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Once you get past the "Whoa! So many West Wing cast members reuniting for a web video" aspect of this, there's an important political point here. I'm not a big fan of judges being elected, but in many states they are. And it's important to vote for them, because they make some big decisions that affect people's lives. But where they're elected in non-partisan races, how do you know who's who? It takes research and remembering the names very clearly. But it's worth doing, for judges and other non-partisan elected offices. For instance, it was the Michigan Supreme Court that decided whether ballot measures to put collective bargaining rights in the state constitution and to repeal the Emergency Manager law would be allowed on the ballot. In Wisconsin, the state Supreme Court will once again decide the fate of Gov. Scott Walker's law taking collective bargaining rights from public employees.

For what it's worth, Bridget Mary McCormack, who this video was made for, is a University of Michigan law professor endorsed by the AFL-CIO and a whole bunch of unions, Planned Parenthood, the Michigan Democratic Party, Democracy for America, and many, many more. She's running as a slate with Judge Shelia Johnson and Judge Connie Kelley.

Beyond them, though, remember to check out and research non-partisan races on your own ballot. The people elected may well be making decisions that affect your life.

A fair day's wage

  • Something's going around at American Airlines. No doubt coincidentally after a judge allowed the airline to throw out its contract with pilots as it goes through bankruptcy, pilots have been calling in sick in large numbers. Along with increased reports of problems from maintenance crews, that's forcing the cancellation of 300 flights this week. The union is advising pilots that if they do call in sick, they should be sure to have a doctor's note.
  • Marc Leder, the Mitt Romney fundraiser and sex party host, makes total sense as a big Romney donor based on his record with workers.

Miscellaneous

  • A dispatch from the 47 percent:
    A lot of the people who are with me in and on the borders of the 47 percent are here for similar reasons. They fall into enough tax deductions and credits at the moment that they end up with no obligations to the federal budget, or they’ve worked and paid taxes all their lives, and now they’re retired and collecting Social Security. My guess is that many people don’t even know that they’re in this camp, especially if they don’t do their own taxes and don’t bother to compare the deductions on their paychecks to their refund checks.
  • You can earn the right to tell the AFL-CIO Super PAC where and how to spend its money.

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