Posts Tagged ‘California Nurses Association’



Jerry Brown: Grasshopper or Lotus Flower?

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Today, Calbuzzard cartoonist Tom Meyer provides a rare, behind-the-scenes peek inside the inner sanctum of the state Attorney General’s campaign headquarters, and finds the Democratic nominee for governor… sitting on his ass. With anxious Democrats from one end of the state to the other wetting the bed over Krusty the General’s Sun Tzu fight-by-indirection approach to the battle for governor (“He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious” ) to be disquieting, if not downright scary. Meyer reports that Brown is nothing if not focused. What exactly it is he’s focused on is another issue.

Just in time for Christmas! Calbuzzers interested in owning a full color print of a Meyer cartoon (suitable for framing) should email Tom at tom@meyertoons.com .

As the world of eMeg turns: It’s a close call whether Meg Whitman’s performance on the campaign trail this week bore more resemblance to a) one of those old Saturday Night Live skits where Chevy Chase falls down a flight of stairs, trips, knocks over a full banquet table and lands flat on his ass or b) Professor Irwin Corey explaining the meaning of life:

One of the things that you’ve got to understand is that we’ve got to develop a continuity in order to relate to exacerbate those whose curiosity has not been defended, yet the information given can no longer be used as allegoric because the defendant does not use the evidence which can be substantiated by…What was the question?

While endlessly entertaining for the California press corps, eMeg’s inability to keep straight what she said a day or two before, let alone the primary, about immigration or immigration or immigration or state worker furloughs put her at times in Sarah Palin territory, if not quite at the level of Michelle Bachmann.

Given eMeg’s proven inability to speak consistently, if not coherently, about major issues that you’d like to think she was catching on about by now, it’s no surprise that Calbuzz hears on the street that she’s doubling down on her current L.A. TV buys – putting her in the neighborhood of $1.2 million a week – a quick and nifty way to make sure voters hear what her handlers want her message to be, even if she’s not quite capable of saying it herself.

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!

P.S. We also hear that the next round of eMeg ads will include a batch of new positives. Concerned about the unfavorable image voters have of her, look for her well-paid and well-fed Svengalis to roll out the Meg Whitman Charm Offensive before long.

Anonymous sources always welcome here: A mere 28 months before the presidential election, coat holders for eMeg mentor Mitt Romney and potential rival Palin are already trading cheap insults under cover of anonymity granted them by national political reporters who just can’t wait to get things going.

It started when Time’s Mark Halperin quoted a couple of Romney advisers: “If she’s standing up there in a debate and the answers are more than 15 seconds long, she’s in trouble,” said one. “She’s not a serious human being,” chipped in another.

Then Politico joined the fray, quoting an unnamed Palin partisan returning fire. And Huffpost media writer Jason Linkins is the only reporter to date to notice the circle-within-circles absurdity of Politico’s sourcing of this blind quote:

“For Washington consultants to sit around and personally disparage the governor anonymously to reporters is unfortunate and counterproductive and frankly immature,” said the aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

As Linkins noted: “It’s as if words have no meaning at all.”

How many times do we have to tell you guys to hire a copy editor: Speaking of linguistic nullity, the Empire of eMeg struck again after the big California Nurses Association protest outside her Atherton spread, when a newly-anointed member of the Meg Whitman Nurses Advisory Committee snarled that “this partisan union is going to obscene lengths to win Jerry Brown’s third term,” and then concluded with this clunker, captured forever by the Coco Times:

“The CNA is shamelessly misrepresenting a respected profession for partisan political gain and it’s a shame.”

Shamefully, their shamelessness apparently still has a shame. For shame.

3-Dot Cheap Shots: DiFi, eMeg, iCarly and Krusty

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Buzz kill: Calbuzz is scratching our collective head at the sight of the MSM prominently displaying stories about Senator Dianne Feinstein’s declaration of opposition to Proposition 19, the November ballot measure to legalize pot: Why exactly is this news?

From her earliest days in politics, DiFi’s political antennae have always been hyper-attuned to the slightest possibility that somewhere, someone might be having fun.

Her nickname around City Hall was “Goody Two Shoes,” and one citizen of San Francisco’s gay community famously summed up her well-earned school marm reputation:  “Dianne Feinstein doesn’t care who you sleep with, as long as you’re in bed by eleven o’clock.”

