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January 31, 2007 03:58 PM UTC

Wednesday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough.”

–Earl Wilson


47 thoughts on “Wednesday Open Thread

  1. are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough.” (Reported to have been whispered into the ear of Bill Vidal, Manager of Public Works, by Mayor Hickenlooper.)

  2. IN 1901 “Liberal” Teddy Roosevelt, family friends of J.P. Morgan, in his inauguration speech, advised anti trust legislation because of what he saw happening in leading industries, i.e., transportation, energy. It made no sense to him that corporations could monopolize, but workers couldn’t unite. He understood and worked to prevent the age old practice of revolution and labor unrest without economic justice. The anti-trust laws of today are soft. Globalization and the practice of exporting jobs, and the subsequent and serious pressures on the shrinking middle class, to me, are unhealthy trends.

    1. earlier say that unions were great…….100 years ago? But now they are good for nothing but increasing the costs of goods and services?

      1. Gecko, seems to think Unions had an eclipse of power for a few years, and are now the cause of all problems in our market. He won’t recognize corporate greed (HALLIBURTON), fraud (ENRON), Theft (ANSCHUTZ for god’s sake), and the rest of corporatists that are ruining the middle class.

        The unions are once again going to gain some ground in helping american workers because the middle class are fed-up with Corporatists.

        1.   Regarding potential union resurgence, are legal (non-US citizen)immigrant workers eligible to join unions? What are applicable federal, state, or union rules, and does the proposed guest-worker legislation in Congress address it?  I haven’t seen this point discussed.  It seems that guest workers could form a large potential union recruit base, yet unions appear split on whether to support guest worker legislation. 
            From reading the papers it is my understanding that unions are providing legal aid for workers imprisoned in the recent ICE raids on Swift plant in Greeley.

          1. The workers arrested at the Swift plants were union members.

            Just the other day I read an online article about the dissension within unions generally about immigrant strategy.  Unions like the SEIU are going after the immigrants big time, legal or not.  Other unions are saying, “Not so fast!”

            Here’s where I’ll give a nod to the righties on this blog.  Unions like the SEIU are looking for power without looking at long term consequences. 

            What galls me is when a union like the one in Greeley defending illegal immigrants while, I presume, not fighting to keep wages where they once where.  Maybe they had no choice, I don’t know enough about the history there.

      2. because I think they benefit the few (workers) at a cost to the many (consumers); however, they do have an absolute right to form and negotiate. The fear of unionization probably does more to benefit workers than actual unionization.  Employers do more for their workers than they would if unions never existed.  The push-pull between unions and corporations is necessary to keep both sides in check. I wouldn’t want either side to have absolute power. Children would be working long hours in mines and Corporate America would fast become India, Inc. 

        I am totally opposed to forcing employees to join Unions or pay dues.

        1. And the “sky is falling” crowd is perpetuating a lie about 1072; which gives workers the chance to vote on “joining” a union or not. That’s pretty simple. It’s not forced unionization.

          Lauren, I agree with you.

            1. but pay agency fees.  I’m not sure of the details, but basically the union gets to charge non-members in the bargaining unit a proportionate share of the cost of doing things like bargaining and representing employees, but not the cost of doing things like lobbying and campaigning for politicians.  In theory it’s to prevent free riding.

              1. As brio describes, no has to pay political action and other fees.  They can opt out.  If our previous SOS thought it fair enough to make union members opt in, opting out for one person should not be a burden. 

                Said non-member benefits from the agreements made with the employers, so why shouldn’t they pay a small agency fee?  Would they rather hire a lawyer at $250/hr to negotiate?

                And there is always the ultimate free market solution: Go find another job at an open shop. One has the Right To Work at the low wage outfit.

                1. Not all open shops pay low wages. Many open shops pay comparable wages and offer benefits and that’s why the employees choose to work for them. And, employees at open shops don’t have to pay a fee to get comparable wages and benefits.

                  1. Best reason is the union shop down the road competes for the same workers.  For every union job and wage, there is one non-union job paying the same.  Established long ago. 

                    I have stated on this blog that employers who do right by their employees are honorable companies.  Unions did not arise, nor get invited into a shop, without cause.  I have used IBM as a company that used to treat their workers incredibly well.  Maybe they still do, I don’t know.  Union organizers never got a toehold in there.

