2016-02-24 / Political Page

Clinton, Trump Winners

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were victorious in their latest presidential quests last Saturday, Clinton defeating Bernie Sanders in Nevada and Trump prevailing over Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz in South Carolina.

Trump rolled up 32.5 percent of the Republican primary field in South Carolina with Rubio finishing second with 22.5 percent and Cruz closely behind at 22.3 percent in a virtual tie.

In Nevada, Clinton had an easier chore, scoring 52.6 percent of the vote to Sanders’ 47.3 percent.

The action shifted yesterday to Nevada for the Republicans and resumes next Saturday in South Carolina for the Democrats.

Trump continued his dominance over his GOP opponents, winning from wire to wire, easily keeping Rubio and Cruz struggling to catch up, and knocking Jeb Bush out of the race, throwing in the towel when it was all over.

The Clinton-Sanders struggle was tight all the way, with Clinton pulling out near the end to conclude the contest. Their battle in South Carolina promises to be just as close, with Sanders reported to be gaining on Clinton again as their fight resumes this Saturday.

Meanwhile, Trump’s ease in winning with Rubio and Cruz in an all-out struggle to catch him, makes it appear like the confident Republican frontrunner could be near clinching the prize pretty soon.

Amid reports that establishment Republicans see a Trump candidacy as a sure defeat in November causing large GOP losses in Congressional races, Republicans will probably select Rubio as their candidate, bypassing Cruz and appealing to financial supporters to jump on the bandwagon.

If this scenario pans out, start looking for Trump to put Rubio in his sights and start a campaign to undercut the young Senator from Florida.

The only other solution we see to solve the Trump problem that has Republicans so perplexed is for a new candidate to surface as time is running out, someone like ex- NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

MENG MARKS 100TH B’DAY OF FIRST WOMAN IN CONGRESS: Jeannette Rankin, a Montana Republican, was the first woman elected to serve as a member of Congress a century ago, and to mark her 100th birthday, Congresswoman Grace Meng (D–Flushing) is introducing a bill to honor the centenarian’s natal day.

Meng’s 100 Years of Women in Congress Act would rename the US Department of Agriculture’s “Women and Minorities in STEM Fields Program (WAMS)” to the “Jeannette Rankin Women and Minorities in STEM Fields Program.” Meng explained Rankin was a pioneer in STEM, having graduated with a bachelor of science degree in biology in 1902.

Meng continued, “Rep. Jeannette Rankin was a pioneer in every sense of the word both as a woman in national politics and as a woman in STEM. As a member of Congress who was elected to represent the state of Montana before women even had the right to vote, and as a woman who graduated from the University of Montana with a biology degree in 1902, she was truly ahead of her time. We believe that renaming this critical program after her is the least Congress can do to honor a remarkable individual and the first 100 years of women in Congress. I thank Rep. Ryan Zinke (R–Montana) for partnering with me on this important effort, and I urge my colleagues in the House to support it.”

Zinke stated: “Montanans have always been pioneers, and Jeannette Rankin is the perfect example of that, leading the way for women in STEM and politics at a time when many women didn’t even have the right to vote. It’s important to remember who blazed the trail before us and look to them as men- tors and inspiration. I’m happy to partner with Rep. Grace Meng on this.”

If renamed, the program would remain a competitive grants program supporting research and extension projects that seek to increase the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up 47 percent of the total US workforce. Although gains have been made in the STEM fields, women still comprise only 39 percent of chemists and material scientists, 28 percent of environmental scientists and geoscientists, 16 percent of chemical engineers and 12 percent of civil engineers.

Born in 1880, Jeannette Rankin represented one of Montana’s two at-large House seats. She was elected on November 7, 1916, almost four years prior to ratification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution that gave women the right to vote.

The Meng-Zinke bill has been referred to the House Agriculture Committee.

CROWLEY BILL EXTENDS ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE QUALITY CHILD CARE: The Child Care Access to Resources for Early-Learning (CARE) Act, which would expand access to affordable, quality child care for hardworking American families, has been introduced in Congress by Congressman Joseph Crowley.

The lawmaker, Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, said that the bill, backed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and a wide variety of advocacy organizations, would ensure that both parents and child care providers have the resources they need to ensure high quality early care and learning for children under the age of 4.

Crowley (D–Queens/The Bronx) stated: “When the cost of child care exceeds college tuition, rent and even mortgage payments, that’s a big problem. Quality child care shouldn’t be a luxury, yet too many parents can’t meet these high costs of care— and no parent should have to choose between putting food on the table or knowing their child is well-cared for. Our Child C.A.R.E. Act is an investment in American families, an investment in successful child care programs, and an investment in our children.”

Crowley explained the legislation boosts funding for child care assistance for low-income families through the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), one of the main federal funding sources that support early care and education. Specifically, he said, the bill increases mandatory funding for child care subsidies for children under 4 by $25 billion over five years in line with what has been proposed by President Obama in his fiscal year 2017 budget to improve access to and quality of child care across the country. The bill also boosts the quality of child care by requiring that states use these funds to align providers with specific, more advanced quality standards.

In addition, Crowley said, the legislation includes an investment in the child care workforce, giving child care providers the ability to track and retain quality staff. Currently, child care workers tend to earn less than many other professions, even ones that require less training, despite the fact that they are entrusted with lives and with the development of young minds.

The legislation has been endorsed by the following organizations: American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), American Federation of Teachers; Center for Law and Social Policy (CLAST); Child Care Aware America; Children’s Defense Fund; Easter Seals; First Five Years Fund; First Focus Campaign for Children; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); National Association for the Education of Young Children; National Association for Family Child Care; National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities; National Association of Directors of Special Education; National Center for Learning Disabilities; National Urban League; National Women’s Law Center; Save the Children; Save the Children Action Network; Service Employees International Union (SEIU); and Zero to Three.


MIRANDA WARNING: State Senator Michael Gianaris has introduced legislation that would reform Miranda rights in New York state for juveniles, requiring police officers to provide a plain language description of Miranda rights to juvenile defendants under the age of 18 and receiving their affirmative consent before proceeding.

Gianaris (D–Western Queens) explained, “Miranda rights are worthless unless they are understood by the individual. Statistics make clear too many underage New Yorkers are waiving their Constitutional rights because they do not comprehend them.”

The lawmaker said that in 2010, the American Bar Association (ABA) adopted a resolution calling for this reform. The ABA noted that enactment of this legislation would benefit juvenile defendants, police and prosecutors. Currently, juvenile Miranda warnings vary substantially in length and often “use vocabulary comprehensible only to those with a college reading level.”

The ABA proposal, Gianaris said, creates a standardized, short warning using terminology understandible at an elementary school reading level.

Recent data indicates the annual charging of more than 115,000 pre-teens with criminal offenses poses an even greater challenge to Miranda warning comprehension. Furthermore, over 1 million juveniles are criminally charged annually nationwide, with only roughly 10 percent of juveniles found to exercise their Miranda rights.

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