Archive for September, 2010

David Catania’s Double Dipping

The fight back:

In addition to his Council salary of more than $125,000, Office of Campaign Finance records show that Catania earns an additional $120,000 a year as general counsel to a company that does a huge amount of business with the District. Since at least 2006 Catania has earned more than $100,000 a year as general counsel for OpenBand LLC, a subsidiary of M.C. Dean. (It’s unclear how much Catania earned from M.C. Dean in 2005: On his “Honoraria and Outside Income Disclosure Statement” for fiscal year 2005, Catania failed to report his gross outside income and instead reported having earned “$10,000 per month” as General Counsel for OpenBand, LLC. For fiscal year 2006, Catania reported earning $101,538 from OpenBand LLC and $13,750 from Akin & Gump. Since 2007, Office of Campaign Finance reports show that Catania has earned $120,000 a year from OpenBand, LLC.)

Who/what is M.C. Dean? The Washington Post noted: “The company holds the contract to maintain and repair city traffic signals — one of the most lucrative contracts in city government. Last year’s contract was worth $9.3 million to the company… Since 1999, according to city billing records, M.C. Dean has done more than $130 million in business with the District.” Unmentioned in the Post’s article was that “one of the most influential… men in city government” is on M.C. Dean’s payroll to the tune of $120,000 a year.

Another reason Rhee must go

Tell D.C. School Administrators You Don’t Appreciate Child Abuse

If you missed it yesterday, here’s the link to where you can hear Chancellor Rhee joking about how she taped all of her students’ mouths shut with masking tape, and how they all cried when they removed the tape and made their mouths bleed. And, you can hear the new teachers in the audience laughing about the incident:

General Richard Secord

The Iranian Hostage Rescue Mission, and the 1980 Presidential Election

8 helicopters, 6 C-130 transport planes, and 93 Delta force commandoes secretly invaded Iran. They were to rendezvous at a place in Iran they called Desert One, move out to another point called Desert Two, and then go on to Tehran to rescue the hostages. But Delta force never made it to Desert Two or Tehran. The mission was aborted after three of the eight helicopters failed, on the way to Desert One. The operation was a miserable failure, resulting in an accident that caused the loss of 8 American lives. Later investigation revealed a surprising level of negligence. [4] [7] [13]

Just before the rescue mission took place, several other countries had finally agreed to level economic sanctions on Iran. Some of them agreed to the sanctions because they thought that if they did, the U.S. would not take any military action. They were quite irate when they heard about the rescue mission after the fact.

At least three central figures in the Iran-Contra Scandal were involved with the Iranian hostage rescue mission: Secord, Hakim, an North.

General Richard Secord helped to organize the abortive rescue mission. After the first mission failed, he was the head of the planning group that eventually decided against another rescue attempt.

Corrente Wire, like Kryptonite to truthiness

Lambert is having a fundraiser. For my money Corrente Wire, the unique online community he created, is the best blog ever. If you support single payer health care, if you are concerned about the continuing abuse of executive power, if you support a community where every member is a front pager, then please support Corrente.

The politics of education deform

“the ‘reform’ narrative”

It’s a repeated motif—white voters supporting “tough” reforms of public schools though few of them have children in these public schools or the ones being reformed, and black voters with children in the schools being reformed who do not support the individuals and/or policies and/or effects of the reforms. The idea that these types of reforms must be imposed upon the teachers, parents and children is a telling aspect of the charter movement narrative.

Robert Bobb’s record in Detroit


Bobb says he wants to “make systems work” and “bring people together.”

He has, in fact, done the exact opposite here in the City of Detroit, public education advocates across the city say.

At a citywide picket Sept. 21 at Finney High School, members of Defend Public Education/Save our Students Equal Opportunity Now (DPE/SOS)/BAMN described the chaos in the system.

“The chaos that greeted teachers, students and parents at the beginning of this school year has been deliberately inflicted by the high-handed, destructive corporate methods of Robert Bobb and his lackeys.”

The organization has led multiple protests against the EFM and his “destructive” decisions to dismantle the Detroit Public Schools since the latter part of the 2009 school year.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, don’t know what it means to me

The Root

D.C.’s outgoing mayor and his schools chancellor used education reform as something to do to black people instead of with black people. Reform advocates around the country should be taking notes. This is a local story with national implications.