                    If all employers treated there greatest asset well, there would be no need for unions, nor would I (usually) support them. 

                    Until then……

                    1. It’s also what the market will bear. When consumers decide the price is too high, wages have to come down. Open shops can make that adjustment and remain competitive. For the most part the employees understand that (not always). Union shops don’t have the option of quickly adjusting wages with the market. I would guess that most open shop employees would rather work at a slightly lower wage and get the hours, than have a top-of-the-line wage with fewer hours.

        1. for the CEO of United Health.  Just divide that by the number of people they screw, I mean serve, and as a wild assed guess, you might be looking at $1000 bucks a year. 

          He got over $2B dollars, and if there were 2 million insured, that would be $1000 per.

          Yes, we have the world’s best healthcare system if you are rich or a CEO.

      3. “No one may presume to exercise a monopoly of any kind…and if anyone shall presume to practice a monopoly, let his property be forfeited and himself condemned to perpetual exile.”  483 A.D.  Pretorian Prefect of Constantinople, as directed by the Emperor Zeno.

  3. Bob Schaffer knocked Nicholson out of the Senate race!
    I got a call from the Team Schaffer Chair of my county yesterday evening saying Schaffer was in DC this week and that he was getting in the Senate race. He was working the phones to put together the same team we had back in 2004 because he said Bob was definitely in and that one of the stated runners for the Senate was going to bow out right away. Now today I read in Peter Blake’s article in the Rocky that Nicholson is out!
    You’ve got to wonder when McInnis will bow out himself. I read on this blog and hear from folks that McInnis is calling around and building support, but I got to tell you, it is like an urban myth… It’s always one of these “friend of a friend… got a call and…” kind of things. But Team Schaffer is for real. I know, I got the call myself.
    So how long before Scott drops out?

      1. I know that McInnis “got in” to the race first, but the reality is that every Republican in the state (except of course Ramey Johnson and Norma Anderson) has been waiting for Bob to jump in. This is Bob’s seat, hell even the hard core Coors supporters were willing to give Bob a pass and let him run for this seat in ’08.
        At this stage of the game McInnis is the usurper really. Call him whatever names you want, but I just can’t see him purposefully dividing the party over this race.

    1. Although I personally don’t warrant a call from McInnis, I do know two folks who say they have been contacted by McInnis and asked to support him. However, everyone I have heard about (about 6 in all) who would support McInnis for Senate (with one exception) also were proponents of his short lived “Draft McInnis” for Governor campaign. So to be 100% accurate, the McInnis Campaign is not a myth. On the other hand, I too got a call from one of my Team Schaffer Co-Chairs yesterday and I’m planning on making a few calls today to put the old Team together. So whether he wants to or not… Scooter is in a Primary.

    2. My understanding is that the NRSC is backing Schaffer as long as he wants the seat.  But Scooter badly wants the seat, too.  In the end I hope reality hits him harder than it did the Mark the Mighty Mini.  Mini-Man knew he was toasted but he wanted to raise a stink.  Scooter is classier than that but he knows that if Schaffer runs Schaffer wins the nomination–and quite posssibly the general.

      McInnis would be a good get for 2010–a West Sloper against a West Sloper.  That’s a ways away, of course, but that would be one helluva race.  I think Schaffer is more viable in ’08 than McInnis.  In Colorado a liberal against a conservative usually gives the conservative the nod.  But a conservative against a moderate–the mod wins.  We’ll need a more centrist Republican against Salazar–someone the indies can support.  But against liberal Macchiato Mark the center-right candidate will win–unless he runs a loser campaign.

      1. …that’s entirely the case. National leaders are very concerned with Conservatives sitting on their hands in a presidential year if McInnis is the nominee. 

    1. The father of one of the kids voted for 41. Why did people not read the amendment? Even the editors of the Daily Camera admitted that in hindsight they should have read it more carefully.

      Polis wrote a bad law. But the newspapers endorsed it and the voters approved it. Plenty of blame to go around.

      1. Like so many others, I voted for this as well.  I thought that I had read it over and understood it.  Like the rest of the state probably feels, I would have never voted for this if I thought it would put kids in this position.  This was clearly not voter intent.

    2. That seems to be a more appropriate question. Last I checked Jared Polis was pushing to ALLOW these scholarships. The problem seems to be the Democratic leadership.

