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.
The War on Labor: Required Reading (II)
While the media's attention has pivoted toward the civil war in Libya and the multiple catastrophes in Japan, the war against labor goes on across America. Here are some of the best places to keep up with it:
Professor William Cronon of the University of Wisconsin provides crucial historical context in The New York Times: “Republicans in Wisconsin are seeking to reverse civic traditions that for more than a century have been among the most celebrated achievements not just of their state, but of their own party as well. “
Abe Sauer has done excellent coverage of Wisconsin since the beginning of the crisis. His latest, today, is about the extreme partisanship on display in the run-up to the Wisconsin election coming on April 5
Chris Dykstra’s The Uptake has been another source of consistently first rate, comprehensive coverage.
Wisconsin State Senator Randy Harper, his wife, his mistress, and the governor who loves (two of) them: Keith Olbermann's take is here.
The Daily Kos and Politicusa have addtional details here and here.
Nation Washington correspondent John Nichols reports that Governor Walker loved one story in The New York Times--because it was largely wrong. FCP has also dissected the failings of the same Times piece.
Sarah van Gelder and Brooke Jarvis run down the national reaction to events in Wisconsin: “From Indiana to Ohio and Tennessee to Texas, workers are demanding to know why corporations and the wealthy get bailouts and tax breaks while teachers and steel workers bear the burdens of budget crises they didn’t cause.”
War On Unions Goes Viral, Wisconsin is Patient Zero: an overview of anti-union actions in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, as well as Wisconsin; plus the growing number of commentators discussing the need for a general strike.
Columnist Harold Meyerson reminds us of what hasn't changed in the one hundred years since the Triangle Shirt Factory fire: " A century after Triangle, greed encased in libertarianism remains a fixture of — and danger to — American life."