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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has released its first full trailer, and the whole gang is back in action. It is full of Baby Groot hilarity, and even gives us a brief glimpse of the new guardian, Mantis. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 comes out May 5, 2017.

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Sweden’s Move To A 6 Hour Workday Should Make You Very Angry

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Sunset in Stockholm, Sweden
THIS CONTENT WAS REPUBLISHED FROM AN EARLIER DATE.

What would you do with 6 extra hours of free time every week? That’s the question every full-time worker in Sweden is going to have to answer. After years of individual companies making the switch, the entire country is about to embark on an ambitious plan to maintain productivity while also eliminating 17% of the current workweek. Yes, the entire country.

Not only have Swedish workers just been given 312 hours of their lives back each year, but they have effectively been given a rather nice raise as well. In 2014, the average Swede took home about of €30,612 (the equivalent of $34,285) each year, or €2551 ($2857)  a month, which is about €589 ($660) a week. If we break that down over a 36 hour work week (less than the 47 hours the average American works full-time ), that equals €16.35 an hour. With the switch from a 36 hour workweek to a 30 hour workweek, the average take-home hourly wage just jumped to €19.63/hour, or a 20% increase.*

That would make me pretty happy, and I hope our CEO reads this and feels compelled to give all of us at Men’s Trait a 20% raise. We’re not holding our breath, however. Wages in the U.S. have been slightly better than stagnant for decades, and now we have to sit back and watch as an entire nation was just collectively given a raise that we could only dream of in the States.

In the United States, the average earner made $45,230 before taxes in 2014. More than the average Swede, right? Not necessarily. You might have noticed that the amount people in Sweden take home, on average, was €30,612 ($34,285), not what they earned. That’s the net, after tax amount. In the U.S., depending on a worker’s tax bracket, that amount would be at best $33,923, excluding any deductions and credits on their taxes. Depending on the exchange rate at any given moment, people in Sweden might take home more money than Americans. Or Americans might take home more. It’s very, very close.

But each country is different, and the cost of living in Sweden is higher than in the United States. Or, rather no, it isn’t. When we look at just after tax income, not accounting for fixed expenses, the average Swede has more buying power than the average American. Rent and utilities are significantly cheaper for people living in Sweden, making it slightly more affordable than the U.S. overall. Removing just utilities from the equation gives the advantage to Americans for having more buying power. Luxury activities, like eating at restaurants or going to the movies, are more expensive in Sweden than they are in the United States; that’s one financial advantage we have. But Swedes don’t do those things on the same scale that Americans do, so the premium prices affect them less than they would someone living in the States.

Okay, so I’ve rambled for over 500 words about how the Swedes just made a change to how much people work, and then delved into a bevy of numbers comparing the incomes and buying power of Americans and Swedes, only to come to the conclusion that there really isn’t that much difference between the two countries. Both are wealthy countries, with each celebrating a 7.2 OECD Better Life Index score that measures the quality of life for people around the globe, well above the average score of 6.0. So what’s the point?

Just remember, you could be living the American dream in Sweden, only by working at least 312 fewer hours each year. Oh, and the Swedes are guaranteed 25 paid vacation days and 16 paid holidays yearly, plus some paid maternity (56 weeks, or 13 months) and paternity leave (34 weeks), neither of which are guaranteed in the United States.** Now, with this new 6 hour workday, your typical Swedish worker will work 458 fewer hours every year than the average American (this even includes part-time workers)—that’s 19 full days.

Yes, you should be angry. People in Sweden are living the American dream better than we are.

Preston Hemmerich is the Content Manager for 301 Digital Media, overseeing MensTrait.com, OutwardOn.com, DailyBeautyHack.com and more. He enjoys covering food, politics, travel and writing sad attempts at humor.

*This figure does not account for hourly employees, only salaried employees. Some businesses have applied a wage increase to hourly employees to make up for lost hours, but that is not a country wide practice. In reality, this de facto raise disproportionately benefits higher income individuals working salaried jobs.
**Collectively, citizens of the U.S. get nowhere near 41 paid days off a year that Swedish citizens do.

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Bernie’s Campaign Is Fizzling, Only Attracts 21,000 People to Rally in Sacramento

At an event in Sacramento on May 9, the Sanders campaign was only able to attract 21,000 attendees to the rally, down from 27,000 in NYC in April.

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Bernie Sanders Sacramento rally
THIS CONTENT WAS REPUBLISHED FROM AN EARLIER DATE.

We’re sorry to be the bearer of bad news to Bernie Sanders supporters, but his campaign seems to be struggling mightily to maintain its grassroots support. At an event in Sacramento on May 9, the Sanders campaign was only able to attract 21,000 attendees to the rally, down from the 27,000 people who saw him speak in Washington Square Park in New York City back in April. This kind of drop off is in stark contrast to the Clinton campaign, which has been able to maintain its dozens of supporters at nearly every rally.

Especially troubling for Sanders is that California is one of the whitest states in America, suggesting he can’t even win the white vote anymore.

Twitter user fastlife3o5 tweeted the following picture depicting the disheartening scene, driving home the point of just how poorly the Sanders campaign is doing in maintaining support through the entire primary process. I mean, look at those seats. You can barely even see Bernie they’re so bad.

The disappointing showing wasn’t the only issue for the Sanders campaign. Despite the relatively small number attending, apparently there were incredibly long lines of people just waiting to enter Bonney Field, a soccer-specific sports venue that seats 11,000, and security was unable to get everyone inside in time for the event to start.

