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October 26, 2005


Hoorah! In terms of political capital, this sounds like a margin call on a major hedge fund.

Fitzmas cake may not yet have arrived, but we're already getting gobs of icing. I'd love to be a fly on the wall right about now when Laura and Dubya are talking about his day went.

About that Carthage image: I've studied the Punic Wars in great detail and visited modernday Carthage on more than one occasion. Except for Roman limestone "cannon-balls," the outlines of the old Carthaginian harbor, and the infamous Tophet cemetery where the ashes and bones of sacrificed children were buried. there's not much left of the old city. The Romans did, indeed, not leave one stone atop another when they sacked the place. If only we could take that as metaphor for what we do to the cabal that has done so much damage our nation and our future over the past five years.

I agree, this is huge. There probably are some, but off the top of my head I can't think of any other example where the administration had to so clearly reverse course from a policy already implemented because of Dems leading a charge and getting a sizable contingent of Repubs who, at least on the single issue in dispute, chose to be both reasonable and resolute. Kudos to George Miller, one of the most underrated members of the House of Representatives, and kudos to the savvy people in labor who made this happen.

As Trapper John recently made clear to me, the members of most building trades unions (other than the Laborers and probably the Carpenters) weren't going to be severely affected by the repeal of Davis Bacon, because their members were still covered by their union contracts, and it would be hard to get skilled tradesmen (like electricians, masons, plumbers and ironworkers) down to Louisiana and Mississippi unless they paid the prevailing wage; there just isn't a huge reserve of available skilled tradesmen who will work for peanuts. But this is an example of labor doing the right thing for long-term strategic reasons, and because it's the right policy for the entire country. The bigger immediate issue was transparency, and by resuming Davis-Bacon rules, it will be damn hard for contractors to defraud the government by concealing it and claiming (without documentation) that the extra money was paid in employee salaries.

And this is definitely a case where the good policy was the good politics.

this is very good news for a number of reasons. it's a clear victory for the workers, most importantly. a good victory also for the democrats who have stuck together on this issue. and also they've made alliance with some moderate republicans. this making alliances with the moderates is going to be critical in the days and months to come; that's how you beat the white house from now on.

Yeah, good on Miller, and not for the first time. We just have to claw some of this shit (also eg The Nuclear Option) back, even if Bush is still president, which he probably will be, to some kinda extent, for 3 more years (a mere 36 months!).

nice, comfy place you got here :)..

Michael72: I agree, now is the time to embolden the moderate Repubs to work with the Dems, especially if we get control back of either or both chambers in 2007.

quile: glad you like it. Stick around, make yourself comfortable.

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