Thursday Reads: Some Good News for a Change

Good Morning!!

For once I can begin a post with some upbeat stories.

Chicago Tribune: llinois approves Equal Rights Amendment, 36 years after deadline.

The Illinois House voted Wednesday night to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment more than 45 years after it was approved by Congress, putting it one state away from possible enshrinement in the U.S. Constitution amid potential legal questions.

The 72-45 vote by the House, following an April vote by the Senate, was just one more vote than needed for ratification. It does not need the approval of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, who has said he supports equal rights but was faulted by Democrats for not taking a position on the ERA….

As has been the case for decades, the legislative debate over the Equal Rights Amendment was fraught with controversy. Opponents largely contended the measure was aimed at ensuring an expansion of abortion rights for women. Supporters said it was needed to give women equal standing in the nation’s founding document.

Opponents also contended the measure may be moot, since its original 1982 ratification deadline has long since expired. Supporters argued, however, that the 1992 ratification of the 1789 “Madison Amendment,” preventing midterm changes in congressional pay, makes the ERA a legally viable change to the constitution.

Read the whole thing at the link above. Some history:

On March 22, 1972, the Senate approved the Equal Rights Amendment, which banned discrimination on the basis of sex. The amendment fell three states shy of ratification.

In 1923, three years after the ratification of the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote, suffragist Alice Paul drafted an amendment to guarantee equal rights for women. Known as the Equal Rights Amendment or the Lucretia Mott Amendment, it stated, “Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction.”

The amendment was presented to Congress in 1923, and re-introduced to every session of Congress for nearly 50 years. It mostly stayed in committee until 1946, when a reworded proposal, dubbed the Alice Paul Amendment, lost a close vote in the Senate. Four years later, the Senate passed a weaker version of the amendment that was not supported by ERA proponents.

Opposition to ERA came from social conservatives and from labor leaders, who feared that it would threaten protective labor laws for women. Support for the amendment increased during the 1960s as the Civil Rights Movement inspired a second women’s rights movement. The National Organization for Women (NOW), founded in 1966, led to movement for the passage of ERA.

In 1970, Rep. Martha Griffiths of Michigan succeeded in getting the ERA out of committee and before Congress for debate. The House of Representatives passed the amendment without changes 352-15 in 1971. The Senate passed the amendment on March 22, 1972, a day after voting against any proposed changes.

The passed amendment read: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

The second bit of good news, from The Washington Post: Virginia General Assembly approves Medicaid expansion to 400,000 low-income residents.

The Virginia legislature voted Wednesday to make government health insurance available to 400,000 low-income residents, overcoming five years of GOP resistance. The decision marks a leftward shift in the legislature and an enormous win for Gov. Ralph Northam (D), the pediatrician who ran on expanding access to health care.

Virginia will join 32 other states and the District in expanding Medicaid coverage. The measure is expected to take effectJan. 1.

“This is not just about helping this group of people,” said Sen. Frank Wagner (Virginia Beach), one of four Republicans in the Senate who split from their party to join Democrats and pass the measure by a vote of 23 to 17. “This is about getting out there and helping to bend the cost of health care for every Virginian. . . . It is the number one issue on our voters’ minds. By golly, it ought to be the number one issue on the General Assembly’s mind.”

Another Republican who broke ranks, Sen. Ben Chafin (Russell), is a lawyer and a cattle farmer from a rural district where health care is sorely lacking.

“I came to the conclusion that ‘no’ just wasn’t the answer anymore, that doing nothing about the medical conditions, the state of health care in my district, just wasn’t the answer any longer,” he said.

After the Senate vote, the House of Delegates approved the measure by 67 to 31 as the chamber erupted in cheers.

Also from the WaPo: Why Virginia’s Medicaid expansion is a big deal.

It’s another nail in the coffin for efforts to repeal Obamacare and a fresh reminder of how difficult it is to scale back any entitlement once it’s created. Many Republicans, in purple and red states alike, concluded that Congress is unlikely to get rid of the law, so they’ve become less willing to take political heat for leaving billions in federal money on the table.

Years of obstruction in the commonwealth gave way because key Republicans from rural areas couldn’t bear to deny coverage for their constituents any longer, moderates wanted to cut a deal and, most of all, Democrats made massive gains in November’s off-year elections.

Years of obstruction in the commonwealth gave way because key Republicans from rural areas couldn’t bear to deny coverage for their constituents any longer, moderates wanted to cut a deal and, most of all, Democrats made massive gains in November’s off-year elections.

As President Trump steps up efforts to undermine the law, from repealing the individual mandate to watering down requirements for what needs to be covered in “association health plans,” the administration’s willingness to let states impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients has paradoxically given a rationale for Republicans to flip-flop on an issue where they had dug in their heels.

