Friday, October 21, 2016

Education Notes: Art & Design HS Staff in Revolt, Unity Tables Reso on Abusive Principals, Schirtzer on Ex Bd Experience and more

The October 2016 edition of Ed Notes, downloadable for any readers wanting to share with colleagues, was distributed at the Delegate Assembly on Weds and they were going like hot cakes.

The most pressing issue to me is the situation with bully principals. People have been coming to me for advice. The striking thing is that many of these vet UFT members who have often dealt with principals are shocked when they get one who had an agenda of wiping out the staff in a coordinated assault. They have been totally unprepared by the UFT to respond. The union doesn't look at this as a conspiracy and views each school and individual action on teachers by themselves. Last month I featured a school where this has happened with a 90% staff turnover in 2 years without a peep from the UFT. You can download the Sept. issue here.

I believe if there was a coordinated response and the UFT leadership made it clear to Farina and the CSA that they were in for a war at every school where the principal engages in these actions, much of it would stop or be curtailed. In the meantime entire careers are being destroyed, often senior teachers or untenured, and chapter leaders. 

This is the situation going on at Art and Design HS - a CTE school in Manhattan where the new principal who came in in January caused 16 people to leave the school by June. That is the focus of this edition of Ed Notes.

People seemed more receptive than when I hand out MORE lit. Interesting. I think that some people don't want to read something clearly labeled as opposition lit. I also brought back the jokes which used to be so popular. Thanks to the delegate who I didn't know who told me she was a regular reader of this blog.

I decided to republish Education Notes a couple of times this year at the UFT Delegate Assembly after a decade of absence. Why? I feel there needs to be a targeted newsletter addressing certain issues in greater depth than is done in MORE lit, which in going through a vetting process of a committee loses some style and substance. The current MORE newsletter is basically devoid of information, with a full-page ad about the upcoming social justice curriculum fair next week. With so many issues on the minds of UFT members, I felt using 50% of the ability to communicate with people for the ad was a bad decision and left the newsletter scanty (there could have been a quarter page or even a separate flyer for the conference). One MORE member on the way in offered to help me hand out Ed Notes. When I suggested handing out the MORE newsletter, the response was "It doesn't say anything."

I too felt it was just not something I felt like spending time handing out. If I am going to schlep in to the DA I want to hand out something that says something to the delegates or else it isn't worth going. I want the freedom to be critical of MORE, if necessary. At my age I'm too ornery with a libertarian tendency to get locked in to "caucus think" - loyalty to a caucus over everything which is an unofficial loyalty oath.

You can view or download the October 2016 edition here:

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

While NYC Charter Teachers are Forced to Rally Today, Chicago Charter School Teachers Threaten to Strike

Chicago has been a hotbed for charter organizing. The Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff (Chicago ACTS), an affiliate of the AFT that launched in 2009, now represents 32 charter schools, about one-fifth of the city’s total.
How many charters has the UFT organized here in NYC?

Today NYC charter school teachers are going to rally for doubling the number of charter school students to 200,000, thus disenfranchising and disenunionizing another batch of teachers.

Some of them will be there willingly and many will not but are forced to attend. Charters close their schools on Wed. afternoons so they will be on the job. But the rally, backed by astroturf groups will be sold as genuine. If the press were legit it would ask these teachers if they would want to be unionized - and watch their faces as they respond or refuse to.

I would go over there but nearby will be the UFT Delegate Assembly, where instead of listening to Mulgrew bloviate for an hour, the entire place should go over to the charter teacher rally and show them what union unity is all about instead of the every man and woman for themselves.

In the meantime, in Chicago, where the union has done a much better job of organizing charters than the UFT, teachers at a 14 school charter chain are threatening to go on strike.

If charters ever get massively unionized, watch the ed deformers cool on the charter alternative and shift to something else that will not include unions.

Here is a piece from In These Times.

In a Nightmare for Neoliberal Ed Reformers, Chicago Charter School Teachers May Strike This Week

When the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) struck in 2012, then-CEO of the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) Juan Rangel took the opportunity to sing the praises of the city’s charter schools, which remained open as CTU members walked the picket lines.

"I think parents are going to be frustrated when they see 50,000 kids (charter students) having an education, going to school without interruption and their kids” are not, Rangel told the Chicago Tribune.

Four years later, the tables have turned. An eleventh-hour agreement between the CTU and the school district headed off a second strike in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) last week. But there’s another teacher walkout still brewing—this time, at the UNO Charter School Network (UCSN), a group of 15 publicly-funded, privately-managed schools established by Rangel’s organization, from which he resigned in 2013. For the past seven months, UCSN teachers have been in a tough contract fight with management. If no agreement is reached this week, teachers plan to strike starting this Wednesday.

A walkout by charter teachers would not be totally unprecedented. Former American Federation of Teachers (AFT) organizer Shaun Richman notes in Jacobin that teachers at a Philadelphia charter school engaged in a “sick-out” during contract negotiations in 2011. But disruptive labor actions are a rare sight in the traditionally union-free charter industry, and UCSN teachers’ overwhelming vote this month to authorize a network-wide strike breaks new ground.

As education reformers have aggressively pushed the nationwide expansion of charter schools in recent years, teachers unions have fought back on two fronts. In addition to opposing continued charter growth, they have poured resources into unionizing existing charters in order to thwart what many believed was the central rationale of charter schools: chipping away at unions and driving down wages and working conditions in the industry.
“The city thought they were going to use charters to break the unions,” says Erica Stewart, a 5th-grade teacher at UNO’s Sandra Cisneros elementary school. “It didn’t work.” Stewart, who has taught within UCSN for six years after being laid off by CPS, helped bring a union into the network in 2013 and now serves on the bargaining committee. 

Chicago has been a hotbed for charter organizing. The Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff (Chicago ACTS), an affiliate of the AFT that launched in 2009, now represents 32 charter schools, about one-fifth of the city’s total. Chicago ACTS’s numbers and leverage got a major boost when UCSN’s campuses voted to unionize in 2013. Though Chicago ACTS isn’t part of the CTU—under state law, charter and public school teachers can’t be part of the same unit or collectively bargain together—the two groups have a “service agreement” through which the latter provides bargaining and grievance representation for unionized charter teachers.

