Reason Morning Links: Obama Investigations Slated, States Look To Limit Unions, House GOP Vows Cuts

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  1. So Obama goes into his bench of Chicago machine characters and pulls out a different one to be Chief of Staff.

    A few years ago someone recommended the late, great Mike Royko’s “Boss” to me and I learned a lot about Chicago politics. Frankly, I don’t know how that book never got more attention. The degree to which corruption was widespread there was breath taking. I suppose the President is going with people that he knows, but I would have avoided that bunch like the plague.

    1. I figure the Chicago machine must have some truly awesome photographs and/or recordings. That or the President is a provincial fool with no ability to vet potential employees for the talents they need to excel in the job he wants to hire them for, so he just picks people he knows well. Actually, with the exception of Hillary, this would explain a lot. And she got to pick her post.

      1. I figure the Chicago machine must have some truly awesome photographs and/or recordings.

        Mirth and Girth being one of them.

    2. The degree to which corruption is tolerated and institutionalized in Chicago is staggering.

      1. I have no doubts about that. My only frame of reference regarding Chicago politics is the book. I was hoping that more knowledgable commenters than I could fill in some of the blanks.

        1. I only lived there for three years and was busy with school, but I saw and heard about some crazy stuff. What’s funny is that the Feds cleaned up some of it in Operation Greylord, but the people taken out of office were eventually replaced by people equally corrupt.

        2. I’m not sure what blanks need to be filled in. Here’s what you need to know… you don’t make it out of Illinois (at least as a Democrat) unless you’re part of the Machine. Here’s a great example. In 2006, Cook County president John Stroger–an incompetent Machine hack–was being opposed in the Democratic primary by reformer Forrest Claypool. Claypool and Obama go way back, and most political observers here believed that an endorsement from Obama would be enough to topple Stroger. So did Obama endorse his good friend? Hell no. Obama didn’t endorse anybody; Stroger suffered a stroke right before the primary but stayed in long enough to defeat Claypool; then he dropped out and appointed his even more inept son to take his place in the general election.

          Now if Obama were truly a reformer, wouldn’t he have endorsed his friend? But he didn’t, and playing nice with the Machine (and, by extension, the unions) would help send him to the White House two years later.

          1. Thanks-like I said, my only frame of reference was a book that was written over 20 years ago, that’s why I used the past tense. Interesting to see more contemporary references.

            1. Ah, I understand now. I just assume everybody knows that things haven’t really changed since the old man was in charge… they’re just smarter about how they do things. And on a side note, I finally got around to reading Boss last year, and the sad part was how familiar it all sounded despite the fact that it was published eight years before I was born.

            2. Note that the easiest way for an Illinois Republican to win statewide is to at least make friends with the Machine– which is why John Kass at the Chicago Tribune refers to it as the Illinois Combine, or just Combine.

              Peter Fitzgerald was fairly honest, though, as a Senator. So of course he was a one-termer.

              1. Fitzgerald was one of the few Illinois pols I ever respected (looking back on it, maybe the only one?).

              2. If Fitzgerald hadn’t been abolished by his bitch wife, the whole US of A would be in better shape.

                [face-palm]

        3. The book was a big deal in Chicago, but it was really only a re-hash of the things Royko would regularly write in his columns. John Kass now fills the same spot.

          It’s tough to really understand Chicago politics until you understand that the 33rd Ward Committeeman is more powerful than the Governor of the State of Illinois.

          Once you understand that, it becomes clearer what’s going on. Who you are is far more important than whatever elected or unelected title it is that you currently hold.

      2. It’s okay when WE do it!

  2. “If they want to strike, they should be fired,” Mr. Kasich said in a speech. “They’ve got good jobs, they’ve got high pay, they get good benefits, a great retirement. What are they striking for?”

    I am intrigued by this guy’s ideas and wish to subscribe to his newsletter.

    1. Yeah, I’m cautiously optimistic about my new governor. He already killed a Cincinnati-Cleveland rail boondoggle, and now is fighting the unions. Maybe he can be a less fat Christie.

      1. Every worker should be forced to join a union.

        1. Unions should be banned.

  3. In any case, investigations of the administration, budget stand-offs, and constant attempts to repeal all the Obamania strike me as an excellent idea.

    1. Stick a complete repeal on the measure lifting the debt ceiling. Fuck them. If Obama wants the country to default, he can have fun. History will blame him as the President.

      1. Is this the same History that casts Herbert Hoover as a raging free market ideologue?

        1. Revisionism is fun. Hoover tried some pretty marginal, but previously unheard of, measures in the face of a catastrophe, measures that everyone decried at the time as not enough and measures that he resisted expanding on pseudo-free market grounds that echo things heard here, and he is really some crypto-socialist, so his efforts failing show socialism doesn’t work!

          1. Revisionism is fun.

            In that case you must be having a ball typing what follows.

          2. measures that everyone decried at the time as not enough

            Showing your ignorance again, MNG?

            Actually, FDR and the Democratic platform criticized those measures for leading to a deficit and said that they would have a balanced budget. Read the 1932 Democratic platform. They accused Hoover of being too free-spending.

            We advocate an immediate and drastic reduction of governmental expenditures by abolishing useless commissions and offices, consolidating departments and bureaus, and eliminating extravagance to accomplish a saving of not less than twenty-five per cent in the cost of the Federal Government.

            If the Democrats felt the need to run on that, it’s pretty damn certain that not “everyone” decried those measures as not enough.

          3. MNG clearly hasn’t read the Democratic Party Platform from 1932.

            We advocate an immediate and drastic reduction of governmental expenditures by abolishing useless commissions and offices, consolidating departments and bureaus, and eliminating extravagance to accomplish a saving of not less than twenty-five per cent in the cost of the Federal Government. And we call upon the Democratic Party in the states to make a zealous effort to achieve a proportionate result.

            “Everyone” was saying that the spending wasn’t enough? “Everyone” doesn’t include FDR or the Democratic *or* Republican parties in general, which at least means that it didn’t include the majority of people.

            Now revisionism after the time says that “everyone said” it wasn’t enough, but that wasn’t the case at the time. At the same it was widely considered foolhardy over-spending.

