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Benign Neglect

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I am with Bush on the war and agree with him that it must be our top priority, but his domestic agenda and mine have been, shall we say, divergent. Another reason for me to back the war:

    With Bush focused mostly on the war in Iraq, a small but crucial number of GOP lawmakers has broken ranks and dealt significant blows to several of his highest-profile policies. The president’s $726 billion tax cut proposal has been sliced in half, his plan for oil drilling in Alaska defeated, his faith-based plan stripped to its bare bones and his cap on medical malpractice lawsuit damages put on life support.

    The war has largely overshadowed the unusual string of setbacks for Bush, who lost few congressional battles in his first two years in office. But the recent events, occurring mainly in the Senate, underscore the unease that some Republicans and most Democrats feel toward his ambitious domestic plans for a nation facing a war and deep deficits.

    ….Frist and his allies failed to snag the all-important Republicans they needed, including freshman Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon.

    ….Coleman, who benefited greatly from Bush’s campaign appearances in his tough campaign last fall, said Bush is not using “strong-arm” tactics to change his mind. Indeed, several Republicans said Bush has paid little attention to events on Capitol Hill since the war began. [Washington Post]

I like Bush even more with this benign neglect toward a domestic agenda with which I disagree.

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About Eric Olsen

  • InMarin

    Real compassionate, that conservative:

    http://www.aflcio.org/issuespolitics/ns03282003a.cfm

    Bush Proposal Could End Overtime Pay for Millions of Workers

    The Bush administration proposed new rules March 27 that would erode the 40-hour workweek and could deny overtime pay protections to millions of workers. The proposed changes to Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations would affect a wide range of the more than 80 million workers protected by the FLSA.

    FLSA’s current overtime rules protect workers from employers who do not now require workers to unreasonably long hours because they are required to pay overtime. The Bush rules could mean that many workers would face unpredictable work schedules because of an increased demand for extra hours for which employers would not have to pay time-and-half.

    The Bush administration claims its proposal to raise the income ceiling for workers to automatically qualify for overtime pay would extend protection to some lower-income workers currently excluded. But most of these workers already are covered by overtime protections because of the nature of their jobs. In contrast, the Bush administration’s proposed changes in workers’ job definitions and duties that must be met to allow an employer to classify workers as “exempt” and thus ineligible for overtime would affect many more hundreds of thousands of workers.

    Many working families depend on overtime pay to balance their checkbooks and pay bills—especially during the current economic recession that has resulted in stagnant and declining wages, increasing costs of health care, prescription drugs, child care, gasoline and other everyday expenses. The Bush proposal would cut into many of those families’ paychecks.

    The Bush overtime proposal:

    – Excludes previously protected workers by reclassifying them as managers, administrative or professional employees who are not eligible for overtime pay.

    – Eliminates certain middle-income workers from overtime protections by adding an income limit, above which workers no longer qualify for overtime.

    – Removes from overtime protection large numbers of workers in aerospace, defense, health care, high tech and other industries.