Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Last Call For Going Into Overtime, Con't

Last month I talked about the Obama administration expanding Labor Department rules on overtime pay for salaried employees and who should be eligible for it, making millions of people in entry-level salary jobs finally able to earn time-and-a-half pay.

The business community is starting to weigh in on this, and they pretty much despise it.  Their tack is simple: low-level salaried positions are mostly filled by younger workers, and as we all know (snort) Millennials are the worst.

The Dallas Fed surveys factory owners to compile the monthly release, and the final report includes edited anecdotes on how businesses are doing.

In May, a lot was said about the Department of Labor's new overtime rule, which more than doubles the income threshold of eligibility to $47,476 per year from $23,660.

The concern was that this would raise the costs of labor. And one manufacturer was furious while saying that millennials already weren't bothering to give their money's worth.

Those damn kids and their hippity-hop music! 

By the way, that manufacturer's complaint to the Dallas Fed? This:

The Department of Labor rules and other government regulations are seriously slowing down business development, increasing overhead costs, reducing productivity and causing increased management time spent on non-customer-focused/non-value-added efforts. We have a serious productivity problem with office workers and estimated that less than 50 percent of their time is spent on value-creating business activities. The younger workers are often off task, engaged on social media, on the internet, texting on phones and other unproductive activities.

The Department of Labor must realize that if we are supposed to pay them overtime for work they should do during normal work this will make us have to focus on micromanaging employees and reducing compensation to reflect actual productivity of a mandated 40 hour or less workweek.

You kids don't do anything during the day anyway except Snapchat and Reddit, why the hell would we pay you cogs overtime?!?!

I love how the problem is suddenly office workers are playing too much Candy Crush.  Look, I work in corporate IT and I know the largest abusers of company IT policies aren't the rank and file drones, they are the managers, directors and execs who think they are entitled to using the company broadband to watch The Masters and March Madness and check their stock options.

Value-creating business activities my black ass.

DIspatches From Bevinstan, Con't

It seems in his haste to dismantle Medicaid expansion and throw 400,000 off health insurance, Gov. Matt Bevin is running into a few problems, mainly the entire rest of Kentucky thinking that doing so is a terrible idea both morally and fiscally. Backpedaling Bevin is now reversing course on his plan to turn the program into a worse version of neighboring Indiana's and GOP Gov. Mike Pence's hybrid mess.

Kentucky’s Medicaid commissioner says the state’s plan to scale back the expanded Medicaid system will not require beneficiaries to pay premiums, according to an Associated Press report.  
In the report, Commissioner Stephen Miller goes on to say that Medicaid recipients could receive fewer benefits, including reduced vision and dental services. 

Late last year, Gov. Matt Bevin announced that he would by 2017 “transform” the state’s expanded Medicaid system into one where recipients have “skin in the game” by paying for benefits. 

Doug Hogan, communications director for Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said that the state couldn’t comment on the proposed changes or negotiations with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). 

“Everything is on the table and no decisions have been finalized. We are continuing to engage stakeholders and CMS in good faith,” Hogan said.

So now the plan is to cut benefits, something too that Bevin will have to sell not only to Kentucky voters but to the Obama administration.

Jonathan Gold, press secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said “any changes to the program should maintain or build on the historic improvements Kentucky has seen in access to coverage, access to care, and financial security.” 

According to an HHS official, requiring beneficiaries to be employed may not be a condition of eligibility for Medicaid.

Bevin remains one of the most unpopular governors in the country for a reason, and that mostly for mucking around with a system that worked and replacing it with a system that's broken on purpose to keep people off Medicaid and other state benefits.

We'll see how long that lasts. Bevin is crashing and burning pretty hard already.

Trump Cards, Con't

It looks like now that Donald Trump has collected enough Republican delegates to be declared the presumptive nominee, our media is finally starting to vet the guy after ten months. As Kevin Drum notes, The Donald does not like scrutiny.