          4. Have you read the Democratic Party Platform from 1932?

            We advocate an immediate and drastic reduction of governmental expenditures by abolishing useless commissions and offices, consolidating departments and bureaus, and eliminating extravagance to accomplish a saving of not less than twenty-five per cent in the cost of the Federal Government. And we call upon the Democratic Party in the states to make a zealous effort to achieve a proportionate result.

            “Everyone” was saying that the spending wasn’t enough? “Everyone” doesn’t include FDR or the Democratic *or* Republican parties in general, which at least means that it didn’t include the majority of people.

            Revisionism after the time says that “everyone said” it wasn’t enough, but that wasn’t the case at the time. At the same it was widely considered foolhardy over-spending.

          5. Have you read the Democratic Party Platform from 1932?

          6. We advocate an immediate and drastic reduction of governmental expenditures by abolishing useless commissions and offices, consolidating departments and bureaus, and eliminating extravagance to accomplish a saving of not less than twenty-five per cent in the cost of the Federal Government. And we call upon the Democratic Party in the states to make a zealous effort to achieve a proportionate result.

            “Everyone” was saying that the spending wasn’t enough? “Everyone” doesn’t include FDR or the Democratic *or* Republican parties in general, which at least means that it didn’t include the majority of people.

            Revisionism after the time says that “everyone said” it wasn’t enough, but that wasn’t the case at the time. At the same it was widely considered foolhardy over-spending.

          7. The above quote is, of course, from the 1932 Democratic Party platform. (Can’t post a link because the spam filter keeps blocking me.)

          8. The New Deal started with Hoover, FDR just gave it a catchy name. To quote Rexford Tugwell (one of the architects of the New Deal), “We didn’t admit it at the time, but practically the whole New Deal was extrapolated from programs that Hoover started.”

            1. So they went all in on Awful. Got it.

  4. The comments to that NYT article on unions has some beauties. One of my favorites.

    “First, our jobs are sent to China and Mexico. Whole towns are devestated and the tax base gutted. The owners and the corporations move their accounts off-shore and pay no taxes. The Republicans turn billion dollar surpluses into trillion dollar deficits, deregulate the banks, and fund two wars with blood but not money. The richest 1% has more than the other 99%, while 50 million Americans are without health insurance. The Walton family has more money than the bottom 40% of our people combined by selling goods manufactured by non-union labor in China and sold by non-union, low paid labor in the US. Our quality of life has declined, poverty has increased, hope has evaporated.

    But all this misery isn’t enough. Now taxpayers have to be pitted against their neighbors. The private sector has to participate in a race to the bottom with public workers. Class envy has to mean that the worker with benefits be taken down to relieve the misery of the worker without. Brotherhood and sisterhood and freedom of association and any sense of community must cease.”

    1. I liked the part where the AFL-CIO guy was complaining that this was all political payback. Tht guy sounds like a fat tick with a match to his ass.

      1. This is basically what I came in here to say. Unions jump into politics with both feet, whine when they find themselves on the losing side, with attendant consequences.

        Hey Mr. McEntee, here’s a 5 minute prepaid card. Go call somebody who cares.

      2. Wait, I thought if you went out of your way to fuck over people politically, it was fair game for them to attack you economically?

        Or is that privilege reserved for gay marriage supporters in California?

    2. Hahahahaha. Oh woe is we! God forbid you have to reduce your cable or cell phone plan to make ends meet for a few months. But wait; you don’t have to!

      Because now cell phones and wi-fi are a way of life, and everyone needs access to them. On welfare, but don’t have a cell-phone? No problem! In a union, and aren’t getting a pay-raise? No problem! President of the United States and want to make a statement about how good public schools are? No problem!

      Look, I can write a nonsensical rant too.

    3. I liked the horrified paragraphs about how Republicans are pushing right-to-work laws. Gasp!

      1. Yeah, it’s not a shocker. Conservatives don’t like unions. Cons tend to be authoritarian types with a heavy worship of traditional authority figures (cops, ministers, bosses). They can’t stand the idea of workers with secure jobs and contracts that they can hold the employer to, with less arbitrariness in the workplace. It drives some folks crazy, especially people who already work under arbitrary at-will employment. If it’s good enough for me it’s good enough for them is their mantra.

        You see this especially when pro athletes have labor issues. How dare they, they get paid millions to play a game! That the owners make a ton for practically doing nothing except having the capital to put on the show is ignored…

        1. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that unions are at their weakest in the region with the history of the most synchpantic worship of traditional authority and dividing the working classes up along tribalistic lines (the South)…

          1. Why’d you stop? You’re on a roll of stupidity, and I want to see where it goes.

            1. When a guy named Warty who rarely musters a multi-sentence comment says you are on a roll of stupid you’re probably on to something…

              1. Don’t you dare oppress me with your sycophantic worship of traditional longwindedness, fuckstain. I want to hear more about how unions are going to make us all rich and rescue us from the Southron tribes.

          2. You realize, of course, that’s almost exactly wrong. One of the problems with (and, arguably, one of the virtues of) the South is that it’s been traditionally almost maniacally individualistic. A regular theme in Civil War works is the collectivist North vs. the raging individualism of the South.

            1. Raging individualism? A society in which the tribalistic racial notions of the day were strongest? Where ideas of individual dignity bowed to ideas of collective honor (see the work of historian Ed Ayers on the culture of dueling)? Where the economy was a static aristocratic pseudo-feudalism?

              I don’t know what history books you’ve been reading…Even people that praise the South like conservative theorist Weaver loved that “every person had a place” in a rigid, stable system of hierarchy…

              1. And antibellum culture is about as alive in the South today as Puritanism is alive in Massachusetts. They didn’t call the novel “Gone with the Wind” for nothing. That world died and never came back after the civil war.

                1. Yeah, no more stable, rigid aristocratic culture fraught with a mean tribalism in the South after 1865…If you cannot read history or sociology John at least pick up a Faulkner novel John…

                  1. A “mean tribalism” MNG? You’ll have to define that for me. Frankly, I think that race-relations are better here than in other parts of the country. Forced busing was a big problem in Boston too, you know.

                    1. One can’t deny there was mean racism in parts of the North, but one can’t deny it was much more common and systematic in the South. All those blacks that went North in the Great Migration weren’t fools.

                    2. Well, to be fair… They merely traded warm-weather institutionalized racism for it’s cold-weather counterpart. Sounds kinda dumb to me.

