Robert P.'s blog

The $73/Hour Big Lie

We've all heard it spewed from Republican mouths, how Detroit car makers pay $73/hour to their workers. That's why we can't compete with Honda and Toyota. This NYT piece shows how that argument is putting your head in the sand, ignoring the reality.

So here’s a little experiment. Imagine that a Congressional bailout effectively pays for $10 an hour of the retiree benefits. That’s roughly the gap between the Big Three’s retiree costs and those of the Japanese-owned plants in this country. Imagine, also, that the U.A.W. agrees to reduce pay and benefits for current workers to $45 an hour — the same as at Honda and Toyota.

Do you know how much that would reduce the cost of producing a Big Three vehicle? Only about $800.

Thanksgiving Colors: Open Thread

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm off to the woods of Pennsyltucky tomorrow morning, so I wanted to wish everyone a happy turkey day and also leave you with a little color. This is a picture of Sharpies on paper that I took with my Blackberry.
Why? Well, the fact that they are mounted on a slide should give you a hint, more after the break.

Out of NC Update

Just saw a couple updates about the US Senate races in Alaska and Minnesota and thought I would post them here. The news is good. Alaska is in our column as of right now, although the lead could see-saw back and forth. Minnesota is so close that it puts to rest the "one vote doesn't matter" myth forever.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Just as Sen. Ted Stevens appeared set to return to Congress, felony conviction and all, his re-election bid has faltered. If he loses, it also closes a possible door into the Senate anytime soon for Gov. Sarah Palin.

More after the break.

The Coleman-Franken recount state machinery is gearing up. Both sides are lining up lawyers for each of the 100+ recount sites (87 counties + multiple sites in larger cities.)
Precincts and counties has been "certifying" their votes since Nov. 4: adding in absentee ballots, checking & correcting for math errors. During each day both candidates' numbers have moved up and down but the net has drifted toward Al Franken, from a Coleman lead of 775 to this morning's 206.

More after the break.

We are a center right nation, you just didn't realize it.

We are still a center-right country and if you have any doubts about that just listen to the news. Listen to Morning Joe on MSNBC and Joe Scarborough and company will repeat it ad naseum throughout the morning. Watch CNN and every announcer will make mention of fact. Watch Hardball and you'll be sure to hear Chris Matthews talking about it. Pick up a newspaper and read the columns, it will be in there somewhere.

Center-right. What does that mean? I guess we'll have to figure it out based on what the country thinks.

About health care, dispelling some myths.

Lately, we have had an influx of libertarians arguing that health care in the United States is bad, but not nearly so bad as in "socialist" countries and that what we really need is to allow the free-market to work. I know, seriously, have they been asleep for the last 8 years? Anyway, I wanted to dispel some of the myths that were brought up and also just talk a little bit about some health care facts. Warning, Giant Graphic after the break.

Pictures of North Carolina's Dirty Little Secret

I was looking at this blog post on the front page of Daily Kos with a big picture of Virginia, saying:

I have my doubts that that will ever happen, but it will be interesting to watch as the GOP implodes on their way to being a regional party with pockets of strength outside the South – and unless they get their act together the South won't always be a haven for them.

Well, the South's best-kept, dirty, little secret after the break.

And, when I awake, a new day.

This is it. I'm off to bed. Tomorrow we'll be out at the polls around 6am to set up for the 6:30 opening. We have all the Observers set and our INCREDIBLE Vice-Chair has gone through and updated every list, every database, every little thing. We have two or three greeters at all times throughout the day, but we might send some of them over to the precinct staging house to call our friends and neighbors. Why? Because rumor is that upwards of 80% of our targeted voters have already voted. Crazy? Maybe.

We have our runners who will take the names to the staging house, to remove them from the national database so we won't waste time calling asking them to vote.

So, tomorrow we work, they vote, we call, they vote, we knock, they vote.

And, then, we wake to a new day.

Open Thread: These folks would have voted early.


BAGHDAD, Iraq (Jan. 30, 2005) – Iraqi citizens stand in long lines outside a polling station in Baghdad, Iraq, today. Millions of Iraqis throughout the country are participating in Iraq's first free election in more than 35 years. DoD photo by Master Sgt. Dave Ahlschwede, U.S. Air Force.

Note the apparently armed men on the roof protecting the polling place. Yeah, they were willing to risk death to vote.



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