Open thread Feb. 21, 2020 Dan Crawford | February 21, 2020 8:04 am Tags: open thread Comments (9) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
Fascinating part in the Nevada primary..
And that’s some health plan.
” Nevada’s Culinary Union is not just any labor advocacy organization—it’s the engine of the state’s electoral infrastructure. In 2008, it backed Barack Obama when he still seemed like a long shot against Hillary Clinton, helping his campaign take the lead in the Democratic primary. In the last election cycle, the union pushed for Nevada to elect its first Democratic governor in 20 years. And when Nevada was the only state to flip a Republican Senate seat blue in 2018, the elected senator was a member of the union.
So the union garnered significant attention over the past week because of its implicit criticism of Bernie Sanders—a flyer distributed to members stated that Bernie Sanders wants to “End Culinary Healthcare.” The union didn’t endorse any of the other Democratic candidates, but the dig was clear. And what Culinary has to say matters as the Nevada caucuses come to a head this weekend.
On Thursday’s episode of What Next, I talked to Steven Greenhouse, a former labor reporter at the New York Times, about the power of the Culinary Union and what its criticism of Sanders means for the campaign. Our conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Mary Harris: Who makes up the Culinary Union’s membership?
Steven Greenhouse: It’s majority Latino, majority immigrant, majority women. It’s a union of hotel housekeepers, dishwashers, bellhops, hotel porters, assistant cooks, and some waiters. It represents the people who work behind the scenes to run the restaurants and operate the huge hotel casinos.
Culinary really seems to run the Las Vegas Strip. It’s not afraid to have members go on strike for months, or even years, to get what they want out of a hotel.
A lot of the hotels realize that if they don’t play ball with Culinary, it has the power to make life difficult for them. Of all the unions I’ve seen in the nation, this one has the best shop stewards network, which mobilizes members, keeps them in form, communicates with them, gets them out to protests, and involves them in political campaigns: knocking on doors, making phone calls, getting people registered, getting people to vote early.
This is why politicians need to play ball with the Culinary: When the union members get behind a candidate, they get behind a candidate. In the last presidential election, Nevada went blue. And the union takes credit for that.
In the 2016 election, members spoke to 75,000 voters and knocked on 350,000 doors. They got 8,000 people to register to vote. They also got 54,000 people to vote early. Culinary and its parent union, Unite Here, have 300 to 400 workers who take six to eight weeks off from work and just do campaign work—not only around Las Vegas, but throughout Nevada.
When they knock on the doors of Culinary members and other union members, they make clear that they’re fighting for issues like saving health care. They’re really issue-oriented.
I wonder what it says to you that the main issue the union is picking up on right now is “Medicare for All”?
There is a division within the labor movement about “Medicare for All.” Some union leaders say the policy would be great—it would take the whole issue of health coverage off the table in union negotiations and might enable members to focus more on wage increases. But folks at the Culinary Union say they have a great health plan now, and they’re worried that with “Medicare for All” they’d end up with something worse.
It makes sense that the Culinary Union would take pride in its health care benefits. It runs its own insurance program and its own pharmacy. And if you work 30 hours a week, you don’t pay any premiums, either.
This union has its own free health center where you go to the doctor. The prescriptions are often free or have a relatively low price. The union can do this because it takes the insurance middleman out of the picture—it’s run by the workers, for the workers, of the workers.
I watched a little bit of a video of Bernie Sanders speaking to the union folks. And it was so different than other candidate union appearances I’ve seen. When he started talking about “Medicare for All,” people started interrupting him. They were asking, who’s going to pay for this? And it seemed to me the union was doing exactly what you want to do for these workers, which is: give them a voice. You can talk to these politicians and demand what you want and need.
It shows these are emboldened, empowered workers who are willing to speak up. On the other hand, some Sanders supporters say a few union leaders or outsiders who don’t love Sanders ask members to plant these questions to make life tougher for Sanders.
Do you think it’s fair for Sanders supporters to criticize the questioners at these events as “plants”?
It’s legitimate to ask whether questioning “Medicare for All” is part of a top-down decision by the unions. It reflects the concerns of rank-and-file members—some union officials have relatives who are involved in health care jobs, and they have raised questions about that.