                  2. “If you cannot read history or sociology John at least pick up a Faulkner novel John”

                    Ah maybe you don’t realize this, but Faulkner wrote in the 1930s. 80 fucking years ago. Faulkner was writing closer to the civil war than he was to today. The Civil War was still living memory then. Slavery was still living memory then. That is what his literary career is based on.

                    If you are basing your view of the modern view of the South on Faulkner, you have just admitted you are an idiot.

              2. That’s right, I remember a famous duel between two southerners named Hamilton and Burr.

              3. The South in your mind looms large, eh?

            2. Of course the Southeast industrialized much later than the Northeast and Midwest. Many factories opened here in the 1970s or later and one advantage that we had was cheaper labor than those parts of the country that were unionized-comparative advantage, it’s whats for dinner.

          3. My TGod you are an idiot. Because there is nothing authoritarian or traditional about New England. No government or authority loving people up there. I guess all the people in the South worship central authority and that explains why state governments are so much larger and more intrusive in the South.

            You have officially designated yourself as the dumbest commenter on here. Steve Smith and Tony are fucking statesman compared to you.

            1. You worship a TGod?

              What measure do you want about authoritarianism in the South?

              Its higher rate of returning incumbents to elected office?

              Its racial and religious tribalism?

              Its collectively bestowed culture of honor vs. the Northern culture of individual dignity?

              Its lack of citizen empowering structures like recall and voter-initiated referendum?

              Its history of aristocratic elite rule and lack of relative social mobility?

              1. If it were 1932, you might have a point. And of course the whole country was ruled by elites in the 19th Century. Who do you think the Bramins were you dumb fuck? Again, the the South is so authoritarian, why can I have transfat fried chicken in Atlanta but can’t in New York? Why is it nearly impossible to start a business in the Northeast but comparatively easy in the South? Lets talk actual facts in the present, not your fantasy land prejudices you got from reading To Kill A Mockingbird thirty years ago.

                1. For every fried chicken ban in the North I can point to sodomy or dildo ban in the South John, and usually on a state wide as opposed to city wide level.

                  1. That is why there are strip clubs on nearly every corner all over the South. Because they are so puritan and have such a controlling government.

                    You have clearly never been anywhere South of Philadelphia and have no idea what you are talking about. The South is more tribalism and racist than the North? You don’t even understand the North. Try visiting Bensonhurst or South Boston sometime dipshit.

                  2. If you started out this argument claiming that the South was not uniquely libertarian, that might be useful to you, but since you’re claiming it’s authoritarian relative to the rest of the country, it means precisely jack shit.

                    The South is authoritarian about some shit. The North is authoritarian about some shit, and some of it is the same shit, and some of it is different shit. Well, we’ve sure learned a lot here.

              2. Voter-initiated referendum? That’s a west-of-the-Mississippi phenomenon.

                There are 5 states in the north and 3 in the south that allow it. Place Missouri in whatever camp you wish, not much of a Mason-Dixon disparity there.

            2. STEVE SMITH LOVE RAPING STATESMEN! EVERYTHING SO SOFT AND SMOOTH! STEVE SMITH WEAR HELMET WHILE RAPING MNG – SAFETY FIRST!

              1. OK, that was funny.

          4. It’s not a coincidence that unions are at their weakest in the region that was traditionally poorer and had to attract businesses by accepting lower wages instead of having the power to strike.

            You’re also profoundly ignorant if you think that unions are about dividing people up among tribalistic, national, and racial lines. “Look for the union label” was originally about buying things (cigar boxes, etc.) made by whites and not Chinese immigrants in California.

            In the South, big business wanted to hire and employ Republicans, and didn’t like segregation, while the unions were the ones fighting for laws to enforce segregation.

          5. Why don’t yall secede then?

            We promise not to invade and burn down all your cities.

          6. Also the area with the lowest unemployment rate and lowest cost of living.

        2. That the owners make a ton for practically doing nothing except having the capital to put on the show is ignored…

          And in MNG’s progressive fantasy land, that capital just magically appeared in the hands of the owners with no work required on their part.

          In addition to unions being completely organic structures with no hierarchy or bosses of their own.

          1. “capital just magically appeared in the hands of the owners with no work required on their part.”

            Yeah, sometimes they have to come out of the correct vagina at birth. At other times they have to get fat rent-seeking deals that give advantages. Some fall ass-backwards into it out of luck and circumstances, and yes, some make it from work. Of course once they have it when they use it as I described they are not working in any real sense.

            1. Or maybe spend your entire life working your ass off developing a better product that makes everyone’s life better only to be told by some liberal slug how you are there by the luck of the vagina. And of course stealing everything anyone makes above the mean certainly encourages people to work hard.

              In all of the times I have argued with you, I have never managed to discredit you half as much as you just discredited yourself with this and the above statement about the authoritarian south. The stripes are really showing today aren’t they?

            2. Unlike the hard-working players, I suppose, who receive no help from genetics and luck.

              And with your position against having money after one ceases working, recorded for the world to see, I hope you don’t ever plan on retiring or leaving any money to your offspring.

              1. I’m going to petition a few of the Yankees to bequeath me a small portion of their estates. Luck of the vaj be damned.

              2. MNG:

                Yeah, sometimes they have to come out of the correct vagina at birth. At other times they have to get fat rent-seeking deals that give advantages. Some fall ass-backwards into it out of luck and circumstances, and yes, some make it from work.

                Tulpa:

                Unlike the hard-working players, I suppose, who receive no help from genetics and luck.

                Welcome to fucking reality, assholes. Jesus christ, you two are depressingly predictable. So because some people are better at generating wealth than others, you propose some kind of collective solution? Typically government-enforced, I’m sure.

                Working hard doesn’t guarantee you’ll become wealthy any more than eating all your veggies and being a good boy will. Conversely, it’s typically pretty hard to become wealthy without the hard work.

                I really just wish you two would stop your constant bitching and whining about your parents not being rich. Because it really seems like that’s what it comes down to – petty jealousy of people whose parents or grandparents left or will leave them with more money than yours left you.

                1. Upon further reflection, I may have misread Tulpa’s comment and what he intended by it. If so, my apologies.

                  My rant with respect to MNG still stands.

