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Friday, August 27, 2021

Murkowski Votes Against Jobs, Deficit Reduction, Veterans, Teachers, and Taxing Millionaires. (Rally!)


The Constitution. We’ve seen it wrapped around buses, misspelled on Tea Party signs, hailed and praised by the “back to basics” Republicans who tell us that if we just went back to the wisdom of the founding fathers, life would be good again. It’s been waved like the flag, held up like holy writ, and revered as the greatest document ever written.

Yes, the right loves them some Constitution – unless of course it means that they don’t get their way. It’s kind of like the Bible. Just don’t pay attention to all that healing the sick, and taking care of the poor stuff.  Stick with the smiting.

Those of us who paid attention in American History, and have actually read the Constitution may recall that nowhere in the document does it require a supermajority of the Senate to pass a bill. And yet, somehow the Republicans have decided simply to filibuster ANYthing that the president wants to do. If the 51 votes that have been historically necessary to pass legislation were required, guess what? We’d have the American Jobs Act today. Instead, simply the threat of a filibuster is enough to make the 57 votes the Act got, still four votes shy of passing.  So much for that antiquated democratic concept “majority rules.”

So, what was it that the Republicans found so objectionable in the American Jobs Act? Was it the $6 billion deficit reduction over the next ten years?  That’s what the Congressional Budget Office said. Was it the increase in the GDP?  The 5.6% surtax on millionaires and billionaires that Republican voters support? Was it the tax cut for businesses? The tax credit for veterans coming home from war? Revitalizing our crumbling infrastructure? Maybe it was reducing unemployment by a full percentage point, or the two million new jobs it would have created. These are longstanding bipartisan priorities, right?

Perhaps Alaskans should ask Lisa Murkowski, our supposed unshackled, independent Republican senator. The party was perfectly pleased to throw Lisa under the bus when Joe Miller got the Republican nomination in 2010. They chucked her like yesterday’s trash. But, we were told by her supporters, it would be just fine – better even! Now, Lisa could be Lisa. She’d be freed from party obligation, and allowed to vote her conscience on important matters affecting the country. You just wait Mitch McConnell… as the bumper sticker says, “Alaska Girls Kick Ass.” So, on the most important matter of the day for average Americans, maybe we should ask our senior senator why she voted lock-step with the rest of her party against Americans, and American jobs.

According to her statement, the senator feels that the bill doesn’t do enough. It doesn’t really help enough people. The veterans, the businesses, the two million who will now not have jobs?  They’ll just have to understand that according to Murkowski, they’re just not “significant” enough.  Don’t just do something Lisa, stand there.

Alaska’s junior senator Mark Begich (D) had this to say:

“The American people have made it clear they want us to get something done. We can’t continue to stall progress simply to make a political statement. Alaska’s small businesses, working families and unemployed are counting on us to make this work.”

Unfortunately, so far the Republicans can and do “continue to stall progress simply to make a political statement.” And Americans who want to get something done, mysteriously keep voting for them.

At a White House event yesterday, President Obama said the fight was not over and vowed to keep pushing for jobs.

“Now a lot of folks in Washington and the media will look at last night’s vote and say, `Well, that’s it. Let’s move on to the next fight.’ But I’ve got news for them: Not this time. Not with so many Americans out of work,” he said.

“We will keep organizing and we will keep pressuring and we will keep voting until this Congress finally meets its responsibilities and actually does something to put people back to work and improve the economy.”

Silly President, if things get better then the country will be more likely to vote for you, and less likely to vote for Herman Cain, or Mitt Romney, or Rick Perry, or any of the other “best and brightest” that the GOP has to offer. And that, after all, is what it’s all about. It’s kind of adorable that anyone still believes the Republicans really have the best interest of Americans at heart. I guess now that corporations are “people,” they’ve decided which “people” are the most important to them. It’s not teachers or kids, notes Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers:

“While the majority of the Senate voted for cloture,” Weingarten says, “those who voted no will have to explain why they voted against a bill asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share in order to create 1.9 million jobs at a time when there is a 9.1 percent unemployment rate.”

The American Jobs Act would save 280,000 educator jobs, modernize and repair 35,000 schools, create jobs for hundreds of thousands of construction workers, provide additional help to the long-term unemployed, and invest in programs to provide disadvantaged youth and young adults with employment opportunities. These are not radical ideas; they are real solutions to get Americans back to work doing the work that needs to be done.

