New Orleans Yesterday was the first day of our future and from all reports it was much, much scarier than Halloween might have ever hoped to be. Look at the cases in point.
In the federal hearing on immigration madness in Arizona, Governor Brewer took time out of her campaign schedule (ok, that’s a lie; the hearing WAS her campaign schedule after all!) to rubberneck at the federal judges parsing the hate from the law in SB 1070. From NDLON tweets at the trial and the story, it seemed many of the questions went to the issue of exactly why the state should be doing the federal government’s job. With the Republican Tea Party explosion, how many pieces of anti-immigrant can we now expect? Certainly, the hope for reform needs a total retooling to mount a push back from our base in progressive cities and states to offset the madness.
Our friend, Joe McCartin, labor history professor at Georgetown, was quoted liberally in the New York Times, on the coming attacks against labor unions with Republican Tea Party ascendancy, but all that did was put a little sugar in the coffee, because it was a bitter drink to swallow. Card check has been dead, but
Washington There are few grace notes in the current divisions within the forces of institutional labor, but I happened to experience a small one at Georgetown University in a special ceremony held to honor John Sweeney, retiring President of the AFL-CIO, with an honorary degree. I had been invited by Joe McCartin, an organizer with Houston ACORN decades ago as a Jesuit Volunteer Corps member, and Jennifer Luff, who worked as a researcher for me in the HOTROC campaign in New Orleans. Joe is now a professor at Georgetown specializing in labor history and Jennifer just signed on with him to help put the Kalmanovitz Institute for Labor and the Working Poor together, where he is also acting as director. The Georgetown Labor Center, as another organizer called it, as we drove to Georgetown was exciting enough to drawn me down to talk about what people had in mind and how I could help.
I stumbled into the fine hall after the ceremony had already begun, taking a seat just behind Jon Hiatt, Sweeney’s long time general counsel at SEIU and now the AFL, who reached out his hand, and Bill Lurye, from New Orleans sitting down the row past Ray Abernathy and Denise Mitchell, the communications wizards I had known so long.