Political Strategy Notes
The heat is on Michigan Governor Rick Snider to reverse his position and refuse to sign the so-called 'right-to-work' bill the Republicans snuck through the state legislature last week. Here's a good example of a creative protest being mobilized by 'We Are Michigan' to persuade the governor to do the right thing. The President will meet with Snyder today, and here's an update on other protests being planned in the state.
Dave Zirin reports at The Nation on the groundswell against the right-to-work bill, including the pro baseball and football unions. He quotes DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFLPA: "When you look at proposed legislation [called] 'right-to-work' let's just put the hammer on the nail. It's untrue... What this is instead is a right to ensure that ordinary working citizens can't get together as a team, can't organize, can't stand together and can't fight management on an even playing field...So don't call it a 'right to work.' If you want to have an intelligent discussion about what the bill is, call it what it is. Call it an anti-organizing bill. Fine. If that's what the people want to do in order to put a bill out there, let's cast a vote on whether or not ordinary workers can get together and represent themselves, and let's have a real referendum."
And Greg Sargent has an excellent update on the Democratic strategy to encourage the governor to allow the RTW bill to be subjected to popular referendum.
At The Daily Beast Hedrick Smith argues persuasively that the "Fiscal Cliff Is Latest Symptom of Unfair Redistricting": "...The partisan manipulation of congressional districts garbles more than the numbers. It sharpens the partisan divide in Congress. Both parties try to create safe districts and within those highly partisan lines, moderates tend to lose out and extremists tend to win. Both parties become more polarized. Without gerrymandering, red states would be less red, and blue states would be less blue. The middle would have more chance to re-emerge."
And Crystal Ball's Larry J. Sabato and Geoffrey Skelley take an extensive, state-by-state look at the 2014 battle for control of governorships, and why it is critically important for national politics.
Here's an interesting NPR post by Liz Halloran about an overlooked demographic group which gave President Obama 70 percent of its votes -- the "nones," a.k.a. the "religiously unaffiliated."
Peter Grer has a Monitor update on "Obama's Medicaid expansion: How many states are likely to rebel?"
The "we don't need no stinkin' science" crowd apparently gets much more MSM coverage in the U.S. than elsewhere. Mijin Cha reports at Demos that "the U.S. gives a significant amount of media attention to climate deniers -- far more than any other country. Over one-third of articles on climate change in 2009-2010 contained viewpoints from climate deniers, even though only a fraction of the scientific community questions the existence of climate change...of 13,950 peer-reviewed climate articles, just 24 reject the idea of global warming -- a mere 0.17 percent."
From CNN Politics: According to the Politico/George Washington University Battleground survey released Monday, 62% of registered voters say they back an immigration reform proposal that would allow illegal or undocumented immigrants to earn citizenship over a period of several years, with 35% opposed...The new poll is in line with an ABC News/Washington Post survey conducted right after the November election that indicated Americans supported a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants by a 57%-39% margin."
The accolades for Mitch McConnell's unique achievement keep on coming.