Morning Links – 26 January 2015

The South.

  1. The firing of Tom Ross from his position as President of the UNC System has riled some folks, and it’s almost certain that it was done because Ross had ties to a liberal foundation. No official reason was given, and the presser that took place after the Board of Governors shitcanned him was, in a word, pathetic.
  2. All of this is taking place in the shadow of the Board of Governors looking at gutting several centers in the UNC system that don’t fit with the Republican party line, like the UNC Center on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity and NCSU’s Institute on Emerging Issues, along with centers that study minority issues like Western Carolina’s Cherokee Center and UNC’s Stone Center for Black Culture and History. These actions are almost certainly the opening salvo of a broader attack at higher education in the state by the GOP.
  3. This case from Texas is probably going to result in the destruction of the Fair Housing Act at the hands of the Supreme Court.
  4. It isn’t going to be snowing down here as hard as it will up north. Three feet of snow? Good grief.


  1. Big symbolic win by the Teamsters at Facebook, where they successfully organized the pilots of the spaceships the alien overlords of San Francisco ride to work in shuttle bus drivers. Good work y’all. Next step are those fuckers at Google.
  2. McDonalds, in a truly shit move, fired several workers in South Boston because they were black. Supervisors also apparently referred to the workers in question as ‘ghetto’ and ‘ratchet’.  This will be a test of the joint-employer ruling by the NLRB this year, as it will shift some of the liability off of the franchisees alone and onto the franchiser.
  3. Union density declined again. Private sector union participation dropped, while public sector participation gained on the backs of organizing in local governments and in the federal sector. The movement is net 70,000 members larger than it was last year, but the number of unrepresented workers increased faster than the organizing rate. More on this at a later date.


  1. In the wake of his corruption indictment, Sheldon Silver will probably step down as Assembly Speaker. Keep your eyes peeled on this space, because there’s a very good chance that he could torpedo Andrew Cuomo’s presidential ambitions.
  2. Did I mention that three feet of snow with hurricane force winds is set to hammer the northeast? Be safe y’all.
  3. Civil rights and human rights are, shockingly enough, not even a symbolic priority for the far-right Republican Party. It doesn’t really fundamentally change a thing, but it’s illustrative of the mindset we’re dealing with here.

The World.

  1. SUCK IT TROIKA. YOU AS WELL MERKEL. Jacobin has had several quality pieces of analysis and commentary about this election and what it means for Europe. I find myself somewhat skeptical of the hype but hopeful nonetheless. One regrettable development is that SYRIZA did not make it all the way to an outright majority in this election. With the KKE (Communist Party of Greece) set to refuse a coalition with SYRIZA, the anti-austerity center right party Independent Greeks (which believes the euro is a plot to impurify Greece’s precious bodily fluids) or ‘post-political’ beige centrist party/personality cult To Potami are the likely coalition partners. We’ll know more later today.
  2. Kobane has been liberated from the Islamic State by the YRG and the YRJ. Here’s some video from the end of the battleAppropriate music to listen to on this occasion.
  3. Former UK Home Secretary Leon Brittan joins the ranks of Thatcherite politicians and allies that were child sex abusers. He is now the second minister implicated after Peter Morrison, and it’s likely that Thatcher was aware of the rapists in her cabinet and worked to cover for them.
  4. This piece on the suburbanization of the working class is excellent.