February 20, 2008
Teamsters Endorse Obama

The Teamsters have endorsed Barack Obama, most likely because Obama denies the right of employers to hire and fire at will. According to Obama's own Blueprint for Change (pdf), he is for the Employee Free Choice Act, but oddly, does not believe in the free choices of employers: "Obama will ensure that his labor appointees support workers' rights and will work to ban the permanent replacement of striking workers."

Free choice for everyone who isn't those guys!

Read Obama's Blueprint. Many people think Obama will have more crossover appeal than Clinton, but Obama denies the rights of employers; thinks a college education is not a privilege but a right (which means you are going to be paying for it); wants to ban all civilian concealed carry except for retired law enforcement (Second Amendment be damned); wants to take our money to make a five-star rating system for credit cards (because we are too stupid to choose a credit card without government's help); the list goes on. And I didn't even begin to mention his foreign policy.

He would be, bar none, the most leftist major party candidate for President in this nation's history. If this election is about issues, then Obama wouldn't stand a chance. I'd say that I want him to be the Democratic nominee, but I am not at all certain that this election will be about issues ...

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

Posted by pudge at February 20, 2008 10:30 AM | Email This
Comments
1. Ahhh come on Pudge, don't wreck my day.

Just great,I'll go to work tomorrow and you know what I'll see on my union board.

Think I'm sick!

Posted by: Army Medic/Vet on February 20, 2008 10:36 AM
2. Very enlightening Pudge; hope these points come up in the next debates. :)

Posted by: Duffman on February 20, 2008 10:38 AM
3. Count me in. I am already an Obamacan.

This guy just may hold up to the scrutiny of the press. I hope not, but he has held off the Clinton machine so far.

Posted by: swatter on February 20, 2008 10:39 AM
4. swatter: but Hillary is trying to win the Dem nomination. Exposing Obama as a leftist won't help her much there. :-)

Posted by: pudge on February 20, 2008 10:52 AM
5. It would appear that HillBill are well on the way to losing the nomination, unless they try to convince, coerce, buy the Super Delegates, which would cause WWIII. Nonetheless, they will try anything and everything to discredit Obama, and then deny or flip on it later. That's just what the Clinton machine does. I hope both of them get into it and really rip and tear, as it does McCain nothing but good. And McCain needs to seriously start deflating the "Obama Balloon" and expose it for what it really is: nothing but hot air, no substance. Specifics would be really nice from Obama, such as how do you propose to pay for universal health care? He must be made to say that everyone's taxes would go way up. He must be made to say how much he figures it would cost. Those kinds of specifics would be helpful on all of his 'Hope and Change" proposals, although he hasn't even been specific on hope for what, and change to what? He's great at working a crowd, but we need to hear what he would actually DO?

Posted by: katomar on February 20, 2008 11:07 AM
6. Just because I am a teamster doesn't mean I am voting for him I garunteeeeeeeeeee

Jim

Posted by: JimClark on February 20, 2008 11:24 AM
7. Pudge,
First off, it is nice to see a poster actually look at Obama's views, instead of spouting the HRC line (and now McCain line) that there is no substance. There is plenty of raw meat to digest in Obama's blueprint.

Now, regarding some of your points.

On Unions: You state that Obama doesn't support employers rights to hire and fire at will. What I believe you are stating is that you believe that employees should be at the whim of management and have no recourse in firing issues, since if they are not hired, then they aren't employees. The question for you, since you are taking this stance, is what recourse then do employees have, given the current laws? Can you point to existing laws that protect an employee from being fired because the boss had a bad day and wanted to take it out on them? You are welcome to your stand. I for one don't want my job unionized, but at the same time I do want my employer to at least have justifiable cause if they are going to fire me. You see, I think you are making a leap in your statement that the numerous union workers and many non-union workers throughout the country would disagree with. I haven't checked out the act to see what all it contains. It will be a definate issue point that McCain can contrast with. It isn't one HRC can use since she is even more pro-Union than Obama.

On College Education: Obama states that he wants to create a $4000 Tax Credit for public college or university and make it so public community college tuition is free. This isn't the whole agreement, however. You should note that the $4000 Tax Credit has a catch. While Obama's College Affordability Plan doesn't state it, on his Service Issues page he ties the American Opportunity Tax Credit with 100 hours of community service. Now whether to offer tax credits or not is a tax policy question. Currently there is a deduction for tuition on taxes. It is unclear whether Obama wants to replace this deduction with his credit or have it in addition. There is already a credit for children up to 17 years old (why only 17 and not through 18, I don't know). So, an alternative tax cut/credit proposal may be to extend the child credit for children if they attend college, or vocational school, otherwise cut it off at 18. The Republicans are all for tax cuts, this should be one they jump on.

Second Amendment Issues: Where did you find that he wanted to ban concealed weapons? I searched the bluepring for "weapon" and "concealed." The only weapon references were to nuclear weapons. There were no references to concealed weapons. Separately on his web site, he addresses the Second Amendment in his issue paper titled "SUPPORTING THE RIGHTS AND TRADITIONS OF SPORTSMEN." In it, he states, "As a former constitutional law professor, Barack Obama understands and believes in the
constitutional right of Americans to bear arms. He will protect the rights of hunters and other law-abiding Americans to purchase, own, transport, and use guns for the purposes of hunting and target shooting."

On Credit Cards: I don't see where he states he wants to take our money to create the five star system. He does state that he wants to create the system, specifically:
"Create a Credit Card Rating System to Improve Disclosure: Obama will create a credit card rating system, modeled on five-star systems used for other consumer products, to provide consumers an easily identifiable ranking of credit cards, based on the cardís features. Credit card companies will be required to display the rating on all application and contract materials, enabling consumers to quickly understand all of the major provisions of a credit card without having to rely exclusively on fine print in lengthy documents."
I see this a law change, not a monetary expenditure. Why do you believe it will cost the government a sum of money?

Foriegn Policy: This is one area where McCain and Obama will definately battle in the fall. McCain already sounded the horn last night. McCain's trick however will be how will he frame the discussion, because Obama will frame it as McCain continuing the failed foriegn policy of GW (Hillary would also do the same). This issue and the economy will probably be the big two issues this fall.

I do think McCain and Obama can debate on the issues and it will provide a good contrast on approaches. What I worry about is the respective parties allowing the two candidates to debate the issues and not throwing mud to bring down either. Both McCain and Obama need to be strong enough to tell their respective parties that the debate should be elevating and not degrading. This is why I have wanted an McCain/Obama matchup from the beginning. I think both can run a campaign addressing the issues, instead of a Clinton or Bush like campaign that is based on the politics of personal destruction.

