February 28, 2015

Saturday Politics Thread: Labor Policies, part II [Y-not]
— Open Blogger

Good morning! After a brief hiatus, we'll be resuming examining our top prospects' records and views with respect to labor policies, especially public employee unions and right-to-work.

This will be a little less thorough than usual as I have been feeling under the weather this week. However, I wanted to continue with our issues coverage rather than take another week off.

In February 14th's Saturday Politics Thread I reviewed two major labor issues, public employee unions and the so-called Right-to-Work movement. Please refer to that post for background.

As we go to review the 7 GOP prospects we've been covering, I thought it would be helpful to add a graphic that shows the political environment in which they were (or are) working:

CorrectedPartyControlTable.jpg

**UPDATE: There's a mistake in the chart. New Mexico's upper chamber is controlled by Democrats, but the lower chamber is in Republican hands. Color-coding is correct, but the last cell should read "D/R".**

*Corrected party control table inserted above.*

The chart shows the composition (by majority party) of the state legislatures that each of the six governors we've been tracking have enjoyed during their terms. In Ted Cruz's case, I'm showing the party split for Congress. Note: I've collapsed Perry's first seven years as governor into two columns to make the chart more legible. When he assumed office, Texas had a "purple" legislature.

Without further ado, here's a review of our GOP prospects.


GOV. SCOTT WALKER, WISCONSIN

Scott Walker made his name battling public employee unions during his first term as Governor of Wisconsin. Last summer, he emerged victorious from his three-year battle to loosen the grip that Wisconsin's public employee unions had on his state's taxpayers. The pivotal court ruling held "that collective bargaining over a contract with an employer is not a fundamental right for public employees under the constitution."

You can read more about Act 10 at the Governor's website.

Just this week, the Wisconsin Senate passed Right-to-Work legislation. The Wisconsin Assembly is expected to pass it next week for Governor Walker to sign. Wisconsin's measure is modeled after Michigan's RtW law, which has already withstood court challenges. Wisconsin will be the 25th state to have enacted Right-to-Work.


FMR. GOV. RICK PERRY, TEXAS

Texas is a right-to-work state (since 1993). As we discovered several weeks ago, Texas has performed best out of all states in the union in terms of median household income over the past several decades, which tends to argue against the AFL-CIO's assertion that RtW depresses wages.

Perry went on record as supporting a national Right-to-Work law during his ill-fated 2012 presidential run.

Here's a link to Rick Perry talking about unions on Cavuto last Fall.

Although CATO gave Perry a solid B in its 2014 Governors Report Card, I did find some recent articles referring to Texas' public pension debt.


GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, LOUISIANA

Louisiana is a Right-to-Work state.

I found conflicting reports of how Jindal has dealt with Louisiana's public employee unions. It appears that he was pushing for major education reforms in his state a couple of years ago, including school vouchers and addressing tenure.

Jindal's reforms would also scrap the statewide salary schedule. Teachers would continue to be paid at their current levels, but future raises would be tied to decisions by principals and other officials. The current system of last-hired-first-fired, which often forces newer and better teachers to be the first to go in layoffs, would be scrapped. Another reform would allow a majority of the parents at a failing school to vote to trigger a state takeover of that school.

According to Heritage, education reform is prominently featured in Jindal's developing national platform as well.

But Jindal is not without his critics, including this guy (who really seems to hate him). Here's a sample:

Yet you won't find Jindal talking much about addressing the long-term defined-benefit pension and unfunded retired civil servant healthcare costs that are now burdening the balance sheets of every state government. For good reason. Jindal has done almost nothing to address the Bayou State's massive pension deficits. Two years ago, the Pew Center on the States reported that the Bayou State's collection of pensions were only 56 percent funded. Because of the state's fiscal fecklessness -- along with the high costs of the deals it made with local governments and public-sector unions -- the state was faced with paying down $51 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, along with another $10 billion in unfunded retired civil servant healthcare costs (for which Jindal and his predecessors have put away no money to cover). Moody's Investors Service determined last year that the state's pension shortfalls, when accurately determined, were 30 percent greater than revenue. Even with such high-profile spankings, Jindal, along with his colleagues in state government, have still done nothing to address the problem.

To be honest, I haven't felt healthy enough this week to wade through these allegations. I will note that CATO gave Jindal a respectable "B" on its last Governor's Fiscal Report Card. In addition, I think that Louisiana's "red" legislature may not be all that conservative. As I was researching the political party controls for Louisiana, it appeared that some Ds had switched to Rs (perhaps to save their seats). Make of that what you will.


GOV. NIKKI HALEY, SOUTH CAROLINA

South Carolina is a Right-to-Work state. In her recent State of the State speech Haley addressed South Carolina's labor situation thusly:

Any truly objective review of South Carolina's business landscape notes the benefit we get from the minimal role unions play in our state. In 2013 we had the third lowest percentage of union workers in America, with just 3.7 percent of South Carolina workers choosing to join a union.

I cannot express to you the extent to which this is a game-changer when we are trying to bring new businesses to our state. We have a reputation -- internationally -- for being a state that doesn't want unions because we don't need unions. And it is a reputation that matters.

My search for news about South Carolina's public employee unions didn't yield much fruit. The state overhauled public employee pensions in 2005. Those reforms were challenged by the unions in the courts. The latest challenge was tossed out last December.


GOV. SUSANA MARTINEZ, NEW MEXICO

Perhaps the biggest surprise for me this week was learning that New Mexico, which had been controlled by Democrats until a few years ago and even now has a "purple" legislature, is on the verge of passing Right-to-Work legislation. It passed the NM House this week and is headed to the Senate. Although the upper chamber is controlled by Democrats, it appears that it may pass and be signed by Governor Martinez.

Gov. Susana Martinez has indicated previously that she is open to a modest increase in the minimum wage, as long as New Mexico stays competitive with neighboring states.

A Martinez spokesman reiterated that stance Wednesday, while also saying the Republican governor backs the concept of making New Mexico the nation's 25th state with a right-to-work law.

(Note: The RtW bill has a 50-cent minimum wage increase, which would bring New Mexico's minimum wage to $8/hr. Here's a link to a chart of all of the minimum wages by state, for your reference.)

