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Specter To Oppose Employee Free Choice Act



Arlen Specter's decision to oppose the Employee Free Choice Act almost certainly could help him fend off a primary challenge in 2010. (Post Photo by Richard A. Lipski)

Sen. Arlen Specter's (R-Pa.) decision to vote against the Employee Free Choice Act, a reversal of a position he took just two years ago, is evidence of the seriousness with which he views the looming primary challenge from former Rep. Pat Toomey.

Specter announced his opposition to the legislation during a speech on the Senate floor early this afternoon and immediately drew plaudits from conservatives. "Senator Specter has come through in the clutch," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "This is almost certain to be the single most important vote of 2009."

Specter cited the alleged elimination of the secret ballot in EFCA as the main reason he is opposing the legislation.

He also noted that his decision is likely to doom the bill with all 59 Democrats (assuming Al Franken is seated in the Senate) will vote to end debate on EFCA while all 41 Republicans will cast a "no" vote.

"In a highly polarized Senate, many decisive votes are left to a small group who are willing to listen, reject ideological dogmatism, disagree with the party line and make an independent judgment. It is an anguishing position, but we play the cards we are dealt."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid insisted that the bill still could be passed, maintaining that Specter was "not the only Republican that has indicated a willingness to consider
something being done."

EFCA, which is known as "card check" to Republicans, is the hottest button issue of the 111th Congress. Democrats largely see the legislation as a much-needed course correction to allow workers to more easily form unions. Republicans cast it as an anti-business measure that would allow organizers to pressure their colleagues into joining unions.

In 2007, Specter was the lone Republican vote for EFCA, which received 51 total votes -- well short of the 60 required to shut off debate in the Senate.

Democratic pickups in the 2008 election brought their numbers to 58 -- 59 if Al Franken (D) prevails over former Sen. Norm Coleman (R) in the Minnesota race. Assuming that Democrats could hold their caucus together (and there are real questions surrounding senators like Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas), Specter was seen as the 60th vote to end debate and force an up or down vote that would require only a simple majority to pass. His defection badly complicates the Democrats' path to 60 votes on EFCA.

It's hard not to see Specter's decision through the lens of 2010. Toomey, who came within two points of beating Specter in a 2004 primary, and was expected to take a pass on a rematch as recently as a month ago. But, Toomey has made clear of late that he is going to run and ramped up his criticism of Specter's conservative bona fides (or lack thereof).

Two weeks ago today, Toomey, the president of the fiscally conservative Club for Growth, posted a statement on the organization's Web site calling EFCA an "abomination."

Today, Toomey said of Specter's announcement: "It's nice to see Sen. Specter reverse his position in a positive direction on card check, but I wish it didn't take primary opposition to get him to do it."

Specter and his advisers knew that if he kept his 2007 positioning on EFCA, Toomey would use the vote as a cudgel to bludgeon him among conservatives who roundly see the legislation as an attempt by unions to further expand their already considerable power.

Specter's opposition of EFCA robs Toomey of a silver bullet type political issue in a Republican primary. Toomey will almost certainly pivot to blast Specter as a flip-flopper on the issue but the Senator and his advisers have decided that the short term pain is worth the long term gain of being on the right side of the issue in the minds of primary voters.

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 24, 2009; 3:05 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

.
My state, Pennsylvania, is ready for a new U.S. Senator. Spector is pathetic. He has lost his voter base.

Spector is owned by rich business interests, the "Jewish Lobby", and the NRA.

Spector is totally out of touch with the working class voters.

DUMP Old Arlen Spector !!!!!!!!!!

.

Posted by: JAMadison4 | March 25, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I think its a fantastic decision. Taking away a workers right to a secret ballot is a bunch of undemocratic rubish. It's especially amusing when you go back and listen to all those Democrats in Congress who support this piece of garbage lecturing third world countries on how they should be using secret ballots for their elections. Card check is payback to the big unions who've spent mega bucks getting Democrats elected and now they want something for all those Congressmen they've bought and paid for. It's all about getting more dues paying union members onto the books. Look at the few industries left in this county that are heavily unionized and you'll notice every one of them are dying or are being transferred overseas. The irony is that union greed and intransigenence is causing the very industries that provide their members jobs to go under.

