John Andrist: Scalia Battle And Heartache In Velva


This is how it could have happened when the two sides started lining up for another partisan fight over a replacement for justice Antonin Scalia, who died last week.

Instead of announcing they would not consider confirming any Obama appointment, the Republicans in congress might have suggested a bipartisan group to sit down with the president and/or his designees to share concerns in a listening session.

The president also, instead of daring Republicans to reject his appointment, might have said, “Let’s talk about it, then requested a meeting to see if a compromise agreement could be reached.

Consensus may or may not have been found. But it should be worth a try.

Alas, Republican Senators were declaring war within a day, and a few days later the president was organizing his artillery.

The persistent war in Washington (and among the folks in the streets of America) can’t end without a truce which rejects the all or nothing mentality which continues to carry the day.

Peacemaking requires much more work and leadership than drawing lines in the sand.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]We have already ballooned the cost of nursing care immensely by imposing requirements which require mountains of documentation paperwork. Are we to do the same for day care centers?[/mks_pullquote]

I would like a conservative jurist who is just like Scalia, a strong constitutionalist. Obama obviously wants another Ginsberg in the closely divided court.

But America would be better served if they made at least some effort to meet in the middle.

Heartache at Velva

The revelation that some of the most trusted leaders in the department of human service are being charged with misdemeaner violations following investigation of a Velva day care center has saddened me this week..

The chain of events began with the accidental drowning of a child in the custody of the day care in the Velva city swimming pool last summer.

Much later, when It was learned the day care was 5-days delinquent in licensure, officials appear to have back-dated the records.

Because I have trusted those DHS folks, knowing that my legislative colleagues see them as among the best employees of the state, I have tried to understand. The allegations are that the officials made some bad choices, illegal to be sure, but with a somewhat noble intention of trying to preserve and protect the Velva day care service.

I read through several pages of the 43-page affidavit filed by the state bureau of criminal investigation, but gave up, because I couldn’t handle it. So I leave it to others to complete this legal process.

But what saddens me is that there can be no winners here. The child cannot be resuscitated. The officials, good intentioned, must be rebuked if found guilty. And Velva must suffer another pain as an add-on to the sad tragedy last summer.

Moreover it is likely that DHS will be less inclined to cut any slack for future small town day care centers who are negligent in completing on time licensing requirements.

Most day care providers are not PhD holders. Many could not themselves read 43 pages of legalese, or be able to afford a lawyer — or to fully understand some of the regulations for which they are responsible. Caring for children is demanding.

This is another incident where one misstep tends to blossom into a larger, more pervasive bureaucracy. That’s the rock in the path of those of us who decry the demands of government regulation.

At the same time modern society is crying for more day care providers we have another dampener on our hands.

We have already ballooned the cost of nursing care immensely by imposing requirements which require mountains of documentation paperwork. Are we to do the same for day care centers?

The only bright side I can see is that day care service demands will ultimately lessen as they become less affordable. Only those more high income earners will be able to pay the price.

And we will return to some degree to the days of our youth, when there were no day cares. Children were reared by parents.

Mine did it, while wrestling with draught and depression. They probably did it not because they wanted to, but because they had to.

When you think about it a lot of character is built within people who are forced to live and do things as a matter of survival.