Joe Kenehan Center
Thursday, January 09, 2003
The Future of GOTV
Just about everybody agrees that the Sweeney/Trumka/Chavez-Thompson team that was elected in 1995 to head the AFL-CIO has done a lot to improve the labor movement’s political operation.
Union families are more likely to vote than their non-union neighbors, in large part because of improved efforts to provide union voters with information about candidates, issues, and elections.
Steve Rosenthal, who recently stepped down as the AFL-CIO’s political director, is widely-respected and gets a lot of credit for helping boost working families’ political power and election participation.
According to this story in Roll Call, Rosenthal is now getting ready to lead a new union-backed “527 group” that will support pro-worker candidates, and this AP story says Karen Ackerman has been named to take over as political director at the AFL-CIO.
I can't pretend to know much about what a “527 group” is. (Here’s a Brookings Institution backgrounder on 527s.) But maybe this sort of thing cause for optimism – representing a refocusing of unions’ political energy away from soft money generation and towards independent action.
Bill Frist, R-Corporate Health Care
This LA Weekly piece is a good summary Dr. Bill’s history of tending to the well-being of corporate interests in health care.
Wednesday, January 08, 2003
Tax Debate, Chapter 122
Bush’s new “stimulus” plan has once again set off the debate over about who should pay for necessary investments in education, health care, and transportation that even many Republicans grudgingly pretend to believe in these days.
Citizens for Tax Justice tax guru Robert McIntyre -- in this excellent review of Stephen Weisman’s The Great Tax Wars in The Washington Monthly -- reminds us that this debate has been going on now for generations. (Weisman's book, please don’t forget, was also a Joe Kenehan Center Notable Book for 2002.)
Airlines: Let’s Ignore What Works!
Everything I’ve ever read about the airline industry has touted Southwest Airlines as an example of an airline that “works.”
So isn’t in interesting that while most major airlines want Bush to make it easier for them to boost revenue by muzzling their employees' unions, Southwest is outspokenly doubtful that this is the right move for airlines? Here’s what Southwest itself had to say:
Also worth reading . . .
Brazil’s Lula as FDR.
John Sweeney on jobs and growth.
E.J. Dionne on "class warfare."
Monday, January 06, 2003
America’s Best Songs 2002
(note: this list is not a ranking -- it’s a rough track list of a CD I’ll get around to making once I can get my CD burner to work again.)