Posted by: RobT1 | March 25, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

TO: hisroc
RE: Lame psy ops

FYI...

***


TO: All intel analysts/agents/operatives [EYES ONLY]

RE: "Target" surveillance/profiling


For cautionary example of what unrepentant dissidents term "lame psy ops," you are directed to recent entries in "comments" section of internet "blog" "articles" linked below.

When analyzing said humint responses to "target" postings, reference this exigent statement of inquiry:

Is this statecraft?


http://www.nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network--terrorizes-america
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

http://www.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 24, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

"Democrats will pick up about 5 Senate seats next year."

If Obama keeps up at this rate, the only seats Democrats are going to pick up are the ones in the unemployment office.

Posted by: Ombudsman1

Well, with about 600,000 newly unemployed every month that's over 10 million new votes in 2010. Compare that with the number of voters that the GOP lost between 2005 and 2008.

Quite a legacy from Bush Republican rule.

Posted by: JPRS | March 24, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

"Democrats will pick up about 5 Senate seats next year."

If Obama keeps up at this rate, the only seats Democrats are going to pick up are the ones in the unemployment office.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | March 24, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

John-from-far-away,

First I think JoeSchmoe06 agrees with you given that you have posted my response to him.

So on the first measure, you are WRONG!

In reference to #3

"3. If you were familiar with the NLRB laws you would realize
a) Management cannot intimidate or it is a NLRB Violation which leads to a fine
b) Management cannot lie or mislead employees or it leads to an NLRB violation and a fine."

Response: Management cannot do "A" or "B" legally; however, the enforcement of those laws presupposes that there is a federal agency interested in enforcing the law. This is not always the case.

"It will reduce profit but WILL ALSO MAKE THE US LESS COMPETITIVE It will help to restore some balance to the economy. As the benefits that Unions have fought for became law they have made themselves obsolte. We dont need Unions, they will only make our economy shrink as they make the US economy less competitive"

Unionization rates in Canada are 30 percent+; other developed countries have 40+ unionization rates. Norway and Denmark have rates over 70 percent. In this country during the long boom after World War II we had unionization rates comparable to Canada.

One common feature that you'll find in 3rd world countries is a complete absence of organized labor. I can't think of a free representative political system that lacks a strong labor component.

Maybe you favor a dictatorship or some kind of oligarchy. I believe there's great virtue in a free society where there is some muscle to protect the social contract. No one receives a share of the national wealth on the basis of passivity or wishful thinking.

As far as the profitability question goes, if wages decrease -- as they do in an environment where there is no organized labor -- then there are fewer dollars available for consumer goods -- the economy becomes top-heavy with too much investment income chasing too few investment opportunities.

In an economy where consumer spending is absolutely critical -- like ours -- the decline of wages becomes the kiss of death for the economic order.

Posted by: JPRS | March 24, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

At the rate Republicans are going in their effort to purge their own party of every moderate, pragmatic voice and their attempt to defeat President Obama's agenda (he, of the 64% approval rating), Republicans will find themselves wildly defeated come 2010.
If they thought 2008 was a defeat, just wait until 2010 when the President's Recovery Act has had the chance to work and his other plans have been put in place and the American people find themselves WANTING him to lead those who WILL be led.
And, those who WILL be led are not Republicans. It doesn't matter what Specter does, he is going to lose to a Democrat.

Posted by: cms1 | March 24, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Ever since Specter acted as prosecutor in the Clarence Thomas hearings, going after Anita Hill & even accusing her, w/o foundation, of "perjury," I have had no respect for him. At that time, I told him that I, then a resident of PA, wd never vote for him again. We lived there 12 more years, & I never did. Like many politicians, he is a slave to political expediency. It's time he was replaced by a person of principle, of either party.

Posted by: PatriciaRSweeney | March 24, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Anyone pushing the "card check passage will abolish a union's right to call a secret ballot" is an outright liar.

Once again, the GOP shows it's complete hatred of the working and middle class in our country, and the party wonders why the vast majority of voters repudiated their views the past two elections.

At some point, the Republicans will realize that groveling for Rush Limbaugh's approval will NOT increase their seats in Congress, but hopefully, not for another few devastating election cycles.

Posted by: kingcranky | March 24, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

LOL...Pat Toomey?

No chance in hell.

