November 3, 2014


Water Markets: A False Solution to a Real Crisis. Despite the evidence privatizing water doesn’t work, water privatization and market-based schemes are still being pushed upon the public as a solution. Food and Water Watch

Mitch McConnell Resorts to Lying to Win, Claims ‘Nobody Wants to Privatize Social Security’. . . When asked about that, McConnell bristled and replied “What utter nonsense.” He described it as a typical page from the Democratic Party playbook that tries to scare the seniors. “Nobody wants to privatize Social Security,” said McConnell. “It’s such a phony allegation that it really makes you almost gag.” Well, to be fair, the only reason this is coming up as an issue is because Mitch McConnell just bragged about it last week. So, “nobody wants to privatize Social Security —” except for the times when McConnell did actually push to privatize Social Security. Just last week, in fact, Senator McConnell was bragging to the Louisville Rotary Club about how hard he worked to privatize Social Security in 2005. PoliticusUSA

NJ: Haddonfield voters weigh water privatization. After Haddonfield officials concluded they should sell the water and sewer utilities to a private company, the highest of three bids came from Voorhees-based New Jersey American Water. But whether the borough consummates the $28.5 million deal depends on a referendum in Tuesday’s election. Not everyone in the borough favors letting a private company take over. Courier-Post

MD: ‘One Baltimore’ Rally Unites Groups Against Privatization. On Monday, October 27, the One Baltimore coalition, which is comprised of a number of grassroots, faith-based, and union organizations, rallied in protest of Veolia North America, a water privatizing corporation’s attempts to secure a consultant contract with the city. They believe that this is the beginning of what will result in the privatization of the city’s water services. Earlier this month, a similar rally was held in front of City Hall, where protesters talked about the potentially detrimental impact that privatization could have on workers, whose jobs could be outsourced, and families, whose water bills could go up. The Real News Network

NY: New York City Comptroller to Audit Success Academy Charter Network. The New York City comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, announced plans on Thursday to audit Success Academy, the large charter school network run by Eva S. Moskowitz, as well as three other charter schools, setting the stage for a possible legal fight with he schools and their advocates. . . Critics of charter schools, including the teachers’ union, the United Federation of Teachers, have been critical of Success’s high suspension rate of students, teacher turnover, emphasis on test preparation and free use of space in city schools. New York Times

IL: Take The [Public’s] Money And Run. You didn’t think you were going to get that $7.7 million in ill-gotten red-light camera revenue back, now did you? Oh for those of you who did, you are sweet and adorable in your naivete. Did you recently move here from Ann Arbor, or are you just simple? The powers that be in Chicago don’t give money back, even if it is the forbidden fruit of bribery, public deception, or—worst of all—privatization. No, money in the city coffers remains in the city coffers until it can be used to give a large corporate tax break or be spent on a project meant to embiggen our mayor or one of his loyal lieutenants. Chicagoist

CA: UC Davis fires back in strawberry controversy, sues growers’ group. The UC Davis greenhouse holds 1,500 strawberry plants grown from the 1930s through today. For decades, UC Davis has been the center of the strawberry world, home to a world-renowned plant-breeding program that has spun out countless varieties of berries. The university says 87 percent of all strawberries grown in North America come from varieties developed in Davis’ labs. Now the campus is at the heart of a complicated tug of war between the university, its two star plant breeders and the strawberry industry itself. The conflict is being played out in the courts and in the Legislature and raises questions about the relationship between a public university and private industry. Sacramento Bee

FL: Fred Grimm: If you’re gonna torture Florida inmates, at least hire some decent doctors. Really, Florida, you can’t do both. You can’t allow state prison guards to go about willy-nilly gassing and Tasering and scalding prisoners. Or allow them to ignore sick and injured inmates. Not while, at the same time, contracting with a chintzy and notoriously negligent prison healthcare provider. You’ve just got to choose. Otherwise the combination of torture and cut-rate medical treatment creates an unseemly mess for the Florida Department of Corrections, what with the dead and injured and sick prisoners and the lawsuits and embarrassing newspaper exposés. (blog)

KS: KanCare is failing the disabled – letter to editor. The upcoming election is critical for families like ours that include a person with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). We fear that if Gov. Sam Brownback is re-elected, his Medicaid managed-care experiment called KanCare will further imperil the lives of our loved ones. In 2013, Kansas became the first state to implement this untested privatization of I/DD Medicaid services. Families were assured that quality of care would remain unchanged, that savings would be realized through better service coordination and improved health, and this savings would be used to move folks off the I/DD wait list for services. The reality is dramatically different. Families have reported their struggles with KanCare at .Their experiences include abrupt denial of seizure medication, denial of oral medication for a person unable to swallow pills, and denial of tires for a wheelchair in desperate need of repair.