This fall, charter and non-charter teachers have also rallied support for each other’s contract fights. In preparation for a possible strike, dozens of UCSN teachers, parents and supporters from the CTU and other unions picketed in front of the charter network’s swanky downtown headquarters last week. The building’s $250,000-a-year rent is a sore point for the union, United Educators at UNO (UEU), which says it suggested relocating to a less expensive space and reducing administrative staff as alternatives to classroom cuts this year. In August, UCSN laid off dozens of teachers and support staff, citing budget constraints

“I want to point out these beautiful offices,” said Stewart. “The money being spent on offices and administrators needs to trickle down to education for our kids.” UCSN schools serve about 8,000 students, who are predominantly low-income and Latino. The union represents 532 teachers and support staff.

Among those laid off were Jorge Cisneros, who taught technology classes at the network’s Esmeralda Santiago campus. He picketed along with his daughter, Marisa, who is in 6th grade at the Daniel Zizumbo campus in Archer Heights. Cisneros has since found another position teaching 1st-grade at a different UCSN school, but he worries that the elimination of technology teachers network-wide will impact students’ education. Indeed, says Marisa, many students in her school have struggled to learn basic typing this year, even though they will soon have to take standardized tests that are administered on the computer.

While the schools pride themselves on making technology available to every student, Cisneros notes, “If there are no technology teachers, what good is it?”

The layoffs also removed graduate support advisors, who help guide prospective UCSN students through the complicated selective enrollment process and aid graduates in applying for college. The union is demanding that the layoffs be reversed, and is resisting attempts by UCSN to remove a cap on class sizes and to shift additional pension and healthcare costs onto teachers—issues that also surfaced during the CTU’s contract battle.
In a statement released following last week’s protest at its headquarters, UNSC management said the network’s finances necessitated these cutbacks. “Unlike CPS, UCSN does not have access to TIF (tax increment financing) funds for additional revenue, so any agreement we reach has to be cognizant of our financial constraints.”

Among them is the financial fallout from a messy divorce with the scandal-plagued UNO, the Latino community group that was founded more than a decade before it began establishing charters in 1998. Until last year, UNO directly managed the schools and the bulk of the $80 million allocated annually to UNSC by CPS. But the two entities cut ties following a series of revelations about UNO’s misuse of public funding, including a $98 million state grant to build schools that the organization channeled, in part, to companies led by political allies. After years of dizzying success in promoting the charter-school model, this saga resulted in Rangel’s forced departure as CEO, as well as eventual fraud charges that he paid $10,000 to settle with the Securities and Exchange Commission this year.

Also this year, Chicago Sun-Times reporter Dan Mihalopoulos revealed that UNO officials, including Rangel, had spent public money on lavish meals and travel. In a September letter to teachers and staff, the UCSN board said that it would operate as a “lean organization” going forward, but that as part of the split with UNO, the schools had incurred more than $1 million in legal fees and transition costs, in addition to $7.8 million paid to UNO for the final year of its management contract. System-wide budget cuts this year also resulted in a $5.7 million reduction in CPS funding, according to the board.

Meanwhile, the union suspects that the network is “broke on purpose.”  UEU says it is still waiting for the full picture to emerge, and that UCSN has not yet produced relevant financial information. In the meantime, bargaining will continue down to the wire on Tuesday night.

“The ball is in management’s court,” says Stewart, the 5th-grade teacher. “Either they’re going to get serious about supporting the employees they claim to value and the students whose educations are in their hands, or they’re going to force us to strike to protect the quality of education in our classrooms.”


Monday, October 17, 2016

Ivana Trump Divorce Deposition Chronicles Trump Rape But $14 Million Bought Her Silence

For his 1993 book, “The Lost Tycoon,” Harry Hurt III acquired Ivana’s divorce deposition, in which she stated that Trump raped her.

The part of the book that caused the most controversy concerns Trump’s divorce from his first wife, Ivana. Hurt obtained a copy of her sworn divorce deposition, from 1990, in which she stated that, the previous year, her husband had raped her in a fit of rage. In Hurt’s account, Trump was furious that a “scalp reduction” operation he’d undergone to eliminate a bald spot had been unexpectedly painful. Ivana had recommended the plastic surgeon. In retaliation, Hurt wrote, Trump yanked out a handful of his wife’s hair, and then forced himself on her sexually. Afterward, according to the book, she spent the night locked in a bedroom, crying; in the morning, Trump asked her, “with menacing casualness, ‘Does it hurt?’” Trump has denied both the rape allegation and the suggestion that he had a scalp-reduction procedure. Hurt said that the incident, which is detailed in Ivana’s deposition, was confirmed by two of her friends.
Full story at The New Yorker:

Matt Taibbi: The Fury and Failure of Donald Trump

Maybe we've reached the point where Trump opens the debate by going for Hillary's crotch. Or maybe she does a reversal and goes for Trump's crotch. Matt Taibbi doesn't go that far - but the illustration from Rolling Stone leads my twisted mind to come up with this one. Taibbi's point about looking at Hillary as a way to preserve the status quo as the alternative to lunacy has been operating on even major critics of Hillary, as evidenced by this meme we picked up on our trip to the finger lakes.

Great piece by Taibbi in Rolling Stone.

A few excerpts:
Trump's shocking rise and spectacular fall have been a singular disaster for U.S. politics. Built up in the press as the American Hitler, he was unmasked in the end as a pathetic little prankster who ruined himself, his family and half of America's two-party political system for what was probably a half-assed ego trip all along, adventure tourism for the idiot rich.

That such a small man would have such an awesome impact on our nation's history is terrible, but it makes sense if you believe in the essential ridiculousness of the human experience. Trump picked exactly the wrong time to launch his mirror-gazing rampage to nowhere. He ran at a time when Americans on both sides of the aisle were experiencing a deep sense of betrayal by the political class, anger that was finally ready to express itself at the ballot box.

The only thing that could get in the way of real change – if not now, then surely very soon – was a rebellion so maladroit, ill-conceived and irresponsible that even the severest critics of the system would become zealots for the status quo.

Lie No. 1 is that there are only two political ideas in the world, Republican and Democrat. Lie No. 2 is that the parties are violent ideological opposites, and that during campaign season we can only speak about the areas where they differ (abortion, guns, etc.) and never the areas where there's typically consensus (defense spending, surveillance, torture, trade, and so on). Lie No. 3, a corollary to No. 2, is that all problems are the fault of one party or the other, and never both. Assuming you watch the right channels, everything is always someone else's fault. Lie No. 4, the reason America in campaign seasons looks like a place where everyone has great teeth and $1,000 haircuts, is that elections are about political personalities, not voters.