The Senior Senator from California, in fact, first made a name for herself in the ‘60s by carrying on a one-woman crusade against the production and presentation of X-rated movies in S.F., where entrepreneurs such as the infamous Mitchell Brothers were then pioneering the genre with aesthetic and commercial successes like “Behind the Green Door.”

The controversy Feinstein generated greatly raised her profile, at a time she was preparing to launch her first bid for office, a fabulously successful effort that made her the first woman elected president of the Board of Supervisors.

But her anti-smut campaign did not earn unanimous acclaim in Baghdad by the Bay: the late Charles de Young Thieriot, then publisher of the Chronicle, threw her out of his office when she came in to demand he stop running ads for adult theaters in the paper, while Charles McCabe,  a cranky and literate libertarian scribbler for the Chron, bashed her as a prudish busybody in a series of columns headlined, “Dianne Faces Life.”

What really moved Mrs. Feinstein to her little adventure, and her later demand that right-mindedness be enacted on all of us is something you don’t have to be a big brain to figure out. The real reason lies in the hearts and minds of a segment of elderly Irish biddies and Jewish mothers and Italian mama mias and German hausfraus. These ladies, most of whom are mothers, are threatened by porno and take an awfully strong line on the same subject. This they communicate one way or another, and often through priests and rabbis who have a vested interest in sin, to their duly elected representatives of whom Mrs. Feinstein is one. And conscientious.

The way to prevent the men from indulging their brutish natures is to pass laws, and more laws, and still more laws, to keep their pants firmly zipped at all times, except when the population explosion is to be assisted.

Roll ‘em and smoke ‘em Dianne.

eMeg to the ER stat: Here’s another thing we don’t understand: Why Meg Whitman keeps picking fights with the California Nurses’ Association.

Having already erected a new web site exclusively dedicated to brawling with the nurses’ union, and sent a personal letter to every member of the CNA, Her Megness announced yesterday that she is “forming an advisory board of nurses to advise her on issues during the campaign.”

The “Meg Whitman Nurses’ Advisory Board.” Got a real ring to it, no?

For their part, the nurses have announced a big demonstration and town meeting in Whitman’s home town of Atherton Thursday night, which is scheduled to include a stop at eMeg’s estate. So it looks like the baffling battle will only escalate.

Yeah, we get that Team eMeg has so much money they can afford a whole separate campaign against the nurses, while simultaneously running against Jerry Brown. But what’s the political play here exactly?

We consulted with Dr. P.J. Hackenflack, our staff psychiatrist and chief of medicine at Calbuzz Memorial Hospital and Outpatient Veterinary Clinic, who offered five possible reasons:

a–She’s still bitter that she didn’t get into medical school because organic chemistry kicked her butt.

b-If you’re going to start busting unions why not begin with one of the most popular in the state?

c-Murphy’s still pissed the nurses rolled him in his failed initiatives campaign for Arnold.

d-eMeg feels a special connection to the helping profession because her husband is a famous neurosurgeon (memo to Meg: don’t count on nurses being overly enamored of a guy named Dr. Harsh).

e- She really doesn’t like that whole “Queen Meg” thing.

Calbuzz sez: b) and e).

Grisly grizzlies: Setting the bar higher than ever for Republican whack job women, Nevada Tea Partier Sharron Angle has announced that God is behind her challenge to Senator Harry Reid,  a development that caused Calbuzz considerable concern that our own Hurricane Carly Fiorina may be falling way behind in the female division of the knuckledragger sweepstakes.

So we were delighted to learn from the Orange County Register that iCarly was recently blessed with a campaign contribution from Sarah Palin,  the Queen High Wingnut of Amazon Republicanism herself, who’s traveling the country on a mission to elect battalions of what she calls “Mama Grizzlies.”

As she trumpets Palin’s personal endorsement, Carly appears to believe that Screwball Sarah’s seal of approval will win hearts and minds throughout the state, which is only one of many big differences she has with her rival, incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer, whose campaign is working to drive traffic to a web video examining the Republican sisterhood of the traveling pants suits.

