Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Republicans are the real election thieves - The real 2020 election scandal: voter theft targeting Black people, youth | The Grayzone

While Republicans create election chaos the Dems are silent on where real fraud takes place. Inept, Inept, Inept. Interesting how initial reports gave Stacie Abrams credit for Biden win in Georgia but it turns out that it was college educated white voters who came out in force. Yet, There are reports that turnout in black communities in Georgia did not increase since 2016. Aaron Mate interviews Greg Palast - The real 2020 election scandal: voter theft targeting Black people, youth -- 

Friday, November 6, 2020

The long-time Trump plan to steal Pennsylvania and why it may still work even if Biden "wins"

On Politics: The G.O.P. Lines Up Behind Trump - NYT Nov. 10, 2020

Who are the election thieves?  

[Posted Nov. 6, reposted Nov. 10, 2020]. Since I published this the story has grown over the weekend with the idea of delay, delay, delay. Keep watching Pennsylvania. I wasn't celebrating on Saturday like so many because I never pre-count unborn chickens. Last Friday, Nov. 6, I posted a summary of the long-term plan to steal the election by delaying the certification until December when electors are supposed to meet and giving the Republican legislatures in states Biden won a chance to choose a Trump slate of electors. The cutting of postal services last spring was a major plank, along with creating doubt about mail-in ballots. Since Friday the story has grown, with 60 Minutes and Brian Lehrer doing segments on the idea that Republican legislatures (Penn, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Arizona) can appoint pro-Trump electors - they actually just have to do this in a few states to win. And half the country will back them.]

The Pennsylvania situation was set up purposely to create chaos to contest the election by not allowing them to count the mail ins until election day, as opposed to Florida and Ohio which allows ballots to be counted as they come in. Did you notice how Biden was winning Ohio in early voting? They counted and released the mail-in first so we saw a blue mirage instead of the red mirage where day of voting gave the edge to Trump.

I've been tracking the timeline for months. Biden was leading in the polls - they were wrong but what if they weren't - so there had to be a backup plan if Biden won Pennsylvania, which all along looked like the deciding state and still might be if Biden doesn't win Georgia and Arizona.

The fundamental idea was to emphasize day of election voting and disparage mail-in votes as subject to fraud. And it was clear that Dems would be voting mail-in and Republicans would be day of voters.

The takeover of the mail delivery service to create delays was part of the initial plan.

Part 2 was to make sure the mail-ins were not counted in advance like in Florida so results would be delayed and give Trump a few days to attack the vote. The Republican controlled legislature is part of the plot and rejected attempts to have ballot opened and set up for counts before 7 AM election day. They wanted chaos. They attacked the rules that accepted late ballots if they were postmarked on election day.

Part 3 - There were court cases about this and the Supreme Court allowed this in essence in a 4-4 tie vote - which is important because 4 justices were willing to go along with this scheme. But now there's a 5th justice to join them and will we be surprised to see the Court issue rulings in favor of Trump? From what I hear all ballots arriving after election day are being separated with the expectation that the Court may still get involved in rejecting them. How many are there? We don't know. Today - Friday at 5PM is the final deadline.

Part 4 - delay, delay, delay until the time for electors to be picked. Here is where the state legislature gets back involved. Even if Biden wins in Pennsylvania, the legislature declares doubt and choosed a Trump slate. Dems go to court and Kavanagh laid the ground work in his Wisconsin ruling for supporting this move when he declared the legislature was primary over state courts and governors - there is a Dem gov in Penn.

So if Pennsylvania is the key, it would go to Trump even if Biden wins.

The idea is to cause so much chafe that results are not certified in time to choose the electors in December and allow Republican state legislatures to choose Trump electors. 

But the fly in their ointment is Georgia and Arizona, which is why they are so important and if Biden wins there, we will see challenges and strife. So now they have to do what they are doing in Penn in one of these other states.

