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Link for 10/16/09 – A Daily Show day

For today’s link of the day, I have two videos from the fabulous Jon Stewart and the team at the Daily Show.

The first video is Mr. Stewart reflecting on the priorities of our 24 hour news networks, specifically CNN.  The great thing about the Daily Show is that, in their mocking, they bring up really important points and deliver their message in an entertaining manner.  Stewart is right that these news networks have a responsibility to call their guests out when they exaggerate or make things up.  If they were really good about doing that, then maybe people could have the confidence that what they are hearing is accurate and valid debates could be more prevalent.  We would all be better off as a result.  When you think about…oh….what’s that?  Ok, I’d like to tell you more, but I’m going to have to leave it there 🙂

The second video is more on the story regarding 30 republicans who voted against an Al Franken amendment that would prohibit the government from doing business with companies who have clauses in employment contracts making it impossible for rape victims to sue.  As is to be expected, Jon Stewart has an opinion on this.  I think I am more sad than anything else that this is where our senate is right now.  Despite what some of the opposing 30 would have you believe, the government has the right to choose who they do business with and the responsibility to set an example for workplace standards.  In fact, to quote Chief Justice Rehnquist “‘Congress may attach conditions on the receipt of federal funds and has repeatedly employed that power to further broad policy objectives.”  Setting as a condition of a receiving a contract that the corporation allows rape victims to have their day in court is not a political attack.  It is the logical and morally correct thing to do. 

I won’t go as far as those who are saying that a vote against this amendment is a vote in support of rapists, but I will say that, at best, the priorities of these 30 senators are horribly misplaced.   From some of these Senators I would have expected a vote like this (Chambliss, Vitter) but, from some, I am really surprised and saddened (Lindsay Graham, John McCain).  I applaud the other 68 Senators (including 10 republicans) who supported this amendment, want to hear why Senator Spector chose to sit this one out (I can forgive Senator Byrd since he is still battling major health issues), and hope at least some of the 30 who voted no will come to understand how wrong they are and re-think their priorities.  Failing that, I hope they lose their next election.

Link for 10/8/09 – Thank you Senator Franken

I would really like to understand the rationale for voting against an amendment that would punish government contractors for “restrict[ing] their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court.” Really? Is that a political issue? Politicians always talk about holding themselves to a higher standard (which they usually say when they’ve done something wrong)…it seems to me we should government contractors (and all companies) to a minimum standard of decency. Am I wrong?

Come on Senators. Not everything is about politics. Sometimes something is so clearly the right thing to do, it is ok to join with the other party. You are setting a really bad example for our country and your fellow Americans by essentially saying that is more important to protect big business or play political games than to protect people from sexual crimes. That, to me, is shameful and I’m glad the Huffington Post (and other places) have published a list of those who voted against this measure.

Link for 9/8/09

How crazy…an actual health care conversation!  I think this videoshows the really complex issues that trying to reform something as big and messy as health care raises.  However, the people who Senator Franken is talking to came to the fair to confront him (it seems) but were willing to listen.  Not always agree, but at least listen respectfully.  And they were able to find some common ground.  Amazing.

Watch the video, even if you have no interest in the debate…the music that is playing at the fair provides a fabulous soundtrack to the debate.