the Senate Convenes: 2:00pmET April 16, 2012
- Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S.2240, the Paying a Fair Share Act.
- As a reminder to all Senators, cloture was filed on the motion to proceed to S.2230, the Paying a Fair Share Act on Thursday, March 29th.
- At 4:30pm, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session to consider Executive Calendar #460, Stephanie Dawn Thacker, of WV, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit with up to 60 minutes of debate equally divided and controlled between Senators Leahy and Grassley or their designees.
- Upon the use or yielding back of time (at approximately 5:30pm), there will be a roll call vote on confirmation of the Thacker nomination. There will then be a 2nd roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S.2230, the Paying a Fair Share Act.
- If the House does not adopt S.Con.Res.38, the adjournment resolution, the Senate will also meet on the following dates at the following times in pro forma sessions only, with no business conducted:
- Monday, April 2nd at 2:00pm
- Thursday, April 5th at 11:00am
- Monday, April 9th at 10:00am
- Thursday, April 12th at 2:00pm
The next meeting in the HOUSE is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on April 16, 2012.
by PPVoteson Mar 27, 2012
Watch the video to see his special message to Planned Parenthood Action Fund supporters — and then sign our letter thanking him for standing strong for women’s health:
Already, 20 million women have received preventive care without a co-pay because of the health care reform law. When the health care reform law is fully implemented, women will no longer be discriminated against by insurance companies, and essential services including cancer screenings, birth control, and HIV testing and counseling will be covered with no co-pays.
- a job;
- a home;
- health coverage;
- a car; and
- some kind of pension, retirement plan or 401(k).
Let’s talk for a moment about the second of these, owning a home.
The foreclosure plague is now entering its fifth year. In 2005, there were fewer than 50,000 foreclosure sales in America. By 2008, the number was almost a million, and it has remained close to or more than a million every year since.
Think about it. A million families in America are losing their homes each year. You never hear about it. No one seems to care.
Well, in my district, we attacked foreclosures head-on. We prevailed upon the courts to introduce a mandatory mediation program in Orange County, requiring the bank to sit down with the homeowner and a neutral third-party, to see if there was some way to work things out. After mandatory mediation was enacted, foreclosures dropped by one-half, from 3,000 each month to 1,500 each month in the first year. The program was so successful that it was adopted statewide.
We also found funds for housing counseling in Orlando, and we helped to bring NACA to Central Florida. NACA (naca.com) is the largest housing counseling organization in America. It calls its major-city events the “American Dream Tour.” There is one this week in Orlando.
I found that there were very few Members of Congress who were willing to discuss what to do about foreclosures, much less Members who were willing to help. But I could always count on one to listen, and to help. That was Elijah Cummings, from Baltimore.
Why? For two reasons. First, a lot of families in Elijah’s district were facing foreclosure. And second, he gives a damn. He cares.
Last year, Elijah took over as the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The first thing that he did was to demand a hearing on the foreclosure crisis, and what we can do to end it.
This year is decennial Crazy Year for Members of Congress; in almost every state, the congressional district borders have changed. As a result, Elijah has drawn two opponents for his primary in Maryland next Tuesday.
I think that we should help Elijah. We have set up a contribution page to do that.
I have said, many times, that we don’t just need more Democrats; we need better ones. Elijah is a very good one. He cares. Please click here to help Elijah Cummings return to Congress.
P.S. Last week, we helped Jesse Jackson, Jr. defeat the former Member of Congress who challenged him in his primary, by 71% to 29%. Jesse says thanks. And so do I.
riohaton Feb 3, 2012
http://tinyurl.com/88g8ghb Maldives, a man confronting a problem greater than any other world leader has ever faced–the literal survival of his country and everyone in it. After bringing democracy to the Maldives after thirty years of despotic rule, Nasheed is now faced with an even greater challenge: as one of the most low-lying countries in the world, a rise of three feet in sea level would submerge the 1200 islands of the Maldives enough to make them uninhabitable. The Island President captures Nasheed’s first year of office, culminating in his trip to the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009, where the film provides a rare glimpse of the political horse-trading that goes on at such a top-level global assembly. Nasheed is unusually candid about revealing his strategies–leveraging the Maldives’ underdog position as a tiny country, harnessing the power of media, and overcoming deadlocks through an appeal to unity with other developing nations. When hope fades for a written accord to be signed, Nasheed makes a stirring speech which salvages an agreement. Despite the modest size of his country, Mohamed Nasheed has become one of the leading international voices for urgent action on climate change.
