Right On Cue

31 08 2016

Jefferson City

The biggest money streams into the war chests of both Chris Koster and Eric Greitens are coming from people who are most heavily invested and acutely interested in RTW/PP.

Which snarky blogmeister has been writing in a certain low-traffic alt-right node for a year and a half that MO-GOV-2016 would turn pretty much exclusively on RTW/PP, and that white working-to-middle class union members and union sympathists, who pay very close attention to the union brass’s political endorsements, are the crucial marginal swing constituency in statewide elections?

There he goes, on the other side of the mirror, the one with more gray hair today than yesterday.


Team Green vs Team Blue

26 05 2016


Read closer, and this is almost as much about a divide within organized labor as it is a divide between some elements of organized labor and environmentalists.  These divisions will become obvious when we find out where the Trump votes are and where the Hillary votes are from the organized labor space.

Also, I think this has helped me figure something out:

Trade union leaders may remain wary of some GOP candidates because they support causes like right-to-work laws that unions traditionally oppose. But right-to-work, which allows workers to opt out of union dues and fees, doesn’t smother jobs; research shows that it often boosts investment and hiring.

I’ve been writing it myself here, because RTW/PP is actually a frequent feature of my professional existence, that whether or not a state is RTW or not doesn’t make a difference on actual real world conditions, that those are determined by many factors more important than RTW-or-not.  It’s just that since union leaders think it’s a BFD, they’ll make the union rank and file think it’s an absolutely existential issue, and in Missouri statewide politics, union rank-and-file households are the crucial marginal swing constituency, so there won’t be a Republican Governor ever as long as s/he supports RTW and the General Assembly remains in Republican hands.  My suggestion for Hanaway, Kindercare, Brunner, is that one of them breaks ranks on RTW.

However, what this tells me, from the article, is that union leadership is using RTW-PP as a LOOK SQUIRREL diversion to paper over not only the internal blue team politics between the blues and the greens, but also the schism within organized labor between Trump-leaning construction and trades unions and Hillary-leaning public and service employees unions.


Tidings of Discomfort

16 11 2015

St. Peters

Mark Parkinson, one of the few General Assembly Republicans to get it, for the most part, was going to run for SEN-23-R next year, as he himself is TLed out of the House, and SEN-23 is opening up because Tom Dempsey is TLed out of it, or would be if he hadn’t already resigned early.

He just threw in the towel today.

It’s all because of this stupid RTW battle.

There are two other Republicans in the primary, and of course, the Republican primary is the de facto election.  Either one has been able to raise way more money than Parkinson, whose bank account was mainly self-funded, and not with much.  Various unions are bankrolling one, to oppose RTW, various business groups are funding the other, to support it.  Parkinson himself supports RTW, and voted for it and for the override every year.  Like I wrote here some time back, I don’t think having it really changes much of anything compared to not having it, so whether it happens or not is almost a non-issue to me.  While I don’t think it’s good politics for statewide Republican candidates and for some other Republicans, I’m not going to grind over Parkinson supporting it, and in turn, endorsing the one of the remaining two candidates that does over the one that opposes it.  Even if I was mad about it, it’s no use being mad at him now, because his political career is just about over.

What I am grinding over is how everyone screaming, hemming and hawing over this trivial issue is drowning out the sorts of issues that really need to be talked about, and things that Mark Parkinson and a scant few others would be talking about and everyone else would be hearing about.  But for RTW, Parkinson could have made his bones and won SEN-23 on the transfer law issue alone, considering the geography of SEN-23.

Living in the Differential

16 09 2015

Jefferson City

Today’s the first day of the veto session.

The votes aren’t there on RTW.  It’s the same case as it was last year and the year before:  While the actual RTW bill during the actual legislative session got more than 2/3 of the vote in both chambers, enough of those who voted for it in regular order can’t muster up to courage to override Nixon’s veto.

To me, the really weird part about the RTW issue in Missouri and everywhere else is the huge differential between how little of a real effect it does have (or would have) on the ground when it is (or would be) enacted in states that were previously closed-shop states, and the effect that interested stakeholders think it would have, such that both sides of pumping rivers of money into this town to make sure it either does or does not happen.  Obviously, those who would be affected by it the most don’t agree with my insouciance; that’s why they’re spending all this money.  Nobody is going to spend the serious coin on lobbying and media buys that both sides are doing right now in Missouri if they didn’t think that there was a lot at stake.  These people don’t waste money on chimeras, I can assure you of that.

Likewise, I would have this same attitude if a RTW state actually changed or was contemplating changing to closed-shop, I wouldn’t think it would make much of a difference, but both business groups and organized labor would be pouring big money to make sure it doesn’t/does happen, respectively.

I just happen to think that there are many more important factors in wage/salary equilibria in various places than the open shop versus closed shop paradigm.

