Republicans may be hypocrites on a lot of issues, but equal pay is not one of them. They don't believe in it, and they don't practice it. Female Republican House staffers make, on average, $10,093 less than male Republican House staffers. By contrast, the wage gap for Democratic House staffers is $1,473?not parity, but, at 97 cents on the dollar, closer than you'll find almost anywhere.
That must be fun, being a woman working for a House Republican to block equal pay legislation, knowing that you are living your principles every day when you go to work. Sure, your boss is liable to be closeted or an adulterer or a deadbeat dad, but on this issue, you can have some purity. It may come as a little bit of a disappointment that a key reason women earn less in Republican offices is that they tend to have lower-ranking jobs than men, not that they're paid less than men doing the same jobs. But hey, you can't have it all and keeping women low in the hierarchy is a good Republican value. No reason to promote people who are just going to leave when they get married and start having babies, amiright?
The Democrat-Republican divide in the Senate isn't as broad, with Republican women earning $9,805 less than Republican men and Democratic women earning $4,916 less than Democratic men.
I've been on something of a tear toward the Governor of our fine state for over a month now, ever since the state Democratic convention, where he gave me the standard "we're looking at all the bills carefully" non-answer to my question about Senate Bill 749 in the press gaggle after his speech, and I have made my displeasure with him known via my Facebook page -- and his -- calling him out almost daily for his foot-dragging; pointing out that elections are won by people who phone bank and canvass and volunteer in the office and answer the phone and make the coffee. . .you know, the jobs that women do in campaigns.
Today, as time was running out, he finally busted out the veto pen:
Gov. Jay Nixon today vetoed a bill (SB749) that would have allowed employers and insurers to decide not to provide coverage for abortion, contraception or sterilization if such procedures run contrary to their religious beliefs or moral convictions.
The governor said Missouri law already provides "strong religious protections" that let employers and employees abstain from paying for contraceptive coverage based on their beliefs.
Nothing in the bill passed by the Missouri Legislature "would enhance these substantive religious protections that have been in place and afforded to employees and employers," the governor said in his veto message.
In fact, he said the bill would undermine current law because it would let an insurance company "impose its will, and deny inclusion of contraceptive coverage, even if that position is inconsistent with the rights and beliefs of the employee or employer."
I'm still kinda pissed that it took him two months to veto it, and had all but given up hope, figuring he was going to take the cowards way out and let it become law without his signature, so I am pleasantly surprised by the last-minute show of courage.
But I'm also a woman of my word. So I will be phone-banking and canvassing and doing the grunt work that wins campaigns because if Nixon isn't returned to office, this piece of misogynistic crap will be resurrected next session, and his opponent would sign it with great fanfare, probably in the sanctuary of an evangelical mega-church.
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Actually, that's at least $50 million. This is relying on a CBS calculation that the House?with a schedule created by Republicans?has spent a solid two weeks, 80 hours, of floor time on the bill. According to CRS, the floor time for Republican Speaker John Boehner's House costs $24 million per week. Two full weeks of floor time is $48 million. (As if the Republican House operated on a regular eight-hour day work schedule.) That 80 hours would certainly be spread out across more than two weeks. Add to that the committee time, the staff time, and the price tag for the Republicans' massive waste of time has to be well over $50 million.
And Republicans want to spend more time and money spinning their wheels! Here's Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN):
?We got a big showcase of what?s about to come this fall because we?re holding on to the House, having Romney plus 50 in the Senate,? the Minnesota Republican said on ?On the Record with Greta van Susteren.? ?This was the appetizer, the foretaste. This shows that we actually will do it. We?re putting muscle behind our words.?Bachmann and Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) are also pushing leadership "for a commitment to cut off funding to government agencies that administer the health law." And Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) promises:
?I think we?ll do a lot more? to advance the repeal effort, said Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) ?We?re doing more hearings? so that the contrast is drawn, that the American people know who?s fighting for patients and that?s the Republican Party.?Republicans flushing more and more taxpayer dollars down the toilet. And that's just on the House side. Senate Minority Leader is promising to gum up the Senate works more in an attempt to get a repeal vote onto the floor in that chamber. They've got to cost us at least as much as the House.
These are the people who care so much about the deficit? Right.
