U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s office says the Evanston congresswoman is fasting today to protest harmful cuts in the proposed Republican budget for 2012.

In a news release Schakowsky says she’s joining other members of Congress, faith leaders “and more than 30,000 Americans across the country in a solidarity fast to protest the draconian, reckless and mean-spirited cuts” and to “bring attention to those Americans who would be hardest hit, those who would suffer the most under the very cynical Republican vision for our nation.”

In another news release received just a few minutes later, her office announces that she will host her 10th annual “Ultimate Women’s Power Lunch” on Monday at the Hilton Chicago’s International Ballroom, with “Vagina Monologues” author Eve Ensler as the special guest.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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    1. Fast/Feast

      There's no indication she doesn't plan to eat Monday. She's only fasting today.

      — Bill

  1. It’s time to fire these spend-crazy Democrats

    Every respected economist say the same thing – the biggest threat facing America is its soaring debt.

    And now Schakowsky and Democrats whine about Republican spending cuts – Republicans want about $60 billion and the Dems want $30 billion, both of which make little to no headway in reducing the trillions of debt we now have.

    The Democrats didn't even give us a budget last year and in the past two years gave America two of the most expensive pieces of legislation in world history – the $1 trillion stimulus bill and Obamacare. They did this without reading the bills or debating them on the floor.

    Schakowsky and the Democrats have with reckless and mean-spirited disregard put our children and unborn grandchildren who will be born in serious nation-threatening debt.  And then they whine about Republican spending cuts.

    Schakowsky and Democrats think they can spend our way back to prosperity. They're dead wrong.

    Schakowsky's one-day fast and then a power lunch with the ladies is a mockery of the serious problems we face.

    I hope everyone remembers this when they vote next year. It's so serious I believe our nation's existence hangs in the balance.


  2. Reps and Dems share the blame

    We can't point the finger at only the Democrats on the budget. Both parties have their own favorite ways to spend money and for irresponsibility you can't top the G W Bush program of spending more and cutting taxes at the same time (Medicare Part D).

    I think the Tea Party folks are off the deep end on social issues and, honestly, I can't conceive of how any rational person could vote for someone like Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachman who make it a virtue to be  ignorant on the issues. Bachman says carbon dioxide can never be a problem because it is "natural". This is something you might hear from a 5th grader who hasn't been paying attention in class. They feed off of righteous indignation and anger, just like Glenn Beck and Fox News as a whole. Lots of noise and rage but no examination of the "facts" on the chalkboards. That would be boring.

    Sarah and Michelle are pretty and that's important. When you are angry, facts don't matter but it helps if you can present a nice face on that anger so it goes over easier and your appearance deflects consideration from the implications of your anger.

    Where the Tea Party folks hit home is in their determination that the Blob will not continue to grow. Both Republicans and Democrats have proven incapable of restraining the beast. The TP folks are fanatics in cutting through the usual politics of DC and hitting bone. In that they are refreshing – they make the old timers jump. It's democracy in action. The question is how long before they are absorbed by the system.

    Jan Schakowsky will always be ready to have government give you and me a hand. Her heart is gold but there has to be a limit. FINALLY, Medicare is under the microscope but, even so, anyone over 55 is exempt from any of the cuts under the Republican plan.

    Of course you probably know my concern with Israel – exempt from any cuts and always a candidate for even more U.S. funding. American exemption of Israel from any and all responsibility for what it does is, and has been, a recipe for disaster that shows no sign of ending. It's absurd to have Congress cutting benefits to Americans to the core while falling all over itself to give more to this tiny well-off foreign country, the only "ally" we have that does absolutely nothing in return for our largesse but thumb its nose at our president. I am astounded at the lack of attention to this.

    Americans would be in an uproar if the Chicago area (same population as Israel) got $3.5 billion every year from all U.S. taxpayers with no questions asked on how it was spent and everyone in Congress eager to give more. All paid up front at the beginning of the fiscal year. Any corporation, any trade group, any labor union would die to have a fraction of the power of the Israel lobby. When are we going to wake up? Jan S, Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk are top Israel cheerleaders. We Americans are fanatics on property rights but we open our wallets to a country whose specialty is throwing indigenous people off their land, has been for over 60 years and is happening as I write. Why do we put up with this hypocrisy from Congress that leaves the world aghast?

