Friday, April 25, 2008

Forgetting Lilly Ledbetter

(Image brought to you by the magic of MS Paint.)

Last year, the Supreme Court, rounded out in recent years by the evil minions of 43, made a really bad decision. A decision whose logic was almost as twisted as the Bush v. Gore uber-fiasco of 2000.

Bush v. Gore boiled down to “counting votes is no way to determine who won an election.”

The decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company held that the statute of limitations clock (180 days) regarding employment discrimination starts running at the first instance of discrimination, even if that discrimination is not known to the employee at the time that it occurred.

If that doesn’t sound retarded enough to you yet, then you haven’t heard the specifics.

Ledbetter, who was a manager at a Goodyear store, was paid 15 - 40% less than her male colleagues during the twenty years she worked there. The trouble is, because salary information was confidential, she didn’t know it. She was unaware of the discrimination until she received an anonymous note informing her of the discrepancy.

Although she took action in the appropriate amount of time from the event that caused her to become aware of the discrimination, the court ruled that, as I said, the clock started ticking on her claim of pay discrimination on the date of the first paycheck in which she was paid less.

So Ledbetter had 180 days from the event that she didn’t know had taken place to make her claim.

Nevertheless, the Supreme Court said in their decision that, by the way, reversed the award given by a lower court, that Ledbetter “could have, and should have, sued” when the decision to discriminate against her was first made.

She could have? How could she have? That remark is rather obviously, um, just steeped in wrongness and idiocy, even for the black robe crowd.

Also obvious to me is that the discrimination was ongoing, and since the opportunity to stop the discrimination was available every time a paycheck was issued, each paycheck represented a separate act of discrimination.

Enter Edward Kennedy, who decided that if the Supreme Court is just going to be blatantly assholeish about the whole thing, then he’s going to introduce legislation that would clarify that pay discrimination is an ongoing event.

Do I have to even tell you that the in killing the bill, the Senate voted along party lines?

Do I have to even tell you that our genius president threatened to veto the bill anyway?

Also, I am proud to report that both Clinton and Obama returned to the Senate to support the bill.

Who didn’t return? And who released a statement saying he doesn’t support the bill?

John “Maverick!” McCain, and here’s his statement:

"I am all in favor of pay equity for women, but this kind of legislation, as is typical of what's being proposed by my friends on the other side of the aisle, opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems…This is government playing a much, much greater role in the business of a private enterprise system."

You hear that? He’s all in favor of women getting equal pay for equal work. Gee, Mr. Maverick, that’s awful white of you, considering that it’s…you know…the law.

What he’s not in favor of, apparently, is women being able to sue to ensure that the law is enforced.

First of all: us. Opens “us” up to lawsuits. Geez, the last time I looked, my name was not Vikkitikkitavi Goodyear motherfuckin Tire & Rubber. What do you mean us, Kemosabe?

Secondly, well, damn, but when you break the goddamn law, it’s SUPPOSED to open you up to lawsuits, at the very least, am I right? Can we not even fucking agree on THAT anymore? I mean, just how far do you have to have your head up the ass of corporate interests that you can stand up as a national presidential candidate and say “c’mon folks, obeying the law really interferes with their ability to make money.”

Not only that, but, I’m sorry ya crusty old dude, but that whole “government playing a much, much greater role in the business of a private enterprise system”…say the fuck what?

What’s the greater role? There’s no greater role. The great role, my friend (And are we sick yet, by the way, of McCain’s sarcastic “my friends” sniping? I know I am.) was played in 1963 and 1964, when the Equal Pay Act and the Civil Rights Act dragged us collectively, kicking and screaming, into the era of civiligoddamnzation. That was the great motherfucking role, you disingenuous piece of shit. And I’m sure if you’d have been president at the time, we’d still be fighting to pass that legislation.

In short, (is it too late for short?) McCain is NOT for pay equity for women, because if he were, he wouldn’t be telling Lilly Ledbetter to fuck off, would he? He wouldn’t be on his knees planting a big smooch on the soft, fat, white asses of corporate America, would he?

Perhaps John “Maverick” McCain should change his name to John “Still the same good old boy I was when I was better known as one of the Keating Five” McCain, after all.


Jess said...

"obeying the law really interferes with their ability to make money."

is a very telling statement. Welcome to corporate america.

Madam Z said...

I'm afraid it all boils down to biology. Men have the dicks, they do the screwing, and we women get screwed. It's not going to change.

RandyLuvsPaiste said...

A Republican who sides with an employee against a big corporation is another political unicorn.

Dad E said...

The best thing about reading your posts is that I can usually hear you say every word. It adds a dimension most readers don't have and I feel especially blessed.

I found this post very entertaining because its so you.

Some Guy said...

How fortunate that we have a diligent press that will no doubt ask him about the logic of his statement at their next barbeque. Fucking pathetic.

Anonymous said...

He'd better watch his mouth, his heiress wife might cancel his credit cards.

SkylersDad said...

Following up on what Kirby said, if there is any justice in the world, heiress wife will get the opportunity to pull the plug on John boy.

After some sort of painful procedure that is...

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Zounds woman, great post.

Little Merry Sunshine said...

Great Post! Equal Pay for all!

dguzman said...

Great post, Vik. I was stupidly optimistic when I heard about this case, thinking there was no way it could go against women. And yet--this Court went against women, and McGeeze suppported them. I say throw all the bums out.

CDP said...

Awesome post.

Bubs said...

Another great post that reminds me why I don't do many political posts--you do it so much better, and all I have to do is show up in the comment section with an "amen" or "great post!"

Talk about rigging the game. it's disgusting.

'Bubbles' said...

Sadly, I doubt McCain's heiress wife would have a clue what it feels like to not get equal pay for equal work; therefore, I'm sure she would have minimal reaction to his remarks.

The situation in the high courts and its long term implications scare me more than anything. The system of how the justices are appointed, etc., is a system that could use a little tweaking, along with the whole electorate business...

But no. The processes that, when they are manipulated, have the power to take away fundamental human rights (choice), or equality remain untouched.

Instead, the little king, er, I mean president, can "tweak" our fundamental freedoms, like privacy all he wants with a stroke of his mighty pen. (Or so he thinks.)

I have a post started about this "Maverick" crap with another little king that is an Arizona public official. Our Sheriff. Scary people with power that for some crazy reason get a freaking fan club.

Sorry, Ill go litter someone else's blog comments now,

Grant Miller said...

Every time I read your blog I just get pissed off.