fledge capable of flying, from Middle English flegge, from Old English -flycge; akin to Old High German flucki capable of flying,
Old English flEogan to fly -- more at FLY
intransitive verb, of a young bird : to acquire the feathers necessary for flight or independent activity

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Felony picks!

Last time ever for this kind of funky set full of detail? Or this darling top and skirt? Or this pretty portrait dress? Or this set with divine machine embroidery? All hand made with loving hands for your loved one?

About two weeks ago, some provisions were made to possibly exclude natural fibers from HR 4040/CPSIA. Well, the Obama administration has put an executive order out to stop all changes, provisions and executive orders of all kinds everywhere all over Washington. And for good reason: This administration wants to have a good look at what exactly the past administration was up to. As you know, President Obama has been left with quite the full in-box and Saving Handmade just isn't likely to have worked its way to the top of the pile.

Besides, the President has no authority to overturn laws. That was the whole idea behind not having a king, remember? The only person with any authority to amend this thing somewhat in time is this guy, Representative Henry A. Waxman of California.

And he's tired of hearing from you. Really, I think the honorable representative from California's 30th District would just prefer never to see another hand-crocheted baby booty in his life.

But go ahead and bother the busy man. He signed up for the job. You're the boss of him. Democracy is messy. But I like it.

Honorable Henry A. Waxman
Committee on Energy and Commerce
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington D.C. 20515

Now, Mr. Waxman has been working a little bit (I think the ALA got to him. We all know how hard it is to mess with librarians). He wrote a letter on January 16th to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, telling them to ease up on books and clothes and, uh, we gotta figure out something for thrift stores. The CPSC, we should note, is just an enforcement agency. The CPSC has no say over what they enforce. That belongs entirely to the legislative branch. Congress makes the laws. Regulatory agencies and law enforcement enforce the laws. Law-makers and law-enforcers: Two different things. When the letter reached Nancy Nord, Acting CPSC Chairman's desk, I imagine she just said "Um, okay." What else can she say? Especially since she is currently just "acting chairman". Could the CPSC say, "You passed a broad, sweeping law for which we simply do not have the resources to enforce?" No, in fact, I think they like the law. HR 4040 gives the CPSC more authority. Everybody in Washington digs "authority," dont' they? That authority could equate to resources. And everybody in Washington likes resources. Lots and lots of taxpayer resources. Still, I don't envy the CPSC or law enforcement on this one. On the one hand, we have the law categorizing untested, unlabeled children's products as "hazardous banned substances," right up there with asbestos and arsenic. On the other hand, it's twirl skirts made by a mom. I wonder if any of the field officers are shaking their heads and saying, "You're kidding me." More immediately, I'm wondering if any D.A.'s with an eye on a dashing political career (and which D.A. doesn't have an eye on a dashing political career?) are saying, "Here I come to save the children! I'll be saving children left and right from 'hazardous banned substances.' Thank you, Mr. Waxman."

At any rate, as it stands, Mr. Waxman's January 16th suggestion to have CPSC look a bit askance when it comes to regulating books and apparel, and to think long and hard on thrift stores was pre-Inauguration, pre-changing of the guard. Today, we are back to square one. We are back to square one and back to Mr. Waxman. Why Mr. Waxman? It's that little title of Chairman. He gets to decide the agenda and call the meetings that effect CPSIA. Two members of his committee already wrote a letter to Mr. Waxman. They'll make the time in their day planners to have the meeting. It should be noted that this committee is incomplete. So even if the meeting is held and good, sound decisions are made, who knows what happens when more committee appointees come on board. I'm beginning to really understand the connotations of "bureaucracy". Would a letter, therefore, be all for naught? I look up at those pretty outfits and simply hope not.

Here's the contact information. Mr. Waxman need never think about another Etsy baby booty or Goodwill winter jacket again. We just need to tell him how. Again. He knows the reasons. He wrote them himself in a letter on January 16th. But tell him again. Amend the CPSIA.

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