  4. Story in The Snooze today about how the reps in the house who where around when Pascall “served” had nothing good to say about him.  That included Republicans and the lobbyists, who say that he ordered extra food at dinners that he wanted with them, and then take it home.

    What a work.  Politicians who are corrupt are worse than street criminals. 

      1. That’s a pretty broad brush, there, friend.  Most legislators at the state level truly believe in what they are doing and aren’t terribly swayed by “pay to play” type of politics. 

        The ones who are working the system for their own benefit are usually pretty obvious, pretty soon. 

  5. as [DDHGLQ and Gecko] know it, and I feel fine…

    Gallup has a new poll pushing voter self-identification, and the news is not terribly good for Republicans.

    Overall self-identification of Democrats (not including leaners) is up less than a percentage point, but Republican self-ID is down 4 percent since 2004; the numbers now stand at  34D-34I-30R.

    When pushed as to how independents “lean”, the picture is bleak indeed, with 50% identifying as leaning or solid Democratic and only 40% identifying as leaning or solid Republican.

    Colorado, with the eighth most Republican leanings in the country, showed 47D-7I-46R with leaners, indicating a possible end to the state’s traditional Republican leanings.

    1. You’re a smart guy and I appreciate your posts.

      (There I said it.  Now let’s mash!!!)

      First, that poll measured PARTISANSHIP–not voter registration numbers.  Colorado Republicans still lead Unaffiliateds by about four points with Dems in third.

      This survey very aptly reflected the partsian climate of 2006.  The country tilted back to the Democrats because everybody–including me–and their cousin were numb to Republican promises of whatever it was that they promised.  The country–and Colorado–leaned Democrat.

      I’m actually buoyed by that survey.  Colorado, I’m a little surprised, was the 8th most Republican-leaning states–putting it in the same camp as Oklahoma, Utah, and Mississippi!  That’s some heady conservative company! 

      Colorado has surely become more competitive–as the poll demonstrates.  We haven’t been this competitive since 1993.  But I’d argue that while Colorado may be a lot friendlier to the Democrats–we’ve shifted our partisan preferences–we haven’t shifted ideologically since the early 1990s.  Colorado is still the generally center-right place it was in the 90s.  We’re a little more socially conservative and a little less fiscally conservative–but the conservative center holds even amidst a a newfound appreciation for the Democart Party.

      I cited a Nation (and sweet Jesus! it didn’t feel good) article a couple of days ago that noted how the South is a lot more purple than it’s reputed to be.  I contend that while Dixie is more conservative it isn’t rigidly so (a co-worker from Oklahoma concurred).  But Colorado’s Republicans and conservatives are VERY serious about their conservatism.  Think Mike Huckabee vs. Bob Schaffer, Wayne Allard, or Tom Tancredo.  Arkansas is something like 78% evangelical–Colorado is only about 33%–so you’d naturally expect a more virulent conservatism from the Razorback State.  But the same state that gave us the Clintons is actually a lot more populist and squishy–despite the evangelicalism–than Colorado’s rigidly conservative spine.

      National Journal recently called Colorado the 8th most pro-life state.  They measured the amount of abortions per capita and laws and polls and the rest of it.  The most pro-choice was New Jersey.  Dixie was in the middle.  Interesting things to ponder even as the Democrats rise in the West.

      1. I grew up in Oklahoma – have you been to Oklahoma?  If you have, you would know that the two states have nothing, absolutely nothing in common.  Although, with your passion for religion, you would fit in quite nicely.  One other thang, Okies do not consider themselves to be part of the Dixie region.

        1. My Oklahoma friend was adament about NOT being from Dixie.  He saw Oklahoma as much more like Colorado.  On the other hand he believed that Real Dixie was not as rigidly conservative as Colorado.  I haven’t spent a lot of time in Dixie–just Texas and Florida–so I can’t corroborate.  I can tell you that Texas reminds me A LOT of Colorado.

  6. “Snow and adolescence are the only problems that disappear if you ignore them long enough.” 

    Haha!  My kids are still very young but I’m already crapping my pants over the whole teen years business. 

    (Here’s where my wife would want me to solicit advice. 😉

  7. Who passed away today losing a long struggle with cancer. I last saw her at the World Affairs Conference, where her infectious energy, adroit wisdom, progressive and fearless polical perspectives and voice was a beacon in an otherwise right wing dominated MSP. May she rest in peace.

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