Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics


Senate Republicans Decide that it *is* Your Boss’ Business

From Bernie’s Buzz:

Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a bill that would have protected women’s right to make their own health care decisions. In the 56-43 vote – four short of the 60 needed – only three Republicans supported this basic protection for women.

Although the vast majority of American women use birth control at some point in their lives, many women without insurance could not afford the method that would work best for them. The Affordable Care Act guaranteed that health insurance would fully cover the cost of contraception. A recent Supreme Court decision took back that guarantee, telling women they could only be covered if their bosses said it was ok.

“The court was wrong and the Senate Republicans are wrong,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said. “Bosses should not be able to impose their religious beliefs on their employees. Bosses should not be able to deny insurance-covered birth control to their female employees. Women should make their own health care decisions, not their employers.

“At a time when tens of millions of women use birth control, there is no valid reason to restrict a woman’s access to safe, widely-used preventive services simply because her employer does not approve of what should be her private medical decisions.”

The Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act would have ensured that employers cannot interfere in their employees’ decisions about contraception or other health services.

Why Democrats should not fear “Majority Rules”

Last Thursday, Senate Democrats voted to remove the threat of filibuster from most judicial and executive branch confirmations.

Not so scary, really.

Essentially, they said that the majority has the right to govern as a majority. Small-d democracy finally being applied to the Senate which has been in the hands of Big-D Democrats for the last 7 years.

The showdown that led to this rule change was remarkable in it’s blatant disregard for the Constitution of the United States. Senate Republicans were attempting to nullify the law that had established that the DC appeals court would have 11 judges presiding. The Republicans did not put forward and pass a bill to change the number of judges: they blocked the Senate from voting on the confirmation of the three judges needed to fill the court’s vacancies.

The Washington press corps and their sycophants in the punditry were quick to issue warnings about how terrible this would be: for Democrats. The Friday news cycle was filled with scare stories: “Democrats will pay the price”, “Harry Reid’s blunder”, “Democratic overreach will come back to haunt them”, “You did it: more Scalias for you!”, “No filibuster means more rapes!!”.

Of course, as is often the case, the woe-is-you’ers were completely missing the point and 100% wrong.  

Senate Filibuster Watch (Update: Richard Cordray sworn in as first director of CFPB)

Today, votes on the confirmation of 7 of President Obama’s executive nominees will take place in the Senate.

Update: Cloture vote expected at 11am Eastern

Update 2: Cordray nomination advances. Senate to vote on other nominees now.

Update 3: Other nominees to be voted on “next week or the week after”, per Harry Reid

Update 4 (7-17): Richard Cordray confirmed and sworn in. President Obama spoke from the White House this morning (White House live stream)

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was in the audience.

THIS is a BHD:

Update 5 (7/17): Tom Perez nomination for Labor advances on a vote of 60-40.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), has told the Republican minority that if they attempt to block the vote on these confirmations, he will change the Senate rules to only require 51 votes to end cloture on executive nominations.

Obama Just Cannot Win

When the gun control bill failed, my first reaction was “How will the left blame this on Obama?”

Despite speeches, a lobbying effort, and a tough response, Only 55 Senators supported the bill (Reid switched his vote so he could bring it up again).

The recent fights have lead a number of pundits, from Ezra Klein to Joan Walsh, to admit the bully pulpit sometimes does not work. (See: Jedi Mind Meld).

Then comes Maureen Dowd, in a column that I saw thanks to a tweet from a Democratic candidate for NYS Senate who agrees with her assertion. The gun control bill failed because of Obama, and only Obama.

He doesn’t know how to ‘govern” or “lead” and he needs to be more like Michael Douglas in The American President…seriously.

Unfortunately a number of people are tweeting her column, saying how it’s insightful and how they agree.

The Duping of the Left by Rand Paul

Last week’s filibuster by Rand Paul, the #standwithrand twitter tag, and controversy of whether or not progressives or liberals (take your pick, IMO they are pretty interchangable but I know that not everyone feels that way) should indeed “stand” with Rand got me to thinking about when and if it is every OK to stand with someone who is against everything that you stand for simply because you happen to agree with one thing they are currently doing.