Michigan, Arizona, Wisconsin, George, Pennsylvania are all Republican and would I be shocked to see every one of them choose a Trump slate even if Biden wins the state and have it all validated by the Supreme Court? 

They're Republicans, aren't they?

So if I were Biden and the Dems I wouldn't get out the champagne until we see Biden sitting in the White House on Jan. 20, 2021. Don't bet on Trump still being there to serve his second term.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Back of the envelope election math

If people want post election order, even some Trump backers, they should root for a Biden landslide but even more a quick win - like in Florida - to end the misery early. So if you are still voting in Florida today, even for Trump, switch to Biden for the sake of the country. I actually think many in the Republican leadership will not be unhappy to see Trump lose - they are much better at opposition.

 If Biden wins I won't be euphoric, just relieved to not have to see Trump as president, though I have been predicting that Trump will run again in 2024 even if he wins -- yes, he would believe he deserves a 3rd term. Actually, assuming Biden wins and doesn't run again, the 2024 battles in both parties should be wild. Harris will face pushback. Now if Trump loses and doesn't run, the Republican battles will be wild as there are a lot of people looking to run, including Don Jr. If Trump loses he won't go away-- he and Republicans will spend the next 4 years going after every thing Biden tries to do. Biden will reach out but be stonewalled. Republicans stand for nothing other than protecting the unborn and screwing them once they are born.

And of course, if Dems don't win the Senate, it's pretty much over. And the virus and depression will cause so much devastation and unrest, the Republicans will use that to get back in operation in 2022.

But I don't have great hope for Biden -- like the floating of the god awful Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo - anti-union, anti-worker, anti-teacher especially - for a cabinet position. What excites me about a Biden win is the coming battles inside the Dem party as a more vibrant progressive wing will be much more willing to challenge the hierarchy than we saw with Obama.

The election is so close in so many states, there is a pattern for Trump to win along the lines of last time, so don't light up a cigar yet. Let me do some back of the envelope math which on the surface should give Biden an edge. Some Trumpies are predicting a win and even a blowout. Magical thinking on the latter. With a 9 pt lead nationally Biden will get 5 million more votes than Trump but could still lose. There are also predictions of a Biden blowout. Only if he wins southern tier states even without Texas. It looks like Michigan and Wisconsin are in the bag for Biden.

Today's NYT made this important point:

If Biden seems on track to lose Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, he is no longer a big favorite to win. That would suggest the polls had underestimated Trump’s support. In FiveThirtyEight’s simulations, Biden has about a 50 percent chance of victory if he loses all three Southeastern swing states. He would then probably need to win at least Pennsylvania or Arizona.

Finger nail biting time and they are running neck and neck in all three states so going from Biden 85% chance to 50-50 and that is pretty scary, which is why Trump is in play seriously. 

I've been watching the polls. I'm confused. I don't get why Trump is even in contention and it shows just how weak the Dem Party is. By all logic this shouldn't be close.

But I will go with some of the data on how different groups are voting in this analysis.

Women are for Biden, white non-college for Trump. But what about white non-college women? Does the gender gap cover them? And we hear about suburban women, who are mostly white. What about the suburban men? 

And then there is the Black vote, which reports that Trump is gaining with Black men. Also the crucial Latino vote which is a mess. Bernie was capturing it while Biden is slipping behind Hillary totals in a serious way. The Biden campaign rejected offers from the guy who ran Bernie's Latino machine for help and is now paying the price - if he had used him this election would be a slam dunk. I had assumed the influx of post-hurricane Puerto Ricans into Florida plus younger Cubans would have given Biden a real shot in Florida. And have the Dems managed to counter the socialist charge effectively? I could do a better job. I don't see Biden winning Florida and I remember how things began to sink in 2016 when Trump won Florida, followed by North Carolina - I smelled doom at that point. That same feeling tonight is an even bet. One of my hopes is that Trump has lost enough of the elderly vote in Florida due to the virus to counter the Cuban/Venezuela vote in Florida. Adv Trump.

