I did not get $1500 to protest Trump. That would be about €1650.


Anne and I have been saving up for our 40th anniversary trip to Paris and Bordeaux for a while.

It’s not cheap. In Paris they charge you to pee.

So I was unhappy to read that Donald Trump claims protesters at his rallies were getting $1500 from the Democratic National Committee.

$1500 is equal to €1650 right now. It would have come in handy. At Paris prices we could have bought an extra bottle of wine for dinner.

Okay. Things aren’t that expensive.

I was at the first Trump protest in Chicago last Spring. Along with about 10,000 others.

First of all, I didn’t get $1500. I was free. So was Anne.

Second of all, I wouldn’t give to or take $1500 from the Democratic National Committee.

Not at any price.

Most of the rest of the crowd were Bernie supporters and based on what I have been reading in WikiLeaks,  I doubt the DNC was pumping much money into that bunch.


Sunday chowdah.



Red Warrior Camp GoFundMe. #NoDAPL



Emory Douglas: My daughter’s mother worked with me designing for The Black Panther newspaper. There was also Tarika Lewis, who was the first artist that worked with me on the newspaper as an artist. And then there were many other women who contributed to the production of the newspaper. The women depicted in my artwork are a reflection of the party. Women went to jail and were in leadership roles. Women started chapters and branches of the Black Panther Party as well. When we used to read some of the stories, you would see women in the Vietnam and Palestine struggle and in the African liberation movement. Women were an integral part of those movements so all that played into how I expressed them in my own artwork. New York Times.


We spend a lot of time agreeing and asserting that school is a super-important factor that will Make All the Difference and therefor is of Utmost Importance, and if we’re not careful, we kind of forget to check with students to see if they got the memo. It would be easy to see why they might not have– there’s plenty of evidence that their future trajectory has more to do with their family’s class and not educational achievement, and that translates into their vision of the future being defined by what they see around them. Plus, there’s that whole future thing (“This education biz will pay off maybe in ten years or so? Are you freaking kidding me, old person?”)

But mostly they are kids, with lives. We have this weird tendency to forget that children still have lives of their own, even if they are children. Occasionally we take a super-toxic approach to the issue (What is the no excuses approach except a demand that students suppress, ignore and otherwise drop all concern in their own actual lives).

They are small people with lives, concerns, priorities, fears, issues, struggles and questions about how to sort it all out. These are all important to the students in our classrooms. One of the worst things I can do in my classroom is demand that in order to be heard, seen, or cared about, students must drop their own list of life concerns and substitute the list that I thrust in their faces. But some of us (even the best of us on bad days) get really pissy about this business. The child is lazy. The child is obstinate. The child is oppositional defiant. The child is an ass.


There are just more important things. Peter Greene, Curmudgucation




WikiLeaks. All was not going well with the early, no-strings NEA Clinton endorsement. The vote was nearly delayed.


Hillary Clinton and NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia.

An email from Clinton campaign chief John Podesta to Hillary Clinton described how things were not going smoothly  for the NEA endorsement within the National Education Association leadership. The email was part of the Podesta WikiLeaks dump.

Many among rank-and-file NEA members were critical of the early endorsement and the way it was shoved down the members’ throats.


Here’s the status of things, which you may already have been briefed on. Executive Committee of 7 (3 officers and 4 others)) voted unanimously to endorse. Next step is the PAC Committee, which is weighted by PAC participation and the votes are there to endorse. Final step is a vote of the full 120 member Board where the threshold for endorsement is 58%.

Sanders forces are working furiously to put off an endorsement. We do not have certainty on hitting the 58% threshold despite the intense work of Lilly and John Stocks. You are scheduled to see the full Board on Saturday morning. John’s assessment is that your appearance is critical if they are going to get the endorsement this weekend. There is some risk though that you show up and they remain uncertain of a successful vote so that they put it off for further work by the leadership.

They will not call the vote unless they are certain that they will hit the threshold. Downside is that the Sanders people will spin that notwithstanding the PAC Committee recommendation, the Board delayed action. All here assess that it’s worth the risk and that you should show up and try to get the endorsement now. If the vote is delayed, Lily and John will say this is a multi-layered process and good progress was made by securing the PAC Committee recommendation. I wanted you to have a good sense of the state of play, because they have to let people know that you will be there no later than tomorrow early am. I and the rest of the team think you should confirm participation, but wanted to give you a chance to discuss if you have a different view.

Keeping retirement weird. Paris. Thank you Gino DiVito.


Starting Monday and for the next two weeks my postings will be intermittent.

In about a week, Anne and I will be celebrating 40 years of marriage.

We will be celebrating in Paris and the wine region of Bordeaux.

We are fortunate that our retirement gives us time to travel, although most of our travels are to be with family.

