U.S. Busting Labor Unions in Iraq

superhero

Sherwood Ross: It is only in comic books and Hollywood movies that America’s superheroes exist to defend the underdog. In practice, the armies of America have fanned out around the globe to show they are the willing servants of the corporate overdog.

Labor Day Past and Present

CEO Pay

Labor Day became a federal holiday in the United States in 1894. At that time, conflict between labor unions and the railroads had reached such a fever pitch that there was danger of the American economy taking a big hit. President Grover Cleveland took action by calling in the U.S. Military and U.S. Marshals to [...]

Room for Progressives In Today’s Democratic Party?

convention

Gene Rothman: Regrettably, at this time, there is virtually no Left to counter the Tea Party and other right-wing forces: not a labor movement, a women’s movement, a peace movement—no counterattack from anywhere (although the immigrant-rights movement is a possible exception).

Education Activists Need Strategy Beyond Marches

School crunch

Randy Shaw: Activists can use mass action to pressure legislators and the Governor to redirect excessive spending on prisons and other wasteful programs to education, but there is no chance this year of getting enough Republicans to win the necessary two-thirds legislative votes.

Bet on Barbara Boxer in November

barbara boxer

Randy Shaw: The media always promotes Republicans like Campbell or John McCain who are reactionary and corporate-owned on most issues but have a few stands that are common to Democrats. This makes them “mavericks,” and allegedly shows they can appeal to Democrats.

Media Ignoring Labor Union Successes

Sally Field in "Norma Rae"

Randy Shaw: The absence of labor reporters is a symptom of a larger media trend that now sees union activism and elections as deserved only of local coverage, while corporate news wins national attention. So the New York Times reports on Disney’s public relations event in Orlando, Florida is reported by, while UNITE HERE’s far more newsworthy event at Disneyland gets only local press.

The Innovation of Pilot Schools

lausd students

Maria Elena Durazo and Maria Brenes: Sadly, the promise of economic and social mobility via our public educational system is going unfulfilled for the children of poor and working class parents in the City of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Unified District (LAUSD) whose student body is over 70% Latino and 11% African American must focus on stopping the drop-out crisis and addressing the lack of student preparation for college and the 21st century workforce.

Obama Era Sees Decline of Organizing

Clockwise from top: UNITE-HERE protests Hyatt; Immigration Rally in 2006; ACORN protests Wachovia; HCAN rally

Randy Shaw: As the midterm elections approach, progressives face a critical choice: either spend resources now on funding organizers who can win real change in 2010, or invest in the November elections to set the stage for 2011. The choice should be clear.

A Lesson for Obama: President Kennedy’s Stand Against the Steel Industry

RFK JFK

Joseph Palermo: If the Democrats go into the 2010 midterm elections without passing concrete measures that move the pendulum back toward labor and away from corporate domination it will remind voters that the Democratic Party is still the party of Mondale, Dukakis, Gore-Lieberman, Carter, Clinton, and Kerry. These guys can ride in tanks, say they love guns and the death penalty, call for deregulating business and slashing welfare, or salute and say “reporting for duty” — but they’re still a bunch of hapless losers.

Obama Ignores Community Organizing Lessons

yes-we-can

When Barack Obama backed a Senate health reform plan that differed radically from prior proposals, he ignored the lessons he learned as a young organizer on Chicago’s South Side. Obama once knew that it’s wrong to bypass the community’s agenda to strike a backroom deal, regardless of its superior terms. Obama also understood that failing to consult with the community disempowers the base, and discourages people from participating in future organizing campaigns.

“Doom and Gloom” on the Left

Obama_and_Cheney

Nine months into the Obama era, it’s not simply the Right that is detached from the perspectives of everyday people, and not just the Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck crowd that express an “I told you so” attitude toward the President’s actions.

Obama: Labor’s Agenda Is My Agenda

barack

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

How Ted Kennedy Countered Town Hall Goon Squads

ted_kennedy

Democratic politicians facing town hall disruptions should seek the help of their working-class supporters. Make sure large numbers of people from the local unions come to these events. Then we’ll see if the Tea Bagger thugs can continue their bullying tactics on behalf of corporations seeking to block progress on health care.

Single-Payer Health Care versus Individual Mandates: A Dilemma for Democrats

vaccination

A wide array of labor unions, health care providers, and consumers–including the California Nurses Association and the Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) favors a single-payer (SP) “Medicare for All” system as the most cost-effective, comprehensive, and outcome-effective health care proposal. “Everybody in, nobody out” is the principle. By reducing or eliminating the role [...]

Reagan the Socialist, Nixon the Commie, Eisenhower the Quisling

commie-republicans

Ronald Reagan was a socialist. I didn’t say it. Bill O’Reilly got permission from Republican Party policy chief Rush Limbaugh to explain, on the air, the economic logic that drives the Republican Party to now condemn Reagan as a socialist. As O’Reilly explained Republican policy, anyone who wants our wealthiest citizens to pay as little [...]

Where Is California’s Barack Obama?

Fresh off a thrilling presidential campaign, California Democrats face a Governor’s race without a candidate that can rally a multi-racial, class-crossing grassroots base. The three most talked about candidates — Dianne Feinstein, Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom — neither offer a sharply new direction nor provide the transformational message that was at the heart of [...]

Today We Vote: Tomorrow We March

“When we elect Barack, knock on wood, we will have someone who responds to labor, to people’s needs, the plight of immigrants, but he can’t win change alone it will take a larger movement,” said Maria Elena Durazo, leader of the 840,000-member Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. One of the most successful and dynamic [...]

Now Greenspan Tells Us!

Whoops! My bad. Sorry. In effect, this is what former Fed chair Alan Greenspan is telling members of the House Committee of Government Oversight and Reform today by admitting he was wrong about unfettered free markets regulating themselves.

Senate Plot-Plop, Fizz-Fizz

$700,000,000,000… oh what a relief, it is! With apologies to Alka-Seltzer, one chamber crawled out of the sandbox and reached an unpopular but bipartisan decision to save global credit markets last night as banks held a Russian Roulette pistol with six chambers full to our heads and yelled, “Stop me before I shoot.” Crisis over? [...]

Creating a Quality Economy, Part 2

Line Chart with Rats

By Mark Pash, with Brad Parker – Capitalism does significantly raise the standard of living but not for all and not enough for many. Therefore, it is up to government to take a more active role in the economy in order to overcome these flaws with as little hindrance as possible. In other words, one [...]