Mitt Romney’s labor adviser, Peter Schaumber, has gone too far. The inspector general of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found that improper, unethical disclosures of privileged information to Schaumber were used to benefit his consulting practice and attack the NLRB—the federal agency tasked with protecting workers’ rights.1
How candidate Romney responds to these findings is a test of his character. Will Romney embrace Washington insiders who trade on confidential and even attorney-client privileged information? Or will he demand they abide by the same ethical standards the rest of us—the 99%—pride ourselves on and expect others to live up to?
According to the report of the NLRB’s Office of the Inspector General and news reports, here’s what we know about Romney adviser Peter Schaumber:
This funneling of privileged information is an outrageous example of how the 1% gets things done at the 99%’s expense. If candidate Romney allows Peter Schaumber to remain as an adviser, it will speak volumes about the value he places on ethics in government officials.
Over ninety-two fires burn out of control in the Tripa swamp rainforest of Indonesia—home to one of the largest remaining populations of wild orangutans in the world. The fires now ablaze in Tripa started as palm oil companies rushed to clear forests once they realized that community groups had gone to court to try and stop their plantation expansion.
Someone Please Explain This to Mark Oxner.
In 2010, my opponent Dan Fanelli ran a TV ad arguing that white people should not be “pulled out of line at the airport,” because it’s an “invasion of our privacy,” and it’s “time to stop political correctness.”
Apparently, Fanelli had never heard of white terrorists Timothy McVeigh or Ted Kaczynski. But he may have heard later about Jared Loughner, who killed six people in his attempted assassination of Rep. Gabby Giffords, and Anders Breivik, who killed 93 people in Norway.
Well, the Silly Season is upon us again. My opponent Mark Oxner has topped Dan Fanelli.
The ad does feature some utterly incoherent, random references to “corporate subsidies,” “free healthcare,” bank bailouts, “the 99 percent,” Guy Fawkes, Cialis and “my husband’s solar company.” Much like a fevered, quick-cut dream of a junkie, strung out on meth. Or Glenn Beck. One or the other.
But the centerpiece of the ad is a maniacal photoshopped image of President Barack Obama, shouting “uh, no questions on this ship.” Plus a tight close-up of two 10-year-old white girls, in chains, rowing furiously. And in case you missed that oh-so-subtle point, there are balloons with the President’s campaign logo gently floating up and down, and the ship is called the “U.S.S. Obamaboat.”
In other words, prejudiced, demented garbage.
And I’m in the ad; my head is photoshopped onto the body of a parrot. Because, as everyone knows, I never have any thoughts of my own.
When Oxner posted this ad on YouTube, he understandably disabled the “like/dislike” ratings function, perhaps knowing that in Fanelli’s case, “dislike” beat out “like” by 10-to-1. Oxner also has assiduously deleted the cascade of criticism that was posted.
But he can’t censor the entire Internet. What did people say about Oxner’s ad? Well, I’ll give you a hint. If you google “Oxner racist,” you get 26,000 hits. Alternet called it “overt racism.” The Huffington Post called it “bizarre.” Facebook, without even bothering to comment on it, simply banned it.
Why is Mark Oxner running for Congress? Because KKK Grand Wizard David Duke isn’t a Florida resident?
I try really hard to give people good reasons to vote for me. Things I stand for. Things I care about. Things I’ve done. Things I’m going to do. But Mark Oxner has provided one of the best reasons I can think of: if I’m elected to Congress in November, then Mark Oxner won’t be.
We have set up a special ActBlue page, in honor of Mark Oxner, called “Beat the Bigot.” Because in every election, even if there isn’t always someone to vote for, there’s always someone to vote against. If you are just as disgusted with racist cranks like Mark Oxner as I am, then click here, and do something about it.
By ThinkProgress War Room on Mar 30, 2012 at 5:17 pm
Romney Helped Fund Race-Baiting, Anti-LGBT Group, Secret Document Shows
Earlier this week, we told you about the previously secret documents that revealed the National Organization for Marriage’s (NOM) divisive, race-baiting strategy for combating marriage equality — a strategy which was quickly denounced by leading civil rights organizations including the NAACP.
