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The Employee Free Act, passed by the House, was killed by Republican filibuster.

Democrats were unable to get the 60 votes needed to force consideration of the Employee Free Choice Act, ending organized labor's chance to win its top legislative priority from Congress.

The final vote was 51-48.

The outcome was not a surprise, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., saying for months that he would stop the legislation in the Senate. The White House also made it clear that if the bill passed Congress it would be vetoed.

The House passed the bill in March. Democrats and labor unions pressed for a vote in the Senate in hopes of rallying their voters in the 2008 elections, where they hope to win the White House and increase their majorities in the House and Senate.

The vote was near party-line, with only Arlen Specter crossing party lines to vote for cloture.

How often do you see Landrieu and the Nelsons voting with their party on something like this? It's quite a beautiful sight, actually.

As for Republican "moderates", once again we see that Oregon's Smith, Minnesota's Coleman, New Hampshire's Sununu, and Maine's Collins all sided against the rights of workers to organize.

This legislation is dead. Reid could've switched his vote to the "no" side in order to preserve his ability to revisit the issue. But as the article above notes, no one expected this thing to get anywhere near the votes to pass. It was a great way for unions to demonstrate to their memebers (who vote and volunteer for Democrats higher than just about any other group), without ambiguity, which party stands for workers, and which party doesn't.

And with the near-party line vote, with zero Democratic defectors, that distinction was clear as day.

Republican obstructionism in Congress -- on Iraq, on stem cells, on union organizing -- is building a solid electoral case against the GOP in 2008. The electorate will have a chance to vote for this stymied agenda or for its continued obstruction.

If nothing else, congressional Democrats are drawing clear distinctions between them and the guys on the other side of the aisle. And as we've seen, the clearer the distinctions, the better Democrats perform.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 10:48 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  So much for "consensus" (10+ / 0-)

      It's a myth to believe that the other side cares about anything except regaining the majority and instilling their perverted view of what is right on us all.

      •  Which Is Why Obama's (11+ / 0-)

        rhetoric about a new kind of politics is so far from reality. Like the GOP is going to change if he was elected!

        But I understand why the college crowd goes for him. I was full of "Sing Kumbaya" when I was that age also. Then you discover something called real life.

        "You Have The Power!" - Howard Dean

        by talex on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:07:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Condescend much? (4+ / 0-)

          Believe it or not, being progressive and still appealing to moderates is a good thing for our party.

        •  College don't know real life? Wake up please... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jxg, buckhorn okie, WellstoneDem

          We're far more than just dupable voters into "Sing Kumbaya"

          Perhaps Obama recognizes this and is taking action and making contact that only we see because we're the only one's looking for it.

          In fact, not only perhaps - that is exactly the case.  I was contacted by the campaign less than a week ago by email and asked to give my input on their strategy and policy.  Even if they don't ultimately listen to me they are one of only two campaigns to even ask.

          We have discovered something real called life.  It's called studying hard while getting two jobs to pay for rising tuition.  It's called we have friends, brothers, sisters, cousins, and classmates in Iraq.  It's called we are the ones that have to live on the planet polluted rotten by your generation.

          When you make comments like that all it does is confirm to us that the older generations don't know and don't care about our own struggles.

          Annui Coeptis: Novus Ordo Seclorum

          by CapitolDragoon on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:51:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Please do not blame ALL of us (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            for the mess that has been made by the many of Gen X people, the corporatist loving 30somethings and 40somethings who swooned over Reagan and Bush! And do not make a false generalization about older people.
            Just as the poster made a false generalization about young people, it is equally unfair to do the reverse.

            There are many, many many of us in our fifties and sixties here who were marching for civil rights, for an end to the war in Vietnam, the end of the draft, for Title IX and the ERA.  We joined unions, participated in strikes for better wages;  we invented "EARTH DAY" and were the first generation (as in Al Gore's generation) who tried to do something about pollutants.

            I understand your anger at the one poster, whose remark was a false generalization.  Playing the blame game is a waste of time anyway.  

            But in reality, I admit I do not know how involved college students are (by the numbers).   The few I worked with on campaigns were dedicates, energetic progressives.   I loved having them there.  But they admitted that it was difficult to get their peers motivated. My sense is that some of think is that many college students are not all that interested in the issue of labor and labor unions.  What do you think?  Is that an issue that college kids care about?

            •  Tough question (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MissLaura, WellstoneDem

              In reality - College kids (or more generally, Generation Y) are the most dedicated generation to public service in the last 70 years.

              Polls consistently show that we volunteer more, campaign more, work at more soup kitchens, plant more trees, etc etc etc than any before us that is still living (except maybe the Greatest Generation, of course).

              Looking at our voting recrod we gave Kerry an 11% margin of victory in 2004, and Dems a 22-24% margin of victory in 2006.

              However, Labor is a complicated issue and one that most young people do not yet understand, appreciate or come face to face with early on.  Thus, while we are the most Progressive and most dedicated generation in a long time we don't yet generally have close Labor connections (yet!).  But this bill would go a long way to ensuring that many of us will be in unions in the future.

              Lastly, there are many of us who DO know about unions (for example, I came from a Pro-Labor home and I was in the AFL-CIO's Union Summer program in 2005, sent to Miami to help organize condo workers) and we continue to try and spread to knowledge to our peers.

              You are right that I shouldn't generalize as the other poster did, so I'm sorry :) I take it back.  We need your help to convince our remaining peers, not your scorn.

              The next time you are volunteering side by side with the youth take the time to talk to them and explain unions and to thank them for being involved.  That goes a lot longer of the way towards helping Progressive causes than mocking our commitment :)

              Annui Coeptis: Novus Ordo Seclorum

              by CapitolDragoon on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 12:40:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  As the poster said, (0+ / 0-)

              we are actually far more involved in politics right now than previous generations if you compare our participation to their participation at our age.

              A report just came out from the New Politics Institute about us (the "millenial generation") and the impact we're likely to have on progressive politics in this country.

              I wrote about it yesterday.

              "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" -Paul Wellstone

              by WellstoneDem on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 02:00:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Gen-X (0+ / 0-)

              How is this our fault?

      •  Which is why Dems are Lose-Lose (4+ / 0-)

        The Dem leadership caves on the issues like getting out of Iraq and WE LOSE.

        The Dem leadership doesn't win anything by caving on Iraq because all the Republicans didn't cave and so WE LOSE AGAIN.

        If they hadn't caved on Iraq we would at least won something instead of losing everything.

        Formerly of Los Angeles, now in the FL Panhandle(Lower Alabama) I blog at

        by Thom K in LA on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:31:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  where's david broder's 3rd way <crickets> (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buckhorn okie

        and gobbledy-gook about the center, moderates, etc.

        by definition the EFCA was moderate, no?

        •  I don't find Broder "third way" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          buckhorn okie, decitect

          because that would involve adhering to some sort of principle or philosophy.  Broder's only ideal seems to be everyone getting along.

          The consequence of that is the more belligerant, nasty party pulling the compromises ever more towards their end of the ideological spectrum.

          A real centrist might give equal weight to considerations of personal responsibility and social justice.  A fake centrist tries to split the difference between every set of opposing viewpoints.

          Seek first and final principles at The Mean Free Path.

          by Cream Puff on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 12:06:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  A "moderate" EFCA (0+ / 0-)

          in standard pundit terminology would be a compromise between Joe Lieberman and all Republicans that makes it illegal for workers to join unions, but allows workers to bring copies of "Norma Rae" into breakrooms.

