It’s Not Easy Being Greene

June 14, 2010

(Guest post by Greg Forster)

Jim Geraghty, sorting through the various theories that have been offered to explain the mysterious landslide victory of unknown candidate Al Greene in the South Carolina Democratic senatorial primary:

Shortly after the election, Robert Ford, an African-American South Carolina state senator who ran for governor, offered the theory that voters could tell Greene was black by his last name: “No white folks have an ‘e’ on the end of Green. The blacks after they left the plantation couldn’t spell, and they threw an ‘e’ on the end.” This is an intriguing and possible theory, except that the world is full of people with the last name Greene who aren’t black (such as Florida Senate candidate Jeff Greene, author Graham Greene, and actress Michelle Greene) and plenty of African Americans with the last name “Green.”

Bad news, Jay – apparently you’re only the fourth most famous non-black Greene.

More Teacher Union Sock Puppetry

April 29, 2009

Henson and Kermit.jpg

(Guest post by Greg Forster)

Recently we had a lot of fun with the Leo Casey/UFT “cue card check” story. But one fact that I don’t think got a lot of attention (here or elsewhere) is that this is far from the first instance of teacher union sock puppetry.

In this week’s Communique, ALELR highlights another one – the NEA’s longtime practice of setting up dummy organizations that are entirely controlled by the union, but conceal this fact and present themselves as independent voices. This week he highlights ROVE (Republicans Opposing Voucher Efforts), which, from the evidence ALELR presents, sure looks a whole lot like it has the NEA’s arm sticking out the bottom.

Apparently their strategy is to pay a whole chorus of voices to sing out of the union songbook, while hiding the singers’ union connections.

Say, I think I feel a song coming on myself…

Why are there so many songs about unions?
And choruses on their side?

The singers are honest and independent
And they have nothing to hide

So we’ve been told and some choose to believe it
I know they’re wrong, wait and see
Someday we’ll find it – the union connection
The reformers, the reporters, and me!

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