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Excerpts from the March Harper's Index:

Chance that a pregnant U.S. woman says she is a virgin: 1 in 125

Age at which first cousins may marry, according to Utah law: 55

Projected percentage increase in the legal market for marijuana in the United States this year: 63

Percentage change in the past five years in the portion of Republicans who believe in evolution: –26

Percentage of students enrolled in a massive open online course who view no more than one lecture: 49

Percentage who complete the course: 4

Number of telephone lines on a terrorist “alert list” that were monitored daily by the NSA from 2006 to 2009: 17,835

Percentage of those lines that met the agency’s legal standard for “reasonable articulable suspicion” of terrorism: 11

Portion of Americans who spend more than half their monthly income on rent: 1/4


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2013House votes to extend federal worker pay freeze:

Federal workers whose pay has been frozen for two years should have another nine months of freeze, 218 House Republicans and 43 House Democrats voted Friday morning. The House bill's intent is to block an executive order by President Obama giving federal workers a 0.5 percent cost of living raise. It's unclear whether the Senate will take up the measure, but this marks another move by Republicans to push cuts to working people as the answer to every economic question.

The bill also puts Republican logic on display. They're advertising it as saving $11 billion, but that's $11 billion over 10 years, and we're talking about a nine-month bill. And can you imagine what the competence level of the federal employees left after 10 years of pay freeze would look like, if Republicans did extend it that far?

The argument for the bill, besides of course that workers should always be cut to spare oil companies and hedge fund billionaires from paying a little more, is that federal workers make more than private sector workers. Except that that's not exactly true. Federal workers with a high school diploma earn more and get better benefits than private sector workers with the same education. Federal workers with a bachelors degree earn about the same amount of money as private sector workers with a bachelors degree, but get slightly better benefits. But for workers with a doctorate or professional degree? Federal workers and private sector workers get about the same benefits, but the private sector workers earn more money.


Tweet of the Day:

I say we abolish Presidents' Day and replace it with Bill of Rights Day, and you get no retail discounts unless you can reel off all 10
@jricole



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