Category Archives: Politics: US

More Later

I’m really busy, so this is just a tease, and device to force me to write more later.

1730s-1740s
1790s-1840s/50s
1850s-1900s
c. 1966-c. 1974

Most people probably don’t know what those dates signify. In a future post or posts I will have two things to say about them. One is utterly unoriginal, but quite important, and concerns the gap between the first line and the second. The second is utterly speculative, and concerns a fifth line in the sequence above.

Back to work.

Posted in Politics: US | Leave a comment

Useful Blog: The Vetting Room

I’ve just discovered The Vetting Room, which looks like a very useful blog offering short descriptions of the qualifications of, and potential controversies about, nominees to the federal judiciary.

Or, as they put it,

The Vetting Room is a legal blog dedicated to discussing, examining, and analyzing judicial nominations.  Specifically, we research the records of President Trump’s judicial nominees, condense the important issues, and present it for public use.  All of our investigations are conducted by volunteer attorneys who are committed to an independent and thorough review.  Our posts are the product of multiple rounds of research and editing, and sometimes include the contributions of multiple attorneys.

The Vetting Room is not formally affiliated with any partisan or nonpartisan groups, and maintains the primary goal of improving public engagement with the federal judicial confirmation process.

Posted in Law: Everything Else, Politics: US | Leave a comment

Mandatory Unpaid Labor by Government Workers: Involuntary Servitude? Wages and Hours Violation?

These are probably stupid questions, but I never took Labor Law: Why is it that the U.S. government can require some workers (e.g. TSA) to do their jobs without pay? As a formal legal matter there is no way that the bosses can guarantee back pay will be forthcoming ever, since it’s axiomatic that money can only be disbursed from the Treasury pursuant to a Congressional appropriation. Theoretically, Congress might never vote the back pay.

Doesn’t the absence of a payment guarantee make the forced labor either involuntary servitude, or at least a wage-and-hours violation since it is work for less than the minimum wage (zero)?

I presume the answer to the 13th Amendment question might have something to do with terms in the employment contract, in that the government perhaps reserves the right to require the unpaid labor, or the worker gets fired. Or, more likely, it’s just that civilian workers (but not military personnel, in this case the Coast Guard?) have the choice to just not show up and be fired, as opposed to slavery/involuntary servitude when the worker has no option to quit. That option, I’m guessing, makes the servitude not ‘involuntary’ for 13th Amendment purposes?

But even so, how does this conform with minimum wage laws? Is it as simple as, no one brings the case, then backpay makes the matter moot? In which case, how long before someone files the complaint?

Posted in Law: Constitutional Law, Politics: US | 1 Comment

Good Stuff

Elizabeth & Bernie do the tax bill:

Posted in Econ & Money, Politics: US | Leave a comment

Frankly, My Dear, That’s a Tell

Based on several years’ observation, I’ve come to believe that when an elected or appointed official says “frankly” in a sentence, all the rest of it is either false, or so suffused with spin as to be as good as false.

This rule is, unfortunately, bipartisan. Try it for yourself as you read or hear the news, you’ll see…

Posted in Politics: US | Leave a comment

Mayor Mich Landrieu Gives the Speech of His Life

I do not often recommend long serious videos; I tend to short and/or funny.

But please consider taking 23 minutes of your life to listen to this speech by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu on the removal of four confederate statues.

Spotted via Tom Sullivan at digby’s blog, who links to a transcript at The Pulse and makes a link to the US Supreme Court’s recent 5-3 decision Cooper v. Harris that struck down two racially gerrymandered districts in North Carolina.

Contrast this speech to the despicable bills passed in the last few days by the Louisiana House to protect confederate monuments statewide and the bill passed by both houses of the Alabama legislature to prohibit “the relocation, removal, alteration, renaming, or other disturbance of any architecturally significant building, memorial building, memorial street, or monument” that have stood for more than 40 years on public property. The bill also prohibits renaming schools named after people.

I confess that I don’t know much about Mich Landrieu, but if this is typical of the man, I hope he has a long future in politics.

Posted in Law: Everything Else, Politics: US | 1 Comment