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Why I love Al Franken. . . even more. . .

for real, if you side with KBR Haliburton or the 30 Republican senators that voted against this amendment. . .

I'd like to know why. . .

There are only two possible justifications for voting against this amendment:

1. If the amendment was attached to some totally unrelated larger bill which you were against, and, and the only way to vote against the bill as a whole was to vote against this amendment (which happens in many cases).

2. if the wording of the bill was too vague or open to massive abuse (the "unintended consequences" issue).

HOWEVER, in this case, you could vote for the amendment and still vote against the main bill (which is actually a DoD spending bill anyway, not the sort of thing Republicans are going to be against as a rule), and the actual, full text of the amendment is VERY specific and narrow (bottom right of page S10069):

Sec. 8104. (a) None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any existing or new Federal contract if the contractor or a subcontractor at any tier requires that an employee or independent contractor, as a condition of employment, sign a contract that mandates that the employee or independent contractor performing work under the contract or subcontract resolve through arbitration any claim under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or any tort related to or arising out of sexual assault or harassment, including assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, or negligent hiring, supervision, or retention.

In other words, it specifically covers:
--Violations of core civil rights
--Knowingly (or being criminally negligent about) hiring sick, sadistic, twisted rapist/murderer types

These are all criminal actions which have absolutely NO business being dealt with via arbitration, which is intended for disputes over intellectual property, compensation, nondisclosure of corporate secrets, that sort of thing.

In addition, this amendment doesn't force the companies abandon contracts with these provisions--it simply says that the Federal Government of the United States refuses to do businesses with those businesses that continue to do so. Halliburton is still free to do business with other corporations if they wish; they just lost their single biggest client, that's all.

In this particular case, there are exactly zero legitimate reasons to vote against it. Christ, they could have at least abstained or something (for the record, 2 Democrats didn't vote at all due to illness or scheduling conflicts).


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 19th, 2009 09:54 pm (UTC)
Al Franken has pretty much burst out of the gate running full speed. he's AWESOME! I'm also quite impressed w/Alan Grayson, another junior senator who seems to have *gasp* A SPINE!

Jon Stewart's take on this last week on The Daily Show was great too.
Oct. 20th, 2009 01:24 am (UTC)
I was wondering if this was referring to the KBR gang-rape crime.

Thank you for posting this. :)

Was there any contention that arbitration would be required in sexual or other harassment cases? Maybe they were trying to justify arbitration for that.

The idea of requiring arbitration in a sexual assault case is repugnant.
Oct. 20th, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC)
Yes it was referring to the KBR Gag Rape.

You are welcome.

Mandatory BINDing arbitration, with silence regarding the case as part of the provision.

According to the young lady, she had heard from other people who this happened to previously, who had been gagged as part of the arbitration.

Truly repugnant.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )