- Bank of America is attempting to outsource bank tellers to ATMs with video machines, and the labor community is fighting back:
Outside of the Bank of America branch at 95 Wall Street, a man in a robot costume did the Robot during yesterday's lunch hour. He danced along to the chants of the protesters walking in a circle outside of the branch. They were there to protest the new video teller ATMs that the company started rolling out this fall, which the new 95 Wall Street branch has recently installed.The idea of having to do banking with an outsourced video camera at an ATM machine is frightening. Good on the movement for fighting back.
As they sang, “Outsourcing ain't the way, community tellers are here to stay,” an employee who'd been hovering in the lobby with a tablet computer on his arm joined several more bankers in suits and a burly security guard.
The group of 30 or so protesters was from the Committee for Better Banks, a labor-community coalition that includes the Alliance for a Greater New York (ALIGN), Make the Road New York, New York Communities for Change (NYCC) and the Communications Workers of America union (CWA).
- A group of community activists in Washington, DC wrote a letter to a local bar critiquing the fact that it had posted a tweet opposing a proposed minimum-wage ordinance for tipped workers. Because, you know, guaranteeing a minimum income for tipped workers is a good thing. And the local right-wing press decided to declare that the entire thing is a giant conspiracy of big labor, regardless of evidence:
*Crockett works for a pro-abortion news outlet. I couldn’t find any direct links between big labor and her news outlet, but, you know, they’re probably there.Because, evidence! VLWC!
- And speaking of that particular usage of "because," my little linguist heart is tickled by this article on the new "prepositional because":
The word "because," in standard English usage, is a subordinating conjunction, which means that it connects two parts of a sentence in which one (the subordinate) explains the other. In that capacity, "because" has two distinct forms. It can be followed either by a finite clause (I'm reading this because [I saw it on the web]) or by a prepositional phrase (I'm reading this because [of the web]). These two forms are, traditionally, the only ones to which "because" lends itself.The whole thing is a fun read. Go and do likewise.
I mention all that ... because language. Because evolution. Because there is another way to use "because." Linguists are calling it the "prepositional-because." Or the "because-noun."
You probably know it better, however, as explanation by way of Internet—explanation that maximizes efficiency and irony in equal measure. I'm late because YouTube. You're reading this because procrastination. As the language writer Stan Carey delightfully sums it up: "'Because' has become a preposition, because grammar."
- Football is broken. There are way too many stories, over and over again, of women and girls being assaulted by football players only to watch the community and law enforcement rally around their assailants. The sport, and our society, need a massive culture shift.
- I don't know if it should, but pet shaming always makes me laugh.
- 50 years ago yesterday: Here's how the Washington Post reacted to the assassination of JFK.
- Ezra Klein with an important piece on the Affordable Care Act and why Republicans should actually want it to work. In part:
The Republican proposal tried to put this insight into policy by ending the huge tax break given to employer-based plans and replacing it with a $2,300 tax rebate for individuals and a $5,700 rebate for families. This change would have made it much more costly for employers to offer health insurance. As a result, many would have ended or downgraded the policies they provided. Tens of millions of Americans would have lost their insurance plans, whether they liked them or not.Basically, yes. The irony behind conservative attacks on the ACA is this: the private sector component is actually the one that is falling down on the job, while the public sector aspect is humming along beautifully.
The rollout of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been an utter and complete disaster, leading to a flowering of schadenfreude among Republicans who predicted Obamacare would be an utter and complete disaster. But the failure of the federal exchange Web site, and widespread confusion among consumers, isn’t the particular disaster Republicans had predicted. And it’s not a particularly auspicious one for Republican policy interests.
Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, for instance, is going perfectly well in states that chose to accept it. Take Oregon, which has emerged as perhaps the worst disaster zone in Obamacare’s implementation: Oregon’s state-run exchange is simply broken. More than six weeks after it was supposed to open, not a single person has successfully enrolled for insurance through it. Yet at the same time, the state has signed up more than 70,000 people for Medicaid -- reducing Oregon’s uninsured population by more than 12 percent.
Walmart caught redhanded engaging in internet astroturfing. Webstroturfing? Can that be a thing?
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