Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Republicans and Jacobin Attack Warren After Finishing Biden Off

The Republican National Committee said Tuesday that Ms. Warren had been “caught lying.”.....
In a post on Twitter last week, Meagan Day, a writer for the socialist magazine Jacobin, drew attention to an interview Ms. Warren gave in 2007 in which she discussed the end of her career as a public-school teacher and did not describe being forced out because she was pregnant.... NYT - Elizabeth Warren Details Her Account of Losing Teaching Job Because of Pregnancy
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/08/us/politics/elizabeth-warren-fired-pregnant.html
I still favor Bernie but Wow: RNC and Jacobin tag team Warren to brand her a liar. Since Jacobin/DSA "Bernie or Bust" has seen Biden fade after the Trump attacks and has now joined the right wing Trumpites in an attack on Warren. Frankly, these campaigns, sometimes bordering on hysteria -- like how DARE the press actually say Bernie had a heart attack --  have begun to turn some leftist Bernie supporters off. I went to the original Meagan Day tweet and note how disparaging it is toward Warren (by the way, the Jacobin/DSA crowd attacks on both Hillary (deserved) and Warren, two prominent women, are also giving some women thoughts that there is something valid in the attacks of some Bernie Bros turning off progressive women.
 
The ref to Jacobin caught my eye since I started hearing the same attack on right wing radio - Bernie and Sid - did this hit job the other day as they switch from Biden attacks and now go after leading Dem candidates one by one as they become a threat. The essence of the attack was that Warren did not really face firing over being pregnant in 1971 despite a lot of proof that this was policy in many schools -- the idea of kids seeing a pregnant teacher might cause trauma.

So left wing press like Jacobin and some in DSA are playing pin ball with the right - with similar intent I believe -- right wingers to leave their Trump as the only candidate and the left to leave Bernie as the only candidate -- and I believe some on the left would rather see Trump win than any Democrat other than Bernie.

A DSA memo disparaged the impeachment movement with the usual attack on Dems. A prominent left wing supporter of Bernie surmised this was about:  
Making sure there's no pro-Democrat option if Bernie loses.
The logic is, in effect, to try to stop any potential left-center coalition after the primaries, ie. promoting Bernie-or-Bust - as if we'll have another choice besides the Democratic nominee in November 2020, whoever that is. We won't.
Reality check for ultra-left: Reports about Bernie cutting back on campaigning:  
It may turn out to be Warren or Bust with Bust being Trump. But watch the attacks on Warren continue.
All over the internet you can find people calling Elizabeth Warren a "former public school teacher" and saying it was her "first career." Warren was a public school teacher for one year. She immediately left the classroom, went to law school, and became a law professor. Come on 
The NYT article fundamentally supported Warren's claim she was if not openly fired, sent a message she wasn't wanted when she became noticably pregnant:
Historically, it was common for American teachers to be pushed out of their jobs during pregnancy, either through termination or the requirement of an unpaid leave of absence. In 1974, the Supreme Court ruled some of these policies unconstitutional. But not all such policies were explicitly written down and tracked, giving many female teachers little legal recourse....
Ms. Warren told CBS News that she had been hiding her pregnancy.
“I was pregnant, but nobody knew it,” she said. “And then a couple of months later when I was six months pregnant and it was pretty obvious, the principal called me in, wished me luck and said he was going to hire someone else for the job.”... The Republican National Committee said Tuesday that Ms. Warren had been “caught lying.”
Want to read more Jacobin attacks on Warren from the left?

Elizabeth Warren’s Public Education Problem By Eric Blanc

The Sanders Climate Plan Can Work. Warren’s Can’t. By Carl Beijer
 
The left has been attacking Warren for her former positions and the disturbing choices to give TFA people a role in her campaign. But I also found some Bernie baggage, a former major ed deformer.