But traveling in Spring and Fall rather than in the summer high season makes it more affordable and we still have to work off of a tight budget. And Anne has here retirement income.

For single retirees, it is much harder.

None of this would have been possible had Michael Madigan, John Cullerton, Pat Quinn and the Democrats in the Illinois legislature gotten away with the theft of public employee pensions.

Through all the years that we fought for our contractual and constitutional right to receive our full retirement pension, I tried not to even give a thought to what what our own lives would be like if we lost. It would have cost us a lot.

More than a trip to Paris for our 40th wedding anniversary.

I tried to stay focused on the bigger issue and the impact pension theft would have on the tens of thousands of current retirees and current public workers.

I wasn’t being altruistic. I think it would have been too stressful if I thought too much about the personal impact of losing.

It was only when the Illinois Supreme Court announced that pension theft was illegal that we sat down to calculate the meaning of the ruling on us.

Sometime next week, Anne and I will be having a glass of wine in a little town in France’s Bordeaux wine country.

It won’t be a bottle of $100 Mouton Rothschild.

But it will be good.

And we will raise a glass to Gino DiVio, the lawyer hired by the Illinois Retired Teachers Association who argued our case before the Supreme Court.

And we will toast all the retirees and organizations that battled for pension rights.

Because I know we’re not done.

WikiLeaks. The Democrats have a Rahm problem.


It didn’t take an insider to know that up until now Hillary Clinton wanted no photographs of her and Rahm Emanuel together.

He was toxic.

He had shut down 50 public schools, the largest public school shut-down in American history. Almost all of them in African American communities.

He had provoked a 2012 teacher strike.

Right in the middle of the presidential campaign it was exposed that he had buried the video tape of the killing of Laquan McDonald, a 17-year old African American , shot 16 times by police officer Jason Van Dyke.

For Democrats who knew that Clinton’s nomination and election depended on African American voters, Rahm was a disaster.

“Separate big time,” emailed Neera Tanden,  who runs the Democratic Party think tank, the Center for American Progress.

The email was sent to Clinton campaign chief John Podesta. His emails were in the recent WikiLeaks dump.

There has been a rehabilitation of Rahm in recent weeks. He has been allowed to show up at some recent campaign rallies.

It’s a big mistake. He will screw up again.

The WikiLeaks dump: Podesta and Clinton were not happy about the anti-Trump rally at UIC in March.

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Thousands protest and chase Donald Trump out of town when he tried to rally at the UIC Pavilion last March. Photo: Fred Klonsky

When we went to protest Donald Trump at his planned rally at the University of Illinois Chicago campus last March it was because we recognized a fascist when we saw one.

Thousands took part in the peaceful protest outside while Trump goons attacked protesters inside.

It seems that Clinton supporters didn’t take Trump all that seriously back in March.

Part of the WikiLeaks John Podesta email dump included this one:


The context for this email is important. Three weeks earlier Clinton had a a major lead over Bernie Sanders in polling for the Illinois primary. But Sanders was closing fast.

Clinton won Illinois with 50.56 percent to Sanders’ 48.61 percent of the overall vote. Of the 102 elected delegate spots in Illinois, Clinton won 52 and Sanders 50, almost a tie.

Podesta and Clinton saw the mass mobilization of anti-Trump protesters in the streets as helping Sanders and hurting the Clinton campaign. They were right about that.

So much so that they begged President Obama to give “a nod” in favor of Hillary.

There was no nod from Obama.

Sanders nearly won Illinois.

Trump was chased out of town leading to similar protests around the country.

But Hillary was far more worried about Sanders than she was about Trump.

What “Little Trump” doesn’t know about kindergarten teachers.

Donald Trump Jr.“Little Trump.” And Hillary admires the way Donald raised his kids? 

I have to say that Michelle Obama nailed it in her speech about Trump yesterday.

Talking Points Memo reports that Trump junior said this about women in the workplace:

“I’m of that mindset — and I’ll get into trouble, I’m sure — I’ve been on this show enough, I’m sure I’ll get myself in trouble one of these days — but like, if you can’t handle some of the basic stuff that’s become a problem in the workforce today, like you don’t belong in the workforce. Like, you should go maybe teach kindergarten. I think it’s a respectable position.”


Listen, you little rich boy. You wouldn’t last a minute as a kindergarten teacher.

You live a life of wealth and entitlement. Everything you have has been handed to you without you having to lift a finger except nod your head when daddy talks.

I taught kindergarten children for 30 years.

I have worked with kindergarten teachers – men and women – for all of those years.

They are the toughest, most loving and gentle and strong people you will ever know.

Can’t handle basic stuff?

They teach basic stuff. They are the experts at basic stuff. They ARE basic stuff.

You know nothing, Little Trump.