Morning Links for August 21, 2014.

The South.

  1. Left In Alabama points out the not-so-hilarious irony in anti-choice protesters in Huntsville claiming that the abortion clinic there should be closed because it is a “disruption” to the community. Hmm. Wonder why that is?
  2. Max Brantley at the Arkansas Times reports on teacher dissatisfaction with the possible merger of the state employees’ retirement fund and that state teachers’ retirement fund. The combined entity would be worth over $20 billion and merging the two would be a highly complex and delicate affair. My thought is that such a merger would result in the beneficiaries of the two plans having to pay more into the system in order to cover the cost, but this is something that will be monitored by The South Lawn for further updates.
  3. The Florida Squeeze endorses an August 26th ballot measure for guaranteed paid sick leave in Orange County, which includes Orlando and its suburbs. So do we; Vote YES!
  4. Alexa Ura writes for The Texas Tribune about the challenges that recent immigrants face in getting signed up for health insurance due to glitches in the Affordable Care Act. There is no way you can tell me that a universal, single-payer system would not be more efficient than this. No way.


  1. Joe Atkins writes for Facing South about the workers at Kellogg’s in Memphis, and how the company has treated them with contempt under the management of CEO John Bryant. This article demonstrates more than most why we need a strong National Labor Relations Board to mediate these kinds of conflict.
  2. Philip Sopher poses a question at The Atlantic: Is it time to go to a four-day workweek? I would say yes, but it worries me because, without resistance from the working class, capital will get its hours and profits out of working people. Would this mean longer work hours on the four-day workweek?


  1. Eric Holder visited Ferguson, Missouri yesterday, and NPR reports on his meetings with community leaders, law enforcement, and the mother of Michael Brown, the teenager whose murder by the Ferguson Police sparked the uprising that we have seen over the last week and a half. Holder has his flaws, but I have always respected his frankness on issues revolving around race. He ain’t exactly gonna be calling for revolution in the streets, but hopefully he had some stronger words of encouragement for the people of Ferguson than his boss did.
  2. U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has promised more shutdowns if he ascends to the Majority Leader position in the Senate, The Christian Science Monitor reports. This is the choice that most Americans face at the ballot box: insanity on one side (GOP) and empty suit centrism on the other side (Democrats). It is a real shame.

The World.

  1. The United Kingdom has seen a 31 percent jump in purchases of social housing by tenants in the last year, according to The Guardian. The right-to-buy scheme was brought in during the Thatcher years, and it has been heavily promoted during the current Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition government. While this might seem like a good thing, right-to-buy schemes are disastrous for the social welfare system because the housing that is scooped up from the market is not so easily replaced. This means that low-income Britons will have fewer places with which to seek a home, and the issues meant to be addressed by social housing will continue to go unanswered by any meaningful response.
  2. Albert Reynolds, who served as Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland in the early 1990s, has died at 81. Reynolds’ Fianna Fail party won the 1992 Irish general election and then formed a coalition government with the Labour Party, making it the largest coalition government in the history of Irish Republic. Labour eventually left the coalition, but they were decimated in the 1997 elections, as people never forgot them going back on their word to never form a coalition with Fianna Fail. The Irish Times features a lengthy remembrance of Reynolds.