Archive: March, 2009

Obamaletter #2: The Old Afghan Rug Trick

Dear Mr. President:

You’re probably getting more advice than you counted on about sending 21,000 more troops into Afghanistan and recruiting indigenous partners to help with a new strategy to stabilize the country. I’m sure someone has told you that the former warlords you’re courting are neck deep in poppy fields and pederasty. And your intelligence advisors have no doubt advised you that the politicians you’re counting can be divided about evenly between double crossers, double dippers and drug dealers. But has anyone filled you in on the rug weavers, who may have been the straw that broke the invading camel’s back and drove the Soviets from the country in the late 1980s? (More)

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The AIG Argument for EFCA

What to do with the populist anger rising up against the corporate skanks who wrecked our economy? We should channel it into passing the Employee Free Choice Act and push the power fulcrum back towards the people who make our economy work.

There are lots of good arguments for the Employee Free Choice Act. There’s the MORAL argument that every American should have the freedom to join a union without their employer harassing, intimidating or terminating them for their temerity. Then there’s the MONEY argument that says we can help lift ourselves out of the worse recession since the 1930s by empowering workers to bargain up their wages and regain their capacity for spending and investing. For me, it’s the AIG argument, namely that strong unions are the best leverage we have for controlling the corporations, their overpaid execs, and their political toadies who chucked our economy in the dumpster. (More)

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Classified Information

Who profits from mortgage foreclosures? I rarely look at the classifieds, or the “want-ads” as we used to call them. I have a job, a home, a spouse and a car, so I have no “wants.” Yesterday, however, the classified section of the Washington Post fell out on the floor as I was jumping up and down and screaming about another gratuitous attack on my Superhero, Capt. Obama. I couldn’t help noticing the section was as thin as grease on a hot skillet, or that the front page and 14 of the 16 pages in the section were filled rule-to-rule with legal ads proclaiming the auction of foreclosed homes. With newspaper advertising revenues nose-down and more papers going belly-up, I’m sure the Post welcomes the money. But a weird thought occurred to me: will the daily newspaper business possibly fly out of financial frailty on the wings of a brand-new industry, namely the growing business of advertising and selling pre-owned dreams? (More)

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March 4, 2009

Hilda Solis: New Sheriff In Town

Our newly-minted Secretary of Labor (one week on the job) appeared in economically-reeling Miami this week at her first public events, addressing rank-and-file union members at a packed town hall meeting in an AME church, then speaking to the biggies of the national AFL-CIO at an electrical workers’ union hall. She hurdled right over worries she might be too soft spoken or reticent to take on the Chaoists who’ve deregulated America’s workplaces, demonstrating a command of the issues facing working families as she charmed the backsides off workers and union chiefs alike. And she more than hinted that the Republicans who stalled and tried to kill her nomination for 65 days may pay through unintended consequences for their boorish behavior: this is a woman who’s steeled and ready for payback time. (More)

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