If you, on the other hand, are still committed to people (the actual human kind) who have lives, and families, and are feeling pain in a way that Republican members of the United States Senate will never know, then there is something you can do. And the good news is that if you’re in Anchorage, it involves bratwurst and pretzels.

I know. You weren’t expecting that part, were you?

Tomorrow from 12-3pm, join the crowd at the AFL-CIO building at 3333 Denali Street.

There will be brats, sauerkraut, pretzels and drinks – plus an opportunity to send a quick message to our congressional delegation by writing a letter, or speaking a few words on the video postcard that will be sent to them.  Speak up loudly for good jobs, and the American worker. And don’t be stingy with the mustard!

“We demand action!” says President of the Alaska AFL-CIO Vince Beltrami. This political posturing while people suffer has gone on long enough… Continuing to do nothing is unacceptable.”

If you are outside Alaska and unsure how your senators voted, or if you’d like to send them each a message about their votes, click HERE.




33 Responses to “Murkowski Votes Against Jobs, Deficit Reduction, Veterans, Teachers, and Taxing Millionaires. (Rally!)”
  1. Man_from_Unk says:

    I wonder who Lisa M. is glaring at in the picture. Glad it’s not me. She is a weasel.

  2. Zyxomma says:

    “Unfortunately, so far the Republicans can and do “continue to stall progress simply to make a political statement.””

    The political statement is “Obama must fail.” They don’t give a flying duck about American jobs, the American economy, American infrastructure, or the American people.

  3. mike from iowa says:

    Put the real,good pork back into politics. Tell your representatives that unless they bring home the high quality bacon-good jobs,living wages,people’s self esteem,etc, they will be walking in the unemployment lines. Most of these swine already have cushy jobs lined up once they get off the regular government dole and swill away at their retirement funds.

  4. beaglemom says:

    When I read in the newspaper that Harry Reid, Democratic majority leader, voted with the Republicans so that he could help the bill proceed (!!!) I wrote to Sen. Carl Levin and complained. First of all, why is this crazy 60-vote requirement that the Republicans put in place in the 1990’s still in effect and, secondly, why on earth would the majority leader vote against his own party’s president? The Constitution states that the Senate vote to pass a law must be a majority, not a 60-vote majority. This requirement to put a bill on the floor has caused much of the stalemate in the Senate during the past years. It’s just plain unconstitutional. And Harry Reid? I think he voted the way he wanted to vote; there was no strategy there. Just a not very good majority leader. Imagine a Republican leader in Congress voting against his own party! It would never happen.

    • benlomond2 says:

      as I understand it, by voting against it,procedurally Reid can bring the bill back to the floor for another vote. If he hadn’t , then it would have died and they’d have to start all over again…it’s that pesky parilmentary procedure crap…

  5. leenie17 says:

    Citizens United seems to have freed up the Republicans from the bothersome task of pretending to care about their constituents. In the past, they may not have given a rat’s patootie about the people they were elected to represent, but they still had to put on a good show to insure that the donations and votes kept coming.

    Now that they have access to unlimited corporate funds, they can buy enough sleazy, lie-filled ads to win an election without having to bother associating with all those poor, powerless ‘little people’, or throwing them an occasional helpful bit of legislation. And, if by chance they lose an election, they’ve garnered enough favors with legislation that benefits their big donors that they will be awarded a nice cushy job with an enormous paycheck to add to their government salary.

    I’m not sure whether to be grateful for or disgusted by their newfound honesty. They are truly shameless.

  6. Moose Pucky says:

    Go Anchorage!

  7. Enjay in E MT says:

    Our Senator Tester (D) also voted against the Jobs bill
    Altho I am NOT happy with him – I understand a bit of the reasoning.

    In our case, Montana does have TWO Dem senators – yet we are considered
    a “red state” My guess would be 49/51 split if Montanans would have voted
    on the bill themselves, so Tester was doomed either way.

    Tester is up for election in 2012 – against a bright red conservative
    congressman Denny Rehberg, who is a typical control freak dik-wad.
    Rehberg does vote 100% GOP Party line in the house, and would
    expect no difference if (God forbid) he does become senator.

    Tester is not a ‘blue dog’ – yet conservative in his political leanings,
    like our much loved Gov. Schweitzer (D)

    save for a rainy day
    don’t spend more than you make
    take care of the earth
    be a good neighbor.

