Arizona Teacher Walkout Gathers Steam
Teachers say 'frustration' over decade of cuts to education is fueling nationwide revolt. ABC: "On most Mondays, Stacy Masciangelo, a teacher in Mesa, Arizona, would be in her classroom teaching 33 junior high school students computer technology with outdated equipment that sometimes takes eight minutes just to log on. But this Monday, Masciangelo will join thousands of fellow teachers at the state Capitol in Phoenix, walking a picket line for the third day of a statewide public educator strike. 'We're frustrated. It's frustrating. How can you tell a kid education is so important when everything that our leaders do say otherwise?'"
NRA Bans Guns At Pence Speech
NRA doesn't want guns at Pence speech. Parkland survivors call out NRA over gun ban at Dallas event with Pence. CBS: "The National Rifle Association (NRA) will not allow guns during Vice President Mike Pence's appearance at its upcoming convention. The ban prompted Parkland, Florida, shooting survivors over the weekend to call out the pro-gun organization for imposing restrictions on its members -- a position the NRA has long championed against. fThe NRA, which is expected to attract upwards of 80,000 people at its Dallas conference, deferred to the U.S. Secret Service on the safety measures. Mr. Pence will attend the four-day event Friday... The jurisdictional technicalities didn't matter to survivors or family members impacted by the Feb. 14 massacre that left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Cameron Kasky, one of the founding members of the student-led, gun reform movement 'March for Our Lives,' blasted the NRA over its fierce resistance to support any sort of safety considerations for children - but a measure it backed when it involved Mr. Pence, a gun rights advocate."
GOP Caucus Plans Deeper Cuts To Safety Net
GOP Caucus Unveils Insane Budget Blueprint to Attack Safety Net. Common Dreams: "The budget blueprint from the Republican Study Committee (RSC)—and titled A Framework of Unified Conservatism—says it 'would take unprecedented steps to begin the deconstruction of the administrative state' and would cut $12.4 trillion over the next decade from federal spending. Those cuts come from achieving what the document refers to as 'long-time conservative priorities,' but which represents the wholesale evisceration of public services and government programs designed to bolster the economy and serve the less fortunate. Among the plan's numerous goals are the repeal of Obamacare and raising the eligibility age of Medicare and Social Security benefits to age 70. It also seeks to weaken cost-of-living adjustments and increase premiums. It also calls for work requirements for "all federal benefit programs." The "reform" of safety net programs also includes capping federal funds for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and weakening school lunch subsidies."
ALEC Pushes Fossil-Fuel Legislation
ALEC Task Forces Gather in Michigan to Draft Bills for Corporate Sponsors. Truthout: "In Michigan, ALEC politicians will be asked to vote on new bills that advance the interests of the industry, including the Resolution Supporting States Ability to Permit and Regulate Oil and Gas Development on Federal Lands within their Borders and the Gas Tax Transparency Act. The oil and gas permitting bill is the latest from ALEC in its push to hand over America's public lands to the fossil fuel companies that started almost 20 years ago. The latest resolution calls on Trump and Congress to hand over the power to regulate and permit fossil fuel development on public lands to the states, where the industry has its greatest power and influence over government."
Trump's Scandals, In One Place
The Trump administration's scandals and embarrassments, in one place. CNN: "Fifteen months after storming into Washington's "swamp," more than a few high-ranking Trump administration officials have been caught lazing, spa-style, in its gooey waters. The term 'embattled' has now been thrown around so often in news coverage of Trump Cabinet secretaries' assorted foibles, it's practically been fused to the front of some of their titles. The President himself, perhaps for variety's sake, referred to Jeff Sessions in a tweet last year as his 'beleaguered' attorney general. Some of the alleged (and confirmed) transgressions have been more damaging than others. The White House's handling of the Rob Porter scandal might have been its darkest episode, an ethical failure leavened by bureaucratic incompetence. Mostly though, the administration's scandals and embarrassments have been characterized less by furtive malfeasance than some kind of open disdain for (or ignorance of) basic ethical standards (or a lack of due diligence). Here is a rundown, however incomplete, of some of the most glaring breakdowns."