Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Last Call For Not Everything In The Cosmos

Of course you knew some red state Fox affiliate was going to cut any mention of evolution out of the new Cosmos series.  Accidentally, of course.

In what appeared to be an editing error, a Fox affiliate in Oklahoma managed to remove the only mention of evolution from Sunday night's Cosmos science documentary by cutting only 15 seconds from the broadcast.

The much-anticipated reboot of Carl Sagan's legendary Cosmos premiered on Sunday with an overview of the history of the Universe, from the Big Bang to the advent of humans.

It wasn't until the last 10 minutes of the show that host Neil deGrasse Tyson hinted at human evolution.

"We are newcomers to the Cosmos," he explained. "Our own story only begins on the last night of the cosmic year."

"Three and a half million years ago, our ancestors -- your and mine left these traces," Tyson said, pointing to footprints. "We stood up and parted ways from them. Once we were standing on two feet, our eyes were no longer fixated on the ground. Now, we were free to look up and wonder."

But for viewers of KOKH-TV in Oklahoma City, that 15 second paragraph was replaced by an awkwardly-inserted commercial for the evening news. The edit was caught on video and uploaded to YouTube by Adam Bates.

Yep, totally a mistake.   Pretending evolution doesn't exist, well, have to keep those Oklahomans happy.  Hell, they might have learned something, and we can't have that.

Time For More Time And A Half

In the age of record corporate profits, President Obama will use power given to him by Congress through the Fair Standards Labor Act to classify more salaried professional workers as eligible for overtime.

On Thursday, the president will direct the Labor Department to revamp its regulations to require overtime pay for several million additional fast-food managers, loan officers, computer technicians and others whom many businesses currently classify as “executive or professional” employees to avoid paying them overtime, according to White House officials briefed on the announcement.

Mr. Obama’s decision to use his executive authority to change the nation’s overtime rules is likely to be seen as a challenge to Republicans in Congress, who have already blocked most of the president’s economic agenda and have said they intend to fight his proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour from $7.25.

Bush used the FSLA to push the number down to its current threshold, $455 a week, or about $11.38 an hour, back in 2004. 

Keep in mind that comes out to under $24,000 a year.  If you make the equivalent of more than that, and your job is management or  technical in nature where your workload isn't directly determined by others (like help desk or customer service), the dirty secret of the business world is that you're salaried and get worked however many hours over 40 you can be worked, no OT.  This is especially the case in management and in IT/clerical positions.  Pretty fun to work a job making two grand a month and have to put in 60-70 hours a week, every week, right?  Why, that works out to making less than minimum wage...

In addition, Mr. Obama will try to change rules that allow employers to define which workers are exempt from receiving overtime based on the kind of work they perform. Under current rules, if an employer declares that an employee’s primary responsibility is executive, such as overseeing a cleanup crew, then that worker can be exempted from overtime.

White House officials said those rules were sometimes abused by employers in an attempt to avoid paying overtime. The new rules could require that employees perform a minimum percentage of “executive” work before they can be exempted from qualifying for overtime pay.

“Under current rules, it literally means that you can spend 95 percent of the time sweeping floors and stocking shelves, and if you’re responsible for supervising people 5 percent of the time, you can then be considered executive and be exempt,” said Ross Eisenbrey, a vice president of the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal research organization in Washington.

Needless to say, Republicans are howling.  After all, Bush got businesses the power to classify millions of workers as "executive" and leave them stuck working nights and weekends for free.  They loved him for it.  Obama is about to piss some people off.

And I say good.

My Old (Hatred) Kentucky Home

Once again my state manages to distinguish itself in the field of awfulness over equality.

Sunrise Children’s Services is working to recover from a massive budget shortfall after Kentucky churches withheld $7 million because the children’s home had proposed ending its policy of discrimination against LGBT employees.

Bill Smithwick, the then-director of Sunrise Children’s Services, proposed last year that the home allow employees who were openly gay and lesbian over fears that government funding would dry up.

After churches in Kentucky began withholding their donations, Smithwick was forced to resign, and the children’s home did not change its policy.

But the damage was done, and Sunrise Children’s Services was already facing a $7 million budget shortfall, according to WDRB.

So the Kentucky Baptists Convention instructed churches to withhold donating money to kids in need because of gay people.  And the whole reason Smithwick decided not to discriminate?  It's federal goddamn law to not discriminate, that's why.

Smithwick was in his 16th year at the helm of Sunrise when he floated the proposal to open employment to gays. He had said he feared the agency's ban would eventually lead to a loss of millions in government funding, meaning the agency would have to drastically scale back its budget, since most of its funding — Smithwick said 85 percent of about $27 million — comes from government sources.

So yes, these "good Christians" are more than willing to let these kids rot because gay people are so awful.  You want our money to keep these kids in food and shelter?  You have to hate fags.

That's a hell of a lesson to teach these kids.


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