As with South Carolina, there didn't seem to be much "hot news" with respect to public employee unions in New Mexico.


GOV. MIKE PENCE, INDIANA

Indiana passed RtW a couple of years ago. And just last week the lower chamber passed so-called "common wage repeal", "the law that allows a board of contractors and taxpayers to set baseline wages for public construction projects worth more than $350,000."

In terms of public sector unions, Mike Pence inherited a great situation from his predecessor, Mitch Daniels, who had already fought (and won) battles with his state's public employee unions.


SENATOR TED CRUZ (TEXAS)

As a Senator in Harry Reid's Senate, Ted Cruz has not been in a position to do much of substance on these issues. Things may change now (or they may not, given how this past week went). Cruz's colleague Rand Paul introduced Right-to-Work legislation earlier this month.

Unions seem to hate him, so that's reassuring.


So that's a round up of what I could glean of the 2016 prospects' positions (and accomplishments) on two major labor issues. Although the problems associated with public sector unions are far from resolved, it appears that most of the GOP has woken up to the issue. Right-to-work is now the law of the land in nearly half of the states. One assumes that both Wisconsin and possibly even the true purple state of New Mexico may also be getting on board with RtW in the near future.

Ultimately, the proof is in the pudding. Where have policies encouraged the growth of good jobs and which states' fiscal houses are in order? We tackled those issues in previous posts. In job growth (and household income), Texas leads the pack amongst our presidential hopefuls' states. In fiscal scorecards, all of the governors we're considering did well, with the leaders on CATO's report being Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana and Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico.

To close things up, I'll leave you with a link to this encouraging graphic showing how union membership has declined over the past five decades.

UnionMembershipMap.jpg

The lighter the color, the lower the union membership.

Obviously, this map is racist.


See you next week!


Previous "issues" threads:

Labor Policies, Part I
Taxes
Economy Jobs and Wages
Energy here and here
Common Core
"Fiscal Scorecards" for each candidate (Mike Pence's is here)

Candidate Backgrounders:

Walker, Perry, Jindal here
Paul, Rubio, Cruz here
Kasich, Haley, Martinez here
Pence here
Gowdy, Sessions, Carson, Lee here
Huntsman, Bush, Christie here
Romney, Ryan, Huckabee, Palin here

Posted by: Open Blogger at 03:45 AM | Comments (157)
Post contains 1645 words, total size 15 kb.

1 Lots to read. Thanks Y-not BRB

Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at February 28, 2015 03:50 AM (WpgvJ)

2 I ran out of steam this week, but I hope I hit the high points.

Posted by: Y-not at February 28, 2015 03:52 AM (9BRsg)

3 Heh.  New York on one end and AK on the other. 

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at February 28, 2015 03:52 AM (rtx5c)

4 Good morning!!! I am a staunch Walker fan. The parallels between him and Reagan are uncanny.

Posted by: jmel at February 28, 2015 03:53 AM (cfFqn)

5 Oh, and Hawai'i....'i'i'a

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at February 28, 2015 03:54 AM (rtx5c)

6 If Alabama looks out of sorts, "Pittsburgh of the South." 

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at February 28, 2015 03:59 AM (rtx5c)

7 Haley's state of the union is worth aread. I negected to link to it but you can find it easily with Bing/Google.

Posted by: Y-not on her phone at February 28, 2015 03:59 AM (9BRsg)

8 I love reading the comments at the linked Union Membership map site.

Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at February 28, 2015 04:00 AM (WpgvJ)

9 The number one thing we need for GOP leadership, atop all other qualities, is boldness. I don't care about 'smart', calculating, team-building, experience, education, resume, or record on issues. Seriously. We need bold decisive leadership. Period. Walker.

Posted by: goatexchange at February 28, 2015 04:01 AM (C+vOU)

10 Yeah, ViA, we needed some good news after this week.

Posted by: Y-not on her phone at February 28, 2015 04:01 AM (9BRsg)

11 Detroit! is what happens when organized crime, unions, and corrupt politicians take control. Chicago is next. If they can get another openly socialist mayor elected like NYC, there will be three Detroit!s. Of course, Obama is trying to turn the entire country into Detroit!. But I don't think we have to worry about it because we're not going to survive the next #twoyears.

Posted by: Economics Loo at February 28, 2015 04:01 AM (tQA7H)

12 New Mexico is vaguely hopeful.  A teeter-totter state that hangs solid purple but within which there are some still sane people. 

Hell, Richardson cut taxes and signed concealed carry into law there. 

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at February 28, 2015 04:03 AM (rtx5c)

13 Boldness,balls.Yes,that is what we need.

Posted by: steevy at February 28, 2015 04:05 AM (KETbL)

14 Yes, Martinez is quietly getting things done. There was a story that broke last week about a major shortfall found by audit. I *think* it's a holdiver problem from Richardson, who was a lousy governor. A lot of finger pointing right now.

Posted by: Y-not on her phone at February 28, 2015 04:06 AM (9BRsg)

15 But...but...but...Barry is a God King! Hillary should ride his legacy into the WH!

Posted by: Llama of Color at February 28, 2015 04:08 AM (gwG9s)

16 Watching the CPAC and Club for Growth coverage, I'm really impressed with Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal, both of whom are very sharp, very quick on their feet and very aggressive wrt the GOP cowards in DC. Others look pretty good, too, but these 2 stand out, to me.

Posted by: the 52% at February 28, 2015 04:09 AM (+kznc)

17 Y-Not, I appreciate the work you've put into these posts. I really do. I think it doesn't matter, though, who the GOP nominates. That sort of thinking was fine before the coup, but now there's a new reality. How about an analysis of third-party alternatives to the Collaborationist Party?

Posted by: Cloyd Freud, Unemployed at February 28, 2015 04:09 AM (lG2E3)

18 I doubt very much that the upcoming election will be about public employee labor unions. Or the FDA's stance toward cheese production, or the recommended size of snow shovels. If Walker is to be the nominee, and he's obviously the choice of most here, he'd better be boning up on foreign policy and vagina related issues. That's what the media will be focusing on.

