I was preparing to write a diary about a new, darkly satirical (but tragically accurate) website that debuted a few days ago, called RepublicansForRape.org.
Naturally, it was inspried by the sickening vote of 30 male Republican Senators to defend huge corporations against the plague of gang-rape victims.
And while I do strongly recommend visiting this site and spreading the word about it to others, there's a related link at the heart of this story that has taken precedence for the title of this diary.
I therefore present some of the most devastating video you'll ever see, as Sen. Al Franken (DFL-MN) grills an attorney representing Halliburton/KBR after the vote on his amendment.
Presented without further comment (for now):
Update: Please DIGG THIS UP. EVERYONE should watch this, especially those who are attempting to defend the 30 GOP "No" votes.
Update x2: To expand on the diary somewhat, while it may be blatantly obvious to most of us here, there are those who have been trying to defend the "No" votes. In case anyone asks about what possible justification there might have been for voting against this amendment, there are only two:
- If the amendment was attached to some totally unrelated larger bill which you were against, and, and the only way to vote against the bill as a whole was to vote against this amendment (which happens in many cases).
- if the wording of the bill was too vague or open to massive abuse (the "unintended consequences" issue).
HOWEVER, in this case, you could vote for the amendment and still vote against the main bill (which is actually a DoD spending bill anyway, not the sort of thing Republicans are going to be against as a rule), and the actual, full text of the amendment is VERY specific and narrow (bottom right of page S10069):
Sec. 8104. (a) None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any existing or new Federal contract if the contractor or a subcontractor at any tier requires that an employee or independent contractor, as a condition of employment, sign a contract that mandates that the employee or independent contractor performing work under the contract or subcontract resolve through arbitration any claim under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or any tort related to or arising out of sexual assault or harassment, including assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, or negligent hiring, supervision, or retention.
In other words, it specifically covers:
--Violations of core civil rights
--Knowingly (or being criminally negligent about) hiring sick, sadistic, twisted rapist/murderer types
These are all criminal actions which have absolutely NO business being dealt with via arbitration, which is intended for disputes over intellectual property, compensation, nondisclosure of corporate secrets, that sort of thing.
In addition, this amendment doesn't force the companies abandon contracts with these provisions--it simply says that the Federal Government of the United States refuses to do businesses with those businesses that continue to do so. Halliburton is still free to do business with other corporations if they wish; they just lost their single biggest client, that's all.
In this particular case, there are exactly zero legitimate reasons to vote against it. Christ, they could have at least abstained or something (for the record, 2 Democrats didn't vote at all due to illness or scheduling conflicts).
Update x3: Here's Jon Stewart's take on it: