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Scuba

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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 03:31 PM
Number of posts: 37,107

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Another good reason not to bully the little guys.

Christmas may be long past, but there's no shortage of fruitcakes

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/29/us/politics/kremlin-finds-a-defender-in-congress.html


Kremlin Finds a Defender in Congress

WASHINGTON — It is a lonely pursuit these days, defending Russia in Congress as outrage over Kremlin aggression grows louder. But Representative Dana Rohrabacher speaks up for Moscow with pride. He is, he says, a bit frosted with the Russian government in one respect. “I kind of wish I would get some sort of word back,” Mr. Rohrabacher, a California Republican, said Thursday shortly before the House voted 399 to 19 to offer aid to Ukraine and impose sanctions on Russia. “But I haven’t even gotten so much as a thank you.”

The 13-term congressman has had a long, strange journey from fierce Cold Warrior to apologist for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. In 1966 when Ronald Reagan was running for governor of California, Mr. Rohrabacher camped out in the candidate’s backyard, pleading for an audience to prevent the disbanding of his Youth for Reagan group in favor of a rival’s. By last year, Mr. Rohrabacher was accompanying the action star Steven Seagal to Russia in search of a broader Islamist plot behind the Boston Marathon bombing. The actor and the congressman had often discussed “thwarting radical Islamic terrorism,” he explained.

Then came Russia’s takeover of Crimea, and Mr. Rohrabacher had to draw the line — in favor of Mr. Putin.

“There have been dramatic reforms in Russia that are not being recognized by my colleagues,” he said. “The churches are full. There are opposition papers being distributed on every newsstand in Russia. You’ve got people demonstrating in the parks. You’ve got a much different Russia than it was under Communism, but you’ve got a lot of people who still can’t get over that Communism has fallen.”

NYT: Why a Symbolic Democratic Agenda Is Better Than None

http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/27/why-a-symbolic-democratic-agenda-is-better-than-none/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

But there is a very specific reason why nothing is getting done in Washington: Republican intransigence. And Democrats announced a plan this week to remind voters of that fact. They plan to push ahead with a package of at least 10 bills that would benefit the middle class and those hoping to join it, knowing full well that Republicans will either filibuster the bills in the Senate or kill them in the House.

In addition to the unemployment benefit extension they advanced today, the package includes bills to raise the minimum wage, eliminate the salary gap between men and women, cut the interest rate on college loans, and end tax loopholes that help businesses with overseas incomes. Other bills would protect Medicare from various Republican plans to cut it, spend money on infrastructure repair, and make child care more affordable.

Senator Patty Murray of Washington proposed an important expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, which will be a huge benefit to low-income childless families and two-earner families, following a proposal by Mr. Obama earlier this year. And in the House, Democrats officially introduced a discharge petition to force a vote on the Senate’s immigration bill, which has languished for months.

Discharge petitions almost always fail, and so do most ambitious Democratic agendas. It’s pretty clear that for the rest of this election year, both Democrats and Republicans in Congress will produce a depressingly long list of failed symbolic bills, designed only to highlight the stubbornness of the opposition.



I only wish the Democrats would reach further left in their proposals. Why not put protection of voting rights and greater expansion of the social safety net on the table, and force the Republicans to go on record as against these popular items?

Martin O'Malley: A More Just Minimum Wage

http://sojo.net/blogs/2014/03/27/more-just-minimum-wage

Last summer we marked the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of the Fair Labor Standards Act – a landmark law that protected children, limited the number of hours in a workweek, and established the nation’s first minimum wage. The genesis of that law is often traced back to the story of one little girl who managed to get a poignant letter in the hands of the campaigning president. The note read:

“I wish you could do something to help us girls. We have been working in a sewing factory, and up to a few months ago we were getting our minimum pay of $11 a week. Today the 200 of us girls have been cut down to $4 and $5 and $6 a week.”


...

In 1965, CEOs made 20.1 times the pay of the average worker. By 2012, CEOs made 273 times the pay of the average worker. Between 1979 and 2007, the richest 1 percent of American households saw their income rise by 281 percent, or more than $973,000. Meanwhile, the poorest Americans saw an increase in their income of only 16 percent, or $2,400. Today, there are mothers in America who work 40 hours a week and cannot afford to feed their children. There are fathers who work 40 hours a week and cannot afford to shelter their family from the cold. As long as this is the case, can we say we have done right for the least of our brothers and sisters? No person who works full-time and plays by the rules should be forced to raise their family in poverty.

The good news is, a strong majority of Americans now support raising the minimum wage nationally. But we needn’t wait for the federal government to act. That’s why I have proposed raising the minimum wage in Maryland to $10.10 per hour. According to the Economic Policy Institute, doing so would give 455,000 workers a raise, generate $456 million in new economic activity during the phase-in period, and generate or support approximately 1,600 new jobs in our state alone.

But this issue transcends politics and policy. Our faith teaches us that when prosperity is not shared by all, we all become poor; that when laborers are treated by the powerful as an expendable resource, instead of as co-equal humans with dignity, we have failed to live in accord with our beliefs. We can do better. We must. And I believe we will.



http://sojo.net/biography/martin-omalley

Martin O'Malley


Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is serving his second term in office. Prior to serving as governor, O’Malley served as Mayor of the City of Baltimore. He received his bachelor’s degree from Catholic University and his law degree from the University of Maryland. Martin and his wife, Katie, a District Court judge, have two daughters, Grace and Tara, and two sons, William and Jack.


Howard Dean doesn't think abortion is an issue.

There is no contraception mandate ...

Ted Talk (a single graphic)

Which Makes More Sense?

Would raising the minimum wage really help Wisconsin?

The last 10 days and the last 25 years





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