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Democratic Legislators Hold News Conference To Urge Congress To Pass The Paycheck Fairness Act

Senate GOP again kills measure on pay equity for women

09/16/14 08:00AM

Senate Democrats have brought up the Paycheck Fairness Act three times over three Congresses. In each instance, the Senate Republican minority killed the proposal, though last week offered a little something different.
 
Last Wednesday, on a procedural vote to advance a debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act, 19 Senate Republicans broke ranks and voted to end their party's filibuster, which is 19 more GOP votes than the Paycheck Fairness Act has ever received. A sign of possible progress?
 
Apparently not. As msnbc's Irin Carmon reported last night:
Senate Republicans did it again: They blocked a measure backed by President Barack Obama that would have strengthened equal pay protections for women. Counting procedural votes, it's the fourth time Republicans have voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act since 2012.
 
The only surprise was that they gave Democrats the political fodder of allowing another vote to proceed on the bill -- and that the GOP did so in a midterm election year when women voters are one major key to obtaining and retaining control of the Senate and House.
The final roll call is online here. Note that while 19 Senate Republicans voted with Democrats on a procedural step last week, literally zero GOP senators supported the Paycheck Fairness Act yesterday afternoon.
 
The apparent contradiction is easy to explain: Republicans voted to extend debate on the bill last week, not because they supported it, but because they were trying to waste time, eating up the clock on the Senate's limited pre-election schedule. If the GOP had killed the measure quickly, it would have meant moving on to something else Republicans don't like, so they dragged out the fight on the Paycheck Fairness Act, simply because they could.

Movement on ISIS and other headlines

09/16/14 07:56AM

Top GOP leaders moving quickly to approve Obama's Syria plans. (Washington Post)

Obama to announce up to 3,000 U.S. troops to fight ebola in Africa. (NBC News)

In a preemptive push, House Democrats unveil new Benghazi site. (Washington Post)

Kansas Supreme Court to decide whether to let the Democrat take his name off of the Senate ballot. (KSN-TV)

Wisconsin election officials scramble on voter ID. (AP)

The Boston Globe digs deep on where the White House gets its coffee--and whether the President drinks it. (Boston Globe)

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Deal-making trend emerges in three-way races

Deal-making an apparent trend in three-party races

09/15/14 10:47PM

Rachel Maddow reports on the possibility of a new trend in U.S. elections this year (including Alaska, Kansas, and maybe soon Maine) in which Democrats and Independents in three-way races unite against the Republican candidate to ensure Republican defeat. watch

For Senate, one handbook to rule them all

For Senate, one handbook to rule them all

09/15/14 10:36PM

Rachel Maddow reports on the publication by USA Today of the U.S. Senate handbook, full of the bureaucratic rules that keep the Senate running, from where to acquire office plants to how to select telephone on-hold music. watch

NFL abuse policy devoid of rhyme or reason

NFL abuse policy devoid of rhyme or reason

09/15/14 10:30PM

Shira Springer, sports enterprise reporter for the Boston Globe, talks with Rachel Maddow about the difficulty NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is having producing an acceptable response to the abuse scandals that plague his league. watch

Ahead on the 9/15/14 Maddow show

09/15/14 07:04PM

Tonight's guests:

  • Andrew Bacevich, retired U.S. Army colonel, Boston University professor, author and historian
  • Shira Springer, sports enterprise reporter for the Boston Globe

After the jump, executive producer Cory Gnazzo gives a preview of tonight's show read more

Monday's Mini-Report, 9.15.14

09/15/14 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:
 
* Awkward diplomacy: "Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday that the Obama administration would keep the door open to confidential communications with Iran on the security crisis in Iraq, despite sarcastic criticism from Iran's supreme leader, who said the American plan for bombing Islamic militants, their common enemy, was absurd."
 
* NATO: "The pledge of 26 foreign ministers in Paris today to combat the self-declared Islamic State with 'all means necessary' gives an important boost to the international efforts to dismantle the militant group that is imposing its will on large parts of Syria and Iraq."
 
