February 28, 2014

Responding to Evan Soltas on union density, Matt Bruenig gives us the following amazing chart (which comes in turn from the CEPR) over at Demos:

Wow, Austria! In this chart, the X's represent union membership, while the blue bars represent coverage — people who are covered by a union contract. Bruenig comments:

This is just one example, but it gets at the core of the problem with Soltas' approach here. He endeavored to answer the union question with wonk-economics methods...[But] as best as I can tell, all of these countries are on the globe, yet somehow the fundamental economic forces of globalization and technology have affected them in very different ways. Again, this points to the dominant role a country's political economy plays in how its labor market institutions are structured. [Demos]

Though one does wonder how Japan and New Zealand have coverage that is lower than membership. Shouldn't that be impossible?

UPDATE: On Twitter, Bruenig kindly provides the answer. Turns out that part of calculating the coverage rate includes subtracting workers who aren't allowed to engage in collective bargaining (some public sector workers, in some countries, for example). Thanks Matt! Ryan Cooper

12:29 p.m. ET

Actress Ashley Judd took the stage at the Women's March on Washington following filmmaker Michael Moore on Saturday, and she shared a beat poem by 19-year-old Tennessean Nina Donovan titled "I am a nasty woman." Repeatedly referencing President Trump's insult for then-rival Hillary Clinton during the final presidential debate, the poem's author says she is a nasty woman — but "not as nasty as a man who looks like he bathes in Cheeto dust, a man whose words are a dis to America, Electoral College-sanctioned hate speech."

"I didn't know devils could be resurrected, but I feel Hitler in these streets," Judd continued. "A moustache traded for a toupee, Nazis renamed." Watch her full performance below. Bonnie Kristian

12:17 p.m. ET
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After starting his second day in office with a stop at the interfaith National Prayer Service, President Trump is scheduled to visit the CIA. His nominee for CIA director, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), is not expected to be confirmed until Monday at the soonest, but the visit may be designed to smooth relations with the agency after longstanding campaign controversy.

The event "is over capacity at 300+," tweeted Press Secretary Sean Spicer of Trump's visit to the CIA's headquarters at Langley. "Excited to thank the men and women of the intelligence community."

Trump for weeks before taking office rejected the CIA's conclusion that Russia attempted to manipulate U.S. elections on his behalf, dismissing the U.S. intelligence community as "the same people that said Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction." As recently as last week, Trump said in a press conference that it is "disgraceful" American intelligence agencies like the CIA allowed the unverified dossier on his alleged ties to Russia to be released. "That's something that Nazi Germany would have done and did do," he charged. Bonnie Kristian

11:39 a.m. ET

After a busy day of inaugural festivities Friday, President Trump's campaign rival, Hillary Clinton, did not attend the Women's March on Washington on Saturday — but she did tweet her support for the event.

The protest of the new Donald Trump administration on Saturday featured remarks from speakers including America Ferrera, Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, Scarlett Johansson, Melissa Harris-Perry, and more.

An estimated 500,000 protesters converged on Washington for the Women's March; the crowd at Trump's inauguration the day before was projected to be 800,000 to 900,000 people. Both crowd tallies are remain unofficial appraisals at this stage. Bonnie Kristian

11:20 a.m. ET

"We march today for our families and our neighbors, for our future, for the causes that we claim and the causes that claim us," said actress America Ferrera on Saturday at the Women's March on Washington. "We march today for the moral core of this nation, against which our new president is waging a war."

"He would like us to forget the words, 'Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,' and instead take up a credo of hate, fear, and suspicion of one another," she continued, "but we are gathered here and across the country and around the world today to say, 'Mr. Trump, we refuse!'"

Originally expected to be attended by about 200,000 women, Washington officials now say the Women's March organizers estimate their numbers at half a million strong. Watch Ferrera's full speech below. Bonnie Kristian

10:47 a.m. ET
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

After threat of invasion from neighboring Senegal to enforce election results, former President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia agreed to peacefully relinquish his post. Jammeh lost the contest in December and initially conceded. Then, a week later, he announced he would not leave office but rather would continue his two-decade rule of the tiny West African nation.

Saturday morning, Jammeh gave a televised speech announcing he has "decided today in good conscience to relinquish the mantle of leadership of this great nation with infinite gratitude to all Gambians." He insisted the decision "was not dictated by anything else but by the supreme interest of you, the Gambian people and our dear country," ignoring the arrival of Senegalese troops in his nation just 24 hours prior.

Jammeh first took power in 1994 after a military coup and once claimed he would rule Gambia for "a billion years." The new president, Adama Barrow, has been waiting in Senegal and will enter Gambia to take office as soon as a security sweep has been completed. Bonnie Kristian

10:20 a.m. ET

The official National Parks Service (NPS) Twitter account retweeted two posts critical of President Trump during his inauguration yesterday, one unfavorably comparing the crowd size at Trump's event to President Obama's 2009 inauguration and one noting changes to the White House website's issue pages.

The Trump team seems to have noticed, and, in an email obtained by Gizmodo, grounded the Parks Service from Twitter "until further notice." Parks that use Twitter for emergency announcements were ordered to "alter their contingency plans to accommodate this requirement" because the "expectation is that there will be absolutely no posts to Twitter."

The "Twitter stand down means we will cease use of Twitter immediately," the email summarized. "However, there is no need to suspend or delete government accounts until directed." The note does not mention the two critical retweets, both of which have been deleted, but a park ranger told Gizmodo agency employees believe those posts are what prompted the directive.

Saturday morning, the main NPS account posted an apology tweet, seen below, suggesting the ban may be temporary. Bonnie Kristian

9:58 a.m. ET
Steffi Loos/Getty Images

After initially opting for an art museum visit instead of tuning in to President Trump's inaugural address, German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised Saturday to seek opportunities for cooperation with the new American administration.

"First, I believe firmly that it is best for all of us if we work together based on rules, common values, and joint action in the international economic system, in the international trade system, and make our contributions to the military alliances," said the de facto leader of the European Union. "And second, the trans-Atlantic relationship will not be less important in the coming years than it was in past years. And I will work on that. Even when there are different opinions, compromises and solutions can be best found when we exchange ideas with respect."

Also on Saturday, Marine Le Pen, leader the French National Front, predicted a coming shift in Europe in favor of her nationalist populism. "2016 was the year the Anglo-Saxon world woke up," she said, referencing Brexit and Trump's win. "I am sure 2017 will be the year the people of continental Europe wake up." Bonnie Kristian

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