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Nov 17 2010

Not a Surprise, More Failure

(4 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

While we were “sleeping” and kvetching about the President being “dissed” by Republicans, the black hole of Republican control of policy agenda has begun in full. Do not hold your breath over the next 6 weeks expecting the Democrats to get anything accomplished, the 111th congress is already dead.

Remember the “Paycheck Fairness Act” that would have given women pay equality? Come on you know the “Lilly Ledbetter Act” that was touted as one of President Obama’s “greatest achievements” by his loyal supporters. Well guess what it never got out of cloture in the Senate.

A bill aimed at stamping out wage discrimination was blocked Wednesday as too few senators voted to move forward with the legislation. The Paycheck Fairness Act needed 60 votes to move forward, and only captured 58.

The Republicans don’t need a majority in the Senate.

End the Filibuster, Mr. Reid.

And forget about extending  unemployment benefits that are about to expires for 2 million

Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Bob Casey (D-PA) want the Senate to take up and pass a one-year extension of unemployment insurance benefits from 26 to 99 weeks, but they did not sound hopeful on a conference call that this could get done before the extension lapses at the end of November.

Getting jobless benefits passed in the lame duck session is going to be a tough road. Congress has always passed emergency funding for extended unemployment benefits in a time of high joblessness, any time the topline rate is over 7.2%. But even with 59 votes, the Senate has faced an arduous series of votes to extend it out month by month this year. The last attempt in April needed multiple cloture votes, with several failing before the final success. At the time, Republicans like Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins said that would be the last extension they would vote for that wasn’t offset with some other revenue or spending cut. Ben Nelson (D-NE) has joined them, making it virtually impossible to find the votes.

I know how to offset the extension, end the tax cuts of the top 1%. Oh, wait, we can’t do expect to take care of the unemployed on the backs of the rich.

Remember the Republicans and Teajihadists screaming about “death panels” in the health care bill? You know, that silly end of life counseling that would have offed granny? Heh, the Republican Arizona Legislature has done one better.

In Arizona, 98 low-income patients approved for organ transplants have been told they are no longer getting them because of state budget cuts.

The patients receive medical coverage through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), the state’s version of Medicaid. While it may be common for private insurance companies or government agencies to change eligibility requirements for medical procedures ahead of time, medical ethicists say authorizing a procedure and then reversing that decision is unheard of.

h/t Echidne

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