Pudge, again thanks for taking time to start to look at the issues instead of focusing on the non-sensical HRC attacks.

Posted by: tc on February 20, 2008 11:29 AM
8. Katomar:
I believe his spending is what the GOP's Obama Spendometer is for.

Talking about spending is one thing, actually getting it passed is another. Bush is having that problem right now a he tries to bump up the federal deficit up another notch.

Posted by: Cato on February 20, 2008 11:32 AM
9. tc @ 7

"As a former constitutional law professor, Barack Obama understands and believes in the
constitutional right of Americans to bear arms. He will protect the rights of hunters and other law-abiding Americans to purchase, own, transport, and use guns for the purposes of hunting and target shooting."

If you can show me the words "hunting" or "target shooting" in the Second Amendment, then you'll convince me. If you cannot, then former constitutional law professor or not, Obama doesn't have a clue as to what the Second Amendment is all about. Or he does, but is lying about it's meaning.

Posted by: jopalm on February 20, 2008 11:37 AM
10. Ironically, union employees and management almost always work to assure their own demise. That's why unions have been in a steady decline. By guaranteeing that striking workers cannot be replaced, steadfast management will run their businesses in to the ground before productive output is resumed. And if they are principled, that is exactly what they should do. It's against the US Constitution for the Federal Government to hold a gun to the head of employers and tell them who they can and can't fire. Frankly, I'd go out business and move to another productive activity before I let the government tell me that I could not replace striking workers.

Look at any modern high tech company that does not have union workers. People compete vigorously for jobs and wages are much higher than where union employees demand a high wage for screwing on a bolt, or soldering copper pipes together.

Ultimately, companies will go out of business or export their labor costs to foreign countries where there are no high union labor costs. Or both. And there's not a damn bit of legislation that can prevent this from happening. But I'm sure Obama will be right there proposing a law where it's both illegal to hire replacement workers, and illegal for a company to go bankrupt.

You gotta love the Marxist left. They pick bad ideas, which ultimately assure their defeat.

Posted by: Jeff B. on February 20, 2008 11:45 AM
11. Obama is nothing but hot air....

When it's Robert Samuelson who says so, Ouch!, that's gotta hurt:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/02/the_obama_delusion.html

Posted by: ewaggin on February 20, 2008 11:55 AM
12. tc:

You state that Obama doesn't support employers rights to hire and fire at will. What I believe you are stating is that you believe that employees should be at the whim of management and have no recourse in firing issues

Yes, with only a very few qualifications, such as being fired for not breaking the law, or because of sexual harassment, and so on.


The question for you, since you are taking this stance, is what recourse then do employees have, given the current laws?

They should have none. Employers should (modulo a few qualifications) be able to hire and fire at will. They own the business, or work on behalf of those that do. It is their property. And they have a First Amendment right to freedom of association.


Can you point to existing laws that protect an employee from being fired because the boss had a bad day and wanted to take it out on them?

I hope not. Such a law would be a terrible violation of the rights of person and property.


I do want my employer to at least have justifiable cause if they are going to fire me.

Then consider living in a country where people do not have constitutional rights to person and property. Maybe you prefer the France model, but most Americans do not.


Obama states that he wants to create a $4000 Tax Credit for public college or university and make it so public community college tuition is free.

Exactly: he wants us to pay for something most people do not need, and could (and should) pay for themselves. The smart, non-socialist, solution is to get government OUT of the college education business, which will increase competition and drive down costs. Obama has the same problem with health care: because it costs so much, he wants to get MORE government involvement, which will inevitably make it cost more.


Where did you find that he wanted to ban concealed weapons? I searched the bluepring for "weapon" and "concealed."

Correct, it is not in the Blueprint. He has said it, however, and it has been widely reported, including prominent mention on CNN's issues page.


Separately on his web site, he addresses the Second Amendment in his issue paper titled "SUPPORTING THE RIGHTS AND TRADITIONS OF SPORTSMEN." In it, he states, "As a former constitutional law professor, Barack Obama understands and believes in the
constitutional right of Americans to bear arms. He will protect the rights of hunters and other law-abiding Americans to purchase, own, transport, and use guns for the purposes of hunting and target shooting."

Yes. When he says he understands and believes in the Second Amendment, he is lying. He wanted to ban all handguns, although he has backed off from that and said it never happened. He wants to ban concealed carry. He wants to put serial numbers on every bullet (which as everyone knows is just a backdoor way to make owning and using a gun much more expensive), and he calls this "common sense." He even says that our Constitutional rights are subject to local jurisdictions.

He does not believe in the Second Amendment. When he says he supports it, he is lying: his actual policies prove this to be true.

I don't see where he states he wants to take our money to create the five star system. He does state that he wants to create the system ... I see this a law change, not a monetary expenditure. Why do you believe it will cost the government a sum of money?

The rating system won't run itself, tc.


McCain's trick however will be how will he frame the discussion, because Obama will frame it as McCain continuing the failed foriegn policy of GW (Hillary would also do the same).

Yes, and it won't work. McCain was upholding the goals of Bush's policies, while continually criticizing how the policy was executed. McCain can say "I wanted the surge five years ago, and if I had it, we would have begun the troop drawdown a long time ago" while Obama can say ... "I didn't think the surge would work. Oops."

Sure, people who think we never should have been there ever at all will vote for Obama, but they would no matter what anyway. It's the huge middle of America who is against Iraq because of what has happened there, not so much because of what happened to GET there, that McCain will attract more than Obama.

And anyway, on all other issues -- China, Korea, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and so on -- McCain is clearly way ahead of Obama.


This issue and the economy will probably be the big two issues this fall.

And McCain wants to keep tax cuts and cut spending, which will absolutely be good for the economy, while Obama wants to increase taxes (which will absolutely be bad for the economy) and drastically increase spending (which may be temporarily good for the economy, but will end in disastrously increased debt and deficits).


Obama will lose if this is about the issues.


Posted by: pudge on February 20, 2008 11:57 AM
13. I got to say that I think you are right when you say this won't be about issues. There is too much emotion and too many people with their heads up their...I mean heads in the clouds.
If you go issue by issue this guy is so far to the left, but the media will let him get a pass and the emotion/devotion people have for him will make it not matter.
This is really kind of scary. In a time of war, we are on the verge of electing this guy. I know there is a lot of time left, but unless McCain runs a perfect campaign and can effectively point out the craziness of this guy's stance on issues I think we are sunk. I really hope I am wrong.

