First, the Good News

1) National: The fight against privatization and book banning by the Huntington Beach municipal government is continuing. On Friday a rally was held “at the Main Street Branch Library for a silent protest to support our libraries and oppose privatization!” Sign the petition (1,000 signatures already collected). Friends of the Huntington Beach Public Library say, “We need a public library that is staffed by qualified professionals who are compensated fairly. Support our librarians and staff! Outsourcing library management goes against the fundamental role of the library as integral to our community, to our public education, and to our democracy.” As Jon Schwarz has written, “the right opposes education in general, because they realize that people thinking for themselves is the only thing that could make their greatest fear—a democratization of the U.S.—come to pass.”

In the Public Interest’s Lee Cokorinos says, “As we noted in this space just over a year ago, ‘libraries have lately taken on even greater importance—serving meals to children in the summer, when school-based lunch programs close down, serving as pop-up clinics to address local health needs, and helping to close the digital divide that plagues urban and rural communities alike.’ When privatizers promise to save money, communities must always ask how and on what. And communities need to remind those advocating library privatization that libraries are, indeed, not just about the book.”

Bills against book bans “are gaining traction in state legislatures around the country,” but professionals are warning that such bans should not come with punitive measures against libraries. “Experts are raising concerns, however, as some of the legislation would fine school districts or withhold library funding if their provisions are not followed, such as in Illinois and California. The enforcement measures could especially be a threat to public schools and libraries that are underfunded and understaffed, they say. ‘It always is a concern when you put funding on the line for any reason,’ said Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. ‘We would not want to see bills that are overly prescriptive that make it difficult for smaller communities or rural communities to receive their funding.’”

2) National: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which exists to bring some transparency to investment risk in companies that are determined to conceal or obfuscate it, has issued a tough restatement of the case for socially responsible ESG investing, which has been under attack by backward sectors of Wall Street and right wing politicians and think tanks. “Investors representing literally tens of trillions of dollars support climate-related disclosures because they recognize that climate risks can pose significant financial risks to companies, and investors need reliable information about climate risks to make informed investment decisions…

“The Commission has adopted rules to enhance and standardize climate-related disclosures by public companies and in public offerings. Among the things the final rules require a registrant to disclose: material climate-related risks; activities to mitigate or adapt to such risks; information about the registrant’s board of directors’ oversight of climate-related risks and management’s role in managing material climate-related risks; and information on any climate-related targets or goals that are material to the registrant’s business, results of operations, or financial condition.”

3) National: Public education expert Jeff Bryant reports that increasing talk of school closures is fueling expansion of the community schools movement. “School closure skeptics are calling for policy leaders to change their thinking about schools and to regard them as permanent community assets rather than fleeting enterprises that come and go. Their strategy of choice for transitioning to an education system with long-term sustainability is for districts to adopt what’s called the community schools approach. It’s a big ask, but one that might be perfectly positioned for a moment when policy leaders and government officials are faced with decisions over how to ensure every student has access to a high-quality neighborhood school.”

4) New York: The first citywide rent reduction in the history of New York State, ordered by the Rent Guidelines Board of Kingston, is upheld by the Appellate Court. “In 2019 the Legislature allowed municipalities statewide to opt in to the 1974 Emergency Tenant Protection Act upon a declaration of emergency due to a housing vacancy rate of 5% or less. The onset of the COVID pandemic saw a sudden flight of many New York City residents upstate, including to Kingston. At the same time, the nationwide process of the acquisition of rental housing by ruthless private equity firms was underway in Kingston as well. The result was a sudden sharp increase in rents. An official Ulster County rental housing survey found that between 2016 and 2020, the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment rose by nearly 50 percent.”

5) Wyoming: The Cowboy State Daily reports that the Wyoming Department of Corrections is dropping YesCare. “The Wyoming Department of Corrections is switching health care providers after 18 years with the same company—and the longtime provider isn’t happy about it. YesCare, formerly Corizon, lost a recent bidding process to NaphCare, with which the Wyoming Department of Corrections (DOC) said it was finalizing negotiations Friday. YesCare protested the loss of its longtime contract with the state’s prison system this month, claiming its competitor and winning bidder’s plan appears to be more expensive.” But “Rep. Karlee Provenza, D-Laramie, said YesCare’s disfavor could stem from its history of litigation and not be related to a pricing or care difference. ‘YesCare and (its earlier iteration) Corizon, I believe, have been sued over 1,000 times across the United States because they’ve not provided adequate health care to incarcerated folks,’ said Provenza at the committee meeting. ‘And quite frankly, I’ve gotten complaints from folks who have people they love inside. This is a company that has a long track record of issues.’”