But Culinary is extremely proud of its health plan and is eager to guard it. So I’m not at all surprised that union members would worry about “Medicare for All.” It’s a fear of the unknown.
In a way, this was the most savvy thing the union members could do, because they’re saying, We’re going to stay out of this for now, but Bernie, if you make it to the end here, you’re going to have to come see us.
As a union leader, if you’re going to make an endorsement, you want to make a real difference, ensure the endorsement doesn’t anger too many of your members, and win some favors down the road.
There are so many candidates now, and it’s unclear who’s going to win. At this juncture, the Culinary Union and its parent both made a rational choice. They feel the practical thing is to hold their fire and wait for things to clarify. If they thought there was a candidate who is better—and they clearly thought that about Obama vis-à-vis Hillary in 2008—they’re willing to stick their necks out, especially when it’s clear the person they’re leaning toward endorsing is likely to get the nomination. Now it’s just a whole muddle. They don’t want to help mess up things further. ”
Vegas is a different kind of place, but the power of this service worker union could be a blueprint. Though the constant need for these workers in Vegas cannot really be found in many other places.
Generally speaking, Trump has been a disaster for American farmers. That is especially true of individual and/or family farmers despite the $28 Billion in welfare he showered on big corp farmers while the small guys just got wet.
“From In These Times, with receipts.
A closer look at Wisconsin under Trump reveals a less rosy picture. The total number of jobs in Wisconsin has fallen over the past two years. The total number of Wisconsin manufacturing jobs declined in 2019. Wisconsin employers have been hurt by Trump’s trade wars—the all-American brand Harley-Davidson, for example, shifted its motorcycle production overseas and laid people off because of retaliatory tariffs in the EU, sparked by Trump. Trump’s tariffs on Chinese-made goods are arguably hurting Wisconsin companies. And the big Foxconn deal (Trump lofted a golden shovel at the plant’s 2018 groundbreaking) is projected to create only 1,500 of the 13,000 promised jobs (but the company will still receive massive tax breaks from the state).
And the state’s signature industry, the dairy industry, is rapidly becoming a basket case. The state lost 10 percent of its dairy farms last year, an unprecedented debacle, and the farmers still in business are hanging on to their personal economies—and, hell, their emotional health—by a thread.”
Which sets up this:
“It remains to be seen whether his desire to cut support for farmers during hard times will erode his popularity in farm country during an election year. The USDA programs Trump wants to cut are embedded in the farm bill, that twice-per-decade omnibus legislation that was renewed in 2018 and won’t be up again for renewal until 2023. “But they do send a signal of [the administration’s] intentions for the next farm bill should they get a second term,” said Ferd Hoefner, senior strategic advisor at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. “Farmers and farm groups should take them seriously as a signal—scaling back conservation funding just as we are building public support for a significantly increased investment to combat climate change and deal with water quality and water shortages would take us in exactly the wrong direction.”
Some farmer groups are taking note.”As both a presidential candidate and now as president, Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed his appreciation for and dedication to American farmers,” National Farmers Union president Roger Johnson said in a statement in response to the budget release. “Yet year after year, his budget has failed to address the very real economic challenges facing rural communities.”
One large problem with this article, nothing remains to be seen. Rural areas and farmers will again vote for trump. Despite everything he has, is and will do to them, they will still vote for him.
The reason is simple. Their vote is not based on their economic situation.
Wonder what it could be?
Have a nice day, Susan Sarandon. Your actions will harm this country for decades.
“Last month, the Supreme Court voted to allow the Trump administration’s immigrant wealth test to take effect in 49 states while the measure goes through the appeals process. And on Friday, the Court’s five conservatives voted to permit the same measure to take effect in Illinois. The new policy allows legal immigrants’ use of public benefits such as food stamps to be counted as negative factors in their green card applications—and in her biting dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor accused her colleagues on the Court of favoring the Trump administration.
Sotomayor wrote of the frequency with which the conservative-controlled Court grants the Trump administration stay applications—allowing Trump policies to go into effect even after they’ve been blocked in the lower courts. “Claiming one emergency after another, the government has recently sought stays in an unprecedented number of cases, demanding immediate attention and consuming limited court resources in each,” wrote the justice. “And with each successive application, of course, its cries of urgency ring increasingly hollow.”
