Archive for the ‘politics’ Tag

astute political analysis

Lord I’m discouraged (about the economy)

President Obama gave another speech on the economy today. He gave one in Illinois last week, which was what I’ve heard called a “framing speech” — or more precisely, a pile of rhetoric and bullshit and blaming Republican congressional leaders for obstructionism and a laser-like focus on the federal debt — but he didn’t offer anything new in the way of policy.

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here is some BS about a door frame

I haven’t written anything on here in a while, and when that happens, oh man. I always get to thinking:

is this it? is this the end of the blog?

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right-to-work in Michigan

a day or two ago, the state of Michigan — the cradle, many say, of the American labor movement — rolled out some right-to-work laws. have you heard about right-to-work laws? I’d argue that they’re kind of opaque things; “right to work” sounds pretty straightforward, but, really, the name is just window dressing.

I want to get this down so that I understand it correctly: right-to-work laws makes union dues strictly voluntary. while federal law requires that the wages and benefits a union negotiates with an employer be extended to all employees in a workplace — whether they’re union members or not — right-to-work laws scrap the requirement that non-union workers pay the union a fee for the fruits of those negotiations.

that’s bad for unions. unions need money to be part of the public debate, to wrestle with unfriendly politicians and back those that support labor’s agenda. in the past, they would physically apply leverage with picket lines … but you don’t see too many picket lines anymore because public opinion doesn’t like strikes, and ultimately these are battles for public opinion that unions now fight, about complex, sweeping subjects like economic morality. and public opinion doesn’t just turn on a dime; you’ve got to have a string of victories to get anything going. but with emptier coffers (a fundamental purpose of right-to-work laws) unions will have an even harder time fighting their battles.

anyway, organized labor just took another shot to the chops. and depending on your politics or on your view of economic morality (an admittedly loaded term that I just made up), you might think that’s a good thing. or, hell, you might not even have an opinion; a lot of liberals that I know don’t seem to care about the health of organized labor, and if they do they don’t see any benefit to unionism at all.

this is their prerogative. but, as this academic puts it:

This is the experiment America’s now having. Obama has just won re-election. A liberal president is popular. But juxtapose that with what just happened in Michigan. So the question is, can you have a liberal, progressive America without unions? History says no. For 200 years the existence of the union movement has been wedded to the rise of democracy, to the rise of liberalism. We saw this here, in South Korea, in Spain, in Africa. But now America is moving toward an experiment with whether it can have liberalism without unions. I think the answer is no. But we’ll see.

I wrote a primer on the fiscal cliff

I got the radio going. that’s one of the perks of being a record-player owner: you also gain command of the am/fm airwaves. a radio is built right into the record player. can you grasp this? I have harnessed a powerful technology, and should be counted among a rare breed.

so on the radio is … public radio, NPR. they’re doing the nightly news roundup, and they’re talking about the lame duck Congress’ dealmaking in an effort to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”

do you know about this, this fiscal cliff? do you follow politics? if you don’t, that’s okay — politics is for suckers and degenerates. but if that’s the case, then I’ll explain the phrase to you.

yes! I will. oh man, you are so goddamn lucky to have clicked on the blog today. I used to write about politics all of the time, because I had an internet connection and very little filter. the filter has since improved, but this evening I’ll indulge my inner moron and type feverishly about things I know little about: like the inner workings of national politics. onward!

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CO, a day after the election

we had a big day yesterday! did anybody get excited? you can bet I did. if you ask me (and why wouldn’t you), they should make election day a federal holiday. a federal holiday that we should treat like goddamn Super Bowl Sunday. a day for overindulgence, gambling and public drunkenness. but more on that later.

I am writing this from a hotel room in a small town in the middle of Colorado — hello from Colorado! the Topaz Lodge has wifi and cable, and the water tastes funny. I’m here for the weekend for a good friend’s wedding. it is on Saturday in Colorado Springs. so I am here early to take in the scenery a little bit.

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we’ve all been pretty damn busy

man oh man. where has the time gone.

I haven’t looked at this blog in … over a month. I don’t even know what’s at the top of the page right now; something banal, no doubt. sometimes, it would seem, you just need a break.

so what’s been going on?

okay, well, I ran a marathon.

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he’s a highwayman

no grief: the coitus track, the political 8-ball, and a socially conservative pro-life voting bloc

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me:
so, is Daniels gonna sign the abortion bill?
I’ve got a meeting. please give me a lengthy, rant-like response sometime soon.
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Mike, the expert: Well, this has to be looked at as a purely political decision.  I don’t think Daniels gives two shits about the actual wrongness of the bill, or the potential consequences to the mother, child, or affected family.  I say this only because it’s not like he’s been a past champion of improving women’s health care (or children’s or the disabled’s or veterans’ health care for that matter).  So, I don’t think signing this bill will keep him up at night, wrestling with his demons … er … I mean his conscience.  I could be wrong, but I don’t think he is thinking of some 17-year-old girl who got accepted into Purdue’s engineering department but just found out she got knocked up by Blane, the absent but studly looking asshole wide receiver who didn’t even last very long, but is obviously fertile enough to give her an unwanted baby while taking her on her very first sex lap around the coitus track.

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he returns

here is a story that ran the other day in The Hill, which is a publication read mostly by people in DC who work in professional politics (assholes). it details the latest turn in the long and winding road that is Mitt Romney’s eventual nomination to be the GOP’s 2012 presidential candidate.

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a good old-fashioned rant

who is sick and tired of hearing about health care reform?

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poor ol Mark Sanford

I heard this song tonight. kinda catchy.

Al Franken is now the senator from Minnesota, after the state’s supreme court ruled unanimously in his favor in his court battle against one-term incumbent Norm Coleman.
make note. when Stuart Smalley enters the capital six months late, there will be 60 Democrats in the US Senate. that’s, yes, a filibuster-proof majority, but if the Democrats are able to successfully hold together the entire caucus to defeat such a challenge, I’d be surprised.
I wanna see a Mr Smith filibuster. maybe it’ll come in opposition to the energy bill. or to whatever version of massive labor legislation that is making the US Chamber of Commerce shit its pants. when was the last time a filibuster took place? aren’t these senatorial comets? things that exist, and pass in the night, so rarely?

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