Nina Turner, Bernie Sanders’s Campaign Chair, Led Charge for Education Reform as Ohio Legislator

And here is another Bernie backer, a woman, on differentiating Bernie from Warren, which is not a bad thing if done honestly instead of looking like a right wing hit job.  From The Bern Identity
https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1177039402997956608.html.


Sunday, October 6, 2019

Memo from the RTC: A few Parting words from The Great Gatsby

Last show today and it is sold out.

Supporting actors: Danielle Rose Fischer (Lucille), Jose Velez (George), Samantha Caiati (Myrtle), Nick Baytler (Chester), Fred Grieco (Meyer).

Leads: left to right: Tiffany Faulkner (Jordan), Steven Wagner (Nick), Nona Varano (Daisy), Nick Safier (Gatsby), John Squires (Tom).



Memo from the RTC: A few Parting words from The Great Gatsby
By Norm Scott
The WAVE - Oct. 4, 2019 -

I went back to see The Great Gatsby based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel for a second time and was even more impressed. It closes at the Rockaway Theatre Company this weekend so don’t miss this powerful story that digs deep into the American psyche. I wanted to share a few thoughts on some of the ideas contained in the Fitzgerald story and mention a few more of the actors.

The play’s narrator and conscience is Nick Carraway, impressively portrayed by Steven Wagner (who was featured in last week’s WAVE). The story he tells of love lost, found and lost again, along with the examination of the class structure of America in the 1920s, seemed in so many ways to be autobiographical. I was inspired to check Fitzgerald’s background and the similarities to both the fictional characters of both Carraway and Gatsby himself are stark. Fitzgerald split himself into two characters, thus creating a powerful story of the narrator telling the story of Gatsby, his alter ego. I believe the larger than life daring Gatsby was created in Fitzgerald’s mind as someone he would have wanted to emulate. There is a real Daisy, a Chicago daughter of wealthy society figures, Ginevra King, who seemed to obsess him and characters based on her appeared in numerous works. This comment in the film and play versions is an indication of why their relationship failed: Poor boys shouldn't think of marrying rich girls. Not that Fitzgerald was poor, coming from the upper middle class, but relatively he was and underlining the story is bastardized version of class struggle and how different the very wealthy are. A Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren he isn’t, but he does go into unexpected places for a 1925 novel, notably when he touches on the white supremacy thoughts of one of the characters and the mocking of those ideas by others. Those years were the highlight of the Ku Klux Klan.

Last week I talked about the superb lead actors, four of them new to the RTC (we hope they will be back). There was a second tier of minor but significant roles with vet RTC actor and Rockaway community leader Jose Velez playing gasoline station owner George Wilson and Samantha Caiati his wife in the role of Myrtle, the mistress of Daisy’s husband Tom Buchanan. Sam, who married director Frank Caiati a year ago, lights up the stage whenever she is on – in fact she sets the mood and sense of doom for the play in her few scenes with her intensity. Jose plays her husband in a humble, low-key manner, which only makes his final actions so effective. Fred Grieco, another RTC vet, plays gangster Meyer Wolfscheim so effectively I would run if I saw him coming down the street. Playing Myrtle’s friend, a tipsy Lucille, is RTC vet for half her life Danielle Rose Fischer, the fiancé of assistant director and sound designer John Panepinto, who staggers around the stage so effectively I wanted some of what she was drinking. Rounding out the crew is Nick Baytler, in his second role at the RTC, vividly portraying a sleazy, oily character. Nick. a salesman of sorts in real life, may have some practice.

On Monday the Tony Homsey construction and destruction crew will take down the beautiful set, including that wonderful hidden swimming pool and figuring out where to put that gorgeous yellow roadster replica, then start building the set for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, the final show of the year, opening November 8 and running for three weekends, taking us right up to Thanksgiving week.

Norm posts all his RTC and School Scope articles on his blog, ednotesonline.com.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Trump Gets What He Wants: Impeachment will still leave him standing while cutting Biden at the knees.