The only thing that could get in the way of real change – if not now, then surely very soon – was a rebellion so maladroit, ill-conceived and irresponsible that even the severest critics of the system would become zealots for the status quo.

In the absolute best-case scenario, the one in which he loses, this is what Trump's run accomplished. He ran as an outsider antidote to a corrupt two-party system, and instead will leave that system more entrenched than ever. If he goes on to lose, he will be our Bonaparte, the monster who will continue to terrify us even in exile, reinforcing the authority of kings.
 Read it all:

Billy Shakespeare Message to Randi - Ed Notes Redux, October 2001

Billy S - needs certification in English
In 2001 when Randi was moving towards supporting merit pay - which she called "school based incentives", one of the essential planks of ed deform, I tried to get a resolution up at the DA calling for the UFT to refuse to support merit pay in any form. Up to this point Randi had called on me regularly but this time month after month she shut me out. She clearly didn't want this reso to come up. I would say that a veil lifted as I saw her constant manipulation in a new light.
Burying merit pay

Those were my creative days (I have no capacity to do this kind of thing now). I wrote this as the Marc Antony Caesar funeral oration was an apt way to express my thoughts where a discussion of merit pay- er -school based incentives - substituted for the dead Caesar. Reprinted from Ed Notes, Oct. 2001.
The following was written by Billy Shakespeare., a native of Stratford-0n-Avon, England, who is currently teaching chemistry at a high school in Brooklyn. Billy is uncertified, as he has not yet been able to pass the NY State certification exams in English, his specialty. 

Delegates, Teachers, Fellow Unionists
Lend me your ears!
I come to praise Randi, not to bury her.
The evil that union leaders do lives after them;
The good is oft interred within their speeches.
Come I to speak at the funeral of the merit pay---er---school-based incentives--- discussion.
The noble Randi hath told you that opponents of merit pay--er--- school-based incentives--- were ambitious.
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath we answer'd it.
Randi is an honorable union leader. They all are honorable union leaders. 

We dreamed of discussing this issue in Dec. ought ought.
Randi says that was ambitious and Randi is an honorable union leader.
An attempt was made to bring the issue up in January but Randi hath decided we were in a dearth of time and cancelled such opportunity.
You didst all see that in Mar, April & May thrice were attempts made to discuss merit pay--er----school-based incentives-- And thrice wust we refused.
Did this seem ambitious? Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
In March prepareth were we all to speak on merit pay--er---school- based incentives.
Yet, you all did see that on the dais were comptroller candidates Billy T. and Herbie B who doth speaketh for 30 minutes
And we runneth out of time as the bell tolled for automatic ad- journment at 6.
Randi said extending the time was ambitious and Randi is an honorable union leader. 

Thus cometh April and expecteth us to see the merit pay---er---- school-based incentives--- discussion reach fruition.
And saw the honorable Tom Pappas put on a fabulous festival of fashion shows of arm bands and tee shirts

Whilst the merit pay--er--school-based incentives---- discussion issue fell like sands of time.
And we raiseth a question about these wasting sands and were quickly chastised by the wise Randi.

Were we ambitious? Randi says we were and Randi is an honorable union leader.
I speak not to disprove what Randi spoke
But I am here to speak what I do know.
That the April merit pay discussion began at 6:15 to the sounds of stomachs growling and Unity Caucus revelrers departing for the
palace of the Hilton to celebrate their great and noble victory over the Goths of Shulman.*
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for the death of the merit pay---er---school-based incentives--- discussion? O judgement! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And Unity caucus men and women have lost their reason. Bear with me; 

Doth came May:
Avi of Lewis placed the battle of District 23 in proper context: That booty doth seem fairly inconsequential Unless shall be granted across the board increases
By the mean God Giuliani.
Yet we watched the minuscule 15 minutes of discussion time trickle away
Oh! What will come of such discussion, which lacked depth and magnitude
As was left many speakers deserted at the alter?
I fear I wrong the honourable union leaders
Whose daggers have stabb'd the merit pay---er--school- based incentives discussion; I do fear it. 

Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up To such a sudden flood of mutiny.
They that have done this deed are honourable:
What private griefs they have, alas, I know not,
That made them do it: they are wise and honourable, And will, no doubt, with reasons answer you. 

I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts: I am no orator, as Randi is;
But, as you know me all, a plain blunt man, For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth, Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech, To stir men's blood; I only speak right on;

I tell you that which you yourselves do know;
Show you sweet merit pay---er--school-based incentives discussion’s wounds, poor poor dumb mouths,
And bid them speak for me.
But were I Randi, And Randi I, there wouldst ruffle up your spirits and put a tongue
In every wound of the merit pay---er--school-based incentives discussion that should move
The stones of the UFT to rise and mutiny. 

O masters, if I were disposed to stir
Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
I should do Randi wrong, and Tom wrong,
Who, you all know, are honourable union leaders:
I will not do them wrong; I rather choose to wrong the dead merit pay-- er----school-based incentives--discussion, to wrong myself and you than I will wrong such honourable union leaders.
My heart is in the coffin
With the merit pay--er---school-based incentives--- discussion. 

*The 2001 UFT election victory over New Action had been completed by April and Unity was heading to the Hilton for a celebration ("The Goths of Shulman"). 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Panic in the Charter Lobby: Families for Excellent Schools (FES) Attack Public School High Scoresl Test Gains, Ignore Charter Phony Gains

Kittredge and FES will soon be calling for a ban on immigrants who might raise test scores in public schools.
Several charters had notable jumps but Families for Excellent Schools didn’t target them. They include Imagine Me Leadership Charter School in East New York, where 71% passed in math in spring, up from 41% the year before.... WSJ, Some Brooklyn Test Scores Jump, Sparking Call for State Investigation
Pro-charter group sees big gains as ‘suspiciously high’
Following on their loss at the NAACP (NAACP Sends a BIG FU to Charter Lobby), the charter lobby is increasingly in a state of panic.

Oooh, the poor boobies at the slimebag astroturf  FES led by the ultimate piece of shit, Jeremiah Kittredge, are scared that high test scores from public schools in neighborhoods with clusters of charters are becoming a threat to them.

