- St. Louis AFT prez assails frenzy of charter expansion
- Buying a house—and a senate—in Tennessee
- JP Morgan, Oil Company?
First, the Good News
1) National/California: Can charter schools, supported with public money, have proprietary information? California Virtual Educators United and a teacher at the CAVA San Diego campus say no, and are leading the good fight.
“K12 and CAVA denied all wrongdoing. In 2016, the case ended with a settlement with the state that required K12 to, among other things, reform its advertising and attendance-keeping practices, pay $8.5 million and clear all CAVA schools’ accumulated debt, which totaled $160 million. But the teachers union argues that issues remain with CAVA and K12’s relationship. CAVA schools still incur budget deficits due to its K12 expenses, so K12 issues ‘invoice credits’ to resolve those budget deficits, according to school budget reports. K12 was the only contractor to which any of the CAVA campuses paid more than $100,000 in the 2021-2022 year, the latest year for which tax filings are available. The title on the CAVA website’s homepage reads: ‘California Virtual Academies: Powered by K12.’”
2) National: Melissa Peltier gets it: “Think life’s expensive now? Wait ‘til you have to pay out of pocket to use roads; hire & pay your own firemen, police, emergency vehicles to the hospital.”
3) National: Government support for pop up retail is helping in distressed downtowns. “Under the pop-up model, small businesses work with property owners to temporarily open a brick-and-mortar location, often for a few days or weeks, and rarely more than a few months. In San Francisco, SF New Deal, a business development nonprofit, is partnering with the city’s Office of Workforce and Economic Development to help small businesses, artists and community organizations set up shop in empty retail spaces downtown. The program, Vacant to Vibrant, works with owners of such spaces who are willing to allow tenants to operate rent-free for at least three months.”
4) National: Want to see a superb documentary that follows individuals pushing back against political forces that want to privatize federal lands? Check it out.
5) National: Read the uber-talented Carsie Blanton’s article in The Nation about how musicians are making ends meet—or not. Donald Cohen has announced the creation of the Fan Alliance, which educates and mobilizes fans to support struggling artists who are being crushed by streaming apps. “My goal is simple—grow a large list of fans who can sign petitions, educate their friends and take other actions to support artist campaigns. The ‘Issues’ page on the website describes some of the current campaigns. I’m asking you to do two simple things: 1. Join and sign the Fan Alliance PledgeYou won’t get flooded with emails—just an occasional article or action alert. 2. Invite your friends, colleagues, email lists, social media pages and everyone you know who loves music to sign also. There’s power in numbers.” Fan Alliance website.
6) California: The state’s new anti-fraud charter school task force will convene first meeting in San Diego this afternoon. The meeting will be closed to the public and the media. “The new task force will focus on improving the annual school auditing process that California charter schools, like school districts, are required to undergo, according to the court order. The task force will also study the role of the agencies that are supposed to hold charter schools accountable — the school districts and county education offices that authorize charters.”
7) Colorado: Community activists in Aurora are standing up to stop the privatization of the public defenders system. “People who can’t afford legal representation deserve high quality representation from passionate, committed lawyers, and all of this could disappear in the city of Aurora, Colorado. That’s because, right now, the city is considering taking a cheaper option—by eliminating its Public Defender’s Office and outsourcing the work to private, for-profit attorneys.
Needless to say, local public defenders and many constituents are terrified. We must not let this plan come to fruition! Sign now to tell Aurora City Council: keep public defense public! Aurora City Council recently approved a plan to investigate how much money the city would save if they privatized the public defender’s office. But public defense is a public good, and for good reason.”
8) Idaho: Today Idahoans for Openness in Government, Idaho Secretary of State Phil McGrane and Idaho State Controller Brandon Woolf are holding a workshop on Idaho’s public records laws. “The workshop is intended for everyday Idahoans, public officials and members of the media. Attorneys who participate can receive continuing legal education credit, pending final approval from the Idaho State Bar, in partnership with Attorneys for Civic Education.
Full video and PowerPoint presentations from three previous workshops on Idaho’s open meeting laws, campaign finance and lobbying data and accessing government finance and meeting information through Transparent Idaho and Townhall Idaho are posted online at IDOG’s website, www.openidaho.org. Scroll down to ‘Past Seminars’ to find the links.”