One thing I will say with near certainty is that Chris Koster is a cinch for the next Governor if the Republican nominee either states openly or it is well known by enough people that s/he will sign RTW.  While the money stream on both sides is about the same, it is a net liability for any Republican candidate for Governor to be for it in terms of electoral politics.  Everyone knows the General Assembly will remain in Republican hands for quite some time to come, so everyone knows that they will send the Governor a RTW bill year in and year out.  Therefore, the unions know that they’re going to need someone sitting in 100 Madison that will veto it every time s/he gets such a bill.  The unions will mobilize their foot soldiers and move heaven and Earth to make sure of that.  And that will cost the Republican nominee in 2016 some very crucial and marginally consequential white working-middle class support.  Unless the Republican nominee openly promises to veto RTW bills and better yet demands that General Assembly Republicans give up pushing RTW bills.

Though I don’t know why I’m bothering doleing out that advice.  First off, none of the announced or speculated Republican candidates for Governor will actually do that, and none of them strike me as having the capability to pivot.  Second, not a one of them do anything for me and none of them really impress me in general.

AFT Does the Look Squirrel Thing

22 08 2015



The American Federation of Teachers — one of the nation’s largest unions — has broadened its agenda beyond teacher pay and standardized testing, to racial justice issues affecting students and communities across the country.

About 40 members of AFT’s Racial Equity Task Force gathered in conference rooms at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Friday to dissect how racism is institutionalized in the nation’s public schools.

For black children, it results in lower achievement, disproportionately high suspension rates and lower graduation rates. This makes it harder to find a job. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the unemployment rate for black men — 10 percent — is double that of white men.

“Our job, as important as it is, is not to simply to put together a set of policy solutions,” Randi Weingarten, AFT president, said before the group embarked on its work. “That is important. But we have to figure out how to elevate it, move it and make it real. That’s going to be really hard.”

With about 1.6 million members, the AFT is the second largest teachers union in the country. In Missouri, its members include teachers and other employees in St. Louis Public Schools.

And I’m still anticipating a Randi Weingarten vs Davis Guggenheim lead pipe fight on the DNC convention floor in Philadelphia next July.

As for this current news, I think I know what’s going on here.  It’s the AFT’s (and soon also, the NEA’s) propaganda pushback against the Waiting for Superman style (speaking of Davis Guggenheim) neoliberal education “reformer” propaganda of blaming “bad” teachers and their “bad” unions for NAM academic dysfunction.  The more noise the AFT and NEA make about hating racism, this that and the third, the more they hope that the neolibs will back off from their anti-teacherunion jihad.

How They Learned to Love the Kochs

4 08 2015

Dana Point, California


Question for our resident liberal, ex-liberals, or any others reading this that want to take a crack cocaine at it:

Why all this hate for the Koch brothers from the left, so much so that their very surname is a swear word?

Here are the highlights of Koch political activism:

*  “Criminal justice reform”
*  United Negro College Fund
*  Gay marriage and LGBTQetc
*  Open borders and immigration surge

One huge consequence of Koch activism and donorism is to libertarianize the right, which on the margins hurts Republican political candidates, and by deduction, helps Democrats.

It seems to me the left should love the Koch brothers as much as they love George Soros.

The answer revolves around the fact that unlike Soros, Koch money and activism is actively combative and hostile toward organized labor, especially public employee unions, and public employee union member dues is a lot of the blue team’s life blood.  This is why, as you can read in this article, AFSCME wants to be on the other side of the universe from the Koch brothers, even if it’s over UNCF contributions.

The anti-Koch left might think, and to an extent, it might actually be true, that the Koch bros’ social issue leftism is a look squirrel to try to keep the left from paying attention to their anti-AFSCME and anti-PEU efforts. I happen to think that social issue leftism overall is nothing more than look squirrel to keep income inequality focused liberal grassroots activists from noticing that the Democrat Party establishment has been a boon to the top 0.0000001%, the main difference between that and look squirrel social issue conservatism, Democrats damn well deliver for social issue leftism even if it is a diversion, most establishment Republicans also deliver for social issue liberalism in spite of their vote grifting.

Not Waiting For Bernie

17 07 2015

Washington, D.C.

Reading material, here, here and here.

What it all amounts to is that HRC vassal Randi Weingarten is appearing to throw the AFT’s weight behind her in order to head off the Bernie Sanders Pepsi Challenge.

I don’t think any of the Waiting for Superman vs Teachers’ Unions politics on the left play into this, even though I still think we’re on track for Weingarten and Davis Guggenheim to have a lead pipe fight on the DNC floor in Philly about a year from now.  I do think that if the AFT rank and file aren’t happy with the union and their leader endorsing HRC so soon, it must mean that the grass roots thinks that Sanders tends to the pro-union anti-neoliberal anti-reformist agenda, or they think Sanders is far less likely than HRC to be sucked into the Superman orbit.  As for HRC, you can’t draw inferences on what she would do based on what her husband did as President, because her husband was pretty much pro-union all the way.  The left and its neoliberal faction really didn’t start in on their educational reformist streak until about the middle part of the last decade.  However, Bill Clinton is at least pretending to regret the Clinton Presidency, mainly as a propaganda ploy to distance his wife from his own decidedly less than leftist accomplishments, so it’s very possible that Hillary Clinton will be handing Davis Guggenheim and not Randi Weingarten the lead pipes.