equal pay day


Today is National Equal Pay Day – the symbolic day that marks the length of time the average woman must work into the new year to earn the same as men did in the previous year.

Still not sure about the fact? Just watch this handy video

Or if you prefer your message with some humor,

The Gliberal Goddesses™ – @GottaLaff, Amy Simon and I – gathered today to discuss that, Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and more, in the second hour of today’s show.

In the second hour, I was joined by Thomas Schaller,   professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and author of Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South  and his new book, The Stronghold: How Republicans Captured Congress but Surrendered the White House.  I invited Tom on the show to ask to give us the facts about a constitutional convention in the wake of this disconcerting news story from last week:

Constitutional Convention Coming?

  • Conservative state legislators fed up with the gridlock in Washington are increasingly turning to a plan to call a convention to consider a new amendment to the U.S. Constitution – an event that could, some opponents predict, lead to complete political chaos (WaPo, me)
  • Legislators in 27 states have passed applications for a convention to pass a balanced budget amendment. Proponents of a balanced budget requirement are planning to push for new applications in nine other states where Republicans control both chambers of the legislature
  • If those applications pass in seven of the nine targeted states, it would bring the number of applications up to 34, meeting the two-thirds requirement under Article V of the Constitution to force Congress to call a convention. What happens next is anyone’s guess (crazy town is what would happen)
  • The problem is that the Constitution is silent on how a convention would operate. How many delegates each state would receive, the rules, who would set the agenda – all would be up for grabs

Convention Chaos Coming?

  • Most worrying to some who oppose the convention: There’s no indication that a convention could be limited to just one topic. Michael Leachman at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which opposes a convention, says, “You’d have every interest group in the country recognizing that, if you’re opening up the Constitution, they want in on that.”
  • Legislation to call a convention to consider a balanced budget amendment is pending in four of the nine targeted states – Idaho, Arizona, South Carolina and Oklahoma.  Bills to call a convention failed in four others: Virginia, Wyoming, West Virginia and Montana. No bill has yet been introduced in Wisconsin
  • But even the number of states with live apps is up for debate. The Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force, a group with close ties to the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) says the 16 apps from the 70s and 80s remain valid, putting the number of states with live apps at 27 (of course ALEC does – sounds like it’s behind it)
  • “This is by far the most dangerous thing in the country today,” said Fred Wertheimer, who heads the campaign finance advocacy group Democracy 21. “If we ever got
    [to a convention], this would create a constitutional crisis unlike anything we’re seen in our lifetimes.”

We discussed that issue, and lots more.

And finally, I started the show with a topic that I truly hate – yet another police shooting of an unarmed black man. This time, the shooter “cop” was a volunteer, 73-year old insurance broker who reportedly paid his way into this position, and fired his gun after mistakenly thinking it was his taser.

The question should be, “Why is a volunteer wannabe cop armed in the first place?”….  Chris Hayes gave the details last night.

Finally, for a really sobering look at the epidemic of police shooting unarmed civilians, just click here and weep….

I’ll be back tomorrow with Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church & State and Dave Johnson with the latest on the Trans Pacific Partnership, radio or not!