Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday Clips

Monday Clips: Guaranteed Less Interesting Than Yesterday

Well, I knew that post about redistricting yesterday would ruffle some feathers, but one commenter says it was "a ludicrous post." The last ludacris post I wrote had to do with hoes in different area codes.

We have a smart president-elect, smart enough to have Hawaii to go home to for Christmas. Here in the Midwest this frozen Monday morning, we have:

  • Remember the cell phone gap? Well, the numbers are back and it looks like landline-only polls overstated McCain support by just over 2 percent.

  • I know I'm on dangerous ground even mentioning Rick Warren without an obligatory set of denunciations, but I'll leave that for now to other people with more eloquence of righteous anger. That said, what has happened has happened and Obama chose the moment for a hand across the divide rather than a stand for marriage equality (which he, and everyone except Kucinich, was always poor on anyway).

    And with that as the context, Alan Wolfe argues that what's more important than Obama asking is Warren saying yes: "How many evangelical preachers will be able to demonize Obama once Mr. Evangelical himself has blessed him?" A must read that's hard to excerpt.

  • In another must-read at Kos, Trapper John looks at the history of the UAW in the contest of all of labor and the progressive movement. The whole thing is goos but this passage explains the upcoming Fair Share debate in the Iowa Legislature better than anything I've seen yet. It's not "right to work," it's a free ride:
    Much has been made during the bailout debate about the supposed efficiency of the Japanese, Korean and German non-union "transplant" facilities. The transplants, which are primarily concentrated in Southern states with free-rider laws, are lauded as lean operations that still pay their employees a fair wage. And indeed, they are certainly leaner operations than UAW plants, due in large part to their last-mover advantage. And they do pay decent wages. But that's just half the story.

    The transplants are located in the South precisely because they have been designed to avoid unionization. Most Southern states have enacted free-rider laws (often known, in an Orwellian twist, as "right to work laws") which require unions selected as bargaining representatives to represent employees who refuse to pay dues. Imagine if citizens of the US could choose whether or not to pay taxes, and non-payers were still entitled to all government services. Imagine how quickly the government would wither and die. That's why unionization is so hard in free-rider states. And that's why Mercedes, and BMW, and Nissan have built nearly all of their plants in the South.

  • What was I saying last week about the post-Gutenberg era? Here it is in Slate: "Wherever digital zeros and ones can dislodge analog processes, they either have or are. Call it a digital slay-ride."
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