    •  I'll be waiting... (26+ / 0-)

      ...for the MSM to call this an "obstructionist" move by the Senate's minority party. I won't hold my breath, because I would probably die first.

      •  The MSM called Dems "obstructionist" (12+ / 0-)

        because they were quoting Republican leadership. Maybe we can take a clue from this, and give up this fantasy that there can be meaningful compromise with people intent on absolute control.

        Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

        by Jim P on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:07:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Compromising positions (0+ / 0-)

          Yes, Jim, I agree. Compromise is no longer an option.

          Maybe we can take a clue from this, and give up this fantasy that there can be meaningful compromise with people intent on absolute control.

          That is one of the most profound lessons the Democratic leadership needs to learn. The most courageous Democrat I've seen recently is Elizabeth Edwards. She took on the succubus Coulter today and cleaned her clock.

          John Edwards is not my first pick (I want Gore to have another go) but, with the strength of Elizabeth behind him, he is easily my second pick. Damn it...where are the rest of the Democratic "leaders"...?

          "Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this." - Anonymous

          by the doctor on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 08:47:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  First thing I thought of, too. (7+ / 0-)

        After all the hand-wringing over the Democratic minority's occasional use of the filibuster, where's the MSM outcry now that the Thugs are blocking, um, virtually everything? And why don't the Democrats, who now have a bigger megaphone, make this point themselves?

        "Only war makes it possible to mobilize all of today's technical resources while maintaining the property system." Walter Benjamin

        by psnyder on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:38:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The corporate media (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PoliMorf, psnyder, JDPITALIA

          drove home the 'obstructionist' name-calling largely because all the Republicans kept saying it over and over and over.

          The Democrats need to be driving the same point home over and over and over.  Why was their a 'wave election' last year?  So the majority's agenda gets vetoed and filibustered while the media conveniently doesn't cover the issue?  Where are the 'simple up or down votes' now?

          Look, I'm glad the Dems brought good legislation to the floor and votes are happening.  It's certainly better than where things stood two years ago.  But it's not enough.  At a minimum, Dems should be making a case that Republicans aren't acting in a bipartisan fashion like they said they would.

        •  Think Progress (0+ / 0-)

          TP has a small blurb in today's ThinkFast post about the number of bills stalled by Repubs in the Senate:

          1. Number of bills the House of Representatives has passed and sent to the Senate only to be held up, with conservatives "objecting to just about every major piece of legislation that [Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)] has tried to bring up."

          And, that's just in six months and in one chamber.

          Also just saw a post that Senate Repubs are blocking the 9/11 Commission Recommendations from going to conference. Wonder how those Repubs who expressed support for Senator Lugar's comments yesterday voted on that one?

    •  Barrasso (14+ / 0-)

      That was Senator Barrasso's first vote since being sworn in. What a nice guy they sent us from Wyoming. Let's work on defeating him next year.

    •  the rec diary has those up in 08 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buckhorn okie, circlesnshadows, TomP

      Who voted against cloture.

      Rec so we can do something more about this!!

    •  Differences! Could someone tell that to Nader & (7+ / 0-)

      his supporters?

      A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who....never learned how to walk forward.-FDR

      by vassmer on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:17:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Those Darned Republicans (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sxp151, buckhorn okie, WeatherDem, Webster

      They just don't know how to keep their powder dry!

      If they're not careful, they're going to have wet powder, and we all know how painful that can be.

    •  Repug senators are showing their........... (0+ / 0-)

      ......neo-fascistic tendencies. These include blindly following the party "line" and rigid discipline. Also included is always putting big business interests ahead of those of lower and middle income Americans.

  •  How did Liebermann vote? (7+ / 0-)

    Even if he voted with us, he has to answer why he raised money for Collins, who voted no.

    "In Tyler We Trust"

    by RandySF on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 10:46:57 AM PDT

  •  I'm David Broder ... (23+ / 0-)

    And boy do those Democrats suck.  Failing to do the people's business once again ...

  •  Cue the Cable "news" shows (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie, decitect, Faheyman, MsWings

    ...on how this is a "victory" for the workers...

    Rubus Eradicandus Est.

    by Randomfactor on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 10:47:26 AM PDT

  •  Previous Diary (5+ / 0-)

    I broke this here right after watching the vote on C-SPAN.  That diary is here.

    Fact are stubborn things. -John Adams

    by circlesnshadows on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 10:47:31 AM PDT

  •  And people still say (8+ / 0-)

    that impeachment is a possibility. As Jesus said, "If this of the green wood, what of the dry"? If you can't even summon 60 votes on a bill like this, how would an impeachment ever stand a chance?

    Ambition is when you follow your dreams. Insanity is when they follow you.

    by Batfish on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 10:47:38 AM PDT

    •  Exactly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buckhorn okie, liker26

      I don't see how we can ever hope for that - our congress is apparently just at a stand-still.  I guess that is better than the last 6 years, though.  I think "do no harm" is the best we can hope for right now.

      "The feeling of respect for all species will help us recognize the noblest nature in ourselves." - Thich Nhat Hanh

      by friendlyfire on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:07:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Senate Doesn't Impeach. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buckhorn okie, donnas

      Impeachment takes place in the House.

      Conviction takes place in the Senate.

      I agree that, as things now stand, there's no chance whatsoever that the Senate would convict Bush, Cheney, or even Fredo.

      But impeachment without conviction sends a message and carries a political effect, as Presidents Johnson and Clinton found out.

      And impeachment itself might change the dynamic in the Senate, though I agree that conviction is at best a real long shot.  I just don't think that, in and of itself, that's an argument against pursuing impeachment.

      For a different perspective, check out Green Commons!

      by GreenSooner on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 12:25:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Nixon was never convicted. However, as evidence against him grew, he was forced to choose between resigning in discrace or taking his chances with the senate.

        It is clear that the minority party has no interest in "doing the people's business."

        I see no reason not to heave impeachment back onto the table like a side of beef.

        Just impeach 'em already.

        by itsjim on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 02:06:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It sounds like it could work, but... (11+ / 0-)

    Republican obstructionism in Congress -- on Iraq, on stem cells, on union organizing -- is building a solid electoral case against the GOP in 2008. The electorate will have a chance to vote for this stymied agenda or for its continued obstruction.

    This will only work out well for us if we can get anybody on teevee to talk about far they're still talking about Paris Hilton and the dead white woman.

    Ask me (-7.88, -6.46) about Lamar Alexander.

    by Sidof79 on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 10:47:45 AM PDT

  •  But (11+ / 0-)

    Don't the Republicans want to keep their powder dry?

    The country we carry in our hearts is waiting. -- Bruce Springsteen

    by saucy monkey on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 10:48:24 AM PDT

  •  Sad (4+ / 0-)

    but not unexpected. They have theirs, but there's no way that they let us have ours.

    <div style="color: green">"The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add an useful plant to its culture" -- Thomas Jefferson</div>

    by tommurphy on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 10:48:30 AM PDT

  •  This is how it ought to work (8+ / 0-)

    I'm sure whipping together unanimity in the Senate was a yeoman's task; kudos to those who did it.  Now can we protect Landrieu and the Nelsons a little in exchange?

    My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

    by Major Danby on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 10:48:36 AM PDT

  •  Let's Impeach! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie

    Republican obstructionism in Congress -- on Iraq, on stem cells, on union organizing -- is building a solid electoral case against the GOP in 2008.

