“The Senate on Tuesday voted 68-32 to send the 2014 Farm Bill – which includes an $8.7 billion cut to food stamps – to President Obama’s desk. Nine Democrats opposed the bill, and 46 members of the Democratic caucus voted for it, joining 22 Republicans.
“The House passed the law by a similarly commanding margin last Wednesday. After the House vote, White House press secretary Jay Carney made clear that the president would sign off on the legislation.” — MSNBC 2/4/14
Unions claim lawmakers deprived workers of their rights by interfering with Volkswagen vote: “On Friday, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union filed an appeal with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) of a recent vote to unionize in a Volkswagen (VW) plant in Tennessee, claiming a “firestorm of interference from politicians and special interest groups” interfered and made it impossible to have a free election.
“The week before, workers narrowly defeated an attempt to unionize the plant in Chattanooga, which would have also led to the creation of the first-ever works council in an American plant, a formalized structure for employers to share information with workers and for workers to give feedback on workplace safety and productivity. The failed vote came as somewhat of a surprise, given that VW had vowed to remain neutral and organizers believed a majority of workers supported the idea of a union.
Exposing the Christian Right’s new strategy for reversing progress on Gay Rights: “With LGBT rights activists winning court victories in state after state, the Christian Right has opened a new battlefield in the nation’s cultural war, and they’re leaving nothing behind in their effort to enact Jim Crow-era laws against gay Americans.”
“… Republican lawmakers have pushed a slew of bills under the guise of “religious freedom.” This means businesses or individuals would be granted not only the right to deny services or employment to LGBT American[s], but also immunity against prosecution for discrimination.” — AlterNet 2/21/14
The “Religious Liberty” bill fight continues in Georgia and other states: “With a defeat in Kansas and now a defeat in Arizona, the “religious liberty” movement gets set for Battleground: Georgia, with other states soon to follow, including Missouri, Mississippi, and Oklahoma.”
Antigay laws gain global attention: “After Uganda criminalized homosexuality, the White House immediately warned that the law would “complicate” the country’s relationship with Washington, and the Netherlands and Norway cut off bits of development aid.”
“The issue of gay rights has catapulted up the diplomatic agenda in recent years, as international organizations have extended rights protections to gays and lesbians and donor nations have faced new challenges in dealing with governments that discriminate.” — New York Times 3/1/14