Posted by: adolfo_velasquez at February 28, 2015 04:11 AM (Z+7WE)

19 " Y-Not, I appreciate the work you've put into these posts. I really do."



Here, here.  Thank you, Y. 

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at February 28, 2015 04:11 AM (rtx5c)

20 The problem is that whoever gets elected, the bureacracy is Democrat and eternal.

Posted by: steevy at February 28, 2015 04:11 AM (KETbL)

21 @13 balls.Yes,that is what we need.

So, Palin then, for sure.

Posted by: [/i][/b]Stringer Davis at February 28, 2015 04:12 AM (xq1UY)

22 Yeah, Cloyd, I have been discouraged, too. The GOP seems intent on losing. Really had to force myself to do this week's post. States are becoming redder, but it doesn't seem to matter.

Posted by: Y-not on her phone at February 28, 2015 04:13 AM (9BRsg)

23 If Alabama looks out of sorts, "Pittsburgh of the South." Also, the AEA /spit

Posted by: Brother Cavil, by the Pale Moon light at February 28, 2015 04:13 AM (m9V0o)

24 " I'm really impressed with Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal"



If Jindal can bust out and make a case, God Bless him.  I like the guy and I'd vote for him. 

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at February 28, 2015 04:14 AM (rtx5c)

25 @16 I am really warming up to Jindal. I love Cruz, but I don't think this is his time.

Posted by: Y-not on her phone at February 28, 2015 04:14 AM (9BRsg)

26 Jindal was involved in an exorcism once.Wait until they start going crazy about that.

Posted by: steevy at February 28, 2015 04:15 AM (KETbL)

27 The media will push hard to destroy whoever it is and ,unfortunately,many on our side pile on.

Posted by: steevy at February 28, 2015 04:16 AM (KETbL)

28 OK, I'm in a slightly foul mood, so I'm going to give y'all a taste of what open borders, the Chinese, and furriners on the Intarwebs will bring about: http://is.gd/11N7fF Remember: You had it coming.

Posted by: Brother Cavil, by the Pale Moon light at February 28, 2015 04:16 AM (m9V0o)

29 I could have been First! but White Privilege, ya know. I'm trying to atone for that. Cruz, Walker or Haley for me.

Posted by: Mr. Dave at February 28, 2015 04:16 AM (DajPN)

30 Jindal was involved in an exorcism once. Given the state of the world, obviously it wasn't successful.

Posted by: Brother Cavil, by the Pale Moon light at February 28, 2015 04:17 AM (m9V0o)

31 At this point, I'd vote for a renegade llama over our present government leadership - all three branches.

Posted by: goatexchange at February 28, 2015 04:18 AM (C+vOU)

32 "http://is.gd/11N7fF"



That ain't right.


*Runs virus scan*

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at February 28, 2015 04:18 AM (rtx5c)

33 Re the exorcism thing. Don't forget that there are a lot of Catholics. So although we don't vote as a block, it is much harder to "otherize" a Catholic.

Posted by: Y-not on her phone at February 28, 2015 04:19 AM (9BRsg)

34 @26
I read about that and as a practicing Catholic was curious as to what that entailed and read Jindal's description of it (way back) and if I recall correctly, it was a lot of praying, saying Rosaries over their friend who was having issues. But you are right, the media will make it out to be to supernatural chants, tossing of holy water as heads spin wildly ala Linda Blair.

Posted by: IC at February 28, 2015 04:19 AM (+3RH+)

35 Bloc not block. Need coffee....

Posted by: Y-not on her phone at February 28, 2015 04:20 AM (9BRsg)

36 "If voting mattered they wouldn't let us do it." --Sam Clements

Posted by: Mr. Dave at February 28, 2015 04:21 AM (DajPN)

37 Were I The Jindal, I'd run as The Exorcist. We're gonna need one.

Posted by: [/i][/b]Stringer Davis at February 28, 2015 04:23 AM (xq1UY)

38 How about an analysis of third-party alternatives to the Collaborationist Party?

Posted by: Cloyd Freud, Unemployed at February 28, 2015 09:09 AM (lG2E3)

Because it's pointless.

A third party effort beginning with the presidency is doomed to fail. Start at your local elections and move up.

It is a generational change, not an election cycle miracle.


Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 28, 2015 04:24 AM (Zu3d9)

39 #18, exactly so. But hey, the FCC says I get 200 mps service for 20 bucks a month, amirite? WhOOOOOWHOOOOO. I am SO downloading every episode of OrangeThrone is TheNEEETFLIX WHOOOO!!!! /average idiot on the latest idiocy

Posted by: anon a mouse at February 28, 2015 04:25 AM (/jpU8)

40 Can Jindal make The One's head spin around like Linda Blair's?
How about Mooch disgorging that green-pea soup?
And Hillary, Jesus. (Both names in a sentence. Expect lightning).
Could be a great campaign.

Posted by: [/i][/b]Stringer Davis at February 28, 2015 04:26 AM (xq1UY)

41 I was hoping the right would take over the GOP but it seems the establishment is very good at resisting.

Posted by: steevy at February 28, 2015 04:26 AM (KETbL)

42 Demon sheep is tanned rested and ready!

Posted by: Y-not on her phone at February 28, 2015 04:28 AM (9BRsg)

43 Sort of O/T. Sort of FCC on topic. And of course, I posted it on the wrong thread earlier... Interesting observation. Now, when you pick up one of our landlines, you either get a working dial tone, a dial tone with so much static that you can't use the phone, or...static, dial tone and a busy signal, all at the same time. Confirmed to be originating on the Verizon side of the Network interface box. Odd thing is, the broadband internet, while running slower, is still maintaining connectivity. Technician appointment for Wednesday.

Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at February 28, 2015 04:29 AM (WpgvJ)

44 Max Von Sydow campaign ads. Playing chess with Death. Oh yeah.

Posted by: [/i][/b]Stringer Davis at February 28, 2015 04:29 AM (xq1UY)

45 Interesting on Martinez and Right to work. Never would of thought they would go in that direction especially with a Dem controlled Senate. Good for her.

