Thursday, February 28, 2013

Last Call

Sen. Tom Harkin will see President Obama's $9 a hour minimum wage, and do it one better.  Or in this case, do it one and ten cents better.

The White House is coming under pressure from liberal Democrats in the House and Senate to press for a minimum wage hike as high as $10.10.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) argues President Obama “missed the mark” in calling to raise the minimum wage to $9 in his State of the Union address, and his staff met with White House staff last week to argue for a higher number.

The veteran senator, who will retire at the end of this Congress, is working with Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) on legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 over three years and then index future increases to inflation.

“Well, we’re going to introduce our own bill on it,” Harkin told The Hill on Tuesday. “I’m going to be in discussions with them because I think they missed the mark, but people make mistakes.”

Besides Harkin and Miller — a confidant of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — Democrats backing a higher minimum wage hike include Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) and Rep. Charles Rangel (N.Y.).

Hey, can't wait to see Republicans shoot this down because the real problem is that "minimum wage workers are making too much" in our economy.

You can take that argument to the bank.  Cause, $20k a year is too much, right?

Doing The Right Thing By Force Of Outrage, Apparently

It's the only way to get Republicans to actually do anything that doesn't involve being privileged misogynist dipsticks.  As I noted yesterday, the House was likely going to pass the Senate's version of VAWA...because they didn't have the votes to pass their own version of it.  Today, they did just that.

On Thursday, by a vote of 286 to 138, the House passed the bipartisan Senate-approved version of the bill — one that includes added protections for LGBT, Native American, and undocumented victims of domestic violence.

A watered down Republican version of the bill, which was offered as a substitute amendment, failed to garner enough votes to slow the process. It was struck down by a vote of 257 to 166. Sixty Republicans voted against their own party’s replacement measure.

During the last session of Congress, the GOP-led House approved their watered-down VAWA, while the Senate included expanded provisions in the version it passed. The two were never reconciled, and Congress failed to renew the 18-year-old domestic violence law by the time it disbanded at the end of 2012. 

PS:  All 138 no votes?  Republicans.  What war on women, right?

The provisions included protections for Native American women, allowing them to seek justice with tribal courts when the assailant is non-Native, protections for LGBT Americans, and the provisions of the SAFER act, which will reduce the untested backlog of rape kits in America's police custody.  This is a solid win for Democrats, President Obama and all Americans here.

And it's about damn time.

We Come Not To Praise Progress Kentucky...

...but to bury them.  Joe Sonka has the epitaph after Tuesday's nasty little race-baiting incident involving Mitch the Turtle's wife, former Bush 43 Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.

And this is why Democrats who want to defeat McConnell have a great sense of relief right now, because Progress Kentucky is effectively dead, and they’ll soon be replaced by a new group of seasoned professionals who know how to mess with a powerful political candidate on the ropes and know how to raise a hell of a lot of money to further that cause.

In fact, if I was McConnell, I’d seriously consider finding an obscenely wealthy supporter who is willing to write Progress Kentucky a ginormous check that could keep them operational, as Progress Kentucky has been the only thing helping McConnell’s re-election campaign over the past four months. His campaign and national Republican organizations were celebrating yesterday, but in four months they’ll be wishing Progress Kentucky was the independent expenditure group they were battling, and not the hardened pros who are bludgeoning McConnell with focused messaging that has loads of money behind it.

But until that time, Democrats in Kentucky and across the country – liberals, moderates and conservatives – have a loud and unified message for Progress Kentucky: Pack up your stuff and go away.

The fact is these guys managed to raise all of a couple thousand dollars in four months.  They're about as super a PAC as I am a professional jazz flautist, and getting these guys off the stage so that the Dems can really lay into McConnell for the depleted-uranium albatross of a record around his neck is a pretty good thing.

In other words, it's a damn good thing these guys crashed and burned early.  To take down Mitch McConnell is going to take a crapload of hard work, and the sooner we got these guys out of the way, the better off Kentucky Dems were going to be.

I'm glad I never got around to donating to these guys, either.


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