The new policy—which was apparently the brainchild of anti-immigrant Trump advisor Stephen Miller—allows immigration officials to consider factors like health ailments, educational attainment, and use of non-cash public assistance in denying green cards. Experts say the measure will force immigrants to choose between their chances at earning a green card and using services like food stamps and housing benefits to feed and home themselves and their children.
Sotomayor wrote that the Court shows a degree of favor to the Trump administration that it denies condemned prisoners seeking stays of execution:
Perhaps most troublingly, the Court’s recent behavior on stay applications has benefited one litigant over all others. This Court often permits executions—where the risk of irreparable harm is the loss of life—to proceed, justifying many of those decisions on purported failures “to raise any potentially meritorious claims in a timely manner.” … Yet the Court’s concerns over quick decisions wither when prodded by the Government in far less compelling circumstances— where the Government itself chose to wait to seek relief, and where its claimed harm is continuation of a 20-year status quo in one State.
While the new green card policy is still being appealed, the Court’s ruling could have major consequences for its legal future. By allowing the measure to go into effect before it has made its way through the appeals process, the Supreme Court is signaling support for the policy to the lower courts, which Sotomayor described in her dissent as “upend[ing] the normal appellate process, putting a thumb on the scale in favor of the party that won a stay.”
We need Buttigieg to get out of this race as soon as possible.
Notice that a Dem Primary Candidate is repeating loser rwdws’ thoughts.
“Pete Buttigieg is delivering a blistering attack against rival Bernie Sanders, who he accuses of leading a divisive movement that has furthered “the toxic tone of our politics.”
The former South Bend Indiana mayor and Democratic presidential hopeful made the remarks while addressing supporters in Las Vegas, shortly after Sanders won the Nevada caucuses…
He urged voters to “take a sober look at the consequences” of making Sanders the party’s nominee. Buttigieg said Sanders has a “vision of capitalism as the root of all evil.” And he added that Sanders’ political vision would “reorder the economy in ways most Democrats — let alone most Americans — don’t support.”.
When your campaign channels these rwdw losers, you need to become a Republican.
“With Donald Trump’s approval rating among Republicans remaining relatively consistent, oscillating between the high 80s and low 90s, conservative critics of the president make up just a tiny fraction of the electorate. So-called “Never Trump” commentators have pitifully little pull within the Republican Party, but you wouldn’t know it based on mainstream news coverage, where pundits like Rick Wilson, Jennifer Rubin, Steve Schmidt, and David Frum have continued to thrive.
If there’s one thing Trump’s improbable victory in 2016 should have made clear, it’s that these are not particularly relevant voices in the modern political era, and yet media outlets haven’t recognized this fact and acted accordingly. If anything, it seems as though conservative Trump critics are being promoted more aggressively than ever.
“Anyone but Trump? Not so fast,” reads the headline of Bret Stephens’ January 24 New York Times column, which warns of the “radicalism” of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. “Bernie Sanders is a risk we can’t run at this moment of national peril,” says columnist Max Boot in The Washington Post. “Crazy Won’t Beat Trump,” reads the headline of a recent Wall Street Journal opinion piece by Peggy Noonan. “Bernie Can’t Win,” goes Frum’s three-word headline in The Atlantic.
Wilson, a strategist and author, has managed to parlay his disgust with Trump into two books, Everything Trump Touches Dies and Running Against the Devil: A Plot to Save America from Trump — and Democrats from Themselves.
David Brooks has effectively turned his New York Times column into a vision board for qualities he’s looking for in a Democratic candidate — which essentially boils down to his desire for Democrats to move to the right.
And after years of smearing President Barack Obama for everything from Benghazi to terrorism to taxes, Rubin uses her column as a constant warning against moving too far to the left, with headlines like “The Sanders surge is real. Democrats should be wary,” “A warning to Democrats: Don’t let Bernie Sanders get away from you,” and “Democrats cannot win in 2020 merely by turning out the base.”
On MSNBC, Schmidt regularly argues against progressive policies under the guise of a concern for “electability.”….