While Whitman has so far cautiously kept her distance from the tenets of Palinism, Neanderthal Carly has bought the whole package, eagerly embracing the right-wing’s positions  on abortion rights, climate change, gun control, immigration and offshore oil drilling, among others.

So completely has Fiorina festooned herself as a “pro-life feminist,” that one prominent anti-choice leader recently told our pal Carla Marinucci, that Carly “now stands tall alongside Palin and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, in a pantheon of new female political leaders.”

Michele Bachmann. Wow. Makes you proud to be a Californian, doesn’t it?

Historical Footfault: “If there is another $100 million spent on the Republican side, we will have our message,” Jerry Brown told KGO the other day. “Everyone in this state who votes will have more information than they want.”

So when will Krusty and His Band of Merry Guerillas unload their muskets? 

“So we’re holding our fire,” Brown said, although not apparently remembering first-hand. ” If you remember the Battle of Lexington, the American revolutionaries said wait until you see the whites of their eyes before you start firing.”

Except — as most school children know –  if it was said at all, it was said by one of the colonial commanders — Israel Putnam, John Stark, William Prescott or Richard Gridley — at the Battle of Bunker Hill, not the Battle of Lexington.

Jerry Brown Sex Scandal Meets eMeg’s Pixel Dust

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

This just in – 34 years after the fact.

Former White House Press Secretary and  Calbuzz old friend Mike McCurry on Thursday revealed that his first job in politics was working for Jerry Brown’s 1976 stop-Jimmy Carter campaign for president in New Jersey, where Mike had just graduated from Princeton.

McCurry shared some juicy dish from those long-ago days, as he held forth at Brews & Views, the micro-public affairs forum that Lenny Mendoca of McKinsey and Co. organizes at his Half Moon Bay Brewing Co.

It was kind of a homecoming for McCurry, who used to fish off the Pillar Point Pier in nearby Princeton-by-the Sea when he was a San Carlos teenager at the late Ravenswood High School. Sipping a  Mavericks and answering questions, he noted that his first political gig included picking up Brown one morning at his hotel, where there was a bit of a stir because the bachelor California governor had had a sleep-over visitor in his room: Linda Ronstadt.

How synchronous that Jerry’s young driver would one day go on to serve as press secretary for Bill Clinton, against whom Brown would also run in 1992, and with whom Krusty famously nearly came to blows during a presidential debate.

My page views are bigger than your page views: Must read of the week is Ken McLaughlin’s take out on Meg Whitman’s extensive use of new technology tools, the best piece we’ve read detailing the scope and specifics of how Team eMeg is adapting them for campaign purposes.

Most intriguing to us is their practice of live streaming video from Brown’s campaign events back to their headquarters, which enables them to respond in real time to his every flip, flop and foible; coincidentally, Ken’s piece ran the same day we reported on Krusty’s caterwauling about being constantly recorded by the Empire of Meg, a wheeze that underscores the considerable distance between the communications capabilities of the Democrat and Republican candidates.

The former eBay CEO’s carpet-bombing of the airwaves generated the most political buzz during her $80 million march to victory over Steve Poizner in the GOP primary. But behind the scenes, her campaign served as a laboratory for new technology that will be unleashed against her Democratic rival, Jerry Brown, in the months leading up to the Nov. 2 election.

A glimpse into Whitman’s tech spending is startling: The latest campaign expenditure reports show she had spent $2.7 million through May 22 on website development and information technology alone — seven times more than Brown spent on his entire campaign.

“The incredible amount of money Whitman is spending allows her to buy every bell and whistle ever invented,” said Larry Gerston, a San Jose State political science professor. “And it fosters the perception that Jerry Brown is late to the party.”

Gee, we must have missed his arrival.

Jack Chang’s good yarn comparing and contrasting the two campaign’s ops  touched some of the same ground, but was most notable for the extraordinary exertions of Tucker Bounds, who actually portrayed Her Megness – presumably with a straight face – as the leader of “a movement.”

We’ve been innovative in the way we communicate, and that’s a product of the campaign trying to be as effective as possible in building support for what we see as a movement type of candidate,” said campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds.

He’s right, of course: listening to Meg, we can almost the strains of Dr. King: “Rich at last, rich at last, thank God Almighty, I’m obscenely rich at last.”

