With the U.S. job market on more solid footing, President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address Tuesday night to advance a philosophy he’s increasingly embraced over the past year — that the federal government can and should raise baseline standards inside the American workplace.
Whether it was paid leave, the minimum wage or gender pay equity, the president made his case to a skeptical, Republican-controlled Congress that Washington needs to establish rules governing how the economy works for everyday people, particularly when wages are stagnating despite broader job gains.
Fifty US senators affirmed that they indeed do believe that the activities of human beings contribute to climate change. OK. But 49 senators — fully half the upper house that represents our grand republic — do not. So, hey, you go out there and burn whatever carbon you want to? Not sure what to make of that. But we thought you might want to know just which representatives have absolved you of your responsibility to the planet. So here’s a list — of the senators who think climate change is some other species’ problem, and then the senators who wish we’d maybe do something about it.
“I prefer that we avoid these very contentious social issues,” said moderate Rep. Charlie Dent, reprising comments he gave in the closed-door conference meeting. “Week one, we had a speaker election that did not go as well as a lot of us would have liked. Week two, we got into a big fight over deporting children, something that a lot of us didn’t want to have a discussion about. Week three, we are now talking about rape and incest and reportable rapes and incest for minors. … I just can’t wait for week four.”