Archive for June, 2011

The Debt Ceiling Deal

Posted on June 28, 2011 by

Don’t expect much from Barack Obama on the debt ceiling “crisis.”  This way you won’t be too disappointed.  The republicans are clearly ready to take him on.  Progressives are worried that he’ll give away the store.  What else is new?  This creates a problem for those of us who admire and support President Obama.  We [...]

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Attacks on Labor Board Help Obama

Posted on June 25, 2011 by

A plan to streamline procedures for union representation elections has outraged republicans and their business allies.  And that’s exactly what the Obama Administration wants to see.  The proposed rule changes by the National Labor Relations Board could close the gap between union filing and worker voting, making it slightly harder for employers to gear up [...]

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For Better or for Worse?

Posted on June 23, 2011 by

Many progressive democrats believe that re-electing Barack Obama in 2012, while necessary, will not stop America’s decline.  Union activists, environmentalists, human rights advocates and others understand and appreciate the difference between this administration and its predecessor (or its potential republican successor).  But we’re disappointed and disturbed that this presidency has not changed the nation’s direction [...]

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Supreme Victory for Walmart?

Posted on June 20, 2011 by

By rejecting class-action status to women Walmart employees, the Supremes have dampened the familiar argument that modern workers don’t need union representation because they’re already protected by laws, government and the courts. Still, I don’t expect unions to gain much traction out of this case.  At most, there will be a day or two of [...]

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Democrats for Bachmann

Posted on June 18, 2011 by

Of course we’re rooting for Michele Bachmann.  Among our likely opponents, she seems to be the most extreme.  Americans would never go for such a radical conservative, we believe.  And Obama would pick her apart.  Maybe so.  Mitt Romney worries us because he’s too “presidential.”  We’re afraid that, once nominated, he’ll lean to the center [...]

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Union Owned and Operated?

Posted on June 17, 2011 by

Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer’s recent column “Union Owned and Operated” outlines what he calls democrats “fealty” to organized labor. For progressive critics of congressional democrats and this white house, it’s instructive to see how the right stokes its base by citing the union boogeyman.  And it’s important to recognize that many republicans honestly believe that [...]

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Back to the AFL-CIO

Posted on June 14, 2011 by

It’s time for the Teamsters, SEIU, Farmworkers and UFCW to rejoin the AFL-CIO.  I know there’s a lot of institutional politics in the way, but a more united labor movement would strengthen our hand in the 2012 election cycle and beyond. AFL-CIO prez Rich Trumka has gotten better and better at articulating and promoting our [...]

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Our Hilda Solis

Posted on June 12, 2011 by

Los Angeles union leaders and activists were thrilled when President Obama picked Hilda Solis to head the Labor Department.  The El Monte democrat had spent eight years in the U.S. house and was a great union ally and a true friend of workers.  As a state senator in 1996 she spearheaded a very successful voter [...]

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A Credible Strike Threat

Posted on June 10, 2011 by

Most Americans think of strikes as a thing of the past.  In fact, there have been so few in recent years that the image of picketing workers has become quaint.  Unions began to abandon the practice decades ago as employers took advantage of weak labor laws to “permanently replace” strikers.  Which of course contributed to [...]

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What Are We Talking About?

Posted on June 9, 2011 by

I have nothing original to say about Weiner, Edwards, Schwarzenegger or Strauss – Kahn.  Obviously the criminal rape charges against the former IMF chief makes his case different from the others.  But Edwards’ behavior earns him special scorn from democrats who believed in his economic populist message.  The narcissistic conduct of the recent California governor [...]

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Summertime Political Blues

Posted on June 6, 2011 by

The progressive press is filled with gloomy news:  The persistently depressed economy. The apparent success by republicans in defining the problem as “overspending.” The democrats – and the president’s – inability or unwillingness to do anything about it. With federal action to stimulate the economy politically impossible, republicans have a reasonable chance to win it [...]

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Jews, Obama and the American Left

Posted on June 2, 2011 by

Nearly eight of ten American Jews who went to the polls in 2008 voted for Barack Obama.  Don’t expect that to change much next time around.  Sometimes centrist republicans – Dick Riordan in L.A. or George Pataki in New York State - pull larger shares of the Jewish vote, but Jews seldom stray into far-right territory.  [...]

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