I have a burning repulsion to and dislike of the Clintons and everything they stand for but God help me I think that Hillary would be better than this guy. I feel dirty even saying that.

Posted by: thom on February 20, 2008 11:59 AM
14. http://michellemalkin.com/2008/02/20/letter-from-an-obama-supporter/#comments


Let us sit back and see how the self described "progressives" are goning to explain this unabashed racial bigotry on the part of another Obama activist away.

Posted by: JDH on February 20, 2008 12:06 PM
15. jopalm,
I find it rather humerous how conservatives state they want to protect Second Amendment rights, which is really code to state they don't want any ban on handguns, assault rifles, etc. Where in the second amendment does it state that citizens have the right to own handguns and assault rifles?

Just as the question you ask me, the answer is it doesn't. It has been Supreme Court decisions, not the constitution that have decided these issues down through US history.

For example, to take the NRA position to the exterme, why shouldn't I as a citizen have the right to own a nuclear weapon? It is an "arms" isn't it? How about surface to air missiles?

The issue is a tradeoff between public safety and constitutional rights. We don't allow citizens to own nuclear weapons for a safety (and national intelligence) concern. To "good" in the restriction outweighs the limitation of the freedom to bear arms. The argument made in handgun or assault rifle restrictions deals with public safety issues. Those who want the restrictions weigh public safety as a higher priority. So, what the NRA really needs to do is address the public safety issue, instead of the asinine stance it always takes. If they want the guns available, how do they plan to ensure they public safety in the use of the guns.

Posted by: tc on February 20, 2008 12:06 PM
16. TC
On College Education: Obama states that he wants to create a $4000 Tax Credit for public college or university and make it so public community college tuition is free.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Maybe, just maybe. You haven't paid any attention to what happens when our GOV steps in to help with college funds.
Right after they pass a bill for the bucks, the colleges all of a have a sudden jump in price. Talk about a dog chasing his tail.
Yet what do we heard year after year about the cost but NO-ONE has ever asked these schools to cut back.
PS..... NOTHING IS FREE and you would be a fool to think so.

Posted by: Army Medic/Vet on February 20, 2008 12:06 PM
17. Look at any modern high tech company that does not have union workers. People compete vigorously for jobs and wages are much higher than where union employees demand a high wage for screwing on a bolt, or soldering copper pipes together.

In order to get in the door at that high-tech company, you most likely need a college education, have a good understanding in high level math (if you code), can follow the trends and can adapt to a rapidly changing environment. These people are paid a highly salary and good benefits because not everyone can hack it in the field and the amount of qualified people far outstrips the demand.

While in a union job like building a house or soldering pipes, you can't work from home. You likely don't need to pass calculus to wield pipes. it's much more of a learn from experience job. The tools you need to do your union are a lot cheaper and easier come by. There is a lot of hierarchy built into union jobs which existed long before the current generation of workers started.

Your comparision fails because the union jobs have more supply than demand, while the opposite is true in the tech field (which is what H1B's are for). I've never heard of any company brining in a worker from India to serve as a plumber.

Posted by: Cato on February 20, 2008 12:10 PM
18. Army Medic/Vet,
The government already assists College Education. It offers tax deductions for tuition. It guarantees student loans. It offers grants. States subsidize public college and university (and vocational) eduction.

Are you of a stance that government should be doing none of this?

You are entirely entitled to that stance. I disagree with it. I think public funding to allow students to receive higher education benefits society more than it costs. It provides a higher educated workforce for employers to draw upon, which helps overall productivity. The wages and productivity gains help increase the economy, which in turn helps us all. A growing economy helps reduce taxes as long as government spending is held below the growth of the GDP.

I don't believe we would be the nation we are today and have all the innovations we have if we didn't fund public education, including higher education.

Posted by: tc on February 20, 2008 12:13 PM
19. This is a last-stand, last-ditch effort to save old-economy jobs. Once the American auto makers and their suppliers go under, those comfy union jobs will be gone forever.

Posted by: FreedomLover on February 20, 2008 12:24 PM
20. tc:

More money for broken public schools? Sorry, but that's the definition of insanity. Wake me up when you have real solutions for a change.

Posted by: FreedomLover on February 20, 2008 12:27 PM
21. Perhaps public support for college educations is really a bad idea.

Did anything good come from the GI Bill?


Posted by: BA on February 20, 2008 12:29 PM
22. TC: Most of the work force needs people with skills, not necessarily a degree, particularly non-technical. And not all need to attend college. I have been on the management end of working with new-hires, college grads who knew how to do absolutely nothing! I would much rather have a high school grad or vocational school grad who at least had some training or knowledge of the job for which they were applying, than a college grad who requires months, sometimes longer training in the specific industry or discipline, then moves on. Not worth the expense and/or hassle, especially with the attitudes involved, such as "I didn't go to college to do filing". :)

Posted by: katomar on February 20, 2008 12:30 PM
23. Following on to Cato's comment:
I work in the high-tech field, which for the most part isn't unionized. Up to this point, there hasn't been a need for it and most high-tech employers go out of their way to treat their employees well. The reason is because there is more demand than supply. If they don't treat them well, they will go elsewhere. So it makes no sense to treat them badly. This isn't the case in blue-collar jobs.

Now, however, one is starting to see even in high-tech fields problems that could lead to union-related issues. For example, most high-tech workers that work for a company that produces software or provides software services have to sign a NDA agreement and sign over all their rights to any inventions or patents they develop whether on company time or their own free time. Another example, Microsoft, while being touted for being successful, has a significant temporary worker/contractor base that works for them that do not receive anywhere near the benefits that regular Microsoft employees get. In addition, software companies demand more H1-B visas, yet there are a lot of good programmers, with families, in their 40's and 50's that struggle to find work. The companies would rather hire a foreigner on the cheap or some recent college grad to do their programming, yet pay for it in the end due to the increase software support costs due to inexperienced programming or lack of understanding of American culture. Add to this companies like IBM who have massively downsized their US operations and ship programming and tech support jobs to India (and other third world countries). If programmers don't wake up, in another 10 years, they will find themselves in the same place as the factory workers in the midwest find themselves. This will also have a ripple effect on the community. Some may remember when Boeing downsize and the signs about the last person leaving Seattle to please turn off the lights. Do you understand the impact if Microsoft and the other area high-tech companies started to do the same?

Yes employers do have rights, but employees should also. We also need to look at this based on impact on society. Growing up in the Midwest, I understand the plight they are in. I know the demise of the family farm and many being gobbled up by mega-agribusiness companies.

