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Weekend Toon Roundup 1: Screwy

Laid-off IT workers muzzled as H-1B debate heats up

By Patrick Thibodeau

IT workers are challenging the replacement of U.S. employees with foreign visa holders. Lawsuits are on the rise and workers are contacting lawmakers. Disney workers who lost their jobs on Jan. 30, 2015, are especially aggressive.

There's a reason for this.

The Disney severance package offered to them did not include a non-disparagement clause, making it easier for laid-off workers to speak out. This is in contrast to the severance offered to Northeast Utility workers.

The utility, now known as Eversource Energy and based in Connecticut and Massachusetts, laid off approximately 200 IT employees in 2014 after contracting with two India-based offshore outsourcing firms. The employees contacted local media and lawmakers to pressure the utility to abandon its outsourcing plan.

Some of the utility's IT employees had to train their foreign replacements. Failure to do so meant loss of severance. But an idea emerged to show workers' disdain for what was happening: Small American flags were placed in cubicles and along the hallway in silent protest -- flags that disappeared as the workers were terminated.



Here is Tommy Chong's PSA for Bernie Sanders


Even of you don't like sanders this is worth watching just for the humor. Lots of good memories from C and C movies.

Tommy Chong loves Bernie Sanders!

WASHINGTON (CNN) —Tommy Chong loves Bernie Sanders, and he describes that affection for the insurgent candidate in a way only Tommy Chong can.

"Bernie's like a kush, like the best kind of weed you can get, because he's the answer to all our problems," Chong told CNN this week.

To prove it, he's releasing a public service announcement supporting Sanders for president rife with the tongue-in-cheek marijuana jokes that ran throughout the "Cheech and Chong" comedies of the late '70s.

"There is one candidate who stands head and shoulders above them all who has weathered many storms and is totally ready to be the commander in chief, or the commander in kush, as I like to say," Chong said in a copy of the PSA given to CNN.

In the spot, he compares former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley to a green plant not yet ready for harvesting, and Hillary Clinton to a wilted house plant with no energy left. But Sanders, in Chong's PSA, is a glowing rose bush ready to be, ahem, harvested.



I have had it with cynical faux-realists attacking Bernie Sanders idealists

It's timid and fearful to limit ourselves to incremental change -- and it only makes the powerful more powerful

I can appreciate the concern and fear underlying the words of John Avignone (“I have had it with naïve Bernie Sanders idealists”) and Paul Krugman (who wrote a piece in the NYT saying Sanders was not realistic and we can only hope for the incremental change proposed by Hilary Clinton) and others who are choosing to support Clinton, even though they want our country to move further to the ideals and values put forth by Bernie than those expressed by Hillary.

They articulate a fear that I have heard spoken by many – Bernie is not electable and if Bernie is the Democratic nomination, a Republican (i.e., Trump) will win and we will be in a very dangerous situation. Their solution is to support Hillary rather than rally behind a candidate who — yes, has shortcomings, as do all the candidates — is trying to build a movement that would be there to support his reform efforts. He recognizes that he cannot create the meaningful and systemic change he seeks for the betterment of our country and the world on his own.

There has been throughout history, and will continue to be, a battle between two competing approaches to social change and underlying that, two worldviews. On the one hand, we have the view of Clinton and her supporters – the realists. The realists (and many involved in social change work fall into this camp) argue that we have to fight for what is achievable because otherwise we will be way worse off. In this case that means cast your vote for Hillary because she is more “realistic,” and thus more likely to win. This is essentially casting a vote for the lesser evil. This approach to social and political change is steeped in fear. Those in this camp believe that the only way we can arrive where we want to get is through incremental (i.e., realistic) change. But what they fail to understand is that those with power and money define their definition of realistic. When we narrow our vision of what is possible to what those in power tell us is possible, we actually bolster their power.

But there’s a reason people limit their vision. Putting forth a vision for radical transformation is a vulnerable and scary leap of faith. Millions of people rallied behind Obama’s call for hope. He professed that we are one country, not a nation of blacks and whites, but all one. He promised to work across the political divide to find solutions to the pressing issues before him and our nation. Within months of being in office, after the collapse of the economic system, Obama chose to bail out Wall Street rather than help Main Street, even though it was Main Street that put him in the White House.



New York Times Gets it Wrong: Bernie Sanders Not “Top Beneficiary of Outside Money”

The New York Times caused a stir by publishing a classic man-bites-dog style campaign finance story in its Friday editions titled “Bernie Sanders Is Top Beneficiary of Outside Money.” The article charges that despite his fiery campaign rhetoric against Super PACs and big money in politics, Sanders has gained much more from Super PAC spending than his Democratic opponents.

“In fact,” the Times reports, “more super PAC money has been spent so far in express support of Mr. Sanders than for either of his Democratic rivals, including Hillary Clinton, according to Federal Election Commission records.”

While more money has indeed been spent on a certain type of campaign spending in support of Sanders, the article leaves the wrong impression by suggesting that pro-Sanders Super PACs have outpaced outside groups supporting Hillary Clinton or Martin O’Malley. If that sounds confusing, that’s because the Times article hinges on a technicality in campaign finance law.

When total Super PAC spending is measured, Clinton groups are leading the way.


key paragraphs:

To debunk the claim that the nurses are outspending all pro-Clinton outside groups, one merely has to look at six months of spending and limited independent expenditure disclosures by the primary pro-Clinton Super PACs Correct the Record and Priorities USA Action. Doing so finds that pro-Clinton outside organizations have spent well over $2.2 million during this campaign cycle on staff, consultants, research, advertising, communications, advocacy, and other campaign-related expenses. If you add in pro-Clinton independent expenditures from Planned Parenthood, the Service Employees International Union, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Human Rights Campaign, the pro-Clinton total rises to more than $2.6 million.

That pro-Clinton outside money number is likely to rise dramatically after new disclosure reports are released this weekend. The Super PAC disclosures will reveal the last six months of spending in 2015. And given reports that Clinton Super PACs are sitting on a war chest that is estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars raised from wealthy individuals, corporations, and unions, the comparison to the nurses union, which raises its cash from working nurses, may look quite strange in only a few days.

Black lives like my father’s should matter. That’s why I’m endorsing Bernie Sanders.

By Erica Garner January 29 at 6:00 AM
Erica Garner is the eldest daughter of the late Eric Garner. She is an activist, mother and founder of the Garner Way Foundation.

When I talk to other black voters about this year’s presidential election, some seem ready to dismiss it. Why, they ask, should we continue to put our faith in a system that continues to fail us? And why trust leaders who don’t care about our lives?

I understand.

A year and a half ago, New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo barbarically choked my father, Eric Garner, on a Staten Island sidewalk in broad daylight. My father died that day. His death was ruled a homicide. Despite viral video footage of the incident, international media attention and widespread protests, our justice system failed to find Officer Pantaleo guilty of any crime. In fact, until a few weeks ago, the only person indicted in relation to the case was Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed it all.

As a daughter, I was devastated. As a citizen, I remain outraged — my father’s death was an absolute injustice, but not an uncommon one. By now, we know many of the other names all too well: Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Mike Brown, Rekia Boyd. But it’s only thanks to the tireless work of organizers and protesters, who take to the streets and disrupt business as usual, that we know their names at all.



Friday TOON Roundup 3 - The Rest










Friday TOON Roundup 2 - Bad Water

Friday TOON Roundup 1 - The Media and the GOP

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