With Biden at one point looking like the most dangerous to Trump, his actions make perfect sense. Push out story after story about how corrupt Joe is even if risking impeachment by the Dems in the House, knowing full well he will not be convicted in the Senate. Thus he runs again against a preferred candidate like Warren or even Bernie, whose own prospects aren't looking too good lately, especially with his heart issue that might create just enough doubt to move less faithful votes toward Warren or another candidate. Bernie is the oldest candidate in the race.

But Biden has not only been under attack from Trump.
The left/progressive wing of the Dems have also been going at him since he declared. And other shaky moments have shown the Trump strategy may have only escalated the situation against Biden and might actually give Warren a quicker path, thus actually making the process or running against Trump somewhat easier for her if her momentum holds up.

I'm still for Bernie but am annoyed as some of the stridency of Bernie or Bust -- Bust means Trump. Warren has been under attack from the Bernie left/Jacobin crowd who are throwing the kitchen sink against her: she's a deceiver, she takes big money and tells others not to, her education plan is bad, she stole Bernie's ideas, she is a Hillary plant - etc.

There are serious issues with Warren on education and Bernie's plan is much better and Bernie we know is adamantly pro-union since forever and when he shows up on a picket line we know he means it. But there has also been an article circulating about Bernie's top assistant Nina Turner who supposedly was involved in a big way in ed deform in Cleveland, with views that compare with Warren's old ed views, posted on the Intercept.

Nina Turner, Bernie Sanders’s Campaign Chair, Led Charge for Education Reform as Ohio Legislator

Here is a pro-Warren piece in Esquire: What We Learn from Elizabeth Warren.
 
Trump and crew may be laughing at the idea of how he can mock and rattle her plus the idea that there are a lot of men and many women who will not vote for a woman plus the center Dems who are very nervous over Warren.

It is a mistake for Dems to think that any one of them can beat Trump and that he is weakened so much now. But Warren at this point is looking like she can take him on. Hillary still got 66 million votes and Warren doesn't carry her baggage.

However, if Warren look real strong, the Trump/Republicans will swiftboat her with anything they can dig up. And if they can't dig something up they will make stuff up and be believed by their core.

Then there are the rumors of Hillary sitting in the wings to rep the center Dems if things go sour -- she thinks all she has to do is flip not that many votes from last time and many people who sat it out will come back after the Trump years. I even commented on a socialist FB page how I still prefer her to Trump.

There is another angle. Trump gets convicted in the Senate due to some Republicans seeing a better path for them with Pence as president running in 2020. An interesting article in Politico explores this idea.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/10/02/pence-trump-president-2020-228903

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

School Scope: On Warren, Bernie, health and education

School Scope:  Ed News to Use
By Norm Scott 
Submitted for publication in The WAVE for Oct. 4, 2019

Last week I wrote about the cheating scandal in Maspeth HS where kids were allowed to graduate if they fog a mirror and how the powers that be in the DOE and the UFT turn the other way because high grad and test score numbers make them look good. This week’s revelations are that di Blasio also knew about it and ignored it. Duhhhhhh!

Others stories broke around: “The chancellor reiterated his support this week for “formative assessments” — which he has said would be offered four times a year — to help the education department understand whether students are mastering material across the system in “real time,” Carranza’s Four Exam Plan Raises Student Overtesting Fears
http://thecity.nyc/2019/09/carranzas-exam-plan-is-overtesting-for-students-critics-say.html. Prepping for test this way is just another form of cheating.

The Chicago teachers union voted by 94% for a strike. Many consider the union’s 2012 strike as being the spark that not only set off teacher strikes around the nation, but strikes in other unions like the General Motors autoworkers, which have been on strike for weeks. Some Dem candidates have rushed to union rallies. The Democratic Party, which despite labor support had been ignoring the broad interests of labor for decades, which some view as having led to enough defections in swing states to have elected Trump, has been rushing to show support for unions. But those of us who watched the Dems in-action are always suspicious because the leaders of the Party also owe allegiance to the corporate world, which has much antipathy to unions. These kinds of internal conflicts play out in many ways inside the party.