9) National: The school privatization industry is facing a legal onslaught from public education defenders, Education Week reports. “The emerging crop of new cases is aiming to catch up to the relatively new and broader approach state lawmakers have taken in crafting private school choice programs that serve a much bigger share of the student body, said Robert Kim, executive director of the Education Law Center, a legal advocacy nonprofit that is providing counsel for the plaintiffs behind several lawsuits against voucher programs. These cases are currently playing out on a state-by-state basis, with subtle differences from one to the next. But that may not always be true. Earlier this year, the Washington Postpublished an investigative article detailing far-right political operatives’ ambitions to secure a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of parents’ right to state-funded vouchers nationwide. A case along those lines has yet to materialize, but it’s on the radar of voucher opponents.”
Right wing media outlets are saying that anti-public education groups are gearing up for battles over vouchers in key states. The Daily Caller says “a lawsuit filed in January 2022 by the Ohio Coalition of Equity & Adequacy of School Funding (OCEASF) is set to go to trial next year regarding the state’s voucher program, and nearly a third of public school districts have joined the lawsuit as of this year, according to the Cleveland Scene. OCEASF argues that the program ‘poses an existential threat’ and has been taking away vital funding from public schools, according to court documents. (…) Oklahoma, Wisconsin and South Carolina are facing lawsuits as well after state officials adopted school choice policies. The Wisconsin Supreme Court is set to hand down a ruling any day now on whether or not the state’s 32-year-old program that gives parents vouchers for their children to attend private schools is unconstitutional since it funds private entities, according to the Associated Press.”
10) National: AFT President Randi Weingarten joined Emma Vigeland on The Majority Report podcast to discuss the recent victories pro-public education candidates have had over right wing candidates in the most recent school board races; and the “crumbling” of the right wing anti-education group Moms for liberty. [Audio, at 20:00]]
11) National: Daniela Alulema, project director of the CUNY Initiative on Immigration and Education in New York City, says “to solve teacher shortages, let’s open pathways for immigrants so they can become educators and role models.” Writing in The Hechinger Report, Alulema, says “Congress’s inability to pass any kind of immigration reform that would help undocumented immigrants become teachers makes easing the path of immigrants into educator roles a tough ask, especially as the 11-year-old DACA program is in peril of being eliminated for good by judicial decree. Currently, immigrant educators may be granted work permits only if they qualify for DACA or Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which has been extended to people from 16 countries. State and local lawmakers and policymakers can and should be creative in expanding options. The situation is urgent. According to New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, the state needs to hire 180,000 new teachers over the next decade to keep up with the demands of the workforce. Enrollment in New York State’s teacher education programs has declined by 53 percent since 2009.”
12) Arizona: The Arizona Education Association is pushing back against legal assaults on LGBTQ students and educators. “School should be a place where everyone feels safe and able to focus on learning. These constant attacks on LGBTQ kids & educators accomplish nothing—except advancing an extreme political agenda.”
The Arizona Republic has reported that the legal group of Trump’s extremist ex-aide, Stephen Miller, is suing Mesa schools over their transgender policies. “The district’s guidelines for supporting transgender and gender nonconforming students are ‘intended to help schools ensure a safe learning environment free from discrimination and harassment, and to support the educational and social needs of transgender and gender nonconforming students,’ according to its website. In a letter sent to district staff and families over the summer, Superintendent Andi Fourlis responded to claims that students were being placed on transgender support plans without parent notification and that support plans help students with medical transitions. Neither of those claims are true, Fourlis wrote. The district’s support checklist for transgender and gender nonconforming students says that parents and guardians are notified of the support provided at school.”
Two weeks ago Accountable.US “obtained the 2022 990 tax form for the America First Legal Foundation, revealing a massive boost in funding by tens of millions and an over $70,000 raise for far-right AFL president and executive director Stephen Miller—known for sympathizing with white nationalist ideologies.”
13) Connecticut: Why does Cranston want to buy a charter school valued at $2.3 million for $12.5 million? “When asked the rationale for seeking city purchase of the building, Traficante said the school is currently paying nearly $250,000 in rent—and $60,000 in city taxes—out of the per-pupil payments that Cranston and other communities pay for students who go there. He said that money would go to much better use if the city owned, renovated and took the building off the tax rolls. ‘If you [had] ever been in the building … you’d see it’s desperately needed.’ Beyond the acquisition cost, he said, the remains of that money will be utilized for infrastructure improvements.”
