“Let’s call it what it is, they are trying to blackmail the president and say, ‘Look, we’re going to shut down the government or default on our debt unless you — we go back, rewind the clock, on Obamacare and delay it or somehow cut off the funding,’” the longtime Washington Post journalist said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “You can’t govern that way. It will not work. It will be exposed.” Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/bob-woodward-republicans-budget-government-shutdown-97548.html#ixzz2gPJksAg7

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To see the video, click the photo or use this link: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/bob-woodward-republicans-budget-government-shutdown-97548.html?ml=po_r

Woodward said House Speaker John Boehner is in an especially tough position as a wing of his party continues to push for the Republican House to pass government funding bills that chip away at Obamacare, which the Senate and president have said are nonstarters.

“I think his head is spinning. He really is at one of these very difficult moments where he’s got to balance the forces and they’re arrayed against him,” Woodward said.

Still, President Barack Obama has to engage with his opponents, Woodward said, because whatever happens will ultimately be attached to his presidency.

“There is something the president could be doing. He said he will not negotiate on the debt ceiling, a reasonable position. ‘I will not be blackmailed,’ he said. But he should be talking,” Woodward said. “If there is a downturn or a collapse or whatever could

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/bob-woodward-republicans-budget-government-shutdown-97548.html#ixzz2gPKJjWD4

A Reboot for the AFL-CIO? At its LA convention, organized labor vowed to reinvigorate organizing and strengthen progressive alliances. And not a moment too soon. Josh Eidelson September 25, 2013 –

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

I imagine the men who merged the AFL and the CIO in 1955 would be surprised to learn that when their union federation held its 2013 convention, delegates would vote to oppose mass incarceration and eschew gender identity discrimination—and that those votes would pass with nary a speech in opposition from the floor. I don’t know if they’d find it more or less shocking that, in the intervening six decades, the unionized share of the US workforce would have dropped from a commanding one-third to an isolated ninth—and still shrinking.

That crisis was the context for the AFL-CIO’s quadrennial convention in September, held in Los Angeles: historically low unionization and an attendant ebb in labor’s economic, political and cultural clout. The convention also illustrated promising trends: unions’ greater seriousness about working closely with progressive allies, and their growing openness to workers who want to be in the labor movement but can’t secure collective bargaining in the traditional manner. But it left less clear what the federation can or will do to effect the changes necessary for unions to become more potent partners to these dynamic outside groups, including more effective and intensive organizing to expand union ranks.

See more at: http://www.thenation.com/article/176346/reboot-afl-cio#sthash.8iOt8j8y.dpuf

Justice Department to challenge North Carolina voter ID law. Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to announce the lawsuit at 11 a.m. Monday at Justice Department headquarters, flanked by the three U.S. Attorneys from North Carolina.

The justices’ 5-4 ruling outraged civil rights advocates. | AP Photo

The justices’ 5-4 ruling outraged civil rights advocates. | AP Photo

The suit, set to be filed in Greensboro, N.C., will ask that the state be barred from enforcing the new voter ID law, the source said. However, the case will also go further, demanding that the entire state of North Carolina be placed under a requirement to have all changes to voting laws, procedures and polling places “precleared” by either the Justice Department or a federal court, the source added.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/justice-department-north-carolina-voter-id-law-97542.html#ixzz2gMbghIEU

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/justice-department-north-carolina-voter-id-law-97542.html#ixzz2gMaTUYKh

New commercial supply ship reaches space station after week’s delay, delivers lots of food. – By Associated Press, Published: SEPTEMBER 29, 4:35 PM ET


This framegrabbed image provided by NASA-TV shows the Cygnus spacecraft at the 30 meter hold point from the International Space Station Sunday Sept. 29, 2013 as both cross over the Atlantic Ocean. (NASA-TV/Associated Press)
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s newest delivery service made its first-ever shipment to the International Space Station on Sunday, another triumph for the booming commercial space arena that has its sights set on launching astronauts.

Article continues:

Many Americans grumble about the wealth of their politicians, but they are paupers compared with their Chinese counterparts.

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Wealthy politicians

Supermarkets and food manufacturers depend on food stamps for a significant chunk of their sales each year. Yet as Republicans push for huge, punitive cuts in funding for the program, the big corporations that benefit are keeping silent.

Rebecka Ortiz offers a sample of pasta to her daugher that was being given away at the store where she was using her food stamps to stock up on food for her family in Woonsocket, RI. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post, via Getty Images)

Because the deep cuts would impose serious hardship on recipients of food stamps, advocates for the program have been speaking out loudly. But some of the groups that stand to lose a great deal from the proposed draconian cuts have been silent. As debate has raged, food merchandisers, packaged goods manufacturers, and grocery stores—and the trade groups that represent them—haven’t made much noise.

SNAP deals out more than $74 billion a year to low-income individuals to buy food. For grocery and convenience stores where those families use their stamps, that’s essentially $74 billion of money in the bank. Food merchandisers like Kellogg and Pepsi, who sell products that are purchased with the money from food stamps, are also large winners.

Article continues: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/09/27/supermarkets-and-retailers-turn-blind-eye-to-food-stamp-funding-cuts.html