Posted by: Attucks | March 24, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

JoeSchmoe06 You are WRONG! See the truth below!!!

Card check serves a few purposes:

1. It allows workers to vote on whether they want an open or closed voting process -- it takes the choice away from management. -- WRONG !!! It allows the union to avoid a hidden ballot vote by manipulating, cajoling, and pressuring employees into signing the Union card. If 50% of the cards are signed the Union is voted in -- IT DOES NOT ALLOW A VOTE !! Check out the current Law -- IT DOES ALLOW A VOTE ONCE 50% OF UNION CARDS ARE SIGNED.

2. It makes it harder for management to slow-walk a vote once a sufficient number of employees have voted in favor of a unionization vote. WRONG AGAIN!!! The current NLRB laws require management to allow a vote once the Union brings the case to the NLRB. Sure negotiations are required after employees vote a Union in and employers have the obligation to protect their owners (or stockholders) by negotiating a fair compensation program.

3. It makes it harder for management to intimidate workers during the period in advance of the unionization vote. WRONG WRONG WRONG !!! If you were familiar with the NLRB laws you would realize
a) Management cannot intimidate or it is a NLRB Violation which leads to a fine
b) Management cannot lie or mislead employees or it leads to an NLRB violation and a fine.

By the way Unions can (and do regularly) do both and suffer NO PENALTY!!!!!

It makes it easier for workers to organize. Right it will but it will tip the balance clearly in the favor of labor where not the balance is nearly perfect It will eat into company profit margins in the short-term, but it will also help to bolster wages in the middle of the economy over the long-term. It will reduce profit but WILL ALSO MAKE THE US LESS COMPETITIVE It will help to restore some balance to the economy (e.g. as we had during the big post-war economic boom in the U.S. from 1946 to 1973 when unionization rates in the U.S. for the private sector were in excess of 30 percent). However I repeat it will make us less competitive!! In the time period you refer to Unionization rates declined STEADILY as companies added benefits and improved wages. As the benefits that Unions have fought for became law they have made themselves obsolte. We dont need Unions, they will only make our economy shrink as they make the US economy less competitive

Posted by: John-from-far-away | March 24, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

peddle faster barry. The truth is gaining on ya.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 24, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Outstanding Decision Mr. Specter!!

The EFCA -- better described as the Card Check Act actually REMOVES the right to a free democratic election. How is that Free Choice? It is not!! it is unions getting payback for the millions and millions of dollars they have spent on the political process.

The EFCA is an enabler for the union. In free elections in the last 50 years we have seen unionization decrease significantly with the exception of a small uptick in the last few years. As an enabler the EFCA will make the US economy LESS COMPETITIVE and will cause it continue to SHRINK. That is not good for job security. Although the unions sell the idea of job security they clearly cannot deliver it and if anything will force the US economy into an uncompetitive position. Do we want the rest of the economy to follow the model in Detroit? The auto industry is not necessarily the best model to follow for the rest of the country. I think most people will agree to that!!! However, it is not the American worker who is at fault, it is not the quality of the product per se, it is not the design, it is the cost -- and the cost is driven largely by labor costs. Is the person who is bolting the wheels on the right side of your car worth $100K + per year? NO they are not. Why are they paid that much -- Unions.

Need I say more? Unions will DRIVE the US economy into the GROUND... Vote NO to the EFCA!

Posted by: John-from-far-away | March 24, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

It's time to retire Senator. Dems are taking your seat regardless. Just get out of the way.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | March 24, 2009 8:15 PM | Report abuse

This is a bad bad bad political decision by Specter. EFCA is going to go through anyway -- the only question is whether it is now or 2011. So in trying to make it out the primary Specter is choosing to appease a reactionary conservative base who hates him anyway. As a result the center and left will now vote to can him in the general election. A double miscalculation: He could probably make it out as an independent having voted for EFCA. Poli Sci 101.

Posted by: justinread | March 24, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

hes done.how long has he been there anyway? do the people of pa. really want this guy for another 6 yrs. like dodd in conn. and the drunk from ar.time to get these people out .also martinez from fl. votes no on everything but hasnt had an original thought in the whole time he has been in the senate .TERM LIMITS>

Posted by: donaldtucker | March 24, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

JoeSchmoe06,

Card check serves a few purposes:

1. It allows workers to vote on whether they want an open or closed voting process -- it takes the choice away from management.

