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The Electoral Map If Only Millennials Had Voted – new maps based on exit polls

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There’s been a map floating around the internet claiming to show the election outcome if only millennials had voted; but it’s based on October polls, not on actual exit polling. “Alas” moderator and commentator Charles, understandably (if pedantically)1 annoyed by this, decided to make a couple of maps based on exit polls, and kindly said I could post them here.

18-24-vote-exit-polls-2016

18-29-vote-exit-polls-2016

  1. As a bit of a pendant myself, I relate to this.
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emciel
2097 days ago
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I think the thing I'm most curious about looking at this is how adding the 25-29 bracket makes some places get redder and others bluer. Why is a Utahn 27 year old more likely to vote R than their 23 year old counterpart, when the opposite appears to be true in, say, MN?
Montreal
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Historic settlement to end CA indefinite solitary confinement finalized in court

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For Immediate Release – Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Press Contact:
Mohamed Shehk – 408.910.2618 – mohamed@criticalresistance.org | Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition

OAKLAND – On Tuesday, Federal Judge Claudia Wilken approved the final agreement to end indefinite solitary confinement in California calling it humane, innovative and fair. Prisoners celebrated the settlement agreement, whose terms were agreed on last September, claiming it as a victory that bolstered their struggle for human rights.

Anne Weills, one of the attorneys representing the prisoners, pointed out that “what was missing from the courtroom were all the prisoners who risked their lives in the hunger strikes of 2011 and 2013.” She went on to say, “Yes, our litigation team did the best we could to bring our clients out of indefinite solitary confinement and into the light of day – but there is no doubt that we could not have gotten where we have with this settlement without the leadership of the brilliant, courageous, fearless and enlightened men in the Short Corridor at Pelican Bay who in 2011 set this all in motion.”

The Center for Constitutional Rights released data showing the agreement has already led to the transfer of hundreds of prisoners from segregated housing units back to the state’s general prison population.

Between preliminary approval of the California settlement in October 2015 and January 22, 2016, 686 out of a total of 1,813 prisoners entitled to reviews under the settlement have been reviewed for release into the general prisoner population; 546 of the prisoners reviewed, nearly 80 percent, have been cleared for release into general population; and 437 have actually been released from solitary confinement. The vast majority of prisoners who have been reviewed but not cleared are awaiting a higher-level prison review; most are expected to be released into general population as well. The settlement requires all first-level reviews to be complete within one year.

Jules Lobel, the attorney representing the Center for Constitutional Rights said “we look forward to the full implementation of all its terms.”

One of the longtime prisoner organizers, Mutope Duguma, cautions, “The power of the legal support and the family/community support is what literally humanized us prisoners to the rest of the world.  The countless families and friends did a remarkable job in representing us from an emotional and human perspective and our legal support represented our civil and human rights, and together they both re-humanized us as men and women. This is what made it possible for us to be able to demand such a settlement. It is with this family, community, and legal support that we demand accountable implementation of the settlement. We know what works so let’s stay the course.”

A recently released letter written by one of the main representatives of the prisoners asks that prisoners “Monitor and report on the functional implementation of prison conditions and CDCr employees, holding their feet to the ground and letting CDCr employees know that they are not above the Ashker v. Brown Settlement Agreement.”

The settlement transforms California’s use of solitary confinement from a status-based system, in which prisoners were isolated indefinitely based on vague and unsubstantiated allegations of gang affiliation, to a behavior-based system, in which solitary confinement is used only as punishment for serious rule infractions and only for determinate periods of time. It also limits the total amount of time a prisoner can spend in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay State Prison. The settlement includes a two-year monitoring period, which may be extended if the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is found to be violating prisoners’ constitutional rights or the settlement terms.

When the case was filed in 2012 on behalf of prisoners in Pelican Bay, more than 500 of them had been isolated in the SHU for over 10 years, and 78 had been there for more than 20 years. They spent 22 ½ to 24 hours every day in a cramped, concrete, windowless cell, and were denied telephone calls, physical contact with visitors, and vocational, recreational, and educational programming. Hundreds of other prisoners throughout California have been held in similar SHU conditions, and the settlement applies to all of them.

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emciel
2388 days ago
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This is awesome!
Montreal
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But wait…solar energy isn’t consequence-free!

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solarfarm

Everyone is talking about that stupid town that voted against solar energy because it would suck up the energy of the sun. So I read the story from the local paper, and hey, it wasn’t as stupid as it was made out to be, and there are actually valid arguments against solar farms.

I’m entirely in favor of more wind and solar power, but let’s not pretend there are no problems with them. The residents of Woodland, NC brought up real concerns.

Mary Hobbs has been living in Woodland for 50 years and said she has watched it slowly becoming a ghost town with no job opportunities for young people.

