Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Last Call For De-Unionized In Tennessee

The United Auto Workers have now officially abandoned any and all efforts to unionize the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee in what has to be a pretty brutal defeat for all working Americans.

The United Auto Workers, surprising even its supporters, on Monday abruptly withdrew its legal challenge to a union organizing vote that it lost at a Volkswagen AG plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee in February.

Just an hour before the start of a National Labor Relations Board hearing on the challenge, the union dropped its case, casting a cloud over its long and still unsuccessful push to organize foreign-owned auto plants in the U.S. South.

VW workers due to testify at the hearing were already at the courthouse in downtown Chattanooga when they heard the news, which left lawyers in the hearing room wondering how to proceed.

The union did not explain why it waited until the 11th hour to drop the case, but UAW official Gary Casteel said the decision not to go ahead was made last week.

That was when Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, U.S. Senator Bob Corker from Tennessee, and Washington small government activist Grover Norquist said they would ignore subpoenas to attend the hearing, which was to have focused partly on their conduct in the days leading up to the plant workers vote.

"It became obvious to us that they were going to become objectionists and not allow the process to go forward in a transparent way. When that happens, these things can drag on for years," Casteel said in an interview.

And dragging on for years is something the UAW apparently doesn't have the stomach or money for.  So the GOP union busters win again in a victory for "right to work" because the real problem in America is that auto workers somehow make too much money.

UAW President Bob King, whose term expires in June, had vowed four years ago to successfully bring the union into a foreign-owned Southern plant. Three years ago, he said that if the union was unable to do so, its future was in jeopardy.

"The UAW is ready to put February's tainted election in the rearview mirror and instead focus on advocating for new jobs and economic investment in Chattanooga," King said in a statement on Monday.

Sure you will, Bob.  And no, the UAW officially no longer matters apparently, and collective bargaining and labor laws are simply more outdated anachronisms in a country where billions in wage theft is considered normal and acceptable.

Meet Greg Brannon!

If the Tea Party has their way in NC, Greg Brannon will replace Kay Hagan as Senator in November, so here are a few things that Brannon has said that BuzzFeed's Andrew Kaczynski put together, just so the folks back home know what they're getting into.

Greg Brannon is a doctor and former tea party activist running for Senate in North Carolina. Brannon, who is most likely headed for a Republican Senate primary run with North Carolina state House Speaker Thom Tillis, led incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan 42-40 in an April Public Policy Polling poll.

Brannon, who previously led an organization called Founder’s Truth, has a history of making controversial statements on the radio.

He previously called U.S. property taxes “American central planning” and cited the Holocaust and Soviet Union as other examples of central planning.

Brannon has said that the United Nations is a scam to control life and thinks that democratic debate over issues is a form of socialism.

Founder’s Truth’s now-shuttered website often posted conspiracy theories with blog posts that made claims like the Boston Marathon bombing was a false flag, the TSA might use electric shock bracelets, and that there is fluoridate in the water supply.

After BuzzFeed reported on Brannon’s website, it was removed from the Web Archive under mysterious conditions. The Web Archive would not comment if Brannon’s campaign asked for the site to be taken it down.

Reviewing hours of The Bill LuMaye Show, a radio program Brannon went on weekly as a guest since 2010, BuzzFeed has found other controversial audio statements from his tenure as a tea party activist.

Brannon would also get rid of public schools, believes President Obama is a dictator, thinks the Second Amendment gives ordinary citizens the right to own a nuclear weapon, thinks abortion is worse than slavery or the Holocaust, believes the Supreme Court has no power and no place in America, that property taxes are proof America is a socialist country, and that Upton Sinclair's "the Jungle" was government propaganda fiction.

And in a PPP poll earlier this year, Brannon was ahead of Kay Hagan 42-40.  The guy is bonkers, and yet it's entirely possible he'll be in the Senate in January.

But both parties are the same, right?  And Kay Hagan is a bad Democrat, so we should probably let Brannon win.


Another Supreme Misfire

Given the Supreme Court has gutted the Civil Rights Act, nobody should be surprised that yesterday they upheld Michigan's right to ban affirmative action in college admissions in a 6-2 decision (with Justice Kagan recusing herself.)  Justice Sotomayor's dissent was impressive, however.

In my colleagues' view, examining the racial impact of legislation only perpetuates racial discrimination. This refusal to accept the stark reality that race matters is regrettable. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination. As members of the judiciary tasked with intervening to carry out the guarantee of equal protection, we ought not sit back and wish away, rather than confront, the racial inequality that exists in our society. It is this view that works harm, by perpetuating the facile notion that what makes race matter is acknowledging the simple truth that race does matter.

And that's the lynchpin of the argument: in 2014, race still matters.  Chief Justice Roberts has told us multiple times that it simply does not.

The dissent states that “[t]he way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race.” ... But it is not “out of touch with reality” to conclude that racial preferences may themselves have the debilitating effect of reinforcing precisely that doubt, and—if so—that the preferences do more harm than good. To disagree with the dissent’s views on the costs and benefits of racial preferences is not to “wish away, rather than confront” racial inequality. People can disagree in good faith on this issue, but it similarly does more harm than good to question the openness and candor of those on either side of the debate.

Unless the balance of the Supreme Court changes, we're only a couple of major cases away from a 5-4 decision ending affirmative action in this country.  Maybe after that point, Roberts will discover race still matters.

Because it'll sure matter to those of us who aren't white. The Boston Globe's Derrick Z. Martin:

The tyranny of the majority won. Access to college for African Americans and Latinos suffered another major defeat. Instead of surveying the destruction of opportunity that is occurring at this very hour, the Supreme Court cowered behind a purist reading of the Constitution and upheld the 2006 decision by Michigan voters to ban affirmative action in higher-education admissions.

The decision upheld the right of white voters to continue to roll back the clock.

The ballot initiative was sought by anti-affirmative action forces still smarting over the Supreme Court’s 2003 decision that upheld the use of race as one of many diversity factors at the University of Michigan law school. Michigan is 80 percent white, and ban supporters undoubtedly assumed they could tap into enough resentment over affirmative action to win.

They were correct. The initiative won with 58 percent of the vote. In a CNN exit poll, Proposal 2, as it was called, received 64 percent white support (including 70 percent among white men). It mattered not that African Americans voted against the proposal by nearly a 9 to 1 margin.

Unfollow me if you want to, but I am sick of anyone who is white telling anyone who isn't that racism is over and that we should just get over it already.


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