Posted by: WisRich at February 28, 2015 04:31 AM (xWQFH)

46 Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at February 28, 2015 09:29 AM (WpgvJ)

Telephone signals use a different portion of the spectrum, so unless there is  physical damage to the cabling, one can work while the other doesn't.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 28, 2015 04:32 AM (Zu3d9)

47 Sort of FCC on topic" How's that an "FCC" topic? You've got a short in the "box", which could be due to any number of factors...

Posted by: anon a mouse at February 28, 2015 04:33 AM (/jpU8)

48 Not sure about all SC government workers, but teachers are not unionized.

Posted by: blaster at February 28, 2015 04:34 AM (Rx8ML)

49 Posted by: anon a mouse at February 28, 2015 09:33 AM (/jpU

Because if the courts don't say no, we will be returning to a "Ma Bell" style internet in the US.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 28, 2015 04:34 AM (Zu3d9)

50 "I was hoping the right would take over the GOP but it seems the establishment is very good at resisting."



There are a scant 51 GOP Congressman who have left me with any hope at all in the Party. 


And that could change an hour from now if the money is right.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at February 28, 2015 04:35 AM (rtx5c)

51 22 States are becoming redder, but it doesn't seem to matter. Posted by: Y-not on her phone at February 28, 2015 09:13 AM (9BRsg) I appreciate the work you put into these posts, Y-not, and this isn't directed at you specifically, but we really need to quit using the Red=Republican Blue=Democrat color scheme foisted on us by the MSM. Everybody knows that the color red is associated with Communism, and I get ticked off every time I see the phrase "red state" used to describe a state whose population is mostly pro-American and anti-Communist. Conservative websites and commentators should ignore the MSM and simply flip the colors. The media are the enemy, so why should we continue to let them define the terms we use? Of course, since both parties seem to be on the same page with many issues, I suppose it hardly matters any more.

Posted by: rickl at February 28, 2015 04:36 AM (sdi6R)

52 "Because if the courts don't say no, we will be returning to a "Ma Bell" style internet in the US." Exactly so. FWIW, there's someone posting as PixyMisa over on Insty claiming that various ISPs somehow "deserve" this... as if it won't impact "us". I don't get the desire for a king.

Posted by: anon a mouse at February 28, 2015 04:39 AM (/jpU8)

53 ""deserve" this... as if it won't impact "us". "


Kill big grocery!


*As if that won't affect your local Kroger/Albertson's/HEB/Publix, etc.*

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at February 28, 2015 04:41 AM (rtx5c)

54 Posted by: rickl at February 28, 2015 09:36 AM (sdi6R)

Red-blooded Americans

Blue-bloods from Haavaad.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 28, 2015 04:43 AM (Zu3d9)

55 51 Annoys the crap out of me every time a conservative writer uses "McCarthyism" too.

Posted by: steevy at February 28, 2015 04:43 AM (KETbL)

56 I look at that chart and it looks white and gold to me. Must be some type of optical illusion.

Posted by: Muldoon, a solid man at February 28, 2015 04:43 AM (NeFrd)

57 I look at that chart and it looks white and gold to me" *sigh*

Posted by: anon a mouse at February 28, 2015 04:44 AM (/jpU8)

58 51. 22

I think the Red-Blue division actually derives from military training exercises and has nothing to do with communism.

For example, the opposing sides in the Louisiana Maneuvers of 1940 were designated Red Army and Blue Army.  Pretty sure that the planners and leaders of those exercises -- Marshall, Eisenhower, Bradley, Patton, et. al, -- were hardly modelling the Soviets when they labelled one of the two armies the "Red Army".

Posted by: Jack at February 28, 2015 04:44 AM (4HYng)

59 Ok, stayed fairly on topic for about 50 or so... not bad, not bad.

Posted by: anon a mouse at February 28, 2015 04:45 AM (/jpU8)

60 59 Practically a record.

Posted by: steevy at February 28, 2015 04:48 AM (KETbL)

61 WOW, North Carolina has the lowest % of union workers in the nation.  I guess SC has those unions at Boeing and those tire plants so they are 2/10th higher that NC.


Posted by: Nip Sip at February 28, 2015 04:48 AM (0FSuD)

62 2 I ran out of steam this week, but I hope I hit the high points.

Posted by: Y-not at February 28, 2015 08:52 AM (9BRsg)


You did, excellent work.  Thanks.

Posted by: Nip Sip at February 28, 2015 04:49 AM (0FSuD)

63 I suspect AL unions are at the MB factory, the old steel mills and the coal mines.  Just a guess.

Posted by: Nip Sip at February 28, 2015 04:51 AM (0FSuD)

64 "I suspect AL unions are at the MB factory, the old steel mills and the coal mines"


The mills I can imagine.  But, did the MB plant go full union?  They weren't. 

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at February 28, 2015 04:55 AM (rtx5c)

65 12 New Mexico is vaguely hopeful. A teeter-totter state that hangs solid purple but within which there are some still sane people.

Hell, Richardson cut taxes and signed concealed carry into law there.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at February 28, 2015 09:03 AM (rtx5c)


NM is a very strange state.  Rich in Santa Fe and Taos.  Lots of poor Indians, feather not dot, ranchers, Hispanics and retirees. 


Hard mix to get a handle on.

Posted by: Nip Sip at February 28, 2015 04:56 AM (0FSuD)

66 Everybody knows that the color red is associated with Communism, and I get ticked off every time I see the phrase "red state" used to describe a state whose population is mostly pro-American and anti-Communist.




I agree with this. Red = commie bastards. Blue = true blue to the country

Posted by: TheQuietMan at February 28, 2015 04:57 AM (3UGBQ)

67 The mills I can imagine. But, did the MB plant go full union? They weren't.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at February 28, 2015 09:55 AM (rtx5c)


No, I don't think MB did, but I seem to remember some story about UAW is down there because of German unions.  Not thinking of same deal at VW, which is different.  Could be totally wrong.