As public schools begin to rise in test scores they present an inherent threat to the pro-charter narrative. So now FES is asking for schools with jumps in test scores to be investigated.

How funny considering charters mark their own tests, toss low-scoring kids back into public schools and in their closed environment can cheat like hell. A charter school teacher caught cheating probably gets an award. At most they will get rid of a teacher but cover it up. A public school teacher caught cheating not only can lose their job but go to jail - see Atlanta.

Some public schools threatened by charters have figured out ways to attract some of the parents who might go charter.

PS 147K, my former schools, is listed by FES. I had to laugh. I was in the school stuffing mailboxes during the UFT election on one of the testing days and the principal not only gave me a tour of the building to show me all the new stuff they had - hydroponics lab, state of the art library, a hot stuff computer lab - and then invited me into her office for a long chat about education policy. I remember my old principal in the 80s-90s being neurotic on test days and poring over the test papers to make sure everything was OK. No signs of that at all.

She took me in to see the Japanese dual language program which, as the only school in the city, has attracted Japanese parents. I'll leave it to readers to figure out if that has had an impact on test scores. And as we know that if you get a critical mass of kids who can function academically it raises all boats.

Kittredge and FES will soon be calling for a ban on immigrants who might raise test scores in public schools.

Yes Kittredge, let's open up Eva's schools for total scrutiny and watch you guys squawk. 

In some cases the opt-out movement might be having an effect. The assumption has been that the better scoring kids opt out - and in many areas that is true. But some of the low-scoring kids who have enormous struggles with the tests might also be opting out to avoid the trauma of tests that are so clearly unsuited for them. 

Lisa Rudley commented on the CTS listserve:
No surprise the charter schools are upset that they can't take over more schools to line their pockets and disrupt local communities. To call for full transparency is an insult when charters are the most secretive, non-transparency entities themselves with laws that protect them to be so.

The WSJ clearly is clearly not being balanced as charter school scores 'supposedly' went up even more.  Should they be investigated? In the end, these scores are not even comparable! 

Lastly, there were several charter schools across the state that had students opting out and did not meet the 95% threshold. .. Lisa Rudley, NYSAPE
Here is the WSJ article in full.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

NAACP Sends a BIG FU to Charter Lobby

The charter lobby has been going wild, spending lavishly and running PR campaigns to try to stop the NAACP Exec Board from opposing charter expansion. They failed. After lobbying the
NAACP unsuccessfully, they will now turn to attacking the NAACP as being irrelevant.

Black Lives Matter has also called for a moratorium on charters.

The woim is toining. More signs tomorrow.

From Ravitch:
The national board of the NAACP endorsed the resolution passed by its 2016 annual convention calling for a moratorium on charter school expansion!
October 15, 2016
CINCINNATI – Members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Board of Directors ratified a resolution Saturday adopted by delegates at its 2016 107th National Convention calling for a moratorium on charter school expansion and for the strengthening of oversight in governance and practice.

“The NAACP has been in the forefront of the struggle for and a staunch advocate of free, high-quality, fully and equitably-funded public education for all children,” said Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the National NAACP Board of Directors. “We are dedicated to eliminating the severe racial inequities that continue to plague the education system.”

The National Board’s decision to ratify this resolution reaffirms prior resolutions regarding charter schools and the importance of public education, and is one of 47 resolutions adopted today by the Board of Directors. The National Board’s decision to ratify supports its 2014 Resolution, ‘School Privatization Threat to Public Education’, in which the NAACP opposes privatization of public schools and public subsidizing or funding of for-profit or charter schools. Additionally, in 1998 the Association adopted a resolution which unequivocally opposed the establishment and granting of charter schools which are not subject to the same accountability and standardization of qualifications/certification of teachers as public schools and divert already-limited funds from public schools.
We are calling for a moratorium on the expansion of the charter schools at least until such time as:

(1) Charter schools are subject to the same transparency and accountability standards as public schools

(2) Public funds are not diverted to charter schools at the expense of the public school system
(3) Charter schools cease expelling students that public schools have a duty to educate and
(4) Cease to perpetuate de facto segregation of the highest performing children from those whose aspirations may be high but whose talents are not yet as obvious.

Historically the NAACP has been in strong support of public education and has denounced movements toward privatization that divert public funds to support non-public school choices.

“We are moving forward to require that charter schools receive the same level of oversight, civil rights protections and provide the same level of transparency, and we require the same of traditional public schools,” Chairman Brock said. “Our decision today is driven by a long held principle and policy of the NAACP that high quality, free, public education should be afforded to all children.”
While we have reservations about charter schools, we recognize that many children attend traditional public schools that are inadequately and inequitably equipped to prepare them for the innovative and competitive environment they will face as adults. Underfunded and under-supported, these traditional public schools have much work to do to transform curriculum, prepare teachers, and give students the resources they need to have thriving careers in a technologically advanced society that is changing every year. There is no time to wait. Our children immediately deserve the best education we can provide.

“Our ultimate goal is that all children receive a quality public education that prepares them to be a contributing and productive citizen,” said Adora Obi Nweze, Chair of the National NAACP Education Committee, President of the Florida State Conference of the NAACP and a former educator whose committee guides educational policy for the Association.

“The NAACP’s resolution is not inspired by ideological opposition to charter schools but by our historical support of public schools – as well as today’s data and the present experience of NAACP branches in nearly every school district in the nation,” said Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO of the NAACP. “Our NAACP members, who as citizen advocates, not professional lobbyists, are those who attend school board meetings, engage with state legislatures and support both parents and teachers.”

“The vote taken by the NAACP is a declaratory statement by this Association that the proliferation of charter schools should be halted as we address the concerns raised in our resolution,” said Chairman Brock.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas here.

The NJT disaster is a vision of this nation under Trump/ Should Chris Christie be charged with murder in NJ Transit Crash?

“It was an excellent railroad and running quite well until the last seven years, and it has been in constant decline,” said Martin E. Robins, a former deputy executive director of the agency. Under the administration of Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, the state subsidy for the agency has plunged by more than 90 percent... NY Times
From the first I heard that a woman died in that Hoboken crash my immediate thought was that Trump thug henchman Christie played the major role in the NJ Transit catastrophe - starting with his cancellation of the new tunnel under the Hudson when he took the money for his own political use -- mainly to keep the Jersey gas prices down so he could say he didn't raise taxes. Now the one over 100 year old tunnel is a disaster and the tunnel that Christie delayed for all these years still has to be built at a much higher cost - and we in NY have to help cover. I read somewhere a comment that the state took control of schools in Jersey so maybe the feds should take over the NJT.