                2. ^^THIS TOO^^

            3. Of course only the bottom rung laborers every do any real work. The people at the top just sit around polishing monocles while smoking minority baby legs. We all know the stereotypes you choose to live by already.

            4. “Yeah, sometimes they have to come out of the correct vagina at birth. At other times they have to get fat rent-seeking deals that give advantages. Some fall ass-backwards into it out of luck and circumstances, and yes, some make it from work. Of course once they have it when they use it as I described they are not working in any real sense.”

              THIS^^

        3. Cops are the biggest thug-union of all. Try pissing off the FOP or PBA and see what happens as a politician. Also try opposing the union leadership and see what happens if you’re a member.
          The Mineworkers and Steelworkers are already pissed (rightly) at the public union. They’re supposed to show solidarity with some DMV worker whose greatest workplace danger is choking on that 15th snack cake? I can see their point.

        4. Wait… aren’t unions “authoritarian” by their very nature?

          1. No. Only money is authoritarian, and if you were half as smart as MNG, you’d see how obvious that is. Retard.

          2. How so? Unions are run by people elected by the membership. They have a legal duty to represent all dues payers.

            1. I didn’t mean authoritarian regarding their worker-drone union-dues payers, MNG.

            2. Have you ever looked at the models that that drive unions. It’s usually covered in basic econ since a union is a special kind of monopoly. If you get around to taking a look at how they actually work go ahead and come back and say that again.

              I’ll give you a clue. Unions represent their interests first, and they always have.

            3. So if the union just happens to be all-white or all-Americans, or all-whatever tribe, you have no problem with them representing just their members and pissing on non-members?

              The history of unionism in the South is the history of the Democratic Party and racism, while the history of big business was divided between the virtuous Republican Party supporters like the Dukes and those who were part of the Democratic Party team, like Daniels and the News & Observer.

            4. So, MNG: Boards of Directors of companies, except in certain, specific, enumerated situations, have a legal and fiduciary duty to act on behalf of the company’s shareholders. What’s more, boards of directors are elected by the shareholders. So you then feel the same way about corporations as you do about unions, I would assume, correct?

              1. These crickets are fuckin’ loud!

                1. These crickets are fuckin’ loud!

                  Their song soothes the soul.

                  1. And crickets looooove the taste of tears.

        5. That the owners make a ton for practically doing nothing except having the capital to put on the show is ignored…

          Yeah, they’re never skewered for rent seeking in the form of getting taxpayers to buy them a purty new stadium.

          And anyway, unions are awesome! Just look what they did for to GM.

        6. MNG,

          Your little sob story, and your insults, would be more convincing if you actually believed in the right of individuals to economically combine to advance their interests.

          You don’t.

          So shut the fuck up, and come back when you do.

        7. Yeah, that also explains why nerds and IT folk, despite being particularly treated like shit by the suits, tend to loathe unions as well.

          Maybe some people don’t like unions because they tend to promote the interests of the least capable and worthy members of a field, often at the expense of the better members — because they represent laziness, mediocrity, arrogance, greed, and value seniority over merit, political acumen over accomplishment or leadership, and conformity over self-actualization?

          No, it’s probably that we love authority, like all the people with FOP stickers on their… wait, that’s a union. Now I’m all confused, minge.

        8. Conservatives don’t like unions. Cons tend to be authoritarian types with a heavy worship of traditional authority figures (cops, ministers, bosses).

          Considering that cops have been unionized for decades, your story has something of a whole through it.

          That the owners make a ton for practically doing nothing except having the capital to put on the show is ignored…

          Ignoring the obvious hyperbole that team owners do nothing but put up the capital, exactly what must someone do to be “worthy” of profits?

          1. Considering that cops have been unionized for decades, your story has something of a whole through it.

            Hole, even. I threw in an extra letter just for you.

    4. I’m so tired of hearing that Mexico and China took jobs away from the US. If you look at manufacturing output in real dollars, there has been an increase in the US since the 1970’s when a lot of the industrial centers in Great Lakes region collapse. The reason? American workers are more productive than ever thanks to technological improvements. That is the main reason why manufacturing jobs don’t exist in the same amount as in the first half of the century. One person today can do the same thing that required many people to do decades ago. Of course, if unions and their sympathizers ever argued that we needed to get rid of all the robotics in American factories, they would get laughed at, so foreigners become the go to boogey man.

      1. I think we should all throw our sabots in these powerlooms!

      2. The tractors took our farming jobs!!

        And what is more ironic about it is that the Chinese and Mexico took low skilled lousy jobs like textiles that these very same people were always bitching moaning were exploitative when they were here.

      3. That’s silly. I’m old enough to remember when automation was indeed used as a bogeyman. It’s just because everyone now admits the jobs are going overseas much more than to robots, your nonsense measure to the contrary.

        1. Any facts that don’t support your talking points are nonsense measures. But you’re part of the reality based party.

          1. First, I’d like to see your citation for your claim, but more to the point you pick a goofy baseline (“since the 1970’s when a lot of the industrial centers in Great Lakes region collapse[d]”). Fanatics like John will fall for such nonsense, but don’t expect me to.

            1. You better get up early to compete with MNG. He’s the Nancy Grace of Hit & Run.

            2. See my post below, dumbass.

            3. Btw, do you ever get tired of being consistently proven to wrong?

            4. “Manufacturing output in 2007 (the recent peak in manufacturing output) was over 600% higher than in 1950.”

              yeah, 1950 is a real goofy baseline. We don’t make anything anymore, unless you count the 600% more shit that we make now than we did sixty years ago. Give it up MNG before the ref has to stop the fight.

              1. Of course productivity (in every field) has increased in the past 60 years, that doesn’t mean that manufacturing jobs have not been moved overseas. Hell, even free marketers admit this as they usually argue it is a good thing (comparative advantage).

                1. And some jobs have moved over here. Do the Germans and Japanese have a right to scream about the authoritarian horrible US South stealing their automotive jobs? And in return for the jobs that did move overseas, we got more competitive industries here and much cheaper products and a better way of life.

                  Seriously, what is your solution? To tell companies they can’t move? Nationalize them? And further, aren’t the very unionism and regulatory state you love so much part of the reason why those jobs moved? You can’t spend fifty years talking about how the evil corporations are raping the environment and stealing from their workers and then act shocked when said corporations move to places that welcome them.