    But we should impeach everybody, now!
    OK, maybe not.


    •  Where are those impeachment votes (0+ / 0-)

      gonna come from? There's barely a majority on anything.

      Politicians and diapers need to be changed frequently -- often for the same reason.

      by KnowVox on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:23:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  From (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buckhorn okie, adigal




        Unlikely, but there you have it.  Conviction at  67.  We'd need all these guys on board.  Sigh.

        Seek first and final principles at The Mean Free Path.

        by Cream Puff on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 12:17:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Once again: the Senate doesn't impeach. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buckhorn okie, adigal

        The House does.

        Let's not worry about counting conviction votes in the Senate until we're a lot further down the path of impeachment.

        And I continue to feel that impeachment would be worthwhile even if the Senate fails to convict.

        For a different perspective, check out Green Commons!

        by GreenSooner on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 12:28:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I continue to agree. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Impeachment is analagous to a trial. It should not be too difficult for the Democrats to make a pretty damn compelling case against bushco. Should this happen, Republicans who refuse to convict may find tough sledding in an election year.

          Just impeach 'em already.

          by itsjim on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 02:16:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The GOP was able to make political hay... (0+ / 0-)

            ...out of the Clinton impeachment in 2000 despite that fact that polls suggested that large majorities of the U.S. public were against them.

            Already the GOP Presidential candidates start squabbling when asked about a potential Libby pardon (as we saw at the last debate). Impeachment would create further, deeper divisions within the party, just as it did for Dems in 2000.

            But of course the best (indeed the only necessary and sufficient) reason to impeach Bush, Cheney, and Gonzo is that, unlike Clinton, they have committed impeachable offenses.

            For a different perspective, check out Green Commons!

            by GreenSooner on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 02:38:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Why Won't the GOP Allow an Up or Down Vote on... (7+ / 0-)

    Issues that matter to Millions of Americans?

    All we are asking is for an up or down vote on the legislation!

    Dan Seals and Manny Flores for Congress!!

    by Jerry 101 on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 10:49:38 AM PDT

  •  Keep giving the Rethugs rope, (5+ / 0-)

    they will keep hanging themselves. Until 1-20-09,nothing very good will happen,we have to wait these bastards out.

    •  I'm afraid (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buckhorn okie, cometman, Indy1776

      ...that we're not only giving them rope, but almost anything else they ask for.

      Rubus Eradicandus Est.

      by Randomfactor on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:18:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, they won't. (5+ / 0-)

      They will fight tooth and nail to get what they want.  They will bribe, cajole, obstruct, wiretap, break in, twist arms, you name it.  The only thing they understand is force, and they laugh at those unwilling to use it.  They think you are a sissy for being willing to 'wait them out'.  By the time 2008 comes along, they'll have some other way figured out to either get back the majority or continue to obstruct the Democrats.  They will turn their base out to vote no matter what.

      Democrats have a forceful option at their disposal called impeachment.  If they use it, they will show courage and the public will rally behind them.  If they don't, they will pass no legislation, they will not end this illegal war and they will be called weak because they were weak.  And voters again will stay home.

      Don't let them fool you again.

      The meek shall inherit nothing. -F.Zappa

      by cometman on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:32:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Moderates (3+ / 0-)

    I wonder how they spun this to their home states.  Anybody know what their "talking points" are on this one?

    Al Gore received more votes, Ohio was stolen. This isn't a democracy.

    by Deadicated Marxist on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 10:51:32 AM PDT

    •  Their talking points have been all over. (4+ / 0-)

      There was a big op-ed campaign against this bill, and maybe some ads run as well.  The claim was it would destroy democracy by preventing secret ballot votes - total load of crap, but what do you expect from these people?

      •  Secret Votes = Democracy? (4+ / 0-)

        What about the Senate?  Aren't they democratic?  They don't use secret votes.  What gives?

        Btw, thanks.

        Al Gore received more votes, Ohio was stolen. This isn't a democracy.

        by Deadicated Marxist on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:06:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nice comparison. (3+ / 0-)

          Also, the so-called "secret votes" they were defending are nothing like democracy.  In my last EFCA post, I quoted this comparison:

          For an election to be "free and fair," both sides must have equal access to media and the voters. But not under labor law. Anti-union managers are free to campaign to every employee, every day, throughout the day; but pro-union employees can campaign only on break time.  Furthermore, management can post anti-union propaganda on bulletin boards and walls — while prohibiting pro-union employees from doing the same.  By law, employers can force workers to attend mass anti-union propaganda events.  Not only are pro-union employees not given equal time, but they can be forced to attend on condition that they not ask any questions.  Recent data show that workers are forced to attend between five and 10 such one-sided meetings. If, during the 2004 presidential campaign, the Democrats could have forced every voter in America to watch Fahrenheit 9/11 (or if the Republicans could have forced everyone to watch the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth video), with no opportunity for response from the other side, none of us would have called this "democracy."

        •  Well secret votes can be important, but (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          buckhorn okie, JDPITALIA

          this wasn't about the election being secret - it was about not having to have an election if enough workers at a company joined the union.

          From the article kos linked:

          The bill would require employers to recognize unions after being presented union cards signed by a majority of eligible workers on their payrolls. Under current labor law, a company can demand a secret ballot election supervised by the federal government after being presented the union cards.

          The bill's proponents say years of Republican control of the White House and Congress have given corporations and businesses the upper hand when it comes to union elections. Obstacles to organizing are a major reason union membership has dropped from 20% of wage and salary workers in 1983 to 12% in 2006, they say.

          Unions complain that employers have greater access to workers during secret ballot campaigns and say that corporate threats, intimidation and eventual firings have become common for union activists. By dragging out the election process, companies often succeed in wearing down union enthusiasm, they add.

          Typical Republican three card monte and lying.

  •  Having the slimmest of majorities (8+ / 0-)

    at least provides the power to set the Senate agenda, and thereby highlight the differences between the parties on issues that go right to people's pocketbooks, instead of having votes on Constitutional amendments to prohibit flag-burning and define marriage.

  •  Funny how the GOP just kills whatever (11+ / 0-)

    bills they don't like and they aren't even in power.

    In the Pajamahadeen I'm Scooby-Doo!

    by Militarytracy on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 10:51:42 AM PDT

  •  the dems ought to be able to show rethug obstruct (5+ / 0-)

    ion on the stem cell issue, the Iraq war issue   now who's the obstructionists?

    "A journey of a thousand miles begins with but one step"

    by testvet6778 on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 10:51:50 AM PDT

  •  And yet, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreenSooner, buckhorn okie

    supporting this was a "safe" position for even the most corporatist of Democrats, since it had no chance of passage.

    I wonder if Democratic support would have been this solid if the bill actually had a chance to pass.

    Forgive cynicism, today I've had it up to here with our 23% Congress. Worse than Bush, fer freakin' sakes!

    News is what they don't want you to know. Everything else is publicity. --Bill Moyers

    by RobLewis on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 10:53:23 AM PDT

    •  Also, if the vote had been closer (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buckhorn okie

      it's hard to believe that Specter would have crossed party lines.

    •  What if my aunt had been my uncle? (5+ / 0-)

      Life is full of what-ifs.  Today, in the real world, the Congressional Democrats showed that there are differences between where our priorities and the Republican priorities lie.

