The nation got a window into what a post-Janus labor movement needs to look like. West Virginia Teachers looked like they got a win on Tuesday after for days of statewide strikes. But teachers and education workers remain on strike as the State Senate balks at the modest salary increases negotiated between the governor and the union. Graduate students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign got the message. Members of the Graduate Employee Organization enter day five of their strike after nearly a year of negotiations broke down over tuition waivers, salary, and graduate student rights. The strike is now the longest in the university’s history.
The Intercept reports that the DCCC hired a consultant to do some internal polling; the consultant report actively discourages the party and party candidates from supporting single-payer health care. The kicker? The polling didn’t ask Democrats about single-payer. Also in The Intercept this week, the Koch Brothers are winning big league under Trump. Internal documents from the Koch Brothers network show that they are celebrating the rollback of corporate regulations, the withdrawal from the Paris Accord on Climate Change, and the billionaire-loving tax reform package. At least Paul Ryan is happy. According to the Intercept, “Days after the tax bill passed, Charles Koch and his wife donated $500,000 to Speaker Paul Ryan’s joint fundraising leadership PAC.”
California passes automatic voter registration for 16 and 17 year-olds. That’s going to be huge. That’s all good given this week’s freak warming in the Arctic, today’s arrival of the second “bomb cyclone” of 2018, and rare and deadly winter storms across Europe. If that’s not enough, Putin put on a dog-and-pony show announcing Russia’s new “invincible” nuclear weapons. To thunderous applause in the Duma, we should say. Oh, almost forgot. Hey, Hope. White Lies Matter.
Pennsylvania Republicans still trying to get the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out new state Congressional maps. Justice Alito denied them last time. We await his ruling this time around. Conor Lamb and Rick Saccone now in a dead heat in PA’s 18th district special election as boatloads of right-wing money pours into the race according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That election is March 13. Madeline Dean now running in the PA 4th. Daylin Leach drops out. Boo hoo.
Delco Republican Nick Miccarelli is accused of drugging, raping and threatening women a gun in prior relationships. Miccarelli decides threatening a reporter is a good response to the charges. A dozen or two PA House and Senate members and their staffers are packing heat in the Capitol. That’s comforting.
The Philly School Reform Commission votes to spend $20 million for cyberlearning. Students from NEPA school district relocated on Wednesday due to an AR-15 blessing ceremony at the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary Church run by the cultish Hyung Jin Moon. Some participants even donned crowns of bullets.
PASSHE budget hearings in the State Senate demonstrate how deep the anti-union sentiment is on the budget committee and in PASSHE administration. Wagner threatens to shut down PASSHE universities. State Senator calls Wagner’s statements irresponsible, calling for a path toward free college tuition in the state instead. PASSHE Chancellor Karen Whitney calls collective bargaining “out of whack.”
Students from PA Student Power Network were out in force on Wednesday, holding actions to defend DACA and push for a clean DREAM act. They held actions at TWELVE locations across the state, including actions at the offices of Senator Bob Casey, Rep. Brendan Boyle in Montgomery County, Rep. Mike Kelly in Erie, Rep. Bob Brady’s office in Philly, and, of course, Rep. Lou Barletta’s office in Harrisburg, demanding justice for all 11 million undocumented immigrants!
In today’s Last Call, I’m going total political fan-boy with Sarah Kendzior and Francesca Fiorentini this week. You’ve got to check out Fiorentini’s “Why the Rich Love Destroying Unions” on her AJ+ Newsbroke on FB and YouTube. And Kendzior was on freaking fire on the Rick Smith Show on Thursday. Free Will has released Love Letter from the 90s again. If you missed it last time, don’t miss this. And tomorrow, March 3, is Saucony Creek’s 5th Anniversary/Birthday party from 11 am to 10 pm. It’s an all-ages fest and The Unicorn will be released. Bands include Hannah Violet from 12-3pm and regional fave Frog Holler from 3-6pm.