There he goes being thoughtful again: NYU’s Jay Rosen is one of the most imaginative, original and articulate thinkers about the future of the news industry, and the intersection of new media, old media and politics, and his recent essay, “Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right: On the actual ideology of the American press,” despite its windy title, is worth a read for newsroom rats and political hacks alike.

Rosen rejects the clashing conventional wisdoms of the political right and left, that hold that political reporters are either a) liberal ideologues or b) corporate handmaidens, in favor of a perspective and vocabulary that examines the press as tribal creatures far more interested in the values and good opinions of peer members of what he calls “the church of the savvy” than any  belief system based on mere politics.

The Church of the Savvy…is my name for the actual belief system that prevails in political journalism….

Prohibited from joining in political struggles, dedicated to observing what is, regardless of whether it ought to be, the savvy believe that these disciplines afford them a special view of the arena, cured of excess sentiment, useless passon, ideological certitude and other defects of vision that players in the system routinely exhibit. As I wrote on Twitter the other day, “the savvy don’t say: I have a better argument than you… They say: I am closer to reality than you. And more mature.”

Now in order for this belief system to operate effectively, it has to continually position the journalist and his or her observations not as right where others are wrong, or virtuous where others are corrupt, or visionary where others are short-sighted, but as practical, hardheaded, unsentimental, and shrewd where others are didactic, ideological, and dreamy. This is part of what’s so insidious about press savviness: it tries to hog realism to itself.

Calbuzz sez check it out.

Seema seems everywhere: The ubiquitous Seema Mehta penned the best analysis of the whys and wherefores of Whitman picking a fight with the California Nurses Association as the forward shot of a broader attack to scapegoat unions as the source of most of California’s problems.

Laden with foreshadowing is the kicker of the piece, a strong quote from SacDem consultant Gale Kaufman, who led labor’s successful beat back of  Governor Schwarzmuscle’s attempt to make the same play back in 2005:

“She’s very used to getting her own way, and she’s used to buying things. Those two parts of her personality have become pretty clear during this campaign,” Kaufman said. “She just assumes that somehow if she bullies the unions, the unions are going to back off. Well, she doesn’t know the nurses, because they never back off.”

Today’s sign the end of civilization is near: White House press corps goes completely native.

eMeg to Calbuzz: Get Your Own Damn Mailing List

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

As loyal readers know, our Department of Political Entertainments and Gemutlich Joie de Vivre has been pining by the phone for more than nine months now, eagerly awaiting Meg Whitman’s call in response to our courteous invitation for dinner.

We’ve been patient long enough.

Knowing that Team eMeg recently sent a letter to the California Nurses Association asking for their mailing list so that their candidate could have “a free and unfettered dialogue” with the group’s members, Calbuzz on Monday morning sent a similar request to the campaign’s communications shop, seeking their help so we can let her backers know what a raw deal we’re getting on the whole dinner thing:

“We’d like to get a copy of the Whitman campaign mailing list so we can communicate directly with your supporters,” about our invite, we wrote. “Please let us know when we may expect receipt.”

To our surprise, we hadn’t heard back by 2:30 p.m. and so sent a follow-up note:

“Did you send the mailing list yet?” we said. “Think it might have gone into spam.”

Still nothing.

So we finally bestirred ourselves to pick up the phone and call a high-powered, highly-placed campaign source to find out what the hold-up with the list was.

“I’m quite busy today,” the source said unhelpfully, if not volcanically, requesting anonymity on the grounds she didn’t want her name used. Besides, the source added, eMeg’s mailing list is taken entirely from the rolls of registered voters: “It’s all publicly available information.”

So we calculated the cost of mailing a letter complaining about the Whitman campaign’s lack of responsiveness to our dinner invitation to all of California’s registered voters, at 44 cents a pop: $7,469,893.64.

Sheesh. Couch cushion change for the Whitman campaign maybe, but almost a whole month’s worth of advertising revenue for Calbuzz.

Well, at least now we understand how frustrated eMeg must feel at the nurses’ totally unreasonable refusal to turn over their members’ personal information to her (not to mention that whole Queen Meg thing).

Believe it or not, the nurses group actually thinks a candidate for governor should show up at an event to address them in person. Maybe they should just invite her to dinner.