Reports surfaced that corporate heads have told Dem party leaders that if Warren were to get the nomination they would either sit the election out or support Trump. Note that these people don’t really think Bernie has any real chance and if they did they would be in an even greater panic. Paul Krugman took on this issue in an Oct. 1 column in the NYT, Warren vs. the Petty Plutocrats. Interesting to see Krugman, who used to trash Bernie and praise Hillary and the Democratic center, move further left.

But Warren, now that she is in a good position, built on her using many of Bernie’s ideas, has supposedly been giving party leaders some  assurances that she could be worked with, unlike the uncompromising Bernie, while some of his backers have gone on the attack against Warren. One of the big issues has been her sketchy record on supporting public education and teachers. Education progressives have been concerned over her history, as evidenced by this story the other day in the left wing Jacobin, a big Bernie supporter: Elizabeth Warren’s Public Education Problem. (https://jacobinmag.com/2019/09/elizabeth-warren-education-public-schools)   Bernie’s education plan is more in line with where I stand but I try to live in a real world and in this election other than a few awful candidates on education (Booker, Wang) I will live with Warren and hope that if she won, the support of teacher unions will counter the backing of the ed deform educational industrial wing of the party like Democrats for Educational Reform(DFER).

Private health insurance have 20% admin costs and can afford to slap their names on stadiums while Medicare has 2% admin costs. Every dime they make in profit comes off our backs. Yet, my union, the UFT and its national, the AFT, has joined other unions by taking a centrist position on the health care issue, repeating the argument that union members would lose their current health plans that they are supposedly so in “love” with. I think our union leaders are wrong. All unions members who turn 65 “lose” their plans and go into Medicare while continuing their former primary plan as supplementary, which we still need under Medicare. There are few if any complaints.

On the surface many candidate plans seem similar. A friend of mine studying the issue clarified: "Medicare as we know it should never be confused with Medicare for All. Our Medicare is totally entwined with private industry -- for supplemental coverage (Medigaps and Medicare Advantage) and for drugs (totally for-profit companies, and the feds will dump a penalty on you if you don't enroll in one).  We pre-pay into it all our working lives, and continue to pay through extra plans, substitute plans, and copays/coinsurance. Bernie is offering something new:  Single payer.  Bernie's April bill, though called ‘Medicare for All’, is designed totally differently from ours and proposes an entirely new tax structure.  It will not coexist inside the current one, like our Medicare does.”

All of Norm’s columns appear at ednotesonline.com and have 0 admin costs.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

School Scope: Students Rally, NYC High Schools Cheat, Auto Workers Strike - The WAVE

School Scope:  Students Rally, NYC High Schools Cheat, Auto Workers Strike
By Norm Scott
For The WAVE - Sept. 27, 2019

Reports of cheating by pumping up graduation rates at a Queens HS by the NY Post have caused a stir. A lot of teachers have been saying “Duhhhhh!” Pressures to pass kids and increase grad rates began in the early years of the Bloomberg administration. Of course then, the NY Post, a Bloomberg supporter, bragged about those phony numbers. Bloomberg and his henchman Joel Klein incentivized schools to cheat by closing over 150 so-called “failing” schools which committed the crime of not being smart enough to game the system.

The reaction of the UFT under both Bloomberg and the mayor’s controlled DOE has been consistent: join in the accolades and ignore the pleas of teachers for an honest system. Former UFT president once bragged that the increase in scores was due to the work of teachers and therefore they deserved a raise when Bloomberg was balking at a contract. I warned Randi about that slippery slope – that if scores go down, do teacher salaries get cut?

