Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Baldwin's Tipping Point

Residents of the 2nd Congressional District here in South Central Wisconsin were treated this week to another Tammy Baldwin newsletter/campaign mailing, in which Baldwin tells everyone about her substantial accomplishments in office. Certainly, with issues like the War in Iraq, immigration, and the growth in federal spending, she would have some serious issues to discuss.

Actually, Baldwin lists as her top issue - and I am not kidding... furniture tipping over. Ah, yes - the silent killer. You didn't know grandma's old bookcase was coming to get you and your kids, did you?

From the newsletter:

The tragic deaths of several children in Wisconsin due to furniture tipping over on them prompted me to co-sponsor a bill in the House of Representatives (H.R. 1861) that would codify improved safety standards for furniture.

Recognizing that Congressional action may not be immediate, I wrote to government officials and the media to urge action. These included letters to the chairman of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), asking the Commission to strengthen and make mandatory the current voluntary furniture tipping standard, an act that would not require Congressional action; and letters to the producers of televised home makeover programs, asking them to include life-saving information about furniture safety in future programs.

Let me translate the phrase"Congressional action may not be immediate" for you - the bill is crazy and will never see the light of day. I'm fairly certain Karl Rove is scheming as we speak to make sure "big furniture" can still make killer bookshelves. In fact, I was at an ATM the other night, and I could have sworn a china cabinet was lurking around the corner, waiting to hold me up at (butter) knife point.

And her solution is to call Hollywood and get them to put safe furniture on "Trading Spaces?" Somehow Ty Pennington is now responsible for the safety of my kids? I oppose any Congressional action that doesn't result in Pennington being bludgeoned and burned alive, by the way.

Here's a nutty idea - instead of the federal government mandating the size, shape, and form of furniture, how about parents continue to secure tall bookcases to the wall (as I can now proudly say I did with one of ours)? Honest to God - if my federal representative wants to mandate the height of clothes dressers, there really is no limit to her lust for a government nanny state. This bill makes the mandatory car seat bill look like a product of the CATO institute.

If there have been children injured or even killed by falling furniture, I don't mean to make light of their tragic deaths. But at some point common sense has to take over. Sadly, I'm sure children are hurt due to parental negligence of all kinds. Unfortunately, outlawing stupid parents isn't an option.