PLANNING FOR THE APOCALYPSE….The New York Times reports that business lobbyists are feverishly working to get lots of business-friendly regulations in place before the Bush administration expires, “in the belief that they can get better deals from the Bush administration than from its successor.”

I’d say that’s a pretty sound belief. And hardly a surprising one, either. But here’s something I didn’t know: when the Bush administration took over in 2001 it unilaterally froze nearly all of Bill Clinton’s last-minute regulatory changes, eventually changing or killing about 20% of them. But the next president won’t be able to do that:

Whoever becomes the next president, Democrat or Republican, will find that it is not so easy to make immediate and sweeping changes. The Supreme Court has held that a new president cannot arbitrarily revoke final regulations that already have the force of law. To undo such rules, a new administration must provide a compelling justification and go through a formal rule-making process, which can take months or years.

So the stakes really are higher this time around. I can hardly wait to see what kind of last minute damage Bush decides to inflict on the Republic as his term in office draws to a close.

That said, here’s my favorite part of the story:

A priority for many employers in 2008 is to secure changes in the rules for family and medical leave….The National Association of Manufacturers said the law had been widely abused and had caused “a staggering loss of work hours” as employees took unscheduled, intermittent time off for health conditions that could not be verified. The use of such leave time tends to rise sharply before holiday weekends, on the day after Super Bowl Sunday and on the first day of the local hunting season, employers said.

News flash: workers sometime call in sick even when they aren’t! And this is causing a “staggering loss of work hours.” Clearly we need new regulations to cut down on Super Bowl malingering.

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