  3. Fast/Feast. Or just go away.

    Another bit of grandstanding by our favorite Democrat. So stunningly inane. How about we all get together come next election and vote her out of office, like all the other scalawags — Democrat and Republican alike — who've gotten us into this mess and who refuse to do anything, save fasting, to get us out of it.

  4. bribe the public with their own money

    It's interesting that many people today  find the current level of tax and spend, massive, growing debt levels and the endless, enfeebling collective desire to have government do everything for us so threatening. 

    Maybe Alexis de Tocqueville was prescient when he said "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's own money."

    Also, "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government.  It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.  From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy."

    For the most part I have been a supporter of democrats and looked at the likes of the Tea Party with a skeptical chuckle, believing that I was much more enlightened.  Maybe I'm wrong, maybe they are on to something very fundamentally true and I am the one missing something.    

    Again Tocqueville, "The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults."

    Maybe someone who calls a tiny 30 to 60 billion in cuts draconian, reckless and mean spirited is missing the larger more important picture.  Maybe someone who responds with a one day fast is just playing politics and can no longer be taken seriously.  Maybe that is a fault that I helped make with past votes, but that's a fault, as Alexis said, that can be repaired.

  5. Give it a rest, Jan

    Give me a break. This whole show has been about members of Congress, republicans and democrats alike, emoting and grandstanding for the benefit of their constituents. Consider that they were bickering over $38 billion or so when the federal government is running a deficit of $1 trillion per year. The amount in question is negligible. So cut the theatrics, Jan. Your long years spent in the District of Columbia have grossly inflated your sense of your own importance.

  6. Schakowsky

    The women's power luncheon is an annual event and has been scheduled for months. The choice to fast today is a spontaneous demonstration of support for the rights of women and all who are being marginalized.

  7. Streamlining Congress

    I accept this for what it is, news.  But not for one minute do I accept this position or this stance as being the problem that confronts our country.  We as American taxpayers do not pay our taxes based on what the government spends said funds on.  They tell us what they're spending our money on.   Now its come down to our elected officials squabbling amongst themselves as if we're to believe they're trying to represent us when in reality it is the separate interests that control the yeas and nays of their decisions.  I don't particularly believe that the financial operation of this government be based on agendas but on the fiscal management much as we handle our personal finances.  To come at this from your political party versus the other guys is purely  a selfish motive that does not have my support in the least.  What I would protest in a fast would be the mismanagement of our government by all who are or have been in Congress.
    John C Thomson

  8. Here’s a handy pie chart that

    Here's a handy pie chart that nicely illustrates the ridiculously small percentage of total federal spending the grandstanders in Washington were bickering about. Look at the bright side: The more time they spend engaged in pointless arguments, the less time they have for doing serious damage.

  9. Cut the defense budget

    My suggestion for balancing the budget is to cut the Defense budget by 10 per cent.  That would save 100 billion per year or 1 Trillion in 10 years.  I don't understand why this is not being discussed.

    – Dan Solomon

    1. Maybe you’d be OK with it, but …

      … I'm not sure I'd be able to sleep well at night knowing that our defense budget was now only five times that of the military expenditures of the next largest spender. 

    2. Cut Defense—but not in my district

      Most everyone would like to cut some portion of the military budget [may be different than defense, as in 'defending'] but it always seems to be in someone else's city, state, etc..

      Anyone in Congress [or the public for that matter] who proposes cutting the military should at the same time state what cuts in their district and state they would make.   What contractors of all sources, what military bases, what ship/airplane/weapons manufactures, what 'services' like accounting, medical, food supplies, etc., etc..

      Maybe then we would find who is serious and who is just making political talk.  Everyone wants something cut, as long as it does not affect their job or state/district revenue.

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