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: Mexicans Turf Illegal Loggers; Election Woes; and More
- A 38-year-old grandmother is leading a civilian insurgency against machine-gun-toting illegal loggers in the Mexican town of Cherán, the New York Times reports.
- An agency created to ensure the integrity of federal elections is currently leaderless and adrift, Dan Froomkin reports for Huffington Post. The U.S. Election Assistance Commission is supposed to have four commissioners, but right now it has none, and the Republicans are trying to defund it.
- A surprising new study found that sedentary U.S. office workers burn about as many calories per day as hunter-gatherers in Tanzania. Technically, the U.S. office workers burned more calories than the hunter-gatherers, but they also weighed more. Once you correct for body weight, it's a wash.
- Raising less corn and more hell: A Vermont farmer is awaits trial for flattening seven police cars with his tractor.