The UFT is in a difficult place. The pressures on teachers by administrators is intense. Their recourse should be the UFT but in the absence of that option they will go to the press, in particular the NY Post which has an agenda that is not in our best interests and aims to take down the DOE and de Blasio and also casts shade on us as a union, especially with those teachers who come to feel the UFT functions as an apologizer for the DOE. We know the hypocrisy of the Post which advocates closing schools that are deemed failures. Many teachers are perfectly satisfied to go along since high grades and grad rates also make them look good. If we brag about how well schools are doing as UFT President Mulgrew often does, we don't look very good when these stories put all progress into doubt.

Climate march

Memo from the RTC: Gatsby Wows - The WAVE







Memo from the RTC:  Gatsby Wows

By Norm Scott
For The WAVE - Sept. 28, 2019

Let me admit straight out. Even knowing that the great director Frank Caiati was directing The Great Gatsby at the Rockaway Theatre Company at Fort Tilden, had recruited an outstanding cast, and had designed the set, I still wasn’t sure I would like the play, especially after having recently re-watched the 1977 Robert Redford version of the movie. I also don’t remember loving the book, considered one of the greats of all time, when we read it in college. But I was a young fool, taking things at face value. Like a lefty like me doesn’t want to read about the idle rich, as if that was all the novel was about. (Then again I am hooked by Downton Abbey and since I’m retired I actually feel like a member of the idle rich, partially due to my wonderful Medicare for a few.)

Friday, September 27, 2019

Jacobin on Randi on Medicare for all - Speaking out of 4 sides of her mouth

Why Is Teachers Union President Randi Weingarten Attacking Medicare for All?... Weingarten pulls her bait and switch; different versions of Medicare for All, including plans “that preserve a role for commercial insurance,” are actually all the same, she argues, and are just different paths to universal coverage:.... Jacobin
This is ridiculous and it made me realize the exact type of harm she [Randi] caused within the UFT. When she backs this flim flam center neo lib shit, she alienates her own constituents on the left who hate it bc it doesn't do enough and on the right who hate it bc ... because. The only ones who remain are the other center and the 'yes' men. So, because she likes shit like this crap, she has to build her followers from that flock ... which makes us all like her policies even less.
And it's because at the end of the day she cares about the DNC more than she cares about her own union.... comment from a UFT member re: Randi obfuscations on health care.
Yesterday, I posted my comments on Randi Weingarten's Politico article on medicare for all which was more than a little confusing: Randi Weingarten on Medicare for All and a Rebuttal

Now be very clear -- Where Randi leads Mulgrew follows so whatever Randi says becomes UFT policy. I'm working with some former colleagues to put together a rebuttal for the October DA and for UFT Ex Bd meetings.

One of them just sent me this reminder of a 2018 AFT resolution which tries to say all things to all people: https://www.aft.org/resolution/support-affordable-care-act-and-expanding-healthcare-all?fbclid=IwAR2NS0Gwczws7Z31nK67gjRKJWi0miO-ivHtt2e7Ztnb_W5wu8EU5UKYwA8

One of our buddies sent the comment above that pretty much nails the Randi experience:

Yesterday, Jacobin came out with a rebuttal too.

Why Is Teachers Union President Randi Weingarten Attacking Medicare for All?.

https://jacobinmag.com/2019/09/randi-weingarten-medicare-for-all-aft-president-american-federation-teachers

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Randi Weingarten on Medicare for All and a Rebuttal

Abigail Shure, Ed Notes' Newark correspondent sends me Randi-isms. Randi justifies the union stance against the elimination of private insurance in Politico. Sometimes I wonder if unions are getting a slice of the action to keep them from going off the rails by calling for the end of for profit health insurance.


 
The false choice over “Medicare for All”

We can have both private health insurance and an expanded role for government.... https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2019/09/23/medicare-for-all-000977

That our unions are supporting private health care companies and their profits as a better alternative is disconcerting. I believe it is Randi and the unions presenting a false choice. That somehow our medical plans are being taken away. In fact everyone who turns 65 has their medical plans taken away, mine 9 years ago. I haven't pined for my old UFT plan yet, though I do pay for the UFT supplemental plan.