As to age groups we hear Trump backers among the elderly has slipped and shifted to Biden. The only age group which supports Trump is the 40-60 group. Interesting. I can't figure out why but I bet health care and jobs are a key. Since Biden wins all the other age groups. Adv. Biden.

How many Hillary voters will vote for Trump this time? Are there any? Not much. On the other hand how many Trump voters from 2016 will vote for Biden? There has certainly been a move in that direction from probably about 12% of Trump voters. Adv. Biden.

Early voting - an astronomical number so far but turnout today may Trump that. Do we give the Dems an edge here? Does enthusiasm for voting due to hatred of Trump drive this engine way more than even more enthusiasm for Trump from his voters from last time? I think both are at play here but just from the people I know who would crawl across broken glass to vote, Adv Biden.

No one thought Trump would win last time so Hillary haters stayed home or voted third party. The Trump win has changed this group. What about the hard core left? Even though I still see anti-Biden refusniks, the vast majority sees Trump as a threat and after months of mourning the Bernie loss, have mostly come around. Last time about 12% did not vote for Hillary. The Green Party vote will be minimal this time and the libertarian vote which is a bit more robust will take more votes from Trump than Biden for those Republicans who can't stomach either candidate. Adv. Biden.

Young people - 14 year olds in 2016 are going to vote - that's four years worth of new voters, who mostly favor Dems. Adv. Biden.

Turnout of young people is higher than ever - Adv Biden.

Old people who died - Trump won the old vote in 2016 and even though he has slipped this time - given that Trump won this group by a lot last time, the ones no longer with us can't vote for him - but maybe the Supreme Court can find a way to rule that the dead Trump voters can still vote. Amy what's her name believes. Given that more Trump voters probably died than Hillary voters - Adv Biden.

The virus. Closing the economy vs the virus. We know that there are people who feel the virus should take its course and keep the economy open -- but reality is that even if they did, many people wouldn't participate - ie. go open restaurants - people just won't go. Try to fill a stadium - unless its a Trump rally.  - Adv Biden, big time on Trump handling of virus.

Even some evangelicals. sick of Trump, have slipped a bit - a few points but that can't help Trump if it drops from the 90s to the 80s.

It's hard for me to imagine how Ohio can be close this time and Pennsylvania not be a slam dunk for Biden given the numbers last time  - Trump slammed in Ohio but squeaked in Penn. I do think the Biden error on the energy issue in the debate will cost him points in Penn - and he had been trying to be so careful. His answer overall was terrible -- there will be a shift in jobs but how about guaranteeing energy workers they won't lose a job until it can be replaced? Not in the Biden world of neo-liberalism. If Ohio numbers are serious - even if Trump wins by 2, Penn should be Biden's - but here is where Trump plans to steal the election if it comes down to Penn -- by going after the absentee votes. Voting suppression, Adv. Trump.

I might be amending and adding to this post later. Or not if I start drinking this morning. 

I will be watching my fave podcasts and you tuber - Brian Lehrer, Krystal and Saagar at Rising, Sam Seder at Majority Report and a few others. I have the laptop and ipad and phone plus TV. I like both board guys at CNN and MSNBC and will also check out CBS since I am a fan of their morning show.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Video: We've Got The Power - Vote Them Out


This Trump administration is just too much. We couldn't just sit in our basements on our unemployed asses, watching the news, the debates, and just about everything happening in our failing democracy. It was hard to refrain from throwing something at the President of the U.S. and those smug self-serving Senators on the screens. We had to do something. Instead of breaking something expensive we created a song. And our friends created a video. If there are kids in the room, you might want to play our other, slightly cleaner, version. (We've Got The Power [Clean Version]
Thank you. Mothers of Exile

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Retro-gate: What did Mulgrew know and when did he know it? Unity brags about "win"

James Eterno: Jeff asked - "Was it imposed or an agreement?" Waiting to July was an agreement between the city and UFT. We have proven that by posting the consent award. Page 6, Line 2 says "it is agreed." What else do you need to know?