Posted by: Nip Sip at February 28, 2015 04:59 AM (0FSuD)

68 Blue used to be the color for Republicans but than it changed for some reason.

Posted by: steevy at February 28, 2015 05:00 AM (KETbL)

69 54 Red-blooded Americans Blue-bloods from Haavaad. Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 28, 2015 09:43 AM (Zu3d9)/i] Good point. I console myself by noting that red and blue are both colors in the American flag, which predates the red flag of Communism.

Posted by: rickl at February 28, 2015 05:00 AM (sdi6R)

Posted by: rickl at February 28, 2015 05:00 AM (sdi6R)

71 Rich in Santa Fe.... Don't forget the hippies out by Sedona.

Posted by: Fox2! at February 28, 2015 05:00 AM (brIR5)

72 And I cheat the Barrel once again.

Posted by: rickl at February 28, 2015 05:00 AM (sdi6R)

73 68 Blue used to be the color for Republicans but than it changed for some reason. The Media cHanged it about the time they called Florida early for Gore

Posted by: Fox2! at February 28, 2015 05:02 AM (brIR5)

74 Blue used to be the color for Republicans but than it changed for some reason.

Posted by: steevy at February 28, 2015 10:00 AM (KETbL)



I think the colors either used to flip with every presidential election or represented the party in power but some years ago it just stuck as it is now.

Posted by: TheQuietMan at February 28, 2015 05:02 AM (3UGBQ)

75 >>NM is a very strange state. Yeah, that's been my impression. We've been there a few times for vacations and absolutely love it. Sadly, there never seem to be good job opportunities there when we are looking for new digs. I am glad I did this post, b/c I had sort of written off Martinez... but I think she's quietly good. Not a top tier candidate for me, but I think she may be more acceptable than I'd thought at first.

Posted by: Y-not at February 28, 2015 05:02 AM (9BRsg)

76 I'm a Walker.

Posted by: Zombie Spock at February 28, 2015 05:03 AM (gwG9s)

77 YNot these things are so helpful and clarifying. Better than chasing the flavor of the month

Posted by: ThunderB, Shapeshifter at February 28, 2015 05:03 AM (Sh0n/)

78 Walker/Martinez.

Posted by: trumpetdaddy at February 28, 2015 05:04 AM (ljZD2)

79 Speaking of colors... 1. The dress looked ice blue and bronze to me. I couldn't see either the white/gold thing or the blue/black combo others saw. 2. Has anyone else notice an uptick in green power ties? Seems like the purple ones that had been popular for a while are giving way to green.

Posted by: Y-not at February 28, 2015 05:05 AM (9BRsg)

80 Walker/Cruz

Posted by: ThunderB, Shapeshifter at February 28, 2015 05:05 AM (Sh0n/)

81 Much respect. Have you ever tried to work with a Republican legislature like these guys must? Democrats are much more trustworthy.

Posted by: John Boehner at February 28, 2015 05:05 AM (FcR7P)

82 The is one thing in the USA that is a major driving force for the creation of a thirtd party. The GOP. People will not choose to form a third party, it will be forced upon them.

Posted by: eman at February 28, 2015 05:05 AM (MQEz6)

83 O/T

This is good on Bibi speech. Shows the dishonesty of Obama and his peoples.




http://tinyurl.com/q72k2tx

Posted by: Nip Sip at February 28, 2015 05:05 AM (0FSuD)

84 I'm glad you folks are finding these helpful. I figure at least we generally get some decent discussion going rather than the bloodbaths that some threads generate. I guess I'll do Medicaid expansion next.

Posted by: Y-not at February 28, 2015 05:07 AM (9BRsg)

85 Blue was incumbent and red was challenger. After the 2000 election the county by county map came out with the great red sea and the blue enclaves on the coasts. After that the red state\blue thing stuck.

Posted by: the guy that moves pianos for a living... at February 28, 2015 05:07 AM (MkQKr)

86 "Not a top tier candidate for me, but I think she may be more acceptable than I'd thought at first."


I got no particular problem with Martinez but that may be because she is very quiet.  The state appears headed in a generally good direction which is a respite for the likes of Wisconsin, Texas, etc. 

We could do a Hell of a lot worse I suppose.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at February 28, 2015 05:07 AM (rtx5c)

87 Darling youngest thunder is going to see Bibi in DC. She is going to AIPAC Rode in a plane yesterday with gap toothed walking excrement Israel hater Peter Beinart. Very hard not to to give him a piece of my mind

Posted by: ThunderB, Shapeshifter at February 28, 2015 05:07 AM (Sh0n/)

88 Thank you Y-Not!! Feel better!

Posted by: ginaswo at February 28, 2015 05:08 AM (2EgyQ)

89 @79

ha ha.  When you are color blind, like myselfs, green is not an option.


You know what they call the guy in a brown suit right?   Out of towner.



I have about five Barbour wax rain jackets.  Some are Brown and some are Olive/Green.   I have no idea which are which and wife is sick of me asking.

Posted by: Nip Sip at February 28, 2015 05:08 AM (0FSuD)

90 74 I think the colors either used to flip with every presidential election or represented the party in power but some years ago it just stuck as it is now. Posted by: TheQuietMan at February 28, 2015 10:02 AM (3UGBQ) I used to think that the TV networks used blue for the incumbent and red for the challenger, but I looked it up on Wikipedia once and found that was not the case. Apparently there was no hard-and-fast rule, and different networks sometimes used different colors in the same election. That all changed in the aftermath of the 2000 election. The electoral map was shown on TV daily for weeks, and the current color scheme became set in stone.

Posted by: rickl at February 28, 2015 05:10 AM (sdi6R)

91 ha ha. When you are color blind, like myselfs, green is not an option. You know what they call the guy in a brown suit right? Out of towner. -- Bwahahaha! My husband is not color-blind... but he IS color-stupid! Just about EVERYTHING in the brown-green-purple colors looks "brown" to him. IKYN.

Posted by: Y-not at February 28, 2015 05:10 AM (9BRsg)

92 87 Darling youngest thunder is going to see Bibi in DC. She is going to AIPAC


How exciting.  It's pretty cold in DC, tell her to bring warm stuff.

Posted by: Nip Sip at February 28, 2015 05:11 AM (0FSuD)

93 "I guess I'll do Medicaid expansion next."