14) Missouri: Ray Cummings, president of the American Federation of Teachers Local 420, in an op-ed in the St. Louis Business Journal, says “Stop demonizing public schools to justify charter expansion.” Cummings targets the federal government’s program to pour taxpayer dollars into charter schools. “Damn the torpedoes—there’s a frenzy in St. Louis to open charter schools, no matter if they violate the law, no matter if the public opposes charter school expansion, no matter if we are still waiting on a comprehensive citywide plan for education and no matter that the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education just gave Saint Louis Public Schools an ‘above average’ rating for academic achievement growth. The latest salvo for charter school expansion is the federal government’s $35 million grant to the Opportunity Trust, a St. Louis pro-charter organization, to open 16 new charter schools. This just doesn’t make any sense.”
15) New Jersey: A major school segregation lawsuit is moving into mediation to see if the parties can resolve their differences. “The 2018 lawsuit, brought by various groups including the Latino Action Network and the NAACP, argued that public schools are segregated by race and the state has failed to remedy this situation. Lawyers on both sides will meet Tuesday for the first in a series of discussions as part of a confidential mediation process. The move was welcomed by all three parties involved with the lawsuit: the state, the plaintiffs and the New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association, which joined the case as a co-defendant with the state. Barry Albin, a retired state Supreme Court associate justice, will serve as mediator. The courts have given the groups until Jan. 16 to come to an agreement.”
16) Pennsylvania: A Philadelphia charter school is defiantly staying open despite the school board ordering it to close. “At the academy’s charter renewal hearings in June 2022, hearings officer Rudy Garica presented evidence that it had violated 20 requirements for charters—including rules around enrollment and employee background checks—and that its financial viability was in question, according to reporting in The Inquirer. The Board of Education overwhelmingly approved the non-renewal, by a 7-2 vote. (…) Southwest Leadership Academy has filed an appeal of its revocation to the Pa. Charter Appeals Board, which means it can legally continue operating through the end of the 2023-24 academic year.”
17) South Carolina: Another day, another charter school scandal. The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating Palmetto Youth Academy, a former Florence charter school. “According to state law, the school should have closed and given its property back to the district when its charter expired. It requested to stay open during the appeal process, but the S.C. Administrative Law Court denied its request. In a motion filed on Oct. 27, the district asked the court to force Palmetto Youth Academy’s leadership to come to a hearing and explain why they should not be held in contempt of court for violating a court order from Sept. 22 that blocked the school and its leadership from spending or transferring money or property. Since that order, the school has continued to spend money and transfer property, according to John Edward Haas. He was assigned by the court as a third party to hold the money and property that both sides claim until the appeal is settled. Haas supports the district in its motion, according to an affidavit he signed and that was submitted with the motion.” [Sub required]
18) Tennessee: Let’s hear it for the fighting journalists out there. Phil Williams of NewsChannel5 in Nashville is getting plaudits for breaking the story that a group of school privatization groups work together to use their resources to try to buy seats in the Tennessee legislature. “NewsChannel 5 Investigates showed Bowman a strategy document where the groups describe plans to use their big money in ‘key races … where the opportunity exists to shape the balance of power in the Legislature.’ As a litmus test, the groups would only support politicians who support privately operated charter schools, state interventions to take over traditional public schools and private choice—in other words, school vouchers to send tax dollars to private schools. We asked Bowman: ‘Should the public know if the Walton family is trying to pick legislators in Tennessee?’ ‘Absolutely,’ he insisted. ‘Like NASCAR, we joke about it that NASCAR has the little signs of all the sponsors they have. Politicians are going to need to wear the same thing.’”
Watch the full report of the dollars-for-privatization scandal. [Video, about 7 minutes]
19) Tennessee: Test scores for school voucher students “show participants performed lower than their public school peersduring the first year of the program in 2022-23.” But House Minority Caucus Chair John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville, told The Tennessean in an interview “There’s nothing happening [at the capitol] focused on improving educational outcomes, improving working conditions for teachers, and improving our public schools. Everything education-focused up here is designed to steer taxpayer dollars into private hands, whether it be through the charter school commission overreach, overriding local officials and LEAs, whether it be this voucher program.”