* Climate crisis: "This past August was the warmest since records began in 1881, according to new data released by NASA. The latest readings continue a series of record or near-record breaking months. May of this year was also the warmest in recorded history."
 
* A White House petition for a proposed "Mike Brown Law," which would requires "all state, county, and local police to wear a camera," received enough signatures to guarantee a formal reply. Roy L. Austin, Jr., the Deputy Assistant to the President for the Office of Urban Affairs, published a response over the weekend.
 
* Decades later: "Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins stood ramrod straight on Monday as President Obama draped the Medal of Honor around his neck at the White House. It had been nearly five decades since he led Special Forces soldiers through a bloody ordeal that spanned a week in March 1966, but he still wore a crisp Army uniform, and saluted after receiving the nation's top award for combat valor. Adkins, 80, was one of two Vietnam War soldiers awarded the Medal of Honor in a ceremony at the White House."
 
* Look for more on this fun one on tonight's show: "The U.S. Senate has for years lived by a secret book of rules that governs everything from how many sheets of paper and potted plants each Senate office is allotted to when Senators can use taxpayer money to charter planes or boats. The document has never been available to the public -- until now."
 
* GM: "General Motors Co will pay compensation for 19 deaths linked to a faulty ignition switch, according to the lawyer overseeing the process, more than the 13 deaths the automaker had previously admitted [to] were caused by the now recalled part."
 
* More on this tomorrow: "No matter what the electorate decides in seven weeks, Obama has already succeeded in his bid to refashion the bench -- and the nuclear option has played a significant role."

'No military action,' except for all the military action

09/15/14 04:56PM

On Fox News this morning, contributor Pete Hegseth pushed for a more expansive U.S. military operation against Islamic State, complaining that our allies are seeing "American ambivalence." It seemed like an odd criticism -- President Obama delivered a national address last week on his strategy to counter ISIS; White House officials have called it a "war"; and administration officials are recruiting international partners for a coalition to confront ISIS.
 
There's ample room for debate about the plan on its merits, and there are plenty of questions about whether the U.S. plan will work. But "ambivalence" doesn't seem to apply to recent events in any coherent way.
 
Making matters slightly worse, Brian Powell noted the on-screen graphic at the time. Fox News viewers were told that the United States "has conducted at least 160 airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq," and at literally the exact same moment, viewers Fox News were also told there's been "no military action yet against ISIS."
 
Now, in fairness, every network makes on-screen mistakes from time to time, and I imagine Fox's graphics team probably wishes it could take this one back. It was almost certainly more a mistake than an attempt at deception.
 
But the cognitive dissonance -- Obama is taking and not taking military action -- nevertheless seems increasingly common on the right.
Russell Pearce speaks before a Senate Immigration, Refugees and Border Security subcommittee.

Arizona Republican suggests sterilizing poor women

09/15/14 03:20PM

Russell Pearce has had quite a career in Arizona. The Republican started as a fairly obscure state senator, before his anti-immigrant SB1070 pushed him into the national spotlight, which Pearce parlayed into a promotion as state Senate President.
 
His shooting star didn't last -- Pearce record and extremist associations undermined his standing, and in 2011, voters pushed him out of office in a recall election.
 
State Republicans probably should have allowed Pearce to fade from public view, but instead, GOP officials made Pearce the #2 leader in the state party. As Zach Roth reported, that didn't turn out too well, either.
The far-right former lawmaker who helped create Arizona's "papers please" immigration law has resigned as a top official with the state GOP after making comments about sterilizing poor women. [...]
 
On Saturday, the state Democratic Party highlighted comments Pearce made recently on his radio show. Discussing the state's public assistance programs, Pearce declared: "You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I'd do is get Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations.... Then we'll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to [reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job."
Just so we're clear, by making Norplant a part of public assistance, Pearce was, fairly explicitly, talking about sterilizing low-income women.
 
By way of a response, the principal author of Arizona's "papers please" law argued in a written statement that he was referencing "comments written by someone else and failed to attribute them to the author."

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