April 24, 2007

Mandated Sick Leave Update: Not Surprisingly, It’s Gone National

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:26 am

From a Society for Human Resources Management e-mail I received yesterday:

On April 6, 2007 a petition was filed with the Ohio Attorney General to start the process of advancing a new statute entitled the “Healthy Families Act” before the Ohio General Assembly and, if successful before Ohio voters. The proposed statute is almost identical to pending federal legislation (S. 910 and H.R. 1542) under the same name. The proposed Ohio statute would require that employers provide seven days of paid sick leave annually for employees working 30 hours or more a week; or a pro-rated amount of paid sick leave annually for employees working less than 30 hours per week or less than 1,560 hours per year. The proposal would not apply to employers with fewer than 25 employees.

So last week’s “Economy-Killing Idea of the Day,” the attempt by Service Employees International Union District 1199 to get a law passed that would require Ohio companies with at least 25 employees to grant at least seven sick days a year, is being replicated at the Federal level. Much more of this nonsense, and we’ll be well on our way to consigning ourselves to the mediocre economic results routinely turned in by France, Germany, and the rest of Old Europe.

Pending a look at the detail to see if there are any safeguards against employee abuse (I tend to doubt it), I’m tempted to christen what these laws are proposing as the Seven-Day Slacker Allowance.

AP Reporter Fails to Describe What Should Be an Ironclad Constitutional Objection to DC Congressional Representation Bill

In his report last Thursday (HT Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em) on Congress’s passage of a bill that would grant congressional representation for the District of Columbia, Associated Press writer Jim Abrams opened with nearly celebratory language. He also noted the existence of a constitutional objection to the law but failed to explain how ironclad that objection most likely is:

The people of the District of Columbia moved a step closer Thursday to gaining voting rights denied to them for more than 200 years.

But the legislation passed by the House on a 241-177 vote faced a veto threat from the White House, which said the bill was unconstitutional.

In recounting a previous such effort and its results at the end of his report, Abrams missed an easy opportunity to explain why what the House did should be irrelevant:

Congress approved a constitutional amendment in 1978 giving the district a vote in the House, but the amendment died after failing to get ratification by three-fourths of the states. In 1993 the House rejected a proposal to put the district on the road to statehood.

There’s a reason that Congress, then-President Carter, and the state legislatures attempted the rigorous constitutional-amendment process nearly 30 years ago: It is the only constitutionally permissible way that such a change can be made. The plain language of Article I, Section 2 states that “The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states….” DC is not a state, and thus cannot have voting congressional representatives.

The only way around this impediment is to actually amend the Constitution to allow congressional representation for DC. 30 years ago, a constitutionally grounded government (relatively speaking) understood that. Today, the majority of representatives appear to be so constitutionally illiterate that they don’t believe the amendment process is necessary (either that, or they are throwing a bone to their constituents, knowing full well that what they are doing won’t fly). But the fact is that anything short of an amendment will be judged unconstitutional by any federal court faithfully carrying out its duties (which is, unfortunately, not a given).

Abrams owed his readers the constitutional context just explained, and did not deliver it. A simple statement that “The administration believes that such a change can only be made by passing a constitutional amendment” would have done the job. In failing to properly inform his readers, he implied that the administration’s objection is partisan, and not principled. Perhaps that was his goal.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

2006 Voters: Hey, Big GOP Spender — Go Home

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Ignorance,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:33 am

One News Now reports the National Taxpayers Union’s overall take on who got purged from the GOP in 2006, and why:

….. only two out of 22 Republican members who lost seats last November received the highest rating of “A”, while the remainder scored an average eight points (52 percent) below the House GOP average score of 60 percent. “So going towards the left and abandoning these core principles did not serve them the way they thought it would,” she asserts, “and had they stood up for what Republicans are supposed to believe in, perhaps they would have fared better in their races.”

The Formerly Mainstream Media likes to characterize conservatives who lurch leftward as “growing in office.” It’s actually more of a strategy for being kicked out of office.

McCain’s Early-April Iraq Presser: There WAS Heckling/Giggling

So, the mystery has been solved (HT Hot Air):

Conservative bloggers erroneously accused a CNN reporter of snickering at McCain’s response, setting off a series of accusations that eventually got smoothed over. “But that guy wasn’t even the snickerer,” (64 year-old Berkeley embed Jane) Stillwater said. “I was snickering, but he wasn’t.”

Supposedly this gets CNN’s Michael Ware, who was the originally accused snickerer who denied “heckling” McCain, off the hook.

