Anti-Public School Lecture Set at Koch-Funded UofA Class in Tucson

Assistant Professor Jonathan Anomaly

Assistant Professor Jonathan Anomaly

The Koch Brothers “Freedom Center” lecture against public education and in favor of privatization of education is set for Thursday, Sept. 21 at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

The dark-money Charles G. Koch foundation donated $1 million to the UofA to create the “Center for the Philosophy of Freedom,” which is a think tank designed to turn students into future lobbyists for the right-wing, anti-education foundation.

The lecture, entitled “Public Goods and Education,” will be delivered by libertarian professor Jonathan Anomaly in Social Sciences 332 from 12:30 to 1:45 pm on Sept. 21. Anomaly was imported in 2017 from Duke University, where he founded the Heterodox Academy website, set up to fight a perceived liberal bias in universities.

Because the lecture is political propaganda, it has caused concern among Tucson’s elected leaders. The Koch Brothers’ extreme right-wing agenda has sabotaged public education in the state and promoted school vouchers to funnel taxpayer money into for-profit private and religious schools.

In August, more than 111,000 Arizona parents and voters signed petitions circulated by Save Our Schools Arizona in opposition to a new state law creating school vouchers that undermine public schools. The measure to veto the law is set to be on a referendum ballot in November 2018.

The abstract of Assistant Professor Anomaly’s talk describes education as a “good,” like a box of cereal, which students “consume.” The lecture makes a bogus economic analysis of  “markets for education,” as if it were a product to be bought and sold.

The lecture is a diatribe against unions and “bureaucrats with monopoly power.” It is a clear example of how dark money politics are subverting higher education in Arizona.
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BICAS moved to new location on N. 7th Avenue

Bicycle Inter-Community Art & Salvage (BICAS) store has moved to 2001 N. 7th Avenue, south of  Grant Rd, east of Stone Ave.  They had a big blast shop warming party last night, which we attended, with raffle prizes, tours, beer from Dragoon Brewery, refreshments from Whole Foods market, together with lots of well wishers and bike patrons.  Reasons for the recent September move from the Citizens Warehouse at 44 W. 6th St.  are explained below:

“Our move was prompted by the Downtown Links roadway that will leave us without a parking lot and make access more difficult.

Our new location, which we purchased rather than leased, is a block east of Stone Avenue and four blocks south of Grant Road.”

More info: http://bicas.org/.

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Action Alert: you have until September 30 to kill this zombie ‘Trumpcare’ bill

The Senate parliamentarian told senators that Tea-Publicans’ ability to pass an Obamacare replacement with just 51 votes expires at the end of September. Repealing Obamacare Just Got Even More Complicated. It was not entirely clear to me whether the Continuing Resolution (CR) that Congress passed a couple of weeks ago would extend this deadline, but everything I have read since indicates that the September 30 deadline remains in effect.

OK, zombie hunters. Last week Tea-Publicans introduced their desperation zombie “Trumpcare” bill. You know what you have to do.

Steve Benen explains, The final fight of the Republican health care crusade has arrived:

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) formally unveiled the only remaining Republican plan to overhaul the nation’s health care system.

NBC News obtained an advanced draft of the proposal, which has been percolating for a couple of months.

The 23-page summary draft and an explanation of funding, which Graham’s office confirmed is authentic, attempts to achieve parity in federal funding between states that expanded Medicaid and those that did not by 2026. That division was one that helped to kill the Senate’s efforts because senators from expansion states tended to oppose the legislation in its previous versions due to the roll-back of the Medicaid expansion.

The bill also provides federal money to states to implement their own health care plan as opposed to one system for all 50 states that exists under Obamacare.

We’ve discussed many of the profound flaws in this plan before, and we can go into more detail once the legislation is available for scrutiny. For now, however, let’s consider whether the Graham-Cassidy plan has a credible chance at success.

Note: There are at least 46 Tea-Publicans who would vote for a blank piece of paper, sight unseen, if they are told it repeals Obamacare,  consequences to Americans, the health care system, and the economy be damned.

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Political Calendar: Week of September 17, 2017

The Political Calendar is posted on Sundays. Please send us notice of your political events prior to the Sunday before your event (7 days would be most helpful). See the calendar icon in the right-hand column of the blog page for easy access to the calendar.

Send notices of your events to blogforarizona@gmail.com.

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Political Calendar for the Week of September 17, 2017:

Sunday, September 17: Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.

Democrats of Greater Tucson Annual Awards Luncheon

Sunday, September 17, 11:00 a.m.: Democrats of Greater Tucson Annual Awards Luncheon, at Hotel Tucson – City Center, 475 N. Granada Avenue, Tucson. Registreation at 11:00, Luncheon at 12:00. Master of ceremonies is David Fitzsimmons from the Arizona Daily Star, Keynote speaker is Senator Steve Farley, candidate for governor. Martin Bacal Lifetime Achievement Awardees: Elaine & Bob Clark, Laura Hogan Community Outreach Awardee: Renee Morton, Albert Elias Democratic Business Leader Awardee:
Frances Erunez. Individual tickets are $65 each. Order tickets online at Act Blue.

Monday, September 18, Noon: Democrats of Greater Tucson luncheon, Dragon’s View Restaurant (400 N. Bonita, South of St. Mary’s Road between the Freeway and Grande Avenue, turn South at Furr’s Cafeteria). New price: buffet lunch is $10.00 cash, $12 credit; just a drink is $3.50. Featured speaker is Sen. Andrea Dalessandro, Sunny Side School District Override – Speaker TBD.  Next Week: Tucson City Council Member Steve Kozachik for a campaign update.

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Cartoon of The Week

Arizona’s politicians bow down before Bezos

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How Would You Answer Nancy Pelosi’s Letter?

“In light of all we have to lose under the Trump-Ryan agenda, success is our only option. But for that to happen, we need your ideas as well as your support.”

As a regular small-amount donor to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), I regularly get form letters from Nancy Pelosi. The latest one included the Official Democratic Unity Survey.

For me, the top priority issue is opposing the plan by the Trump Administration and Paul Ryan to privatize Social Security and Medicare. I have worked for 50 years and contributed my share, so I’ve earned these benefits. There are 98 million people in the US over age 65 who likely feel the same way.

But I wonder which of the 10 identified issues YOU think Democratic House candidates should focus on to win the 24 seats needed to take the majority back in the House. What would you add?

You can answer in the comments or go to www.dccc.org/unite2018.

▢ Access to health care for all Americans.
▢ Keeping America’s promise to our seniors.
▢ Wall Street reforms and fighting corporate greed.
▢ Challenge Trump policies that threaten the human and civil rights of refugees and immigrants.
▢ Climate change and protecting our planet.
▢ Defending a woman’s right to choose.
▢ Protect and defend the rights of the LGBTQ community.
▢ Exposing and blocking attacks on voting rights.
▢ Increasing the minimum wage and reviving the American Dream.
▢ Investigating the Trump Administration.

Frankly, I was disappointed to see that the economy was not spelled out as an issue. It’s the one issue that will win elections. Remember Bill Clinton saying, “It’s the economy, stupid“?

Raising the minimum wage is part of that. You can disagree with me, but I think the Democrats need to spend less time on hot-button social issues, and more on economic development.