6) Think Tanks: A new report provides strong backing for the argument that more needs to be done to support homeless infants and toddlers in America. Data from 2021-2022 across 50 states. “From birth through age three, a child’s brain is developing at a rate of one million neural connections per second. [Emphasis added] Tragically, an increasing number of infants and toddlers go through this crucial developmental period without a home—an experience that jeopardizes their health, development, and future. This report analyzes federal and other available data to estimate how many infants and toddlers experienced homelessness in 2021, both nationally and in each state; the percentage of these infants and toddlers who are enrolled in age-eligible early childhood development programs during the 2021-2022 program year; and the extent to which state policies remove barriers to programs and services for children and families experiencing homelessness. It represents the most comprehensive look to date at homelessness among infants and toddlers, and is the first state-by-state collection of data on infant and toddler homelessness. The report also provides recommendations for state and federal action.” See No. 29 below also.

7) New Book: Kristin Shull’s Detention Empire “shines a light on the links between U.S. repressive counterinsurgency abroad and debilitating immigrant detention policies at home,” reports Ramón Garibaldo Valdéz in NACLA. “Despite not being a factory, the detention center is still a profitable endeavor, scoring political points for politicians peddling xenophobic policies and securing economic gain for GEO Group, the private prison corporation that controls the prison. For the last ten years, NWDC has been a crucial political battleground between a dehumanizing immigration apparatus and the migrants detained inside, consistently refusing to be commodified. Nonetheless, the resistance of those being processed consistently obstructs the detention center’s mission. For the last ten years, NWDC has been a crucial political battleground between a dehumanizing immigration apparatus and the migrants detained inside, consistently refusing to be commodified.” See also La Resistencia. The author is a Provost’s Postdoctorate Fellow in the Political Science Department of the University of Chicago. He is currently working on a book project tentatively titled, “La lucha de cada día: Immigrant Justice Organizing and the Political Remaking of Illegality in the U.S.


8) Alabama: The Homewood Star reports that parents are concerned about how the local school district’s outsourcing of its summer and after school programs to the YMCA will impact their families and children. “One of the main differences in the YMCA program is that there will be no drop-in option. That is a significant concern for parents such as Kayla Gaffo, whose children are in third and sixth grade and have used the EDP drop-in option since they were in first grade.

‘It’s helped keep our child care costs much lower,’ Gaffo said. The current EDP drop-in rate is $15 a day or $45 a week, whichever is less, Gaffo said. As a nurse who works two days a week, her family depends on the drop-in option, like many other shift or medical workers, she said. ‘I will either have to change my work schedule or find a new job. It’s going to mean a big change for someone in our family,’ Gaffo said.”

9) Alaska: Language introducing funding for charter schools has been added to a replacement bill for legislations that had earlier been vetoes by Republican Governor Mike Dunleavy this month. “In public testimony this week, many people have voiced their support of a BSA increase, but preferred the creation of charter schools be left up to local school boards. “I would like to raise concern with the new language about a state board authorizing charter schools. I think that having that remain with our local school boards who are accountable to voters should be the priority. That’s working well and I don’t see why we would change it at this point,” Anchorage resident Rachael Posey said.”

10) Colorado: A 55-page education bill is to be introduced on April 11th. “HB24-1363 requires charter schools to be more transparent with the state and the public. ‘[The bill], it’s a waste of time,’ said a Colorado Charter School Institution board member, Deborah Hendrix. ‘There’s no intention in this bill to shut down charters,’ said a bill sponsor, Lorena Garcia. If passed, the bill would require charter schools to report enrollment numbers, teacher retention rates and expenses without exception. Right now, charter schools could waive or alter some of these requirements, according to the state’s Department of Education (CDE). ‘We just need to turn the lights on, and if people are afraid to turn the lights on then that’s something to consider,’ said Garcia.”

Chalkbeat reports that “under the bill, charter schools, which are publicly funded but independently run, could have to pay more to use buildings owned by school districts. School districts would be allowed to keep more of the per-student funding for charters, and they would have more control over decisions to close the schools. (…) A separate bill seeks to pave the way for more charter schools to get local funding for construction projects.”