20) Texas: Will Abbott call a fifth special session of the Texas legislature to push school vouchers? He’s saying he will, according to WFAA. In a major victory for public school supporters, vouchers were stripped out of legislation a little over a week ago. So Abbott is trying to get into the playoffs with an 0-4 record. Opposition remains strong.
21) National: What are some of the key legal issues surrounding so-called public-private partnerships? Caitlin Devitt, The Bond Buyer’s podcast host, sat down for an in-depth interview with Karol Denniston, “an attorney with Squire Patton Boggs and the firm’s global projects partner, where among other things, she’s responsible for global infrastructure projects and is part of the firm’s P3 work in the U.S. and globally. Outside of P3s, many in the muni market might know Karol from her work as a restructuring attorney, where she’s worked on high profile distressed government project cases, representing clients of major bankruptcies like Puerto Rico’s PROMISA and COFINA restructurings.” [Audio, about 38 minutes]
22) National/Louisiana: Will your bank be leaking oil? Millions of gallons of oil have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico due to a breach in an underwater pipeline owned by Main Pass Oil Gathering and operated by Third Coast Infrastructure LLC. So who owns these companies? Public Citizen has the receipts. “In September, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled that private equity company IIF, is controlled by banking giant JPMorgan. JPMorgan’s IIF owns 50% of Third Coast, which in turn owns and operates the Main Pass Oil Gathering Company LLC, the source of the oil leak. ‘JPMorgan’s control over a company involved in a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico clearly illustrates the danger of banks owning energy companies,’ said Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s energy program. “Third Coast features a JPMorgan executive on the board overseeing its management, and therefore exposes JPMorgan to liability from this disaster. The Federal Reserve must enforce the Bank Holding Company Act and disallow Wall Street banks from controlling energy infrastructure, as it poses systemic risks.” In a letter sent to the Federal Reserve two months ago, Public Citizen urged an investigation into whether JPMorgan’s control over companies like Third Coast violate the Bank Holding Company Act.”
23) National/International: A major federal climate report shows that the U.S. is unlikely to meet national or international climate targets and warns of dire infrastructure consequences for the country. “The report listed consequences all around the country, noting that at this level of warming, the Southeast will see six more days over 100 degrees Fahrenheit each year and the Midwest will see 10 more days over 95 degrees. It said that further warming will create more risks for the nation’s water supply, food security, infrastructure, health, ecosystems and economy. (…) It also said that changes in the timing of streams that come from melting snow are expected to disrupt water infrastructure and hydropower to meet the region’s needs. Dave White, lead author of the report’s Southwest regional chapter, pointed out that declines in water availability in the area worsened by climate change, could reverberate well beyond the borders of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Nevada and California.” [Fifth National Climate Assessment]
24) National: A July GAO report says the government needs to exercise tighter regulation of private military housing contracts. Their recommendations: “The Secretary of the Army should ensure that DASA (IH&P), in coordination with Army Materiel Command, IMCOM, and Lendlease, develops a standardized reporting process to facilitate oversight of all ICC inspections to share with local Army housing offices. (Recommendation 1). The Secretary of the Army should ensure that DASA (IH&P) enforces its requirement for privatized housing projects to include an updated pro forma when submitting development plans for Army review and approval. (Recommendation 2).”
25) Ohio: A federal criminal investigation of a massive bribery and money laundering scam at an Ohio utility is apparently continuing, the Ohio Capital Journal reports. “In the conspiracy, FirstEnergy and its then-subsidiary paid more than $60 million from 2017 to 2019 to make Householder speaker so he could pass and protect a $1.3 billion bailout. Of that sum, the vast majority was intended to prop up two nuclear plants owned by the subsidiary, then called FirstEnergy Solutions. Over the course of a six-week trial in Cincinnati early this year, prosecutors put on evidence that FirstEnergy found itself in a precarious state because its heavy investments in coal and nuclear-powered generation were being undercut by cheap natural gas. Top executives with the company—including then-CEO Chuck Jones and Vice President Michael Dowling—desperately sought a ratepayer bailout to prop up the nuclear plants so they could spin them off and get most of the liability associated with closing and cleaning them up off their books.”
