Will Lehman is the one to pick for president of the United Auto Workers union. I believe he will shake things up and work to make the union responsive to the members -- something it has not been for many, many years. His campaign slogan is "Put Rank-and-File Workers in Power!"
I don't think I've noted this statement from his campaign -- it goes to the topic of the video above:
Reply to Steven Greenhouse on the falsification of my position during UAW presidential debate
On September 26, I sent the email below to Steven Greenhouse, the former New York Times reporter who moderated the presidential candidates debate on Thursday, September 22.
I sent an initial email to Greenhouse on September 23 protesting the falsification of my positions during the debate. That initial email, and Greenhouse’s reply, are also included below.
View the clip of Greenhouse asking the question with the false quotation below. The full video of the debate can be viewed at willforuawpresident.org/debate.
CC: UAW Monitor
Dear Mr. Greenhouse,
Your reply to my email raises more concerns than it answers.
First, you suggest that the quote you used may have in fact been accurate, despite my objections, and that I might have misspoken in the meeting. To dispel all doubt on this, I was able to locate the audio recording of the meeting, which was not public. The relevant portion is here.
Second, you write that when you read the article, “it appeared to me that it was written by a supporter of yours” and that the author would “take pains to make sure that the quotations from your remarks were accurate.”
To be frank, this is not believable. The “article” includes supposed quotations from me such as: “I am running for the presidency of the United Auto Workers party (?)”; “I would like to warn the staff (?) that the Union of International Employee Implementation Committees (?) can develop greater capacity (?)”; and “I want to show workers the way forward by sending (?) a global fight.” The “article” is littered with such nonsensical statements. How could you, with thirty years of experience as a journalist for the New York Times, read this article and think it was produced by someone who was “taking pains” to make sure anything was accurate?
Third, you do not answer any of the points I made about the obvious lack of credibility of the “Sasa Times.” From your reply, you make clear that you sought out this source, rather than it being submitted by someone else. Did you make no effort to determine its legitimacy? Did you look at the “about page” or investigate who is behind the publication? Why did you choose a clearly non-credible source rather than my own statements, my website, or the World Socialist Web Site, which has been covering my campaign?
You seem to have searched out a quote from the depths of the internet specifically designed to discredit my campaign and present my call for the abolition of the UAW bureaucracy in a negative light. It is also evident that one of your main criteria for selecting the “Sasa Times” is that you wanted to avoid any mention of the World Socialist Web Site, which is followed widely by autoworkers for exposing the betrayals of the UAW. If you were searching for articles about my campaign, including my meeting with German and Indian workers, you would certainly have first come across reports from the WSWS, which accurately quoted my remarks. You would have quickly been able to determine that the “Sasa Times” article is a mangled reproduction, to the point of being semi-coherent, of the WSWS article.
Fourth, you state that I had “two full minutes to respond” to the question and that you are therefore “baffled” that I would demand that you issue a correction. Excuse me, Mr. Greenhouse, but you attributed an “exact quote” to me in the first question directed toward me. This “exact quote” turned out to be false, taken from an illegitimate source. I therefore had to spend the limited time I had clarifying this error.
My ability to respond, moreover, does not change the fact that you read a quote attributed to me that I never said, which opponents of my campaign will and already are using to attempt to discredit me. The only way to stop this is by making a formal statement correcting the record.
There is no question that if you had made a similar mistake in posing a question to Ray Curry or Shawn Fain, you would not hesitate to make such a correction, and, moreover, you would have exercised greater responsibility in selecting the question in the first place. However, since I am a rank-and-file worker and opponent of the apparatus, you feel you have no such obligation.
Finally, you say that as a “journalist and a writer,” you are “unaccustomed to—and very uncomfortable with—people issuing formal demands to me.” People, you write, should not make “stern demands” to “fellow human beings.”
