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Clear it with SidneyHow our blog got its name >

 
Notes on journalism for the common good
by Lindsay Beyerstein

How our blog got its name

Sidney Hillman was a powerful national figure during the Great Depression, a key supporter of the New Deal, and a close ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

When the rumor spread that President Roosevelt ordered his party leaders to “clear it with Sidney” before announcing Harry S. Truman as his 1944 running mate, conservative critics turned on the phrase, trumpeting it as proof that the president was under the thumb of “Big Labor.”

Over the years, the phrase lost its sting and became a testament to Hillman's influence.

It's hard to imagine a labor leader wielding that kind clout today, but we like the idea—and we hope Sidney would give thumbs up to our blog.

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#Sidney's Picks: Special Health Care Edition

  • Why would a woman let her breast cancer grow for years without seeing a doctor, until her breast literally fell off? Dr. Otis Brawley, a distinguished oncologist and public policymaker, describes the constellation of racial, historical, cultural, and economic factors that sent a 53-year-old woman to Brawley's Atlanta ER carrying her breast in a plastic bag. The answers say a lot about what's wrong with our health care system and our society at large. [Atlanta Magazine]
  • Maia Szalavitz builds on the New York Times' scoop about debt collectors stalking the halls of hospitals shaking down patients with the hospital's blessing. [TIME]
  • Sara Kliff interviews the woman who runs the Massachusetts health insurance assistance line. Kate Bicego may not have a fancy title or a prestigious academic appointment, but she may know more than anyone else about how to implement Obamacare. [WaPo]

[Photo credit: Wander Mule, Creative Commons.]

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