11) Montana: A lawsuit has been filed over the legal process for approving charter schools. “The Montana Quality Education Coalition brought the lawsuit, with members including the Montana Federation of Public Employees, the Montana School Boards Association, School Administrators of Montana, among other education organizations, and more than 100 school districts in the state of Montana. Arnzten and OPI were listed as defendants in the lawsuit.”

12) Nebraska: School voucher proponents are spending big to overcome rural resistance, the Nebraska Examiner says. “Similar dynamics have been on display over the past two years in other states where rural opponents, sometimes aligned with labor groups and teachers unions, have sought unsuccessfully to head off the widening push. (…) In the small Texas Panhandle community of Booker, which has two blinking traffic lights and is closer to Cheyenne, Wyoming, than the state capital of Austin, school Superintendent Mike Lee has similar concerns. ‘In all likelihood, that makes it where Abbott could pass vouchers,’ Lee said of the primary election results. Like many other rural school leaders, Lee said any loss of funding would make it even harder for his district to pay for basic operations and new, state-mandated safety programs launched in response to school shootings.”

13) North Carolina: Your taxpayer dollars at work, smh department. “North Carolina’s governor and the leader of the state’s largest teacher group are calling for more accountability in the school voucher program after a pastor connected to a Union Co. school that receives taxpayer money gave a sermon justifying rape.”

14) South Carolina: The Palmetto State is due to distribute $30 million to school voucher recipients even as a lawsuit hangs over its head. “The state’s high court heard a challenge to the law’s constitutionality earlier this month, but has yet to render a judgment in the case. The plaintiffs, a collection of parents, teachers and public education advocates, argue the voucher program violates the state Constitution’s ‘no aid’ clause, which prohibits public dollars from directly funding religious or other private educational institutions. Attorneys for the state respond that the voucher program is an indirect expenditure—and thus allowable under the Constitution—because parents, not the state, are directing the public dollars.”

15) Tennessee: The battle over school vouchers is being engaged by both sides from the statehouse to local communities. Republicans are dug in. “Tennessee lawmakers are expecting the legislative session to wrap up by the end of April at the very latest. But there’s a large elephant in the room, as the House and the Senate remain miles apart on their proposed education freedom voucher legislation to send public tax dollars to private schools. And both sides are staunch that their version is the better version. ‘We’re willing to sit down and have those conversations with them and try to work it out,’ Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) said. ‘It’s really up to them on if they’re willing to have any conversations about our version or not, and then we’ll see what happens.’”


16) National: The major bridge collapse in Baltimore has reopened many of the issues confronting critical infrastructure, ranging from its age and health to how and whom should pay for replacing or redeveloping it. Not surprisingly, the private equity behemoths who run the P3 infrastructure  privatization industry are out of the starting gate already. “Desperate government is our best customer,” as the saying goes. The Lever’s report that former Republican governor Larry Hogan, who is now running for the U.S. Senate, pressed for bigger ships despite safety warnings, offers an example of how infrastructure planning has been on autopilot for decades.

Of course, the lawyers are lining up for a heroic and lucrative decade-long battle, and the shipping company is proclaiming its immunity from major consequences. “While the lawyers fight, most claims will likely get paid by the insurers, including money for the bridge’s reconstruction. Then they will duke it out among themselves. Other claims might take longer, including those by the families of the people killed in the crash.” [Sub required].

On Thursday, Brookings held a brief discussion on the economic implications of the disaster.  “Q: What kinds of policy issues should we be thinking about in terms of the approach to rebuilding that span? A: So, the federal money has to be seen in that context of not just sort of the immediate construction phase, if you will, but also sort of the full life cycle of the project and who’s really picking up the tab for that. And a lot of that’s going to be at a state and local level. I mean, that’s reality for a lot of our roads and bridges across the country is that states and localities are our primary owners and operators of those facilities. And the construction phase, if you will, is just one small part of the full life cycle of those assets.” [Audio, about 15 minutes].