Anonymousjeff said... I understand. I wanted Mulgrew to answer that. And explain why he agreed.   ---- ICEUFT Blog: LIVE BLOGGING FROM OCTOBER VIRTUAL DELEGATE ASSEMBLY

Norm here - October 17, 2020

Generally, I've been laying back and trying to give Mulgrew the benefit of the doubt on the school closing situation. I think he is trying to walk a fine line politically and I've even heard from some people who are critical generally about the union leadership who are not happy with the kind of attacks calling for all schools to be closed - and go remote until - WHEN? Mostly likely the entire year in reality but they don't want to say that out loud. I've been wanting to write more about this push back but since there are real reasons to keep school closed due to the insane hybrid approach I slip back and forth depending on the last person I hear from. 


So there is some confusion regarding the Retro pay dispute that raged in the UFT when de Blasio decided to cancel the final payment. The UFT seems to be declaring victory for getting half of what people were due with the rest to be paid in July. I initially wrote about it where I reviewed the opposition to the 2014 contract that gave people this deal: City Love Letter to Mulgrew - No Retro Payment to UFT Members - It's Only the Beginning

The UFT bragged that they made sure to have the right to go to arbitration and the ruling was issued immediately -the arbitrator split the baby 50-50, as they often do, an argument we've often made about relying in arbitration. The union is taking the 'Half loaf better then nothing" position. The critics are saying WTF?

De Blasio showed the first signs of intelligence in a long time. Just cancel a wing of a contract and end up only having to pay half with the rest an interest free loan. (I'm sure he's ready to try this with the police union.) Let's get creative: What else can be canceled from the UFT contract and get a 50-50 split? How about eliminating lunch hours for teachers and settling for 25 minutes instead of 50? Just joking. He'd never dare tamper with food. Or better yet, eliminate Easter vacation days without pay - ooops, been there done that. Why not take a shot at Xmas week - what does deB have to lose?

Arthur has a different view at

I disagree about the retro being so awful. I actually anticipated being totally screwed. I remember that rules went out the window during the last financial emergency, and I wrote about it a little here. I've also seen arbitrators do things that border on insane. So while I would not call this a victory, I was quite relieved it was made into what it was. It could've been way worse, and I really expected it would be.

He raises the last fiscal emergency that I lived through in 1975 where the contract was mush - but we didn't have an arbitrator - they just slashed us to bit then, but if you've been reading this blog you know the option of declaring a fiscal emergency is still in their bag of tricks. 

The union seems to be celebrating how smart they were to be able to go to arbitration. I would expect that such a clear abrogation of a contract would lead to a better outcome than 50-50 but once the union agrees to go to an arbitrator they pretty much always split the baby -- this is a pretty bad precedent for the future if the city/DOE wants to screw us.

Now some people don't believe this even went to an arbitrator but was a pre-agreement between de Blasio and Mulgrew - I heard conspiracy theories that Mulgrew's initial video announcing the retro-kill and publishing the letter he was sent acting shocked was phony- that he knew for days or weeks and had pre-agreed to the 50-50 split and the entire arbitration deal was a game.

Eterno goes through the timeline here:


I continue to be suspicious by how quickly the UFT and the City were able to come to an agreement to delay payment for work we did up to 11 years ago that was due to be paid this week. Half of that money will not come until the end of this month and the other half will have to wait until the end of July 2021 to be received. The delay will be almost twelve years by then from the time we did some of the work.

No other city union has agreed to postpone their back pay. If the UFT said to Mayor de Blasio, "Go ahead, make my day," when the mayor tried to withhold money the city owed us, the city would have had to back down. There would be consequences for the city's credit rating if the city refused to pay one of its bills. In court, we could demand interest. We would have had a very strong case.

