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June 28, 2005


I coined the name Short Takes because I was the first to put one up... and couldn't think of what to call it. Please, please think of something else.

Oh, and I couldn't spell potpourri or jambalaya.

Given recent commentary, maybe the open threads should be called Short Takedowns.

Trapper, don't you understand? The "dissident" unions are better organizers than the rest of the labor movement because...um...well, you know...uh...wait, it'll come to me...

I thought this was a good point in Slate's Today's Papers, which I think often makes good points, especially about reporting polls and about comparisons that should have been made in a story but weren't. In this case, it's about both:

The Post fronts a poll showing Americans feeling a bit conflicted, or perhaps just realistic, about Iraq: 62 percent think the U.S. is "bogged down," but 58 percent think the U.S. should stick around. What the Post doesn't do is put the numbers is historical context. For instance, that "stick around" percentage has held steady for the last year. It might be helpful to give readers a sense of such older numbers—unless, of course, in an attempt to create a stir with your in-house poll, you'd prefer to give the impression of big new trends.

Now, if we could only get everyone to link to their polls instead of just reporting what they think they said--because, like most diagnostic tools, the meaning of the results have to be interpreted, and the journos who write about the polls often aren't good diagnosticians--and to provide cross-tabs for how each demographic answered each question. I don't necessarily think much of their polls, but I give big credit to Survey USA for linking to their crosstabs, and they're the only pollster or media outlet that regularly does.

Oh, on Norquist: nice to see Rove's best buddy trying to keep alive the "McCain went crazy in the Hanoi Hilton and is the Manchurian Candidate" story.

Grover is really putting all his chips on McCain losing -- he's pretty fucked if McCain becomes President. How does it feel when you're a Republican lobbyist/power broker and the White House hates your guts?

I like the food theme (even though it has NOTHING to do with our blog). How about "Today's Pot Roast"? "Tossed Greens"? "Seven Layer Dip"?

The waPO usually does link to crosstabs... historical, region, age... but it often takes them several days to put it up.

trapper, you're right but Grover wins that bet.

emptywheel -- Maybe something about Pie?

On labor organizing versus politicking, it stands to reason that units with the strongest gut sense of slippage would be strongly motivated to direct resources to organizing. That doesn't mean it's the right answer.

Unfortunately, the scoreboard doesn't tell you the best allocation of resource, or the best evolutionary strategy in a changing climate.

How about "The Water Cooler: a TNH open thread" or "By the water cooler: a TNH open thread" ...

Not terribly creative, but maybe neutral enough to appear daily without it getting old?

"Cool Water: a TNH open thread" is a little more creative.

"TNH Grill: an open thread" [Maybe too close to TPM Cafe?]

"TNH Gumbo: an open thread" ...

Easy to spell!

Some time ago, I proposed "Curley Cues." You see, when DH and I were brainstorming about what this blog would look like, we kept coming back to our mutual admiration of (the better aspects of) the big city Dem machines of the early 20th Century. Sure, there are a lot of reasons to malign the machines, but the best of them succeeded at what wrre, and what ought to be, the two top goals of the Democratic Party: they won elections and they improved the lives of working people. Hence, our admiration of the machines, and hence, "The Next Hurrah" -- a forward-thinking tribute to Boston mayor James Curley, the man on whom "The Last Hurrah" was loosely based.

But "Curley Cues" was ignored by the rest of the TNH team. Alas.


I would assume most of that loss in all those occupations is due to hiring cheap Mexican labor, either legally or illegally....

Especially the carpenters and laborers. Are the unions not losing, like Ironworkers, more skilled, and thus need union help to get work?

How about Quick Bites? It gets both aspects of the recent contributions.

We shouldn't overlook the legal obstacles to organizing when we crticize unions. What has the Democratic party done in the last ten or twenty years to help unions? Maybe I missed something during the Clinton adminstration. Did Bill send any union legislation to the hill? How about Carter?

I'm not sure if blacks or unions have been more taken for granted by the Democratic party.

"Around the Horn" is a title of an ESPN show, alas. Something might be done with "Pardon the Interruption"--"Noticing the Interruption"?

Mimikatz: there may be something to the skill/membership correlation. That said, the Ironworkers -- who are generally, though not always, more skilled than today's Carpenters (rodbusters, for example, aren't more skilled than cabinetmakers) -- actually lost members during the last few years, as did some of the specialty trades.

Another opportunity for Democrats to ignore unions over at MyDd, CAFTA Advances While We Weren't Looking.

Bushco kept a report on labor violations secret for a year because the facts were biased against CAFTA.

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