17) National: How does maritime infrastructure work? Brian Lehrer of WNYC sat down on his Daily Politics podcast with Peter Ford, founder of SkyRock Advisors, a port and maritime infrastructure advisor, and a member of the Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy advisory board, and Brian Buckman, professional engineer and founder and CEO of Buckman Engineering, discuss maritime and bridge infrastructure. “How is critical infrastructure built and regulated—and what systems are in place to prevent an accident like the collision in Baltimore from happening in the future?” [Audio, about 17 minutes]

18) National/California: Should Los Angeles bring back public housing? “Despite efforts to give first-time buyers a leg up, USC urban planning professor Dowell Myers said the current outlook is so bleak for young families that L.A. lawmakers should consider reviving a familiar but neglected policy—building more public housing. ‘I’m not a promoter of public housing,’ Myers said. ‘But I gotta tell you, the current crisis is so bad and we need action so quickly that it would not be out of the question.’ L.A. stopped building public housing in the 1950s, but some state and local lawmakers are now pushing for more direct government involvement in housing production. Alex Lee, who represents parts of the San Francisco Bay Area in the California Assembly, has introduced a bill that would create a government-run social housing authority to build and lease homes to families who would pay no more than 30% of their income on housing. Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a similar bill spearheaded by Lee last year. Locally, L.A. city council members Eunisses Hernandez, Nithya Raman and Hugo Soto-Martinez have expressed support for social housing models similar to those in cities like Vienna, Austria, where more than half of residents live in housing owned or subsidized by the government.” “Housing costs in L.A. County are making it difficult for families to afford nutritious food and health care. Most of L.A.’s rental housing isn’t big enough for families with kids.

19) National: The privatization industry is angling to get into the multi-billion dollar money game to replace America’s toxic lead pipes. Infrastructure Investor has run a trial balloon piece basically rehashing the P3 industry’s “risk transfer” and “social impact bond” arguments as novelties and reporting that industry players are pressuring the White House to play ball. “Our base fee is well below a market fee, so the municipality is transferring the risk to us so that if we don’t hit those incentives, it’s not a profitable engagement for us. From that perspective, it is different from traditional P3s in that there’s really no risk sharing.” [Sub required].

Should we trust these assurances that the P3 industry and their bankers would make good on those risks if they ever materialized at, say, multibillion dollar national levels? Why this massive national project should be folded into perhaps thousands of P3 structures instead of the usual government managed, design-build structures is anyone’s guess.

The Maryland Purple Line and Silver Spring metro station rebuild certainly show how quickly “risk transfer” can magically migrate onto the public’s balance sheet at hugely inflated costs compared to if it was put there in the first place. The litigation if this was expanded nationally might get us into a century of legal fees. And, of course, that doesn’t even consider the possibility that, perish the thought, private infrastructure companies decide to play hardball with the public. See, e.g., the new Financial Times report, “Are Thames Water investors ‘blackmailing’ Britain?” [Sub required]

20) California/National: Army Times reports that “the Army hopes to begin work on its first privatized barracks building for junior enlisted troops in the next year at Fort Irwin, California, according to the service’s top civilian housing official. Carla Coulson, a deputy assistant Army secretary overseeing housing and residential partnerships, spoke with Army Times on March 19. She expressed optimism for the Irwin pilot program, but emphasized that privatized barracks are not an economical housing solution at most Army installations.”

21) Georgia: Want to start a building boom in a fragile coastal area? Sell off the water and create a private political constituency. A bill privatizing water rights for Hyundai company housing has passed the state Senate. “House Bill 1146passed in the House on Crossover Day, with strong support from Savannah-area lawmakers in both chambers. However, the bill was opposed by environmental groups such as One Hundred Miles, a nonprofit who says its mission is to ‘protect and preserve Georgia’s coast.’ The bill would allow the Department of Natural Resources’ Environmental Protection Division to issue water permits to private companies, provided there isn’t a public option provided within 18 months. It is an attempt to invest in new infrastructure for an estimated 8,500 workers employed by Hyundai, located in a part of Savannah that currently has limited housing options.”

The Savannah Tribune says “the Department of Natural Resources would issue the permit. Georgia shares access to the Floridan Aquifer as a source of drinking water, a limited and dwindling resource. Stephens cites one development which announced cancellation of a project even though the developer has stated repeatedly that access to water was not the reason they backed out. Stephens also says that this is a temporary measure but once private companies can sell a limited public resource to the highest bidder with no public utility oversight, it will be difficult to rescind. Tough to put water back in a bottle once you’ve poured it out.”