I don’t often go to Marginal Revolution for obvious reasons. However, upon reading that Mr. Cowen, after Sanders Nevada win, is going all in MAGA, I felt I should comment.
Nothing in the way of coarse language at all, just making my point that Sanders is far, far superior to Trump in just about every way you can think.
I was surprised when my posts, and responses to those posts, were disappeared.
I did make one last post:
Last one forever.
“Within the free speech movement, there is a small set of individuals that refer to themselves as ‘free speech absolutists.’ This is a title we should all proudly embrace, even though some would argue these people are endangering democracy.
A free speech absolutist supports free speech in every possible way, rejecting any exceptions to the rule. Once an exception to the rule is introduced, this paves the way for other exceptions, including those that can be expanded and exploited, like an exception for so-called ‘hate speech’.
The exception for hate speech is at the core of the free speech debate. The more radical authoritarians seek to exploit the rule by including offensive words, microaggressions, and other relatively harmless words under the hate speech label. The absurdity of declaring words as hateful based on something as subjective as offense is quite clear to anyone that values freedom of speech.”
I’ll see how long that stays up. But it did show what I have always thought was the sole important belief of libertarians. From that link:
February 23, 2020 at 2:05 pm
Following the results of the Navade Caucus I formally bend the knee to Donald J. Trump and renounce my cuckservative never-Trump former fellow travelers David Brooks and Charles Murray. Trump 2020. MAGA.
February 23, 2020 at 2:06 pm
We never win people! We. Never. Win. Ever. That is what being a libertarian is all about. Nothing I write about on this blog means diddly shit in real life. And it never will.
Time to bend the knee to Trump! At least we can preserve tax cuts for people like me! That is the BEST we can ever do and I hope you people wake up like I have!”
That is not the best thing for libertarians, it is the only thing. I got mine, fuck you.
just a note to encourage you.
probably my fault but i had a littlle trouble following some of this… [spell check won’t let me fix “little” typo, but it’s perfectly happy to fix words i use on purpose to change them to what it thinks i should have said.]
but i do thank you for presenting the case of the culinary union. now, after the nevada primary it looks like the culinary workers made the right choice. i hope they are not disappointed [i have my own fears about the ability of Sanders to deliver. will vote for him anyway. hope he and his base are smart enough to win the war that comes after the election.]
as for Cowan. years ago he said some stupid things about global warming. he complained about my lack of civility. maybe i need to take a course in diplomatic language or “protocol speech upward,” but i suspect “oh, you so bad you called me stupid” is just the last refuge of the people who present stupid arguments to avoid having to defend those arguments rationally. i don’t know that this has anything to do with free speech. possibly it does: hitler showed the power of hate-speech. but eugene debs showed the danger of laws that punish political speech by calling it “shouting fire in a crowded theater”.
sorry if this all looks like just a rambling rant. that’s the trouble with free speech.
No problem. Cowen censored my comments, not because of my language, but because he did not like me showing him that Sanders is not a socialist looking to become a communist.
He is a libertarian, so I posted how important free speech is to libertarians (or so they claim), when he moved against it.
These never-trumpers are full of shit, always have been. Now, for his tax cut he is going to overlook the crisis to our democracy. Just for a couple of extra bucks in his pocket.
And there are an endless supply of them:
“Bill Kristol Isn’t Afraid of Bernie Sanders or His Rhetoric. He’s Afraid His Ideas Are Popular.
You will notice the Never Trumper who’s wrong about everything else does not suggest Elizabeth Warren as an alternative.
Quietly, now. Keep completely silent here in the duck blind across the river from the headquarters of The Bulwark, a small place with which American political sanity has no extradition treaty, alas. Anyway, if you stay absolutely still, you may hear the plaintive cry of the Solitary Nevertrumper. Wait. Listen. There it is now.
‘The Republican party allowed Donald Trump to capture it in 2016. This has been, I trust you agree, very bad for our country. As for the party, I’m not sure we’ll ever get it back on path to a decent and healthy American conservatism. It would be bad if Democrats went down a parallel path. America deserves better than a choice between an authoritarian populist of the right and a socialist populist of the left. How terrible it would be if, having resisted European-style illiberalism in the 20th century, we succumbed to it in the 21st.’