                  Well actually you can and do. You just can’t do so without being stupid. And since you are a liberal, stupid is what you do.

                2. In other words, tens of millions of people in other countries, who in former times would have been stuck digging through manure with their bare hands for their entire lives, now have manufacturing jobs and access to a somewhat better life.

                  If MNG were a true “progressive” and humanitarian, he would be happy about this development. But (surprise!) it turns out he’s just a labor union apologist.

                  1. Don’t you get it? We have a right to our job. And health care. And cheap gasoline. Who cares how it affects everyone else?

                    1. You left out the free booze.

                  2. A lot of people believe in equality of income, but only at the national level. They’re still socialists, but not international socialists. More like… national socialists?

            5. Manufacturing output in the US in real dollars has tripled since 1970.

              http://seekingalpha.com/articl…..er-workers

              We do not and never have had a manufacturing output problem in the US.

              We had a manufacturing employment decline in the US, but that’s not the same thing.

          2. Here’s a nice explanation for the economically illiterate from the noted libertarians at the Chicago Fed. Is U.S. Manufacturing Disappearing?

            Some meaningless measures from the article:

            Manufacturing output in 2007 (the recent peak in manufacturing output) was over 600% higher than in 1950.

            What took 1,000 workers to produce in 1950 could be produced with 184 workers in 2009.

      4. The problem is, those productivity-increasing machines don’t vote for Democrats.

        1. Is there any debate that the real hit taken by industrial workers is automation? Really? I mean, it’s been happening for decades now, and just about everyone realizes that there will be a time in this century when most manufacturing will become wholly automated.

          1. My dad went to a private college in upstate NY with a guy whose father used to spray the tailings out of the engine blocks with compressed air after they were drilled out. That was his job. Which he did for 20 years. Now the robot does it. Should we cry for that guy or thank Asimov that he doesn’t have to do that boring job 8 hours a day for 20 years?

          2. Automation has been happening for thousands of years. Just speeded up more recently.

        2. The next great civil rights battle: Voting rights and collective bargaining for machinery – er, “the organically-challenged”.

          1. “the organically-challenged”

            Nice, machinist.

            1. I’m no machinophiliac!

          2. Silicon-Americans is the pc phrase nowadays.

      5. What? Did you know at the beginning of the 20th century, agriculture employed more than 40% of our workforce? Now, it’s only around 2%!! Think of all the lost jerbs!

    5. the worker with benefits be taken down to relieve the misery of the worker without.

      Hooray for the PPACA!

  5. “‘The reality of governing is different than the reality of campaigning, and it’s easier to throw out a number than it is to support it,’ said David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s senior strategist.”

    “We’re not quite sure how its different, except its harder.” He continued.

    1. If Obama doesn’t like his job, he should resign. Till then, he and his gremlin subordinates need to STFU with the excuses.

  6. The Pelosi/Reid Congress’ parting gift to the American people: a $14 trillion total combined national debt.

    1. Not fair! The Republicans made them do it!

      1. Exactly! If only the Republicans would have agreed to raise taxes by $14 trillion over the next ten years, the Democrats would be able to not only eliminate the deficit, but pay off the debt as well. As usual, it is the Democrats who are fiscally responsible, and the Republicans who are selling our nation to the rich, one tax cut at a time.

        1. I’m glad someone can see reason.

          Clearly, what we need is to switch to a system where paychecks go to the government, and it decides how much you should get any given pay period.

          1. This idea was floated in England last September.

            http://m.cnbc.com/us_news/39265847

        2. Um, there is no way to “raise taxes by $14 trillion”.

          1. Pssssstt….he was being sarcastic.

            Can I pour you a cup?

            1. I know he was being sarcastic… I was just asking the question for the benefit of our resident liberal mouth-breathers.

              1. I’ve been in a couple of threads on Mr. McArdle’s spouse’s blog and there are several commenters there who truely believe that the 1% of rich people in America are hording $14,000,000,000,000.00 from the deserving government, and they’d pay it all if they were just taxed “rightly”.

                1. Yeah, if only there were a way to confiscate all saved/invested wealth… AND all those juicy, racist personal-retirement accounts.

                  Oh, wait, Obama’s workin’ on that.

  7. I thought the two major parties had a tacit agreement to let sleeping dogs from the previous administration lie.

  8. “That Saddam statue going down looked like a narcoleptic hailing a cab.”

    -Dennis Miller

    1. OT, but funnier Miller line:

      “John Ashcroft makes Billy Graham look like Freddie Mercury.”

  9. Eating invaders

    “Ms. Kesel has a flair for the kind of rhetoric that any movement needs. ‘ I’m almost serious here,’ she concluded her diet post. ‘Eat for the environment. Eat locally. Eat wild meat. Eat for habitat. Eat invasive.'”

    1. Mmmm…poison oak.

    2. Wouldn’t almost any crop be considered invasive? Not to mention cattle and chickens.

      Dang, I’m on the cutting edge of the “eat invasive” movement.

      1. Apples should only be grown in Kazakhstan, where they are from.

      2. I am kind of keen on spearfishing for lionfish. Apparently they don’t have much of a startle reflex so they just sit there like dodos of the sea. Tasty, tasty dodos of the sea.

        1. I wish I could have lived to try the dodo bird. I imagine it’s sort of turkey-esque, but maybe a bit gamier like duck or quail.

          1. As with many animals that have evolved in isolation from significant predators, the dodo was entirely fearless of people, and this, in combination with its flightlessness, made it easy prey for humans. However, journals are full of reports regarding the bad taste and tough meat of the dodo, while other local species such as the Red Rail were praised for their taste.

            Das Wiki

            1. Ostrich meat is good, though. Best exotic animal I ever had was camel though. Given, I haven’t had more than a half dozen maybe, but in a list of ostrich, alligator, camel, whale, and kangaroo, camel would seem like the most mundane.

              1. I’ve heard bison is awesome.

                1. It’s OK. You have to be very careful not to overcook it. It can get very dry due to the low fat content.

    3. Eating invaders

      Mezican lettuce pickers are kinda chewy, unless you marinate them for a couple days.

  10. “If they want to strike, they should be fired,” Mr. Kasich said in a speech. “They’ve got good jobs, they’ve got high pay, they get good benefits, a great retirement. What are they striking for?”

