Compare and contrast...
Anti-sweatshop leaders and some members of Congress have long sought to increase wages and protect the islands' garment workers, most of whom are women, from what amounts to indentured servitude. But their efforts were repeatedly stalled in Congress.
Amid increasing partisan tension over President Bush's judicial nominees and domestic wiretapping, the panel voted along party lines to send the constitutional amendment - which would prohibit states from recognizing same-sex marriages - to the full Senate, where it stands little chance of passing.
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*** ***Two stories in the last couple of days illustrate how political opportunism trumps principle.
Terry Gross looks at an article in the current Ms. Magazine describing terrible working conditions in the Marianas Islands, a U.S. Territory exempt from Federal wage and hour laws but technically "in the U.S." permitting products made there to be distributed by U.S. companies duty-free, and with that good old "Made in USA" label attached. Efforts to correct conditions there have been solidly blocked for years by lobbyists and key leadership in Congress. The clip is 27 minutes long if you want to listen, with that detail about sixteen or seventeen minutes into the interview.
It's okay to bring an issue to the floor that is sure to fail, but not okay if it is almost certain to pass. I don't get it. Where's the representative part of representative democracy?
I need to take a break from reading and come back later. My cynicism is getting out of hand.