Another secret document revealed today by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) shows that NOM’s hateful effort to take away marriage equality in California in 2008 was funded by none other than leading Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney, via his Free and Strong America PAC.
Check out the previously secret document, via HRC:
In a move that raises several questions, it appears that Romney’s PAC used an elaborate scheme to evade disclosing its donation. If the federal account of Romney PAC had made the donation, it would have been quickly disclosed in Federal Election Commission reports. Instead, the more obscure Alabama chapter of Romney’s PAC made the donation to NOM. As the Huffington Post notes, Alabama’s lax campaign finance laws make it a haven for questionable political spending activities.
HRC was quick to raise questions about the donation:
“It’s clear now that Romney was a major financial donor to Prop. 8,” said Fred Sainz, HRC’s vice president for communications. “But it’s also clear that his campaign very cleverly hid this contribution in an obscure Alabama PAC.”
“His spokesperson said that Romney had financially supported Prop 8 but there’s no disclosure of a contribution to any Prop. 8 effort, personal or through the national or Alabama PAC,” Sainz added. “He instead chose to give to NOM, an organization that has a history of shielding its donors. For what other purpose would you contribute $10,000 to NOM three weeks before the election other than Prop 8?”
HRC’s president also called Romney’s funding of NOM’s hateful campaign “beyond despicable”:
“Mitt Romney’s funding of a hate-filled campaign designed to drive a wedge between Americans is beyond despicable,” said Joe Solmonese, president of Human Rights Campaign.
If not for the whistleblower who provided the NOM document to HRC, it’s possible that Romney’s donation to NOM may never have come to light.
Throughout the 2012 campaign, Romney’s penchant for secrecy has raised questions, particularly concerning his refusal to release most of his tax records, the disclosure of a previously unknown Swiss bank account, and the deletion of nearly all emails from his term as governor of Massachusetts.
INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW: Does Mitt Romney agree with NOM’s shameful and divisive strategy of pitting African-Americans and Latinos against LGBT people in order to halt progress toward marriage equality?
Evening Brief: Important Stories That You May Have Missed
Following public outcry, General Motors has discontinued funding of the climate-denial think tank Heartland Institute.
The New Hampshire House voted yesterday to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
High concentrations of deadly bacteria have been found in the tar balls from the BP disaster that are still washing up on beaches.
One Republican Attorney General wants a government takeover of health care.
Paul Ryan said he did not believe US military leaders’ budget assessment. America’s top general responds.
Stocks just had their best quarter since 2009.
Deadbeat dad and Congressman Joe Walsh (R-IL) attacks the service of his opponent, an Iraq war veteran who had her legs and part of one arm blown off during combat.
President Obama clears the way for even tighter sanctions against Iran.
Obamacare isn’t the only thing on trial — so is the Supreme Court’s reputation.
Other recent Progress Reports
Mar 29, 2012: OOPS, They Did It Again!
GOP Votes to End Medicare In Order to Finance Giveaways to the Wealthy, Big Oil Today was a big day on Capitol Hill. Republicans made crystal clear exactly whose side they’re on — that of the wealthiest 1 Percent and special interests like Big Oil. Here’s a rundown of today’s action. House Republicans Approve Budget [...]
Mar 28, 2012: Will Your Senator Side With Big Oil?
It’s Time to End Tax Giveaways to Big Oil On the same day that House Republicans are likely to pass their Medicare-ending, taxes on the wealthy-slashing budget, tomorrow the Senate will vote on a bill sponsored by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) that will eliminate nearly $24 BILLION in tax giveaways to the five largest oil companies. [...]
NOM Plots Shocking Strategy to Fan Racial Hostilities Secret memos exclusively released last night by the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) outline the National Organization for Marriage’s (NOM) shocking and hateful strategy for fighting marriage equality in states across the country. In short, they planned to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks” by convincing them to [...]
Mar 26, 2012: Meet the Republicans for Mandated Coverage
Republicans For Mandating Coverage (RMC) is a 51-member coalition representing Republicans who supported a federal health care mandate before President Barack Obama endorsed it. Check out the highlight reel: Republicans who were for the individual mandate in health care before they were against it just because President Obama was for it: Frmr. Gov. Mitt Romney [...]