I sent Randi's comments to a retired NYC teacher (who was a core ICEUFTer) who has focused her retirement on assisting people in health care choices and here is her very quick take on Randi's comments with more to come. She is very attuned to what is going on and raises issues of Warren beginning to make some compromises. I have no proof yet about Warren changing on medicare for all.
First - "people who like their current employer-based plan—which 7 in 10 Americans claim to (although it’s likely they like their doctor, not the plan itself"    ...  this is really true.  People think they like their plan, but they really like their doctors and hospitals.  Most people, instead, gripe consistently about the hoops they have to go through with their plans.  They hate their copays.  They hate their huge deductibles.  The only time they reach a true comfort zone with their plan is when they get a very expensive operation or hospital stay, when the contrast is so very obvious what they DO pay and what they WOULD HAVE HAD to pay if they didn't have a plan.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Our Waterloo - Winning Dec. 23: - Everyone is Claiming Credit

There were predictions of Armageddon if schools were open on December 23. Lunatic commentators on the blogs had everyone working the entire summer once this wall was breached.You would have thought the DOE had announced that class sizes were being reduced to 15, there was such joy in Mudville. Yes, boys and girls, you won't have to work on December 23. Now you only have to work 181 or 182 days (depending on reports) instead of that extra day. (OK - so I'm out of it for 17 years and maybe I'm jaded but I do wonder how the non-teaching public reacts to mass celebrations over the relief of not having to work 182 days.)

Most of the time parents are happy when kids have to go to school. But no before Xmas when many of them travel or do other holiday stuff. The parent outrage may have been the biggest factor.

You won't have to replace that day with another day off, like Columbus Day, as the flawed petition from the faux militant MORE/UFT Caucus begged for - er - requested.

That didn't stop MORE from trying to take credit, as in this morning's email: As educators, together we win! Your voice was heard! 

Thousands of teachers signed our December 23rd petition and the DOE listened! Great things happen when educators come together, from common-sense calendar fixes to fighting larger injustices.

If MORE's voice had actually been heard you would be working on Columbus Day. And note the pat on the back excludes parents. It was parent pressure the most. And it is more state ed dept than DOE. We know that principals were outraged too so inside Tweed there was a lot of push back. And the costs to the DOE. So I never believed it was the DOE that was pushing this. Mike Schirtzer told me his principal hugged him over the news and gave the UFT credit. I imagine the UFT once it got on its horse and saw the reaction did some heavy duty lobbying.

If anyone deserves credit it is James Eterno for being first out of the box to raise the issue. We can't act like the UFT sat on its hands though James blames them for approving the calendar which he claims would have been stopped in its tracks if Mulgrew had objected. I'm not so sure of that.

James, an educator and a public school parent of two young children, at least his claim is credible and more modest than the shameless MORE which only jumped in after James, who is not welcome in MORE, was first out of the box with reports on the calendar on the ICEUFT blog.

James celebrated with the news:

RANK & FILE + PUBLIC PRESSURE WORKED: SCHOOL CLOSED ON DECEMBER 23!

There was no fanfare and no announcement at last night's UFT Executive Board but the Department of Education has quietly changed the calendar for the 2019-20 school year. School is now closed on Monday, December 23rd, 2019 in New York City.

We can take a little bit of credit for the change as pressure from parents and rank and file teachers, which we certainly helped to motivate, convinced the UFT to keep fighting for December 23. Our April 26 blog piece and our NY 1 appearance did something to bring this issue to the public sphere where we looked reasonable by using precedent. When December 23rd came on a Monday in the past, it was always a day off going back 33 years. It will be this year too. We didn't ask to give back a day like others did either. The rest of the calendar is unchanged.
Yes, that NY1 report made the issue go viral. James was on the case and kept applying pressure. Even UFT insiders tell us he was correct in pushing back so hard and was effective.