Remember hurricane Sandy when the trains in NY were put on higher ground while the trains in Jersey were left to drown?

The NJT disaster is a vision of this nation under Trump.

It is no accident that Christie quickly tried to cover his tracks by finally agreeing to a big hike in the gas tax which was 30 cents below most of the rest of the nation for decades.

Yesterday, the NY Times did a major piece showing the neglect over the past 7 years of Christie admin - people who moved to Jersey who have to commute are rethinking their choice.
The railroad’s falling reputation, some fear, could push people out of the state and turn others off from living there.
My friend's daughter and her husband are thinking of moving from Brooklyn to Jersey, assuming a certain commute time since they both work in the city. I would rethink if I were them.

Poor Jersey transit clogs the entire northeast corridor. This is definitely worth reading despite its length.

New Jersey Transit, a
Cautionary Tale of Neglect

The swift decline of one of the nation’s busiest commuter
railroads is a story of failures and mismanagement, and
ominous for mass transit systems across the country.

In the 1990s, New Jersey Transit was riding high.
Its ridership was increasing, and its trains were new and running on time. It won a coveted award for outstanding public transportation three times. In the years ahead, faster routes to Manhattan and double-decker trains would put it at the forefront of the nation’s commuter railroads. Even as recently as 2007, it won a leadership award from New York University.
That all seems like a very long time ago.
Today, New Jersey Transit is in crisis. Its aging tracks and trains need billions of dollars in improvements. Delays and fares are rising along with ridership, with passenger cars packed to the breaking point. The century-old tunnel that carries its trains to New York is crumbling. And the agency has gone nearly a year without a permanent leader.

“It was an excellent railroad and running quite well until the last seven years, and it has been in constant decline,” said Martin E. Robins, a former deputy executive director of the agency.
Under the administration of Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, the state subsidy for the agency has plunged by more than 90 percent. Gaping holes in the agency’s past two budgets were filled by fare increases and service reductions or other cuts. Plans for a new tunnel under the Hudson River — one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects in the country — were torpedoed by Mr. Christie, who pushed for some of the money to be diverted to road-building projects.

 Read more:

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The UFT as a Management Corporation - Sean Ahern: UFT Incorporated

What difference does it make to UFT Inc if the corporate reformers figure two for one ain't bad?  What difference to UFT Inc if turnover in the teaching ranks increases and the median salary/seniority level is lowered?  It doesn't matter if a member makes 40 or 100 thousand per year, if they have 3 years seniority or 30,  UFT Inc collects the same amount  per capita!   The more the merrier!   The two newbies for one old timer approach of the corporate reformers means  more members,  means more dues!  More customers for the health plan (and they are younger and less costly)!   .... Sean Ahern
I met Sean Ahern in May 2003 when he sent me a snail mail letter after finding a copy of Ed Notes in his school mailbox. (How it got there I have no idea). We began to hang out and by September we were talking about a need for a new voice inside the UFT because the other 3 groups operating as caucuses weren't addressing a number of issues. We touched base with other allies and thus the Independent Community of Educators was born two months later. Over the years we have had our falling outs and coming back together, ultimately in MORE.

I don't always agree with all of Sean's points and don't agree with some of them in this post but they are usually very thoughtful. He recently posted this piece from 2007 -- with a whole load of predictions that came true --  to the MORE listserve and is worth checking out. He questions the concept of a traditional opposition caucus, something I and others have raised at times. In my visit with Julie Cavanagh the other day we touched on some of the issues related to MORE as a caucus. He argues for a flattening of the teacher salary schedule and predicts that senior teachers would come under attack due to their high costs.
I wrote this in 2007 when I was a member of the Independent Community of Educators.  Some things have changed but much more remains the same.  It may offer a new generation of MORE activists some food for thought.
Sean Ahern

President of SEIU Local 73: SEIU Officials Imposed an “Illegal” Trusteeship after I Supported Bernie Sanders

During SEIU’s trusteeship hearing, Boardman described how she blew the whistle on “corrupt and unethical behavior” by Local 73’s Secretary-Treasurer Matt Brandon after he cut a “backroom deal” with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel that “sold out” Local 73’s members. .....
 I was removed from office was because I disagreed with the International leadership on a number of issues. The most recent was when they called me from Washington to assure themselves that I supported Hillary in the Primary which I did not. I supported Bernie Sanders. Both times they called I told them that I supported Bernie Sanders. They told me he would lose. This was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back for them. For years I have disagreed with them on major issues of democracy within the union, organizing new members and servicing members which the International sees as in opposition to organizing new members.
She goes on to describe how SEIU officials in Washington DC “regularly criticized me for ‘taking too many cases to arbitration.’”... The International’s main focus is to extract as much dues money from the members which it promptly turns over to the DNC. This deprives locals of operating expenses, as well as funds to support local candidates who actually support unions.... Stern Burger With Fries
Sound familiar? Our AFT dues?

Hey, we know about the decline in unions. No one blames the lack of democracy from autocratic union leaders as a factor. They should. The underhanded threats against Bernie supporters in unions won't come back to bite them this time due to the Trump disaster, but I can see a primary campaign springing up against Hillary for the 2020 elections if she acts totally like we expect her to act. We in the UFT/NYSUT/AFT need to keep applying consistent pressure.

Randi: We will get the NNU and their little dog too...

I reported on the Randi response to the Clinton campaign re: the nurses union support for Bernie Weingarten to Clinton Campaign: we will go after NNU [nurses union] for endorsing Bernie and there high and mighty sanctimonious conduct...

Someone left this comment:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Talkin' About MORE: Hanging With Julie While Prepping for Fast

If this post suddenly trails off, you'll know it is due to weakness due to fasting. (I am dreaming of tonight's herring in cream sauce).

Tuesday, I spent a few hours with one of my favorite people, Julie Cavanagh, who is home recuperating from an operation. We rarely get together since she has such a busy life since Jack was born so I took advantage of her time off to get a much-needed dose of Julie rationality. I've been questioning my continuing commitment to UFT opposition politics and whether a continuing investment of time in trying to build MORE as a significant opposition caucus that can one day contend for power in the UFT is worth it, considering the realities. I put serious time and energy into the UFT 2016 elections and winning the high school seats was about the best outcome we could expect. Maybe that is enough for now. Maybe for the foreseeable future. I also have had issues with MORE itself over the years and still do but have tried to be a good soldier.

