Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thursday Mashup (5/13/10)

(And I also posted here.)

  • This tells us that congressional Dems were getting ready to pass the COMPETES Act, a bill to increase investments in science, research and training programs, as The Hill tells us.

    Yeah, well, the bill was ready to pass, but guess what happened…

    House Democrats had to scrap their only substantive bill of the week Thursday after Republicans won a procedural vote that substantively altered the legislation with an anti-porn clause.

    …the Republican motion to recommit the bill -- a parliamentary tactic that gives the minority one final chance to amend legislation -- contained language prohibiting federal funds from going "to salaries to those officially disciplined for violations regarding the viewing, downloading, or exchanging of pornography, including child pornography, on a federal computer or while performing official government duties."

    That provision scared dozens of Democrats into voting with Republicans to approve the motion to recommit. After it became clear the GOP motion was going to pass, dozens of additional Democrats changed their votes from "no" to "yes." In the end, 121 Democrats voted with Republicans -- only four fewer than the number of Democrats who voted with their party.

    But because of additional changes contained in the motion, Democrats decided to pull the bill from consideration immediately following the passage of the motion to recommit.
    Soo…in the name of some twisted impulse of budget austerity (which was nowhere to be found in the earlier part of this decade when they were in charge, of course), the Repugs play some game of “values voter” nonsense to scuttle funding in job-creating technologies.

    Just remember that the next time you hear about a Republican resurgence in November.

  • And by the way, watch this to find out why this matters (more here).

  • Also, as noted here, Tom Carper is at it again, people…

    The White House said Thursday it would fight efforts under the Wall Street bill to limit states from pursuing tougher consumer regulations than the federal government.

    Diana Farrell, deputy director of the National Economic Council, said the administration opposes amendments – including one backed by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) – that would restrict state attorneys general.

    “We intend to fight those and oppose those,” Farrell said on a conference call with the Iowa and Connecticut attorneys general.
    As a reminder, it should be noted that Carper voted yes on that horrible bankruptcy bill in 2005. And as also noted here, he asupported Holy Joe Lieberman in the U.S. Senate Dem primary in Connecticut against Ned Lamont. And finally, as noted here, Carper floated that ridiculous idea of the state-run co-ops in an effort to get it introduced into health care legislation.

    I know a lot of this stuff is common knowledge, but it bears repeating (what a shame that Carper’s seat isn’t open this year – I know it would hurt to flip it to an “R,” but that’s just about what Carper is anyway).

  • And finally, wingnut (te?) Debra Saunders tells us the following (here)…

    During most of (Elena) Kagan's tenure from 2003 to 2009, Harvard University gave the military a one-finger salute, then let recruiters in through the back door.

    You're supposed to feel better about the "ban" -- I should note Kagan has called it a "ban" -- because it didn't really ban anything.

    When the Bush administration threatened to withhold federal funds from Harvard University in accordance with the 1996 Solomon Amendment -- which requires colleges to grant military recruiters the same access as other employers or forfeit federal funds -- the law school relented and opened the door for the university to continue receiving federal funds.

    But Kagan did not go gently. She sent out a strongly worded memo denouncing the government's "don't ask, don't tell" policy as "deeply wrong -- both unwise and unjust." No doubt, the memo had an important symbolic effect as well.
    Saunders goes on to call Kagan “a bully in an ivory tower” for supposedly leading the charge against military recruiters on Harvard’s campus.

    It’s a funny thing, though – as Think Progress tells us here…

    In reality, Kagan never booted, banned, or barred recruiters from Harvard Law School. As White House adviser Valerie Jarrett noted on MSNBC this morning, “One of the years she was dean, actually [military] enrollment went up on campus.” Here are the key facts:

    1) Kagan briefly prevented the military from using the school’s Office of Career Services (OCS), but never barred recruiters from campus, allowing them to operate through the school’s Veterans Association during her entire tenure.

    2) Harvard Law School has a long-standing policy designed to prohibit employers that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation from recruiting through the OCS, but made an exception for the military, which Kagan observed.

    3) Seeking to fully enforce Harvard’s policy, Kagan supported an effort to overturn the Solomon Amendment, which would have stripped Harvard of $400 million in federal grant money had she barred recruiters from using the OCS.

    4) In 2004, a federal appeals court ruled against the Pentagon on the Solomon Amendment, and Kagan briefly prohibited the military from using the OCS.

    5) In 2006, the Supreme Court overturned the appeals court, and Kagan reinstated the military’s right to use the OCS.

    Even ultra-conservative Fox News legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano understood this, explaining that Kagan was “following the law as it then existed.”
    So, I have only this to say in response to deflating more military-related fiction from the wingnutosphere on Kagan:

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