Shock: Romney finger points in different direction than Romney nose (Richard Carson/Reuters)Mitt Romney yesterday on Fox, as quoted by Jeff Zeleny and Ashley Parker of the New York Times:
?If you?re responding, you?re losing,? Mr. Romney told Fox News on Wednesday, his voice betraying no air of concern.But as Zeleny and Parker note, Mitt Romney today launched a new television ad responding to the attacks on his record at Bain ... which I guess means Mitt Romney thinks he's losing.
We can assume that Fed action taken in August will be muted and incomplete and not nearly enough to grow the economy. And that will be by design. The Fed doesn't want growth. That might impact the only mandate they care about.[...]
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The evidence shows that these four men also knew about a 1998 criminal investigation of Sandusky relating to suspected sexual misconduct with a young boy in a Penn State football locker room shower. Again, they showed no concern about that victim. The evidence shows that Mr. Paterno was made aware of the 1998 investigation of Sandusky, followed it closely, but failed to take any action, even though Sandusky had been a key member of his coaching staff for almost 30 years, and had an office just steps away from Mr. Paterno?s. At the very least, Mr. Paterno could have alerted the entire football staff, in order to prevent Sandusky from bringing another child into the Lasch Building. Messrs. Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley also failed to alert the Board of Trustees about the 1998 investigation or take any further action against Mr. Sandusky. None of them even spoke to Sandusky about his conduct. In short, nothing was done and Sandusky was allowed to continue with impunity. – Louis Freeh
THE FREEH REPORT is out.
From the Daily Beast’s Diane Diamond:
Freeh, speaking after release of his team?s 200-pagereport, was more decisive. ?Penn State failed to implement the provisions of the Clery Act, a 1990 federal law that requires the collecting and reporting of the crimes such as Sandusky committed on campus in 2001.? Freeh added that on the day of Sandusky?s arrest, ?Penn State?s Clery Act implementation plan was still in draft form,? despite the fact that then-President Graham Spanier had held his post since 1995. (Punishment for violation of the act, named for Jeanne Clery, a Lehigh University freshman who was raped and murdered in her campus residence in 1986, is $27,500 per violation and the possible suspension from participating in federal student-aid programs.)
However, following a Pennsylvania jury?s overwhelming finding that Sandusky was guilty of 45 of 48 sex crimes, the most confounding non-development is why Penn State has taken no steps to make good on its verdict-night pledge to set up a response system ?The purpose of the program is simple?the university wants to provide a forum where the university can privately, expeditiously and fairly address the victims’ concerns and compensate them for claims relating to the university.” Penn State?s public-relations team took pains to make sure that promissory statement was included in the media?s late night verdict reports on June 22.
How Joe Paterno lived with himself I don’t know, but it’s not a far stretch to say once the grave evil of Jerry Sandusky broke wide, what he knew just might have killed him.
Dark Money is flooding Massachusetts from Republican SuperPACs hoping to bolster a sagging Scott Brown. Reelecting him is key to their rush to capture the Senate. His #1 source of money is Wall Street-- $2,007,950 for this cycle as of March 31-- and 66% of his contributions come from large donors. He's raised $12,081,296 so far and has $14,911,165 on hand. Elizabeth Warren has outraised him-- $15,842,403-- and 97% of her contributions come from individual donors. Banksters and oil companies aren't giving to her, just to him. Yesterday's Boston Globe did a serious analysis of their respective plans for deficit reduction and found his ideas pretty laughable and hers likely to trim 67% off the debt that the Austerity crap Brown and Grover Norquist have worked out.
Scott Brown: Obsessed with royalty
Democrat Elizabeth Warren would impose higher taxes on top earners, end oil subsidies, and raise estate taxes to cut the federal deficit. Senator Scott Brown would repeal President Obama?s health law, freeze federal pay, and consolidate redundant federal agencies.
Warren would not touch entitlements, while Brown would not touch taxes.
In response to a request from the Globe, the two competitors in the nation?s most high-profile Senate battle provided five ideas for bridging the nation?s $1.2 trillion deficit, with the results highlighting why the problem has deadlocked Washington. The candidates were also asked to explain what cuts they would make to entitlement programs, and to describe how they would raise more revenue.