I am sorry, Mr. Greenhouse, but you are not the wounded party here, and you are not just a journalist and a writer. You were chosen as the moderator of the official debates for the executive offices of the United Auto Workers, debates that could be decisive in the outcome of the elections and indeed the future of the labor movement in the United States. You and you alone, as you stressed, were responsible for selecting questions and being “scrupulously neutral” in these debates. You misquoted me in a manner that falsified my position. You made a serious error. And you are “uncomfortable” with my insistence that you issue a statement acknowledging this fact?
Frankly, you seem to be placing more importance on your own offended feelings than the clarification of this issue for the hundreds of thousands of workers who will be voting in this election.
Greenhouse’s September 25 response to my initial email:
I am sorry that you are upset about the quotation I used from an article in the Sasa Times.
When I read the Sasa Times article, it appeared to me that it was written by a supporter of yours, someone knowledgeable, someone who was eager to promote your point of view to the world—and to UAW members who might look at the Sasa Times. And that made me think in turn that the article’s pro-Lehman author would take pains to make sure that the quotations from your remarks were accurate.
I very much thought that the article’s lengthy quotations of your remarks were taken from an audio recording. Indeed, when I read that article, it read like one of many articles I have read over the years that relied heavily on audio recordings.
You write that the Sasa Times article misquoted you. As I said, I believe the Sasa Times article relied on an audio recording, and it is certainly possible that in your remarks, you unintentionally called for “the complete abolition of unions,” when you had instead intended to call for “the complete abolition of the union bureaucracy.” All of us are human, all of us err, and many of us have at times mistakenly omitted words while giving speeches, and that might have happened in your case here.
Second, you had two full minutes to respond to that question, and in those two minutes, you vigorously made the case that what you had said in those remarks was “My campaign advances the call for the complete abolition of the union bureaucracy,” and not, as my question stated, “My campaign supports the call for a complete abolition of trade unions.” I’m sure that your response to that question was heard loud and clear by everyone who watched the debate live or watched a recording of it.
In truth, because you gave such an emphatic and detailed response to my question, I am somewhat baffled why you are “demanding” such an extraordinary type of correction.
I am a journalist and a writer. Like other journalists and writers, I am unaccustomed to—and very uncomfortable with—people issuing formal demands to me, as you did in your letter to me. I am not General Motors, Ford, Mack Trucks or a powerful CEO. If you want to make demands to them, fine. In the world I live in, one doesn’t speak that way—one doesn’t issue stern demands—to fellow human beings.
My initial email on September 23 protesting Greenhouse’s falsification of my positions during the debate:
CC: UAW Monitor
Dear Mr. Greenhouse,
At the September 22 debate for UAW president, you asked me a question that was based on a false quotation, attributing to me a position that I do not hold. Because thousands of members of the UAW have already watched the video, I request that you record a public statement, that the Monitor can place prominently on the website that features the debate, informing viewers of your mistake and correcting the record by Monday, September 26.
Referencing an undated article from a web publication that you identified as the “Sasa Times,” you asserted that I called for the “complete abolition of trade unions.”
You did not ask me whether I said this. Rather, you asked me to respond to a quote, which you emphasized was an “exact quote,” that falsified my position. You repeated this falsified “exact quote” twice in your question.
In July, I did attend a meeting of international workers held by the International Workers Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees (IWA-RFC). But what I actually said at this meeting was, “My campaign advances the call for the complete abolition of the union bureaucracy and putting power into the hands of the workers, who I urge to form rank-and-file committees.” My statements at the meeting were publicly reported—with the correct quote—on the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) in a July 11, 2022 article.
Instead of going to a primary source, such as my program or my website, or the WSWS, which correctly quoted me, you went to what is clearly an entirely dubious publication, the “Sasa Times.” If one attempts to access the article posted on this site, one gets a warning that “your connection is not private” and that “attackers might be trying to steal your information.” The article itself is a semi-coherent, mangled reproduction of the WSWS article, to the point where parts of it are incomprehensible. It has, moreover, no byline.