      An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. -- T. Paine (-6.25, -7.18)

      by DH from MD on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 10:59:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It IS worse for Bush (0+ / 0-)

      we live in a world where it is worse for (having) Bush, than "worse than Bush".  This congress is better, not the best, but better than the last. It is progress, but not quite (yet) ideal.

      We have taken some power from the Republics Party.
      They are voting on issues that were never voted on in the way they want to their advantage when they had the majority.
      They do not like it; they will especially not like it come Campaign '08 when they have to defend their obstructionism and lack of compromise.

      We have a lot of cleaning up to do - it's like spring cleaning, knowing that fall cleaning is just around the corner ;)

  •  End the filibuster (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nina Katarina

    let every legislation item have a up or down vote. - Political and Community Coverage of NYC

    by atomicBirdsong on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 10:55:56 AM PDT

    •  Did you oppose Frist when he said it? (0+ / 0-)

      In order to find his equal an Irishman is forced to talk to God.

      by Lucius Vorenus on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 10:57:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, force the GOP to filibuster! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sxp151, greeseyparrot, decitect, donnas

      When they block cloture, all that earns them, under the Senate rules, is the right to keep on debating.  The minute everyone's done talking, the question can be called.

      So when is Reid going to keep a bill on the floor, when it's got majority support but less than 60 votes?  Make the GOP talk talk talk to keep the vote from happening.  It's not like they're going to pass bills any other way.

      We aren't expecting the Democrats to save us. Rather, we're working through the Democratic Party to save the country.

      by RT on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:04:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dole (0+ / 0-)

        Was it Senator Dole who complained about the no confidence vote for Gonzales taking up valuable time when the Senate could be discussing the vital energy legislation?

        Why does no one turn it around on them and point out that their filibustering (if we insisted that they actually filibuster rather than threaten to) takes time away from considering other legislation? If they let it come to a vote on the floor, we can move on to other business.

        Unfortunately, Repubs have the media by the b***s so they just repeat whatever analysis the Repubs want -- even if it's the exact opposite of their analysis on a similar (but reverse party) issue from the day before.

        It's truly a bizarro political world these days.

      •  Yeah, I don't get this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Just the threat of filibuster seems to be enough to actually shut down legislation. Considering how often it seems to be happening, I don't see why Democrats don't force the Republicans to actually do it. 60 is not and never was the number needed to pass legislation, as Republicans did plenty in the Senate without it. I'm sure there's a reason for this, but I don't know what it is.

  •  Liberal Purist: I does not matter that every (7+ / 0-)

    single Democrat voted in favor.  They failed!!!

    The Democrats should be able to convince the Republicans of their need to vote for this bill.  The Democrats should bend time and space and get this bill passed and signed by the President.  
    If the Democrats do not do this, they are Republicans.

    In order to find his equal an Irishman is forced to talk to God.

    by Lucius Vorenus on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 10:56:32 AM PDT

  •  Why is it (13+ / 0-)

    that the Republicans have no problem, and no blowback, when they filibuster a hangnail but Democrats have to "keep their powder dry" when we're talking about a freaking Supreme Court Justice lifetime appointment?

    What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. -- Bertrand Russell

    by RequestedUsername on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 10:56:52 AM PDT

    •  Because They Own the Public Square and They (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      represent the entirety of institutional America, from business to media to authoritarian religion to commercial culture and the military system.

      We just represent about 1/3 of the human residents here, and the BIll of Rights protects the republicans' media against our co-opting them for our messages.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:15:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually the SCOTUS ruling that a corporation (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        decitect, numen

        is a person does. This is also behind yesterday's ruling allowing corp's to spend the same way an individual can.

        17. Ne5

        In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

        by Spud1 on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:27:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  but what fraction of the corps agrees? (0+ / 0-)

          As much as I abhor the idea of a corporation having the same "freedom of speech" as me (I can't afford TV and radio commercials... sigh), I do think that we should be told who in the corporation agrees with the ideas presented in paid-for advertisements.  

          My suggestion is that all corporate political advertisements be required to note prominently in the ad what fraction of the employees of the corporation agree with the message.  This information should be gathered from a secret poll by an independent polling company from either all employees or from a statistically significant sample (if the company is larger than, say 100 - 500 people).  I also believe that this should be done for any advertisement which is paid for by more than 1 person  - this includes political advertisements by unions, as well. It has always bothered me that a small group of people can use someone else's money to push for an agenda of which not all members of the original contributers agree.  

    •  Did you still vote for them in 2006? (0+ / 0-)

      So why should they have taken the political risk?

      For a different perspective, check out Green Commons!

      by GreenSooner on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 12:37:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Meanwhile the Immigration Bill is chugging along (6+ / 0-)

    Lots of cheap labor coming to a town near you soon!

    "You've got a misdemeanor mind in a felony world." CSI: Miami quote

    by PatsBard on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 10:58:31 AM PDT

    •  I think it will self destruct. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      decitect, PatsBard

      There are so many GOP poison pills planned for the amendments that I don't really see it making it out of the Senate.  But if it does it still has to get through the House too and that will be even tougher than the Senate

      •  I don't think so (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        inclusiveheart, Ari Mistral, PatsBard

        They are shoving this thing down the people's throat come hell or high water...

        and just the idea that Bush wants something should clue in Democrats to oppose it.

        Bernie Sanders, a socialist, probably the strongest voice we have anywhere for workers...opposes this bill...

        Yet, there we have it, Democrats are pushing it through!

        I mean this is just @&*)$&*)@ and most assuredly not why Dems got control in 2006...

        we're batting zero here.

        by BobOak on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:40:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We will see Bob - I don't think the House (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          will pass it.

          My statement is not meant in any way to deter the lobbying you are promoting.

          People should still be calling their Senators and Congressmen if they object to the bill.

          I have heard about some pretty ugly amendments that may well pass though in the Senate and I think those could kill the bill.

          •  Graham (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Yes, we don't have the text but when you hear of our Senators "negotiating" with corporations...
            you know it's going to be bad.

            I've heard that Graham is hiding massive guest worker increases (H-1B for sure) within some amendment that reads like "increased border security".

            Jesus, I'm sick of this....when they passed the bankruptcy bill and the prescription drug bill I just felt like "oh thank you, you are destroying the United States of America" and here we have another coming right at us and this time supposedly Dems control both houses.


            by BobOak on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 01:00:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Bastards & Immigration (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greeseyparrot, Ari Mistral, numen

    They are bastards!

    Now here comes immigration and we are getting royally screwed by unfortunately our side!

    Here is the IFPTE (arm of the AFL-CIO for Professionals) please KILL THE BILL.

    Here is the AFL-CIO (John Sweeney) letter please KILL THE BILL.

    So, what do they do?  Vote for cloture and this passed by Democrats.

    by BobOak on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 10:59:00 AM PDT

  •  specter again (0+ / 0-)
    wow.  he's really standing out.  i wouldn't have expected it here too.  maybe he'll eventually pull a bloomberg and go out on his own.

    I hope Lincoln's ghost kicks Nixon's ghost around the Oval Office at night. Petition to impeach Gonzo -

    by feduphoosier on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:00:35 AM PDT

  •  This bill is seriously flawed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jxg, Paver

    I'm not anti union at all but allowing everyone to know how people vote, in regards to unionize or not, is WAY out of line. I come from a union state and belong to a union family and I know that threats are used.