Michael Mulgrew is trying to say that independent Arbitrator Martin Scheinman made the decision to split the lump sum payments due this month in half.

The arbitrator ordered nothing. Arbitrator Scheinman's own words:

I implored and pressured the parties to explore a possible resolution to this matter. 

The parties then negotiated a deal and asked Scheinman to write it up as a "consent award."

Well, there was this no layoff deal for the school year, which is interesting since the city is supposedly looking to hire teachers and probably can't lay people off until the end of the year. It's all a crazy mess, but what else is new?

Now Mulgrew has been getting pretty unpopular due to his agreement to keep schools open but was hanging in there with no major in school outbreaks yet. While we in the opposition wing have always been critical of Unity and have managed to generally garner in the 10-12,000 votes in UFT elections over the past 30 years (discount the massive MORE screw-up in the 2019 election which took votes down to historic lows), there is a sense out there that things have reached beyond the usual suspects in opposition to Mulgew as I've seen new voices popping up from the rank and file. Some in Unity think if Mulgrew ran in an election now it could be ugly - which is why

I am speculating about Mulgrew's future as UFT leader - See Speculation on Weingarten and Mulgrew futures - Part 1. Part 2 and 3 and 4 are coming - Hey, don't be so impatient I'm busy resting - or hiding from Covid. 

Why don't we submit Mulgrew's future to an arbitrator?

Eterno still questions the Mulgrew position:


UNITY Caucus is Trumpian

I even heard of some internal Unity criticism of Mulgrew behind the scenes. One Unity hack attacked me on FB for daring to mention this: "Don't listen to Norm Scott, she said. We had to listen to him for too many years. We are united. UNITY FOREVER." Yeah, Unity forever will justify ANY act of the leadership and when the leadership reverses itself it will justify that -- positively Trumpian.

Are the Unity hordes running scared - see evidence in this Unity-UFT promo video. LOL.

James Eterno left a comment on You tube (Unity critics should take up a collection to pay James for working full-time to expose them) and writes about the video here:


A serious bad sign for Mulgew is when people start mocking him as this video by teacher/comedian Gaspare Randazzo - @StandUpRandazzo  - makes fun of Mulgrew talking to the members.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

City Love Letter to Mulgrew - No Retro Payment to UFT Members - It's Only the Beginning - NOT the Chicago Version - Updated Oct. 9, 2020


The City is refusing to pay the last lump sum retro payment they owe us for work that we did from 2009-2011. Why we agreed to this arrangement to make nice with Mayor deBlasio alluded me when Michael Mulgrew erroneously claimed the city's cupboard was bare back in 2014 when we accepted that awful contract that was twice extended. Now, we are still paying the price...  Back in May 2014 Back in May, 2014 ICEUFT wrote: NEW UFT CONTRACT: RETRO DELAYED = RETRO DENIED WHI...

Oct. 8, 2020 - Mulgrew got a love letter with a bit of a surprise - and just when it looked like he was winning a few things in the open and shut schools wars. Maybe some pay back from de Blasio for not falling in line all the way? After all, with Cuomo punching him, de Blasio needs someone for him to punch and punchy Mike may be just the one - after all, what can he do, strike? These are serious hits for a lot of people esp with two teacher families - 10-20Gs.

Ahhh, I remember it well -- our struggle opposing the 2014 contract where we helped flood many schools and the Delegate Assembly with leaflets urging a NO vote.  We lost to the Unity machine as we often do. See below for Ed Notes extensive coverage of the 2014 contract in May/June 2014.

Below is the video of Mulgrew's response and below that the fan letter.

But first a few words if you are not already depressed. The letter is correct - the city and state are in fiscal crisis and truly going down the tubes. 

Ed Notes predicted massive cuts in education back in April 

We even hear talk of a sickout - some are already calling in sick - but only an organized sickout would have an impact - and I'm not sure on the impact on the public and parents.