A cursory investigation of the site reveals that it is not a legitimate news source. It has no Wikipedia page and is not cited in any other publication or resource. Its own “about” section makes clear it is not a reliable source: “One of the greatest things about Sasatimes.com is the interactive part of the site. You can create your own news stories by simply making up a basic story and adding in facts and comments about the subject.”
Mr. Greenhouse, you are an award-winning journalist who worked for the New York Times for 30 years. You are well aware of the standards of professional journalism, which require that you check your sources before attributing a quotation to an individual. You could have performed a basic Google search of my quotation to discover its original source in the WSWS. You presented the “Sasa Times” as a legitimate news source when you clearly knew or should have known that it was not.
You misquoted my position in the first question that was asked of me at the debate, putting me in a position of having to respond to something that I never said. In your introduction, you emphasized that you “decided on these questions.” You did not misattribute any quotes to any of the other candidates. This calls into question your statement that you would be “scrupulously neutral, as between the five candidates tonight, not taking sides or showing preferences” in the debate.
I therefore demand the following: 1) That you record a statement informing workers by Monday of your mistake and correcting the record; and 2) That this statement be posted publicly by the Monitor and sent out to all UAW members.
Now for a video recipe from Matteo Lane for pancakes.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Thursday:
Thirteen people have been killed in Iraq's Kurdistan Region, officials say, as Iran launched missiles and armed drones at what it said were bases of Iranian Kurdish opposition groups.
A pregnant woman was reportedly among those who died in the strikes.
Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps said it hit "separatist terrorists" who had supported recent "riots".
The strikes were reported after Iranian authorities accused armed Iranian Kurdish dissidents of attacking and infiltrating Iran from the northwest of the country to sow insecurity and riots and spread unrest, especially in the northwest where most of the country’s population of over 10 million Kurds live.
Nine people were killed and 32 wounded in the attacks near Erbil and Sulaimaniya in Iraqi Kurdistan, its health minister, Saman Barazanchi, said in a statement.
He expressed in a statement his total rejection of such Iranian violations of the Iraqi sovereignty, calling on Iran to respect the international law and good neighbliness principles, and to stop undermining regional stability and security.
“UNICEF abhors and condemns the attack which impacted a school today in a refugee settlement in Koya, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
“At least two children were injured and one pregnant woman was killed, according to initial reports. UNICEF extends its sincere condolences to the families and friends of those killed and wishes the injured children a fast and complete recovery.
“Attacks on children and their school facility are unacceptable and can be a grave violation of children’s rights. School facilities should always be a safe place for every child, where children can learn, play and grow to reach their full potential.
“UNICEF reiterates its call on all parties to protect children from all forms of violence at all times and under all circumstances, and to respect the Safe Schools Declaration.”
QUESTION: You put out a statement condemning the missile and drone attack by the Islamic Republic of Iran against the Iraqi Kurdistan. What is the U.S. Government doing to protect – to help protect the region, especially given that there are U.S. forces stationed there as well?
MR PRICE: So you’re right. We did put out a statement. We put out a statement in my name. The National Security Advisor also condemned these drone and missile attacks against Iraq’s Kurdistan region earlier today. We’ve made the point that we stand with Iraq’s leaders, its leaders in its Kurdistan region as well as in Baghdad, in condemning what was a brazen assault on Iraq’s own sovereignty and Iraq’s own territorial integrity. This is unfortunately just another instance of Iran’s flagrant disregard for not only the lives of their own people but also for their neighbors and for what are core principles at the crux of the UN Charter: sovereignty, territorial integrity.
This is not the first time that we have seen Iran use these tactics – ballistic missiles and drones – but we are going to continue working with our partners in the region to help them defend against these types of threats. And we can do that in a number of different ways. We have levied sanctions when it comes to networks of UAV – when it comes to UAV networks in Iran. We have taken a number of steps with partners in the region to provide them with supplies and assistance that they would need to defend themselves against the types of Iranian-provided weapons systems that are such a destabilizing force. So we’ll continue to do that. Ultimately this was an attack – a brazen assault on the sovereignty of Iraq. And the most important thing we can do in many ways is to stand with Iraq’s leaders, Iraq’s leaders in Baghdad, Iraq’s leader in the region – leaders of Kurdistan and Erbil going forward.
