Senate Republicans derailed a Democratic bill Wednesday curbing paycheck discrimination against women, an effort that even in defeat Democrats hoped would pay political dividends in this fall’s congressional elections.
Wednesday’s vote was 53-44 to halt GOP tactics aimed at derailing the legislation, but that fell seven short of the 60 votes Democrats needed to prevail.
The outcome on the Senate floor was not a surprise, but Democrats were playing to a wider audience.
With public opinion polls showing Democratic voters less enthusiastic than Republicans this year, Democrats aimed the measure at women, who historically lean more toward their party than men. They were also casting the issue as a crucial one for the middle class because so many families rely on female wage-earners — and promised to revisit it before Election Day.
The Iowa primary is going earthy early this year. First of all, Joni Ernest, Republican state senator from Iowa, gave her state a “let’s make ‘em squeal” commercial. In a well-done political ad, she gave her prospective constituency a brief bio, telling them that she grew up on a farm castrating pigs so she knew how to slice and dice pork. Now we have Bob Quast threatening to blow someone’s “balls off” if they come to his door to harm his daughters. Quast’s sister was apparently murdered by a sexual predator.
Will this kind of bluntness attract voters? Does a filters-off ad appeal more to voters? Maybe in Iowa. I think Washington, DC is a little too pristine and white glove for this type of ad. How about the kids who might hear these commercials. Is it sending a good signal?
Do we want our politics to have this violent of an image? Finally, is there anything we can do about it even if we object? Voting with your remote seems like great over-simplification.
Quast is running as an independent. Ernest is a Republican. I can only speculate what the Democratic opponent will come up with.
One of the best re-caps of yesterday’s BOCS meeting can be found at the Bristow Beat. Stacy Shaw did a great job of summarizing the very long meeting as well as using citizen profiles and quotes to encapsulate the various points of view represented. In fact, the Virginia Press Association named Bristow Beat the best in Breaking News Writing in the online-only category at their annual awards banquet last Saturday night. Congratulations, Bristow Beat!
Perhaps the most refreshing part of Stacy’s write-up was the air of neutrality. I saw none of the bias one usually associates with local news, whether it is blog related or actual online or print media. Yes, we expect blogs to portray bias. That is sort of the point of a blog. But all too often the actual online news sources can’t seem to resist showing their colors. It is just darn difficult to find your news without an infusion of commentary.
One of the most touching parts of the meeting was listening to people speak to the needs of the Prince William Free Clinic. It literally is a lifesaver for people who do not have health coverage and who might not have the out of pocket funds to get medical and dental treatment. Not everyone gets Medicaid, especially men. Where would these people be without the free clinic? Hopefully, Ray B. will come along and enlighten us about who really does qualify for Medicaid in Virginia. This illumination will be helpful when we listen to our state legislators argue the need for expanding Medicaid for 400,000 Virginians.
Meanwhile, be sure to read Stacy Shaw’s article covering the most recent Board of Supervisors meeting. Keep up the good work, Stacy.
Maureen Dowd, columnist for the New York Times, whether you agree with her or not, is probably one of the most talented opinion writers in America today. She had the following to say in her April 8, 2014 column entitled “Jeb in the Vortex:” (nytimes.com)
Some of those close to Jeb say he’s serious about running and bringing back a civil tone to Republican politics. Others say he needs to act as though he’s running to keep his speaking fees high and options open. Rush Limbaugh thinks Jeb’s “act of love” comment was a gambit to tick off the Tea Party and “get the conservative backlash to him out of the way.”
Jeb thinks Republicans have lost their way. He may soon learn that a lot of conservatives think they have found their way — and it’s not the joyful, loving, government-can-be-a-force-for-good way. It’s the mean, cruel, gut-the-government way.
When this crowd thinks of a Thousand Points of Light, they’re thinking of torches as they march toward the Capitol.
Is Jeb right and have Republicans lost their way? It appears that many have done exactly that. The Republicans of yore were kinder, gentler and didn’t carry torches and pitchforks, as a rule.
By now, everyone has seen Jeb Bush utter those fateful words about illegal immigrants committing an act of love. I think Bush is correct. I also believe he was correct in stating that 40% of our illegal immigrant problem is because of folks over-staying their visas. He is correct that our government should know about this as it is happening and that the problem should be dealt with then.
A bill that would have codified the rights of students to pray, participate in religious activities or wear faith-themed clothing on public school property at public events was vetoed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe Friday.
The school prayer-bill veto of Senate Bill 236, the third of McAuliffe’s term, followed a recent veto of a similarly themed bill governing prayer by chaplains in the Virginia National Guard.
Sponsored by state Sen. Charles W. Carrico Sr., R-Grayson, the legislation would have required every school system to have a policy allowing students to make religious speeches at any school event in which students are allowed to speak. It also would have removed the liability of school systems for allowing religious speech by having administrators offer disclaimers that student views are not endorsed by the school division.
Supporters said the legislation would protect religious liberty. But the governor disagreed.
President Jimmy Carter blasted the role money has played in worsening the tone in Washington, and said the Supreme Court ruling last week has “exacerbated” the problems.
In a wide-ranging interview, Carter said Washington had experienced a “sea change” since when he was in office.