This pulling of retro pay may be the first shot but not the last - or the least. With massive unemployment and so many teachers pushing for full-time remote and still getting paid, can there be much public sympathy over retro? Well, it is a fundamental attack on the union and its teachers and a threat to every union - except police and maybe fire.

What an opportunity to undermine the union even further and move the agenda to move public schools into private hands? Never miss the opportunity a crisis offers. And charter friendly Cuomo is prepared to pounce.

On Jame's blog there was a few comments ranging from militant strike calls to mild outrage:

The reaction by UFT needs to be militant, not arbitration. One thing was right in Mulgrew's words, "this is unacceptable."
Retro money is owed to people of higher seniority thus are not in the risk of being laid-off. So threat of laying-off will not push us back.
To calls to throw the bum out:

Lydia H. said...

I hope you all will vote for UFT Solidarity in 2022.

To this sign of union "solidarity":

I say let the pink slips start flying. I'm tired of the doe and union always protecting the young people and screwing the older ones. This is our money.

Nice - but watch the pink slips flow when the covid crisis lets up.

Sing it: It's only the beginning.


Ed Notes Reporting in 2014:



Mulgrew video and letter from DOE last night - 




Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Speculation on Weingarten and Mulgrew futures - Part 1

Norm here - Sept. 30, 2020 

The next UFT election is looming in spring 2022 and Mulgrew is reaching new levels of unpopularity due to the often tepid UFT response on opening
schools. especially with the CSA coming off as more militant than the UFT. The standard opposition voices have been very active. And in addition there is growing skepticism within the UFT rank and file and even in Unity Caucus about Mulgrew's leadership. (My sources tell me that some in Unity wanted to strike). And then there is a history of the three most recent UFT leaders going back to 1974 becoming AFT president. And with massive budget cuts to come once schools reopen - probably by next year - [See Arthur report - UFT Executive Board September 29, 2020--Staffing is a Disaster and the Budget Looks Even Worse] all balls are in the air.

With speculation growing about Randi's future, Mulgrew's future must enter into the picture. In this 3 part series I will speculate about the possibility Mulgrew may very well not be the Unity Caucus UFT presidential candidate in the 2022 election, depending on just how bad the conditions in the schools get and how relatively weak Mulgrew looks.

Recent articles, from the left (Jacobin) and from the right (Mike Antonucci/Intercepts), addressed another upcoming election, for AFL-CIO president if Richard Trumpka retires - or is pushed. How would Randi's leaving the AFT affect the UFT and Mulgrew? I'll address that issue in more detail in Part 2 or 3.

What does Randi really want?

In 2016 there were rumors Randi would be Hillary's Secty of Education and now there are rumors she would be up for the same job in a Biden administration since the Dems said they would appoint a teacher - which in itself is funny since Randi was way more lawyer than teacher (she taught full-time for only 6 months but that's better than an Arne Duncan or Betsy De Vos).

I've disparaged this idea because Sect'y of Ed is so subordinate to the President and other forces it is much less powerful than the AFT President.

For the past two decades the only position I felt Randi would leave for would be to lead the AFL-CIO, which includes the bulk of the US labor movement. She would be the first woman to head that organization.

The other option would be merging the AFT and NEA into a 4 million member national union with her at the head. There would be a lot of push back from the NEA which has term limits and is wary of AFT/Unity Caucus lack of democracy.

AFL-CIO head was the position UFT founder Al Shanker wanted and if he had lived he might have gotten it - he was a fave of the big boss George Meany due to his pro-Vietnam War stance and hard line anti-communism. But not being from an industrialized union in the 80s and 90s was not a good talking point for leadership. But now teacher unions are among the strongest remnants of unionism and a leader is primed for AFL-CIO leader.

