Profit$ over People

POLITICS 03/11/2020 01:34PM EDT

Senate GOP Blocks Emergency Paid Sick Leave Bill From Moving Forward

The legislation put forth by Democrats would guarantee 14 days of paid leave for workers affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Democrats hoping to pass an emergency paid sick leave bill to deal with the fallout from the coronavirus were stymied by Senate Republicans on Wednesday.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) tried to speed the measure up for a vote on the Senate floor through a procedural maneuver, but an objection from Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) prevented the bill from bypassing the Republican-controlled health committee.

Murray noted that many people who don’t have paid leave through their jobs will inevitably miss work due to being sick or quarantined in the coming weeks. She argued that guaranteed paid leave was important both for public health and the good of the broader economy.

“For many of our workers ― restaurant workers, truck drivers, service industry workers ― they may not have an option to take a day off without losing their pay or losing their job,” Murray said. “That’s not a choice we should be asking anyone to make in the United States in the 21st century.”

Alexander said that paid sick leave is a “good idea.” But if lawmakers want to require employers to provide it, then the federal government should have to foot the bill, he argued.

“Employees are struggling, our employers are struggling, and it’s not a cure for the coronavirus to put a big new expensive federal mandate on employers who are struggling in the middle of this matter,” Alexander said.

Although the bill is bottled up for now, Democrats could try to attach the measure to another legislative package aimed at dealing with the virus.

Democrats proposed the emergency legislation in both chambers last week. The bill sponsored by Murray in the Senate and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) in the House would immediately guarantee workers 14 days of paid sick leave in the event of a public health emergency like the current one. Workers would separately accrue up to seven sick days over the course of a year under the bill.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised people stay home from work if they exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Under the Democratic bill, workers could use the 14 emergency sick days if their workplace or their child’s school is closed, or if they or a family member ends up quarantined.

Many states already have sick leave mandates on the books, including California and Murray’s home state of Washington, both of which have been hit hard by the novel coronavirus. But unlike in most other developed countries, there is no federal law requiring employers to give workers paid time off when they’re sick.

The outbreak has brought unprecedented public attention to the lack of a mandate in the U.S. Seventy-three percent of private sector workers have paid sick leave, according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of the remaining 27% who don’t have it, many are concentrated in lower-wage service jobs like retail and fast food.

– Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)

Some companies have moved to institute more generous policies amid the criticism stirred up by the coronavirus emergency. Darden Restaurants, which owns the Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse chains, recently announced that all its hourly employees would now start accruing sick leave. The company has previously opposed legislative mandates on sick days.

Democrats have been trying to pass sick leave measures for years and have succeeded in the House. But the GOP majority in the Senate has prevented such bills from coming up for a vote, arguing that small businesses cannot withstand the cost increases of sick leave.

Murray’s emergency bill was all but certain to die in the Senate, but the measure still afforded Democrats an opportunity to put Republicans on the record in opposing it. Polling shows that the idea of a sick leave mandate tends to be extremely popular, with even a strong majority of Republican voters supporting it.

This post has been updated with Alexander’s remarks.


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The Blame Game

Leave it to the Orange Nazi in the Whitest House to blame sick people for being sick. Today the Orange Nazi administration publicly blamed China for having the nerve to be the location where the Coronavirus first appeared. Apparently, president DUMBSHIT has nothing better to do than try to keep himself from any accountability for his own actions, or lack thereof.

This type of thing doesn’t surprise me. Cheeto Nazi has been a complete disaster on every single thing he has put his filthy, incompetent hands on. He can’t be out of office soon enough. This country will need many years to recover from the fucking this shithead has given us. His little Christian Fascist Nazi Zombies need to be voted out as well if we are to save this country.

We need leadership at times like this. Instead we have a shit stain Nazi without a clue.


Every time I use the Instant Pot, I am more and more amazed at what it can do. I made the spaghetti pictured above in less than 30 minutes from scratch using the Instant Pot. I published the recipe a hew days ago at:

This is actually the second time I have used the recipe, and I think that editing the recipe slightly worked in my favor. I used 2 jars of pasta sauce rather than one, and the result was better tasting than the first one.

I have had my Instant Pot for years and I have never had anything turn out bad. I am still amazed at how quickly things can be prepared and with how little cleanup there is afterwards. Hal also enjoyed the spaghetti he grabbed after I took the pictures.

Never A Good Sign

I woke up this morning with a blinding headache. I am still working from home today, but I have canceled the conference calls that normally give me mild headaches rather than aggravate this monster headache that is building behind my eyeballs this morning. So far, my blood glucose levels have been within range, so this headache is caused by some different factor that I haven’t identified yet.

I’m listening to some Jazz music at low volume since that usually helps me at any time, but especially when I am not feeling well. At least I don’t have any pressing things lined up for the rest of the day and I can focus on feeling better and getting some rest after work. Of course, I might just submit a request to take part of the day off anyway.

I planned to make spaghetti after work today, but I will wait and see how much better I feel before confirming that decision. I have plenty of food here and the task now is to make certain that we finish up what we already have before we move in a few weeks because I don’t expect that we will transport a lot of food with us when we move.

I had completely forgotten about my appointment with the Chiropractor and Acupuncturist this afternoon. Perhaps they will help with this monster headache and keep it from recurring. I am definitely going to miss the visits to these professionals, I will have to find new ones where we are moving to in the near future. At least this gives me something to look forward to other than cooking after work.

In order to keep my headache from getting worse, I decided to cook the spaghetti for lunch since it doesn’t take much time in the kitchen. I forgot to take any pics, that will have to wait until next time I make spaghetti. My mind was too unfocused to remember. The spaghetti should be done by lunchtime, and I can enjoy it during the one conference call that I cannot ignore today.

Hal has been in the living room watching the infoporn shows all morning long. It is a shame that we disagree on the value of those shows. I find them pointless and irritating, while Hal finds them informative. I cannot imagine ever wanting to know the stupid types of bullshit that those shows specialize in covering. To me, any show that has people sitting around a table and pretending to be your friends are automatically suspect and I won’t watch them.

I am just hoping now to make it through the rest of the day, get to the Chiropractor and Acupuncturist, and then rest at home tonight without any distractions or interruptions because I deserve it.