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Last night, Jon Stewart covered the right-to-work legislation in Michigan suddenly passing, and what it means for workers.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder went before Congress 10 months ago to say he was not particularly interested at this time in making the bedrock union state of Michigan a right-to-work state.
GOV. RICK SNYDER, R-MI (2/1/2012): Right-to-work is an issue that's a very divisive issue, people feel very strongly about. ... We have many problems in Michigan that are much more pressing that I want to find common ground issues we can work together on before we get into divisive issues.
He was going to focus on common ground things Michiganders want and need.  More Robocoppers on the streets of new Detroit.  Getting the tourism board to work a little harder on its new slogan.

....

I mean, the phrase "right-to-work" is such a positive and uplifting message.  What could it possibly do to organizations like unions that also support workers' rights?  I mean, the law probably strengthens unions.

POPPY HARLOW (12/7/2012): If this becomes a right-to-work state, it would make it illegal for unions and employers to mandate that employees be part of a union, or pay any amount of money to that union.
Or destroy the only leverage unions have to stay afloat.  One or the other.  So it's really a right-to-work-around-the-union for the corporation.  It's one of those things that are actually named for the opposite of the thing they do.  Like strip bars call themselves gentlemen's clubs.  They're not.  Or the TV network dedicated to making us stupider is called The Learning Channel.  Or a TV show that only airs 4 days a week calls itself a Daily Show.  (audience cheering)

....

Dude, you're from Michigan.  Detroit.  8 Mile.  You gotta come up with better rhymes than "... busting ... disgusting".  If you want to win the climactic rap battle, you gotta put some effort into it!

(puts on beanie and starts rapping)

Look, if you had one job at one factory, wouldn't you seize every benefit you could?  Yo!

Our palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy,
Working at a factory all day building Chevys,
Like the Volt.  You plug it in, then you win,
Ecologically, because if it was an actual race, you would not, actually.

You gotta dues collect for the union,
Or robots are going to come and take away your jobs,
Or to the Chinese kids with the tiny hands your work will go.
This Hoffa-tunity comes once in a lifetime, yo!

(wild audience applause and cheering)

Video and full transcript below the fold.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder went before Congress 10 months ago to say he was not particularly interested at this time in making the bedrock union state of Michigan a right-to-work state.
GOV. RICK SNYDER, R-MI (2/1/2012): Right-to-work is an issue that's a very divisive issue, people feel very strongly about. ... We have many problems in Michigan that are much more pressing that I want to find common ground issues we can work together on before we get into divisive issues.
He was going to focus on common ground things Michiganders want and need.  More Robocoppers on the streets of new Detroit.  Getting the tourism board to work a little harder on its new slogan.

(audience applause)

And finally, Michigan was going to finish that statue I have been petitioning for online.

You're telling me they got a Rocky statue in Philly, they shouldn't have a Kid Rock statue in Detroit?  That's some bullshit right there!

But none of that is done.  He hasn't done any of it.  So....

ALEX WAGNER (12/11/2012): Moments ago, the Michigan House approved a right-to-work bill the state senate passed last week.
Doesn't matter.  Your governor doesn't want to work on that kind of divisive issue.
TED ROWLANDS (12/11/2012): Republican Governor Rick Snyder promises to sign the bill as soon as it hits his desk, which could be within hours.
Actually, between the time that we cut that sound bite and now, he already signed it.  So... fuck!

Look, so what?  So what?  So this guy — who really looks pleasant enough — maybe it won't be so bad.  I mean, the phrase "right-to-work" is such a positive and uplifting message.  What could it possibly do to organizations like unions that also support workers' rights?  I mean, the law probably strengthens unions.

POPPY HARLOW (12/7/2012): If this becomes a right-to-work state, it would make it illegal for unions and employers to mandate that employees be part of a union, or pay any amount of money to that union.
Or destroy the only leverage unions have to stay afloat.  One or the other.  So it's really a right-to-work-around-the-union for the corporation.  It's one of those things that are actually named for the opposite of the thing they do.  Like strip bars call themselves gentlemen's clubs.  They're not.  Or the TV network dedicated to making us stupider is called The Learning Channel.  Or a TV show that only airs 4 days a week calls itself a Daily Show.  (audience cheering)

What's the deal, Governor Snyder?

GOV. RICK SNYDER, R-MI (12/6/2012): This is an issue that I said was not on my agenda for some time. ... But if you step back and look at it, we're losing a major competitive advantage.  Indiana has become a right-to-work state, and I've looked at their pipeline.  They've significantly increased the number of businesses looking to come to Indiana and grow in Indiana due to this legislation.
Indiana!  Those sweet-faced, good-natured, job-stealing sons of bitches!  Wait a minute.  Let's go with the right spacing for that.

India, North America!  Well, don't think we won't detect your call center accents, India, NA!  So how are Michigan's union members taking this news?

12/11/2012:

ALEX WAGNER: Pro-union protestors are swarming the Michigan capitol building in Lansing.

PROTESTORS: Hey hey, ho ho!  Right-to-work has got to go!

LONE PROTESTOR: You get busted!  You're disgusting!  You get busted!  You're disgusting!

(Jon facepalms)

Dude, you're from Michigan.  Detroit.  8 Mile.  You gotta come up with better rhymes than "... busting ... disgusting".  If you want to win the climactic rap battle, you gotta put some effort into it!

(puts on beanie and starts rapping)

Look, if you had one job at one factory, wouldn't you seize every benefit you could?  Yo!

Our palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy,
Working at a factory all day building Chevys,
Like the Volt.  You plug it in, then you win,
Ecologically, because if it was an actual race, you would not, actually.

You gotta dues collect for the union,
Or robots are going to come and take away your jobs,
Or to the Chinese kids with the tiny hands your work will go.
This Hoffa-tunity comes once in a lifetime, yo!

(wild audience applause and cheering)

You know what I realize?  If I performed my haftarah as badly as that, I would owe my relatives money.

Jon then looked at what's happening in Italy with Silvio Berlusconi.
Meanwhile, Stephen begrudgingly mentioned the fiscal cliff negotiations going on before moving to the latest threats facing this country.
Stephen then looked at the ex-gay therapy movement scoring a win when a right-wing federal judge blocked us here in California from banning that kind of therapy.
Jon talked with actress Laura Linney, and Stephen talked with Malcolm Gladwell and then sang "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with Audra McDonald.

Originally posted to BruinKid on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group.

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