Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Repubs Use Flag as Diversionary Ploy

And it almost worked. Yesterday the Senate rejected by one vote a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning. A two-thirds majority (67 votes) is required to amend the constitution. The flag-burning ban got 66 votes in favor of the amendment. This kind of grand-standing to keep our attention off the real problems in the Bush administration will keep coming up the closer we get to elections: Gay marriage, flag burning, amnesty for illegal immigrants--anything to keep the news off the news. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was the main sponsor of the flag-burning amendment. He said the minority who opposed it would be held accountable in November. "I think this is getting to where they are not going to be able to escape the wrath of the voters," were his exact words. Voters are going to be WRATHFUL over flag-burning, an offense that seldom occurs? I doubt it. The wrath of voters is already focused on Republicans who have backed the Bush administration and its fascist aims. Republicans like Orrin Hatch whose term ends in 2007. Following is the Hatch record on a few political issues. Sudan: civil war not a US threat; terrorism is. McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform is unconstitutional. Soft money gets out the vote; against banning it. Voted NO on negotiating bulk purchases for Medicare prescription drug. Voted NO on allowing importation of prescription drugs from Canada. Voted NO on allowing patients to sue HMOs & collect punitive damages. Voted YES on funding GOP version of Medicare prescription drug benefit. Voted YES on reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act. Voted YES on allowing more foreign workers into the US for farm work. Voted NO on investigating contract awards in Iraq & Afghanistan. Voted YES on authorizing use of military force against Iraq. Rated 0% by APHA, indicating an anti-public health voting record. Rated 0% by the ARA, indicating an anti-senior voting record. Rated 0% by SANE, indicating a pro-military voting record. Orrin Hatch, who is 72 years old, is like so many Republicans who love war and all things military. Hatch has never served in any war and has no military record whatsoever. But give Hatch a flag to wave and he’s out in front of any parade. How about enacting a law that all American flags, regardless of size, have to be manufactured in the United States? How about enacting a law that requires that all people who make American flags in the US have to be paid at least $10 an hour? The July 3 issue of The New Yorker has a great cover called “Dependence Day”. It’s a drawing of Asian workers toiling in a flag-making sweatshop.

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