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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
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Journal Archives

Robert Reich: They’ve marginalized Bernie at every turn

“Bernie did well last weekend but he can’t possibly win the nomination,” a friend told me for what seemed like the thousandth time, attaching an article from the Washington Postthat shows how far behind Bernie remains in delegates.

Wait a minute. Last Tuesday, Sanders won 78 percent of the vote in Idaho and 79 percent in Utah. This past Saturday, he took 82 percent of the vote in Alaska, 73 percent in Washington, and 70 percent in Hawaii.

In fact, since March 15, Bernie has won six out of the seven Democratic primary contests with an average margin of victory of 40 points. Those victories have given him roughly a one hundred additional pledged delegates.

As of now, Hillary Clinton has 54.9 percent of the pledged delegates to Bernie Sanders’s 45.1 percent.That’s still a sizable gap – but it doesn’t make Bernie an impossibility.

Moreover, there are 22 states to go with nearly 45 percent of pledged delegates still up for grabs – and Bernie has positive momentum in almost all of them.



the skylines of the future

Interesting contest. Many look like the covers of SF books...

Rain-making buildings and a bee hive-like tower covered in buzzing drones -- these are the structures that could shape the skylines of the future.

Both concepts were submitted to the annual eVolo Skyscraper Competition, which invites young architects and designers from around the world to identify technological and environmental trends or problems, and design skyscrapers that respond to them.
This year, 489 designs were submitted, from which 3 finalists and 21 honorable mentions were selected.



Texas Forced This Woman to Deliver a Stillborn Baby

Brandy Zadrozny

Twenty weeks into Taylor Mahaffey’s pregnancy, her baby started emerging from her womb, with doctors powerless to stop it—and because of Texas’s fetal pain law, all the hospital could do was send her home.

Daniel and Taylor Mahaffey were 20 weeks pregnant and desperately wanted their child, but when doctors informed them a complication meant the fetus had no chance of survival, they just wanted their baby’s suffering to end. Yet because of their state’s “fetal pain” law, the married Texans say they were forced to endure a stillbirth and wait as their baby slowly died in utero.

The Mahaffeys had begun decorating the nursery in anticipation for the little boy they planned to name Fox, after one of the Lost Boys in Peter Pan.

On Wednesday night, Taylor, 23, felt something abnormal and since their last pregnancy ended in miscarriage, they rushed to the hospital. By the time they got there, Fox’s feet were already pushing through his mother’s cervix. Doctors tried several emergency measures to stop the preterm labor, including putting Taylor on an incline in the hopes that they could perform a cervical cerclage—a procedure in which doctors stitch shut the cervix. Nothing worked. Nothing could save him.

Heartbroken, the Mahaffeys asked about their options. “The only humane thing to do at that point would be to pop the sack, and let little Fox come into this world too early to survive outside,” 29-year-old Daniel Mahaffey wrote Monday, telling his story on Reddit.

more (warning graphic image)


Bernie Sanders angling to top last month’s eye-popping fundraising performance

In a testament to his staying power in the Democratic presidential race, the campaign of Bernie Sanders said Thursday that he is on the verge of raising more money in March than the pace-setting $43.5 million he brought in during February.

Aides to the senator from Vermont said he has raised more than $39 million so far during March — the vast majority of it online — as the campaign touted a final-day push to top last month's figure.

Sanders's haul in February far exceeded that of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, who reported bringing in $30.1 million in February. That was the second month in a row that Sanders outraised Clinton.

As part of their pitch, Sanders's aides noted the fundraising numbers they report for March will be the last before key primaries in Wisconsin and New York.



US women's team files wage-discrimination action vs. US Soccer

Source: ESPN

Five members of the US women's national soccer team -- including Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan -- have filed on behalf of the entire team a wage-discrimination action against the US Soccer Federation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The filing, citing figures from the USSF's 2015 financial report, says that despite the women's team generating nearly $20 million more revenue last year than the US men's team, the women are paid almost four times less.