22) Maryland/National: Property developers are exacerbating the housing crisis across the country, The Real News reports. “Years of meticulous investigation by The Real News reporters Taya Graham and Stephen Janis have shown how the city of Baltimore siphoned hundreds of millions of dollars in public funds to corporate developers over a period of decades. With their findings now available in a full documentary, Taya and Stephen’s investigative reporting has also spawned calls for an investigation from the State of Maryland, something which major unions in the state have also backed. Building on her previous coverage of the housing crisis engulfing the country, TRNN reporter Mel Buer speaks with Taya and Stephen on the relevance of their findings to understanding the role of property developers and municipal corruption in exacerbating the housing crisis.” [Transcript. Audio, about 37 minutes]

23) Pennsylvania: Sediment from a dam project of Pennsylvania American Water is inundating the Roaring Brook in Dunmore. “This is ruined,” said Buselli, 66, who has been fishing Roaring Brook since he was 8. “It was picturesque,” Buselli said. “You had to be here. (…) After parking his Grand Cherokee in a muddy dirt roundabout along Roaring Brook, Buselli recalled his reaction to seeing the stream when it was first flooded with sediment. ‘I cried,’ he said, removing his glasses to wipe his eyes as Roaring Brook crashed over a small, rocky waterfall behind him. Buselli volunteers to help stock Roaring Brook with trout each year, and he and other volunteers have spent about 30 years working to clean up the popular summertime recreation spot. Normally, they stock the stream with trout four times a year, starting shortly before the first day of trout fishing season. This year, opening day is April 6, and they would have stocked March 15 if it weren’t for the sediment, he said. ‘We’re not going to put fish in to die,’ Buselli said. [Sub required]

24) International/United Kingdom: “Are Thames Water investors ‘blackmailing’ Britain?” asks the Financial Times. “The ongoing saga involving the UK’s largest water company took a new turn yesterday after Thames Water said its shareholders were unwilling to stump up £500mn of fresh equity. The revelation has intensified concerns over the future of the heavily indebted company that supplies water to the population of London and beyond. Its shareholders signaled being ready to take an estimated £5bn loss on their investment on Thursday as they ruled out giving the company new equity. It has also placed Thames Water’s investors, including Chinese and Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth funds and UK and Canadian pension funds, under increasing pressure after they initially committed to putting in new money.” [Sub required]

The shareholders are looking for a public bailout, the endgame for many failed privatization schemes for decades. Others have other ideas. Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton and former U.K. Green Party leader, says, “Investors can see the writing on the wall for #ThamesWater. Endless sewage, supply outages and no money to sort it out. It’s clear Thames Water cannot run this vital public service—none of these companies can. We need to bring them all into public ownership.” The BBC reports that  “sewage spills into English rivers and seas have more than doubled.”

See WeOwnIt’s open letter to calling on the government to nationalize Thames Water permanently. “Now is the time to make Thames Water accountable to its real stakeholders—bill-payers, workers, communities and environmental groups as well as democratically elected local councilors. We call on the government to defend the public interest, end the rip off and clean up our rivers. Right now the government seems to be planning to bail out Thames Water. This would be financially irresponsible and morally wrong.”

25) International/Pakistan: The government is selling off the country’s main aviation assets. Seven global firms are hungrily eyeing Pakistan’s airports, and the national airline is up for grabs.

Public Services

26) National: Guards at a privatized Louisiana ICE facility have been accused of illegally pepper-spraying detainees. “Winn’s operator—private prison company LaSalle Corrections—and staff at the facility have previously come under criticism for other alleged violations, including using pepper spray to quell peaceful protests, neglecting detainees’ medical needs and improperly sending detainees to solitary confinement units. In 2021, investigators with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties recommended that ICE stop transferring immigrants to Winn, citing a “culture and conditions that can lead to abuse. The Wednesday complaint likewise demands that the facility be shut down.”

27) National/Kansas: The Kansas City Star reports that “prisoners and their families report inhumane conditions at the federal prison in Leavenworth, which has been on lockdown for weeks. The U.S. Penitentiary Leavenworth was placed on ‘modified operations status’ on March 1. In early March, the Bureau of Prisons said a firearm had possibly gotten into the facility and that ‘comprehensive searches are ongoing.’ On Wednesday, the Kansas Highway Patrol said on social media that its canine unit assisted in a sweep at the facility.”

28) Alaska: A bill has been introduced to privatize the Alaska Railroad but looks like it’s going nowhere. It was brought into the public sector under Reagan.