2. It makes it harder for management to slow-walk a vote once a sufficient number of employees have voted in favor of a unionization vote.

3. It makes it harder for management to intimidate workers during the period in advance of the unionization vote.

It makes it easier for workers to organize. It will eat into company profit margins in the short-term, but it will also help to bolster wages in the middle of the economy over the long-term. It will help to restore some balance to the economy (e.g. as we had during the big post-war economic boom in the U.S. from 1946 to 1973 when unionization rates in the U.S. for the private sector were in excess of 30 percent).

Posted by: JPRS | March 24, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

scrivener50,

"They" are censoring your postings. Now put fresh tin foil in your hat and keep quiet about the coup or "they" will have to come and get you.

Posted by: hisroc | March 24, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Has Specter decided against a 2010 run?

This vote certainly seems to suggest as much. His best bet was to leave the GOP and vote for the EFCA. With this vote against the measure, it's hard to see how he gains sufficient cross-party support to maintain his seat -- assuming he even gets the GOP nomination.

Posted by: JPRS | March 24, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Tim, what do you mean the "fallacy" of the elimination of the secret ballot vote? It is a simple fact that the legislation replaces secret balloting with card check. Oh, of course the secret ballot _technically_ stays on the books, but no union organizer in their right mind would elect to take the hard road when they could take the easy, card check route.

Next time, get your facts from somewhere other than Rachel Maddow, partisan hack.

Posted by: JoeSchmoe06 | March 24, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Well, that may be bad news for now, but it's far better news for the long run. Specter has ZERO chance of carrying PA in the general if he votes against EFCA and gets all those PA unions working night an day to oust him. Once his and two or three other GOP senate seats shift to the Dems in 2010, this and all other Dem legislation will pass with no trouble at all.

Posted by: dolph924 | March 24, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I tend not to be knee jerk about issues and their supporters, but when you hear Republicans claiming to stick up for unions, its pretty certain that they are shamelessly lying.

Posted by: DDAWD
===========================================
Please explain to me how the right to cast a vote in private hurts any citizen whether they are a union supporter or not.
The only reason I can ascertain for "Card Check" is intimidation. If you truly want people to be able to vote the way they want without outside interferance I do not see how you can support this bill.

Posted by: saw1 | March 24, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Arlen is wonderful. What a great thing for take this stand. Labor unions time as long long past. They have ruined the auto industry and more.

I want everyone in the USA to make a good living. Joining a union...any union...is not the way to do it.

Posted by: jacksplat1 | March 24, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

"So brainz-missing. Which is he. It is so far hard to tell, what with all the empty speeches. Although speeches are a big part of both. Deploy the propoganda. Deceive the masses. They are donkeys( rhymes with masses) after all. Marx would be proud."

And now he brings in Marx (while he still hasn't told us what Marxism even is...). So what is it, is he a fascist or a communist? Is he just empty speeches, or does he have too many ideas, as the out-of-ideas Republicans are now using as their main line of attack? Talk about a lack of coherence, you Republicans just fling insults around as empty words hoping that something will stick and that no one will notice that you have no answers, and just look like a bunch of fools.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | March 24, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

I hope that Spector loses in the primary. He is arrogant and abrasive and frankly is not the fiscal conservative that he pretends to be. I just hope that more Republicans get elected in 2010 to prove that Americans know that Obama is a big phony.

Posted by: rmoonin | March 24, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

So remind me why we want to pass legislation that will cause more people to lose their jobs and more manufacturing to move out of the country?

Posted by: Obama_Liar_in_Chief | March 24, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Specter is just one more politician who thinks it's more important to get re-elected than to do what he feels is right. Maybe it's time he WAS ousted, along with alot of other career politicians.

Posted by: brainfart007 | March 24, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

"Inquiring minds will want to know the Republican party only believes in the secret ballot when it suits their political agenda. Please consider the rules of the RNC:"

I tend not to be knee jerk about issues and their supporters, but when you hear Republicans claiming to stick up for unions, its pretty certain that they are shamelessly lying.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 24, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

"It's truly comical, I actually see the episode of the Simpsons when McBain is attacking the Commie-Nazis."

One of the funniest Simpsons moments, haha.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 24, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse


i agree. specter is making a mistake.

