Russia, NRA, Rodney Davis and the IEA?

Following the killings of teachers and students at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland it seemed a simple proposition.

Political candidates that receive money from the National Rifle Association shouldn’t receive campaign funds from teacher unions.

The NRA is an extremist organization that opposes any controls over gun ownership.

A proposal at the state convention, the Representative Assembly, of the Illinois Education Association calling for ending the practice of funding pro-NRA politicians failed.

A similar proposal at the national meeting of the National Education Association also failed.

Springfield Congressman Rodney Davis is the poster boy for being pro-NRA and getting the endorsement of the IEA.

Leaders of the IEA and NEA claim that such a ban on political action money to pro-NRA politicians would be imposing some kind of litmus test that would tie the hands of the organization.

That is exactly right.

That is exactly what it is intended to do.

Rodney Davis is one of the two main recipients of NRA dollars in Illinois.

Area congressmen John Shimkus and Rodney Davis are the top recipients in Illinois of money from the National Rifle Association, according to an analysis by the group, which tracks federal campaign spending in politics.

Now it appears that the NRA is also a conduit for Russian money to American political campaigns.

Wouldn’t it be funny if the IEA and the Russians were both sources of campaign funds to Rodney Davis?


Joe Crowley is on the Working Families Party line in New York against Ocasio-Cortez and Joe Lieberman supports him.


Remember Joe Lieberman?

Maybe you have to be my age.

He was the Democratic Party Senator from Connecticut who ran for VP with Al Gore. The pro-Israel Senator then swung so far to the right that he spoke to the 2008 Republican convention and endorsed John McCain against Barack Obama.

So, yesterday Lieberman writes an op-ed piece in Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal endorsing Democratic Congressman Joe Crowley against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to represent the district in Queens, New York.

You are probably saying, “What? Didn’t Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic Socialist, already beat Joe Crowley?”

But here is the thing.

The Working Families Party of New York had also put Joe Crowley on their ticket.


You will have to ask them what they got for that deal.

Joe Lieberman:

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is a proud member of the Democratic Socialists of America, whose platform, like hers, is more Socialist than Democratic. Her dreams of new federal spending would bankrupt the country or require very large tax increases, including on the working class. Her approach foresees government ownership of many private companies, which would decimate the economy and put millions out of work.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez didn’t speak much about foreign policy during the primary, but when she did, it was from the DSA policy book—meaning support for socialist governments, even if they are dictatorial and corrupt (Venezuela), opposition to American leadership in the world, even to alleviate humanitarian disasters (Syria), and reflexive criticism of one of America’s great democratic allies (Israel).

She has received the most attention for calling to “Abolish ICE,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This makes no sense unless you no longer want any rules on immigration or customs to be enforced. I have not heard anyone say that. Nonetheless, at least three credible candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination rushed to endorse Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s position.

Republicans are calling Ms. Ocasio-Cortez the “new face” of the Democratic Party. That’s why Nancy Pelosi has tried to put distance between Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and House Democrats. “They made a choice in one district,” Mrs. Pelosi said. “It is not to be viewed as something that stands for anything else.” She knows that if Democrats are to regain a majority, it will be by winning swing districts with sensible, mainstream candidates. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is making that task harder across America.

So, on the very day the rest of the world was focused on the growing global fascist nationalist alliance being created by Trump and Putin, Joe Lieberman goes after Ocasio-Cortez and endorses Joe Crowley.

Crowley has refused to withdraw his name from the Working Families Party line. And WFP has not acted to remove his name.

I’m outraged and I want an investigation.


After hitting the gym yesterday morning I went home and switched on CNN.

Trump and Putin were having their joint press conference.

Afterwards came the pundits.

Jake Tapper had the look of someone who just smelled a fart.

The rest of the day was freakouts by the pundits, Schumer and the Democrats and even a handfull of Republicans.

I’m outraged too.

I want an investigation.

I want to know why there are babies still in cages.

Why are families still being separated at the border?

Why no smell-a-fart look at the thievery by Wall Street?

Where are the Bob Mueller investigations into the Banksters?

Why is there still Dick Cheney?

Why can’t the people who wash our windows get a decent contract?

Why do we have NATO and why are we paying for it?

Why isn’t the FBI doing more to investigate the rise of white nationalist and anti-Semitic hate groups?

Now that they got Janus, what are the Koch brothers up to?

Where is the rest of the bodycam video from the other day?

Why don’t Black lives matter?

Why is Brett Kavanaugh even being seriously considered?

Want to be outraged by the 2016 election? I am. I’m outraged at the Democrats choice and incompetence at running a campaign.

Russian interference?

They learned it from the U.S.

A police killing and a school firing. Some Monday morning questions.


Andre Vasquez asks a good question.

“I’d like to hear the logic for explaining how someone who is thinking confrontation (or even running) pulls out their wallet and ID first.”

Not all the comments this weekend came from anonymous trolls. Even friends were questioning me after the few seconds of bodycam video with no audio were released.

But I am too aware of the double standard not to be skeptical of the police version of the killing of Snoop, the barber, Harith Augustus.

The Chicago Sun-Times:

The video contains no audio. As it begins, at least four officers approach Augustus. Guglielmi has said they approached because Augustus exhibited “characteristics of an armed person.”

