Female Senators Account for Changing Armed Services Committee

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What is the effect of record numbers of women on Capitol Hill? More congressional purses, the New York Times noted this weekend, and more purse boys to carry them! Happily, the Times also reports it means more female representation on powerful, historically macho committees: a 65 percent increase on Appropriations, Armed Services, Finance, and Foreign Relations over the last decade. The women may account for the military’s newfound urgency in tackling its long-standing plague of sexual assault.

Though the topic was previously brought up by Florida senator Bill Nelson and Maine senator Susan Collins, the Times reports, it didn’t take root. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Claire McCaskill began asking questions during hearings and publicly excoriating military officials, eliciting even harsher remarks from the president.

On traditional military topics such as the defense budget and weapons procurement and development, women still follow the lead of committee men (who acquired expertise from a kind of military experience restricted, until recently, to their gender), but their presence forces the committee to prioritize the human cost of war. “The men asked all the questions about ships, hardware, that sort of thing,” Gillibrand told the Times, of her work on the House Armed Services Committee. “We asked why divorce and suicide rates were so high.” Plus, their presence demonstrates feminism as an American value to other parts of the world. “When we travel to Afghanistan and the Middle East and there are women senators there, it really sends a strong message to the world that this is what we stand for. This is what we have,” Senator Kelly Ayotte told the Times.

Sometimes it's obvious what a crook is going to steal if they get the chance, but there are also things you'd be surprised to find out are targeted by thieves.

If you had to venture a guess, what would you say was the most commonly targeted item by crooks?

For the past four weeks, we kept track of police reports to see what's being stolen in Mobile.

We used a very simple technique, but one that drives home the facts. I just chose the top 12 most common items I saw in the reports and you can see money is the most common thing stolen. Now you may be wondering about more specific information like where these were in the home or how thieves got in, however police reports weren't very specific when it came to that information.

Second on the list was cell phones followed by purses and wallets then computers and miscellaneous electronics.

Most people were spot on, guessing things like wallets, money or cell phones being stolen. But there are several things people don't normally think about that are stolen every day like lawn mowers, air conditioning units, mailboxes, refrigerators, and even dogs.

While you can't safeguard everything, Ashley Rains with Mobile police says the key to keeping your personal items safe are just being aware of your surroundings.

"Pulling your wallet out of your purse, or your cell phone if you happen to have a desirable cell phone, you know, pulling that out when you're not absolutely certain of your environment can be hazardous sometimes," says Rains.

A good tip to keep in mind if your bank cards are ever stolen—be pro-active and write down the phone numbers on the back of the cards since those are the numbers you'll need to call to report them missing and to put a hold on your account so the thief can't access your money.


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