    •  Baloney. n/t. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JDPITALIA, greeseyparrot

      Politicians and diapers need to be changed frequently -- often for the same reason.

      by KnowVox on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:29:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, threats are used. In the current system. (5+ / 0-)

      In the current system, workers are routinely intimidated, threatened, and fired for thinking about voting for a union.  This bill would eliminate some of that.  As well, the bill contains provisions for elections: If 30% of workers ask for an election, it happens.

      Are workers are more likely to be coerced to sign cards under majority sign-up, as opponents say?

         * No. In fact, academic studies show that workers who organize under majority sign-up feel less pressure from co-workers to support the union than workers who organize under the NLRB election process. Workers who vote by majority sign-up also report far less pressure or coercion from management to oppose the union than workers who go through NLRB elections. In addition, it is illegal for anyone to coerce employees to sign a union authorization card. Any person who breaks the law will be subject to penalties under the Employee Free Choice Act. - AFL-CIO

      •  COME ON (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jxg, Paver

        Of course the AFL-CIO says that! Did you really think that they would say otherwise? Thats literally like asking the oil industry if global warming exists?

        •  Perhaps if you watched the actual debates... (4+ / 0-)

          you would have seen the evidence presented to congress.  I was in the room for House hearing on this bill and it was clear (despite witnesses for both sides) that the VAST majority of coercion comes from the employers, not the unions.  You can find that hearing on the Health and Labor Cmte. website.  It includes a moment where a worker breaks down crying thanks in no small part to the badgering of Republican congressmen.

          This is an excellent bill, reacting to real world situations as legislation should.  Is it perfect?  No.  But no legislation is and this one will right many wrongs.

          If that doesn't sway you consider that you are using Right Wing rhetoric to argue your point.  Perhaps you are wrong on this one...?

          Annui Coeptis: Novus Ordo Seclorum

          by CapitolDragoon on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 12:05:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You assume i wasn't (0+ / 0-)

            I actually work for an organization that was closely involved with the shaping of this bill

            •  Ya - Probably the Chamber of Commerce (n/t) (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I like the deliberate ambiguation.

              I like how you say you are against the bill and argue so vehemently and then try to ambiguously imply you helped it.  Do you think we are that blind?

              If you have the cajones just say exactly which organization.

              As the song says...."Which side are you on?" - I hate to use absolutes but when it comes to Labor, we've been forced to do so by the other side (as seen by the roll call on this bill).

              Annui Coeptis: Novus Ordo Seclorum

              by CapitolDragoon on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 12:43:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Of course the AFL-CIO says what? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JDPITALIA, old wobbly

          That the bill allows for an election if 30% of workers want one?  

          That the bill has provisions to penalize people for coercion?

          That 15,000 workers are illegally fired each year for supporting unions and that this bill would reduce that?

          That the pressure employers exert under the current system is far greater than anything people's peers would exert under a card-check system?

          •  You're full of crap (0+ / 0-)

            Because you're trying to make this an all or nothing claim. I never said that I am anti union or anti protecting them. In fact I've said countless times im very much a supporter for worker rights.

            But my argument that you refuse to engage me on is whether it is ethical to disclose how people vote. Or if disclosure could possibly be abused to intimidate workers.

            •  I'm not making an all or nothing claim. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JDPITALIA, CapitolDragoon

              I'm making a "this bill is a hell of a lot better than the current system and under it there will be substantially less intimidation and coercion and unethical behavior" claim.  Which you have done nothing to address because you persistently refuse to address the fact that there is enormous abuse under the current system, which is exactly why you appear to be using right-wing talking points.  You might want to address that appearance if it's not what you intend to be doing.

              •  Ignore him - he's a troll! (0+ / 0-)

                Just check out the language of his diaries...this guy is a right-winger trying to demonize unions.  Rather than argue with him, refer him to the MANY posts about the merits of the EFCA....or just recognize that he is a troll and let him waste his time.

                Annui Coeptis: Novus Ordo Seclorum

                by CapitolDragoon on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 02:07:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I didnt ignore anything (0+ / 0-)

                Because I never rejected the idea that the bill had good things in it. I just think that the public voting part of it is very wrong and will likely lead to abuse. I think that democrats and union leaders shouldve known this and never put it in there. Especially considering the fact that its the reason why  some senators voting against it. In fact president Bush said he would veto the bill because of this.

                So tell me why this section of the bill was so vital to labor relations that we refused to make any improvements without it?

                •  Now you do show yourself to be (0+ / 0-)

                  regurgitating rightwing talking points.  You're taking Bush's word on why he would have vetoed it?  Seriously.  That man would veto anything that gave any worker anywhere any rights at all.

                  So, Mr. Winger, what changes do you propose be made to this bill?  How exactly would you like to gut it?  I'd like to get a read on where y'all wingnuts are headed with this argument, so please, do give me the preview.

                  •  You're offically off the deep end (0+ / 0-)

                    Because I have ONE problem with the bill and because I mentioned that that the president said he would veto it because of this provision I'm a right winger spewing right wing talking points? WOW.

                    Tell me how I can disagree with you without being a "troll" or a "right winger" because I honestly don't think there is a way.

                    Also, from a political standpoint, I'd rather the bill go to Bush, minus the closed election provision, and force him to come up with a reason to veto it, if he really is going to veto it no matter what, because I think it puts the pressure on him more than us. Headlines today read "GOP defeats labor bill". with them justifying it because of this provision. I'd rather the headlines read "Bush veto's labor bill" with his justification being..."uhh I don't like workers rights." It would also feed the obstructionist message we should start to hammer in to pressure him and the republicans.

                    But fuck, I'm just a crazy right winger.

                    PS. I'm still waiting, several posts later, for you to tell me why the provision in question is necessary.

                    •  You are receiving hostility because (0+ / 0-)

                      you are just regurgitating what the GOP is saying.

                      They may say the don't like this bill because it changes the rules on secret ballot elections.

                      The reality is that they are voting against this bill because it will mean stronger unions which will translate to more GOP election losses.  If you honestly still believe what comes out of the mouth of the GOP leadership than you should seek professional help.

                      Annui Coeptis: Novus Ordo Seclorum

                      by CapitolDragoon on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 08:07:13 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Dude (0+ / 0-)

                        I just gave you props for providing an argument and said that you;ve convinced me to reexamine my stance on the issue and you just blasted me. You've got some fucking nevre.

                        See this is exactly why nobody likes the far left accept people on the far left. Because people like you are no better than the far right. You just sling mud and demonize people who disagree with you. Maybe if people like you stopped fucking talking down to people you disagreed with, you would get more of your agenda passed.

                        •  chill out (0+ / 0-)

                          I'm not the far left - far from it.  I consider this a middle of the road issue.  And I wrote those two last comments within about 30 seconds of each other, responding to your two posts and they could have been read in any order.  You have been name calling the whole time too, so don't act like such a victim.

                          I'm glad you will re-examine your stance.  Consider that this is a passionate issue for some and that we feel that it must be defended passionately or else unions die, and workers go down with them.

                          You can consider it slinging mud, I considered it hard nosed debate because whether or not you intended to you made it seem like your only intention was to parrot right-wing stances.  Consider that the effect of your words acheived something other than what you intended (and I will do the same for mine), namely that you were a wolf in sheeps clothing.

                          It's fine if you don't like me, but since you seem to judge things rationally don't let your opinion of me affect your opinion on this topic.  Just because somebody is on my "side" doesn't mean I'm gonna blow sunshine up their ass and be all sugar and spice.  In fact, I'm harder on progressives than on conservatives.  

