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Tea Party Roots in the Dallas of 1963

Bill Minutaglio
Washington Post
If today’s extremist rhetoric sounds familiar, that’s because it is eerily, poignantly similar to the vitriol aimed squarely at John F. Kennedy during his presidency. And just like today, Texans were leading what some of them saw as a moral crusade. To find the very roots of the tea party of 2013, just go back to downtown Dallas in 1963, back to the months and weeks leading to the Kennedy assassination.

A Progressive Victory on the Filibuster

George Zornick
The Nation
Progressive organizing was indeed crucial to changing the filibuster, with Senators like Merkley and Udall working the inside game while the outside groups got the public riled up. Many Democratic senators—including Reid—didn’t want to do rules reform back in 2009 when the GOP began its unprecedented obstruction, and it took a lot of convincing.

The Walmartization of Aerospace

Carl Bloice
The conflict in Washington State involves far more than a local dispute over wages and benefits. Boeing appears determined to set the bar higher in its labor relations. As is the trend in much of labor negotiations these days, the bosses have simply decided that moving forward, workers are going to have to forfeit the medical and retirement benefits their unions have previously secured.

Green Groups/Unions Walk Out of UN Climate Talks

John Vidal and Fiona Harvey
The Guardian and ITUC
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) joins major environmental and development groups in protest action at COP 19 in Warsaw where Governments are not acting responsibly to tackle the threat to lives, jobs and livelihoods that climate change represents.

University of California Workers Strike Against Harassment

Samantha Winslow
Labor Notes
The university campus workers joining the medical center workers in the ULP strike have also had similar concessions forced on them. Campus workers struck in 2005 and sympathy-struck in May, but this is the first time both groups have struck together. Unionized graduate students, members of UAW 2865, are sympathy-striking this time.

Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders-Run in 2016?

Dan Roberts, Greg Sargent, John Nichols
IF the fundamental issues that are of concern to the great mass of Americans - the collapse of the middle class, growing wealth and income inequality, growth in poverty, global warming - then (big IF), just maybe Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders will run for President in 2016. Both could challenge Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary. Taxing the wealthy and not cutting but expanding Social Security, could become their rallying cry.

Tidbits - November 21, 2013

Reader Comments: Capitalism and Unemployment; New York and Seattle elections; more. Announcements: Human Rights Film Screenings New York City -Nov 20 26; Breaking the Silence-Oakland-Nov 23: Fighting Back Against Wall Street -NYC-Nov 25; Chanukah Message from Jewish Voice for Peace; The National Labor College; New Day New York Dec 5 Day of Action; 50% Off PM Press for the Holidays; Pvt Chelsea Manning-4th birthday in prison-Dec 17; Faith Petric Memorial -Berkeley-Jan 15

How to Reverse a Slow-Motion Apocalypse - Why the Divestment Movement Against Big Energy Matters

Todd Gitlin
Climate Change crossroads - Super-Typhoon Haiyan, possibly the strongest such storm ever to hit land; Australia, elected a climate-change denialist as prime minister is experiencing its hottest year on record; the rest of the world is living through the seventh warmest year on record. And...young activists organizing a growing campaign to pressure universities and colleges to divest from the giant energy companies, to change the mood and calculations of our moment.

Doris Lessing - Visionary, Prophet, Feminist

Lorna Sage; Clancy Sigal
Doris Lessing, died this week at 94, was one of the major fiction writers of the second half of the 20th century and one of the most vividly representative literary figures of our times. She was a visionary, prophet, feminist icon and Nobel prizewinner given to constant literary reinvention. She was a young, romantic, passionate, fiercely ambitious single mother pounding away at a portable typewriter trying to keep it together, writes Clancy Sigal, of his former lover.

Labor Panel Finds Illegal Punishments at Walmart

Elizabeth A. Harris
NY Times
The National Labor Relations Board, after reviewing evidence of alleged retribution by Walmart against employees protesting working conditions, has found that the United States' largest employer illegally threatened employees who were considering taking part in planned demonstrations. While the Board has grounds to file a complaint, and may yet do so, it will wait in order to give Walmart and representatives of the employees an opportunity to come to a settlement.

Why Shakespeare is Julie Taymor’s Superhero

Ron Rosenbaum
Smithsonian Magazine
“My favorite play is Titus and it will always be Titus,” she says. “I think it contains the truth of human nature. Especially about evil, about violence, about blood. It investigates every aspect of violence that exists. It is the most terrifying play or movie that exists.” When I ask why, she gives a terrifying answer: “Because what Shakespeare’s saying is that anybody can turn into a monster. That is why I think Titus is way beyond Hamlet."