Now you're talking math.  I understood there would be no.... (blah, blah, obligatory derogative remarks about ciphering)

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at February 28, 2015 05:11 AM (rtx5c)

94 >>Darling youngest thunder is going to see Bibi in DC. She is going to AIPAC Awesome!

Posted by: Y-not at February 28, 2015 05:11 AM (9BRsg)

95 What's interesting too is how Christie has fallen off th map

Posted by: ThunderB, Shapeshifter at February 28, 2015 05:11 AM (Sh0n/)

96 79 Speaking of colors... 1. The dress looked ice blue and bronze to me. I couldn't see either the white/gold thing or the blue/black combo others saw. Posted by: Y-not at February 28, 2015 10:05 AM (9BRsg) Same here! I mentioned that last night.

Posted by: rickl at February 28, 2015 05:12 AM (sdi6R)

97 95 That must have been some splash when he hit water.

Posted by: steevy at February 28, 2015 05:12 AM (KETbL)

98 Walker/Martinez would be awesome. Save Cruz for SCOTUS.

Posted by: goatexchange at February 28, 2015 05:13 AM (C+vOU)

99 I try to KISS, keep it simple stupid, I being the stupid one.


That means blue or gray suit.  White or light blue shirt and red tie.



I get in trouble sometimes when I can not tell if my tie is red or pink.



Wife explained one day you can NOT wear a pink tie to a funeral.  I thought it was red.

Posted by: Nip Sip at February 28, 2015 05:14 AM (0FSuD)

100 "My husband is not color-blind... but he IS color-stupid! " Well, apparently I have a twin brother.

Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at February 28, 2015 05:14 AM (WpgvJ)

101 *fist bumps rickl* >>What's interesting too is how Christie has fallen off th map John Sexton was tweeting positive things about CC on twitter last week. I actually thought he made some good points, although needless to say he took a lot of shit for it. I asked JS if there was something in particular that he thought could be Christie's selling point in a general election and he didn't really have one. His arguments seemed to mostly about how Christie handled the media. I think Christie is a non-starter.

Posted by: Y-not at February 28, 2015 05:14 AM (9BRsg)

102 "1. The dress looked ice blue and bronze to me. I couldn't see either the white/gold thing or the blue/black combo others saw."


I saw white/gold and blue/black depending upon the pic.  But, I don't know what pics everyone else is looking at, so. 

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at February 28, 2015 05:14 AM (rtx5c)

103 I agree. I think JEB kills Christie

Posted by: ThunderB, Shapeshifter at February 28, 2015 05:15 AM (Sh0n/)

104 >>Well, apparently I have a twin brother. Nice to have another brother-in-law! BTW, Mr Y-not called *himself* that. I wouldn't be so snarky about him.

Posted by: Y-not at February 28, 2015 05:16 AM (9BRsg)

105 103 Oh joy!

Posted by: Golfman in NC at February 28, 2015 05:16 AM (iVjJr)

106 Cruz on SCOTUS. Awesome

Posted by: ThunderB, Shapeshifter at February 28, 2015 05:16 AM (Sh0n/)

107 The photo I saw was definitely a white/gold dress. To verify, I downloaded the image and checked the color using the paint program. It's white. I thought people were seeing blue/black because the dress was placed under a blacklight. I would also point out not everyone might be viewing the same photo of said dress.

Posted by: Bruce J. at February 28, 2015 05:17 AM (iQIUe)

108 Christie hugged Obama and helped defeat Mitty Mouse. If Obama wins in 12, Christie can run in 16. The fat turd is fat.

Posted by: eman at February 28, 2015 05:17 AM (MQEz6)

109 NM is a very strange state. Rich in Santa Fe and Taos. Lots of poor Indians, feather not dot, ranchers, Hispanics and retirees.
Hard mix to get a handle on.
Posted by: Nip Sip at February 28, 2015 09:56 AM



Pretty much the only reliably conservative areas are the SE and the Four Corners, although the FC gets watered down by the Navajo res.  As one of my Navajo cow-orkers said, res Indians vote democrat, because free stuff.  The FC is blue collar, although that will change as the power plants are closed and gas drilling slows down.  Except for the middle of the state, NM is pretty much empty, so SF and Albuquerque will always control election results. 

Posted by: huerfano at February 28, 2015 05:18 AM (bAGA/)

110 BUT WHO WAS DRESS?

Posted by: ASH LARPTON at February 28, 2015 05:18 AM (Q819Q)

111 I don't know what pics everyone else is looking at, so.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at February 28, 2015 10:14 AM (rtx5c)

http://tinyurl.com/kljqkxc

I see some gold...I think.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 28, 2015 05:19 AM (Zu3d9)

112 Don't look at the dress. It casts an evil spell.

Posted by: eman at February 28, 2015 05:20 AM (MQEz6)

113 Dress has gotten more coverage than hillary taking money from foreign governments while Secretary of State

Posted by: ThunderB, Shapeshifter at February 28, 2015 05:20 AM (Sh0n/)

114 I paid 3.55/gal for gas this morning. sob

Posted by: Bruce J. at February 28, 2015 05:20 AM (iQIUe)

115 "The FC is blue collar, although that will change as the power plants are closed and gas drilling slows down."



That refinery on I40 west of ABQ, it closing down? 

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at February 28, 2015 05:20 AM (rtx5c)

116 112 Yeessss to the dress.

Posted by: Golfman in NC at February 28, 2015 05:21 AM (iVjJr)

117 "http://tinyurl.com/kljqkxc" Oh, thank you CBD. You are a Gentleman, a scholar, and a giver. BRB

Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at February 28, 2015 05:21 AM (WpgvJ)

118 @111 You got me, CBD! I think I may be ghey now.

Posted by: Y-not at February 28, 2015 05:21 AM (9BRsg)

119 "http://tinyurl.com/kljqkxc"



Hehehehe.....


Yeah.  Some gold, some bronze, some........