She said her home is surrounded by solar farms and is no longer worth its value because of those facilities.

She added that the only people profiting are the landowners who sell their land, the solar companies, and the electrical companies.

A solar farm can have a huge footprint, and is a rather passive contributor to a community. Try to imagine living in a place where large amounts of real estate are dedicated to just soaking in sunlight and turning it into electricity — that does not sound very lively or exciting, and it does have a cost to the community. I live in a place where a lot of acreage is committed to collecting solar energy and turning it into corn, and we have that same problem with young people seeing no reason to stay here.

And this next bit is a real worry:

Jane Mann said she is a local native and is concerned about the plants that make the community beautiful.

She is a retired Northampton science teacher and is concerned that photosynthesis, which depends upon sunlight, would not happen and would keep the plants from growing. She said she has observed areas near solar panels where the plants are brown and dead because they did not get enough sunlight.

You’re putting up giant panels to block sunlight from reaching the ground. Of course plants are brown and dead underneath them. Why shouldn’t you have reservations about a facility that’s going to be the equivalent of a giant parking lot to local plant and animal life?

You might argue that the next question is approaching goofiness, though.

She also questioned the high number of cancer deaths in the area, saying no one could tell her that solar panels didn’t cause cancer.

“I want to know what’s going to happen,” she said. “I want information. Enough is enough. I don’t see the profit for the town.

Except, again, there is a real reason for worry. Solar panels do contain metallic toxins and carcinogens, although it’s going to be a much bigger problem where they are manufactured. This is a case where I’m not going to laugh at someone asking the question.

The next bit seems to be generating the greatest hilarity. But it also has a less loony interpretation.

Bobby Mann said he watched communities dry up when I-95 came along and warned that would happen to Woodland because of the solar farms.

“You’re killing your town,” he said. “All the young people are going to move out.”

He said the solar farms would suck up all the energy from the sun and businesses would not come to Woodland.

Yeah, I kind of suspect he’s talking about how committing large amounts of land to a solar farm would suck the energy out of the town. And it’s true: a representative from the solar farm basically told the town that it wouldn’t cost them anything, but it also wouldn’t bring in much. All the town would get is $7000 a year for training the fire department to handle potential emergencies out at the big collection of silicon and metal. And then the town voted to deny them a zoning change to build it.

I’d like to see more solar energy, but let’s recognize that it’s not without ecological consequences, and especially if you’re buying up fallow land that has other utility and other potential, it’s not crazy for a place to decide that maybe it’s in their best long term interests.

I’m not just being a luddite (usually I’m the opposite). But it is fair to point out that solar is going to have huge land use concerns, isn’t going to bring much revenue to a community, has the potential to be a source of toxins, and isn’t exactly an attraction to make the place better for residents.

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smadin
2433 days ago
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hands up who's surprised the "haw rednecks don't know science" story turned out not so simple? no one?
Boston
emciel
2420 days ago
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Montreal
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2 public comments
Courtney
2433 days ago
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This is why energy production shouldn't be a private for-profit venture in the first place
Portland, OR
srsly
2434 days ago
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Valid, but I wished he'd made the point that solar is less problematic than other energy sources.
Atlanta, Georgia
aranth
2434 days ago
NIMBY in action: a coal plant somewhere else is way better for me than a solar farm next door.
srsly
2433 days ago
^^ good point.

From Solitary Confinement at Pelican Bay, Jesse Perez Sues Guards for Retaliation, Wins $25,000

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On Nov. 25, 2015, a federal jury awarded $25,000 in damages to Jesse Perez, who had sued guards for trashing his cell in retaliation for his lawsuit against the prison and for his stand against solitary confinement.

By filing the lawsuit, Perez wrote that he sought the “opportunity to shine a public light at trial and rein in what prisoner activists often endure in exercising their constitutional rights: the retaliatory abuse of the department’s disciplinary process by prison guards.”

Jesse Perez, 35, is from Colton in San Bernardino County and has been imprisoned since age 15. He was sent to the Security Housing Unit at Pelican Bay in December 2003 and was held there for 10 years. He took part in all three hunger strikes in 2011 and 2013, protesting prolonged isolation.

Perez’s lawyer, Randall Lee, said the verdict sends “a resounding message that the rights guaranteed under the First Amendment are sacrosanct for all of us — even a prisoner in solitary confinement at Pelican Bay.”

IMG_4479

Jesse Perez, 2nd from the left, with his legal team in his successful civil rights case about guards’ retaliation – Randall Lee, lead attorney, Jesse, Katie Moran, Matthew Benedetto

The case is based on Jesse Perez challenging the legitimacy of a CDCr gang validation pro se in 2005. He was assigned counsel after a state dismissal motion was defeated. defeated and his winning a settlement. After his attorneys’ filed a Reply Brief, the CDCr reached out to him to settle the case, which he ultimately did in 2013. Perez received a monetary award as well as the right to have his gang affiliation reevaluated.