And in New Jersey: Phil Murphy signs law protecting Obamacare from Trump with N.J. mandate to have health insurance.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday signed a law preserving a critical yet controversial part of the Affordable Care Act that President Donald Trump‘s administration repealed last year.

One of the laws creates a statewide individual mandate, which will require all New Jerseyans who don’t have health coverage through a government program like Medicare or their jobs to buy a policy, or pay a fee at tax time.

The landmark federal health care law, better known as Obamacare, imposed the mandate to ensure younger and healthier people who might otherwise forgo insurance will buy-in and share costs.

But the tax package approved by the Republican-led Congress and signed into law by Trump will end the mandate in 2019. The requirement was one of the more distasteful parts of the law for lawmakers and the public who believe it allowed government to intrude into people’s lives.

State Sen. Joseph Vitale, D-Middlesex, one of the prime sponsors of the law, said keeping the mandate “was needed to maintain a foundation for the insurance market and to allow the success of the ACA to continue.”

The resistance is making progress!

In other news, The Daily Beast reports that Trump wanted Howard Stern to speak at the 2016 Republican convention, according to his interview last night with David Letterman (emphasis added).

Letterman doesn’t spend much time on the subject of Trump, a person whom Stern has spent more time interviewing than anyone else on the planet, the host does ask the “King of All Media” how he feels about Trump’s tenure as president.

“Well you know, it was a very awkward kind of thing, because Donald asked me to speak at the Republican National Convention,” Stern reveals. “And he would call me from the campaign trail very often, and say, ‘Are you watching?’ I was tickled by this, because I really kind of felt, deep in my heart, that this campaign was really more about selling a book, or selling a brand. I didn’t really understand that he would really want to be president.” [….]

Stern continued: “I was put in a very awkward position of having to say publicly—and to him—that I was a Hillary Clinton supporter. I always have been, and I was honest with Donald. I said, ‘Donald, you also supported Hillary.’ And I do consider Donald a friend but my politics are different.”

The AP has an interesting story on Republican efforts to protect Jeff Sessions’ job.

In private meetings, public appearances on television and late-night phone calls, Trump’s advisers and allies have done all they can to persuade the president not to fire a Cabinet official he dismisses as disloyal. The effort is one of the few effective Republican attempts to install guardrails around a president who delights in defying advice and breaking the rules.

It’s an ongoing effort, though not everyone is convinced the relationship is sustainable for the long term….

The case that Sessions’ protectors have outlined to Trump time and again largely consists of three components: Firing Sessions, a witness in Mueller’s investigation of obstruction of justice, would add legal peril to his standing in the Russia probe; doing so would anger the president’s political base, which Trump cares deeply about, especially with midterm election looming this fall; and a number of Republican senators would rebel against the treatment of a longtime colleague who was following Justice Department guidelines in his recusal.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has said that he will not schedule a confirmation hearing for another attorney general nominee if Sessions is fired.

Click on the link to read the rest.

Melania Trump has missing from the public eye for 20 days now. Yesterday her husband apparently decided to send a message from her Twitter account, but he forgot to make the language sound like her.

A few more stories to check out:

The New Yorker: How the Trump Administration Got Comfortable Separating Immigrant Kids from Their Parents.

Nicholas Kristof at The New York Times: Trump Immigration Policy Veers From Abhorrent to Evil.

The Washington Post: Trump plans to impose metal tariffs on closest U.S. allies.

The New York Times: For ‘Columbiners,’ School Shootings Have a Deadly Allure.

The Daily Beast: What Happened to Jill Stein’s Recount Millions?

The New York Times: How Trump’s Election Shook Obama: ‘What if We Were Wrong?’

NPR: Russia’s Lavrov Meets With Kim Jong Un, As Pompeo Tries To Salvage Summit.

CNBC: Trump will pardon conservative pundit Dinesh D’Souza, who was convicted of campaign finance violation.

41 Comments on “Thursday Reads: Some Good News for a Change”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Twitter user Scott Stedman has an interesting thread on a story Rachel Maddow highlighted last night.

  2. dakinikat says:

  3. dakinikat says:

  4. dakinikat says:

    • quixote says:

      a little fun … ? … ??

      Mr. I’m-a-Branding-Genius has got to be aware of how that sounds.

      So the only explanation left is people are even more meaningless to him than I realized. The level of not-caring in thinking something like that. let alone saying it, is mindbending.

      Somehow, even when you can see all the evidence showing that people are just flour beetles to him, it’s still hard to really take it on board.

      • quixote says:

        Actually, I suspect I care more about flour beetles than he does about people. … ?

