Monday, December 22, 2008

"Because We Said So"

At his new Culture11 digs, John points to a Washington Post article about the impending February 10 National Bankruptcy Day, about which I have written prolifically in recent days.

One of the few saving graces with respect to this legislation, which will devastate small, medium and domestic businesses in numerous industries, has been a recent opinion letter which held that the bill's ban on phthalates would apply only to products manufactured after February 10 and not to pre-existing inventory that was manufactured prior to the statute's effective date (products containing any amount of lead, no matter how unlikely to be "mouthed" by a child or to contain the legitimately dangerous lead paint, are not so fortunate). This exemption for some pre-existing inventory is important because without it, businesses would be forced to destroy products already on their shelves, even if those products were legal when manufactured. The exemption is particularly important to small and medium sized businesses because of how businesses of that size order and/or manufacture their products many months in advance in order to take advantage of bulk discounts; larger businesses can obviously turn over large quantities of inventory much quicker than small businesses and, moreover, were much more capable of being aware of this law's potential effects as early as October/November of 2007.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, having solved all "Natural Resources Defense" problems, is apparently not happy with the Consumer Products Safety Commission's issuance of the exemption for pre-existing phthalate inventory. As such, they have sued the CPSC to make sure the law, with its $100,000 minimum penalties, is enforced in as draconian a manner as possible.

In defense of this lawsuit, the NRDC's spokesperson expressed little sympathy for businesses that will have to close:

The problems of the retailers and the toymakers are beside the point, Colangelo said. "Congress decided these toys are unsafe," he said. "That’s critical here. […] We’re talking about something that Congress decided was unsafe and shouldn’t be on the shelves."

So why are these products so particularly unsafe that it justifies forcing hundreds of businesses to close in the midst of a severe recession? "Because Congress said so." And why did Congress say so? "Because they're so particularly unsafe that it justifies forcing hundreds of businesses to close in the midst of a severe recession."

Again, if ever there was a time for conservative blogospheric activism, this would be it. Unfortunately, the Malkinized portion of the Right (also the most activist portion) is much more concerned with talking about the NY Times' latest flub on the all-important issue of Caroline Kennedy's qualifications for Senator, not to mention Obama's amorphous ties to the equally important issue of who the 800th Most Corrupt Chicago Politician of All Time spoke with and when, to even be aware that this problem exists and can realistically be prevented.

(Cross-posted at Donklephant).

A Good Week

It would seem that the last few days have been a rather good time to appear on the Publius Endures blogroll or to otherwise be affiliated with this site.

For starters, there is of course my first foray into journalism at Culture11, combined with my new affiliation with Donklephant.

Next, Scott Payne of Politics of Scrabble has been doing a well-deserved guest-blogging stint at the well-regarded site The Moderate Voice.

Then SSFC of Social Services for Feral Children and also, apparently, Popehat has been invited to do a stint at the legendary blawg Overlawyered.

Finally, and most notably, John Schwenkler has officially moved into the domain of the A-list blogosphere, with his site moving over to Culture11, where he will now join the ranks of those who are actually paid to blog. To say John deserves this is blindingly obvious, and this most certainly represents a notable step in, as John calls it, "Culture11’s ongoing attempt at complete and utter dominance of the world of online media." Or, as I call it, Culture11's de-Malkinization of the political Right.

Congrats to all!

UPDATE- John's move is complete, or at least close to it. It looks like his new homepage will be here. I assume this means you can update your feeds and/or blogrolls accordingly.