Skip to Content
Skip to Navigation

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.

Close window

New Law Could Shutter Every Abortion Clinic in Louisiana

Bad news for reproductive freedom in Louisiana: Continue reading...

Lawyers: Fetus of Dead Texas Woman is Distinctly Abnormal

The fetus developing inside the dead body of Marlise Munoz is severely deformed, according to lawyers for Munoz's family. Munoz, a former paramedic, died of a pulmonary embolism in November, but her body has been artificially ventilated against her wishes and the wishes of her family because of a Texas law that requires a hospital to continue all life-saving treatment on a pregnant woman.Continue reading...

Banks Turn Troops Into Cash Cows With Overdraft Charges

Sidney's Picks: Walmart Breakthrough?; Forced "Life Support"; Drinking Water Crisis in WV

The Best of the Week's NewsContinue reading...

Rolling Stone Investigates the Stealth War on Abortion Rights

Janet Reitman, an investigative journalist well-known for her expose of Scientology and her profile of the Boston bombing suspect, tackles the stealth war on abortion. Reitman explains how right wing groups have stopped trying to criminalize abortion outright and refocused their energies on regulating abortion out of existence.  This is the first time in years that Rolling Stone has devoted so much space to a reprouctive rights story. Kudos to the publication and the reporter for putting out this important piece of journalism.

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...

Sidney's Picks: Urban asthma epidemic; Self-Abortions in Texas; Reddit-Brand Assault Rifles

The Best of the Week's NewsContinue reading...

Pregnant Body Sustained on Life Support, Against Woman's Advance Directive and Family's Wishes

Marlize Munoz and her husband Erick were paramedics, raising a young son and anticipating the birth of their second child. On Nov. 26, Erick found Marlize collapsed on the floor of their North Texas home. Her heart was stopped and she wasn't breathing. Her doctors believe she was stricken by a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot in the lung. Her brain was completely destroyed by oxygen deprivation. Continue reading...


Recent Tweets

#Sidney's Picks: @UAW establishing a foothold at VW in Chattanooga and that's fine by VW. 3 days 14 hours ago
RT @Bob_Ortega: Via @SidneyHillman, stunning longread by Esther Kaplan on the bitter truth behind off-shore production:… 3 days 17 hours ago
Sidney's Picks: Great stuff from @joanwalsh & @courtneyemartin and more! 3 days 19 hours ago
Sidney's Picks: @AFSCME vs. the Koch Brothers; Daycare Dilemmas; Good Samaritans paying Detroiters water bills: 3 days 19 hours ago
We're just three followers away from 1500! Help us hit the milestone this week. 4 days 21 hours ago