So I wasn't surprised to see the headline, as Drudge put it, "White House scrambles to prevent defense cut pinkslips before election." I assumed that this meant the White House was trying to pressure key Democratic leadership to do something about the sequestration issue before the upcoming deadline, which is the end of this fiscal year.
I have to admit to having been shocked by their actual tactic.
Obama's Labor Department on Monday issued "guidance" to the states, telling them that a federal law requiring advance notice of mass layoffs does not apply to the layoffs that may occur in January as a result of automatic budget cuts known as "sequestration."I had thought I was getting dangerously cynical, but in all honesty I would never have guessed they'd stoop to this. It's not that we're going to scramble to save your job; we're just going to scramble to make sure you don't find out you'll be fired until after the election. And we're not going to scramble to change the law that requires the notification, which we don't have the votes to do; we'll just issue "guidance" that the law contains an unstated exception.
What happens if a corporation or a contractor decides to issue notifications anyway, in compliance with the actual law? After this, I'd have to guess that they will be punished in some way. Perhaps they'll find it hard to get future contracts; perhaps instructions will go out that they be first on the chopping block.
I had hoped to discover that I was being too pessimistic about the health of our institutions. Clearly the opposite was true. We'll have to adjust elevation and windage, I guess: down and left.