June 12, 2014


Right-Wing Billionaires To Use California Ruling to Nationally Crush Teachers’ Unions. The billionaires’ lawsuit had absolutely nothing to do with guaranteeing a quality public education to students in poor neighborhoods, and was solely about eliminating, what the supporters of Students Matter believe is, the biggest obstacle to a privatized education system; teacher unions, due process protections, and decent salaries. Anti-public education advocates have tried various methods to privatize education and destroy public schools whether it was the Koch-puppet and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker single-handedly eliminating collective bargaining arrangements for teachers or Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal shifting public school funding to private religious schools to inculcate students in the Christian religion.  PoliticusUSA

Should We Be Concerned About Privatization of the V.A.? But there is a down side to this private option. As Philip Longman argues, outsourcing V.A. medical care compromises the very thing that makes it so good: coordination. The V.A. was a pioneer in the development of electronic medical records, and its record of quality care comes in large part from the fact that it’s a unified system. If you’re a veteran who lives in Florida and you walk into an ER at a veteran’s hospital in Oregon, in seconds the doctors and nurses there will know every medication you’re on and every procedure you’ve had. . . .Nevertheless, it sure looks as though Republicans are using the V.A. scandal as an opportunity to push privatization of medical care, a key goal for them when it comes not only to the VA but also to Medicare and Medicaid. As Ed Kilgore said: “They know a camel’s nose under the tent when they see it.” And the consequences of V.A. privatization could be more serious than with Medicaid or Medicare. Those are insurance programs and not health-care programs; privatization could make them more costly and less efficient, but privatizing V.A. health care would lead more directly to worse care for the veterans everyone says they care so much about.  The American Prospect

Poultry Inspectors Union Urges Passage of DeLauro Amendment Blocking USDA Outsourcing Plan. Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut has introduced an amendment to the fiscal 2015 Agriculture Appropriations Bill that would prevent the USDA from spending any money to finalize and implement its proposed poultry inspection rule. AFGE strongly supports the amendment and encourages all lawmakers to vote for it when it comes to the floor on Wednesday. “The current poultry inspection system certainly has its flaws. But the USDA’s cost-cutting plan would transform an imperfect system into a potentially lethal one,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said.  AFGE

MD: Residents, workers protest housing authority plan to privatize public housing. Sixty city public housing residents and union workers staged a protest Wednesday against a plan to sell the housing to private developers. Protesters fear the Housing Authority of Baltimore City’s plan would lead to lost jobs, displaced residents and less available public housing. . . .The plan, announced in March, involves the city selling 40 percent of its public housing to private developers to raise money for upgrades and maintenance. The federal government is offering tax credits to developers who buy and renovate public housing. Baltimore Sun