Do you think the Constitution should guarantee equal rights for men and women, or not?
It should........................................................ 91%
It should not.................................................... 4%
Not sure ......................................................... 5%
Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.Terrifying, right? Adding these words to the Constitution would lead to the end of civilization as we know it. Or, okay, maybe not the end of civilization so much as co-ed bathrooms. But it was really, really bad. If women had a Constitutional right to equality, why, they might just start demanding equal pay for equal work! And equal access to health care choices! And other horrifying, almost-civilization-ending stuff like that.
Guess what. That almost-civilization-ending notion isn't so scary to anyone but still-alive professional woman-hater Phyllis Schlafly. In fact, PPP found that just about every American believes women's equality should be guaranteed in the Constitution.
Fortunately for those 91 percent of us who aren't Schlafly, there's a bill for that, in both the House and the Senate. It's time?in fact, it's long past time?for women to finally have this basic right.
For years, the lame Republican excuse for blocking any and all comprehensive immigration reform has been a single, vapid phrase: "Secure the border first."
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) declared a comprehensive immigration bill dead on arrival if the government does not first do more to secure its borders.
"If we don't secure the borders first, we will find ourselves with another group of people who have come to this country illegally, and then we'll have to do it all over again."
We are going to secure the border first, and that's the most important thing to do, then we'll have the discussion afterwards.
It is pointless to talk about any new immigration bills that grant amnesty until we secure the border, since such bills will only encourage more illegal immigration.
?We?re going to have to secure our border first."
Well, guess what Willard? We have.
The largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the United States has come to a standstill. After four decades that brought 12 million current immigrants?more than half of whom came illegally?the net migration flow from Mexico to the United States has stopped?and may have reversed, according to a new analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center of multiple government data sets from both countries.
The standstill appears to be the result of many factors, including the weakened U.S. job and housing construction markets, heightened border enforcement, a rise in deportations, the growing dangers associated with illegal border crossings, the long-term decline in Mexico?s birth rates and changing economic conditions in Mexico.
And look at these numbers:
Apprehensions of Mexicans trying to cross the border illegally have plummeted by more than 70% in recent years, from more than 1 million in 2005 to 286,000 in 2011?a likely indication that fewer unauthorized immigrants are trying to cross. This decline has occurred at a time when funding in the U.S. for border enforcement?including more agents and more fencing?has risen sharply.
As apprehensions at the border have declined, deportations of unauthorized Mexican immigrants?some of them picked up at work or after being arrested for other criminal violations?have risen to record levels. In 2010, nearly 400,000 unauthorized immigrants?73% of them Mexicans?were deported by U.S. authorities.
So, where will the GOP move the goalposts now?
If it weren't for the fact that Mitt Romney is stonewalling on the release of his own tax returns, this statement?made during his press availability yesterday in Pennsylvania with Marco Rubio?would have been completely uninteresting:
We really haven't had a discussion yet of putting together a list or of evaluating various candidates. That?s a process where we're looking at various legal resources to help in the process, accounting staff and so forth to take a look at tax returns and things of that nature.So Mitt Romney thinks it's important to see the tax returns of potential running mates. That's reasonable, right? Sure, he could be a trusting sort of fellow, and take potential candidate at their word if they say their tax returns are clean, but it's prudent to actually check those returns himself. That's what happened in 2008 when John McCain demanded?and received?23 years worth of tax returns from Mitt Romney before selecting Sarah Palin.
The problem, though, is that now that Mitt Romney is the nominee, he's unwilling to be as forthcoming with the public as he expects his potential running mates to be with himself. If Romney has a right to know what's in his veep's tax returns, doesn't the public have a right to know what's in Romney's? If so, why limit it to just one year? What's he hiding?
In Connecticut yesterday Ann Romney, who is The Hardest Working Mom In Politics?, provided an impassioned explanation as to why she is allowing her husband, currently unemployed mild-mannered business executive Willard Mitt Romney, to leave off doing[...]
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Fox is at it again.
Franken: 'There are no death panels'Why live in reality-based America when you can live in Fox Nation, with your own facts?
(THE HILL) Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) waded into an old partisan debate Monday when he wrote that skeptics of the 2010 healthcare law might simply not have the right facts.
Former BP engineer Kurt Mix, 50, is the first individual charged in connection with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Justice Department said Tuesday. Mix was arrested on Tuesday and charged with two counts of obstruction of justice in a criminal complaint unsealed today.
Authorities allege that Mix learned that a vendor working for BP's lawyers was collecting electronic files and deleted a series of over 200 text messages on his iPhone that he exchanged with a BP supervisor. Authorities later recovered some of the texts forensically, and some of the messages indicated that BP's "Top Kill" operation was failing.
DOJ alleges that Mix deleted a text he sent on May 26, 2010 at the end of the first day of the "Top Kill" operation.TPM SLIDESHOW: Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
"Too much flowrate -- over 15,000 and too large an orific. Pumped over 12,800 bbl of mud today plus 5 separate bridging pills," Mix allegedly wrote in the text message he later deleted. "Tired. Going home and getting ready for round three tomorrow."
From a DOJ press release:
Before Top Kill commenced, Mix and other engineers had concluded internally that Top Kill was unlikely to succeed if the flow rate was greater than 15,000 barrels of oil per day (BOPD). At the time, BP's public estimate of the flow rate was 5,000 BOPD - three times lower than the minimum flow rate indicated in Mix's text.
