The Lessons of Proposition A

8 08 2018

Jefferson City

Like I wrote last night, I was able to call defeat for Prop A at ten to nine, well before any “credible” media source in the state did, because, at that time, with not much more than 10% of the statewide precincts counted, that universe of already counted voters was 2.3-to-1 Republican-over-Democrat ratio, using total votes cast for any U.S. Senate primary candidate as the proxy, voted against Prop A with 62% of the vote.  So once St. Louis City and County started reporting, it would only push that 62% upward.  Another indicator, if that wasn’t enough, was that heavily and perennially Republican Warren County voted 72% No.

As it turned out, 67% No statewide, and it only won slightly to somewhat in a few mostly southwest Missouri counties, but lost in Greene (Springfield), and only got above 60% in two counties:  McDonald, the southwesternmost county in the state, and Pemiscot, the southeastern most.  There were probably localized reasons why Prop A won big in those places, but it’s also curious that McDonald County and especially a few towns in it, such as Noel, are full of Mexicans and Latinos.

I myself did not vote at all, and, for the record, I’m currently registered to vote at my uncle’s St. Louis City house, not here at the secret rehab hideout, which is at an undisclosed address and place in Monroe County, Illinois.  Once I move, my uncle’s house will remain my “official” residence for bureaucratic and record keeping and (if I’m ever in the mood) absentee voting purposes.  If I would have voted at all yesterday, it would have been on Prop A and only that, except I have established it as a matter of qualified opinion in this space that I think the open shop vs closed shop question doesn’t matter, that the arguments advanced by both sides suffer correlation-causation issues, and that there are many more important and needle-moving factors in the wage-salary equilibrium labor market than the open-closed debate.

In spite of what I think is the ultimate irrelevance of it all, I think last night’s result on A just can’t be so easily glossed over, because it does contain important object lessons.

To cut to the chase:

I think this was, without those who cast the crucial marginal No votes quite understanding this in such sophisticated terms, and without them even quite knowing what they were doing fully, and by “crucial marginal,” I mean a big percentage of faithful Republican voters, (to wit:  Warren County) and most of the new Trump-style Republican-leaning but not -loyal voters, white lower-working-middle classes, many of whom still belong to unions or sympathetic to those who do or wish they were able to (to wit:  Jefferson County), trying to send a message to the political class in general and the Republican one in particular to quit shilling for the capital, ownership and rentier class, the very group of people who don’t need help, and instead, to start implementing policies equitable to labor and production.

Statewide Democrats might be spiking the football this morning, but this was a lesson for them and pointed at them as much as it was anything else.  That party has its own capital vs labor problems, the gentry corporatist neoliberals versus the street level true believers, those politics also showed up in last night’s results here in St. Louis, as you can read in my other posts of today.  And, just as much, Democrat true believer voters wish their own party’s establishment would quit shilling for the capital class, even though the fact that it does is opaquely concealed by the fact that on the organizational and activist level, unions still equal Democrats.

That and I don’t think that Prop A’s result last night has that much relevance to modern day current year conventional two party politics;   To put it another way, however the midterms turn out in St. Louis, Missouri and nationally, that will happen in a lane totally separate from Prop A’s lane.  It’s similar to minimum wage, (and such as it is, I also think that minimum wage is just as economically irrelevant as is open-vs-closed shop in the labor market), we have many situations where the same electorate votes for minimum wage increases bigly and Republicans bigly at the same time, and the fact that Republican politicians are hostile to the concept of a minimum wage does not preclude the bidirectional political contradiction.  There’s a difference between an issue being popular or unpopular on the one hand, and a serious needle-mover on the other.

But, as for me, I’m way more interested in an election coming up on October 14.

Note: I am not clear whether Prop A’s defeat totally negates the state legislature’s newly enacted change from closed shop to open shop and therefore takes Missouri back to close shop on its own, or whether it merely means that open shop as state policy will not be hard wired into the state constitution. I get conflicting answers in my credible research and questioning.





Proposition A Is Going to Lose

7 08 2018

Jefferson City

More analysis tomorrow, but here’s how I know so early in the night that this will happen:

At 8:50 PM, statewide, of the relatively small percentage of total statewide precincts counted, it was not much more than 10%, there were a total of 146k votes for any Republican U.S. Senate candidate, either Josh Hawley or one of the hopeless nobodies, and a total of 62k votes cast for any Democrat U.S. Senate candidate, either Claire McCaskill or one of the hopeless nobodies.  And in this 2.3:1 R:D counted voter universe, 62% have voted against Prop A.





Football Game Theory

24 05 2018

Atlanta

Remember my theory I advanced on the day of my posting storm upon my return to blogging:

NFL owners are focused on two things long term:  Getting the good end of CBA negotiations with the NFLPA, and minimizing the damage from CTE lawsuits.

Much of what they have done in recent months and what they will continue to do is informed by those concerns.

Fast forward to the league’s new policy on National Anthem protests.

What the league wants beyond all else is for the bad PR of the optics of (“black”) players kneeling in public during the Anthem not to occur. Notice that this new policy comes with a big bag of money for SJW causes, as a payoff to keep the black players happy. Left unstated in this week’s articles about the policy change, but stated in previous articles about this general matter, is that the league is also going to be starting a political lobbying push in the Federal and state governments for “criminal justice reform,” i.e. mollycoddling black criminal convicts.

That I think is their immediate concern, the optics.

But I think the owners are engaged in a longer term Machiavellian chess game.

We found out today that this new policy was nothing more than a unilateral pronouncement, and did not occur as a result of a formal vote of the owners.

Why is this important?

The players’ union was already grumbling when the news of the new policy dropped, but now that we know that it came without a formal vote is probably going to make them file either a formal grievance or a lawsuit.