                          Don't expect to be treated delicately if you post against unions (saying they indimate/physically abuse workers) and the EFCA on a post whose main purpose was to support the EFCA and workers.  People like me will go out of their way to challenge you.  If I wasn't like that I wouldn't be on DKos and I wouldn't be an activist.

                          One last thing: go back and reread some of your original comments and responses to people.  Is it really that improbable that your words pissed people off?

                          Annui Coeptis: Novus Ordo Seclorum

                          by CapitolDragoon on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 10:30:00 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You're mistaken (0+ / 0-)

                            My point wasn't that you were mean it was:

                            1. That you don't use facts to make points. You just whine that someone is a troll because you disagree with the points they were making. If you can't handle disagreement/ can't defend your arguments without name calling it sucks to be you. Have fun demonizing people while I have fun making changes in America. You can feel passionate about something, I think thats great, but you need facts and arguments not name calling. I don't mind getting "bruised" with an argument but I do mind it when people who don't have arguments call people names. It's very "republican" and I thought we were better than that...
                            1. It's tacky for you to bash someone after they admit that you might have a point and then agree to investigate it further. That would be like me trying to convince you to support universal health care, and issue I'm passionate about, and then after I get you to reconsider your stance on the position start trashing you. It just doesn't make sense to be a dick if you're trying to persuasive . Which of course you aren't as I can tell now.

                            You can claim "passion" or say "you were a jerk too" but the fact of the matter is I tried to stop the bickering and name calling so we could  focus on the actual issue and you just continued the mud slinging.

                          •  whatever (0+ / 0-)

                            rather than keep this rediculous argument going refer to my other comment and we can continue the discussion in a single comment thread...

                            Annui Coeptis: Novus Ordo Seclorum

                            by CapitolDragoon on Wed Jun 27, 2007 at 11:56:34 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

  •  The right-wing position is simply untenable. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greeseyparrot, TomP, Archangel
    The left is about throwing open political participation and power to the largest possible mass of people. Conservatism, on the other hand, is not simply a competing political philosophy. It is the absence of politics. It is the elimination of as much of humanity from power-sharing as possible. And so it is not surprising that the right wing will stand in the way of labor's right to organize.

    But when, finally, it excludes all of humanity, who will be its constituency?

    No wonder it has to maintain its power through intimidation and deceit.

    Tell everyone you know about Iraq Moratorium Day!

    War Kids Relief

  •  Highlights the Myth of (6+ / 0-)

    "legislative accomplishments" as a reason to not Impeach. The Republicans never keep their powder dry--I guess figuring they can always make more powder--and they WILL filibuster, veto, and foot-drag on any bill whatsoever that doesn't serve their interests.

    Leaving the Dems with room for minor achievements on those things Republicans actually like (corporate-favoring legislation) or simply don't care about.

    Shame we're wasting all this time convincing the public we can't get much substantive done, while every single day Bush/Cheney commits more crimes against, well, everyone.

    The "we'll have legislative accomplishments to help us win in '08, even though we did not try to remove criminals of the first magnitude" strategy is a continuing bust.

    At least to judge by the public's satisfaction with Democratic Congressional "achievements."

    How many more weeks of Bush killing, stealing, and packing the various bureaucracies with his agents? It's 81 or so, about 4 times the length of time Dems have had the House majority so far.

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:05:49 AM PDT

  •  When will we make them really filibuster? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sxp151, greeseyparrot

    I understand that the Democratic leadership wants get on to passing the legislation that they can get cloture on, but will they revisit all of this stuff at a later time and actually force the Republicans to filibuster for real?

  •  Ted Stevens made an error (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Alaska is a union state, and even Don Young voted for the bill in the Douse.

  •  A bad day for labor... (5+ / 0-)

    The employee free choice act goes down...

    and the immigration bill with it's job-killing cheap temporary labor (both h1b and h2 visas) provisions are revived....

    A bad day for American workers overall.



  •  Last Stand (5+ / 0-)

    Here is a letter I've just emailed to my NM rep, the DNC and Nancy Pelosi.
    I'm going to send it again tomorrow and the next day and the next and every day until I get a real response or they send the FBI to drag me away!
    Copy it; write your own, whatever.  Just keep sending it every day and get everyone you know to do the same.  NO LETUP!  CLOG THEIR SERVERS!  TIE UP THEIR EMAIL!  EVERY DAY!

    Pelosi here:

    DNC here:

    I am writing to demand that you support HRes 333.

    The time has LONG passed for action to be taken against the treasonous Bush crime cartel.  Cheney, Bush and the bulk of the Republican administration MUST be removed from power.  Further delay will guarantee the loss of any hope for America.  Our country is about to become a total fascist dictatorship.

    The Democratically controlled Congress that was empowered by the voters in November is, by virtue of its inaction, an accessory to the multitude of crimes against America and humanity perpetrated by George Bush and the criminals that serve him.  The complete failure of the members of the Democratic Party to perform your legal duty with regard to impeachment is prima facie proof of collusion and abetment in the destruction of America.

    You prove by your traitorous disregard for the Constitution that you are the servants of the capitalist corporate/fascist system and not of the American People.

    We have given you the opportunity and the mandate to salvage what could have been the guiding force for a free and prosperous world.  

    Obey the will of the people or condemn your children and grandchildren to a world of unimaginable misery and suffering.  

    You will be relegated to the annals of history with the likes of Hitler and Mussolini.

    With the utmost sincerity,
    Richard Posner
    Rio Rancho, NM

    Richard Posner

    by Richard Posner on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:11:42 AM PDT

  •  Why the Fuck (15+ / 0-)

    can the GOP filibuster every god damned thing to death, but our side couldn't manage a filibuster to save its life? I want to fucking scream at those damned spineless "dry powder" Democrats. They don't have a fucking clue about what power is, how you use it, and how you earn more when you exercise it by doing the right thing.

    I'm surprised those fuckers can walk for want of keeping their muscular powder dry...

    •  You are 100 percent right (4+ / 0-)

      We saw this at least a dozen times when the Democrats were in the minority and the subject was Iraq.

      1. The Democrats would find their spine for a day and promise to do X.
      1. The Republicans would tell the Democrats "If you do X, then we'll say you're unpatriotic cut-and-runners who hate America and love terrorists."
      1. The Democrats, of course, would take the bait and take X off the table for fear that the GOP smear machine would say terrible things about them.
      1. The Republicans would proceed to call the Democrats unpatriotic cut-and-runners who hate America and love terrorists.

      Same shit with the filibuster stuff when we were in the minority. You can't filibuster Roberts or we'll say you're obstructionists! You can't filibuster Alito or we'll say you're obstructionists! Nobody likes an obstructionist! You made Mrs. Alito cry! Everything deserves an up or down vote!

      So the Republicans find themselves in the minority, and they filibuster the shit out of everything without blinking an eye. Then they laugh their asses off that Charlie Brown tried to kick the football -- and missed -- yet again.

      From a tactical standpoint, our House and Senate Democrats are about as dim and clueless as can be.

      They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time. -- Brian Fantana

      by IndyScott on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:49:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  WTF? (5+ / 0-)

    Why do the Democrats always give the Republicans everything they want, and then the Republicans block everything the Democrats want? Fuck these morons.

    "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

    by jfern on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:14:41 AM PDT

  •  What the hell is with a cloture vote every time? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackGriffen, sxp151, BobOak, KnowVox

    I know, it takes 60 votes to do anything in the Senate, blah blah blah, but...?