Though Brown has made the deficit a larger issue in his campaign, an analysis prepared for the Globe by a nonpartisan group showed that responses offered by Warren, and positions taken on her website, would trim 67 percent more from the debt over 10 years than those offered by Brown.
Although the questions posed by the Globe provide a meaningful sample of the candidates? views on the budget, they do not represent a complete plan. In fact, neither candidate has offered a comprehensive proposal to confront the problem.
The Globe asked three think tanks to review the candidates? answers. One of them, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget Project, a bipartisan group, provided a detailed fiscal breakdown.
The nation?s budget deficit has been identified by many voters, analysts, and political leaders as a priority. It has also been the source of significant gridlock in Washington, nearly paralyzing the economy last summer when talks over the debt repeatedly broke down.
Apart from a repeal of President Obama?s health care overhaul, Brown told the Globe he would consolidate federal programs identified as redundant by the Government Accounting Office, such as several food safety and homeland security programs. Warren would let the Bush tax cuts expire for those earning at least $250,000 a year, and raise estate taxes to their 2009 levels. She would also impose the so-called Buffett Rule, which would require those earning more than $1 million to pay a 30 percent effective tax rate.
Both candidates said they would cut or eliminate agricultural subsidies. They would also reduce defense spending, which in Warren?s case would mean an accelerated exit from Afghanistan, for a savings estimated by the committee at $36 billion. She did not outline a time frame. Brown would stick to the current timeline for withdrawal, and would also cut nonwar defense spending, such as a widely criticized missile system designed to replace the Patriot missile. His cuts are estimated to save $100 billion over 10 years.
?Deficits exist because politicians are addicted to spending other people?s money,? Brown said in a statement included with his response to the Globe.
Improving the economy will reduce the deficit, he added.
Warren said in her response that ?Our first response should be to change the policies that got us here in the first place: end the Bush tax cuts on people earning more than $250,000; end the war in Afghanistan; and take steps to make sure Wall Street can never again bring our economy to its knees.?
Brown has decried spending in Washington and the inability of the two parties to find common ground. He has voted in favor of a balanced budget amendment and the so-called ?Cut, Cap, and Balance? bill which would have sliced $111 billion from this year?s budget by imposing deep cuts, and would significantly limit future spending. The analysis does not factor in the Cut, Cap and Balance proposals because the bill did not specify where those cuts would be made. Democrats argue that the bill?s tough provisions would gut entitlement programs.
Brown has also signed the no-new-taxes pledge put forth by activist Grover Norquist, but said on his website that he is ?open to raising revenues by closing loopholes as part of comprehensive tax reform so long as it results in lower rates for everyone and doesn?t just grow government.?
Warren has argued for what Democrats characterize as tax fairness, saying that requires the wealthy to pay more. She has also proposed several unspecified additional spending programs, including money for transportation, energy, and education.
The analysis performed by the budget project committee showed that Warren?s ideas would trim $1.029 trillion from the nation?s projected debt and interest over the next decade. Brown?s ideas would reduce the debt and interest by $614.4 billion over the same period, according to the analysis.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget Project was founded in 1981 by two former US House members, Connecticut Democrat Robert Giaimo and Oklahoma Republican Henry Bellmon, and its current board includes prominent deficit hawks from the Reagan and Clinton administrations.
The group estimated that Congress would need to chop at least $4.5 to $5 trillion in deficit spending and interest costs in the next decade to begin stabilizing the national debt in a serious way.
?Neither one of them have proposals in their responses to you that come anywhere near tackling that problem,? said Jeff Vanke, senior policy analyst for the committee, who conducted the analysis.
Robert L. Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan deficit reduction group, said Brown offered a response that is inadequate in recognizing the need for more revenues and that Warren, who would not entertain any changes to Social Security or Medicare, offered a response that is inadequate in addressing the need for entitlement cuts.
?They?re both a good reflection of their party?s basic positions, and also a good reflection of why it?s so difficult to do anything about this problem,? said Bixby, whose group was founded by senators Warren Rudman, a Republican, and Paul Tsongas, the late Democrat.
Brown, though he said he sees a long-term problem in entitlement spending, offered few specifics on which changes he would embrace, calling the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan ?a good starting point for such a discussion.?
