From 30th Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan streaming downtown, tens of thousands of union members joined a huge AFL-CIO Labor Day rally against George W. Bush. Featured were all the labor speakers you'd expect, including AFL-CIO head John Sweeney. A minister read the passage from Exodus about the burning bush, inspiring the crowd to chant: "Put Bush out."
Then James Gandolfini came before the crowd and spoke briefly and pithily. "I can't tell you how mad I am these people are in my city," the actor who plays Tony Soprano bellowed, pointing backward at Madison Square Garden. "I can't tell you how mad I am it took Bush four days to get here after 9/11." And the crowd of New Yorkers -- sheet metal workers, transportation workers, teachers -- erupted.
Sidney Blumenthal, a former assistant and senior advisor to President Clinton, writes a column for Salon and the Guardian of London. His new book is titled "How Bush Rules: Chronicles of a Radical Regime." He is a senior fellow at the New York University Center on Law and Security.