Talking to Julie is always illuminating and clarifying. We discussed some ideas for projects. The movie we initiated 2010-11 was one of our best experiences and how the movie had such an impact far beyond what we expected. She pointed to how well the process worked for the entire team. I would jump at a chance to do something with the same people. We all got together this summer for a soccer game and it was so much fun. There is nothing compelling on the table right now but maybe getting the gang together over some wine and beer will shake something loose. 

I do find myself less interested in going to meetings.  But then I also talked to James Eterno last night and we agree that union politics is in our DNA and hard to walk away from. My immediate project is occasionally putting out an issue of Education Notes at delegate assemblies with information I think people are interested in. Information that MORE doesn't address.

And then there are the other projects like the theater, robotics, gardening, traveling, some Rockaway based projects and exploring new areas of interest.

Will Joel Klein Return in Clinton Admin Through His Wife/ AFT Worried Joel Klein Was Helping Hillary Clinton's Campaign

On Aug 19, 2015, at 1:31 PM, Nikki Budzinski < > > wrote: > > > > Hi-I wanted to flag a panicked call I just received from AFT about Joel > Klein, former Chancellor of New York City Dept of Education. Is he joining > the campaign in any capacity? Reporters have been contacting AFT for > reaction. AFT has flagged this as a really big issue for them. I would > expect that Randi is going to reach out to John on this today. > > > > Anything additional you can share with me would be appreciated. Thanks. > > > > -- > > Nikki Budzinski > > Labor Outreach Director > > Hillary for America
[Joel Klein's wife] Nicole Seligman gained early acclaim as a lawyer with her representation of Lt. Col. Oliver North in a congressional hearing into the Iran-Contra scandal. She later acted as the legal adviser to President Bill Clinton when he testified before a grand jury in the Monica Lewinsky scandal and also helped defend him at his impeachment trial in the Senate. ... Variety
Did Randi's seat at Hillary's table manage to kill any Joel Klein involvement in the Hillary campaign? Let's give Randi a temporary star if she managed to thwart Uncle Joel's ambitions to get on the Clinton bandwagon. Now that doesn't mean that on Nov. 9 we hear that Klein has been added to the transition team on education.

Remember that Klein's wife Nicole Seligman is a major corporation and Clinton player. She left as head of Sony Corp back in Feb.
Seligman said in a statement that she was “excited and eager to explore new opportunities” and thanked Sony for a “deeply rewarding” run with the company.
Hmmm, I wonder whether those opportunities might be in a Clinton admin? Since she stepped down in March there is not much out there on her plans. Does being Klein's wife create a stir from Randi? I'm thinking not - so look for Joel to worm his way back in through the back door.

Don't be surprised at some point when we see Uncle Joel back in action in a Clinton admin, at which point we will take Randi's star back.

The American Federation of Teachers made a "panicked" call to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in August 2015, to check on what it considered an alarming rumor, according to an email recently uncovered by WikiLeaks.
The union had heard that Joel Klein, the former New York City School chancellor, was working with the campaign. And it was not pleased.
"Is he joining the campaign in any capacity?" asked Nikki Budzinski, the Clinton campaign's labor outreach director. "AFT has flagged this as a really big issue for them. I would expect that Randi is going to reach out to John [Podesta, Clinton's campaign chairman] on this today."
It turns out that no, Klein wasn't a campaign aide at the time, said AFT President Randi Weingarten, in a Monday interview.
And she was pretty relieved, she said.
"That's the kind of rumor we just wanted to track down," Weingarten said. "Joel may have been incredibly Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for electionslug_2016_126x126.jpggood in Bill Clinton's Justice Department but he has a toxic reputation when it comes to education." (Klein also served as an assistant attorney general for Clinton from 1997 to 2000.)
Klein and Weingarten had an especially difficult relationship during the more than half a dozen years he served as chancellor of New York City public schools, and she served as president of the United Federation of Teachers, which represents New York City teachers.
Klein does have some big fans in K-12 policy circles, especially among proponents of education "reform" who credit him with bringing about bold and much needed improvement to the city's schools through policies like a serious expansion of charters.
Wikileaks, a group that publishes communications it says point to government and corporate misconduct, recently hacked into emails sent to Podesta, going back to at least 2008.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

While Fighting Trumpism, Maintain vigilance on Clintonism

I trust Glenn Greenwald commentaries. Here is an expose of the Clinton machine and their planted so-called "journalists." Let's not throw away democracy in the rush to trash everything Trump and excuse everything Clinton. Here Greenwald exposes the Clinton machine attampt to cast all the negatives in the wikileaks exposures as "fabricated" and Putin plots. As he points out, most likely beyond January the Clinton critics from the left will be branded as working with the right to discredit her. As usual, they will be left in a tough position.
Donald Trump, for reasons I’ve repeatedly pointed out, is an extremist, despicable, and dangerous candidate, and his almost-certain humiliating defeat is less than a month away. So I realize there is little appetite in certain circles for critiques of any of the tawdry and sometimes fraudulent journalistic claims and tactics being deployed to further that goal. In the face of an abusive, misogynistic, bigoted, scary, lawless authoritarian, what’s a little journalistic fraud or constant fearmongering about subversive Kremlin agents between friends if it helps to stop him?
But come January, Democrats will continue to be the dominant political faction in the U.S. — more so than ever — and the tactics they are now embracing will endure past the election, making them worthy of scrutiny. Those tactics now most prominently include dismissing away any facts or documents that reflect negatively on their leaders as fake, and strongly insinuating that anyone who questions or opposes those leaders is a stooge or agent of the Kremlin, tasked with a subversive and dangerously un-American mission on behalf of hostile actors in Moscow.

In the Democratic Echo Chamber, Inconvenient Truths Are Recast as Putin Plots

Weingarten to Clinton Campaign: we will go after NNU [nurses union] for endorsing Bernie and there high and mighty sanctimonious conduct...

Our UFT leaders tell us it is tricky going after CSA principals because they are another union. But when the National Nurses Union endorsement of Bernie pissed off the Clintons, Randi jumped in to offer to do a hit on the nurses union.

