Wednesday, April 23, 2008

McCONNELL AND SENATE REPUBLICAN EXTREMISTS KILL EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK BILL

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Perhaps Miss McConnell will take care of your (boy) child if you need to find a second job

We've been writing a bit about the equal pay for equal work bill that should have been voted on today. The House already passed it by a healthy margin. And a nice majority favored it in the Senate today. The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act had two Republican co-sponsors and managed to win 56 votes in the Senate, including every single Democrat and both independents. McCain ducked the vote, of course-- what a maverick, what a moderate, what a hero-- but only 42 Republican wingnuts voted against equality for women. But because Kentucky closet queen Mitch (Missy) McConnell led the forces of reaction in a filibuster, the bill was killed-- without ever actually getting a chance to be voted on. You need 60 votes to break a filibuster.

Kathryn Kolbert, president of People For the American Way, one of the organization leading the charge on equal pay, seemed angry today after the vote. Remember, Kathryn was the attorney who saved Roe v Wade in front of the Supreme Court. She takes this kind of injustice very seriously.
“Republican Senators made it painfully clear tonight that they take their marching orders from business lobbyists, not the American people. Congress had a rare opportunity in the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to reverse the destructive Supreme Court ruling in Ledbetter vs. Goodyear. The House of Representatives delivered for workers, but Senate Republicans stopped it in its tracks.”

“The Ledbetter decision, written by President Bush’s nominee Samuel Alito, made it easier for businesses to practice pay discrimination with impunity. Workers who face pay discrimination but fail to file a complaint within 180 days of the initial discriminatory act are left with severely limited legal recourse, even if they do not learn of the discrimination until much later. This is unfair and unpractical but all too consistent with the larger effort by right-wing judges to undermine the ability of Americans to seek redress when wronged by powerful interests.

“We’re deeply disappointed, but not surprised, by the decision of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to aggressively fight fair pay for American workers. We encourage Senate Democrats to continue pushing for passage of the legislation. The difficulties facing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007 drive home for us the importance of having fair-minded judges on the Supreme Court who will protect and uphold equal rights for all.”

McCain didn't bother even showing up to vote but, campaigning in rural eastern Kentucky, where poverty is higher than in most of America-- and even worse for women-- he said he would have voted no. Several treacherous Republican senators who generally rubber stamp all of Bush's most contemptible agenda items are so frightened of losing in November that they broke ranks with their extremist leaders today and slinked over to the Democratic side, including Susan Collins (R-ME), Gordon Smith (R-OR), Norm Coleman (R-MN) and John Sununu (R-NH), all of whom voted to confirm the judge who wrote this hideous opinion, Sam Alito. Kathryn Kolbert from PFAW again: "Senator Norm Coleman was against fair pay when it counted. He lined up with his Republican colleagues and voted to put President Bush’s nominee, Justice Samuel Alito, on the Supreme Court for life. Alito had a track record of right-wing judicial activism. He surprised no one when he authored a 5-4 opinion in Ledbetter v. Goodyear that made it easier for companies to pay discriminatory wages with impunity.”
“Now Senator Coleman is saying he is ‘very open’ to reversing the decision. The Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would effectively reverse the decision, is coming up for a crucial vote in the Senate today. Coleman, rather than supporting the bill outright, has said he will seek a “compromise”
on the bill. Meanwhile his Senate Republican colleagues have already lined up to quash it.

“Senator Coleman’s half-hearted lip service to fair pay is no consolation for Americans like Lilly Ledbetter who face pay discrimination and are left without legal recourse. In fact, it’s an insult. Coleman has shown himself to be a fair-weather friend of workers-- not there when you need them, and there when you don’t.

“The Supreme Court’s ruling in Ledbetter was unfair and unreasonable, and Senator Coleman played a key enabling role. People For the American Way will work to ensure that Minnesotans don’t forget this fact.”

The Republicans who will have to face voters in November who decided equal pay for equal work isn't as important to them as massive bribes from corporate lobbyists are:

John Cornyn (R-TX)
James Inhofe (R-OK)
Elizabeth Dole (R-NC)
Michael Enzi (R-WY)
John Barrasso (R-WY)
Miss McConnell (R-KY)
Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
Ted Stevens (R-AK)
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Roger Wicker (R-MS)


UPDATE: BUT WHAT ABOUT "MRS" McCONNELL?

His marriage of convenience mate is, if anything, almost as bad as he is! When it comes to denying equal pay to women Elaine Chao is a Republican extremist first and a woman... well somewhere I suppose. A few years ago she tried claiming credit for helping to shrink the wage gap but the real reason for change was that under the Bush Regime's economic policies men's wages have started dropping precipitously.
In 2007, women earned only 80 cents for every dollar a man earned. This pay gap was substantially greater for minorities, with African-American women making only 70 cents and Hispanic women making only 62 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts.

