Shame on you New Hampshire…
So you know….
RCP Poll Averages
OLD: Wal-Mart is evil, hurts poor people.
NEW: Wal-Mart is closing and creating food deserts.
Wal-Mart’s decision to shutter 154 stores nationwide means that residents without cars in a neighborhood near a historically black college outside Birmingham, Ala., must cross dangerous roads on foot to get fresh produce and meat.
And people in Coal Hill, Ark., now drive 15 miles to get to the nearest supermarket and pharmacy. Low-income neighbors of Wichita State University in Kansas too have lost quick access to fresh groceries.
The store closings by the world’s largest retailer are creating three food deserts in these neighborhoods with nearly 15,000 residents combined, according to an Associated Press analysis.
One of them is in Fairfield, Ala., a hard-luck suburb of 11,000 about 8 miles west of Birmingham. The Walmart there sits on a highway marked by dreary swaths of abandoned commercial buildings, fast-food restaurants, payday-lending businesses, and gas stations.
“That gives the stores the opportunity to raise their prices because you don’t have anywhere else to go,” 66-year-old Diane Jones said as she loaded her sedan.
Besides the three new food deserts, 31 neighborhoods in 15 states will lack a place that sells fresh produce and meat once the last of the Walmarts turns off the lights by the end of this week. However, poverty is not so pervasive in those neighborhoods that they would qualify as food deserts, as defined by the federal government.
Minimum wage increase for Birmingham? “Not so fast”, says an Alabama legislator…
he fate of the City of Birmingham’s minimum wage increase could hinge on a proposal by a Mountain Brook legislator.
On Tuesday, David Faulkner, R-Mountain Brook, filed a bill that would prevent cities from setting their own minimum wages. This comes on the same day the Birmingham City Council moved to push a mandatory increase to $8.50 on March 1st.
“We have over 39 cities, or around 39 cities, in Jefferson County. Can you imagine if every one of them had their own minimum wage?” said Faulkner.
He says he believes the mandatory increase will force businesses to close or slash jobs. However, workers like Shon Dawson say they need an increase to make ends meet.
“Once you get your check, you spend it on bills, and how are you going to eat? You’ve got other needs,” said Dawson.
Last August, the Birmingham City Council voted to increase the minimum wage to $8.50 by this July. They moved that up to March, although the final increase to $10.10 remains scheduled for 2017.
Faulkner argues that kind of money is not sustainable for small business or non-profits. He says both groups have reached out to him, saying they simply cannot afford to keep full staffs at that rate.
“We will see jobs moved, we will see hours reduced, and businesses. It increases their costs of having to comply with different minimum wages in different cities,” said Faulkner.
Faulkner’s bill will go into work session before it goes before the House and the Senate. If it does not pass, Birmingham’s mandatory increase goes into effect for all employers on March 1st.
Why is the state even involved in this?
Ted Cruz is possessed by a demon?
Two men with mirrors and a wooden cross interrupted a campaign event in Raymond, New Hampshire to perform an exorcism on Ted Cruz on Monday, saying that the Republican presidential candidate was “possessed by a demon.”
According to The Dallas Morning News, Cruz had just finished his stump speech when the men began shouting at the candidate.
“Ted Cruz look in the mirror and let the evil spirit depart!” one man exclaimed. “He’s possessed by a demon!”
As the crowd booed, Cruz suggested that the “very confused fellow” was part of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ campaign.
“He’s possessed by a demon!” the man yelled. “The demon has to leave. That’s why the body is so disgusting to look at!”
A second man holding a mirror urged Cruz to look at himself so “the evil can confront itself.”
“Evil body! Evil spirit. Look yourself in the mirror!” the man said.
As the men were being removed from the building by police officers, Cruz noted that the interruption was an “odd thing.”
“Usually lefties don’t believe in God,” Cruz quipped.
Why couldn’t this have been Donald Trump?
As scientists investigate a reported death from a meteorite strike in southern India over the weekend, we wondered about the probability of such a fatal accident. Most people have the sense that meteorite strikes on people are exceedingly rare, but how rare?
Putting a probability number on the chances of being hit by a space rock is difficult, since the events are so rare. Still, Tulane University earth sciences professorStephen A. Nelson published a paper in 2014 that made the effort. He put the lifetime odds of dying from a local meteorite, asteroid, or comet impact at 1 in 1,600,000.
Compared with 1 in 90 for a car accident, 1 in 250 for a fire, 1 in 60,000 for a tornado, 1 in 135,000 for lightning, 1 in 8 million for a shark attack, or 1 in 195 million for winning the PowerBall lottery.
Nelson put the risk of dying from a large, global asteroid or comet impact at 1 in 75,000. If that seems surprisingly high, it’s because when massive objects have hit the Earth in the geologic past, they have wiped out millions of organisms, even whole species. Most of the creatures aren’t killed from the direct impact, but from the aftereffects, which include heat, radiation, and dust that clouds out the sun.
Astronomer Alan Harris made a similar calculation, finding that a human being has a 1 in 700,000 chance of getting killed by an impact from space in their lifetime, with most of the risk coming from a large-scale event.
It’s unclear what evidence will emerge from this week’s incident in India, but if it does prove to have been a meteorite, it will be remembered as a highly unusual accident.
Are they trying to help Trump?
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