I do disagree with Pudge on this issue. Pudge you work for slashdot, so you basically can work anywhere and hold your job solely on your talent. You don't work for a large business or conglomerate. It would be interesting to see if your viewpoint would differ if you where one of those factory workers in the Midwest. For that matter, whose to say that some programmer from India couldn't do your job cheaper than you currently do it? What will happen when you get into your late forties and fifties, do you think you may be immune to the current age discrimination in the high-tech industry?

Posted by: tc on February 20, 2008 12:37 PM
24. TC
You didn't answer the question. Why is it that everytime we increase the money for college. The cost of college jumps too. It's called No-WIN.
That is except for the people who work there.

Posted by: Army Medic/Vet on February 20, 2008 12:37 PM
25. tc,

When the authors of our state Constitution wrote it, they specifically used the words, "The right of the individual citizen" because they understood the Second Amendment to be an individual right.

U.S. Constitution:

Amendment II: Right to bear arms
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Washington State Constitution:

Article 1, SECTION 24 RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.

Where in the second amendment does it state that citizens have the right to own handguns and assault rifles?

With the exception of "interpretation", how are either of these rights limited to only hunting rifles or shotguns?


It has been Supreme Court decisions, not the constitution that have decided these issues down through US history.

Freudian slip? Isn't it the job of the Supreme Court to make rulings based on the Constitution - meaning the the Constitution either allows something or it doesn't?

Has every Supreme Court decision been correct and based on the Constitution? Hint - No.

Posted by: SouthernRoots on February 20, 2008 12:37 PM
26. tc, this is off-topic, but the 'right to bear nukes' extrapolation you make is problematic.

We know that far more people are killed each year by fists and feet than by assault rifles. So can I extrapolate from your apparent wish to ban assault rifles that you also wish to ban fists and feet? In other words, ridiculous extrapolations can be done in either direction.

And why is it that gun-control folks never factor in death by gov't into the public safety equation. During the 20th century, more than 170 million people were killed by their own governments--far more than were killed in wars. Almost all were living under strict gun control.

Is that not a 'public safety' consideration?

Posted by: russell garrard on February 20, 2008 12:41 PM
27. #17 Cato

Do you know that is wasn't that long ago that DELTA airlines was a non-union shop that made money when other airlines didn't. The pay was good with little chance of layoff. They were pushed to a union for everyone and now look at them.
Nearly broke and layoffs all the time.

PS Not everyone there rqd a college deg.

Posted by: Army Medic/Vet on February 20, 2008 12:45 PM
28. TC Says "...[Pudge holds his] job solely on your talent." Why shouldn't everyone be held to this standard? Seems simple, honest and fair.
If I don't pay attention in school, don't try hard, don't better myself, why should I be guaranteed a job, or be guaranteed a specific above market wage?
I grew up in a union house (Dad is a life-long member of IBEW), but I have no sympathy for union members. It is a racket and they enable their union bosses to screw employers.
My first job out of high-school (1990) was a janitor and I cleaned the Teamster's union bosses offices in the Seattle PI's building downtown. These guys had offices the size of apartments, with lounge areas, bathrooms, giant wooden desks with expensive looking trinkets on them.
I am all for people earning as much as they can, but this is pure extortion these guys practice.

Posted by: thom on February 20, 2008 12:52 PM
29. Russell

I'm still trying to figure out what a (Assault rifle) is?

Funny in all my time in the Army, we never called them that?

Posted by: Army Medic/Vet on February 20, 2008 12:54 PM
30. Obamas campaign is on page #1 of the Democrat playbook. Promise whatever they want to hear. About six weeks after the swearing in make a statement that the situation has changed. Ironically this strategy worked well for Bill Clinton in 92. "Anything you want you got it"

Posted by: SIDNY on February 20, 2008 12:57 PM
31. Army Medic/Vet,

If Obama gets his way, then those rifles can be called "withdrawl", "retreat", or "redeployment" rifles.

I'm sure the Constitution would allow us to own one of those.....

Posted by: SouthernRoots on February 20, 2008 12:58 PM
32. maybe the unions are supporting obama b/c they are first-hand experience the effects of the decline in real wages.

see below.

"Based on inflation data released this morning, a combination of slower wage growth and faster price growth has led to falling real hourly and weekly earnings for most workers.

The Figure shows the yearly change in real earnings for the approximately 80% of the workforce that are non-managers in services or blue-collar factory workers. After handily beating inflation last year, wage growth began to slow as the economy lost speed in the last quarter of 2007. A year ago, annual hourly wage growth before inflation was 4.3%; this year--Jan07-Jan08--it was 3.7%.

Inflation, conversely, driven up by higher energy prices, is growing about twice as fast as was the case one year ago.

This combination has led to the dramatic shift in the buying power of workers' paychecks. A year ago, real hourly and weekly earnings grew on a yearly basis by over 2%; this January, they are both down by about 1%. Note also that over the past two months, due to the decline in average weekly hours--a function of the weakening job market--real weekly earnings are falling more quickly than hourly earnings.

These trends have two important implications. First, falling real wages will likely lead to diminished consumption, reinforcing slower macroeconomic growth. Second, the reality of squeezed paychecks for most workers helps to explain the primacy of economic concerns among voters in the presidential primaries."

Posted by: dinesh on February 20, 2008 01:01 PM
33. #31. Southern

Don't SCARE me like that. LOL

On the funny side. Obama is being blasted by his own left."hollow" (Huffingtonpost)

Posted by: Army Medic/Vet on February 20, 2008 01:05 PM
34. Yeah sure Dinesh.

Jimmy Carter and Clinton sure helped use alright.
Carter did zero. Clinton with all talk did zero and when many of our unions bought into the dot.com that Clinton was all for. We lost big money when it fell apart.

Be sure of one thing dinesh, our union bosses do not ask us who support, they tell us.

Posted by: Army Medic/Vet on February 20, 2008 01:13 PM
35. Cato: In order to get in the door at that high-tech company, you most likely need a college education, have a good understanding in high level math (if you code)

If you have no experience, probably. If you do, then nah. I have a college education, but never took a computer class in my life, and I took only one math class in college ("advanced algebra" or whatever it was, in my freshman year, which was a repeat of the "precalculus" class I took in junior year of high school). And I am a gainfully employed and successful -- and, dare I say, somewhat well-regarded -- programmer (as well as author of programming books and articles).

