As the Supreme Court mulls Janus v. AFSCME, David Cole and Amanda Shanor at The Nation find the anti-union argument therein to be "based on a faulty premise." An actual Supreme Court case from the '70s, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, found that union dues don't actually constitute an abridgment of free speech rights if unions use those dues solely to perform the duties the law requires them to perform -- but not if the union uses dues for political campaigning, for example. Besides, "(t)he First Amendment protects the right to speech, but not the right to get something for nothing," which is what Mark Janus will get (all the benefits of union protection at his job with none of those pesky dues!) if he prevails at the court. I still fear the "conservatives" on the Court will ignore this precedent.
Longtime HUD official claims she was demoted because she wouldn't rubber-stamp an illegal and pricey renovation of HUD Chair Ben Carson's office. Doesn't matter that "everybody does it" or "that woman's a Democrat" or "but the FOIA requests" -- all anyone's going to remember about this is the Administration official, the one who kept hounding her to "find money" to get around the $5,000 limit on office renovations, saying that "$5,000 will not even buy a decent chair." Gosh, how do little people like us ever get along? Drain the swamp!
Michael Sainato at TruthOut profiles former Oklahoma state Senator Connie Johnson, who's running for the Democratic nomination for Governor this year. She sounds like she has a good program (tuition-free public college, legal pot), and she has a good story (her Christianity led her to forgive her brother's murderer!), and if folks think she's "too liberal" to win in Oklahoma, they ought to attend how well aping Republicans has worked out for state Democrats. Remember Brad Carson, Brad Henry, Dan Boren? Of course you don't. Nobody does. With any luck, she'll win the primary, and the national Democrats will decide she doesn't have a chance, and let her do her thing, which can't possibly be worse than nominating yet another "someone who can win."
National resistance figures have put together a "Pledge to Fight for America's Future," composed of 11 good-to-great legislative proposals, including spending actual money on infrastructure, reforming our tax code so plutocrats pay more instead of less, and committing to renewable energy. I'd shorten the title and go at some of these issues a bit harder, but Democrats would do much better running behind this plan than behind whatever bowl of soggy oatmeal the national party puts together. Do they think they won back Congress in 2006 for some other reason than supporting a minimum wage hike?
Finally, our President theorizes that he, of course, would have "run" into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School while the shooting was happening "even if I didn't have a weapon," unlike those deputies who "weren't exactly Medal of Honor winners." Well, welcome to Everything's About Me, Part 232! As my coworker said, "Mr. Bone Spurs was going to run into the school?"