by Juliana Birnbaum Fox
Bush’s veto means loss of health care coverage for California kids
According to the California HealthCare Foundation, the President’s proposal to reduce the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) cuts up to $739 million over the next five years in California alone – eliminating coverage for nearly 775,000 California children.
“I am deeply disappointed because without additional funding, hundreds of thousands of California children could lose health care coverage, which will only make our broken health care system worse,” of SCHIP, Governor Schwarzenegger said of the President’s veto of legislation that would have funded a 5-year reauthorization of the program.
The legislation vetoed by President Bush last week would have provided coverage of children up to 300% of federal poverty level at state discretion, achieving one of the Governor’s health care reform goals.
Democrats offer legislative plan to reduce foreclosure epidemic
Congressional leaders including Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered a plan this week to stem the rising tide of home foreclosures created by the subprime mortgage market crisis. The House and Senate leaders, along with the Chairs of the Senate Banking, House Financial Services and Joint Economic Committees presented a plan that includes increasing federal funding for foreclosure prevention and temporarily raising the portfolio caps on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The leaders also called on the President to appoint a special advisor to oversee and coordinate the federal government’s response to the mortgage meltdown.
“The subprime crisis is a national economic emergency and it is a very personal tragedy for millions of families,” Pelosi stated. “We hope the President will join us and take immediate action that will help prevent additional foreclosures and allow for more American families to keep their homes.”
CIA veterans call the official account of 9/11 into question
“I think at simplest terms, there’s a cover-up. The 9/11 Report is a joke,” said Raymond McGovern, 27-year veteran of the CIA, who chaired National Intelligence Estimates during the seventies. “There are a whole bunch of unanswered questions. And the reason they’re unanswered is because this administration will not answer the questions,” he said. McGovern is one of many signers of a petition to reinvestigate 9/11.
Upon retirement in 1990, McGovern was awarded the CIA’s Intelligence Commendation Medallion and received a letter of appreciation from then President George H. W. Bush. However, McGovern returned the award in 2006 in protest of the current George W. Bush Administration’s advocacy and use of torture. Six other CIA veterans have severely criticized the official account of 9/11 and have called for a new investigation.
Senator Feinstein sponsors bill on gang prevention
The U.S. Senate approved comprehensive gang legislation last week, sponsored by Senator Feinstein, that would provide more than $1 billion in funding for successful gang prevention programs and create tough federal penalties to deter and punish members of illegal street gangs.
This bill authorizes $411.5 million in new federal funding for prevention and intervention programs, $270 million for major increases to witness protection programs, and provides funding for collaborative law enforcement efforts and prosecutions.
New Spanish-language cable channel in the Bay Area
Last week, KQED and Comcast began broadcasting V-me (see me), a new channel with dynamic programming that aims to entertain, educate and inspire local Latinos. V-me will be available at Comcast KQED 191 and 621; and in digital channels at KQED 9.4, KTEH 54.4 (San Jose), and KQET 25.4 (Monterey).