Monday, December 28, 2009

Sen. Jim DeMint Is Hazardous To Your Health.

More fallout from the GOP Confederacy's obstructionist ways, as reported in McClatchy Newspapers:

An attempt to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day would be all-consuming for the administrator of the Transportation Security Administration — if there were one.

The post remains vacant because Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., has held up President Barack Obama's nominee in opposition to the prospect of TSA workers joining a labor union.

As al Qaida claimed responsibility Monday for the thwarted attack and President Barack Obama made a public statement about it, Democrats urged DeMint to drop his objection and allow quick confirmation of nominee Erroll Southers, a counterterrorism expert, when the Senate reconvenes in three weeks.

Southers, a former FBI special agent, is the Los Angeles World Airports Police Department assistant chief for homeland security and intelligence. He also is the associate director of the University of Southern California's Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events, and he served as a deputy director of homeland security for California Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Two Senate committees have given Southers their bipartisan blessing. An acting administrator is in place pending his confirmation.

Marshall McClain, the president of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association, said that the Senate should have acted sooner to confirm Southers.

"Friday's terrorist attack on U.S. aviation makes it all the more imperative that there be no further delays in filling this crucial position," he said.

DeMint said in a statement that the attempted attack "is a perfect example of why the Obama administration should not unionize the TSA." He wants Southers to clarify his stand on unionizing the TSA, a shift that Democrats support.

Without collective bargaining, DeMint said, the TSA has "flexibility to make real-time decisions that allowed it to quickly improve security measures in response to this attempted attack."

If organized labor got involved, DeMint said, union bosses would have the power "to veto or delay future security improvements at our airports."

He urged Obama to "re-think" supporting unionizing the TSA "and put the interests of American travelers ahead of organized labor."

DeMint also wants a Senate floor debate and roll call votes, not confirmation by consent as the Democrats sought.

The union-hating, teabagging South Carolina senator also hoped healthcare reform would be President Obama's "Waterloo," claiming it would "break him." DeMint is a corporate lackey and fervently anti-worker, telling National Public Radio's Fresh Air last year that he favored auto company bankruptcy, claiming, "What I want to do is make sure we have jobs for these workers and we have first-class American automobile companies -- and we're not going to do it with the barnacles of unionism wrapped around their necks."

What he really meant was that he wanted to save the auto company executives' jobs, as bankruptcy would have killed all obligations to honor union contracts. And now his anti-labor zealotry is holding up the confirmation of the head of the TSA.

Which side is it, again, that is toying with its country's safety?

BeltwayBlips: vote it up!

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