  8. fishingmamma says:

    No surprises here. Her dad did not listen to the people of Alaska and this apple has not fallen far from the tree.

  9. Mo says:

    Alaska doesn’t seem to be suffering the same high rate of joblessness as elsewhere in the country. Yes, unemployment is approaching 8% statewide, but places where the money and power hang out seem to be doing pretty well, with unemployment in the 4% range.

    So I wonder if Republican/Prevo voters are really feeling any sort of unemployment pinch? Although, frankly, I also wonder if these voters lost their jobs, were bankrupted, driven from their foreclosed homes into the streets, to live out of dumpsters and cower under cardboard shacks, watching their kids go dirty and ill-clad to school just so they can get something to eat… if they _still_ wouldn’t vote Republican. Cause that’s just how cognitive dissonance and epistemic closure work.

    • Pinwheel says:

      I would be careful to believe or quote SOA statistics on employment. If one reads the fine print so many exceptions, adjustments are applied to the calculation, even the Alaska Senate didn’t accept the reports submitted to them last term.

  10. Lacy Lady says:

    Constitution My ASS!!!!! Thgat would be the sign I would put up in my front yard!

  11. anonymous says:

    This is not surprising considering that most of Lisa’s write-in victory was funded by “corporations.” In an election system closed to all except for those willing to sell their soul, er I mean votes, to the highest corporate bidder, Ms. Murkowski’s vote clearly signals she serves the wealthy and their corporations, and let the public be damned.

    For those of you who voted for Murkowski, this is what’s known as a Pyrrhic victory. Lisa serves the people who fund her elections, not the people whose votes their money enticed. Scott MacAdams was the only public servant running in that election.

    We need to get the money out of politics.
    (I’ll have to file that one away under: Wishful Thinking!)

  12. slipstream says:

    “misspelled on Tea Party sings” . . .


  13. Baker's Dozen says:

    Do Republicans ever look happy? I’ve never seen such a sour bunch of people in my life! Why do they think it’s their business to make the rest of us as miserable as they are?

  14. carol says:

    This did it for me. I’m going to be donating (my hard earned, not surplus cash) to the Democrats. I’ve held off because I needed to get some other things in order, that’s done now. I’m going to write to Lisa and tell her that she pushed me over the edge, the Dems are getting my money now – not just my verbal support, my money.
    As we know, this conversation wouldn’t be happening on this blog if McAdams had been elected – damn.

  15. bubbles says:

    terribly sad. so many people who should have voted for Scott McAdams purposely voted against their own best interests. i remember many Lisa trolls who inundated the Flats during the last election. many were convinced by their convoluted logic that somehow this woman would do the right thing if Democrats voted for her. they succeeded i wonder what they think now. not that any of them will come back to tell us.

    • ks sunflower says:

      She is doing the right thing – for her and the GOP.

      I join you in thinking those who wasted their vote on her should be feeling the royal fools right about now. They can make up for to some extent though by being vocal and active in letting her and the media know how unhappy they are she is cleaving to the party line instead of helping Alaskans.

    • North of the Range says:

      I keep running into regular Dem voters who voted for her in the general out of revulsion at Miller, and fear that he might win in the three-way. While I understand that, I felt that my vote needed to go to McAdams in spite of the risk, because if you don’t vote for your own interest, and for the candidate you determine would best represent you, *who* will?

      This is a very predictable result. We’re seeing the same votes Miller would have taken on these matters. How was this better, again?

      • Alaska Pi says:

        I was as worried about LM doing her same old Party-first thing, which she is doing, as whatever hoo-bobby JM might get up to.

  16. Simple Mind says:

    If there wasn’t so much riding on it, it would be kind of sad. Lisa Murkowski may be a very nice person. Or maybe she is not. It really makes no difference now. She chooses to remain a member of a party that has been captured by the same fanatical fringe that rejected Murkowski in the Alaskan Republican primary. Despite intimations by her staff, she has not shown the personal strength to “go it alone”. So while she will surely continue to show some independence in matters where her vote doesn’t count and the Republican Party has nothing to lose, Murkowski will also continue to take her marching orders from her bosses at the Republican Party in matters where a vote is on a truly significant bill and the count is close. The leaders of the Republican Party have announced that their sole priority is not the good of the country but the defeat of President Obama and their own return to power. Murkowski marches with them.