He is angry- I think when we are there we do labor rally against trump -

On Saturday, January 30, 2016, Randi Weingarten, Office of the President > wrote: He is psst-but I don't believe it moves him to action. Congrats on the NYT And we will go after NNU and there high and mighty sanctimonious conduct... R 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Shakespeare, Richard III, the Rise of Hitler and Trumpism

In the early 1590s, Shakespeare sat down to write a play that addressed a problem: How could a great country wind up being governed by a sociopath?...
“Richard III,” which proved to be one of Shakespeare’s first great hits, explores how this loathsome, perverse monster actually attained the English throne. As the play conceives it, Richard’s villainy was readily apparent to everyone. There was no secret about his fathomless cynicism, cruelty and treacherousness, no glimpse of anything redeemable in him and no reason to believe that he could govern the country effectively....
Shakespeare brilliantly shows all of these types of enablers working together in the climactic scene of this ascent.
Richard III's remains were recently found under a parking lot in England

Sound familiar? Richard III had a twisted spine. Trump is just twisted.

Stephen Greenblatt delves into Shakespeare's Richard III in the NY Times Sunday Review: Shakespeare Explains the 2016 Election.

Now I've become somewhat of a Shakespeare nut recently - last summer I read Richard Shapiro's "A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599" about the 4 plays Shakespeare wrote that year of strife in London. I went to abridged performances of all 4 plays at the Irondale Ensemble’s “1599” back in May.

Right now I'm reading James Shapiro's sequel -  Year of Lear - 1605 - central was the Gunpowder terrorist plot to blow up Parliament and the entire downtown London and kill much of the English ruling class and an estimated 30,000 people would have died in the subsequent firestorm. Yes, Virginia, terrorism is not a new thing - and this was religious terrorism by Catholics hoping to bring down the protestant leadership. ISIS in its various forms has been around since religion was invented thousands of years ago.

I saw Emily Carding's one woman one hour portrayal of Richard III at the NYC Fringe in August but didn't view Shakespeare's Richard III story in the context of the 2016 election.

Stephen Greenblatt does a great job in parsing "Richard III" in terms of the current election focusing on the stages, Shakespeare Explains the 2016 Election.

In the early 1590s, Shakespeare sat down to write a play that addressed a problem: How could a great country wind up being governed by a sociopath?

The problem was not England’s, where a woman of exceptional intelligence and stamina had been on the throne for more than 30 years, but it had long preoccupied thoughtful people. Why, the Bible brooded, was the kingdom of Judah governed by a succession of disastrous kings? How could the greatest empire in the world, ancient Roman historians asked themselves, have fallen into the hands of a Caligula?

For his theatrical test case, Shakespeare chose an example closer to home: the brief, unhappy reign in 15th-century England of King Richard III. Richard, as Shakespeare conceived him, was inwardly tormented by insecurity and rage, the consequences of a miserable, unloved childhood and a twisted spine that made people recoil at the sight of him. Haunted by self-loathing and a sense of his own ugliness — he is repeatedly likened to a boar or rooting hog — he found refuge in a feeling of entitlement, blustering overconfidence, misogyny and a merciless penchant for bullying.

From this psychopathology, the play suggests, emerged the character’s weird, obsessive determination to reach a goal that looked impossibly far off, a position for which he had no reasonable expectation, no proper qualification and absolutely no aptitude.

“Richard III,” which proved to be one of Shakespeare’s first great hits, explores how this loathsome, perverse monster actually attained the English throne. As the play conceives it, Richard’s villainy was readily apparent to everyone. There was no secret about his fathomless cynicism, cruelty and treacherousness, no glimpse of anything redeemable in him and no reason to believe that he could govern the country effectively.

His success in obtaining the crown depended on a fatal conjunction of diverse but equally self-destructive responses from those around him. The play locates these responses in particular characters — Lady Anne, Lord Hastings, the Earl of Buckingham and so forth — but it also manages to suggest that these characters sketch a whole country’s collective failure. Taken together, they itemize a nation of enablers.

First, there are those who trust that everything will continue in a normal way, that promises will be kept, alliances honored and core institutions respected. Richard is so obviously and grotesquely unqualified for the supreme position of power that they dismiss him from their minds. Their focus is always on someone else, until it is too late. They do not realize quickly enough that what seemed impossible is actually happening. They have relied on a structure that proves unexpectedly fragile.

Second, there are those who cannot keep in focus that Richard is as bad as he seems to be. They see perfectly well that he has done this or that ghastly thing, but they have a strange penchant for forgetting, as if it were hard work to remember just how awful he is. They are drawn irresistibly to normalize what is not normal.

Third, there are those who feel frightened or impotent in the face of bullying and the menace of violence. “I’ll make a corpse of him that disobeys,” Richard threatens, and the opposition to his outrageous commands somehow shrivels away. It helps that he is an immensely wealthy and privileged man, accustomed to having his way, even when his way is in violation of every moral norm.

Fourth, there are those who persuade themselves that they can take advantage of Richard’s rise to power. They see perfectly well how destructive he is, but they are confident that they will stay safely ahead of the tide of evil or manage to seize some profit from it. These allies and followers help him ascend from step to step, collaborating in his dirty work and watching the casualties mount with cool indifference. They are, as Shakespeare imagines it, among the first to go under, once Richard has used them to obtain his end.

Fifth, and perhaps strangest of all, there are those who take vicarious pleasure in the release of pent-up aggression, in the black humor of it all, in the open speaking of the unspeakable. “Your eyes drop millstones when fools’ eyes fall tears,” Richard says to the murderers whom he has hired to kill his brother. “I like you, lads.” It is not necessary to look around to find people who embody this category of collaborators. They are we, the audience, charmed again and again by the villain’s jaunty outrageousness, by his indifference to the ordinary norms of human decency, by the lies that seem to be effective even though no one believes them, by the seductive power of sheer ugliness. Something in us enjoys every minute of his horrible ascent to power.

Shakespeare brilliantly shows all of these types of enablers working together in the climactic scene of this ascent. The scene — anomalously enough in a society that was a hereditary monarchy but oddly timely for ourselves — is an election. Unlike “Macbeth” (which introduced into the English language the word “assassination”), “Richard III” does not depict a violent seizure of power. Instead there is the soliciting of popular votes, complete with a fraudulent display of religious piety, the slandering of opponents and a grossly exaggerated threat to national security.
WHY an election? Shakespeare evidently wanted to emphasize the element of consent in Richard’s rise. He is not given a robust consent; only a municipal official and a few of the villain’s carefully planted henchmen shout their vote: “God save Richard, England’s royal king!”

