Daily Archives: July 2, 2013
Here are today’s statistics on the state of the economy:
June auto sales are coming in as the strongest in 6 years, up 4.6% to a 16M annual rate. Sales increases from various automakers: Ford, 13%; GM, 6%; Chrysler 8%; Nissan, 13%; Toyota, 9.8%; VW, 3%.
ICSC-Goldman reports a mixed retail sales picture, with weekly sales up 0.6%, but a weak 1.9% from last year. Redbook reports a moderate 2.9% year-over-year retail sales increase.
Gallup reports the July economic confidence index (ECI) averaged -8, little changed from May’s -7.
Factory orders rose 2.1% in May, largely on commercial aircraft orders, as ex-transportation orders were up 0.6%.
Here’s a story not getting much attention, but is indicative of how President Obama tends to use executive power when he can’t get his way with Congress. Rule by executive fiat.
What am I talking about? As you may recall, Obama made appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) during a supposed Congressional recess. Except it wasn’t really a recess. Congress was not between sessions (that constitutes a recess), but was instead it was on an intrasession break, one of many Congress takes during any session. Never have those been considered recesses of the type in which recess appointments could be legally made.
That is until this administration. That’s precisely how the vacant slots on the NLRB were filled with Obama appointees.
Over the past year, Cablevision has been in the midst of a brutal public battle with the Communication Workers of America over pay for technicians and allegations of union-busting. In May, Cablevision sought the intervention of an appeals court to stay proceedings at the NLRB, and now, the company is hoping that the high court will take up the issue of the NLRB’s authority.
The point, of course, isn’t particularly about the dispute. It’s one in a long line of management and labor disputes. The question is whether or not the NLRB is legally constituted given the way the appointments were made. It’s about the rule of law. When citizens see the government flout the law or ignore it, it doesn’t set a good precedent. Yet that’s precisely what has happened in this case.
And that’s what Cablevision is questioning. How is there legitimacy in an illegally appointed board? And why, should their rulings be obeyed, given the circumstances of the board’s recent constitution. Here’s the point:
“The role of Congress is to ensure a balanced NLRB and the Obama Administration bypassed Congress in order to stack the NLRB in favor of Big Labor. Two different federal courts — the D.C. Circuit and the Third Circuit — have established that the NLRB is illegally constituted and has no authority to take action. The NLRB continues to ignore these rulings, and we ask the Supreme Court to compel the NLRB to immediately halt its unlawful proceedings against Cablevision.”
Shades of Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela – Chavez kept the institutions of a democracy, but he packed them with his loyal appointees that shared the same ideology and agenda. With what has happened with the IRS and the EPA, etc, that’s not as big a stretch as one might imagine.