EFCA is more than "card check"....

For right to work states (like this Arizona state down here), it is our ticket out and we need it, desperately...

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 24, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Inquiring minds will want to know the Republican party only believes in the secret ballot when it suits their political agenda. Please consider the rules of the RNC:

"No votes (except elections to office when properly ordered pursuant to the provisions of Robert’s Rules of Order) shall be taken by secret ballot in any open meeting of the Republican National Committee or of any committee thereof."

Consider also in regards to the EFCA:

"EFCA does not eliminate the possibility of secret ballot elections. Workers could still petition for a secret ballot election under the provisions in the existing National Labor Relations Act."

Finally consider, from the Center for Economic and POlicy Research

"This report finds a steep rise in illegal firings of pro-union workers in the 2000s relative to the last half of the 1990s. It uses published data from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to update an index of the probability that a pro-union worker will be fired in the course of a union election campaign.

By 2005, pro-union workers involved in union election campaigns faced about a 1.8 percent chance of being illegally fired during the course of the campaign. If we assume that employers target union organizers and activists, and that union organizers and activists make up about 10 percent of pro-union workers, our estimates suggest that almost one-in-five union organizers or activists can expect to be fired as a result of their activities in a union election campaign."

It follows that alternative methods of union organizing are to be suppressed at all costs in order to prevent union formation. Employers would like to be able to fire organizers and maintain their ability to extract a disproportionate share of the value added during production. They are willing to lie to do so. This should not surprise anyone who has followed the AIG scandal and is aware of the rapacious nature of corporate managers in this country. What surprises me is that a sitting US Senator can repeat the lies and be unchallenged. This represents another in a long line of failures of the press (WMD in Iraq, the financial debacle). The only person to effectively challenge the establishment press is John Stuart of the Daily Show on the Comedy Central Channel. (Inquiring minds will view his dissection of Mr.Cramer and CNBC).

In addition to his failure to challenge Senator Spector on the secret ballot issue, Mr Cillizza failed to inquire in his reporting why the unions did not use the "considerable power" they are alleged to have to prevent organizers from being fired.

I am conflicted as to who is more shameful in this situtation, Senator Spector or Mr Cillizza.

Posted by: agdpost | March 24, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Before you know it, our senior Senator
will announce his support for the inclusion of Intelligent Design in the public school cirriculum of PA. How sad.

Dave Kerr

Posted by: kerrd | March 24, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

What about the cancer?
With any luck 2010 won't make any difference for Specter!

Posted by: kase | March 24, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

So brainz-missing. Which is he. It is so far hard to tell, what with all the empty speeches. Although speeches are a big part of both. Deploy the propoganda. Deceive the masses. They are donkeys( rhymes with masses) after all. Marx would be proud.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 24, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Smart move by Specter. The Unions are going to support the Dem nominee no matter how he votes.

Posted by: BenLaGuer | March 24, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

talking PA here. from fast eddie to,specter,to murtha and the locals,who opted to steal intra state (fumo etc.)these r big time porkers. continue electing these predators and stop complaining.

Posted by: pofinpa | March 24, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Washington Capitals Goaltender Rachel Maddow said this: "Along with the option of the secret ballot, employees could instead choose the option of signing consent cards. Employees get to pick which one they want to do. That would avoid the need for the scheduled election if they decided to go with the card thing. All the employee intimidation that often goes along with the election, they could pick the card thing instead. That's the bill -- either cards or the secret ballot election. Workers get to decide."

Complete BS from Mr. Maddow. In practice here's how it would really work:

Workers who want to unionize would sign cards; those opposed or uncertain would sign documents requesting an election with private ballots. Those not signing cards would fall under immediate suspicion as anti-union -- if they weren't, why not just sign the card?

Put another way, workers would decide on card check by a voting method closely resembling it.

Posted by: lure1 | March 24, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

My two year old is going through a Republican phase, his favorite words are "mine" and "no."

Posted by: kreuz_missile | March 24, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Zouk still can't tell the difference between a Socialist and a National Socialist. It's truly comical, I actually see the episode of the Simpsons when McBain is attacking the Commie-Nazis.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | March 24, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

No surprise that the National Socialists and their black shirt Acorn crooks are all for the thugs choice

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 24, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I'll bet the RNC has threatened to cut off money for his re-election.