Update: The indefatigable Jack Chang reports over at Capitol Alert that the Whitman camp has now escalated its fight with the nurses union by launching a new web site attacking the organization’s leaders for spending money attacking eMeg.

The mouth that roars: Back when Jerry Brown was governor the first time, before indoor plumbing was installed at the Capitol, it wasn’t unusual to see him wander into one of Sacramento’s finer saloons, where he’d nurse a glass of white wine and hold forth to whatever collection of pols, hacks and press corps types happened to be assembled in good fellowship.

That image of Brown came to mind in recent days, when he got burned by one of his characteristically wide-ranging monologues, after talking to a radio reporter whom he happened to run into one morning shortly before the primary, while both were working out in the Oakland Hills.

Brown’s comparison of the Whitman media campaign to the Big Lie techniques of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels  went viral as soon as eMeg’s minions discovered it on the blog of KCBS reporter Doug Sovern, and her army of spinners did an excellent job of keeping the story alive for days after.

Putting aside the widely-known political rule that whoever makes a Nazi reference always, deservedly, gets in trouble , the most intriguing question about the flap is how an old-school candidate like Brown, who’s open, accessible, ironic, candid and seat-of-the-pants will match up in a long, internets age campaign against a closed, secretive, humorless and obsessively controlled and controlling corporate marketing machine like Team eMeg’s.

“There are many lessons to be learned here,” Sovern wrote in his blog, a few days after his 15-minutes had ended.

If you’re running for public office in the 21st century – watch every word you say, and where you say it. Just as the rest of us should assume that any email or text we send could end up being viewed by just about anyone, politicians should always assume that anything they say could be recorded or reported…Jerry Brown isn’t the first to learn this the hard way; he’s just lucky no one happened to whip out an iPhone or Flip camera and video our exchange, so the world could see him say those words, the way I reported them.

Seema Mehta cut to the heart of the conundrum in a good LAT piece examining the contrast between how Brown handled his snafu and the way Whitman disposed of a potentially damaging NYT story reporting on how Herself got angry, then got physical with an aide back in her days as CEO of eBay.

Whitman did no interviews after the reports appeared about the physical altercation. Her spokesman Tucker Bounds dismissed that as “coincidental.”

“Meg has public events planned in the near term, and I’m confident you’ll be speaking with her soon,” he said.

By contrast, Brown has barely stopped talking since his comparison of Whitman’s campaign tactics to those of Joseph Goebbels surfaced on a news blog June 10.

The comments have continued to make headlines in part because of the Whitman campaign’s efforts. Her large staff, which include veterans of presidential campaigns and teams of opposition researchers and communications specialists, has trumpeted Brown’s remarks, blasting out seven e-mails over eight days with the latest developments.

But Brown kept the matter in the spotlight himself simply by answering questions, a response that seemed reasonable but served to regularly give the story new oxygen.

Brown’s own small, Bad News Bears team of media advisers shrugged off the Goebbels matter as a no-big-deal example of Jerry Being Jerry.

They argue that, in the end, Brown’s greatest strength will be his authenticity, which they believe will match up favorably for voters against the zillion dollar artifice of Meg-a-branding.

Maybe. But there’s a difference between being a provocative, iconoclastic public intellectual and acting like crazy Uncle Bob at Thanksgiving dinner. It’s a fine line that Brown would be well served not to cross.

PS: We note that eMeg DID take a question from radio yakker and Whitman sycophant Eric Hogue in which she blithely dismissed the New York Times story about her physically shoving an eBay employee as a “misunderstanding” and a “verbal dispute,” thereby basically calling the New York Times report a lie. Wonder if the Gray Lady is gonna stand by and let eMeg smack her around (kinda like they reported she did to Young Mi Kim back in June of 2007).

Kaboom! And a Happy Earth Day to You, Too!

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

It may be a tad early to assess the political impacts of the explosion and sinking of an BP oil rig off the coast of Louisiana, but it seems safe to say that the horrific images of the disaster won’t speed up the cause of the controversial Tranquillon Ridge project in California.

The strange bedfellow alliance among and between Governor Arnold, several Santa Barbara environmental groups and the Houston-based oil company PXP recently re-launched their effort to resurrect the project, after it was turned down by the State Lands Commission and the Legislature last year.

