Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Catnip 6/19/12: Michigan Women Rock


The USS Potomac, FDR's "Floating White House". It's docked down at Jack London Square, in that homage to socialism we call Oakland.

How about them Michigan women? Give it up for my homegirls, people...

Lookit my Senator go. Debbie Stabenow is about to achieve the impossible and get the Farm Bill through the Senate. But first, we must have the nonsense: "In a major breakthrough, the Senate approved a sweeping consent agreement Monday night that clears the way for action on the farm bill this week after what promises to be a marathon series of votes on about 73 amendments — including several non-germane proposals demanded by Republicans." The words "geniune triumph" are used in the article. Chances are the House will totally mangle it when it hits that chamber, but still. Cheers to the Junior Senator from Michigan.

Lookit my state legislators and protesters go. So, so proud of the turnout for Eve Ensler and The Vagina Monologues down at the Capitol yesterday. And please don't forget the big picture here - this is not about the use of a word, this is about saving women's lives. Rochelle Riley at the Freep has a powerful piece from a woman who remembers the Dark Ages before abortion was legal, and she sums it up like this: "I watched women die." Voters, Remember this November. (Oh, and Mlive? Both Susan Tusa at the Freep and Dale Young at the News show you why it's important to keep professional still photographers on staff. Just an observation.)

It's official: GOP obstruction in Congress is hurting the economy. "Companies are starting to delay hiring and spending out of concern that Congress won’t reach a compromise in time to avoid automatic tax increases and budget cuts that would pull billions of dollars of purchasing power out of the economy. Faced with a so-called fiscal cliff of more than $600 billion in higher taxes and reductions in defense and other government programs in 2013, U.S. companies are pulling back, though the deadline for congressional action is more than six months away." Prepare for the cry that "it's Obama's fault" in 3... 2... 1...

Ezra Klein notices the obstruction problem, using the Republican DREAM Act (originally penned by Orrin Hatch) as an example: "When Democrats endorse ideas Republican pioneered, that doesn’t lead to bipartisanship. When they endorse ideas Republicans currently support, that doesn’t lead to bipartisanship. And when they act on their own, that’s too partisan. So what, exactly, are they supposed to do?" Good question. Maybe the media can point out that Republicans aren't interested in being "bipartisan", for starters.

The danger behind the "throw the bums out" political mentality - you get a bunch of rookies that don't know how to legislate during the worst economic crisis of our lifetime. New blood is always good, but... "Roughly half of the nation's 7,383 state legislators could have two years or less of experience after the 2012 elections, potentially making the next crop of lawmakers the greenest in a half-century, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures." And if those legislators are bought and sold by the likes of Grover (particularly Grover and his pledge) and Karl and the Koch Party? Do the words "public servant" mean anything anymore?

The EPI is coming out with a book that shows how this recession has hit the working stiffs of America: "Adjusted for inflation, the median hourly wage was lower in 2011 than it was a decade earlier, according to data from a forthcoming book by the Economic Policy Institute, 'The State of Working America, 12th Edition.' Good benefits are harder to come by, and people are staying longer in jobs that they want to leave, afraid that they will not be able to find something better. Only 2.1 million people quit their jobs in March, down from the 2.9 million people who quit in December 2007, the first month of the recession."

Why does Sen. James Inhofe want to poison our country? President says no. "The White House said Monday that it would likely veto a GOP-led plan to overturn Environmental Protection Agency regulations that require cuts in mercury and other toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants." That's why you vote Democratic.

The individual mandate works. Ask Massachusetts. And two-thirds of the people there approve of their health care law.

Tea Party Hypocrites. Wait, is that redundant? "Back in the heady days of the 2010 election, tea-party-backed GOP candidates loved to rail against their incumbent foes’ use of Congressional mailing privileges as a symbol of the fiscal dysfunction of Congress and the need for sweeping reforms. So it might come as a surprise to some of their conservative supporters that once safely ensconced in their Congressional offices, many of those same critics have become the biggest users of the House’s taxpayer-funded mailing system." No, no surprise at all. Just check the states where Republican governors have raised taxes, and suddenly the people who were threatening revolution against Democratic governors for the same thing are as quiet as church mice.

OK, off to another day...