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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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#Sidney's Picks: Cop Who Shot Marine Vet is Also Being Sued for Alleged Racist Brutality


  • The police officer who shot and killed 68-year-old retired Marine Kenneth Chamberlain in his White Plains home has been identified. Officer Anthony Carelli is due to face unrelated police brutality charges in court next month. He is accused of beating two arrestees of Jordanian descent and calling them "ragheads." [Democracy Now! exclusive.]
  • Big banks are showering Congress with cash, hoping to water down financial reform. [Bill]
  • Corporations are trying to hijack publicly-funded job training programs to provide quick fixes that are immediately profitable for industry, instead of skills that will provide long-term employability for graduates.

[Photo credit: Wander Mule, Creative Commons.]



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