Baloney.

Ware “cleverly” focused on whether he did any heckling. He was there, and would have heard Stillwater’s giggling. Stillwater only fessed up after McCain insisted that there was giggline at the presser. Ware had every opportunity to acknowledge what happened — that he heard giggling. But instead, by focusing on his behavior only, he left the impression that the tipster to a “blog” of Matt Drudge (that was Ware’s non-naming characterization of Drudge, who, as usual, has been shown to have been fundamentally correct) was lying. He could have cleared things up, but instead scored cheap “journalistic” and political points. What a childish jerk.

This is all part of a larger pattern of conduct and posturing by Ware that explains why he ought to be called CNN’s Enemy Propagandist to the World.

While we’re on it, sfgate.com writer Joe Garofoli gets the runner-up jerk award in this for focusing on how bloggers were wrong about Ware, but ignoring the fact that, in the face of many denials, they were right for weeks about the fact that McCain was indeed heckled/giggled at.

Positivity: Dying child gets wanted plane ride

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:57 am

From Van Wert, OH (HT Conservative Culture):

For Van Wert’s Spencer Carroll, the idea of an airplane ride was enough to keep him focused on living, in spite of the serious nature of his illness, childhood brain-stem giloma.

Spencer was diagnosed with the rare childhood cancer in February, following a fall at home. At the time, medical personnel at the children’s hospital in Columbus told his parents, Eddie and Laura Carroll, that he had anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months to live.

“Spencer fell in February and we took him to the emergency room. They gave him a cat scan and saw something in the middle of his brain,” Laura Carroll said. “After a further test, we rushed him to the children’s hospital in Columbus.

“There they told us that he was in the last stages of a very rare cancer in children,” Laura Carroll said. “They told us that victims usually live up to six months, but they gave me a week to two months for him. That diagnosis was on Feb 28.”

Since that initial diagnosis, the community has surrounded the Carrolls with support. Thanks to the Make a Wish Foundation, Spencer, his mother, and her children, were flown to Florida to visit Sea World, Animal Kingdom, and Disney World. It was the plane ride to Florida that gave the 3-year-old youngster the desire for another plane ride.

“He can’t talk anymore. All he can do is express himself with motions. He kept moving his hands as though he were flying a plane,” Eddie Carroll said. “It’s all he wanted. As his health started to weaken, we knew that we had to get in it soon.”

Eddie called the Van Wert County Airport, but the airport manager and her husband, Jennifer and Bryan Oetting, who usually give such flights, were out of town. Airport officials turned to Fred Pond, a member of the local airport board, but his plane was being repaired in Portland, Ind.

That’s when things started to happen quickly, almost miraculously, as far as Pond was concerned.

At 4 p.m. Tuesday, Pond received a phone call that his plane was repaired and would be delivered to Van Wert immediately. A time of 6:30 p.m. was set for Spenser’s plane ride. At 6:15 p.m., another complication appeared on the horizon when a light weather cell formed over the airport, dropping some sprinkles of rain.

“Everyone showed up right on time and I looked at the weather and felt I really needed to do that that night,” Pond said. “Spencer had lost his ability to speak, his face and eyes were swollen and he was having some trouble breathing. He could move his little hand slightly toward the plane, but mostly just remained in his mother’s lap.”

At 6:30 p.m., to Pond’s happy surprise, there was a sudden shift in weather conditions, clearing things for a peaceful plane ride.

“Two churches were offering prayers for him and his family at 6:30 p.m.,” Pond said. “The wind shifted 40 degrees in a few moments and the light cell stopped the day’s thermal activity. Spencer received a smooth ride that he thoroughly enjoyed. Very seldom have I seen a wind shift like that and it happened exactly at 6:30 p.m.

“It was such a wonderful ride. It didn’t take me long to figure out that this wasn’t about me,” Pond said. “Too many things fell together. We were all very touched by the way things worked out for him.”

“He’s the baby. He’s our ‘Little E’ (little Eddie),” Eddie Carroll said. “He is such an inspiration to all of us. His spirits are unbelievable.”

Laura Carroll said Spenser’s countenance has been calmer since the plane ride.

“He seems more relaxed and settled in. Even though he can’t talk, you can tell that that plane ride was what he was waiting for,” Laura Carroll said.

“Something like this makes you more sensitive to the things around you. You look at life in a different way when you look at it through the eyes of a child,” Laura Carroll said. “The people of this community have been something. We’ve heard from churches we’ve never heard of. Everything, maybe just a prayer, helps a lot. You really need all of this.”