    Maybe I'm recalling incorrectly, but didn't the Republican Senate of 2001, 2003-2006 pass a number of bills with 50-something votes?  The tax cut bill comes to mind.  Was there always a cloture vote involved?  

    It just seems like in the 110th Congress that the Republicans are able to cloture to death anything but the most popular of bills, and I don't recall us doing the same (not to say that we never did it, of course we did).

    I don't want to go nuclear, but this is getting ridiculous.

  •  Attention Democratic candidates! (8+ / 0-)

    Here is your ad when you get to the 2008 election:

    • Ask the American people if they want stem cell research;
    • Ask the American people if they want the troops out of Iraq;
    • Ask the American people if they want workers to have a real right to organize;
    • Ask the American people if they want big business and big money out of our elections and prevented from subverting our democracy.

    If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then you better vote for the Democratic candidate for the House, Senate and President because you can count on the fact that the Republican candidate is opposed to all of these.

    "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." -- Thomas Jefferson [-4.25, -5.33]

    by GTPinNJ on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:15:03 AM PDT

  •  EFCA: Red States Need It Most (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greeseyparrot, MarketTrustee

    Predictably, red state Republican Senators backed by an alliance of business groups led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce prevented the measure from coming to a vote. Which is too bad. After all, from wages and benefits to job opportunities and collective bargaining rights, it is red state workers who need EFCA most.

    For the details, see:
    "Red States Opposing Employee Free Choice Act Need It Most."

    •  Well Red States Vote Against Much They Need (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I hope we're pressing very hard to start making that case to them with our national and local candidates & issues.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:19:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why Did They Submit This As a Standalone Bill? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackGriffen, iheartfreedom

    Why wasn't it attached to something mandatory?

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:17:32 AM PDT

  •  A "moderate Republican" in 2007 was (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WeatherDem, greeseyparrot, Gibbo, numen

    a Far Right Wing Whacko Republican" in 1977.

    Oh how far we have fallen.

    PEACE, through superior DIPLOMACY!

    by Walt starr on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:17:33 AM PDT

  •  Let 'em filibuster all they want (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sxp151, greeseyparrot

    Take up no other business until this gets to a vote.

    That is the way the game is supposed to be played, the Rethugs certainly played nastier than that on their turn...

    TFYQA - think For Yourself, Question Authority

    by Niniane on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:24:03 AM PDT

  •  No question on how Tom Allen (D-ME) would have (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MissLaura, WeatherDem

    voted on this. From his website:

    Union workers tend to have better pay, better retirement, better health insurance, and safer workplaces than non-union workers.  That’s why Tom is proud to stand by working men and women in support of legislation, like the Employee Free Choice Act, which makes it easier for working people to form a union.

    Maine lags behind the rest of New England in average pay (folks in Mass and Conn make nearly $18,000 more than the average here), and workers continue to watch as manufacturing jobs continue to leave our state.

    This vote will cost Collins dearly.

    17. Ne5

    In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

    by Spud1 on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:25:58 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the bone Democratic Leadership (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ari Mistral

    Where are you on the important issues like getting out of Iraq, ethic reform, election integrity, and public campaign financing?

    I guess what I'm really saying is,


    Formerly of Los Angeles, now in the FL Panhandle(Lower Alabama) I blog at

    by Thom K in LA on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:27:48 AM PDT

  •  Maybe we need to start holding our breath (4+ / 0-)

    and jumping up and down screaming "upperdownvoteupperdownvote" so that the media will wake up and take notice that the Republicans have no interest in bipartisanship especially on key pieces of legislation. They need to be called on their obstructionist tactics loudly and often.

  •  are GOPs anti-free trade? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Whenever business sees a limitation on their potential for profit, they trot out the "free trade" argument.  However, as I understand free trade, business is just the result of an agreement between two factions to trade one set of goods (including labor) for another.  Although I've never been a member of a union, it seems to me that a union is the epitome of free trade - it allows for an agreement of fair trade between two factions.  It does not make any sense for business to constantly cry out for free trade agreements and yet oppose this bill (or oppose the idea of unions, for that matter).  How can you be pro-free trade between businesses, but anti-free trade within a business?  

    Of course, I'm being facetious here, since the argument has never been about free trade, only about maximizing profits at the expense of everything else (think about lead-based paints on toy trains from China, for example).  However, I have yet to see anyone argue for unions based on free trade arguments.  Perhaps it's about time for such an argument to be made (and it would make great headlines: GOP is anti-free trade!)

    •  the free trade argument can be flipped (0+ / 0-)

      on republics all the time...
      "let the market decide" they carp...
      sure, let's start with sugar and corn subsidies...

      watch 'em run like the (profit) protectionists they are!

  •  Magic Quote (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If nothing else, congressional Democrats are drawing clear distinctions between them and the guys on the other side of the aisle. And as we've seen, the clearer the distinctions, the better Democrats perform.

    Exactly!  Not sure if it was Howard Dean or Joe Trippi who said back before the 2004 primaries that you can't be "repulican-lite" and win. The idea is if someone wants a republican, that is who they will vote for. And while being a republican-lite you not only lose the republican voters and independents, but you lose many progressive democrats as well.

    Nice to see a dichotomy because if this next election cycle is focused on populist issues, we will win big.

  •  No "up or down vote"? (0+ / 0-)


  •  Not good enough (0+ / 0-)

    If nothing else, congressional Democrats are drawing clear distinctions between them and the guys on the other side of the aisle. And as we've seen, the clearer the distinctions, the better Democrats perform.

    Yeah, that's great and all, but Democrats need to grow a pair and force the Republicans to follow through with a filibuster. What's the fucking problem?

  •  This just shows that we need more Senate seats. (0+ / 0-)
  •  We are tired of excuses and taking second best... (0+ / 0-)

    If nothing else, congressional Democrats are drawing clear distinctions between them and the guys on the other side of the aisle.

    We were drawing these distinctions between both sides long before getting control. Control is supposed to be power but...

    The unions lost because outside of government they are a small percentage of the population. I can assure you that if the Unions still had clout there would not be the defeat we have today.

  •  Yay! Dems (0+ / 0-)

    Stand together...

    now, about that Iraq funding...

  •  unfortunately (0+ / 0-)

    Republican obstructionism in Congress -- on Iraq, on stem cells, on union organizing -- is building a solid electoral case against the GOP in 2008.

    Out of the people that might vote Democrat over Republican (those who haven't already decided or are open to changing their mind), I doubt many of them will be responsive to an ad that points this out. The deciding factor may be with who looks the strongest, personally, when election time comes around. I mean, people chose Bush over Kerry because he was more "likable" for Christ's sake. (It's an expression--it doesn't mean they voted for Christ's sake at all; but that I typed that shows how much downtime there is here at work.)

    A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. -Emerson

    by fitzov rules on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 11:51:20 AM PDT

  •  Distinctions - clear or muddy? (0+ / 0-)

    From original thread:

    If nothing else, congressional Democrats are drawing clear distinctions between them and the guys on the other side of the aisle. And as we've seen, the clearer the distinctions, the better Democrats perform.

    I am not so sure about "clear" distinctions being drawn or noticed by the voters!  The Democrats have had a problem with messaging and drawing clear distinction my whole lifetime.  