My first job was a writing job (my degree is in journalism), but my second job was a programming job, almost entirely based on work I did in my spare time, away from my job, and I almost surely would have gotten the job even if I had no college degree.

You don't need a college education to hack it in this field, and I am not even sure it really helps.


dinesh: people can be concerned with declines in real wages without wanting the government to guarantee wages (and anyway, the current numbers are almost entirely due to inflation, and are merely a symptom of other, larger, problems).

Posted by: pudge on February 20, 2008 01:24 PM
36. tc: I find it rather humerous how conservatives state they want to protect Second Amendment rights, which is really code to state they don't want any ban on handguns, assault rifles, etc. Where in the second amendment does it state that citizens have the right to own handguns and assault rifles?

Where it says "right to bear arms."


For example, to take the NRA position to the exterme, why shouldn't I as a citizen have the right to own a nuclear weapon? It is an "arms" isn't it? How about surface to air missiles?

Not in the sense intended and implied in the First Amendment, no, neither one constitutes "arms." You're enagaging in a classic straw man fallacy.


The issue is a tradeoff between public safety and constitutional rights. We don't allow citizens to own nuclear weapons for a safety (and national intelligence) concern. To "good" in the restriction outweighs the limitation of the freedom to bear arms.

OK. I think expressing liberal thought is a hazard to public safety. Or Muslim religion. Or racist speech. Can we ban those, too?

Again, the reason the Second Amendment does not apply to such things is because it was never intended to. That is not what "arms" means in that context, so your reasoning here is specious.


I think public funding to allow students to receive higher education benefits society more than it costs.

Lots of things can benefit society, but when those things violate the Constitution, they are not acceptable, because in the long run, we all suffer for it by losing our rights (such as when you gave up your right to express liberal thought up above).

Anyway, all the benefits you mention are irrelevant further, because we became a prosperous and well-educated nation WITHOUT the help of the federal government. And worse, a college education is largely worthless today anyway, as our high schools don't teach jack, and so colleges end up spending most of their time just trying to teach the basics. A college education today isn't even worth as much as a high school education was worth 50 years ago, let alone 100 years ago.

If you really want to get the benefits of an educated populace, you can do it while spending a lot less money and wasting a lot less time by improving high school education, rather than shuffling kids through colleges where they end up learning precious little, except for perhaps a trade ... and trade schools are a much more economical option for that.


Now, however, one is starting to see even in high-tech fields problems that could lead to union-related issues.

Nope.


For example, most high-tech workers that work for a company that produces software or provides software services have to sign a NDA agreement and sign over all their rights to any inventions or patents they develop whether on company time or their own free time.

Shrug. I didn't. In fact, I had written into my contract that I was explictly allowed to create on my own time. I even got them to OK that I could my company-supplied computer for such work. Why do you need a union to say "no" to such a request? Sure, you might not get the job, but that is between you and them.


Another example, Microsoft, while being touted for being successful, has a significant temporary worker/contractor base that works for them that do not receive anywhere near the benefits that regular Microsoft employees get.

If you dislike the terms of employment, don't work there.


In addition, software companies demand more H1-B visas, yet there are a lot of good programmers, with families, in their 40's and 50's that struggle to find work. The companies would rather hire a foreigner on the cheap or some recent college grad to do their programming, yet pay for it in the end

Right, so why do you need unions to fix the problem, when it is self-correcting?


If programmers don't wake up, in another 10 years, they will find themselves in the same place as the factory workers in the midwest find themselves.

Wow. So if we don't unionize, then we might share a fate with people who WERE unionized? I think you have that backward. :-)


Some may remember when Boeing downsize and the signs about the last person leaving Seattle to please turn off the lights.

Yes, and they were unionized. You are not making your case here!


Yes employers do have rights, but employees should also.

They do. They have the right to get another job.


Pudge you work for slashdot, so you basically can work anywhere and hold your job solely on your talent. You don't work for a large business or conglomerate.

My company is not huge, but someday we might get bought out by a larger company. If I get fired, I get fired. I'll find another job. This is what people do. No one owes me anything, except for promised compensation for what I have already done.


For that matter, whose to say that some programmer from India couldn't do your job cheaper than you currently do it? What will happen when you get into your late forties and fifties, do you think you may be immune to the current age discrimination in the high-tech industry?

What boggles my mind is that you think I don't understand this. My company used to make software explicitly marketed toward managing remote development teams, such as teams in India. I've seen many programmers in their 40s and 50s lose their jobs. I know that as I approach middle age and overseas workers become easier to hire and manage, I may lose my job, and my ability to find more work in the same field.

So what will I do if that happens? I'll find another job.

Posted by: pudge on February 20, 2008 01:25 PM
37. #32 - These trends have two important implications. First, falling real wages will likely lead to diminished consumption, reinforcing slower macroeconomic growth. Second, the reality of squeezed paychecks for most workers helps to explain the primacy of economic concerns among voters in the presidential primaries."

So, on top of declining wage growth, the Democrats believe that it is imperitive to take away more of the declining wages in the form of higher taxes?

Posted by: SouthernRoots on February 20, 2008 01:27 PM
38. Army Medic/Vet @24
Sorry, if I missed answering your question. What you are really asking (I believe) is how can we expect throwing more money into the pot to help people get a college degree make any difference?

This is a good question. It doesn't relate to tax policy of where to give tax cuts, deductions, or credits, but addresses the output issue on are we getting our money's worth for what we are currently spending. I believe your answer would be no and because it is no, we shouldn't invest anymore. This is fair. Do you have an alternative? How do we attain a higher educated workforce to compete on a global marketplace and make sure it is fair (i.e., not skewed so that only the elite in society can afford it)? Based on the tone of your question, you would much rather first address the costs side of the equation (i.e., how do we lower the cost of education outside of subsidizing it more). This is a good question and one McCain should bring up when arguing this point. However, with Obama, you better have your own answer to the question before you ask. You see people want a change. They are tired of the high costs. Just saying someone's proposal won't work, isn't enough to satisfy them, you need to go the extra step and come up with a better proposal that meets the needs. If you don't, they will go with the plan on the table today vice no action.

Posted by: tc on February 20, 2008 01:28 PM
39. my second job was a programming job, almost entirely based on work I did in my spare time, away from my job, and I almost surely would have gotten the job even if I had no college degree.

Was that before or after you flooded the Baseball All-Star ballot votes? =)

Posted by: Pudge on February 20, 2008 01:39 PM
40. I see in his blueprint Obama is for public financing of elections(1st para page 4). Isn't he currently trying to back out of his pledge with McCain to accept public financing?