Later, around Aug. 19, 2011, Mix allegedly deleted a sting of messages he exchanged with a BP contractor after he had received "numerous legal hold notices requiring him to preserve such data and had been communicating with a criminal defense lawyer in connection with the pending grand jury investigation of the Deepwater Horizon disaster," according to the feds.
(***The following is satire.***)
Conversations with redistricting experts aiding the Legislature in their efforts to draw new maps have uncovered the reason behind the extensive delay in completing the process: Rep. Bill Denny (R - Jackson), chairman of the House Reapportionment Committee, drew the House maps thinking the 3/5ths Compromise was still in place. Understandably, this caused major alarm when his House map was finally submitted for expert approval. The practice of placing a large number of minority voters into a small number of districts is known as "packing." Denny defended himself by saying, "It ain't packing if they're not equal to us."
Sources inside the Capitol say that Denny had relied heavily on Rep. John Moore (R - Brandon) for advice concerning the legality of the proposed lines as he was drafting them. Reached for comment, Moore defended his advice to Denny concerning the 3/5ths Compromise by saying he'd learned that from his friend Richard Barrett.
(Seriously, Rep. Bill Denny doesn't think the 3/5ths Compromise is still in place. He knows full well it isn't, as he lost several grandsons in the Civil War. The stuff about Richard Barrett, though, is not satire. He was an avowed white supremacist. Also, Barrett didn't leave half of his estate to Rep. Moore because he and Moore didn't get along.)
It's so mean of Ron Paul to keep winning. Winning is for losers. From Dave Weigel:
Not quite yet. Over the weekend, Minnesota held congressional district conventions. Now, the state's February caucus -- one of the trio of non-binding contests Santorum won early that month -- went 45 percent for Santorum, 27 percent for Paul, and only 17 percent for Romney. The Associated Press and other groups went on to estimate that Santorum would win 17 of Minnesota's delegates, Paul would win 10, and Romney 6. Wrong. Ron Paul dominated the CD conventions. According to a tweet from RNC committeewoman Pat Anderson, Paul took 20 of the 24 delegates available in the CDs.
I first met the Barenaked Ladies even before someone shot the funky video above. "If I Had $1,000,000" was on their first album, Gordon but American media showed no interest in the song, the album or the band. The band, undaunted by their lack of success, kept playing shows and building a grassroots following across America. I remember, several years-- and several albums-- later bringing a program director from a radio station in Columbus, Ohio to a concert. It was in the city's biggest indoor concert venue, the Celeste Center, and the 10,200 tickets had all sold out in advance. The program director was stunned. "How could this be happening in my city without us even knowing about it?" he wondered aloud. His station helped "break" the band-- at least to the mainstream. But it was the grassroots and the hard work that really broke the Barenaked Ladies even before the 1998 platinum smash hit "One Week" from Stunt.
Dr. David Gill and author and activist Norman Solomon have been working the grassroots angle for a very long time. And both are on the verge of national prominence. When I asked Ed Robertson if it would be OK for me to give away the beautiful Fender Strat all the members of the band has signed and given to me when I retired from Warner Bros, he replied immediately, "Happy to help out the ailing American political system wherever we can!"
So... I gave Blue America and Progressive Democrats of America the guitar and Blue America and PDA are going to give it away to a randomly-selected donor on a new Act Blue page, If I Had A Million Dollars. This is the letter we sent out to all the Blue America members last night:
If I had a million dollars
If I had a million dollars
I'd buy you a fur coat
But not a real fur coat-- that's cruel
If I had a million dollars
If I had a million dollars
I'd buy you an exotic pet
Like a llama or an emu
To each his own. Blue America and Progressive Democrats of America have something different in mind for a million dollars-- helping elect two of the most outstanding progressive candidates running for office anywhere this cycle, Norman Solomon in California and Dr. David Gill in Illinois. But both organizations are grassroots groups and neither one of us-- nor even both of us together-- has a million dollars. Instead we have a beautiful Fender stratocaster guitar that has been autographed by each member of the Barenaked Ladies. Would you like that... instead of an emu?
We need to raise some money to help Norman and David win their tough races. David has already won a difficult primary against a conservative, Machine-backed Democrat, who finally conceded Friday. Now he'll face whomever the GOP Machine forces down Republicans' throats. Norman still has a primary ahead of him-- and if he comes out in the top two, as is expected, he'll face off against a more Establishment character for a seat in Congress.
David is in an open Democratic-leaning district, so as long as he can get his message out, he's likely to win in November. And Norman's district is one of the most Democratic and progressive districts anywhere in America. Both candidates have been endorsed by both PDA and Blue America. This is the first time our two groups have ever gotten together for a fundraising effort. If you contribute any amount to these two candidates on this ActBlue page you could be the lucky winner of the Barenaked Ladies guitar.
It doesn't matter if you donate $10 or $1,000. Everyone has an equal chance to win the guitar. Just go to this page any time this week and donate to both the candidates. At the end of this week we'll pick one person at random and send him or her the very special Barenaked Ladies thank you gift-- the beautiful Fender Stratocaster guitar autographed by each member of the Barenaked Ladies (shown in photo, above).
A new Public Policy Polling poll shows that support for North Carolina’s discriminatory Amendment One continues to fall, standing now at 54 percent down from 58 percent a month ago. Opposition is also at its highest at 40 percent, but many voters are still confused about just what the Amendment does, with 10 percent believing it actually legalizes same-sex marriage instead of banning all same-sex marriage, civil unions, and domestic partners. The Campaign to Protect All NC Families just launched two new ads that warn of the risks Amendment One poses to domestic partnerships. Early voting is already underway with the official vote on May 8, just two weeks away.