Thursday, December 31, 2009

WPI's 111th Congress, First Session At-A-Glance: Legislative Action Affecting Women and Families

Women’s Policy, Inc. has produced an excellent summary of legislative action affecting women and their families in the first session of the 111th Congress (2009).

Read this wonderful recap for the latest substantive legislation action on the following issues:

Breast Cancer
Federal budget
Child Support
Children’s Health Insurance
Domestic violence
Early childhood education
Equal Pay
Family and Medical Leave
Hate crimes
Health Care Reform
Indian Health
Infant Mortality
International Women’s Day
Juvenile Justice
Microloans made to women-owned small businesses
Military families
Missing children
National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
National Women’s History Month
Nutrition programs
Ovarian cancer
Paid sick days
Postpartum Depression
Science, Techonolgy, Engineering and mathematics education
Sexual Assault
Small Business
Teen Dating Violence
Violence against women
Women and business

Copyright 2009 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, December 28, 2009

If You Can Text Your Grandma on New Year's Eve, What Else Can Go Wrong?

Hilarious video reminds everyone to back your birth control! Why? Because New Year's is the biggest night of the year for birth control accidents, and you shouldn't drop the ball! Thanks to our friends at the Back Up Your Birth Control Campaign. Oh, and don't forget to send your girlfrieds a funny after-eve message, reminding them that emergency contraception is available if they became a statistic the night before! Have fun, but be safe!

Copyright 2009 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Cloture Votes, Filibusters, Obstruction -- Oh My!

From the wonderful folks at People for the American Way. Visit their site and see nifty charts illustrating the alarming trend below.

If it has seemed that Republican Senators have been expending tremendous amounts of energy for the sole purpose of slowing down the work of the Senate and the President’s reform agenda, that’s because they have.

A review of cloture attempts in past sessions of Congress reveals that Republican senators have gone to record lengths to use Senate rules with the goal of slowing down the work of Congress, often when they have no expectation of stopping legislation or even winning concessions.

So far, GOP foot dragging has forced the Senate leadership to file 67 cloture petitions and forced cloture votes on 38 occasions[1]. Those numbers, while high, aren’t yet on pace to break the record set by the GOP in the last Congress of 139 motions filed and 112 forced votes. But what is remarkable is that, of those 38 votes forced this year, cloture was invoked 34 times.

That means a full 89% of the time, the cloture vote did nothing but delay the inevitable—a huge increase from the previous high of 56%.

Moreover many of these votes didn’t just fail: they failed by such significant margins that no one, especially not an experienced vote counter like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, could possibly have expected they could actually pass. In fact, in a majority of cases, 65 or more Senators voted to cut off debate. In several cases the number reached into the seventies and eighties, and in one case 97 Senators voted in favor of cloture, but not before the maneuver chewed up valuable time.

Far from being a meaningless exercise, this effort to force unnecessary cloture votes has wasted an enormous amount of time. After cloture is filed it takes up to two days before Senate rules allow a vote on the petition. Then, Senate rules permit the Republicans to insist on an additional 30 hours of post-cloture debate. That means even when only a small minority of Senators actually oppose cloture, they have the ability to chew up days of the Senate’s time.

In 2010, the Senate will likely consider legislation addressing health care, global warming, the economy, immigration, and workers’ rights in addition to its obligation to confirm Supreme Court Justices, members of the federal bench and crucial administration officials. There’s plenty of work to be done, and time is already tight without needless intentional delay.

The Republican Senators should stop trying to grind the Senate to a halt and start working on the issues that Americans elected them to address.


[1] - In 29 instances, cloture motions were withdrawn or otherwise not voted on. Even in these cases, cloture filings represent intransigence on the part of GOP leaders who could otherwise consent to end debate at a mutually agreed upon time.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Great Health Care Statements from Two Freshman Democratic Senators

Click here to watch Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) tour de force on health care.

You can also read the statement of Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO).

Copyright 2009 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's All About Joe

Copyright 2009 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

First Peeps & Company Store Opens New DC

Are you a fan of the multi-colored marshmallow Peeps? Well, if you are, you'll love the latest store to hit DC's National Harbor -- the first ever brick and mortar Peeps and Company store. There are more than 850 incarnations of the sticky candy in the new venture, from the standard yellow to chocolate covered, as well as novelties based on the Peeps such as spun glass Peeps. My favorite, though, is the company car: a yellow VW Bug with a huge yellow Peep on top. Watch this video for the full scope.

For more info, read this article:

Copyright 2009 (text only). The Zaftig Redhead. All Rights Reserved.