1:32 PM, Jul 14, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
One of the Democratic party’s most loyal and powerful interest groups is, evidently, falling out of love with the Obama administration. As Peter Sullivan of The Hill reports:
Teachers unions have turned on Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and the Obama administration, creating a major divide in the Democratic Party coalition.
Teacher’s unions are to education in this era what the UAW was in the sunset years of American automobile industry: defenders of their own, and a fatal status quo, right to the last ditch.
The problems in American education are vast. (Read Andrew Ferguson on Common Core to understand just how vast—and for the sheer pleasure of reading Andrew Ferguson.) Any solution begins with the finding a way to strip the teachers’ unions of the power to veto any solution they don’t like. And, it seems the only solution they do like is … more of the same plus more money.
Meanwhile, they are showing their muscle. Even in Chicago where their candidate for mayor is polling ahead of Rahm Emanuel, the incumbent.
4:09 PM, Jun 3, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The problems at the VA cannot be laid at the feet of the unions that represent its workers. A leader of one of those unions says so. This astonishing news is reported by Charles S.
Jun 9, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 37 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
The Department of Veterans Affairs has admitted that 23 deaths are linked to “secret waiting lists” for health care and other malfeasance and mismanagement at the agency, though the actual total is probably significantly higher. So far, dozens of veterans have lost their lives. Not a single VA official responsible for this tragedy has lost his job. In a more functional political culture, the VA scandal would be a clarion call for civil service reform.
Jun 2, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 36 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to protect Americans from predatory practices by financial institutions. That sounds like a noble goal, but asking a federal agency to police irresponsibility has almost always been a bad idea in practice. The CFPB has yet to defy our low expectations.
8:00 AM, May 3, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
The Washington Examiner is up with a five part special report on "the rise and current decline of organized labor in America: How unions lost touch with the workplace and their own members." It's authored by Sean Higgins, one of the best reporters on the labor beat. Union politics can be complicated, and the introductory piece on "Big Labor's identity crisis" is an excellent place to start:
10:40 AM, Apr 19, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The news that the administration would like kept quiet, and which it therefore announced in the afternoon, on Good Friday is that it has:
6:18 PM, Feb 11, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
This snippet from a union leader’s speech to his membership suggests that he might be getting ready to take to the barricades, knock heads, and get nasty:
Feb 10, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 21 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
The Scrapbook has devoted plenty of column inches over the years to detailing the incestuous relationship between public employers and public employee unions. Every election cycle, union dues—paid with taxpayer dollars—go to Democratic politicians, who, when in office, thank their donors with immutable contracts containing generous wages and benefits. It’s truly a vicious circle. But even we were surprised when we found out just how directly money was being funneled from public coffers to private pockets through union contracts.
Protesters stay home.12:54 PM, Dec 4, 2013 • By JIM SWIFT
At the corner of First and H Streets in Northwest Washington, the balloons were all set, hanging stories high in the cold morning air. The inflatable Pepsi and Mountain Dew bottles were twisting in the breeze, and a mini-hoop game was set up. There was even a marching band and Chester the Cheetos Cheetah.
11:49 AM, Nov 6, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
It looks like labor unions might be getting tax relief from Obamacare, according to a report from kaiserhealthnews.org.
"Weeks after denying labor’s request to give union members access to health-law subsidies, the Obama administration is signaling it intends to exempt some union plans from one of the law’s substantial taxes," reads the report.
12:00 AM, Sep 21, 2013 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Given that mine is the dismal science, it is my role to cool the exuberance of investors at the news that the Fed will continue to print money rather than taper, with a bit of news that should worry them--the possible revival of the trade unions, long a fading force in the private sector.