Important Stuff

Let's debate

Work Ethic

For about a decade, there was this idea that US workers were too lazy or selfish to be able to make quality cars. That was the basis of the movie "Gung Ho": the idea that there was something essentially different between Americans and Japanese, and we couldn't do it their way. But the quality of cars being produced by Japanese makers in the US pretty much eradicates that prejudice. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the quality of American-made "import" cars was even higher than that of those made in Japan.

But if the factory worker isn't the key element, it seems clear that there is something special about the "Japanese Way". The book I've cited a few times, The End of Detroit* explains it in detail (I won't do that here), but also points out that the United Auto Workers union has been unable to unionize a single foreign-owned factory. The Japanese and German companies are able to provide their workers with a good wage, good benefits and good working conditions without the presence of a union; since unions greatly increase the operating costs of a corporation without increasing value, it seems an easy conclusion to reach that it is the UAW that is ruining the Big3 automotive industry.

Filibusters and Options

Pick any site that even just occasionally does political blogging and you can probably find excellent round-ups. So I won't do one here.

Bottom line: Three nominees are going to get up-or-down votes. That's three more than were getting that chance 2 days ago.

Furthermore, the wording is sufficiently vague that there is little to no agreement by Democrats, Republicans, conservatives, liberals, or libertarians as to what will actually happen regarding the other four, and regarding any future Supreme Court nominees.

Musing: I still don't like the filibuster in general. The minority party already had its chance in the general election to win enough seats to gain the majority. Failing that, they can use deals and pressure to win defectors from the majority party to prevent the majority from winning. The minority party can even bottle legislation/nominees up in committee. There is no need for a fake filibuster in which no debate actually occurs. I can see where this might be necessary and/or useful back in the days when Senators were appointed by state legislatures...this is probably just another reason we should go back to that.

Interesting point: all that aside, I still consider the way this played out confirms that Sen. Frist is too weak to be Senate Majority leader, and I still consider Sen. McCain to be a faithless legislature who honors his Republica