Starting the conversation – no small achievement

Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama has evoked an explosion of opinions – some for, some against. I have to admit that I was caught by surprise by the reactions.


Reforming CEO compensation — how much is enough?

A big debate is underway about what should be done about high risk corporate behavior.


Morality is the key issue in the health reform battle

"Should a homeless woman or a garbage man receive the same level of health care as a corporate CEO?"

Forget about "socialized medicine." Forget about "government takeover." Forget about "death panels." This is the one big question health care reform advocates need to address before we can hope to see major change in this country.



I visit Wall Street and get Obama’s speech

Obama's main points:

1. The rescue of the financial system was necessary.

I agree with him. Wall Street and Main Street are closely linked. Now, the government's public stake in some huge bailed out banks gives it the right and responsibility to — at the minimum — curb excessive risk, especially in non-productive investment.


Union was in her soul

Crystal Lee Sutton, the North Carolina textile worker played by Sally Fields in the 1975 movie "Norma Rae," has died of cancer. Many have pointed to her death as another tragic example of the impact of profit-driven health insurance – which in this case delayed payment so long that the treatment she needed was ineffective.

Tale of two worlds

At the AFL-CIO labor convention, teabaggers, birthers and other haters seem a world away. Firefighters, ironworkers, teachers and office professionals all took the floor making the case for a labor movement fully engaged on fighting for racial and gender diversity within the labor movement's ranks and leadership.

LETTERS, September 19, 2009

Tucson for EFCA

Tucson, Arizona, became the latest city to endorse passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. Tucson’s Republican Mayor, and the all Democratic city council voted unanimously to pass a resolution extolling the proposed legislation which will make organizing unions fairer and simpler for U.S. workers. The resolution urges Arizona’s congressional delegation to support the Bill. The action was taken at the initiative of the Tucson Chapters of the United Steelworkers Association and Jobs with Justice.

Joe Bernick

Via e-mail

Money can’t defeat outrage against Bloomberg

The incumbent mayor of New York City, opposed by Democrat Bill Thompson in the upcoming mayoralty election, is multi billionaire business tycoon Bloomberg. The recent endorsements of Bill Thompson by two powerful New York City unions, TWU Local 100 and DC37 of AFSCME, have given a big boost to the Bill Thompson campaign just as pools show more and more New York voters swinging towards Thompson.

Minefields in the health care endgame

I was ecstatic at the temper and pitch of President Obama's health care address. I accept in principle the president's position that the political instability arising from too dramatic a shock to the existing complex US health care system argues strongly for exerting every effort to avert the spread of panic or fear. The crazy, racist, Christian or theocratic right is playing hard on these fears, and it is important that they be isolated.

Statement from ACORN regarding recent news reports

The relentless attacks on ACORN’s members, its staff and the policies and positions we promote are unprecedented. An international entertainment conglomerate, disguising itself as a “news” agency (Fox), has expended millions, if not tens of millions of dollars, in their attempt to destroy the largest community organization of Black, Latino, poor and working class people in the country. It is not coincidence that the most recent attacks have been launched just when health care reform is gaining traction. It is clear they’ve had these tapes for months.

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