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at February 28, 2015 05:22 AM (rtx5c)

120 CBD killed the thread! Just wait to you see what *I* link to in your Food Thread, you rat!

Posted by: Y-not at February 28, 2015 05:22 AM (9BRsg)

121 90 That all changed in the aftermath of the 2000 election. The electoral map was shown on TV daily for weeks, and the current color scheme became set in stone. ----------------------------------------------- Because Tim Russert didn't want the dems/lefties/commies to be painted RED so he made them blue on his map and it stuck. Control the propaganda and eventually you will control everything else.

Posted by: Boots at February 28, 2015 05:24 AM (l9mF2)

122 Posted by: Y-not at February 28, 2015 10:22 AM (9BRsg)

Anyone/Upton 2016

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 28, 2015 05:25 AM (Zu3d9)

123 Oh and love this series - it's great to have all this data assembled in one place.

Posted by: Boots at February 28, 2015 05:26 AM (l9mF2)

124 121 90 That all changed in the aftermath of the 2000 election. The electoral map was shown on TV daily for weeks, and the current color scheme became set in stone. ----------------------------------------------- Because Tim Russert didn't want the dems/lefties/commies to be painted RED so he made them blue on his map and it stuck. Posted by: Boots at February 28, 2015 10:24 AM (l9mF2) Actually, my notion of blue=incumbent and red=challenger made sense in 2000, since the Democrats were the incumbent party in the White House at the time.

Posted by: rickl at February 28, 2015 05:28 AM (sdi6R)

125 "Oh and love this series - it's great to have all this data assembled in one place." And CBD's educational links as well

Posted by: Village Idiot's Apprentice at February 28, 2015 05:29 AM (WpgvJ)

126 2016? I hope we get there in one piece

Posted by: Nevergiveup at February 28, 2015 05:29 AM (rDqRv)

127 I've despised unions ever since my father - who started a small construction company - told me how some "organizer" (looking at you, Barry) threatened to send a couple of goons down from St. Louis to overcome his resistance to their proposal. My father's response, which included a healthy dose of speed, surprise, and violence of action, convinced the organizer to seek opportunities elsewhere.

Posted by: PabloD at February 28, 2015 05:30 AM (roESk)

128 Kate's uncle is a RINO congressman from MI.


Bet family reunions are fun!  They have them at the beach, I would hope.

Posted by: Nip Sip at February 28, 2015 05:30 AM (0FSuD)

129 Watched Jindal 's speech at CPAC and was very impressed. Great/funny parts include his speech in England regarding Islamist radicals, his son's experience with common core, and his own immigration story. We are very lucky to have so many great conservative choices for 2016.

Posted by: Joanne at February 28, 2015 05:32 AM (indTK)

130 http://is.gd/11N7fF

Remember: You had it coming.

Posted by: Brother Cavil, by the Pale Moon light at February 28, 2015 09:16 AM (m9V0o)



Heh. That Ling seems like a sharp cookie, with a delightfully irreverent self-image.

Posted by: said no reno customer, ever at February 28, 2015 05:33 AM (BhhdU)

131 It's raining and goats are sad: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/goatslive

Posted by: Bruce J. at February 28, 2015 05:34 AM (iQIUe)

132 I see no significant downside to any of these potential candidates.

I admit that Martinez getting Right-To-Work through a purple legislature is impressive.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 28, 2015 05:34 AM (Zu3d9)

133 Heh. That Ling seems like a sharp cookie, with a delightfully irreverent self___.

Posted by: said no reno customer, ever at February 28, 2015 10:33 AM (BhhdU)



Shee-it. Off, damn sock. And pixy ate the last word, which was "self-icon" or something close to that. heh

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at February 28, 2015 05:35 AM (BhhdU)

134 I admit that Martinez getting Right-To-Work through a purple legislature is impressive. Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 28, 2015 10:34 AM (Zu3d9) Ain't a done deal yet

Posted by: Nevergiveup at February 28, 2015 05:36 AM (rDqRv)

135 3.55 for gas?? Shirley you mean 2.55.

Posted by: please dont squeeze the soothie at February 28, 2015 05:36 AM (hbvPW)

136 Make sure to follow the link to that union membership map. It's interactive. You can slide over the past 50 yrs and watch membership drop.

Posted by: Y-not at February 28, 2015 05:36 AM (9BRsg)

137 It's raining and goats are sad:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/goatslive

Posted by: Bruce J. at February 28, 2015 10:34 AM (iQIUe)


Goat resting after morning fcuk.

Posted by: Mohamed, the goat fucker at February 28, 2015 05:37 AM (0FSuD)

138 Image test

Posted by: please dont squeeze the soothie at February 28, 2015 05:37 AM (hbvPW)

139 3.55 for gas?? Shirley you mean 2.55. Posted by: please dont squeeze the soothie at February 28, 2015 10:36 AM (hbvPW) I bet NYC is bumping up towards $3.00

Posted by: Nevergiveup at February 28, 2015 05:38 AM (rDqRv)

140 Annoys the crap out of me every time a conservative writer uses "McCarthyism" too.
Posted by: steevy at February 28, 2015 09:43 AM (KETbL)


Yeah, 'cause it should be "Charlie McCarthyism" and should refer to the MSM

Unless they want to claim "Mortimer Snerdism" instead.  Am totes cool with that.  Yup.

Posted by: Kindltot at February 28, 2015 05:39 AM (t//F+)

141 "Shirley you mean 2.55."



Maybe.  But don't call him 2.55. 

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at February 28, 2015 05:39 AM (rtx5c)

142 Ain't a done deal yet

Posted by: Nevergiveup at February 28, 2015 10:36 AM (rDqRv)

True, but it looks good.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo at February 28, 2015 05:40 AM (Zu3d9)

143 Didnt Charlie McCarthy have a knockoff doll?

Posted by: please dont squeeze the soothie at February 28, 2015 05:40 AM (hbvPW)

144 Maybe. But don't call him 2.55.

Posted by: Ricardo Kill at February 28, 2015 10:39 AM (rtx5c)


No no no it's M855 you want.