29) California/Think Tanks: The LA Report reports that “a new report from the University of Michigan and the non-profit group Schoolhouse Connection says in California, only one out of six babies or toddlers in unhoused families are enrolled in childhood development programs. Those programs like Early Head Start can help kids overcome the negative effects of homelessness. They can also connect families with other help from diapers all the way to housing.” [Read the report; see No. 6 above]

30) Ohio: Union busting at a public library? “When an overwhelming majority of employees at a public entity come forward in support of a union, that entity’s leadership should either voluntarily recognize the union (as the Board of Trustees at Grandview Heights Public Library did) or take a neutral stance. This prevents any public funding, resources, or administrative staff time from being used to persuade, intimidate, or obfuscate in opposition to a union – practices commonly known as ‘union-busting.’ At the Upper Arlington Public Library, workers have been made to watch anti-union videos from their Director explaining why workers don’t actually want or need a union. They are essentially being told that they didn’t do enough research, that they signed union cards without understanding what that meant. In an even more inappropriate move, the Board President took advantage of the library’s email list to send one-sided information about why he believes there is no need for a union. Rather than listening to their workers, the Director and Board of Trustees at UAPL have decided to ignore and gaslight them. What are they afraid of? At Worthington Libraries we’ve been able to make changes that are positive for workers, for administration, and for patrons.”

Carol Veach, author of the report,  is a Library Associate at Worthington Libraries and a member of Worthington Public Libraries United, Ohio Federation of Teachers Local 6606.

31) International/Canada: The Ontario Federation of Labor has told the Ontario police to stop using intimidation tactics in the municipal workers’ strike. “These workers, who are represented by CUPE 1490, are exercising their legal right to strike, which is enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The right to strike protects the tactic of picketing and union members’ ability to participate in lawful picket lines at their places of work. In contravention of those rights, the Township of Black River-Matheson issued a trespass notice on February 15, 2024 that attempts to ban the 14 bargaining unit members of CUPE 1490 from three municipal properties. Even more alarmingly, the notice claims it applies to all “members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees” and “employees from the Canadian Union of Public Employees”–regardless of their role in this particular strike.

“Despite what some members of the Council might believe, the Township is not exempt from provincial or federal labour legislation or from the Charter. Indeed, it is obliged to respect and enforce those laws and rights. (…) On behalf of our entire federation, we fully endorse the response by CUPE’s national leadership to challenge in the Superior Court of Justice the unlawful actions of the Township, and echo its call to you, in your capacity as Commissioner, to account for the alleged behavior of your officers in enabling and enforcing such acts.”

All the Rest

32) International: Even The Economist is running articles questioning the efficiency and usefulness of the massive consulting companies such as McKinsey that are sucking up huge resources from governments at all levels around the globe. They note that the companies are banking on “artificial intelligence” to turbocharge their future growth, but question this assumption. “In March the consulting firm also announced a partnership with Cohere, an AI-model builder with which McKinsey has buddied up, too. Bain has an alliance with OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT. BCG is collaborating with Anthropic, one more AI firm. Such partnerships look like a welcome source of growth for the consultants. In time, though, they could become a drag—especially if they are successful. The quicker corporate clients become comfortable with chatbots, the faster they may simply go directly to their makers in Silicon Valley. If that happens, the great eight’s short-term gains from AI could lead them towards irrelevance. That is something for all the strategy brains to stew on.”  [Sub required]. See also the Financial Times report on “AI grift.

33) National: The highly regarded National Security Archive is sounding an alarm bell about inadequate funding to process the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) workload. Where is the money for things such as government transparency going? Well according to a major, big-picture piece in the Financial Times on Thursday about the future of military contracting and the AI revolution, more and more of the military budget is going to be sucked up by high tech “solutions,” and will gradually crowd out social service sectors of the budget.

34) National/Think Tanks: Public Citizen is under attack from a dark money political operation bankrolled by multiple right-wing billionaires. “But something special happens when we challenge the tools that enable Big Business to exert undue political influence—political influence used to defend all kinds of corporate misconduct and to protect a system rigged for the corporate elite. Let’s start with the Meadows-affiliated American Accountability Foundation (AAF), which proclaims itself to be ‘the one new conservative organization the Left fears most.’ The reason AAF is attacking us goes all the way back to Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court decision that gave corporations and reactionary billionaires the ‘right’ to pour unlimited gushers of unaccountable money into our elections. As part of our leadership in the fight against that disastrous decision, we brought together a broad network of organizations to push government agencies, corporations themselves and shareholders for disclosure of corporate political spending. That network—which Public Citizen leads to this day—is called the Corporate Reform Coalition.”

IMAGE: Screenshot from YesCare’s website