Thursday, September 16, 2004

Pull Up Your Boot Straps! (If you can afford boot straps to pull, which is unlikely.)

The spider picture, as promised. I took this over Labor Day weekend in my parents' garden (where photographic opportunities seem to abound). Believe me when I tell you that I am sorry for the lack of a redneck post. I just don't have time to put it together. The level of work that I am trying to get through so that I can leave here with a clean desk is completely intimidating. I will definitely tell you all about the dragway and the rednecks and the hooters girls when I get back from vacation. We'll begin this morning with another selection from McSweeney's Daily Reason to Dispatch Bush: DAY 112 President Bush's proposal for renewing the 1996 welfare-reform law included a provision that would have exempted welfare recipients from minimum-wage laws. Those in "workfare" programs, which provide workers with credit toward welfare benefits but no cash income, were targeted by the proposal. According to Bush's welfare plan, payments for those programs "are not considered compensation for work performed ... thus, these payments do not entitle an individual to a salary or to benefits provided under any other provision of the law." A Department of Health and Human Services official confirmed that "any other provision" was meant to include the minimum-wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and said that "these programs are designed so you gain experience so you can get a better job where you would get a salary and would fall under" the FLSA. The change would have reversed a 1997 Labor Department ruling that working welfare recipients must be paid the minimum wage. (Source Mike Allen, "Bush Proposes Welfare Change," Washington Post, March 6, 2002. See article at

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