And I think this is what the owners want.  I think the owners wanted to bait the union into filing some sort of formal action, and did just enough in just the “right” way to get them to do it.

Why?

Because the owners want the union to come out publicly against the National Anthem.  The owners know this would be an unforced PR error on the part of the union.  This drags down the approval rating of the union, both overall and vis-a-vis the owners.  Which means, going into the next CBA round, the owners would be starting from a stronger position vis-a-vis the union.

We’ll see if the union is so dumb that it bites into obvious bait.

Otherwise, this is a reprise of the cynical National Anthem politics that Lee Atwater played for George H.W. Bush against Michael Dukakis in 1988.





AFT Getting Converged

10 04 2018

Washington, D.C.;  San Francisco

Remember:  Social justice warriorism is the opiate of the left.  It’s now the neoliberal plutocrats knock the left off its economic populist horse, and make them forget all about advocating for workers and the cause of labor.

With that in mind, the American Federation of Teachers is getting out of the business of advocating for teachers, and into the ZOMG EVIL GUNS AND NRA LOL~!!!!!1 business.

If you’re an AFT member, then watch as your own union suddenly gets less and less effective in the coming years in CBA negotiations.

Randi Weingarten must have been bought off somehow.





And the Conclusion Is….?

1 03 2018

Fairfax, Virginia

Listening to Rush right now, who noted that the NRA has spent a total of $200 million on both campaigns and lobbying in the last twenty years in the aggregate, compared to all organized labor groups that spent $1.7 billion in a very recent year (2016?) alone.

Which is is more solid ground now?  The Second Amendment, or labor unions?

Okay, peanut gallery, what’s the obvious inferential conclusion?





Whatchyoo Talkin’ ‘Bout, Adolph?

27 12 2017

Jefferson City

Missouri Net:

Are Missouri’s charter schools into the business of segregating students?

During a legislative hearing this month, St. Louis NAACP President Adolphus Pruitt said geographic restrictions where Missouri charter schools can exist are the same as the 1916 residential zones created to keep blacks out of white neighborhoods in St. Louis. He went on to say that charter schools allow the state to “keep its foot on the necks of educating black children in urban districts.”

“It’s an issue of what I would call reverse discrimination or it’s an issue of the state going back to its historic past of coming up with hair-brain ideas that have run amuck,” said Pruitt.

It’s called “correlation without causation,” Adolph.

Well, actually, it’s a correlation with a little bit of causation. It’s because the redlines were repealed a very long time ago, but the Bantuastans they created are mostly still almost all black. And the top level politics of the creation of charter schools in Missouri and many other states not that long ago revolved around the supposed educational needs and failures of black students, (even though in some cases, it’s manifesting in the other direction), which means, as of now, state law restricts charter school formation to St. Louis City and Kansas City, and by KC, I think it’s either all of Kansas City proper (the municipality that is incorporated in four different counties, even though the meat of it is in Jackson County), or the part of KCMO that’s in Jackson County.

As you can read, Adolph’s comments came at a hearing over a proposed piece of legislation to lift that restriction and allow for charters statewide, though I highly doubt they’re clamoring for charters in the Parkway or Rockwood districts.

Adolph is also ambiguous about the political angle he’s working. Is he trying to mash up “segregation” with charters because he thinks charters are a bad idea consummately? Or is he trying to claim that the initial restriction on where charters can exist was wrong and that it should have been statewide all along? Since he leads the local NAACP, my bet is the former, that he’s not fond of charters at all, and for a good practical reason: Most NAACP chapters throughout the country, St. Louis’s included, are largely anchored by the local cabal of black cracker jack box theology degree preachers, and they mostly lead congregations that have black women employees of public school systems as a large and significant percentage in the flock. Teachers’ unions and unions of public school employees other than teachers have never been fond of charter schools and the charter movement, because they think that it’s all a pure full frontal assault against the unions and nothing more, and as Educational Realist has proven, they’re right in that assertion.





A Chevy at a Ford Appreciation Picnic

15 12 2017

Washington, D.C.

My whitey sense informed me that you all needed some subversive thinking done.  So I got here as quick as I could, even though I don’t get around very quickly at all these days.  But, in as much as my semi-ambulatory legs and my wheelchair could let me, I went at top speed.

Andre Perry, writing in Hechinger Report, H/T AR:

Charter school leaders are complicit with segregation, and it’s hurting their movement

(snip)

A recent Associated Press analysis of national school enrollment data found that “as of school year 2014-2015, more than 1,000 of the nation’s 6,747 charter schools had minority enrollment of at least 99 percent, and the number has been rising steadily.”

I responded at AR:

You think that might be the case? Especially when, as an example, in my state, charter schools are only allowed to operate in St. Louis City and Kansas City proper, because the politics of charter school legislation invariably revolve around the educational “needs” of NAM (esp black) children, and the establishment of actual charter schools are done with NAM (esp black) children in mind. It would be like being outraged that there are no Chevys to be found at an event advertised and billed for months before the fact as a Ford Appreciation Picnic.

The subversive politics behind articles like these and the more pregnant political question have to do with teachers’ unions. The blogger Education Realist has pretty much proven to the smoking gun level that the charter movement is a stealth movement to bust teachers’ unions using the academic needs of NAMs esp blacks as a social justicey front. At the same time, articles like these are very likely the stealth weaponized pushback from teachers’ unions, again, using social justicey language (“segregation” blah blah) as a front. As it is with many things, two different selfish special interests are firing at each other with deliberately rhetorically confusing weapons, and we live in the middle of the free fire zone.

So it boils down to: Charters yes because zomg social justice lol vs charters no because zomg social justice lol. Neither side really gives a sheeyt about social justice, it’s just that they know that social justice tripe coming out of one’s mouth officially sounds good these days.