No rifle emoji
Congress may not be able to pass even the simplest, most sensible gun legislation, but the committee in charge of creating new emojis — those little symbols that people use in text messages — has ruled against adding a new emoji of a rifle. Apple’s representative on the committee led the opposition and was supported by Microsoft. The committee also rejected a depiction of a man shooting a gun, in spite of the contention that it should be included because marksmanship is an Olympic sport.
But it’s too late to make emojis entirely nonviolent; there are already emojis for a handgun, a bomb and a knife. Also, Microsoft faced controversy when it introduced a middle finger emoji. There are also emojis that make you wonder how anyone would ever use them. What message merits an eggplant, a bathtub or a croissant? And who can use the ones so small they’re unreadable? Yet people must love them; the online Emojipedia website says there are now 1,851 emojis.
Republican Rules Committee roils
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Kendall Unruh, a Colorado delegate to the national Republican Convention, is leading yet another effort to dump Trump. She is one of 112 members of the Rules Committee, which she hopes will vote to free all delegates to vote their consciences rather than being bound by the results of their states’ caucuses or elections. Even if she doesn’t win that vote, if she can persuade 28 people to vote with her, it will bring the issue to the convention floor, where the Republicans’ laundry will be aired in front of a national television audience.
Sadly, the anti-Trump forces lack an alternative candidate. And it may be very hard to find one, because the majority of the Republican Trump opponents want someone far more conservative — like Ted Cruz, who has already been thumped by Trump.
Let the bargaining begin
State employees rallied this week to mark the advent of bargaining for their next contract. Bargaining takes place over the next few months between state employee unions and the governor’s office. Then the proposed new contract is submitted to the Legislature for an up-or-down vote. This year’s negotiations will be difficult, as negotiators try to make up for cuts during the recession, and factor in the huge competing demand to fully fund public schools.
Getting a state job used to be a big win. Health insurance, pensions, pay and job security meant state employees were the envy of many private sector workers. To those who work low-wage jobs with no benefits, that may still seem true. But state employee pay and benefits have been eroded, and their workloads increased in these anti-tax times.