[caption id="attachment_316998" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]
This is fun.
Having heralded the fact his campaign staff had unionized for the 2020 campaign, and being a proponent of a nation-wide $15-an-hour minimum wage, Senator and Democrat presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders finds himself with a Union problem.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders defended his campaign’s compensation package Friday after a Washington Post story highlighted concerns among staffers that they were not receiving the $15-an-hour wages Sanders champions on the campaign trail.
"I'm very proud to be the first presidential candidate to recognize a union and negotiate a union contract," the Vermont senator and presidential candidate told the Des Moines Register in an interview Friday. "And that contract was ratified by the employees of the campaign, and it not only provides pay of at least $15 an hour, it also provides, I think, the best health care benefits that any employer can provide for our field organizers."
He also expressed frustration that staffers had taken their complaints to the media.
"It does bother me that people are going outside of the process and going to the media," he said. "That is really not acceptable. It is really not what labor negotiations are about, and it's improper."
Sanders said, ahead of a weekend Iowa campaign swing: "We are disappointed that some individuals have decided to damage the integrity of these efforts. We are involved in negotiations. And some are individuals that have decided to damage the integrity of that process before they were concluded."
Sanders said field organizers, who are the lowest-ranking members of a presidential campaign and are typically in their 20s, make $36,000 a year with 100% employer-paid health care, as well as paid vacation and sick leave.
For a staffer working 40 hours a week, that comes out to about $17 an hour. But 40-hour workweeks on presidential campaigns are rare. Sanders said the campaign will limit the number of hours staffers work to 42 or 43 each week to ensure they're making the equivalent of $15 an hour.
César Pelli, the acclaimed architect who designed some of the world's most distinct buildings, including the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, the Torre de Cristal in Madrid and the Petronas Towers in Malaysia, died on Friday at age 92.
The governor of Pelli's home province of Tucuman, Argentina, Juan Manzur, confirmed the architect's death on Twitter.
"With much regret we received the sad news of the death of the great Architect César Pelli," Manzur tweeted. "I want to extend my condolences to all his family, his friends and his team."
Pelli studied architecture at the Universidad Nacional de Tucuman and graduated in 1949. Pelli moved with his wife, Spanish landscape architect Diana Balmori, to the United States in 1952, on a scholarship to attend the University of Illinois. He became a U.S. citizen in 1964.
Upon obtaining his degree from Illinois, Pelli began working with Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen. Together, they designed the famous TWA terminal at New York's Idlewild airport, now known as John F. Kennedy airport.
In the 1960s, working for the firms DMJM and Gruen Associates California, Pelli began exploring his signature modernist style, crafting sleek, glass and steel skyscrapers. His bright-blue, glass-enclosed Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, completed in 1975, is one of Pelli's most iconic designs.
Pelli was asked to serve as dean of the Yale School of Architecture in 1977. That same year, he opened his own firm, César Pelli & Associates, in New Haven, Conn., and received the coveted opportunity to design the expansion of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
His MoMA renovation received mixed reviews, with some critics saying it lacked the ambition and innovation present in Pelli's other work. After its 1984 completion, architecture critic Paul Goldberger wrote in The New York Times that the building "is not as avant-garde by today's standards as the 1939 structure was in its time. In fact, it is not avant-garde at all, any more than most of the modern art within the museum."
Despite the criticism, that design opened the door for Pelli and his firm to take on more high-profile projects shaping the skylines of cities around the globe. The Unicredit Tower in Milan, the One Canada Square in London and the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco are all Pelli designs.
In 1991, Pelli was named one of the 10 most influential living American architects by the American Institute of Architects. In 1995, he won the Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects.
Considered one of Pelli's crowning achievements, the Malaysian Petronas Towers were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004. The glittering 88-floor, glass-facade structures were designed to evoke motifs from Islamic art.
[caption id="attachment_316781" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]
Morning Consult released their latest batch of polling, and after weeks of discussion over Senator Kamala Harris' debate performance, Elizabeth Warren's move to 3rd or 4th depending on poll, and Joe Biden having an unsteady few week, the numbers reveal....not much has changed.
Our latest Democratic primary tracking data is live:
Bernie Sanders has found his floor, sitting at 20%ish since the beginning of May. Harris had a slight uptick post debate, but has fallen back, and it looks like her and Warren are divying up the exact votes the other needs to make a run at Biden. There are three tiers of presidential hopefuls right now: the three Senators fighting for second place, the rest of the mess bumping around much lower, and Joe Biden all alone with a healthy lead. Heading into next round of debates, it's important to remember what looks amazing in the moment, like Kamala Harris' attack on Biden, might not reflect soon after in the polls.
Former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday said that under his new health care plan, people who like their insurance coverage won’t be forced to give it up.
Speaking at the AARP presidential forum in Iowa, Biden drew a contrast between his plan, which would give people a Medicare-like public option, and the “Medicare for All” plan championed by more progressive Democratic presidential candidates including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.).
“If you like your health care plan, your employer based plan, you can keep it. If in fact you have private insurance, you can keep it,” Biden said.
Biden’s speech echoed the now-infamous “if you like your doctor, you’re going to be able to keep your doctor” catchphrase former President Barack Obama repeatedly said in 2009 and 2010 when he was trying to sell the public on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.
The GOP seized on those remarks, and spent years throwing them back at Democrats to showcase what they said were ObamaCare’s failures. In 2013, PolitiFact called "if you like your health care plan, you can keep it" the "Lie of the Year."
But the law has provided 20 million people with health insurance, and it’s now more popular than ever.
Biden is running on protecting ObamaCare. He is banking the law’s popularity will convince voters that his plan of shoring up the law with more subsidies and a public option is a better approach than Medicare for All.
“You get your choice, you get full coverage … I think it’s the quickest, most reasonable rational and best way to get to universal coverage,” he said. In formally announcing his plan on Monday, Biden equated the push for Medicare for All with the GOP attempts to repeal ObamaCare.
“I understand the appeal of Medicare for All, but folks supporting it should be clear that it means getting rid of ObamaCare, and I’m not for that,” Biden said in a video announcing his plan.
Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta Resigns Amid Epstein Furor
President Donald Trump alerted reporters this morning of Acosta's departure. "This was him, not me," said Trump as Acosta stood beside him.
Trump, who saw Acosta largely as a source of favorable monthly statistics about unemployment and job growth, called Acosta "a great labor secretary not a good one" and "a tremendous talent. He's a Hispanic man, he went to Harvard, a great student." Trump indicated that he was satisfied with Acosta's explanation for the plea deal in Wednesday's news conference, saying, "He explained it."
But Acosta has had a rocky relationship in recent months with other White House officials, including acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, over the perceived slow pace of deregulation at the department. And one person familiar with the situation said that although Trump initially thought Acosta handled the Epstein controversy well, over the last couple of days the president saw the negative press and didn’t like it.
“POTUS is not a fan of bad press, especially when other people make him look bad," this person said.
Acosta, a 50-year-old Harvard-educated lawyer, came newly under fire for the lenient 2008 plea deal after Epstein was re-arrested July 6 in New York City and charged with sex trafficking. Under the earlier plea agreement, Epstein served only 13 months of an 18-month term and was permitted daily furloughs to go to the office. Epstein also was required to register as a sex offender and to pay restitution to his underage victims.
At the White House this morning, Acosta told reporters: "Over the last week I've seen a lot of coverage of the department of labor. And what I have not seen is the incredible job creation that we've seen in this economy. more than 5 million jobs, I haven't seen that.... I do not think it is right and fair for this administration's labor department to have Epstein as the focus, rather than the incredible economy that we have today."