?Neither one of them is really answering what should the size of government be, and what is the level of overall taxation,? said David Walker, former comptroller of the United States who is the founder and chief executive of Comeback America Initiative, a nonpartisan fiscal group.
Bixby said both candidates leaned heavily on politically safe proposals, rather than taking on larger, more politically difficult spending projects or tax increases. Brown and Warren, for example, found rare agreement in their support for eliminating farm subsidies, which are guarded fiercely by Midwestern farm states but tend to be less critical in the Northeast.
Vanke, citing government reports, estimated that the farm subsidy cuts proposed by Warren would save $50 billion over 10 years and the slightly larger cuts supported by Brown would save $56 billion.
?They?re probably not big on cutting back on Amtrak subsidies,? which are far more important to the Northeastern economy but are less popular in other regions of the country, Bixby said. ?If your state doesn?t get agricultural subsidies you can whack the heck out of them.?
Though Vanke?s analysis showed Warren?s deficit reduction agenda does more to reduce debt than Brown?s, there is debate about the effect of repealing Obama?s health care law, a primary focus for Brown. Warren supports the law.
Brown, in answering the Globe?s questions, sees the bill as more costly than does the Obama administration. He pointed to several estimates that the legislation will have a considerably larger pricetag, including an unofficial estimate from a former Congressional Budget Office director that the bill will cost more than a half a trillion dollars over the next decade.
Vanke, relying on data from the budget office, estimated that repealing the law would add $119 billion to deficits over the next 10 years.
Brown?s other proposals, including freezing federal pay, would save about $40 billion over 10 years while his support for changing malpractice laws to reduce judgments is estimated to save $67 billion.
Warren finds the bulk of her deficit reduction-- $941 billion-- by letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those earning $250,000 a year and by raising estate taxes to their 2009 levels. She would also collect about $46 billion in new taxes by imposing the Buffett Rule. Brown has argued that tax increases would stunt economic growth.
Apparently this is real, the local media covered it and interviewed them. This part of the story seems to prove Darwin's "Natural Selection" theory of evolution:The story doesn't stop with the shark getting away because Hughes and Moore along with their relative Dylan caught the shark again using chum as bait."We had to use the boat. It was exciting," said Moore.But like a scene from...
ABC’s Bill Blakemore has a 5-part interview of the most vindicated climate scientist in America, Michael Mann. All 5 videos are posted below with links to their transcripts.
Mann discusses climate science and the ongoing “efforts to intimidate climate scientists and create confusion about their findings.” Mann is author of a terrific new book, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches From the Front Lines.
Science writer Chris Mooney put it well in his review of the book, “A Decade Ago, Conservatives Attacked a Scientist?And Created a Leader.”
Here are the videos:
Part 1 — “ ?New McCarthyism? Described by Climate Scientist Michael Mann” (transcript here):
Part 2 — “Climate Denialists Worse Than Tobacco CEOs Lying Under Oath, Says Mann” (transcript here):
Part 3 — “Climate Denialists Would Be Remembered as Villains, Says Mann” (transcript here):
Part 4 — “Unprecedented Crisis for Humanity ? But There?s Hope” (transcript here):
Part 5 — “New dangers of geo-engineering, and grave need to act in time, says Mann” (transcript here):
Today, the House Agriculture Committee approved the final version of the 2012 farm bill, complete with its draconian cuts for families struggling to put food on the table. The proposed bill cuts $35 billion from the federal food and nutrition budget, about $16.5 billion of which come from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — more commonly known as SNAP or food stamps.
The cuts work by eliminating “categorical eligibility,” which provides assistance to families whose assets or income put them slightly above the technical line for SNAP eligibility. Repealing categorical eligibility means that between two and three million Americans will lose access to food stamps and roughly 280,000 children will drop out of their automatic enrollment in the free lunch program at school. So the House bill has anti-hunger advocates up in arms:
?With the economy being in such bad shape, depriving that many people of nutritional assistance is going to have a devastating effect,? said Eric Olsen, [Feeding Hunger]?s senior vice president of government relations and public policy.
One needs simply to look to the story of Dorothy Moon, a stay-at-home mother in Texas who depends on food stamps to feed her six children while her male partner looks for new work, to understand Olsen’s point. Of course, some in the GOP want to ignore “sob stories” about the plight of people who struggle to put food on the table.