Posted by: Mike on February 20, 2008 01:43 PM
41. Pudge @ 36:"Where in the second amendment does it state that citizens have the right to own handguns and assault rifles?"

Do you propose those who wish to defend themselves in the event of a robbery or assault carry shotguns and longrifles instead of pistol?

Get real

BTW: Do you have a sign saying gun free zone in front of your house?

No?

So you are either a gun owner yourself or a hypocrite.

Which is it?

Posted by: Sam Adams on February 20, 2008 01:48 PM
42. Looks like accidentally placed Pudge's name in my name field. I am the author of #39.

Posted by: Cato on February 20, 2008 01:49 PM
43. OPPS

NOT Pudge but TC........

keep in mind the freedom of speach and the right to bear arms are joined at the hip.

You take away ny guns and you get to STFU.

Think about it.

Posted by: Sam Adams on February 20, 2008 01:51 PM
44. Southern Roots,
Below is the text of the second amendment to the US Constitution (ref: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html)
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Barack is running for National office, so this is what is pertinent to the discussion. He isn't running for a Washington State Office. If the state wants to further open up the rights of the citizens, this is allowed under the US Constitution as long as it doesn't infringe on an additional right outlined in the US Constitution (i.e., a State can't restrict a right granted in the constitution).

Article III of the Constitution establishes the Supreme Court as the judicial power for the United States. This means they have the ultimate obligation to review the legality or constitutionality of a law or action (ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judicial_review).

In the specifics with regards to the Second Amendment, the Supreme Court is the ultimate arbritrator on interpreting what the Second Amendment means. Obama talks about this issue in Audacity of Hope and outlines the various stances justices have taken down through the years when he teaches his Constitutional Law students. He mentions Scalia and how he is a strict constructionist. In Obama's words, through his extensive constitutional studies, he outlines Scalia's stance as being if it isn't written in the text, then it is contrary to the constitution. This stance has a problem, however, when it comes to the Second Amendment. To interpret it you have to go outside the text and interpret what does "militia" mean and what does "arms" mean. This is where strict constructionism fails, just as the opposite (judical activism) also fails.

It is up to the Supreme Court, down through history, to define what items such as "militia" and "arms" means when it comes to the Bill of Rights. They do this be allowing or rejecting cases that come before them that address specific laws.

The bottom line is you interpret "militia" and "arms" one way, but others intrepret it other ways. This is the debate.

I don't have a problem with people owning guns, including handguns, as long as proper background checks have been done on the owner, and the owner behaves responsibly with the gun. I do think more work needs to be done with regards to gun legislation and I think parents need to be responsible if they have guns in their house to teach their children the danger, plus to lock up the weapons when not being used. I don't see any public use for "assault" rifles (i.e., automatic weapons with large magazines that can rapidly fire off rounds), but at the same time would be fine with owners being able to use them at a properly constructed firing range. I don't see any use for them with regards to hunting, or protection. If you need to fire off 150 shots to defend yourself, maybe you should look at alternative ways of defending yourself.

Posted by: tc on February 20, 2008 01:54 PM
45. TC...Cato....You know who you are.

Posted by: Sam Adams on February 20, 2008 01:57 PM
46. tc is fundamentally invested in an entitlemet mindset. Read his comments. The concept of voluntary employment does not come with a gaurantee of work. Unions want to protect their less skilled members. But the market is the ultimate arbiter of value. If welding a pipe is not worth $75 an hour, then eventually there will be a correction and those who have been misled will suffer a rude awakening. But there is no way for unions to force real value. This will be their downfall. And who cares. The sooner we get rid of expensive labor, the lower our costs of living and the more time and capital we will have to produce real value. The unskilled should get skilled or figure out a way to add value. If they wait for union bosses to give them their way of life, then it might never come. Such is life with freedom.

Posted by: Jeff B. on February 20, 2008 02:02 PM
47. tc: Obama wants to restrict our rights further than the Constitution allows, on MANY fronts, including the Second and Tenth Amendments.

And while Article III does give the court the right to judicial review, constitutionality is defined by the Constitution, not what the Court says about the Constitution. Courts come up with wrong decisions often (Plessy v Ferguson, anyone?). That the Supreme Court says something is their right, but it doesn't make it Right. Put another way: the Supreme Court decides what the Constitution says in terms of how the law shall function, but that does not affect what the Constitution actually means.

So arguing "the Supreme Court" is nonsensical and useless if my view is that they are wrong, and, more to the point, if most voters do.


He mentions Scalia and how he is a strict constructionist. In Obama's words, through his extensive constitutional studies, he outlines Scalia's stance as being if it isn't written in the text, then it is contrary to the constitution.

That is another straw man fallacy, as this is not Scalia's view.


This stance has a problem, however, when it comes to the Second Amendment. To interpret it you have to go outside the text and interpret what does "militia" mean and what does "arms" mean. This is where strict constructionism fails

Nope. This is a complete misunderstanding of strict constructionism. Strict constructionism means that you have to understand what the Constitution means, not just in the written words, but in the context of when it was written, that we need to find out what was the INTENT of the people who wrote and voted for and passed the laws. And to do that you necessarily need to look to outside sources. Strict constructionists are always looking to outside sources (hence their fascination with the Federalist Papers, for example).


The bottom line is you interpret "militia" and "arms" one way, but others intrepret it other ways. This is the debate.

Yes. Some people interpret it properly in their historical context, and others, because they dislike guns, attempt to invent other interpretations, none of which make any logical sense.

I don't have a problem with people owning guns, including handguns, as long as proper background checks have been done on the owner, and the owner behaves responsibly with the gun.

How benevolent of you.


I do think more work needs to be done with regards to gun legislation

Such as?


and I think parents need to be responsible if they have guns in their house to teach their children the danger, plus to lock up the weapons when not being used

Find me a parent who is irresponsible. Chances are the only way you will find such people is when it is too late, so what do you propose to do about it? Making laws won't make them responsible.


I don't see any public use for "assault" rifles (i.e., automatic weapons with large magazines that can rapidly fire off rounds)

No one is talking about automatic weapons, which have been restricted by federal law for years. The "assault" weapons banned by the "assault weapons ban" are not automatic.

Posted by: pudge on February 20, 2008 02:12 PM
48. The "Obam-orons" or more precisely "Oba-Morons" are enthralled by the Silver-tongued Socialist.
Obama is clearly a Socialist at every turn. Isn't it mind-boggling how the same LEFTIST PINHEADED KLOWNS who scream that Bush-Cheney are taking away their rights and screaming about Big Brother government are begging for more Big Brother handouts.
OBA-MORONS!!