26) Pennsylvania: The state public utility commission is exploring a possible multimillion dollar settlement with a Wall Street-traded utility company, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, over consumer billing issues. “PUC analysis of estimated bills issued by PPL revealed that “67.31% (261,104 customers) of the bills had an estimate differing from the customers’ actual usage of 10% or greater. Of these bills, one-third indicated an estimate that varied from the actual usage by more than 25%.” The commission reported that nearly 48,000 customer bills were based on an estimate differing from actual usage by more than 50%. The investigation also found that customers who attempted to contact PPL about the billing issues were faced with “extremely long wait times or could not reach the utility.” According to PUC, “Call center data from the period between January and April 2023 showed that 41% of calls to PPL were abandoned without customers being able to reach a representative.”
27) International/Kenya: Kenyan lawmakers are demanding answers from the government over why it is determined to sell off key port infrastructure assets. “Under the Coast Parliamentary Group (CPG), the leaders demanded to be informed why the State is determined to hand over some of KPA assets to private companies in a concession model, even though KPA has been making billions in profit every year.” [Video, about five minutes]. Bloomberg reports that the IMF is leaning heavily on Kenya to undertake a massive privatization campaign.
28) National: Route Fifty reports that apprenticeship programs are growing as the public sector faces workforce shortages. “Registered apprenticeships are finally beginning to gain traction in state and local governments. There have been dramatic increases in funding and in appreciation that apprenticeships are a powerful means for providing experience and mastery of needed skills. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of apprentices in both the public and private sectors rose 64% between 2012 and 2021, with continued growth likely due to workplace shortages and massive training needs. ‘Registered apprenticeships level the playing field and open the pipeline to untapped talent pools that previously wouldn’t be hired,’ says Gina Robison, program supervisor for Apprenticeship Idaho. ‘It gives employers the opportunity to hire for aptitude rather than degree because the apprentice is entering into a training program and not as a fully skilled employee.’ A registered apprentice is considered to be an employee just like any other in the department.”
29) National: The right wing is increasingly weaponizing state preemption laws to target largely Democratic cities, the Washington Post reports. “Preemption has expanded with support from the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization of state legislators and right-leaning advocacy groups that describes itself as “dedicated to the principles of limited government, free markets and federalism.” It has a distinct take on why such effort is necessary. (…) As the country has become more polarized, these fights have become more intense. Columbia University law professor Richard Briffault faults states for hypocrisy: ‘They’re in favor of home rule when it’s the feds, but not when it’s states versus locals.’ The U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution at its annual gathering this summer ‘to undertake an all-out campaign’ against state preemption, which it identified as racist and punitive. In a report he wrote for the group, Briffault underscored that point. ‘Increasingly, preemption is punitive—it not only displaces local efforts but calls for punishing local officials or cities when they try to disagree,’ he wrote. In 2023, he added, ‘preemption moves have become even more aggressive, directly challenging local self-government.’”
30) Connecticut: Rachael Lyle-Thompson, a senior project attorney at the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, writes that the Connecticut public record system needs to be overhauled. “These laws are an important tool for holding governments accountable to the public they serve. But there are real holes in many state laws, including Connecticut’s FOIA, leaving little protection for climate scientists and other public researchers. My organization, the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, or CSLDF, recently released a bi-annual report, ‘Research Protections in State Open Records Laws,’ to help scientists and lawyers understand open records demands. As it stands, individuals working for a number of organizations with ties to the fossil fuel industry and right-wing groups aggressively use open records laws to target climate researchers working at public institutions.”
31) Ohio/National: Restrictive state rules on SNAP benefits are driving hungry Ohioans to food banks. “After the most recent state budget passed with a plan to redesign the education and training piece of the state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), food and employment advocates across the state watched as the program became a ‘compliance machine,’ rather than a way to bring Ohioans out of poverty. (…) Cahill said she is in a work group aimed at redesigning the state SNAP program. She mentioned a ‘written warning letter’ that was sent to the state from the USDA saying federal funding for the next fiscal year may be in jeopardy if the state doesn’t bring their program into compliance. (…) Part of the changes needed as part of the SNAP program in Ohio is a “paradigm shift” for county JFS offices that will not only allow them to stem the flow of paperwork, but also gain back the trust of program participants, who may have “animosity” because of the “punitive” nature of the current program, according to Cahill.”