But Elaine and Mitch don't see a problem: in 2006 Elaine claimed the pay gap had shrunk, when all that really happened was men's wages fell, women didn't gain. Under Elaine's watch, the administration also tried to cut resources for the agency that gives women information about harassment, discrimination, family leave, and childcare.

Chao got a nice pay raise though and makes $180,100 in her day job. She and McConnell have become multimillionaires though, as unofficial lobbyists for Chinese industry in this country.

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4 Comments:

At 6:28 PM, Anonymous me said...

Why does nobody remember the repub's "nuclear option" a couple years ago, when they threatened to abolish the filibuster?

At the time, they were trying to get some wacko judges confirmed. At the time, I was thinking that getting rid of the filibuster might not be a bad idea.

As it turned out, the Dems rolled over and played dead as usual, and the nominations went through.

What all this shows is that filibusters by republicans are allowed, but filibusters by Democrats are not.

God damn these SPINELESS DEMOCRATS!!! Especially that pussy Harry Reid.

 
At 10:43 PM, Anonymous Dr. Ted Baehr said...

I agree, we Log Cabin Republicans need to keep our nuclear options open especially with Iran threatening Israel. This country cant survive a democratic President and mcCain absolutely must win even if we have to cheat again,

 
At 2:03 AM, Anonymous Megaman_X said...

Clinton and Obama showed up to vote for it...and they're in the middle of a tough election. McCain's just waiting; he has no challenge until the general election begins! What, does he meet with corporations to take bribes as often as he breathes? Is that why he never shows up for a vote? No. It's because he doesn't want to accumulate a voting record that he can held accountable for. It's because he knows that his votes will be brought up and thrown in his face, the way it's happened to Clinton, and sometimes to Obama. It's because he's a wimp and a loser who never cares about doing his job. Too many people work so hard to make a fraction of what he earns by sitting on his ass.

 
At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Much of the support for the so-called "equal pay bill" is based on an erroneous understanding about the deadline that applies to pay discrimination claims -- most of which can still be brought for much longer than 180 days after discrimination happens.

In the court ruling that the Senate bill seeks to overturn, the Supreme Court properly applied the deadline explicitly mandated by the law that the plaintiff chose to sue under -- Title VII -- and it did not bar most pay discrimination suits from being brought after 180 days, since those lawsuits can be brought under OTHER LAWS specifically intended to handle pay discrimination cases, like the Equal Pay Act, which have much longer deadlines.

In Ledbetter v. Goodyear (2007), the Supreme Court enforced the explicit 180-day deadline for bringing discrimination claims under Title VII, ruling that Lilly Ledbetter’s pay discrimination suit under Title VII was untimely because she brought it long after 180 days had elapsed. But the Supreme Court specifically noted in a footnote that the plaintiff had (for unknown reasons) dropped her claim under the Equal Pay Act — which has a longer deadline (3 years) for suing.

Court reporters ignored the footnote and the very existence of the Equal Pay Act and thus created the false impression that the Supreme Court’s enforcing the Title VII deadline as written would leave women without any redress for sex-based pay discrimination after 180 days had passed.

It makes sense that the two laws have different deadlines, because one deals with pay discrimination, which often takes a long time to learn about (your co-workers’ pay isn’t usually public knowledge, so it’s hard to know whether your male colleagues are being paid more than you are for the same job), while the other deals primarily with things like hiring and firing, which you learn about immediately.

Moreover, the bill the Senate is considering doesn't just change the deadline the Supreme Court set for Title VII. Even supporters of the bill like the Washington Post complain about one bug in the bill, which the Post seeks to have amended out of the bill before it is passed: the fact that it would allow “someone other than the employee“ to sue the employer under the expanded deadline. But that flaw isn’t a bug, it’s an intended feature of the bill, indeed, one of the cynical reasons the bill was introduced.

Many laws with long deadlines for suing, like 42 U.S.C. 1981 (which permits suits over race discrimination for up to four years after it occurred, regardless of whether the discrimination involves pay, hiring, or firing), only permit the affected employee — not bureaucrats like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) — to sue over alleged discrimination, preventing one borderline stale claim of discrimination by a single former employee from being used by the EEOC to create a vast class action or demand for wide-ranging and intrusive injunctive relief against an employer.

By contrast, Title VII already gives the EEOC broad leeway to butt in and sue in federal court based on allegations that an employer discriminated against an employee, even if the employee herself has agreed to forego a lawsuit in favor of other means, like arbitration. The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act would go far beyond even that by allowing any “affected” person, not just the employee or the EEOC, the ability to sue under Title VII.

If the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act passes, the EEOC’s ability to bring such suits under Title VII, and demand wide-ranging injunctive “relief” (or extract controversial settlements containing gender-based or race-based preferences) will be dramatically expanded. And a gaggle of additional parties claiming to be “affected” will be able to bring lawsuits of their own.

 

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