But the others assembled in the crowd, whether from indifference or from fear or from the catastrophically mistaken belief that there is no real difference between Richard and the alternatives, are silent, “like dumb statues or breathing stones.” Not speaking out — simply not voting — is enough to bring the monster to power.
Shakespeare’s words have an uncanny ability to reach out beyond their original time and place and to speak directly to us. We have long looked to him, in times of perplexity and risk, for the most fundamental human truths. So it is now. Do not think it cannot happen, and do not stay silent or waste your vote.
Pretty interesting stuff.

Now where does Hitler come into this? I am not calling Trump Hitler, just talking about the process of Hitler's rise to power having some similarities among the enablers (though I wouldn't be surprised to see our home grown version of a brown shirt army arising after the election --- Hitler failed in his early attempts to take power and a street army helped intimidate people - just like the current Trump social media army is doing. I wrote about the Hitler story recently. As per my morning post --Thoughts on the post election: Repulicans Will Try to Impeach Hillary, Bernie Supporters Will pressure Hillary from the Left --- interesting post-election times to come.

My thoughts on the post election: Republicans Will Try to Impeach Hillary, Bernie Supporters Will pressure Hillary from the Left

As Hillary looks more likely to win, events are moving ahead to the 2020 election. The contenders on the Republican side will include a vast array, including the guy some consider a new star, Mike Pence - who frankly, scares me more than Trump. Actually, so do all the other Republicans.

Republican strategy since the Bill Clinton days has been to obstruct any Democratic president and that will continue for the next 4 years - even denying Hillary a supreme court nominee unless he/she resembles Scalia. They will walk away from this election feeling they would have won with just about anyone but Trump so they will feel pretty sure they will win in 2020 and Jimmy Carterize Hillary -- unless for some reason Hillary decides to be a 1-termer -- say for reasons of health. Or things get so bad ala Lyndon Johnson who alienated the left in the Dem Party and she can't run again because it would be so obvious she couldn't win. Like imagine Hillary embroils us in more wars.

One way to tie Hillary up would be for the House to impeach her and even though the Senate would not find her guilty, they could tie her up in knots like they did to Bill in the final years of his term. My guess is they would build toward this and wait until after the mid-term elections in 2018 when the party in power always loses seats and then go after her. The downside for them is that it might force her to announce she won't run in 2020 and open up the race to another Democrat, though I don't see any younger Bernies out there.

Trump gave us a hint in the debate at what is to come even if he doesn't win the election. The response from a significant portion of the public that Hillary belongs in jail means they can count on an excited base to support their actions.

As for the left, there is a loose and amorphous bunch of people and orgs that are voting for Hillary due to the Trump menace but their lack of love will harm her and they might even sit out the attack on her from the right. Or more likely will engage in their own attacks from the left.

The 2020 election campaign begins on November 9.

NY Mag: If Her Opponent Weren’t a Sexual Predator, Clinton’s Leaked Speeches Would Be Devastating

there’s the stuff that threatens to demobilize her leftwing skeptics. After securing the nomination, Clinton sought to make peace with the Sandernistas by moving in the socialist senator’s direction on health care and higher education. But policy concessions only matter if the voters you’re hoping to win over trust you to pursue those policies. And, after Sanders spent much of the primary raising doubts about the sincerity of Clinton’s positions on trade and financial regulation, a portion of his base still distrusts the Democratic nominee.... NY Mag
And so there was some reaction from the left Bernie people. Still, 
I think electing Hillary does give us a greater chance of building a progressive movement going forward!... J on FB 
One of the disturbing issues from the Clinton support camp is that fear of Trump must trump any negative stories about Hillary. I think that if Hillary had released her speeches initially - like a year and a half ago - everything would have blown over. She's just lucky Trump is so awful. The NY Mag piece delves into some of the issues raised in the wikileaks of some content from her speeches on Wall St. One of the disturbing things about Hillary is her persistent poor judgement. Like you knew you were going to run for president and every action would be scrutinized. So sure go and make a half a million on speeches to Wall St -- and this even after the Occupy movement. She just didn't see a Bernie coming.

David Sirota did a lot of tweeting during the debate, while not for Trump he held Hillary's feet to the fire.
5h5 hours ago
David Sirota
Makes sense why Clinton refused to release the transcripts during the Democratic primary...
David Sirota added,
There were some comments on FB by some friends.
M:  you know what, I have a lot of friends on the left on fb- professors, writers, journalists, unionists, leftist organizations and every last one of them posts 5 anti-hillary articles for every 1 anti-trump. Its actually quite annoying and shows me why the left will remain on the fringes. A year ago did I think i would be left to defend Hillary on fb or over text, hell no, yeah i was a bernie supporter, but when a teacher, a union organizer, an American sees a threat we must do everything we possibly can do to stop that threat. Do you think any Hillary supporter has the blinders on? We all know just what type of political creature she is, neo-liberlism, corporate supporting, democrat at its worst. No one needs to read another article on what she says in her private emails or her speeches to know who she is or to be "devastated", but to dismiss this election is to fundamentally underestimate the power of the presidency and those appointments to SCOTUS.

J:  Can't vote for Trump, but hell if i can vote for someone who is now on the record saying she'll cut corporate taxes and raise the age for SS to pay or it.

JC:  I don't disagree. I will hold my nose and vote for HRC. But, still- facts. If Trump wasn't a monster, if she was running against nearly any other R, she would more than likely lose and this leak would have been a way bigger deal. (I would still have held my nose and voted for her against any R from the primary and I don't actually think the leaks from the transcripts are as bad as I thought they would be.... but there are things that are much worse-- Haiti and the Clinton Foundation, Honduras, Libya... the world is complicated... she is better than anyone for the system we have... but of course brother, we are ready for a different system entirely. How the %*+ that's going to happen I don't know, but hopefully this election is a gateway... I think electing Hillary does give us a greater chance of building a progressive movement going forward!) (I'll also remind you, you were arguing with me in the other direction about HRC not long ago fool😂!)
Here is full NY Mag piece