“The characteristics of an armed person.”

Meanwhile, something jumped out at me in a WBEZ story of the firing of a CPS principal.

The firing of a respected Chicago elementary school principal is sparking controversy in the South Side neighborhood of Washington Park.

Teachers, parents, students, and prominent community members gathered in Burke Elementary School’s small auditorium earlier this week. They were demanding to know what principal Jessica Biggs did that was so bad that Chicago Public Schools decided to fire her and why they weren’t consulted. They worried that the firing was tied to Biggs’ role illuminating problems at the heart of scandals that rocked the school district this year.

Scroll down and there is this:

The community and Biggs also are surprised that she has no recourse. Through the six years that she lead Burke, she was kept as an interim principal, which means she was never given a contract and therefore was an at-will employee.

Kirby told the people gathered at Burke that all principals of probationary schools are kept at interim status. She also told them that the local school council —- an elected group of parents and community members that helps run a school —- can have no role in choosing the next principal. In fact, Biggs’ replacement has already been hired and is working at the school.

According to the most recent CPS data, about 100 schools have interim principals.

Through three decades of being a teacher and teacher union activist and local president I have been told that principals are the key to a school’s success.

I never bought it. But that is what I have been told.

A good principal is important (and we can discuss what that means), but just as important are teacher leaders, staff and parents that are involved in decision making.

Plus tons of other things characterize school success.

But according to this report CPS has 100 interim principals.

All the interim principals are in probationary schools.

Biggs had been an interim for six years.

How is that good?

Chicago Saturday night and Sunday morning.


This week’s art.

trumpEMMETT TILLpussy grabber


Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers podcast with Nate Marshall, Jennifer Klonsky and Ric Muñoz.





Blog posts.

Amazon paid no federal taxes. So lets tax retirement income.

I never called any teacher in my district a freeloader because we never had any.

No freeloaders.

Christian Mitchell chosen to lead Illinois Democratic Party in “stepping away from the #MeToo scandal.”

Rauner’s I.C.E. investments and Rahm’s polling numbers. Lightfoot positioned to force a run-off.

Keeping retirement real. For god-sakes, the Queen?


Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers. Episode #74. Nate Marshall. Jennifer Klonsky. Alderman Ricardo Muñoz.


From Episode #74 of Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers podcast.

When I Say Chicago

– Nate Marshall

capital city of the flyover.
crown jewel of the jailhouse.
a town in love with its own blood,
a blood browned on its own history & funk.
this hometown of the riot & the riot gear,
the gang & the loitering law.
misfit blocks of dark skinned cousins &
thick knuckled Slavic uncles
who call each other their worst names.

what this country know about a rustbelt
dipped in salt & vinegar & sold as
marked up & rustic?

my city is the city.
not your close enough suburbs not
subject to the suppression of tape
& the tapping of phones.
how can you say anything about our blocks
& schools & children that you refuse to see.
you do not govern what you do not love.

when i say Chicago
i mean that first Haitian cat who could pronounce it right.
i don’t mean the fresh out of undergrad looking for adventure
& a consulting job.

when i say Chicago
i mean the stopped & frisked.
i mean the euphemism of frisk.
i mean the beat down & tight cuff.
i mean the drop off in Bridgeport
or Mount Greenwood.
i mean the lessons
taught to an uppity one.

when i say Chicago
i mean the lake
(& i mean all of it).
i mean the candy lady at Rainbow
& the paleta man at Calumet
& the kids careening across the green at Montrose
& the jogger in midwinter daring a death for fitness.

when i say Chicago
i mean Cabrini & Stateway & Ickes & Ida.
i mean the city i’ll tell my kids in the past tense.
i mean the rents that sometimes
make me mean Georgia or Indiana or Dolton.

when i say Chicago
I mean the restaurants with no chairs,
just a window & a bulletproof sneeze guard.
i mean a Michelin star for all the ethnics slanging
their seasoned meats & language.

when i say Chicago
i mean my mama’s house
that was my grandma’s house.
i mean the neighborhood
that was our neighborhood
because fear left
& we said:
we’ll make a home here
& we’ll stay.


The Mouth of the Snake
Song lyrics, Jennifer Klonsky
when i swam
from the mouth of the shark
i did not know 
of the monsters at the border
well the river was deep
and the desert was dark
they put me in a cage
and they stole my daughter
i had no choice
to leave my home
i could no longer stay
there was no shelter anywhere
death closing in each day
in the middle of the night 
a knocking at the door
the voice came from the ashes
no home for you, no more
for six long weeks i traveled north
my daughter in my arms
i promised her we’d soon be safe
protect her from any harm
not proud of everything i did
some things I’ll never tell
but for my precious daughter
i would gladly walk through hell
so i ran
across the burning sand
along the mountain’s edge
across the boiling water
well the river was deep
and the desert was dark
they put me in a cage
and they stole my daughter
I sit here on a concrete floor 
I’m broken and alone
my family’s gone, my baby girl
and i have got no home
she knows i can’t protect her
no idea where she could be
they say they’re going to send me back
no shelter here for me
when i swam
from the mouth of the shark
i did not know 
of the monsters at the border
well the river was deep
and the desert was dark
they put me in a cage
and they stole my daughter