The Obama administration is continuing to encourage employers to ignore the WARN Act, which would require them to inform employees before the presidential election that they may face layoffs due to sequestration. But a former counsel for the National Labor Relations Board and one of the crafters of the WARN Act is warning employers that they would open themselves up to worker lawsuits by ignoring the law. HuffPo reports:
But John Irving, a former National Labor Relations Board counsel who helped shape some provisions of the WARN Act, said he would tell major defense contractors to think twice about disregarding the WARN Act.
It is unlikely that the DOL guidance would hold up in court if a terminated worker sued his employer for not giving proper notice, Irving said.
In other words, defense contractors cannot fall back on the Department of Labor memo if the federal government lurches off the fiscal cliff and a laid-off employee had not received a pink slip by early November.
“It strikes me that the guidance is so far off the mark that you wonder why it’s being issued, and it’s not a regulation — it’s a sort of statement of opinion, which is coming out because of what could be the consequence,” Irving said. “It’s trying to blunt that and head it off in a way makes it look like no notice is not necessary when it may be.”
The House Energy and Commerce Committee released some brutally damaging emails for the Obama administration this morning, showing how reliant failed solar energy company Solyndra was on the government to stay afloat toward the end. As the Washington Post reports, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget found that it would be financially safer for the government to cut its losses in Solyndra rather than green-lighting additional loans — and yet the administration continued to gamble on the flailing company:
As the Obama administration moved last year to bail out Solyndra, the embattled flagship of the president’s initiative to promote alternative energy, a White House budget analyst calculated that millions of taxpayer dollars might be saved by cutting the government’s losses, shuttering the company immediately and selling its assets, according to a congressional investigation.
Even so, senior officials in the White House’s Office of Management and Budget did not discourage the Energy Department from proceeding with its plan to restructure a federal loan to Solyndra — a move that put private investors ahead of taxpayers for repayment if the company closed, the investigation by Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee found.
The White House continues to deny there was any political favoritism involved, despite Obama’s cozy relationship with Solyndra execs and one of its main private backers, George Kaiser. But why else would the administration take such a financial risk on a likely loser, despite the findings from its own OMB? Why restructure a loan to let private investors get repaid before taxpayers? From an objective standpoint, the decision should be cut-and-dry. Even if the Obama administration didn’t care about squandering taxpayer money, you would think it would at least take it out of a high-risk investment when it had the option.
Today marks the 22nd anniversary of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait. The Iraqi invasion followed months of escalating rhetoric, much of which American diplomats downplayed in the belief that Arab dictators didn’t mean what they said. Meeting with Saddam Hussein eight days before the invasion, Ambassador April Glaspie told the Iraqi dictator, “We have no opinion on your Arab – Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait.” Iraqi officials subsequently claimed that Saddam interpreted Glaspie’s remarks as a pledge of non-interference and perhaps even a green light. The press made Glaspie into a scapegoat, but she was only the product of a larger diplomatic culture.
The invasion of Kuwait unleashed a cascade of events which culminated in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The question both politicians and historians should ask is whether they might have headed off the invasion months or years ahead of time as the true nature of Saddam Hussein became clear.
Rather than suppress reports of Saddam’s chemical weapons use against Kurdish civilians, the Reagan administration should have cut Saddam off right then and there. But sophisticated diplomats hoped to rehabilitate Saddam, both as a means of containing Iran and also to peel Saddam away from Soviet influence.
Sen. Harry Reid’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s tax history are becoming increasingly shrill and outlandish. On Wednesday, he doubled down on his claim that Romney didn’t pay taxes for 10 years, telling reporters that “a number of people” have told him that Romney was a long-time tax cheat. The Senate majority leader probably thought his claims would be enough to pressure Romney into releasing additional tax returns — instead, Reid is looking more and more like a joke:
On Wednesday, Reid stuck to his story, and broadened it.
“I am not basing this on some figment of my imagination,” Reid said in a telephone call with Nevada reporters. “I have had a number of people tell me that.”
Asked to elaborate on his sources, Reid declined. “No, that’s the best you’re going to get from me.”
“I don’t think the burden should be on me,” Reid said. “The burden should be on him. He’s the one I’ve alleged has not paid any taxes. Why didn’t he release his tax returns?”
From the moment the International Olympic Committee (IOC) turned down the request to commemorate the deaths of Israeli Olympians killed in Munich forty years ago the tone was set for how the games would portray the international community. The Olympics are meant to spotlight sportsmanship and patriotism, but have given the games and many of their participants black eyes on the world stage.
The anti-Semitism exhibited by the opponents of the Munich moment of silence weren’t the only instances we’ve seen so far. Members of the Lebanese judo team refused to practice next to Israelis. Commentators on Al-Jazeera derided Israel as the Israeli delegation entered the stadium during the Opening Ceremonies. The Palestinian Olympic chief applauded the IOC’s decision to forgo a moment of silence for the Munich 11. Israeli swimmers were left without a security detail at a training camp outside of London, even in the wake of the Burgas terror attack. The London Olympics’ website couldn’t quite understand where the city of Jerusalem lies, first awarding it to “Palestine” as its capital, leaving Israel without a seat of power. The list of offenses against the Jewish state unfortunately goes on, and equally unfortunate, given how much time is left in the Olympics, there will no doubt be more to follow.
The Open Source Center has translated remarks made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the evening of August 1 to a gathering of ambassadors from Islamic countries serving in Iran:
For about 400 years a horrifying Zionist group have been managing world affairs by being behind the scene of main power, politics, media, monetary and banking centers in the world; so much so that candidates of a huge country with great economic power and over 300 million population need to go and kiss the Zionists’ feet in order to win the elections.
When Ahmadinejad talks about the “Zionists” 400-year grip on power perhaps it’s time to put aside the silly notion that he is describing political rather than anti-Semitic antipathies. Ahmadinejad may not be the top official in Iran, but he does come out of an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and an education system which inculcates such vitriol.