QUESTION: Have they reached out for any assistance?
MR PRICE: I’m not aware of any requests for assistance?
QUESTION: Same topic.
QUESTION: Can I follow up on that? So a duel citizen or an American citizen was actually confirmed to be among the killed. We just confirmed that. But also the CENTCOM put out a statement saying that they shot down a drone that they believe was going towards American forces. So is there any safety concerns for Americans in Kurdistan region?
MR PRICE: In the aftermath of these attacks, we did an accountability check. In the aftermath of that, we determined that there were no casualties on the part of American officials in the region. Of course, we take threats – potential threats like this very seriously but in this case there’s nothing to suggest that American officials were injured.
QUESTION: So I know that you guys have two statements out, but I am just curious what’s the understanding here. Why is Kurdistan region a target of Iranian attack?
MR PRICE: That would be a question for Tehran, not for Washington.
QUESTION: And last question. During the Obama administration and then early Trump administration, the Iranian opposition were able to engage with U.S. officials, but then former Secretary Mike Pompeo put out an order to kind of refrain from engaging with the Iranian opposition. What is the position of your administration? Do you guys engage with them? If not, why not?
MR PRICE: The Iranian opposition inside of Iran?
QUESTION: Or here, like —
MR PRICE: Of course, we’re always open to listening to those who have a perspective when it comes to Iran and its people. I think the most important thing we can do is to listen to those brave Iranians who were peacefully taking to the streets to exercise and to make clear their aspirations for greater levels of democracy, of freedom, of human rights. It’s important that the world not only listen but important that the world be able to hear them in the first place.
And so that’s why we’ve taken some of the steps we have not only in recent years, including the general license that was issued in 2014 but the so-called General License D-2 that we issued late last week, whose primary purpose was to allow the voice of the Iranian people to be heard by the outside world. It’s an important tool, and it’s – since the issuance of this general license last Friday, we’ve seen indications that U.S. technology companies have availed themselves of this newfound ability to provide services to the Iranian people. It is our hope that the Iranian people are in a position to take advantage of these – of this new technology, of these new services, not only to communicate with one another but to see to it that their voices are heard around the world.
Yes, in back.
QUESTION: You said there were no U.S. officials among the victims. There was one U.S. citizen. His name is Omar (inaudible), known as Chichu. So do you have any response other than the statement you put out?
MR PRICE: I am not aware that we’ve been able to confirm that just yet, but if and when we are, we’ll let you know.
QUESTION: Also, I have a question about sanctions, because you were talking about sanctioning the morality police. I want to ask about the – about the existing sanctions that we already have in place regarding specifically Iranian oil sanctions. Do you believe that these sanctions at the moment are properly executed? Because based on statistics, we know Iran boost its own oil exports, specifically to China.
MR PRICE: So some of the – and these are all, of course, open-source estimates, and so to some extent there is always going to be a margin of error when you look at statistics like that. I think what we can say with some confidence is that some of the open-source statistics have been inflated, and that is the case when it comes to certain reports of Iranian oil exports to the PRC.
But the fact of the matter is that sanctions and sanctions enforcement, it is an iterative – it requires an iterative approach. We are always looking at ways we can optimize the sanctions regimes that are in place around the world. We can optimize them in two important ways. One is to ensure that there aren’t humanitarian implications and to make sure there aren’t spillover effects on arenas that are important to us – like humanitarian arenas, for example – but also to ensure that the limitations and the restrictions that these sanctions are designed to impose are as constricting as possible.
So even in the case of Iran, in recent weeks not only have we leveled – and levied, excuse me – new sanctions against Iran’s petrochemical and – petrochemical industry, but we’ve taken action against sanction evasion networks precisely for the reason that you highlight. We’re always in discussion not only with our interagency to determine what more we can do as a government, but also with other governments as well to make sure that we’re all working together to see to it that these sanctions regimes are as biting as possible.