    November 2006 was an exception and not a rule.  The American voter was "clearly" indicating  dissatisfaction with the Iraq War.  I don't think the Dems captured the heart-n-minds of the people, as much as, the Republicans lost it!  The Dems have not capitalized on their November win of the House and narrow Senate.  Yes, they have prevented more damage but they had a chance to steal the national forum and I don't think Pelosi/Reid have done so.

    The Iraq War Supplemental was a huge fold-job.  We get a minimum wage increase phased-in when most States already raised them.  This week we get another phased-in program.  Phased-in Cafe standards that equate to about a .5 mpg increase over 13 years.  Symbolic?  Yes!  Victory?  No!  

    My prediction is the Dems will not be able to articulate their message come the election cycle and the republican propaganda machine will dictate the agenda and topics...with the help of the MSM!

    (50% of our country still thinks Saddam had something to do with 9/11)

  •  Maybe This Will Help End the "Gridlock" Meme (0+ / 0-)

    Even idiotic mainstream journalists might be able to understand that what is happening is not gridlock because the darn politicians are so stupid and greedy, but is obstructionism, because the Republican minority continues to block things huge majorities of the public supports.

    Or not.

  •  The day the EFCA passes in 2009... (4+ / 0-)

    I am going to buy a plane ticket to Washington DC for one day so I can do a jig on the National Mall and wave goodbye.

    If union organizing goes on the rise again we won't see a Republican majority for 40 years.  (Why do you think it took them so long last time?  BECAUSE UNIONS WERE TRONG FOR 40 YEARS!!!)

    Annui Coeptis: Novus Ordo Seclorum

    by CapitolDragoon on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 12:10:39 PM PDT

  •  Kos, I hope you are right on the -- (0+ / 0-)

    clear distinction bit you wrote at the end. I get so frustrated with all the talking heads about how horrible Congress is.  As you can see, we cannot get the votes on ANYTHING.

  •  I'm not familiar with this bill? (0+ / 0-)

    But it doesn't suprise me that the Repugs would want to make it illegal to join a union. I have been focused on the rights of LGBTK workers, but am almost as appalled that bigoted Repugs would refuse to allow a vote on a bill that would allow people to join unions. Typical of them.

  •  *bonking Susan Collins on the head*.... (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not surprise this jackboot licker voted against the rights of workers to form a Union. Sick! I am soooooo tired of her.

  •  Kos money quote (0+ / 0-)

    It was a great way for unions to demonstrate to their memebers (who vote and volunteer for Democrats higher than just about any other group), without ambiguity, which party stands for workers, and which party doesn't.

    This sets up nicely for '08.  Every Republican white male business suited presidential candidate is strongly opposed to EFCA. If the Iraq war starts to fade, via withdrawal, the '08 issues will be health care, retirement security, worker issues and restoring American prominance and respect on the world stage. Big D issues. Labor leaders and members turn out big time and the EFCA is the first bill signed into law in '09 by our Democratic President, just as Clinton signed FMLA in '92.

    A little mental fantasy but That's my story and I'm stickin to it!

    If CEO's and their brethern have employment contracts, why do they insist that their employees don't need one?

    by JDPITALIA on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 01:14:06 PM PDT

  •  It was also good to see... (0+ / 0-)

    Blanch Lincoln and Mark Pryor (AR)vote also as they were not co-signers of EFCA and represent the homestate of Smiley

    If CEO's and their brethern have employment contracts, why do they insist that their employees don't need one?

    by JDPITALIA on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 01:20:30 PM PDT

  •  In a shocking development, David Sirota blames (0+ / 0-)

    Taking the tough votes on this issue - rather than just taking potshots from the outside - should be praised as important steps in helping to end this war."

    by Geekesque on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 01:41:28 PM PDT

  •  a very good article Kos... (0+ / 0-)

    Republican obstructionism in Congress -- on Iraq, on stem cells, on union organizing -- is building a solid electoral case against the GOP in 2008. The electorate will have a chance to vote for this stymied agenda or for its continued obstruction.

    I wish that were true but the question is how many voters will feel this way but in the end vote over ridiculous crap like:

    "Under God" in the pledge of allegiance
    the supposed GOP "culture of life" (the one where they protect fertilized eggs not living breathing americans)
    protecting us from the lurking terrists
    the supposed "gay agenda"

    Then when they elect another republicant they'll wonder why they can't afford health insurance,they have no job, the economy is crap, and their sons and daughters are dying in Iran.

    But they'll be able to sleep at night because while the country goes down the toilet they'll know that embryos aren't being destroyed for science, god is on their side fighting the evil muslims, the gays have been stopped from taking over the country, and no terrorists have attacked us again because we are "taking the war to them" Iran now.

    Gives me an idea:  I'm gonna market and sell the "George W. Bush anti-terrorist protection stone".  A stone that uses magical and holy power to keep terrorists away from you and your family.  Maybe I'll make it a buy one get one free thing.  I'll throw in a saber-toothed tiger repellent too.

    Ok I digressed waaaay off on a tagent there.  My point being I just wish voters actually voted based on the quote I put above and not on Rove smoke and mirrors.

  •  So how did the Red State (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats and Lieberman vote?

  •  Excellent points, defines US vs THEM (0+ / 0-)

    The Employee Free Act, while not as attention grabbing as trying to attach timetables to Defense bills and such is another excellent example of how the Democratic Party COULD make a big difference in the way our nation does business and takes care of its people.  More power to our Democratic leaders to keep pressing even in the face of Republican obstructionism.  

    The Republican's and their big-money backers may be laughing all the way to the bank now, but in a society where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, eventually it gets very bad for the rich.  

    Keep it up Kos.

  •  Time for Democratic obstruction of Congress... (0+ / 0-)

    "Republican obstructionism in Congress -- on Iraq, on stem cells, on union organizing -- is building a solid electoral case against the GOP in 2008."

    Time for Democrats to stop the wheels and apply some pressure for a change.

    OK you don't want an up and down vote on some bills we want and have a majority of voters...then you get nothing.

    Democrats in the minority did not shut down the Senate this way.

    Time for Reid to use some majority wood and put it to the Republicans to let some of Democratic bills through.

  •  Covert Filibusters (0+ / 0-)

    How come Republicans find filibustering so easy?

    Every time Democrats occasionally might have filibustered, the media was awash in stories of how hard it is, how extreme, how archaic, how it's gaming the system. Even though practically all of those filibusters were to prevent Congressional action that most Americans would now say they'd prefer Democrats had stopped. And Americans overwhelmingly say they want Democrats to stop the Republican damage. Democrats were prevented from full filibuster exercise by Republicans threatening to scrap that "constructionist" construct with "the nuclear option".

    But now Republicans still control Congress with filibusters. And, contrary to coverage of Democrats' every filibuster twitch, none of them get any coverage in Congress. Even though the filibusters attack Democratic actions popular with the public.

    Democrats should know that the corporate mass media will lie like that. They should have let Republicans drop the nuclear option bomb on filibusters. Their filibusters didn't protect anything important, anyway, like letting Roberts and Alito lie their way in. So now they would be rid of that one-sided tactic, and free to create a more manageable one to keep down these sleazy mediacrat Republicans.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 05:47:30 PM PDT

  •  Fuck Republicans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gibbo, CapitolDragoon

    Should I say it again? Fuck Republicans.

    "As you know, these are open forums, you're able to come and listen to what I have to say." - Bush, Washington, D.C., October 28, 2003

    by Stay Classy on Tue Jun 26, 2007 at 06:59:04 PM PDT

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