I think he is making a mistake. PA is a blue state, they are not going to elect a new Republican Senator. Maybe he should become a Democrat or an Independent.

Posted by: beverlytarlow | March 24, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

And with that, Arlen Specter and the Senate seat in PA moves to #1 in the Fix's Ten Senate seats likely to flip in the next election (if it weren't there already...).

Posted by: kreuz_missile | March 24, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

"Chris, why isn't the fallacy of this allegation being more widely reported? On my local news and in my local paper of note, The SF Chronicle, it gets nary a mention. Opponents of EFCA are coming out against it for a reason that doesn't exist, and they aren't being called on it. The only reference to this that I've seen has been on The Rachel Maddow Show, and now as an allusion in your post today. This is a big deal, and the fact that opponents are getting away with a baseless, factless argument is infuriating."

Yeah, I've seen some ads for it too, but the media just doesn't seem interested in calling politicians out on the bald faced lie. It's ridiculous.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 24, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

SPECTER IS MAKING A HUGE MISTAKE.

PA CONSERVS ARE NOT AMONG HIS BASE -- CENTRIST REPUBS AND EVEN LIBERAL DEMS ARE.

Senator, please listen to this constituent; think carefully before you cast this vote.

Without a significant portion of PA labor behind you, you cannot be re-elected.

Surely you will come to this realization upon further reflection.

Do not entrap yourself out of a sense of fear. If you make the right moves, the Toomey candidacy will be D-O-A.

You don't need the far right to win the nomination. Why are you over-reacting?


***

YES -- It Has Happened AGAIN:


SUGGESTED QUESTIONS FOR POTUS PRESSER GOT THE 'HELD FOR BLOG OWNER' MESSAGE (AGAIN).

It is virtually certain that this message did NOT emanate from Wa-Po.

COULD THAT BE BECAUSE QUESTION #1 WAS ABOUT THE SEYMOUR HERSH REPORT OF AN 'EXECUTIVE ASSASSINATION RING' ALLEGEDLY RUN OUT OF THE BUSH WHITE HOUSE?

Fix readers, the apparent censorship and/or prior restraint this journalist has experienced is remarkable in its scope, and in its brazen and random application.

I'm really starting to wonder whether the nation is not in the midst of a silent coup.

How else to explain these apparent restrictions on free speech via the interception of telecommunications?

For those who are curious as to what would prompt such censorship, here is a link to the questions, courtesy of the American Civil Liberties Union -- apparently, the last bastion of free speech in America:


http://blog.aclu.org/2009/01/26/internet-filters-voluntary-ok-not-government-mandate

OR (if link is corrupted):

http://blog.aclu.org "free speech" section, go to "older entries" link, look for "internet filters" thread, last item.

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 24, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

And with this Specter loses the AFL-CIO support he was pledged on the condition he support EFCA. Labor will side with the Democrats, stacking the deck even further against whoever the Republican candidate will be. Meanwhile the GOP continues its fealty to its base. Specter should switch to an independent and hope to cut through the middle in 2010.

Posted by: thecorinthian | March 24, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"Specter cited the alleged elimination of the secret ballot in EFCA as the main reason he is opposing the legislation." Chris, why isn't the fallacy of this allegation being more widely reported? On my local news and in my local paper of note, The SF Chronicle, it gets nary a mention. Opponents of EFCA are coming out against it for a reason that doesn't exist, and they aren't being called on it. The only reference to this that I've seen has been on The Rachel Maddow Show, and now as an allusion in your post today. This is a big deal, and the fact that opponents are getting away with a baseless, factless argument is infuriating.

Posted by: timsnelling | March 24, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Nothing like covering your tail-end at the expense of others, eh Arlen?

Posted by: soonerthought | March 24, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

EFCA will be a watered-down nothing by the time there is any vote. Union members don't want to pay more for any product or service..they just want to preserve their own jobs.

Posted by: newbeeboy | March 24, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Specter is trying to avoid getting tossed in the great Purge of 2010.

Unluckily for him, there will be few America-hating Republicans that will survive 2010.

Posted by: WillSeattle | March 24, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Only delaying the inevitable. Democrats will pick up about 5 Senate seats next year.

Posted by: jgoodfri1971 | March 24, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

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