This is similar to the CDCr settling the Ashker case as the state of CA wants to avoid having to be held publicly accountable and to be subjected to scrutiny and interrogation in court.

In the current civil suit, his attorneys argued that guards retaliated against Perez for exercising his right to file a lawsuit and in response to successfully litigating human rights challenges – in this case the gang validation.

Perez argued that guards retaliated against him for exercising his right to file a lawsuit and in response to his successful litigating for his human rights and to overturn
his baseless gang validation.

During settlement negotiations in his initial lawsuit, which CDCr could anticipate would be successful for Perez and require a re-review of his ‘gang validation’, four officers forced Perez to strip, removed all of his legal paperwork, and trashed his cell.  In the process, one officer stated, “you might have been able to win some money from us, but we will make sure that you stay [in solitary] where you belong.” Perez did not get all of his property back.  He was later charged with a serious rules violation for “willfully obstructing the officers” during that search, for which he was ultimately found Not Guilty.

Jesse Perez states “As prisoner activists seeking to make positive contributions to the interest and human dignity of prisoners, we understand that the trappings of power enjoyed by guards represent the biggest obstacle to significant and lasting progress.”

By filing the lawsuit, Perez writes that he seeks the “opportunity to shine a public light at trial and rein-in what prisoner activists often endure in exercising their constitutional rights: the retaliatory abuse of the department’s disciplinary process by prison guards.”

In his testimony Jesse Perez stated that he filed this case to defend what minimal human rights he retains as a prisoner.  He also said that the officers he is suing represent a backlash that prisoners commonly experience when they speak out to access their constitutional rights. Jesse wants to inform and empower the public, as the CDCr is unable to investigate and reform itself.

In Jesse’s testimony he made clear:

“Our system of law requires prisoners like me and many others to surrender our freedom, but our laws do not require us, and we refuse to, surrender our human dignity or the minimal constitutional rights that we retain even after crossing the prison gates.”

“So for me, we’re here because prison officials decided to punish me for exercising my constitutional right to file a lawsuit against their colleague…They unnecessarily confiscated important legal documents that I had. They trashed my cell. And then they wrote a false disciplinary report in order to keep me in solitary confinement.

“This cell was my whole world for the multiple years that I was in there. It’s the only space where I was able to experience the little bit of life that exists in solitary. They didn’t just take my stuff. They took the only possessions that I had. It’s all I had. So to me it was a huge deal.

“I think the officers’ actions also represent the sort of backlash that prisoners often have to hazard when speaking out or exercising their constitutional rights. So to me, we’re also here so that we can both inform and empower the public to deal with this continued corrupt course of conduct. Because in our reality, the CDCR seems incapable or unwilling to do so. So that’s why we’re here.”

Predictably, attorneys for the CDCr tried to discredit Perez’s testimony as well as that of other prisoners who testified in support of his argument.

Perez’s case is not the only instance of guards’ retaliation against prisoners for their basic expression of civil rights and political activism. Since August, prisoners inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison state prison say they have been awoken every half-hour by prison guards in a practice that amounts to sleep deprivation. The policy is known as security and welfare checks, during which prison guards ‘check on inmates’ in segregated housing, including solitary confinement cells, every 30 minutes –48 times every day, to make sure they are “not injuring themselves or trying to kill themselves.”

Perez’s case is not the only recent instance of guards’ retaliation against prisoners for their basic expression of
civil rights and political activism.

Not coincidentally, these checks started in early August, as CDCr anticipated the prisoners’ victory landmark settlement in Ashker v Brown, which significantly reduced California’s ability to keep people in solitary confinement – and overturned a system of gang validation used to justify decades of isolation for hundreds of prisoners, often because of their organizing resistance to conditions and general political beliefs.

This post includes links and information from the San Francisco Bay View and Freedom Archives

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Article by Bob Egelko of the SF Chronicle: Inmate retaliated against by guards gets $25,000 in damages
http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Inmate-retaliated-against-by-guards-gets-25-000-6659118.php


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emciel
2437 days ago
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Important news from California's prisons:
Montreal
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Temperature swings caused by climate change may increase death rate

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We know that climate change promises to increase average temperatures, but we don’t yet understand exactly what kinds of variability this may introduce on a local level. We also know that extreme temperatures are dangerous for people, but our overall understanding of the relationship between fluctuating seasonal temperatures and health is pretty poor.

It’s important to figure out how different temperatures affect people’s health so that health systems can be adapted to prepare for the effects of global warming. We know that extreme heat kills people, and we also know that extreme cold kills people. But where does the balance sit in a warming world?