      • bostonboomer says:

        I don’t think he is aware. Think about things he said in Puerto Rico and hundreds of other times really. He simply has no empathy–no insight whatever into other people’s feelings. To him he is the only important thing in the world, and the rest of us are here only to praise him. And if he doesn’t get the praise he thinks he deserves he has a tantrum like a 3-year-old.

        • quixote says:

          Puerto Rico … and the indelible memory of him and his pink-ass face lobbing paper towels at devastated people.

          You’re right. But still hard to really understand how anybody could be such a vacuum.

          • bostonboomer says:

            And when he said that their hurricane was no big deal–Katrina was so much worse.

  5. dakinikat says:

    • dakinikat says:

    • palhart says:

      If you’re going to fight fire with fire, p-l-e-a-s-e don’t apologize afterwards!

      • palhart says:

        Every one is stuck on the word Bee used not the ultimate privilege this Trump daughter has over poor, frightened, and threatened mothers seeking asylum, protections and freedom for their children, if not a chance for a better life we often take for granted. The picture of mother and child, living in affluence and safety is disgusting when compared to that of mothers being separated from their children as is the policy of Ivanka’s father. Shame on her and her father.

    • Sweet Sue says:

      In my opinion, it was a stupid thing for Bee to do. Why does everybody go after women, be it Jarrett or Ivanka?

      • bostonboomer says:

        Because Ivanka is “acting on behalf of the patriarchy,” as Rebecca Traister wrote on Twitter.

        Thread here:

        • dakinikat says:

          That’s powerful. Thanks!!!

        • Sweet Sue says:

          Then go after the patriarchs, not their handmaidens.

          • bostonboomer says:

            She’s a White House Senior Adviser who is representing the country around the world. She IS a patriarch. If she wants to be just the “president’s” daughter, she can step down from one of the most powerful posts in the government.

        • Valhalla says:

          I don’t agree with Traister and I’m glad Bee apologized. Traister is correct that Ivanka is a powerful, public tool/part of the patriarchy and that people (any people) are entitled to criticize her — absolutely. Call her every bad word in the dictionary including all the crude ones, just not sexist ones. The fact that Bee was punching up or that Ivanka deserves to be called out on her utter vileness doesn’t mean it’s ok to perpetuate sexist language. The harm caused by gendered slurs like c*** on all women isn’t any less just because Ivanka is the target.

          • dakinikat says:

            I guess I see this in the same light as the GLBT community reclaiming Queer or the use of the “n” word. I can’t use the “n” word because of who I am but I understand how black Americans wish to make it less powerful by adopting it as something other. It’s racist when a white person uses it but it can be reclaimed and defanged by black artists.

      • dakinikat says:

        Women like Huckabee, Conway, and Ivanka have basically sold out every one else to take a place of privilege in the patriarchy. Think Hand Maid’s Tale and Aunt Lydia. Ivanka was given an advisory job for women in business, etc. and all she’s done is sat by her Dad’s side while he sells us all down the river. Actually, Vaginas are warm and deep as a general rule and Ivanka is neither. She’s acting in support of the sexism.

  6. palhart says:

    BB, I’ve been down in the dumps over the separation of babies and children from their parents at the border so I thank you for these reports of good news by the resistance. Sessions has switched Obamas order of asylum requests first before checking these parents’ credentials.

    Dumps #2: The Federal Reserve proposes changes to the Volcker Rule, barring banks risky trading bets for their own profit with depositors’ money, which, along with other efforts to loosen financial regulations, could put us right back in pre-great recession territory.

    Dump #3: The speed with which Trump is filling judge vacancies with conservative judges.

    I hope Democrats don’t screw up our chance to take over the House and, hopefully, the Senate.
    Please have a resonating, smart platform, DNC!

    • bostonboomer says:

      It’s all so awful. Last week I was practically suicidal from the Trump stress. Then I spent a day binge watching a show on netflix and another day reading, and I’m sort of back on track. But it’s hard. I would sure like to see some indictments!

  7. roofingbird says:

    Best news I’ve heard in a year! ERA! ERA! ERA!

  8. bostonboomer says:

  9. dakinikat says:

    I sat through about 5 minutes of tweety where 3 men discussed what a bad candidate Hillary was and how unlikable for the umpteenth time. I shut it off.


    • Sweet Sue says:

      Oh yes, we know and we’ll never forget. No doubt, Tweety’s panel thought Joe Biden would be just the ticket!

      • bostonboomer says:

        I noticed that Obama adviser Ben Rhodes, who has a new book out, claimed that the Obama campaign didn’t use misogyny in 2008.


    • Jslat says:

      They never stop, do they?!😣

  10. bostonboomer says:

  11. bostonboomer says: