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.
#Sidney's Picks: Food Inspections; NHL Lockout; and Joel Klein's Fabulism
- Thirty-three people died of listeria from tainted cantaloupes last year after a private for-profit inspection company awarded the source farm the highest safety grade. Most of America's food supply is vetted by private inspectors, who operate without federal standards.
- An in-house commentator for the LA Kings, one of the finest hockey journalists of his generation, was forced out of his job by the National Hockey League for interviewing a representative of the NHL Players' Association during the lockout.
- Joel Klein, the former chancellor of the NYC Department of Education and a tireless promoter of standardized testing, embellished the memoir he used to bolster his claims that teachers can single-handedly lift children out of poverty, Richard Rothstein reports in the American Prospect.
- As iPhone 5 sales surge, assembly workers are protesting their working conditions. Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! interviews Li Qiang of China Labor Watch.
[Photo credit: Wander Mule, Creative Commons.]