    Well shit, if your boss thinks you’ve got it good, then you’ve obviously got it good!

  11. http://www.nydailynews.com/new….._shot.html

    This is fucked up.

    1. Say cheese…

    2. That is. Those kind of photos creep me out.

      I remember seeing one maybe 20 years ago in the newspaper of a guy in a river during a flood reaching towards the bank, with a half dozen guys on the bank reaching for him.

      The text with the photo was something like “John Smith was swept away by the flooding river yesterday. His body has not yet been found.”

      That photo still freaks me out.

      1. Or that tourist on the observation deck of the World Trade Center on the morning of 9/11. His friend snapped a picture of the poor guy with the airliner seen approaching over his shoulder.

        What made it even freakier was that the shadow was on the wrong side of the jet, and it was even the wrong type of aircraft. Weird.

        1. Uh, how did the camera get out of the WTC? I don’t think they had phones with email capabilities back then.

          1. That’s covered under the “weird” part, as well.

        2. I was going to tell you that was a hoax, but then I read the rest of what you wrote.

          1. I make people put a little extra effort into reading my stuff.

            1. Into seeing your stuff, too.

        3. Yeah, but the amazing thing was that that dude rode the roof of the WTC all the way down to the ground and ended up surviving! Amazing, what you learn from the Internet. Thanks, AlGore!

    3. Gunman:

      “I was framed!”

      1. Philipino Pol:

        I was photobombed!

        1. Actually, the pol’s family were the ones photobombed. The pol himself was just surplised.

          1. UHF reference?

            1. Nah, just Asian reference. Although Filipinos always strike me as more Spanish than Asian; I don’t know why.

              1. I don’t try to make the distinction – cross a Spaniard with an Asian and the result is pretty hot (at least enough of the time to be noticeable).

                1. It’s the legacy Spanish influence from pre-Spanish American wartime. Quite a few Spanish words sprinkled in the midst of the Tagalog language. But it really confuses the bargirls when you try speaking at them in actual Spanish.

                2. I find that most Asians don’t age very well, i.e. women look older faster. Filipinos are a general exception to that rule; it must be because of the spanish influence.

                  1. One of my brother’s exes was a half-Filipino, half-Caucasian. Very, very hot. Also, I hate to be stereotypical, but while East Asian women are often attractive, they seem to bring a level of crazy that even I have a hard time with.

                    1. Not to mention their driving: WATCH OUT!!

                    2. gB: go ahead and date a few.

                    3. I’ve lived in Japan for a year and a half, so I am quite familiar. Although Asian-Americans might bring a new level of crazy to the mix. They would have all the familial crazy of most Asians, but all the western feminism that being a modern American brings! Oh, the humanity!

    4. What’s most fucked up is the piece of shit not only was shooting the guy because the guy ordered his arrest for prior violent criminal behavior, but also that he walked up and killed the guy in cold blood, in front his wife and daughter.

  12. Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.), the incoming chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said he plans to investigate the apparent radicalization of some Muslims in the United States and the extent to which American Muslims are cooperating with law enforcement authorities. He also plans to probe homeland security issues.

    This is how we know there is no justice. Douchebags like King become chairmen of important committees, when they’ve already come out and said Assange should be considered a terrorist and are pro-TSA.

    1. Does cooperating with FBI agents provocateur count? Because they’re doing a bangup job of getting dumbass 20-something American Muslims to cooperate.

    2. You just know that the GOP is going to lurch in the direction of King over the next two years, not in the direction of Ron Paul.

  13. the President is a provincial fool with no ability to vet potential employees for the talents they need to excel in the job he wants to hire them for

    Preposterous hogwash!

  14. If you can’t legislate, investigate.

  15. Does anyone still believe that the Clintons and Obama were ever rivals? They are both cogs in the Chicago machine. The rivalry was all a ruse.

  16. The toppling of the Saddam Hussein statute: a made-for-media moment.

    But I thought he was a dictator.

  17. “William Daley under consideration for Obama’s new chief of staff.”

    Jesus Christ. More local Chicago advisors, that what Obama needs! If people here recall I said way back in the primaries that this would be a considerable problem if Obama was elected…

    1. Your insight into the woes of electing a Chicago politician to federal office is amazing. Such insight is also painfully obvious to even the most casual of observers that didn’t drink the koolaid.

  18. American workers are more productive than ever thanks to technological improvements.

    But what about the out-of-work coopers, and the guys who made wooden-spoked wheels, Smart guy? What about them? What about the street sweepers who trailed behind the milk wagon and cleared away the horse shit? And the Ice Man; won’t somebody think of the Ice Man?

    1. Buggy-whip makers unite!

      1. Shit. And here I was gonna invest in penny-farthing bicycle manufacturing and a cure for dropsy.

        1. My tears keep diluting the whale oil.

          1. Moustache combs and monocle polish!

    2. More statistical lies. Your productivity figures don’t count all the workers who are unemployed.

      1. Shut the fuck up, Hobie.

    3. I’m coming! I’m Coming!

      1. That’s funny; I’m not even breathing hard.

  19. File this one under:

    “One good broken window fallacy deserves another.”

    http://www.thedailyjournal.com…..-COLLAPSES

    1. Re: Mr Whipple,

      From the link:

      The renovation and reopening of the theater — planned for this summer — is considered by city officials to be key in revitalizing the downtown and luring more visitors to the Glasstown Arts District.

      It would be infinitely cheaper just to give the city planners free accounts to Sim City or Second Life to occupy their time, instead of letting them waste money playing the ‘game’ for real.

  20. That Kasich wants to, and may succeed in, taking away the “right” of teachers to strike, gives me the faintest of hope that maybe, just maybe, this nation has enough residual sanity left to survive. Maybe.

    I’ve been beating this drum for years. No government employee should have the “right” to strike – of course they can quit any time they like and be immediately replaced. The argument for having a government agency do something is that it can’t be handled by the private sector – it’s too important, too critical, too sensitive, whatever. Well, if all of that is the case, then that essential work of the government is too important to allow the workers at those agencies to hold the taxpayers hostage. And that certainly includes teachers and school administrators. Here are your wages for 9 months work. And here’s your retirement plan – it’s called Social Security. You could always put away a little of your own savings if you like.

