Big Labor’s Little Big Horn

Democrats are spinning the Wisconsin results, saying, "The exit polls show O is leading in the state, so it doesn’t matter." Of course, those same exit polls showed that the Big Labor Walker recall was too close to call, when it was a veritable blowout. So much for hanging your hat on exit polls.

The shocking realization for Big Labor out of the Wisconsin campaign is that its president was unwilling to expend any of his political capital at the moment of greatest need on its behalf. One has to wonder if this will hurt Obama’s ability to mobilize the shock troops of the Democratic Party in November. If it does, the failed Wisconsin recall will be devastating to Obama’s reelection bid nationally whether he wins the state in November or not.


What Wisconsin means

Time moves in small increments but drags the past forth with it like a ghost. But the Wisconsin ruling yesterday brought America more harmoniously to its rising future. Two benchmarks proceed from the Ronald Reagan era. The first, most important, was that in the Reagan administration the ethnic people of the north, specifically European immigrants, many of them Catholic, and their European Jewish political allies, who came to America to work in factories in the 19th and early 20th centuries, made a historic shift from Democrat to Republican, leading Reagan to win 49 states in his second term. Southerners who had historically voted Democrat also made a so far permanent shift to the Republican Party to vote for Reagan. In that period the failed Patco strike in 1981 significantly changed the political culture. The old working masses, in supporting Reagan, approved the idea that union strikes might have been a necessary and proper strategy for factory workers in the pre-war period, but not for well-off, highly paid specialty workers in a new, varied economy.


App-alling feminist technology

Anyone who thinks the feminist lobby is obsolete hasn't heard about the Equal Pay App Challenge.

The White House recently launched a new competition to create “innovative tools” to help propagate the myth of the wage gap — the notion that women earn only 75 cents for every dollar a man earns.

The challenge is not only to “educate users about the pay gap,” but also to “build tools to promote equal pay.” I have to admit, not all the goals of the competition are bad. In addition to advancing false numbers, the tool should help users through the process of negotiating — a skill, I agree, men do tend to be more naturally inclined toward. But the larger purpose of the challenge is to further the notion that women are a victim class in need of special government protections.


Ledbetter anniversary

Sunday marks the three-year anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a bill aimed at improving equality in the workplace. Contrary to what feminists would have you believe, however, protective laws like Lilly Ledbetter actually increase the cost of employing women — especially of childbearing age — by creating the threat of lawsuits and uncertainty.

In honor of this anniversary, perhaps, Working Mother Media and the National Partnership for Women and Families have launched an effort to urge Congress to mandate paid parental leave. As a working mother of three children, I sympathize with the problem; still, the effort is misguided and will ultimately hurt women.


NLRB acting general counsel has an ego problem

The Washington Examiner reported that Judicial Watch has uncovered internal emails at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that reveal a petty, whiny acting general counsel, who is jealous of the publicity recess-appointed NLRB member Craig Becker has received.
The acting general counsel worries that he has not been getting due credit for the NLRB decision to attack Boeing Corp.’s building a second production line in the state of South Carolina, writing, “I didn’t read all of the meltwater articles, but some of the headlines tie Boeing to Craig. Unbelievable.”


If this is lagging behind, what does success look like?

The popular narrative today is that there is a “crisis” of women in math and science — or, more accurately, an under-representation of women in these disciplines. So naturally I was drawn to the headline this morning that IBM has named Virginia Rometty the new chief executive of the computer technology company.   

Rometty joins the ranks of a host of other women serving in leadership positions in the computer/technology/Internet world, including Meg Whitman (formerly of eBay) at Hewlett-Packard; Carly Fiorina, formerly of HP; Ursula Burns at Xerox; and Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook, to name a few.  


Pay equity for women, and everyone!

I guess Sabrina and I are destined to disagree again, which is perfectly fine, and healthy. This is what makes a democracy a democracy, and this is the kind of healthy debate I wish we could have more of here. I believe that women are subject to substantial discrimination with respect to pay, as are other individuals and groups.

The difference of views between Sabrina and myself would be this: I believe the law itself should be a potent and effective weapon against discrimination. I believe that government action per se, in defense of pay equity, is urgently needed and right. And I believe that "the magic of the marketplace" alone is not enough to protect women or other groups facing pay inequity.


Protective legislation doesn’t come without a cost

I have to take a minute to respond to Brent Budowsky’s post, "GOP war against women." For starters, the notion that a political party is literally fighting against 50 percent of the population is absurd and should be reserved for radical TV hosts like Thom Hartmann, who uses that phrase regularly.

Brent asks why “conservative Republican women support positions so hostile to the economic interests of American women.” Well, in a recent Pundits Blog post, I addressed many of the issues I suspect Brent is referring to, including education, the wage gap and workplace discrimination.

But let me address the issue of workplace discrimination, since Brent was responding to my post about the Wal-Mart discrimination case.


Is Obama sacrificing U.S. workers on Big Labor’s altar?

On Dec. 5, 2010, USA Today quoted President Obama as urging congressional approval of the trade deal with South Korea by saying, "We have to do more to accelerate the economic recovery and create jobs for the millions of Americans who are still looking for work."

One problem: It is now June 8, 2011, and the South Korea trade deal has not even been submitted by President Obama to Congress.

That’s December, January, February, March, April, May and now June — six full months — half a year — since Obama made his bold statement. For some reason, the president has not gotten around to sending the agreement to the U.S. Senate for approval.


Republican EEOC recess appointee should be confirmed

The clock is ticking on a little-known but extremely important recess appointment by President Obama, that of Republican Victoria Lipnic as a commissioner to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

While other recess appointments to the EEOC don’t expire until December 2011, Lipnic was the sole Republican to be recessed, but her term was limited to the end of 2010. Failure to confirm Lipnic would be a huge mistake by this lame-duck Senate.