Posted by: Nip Sip at February 28, 2015 05:40 AM (0FSuD)

145 Any Rugby fans around these parts? The compan y I work for just got the contract for the Atlantic Coast Rugby League Championship in Charlotte, April 25-6. I'm in the running for one of the on-air spots. I played for about a month at college before a gentleman from Indiana U. put his knee through my abdomen and caused an existing hernia to turn into an apple-sized protuberance. Surgery and retirement swiftly followed. I know a few guys and one lady who still play, so I'm brushing up on the terms/lingo through them.

Posted by: Lincolntf at February 28, 2015 05:41 AM (2cS/G)

146 131 It's raining and goats are sad: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/goatslive Posted by: Bruce J. at February 28, 2015 10:34 AM (iQIUe) I hope we still have the GoatCam after the FCC takes over the internet.

Posted by: Achmed al-Muhammad at February 28, 2015 05:42 AM (sdi6R)

147 3.55 for gas?? Shirley you mean 2.55. Posted by: please dont squeeze the soothie at February 28, 2015 10:36 AM (hbvPW) If only....

Posted by: Bruce J. at February 28, 2015 05:45 AM (iQIUe)

148 Here is an eye opening stat from a NY Slime article on hiring convicted felons.



About 25 percent of nonincarcerated black men had been convicted of a felony, up from 9 percent in 1980.



25%  holy shit.

Posted by: Nip Sip at February 28, 2015 05:47 AM (0FSuD)

149 Conservative websites and commentators should ignore the MSM and simply flip the colors. The media are the enemy, so why should we continue to let them define the terms we use?

Red is supposed to be designation for opposition forces but what the heck.  We are.

I am less worried about the color designation.  I used to have "WTF" moments when following other countries' politics. 

Paraguay, for example, has the ANR which is known as the "Colorado" or Red party.  They are officially the National Republican Association Colorado Party and the logo is a red banner with a white star. 
they are the conservative party, and for South America, they can be pretty conservative.




Posted by: Kindltot at February 28, 2015 05:50 AM (t//F+)

150 For the curious, search "gas prices heat map" for a county by county color-coding of national gas prices. It's pretty easy to play "find the especially obnoxious state gas taxes."

Posted by: Piercello, on the road at February 28, 2015 05:50 AM (vVaDF)

151 Nood

Posted by: JustTim at February 28, 2015 05:54 AM (xD5h5)

152 Love Perry and Martinez.

Posted by: Tatooine at February 28, 2015 05:57 AM (Y92Nd)

153 150 For the curious, search "gas prices heat map" for a county by county color-coding of national gas prices. It's pretty easy to play "find the especially obnoxious state gas taxes." Posted by: Piercello, on the road at February 28, 2015 10:50 AM (vVaDF) Thanks! I'm going to use that tho it seems it may be counterproductive to save 2 bucks. Then again, I hate the fact that the more you pay for gas, the more THE MAN gets in taxes.

Posted by: Bruce J. at February 28, 2015 06:09 AM (iQIUe)

154 "Conservative websites and commentators should ignore the MSM and simply flip the colors. The media are the enemy, so why should we continue to let them define the terms we use?"

That stuff has to be nipped in the bud or it becomes too entrenched to make your take-back-the-language effort worthwhile.  I'd love to do the same thing with "liberal" and "conservative" - limited government American exceptionalists aren't defending the existing order anymore, we're radicals trying to reform a corrupt oligarchy that's been entrenched for well over a century. 

We're the ones who stand for individual rights.  All of that used to be what "liberal" meant.  Conservative meant "defending the status quo because it's the status quo." 

There's a Burkean conservative element we stand for - we don't think people or societies are perfectible and don't want government big enough to try, and we don't think it's wise to destroy or radically transform social institutions like the family and marriage with haste and without forethought,

All of that said, I'd be a lonely voice calling all of us liberals and damning conservatives.  I'd spend 2/3 of my time convincing people on my own side I wasn't trolling. 

We could more easily employ some new terminology rather than trying to take back old usages.  That's a big issue with naming a third party or any political movement as well.

Posted by: SocietyIs2Blame at February 28, 2015 06:19 AM (QKIQb)

155 "His arguments seemed to mostly about how Christie handled the media."

I feel the same way about Newt.  Their style is useful to other candidates, their substance not so much.  The no-BS tone and yield no premise approach to the media is great but I don't trust either guy.  Big government is too useful to them, and their alleged conservatism seems more a pose than a position, much less a conviction.

The real bitch of the matter is that 99% of people who will run for office are more concerned with gaining and holding that job than what they want to do with it.  Political courage requires that you risk losing, and candidates and donors believe they've invested too much time and money to take those risks.

Ethical and ideological commitment is in too short a supply.  That's what it takes to ask people to take these risks.  Friedman's "make bad guys do the right thing" principle can't operate when the bad guys hold all or nearly all of the levers of power and access in your party, and thus control the risks and rewards. 

Cruz appears to be buckling to Senate leadership due to those kind of pressures.  It's another reason why the GOP seems a dead end for reform.  We can't get a critical mass of committed conservatives who can resist the "silver or lead" tactics the corrupt leadership can employ.

Posted by: SocietyIs2Blame at February 28, 2015 06:31 AM (QKIQb)

156 I am conservative, vote Republican but mainly because they are "socialism Lite" as opposed to "full bore sclerotic socialism on steroids" Democrats, and voted for Jindal. There are a *lot* of GOP voters who went for Jindal who have had soured on him. His first term? Great. Second term? Eh... he should have quit while he was ahead. My point is simply that Jindal seems great (and he does) to people outside Louisiana who are not as intimately familiar with his negatives (and not just his public positives). He has plenty of fierce critics... who voted for him.

Posted by: Rick67 at February 28, 2015 09:07 AM (bqer+)

157 Late post on a dead thread but: red has been the commie color since at least 1848, repping both the "fraternity" part of liberte-egalite-fraternite and the blood shed in the struggle. Blue is, or was, the color of the Conservative Party in England, and I think also the various Christian Democrat parties in Continental Europe (which is what passes for a right wing there, or used to). The colors did alternate here in political coverage (we have our animal symbols and so didn't need a color scheme) until 2000, when the Flordia-centered focus on the map froze them for good.

Posted by: Knemon at March 01, 2015 02:00 AM (JlNQG)

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