  21. Every worker should be forced to join a union.

    They tried; I told the shop steward (or whatever he was) to fuck off.

    1. Did you get beat up in the parking lot?

    2. Ah the joys of a right-to-work state. I did the same to the grocery union guy a week after my 16th birthday. He got a little grumpy when I laughed at the idea of the dangers of working a checkout counter.

      1. Paper cuts from sacking groceries is no laughing matter, Brett!

        1. So, we can expect the cable zone to be flooded with ‘beware of paper cuts from shopping bags’ juxtaposed against ‘save the planet, don;t use plastic shopping bag’ government sponsored ads to take the place of the endlessly playing “4’9″ is the magic height for a booster seat” and “flopping goldfish asthma analogy” ads?

          And how much did Disney fleece the taxpayers for the use rights to the Cinderella footage in the damned booster seat spot?

          1. And how much did Disney fleece the taxpayers for the use rights to the Cinderella footage in the damned booster seat spot?

            Depends on the outcome of the next copyright extension.

  22. The reality of governing is different than the reality of campaigning

    No shit.

    Unfortunately, the government is composed of people whose primary demonstrable skill is winning elections.

    ps- fuck you Axelrod, you slimy little worm.

    1. Flattery will get you nowhere, Brooks.

  23. GOP planning wide range of investigations of the Obama administration.

    Get ready for a Punching Judy show…

    http://indiequill.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/punch-judy.jpg

  24. Edited version of Huck Finn, now with less niggers and injuns.

    1. Re: robc,

      Did you notice that a self-described “expert” on Twain pretends to “update” the language of the 19th Century masterpiece to better suit the times? I wonder why Dickens’ or Thoureau’s do not suffer the same treatment…

      1. Still waiting for some sensitive soul to ask for Iago to be renamed in Othello so as not to offend teh Muslims.

    2. Speaking of books that did not need to be written, how about Finn. Spoiler alert: Huck is a mulatto! OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG

      1. I thought by the way you were talking about this book it was written by Vanneman.

      2. Warty you miserable bastard. I clicked on that and now it is on my browsing profile for Amazon. You know how much crap that is going to put in my recommendations?

        1. John: here you go these should help.

          (semi-NSFW, depending on how PC it is)

    3. That is the big reason why I hate the Kindle and still want paper books. If books ever go entirely electronic, these assholes will be able to erase every copy of the original work.

      That is just fucked up. That is no better than early Christians cutting the arms and legs off of Pagan statues. These people are dark ages barbarians.

    4. I don’t think calling him that n-word Jim makes it much better.

      1. No, they’ll refer to him as “attractive and successful African-American Jim”. Why get a new filter when you can just steal one?

        1. You left out clean and articulate.

    5. God damn. The whole “banned from school curricula” pisses me off to no end. Half (or more) of the fucking point of the book is that Huck comes to see Jim as a human being of equal worth, despite his color. He finds the courage to reject society’s bullshit notions about people and makes his own value judgments.

      This is a lesson that so desperately needs to be taught today.

      1. It’s a little unrealistic to expect educators to understand any sort of complexity or nuance — just look at zero tolerance policies. School administrators aren’t so much human beings as simplistic organic robots — their AI is advanced for the present, covering visual recognition, ambulation and obstacle avoidance, and simple tool use and object manipulation, but it’s incredibly unrealistic to expect them to be able to understand social context, or make inferences, or exhibit any sort of creative or adaptive thought processes. Maybe in a hundred year or so, the technology will have advanced to that point.

    6. “We train young men to drop fire on people, but their commanders won’t allow them to write “fudge” on their airplanes because it’s obscene!”

  25. Ivory Coast president refuses to cede power after losing election.

    If it didn’t say “Ivory Coast,” I would have never known they were talking about someone else…

  26. States looking to limit the power of labor unions.

    Good luck with that. The unions are like a pet python – cute at the beginning, constricting you to death in the bathtub at the end…

    1. This would’ve made a decent Friday Funny. Oh well.

    2. I don’t think they’ve ever been “cute”. The best that can be said is that they were a reaction to an existing system of often legally-sanctioned injustice that was even worse than they were.

      But, today’s revolution against aristocratic cruelty becomes tomorrow’s Jacobin tyranny. Their claim to “the lesser of two evils” is a lot less credible now that they mostly vanquished the evil they were created to fight against, and the solution in public sector has always been more democratic power, not more “labor” power, insofar as the labor in question is the work of wielding state power against the people.

      1. Re: cynical,

        The best that can be said is that they were a reaction to an existing system of often legally-sanctioned injustice that was even worse than they were.

        If at all… which I serioulsy doubt. Since the history books are written by the victors, it is easy to be skeptical of the traditional labor history of robber barons vs. virginal and naive workers.

        1. I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.

  27. California Supreme Court rules police can search your cell phone without a warrant if you’re under arrest.

    The court apparently said defendants lose their privacy rights for any items they’re carrying when taken into custody. This is consistent with SCOTUS precedent with respect to things like cars and handbags. But cell phones? They should be treated differently, I submit.

    The reasoning behind being allowed to search cell phones and handbags is to look for evidence of the crime the person was being arrested for or related criminal activity (e.g., guns, drugs). You can’t keep a gun or drugs in your cellie.

    But I suppose the argument will be that they can find evidence of your criminal activity in your cell phone, like the number of your drug dealer or the guy you were going to meet to buy an illegal gun or whatever.

    I’m sure this will be met with a great big shoulder shrug – as long as it doesn’t interrupt Dancing With the Stars, who cares?

    1. Your precious Constitution only mentioned “papers” could be secured. A phone isn’t paper is it? IS IT? COMMERCE CLAUSE!

    2. Considering the standard for being arrested is usually higher than the standard for being searched, I don’t see why this is a problem.

      1. The right of the people to be secure in their persons houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated … “

        My American Heritage dictionary defines “effects” as “movable belongings.” My Black’s Law similarly defines “effects” as “movable property; goods.”

        The question then is whether it is “reasonable” to search someone’s cell phone merely because they have been arrested for something. I think that should depend on what they were arrested for and the circumstances under which the arrest and the alleged offense occurred, and whether it is reasonable to believe the cell phone was involved in the offense. Otherwise, it’s just yet another fishing expedition by the police.