    • Moose Pucky says:

      Lisa has always and will always continue to put partisan politics first. She’s a Republican.

      • Simple Mind says:

        I agree. My point was that when Murkowski was in the state legislature here in Alaska, she cultivated the image of a bipartisan centrist, an image she continued to project during her early Senate career. (To give credit where due, she has a history of voting contrary to the Republican line in one area – abortion.) Her image as a reasonable moderate made it all the more incomprehensible when during her primary fight with Joe Miller, she ran what had to be one of the worst campaigns in recent decades. Complete with down vest and strident rhetoric condemning a federal government that she and her father have personified for decades, she tried to “out-Tea Party” Miller. Her moderate supporters stayed home and the tin-foil hat crowd clobbered her in favor of Taliban Joe. She staged a unique comeback in her write-in campaign, largely on the idea that she’d be an independent Alaskan vote without obligation to the Republican party that had just turned its back on her. It appears, however, that this is just another ploy. Her voting record is to be independent when it doesn’t matter and to obey her Republican marching orders when it does. With the notable exception of being pro-Choice, Murkowski is a loyal Republican follower.

        • Moose Pucky says:

          When she ran against Knowles for Senate, in the debate, Knowles said he would put Alaska first. Murkowski said, “You don’t know how Washington works, you have to put the party first. It’s important to be part of the party in power.” She really hasn’t changed at all.

  17. barbara says:

    i’ve been meaning to call my republican senator since yesterday. i detest them so much at this point i’m not sure i’ll be able to make sense if i don’t write it down before i call. but here’s what i think. as you said AKM, who left in this country actually believes that the GOP has the best interests of the country in mind? surely less and less by the day. and it’s going to hurt them in the next election. there was an election on Tuesday here in NC, and the openings in the school board in my county went entirely or almost entirely (one undecided race the last i heard) to Democrats. a BIG turn in the tide from 2010. a small glimpse of 2012. i was going to tell Burr to take heed, but then i thought, what if he does, then i remembered, oh, yeah. people are suffering and need for congress to act NOW to ease that suffering. so as much as i would and will delight in seeing the republicans go off the cliff in 2012, what i would actually prefer to see happen is for those republicans to govern NOW. the country needs that NOW.

  18. OzMud says:

    Are there ordinances in Alaska which prohibit people from putting up signs on their properties? Like front yard fences or store fronts – if there aren’t you could start a signage campaign something like “Hey Lisa! Remember when you said “I’M NOT GOING TO QUIT ON MY STATE!” Well – by not voting for the American Jobs Act – you just did.”

    Go for a total public humiliation campaign. Throw all her slogans and campaign promises back at her – and on as many fences and shop fronts as possible. “We lived up to our promise – we voted for you – it’s time you lived up to yours and voted for us.”

    I’d plaster her unkept promises in as many public places as I could and then post them all over the internet – including youtube – and email them to every Alaska public official not just a couple of senators but everyone holding an elected office.

    • ks sunflower says:

      Those are great ideas, OzMud. I hope people will implement them.

      Of course, it all depends upon whether Lisa has any sense of shame, any sense of honor and integrity. If not, she will simply ignore it all.

      (I know the Senators from Kansas ignore criticism. Pat Roberts, for example, cannot be bothered by the little people. Maybe Lisa will react more like a human than a programmed robot like Roberts. I shall hope so.)

      But it might wake her voters up or at least give them pause.

  19. beaglemom says:

    At this point in time, I’d like to know the name of one Republican in Congress who has the interests of the American people at heart. It the people aren’t rich the Republicans to a person are not interested.

    • honeybabe says:

      and since we know we are the 99% it should be obvious that we vote against republicans who are only for the wealthy and the corporations and the banks.

  20. Marilyn says:

    I don’t know why this action (or inaction) by Lisa Murkowski would surprise anyone. she has NEVER had either America’s (or Alaska’s) best interest at heart. She is all about being relected and she probably will be simply because Alaskan voters CANNOT see past the end of their big red noses. They voted her in the first time she ran, they voted her in the second time…she sees a bright and rich future ahead of her, why should she do what WE want or need! Big oil turned Alaska from a blue state to a red state and it will stay a mostly a red state until Alaskans wake up.

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