A paper in Nature Climate Change this week compares the death rates of people over the age of 65 in New England to temperature records. Although we can probably expect more extreme heat in future, and possibly (although not definitely) less extreme cold, the study suggests that milder winters wouldn't compensate for more extreme summers. Intriguingly, the study also finds that rapidly fluctuating temperatures are dangerous all on their own.

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emciel
2586 days ago
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Seems like common sense, but interesting to see proof.
Montreal
smadin
2586 days ago
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um, no kidding?
Boston
WorldMaker
2581 days ago
Since reading about the Climate Scientist [cetation needed] that was panicked about Artic/Greenland/Antarctic methane rates I've been in a mild panic myself... (His observation was that methane release is following the worst case curves and much of the 2050 prevention plans, which we screwed up anyway, were based on average curves... The implication being we should all be talking about preventing the apocalypse of 2020 or so...)
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Overtime!

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Speaking of progressive regulatory measures that would have a material impact on millions of workers, President Obama just announced that he’ll be lifting the cap on overtime regulations for salaried workers to $50,000 a year from its previously negligible level of $23,600 a year.

According to the EPI, this means 15 million workers just got a big raise. Congratulations!

Most of us are familiar with overtime from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s regulations for hourly workers – that once you go over 40 hours a week, you get paid time-and-a-half. However, salaried workers are also eligible for overtime, with a statutory ceiling on who this applies to in order to ensure that benefits are going to workers rather than to management.

The problem is that this statutory ceiling wasn’t indexed to inflation. As the EPI notes, back in the 1970s, some 62% of salaried workers were eligible for overtime, but forty years of inflation gradually pulled more and more workers over that line while making the $23,600 limit no longer a marker of affluence but a sub-poverty income for a family of four. As a result, previous to this ruling, only 8% of salaried workers in America actually qualified for overtime.

As someone who’s in the early stages of research on the history of the minimum wage, this regulatory history is illustrative of two important factors in public policy. First, the power of inertia – just as the only thing that conservatives had to do to kneecap the minimum wage was to sit on it for a decade until inflation destroyed its real value, the only thing that turned overtime regulations into a dead letter was 29 years of inaction. (This raises a secondary question as to why Carter and Clinton completely failed to address this issue, and why Obama waited until now to issue this regulation, instead of doing in January 2009)

Both progressives and policy scholars tend to focus first and foremost on enactment of legislation, only secondarily on enforcement, and almost never look at the power of inaction. Our counterparts on the right have made a much better study on how to turn the status quo to their advantage, such that they only have to batten on to one of the many veto points in the American state to not merely prevent progressives from achieving victory but also to achieve their policy aims. Given that periods of progressive reform are rather rare in American history, we would be wise to start thinking about ways of designing public policy that would harness inaction to progressive ends rather than requiring us to leap giant legislative hurdles to keep what we have, let alone make advances.

Second, it speaks to the necessity for progressives of being thorough and comprehensive in our struggle to deal with income inequality. Between 1938 and 1975, overtime regulations were a major factor in the growth of the American middle class of both blue- and white-collar varieties, part of that New Deal system of social protection that looks far more robust in retrospect that it did at the time. However, fixing overtime regulations hasn’t exactly been high on the list of progressive priorities. It’s just not as sexy as the Fight for 15 – it’s focused primarily at helping “missing class” and middle class salaried workers, rather than the most oppressed. It’s also an area where attention to legislative draftsmanship trumps direct action.

None of that makes it less critical for progressives. I’ve long believed that progressives need to fight inequality all the way up and all the way down, rather than only focusing on the top of the 1% and the bottom of the 99%. As we’re trying to lift people out of poverty, we also need to be looking at making sure that people can progress out of near-poverty, both because we want people to have a better standard of living than just above our rather stingy poverty line, and because we want to make sure that people don’t fall back down into poverty.

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emciel
2601 days ago
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Great news on an issue I hadn't heard much about (via @scottmadin)
Montreal
smadin
2601 days ago
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This is pretty good.
Boston
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kazriko
2592 days ago
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Eh, probably not terrible. Though I still think we need to find some middle ground between salaried 0x pay for overtime and hourly 1.5x pay for overtime.
Colorado Plateau
superiphi
2096 days ago
As a business owner, having to pay extra for overtime might force you to think about what is necessary, and perhaps either figure out the time sinks, or whether an additional hire might not be better both monetarily and for resilience and productivity... Otherwise, squeeze an extra 10 hours out of everyone for free is a lazy temptation. Even though if you do that on a routine basis you will fall apart should there ever be a crisis
Courtney
2600 days ago
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This just made life a lot different for a lot of working class and middle class people, damn.
Portland, OR
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