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"A Racial Entitlement" - The Right to Vote

Benjamin Jealous; Joan Walsh
"It no longer surprises me when extremist state legislators try to restrict our voting rights. I don't like it and we fight against it, but I'm no longer surprised by it." "What surprises and outrages me is that yesterday a Supreme Court Justice said that the protection of the right to vote is a 'perpetuation of racial entitlement.'" Benjamin Jealous, President and CEO, NAACP

Tidbits - February 24, 2013

Published by Portside
Recent Problems with Portside Delivery. Readers' Comments on: Roots of Poverty; Israel, Palestine and the Oscars; Friday Nite Videos; `Demographics' Are Not Simply Passive Numbers; Do You Know Genetics; Big Labor's Lock 'Em Up Mentality; Oscar Nominee `Invisible War'; Portside should use Facebook page more. Announcements - upcoming events in New York, Bay Area, Chicago and Washington, DC

AFL-CIO Executive Council Backs Keystone XL Pipeline

Steven Greenhouse
New York Times
"The A.F.L.-C.I.O., the nation’s largest federation of unions, has issued an apparent endorsement of the Keystone XL oil pipeline," writes Steven Greenhouse in the NY Times. Following the NY Times' article, Portside gives you the federation's official statement followed by the official AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department's unequivocal interpretation of the AFL-CIO Executive Council's decision.

Margrit Pittman Presente!

Published by Portside
Margrit Adler Pittman, an activist journalist with a lifelong commitment to the fight for peace, democracy and social and economic justice, died February 4 in New York City at the age of 93.

If This Is The Deal, Philly Teachers Should Strike

Will Bunch
Philadelphia Daily News
Here come the contract demands that the Philadelphia School District would like to cram down the throat of the city's unionized school teachers. The so-called City of Brotherly Love is on the brink of setting a new standard in squeezing middle- class workers to death. It's not like we haven't seen this story before: Working men and women asked to take a sizable pay cut...and work longer hours...and pay more for shrinking benefits.

Elba Esther Gordillo – Mexico's Famed Union Boss – Accused of Embezzlement

By Jo Tuckman in Mexico City
The Guardian
She is known simply as The Teacher, a union boss of such legendary influence that she was credited with putting a president in office and, until this week, so untouchable she flaunted her apparently dubious wealth with abandon. Now Elba Esther Gordillo is behind bars over the alleged embezzlement of stratospheric amounts of union funds.

Scalia's Weird VRA Spat

By Scott Lemieux
The American Prospect
After today's oral arguments on Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, it seems unlikely that the Supreme Court's conservative wing will want to uphold the landmark win for civil rights.

What’s So Bold about $9.00 an Hour?

By Colin Gordon and John Schmitt
The takeaway from all of this is simple: even the low benchmarks suggested here (one half the average production wage, the poverty level for a family of two, simply recapturing the minimum’s 1968 value) come in at more than $9.00. The benchmarks that actually sustain the value of the minimum or tie it to economic growth over time come in at close to twice that.

Trans-Atlantic Rifts

By Christoph Pauly and Christoph Schult
Spiegel Online
Consumer watchdogs, Internet activists and European farmers are gearing up to fight the planned trade agreement between Europe and the United States. Many in Europe are worried that politicians will make backroom deals at the expense of consumers.