Time for a raise –> John Myers and Liam Dillon at the Los Angeles Times: “Lawmakers and labor unions have struck a tentative deal to raise the statewide minimum wage to $10.50 an hour next year and then gradually to $15, averting a costly political campaign this fall and possibly putting California at the forefront of a national movement.” A voter initiative on the minimum wage had been scheduled for the November ballot.
AND: At Slate, Jordan Weissmann writes, “This would be a breathtaking victory for labor activists. While a handful of cities, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, have already enacted their own $15 minimum wage laws, no state has, according to the National Employment Law Project.”
Caucus results –> Bernie Sanders swept the three states — Hawaii, Alaska and Washington — that held Democratic caucuses this weekend. You can take a break from the delegate count for a bit; the next nominating contests — in Wisconsin — won’t be until April 5th, a week from tomorrow.
“Bernie or Bust” –> At Yahoo News, Hunter Walker writes about anti-Clinton sentiment among some diehard Sanders’ supporters. They say they will not cast a ballot for Hillary Clinton even if Sanders endorses her, or joins her as a running mate.
MEANWHILE, at Washington Monthly, David Atkin contemplates the possible chaos some polls predict for Republicans. The problem is “that the party is deeply, deeply divided no matter what they do. Many moderate and evangelical Republicans despise Trump and say they will not vote for him. Meanwhile, Trump’s voters cannot stand Ted Cruz.” With the GOP embroiled in civil war, Atkins wonders whether if not just the presidency but the Senate and some state legislatures will also be taken back by Democrats in November.
AND, at New York magazine, Ed Kilgore points out that because the GOP doesn’t have a system for administering a brokered convention, bedlam could break out even before balloting begins.
Smart move –> At The Washington Post, Ralph Nader says Sanders, elected to Congress as an indepedendent, is right to run as a Democrat: “As one of the more successful third-party presidential candidates in recent U.S. history, I know firsthand the obstacles Sanders might have faced if he had run as an independent.”
Final blow to campaign finance reform? –> Ned Resnikoff at International Business Times: “A case now working its way through federal court has the potential to fully dismantle the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law of 2002, finishing the job the Supreme Court started when its 2010 Citizens United decision loosed a tidal wave of outside money on the American electoral system. That case, Republican Party of Louisiana v. FEC, is currently before the District Court for the District of Columbia, but it could be on its way up to the Supreme Court. On Friday, three campaign reform groups filed a joint amicus brief warning of ‘extraordinarily far-reaching negative consequences’ if the district court rules in favor of the plaintiffs.”
Bank CEO jackpot –> Stephen Gandel at Fortune: “The pay of the CEOs of the nation’s six largest banks — which also includes Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo — rose to $123 million, with an average of $20.5 million for each exec. That comes to roughly 455 times the average American worker salary. Wall Street CEOs saw their pay rise an average of just under 10% last year. According to the most recent jobs numbers, the wages of the average American worker rose by just 1.6% in 2016.” These raises rolled in even though America’s six biggest banks were hit with a number of legal fines, and saw operating profits and share prices fall.
Suicide bombings in Pakistan, Iraq –> Taha Siddiqui for The Guardian: “Pakistani authorities were on Monday searching for fighters from a Taliban militant faction that claimed responsibility for the Easter suicide bombing of a public park in Lahore that killed at least 72 people, many of whom were thought to be children. Many of the injured were said to be in a critical condition.” And the Associated Press on Saturday: “Iraqi officials say the death toll from a suicide bombing at a soccer stadium that was claimed by the Islamic State group has climbed to 41, with another 105 people wounded.”
AND: Albert Aji and Philip Issa report for the AP that, in a major victory against ISIS, the Syrian army has recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra: “Syrian antiquities experts said Monday they were deeply shocked by the destruction the extremists had carried out inside the town museum, with scores of priceless relics and statues demolished.”
What’s the sentence for plotting to blow up a mosque? –> Ninety days in jail, apparently. Christopher Mathias reports for The Huffington Post that 55-year-old Californian William Celli accepted a plea deal that also bans him from using Facebook, where before being arrested he regularly posted Islamophobic screeds and praised Donald Trump.
What Sanders and Trump reveal about America –> Two excellent longreads on the candidates who have disrupted the status quo: Harold Meyerson goes deep on the energy behind Bernie Sanders for The American Prospect, and Claire Malone delves into the reasons for Trump’s voter appeal at FiveThiryEight.
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