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Don midwest
Don midwest

Off for a vacation in Cyprus. Be back in a couple of weeks.

Keep up the fight!


Enjoy the Greek food, my stepmom was Greek so I learned to love the food.


Cyprus. Sounds great!


Oooooooo, photos of the light, i hope.


A picture or 2 would be nice when you get back if you’d like to DM



THE UNION REPRESENTING nearly 4,000 federal employees working for the U.S. Department of Education filed a complaint this week accusing the agency, run by Betsy DeVos, of union busting.

The complaint, filed with the Federal Labor Relations Authority on Tuesday, comes after the Education Department effectively declared itself free from union mandates by imposing upon the agency’s 3,900 staffers a “collective bargaining agreement” that commands no union agreement at all.

The move is a first, even for the boundary-pushing Trump administration. But DeVos has never been known for having positive relations with teachers unions. For decades prior to her joining the Trump administration, she funded politicians dedicated to weakening organized labor and backed school choice advocacy groups that depicted teachers unions as selfish enemies of deserving children.


T&R, Benny! Love the strikes and love Dave M. And kudos for being involved.



A deeply unpopular plan by one of the Republican Party’s most fervent climate deniers to restrict the use of scientific research in government rule-making isn’t even advancing in the GOP-controlled Congress, but EPA chief Scott Pruitt appears to be moving to adopt it as official agency policy.

“It’s just another excuse for Pruitt to really abrogate EPA’s responsibility to protect human health and the environment.”
—Yogin Kothari, Union of Concerned ScientistsAs E&E News reported on Friday, Pruitt announced a push for “additional science reform” at the EPA during a closed-door meeting at the right-wing Heritage Foundation this week.

According to attendees and others who spoke to E&E News, this “reform” effort is expected to resemble Rep. Lamar Smith’s (R-Texas) legislative attempt to prohibit the EPA from using scientific data that isn’t fully available to the public and “reproducible” in developing policy.

“The proposal may sound reasonable enough at first,” explained The Intercept’s Sharon Lerner in a summary of Smith’s bill. “But because health research often contains confidential personal information that is illegal to share, the bill would prevent the EPA from using many of the best scientific studies. It would also prohibit using studies of one-time events, such as the Gulf oil spill or the effect of a partial ban of chlorpyrifos on children…because these events—and thus the studies of them—can’t be repeated.”

And while Smith’s bill would restrict the EPA’s ability to use certain kinds of crucial scientific research, it would “allow industry to keep much of its own inner workings and skewed research secret from the public, while delegitimizing studies done by researchers with no vested interest in their outcome.”

Pruitt’s reported plan to enshrine Smith’s proposals in official EPA policy was met with alarm by scientists, former government officials, and environmentalists, who argued that it is yet another “dangerous” attempt to curtail the agency’s ability to combat environmental degradation.


i hope this is challenged, perhaps in court. iirc, read another post about a challenge not long ago.


Trumpcorp, Ryan and McConnell and Rs when it comes down to climate change


Rats jumping off SS Trump

During a Saturday morning interview on CNN, Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) harshly criticized the Trump administration’s decision to fire former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, adding that he doesn’t think it bodes well for his party.

“Candidly, it looks like retribution and a bit vindictive,” Dent said. “And I think it’s unfortunate. The man said he’s resigning, and on a Friday night before his 50th birthday, he’s fired to take away his pension? I don’t like the optics of this. I really don’t.”

Dent said he thinks the attorney general made the decision under pressure from President Trump. Trump has repeatedly publicly demanded that Sessions fire McCabe, who is potentially a key witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the president for possible obstruction of justice.

“I have to tell you, it looks like the attorney general may have been browbeaten into this,” Dent added. “He’s been publicly humiliated and shamed by the president on multiple occasions, and I just don’t think this bodes well.”

Dent linked McCabe’s firing with his party’s struggles in recent special elections — including the loss of a seat in a deep-red district in his home state last Tuesday.

“We just had a special election on Tuesday. And all this continuing chaos and drama that we’re seeing with the Tillerson firing, the McCabe firing, Stormy Daniels, all this stuff, this is having an impact on Republicans down ballot. If people didn’t get the message on Tuesday, I hope they get it now.”

“This is 5-alarm fire,” Dent added. “We simply just can’t dismiss the election on Tuesday to local events… It’s about these larger issues of this toxic political environment we find ourselves in.”


Happy St, Patrick’s Day, PWer’s! This is a great post on an important topic, Benny, TY!
Educators in this country clearly deserve enough compensation to be able to lead a good, decent life. And current, rising health care costs are definitely contributing to their declining living standard. Single payer now!
Speaking “intersectionally,” though, let’s not forget that the problems in US education go back a long way. In a society that basically only knows how to do business, that focuses all its attention on business, it’s little surprise that business has moved in to dominate the conditions of education today. Business, though, is pretty much antithetical to education, if education means getting real knowledge. Despite this, the notion that you go to school in order to come out of school and make more money is endemic in our society. That was only ever partially true, and then only when “education” became a synonym for “job training” in school. The stresses being endured by teachers, as well as those being endured by grad students, have their root in the undermining of education by the mind-set of business.
So the strikes are absolutely necessary and I hope to see more of them but the strikers and their unions need to consider pivoting their attacks so as to target the business-dominated mentality that currently controls educational institutions. (This is only the tip of a huge iceberg concerning the sell-out of educational institutions to monied interests, and the demise of quality of life for teachers.)
Let’s see more strikes, union-led if that’s how it happens, and let’s see a Bernie-progressive government that will counterbalance and drive back the domination of the business, money-making practices that are causing such troubles in our society, and replace them with more well-thought-out practices!




Hopefully it will show the value of being unionized which is needed now more than ever in our corporatized Greed is Good world.