User-Supported News Commentary Hosted by Craig Crawford
a different kind of argument in a NOLA op ed in april:
Legislation that would make Louisiana the 38th, and therefore decisive vote, on the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the federal Constitution, has added a little glitz to what is an otherwise mundane session in Baton Rouge.
Supporters say it would be a historic moment for women in their long quest for equal treatment under the laws of the land. Opponents say it would threaten the constitutionality of state-passed abortion restrictions and actually take away some protections for women.
The truth is that they are both wrong. Louisiana’s approval of the amendment will have about the same effect as passing the already-scuttled proposal to designate Interstate 10 as the “Who Dat Nation Highway” or make “Jambalaya (On The Bayou)” the state’s third official song. (We already have the perfectly good “You are My Sunshine” and the obscure “Give Me Louisiana.”)
The current version of the ERA was of dubious worth when it was approved by Congress in 1972 and has become even less needed in the intervening 47 years.
For starters, the Constitution already included the Fourteenth Amendment, which was added in 1868 to guarantee “any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
“Person” being gender neutral, grammarians and legal scholars would agree that men and women are both afforded that protection.
It also had been established by the courts in 1971, when a group of lawyers led by future Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg persuaded an appellate judge to specifically extend the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause to cover many forms of sex discrimination. Ginsberg and the case were celebrated in the 2018 movie “On the Basis of Sex.”
As efforts to approve the ERA faltered, legislators went on in the next decades to pass new laws that further establish those rights, opening doors for women that never should have been closed.
The changes are obvious. In 1972, there were only 13 women in the U.S. House of Represenatives and two in the Senate. Today there are 90 in the House and 23 in the Senate.
One could argue that women, based on the nation’s population, should have a majority in both. But that isn’t something the 1972 Equal Rights Amendment proposal, which simply says, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex” would address.
Six women, so far, are running for president less than three years after Hillary Clinton was the Democratic Party nominee. Women now serve in military combat, and the percentage of prime-working-age women in the labor force has risen from 51 percent in 1972, to more than 75 percent in 2018.
In 1972, median-wage-earning women got 58 cents for every $1 earned by men. In 2018, women were getting 80 cents compared to that $1 for men. A gap, yes, but one that is steadily shrinking without an amendment added to the Constitution.
Supporters of the ERA say that explicit language in the Constitution is needed to guard against the ideological bias of conservative judges, again ignoring the Fourteenth Amendment and the subsequent rulings to provide legal precedent.
Opponents can be just as leery of progressive judges finding more rights and restrictions in the ERA language to shackle commerce or invade private and religious rights.
There also is the question of whether Louisiana’s approval of the ERA will actually mean final ratification.
When Congress approved the Equal Rights Amendment on March 22, 1972, it set a seven-year deadline for three-quarters of the states to ratify it. The deadline was later extended to 1982. But that deadline also passed with only 35 states on board, three short of what was needed, and no other extension approved.
Noting that the 27th Amendment, a rule on congressional pay, was approved in 1992, more than 200 years after James Madison proposed it, ERA supporters argue that Congress had no right to impose a deadline on the Equal Rights proposal.
The Supreme Court, however, has ruled that is not unconstitutional for Congress to set a time limit, embracing the principle of a “sufficiently contemporaneous” consensus. States that approved the amendment three and four decades ago, for example, may no longer feel the same way. A lot has changed since the 1970s.
So, Louisiana’s approval of the Equal Rights Amendment might spark a brief celebration followed by a long legal battle even as the legislatures and the courts across the country continue to pass and uphold laws barring discrimination on the basis of sex, proving the ERA is a useless appendage.
It’s just another piece of “feel-good legislation” that keeps our lawmakers from the really important debates.
For example, as much as I love “Jambalaya (On The Bayou),” Hank Williams was from Alabama.
Tim Morris is a columnist on the Latitude team at NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune.
from the ERA org web page
Join us for ERA DAY on June 30!
Activism! Education! Inspiration!
Sunday, June 30, 2019 from 12pm – 5pm
Calling all activists fighting for gender equality for a day focused on the Equal Rights Amendment!
Join us at the New Jersey home of Alice Paul – the author of the Equal Rights Amendment – as we reclaim the day that the ERA failed to ratify to the U.S. Constitution and offer women and men equal legal protections in America.
the hill: Democrats hope some presidential candidates drop out — and run for Senate
Democrats facing a steep uphill climb to win back the Senate want Beto O’Rourke to reconsider his long-shot bid for president and take another look at running for the Senate in Texas, especially if his White House bid fails to pick up momentum.
They feel the same way about two other White House hopefuls who are polling at around 1 percent or lower: former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.
Political experts give O’Rourke, Bullock and Hickenlooper little chance of winning the White House but say they could give GOP incumbents in their states a run for the money.
If they don’t run, Democrats will have a slimmer chance of winning in the states and taking back the Senate majority in either 2020 or 2022. And that would hamper a Democratic president — if the party can defeat President Trump.
Democratic senators won’t call out the low-polling presidential candidates by name in public, but they’re not shy about making the argument that some would do more for their party in Senate races than in the crowded presidential fight.
