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.
Paul Ryan’s budget is being championed by “sensible” conservatives like David Brooks To read the sober truth about it, don’t miss the great Harold Meyerson in Wednesday’s Washington Post, where he explains what it really is: "the repeal of the 20th Century."
The cover under which Ryan and other Republicans operate is their concern for the deficit and national debt. But Ryan blows that cover by proposing to reduce the top income tax rate to just 25 percent. He imposes the burden for reducing our debt not on the bankers who forced our government to spend trillions averting a collapse but on seniors and the poor. The reductions in aid to the poor, says the budget blueprint that Ryan released, will be made “to ensure that America’s safety net does not become a hammock that lulls able-bodied citizens into lives of complacency and dependency.” That’s a pretty good description of America’s top bankers, but Ryan’s budget showers them with tax cuts.
And for the most amazing television experience of the 21st Century, don’t miss The Kennedys, which is so much worse than anything you have read about it. The first challenge will be finding ReelzChannel on your cable box (131 for Time-Warner subscribers in Manhattan.)
Nancy Franklin in The New Yorker and Alessandra Stanley in The New York Times both gave the miniseries mixed reviews, and praised the acting of Tom Wilkinson–who is not quite as terrible as everyone else in this disaster. Whatever Franklin and Stanley are smoking, FCP doesn't want any.
Forget about all the historical inventions: they are overwhelmed by pathetic writing, terrible acting–and the cheesiest wardrobe in cable history. Whatever else you think about him, Jack Kennedy wore the most beautiful shirts of any modern American president; here, they are all off the rack from Filene’s Basement.
Spoiler alert: if you can’t Tivo it, you’ll be bombarded by what must be the longest commercial interruptions in television history.