Supreme Court’s upholding of Obamacare. American women will receive many new benefits as the law takes effect, in this Daily Beast overview:

No Gender Discrimination

Today, women pay $1 billion more than men for identical health plans in the individual market. With no pre-existing conditions of any kind, Anne paid $1000 a month with a $2000 deductible for health insurance on the East Coast, as a self-employed person.

Finding a much better plan under Aetna after her move, Anne’s policy dropped to $327 a month, but with a $5000 deductible. The plan is generous in preventive care and includes dental insurance. Her Aetna policy was reduced after Obamacare became law. Her female design assistant also reports that her policy cost went down.

Other benefits include:

No gender-based “preexisting conditions” like not getting health insurance if a woman has had breast cancer, a Caesarean section, or as a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault. Previously, these conditions often made women uninsurable.

- No co-pay on fundamental health care services like mammograms, Pap smears and well baby services.
- Ability to see OB-GYN without a referral
- Insurers can’t deny coverage to the 17 million children with preexisting conditions.

Wednesday
Jun272012

Savannah Guthrie Headed for "Today"? | Cantor's VA Voters Poll Pro-Choice in Very Conservative District

Toni Garrn | Francois Nars | Vogue Japan August 2012 | ‘Tropical Princess’ AOC Private Studio

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

The Hollywood Reporter says that Savannah Guthrie will be named co-anchor of “Today”, replacing Ann Curry as soon as the transition to a new role for Curry can be negotiated. Simply stated, it’s all a matter of money say those who know.

Australian-born Savannah Guthrie attended the University of Arizona and Georgetown, where she earned a J.D. Guthrie has been co-hosting the third hour of Today” for the last year. She moved into that slot a year ago, leaving her post as chief legal correspondent and also a White House correspondent.

Guthrie is a brainiac! Of the 634 people taking the Arizona bar exam in July 2002, Savannah Guthrie got the highest score, according to the state Supreme Court.  She is divorced from then-BBC journalist March Orchard since 2009.

Ann Curry will be leaving the “Today Show’ but staying with NBC, say insiders.

The LA Times reported on Monday that Ann Curry may receive as much as $10 million to leave “Today”. She holds a three-year contract guaranteeing her that amount annually. The 55-year-old model of poise and grace under fire, will reportedly return as a foreign correspondent for NBC News.

Revenge of Shiny Objects

Virginia’s transvaginal untrasounds may be blowing up election dust in Eric Cantor’s face. A new poll from Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, a traditionally reliable district in America, shows “surprising vulnerabilities for Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, especially on the issue of women’s health,” writes Think Progress.

The Harrison Hickman polled voters say they would support a pro-choice candidate 68% to 23% over a pro-life candidate. The poll also called into questions the Republicans’ “it’s my way or the highway” attitude regarding working with the Obama Administration. 43% of voters say they would replace Cantor versus 41% who say they would re-elect. Cantor is running against the relatively unknown 30-year veteran and moderate Democrat Wayne Powell. 

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