(Read the review of his bio I co-wrote - Albert Shanker: Ruthless Neocon - Review by Vera Pavone and Norman Scott in New Politic

Shanker's final position was AFT president when he died in 1997 and I can imagine Randi dreaming of rising to the position Shanker coveted. (She had to wait 10 years to rise to AFT Pres in 2009 after Sandi Feldman died. The deaths of two founders of the UFT in their 60s cleared the way for Randi. Think of the AFT presidency like the Supreme Court - lifetime appointment by Unity Caucus.)

But there are others in Randi's way - competitors like NEA president Lily Eskelsen García who is term-limited while Randi is assure of being AFT president for life. The heir apparent to Trumpka is Liz Shuler: The AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer. 

But the most intriguing candidate is the union leader darling of the left, Sara Nelson, of the Association of Flight Attendants union, setting up a replica of the Biden/Bernie battle in the Dem Party - a delicious thought. I've been a fan of Nelson as has been much of the left. Randi and Eskelson Garcia have the numbers of members compared to Nelson but more on this center vs left aspect in part 2. But first,

Some history of Randi trolling Trumpka:

A report from FOX news, Aug. 2, 2018

 - AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is getting an earful – on Twitter – from teachers union boss Randi Weingarten for reportedly keeping the door open to a possible Trump endorsement in 2020.  Newsmax reported Wednesday that Trumka would not rule out a union endorsement for the president. “Every [candidate] will be looked at,” Trumka said. He added, “we will consider every candidate who’s running.”... FOX-
Then: Weingarten walked her comments back, saying, without any real explanation, that Trumka had clarified his remarks.

Of course, Randi walked back her remarks but she had issued a warning shot across Trumpka's bow. 

Then we have this report from Mike Antonucci in May, 2019:

Is Randi Weingarten Really “Sniffing,” “Swirling” and “Flirting?” --
Posted on 

Bloomberg Law runs a column called the Daily Labor Report, and this week the lead item is about who is waiting in the wings to challenge AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka.

The timing of the piece is curious, to say the least. Trumka has more than two years remaining in his current term, and the AFL-CIO doesn’t practice term limits. Trumka has been president for 10 years and, leaving out the short tenure of one interim president, previous presidents have served for 14, 16 and 24 years.

But, okay, let’s roll with it:

Trumka still has more than two years left in his third term at the helm, but that’s not stopping some of his possible successors from sniffing out potential support for a run if and when the seat opens. Three names are swirling as likely candidates to eventually replace Trumka, and at least two of them are making calls behind the scenes to try to build a backing, according to sources.

…Randi Weingarten: The American Federation of Teachers president flirted with challenging Trumka in the last AFL-CIO election and has since been a prominent voice in highly publicized school house strikes. Weingarten is taking a page from the Paul Ryan for Speaker of the House playbook: She will publicly say she’s not interested in the job, while remaining open to the option behind the scenes if sufficiently urged to do so by others.

Weingarten’s name has been floated in the past as a U.S. Senator and a Secretary of Education. I have no idea if she is interested in being president of the AFL-CIO. Clearly, neither does Bloomberg Law, but it didn’t stop them from posting a column about it.

I can think of at least one good reason she wouldn’t want the job. She made $405,793 last year as AFT president. Trumka made $261,779.

What does this all mean for the UFT and Mulgrew? Hold your breath. Parts 2 and 3 are coming soon. 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

NYC District 14 Demands Safe Schools/Remote Learning (9/16/2020) - Video by Darren Marelli

Highlights from the community gathering outside District 14 Superintendent, Alicja Winnicki's, office Thursday demanding the maintenance of an all remote/ start for NYC schools.

I used to go into Winnicki's classroom for tech support in the early 2000s. She's been supt for a long time back to the Bloomberg era -- a decade I think. I'm sure she is not happy about parents pushing back. Most interesting to me is that the head of CEC 14 (local board) seems to be one of the leaders -- I know how hard people at the top work to keep parents at the school and district level in line. The rage against Carranza and DeBlasio's leadership of NYC schools is very similar to the rage expressed when Bloomberg and Klein's were in charge.


