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The [Monday] Papers

The Beachwood will be closed for Labor Day but we do have a few quick items.

1. The White Sox Report: Beat Detroit Or Go Home. The Sox get another chance with a four-game set at the Cell.

2. "Earlier this month, when thousands of union members gathered in Philadelphia for the AFL-CIO's 'Workers Stand for America' rally, labor leaders tried to pull off a difficult balancing act: firing up a weary, embattled labor movement while presenting an endorsement of Barack Obama as the lesser of two evils," Mike Elk writes for In These Times.

Obama 2008: The Messiah. Obama 2012: The Devil You Know.


"Out of fear of the Republicans' all-out war on unions, labor leaders found themselves in the awkward position of having to champion the reelection of Obama, whose actions toward organized labor have ranged from indifferent to hostile. Touting Obama at the August 11 rally posed additional difficulties because the event had been initially seen as a sort of 'shadow convention' in protest of the Democratic National Convention being held in heavily anti-union North Carolina."


"Many in organized labor fault Obama for opening the attacks on public sector workers. In a famous speech at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in 2009, the president called for the getting rid of 'bad teachers'; the next year, he endorsed the mass firing of unionized teachers in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Campaign for America's Future Co-President Bob Borosage has likened Obama's decision to freeze the pay of federal workers to Reagan's devastating 1981 break-up of the air traffic controllers' strike, which opened the door for more demands for cuts from other workers. Most recently, the president signed a bill in February making it more difficult for airline workers to unionize, which resulted in an unprecedented anti-union ruling by a federal district court that blocked 10,000 American Airlines customer service agents from holding an election."


"North Carolina also has in place a law dating from the Jim-Crow era that denies public employees the right to collectively bargain."

So Obama will be walking a picket line, right?


Obama's message: You helped elect me based on promises I didn't keep, and now you must help re-elect me because the other guy isn't even making promises.


"I caught up with [DNC chair Debbie] Wasserman-Schultz afterward to ask whether she believes Charlotte public sector workers should have the right to voluntarily have union dues deducted from their paycheck. Wasserman-Schultz dodged the question, saying, 'What I know is that Democrats are thrilled and excited about making sure that we put on the most open, accessible Democratic National Convention of any political convention in American history and that we have an opportunity to make sure for America's workers that they have opportunity to be a part of the American Dream.'"

He might as well have been talking to a chair.

"She continued, 'Barack Obama believes that everyone in America should have an opportunity to be successful. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan think that millionaires and billionaires and the trickle-down economics and the failed policies of the past are the way to go.'

"I found it ironic that Wasserman-Schultz, who spoke for the AFL-CIO's Second Bill of Rights, wouldn't answer whether she agreed workers deserved some of the rights outlined in the original Bill of Rights. So later, I asked Wassermann-Schultz again to give a yes-or-no answer about whether Charlotte workers deserved voluntary dues deduction. She left the press scrum and walked away from the briefing."


Is it better to be silenced by a fake ally for another four years or go full-throated against a known opponent? This is a question many liberal interest groups must answer for themselves. I'm not sure an Obama presidency has helped their causes; sometimes being in opposition is more effective - just look at House Republicans.

3. Jorge Ramirez, the president of the Chicago Federation of Labor, had this letter published by both the Tribune and Sun-Times today.

But while Ramirez' letter seems sincere and is at least modestly inspiring, he's still a partisan drinking the Kool-Aid:

"Chicago AFL-CIO President Jorge Ramirez expects Democrats to celebrate organized labor [at their convention], unlike Republican speakers who criticized unions," ABC7 reports.

I wouldn't expect anything of the sort - at least not in prime time.

4. The Betrayal Of The American Dream.

5. On Labor Day, Little Rest For Workers.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Work it.


Posted on September 3, 2012

MUSIC - Madonna vs. Moderna.
TV - Sundays With The Military-Industrial Complex.
POLITICS - Private Equity In The ER.
SPORTS - Suspicious Betting Trends In Soccer.

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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