“The clock is running out for people who have not demonstrated any ability to mount a serious presidential bid to help make a real difference in their country by helping to turn the Senate,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), articulating a sentiment that other Senate Democrats expressed privately.
and then there’s the “Equality Act” H.R.5 – Equality Act116th Congress (2019-2020) which passed the House and so far is buried in the Senate
NYTimes 6/6/19: Tariff Threats Aside, the Senate Is Where Action Goes to Die
WASHINGTON — Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana reached into his seemingly bottomless well of folksy barbs on Tuesday and said, “There’s a reason that the American people think that members of Congress were born tired and raised lazy.”
The next day, the Senate left for D-Day celebrations after a three-day workweek in which nothing passed. Three minor administration posts were filled on Wednesday, and the Senate mustered four votes on motions to end debate. Meantime, the logjam of unaddressed legislation piled higher.
Seemingly by design, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader and self-proclaimed “grim reaper” of Washington, has turned his chamber into a legislative graveyard, opting instead to devote the Senate floor almost exclusively to confirming conservative judicial nominations and Trump administration appointees.
So if talks between the United States and Mexico collapse, and Republican threats against President Trump’s promised tariffs actually turn into a legislative rebuff, it would be major break from the past six months. Barely a dozen roll-call votes have been held this year on bills, amendments and legislation, and around 20 bills have been signed into law since January.
“What legislation?” snorted Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, when asked last month about the chamber’s legislative accomplishments.
While nominees churn through the chamber — nearly 50 judicial and executive nominees were confirmed in May — only a few notable pieces of legislation have passed through the Senate in the past six months, and most of those had to pass, such as legislation to reopen parts of the government after a 35-day shutdown and a monthslong delayed disaster relief package. The Senate did pass a bipartisan land conservation package that had been years in the making.
The tactic, while ideal for frustrating the ambitions of the Democratic majority in the House and furthering a conservative slant on the courts, has begun to irritate even Republicans eager to take votes on items other than procedural rules and nominees, and who have introduced bills addressing bipartisan issues, such as election security and prescription drug pricing, only to see them go nowhere. The landmark Violence Against Women Act remains expired. The Higher Education Act awaits action, as does the annual defense policy bill.
Senator James Lankford, Republican of Oklahoma, agreed in an interview that “it is more of a challenge” even to “get common agreement on simple things.”
Mr. Kennedy, asked if he still believed that his colleagues in the Senate needed to get off their “ice-cold butts,” offered a correction: “Ice-cold lazy butts,” he said, the exact phrase he used last month to disparage the lack of legislative action.
Senate Democrats, watching their House counterparts celebrate the passage of bill after bill, have devoted hours to denouncing the senatorial “legislative graveyard.” Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, vented that Mr. McConnell had “effectively turned the United States Senate into a very expensive lunch club that occasionally votes on a judge or two.”
To be sure, many of the bills passed by the House were never going to be taken up in a Republican-controlled Senate. Gun control measures — even one patterned after a bipartisan background check co-written by Senator Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania — had no chance. Nor did measures to shore up the Affordable Care Act; extend legal protections to lesbian, gay and transgender people; or offer a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children.
No… we aren’t there yet.
For those of you that have a beef with the horse racing industry… unless you’re a vegan… just think of the thousands of animals that die everyday so you and I can eat a steak, a hamburger, a pork chop, or kung foo chicken. If you’re upset over a handful of horses… I guess you don’t want your dogs to eat either. Horse racing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It employs thousands of people as vets, jockeys, trainers, hot walkers, stall muckers, track employees, bet takers, bartenders, waitresses, saddle makers… etc., etc. Not to mention what happens to the thousands of horses on breeding farms… you think people will continue to feed and house them out of the goodness of their hearts. Get a clue.
xrep… it’s come down to game 7…. Go Bruins!
Renee, my problem with human/animal relationships is when a totally innocent(=mentally pure) creature is coerced into a lovingly subservient relationship with a trusted human only to become table trash or worse.
Pass the Fido, please.
Flatus… sounds like you’re talking about pets… if so… I agree with you.
Race horses are not pets.
renee, i’m not against horse racing, but even the trainers are worried about the current problems. for example this op ed in the NYTimes https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/27/opinion/racehorses-santa-anita-deaths.html
A string of fatalities underlines the desperate need to change racing’s practices.
By Gina Rarick
Ms. Rarick is a racehorse trainer.
MAISONS-LAFFITTE, France — There’s so much I could say about the crisis shaking horse racing in America, and as a racehorse trainer, I’ve been saying it for years.
Racehorses in the United States break down, which means they are catastrophically injured and then euthanized, at a rate double or triple that seen in the rest of the world.
American racing can pull itself from the cross hairs, but there needs to be a huge overall change, and fast. The major difference between American racing and the sport in the rest of the world, including here in France, is the excessive use of medications, practically from birth.
Breeders need to get the highest price possible for a yearling, so in addition to corrective surgery to fix defective legs, they use steroids to add bulk and sheen, and bisphosphonates to stabilize the bone structure. But these bisphosphonates also limit new bone growth, impairing the young horse’s ability to adapt to the stresses of training and racing.
