Eugene Scalia As Trump's New Secretary Of Labor? Smother Us With A Pillow, We're Dead!
Donald Trump has sent to the Senate his official nomination of Eugene Scalia, son of the late Supreme Court justice murdered by Hillary's death squads, to be the next US secretary of Labor. That's about what you'd expect from the guy whose first Labor secretary nominee, Andy Puzder, was a fast food CEO who advocated replacing minimum wage workers with burger-flipping robots, then withdrew when somebody recalled he'd been accused of beating up his wife. Not that there's a pattern or anything. In July, Secretary Alex Acosta resigned -- and Trump reluctantly let him go -- over his role in helping Jeffrey Epstein get a sweetheart plea deal years ago, because it's not great when the US Attorney sides with the child-raper.
Thank goodness no one has ever accused Eugene Scalia of ever being involved in abusing women, unless you count his arguing in 1998 that companies shouldn't be held liable for supervisors who sexually harass employees -- unless the company endorsed the harassment, you see. He also explained,
Saying "You're an incompetent stupid female bitch" a single time is not actionable environmental harassment.
One time is just having a bad day, we suppose, not a pattern. Beyond that, he argued that the concept of Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment -- demanding sex in exchange for keeping a job, or getting a promotion -- should be done away with because it's "redundant and ambiguous in theory, and cumbersome and confusing in practice."
And then there's his war on protecting workers from being injured on the job. As a lawyer in the George W. Bush administration, Scalia helped roll back a Clinton-era OSHA regulation on repetitive stress injuries, because preventing crippling pain in workers was really harshing big industries' mellow. In a report for the libertarian Cato Institute, Scalia had called the ergonomics regulation a "folly" based on "thoroughly unreliable science." Bush convinced Congress to rescind the rule under that fun Congressional Review Act, meaning that OSHA was forever banned from setting ergonomics standards ever again. Hooray for profits!
Oh, yes, and hooray for lots of workers suffering chronic pain at work, which in part is why we have an opioid epidemic today, did we mention hooray!?
Back in 2001, the Senate refused to confirm Scalia as Solicitor of Labor because of his opposition to worker health and safety regulations. But it's a new day, and workers don't need "rights" as long as Donald Trump promises to be really cruel to brown people.
The Economic Policy Institute offers a few additional reasons Scalia shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a cabinet department intended to protect workers. He opposed rules that would have required UPS to buy workers' safety equipment, because obviously that's the worker's own lookout. He fought the fiduciary rule that required investment advisers to act in the interest of their clients, not their own enrichment. Bummer about your pension! He's opposed collective bargaining rights, consumer protections, rights of workers with disabilities -- you name it, whenever it was the rights of a worker against the interests of a corporation, Eugene Scalia has sided with his fellow millionaires.
Well of course he's a millionaire. As an attorney, he's represented big banks, the oil bidniss, and the vaping company, Juul, to the tune of some six million bucks last year. Donald Trump certainly wouldn't send some scruffy friend of unions to run the Labor Department, would he?
Scalia's confirmation hearing is scheduled for next Thursday, to make sure there's not too much time to build opposition. Like that would even matter to Republicans.
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