When studying political science at The Ohio State University, Professor Silver assigned that I research the history of the Western Federation of Miners. The miners in Colorado formed the union to fight horrible treatment by the mine owners. The mine owners sought assistance from government authorities, and they hired guards from the Pinkerton protection services company. The Pinkertons shot five strikers to death. The government persisted in standing by the owners until eventually laws were changed to protect organized labor and workers from corporate abuse.
Today, the Republican Party fights against organized labor and, as such, is no friend or workers.
Ryan Grim sent an email to me this morning. He is the journalist from The Guardian who was assaulted by a Republican who is now elected as a Member of the House of Representatives from Montana. This is a terrible mark on the citizens of Montana. Their actions are deplorable by US Constitutional standards and must be condemned. So must be the deplorable and illegal actions of President Trump and all members of Congress who obstruct justice and abuse the Constitution. They are liable for their action and should be impeached.
In Ryan's email, he mentions the Pinkertons.
8:30 AM (18 minutes ago)
As I'm sure most of you have seen by now, there was good news and bad news out of Montana last week. The good news was that police tracked down and arrested a man who witnesses said attacked a journalist without provocation. The bad news is that he is once again roaming the streets, and was elected to the U.S. House by Montana voters, beating Democrat Rob Quist by six points.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee celebrated the loss, arguing that it proved their strategy of not trying to win the race was the prudent one. They even mocked Republican operatives who had warned the race would be closer. Two little things about that line of thinking: 1) there's a key Senate race in Montana in 2018. Even if they thought the race was unwinnable, doesn't it help to run a strong campaign now and prep the ground for 2018? Is the 50-state strategy a real thing or just marketing? And 2) the DCCC loves to boast about the millions of dollars it has raised from small donors since the election. Those small givers think the party is going to use the money for these kinds of races, and they risk a backlash if people decide they were duped. Here's my video report for TYT on the race.
And here's a story I did at The Intercept about how health care came to dominate the race, helping make it as close as it ultimately was.
Also at The Intercept, Dave Dayen has a story on a deal between a private equity giant with ties to Trump and the kingdom of Saudi Arabiato privatize a massive chunk of U.S. infrastructure.
The big story we dropped this weekend is on modern-day Pinkertons who are being contracted to police pipeline protests around the country. It sets up a series of incentives where the private police, known as TigerSwan, which policed the Dakota Access protests, must make the protesters out to be deeply dangerous creatures that require highly expensive security contractors.
During the labor strikes of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, businessmen hired the Pinkerton Agency to infiltrate unions, supply guards, keep strikers and suspected unionists out of factories, and recruit goon squads to intimidate workers. One such confrontation was the Homestead Strike of 1892, in which Pinkerton agents were called in to reinforce the strikebreaking measures of industrialist Henry Clay Frick, acting on behalf of Andrew Carnegie. The ensuing battle between Pinkerton agents and striking workers led to the deaths of seven Pinkerton agents and nine steelworkers.
Is Montana in America?