Friday, September 18, 2020

Art Teachers in NYC Protest Unsafe School Reopening


EMBARGOED UNTIL: 8:30 PM on 9/18/20

Contact: B. Kaiser & Caroline Sykora
Phone: 914-282-4329/412-849-6882

Art Teachers in NYC Protest Unsafe School Reopening

NYC, NY. (Sept. 18, 2020) - A group of art teachers from NYC public schools, in collaboration with the artist collective The Illuminator, will project a visual protest against unsafe reopening of our school buildings. The protest will take place on Friday 9/18 across the street from Tweed Courthouse at 52 Chambers St. at 8:30 PM. The art educators behind the action join the chorus of parents, teachers, and students demanding equity, transparency, and safety that has been sorely lacking in the DOE's inadequate and contradictory plans to-date. An example of the art that will be projected, an illustration by Caroline Sykora, is attached.

As of 9/17, the start date for in-person learning has already changed twice, leaving families confused and scrambling for childcare at the last minute. Meanwhile, teachers' careful planning has been upended and we have no confidence that the extra time can or will be properly utilized to make our buildings fully safe and staffed. We demand that the DOE transition to full remote learning and focus all of its resources on ensuring that every student has basic supplies, a computer, internet access, and tech training in their home language. 

Teachers Denounce Hunter Schools' Reopening Plan At Protest - Patch


Teachers Denounce Hunter Schools' Reopening Plan At Protest

Protesting staff said the school, which is run by CUNY, is the only one in the city that won't reopen with COVID-19 testing and inspections.

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Teachers and parents denounced the Hunter College Campus Schools' reopening plan in a protest Wednesday outside the fortresslike school building, alleging that administrators will put staff at risk by refusing to include coronavirus safety measures in place at every other school in the city.

Staff say that Hunter will be the only public school in New York City to reopen for in-person classes next week without random coronavirus testing of students and teachers, inspections of ventilation systems in each room and contact tracing of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Sept.16 , 2020 - Should We Worry About COVID-19 Teacher Strikes? - Mike Antonucci Analysis - Plus another delay

Just as I was about to publish this, the news came through of another week delay -- I'm listening to Brian Lehrer who feels that there is so much resistance from teachers they just weren't going to go in -- so deB is splitting off the pre-k and dist 75, Sept 21 - 3-k, pre-k, dist 75, Sept 20 K-5, K-8 schools, Oct 1 - middle and high schools.

Every single day de B and NYCDOE prove they are incompetent - they can't manage their way out of a paper bag. So it is not surprising and don't be  surprised at further delays. The UFT has been brutally attacked from within over its handling of the situation. I agree with a lot of the criticism but not all and I will delve into why in an upcoming post. The have been playing a waiting game so as not to antagonize  the public and knowing full well that deB will botch things - so now middle and high schools not going back until Oct. 1 -- and I have been pushing for a phased entry with younger kids who are closer to schools and many can walk making sense to go back first.

I put the info below together last night but it is still relevant. Antonucci's points about the impact of a strike are still relevant.

 Norm here - Sept. 16, 2020

I know, I know, I always  have to be a contrarian. But that is my job - to piss everyone off. Here's a question, if there are 1800 schools and we see demos and resistance at dozens so far over unsafe conditions, where are the rest of them? Are they considered safe by the staff or is there a lack of an organizing force? Or are they afraid? Just asking - I do see signs of more resistance but it needs to be a critical mass of hundreds, not dozens.

In cancel culture, posting anything from libertarian anti-union ed commentator Mike Antonucci could get me banned. Here Mike takes a deep dive on the implications of a COVID-19 teacher strike. While I often don't agree I appreciate the thoughtful analysis even when he gets some things wrong.

Here are some of his major points with some comments by me where appropriate.