A bit from last night’s Countdown that I hope nobody missed —
OLBERMANN: The filibuster threat here is partially Senator Shelby’s of Alabama and I’m missing something in this equation. Alabama has given more in tax subsidies per job for non-union jobs at foreign automakers plants in Alabama than Detroit is asking to save union jobs for American auto manufacturers. I’m missing something here.
[CHRIS] HAYES: Well, you’re not missing anything. I mean, this is the worst kept secret in Washington when you talk about the auto bailout. Every time you see Carl Levin and see Janet Granholm or any Michigan politician, there’s an implicit understanding and there’s a treatment from the press that they are representing distinct and, sometimes, narrow geographical interests of the people they represent.
The same, though, is true of a lot of the politicians from the southeast, particularly Alabama. The largest industry in Alabama is the car industry. And, you know, we’re talking about, you know, throwing taxpayer dollars at the Big Three. Well, they’ve been throwing taxpayer dollars at Toyota for years in Alabama, and no one raises a stink about that.
OLBERMANN: And to what degree also is in this an opportunity that the Republicans see for kneecapping a big union?
HAYES: Yes. I mean, at the level of power politics, I think that’s a huge part of it, and you see it in terms of you read the conservative press. People are obsessed with the erroneous number that is somehow $70 an hour in labor. We know that’s not true. David Leonhardt had a very good piece from “The Times” on that today.
I believe this is the David Leonhardt piece referred to. You can watch the entire segment here: