The Most Important Labor Story Right Now Is in Minnesota

Source: In These Times
by Sarah Jaffe

“Andrea Villanueva was in bargaining five days ago, negotiating a new contract for herself and 500 other retail janitors who clean some of the Twin Cities’ most recognizable stores. A group of building security workers, also members of Villanueva’s union SEIU Local 26, were also in negotiations in the same building. The workers bumped into one another in the hallways as the day went on — stopping to cheer each other on and express their solidarity. Local 26 is just one of a major network of unions and community groups in Minneapolis and St. Paul that lined up bargaining processes for new contracts — and in some cases, strike votes — around a March 2 deadline, deliberately set in order to maximize their leverage and win collectively determined community demands around four key issues: dignified work, stable housing, a livable planet and good schools.” (03/02/24)

MI: Amash announces Republican bid for US Senate seat

Source: SFGate

“Former U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, who left the GOP in 2019 after calling for the impeachment of then-President Donald Trump, announced a Republican bid for Michigan’s U.S. Senate seat Thursday. Amash represented Grand Rapids from 2011 to 2021, and he becomes the third former U.S. representative to join the Republican field vying for Michigan’s open Senate seat. Former U.S. Reps. Mike Rogers and Peter Meijer have also announced Republican campaigns, as has businessman Sandy Pensler. ‘I’m convinced that no candidate would be better positioned to win both the Republican primary and the general election,’ Amash said on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter. ‘That’s why, today, I’m making it official: I’m joining the race for United States Senate in Michigan.’ The decision to jump into the Republican primary comes after Amash left the party to become a[ Libertarian]. He had been the lone House Republican to support a Trump impeachment inquiry in 2019.” (02/29/24)

Trump’s Justice: Justice Delayed Is Democracy Denied

Source: TomDispatch
by Karen J Greenberg

“In 1868, British Prime Minister William Gladstone famously said, ‘Justice delayed is justice denied.’ The phrase has often been repeated here in the United States, most famously by the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., who echoed it in his 1963 ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail’ …. Sadly enough, justice delayed (and possibly denied) is once again front and center in America as we face the specter of Donald Trump and his insistence on eternally evading the reach of the law. What’s at stake isn’t just the fate of the former president, but an essential aspect of democracy. Recently, the country was privy to attempts by Donald Trump’s lawyers to delay, if not completely derail, legal proceedings in a Georgia courtroom where Trump faces 13 felony counts for, in essence, trying to steal an election.” [editor’s note: The rhetoric tells you all you need to know about the writer – SAT] (02/29/24)

Methinks The Israel Apologist Doth Protest Too Much

Source: Caitlin Johnstone, Rogue Journalist
by Caitlin Johnstone

“If you’ve noticed Israel apologist trolls swarming all over the Aaron Bushnell story, it’s because they know how damaging a US airman self-immolating while screaming ‘Free Palestine’ is to US and Israeli information interests, and they’re scrambling to manipulate the narrative. Israel apologists are all over the internet swarming the comments of anyone discussing Aaron Bushnell going ‘No one cares! He died for nothing! He didn’t accomplish anything!’ Bitch, if he didn’t accomplish anything you wouldn’t be here in my notifications frantically telling me he didn’t accomplish anything.Aaron Bushnell wasn’t addressing the Israeli government with his soul-jarring message. He wasn’t even addressing his own government. He was addressing you. Each of us. His goal was to get us all to open our eyes to the horror of what’s happening, and spur us to action to end it.” (02/29/24)

Panera franchisee’s Gavin Newsom payoff to skirt minimum wage law shows woke policy’s a bake & fake

Source: New York Post
by staff

“Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom fights for fast-food workers’ rights … unless their bosses donate big to his campaign, like billionaire Panera Bread franchise owner Greg Flynn. How else to explain the bizarre carveout in California’s $20-an-hour fast-food minimum wage, letting restaurants that bake and sell bread as a standalone item dodge the blow of this law? The loophole stinks like a three-day-old Filet O’Fish. The sordid history: Newsom signed a similar fast-food wage-hike bill in 2022, though to $22. Flynn — the largest restaurant franchisee overall in the country and a major donor to Newsom — had publicly slammed the law; he reportedly lobbied Newsom’s team to reconsider classifying Panera as a fast-food chain at all. Instead, what he got was that shady ‘baked bread’ exemption.” (02/29/24)

How Workers Brought Starbucks to the Bargaining Table

Source: In These Times
by Natascha Elena Uhlmann

“After a grueling and innovative organizing campaign characterized by stonewalling, fear mongering and retaliation, Starbucks workers are closer than ever to a first contract. Days after Starbucks Workers United announced the largest single-day union drive in the company’s history, the union declared it had reached ‘a constructive path forward … on the future of organizing and collective bargaining at Starbucks.’ According to the statement, Starbucks will no longer deny benefits and credit card tipping to union members, and will work towards a ​’foundational framework’ for collective bargaining agreements. … How did workers bring the corporate behemoth to the bargaining table? In this post, you’ll find a selection of some of the movement’s victories and challenges along the way.” (02/29/24)

Broken [sic] border a public health emergency [sic]; here’s how to fix it

Source: Fox News
by Dr. Marc Siegel

“All the presidential trips to the southern border in the world won’t change the fact that the border is porous, that there have been more than 7.3 million illegal [sic] immigrants who have reportedly crossed there over the last three years. I believe this constitutes a public health emergency, especially when you consider that migrants cannot be screened for diseases before entering the U.S. And not only do migrants come originally from countries where rates of potentially deadly illnesses like measles, polio, drug resistant tuberculosis or chicken pox are higher than in the U.S., at the same time, the vaccination rates are lower and the compliance rates among migrants lower still. I spoke with Dr. James Hodges, a prominent internist who works in Laredo, Texas at our southern border.” (02/29/24)

Zambia: Fresh from deadly cholera outbreak, regime declares drought a national emergency

Source: SFGate

“Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema Thursday declared the country’s debilitating drought a national disaster and emergency, saying it has devastated food production and electricity generation as the nation battles to recover from a recent deadly cholera outbreak. Like some of its neighbors, the southern African country is suffering a severe drought as the El Nino weather pattern worsens harsh weather conditions attributed in part to climate change. In an address to the nation, Hichilema said he has instructed security forces to focus more on food production in the largely peaceful country. He said 84 of the country’s 116 districts are affected by the prolonged drought and authorities will take food from areas where there is an excess and distribute it to needy areas. In addition, the country plans more food imports and is mobilizing United Nations agencies and local businesses to assist.” (02/29/24)

Putin Threatens Nuclear War If NATO Deploys Troops to Ukraine

Source: Common Dreams

“Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that if Western nations started sending troops to Ukraine, it could lead to nuclear warfare. Putin made the comments in his annual state of the nation address. They came partially in response to French President Emmanuel Macron stating on Monday that sending troops to Ukraine couldn’t be ruled out. ‘They must realize that we also have weapons that can hit targets on their territory. All this really threatens a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons and the destruction of civilization,’ Putin said. ‘Don’t they get that?’ The Russian leader also touted the country’s development of hypersonic nuclear missiles, which can travel over five times faster than the speed of sound. ‘Strategic nuclear forces are in a state of full readiness,’ he said.” (02/29/24)

Ken Cuccinelli and the Persuasive, Pervasive Politics of Cruelty

Source: The American Prospect
by Chris Lewis

“Over the past 15 or so years, the far-right faction of the Republican Party has fully taken over the party, and in the process managed to center the conservative political imagination on gleeful, vindictive cruelty. Back in the early Obama years, the so-called Tea Party rose to prominence supposedly as an angry backlash to his hesitant attempts to rescue Detroit and underwater homeowners, but the ‘birther’ conspiracy theory claiming Obama was not a real citizen indicated deeper, more visceral roots of their grievance. The rise of Donald Trump removed any pretext. As journalist Adam Serwer pointed out in his essay ‘The Cruelty Is the Poin,t,’ Trump and his supporters rejoiced in the utter depravity of his actions. Very often, this meant altering the Emma Lazarus poem to institute ‘merit based’ immigration or a plan to end the Constitution’s promise [sic] of birthright citizenship.” (02/29/24)