Review: New biography of groundbreaking Labor Secretary is timely

(Reposted from Workday Minnesota) ST. PAUL - A new biography, “The Woman Behind the New Deal,” brings Frances Perkins out of the footnotes and into the historically accurate limelight of unparalleled progressive policy advances. If you learned about Perkins in school, chances are all you learned was that in 1933 she became the first woman member of a U.S. president’s Cabinet as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s secretary of labor. If you have studied labor history, you have learned that on Perkins’ watch, organized labor came into full legal rights but not without internal strife and potent backlash from anti-labor interests.

Lawyers group targets torture memo author

NEW YORK, Apr 20 (IPS) - Lawyers who reject President Barack Obama’s decision not to seek prosecution of officials who may have participated in the torture of terror-suspect prisoners are seeking justice through another avenue: Sanctions against government lawyers who created the 'enhanced interrogation' policies of former President George W. Bush.

Illinois lawmakers on the move to pass capital budget plan

CHICAGO – Several Illinois state representatives here hosted a public hearing April 16 at the Austin Town Hall on the city’s west side in an effort to build support for the passage of a comprehensive transportation infrastructure program.

Texas legislature opposes Governor, Theres a new sheriff in town

HOUSTON — In a state where right wing followers of George W. Bush have been dominant, it is refreshing to watch our new legislature, both House and Senate.

ICE locked up citizen, threw away key unions say enough is enough!

U.S. citizens like Hector Veloz, a 37-year-old Los Angeles resident, are among tens of thousands languishing in immigration detention facilities without having received a hearing to determine whether their detention is warranted.

Coalition demands greater transparency of Chicago city finances

Chicago – With public outrage mounting over the privatization of the city’s parking meters, a coalition of labor and community groups and progressive aldermen called for greater transparency of the city budget and an accounting of the city’s privatization deals. The groups staged a protest in Chicago City Hall on April 20.

New moves by administration seen as step toward bank nationalization

In a major change of course, Obama administration officials are saying they don’t have to ask Congress to add money to the Bush administration’s bank bailout and that they can convert the government’s existing loans into common stock. Although the move would turn federal bailout money already handed out into available capital for the banks, it would give the government a major ownership stake in the nation’s largest 19 banks.


Health care should not be wheel of (mis)fortune

CRANSTON, R.I. — Wendy Laprade, a nurse and Service Employees International Union activist, played “health care wheel of (mis)fortune” at a rally for national health care reform here this weekend. Her spin landed her on “pre-existing condition” — one of a host of ways private insurance companies exclude people from coverage.

As J Street turns one, signs of a shift

NEW YORK, Apr 15 (IPS) - It seems safe to say that the first year of existence for J Street, the self-described 'pro-Israel, pro-peace' lobbying organisation, was more eventful than anticipated.

Lawmakers take aim at off-shore tax havens

WASHINGTON - (PAI) Prompted by the convergence of Income Tax Day and a report showing up to $1 trillion over 10 years in U.S. tax losses due to offshore corporate tax havens, several lawmakers are trying to ban the corporate tax dodge.

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