Barry Grey of wsws has the grimmest but most reality-based analysis of Obama’s Tuesday night State of the Union message.
The speech was actually one of the most reactionary State of the Union addresses ever delivered. Obama placed his “blueprint” for the US economy within the framework of a chilling celebration of the American military and its criminal activities around the world. Among the achievements he cited were the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and the bombing of Libya and murder of Gaddafi. He spoke with particular pride of the extra-legal drone assassinations in Africa and the Middle East and concluded with a paean to the Navy SEALs who murdered Osama bin Laden.
In a major speech today, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka outlined a vision of what a true labor movement should be. Read the speech here:
We have listened hard, and what workers want is an independent labor movement that builds the power of working people—in the workplace and in political life.
Working people want a labor movement strong enough to help return balance to our economy, fairness to our tax system, security to our families and moral and economic standing to our nation. Our role is not to build the power of a political party or a candidate. It is to improve the lives of working families and strengthen our country.
The campaign for the most comprehensive healthcare reform of all, single payer, won a huge boost Tuesday as the AFL-CIO voted unanimously at its national convention in Pittsburgh to endorse the enactment of single-payer, universal healthcare.
The vote came shortly after the convention was addressed by President Obama who repeated his call for comprehensive healthcare reform, and will accompany another AFL-CIO resolution supporting other Congressional efforts to pass comprehensive reform.
BarbMD declares "This is what is sounds like when someone representing the Democratic wing of the Party speaks" in reference to AFL-CIO president Trumka laying down markers for what health reform must have, including the so-called public option (It is unclear if Trumka is referring to Hacker's 2007 Medicare Plus, or the sliver public option being debated in Congress). Trumka's line in the sand is the public option, but where do member unions stand? Read more about AFL-CIO Members: Pro-Public option or Pro-Single Payer?
The AFL-CIO and HCAN't have put out a survey. Please take this at at number 16 say that you would abolish private health insurance and replace it with a HR 676 Medicare for All. Read more about Vote for single payer in AFL-CIO/HCAN't health care survey!
H.R. 676 has significant labor support. To date, over 445 labor organizations, including 36 state AFL-CIO chapters, 110 Central Labor Councils, the United Steel Workers, the United Auto Workers, and at least 14 AFSCME and SEIU locals have passed resolutions supporting the bill. Interestingly, both SEIU and AFSCME have passed resolutions supporting H.R. 676 at national conventions, showing that there is strong rank-and-file support for single-payer.
The AFL-CIO’s and SEIU’s endorsements of single payer appear to be window dressing. They are putting all their energies into “guaranteed affordable choice.” They do it in their own names, and as members of the Herndon Alliance and the Health Care for America Now coalition, which became public July 8. These coalitions criticize single payer as “not politically feasible.”
By WILLIAM YARDLEY
Published: June 28, 2006
NEW HAVEN, June 27 â€” Connecticut's largest labor union on Tuesday endorsed Senator Joseph I. Lieberman in the Democratic primary, although many union leaders, meeting at their state political convention, complained of his support for the war in Iraq and foreign trade agreements. Many sounded loud "nays" when the voice vote was called.