Once the horse has fetched that high price, there is huge pressure on American trainers to get it racing as soon as possible to cover the costs of the purchase and training fees. That means the young racehorse is treated with endless rounds of so-called therapeutic medications: phenylbutazone, known as bute, to help with the aches and pain; clenbuterol to keep the lungs clear (plus there’s that added steroidlike side effect, which keeps them eating and keeps the weight on); and the diuretic Lasix every time before fast workouts and races, ostensibly to prevent bleeding in the lungs. There is little science that says Lasix actually does that job, but quite a lot of science identifying Lasix as a performance-enhancing drug.
American trainers and veterinarians instantly bristle at the accusation that horses are overmedicated. We’re helping them cope with the rigors of training, just like any other athlete, they say. It’s like you taking an aspirin, they say. Without Lasix, horses will drown in their own blood, and nobody wants that, right? Except that somehow, in the rest of the world, horses race medication-free. They’re not hobbling from pain or drowning in their own blood.
[long discussion here about track differences and medications]
What, then, can be done to save racing in America? Clearly, ripping up most tracks to build varied, European-style courses isn’t going to happen. But there are some doable solutions that could make the sport safer for horses.
First, get rid of individual state authority over racing and get a national governing body that lays down the rules and does the drug testing across the country. A bill just introduced in Congress would be a first step toward nationwide governance for the sport.
Second, alternate directions for training horses so that they gallop both clockwise and counterclockwise. Consistent drilling of horses around a tight turn in the same direction is asking for trouble.
Third, add more races at longer distances to racing programs, decreasing the emphasis on all-out sprints.
Fourth, replace dirt surfaces with synthetics for racing, but keep a natural dirt surface available for training.
These four steps would set up an environment for the most important step of all to be possible: the elimination of all race-day medication, including Lasix.
If racing in America can’t take these steps and end strings of fatalities like the one at Santa Anita, the animal-rights activists will shut the sport down, ultimately condemning the horses they want to protect to, at best, a forced retirement. What they don’t realize is that without a job to do, the racehorse will become nothing more than a fantasy character in children’s books.
from an old horsefund article “HORSE RACING — BREEDING BY THE NUMBERS”
Over the last 6 decades (i.e. 1950-2009), in North America alone, the foal crop has quadrupled to massive proportions, particularly during the 1980’s which saw the number almost double from the previous decade. 
The situation in NA is typical of the global picture where the quest for profit by the horse racing industry’s influential investors has led to over-production of physically weak Thoroughbreds built for speed rather than endurance. Currently only about 35% are sufficiently robust and healthy to start racing. Breeding Thoroughbreds became a greed riddled business in the late 80’s and continued through the 90’s.
 Jockey Club Online Fact Book; Annual North American Registered Foal Crop by Decade 1880-1999; http://tiny.cc/e2scc .
patd… both those articles are excellent, IMO. Yes… some changes need to be made…. that is obvious. It’s the cries from people who claim to love animals and want racing ended and don’t mind saying so loudly and proudly while they’re chomping down on a Big Mac and wearing leather sandals that bother me. Or the PETA people… who don’t have a clue what the consequences would actually be for both horses and people if racing ended.
That’s my last 2 cents on the subject… and yes… I did watch all 3 triple crown races and I will again next year.
There’s dog racing, too. No greed there ?
We all know how much I love horse racing, but at the same time acknowledge that changes must be made. For the same reason that I don’t like caged pigs, lambs raised in a box, chickens stacked is crowded cages, puppy mills etc. I hate the greed that infects the industry. It is all cruelty.
So I will keep going to the races, while trying to help push for legislation that will protect all animals. They exist for our food, entertainment, and companions in one way or another and deserve to be protected.
Jamie, Cleveland has mounted police. One of their stables is/was next to one of our construction yards. We took advantage of their policy of sharing manure with citizens wishing to use it as fertilizer. We took it to the farm and placed it at my grandfather’s vegetable/flower garden wherever he directed. The horses would have been doubly proud if they realized what their output helped produce; but, that’s probably beyond their vegetative abilities.
Looks like a quiet day on the Trail. Worked at home so my day was taken up until 1500. Since then I have been working on my one year update of Buena Ventura YouTube video.
In celebration ov owning her for a year I paid for the documentation to keep her active in the US Coast Guard system.
From what I saw on the twitter world it sounds like Dean made the greedy old perverts look just as stupid as they are.
BB, Do they offer veterans’ discounts? Why not? Our incidence of rules violation is 43.7-pct less than the general population.*
Source: CS Forrester
trump demands fake poll results – W.H. Leaker
Ms Leaker says the paranoid pussypincher is panicked by polls that show him to be losing MI, PA, and TX. TX. Think about it.
PS : you heard it first years ago from Xr, pundit errant, and occasionally erring, that in 2020 demographics will flip TX.
justin bieber has challenged Tom Cruise to an MMA octagon fight.
We must be buried deep in the silly season.
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