Now, the metastasizing oil spill*** in the Gulf of Mexico, and the apparent loss of the lives of at least 11 oil workers that followed a blow-out on a rig on Tuesday night – Earth Day – provide a sudden and grim reminder of the high stakes of offshore drilling.

The T-Ridge plan calls for the lands commission to award PXP a lease to drill in state waters, the first since the 1969 Santa Barbara spill, from an existing platform in federal waters. Environmentalists on both sides of the internecine warfare over the issue insist that their position represents the  best way to prevent more spills like that now engulfing the Gulf.

In the move that split old alliances and fractured California’s environmental community, local groups in Santa Barbara have pushed the T-Ridge plan as a way to trade more drilling in the short run for less in the long run, exchanging their political support for a PXP lease to slant drill into state waters for the oil company’s legal promise – which they insist is ironclad – to cease all drilling from four federal platforms in the area within 14 years.

Amid all the political, legal and financial wrangling over the issue for the past two years, it’s hard to imagine a more powerful argument against  drilling than that presented by pictures of firefighters vainly battling the deadly and violent blaze that sunk the oil rig. It’s worth noting that the T-Ridge platform is located just over three miles from shore, far closer to land than the  Deepwater Horizon rig that sank about 50  miles off the coast of Louisiana.

Many backers of the governor’s proposal have argued that oil drilling operations have undergone huge technological advancements in the past 40 years, making unlikely a massive spill like that poisoned the Santa Barbara Channel in 1969.

Among those who have embraced the technology-makes-it-safe argument are Republican wannabe governor Steve Poizner and his front-running rival, Meg Whitman.

“When I started this process, I was against offshore oil drilling,” Whitman told reporters in Santa Barbara last year, “and then I began to understand deeply the new technology that is available to extract oil from existing wells.”

For the record, Jerry Brown does not support the T-Ridge proposal. As Attorney General, and the lawyer for the State Lands Commission, Brown’s staff recommended that the commission reject PXP’s project last year. As a candidate, Brown “does not believe off-shore drilling is the answer to our problems,” said campaign flack Sterling Clifford.

*Update: Early fears of huge spill may be unfounded.

**Update II (4/24): Now they’ve found an underwater leak a senior Coast Guard official describes as “a game changer.”

***Update III (4/27): Spill now 40 miles X 50 miles - so much for “unfounded” fears.

****Update IV (4/29): Send in the Marines.

FYI: The Associated Press reports “Since 2001, there have been 69 offshore deaths, 1,349 injuries and 858 fires and explosions in the gulf, according to the Minerals Management Service. ”

Weed whacker alert: In order to jump start the T-Ridge proposal, PXP needs to file a new application for a hearing before the lands commission and, so far, has not done so, SLC executive officer Paul Thayer told Calbuzz.

Thayer said that the commission staff, analyzed a revised version of the agreement between PXP and the Environmental Defense Center several months ago. The commission rejected the original proposal last year and still has problems with it, despite some improvements, he said.

The “beneficial aspect” of the new agreement it reviewed is that it strengthens the state’s ability to intervene legally if PXP does not honor its terms, he said. But the final authority over end dates for drilling from facilities in federal waters still rests with the Department of Interior’s Minerals Management Service, not the state: “Ultimately, MMS controls what’s going on out there.”

Thayer also cited the “precedental value” of the existing 41-year old prohibition against any new drilling leases in state waters, which has been in force since the 1969 Santa Barbara spill.

“California’s congressional delegation has made use of that,” in fighting against expansion of drilling in federal waters off the coast of California, he said.

P.S. Kudos to KQED’s John Myers for getting Abel Maldonado on the record about his stance on T-Ridge this week, in advance of his confirmation vote for lieutenant governor, a post from which he gets a deciding vote on the project on the lands commission.

Live from the California Nurses Association: Queen Meg!

The latest in guerrilla theater from the CNA, Queen Meg, escorts, a horse-drawn carriage and a proclamation that reads:
“In honor of her $150 million campaign treasury, the people of California do hereby crown Meg Whitman as Queen Meg of California.  Her husband Griffith Harsh IV is crowned Prince Griffith of Palo Alto, and the Whitman-Harsh royal motto shall be ‘Healthcare for the nobility, Education for the few, Prisons for all.’”