Un. Be. Lievable. What a train wreck. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee which oversees the Consumer Products Safety Commission is holding a hearing on toy safety, toy recalls, and the utter shambles that is the CPSC and the Toy Industrial Complex's response to the problem. Consumerist is liveblogging the hearings, which started this morning [the same time as Wonderpets, then we had to do lunch, go to school, yada yada. So we missed the I'm back now, though!]
Some highlights, if that's the right word to describe testimony from a CPSC that's non-functional run by people who don't seem to want it to function, and industry executives and lobbyists who are actively thwarting any outside [read: government or consumer group] intervention to fix their documented failures, and a screw-loose Senator who wishes these Chinese toys were bigger so he could go smash them on the steps of the Capitol building for a photo-op:
11:45: Durbin points out that China told him they already had a "zero-tolerance policy." "So what's new?" Way to pick up on our point, Senator!Conveniently, the TIA [!] is in favor of the independent testing of toys, a proposal that turns out to be "an over-hyped batch of self-serving hogwash." Nice. More on that later.
11:46: [CPSC Chair] Nord: "That's something you'd need to ask the Chinese."
11:46: Durbin: "But you entered into the agreement with them!"
11:48: Things are getting heated, so [CPSC Commissioner] Moore leaves.
Nord: "Can I come with you?!"
[Moore left because he has a dentist's appointment. Seriously.]
11:55: Nord on the single toy tester, he spends his time doing small parts testing, toy-drop testing. "Bob's our small parts guy." Remember, this government gets $2 trillion per year, but don't worry because Bob is our small parts guy.
12:45: This is why CEOs should run their testimony by a Communications department: "The Toy Industry Association is the leading toy industry association in the world."
Meanwhile, I'm waiting for the next episode of Bob Our Small Parts Guy.