Also on Wednesday, the Turkish Armed Forces announced a separate operation that "neutralized" two members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), another Kurdish separatist group involved in an insurgency against Turkey for four decades. The raid was part of the ongoing Operation Claw-Lock launched in April by Ankara as the latest effort in a years-long cross-border campaign.
The sites of both Iranian and Turkish military activity are under the immediate jurisdiction of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government, which condemned Iran's strikes on Wednesday.
The story: The killing of a young girl allegedly at
the hands of US forces has sparked outrage in Iraq. Iran’s allies in the
country are capitalizing on the public backlash to double down on their
demand that American troops must withdraw. They are also seizing on the
incident to undermine Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi by slamming him
for “his silence.” This comes against the backdrop of heightened
political tensions in Baghdad, where a new government appears set to be
The coverage: Zeinab Essam, a member of a family of farmers from the district of Abu Ghraib to the west of Baghdad, was killed by several stray bullets on Sept. 19.
"Is Representative Jackie here? Where's Jackie?" Biden asked. "I think she was going to be here."
Walorski was killed in a car crash along with two of her staffers and the driver of another vehicle in August.
Biden was delivering a speech at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health when he recognized the lawmakers who helped make the event a reality.
“I want to thank all of you here, including bipartisan elected officials like Rep. [Jim] McGovern, Sen. [Mike] Braun, Sen. [Cory] Booker, Rep. … Jackie, are you here? Where’s Jackie?” Biden said, referring to Walorski.
Shortly after Biden spoke, White House domestic policy adviser Susan Rice moderated a panel at the conference and acknowledged Walorski’s death.
Walorski and two staffers were killed in an Aug. 3 car accident. She had served in Congress since 2013.
Biden thanked other conference organizers, then asked: "Jackie are you here? Where's Jackie?"
Walorski, a Republican, was one of four Congressional co-sponsors of the bill to fund the conference. She was killed with two staffers in early August.
Biden moved past the issue without any correction.
Q What happened in the hunger event today? The President appeared to look around the room for an audience member, a member of Congress who passed away last month. He seemed to indicate she might be in the room. What happened there?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So the President was, as you all know — you guys were watching today’s event, a very important event on food insecurity. The President was naming the congressional champions on this issue and was acknowledging her incredible work. He had — he had already planned to welcome the congresswoman’s family to the White House on Friday. There will be a bill signing in her honor this coming Friday.
So, of course, she was on his mind. She was of top of mind for the President. He looks — very much looks forward to discussing her remarkable legacy of public service with them when he sees her family this coming Friday.
Q He said, “Jackie, are you here? Where’s Jackie? She must not be here.”
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: No, I totally understand. I just — I just explained she was on top of mind. You know, this wasn’t — what we were able to witness today and what the President was able to lift up in this — at this conference at this event was how her — her focus on wanting to deal with, combat food — food insecurity in America. And this is something that he was lifting up and honoring.
And, again, he knows that he’s going to see her family this coming Friday. There’s a bill signing that’s going to happen in renaming a VA clinic in Indiana after the late congresswoman. He knows that he is going to see her family, and she was at top of mind.
[. . .]
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I’m not sure why. Why? Why one more time?
Q Well, because I think — frankly, honestly, I think the memory of the congresswoman in history requires some clarity here.
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Hmmm —
Q Can you explain where the mistake was made? Did the Pres- — was the President confused? Was something written in the teleprompter that he didn’t recognize? Can you just help us understand what happened?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I mean, you’re jumping to a lot of conclusions.
Q No, I’m simply seeing — seeking to find —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: No, but you’re — but I —
Q — out what happened here.
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: No, I hear you, Steven. I’m — I’m answering the question, that you’re jumping to a lot of conclusions.
I just answered the question. If I had said — if that had been the case, I would have stated that. Right? I clearly have stated what you just laid out.