"Recently, it has become clear that the Federation has no intention of providing us equal pay for equal work," said Megan Rapinoe in a press release, after also attaching her name to the filing along with Becky Sauerbrunn.

The action was filed by the law firm of Winston & Strewn and its co-chairman Jeffrey Kessler, who has represented numerous players' unions and athletes -- including Tom Brady and Ray Rice -- in disputes with professional leagues and organizations.

Read more: http://espn.go.com/espnw/sports/article/15102506/women-national-team-files-wage-discrimination-action-vs-us-soccer-federation

Thursday Toon Roundup 2: The Rest








Thursday Toon Roundup 1: The He-Man Women-Haters Club

Thursday Bernie Group Toons

Education in Crisis and the Threat of Privatization

There is a crisis regarding our public schools, but it is not the one you usually read about

by Diane Ravitch

It has become conventional wisdom that “education is in crisis.” I have been asked about this question by many interviewers. They say something like: “Do you think American education is in crisis? What is the cause of the crisis?” And I answer, “Yes, there is a crisis, but it is not the one you have read about. The crisis in education today is an existential threat to the survival of public education. The threat comes from those who unfairly blame the school for social conditions, and then create a false narrative of failure. The real threat is privatization and the loss of a fundamental democratic institution.”

As we have seen again and again, the corporate education industry is eager to break into U.S. public education and turn it into a free marketplace, where they can monetize the schools and be assured of government subsidization. On the whole, these privatized institutions do not produce higher test scores than regular public schools, except for those that cherry-pick their students and exclude the neediest and lowest performing students. The promotion of privatization by philanthropies, by the U.S. Department of Education, by right-wing governors (and a few Democratic governors like Cuomo of New York and Malloy of Connecticut), by the hedge fund industry, and by a burgeoning education equities industry poses a danger to our democracy. In some communities, public schools verge on bankruptcy as charters drain their resources and their best students. Nationwide, charter schools have paved the way for vouchers by making “school choice” non-controversial.

Yes, education is in crisis. The profession of teaching is threatened by the financial powerhouse Teach for America, which sells the bizarre idea that amateurs are more successful than experienced teachers. TFA — and the belief in amateurism — has also facilitated the passage of legislation to strip teachers of basic rights to due process and of salaries tied to experience and credentials.

Education is in crisis because of the explosion of testing and the embrace by government of test scores as both the means and the end of education. The scores are treated as a measure of teacher effectiveness and school effectiveness, when they are in fact a measure of the family income of the students enrolled in the school. The worst consequence of the romance with standardized testing is that children are ranked, sorted, and assigned a value based on scores that are not necessarily scientific or objective. Children thus become instruments, tools, objects, rather than unique human beings, each with his or her own potential.


Ezra Klein and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good Tax Calculator

The website Vox (3/25/16) has what editor-in-chief Ezra Klein describes as an “excellent tax calculator” that, in its headline’s promise, “Tells You How Each Presidential Candidate’s Tax Plan Affects You.”

Actually, it does no such thing; it’s a gimmick that is entirely useless except as a deceptive advertisement for Hillary Clinton.

As a gimmick, it’s pretty simple. You put in your annual income (actually, your “expanded cash income,” which you probably don’t know even if you know what it is), whether you’re single or married and whether you have no kids, one kid, or two or more kids. And then it tells you what Donald Trump’s, Ted Cruz’s, Hillary Clinton’s and Bernie Sanders’ “plans mean for your federal tax liability.”

Let’s try it out with the US median household income ($43,585), married, two kids. You get a graphic that looks like this:

“Pay $5,110 more”—holy smokes! Stop the revolution, I want to get off! Why didn’t someone (besides Vox’s Alvin Chang) tell me that “Sanders wants to implement massive increases across the board, including on the poor”?

Maybe because he doesn’t—and you wouldn’t pay $5,110 more, or anything like it.


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