Posted by: Mr. Cynical on February 20, 2008 02:20 PM
49. Pudge says:
Obama wants to restrict our rights further than the Constitution allows, on MANY fronts, including the Second and Tenth Amendments.

How is this different from President Bush and his approach to the 4th Amendment? He obviously want to take this further than the constitution allows, possibly to the point where it's irrelevant.

Posted by: Cato on February 20, 2008 02:23 PM
50. Pudge,
Thanks for the response. I do believe you understand the issue. I wasn't necessarily arguing for unionization in programming jobs. I don't think it will solve the problem.

With regrads to NDA, most programmers are not allowed to fight this. It is either accept or don't work for the company. This is one area where I do think some laws are needed. I don't have an issue with NDA that cover on the job work, but I do have an issue when they restrict what you want to do on your own time.

On Public Higher Education, I don't quite get your response here. I agree we have a healthy higher education system, but we do publically support it. So, are you stating we don't need to publicly fund it (e.g., directly, or indirectly via student loan guarantees, grants, and tax deductions)? If so, do you really think our higher education would be where it is today, if it wasn't publically supported? Also, I don't know how funding or not funding public education (on a national policy level) is a constitutional question. Is this a "strict constructionist" based argument that since the constitution doesn't call for the action, it shouldn't be done?

With regards to H1-B visa's, this is a public policy issue. Microsoft and other companies scream and holler that there aren't enough programmers, so the government allows more foreigners into the country to perform these tasks. Yet, the real reason is these companies do not want to hire veteran programmers because they cost too much. Further, you have ignorant HR organizations that screen out qualified applicants because they don't have five years experience in the buzzword of the day technology that has only been out for one year. Don't get me wrong their are companies (like FogCreek) out there that do look for the top programmers, but most don't. I do like what Joel Sposky has done with his job board and including the Joel Test in rating how well companies actually value their programmers.

Finally, I glad you are so positive that you can easily find work doing something else if your programming job went away. I guess, after just changing jobs recently, I don't see it in the Seattle Area, at least when it comes to Senior Programmer/Development positions. Maybe I am too critical on who I would work for and not just take a job for a company soley for the pay or to have a job.

Posted by: tc on February 20, 2008 02:27 PM
51. Why not talk about automatic weapons?

Why are they restricted?

What is the constitutional basis for parsing one type of arm out compared to another?

Posted by: BA on February 20, 2008 02:30 PM
52. Auto weapons "restriction" is more of a tax than an actual safe guard.

Face it: the only ones that are influenced by gun laws are the lawful. Criminal will have weapons and use the with the same disregard they have for any other law.

TC: That one paragraph is very NRA-ish. Did you do that on purpose or by accident?

Now about shooting someone in self defence 150 times...again, get real. Most large mags have a 30 rounf capacity. I'd bet MOST self defense shooting are done with pistols with a max of maybe (?) 9 round capacity.

BTW: Don't gert me started on "responsible parents" that one covers a lot of territory.

Posted by: Sam Adams on February 20, 2008 02:42 PM
53. Cato: the difference is that I oppose Bush's overreaching on the Fourth Amendment. The difference is that I am consistently on the side of the Constitution and civil liberties.

tc: With regrads to NDA, most programmers are not allowed to fight this. It is either accept or don't work for the company.

Right. So what's the problem?

The one NDA issue I do have a legal problem with is where employers restrict your right through the NDA to work somewhere else in the same field upon leaving the employer. I don't believe that should be enforcable. Yes, it is a contract and you don't have to sign it, but once the employment is completed, the contract is over, and you have a right to association, just as the employer does.


I agree we have a healthy higher education system

I don't.

are you stating we don't need to publicly fund it (e.g., directly, or indirectly via student loan guarantees, grants, and tax deductions)?

I am saying we ABSOLUTELY SHOULD NOT fund it federally, as this violates our Tenth Amendment civil liberties, and further, there is no need to do it, as the real problem is high costs which are in large part CREATED by such funding: the schools know most people get federal funds, so they don't need to keep costs down.


Also, I don't know how funding or not funding public education (on a national policy level) is a constitutional question. Is this a "strict constructionist" based argument that since the constitution doesn't call for the action, it shouldn't be done?

One does not need to be a "strict constructionist" to believe that when the Tenth Amendment says, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people," that it means "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."


Finally, I glad you are so positive that you can easily find work doing something else if your programming job went away.

It's not about being positive. It is what I must do. There is no other way.

It is my job to provide for my family, not anyone else's.

Posted by: pudge on February 20, 2008 02:48 PM
54. A correction:
In earlier posts, I refer to Scalia as "strict constructionist" because that is how often the candidates refer to him and the type of judges they would appoint. I was incorrect in this term, Scalia refers to himself as an "originalist" not "strict constructionist." This fits closer to the view exposed by Pudge regarding reviewing original intent outlined in the constitution vice interpreting it under modern viewpoints. Sorry for the error.

Pudge refers to the fact that automatic weapons are already banned and that the so-called "assault" rifles are not automatic. He is correct to a degree. The rifles in question are "automatic" in the technical sense of the term as defined by the gun industry. A good discussion on the differences can be found here. In reading the article, I do see a valid argument, however, I also contend that limitations on magazine size, and firing capacity are within the bounds of public safety questions, and that the gun lobbies unwillingness to address the issue gets nowhere.

One other point: Pudge earlier referred to a CNN synopsis of candidates views on gun control. I don't think it fully reflects Obama's position. I think this is a better reflection. I did notice in it one thing that I would disagree with him on. He states that he is in favor of a ban on all semi-automatic weapons. I would disagree on this point for a couple of reasons. The first reason is totally personal. I used a semi-automatic 22 when I was young for squirrel hunting in Wisconsin. It held 18 rounds (I believe) in a tube under the barrel. I was very helpful and I see no reason why such a weapon (used properly) is harmful to the safety of society. The second reason I would oppose, using Obama's own type of measured reasoning, is the term "semi-automatic" is too vague and basically could include probably 60-75% of all rifles (i.e., exclude all rifles, except, manual-single load) and an even larger amount of handguns. Would not a classic Colt handgun of the 1800's possibly fit the definition, since it can rapidly fire multiple shots without stopping to load each round. Barack has used the argument of vagueness with regards to not voting for other bills. On this one particular gun control issue, he would need to better define the term. Again, I would disagree with this stance.