Let us begin by examining the long and storied career of Butcher’s Bill Kristol in American politics, shall we?
Item: In 1993, he wrote a famous memo advising Republican lawmakers to resist any attempt at reforming the country’s healthcare system, which blew even more goats then than it does now. Kristol did not advise them to do so because he feared all that awful socialist populism, or because he was fighting a noble battle against European-style illiberalism. He advised them to do so because it was important not to give President Bill Clinton and the Democrats a win, and very important not to give the American people a healthcare system that made sense because then they’d like it and it would be hard for the Republicans to take it away. In other words, Kristol put down the road map that led, inevitably, to the screwing of Merrick Garland.
Item: He shilled for Dan Quayle, the ur-Trump as regards a lack of qualifications for high political office.
Item: He shilled for the catastrophic Iraq war. And still does.
Item: He shilled for Sarah Palin, the ur-Trump for belligerent ignorance.
Item: He tried to make it happen in 2016 for a National Review writer named David French as an alternative to El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago. America wouldn’t have known David French if he’d sat in its lap.
So, in terms of pure politics, taking advice from Kristol is like taking a seamanship course from Captain Joe Hazlewood. When I talk about the prion disease afflicting the GOP, a good case can be made for Bill Kristol as its Patient Zero.
But I want to call attention to another obvious tell in this piece, this (and maybe Elizabeth?) business that’s salted throughout the analysis. You will note that he calls on Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar to bail in order to set up a Democratic nominating process between Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Mike Bloomberg’s wallet. But somehow, he has no specific advice for Senator Professor Warren. This is very interesting to me, and it says to me that Kristol is not really afraid of Bernie Sanders and his rhetoric but of the ideas he’s bringing into the race—popular stuff like universal healthcare; a vigorous response to the climate crisis; a social-safety net worthy of the name and adequate to the times; and the death, once and for all, of supply-side economics. Hence, he marshals an offensive against Sanders while disappearing the one person in the field who might be able to poach some of the Vermonter’s base without talking about Fidel Castro.
Kristol wants those ideas to die. He wants an ideological safe space in which he can feel comfortable, and a base from which conservative Republicans can screw up the country on more familiar lines. If the ideas put forth by Sanders and Warren were to become law, then people would like them and would severely chastise any party that attempted to take them away. Kristol is running the same mug’s game here that he was running in 1993, and the hilarious thing about it is that his analysis is absolutely correct. Fly away, little bird. Fly away home.”
Proof positive that the GOP wasn’t taken over by Trump, the GOP created trump.
you might be surprised that I agree with you. still, i am not a close follower of “current events” so i don’t quite understand everything you say, but i get the gist.
btw, in my last i should have said “protocol mode upward” an idea that Robert Heinlein used in one of his sic fi books (sic fi er, science fiction, since spellcheck can’t wrap it’s brain around the customary abbreviation) though i suppose protocol mode upward has been with us since Hammurabi though not by that name (at least in English).
even though not a close follower of punditry, i seem to have reached more or less the same conclusions as you. must be a reason for that. i wonder if everyone knows the truth but are not allowed to say “that’s stupid” in public.
i realize you did not say “that’s stupid” to Cowen, but you said the same thing in more polite language and that’s why you got deleted.
what’s puzzling me though is why the R’s and the D’s fight each other so passionately when they are on the same side?
oh, wait, i think i know, but i’d like to hear your take.
I don’t think they are on the same side, even close.
I think that “they’re both the same” thinking stems from our system of government. It was designed to make rapid change very, very difficult.
So the inevitable compromises that arise from people trying to make changes look like they are both in favor of every piece of legislation. Consider the ACA, which was not close to what the Dems actually wanted. They compromised to make a large change, and sacrificed the public option to get a large change. And I can still remember the “progressives” who screamed that they did what the health insurance industry wanted. They got what they could, not what they wanted.
One of the other facets of our political system is that it is easier to destroy legislation than build legislation. Consider that trump had both houses of congress for two years, yet could not keep his main campaign promise to kill Obamacare. Not because he didn’t want to, but because he couldn’t get the votes to build a replacement.