Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Bush Plans To Destroy Federal Government Put On Hold
Two Federal judges in a row have thrown a monkeywrench into Bush's plans to destroy the Civil Service System and its unions so he can turn the entire Federal Government into a Gilded-Age-style sheltered workshop for his otherwise-unemployable cronies. (You know, like Michaels Chertoff and Brown? Or Bernie Kerik?)
But of course, destroying the Federal Government has long been one of Bush's pet dreams. So he's gearing up to try again.
Here's the deal:
Remember when Weepin' Joe Lieberman initially proposed a cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security? Bush and his staffers opposed it -- until they realized that they could use it as the thin edge of a wedge designed to destroy the Civil Service System, the thing that stands between them and total control of the machinery of the Federal Government.
Now DHS has been set up -- and it's a turkey farm, just like FEMA under Bush I and II (Clinton actually made it into a real first-responder agency, but it soon reverted back to a home for incompetent right-wing hacks under Bush the Younger). However, in two separate rulings, Federal judges have shot down Bush's efforts to export DHS' management system to the rest of the government:
Both judges zeroed in on provisions in the new regulations giving high-level officials the authority to override collective bargaining agreements simply by invoking national security. Referring to Collyer's ruling, Sullivan called a collective bargaining agreement under such conditions "illusory." Sullivan also pounced on the Pentagon's attempt to replace the government-wide Federal Labor Relations Authority with an internal board appointed by the Defense secretary to decide labor disagreements. On this issue, he went beyond Collyer; she let DHS keep its internal board.
But as I mentioned before, Bush isn't giving up:
In appealing the ruling against DHS, government lawyers will make their case before a three-judge panel that includes one George W. Bush-appointed judge and one selected by his father. The panel will be led by Senior Judge Harry Edwards, a Carter appointee who is often cited as an expert in the field, based on his book Labor Relations Law in the Public Sector.
The good news is that the appeals court judges are unlikely to give Bush what he wants:
Now that two judges have weighed in against these systems, the appeals court is unlikely to overturn the decisions, says Donald Rider, a lawyer and a professor of human resources management and labor relations at the University of Maryland's University College.
Both Homeland Security and Defense will "have an uphill struggle in convincing an appellate court that the district courts' logic was flawed," Rider said. "Judge Sullivan was very resourceful in bringing in the analysis of his fellow Judge Collyer. I think an appellate court is going to have a more difficult time dismissing the reasoning of two district court judges than [it] would if this were a kind of stand-alone decision."
Keep an eye on this. The whole reason our Civil Service System exists is to rid the government of the horrific corruption that plagued it during the rise of the 19th-century "robber barons" -- people like the Walkers and the Bushes, who made their money from opium and other unsavory trades. Of course, Bush and his buddies want to return to those thrilling days of yesteryear -- under the pretense of "reform", what they want is destruction and corruption.
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