    3. Password lock your phone. If it’s password locked, they need a warrant. I remember reading about this when the original decision came out and slapped a password on my phone that day.

  28. Re: MNG,

    They [conservatives] can’t stand the idea of workers with secure jobs and contracts that they can hold the employer to, with less arbitrariness in the workplace.

    Contracts are not contingent on the existence of unions. There’s no such thing as a “secured job,” not in a free society anyway. As for arbitrariness, you’re spinning that one so hard – an employee may think his termination is arbitrary, but just because he or she feels that way does not give the term a sense of objectivity. NOBODY IS ENTITLED TO A JOB.

    1. And the best protection against being fired is a tight labor market. Nothing is worse for people than unemployment. It means you can’t quit a job you hate and your employer doesn’t have to value your services and treat you well because so many people are standing in line for the job.

  29. Somebody was telling me, a while ago, that UAW pay is (and should be) high because “those jobs are boring.”

    That same person is now a member of the school board. As far as I can tell, he has never seen a budget increase proposal which wasn’t completely justified. I avoid him, in order to keep my name and mug shot out of the paper.

  30. The effort is spearheaded by Twain expert Alan Gribben, who says his PC-ified version is not an attempt to neuter the classic but rather to update it.

    Yes, of course.

    What’s next, turning The War Prayer into a high school locker room pep talk to the troops?

    1. Maybe they’ll take out all the anti-god stuff from The Mysterious Stranger.

    2. We turn Prufrock into an anti-reality television rant.

      To say: “I am Snooki, come from the Shore,
      Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”?
      If one, settling a Mystic Tan on her skin,
      Should slur: “That is not what I meant at all.
      That is not it, at all. I’ll cut that bitch, JWOWW”

    3. Let’s make a deal. Edit every “nigger” reference out of rap and hip-hop, and in exchange we’ll deniggerfy Huckleberry Finn. Deal?

      1. Fuck, a lifetime supply of goat feed? Thanks a lot Monty.

      2. Their side of the deal is already complete, since radio versions of music are already edited for mass consumption. Now, if you’re asking that they edit every version of those songs just to offset one bowdlerized print of Huck Finn, that doesn’t sound fair at all.

    4. Twain expert Alan Gribben

      No one should ever take pride in being called a “Twain expert.”

  31. Not sure this “pro-business” small town pol in Arlington, VA is sincere.

    “From time to time it is good to re-examine how we do what we do,” Zimmerman said. “Local government has an important oversight role to play? but good regulation exists for a purpose, not as an end in itself.”

    “The county should be seen as a facilitator, a partner with small business,” he added. “We do not intend to throw unnecessary obstacles in the path to success.”

    But then a huge WTF!? moment…

    “There is now an international scientific consensus that this fact? is a manifestation of climate change induced by human activities, especially those related to the burning of fossil fuels,” Zimmerman said. The county is in the process of drawing up a “community energy plan” to address such issues.

    To include a local global warming regulatory enforcement initiative for Clarendon bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

    And while Arlington is at it, how about some of those 4th Amendment violations that Balko has been writing about lately…

    the county “has formed a partnership” with the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control agent assigned to Arlington, as well as the county fire marshal’s office, zoning office and the police department. The partnership will allow for “coordinated inspections” of Clarendon businesses with live entertainment and dance hall purposes

    Hilarious! Glad I don’t live in that fuckhole town.

    1. Arlington is one of the most rabidly anti-business, pro-tax, pro-regulation counties in Virginia. And they’re all pretty much in favor of keeping as much tax revenue as they can get their paws on, whether it’s consistent with state law or not.

      I practiced state and local tax law for a few years and had to file some appeals of business license taxes and property taxes in Arlington. Their modus operandi is deny, deny, deny – regardless of what the state law or rulings of the Virginia Tax Commissioner say – forcing you to appeal to the state Department of Taxation.

      In one case, I had to educate them about their own county ordinance, which limited the amount of business license tax a business could be made to pay in its first year. They didn’t like that very much, because it meant my client got back about $370,000 in tax. But hell, it’s their ordinance; seems to me not too unreasonable to expect them to actually adhere to what they wrote.

      1. No wonder your rage is barely suppressed.

        1. A little spills out now and then.

          1. That sort of thing would never happen in my anarchic utopia.

            1. I doubt the dominant justice corporation/mafia in your anarchy would care much about obeying their own written policy either.

              1. Which of course justifies local government attempting to ignore its own ordinances. See? 2 wrongs = 1 right.

    2. I swear to FSM if I ever hear an elected official mention ‘scientific consensus’ in the same room, I’ll definitely be on the news that night. I don’t really care what they believe, but I have to think that if they thought they were going to get punched, they’d refrain from using that phrase.

      Headline: “Man punches out local pol”
      Subhead: “Screamed ‘science is not about consensus’ before attacking”

    3. I used to live in Clarendon. There’s a church across from the metro station building new apartments along with a new sanctuary. People were not too excited about it, but when it was discovered that the apartments would have low-income housing, it got really ugly. My tolerant and progressive neighbors were shocked and angry that poor people might live down the street or frequent half-price burger night at Whitlows.

      1. Are those 1/2-priced burgers worth a frisk and camera seizure by the local zoning/fire marshall/police/ABC coordinated enforcement task force?

    4. It sure would be nice if people would learn to distinguish between “scientific truth”, “scientific consensus”, “consensus among scientists”, and “majority support among scientists for a certain view”.

      It would also be nice if they started to think of “scientist” as a description of a person’s relationship with a specific question of natural law rather than a marker of social status. But that would be a bit too much to ask of the monkeys.

  32. Considering the standard for being arrested is usually higher than the standard for being searched, I don’t see why this is a problem.

    Good old Tulpa; I knew you wouldn’t let us down.

  33. House GOP leaders vow to slash $100 billion from budget, but offer no specifics.

    Woooow, $100 billion! That ought to lower this year’s deficit all the way down to what, $1.3 trillion or so?

    In any event, just go back to the 2008 budget. There, I just cut a whopping $100 billion, and it took me all of about five seconds to do it.

  34. As much as I hate unions, I still have to agree with Ayn Rand that Right-to-Work laws are immoral. They are typical conservative cowardice in that the cons won’t repeal the laws at the root of the problem because they are too afraid, so they try to make a right with two wrongs.

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