For more see Loïc Wacquant’s Punishing the Poor: The Neoliberal Government of Social Insecurity.
32) International/Argentina: Javier Milei, the new president-elect of Argentina, is promising a savage program of austerity and privatization. “He said specifically that some state companies will be privatized, such as YPF (Argentina’s state energy and gas company), Aerolíneas Argentinas, as well as public media; At the same time, he proposed a ‘Chilean-style’ privatized public works model.”
What does this mean? That public works policy would be defined by profitability, not the public interest. “‘What Milei wants to do is divide public works into two: those that are not profitable and those that are. If you put out to tender the Néstor Kirchner gas pipeline, for example, it is likely that you will find a private party that ends up winning that tender and keeps part of the profits,’ says [economist and CONICET researcher, Facundo Barrera Insua]. Now, the second – and perhaps main problem – is that in this way, the smallest public works that play a fundamental role in cities and provinces are discarded. ‘Making rural roads in the province of Buenos Aires, for example, I don’t think they are much of a private interest. Simply because it is not lucrative for them,’ says the economist.”
Needless to say, this massive program of privatization will generate sharp social conflict. TUED, Trade Unions for Energy Democracy, says Argentina is Not for Sale. “Commentators have pointed out such a radical program of privatization will require constitutional reforms and, in some cases, new laws from a Congress where Milei does not yet have a majority. (…) In response to Milei’s privatisation announcements, social movements grouped in the Union of Workers of the Popular Economy (UTEP) and the Association of State Workers (ATE) called to ‘avoid the destruction of the State proposed by Milei’ and affirmed that they will not allow the “new attempt to privatize public companies. “We will not step away one millimeter from the mandate given to us by our members. Before leaving, the current government has to guarantee the increases promised for November and December. And to the next one, we want to say that we will defend with all our strength the jobs and public policies we have won,” said Rodolfo Aguiar, General Secretary of theAssociation of State Workers (ATE).”
33) International/Canada: Right wing Ontario Premier Doug Ford is threatening to carry out his longstanding proposal to privatize beer and wine sales. “‘We’ve been distributing beer in Ontario since 1927. I know some people say it’s archaic but we do it well, we do it safely, we do it efficiently,’ said John Nock, President of the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada Local 12R24. ‘We do it at the same cost to buy beer in downtown Toronto as downtown Thunder Bay.’ The union has said the addition of beer to Ontario grocery stores has not created extra jobs or increased beer sales in the province and that moving towards convenience and big box stores would hurt consumer choice by reducing product selection. It’s also warned that Ford’s plan could result in higher beer prices, pointing to Alberta which it says has some of the highest beer prices in Canada since privatization took place in the 1990s. The government’s plan would also put one of the world’s most successful recycling programs at risk, according to the union.” The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health “has warned that the cost of making sales of alcohol easier and more convenient is an increase in alcohol deaths.”
34) International/Philippines: The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is looking for a solicited proposal to privatize Manila’s Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) and Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2). It is currently likely to have to juggle solicited and unsolicited proposals. “‘We’ll see the pros and cons of the proposal. But of course, we prefer solicited versus unsolicited, because with solicited you tend to get better chances of getting a good winner. You really don’t know what’s a good proposal until you see all the proposals on the table. You miss that when it is unsolicited,’ NEDA Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan told reporters on the sidelines of an event over the weekend. ‘I think our direction is to get the operations and maintenance (O&M) done by the private sector. So, we are studying that,’ he added.”
35) National: Where is the public interest in corporate and media battles over who controls artificial intelligence, and who defines the risks, harms and benefits? Paris Marx was joined by New York Times tech reporter Mike Isaac on the Tech Won’t Save Us podcast to discuss “the fight over the future of OpenAI.” Isaac is also the author of Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber. [Audio, about an hour]. If you’d like to dig a little deeper, have a look at this reformist proposal for governing AI, and at the indispensable regular critical panel discussions at Mystery AI Hype Theater 3000. [Video, about an hour; begins at 11:00 in].