What I had said is that she was on top of mind and that he is going to see her family in just two days’ time, on Friday, to honor her, to honor her work, to honor — to honor her legacy, if you will. I just mentioned this. It’s going to be a renaming of a VA clinic in Indiana in her name. And, you know, that is — that is what he was thinking of.
He was thinking about her as he was — as he was naming out and calling out the congressional champions on this issue — on this really critical issue that’s going to help millions of Americans. And that is — that is — that is what the President was focused on.
Q Would you be prepared to release the prepared remarks that the President had in the teleprompter just so we could understand?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I’m not understanding why — why that would be — would be necessary. We always share the remarks that the President had — even, you know, delivered. That’s probably going to be up on the website. Not really sure what that has to do with anything.
I just answered the question about her being on top of mind. I don’t think that’s any — that’s unusual. I feel like many of us have gone through that particular, you know, time where someone is on top of mind and you call them out and you mention them. Especially in this — this type of context, if you think about how he’s going to the see the family in two days; if you think about how, when he sees them in two days, it’s going to be for such an important moment, assigning — signing a piece of legislation that’s going to rename a VA clinic in her state — that’s important — if you think about this issue and how important this issue is.
And he was, again, calling out congressional champions for this particular issue.
Q Lastly, I just wanted to return to this question of the congresswoman. And I think we all totally get why she’s top of mind. You’ve made that case pretty effectively.
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Well, thank you.
Q But I think the confusing part is why, if she and the family is top of mind, does the President think that she’s living and in the room?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I don’t find that confusing. I mean, I think many people can speak to sometimes when you have someone top of mind, they are top of mind. Exactly that. And it is also — if you put it into the context, it’s not like it happened without — outside of context, right?
It happened at an event where we were cha- — we were calling out the champions — congressional champions, in particular, of this issue — this important issue, when it comes to food insecurity, something that this administration has led on — led on from the beginning of this administration, not just across the country but also globally.
You heard him talk about food insecurity last week at the U.N. and the investments that we have put forward as — as the — as the United States of America and helping — and helping deal with that.
Look, he was at an event — you all saw, you all watched, which is why you’re asking the question — right? — where he was calling out, again, congressional leaders — a bipartisan leadership that we have seen on this particular issue.
And, again, he’s going to see her family in just two days, and she was on top of mind. I mean, I don’t — that is — I mean, that is — that is not an unusual — unusual scenario there.
Q Karine, I have John Lennon top of mind just about every day, but I’m not looking around for him anywhere.
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: When you sign a bill for John Lennon — Lennon as president then we can have this conversation.
Q Why doesn’t he just apologize?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: — go ahead. Go ahead.
(Cross-talk by reporters.)
Q Thanks, Karine. There are —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Go ahead. Go ahead. Go ahead.
Q These moments of confusion are happening with increasing frequency.
Q Why not just apologize?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Go ahead.
Q Excuse me. There are reports that —
Q Americans are watching this and are having concerns. What do you say to that?
Q There are reports that Treasury Secretary Yellen —
Q What do you say to that?
Q — is looking to leave the administration —
Q This is a legitimate question. We need to have some answers.
Q — at the end of year. What can you tell us about that?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I’m sorry, somebody was yelling over you, so —
Q No, we were asking about the mental acuity —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Go ahead.
Q — of the President.
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Go ahead.
Q I said there are reports that —
Q This is a valid question.
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Go ahead.
Q — Treasury Secretary Yellen is looking to leave Secretary Yellen is looking to leave the administration —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: It is not your turn to speak, and you’re being rude to your colleagues, and let your colleague answer the question.
Q You might be being rude to us by —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Go ahead. Go ahead.
Q There are reports that —
Q — not answering the question.
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: No. I — you’re yelling and — over your colleague. So that is incredibly rude.
Q Can we have an answer to the substantive question here?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Go ahead. Go ahead.
Q We’re just trying to get an answer, Karine. “Top of mind” is not an answer.