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Clear it with SidneyHow our blog got its name >

Notes on journalism for the common good
by Lindsay Beyerstein

How our blog got its name

Sidney Hillman was a powerful national figure during the Great Depression, a key supporter of the New Deal, and a close ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

When the rumor spread that President Roosevelt ordered his party leaders to “clear it with Sidney” before announcing Harry S. Truman as his 1944 running mate, conservative critics turned on the phrase, trumpeting it as proof that the president was under the thumb of “Big Labor.”

Over the years, the phrase lost its sting and became a testament to Hillman's influence.

It's hard to imagine a labor leader wielding that kind clout today, but we like the idea—and we hope Sidney would give thumbs up to our blog.

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Self-abortion and Miscarriage Management in Texas

Texas's draconian new abortion law has left the 1.2 million women of the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas without an abortion provider. While pro-choice groups challenge some parts of the law in court, Valley women are forced to travel hundreds of miles for a clinic abortion. The Valley is one of the poorest regions in the United States and extended journeys to abortion clinics are beyond the reach of many poor valley women who have to budget not only for the procedure itself but for transportation, lodging, lost work hours, and often, the cost of childcare. Continue reading...

55 Graves Found at Notorious Ex-Reform School in Florida

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What's at Stake in the Clinic Buffer Zone Case?

Sidney-winner Irin Carmon on the big abortion rights case before the Supreme Court. The court will decide whether states can create buffer zones around abortion clinics to protect patients and providers from confrontational anti-choice protesters, if the state can show that existing criminal law is not enough to protect the clinics.Continue reading...

Poverty is Expensive

West Virginia Chemical Spill Reveals Regulatory Weaknesses

A chemical spill in the Elk River left 300,000 West Virginians without water last week. Experts say the spill reveals systematic weaknesses in the state's system for managing toxic chemicals:Continue reading...


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