Saturday, October 27, 2012

Let me WARN you about a Conservative sequestration lie.

Cross Posted at Daily Kos

One of my favorite MSNBC shows is The Cycle. I think it is a great show concept and that Krystal Ball, Touré, and Steve Kornacki are entertaining and informative.

Then, there's S.E. Cupp, who I will say I have to admire for taking a show on MSNBC with 3 Liberal Co-hosts. That'd be like our beloved Rachel taking a show on Fox with three whack jobs, er Conservatives. However, I lost my patience for conservatives a long time ago, I think it was around the time they stole the election in Florida. So, when Cupp is speaking I frequently find myself reaching for the mute button.

Surprisingly today she said something that was actually worth listening to, although of course when she said it she had to put a conservative (Read: False) slant on it. (And yes I'm aware the video preview screen shows Krystal Ball, she started the segment.)

Creating jobs is one part but it's also about saving some jobs. And I think a part of this story that doesn't get enough attention is this WARN Act issue. If you're not familiar the WARN Act requires employees (sic) like Lockheed to give 60 days notice that their employees may be laid off, may be let go. And it's an act that the President has before supported and in fact asked to have it lengthened to 90 days a couple of years ago. Well there's 200 jobs, 200,000 jobs at stake in Virginia alone over these defense cuts. And because those warning letters would go out on November 2nd, 4 days before the election, very inconvenient, the OMB has decided they are not going to enforce the WARN Act anymore; so these companies don't have to send out these letters. And to boot if their employees end up suing them the OMB will cover the expenses. It just seems incredibly shameful that this President and the administration is obviously protecting their own jobs and worried more about their jobs than these 200,000 people whose jobs are clearly on the line.

-S.E. Cupp The Cycle, October 24, 2012
Cupp also penned a lie ridden piece in the New York Daily news on October 10th. The falsehoods in it are a longer version of the ones espoused in the video.

SHAME on that Sinister President Obama! SHAME!

Of course what S.E. Cupp said isn't true, but I'm figuring you guessed that by now.

Oh there are elements of truth to it, like most conservative lies it includes a kernel of truth, and then they just make up the rest to suit their own agenda. (Read: Death Panels)

The major difference between Cupp's Land of Make Believe version and reality is the OMB hasn't unilateraly 'decided they are not going to enforce the WARN Act anymore' they cited a Department of Labor letter that advised the effected companies that notices are NOT required under WARN because of an exception to the requirement that absolves businesses when there are 'business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable as of the time that notice would have been required.'

Ergo, because no one knows for certain whether sequestration will happen or not the situation is 'not reasonably foreseeable' and WARN does not apply.

Further, the DoL shows that under the WARN act:
it is not appropriate for an employer to provide blanket notice to workers.

-Jane Oates, Assistant Secretary of ETA, DoL.
Meaning that if an employer thinks there may be a layoff, but isn't sure there will be, simply sending out a mass notice to cover themselves not only isn't appropriate under WARN it contravenes its entire purpose and is counterproductive.
To give notice to workers who will not suffer an employment loss both wastes the states’ resources in providing rapid response activities where none are needed and creates unnecessary uncertainty and anxiety in workers. Both of those effects are inconsistent with the WARN Act’s intent and purpose.

-Jane Oates, Assistant Secretary of ETA, DoL..
That's not unilaterally deciding not to enforce the law Ms. Cupp. That's interpreting it and offering guidance like the DoL is supposed to!

Case closed right? Oh, I think you know by now it's never that simple with conservatives...

As you can imagine there are many Republicans who would like nothing more than to see these letters go out despite their illegality to hurt the President in Virginia and other states with workers who would receive these erroneous layoff notices and blame the President at the ballot box.

On October 1st Lockheed Martin agreed not to send out these bogus layoff notices and that should have been that.

However Senators Graham and McCain didn't seem to think so. Hearing only dispatches from the Conservative bubble that Bill Maher so greatly quantified for our Liberal minds...

...they sent a letter to defense contractors urging them to essentially break....the freaking...LAW!

I know, I know it's hard to believe that Republicans would ever condone breaking the law to try to steal an election, but it's right there on Senator Graham's website.

Cupp was correct in saying that the Obama administration has offered to pay the legal fees of companies that are wrongfully sued.

Of course they are. They're trying to protect companies from mass worker hysteria brought on by the recklessness and irresponsibility of the Republicans! Once again it's a case of Republicans making a mess and Democrats cleaning it up.

And just to drive the point completely home, here's an excerpt from Lockheed Martin's Q3 earnings conference call transcript, released Wednesday explaining why they're not sending out notices on November 2nd.
The additional planning guidance we received from the Department of Defense on September 28 moved the likely timing of sequestration-related actions by the government by about 3 months into 2013, and we adjusted our schedule accordingly. So let me be very clear. We will issue WARN notices at the appropriate time if sequestration actions meet the required conditions in full compliance with the law, as we always have.
Game, Set, Match.

Ms. Cupp, is this the attention you were looking for?

This Year's October Surprise Will Come in November
- Katherine V.W. Stone, Huffington Post.

- Jane Oates, Assistant Secretary, Department of Labor.

WARN Act text - Cornell University Law School

Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act
- Wikipedia Article

Lockheed Martin 3rd Quarter Earnings Conference Call, Page 2.

Real Time with Bill Maher Episode 224 (September 16, 2011)
- Bill Maher, HBO.

Pros and cons to going over the fiscal 'slope'
- The Cycle October 24th, 2012. MSNBC

After White House assurances, Lockheed won't send out layoff notices
- Susan Crabtree, Washington Times

Senators Urge Defense Contractors To Follow The WARN Act
- News Release, October 5, 2012.

When Pesky Laws Get in The Way - S.E. Cupp, New York Daily News

Bonus Track

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