Trusting Bush: The Immigration Deal

By Glenn Hurowitz

Do you trust George W. Bush - do you?

Some progressives are saying that when it comes to immigration, they're willing to cast aside all the past lies, suspicion, and betrayals and have faith that Bush's deal will help immigrants and help workers.

"I don't usually have nice things to say about President Bush, but this deal tends to separate people who have courage of their convictions and political opportunists," said Frank Sharry of the National Immigration Forum in a teleconference Thursday. "This is one time where President Bush deserves a real salute for having the courage of his convictions."

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Don't Make Me Come Back There Girls

Now if I wanted to see otherwise intelligent people make completely embarrassing nitwits of themselves, I would have watched the clowns masquerading as attorneys turn MSNBC's wall-to-wall coverage of the Anna Nichole Smith hearing into a circus.  What an embarrassing display.

No, I'm a political junkie, into substance and policy, and ...

Hey.   (Excuse me for a minute folks.) I said cut it out!   I swear if you girls don't behave back there you'll all get time outs.   Wonkette, You know how I feel about spreading lies and rumors.  You're grounded young lady.  No more My Space for a week!
Sorry about that.  Where was I?  Anyway, you might have known there was an important event in Carson City, Nevada, Wednesday (notice I didn't say Nev-ahh-duh.)

Most of the Democratic presidential candidates were speaking before the AFSCME Union Forum ...

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Tonight! Talk to Obama, Edwards about Wal-Mart is gearing up for its annual holiday campaign and you can join the conference call:

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For Unions, It's All About the Members

This week's post is by Teamsters Organizing Director Jeff Farmer.

Unions are about members helping members, unlike advocacy groups such as the AARP, or professional organizations like the American Medical Association.

Yes, there are similarities -- such as national lobbying efforts, member publications and affinity credit card offers -- but for unions, these are ancillary, not primary functions.

I've never had someone come up to me when I'm wearing my Nature Conservancy T-shirt and say "Hey, I give to the Nature Conservancy too!" But when I'm traveling and people see my Teamster lapel pin, they will often comment that they are Teamsters too, or that their father was a Teamster or that they belong to some other union. That's because, as Mike said last week, unions are personal.

Our strength comes from our members, not how much money we raise or how many lobbyists we can field. It's about Teamsters standing with Teamsters, whether we're going up against an employer for better pay and working conditions or chipping in to help another member when times are tough.  

But you don't need to hear me preach about solidarity. I'll let our members tell you themselves. The following comments are from real Teamsters in their own words.

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On Labor Day, Think of Labor

On Labor Day consider what's happening in the "labor market."

An 8/28/06 NY Times headline: "Wages and salaries now make up the lowest share of the nation's economy since the U.S. began recording the data in 1947." In the article it continues "... while corporate profits have climbed to their highest share since the 1960's." ... The median hourly wage for American workers has declined 2 percent since 2003, after factoring in inflation [even though] ... productivity ­ the amount that an average worker produces in an hour and the basic wellspring of a nation's living standards ­ has risen steadily over the same period." That's "regress," not progress. 

And then there's the minimum wage, last raised in 1997: Adjusted for inflation it's at its lowest level in 50 years. Conservatives argue against raising it and even want to eliminate it. Their argument: such an artificial increase in wages violates market forces. And a higher price of labor decreases demand and would put many out of work. They say, "That's just simple Economics 101."

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