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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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NY Prosecutors Snoop on Inmates' Attorney/Client Emails

Federal prosecutors in New York are using a legal loophole to read jailhouse emails between defendants and their lawyers, Stephanie Clifford revealed in the New York Times, yesterday. Inmates have the right to send confidential snail-mail to their lawyers under the ancient principle of attorney-client privilege, but all electronic communications from jail are monitored. In order to use the email system, the inmate must consent to monitoring.Continue reading...

Subprime Bubble for Used Cars Swells

Subprime bubbles aren't just for housing. Financiers are lining up to make questionable car loans, too:

Rodney Durham stopped working in 1991, declared bankruptcy and lives on Social Security. Nonetheless, Wells Fargo lent him $15,197 to buy a used Mitsubishi sedan.Continue reading...

Sidney's Picks: Class War for Democrats & Why Jose Antonio Vargas Won't Be Deported

The Best of the Week's News

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Jose Antonio Vargas Released from Custody

Immigration rights activist, and 2011 Sidney Award-winner, Jose Antonio Vargas has been released from the custody of the U.S. Border Batrol. Vargas was detained on Tuesday at the airport in McCallen, Texas, when he tried to use his Philippines passport to board a flight for Los Angeles. 

Are OSHA Standards Tough Enough to Protect Workers from Solvents?

Workers at a foam plant in Selma, Alabama that makes headrests for Hyundais suffer from a high incidence of respiratory disease. Are OSHA standards tough enough to protect them from chemicals like toluene diisocyanate? Hillman Prize-winner Seth Freed Wessler investigates for NBC.

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#Sidney's Picks: Monsanto Linked to Mystery Disease

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

#Sidney's Picks: Losing Sparta, Bail Bondsmen, and More

 

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

Labor Journos React to Supreme Court's Big Labor Ruling, Harris v. Quinn

Yesterday, Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to exempt public sector workers in union shops from paying union dues to cover the costs of collective bargaining. Until now, these workers were exempt from paying dues to cover the union's political activities, but they still had to pay their fair share of the cost of bargaining on their behalf. Continue reading...

 
 

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