Posted by: tc on February 20, 2008 03:03 PM
55. Army Medic/Vet @29, good point. They really are just rifles. I always say that 90% of the technology is in the cartridge. The gun is just a dispenser. The 'assault' nomenclature I think came from the Germans, and had to do with the fact that these rifles were intended to complement certain military tactics. BTW, 'assault weapon' is a phony term that was made up by gun-control people and ignorant and/or biased journalists.

Posted by: russell garrard on February 20, 2008 03:22 PM
56. tc: yes, "strict constructionism" often is used as a term that encompasses originalism, and that is the sense in which it applies to Scalia. So it is not that you erred, I think, in using the term to refer to Scalia, but that you took the term to mean something that does not represent his views. Very few people are actually strict constructionists in the sense you described.


I don't think it fully reflects Obama's position.

No, of course not. It does, however, accurately reflect the one point I mentioned, his desire to ban civilian concealed carry.


I also contend that limitations on magazine size, and firing capacity are within the bounds of public safety questions, and that the gun lobbies unwillingness to address the issue gets nowhere.

If you are referring semi-automatic weapons, then such limitations do nothing and mean nothing. They just make people who are afraid of guns and ignorant of them feel better.


Banning semi-automatic weapons is absolutely a violation of the intent and letter of the Second Amendment. Some people, like Obama, will say that the only reason to have a semi-automatic weapon is to kill people as fast as possible. My response: yes, and? That's the main point of the Second Amendment. I may need to kill people, for the sake of my family and neighbors, and I want to do it as accurately and efficiently as possible, and therefore I have the tools with which to do it.

Most of my guns exist primarily to kill, if necessary. They exist as tools to perform that specific function. Unless Obama and the anti-gunners will concede that this is a legitimate purpose, and that any restrictions on that purpose should be those that are necessary, and not merely arbitrary, and do not infringe significantly on my rights ... we will never get anywhere.

And laws about magazine size and firing capacity that the NRA are "unwilling to address" are precisely what I am referring to: arbitrary laws that infringe on my rights while serving no necessary (or even significant) purpose and do not recognize legitimate purposes.

We have legal precedents about the First Amendment, how legal restrictions on speech must serve a legitimate government interest, not infringe on the rights of the speakers, provide for alternatives, and so on. We should have the same thing with gun laws.

Posted by: pudge on February 20, 2008 03:37 PM
57. russel garrard: yes. But I don't even CARE what someone calls it, just be consistent. Sometimes "assault weapon" refers to a plain old rifle, sometimes to a fully automatic weapon. It's maddening.

For PR purposes, I would oppose the use of "assault weapon." It is misleading and meaningless. But for my purposes here, which are about arguing facts and explaining opinions, rather than carrying on a PR campaign, I don't care. :-)

Posted by: pudge on February 20, 2008 03:39 PM
58. tc pudge is exactly right, not right to 'a degree.' Fully auto weapons were covered under the National Firearms Act (NFA) and are all but banned. 'Semi-automatic' is not really vague. It just refers to guns that use the energy of a cartridge being fired to load the next cartridge. Full auto means multiple shots per trigger pull; semi-auto is one shot per trigger pull. Revolvers thus are not semi-auto.

The whole thing is dumb, because as I said, 90% of the technology is in the cartridge. Remember that the guy who killed all those people on Capitol Hill had a semi-auto rifle but he left it in the truck. He used his pump-action (non semi-auto) shotgun to kill.

Personally, I do not want the gov't telling me what gun is best for my needs any more than what book or website is best for my needs.

Posted by: russell garrard on February 20, 2008 03:44 PM
59. "I also contend that limitations on magazine size, and firing capacity are within the bounds of public safety questions, and that the gun lobbies unwillingness to address the issue gets nowhere."

The issue "gets nowhere" because it's worthless.

No one has ever shown where a 7 round magazine as opposed to a 9 round magazine does anything to make anyone "safer," except, perhaps, a criminal with a revolver committing a crime... as limiting MY ability to defend MYSELF does nothing to make ME safer.

In the public domain, the word "automatic rifle" typically equates to a machine gun like weapon; a M-16 with auto enabled, for example; one pull, more than one round fired.

Semi-automatic relates more to a M1911 style .45. one trigger pull, one round.

"Would not a classic Colt handgun of the 1800's possibly fit the definition, since it can rapidly fire multiple shots without stopping to load each round?"

No. It wouldn't.

I've had a CWP for 10 years now. I do not leave home without it, so to speak. And part of the reason for that is gun control advocates are unable to grasp the concept that the only people interested in following the law are those who least need it.

Posted by: Hinton on February 20, 2008 04:17 PM
60. Hinton, here, here. Everyone should get a concealed carry permit, because that is one of the best ways to prevent our right from being taken away. If one million Washingtonians have a concealed carry permit, they would never dream of trying to take it away, and further, it might help reduce crime too.

Posted by: pudge on February 20, 2008 04:26 PM
61. Interesting thread. Whoever the next president is and the next Congress probably won't get the opportunity to do much you like or dislike for the first term. The subprime mess hasn't even reached bottom yet and King County's investments just lost $83 million. Probably many government units will find themselves in a fix. I am amazed that anyone wants the job because no matter whether liberal, consevative or clueless, the next four years will be spent trying to figure out a way of this financial morass.

Posted by: WVH on February 20, 2008 11:33 PM
62. The classical example in our daily lives involving the right to fire by employers is the teacher's union. The most difficult thing to do is fire a teacher. As a result the education system is unable to meet expectations.

Posted by: Snuffy on February 21, 2008 06:38 AM
63. I am a Teamster, and the politics of my 80 or so co-workers are probably similar or slightly to the right of the general population. Quite a few of us are conservative Republicans, some ultra-conservative or libertarian. I have taken Eyman initiatives in to work for sigs, and they are wildly popular, but Teamster union people have conducted dirty-tricks campaigns against him.

Teamster members are increasingly public sector employees, including cops, school employees, EMTs, etc. This is a conflict of interest; the same org is representing tax-payers and tax-eaters. What's good for the public employees is often bad for me.

The leadership appears now to be 100% dem. If any teamster goes to the Nat'l Dem. convention as a delegate, the union will pick up the tab for his trip. An R delegate is on his own.

Posted by: no_i_in_teamster on February 21, 2008 07:45 AM
64. Also gun-control is wildly unpopular with at least 75% of teamsters that I know. Obama has the endorsement, but unless he is real quiet about his gun control views, he won't get a lot of Teamster votes.

Posted by: no_i_in_teamster on February 21, 2008 07:52 AM
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