Oh, and I don't want to neglect the FB NYCDOE teacher chat where UFT officials lurk and could see the real rank and file respond.

Oh, and Schirtzer just texted: Hey what about mike schirtzer who first brought it up at ex bd. No fucking credit. Ok, Mike - here's some fucking credit.

Arthur reported the news on his blog:

23 Skidoo

There was quite a push back on December 23rd. It was ultimately successful, and I'm very glad of it. People in my building were quite happy as well. In my old age, I've developed a particularly low tolerance for stupid. Let me define that term--stupid is thoughtless, pompous, pedantic, inconsiderate, and wholly unnecessary bad behavior from people who ought to know better.

Now anyone can make a bad decision. A real measure is whether or not that person determines to stick with it. When there's evidence to prove the person wrong, does he accept it? Or does he vehemently argue with it because it doesn't conform with his predetermined and utterly inflexible worldview? You never can tell.

I don't know who made this particular mistake. I don't know how the DOE calendar is negotiated. This notwithstanding, I offer congratulations to all parties who did this, and decided to not be stupid.  You know, if more people would just wake up in the morning, look themselves in the mirror and say, "Hey, today I'm gonna try to not do or be anything stupid," what a wonderful world this would be.

Yesterday Mike Schirtzer emailed me the revised DOE calendar. I checked with a UFT source to make sure it wasn't April Fool's in September, or some mass hallucination, but once I did I emailed our entire staff. I then walked from department office to department office like Santa Claus declaring, "No school December 23rd."

It's a day of hope. Who would have expected NYC DOE, the same department that turns us down at step two all the time regardless of what merit our complaints have, the same department that sustains the clown car called "legal," the one full of English-challenged lawyers who can't be bothered reading the contract, the department overflowing with Bloomberg leftovers who cry reverse discrimination when a Latino fires or transfers a few of their worthless asses--Who could imagine it would rise up and do something not stupid? That is undeniably a step in the right direction for the DOE, perhaps an example for all humankind to replicate.
 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

What Media Like Best About Elizabeth Warren: She’s Not Bernie Sanders --- Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

Why has Warren—who has positioned herself as Bernie Sanders’ closest ideological competitor, and a vocal crusader against corporate control over the political system—so far escaped the scathing and skeptical coverage Sanders has received? The answer has to do with both the differences in how the two candidates frame themselves, and the way major media cover elections..... Sanders has helped shift the center of the party so much in recent years—many see Warren as a more acceptable alternative. Even Third Way, the pro-corporate think tank that in 2013 warned in the Wall Street Journal (12/2/13) that Warren was leading Democrats “off a populist cliff,”  has warmed up a bit to her.... Warren has been working hard to convince she “is a team player who is seeking to lead the party—not stage a hostile takeover of it.”  By reassuring the kind of party insiders the media rely heavily on for framing their stories, Warren has largely avoided the kinds of aspersions—often anonymous—lobbed at Sanders.  .... Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
In every long form interview Bernie has done he comes across so well, whether it is with center/right Joe Rogan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2O-iLk1G_ng which elicited this comment:
I was uncertain on Bernie to be honest and after this video and reading up on him, I can not believe he is so grossly misrepresented in the media.
or this past weekend which I caught a bit of. Bernie makes the connections others don't.


Listen to Bernie in real conversations not in sound bites.

It is funny to hear Trump and the right shout fake news when people on the left have been claiming media bias against the left for well over a century.

The Washington Post is owned by the richest man in America - think he isn't threatened by Bernie? and probably Warren too, but with Biden so weak they may look at her as "controllable." And the NYT assigned Bernie coverage to Sydney Ember, formerly in the financial field and notably anti-Bernie.