“There was a spirit of harmony there, friendship. … All of these things are gone, primarily due to a stupid decision that the Supreme Court made on Citizens United and that they exacerbated this past week with another ruling,” Carter said Friday. “And this massive infusion of almost unrestricted money going into the political campaign, a lot of it is spent just on negative commercials to tear down the reputation of your opponent and that polarization that occurs, that didn’t exist when I ran for office.”
Do we want rich people deciding the outcome of our elections? Is this latest Supreme Court decision the ultimate in “money talks and bull sh!t walks?” I have only seen politics become more rancorous and vicious since Citizens United was decided. The acrimony is seen in local politics, state politics and nationally.
Jimmy Carter is right. The comradery that used to exist when he was in office is no more.
The makeshift American flag, made 69 years ago from bedsheets, was a symbol of defiance, perseverance and patriotism to the American prisoners of war who were beaten, tortured and starved by their Japanese captors at the Omori POW Camp during World War II.
Richmond native James “Denny” Landrum, an electrician’s mate first class who had just turned 20 when captured, was among them.
He and his fellow submariners of the USS Grenadier were taken prisoner after their ship was attacked and eventually scuttled on April 22, 1943, off Penang, Malaysia.
Landrum eventually made it home. But the flag he helped to secretly create and later waved in an iconic photograph taken as he and his fellow POWs were liberated on Aug. 29, 1945, vanished over time.
It appears that several of the BOCS took out after the Prince William County School Board with a vengeance. Jim Livingston, PWEA president, said it best when he “suggested that supervisors are more concerned with political posturing than about the needs of the school system.”
Yet those stark numbers didn’t keep some supervisors from grilling Johns and David Cline, associate superintendent for finance and support services, about why the school system isn’t doing more to lower class sizes – a topic both boards discussed during three joint board meetings held over the summer and fall.
During those meetings, supervisors asked Superintendent Steve Walts to come up with a plan to begin lowering class sizes. Walts presented a $3.5 million plan to lower class numbers in kindergarten, sixth and ninth grades, but said the school system would need extra money from the county to fund the changes.
But when supervisors failed to offer any extra funds, the school board scaled back their plans to only sixth-grade. Supervisors offered no sign Tuesday that any extra money would be coming from the county to lower class sizes next year – but that didn’t keep them from hammering school board members for not doing more.
Listen to Jim Livingston, president of the Prince William Education Association. Jim knows that Prince William County has been operating on the cheap for years. He knows that he and his colleagues have not received competitive compensation for years. Jim also knows that class size counts. These issues must be addressed this year. Will the advertised tax rate suffice in fixing PWCS’s operating on the cheap problem? No. Not even close but it is a start.
Prince William Education Association has been sounding the alarm about salaries and class size for quite some time. This is not a new phenomena and the local association has been vigilant about asking for these measures to be corrected. Yet, if one glances about the blogosphere, one would think that a certain blog from Gainesville discovered the problem, all by their lonesome. Teachers have been insulted and accused of being led around by the school board. Nothing could be further from the truth.
A shooting at the Fort Hood military installation in Texas has left at least four people dead, including the gunman, and more than a dozen were injured, according to authorities.
The gunman, identified by multiple government sources as Army Specialist Ivan Lopez, took his own life, officials said.
Lopez, 33, of Kileen, Tex., was wearing an Army uniform at the time of the shooting, Michael McCaul (R-Tex.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told reporters.
Four people were taken to Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Tex., and another two are being brought there, said Glen Couchman, the facility’s chief medical officer. Their injuries that “range from stable to quite critical,” he said.
The conservative minds of the Heritage Foundation have found a way for Republicans to shrink the gender gap: They need to persuade more women to get their MRS degrees.
The advocacy group held a gathering of women of the right Monday afternoon to mark the final day of Women’s History Month — and the consensus was that women ought to go back in history. If Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg’s mantra is “lean in,” these women were proposing that women lean back: get married, take care of kids and let men earn the wages.
“We’re gathered to celebrate Women’s History Month but I don’t celebrate Women’s History Month,” announced writer Mona Charen, one of the panelists. “It doesn’t interest me whether a person who happens to share my chromosomes sits in the Oval Office. It doesn’t interest me how many women members of the Senate there are.”
The Blogger’s Code of Conduct is a proposal by Tim O’Reilly for bloggers to enforce civility on their blogs by being civil themselves and moderating comments on their blog. The code was proposed in 2007 due to threats made to blogger Kathy Sierra. The idea of the code was first reported by BBC News, who quoted O’Reilly saying, “I do think we need some code of conduct around what is acceptable behaviour, I would hope that it doesn’t come through any kind of regulation it would come through self-regulation.”
Thom Satterlee, a local community activist, attempted to lead an effort to secede from Snohomish County. He didn’t like the land use restrictions and many other things dished out by local government. One has to wonder how that worked out for him in the past couple of days. Thom and his wife are among the missing in the giant landslide in Washington State.
Among those missing in the landslide that devastated a small Washington community is the leader of a group that sought to secede from Snohomish County over land-rights issues, including whether government could restrict property owners from building in risky or environmentally sensitive areas like the one buried by the slide.
Thom Satterlee, 65, and his wife, Marlese, 61, both are missing from their home in the community of Oso in the wake of Saturday’s landslide, which spewed tons of mud and debris over homes scattered along the Stillaquamish River. A daughter, Andrea Hulme, did not respond to an interview request from NBC News, but a message on her answering machine said, “My parents are missing in the mudslide.”