Welcome to the New Normal America

obama golden valley

Joseph Palermo: Wall Street banks should be pouring money into Obama’s reelection since he’s been so good to them, and the neocons should be rejoicing in his establishing precedent for more unchecked executive power.

Jerry Betrays Cesar, UFW, and His Own Legacy

jerry brown and cesar chavez

Randy Shaw: Brown’s alignment with wealthy growers against indigent workers picking crops in the fields surely has Chavez turning over in his grave, and shows that the Governor views the UFW as just another group he is willing to betray.

Filibuster Reform Dies a Quiet Death

Congress

Paul Hogarth: By a slim vote of 46-49 on Thursday, the U.S. Senate defeated a proposal by Jeff Merkley (D-OR) to actually require filibusters (as opposed to mere filibuster threats) before a 60-vote threshold is needed to end debate.

The Winter of Labor’s Discontent

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Berry Craig: But it’s getting harder for me to defend Obama when my union brothers and sisters — who also voted and worked for him — say he’s all but surrendered to the GOP. I’m disappointed in the president. They’re downright mad.

The Enthusiasm Gap and You

hope revisited

Robert Reich: Average Americans are hurting. But their pain isn’t coming from government. It’s coming from an economy whose benefits are concentrating ever more at the top, whose giant corporations are controlling ever more of our democratic process, and whose costs and risks are becoming ever more burdensome for the middle class and the poor

SEIU-UNITE HERE Settlement Reached

John Wilhelm & Mary Kay Henry

Randy Shaw: After an 18-month battle that began with SEIU believing it could affect a hostile takeover of its once close union ally, the two unions reached a settlement yesterday almost entirely on UNITE HERE’s terms.

A Plea for the Employee Free Choice Act

harry-bridges

lthough the odds for the passage of EFCA seem long today despite a Democratic majority in Congress and a Democratic president, the importance of EFCA should not be forgotten. In mid-2009, many of America’s labor historians signed a statement that strongly endorsed the act. This was a good beginning. Going forward, all of us who are committed to social justice should do what we can to support passage of EFCA in the immediate future.

2009: Labor’s Missed Opportunity

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With the Democratic Party needing union money and volunteers for the November 2010 elections, it will have to start delivering for labor soon. This means that Congress will enact some changes in union election rules, though expedited elections rather than card check appears to be where the debate is headed.

Obama: Labor’s Agenda Is My Agenda

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Organized labor has historically been the core of Barack Obama’s political base, and now that the President finds himself in a tough fight with corporate America, he is increasingly aligning himself with the labor movement

Obama, Progressives Face Moment of Truth

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President Obama and his progressive supporters are at a turning point. The heart of Obama’s progressive policy agenda — universal health care — is confronting increasing opposition, and the grassroots activists that put Barack Obama in the White House must pressure wavering Senators to back the Change We Need. But mobilizing is proving difficult, as [...]

Obama’s Surprising First 100 Days

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Barack Obama is the first candidate I have supported at any level of government whose first 100 days greatly exceeded my expectations. What has Obama done differently from the rest? First, he did not spend three months learning how to get things done in his new job. Second, he did not follow his swearing in [...]

As Nation Moves Left, Media Stuck in Past

media-quartet

Despite Barack Obama’s victory and polls showing strong support for a progressive agenda, the traditional media is “staying the course” in presenting the news. While the blogosphere pokes fun at the FOX News-created “tea parties” on April 15, CNN and other media are giving wide coverage to these fake protests, ignoring legitimate protests and rallies [...]

The Obama Progressive Agenda: A Progress Report

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Although progressives have already won two major victories – the stimulus package and the budget – and a reversal of a number of Bush anti-environment policies, most activists are focused on the troika of universal health care, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), and comprehensive immigration reform. Having asked activists across the nation over the [...]

Rite Aid and the Failure of Labor Law

safeway12

After months of a media war supporting and condemning it, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) was finally introduced into Congress again last week. The bill has been debated before, but with a larger Democratic majority, its chances of passage are much greater today, and President Obama has said he’ll sign it. Employers, therefore, are [...]

Blue Dogs and Citigroup Fight the Employee Free Choice Act

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Even the “Blue Dog” Democrats should be alarmed about bailed out banks taking billions in taxpayer funds only to lobby against this era’s Wagner Act. I don’t think so. Labor gaining ground was essential to putting the economy back together after the Great Depression and it is essential today. The activists working in favor of [...]

Howard Dean’s Return to DFA Can Spark National Activism

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After presiding over the Democratic Party’s most successful national grassroots mobilizing campaign since the New Deal, Howard Dean is returning to Democracy for America, the organization he founded nearly five years ago. Dean’s return to DFA got scant attention in the traditional media, which has underestimated the former Vermont Governor from his 2004 presidential campaign [...]

SEIU, UFCW Demand Hilda Solis’ Speedy Confirmation

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SEIU, UCFW, and other worker rights advocates are escalating their campaign against Republican efforts to obstruct the appointment of Congressmember Hilda Solis as the new Labor Secretary. Solis, who has been a hero to working people from her days as a California legislator through her tenure in Congress, is being opposed on the grounds that [...]

Walmart Against EFCA

same-direction

Walmart Against Employee Free Choice Act t’s estimated 86,000 workers got fired trying to exercise their legal right to organize a union during the Bush years and signs are Corporate America will fight to keep things that way. “We like driving the car,” Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott says, “and we’re not going to give the [...]