FAIR took a look at the issue:

What Media Like Best About Elizabeth Warren: She’s Not Bernie Sanders

Monday, September 23, 2019

My Commentary on NYT NYC DSA Challenge to Local Unions re: MORE

A lot more attention has been paid to this story of the NYC DSA labor branch organizing to challenge the leadership of NYC traditional unions sparked by an original Politico story which I reported on: Politico's Big Joke: MORE Wants to take over UFT -...

It is of interest here because MORE/UFT is involved, though MORE is not mentioned in this article. The NY Times is following up on the somewhat mocking piece in The Chief -- Meet the New Left, Just As Daft as the Old Left --- Chief Leader Richard Steier on DSA Labor Group "Takeover".

The theory behind this move from DSA is based on what is known as "the rank and file strategy" (RFS) and I have been posting and will continue to post on to try to uncover what might work and what might not in the strategy, if it is valid at all, or if so, are the people trying to execute it even capable? Here are two of my posts:
Now comes the NY Times piece, and the fact they are taking it on - they are taking it seriously, while I know at least those in the no inside the UFT are laughing out loud. Maybe they have some opportunities in other unions.

I took note of this point about red-baiting which has been used to attack socialists for 150 years. But I also see charging red-baiting by socialists as a method to deflect legitimate criticism.
Some backlash was immediate. But it exploded recently, after the group’s [DSA] 37-page memo about its plan [to challenge local unions] was reported by Politico, leading union leaders to accuse D.S.A. of sowing division. 
In response, D.S.A. members — including State Senator Julia Salazar, the first member of the group to serve in the Legislature — said the union leaders were “red-baiting.” .... NY Times
I agree with Salazar that this is red-baiting by anti-socialist unions like the UFT. People on the left are very sensitive to red baiting, a traditional weapon used inside unions - and we saw our own Unity Caucus leadership use it time and again over the years, most notably in the attack on ICEUFT/TJC
Presidential candidate Kit Wainer, who never hid is leftist and Trotskyist views but Unity sent out an "October" surprise with a postcard sent to members' homes right before the election. Unity played dirty politics in an election it wasn't going to lose anyway. I wrote about it then:
Internally, when some on the left criticize others on the left, the group being criticized often charges red-baiting to deflect criticism. For instance, there are leftist/socialists like me an many others connected to ICEUFT who are opposed to Trotskyist views and criticize them for that reason - their view of organizing and socialism differs.

We saw that all the time when the leftists in ICEUFT criticized the manipulative tactics  of the International Socialists (ISO) inside MORE. Their charges of red-baiting backed people off and some of us tried to be careful not to step over a red-baiting line while they engaged in secret behind the scenes organizing tactics to isolate the ICEUFT people  - and they brilliantly executed their strategy with the assistance of the undemocratic socialists connected to DSA no matter the costs to MORE. Fundamentally, the ISO crew organized behind the scenes to push the ICEUFT progressives out under the cover of claiming rude emails when in fact some of the comments were criticisms of ISO functioning like a secret caucus within a caucus and being exposed was not something they wanted to deal with.

So was it red-baiting when ISO was called out for its actions related to taking control of MORE? [I still haven't published their internal memo where they brag about doing so and driving ICE out.]

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/19/nyregion/labor-unions-democratic-socialist.html

In New York, the Far Left Is Targeting a Close Ally

Activists are trying to influence labor unions in New York City. Accusations of spying, subterfuge and “red-baiting” followed. 

  • A group of far-left activists huddled in the basement of a labor union in Manhattan, aiming to upend a Democratic institution that they felt had grown stale. 
  • The potential target was not an entrenched politician, or the local county party. It was a much closer ally: labor unions, including the one that was hosting the activists’ meeting earlier this year.
    The plan did not go over well. The union, a branch of the Communications Workers of America, kicked the activists out. Labor leaders accused the activists of plotting infiltration. The activists, in turn, recently warned of union spies.