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Majority Want Monday’s Electoral College Vote Postponed In Wake Of Russia Scandal: New Poll

A majority of American voters favor delaying the December 19th Electoral College vote until electors can be fully briefed on Russian interference in the election, according to a new poll conducted by YouGov.

The survey, sponsored by the progressive advocacy group Avaaz, found 52 percent of people supportive of stalling the vote, set to take place Monday.

A surprisingly high number of people ― 46 percent ― were also willing to support so-called “faithless electors,” the name given members of the Electoral College who spurn the vote of their home state and vote for a different candidate instead.

Trump opponents have been pressuring electors to break with their state’s voters, and a law firm has even offered pro bono, confidential legal advice to any elector curious about his or her options. Avaaz has collected thousands of signatures on a petition calling for the vote to be delayed.

Donald Trump won a fairly wide Electoral College victory on Election Day, but Hillary Clinton is on pace to beat him in the popular vote by some three million. In a sign of how divided the country is, however, more than 1 in 4 Republicans believe that Trump in fact bested Clinton in the popular vote. That belief may stem from a false claim Trump himself made on Twitter, when he said that he would have won the popular vote had millions of people not voted illegally. That came after a separate claim from Trump, that he could have won the popular vote if he wanted to, by campaigning in highly populated states like California and New York.

Some states mandate that electors vote the way their state instructs, but the the 10th Circuit Court ruled late on Friday that such laws are unconstitutional. The court covers the region of Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, Utah, and Wyoming.

Only one elector has publicly said he will be breaking from Trump.

 

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First Lady to Oprah: ‘Now We’re Feeling What Not Having Hope Feels Like’

"Barack didn’t just talk about hope because he thought it was a nice slogan to get votes. What else do you have, if you don't have hope?" - Michelle Obama on her husband's legacy of hope

First Lady Michelle Obama gave her final one-on-one interview to Oprah Winfrey at the White House on Wednesday.

In a first look at the interview that aired on “CBS This Morning” Friday, Obama reflected on her husband’s legacy of hope.

Winfrey asked Obama if she thought her husband’s administration achieved his campaign promise of delivering hope.

“Yes, I do, because we feel the difference now. See, now we’re feeling what not having hope feels like,” Obama said. “Hope is necessary. It’s a necessary concept.

“Barack didn’t just talk about hope because he thought it was a nice slogan to get votes. What else do you have, if you don’t have hope?” Obama asked. “What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope?”

As CBS notes, during her time in Washington, the First Lady has advocated for several causes including healthy families and improved education for girls around the world.

“I couldn’t have done anything that I’ve done without Michelle,” President Obama said of his wife, who he calls his rock, in 2011.

 

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Trump on African Americans who didn't vote: 'That was almost as good'

As inauguration day nears, President-elect Donald Trump is visiting states where Republicans outvoted Democrats to secure his presidential win as a way to thank voters. During a stop in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Friday, Trump also thanked African Americans for “coming through big league” on Election Day, reports the Washington Post.

Trump said during remarks at the Delta Plex that Blacks who stayed home were “almost as good” as those who voted, the report notes

“The African American community was great to us,” he said. “They came through, big league. Big league. And frankly if they had any doubt, they didn’t vote, and that was almost as good because a lot of people didn’t show up, because they felt good about me.” Although exit polls show that Hillary Clinton won the Black vote by a landslide, garnering the support of 89 percent of African American voters compared to Trump’s 8 percent, it still wasn’t enough for her to be elected president due to the low voter turnout.

Trump also thanked Latinos and women, groups he derided on the campaign trail, for casting their votes for him. Michigan was one of the unexpected states where Trump triumphed over Clinton, the Post writes:

“People are paying attention to you now,” he said. “These people are talking about you every night. They never talked about you. They care about you now.”

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The woman whose math sent John Glenn to orbit says goodbye to a 'good man'

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John Glenn, a former NASA astronaut who became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962, died Thursday at the age of 95, and almost immediately, people started sharing their memories and thoughts about the American hero.

One of those people was Katherine Johnson, the "human computer" who helped check and invent the math that sent Glenn into orbit and brought him back home during his first flight decades ago.

"A good man has left Earth for the last time. John Glenn's life will long be remembered for his time in space, his courage and his service to all Americans," Johnson said in a statement Friday.

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Katherine Johnson

Johnson's life is the subject of the new movie Hidden Figures, which chronicles her work at NASA as well as the work of Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson — two other African-American "human computers" who left a mark on the space agency but have not been widely celebrated until now.

NASA credits Johnson (played by Taraji P. Henson) with "verifying the calculations made by early electronic computers of John Glenn's 1962 launch to orbit and the 1969 Apollo 11 trajectory to the moon."

Glen Powell, the actor who plays Glenn in Hidden Figures, also paid tribute to Glenn's life on Twitter.

In Hidden Figures, Johnson — who faces horrible discrimination due to her status as an African-American woman working in a white male space in the 1960s — is key to NASA Langley's goal of putting Glenn into orbit after the Soviet Union sent Yuri Gagarin up months before.

Hidden Figures will be released in theaters across the U.S. on Jan. 6, with limited release starting Christmas Day.

 

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Black-White Male Earnings Gap Returns To 1950 Levels

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After years of progress, the median earnings gap between Black and white men has returned to what it was in 1950, according to new research by economists from Duke University and the University of Chicago.

The experience of African-American men is not uniform, though: The earnings gap between Black men with a college education and those with less education is at an all-time high, the authors say.

The research appears online in the National Bureau of Economic Research working paper series.

The paper looks at earnings for working-age men across a span of 75 years, from 1940 to 2014. The earnings gap between Black and white men narrowed during the civil rights era. Then, starting around 1970, the gap between Black and white men’s wages started widening once again.

“When it comes to the earnings gap between Black and white men, we’ve gone all the way back to 1950,” said Duke economist Patrick Bayer, who co-authored the paper with Kerwin Kofi Charles of the University of Chicago.

The picture for Black men looks very different at the top of the economic ladder versus the bottom, the authors say. Since the 1960s, top Black salaries have continued to climb. Those advances were fueled by more equal access to universities and high-skilled professions, the study finds.

Meanwhile, a starkly different story transpired at the bottom of the economic ladder. Massive increases in incarceration rates and the general decline of working-class jobs have devastated the labor market prospects of men with a high school degree or less, the authors say.

The changing economy has been hard on all workers with less than a high school education, but especially devastating for Black men, Bayer said.

“The broad economic changes we’ve seen since the 1970s have clearly helped people at the top of the ladder,” Bayer said. “But the labor market for low-skilled workers has basically collapsed.

“Back in 1940 there were plenty of jobs for men with less than a high school degree. Now education is more and more a determinant of who’s working and who’s not.”

In fact, more and more working-age men in the United States aren’t working at all. The number of nonworking white men grew from about 8 percent in 1960 to 17 percent in 2014.
The numbers look still worse among Black men:

In 1960, 19 percent of Black men were not working; in 2014, that number had grown to 35 percent of Black men. That includes men who are incarcerated as well those who can’t find jobs.
The situation would be even worse if not for educational gains among African-Americans over the past 75 years, Bayer said.

On average, Black men today have many more years of schooling than Black men of the past, and the education gap between white and Black men has shrunk considerably. Nevertheless, a gap remains: These days, Black men have about a year’s less education than white men, on average.

The findings show the need for renewed focus on closing racial gaps in education and school quality, which have been stuck in place for several decades, according to the authors. They also suggest that any economic changes that improve prospects for all low-skilled workers will have the important side effect of reducing racial economic inequality.

 

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