What Trump Says Now
On why it took so long to disburse the money: "When you send checks for hundreds of thousands of dollars to people and to companies and to groups that you’ve never heard of, charitable organizations, you have to vet it. You send people out. You do a lot of work."
What He Said Then:
The organizations had been chosen before the event even took place: "The night benefited twenty-two different organizations, a number of which are Iowa based Veterans groups."
On the purity of his motivations: "I wanted to do this out of the goodness of my heart. I didn’t want to do this where the press is all involved."
This was a publicity stunt from the start, driven by Trump's feud with Fox News: "When they sent out the wise guy press releases a little while ago done by some PR person along with Roger Ailes, I said 'Bye bye.'"
On his well-known penchant for low-key philanthropy: "If we could, I wanted to keep it private because I don’t think it’s anybody’s business if I wanna send money to the vets."
This might be the most laughable thing Trump has ever said. When he announced his boycott of the Fox debate, Trump explicitly made it all about ratings: "They can't toy with me like they toy with everybody else...So let 'em have their debate and let's see how they do with the ratings."
On his bad press: "I'm not looking for credit. But what I don't want is when I raise millions of dollars, have people say, like this sleazy guy right over here from ABC. He's a sleaze in my book. You're a sleaze because you know the facts and you know the facts well."
Trump very plainly tried to avoid making the personal $1 million donation he promised.From David Farenthold a week ago: "In the past few days, The Post has interviewed 22 veterans charities that received donations as a result of Trump’s fundraiser. None of them have reported receiving personal donations from Trump....To whom did Trump give, and in what amounts? 'He's not going to share that information,' Lewandowski said."
On the media's lack of suitable gratitude: "Instead of being like, ‘Thank you very much, Mr. Trump,’ or ‘Trump did a good job,’ everyone said: ‘Who got it? Who got it? Who got it?’ And you make me look very bad. I have never received such bad publicity for doing a good job."
Poor baby. Apparently the press hasn't yet gotten into the habit of kowtowing to him the way his employees are required to do. Trump still has a lot to learn about running for president.

In other words Trump is a lying sack of crap and has been for years. He's not even remotely honest when it comes to any number of subjects, and now that he's finally getting called out on it, he's complaining about the evil press.

What I don't understand is how it took this long to make the decision to actually take a look at Trump's statements.  While the rest of us dirty blogger class have been screaming from the ramparts that Trump is a serial liar, unapologetic racist, dangerous demagogue and narcissistic sludge-ball who directly empowers the worst parts of America's darkest and most twisted impulses, the media has been acting like he's a regular, if entertaining candidate who happens to be a ratings goldmine.

Only now is he even starting to get open criticism, and he's immediately attacking the press for daring to ask questions he doesn't want to answer.

On Tuesday, Trump pointed out ABC News reporter Tom Llamas and called him "a sleaze." Llamas' crime? Asking the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to explain why he had misled people about how much money he'd raised for veterans. 

During his tirade about the press, he interrupted CNN's Jim Acosta who was asking Trump about his ability to deal with scrutiny, to say sarcastically, "Excuse me, excuse me. I've watched you on TV. You're a real beauty." 

The attack, which came amid one of Trump's familiar diatribes about the "dishonest" media, was the latest in a string of personal insults Trump has made against reporters covering his campaign. 

Trump has called Fox News host Megyn Kelly "a bimbo." He dubbed NBC's Katy Tur, "little Katy, third-rate journalist." He has also individually tweaked reporters from the New York Times, Politico, CNN and elsewhere. And at nearly every rally, the brash billionaire reams the press as "dishonest," "disgusting," "slime" and "scum," calling political reporters the worst types of human beings on earth, prompting his crowds of thousands of supporters to turn, without fail, to jeer and sometimes curse at the press.

Suddenly the press is a lot less worried about how President Obama is supposedly so mean to them, and their constant bitching about how he's "destroying the free press" because he won't say what they want seems pretty hollow compared to Trump actually being the nightmare they falsely accuse Obama of being.

Similarly, maybe we'll hear less complaining about how Hillary Clinton doesn't make herself available to the press as much as they'd like (because they're too busy covering whatever insult Donald Trump tweeted that morning before breakfast and ignoring her completely).

We'll see.


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