Senate passes Employment Non-Discrimination Act: “The Senate passed a historic piece of gay rights legislation Thursday that would ban workplace discrimination against gay and transgender employees, another milestone victory for a gay rights movement that has been gaining favor in the courts and electoral politics.
“The 64 to 32 vote to approve the Employment Non-Discrimination Act marked the first time federal lawmakers had approved legislation to advance gay rights since repealing the military’s ban on gay men and lesbians in uniform in late 2010.” — Washington Post 11/7/13
“The Senate on Thursday approved the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in a tempered win for gay rights advocates who still need a reluctant, GOP-controlled House to take up and pass the bill.
“In a bipartisan vote, 64 senators supported the ENDA legislation, championed in the Senate by Democrat Jeff Merkley of Oregon. The bill, if it were to become law, would set a federal non-discrimination standard to ensure that private employers cannot fire employees based on their sexual orientation or identity.” — Roll Call 11/7/13
NEW WORLD TRADE CENTER TOWER
New World Trade Center Tower is finally beaming: “Lower Manhattan residents were awestruck Friday night as the bright lights atop 1 World Trade Center were switched on in a test for the first time.”
“The Port Authority said the glow can be seen for up to 50 miles.” — New York Post 11/9/13
Official One World Trade Center Time-Lapse 2004-2013
POLITICS AND THE INTERNET
Congress Members warming to Google Hangouts: “It’s common to see members of Congress tweeting or posting on Facebook. Not as many lawmakers have taken to Google Plus and Google Hangouts, although members on both sides of the Dome seem to be warming to the medium.
“Staff at Google are helping elected officials learn to use the tools it has to offer. Specifically, the Politics and Causes team at Google Plus has introduced Hangouts — free online video chats — to some members of Congress by talking them through the platform’s features and offering best practices.” — Roll Call 11/11/13
“According to a study released by the Department of Veterans Affairs in February of 2013, 22 veterans take their own lives every day – one suicide every 65 minutes.”
“Mike Whiter’s life today is very different than it was a few years ago. After learning about medical marijuana and PTSD on the Discovery Channel, Whiter believed it might help him.
“Since he started using marijuana, Whiter has been able to stop taking all of his prescription medications. No more sleepless nights, no more flashbacks, no more isolation in his home … “ — Alternet 11/12/13
Senate Democrats go “nuclear” — Eliminate filibusters on most nominees: “Senate Democrats succeeded Thursday in deploying the “nuclear option” to make the most fundamental change to floor operations in almost four decades, ending the minority’s ability to kill most presidential nominations by filibuster.
“The Senate voted, 52-48, to effectively change the rules by rejecting the opinion of the presiding officer that a supermajority is required to limit debate, or invoke cloture, on executive branch nominees and those for seats on federal courts short of the Supreme Court.”
“The new precedent represents what’s likely to prove the most significant change in Senate rules since 1975, when the cloture threshold was reduced to 60 votes in most cases (from two-thirds of senators present and voting).” — Roll Call 11/21/13