Some reports estimate that at least 10,000 people never made it inside the stadium, which must have been a huge relief to those people because they are totes ready for Hillary.

Joking aside, the record crowds Bernie Sanders has been attracting to his rallies speak volumes to the impact his campaign is having on shaping the political ideals of the American Left, a group of citizens tired with incremental progressivism slowed down further by corporate politics, to say nothing of the job it’s done mobilizing the youngest voters in society, who are notoriously terrible at participating in the democratic process. Bernie Sanders has also united independent voters in ways no other candidate has done in the current two party system, making him a weak general election candidate and completely unelectable on the national stage, because naturally.

Now he just needs those people to be able to vote in every primary, but his campaign was ill-equipped and unprepared to replace archaic voting laws the Democratic Party loves, which eliminated the voice of independent voters in several important states (Florida, New York and Pennsylvania come to mind, where Bernie Sanders could have eliminated Clinton’s lead had independents been allowed to vote).

While it’s true he faces (obscenely) long odds to secure the nomination from the Democratic Party to run for president in the general election, his movement and political principles seem set to survive. If Bernie hopes to somehow pry the nomination away from Hillary Clinton, he’ll have to figure out how to turn huge rallies into huge voter turnout, something he struggled with in New York, where independent voters had to register as Democrats in October of last year in order to vote in the Democratic primary in the state and where thousands were purged from voter records or had their party affiliation switched shortly before the state’s primary. Sure, New York has the some of the worst voter laws in the country, but that’s no excuse for Bernie not convincing people in New York to vote for him by the registration deadline, even if that was 7 months before the primary. Typical Bernie supporters, too ignorant to know how awesome he was before they got a chance to hear him speak.

Whereas voters would have had to register to be a Democrat in New York before the first debate was ever held, because that’s super democratic, voters have until May 23 in California to register as either a Democrat or unenrolled in order to vote in the Democratic primary, giving Bernie a better chance out west than he had back east. At the same time, those who prefer Hillary Clinton have the same deadline. Just a side note, registering as an Independent in California puts you down for some obscure political party and prohibits you from being able to cast a Democratic ballot.

The California primary is being held June 7.

Lastly, for the sake of full disclosure, I voted for Bernie Sanders in the Tennessee primary and I’ve donated to his campaign. We believe in transparency at Men’s Trait, unlike glorified gossip columnists and those looking to make a name for themselves (and pretty much everyone else in media).

Edit: An early version of this article stated that Ohio was a closed-primary state, which is incorrect. We’ve since whipped the writer for getting such an easily checkable fact wrong.

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Pro-Clinton Columnist In Bed With Clinton Staffer — Literally

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Jonathan Capehart and Nick Schmit
THIS CONTENT WAS REPUBLISHED FROM AN EARLIER DATE.

Over the past 24 hours, a flurry of scandal has unfolded involving MSNBC contributor, Washington Post opinion columnist and prolific Clinton supporter Jonathan Capehart.

Writing an opinion piece for the Washington Post, Capehart sought to sling mud at Bernie Sanders — Swiftboat-style — in questioning Bernie Sanders’ past achievements in fighting for civil rights on behalf of African-American communities in the 1960s. (This, itself, isn’t even an original idea, as Capehart was simply jumping on the Establishment’s anti-Sander claims, which continue time after time to be disproved or found to be outright lies. (Here, here, here and here — in case you’d like some background reading.)

But that is not the central thesis of this story. Instead, let’s look a little more closely at Jonathan Capehart himself, and the flurry of lies and misdirections for which he is quickly becoming known.

Capehart, who currently offers his opinions to readers of the Washington Post and viewers on MSNBC, has spent the past five years in a long-term relationship with Nicholas Schmit IV, a long-term Clinton aide. Schmit has served in various capacities for the Clinton family and the US State Department under Clinton since 2004. You can see his full resume on LinkedIn, but we’ve summarized the key timeline of his career here.

2004 – 2007
Schmit graduated from The University of North Dakota in August 2004, and joined the Clinton Foundation, serving in various roles ending with Director of Finance, before leaving to work on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Presidential campaign.

2007 – 2008
Schmit worked as the Travel Compliance Director for the Hillary Clinton for President campaign, before her primary defeat by now-President, then-Senator Barack Obama.

2008 – 2013?
Schmit returned to the Clinton Foundation as a consultant, before being tapped to join the Clinton-led State Department in various capacities. His last update on LinkedIn shows him moving into the role of Assistant Chief of Protocol for Diplomatic Partnerships at the State Department in February 2013, the same month that Clinton left the State Department.

Whether the last (or any) of the promotions were based on merit or simply Clinton politics as usual is unclear, but regardless, a clear pattern has emerged.

Flash forward to now. In the middle of a heated and contentious primary season that pits the Clinton-establishment against the sweeping change and progress that Sanders promises, and which Obama promised and failed to deliver in full.

If it feels like history is repeating itself, that may be because history is repeating itself, and Clinton is running the same campaign with which lost in 2008.

Instead of taking a neutral position on the matter to help further Clinton’s policy agenda and talk about how Clinton will move the country forward, Capehart has gone out of his way, time and again, to ensure that the Clintons are presented as the only reasonable choice for the Democratic party. The idea of “politics as usual” as a bad thing is clearly lost on him.

It’s clear that Clinton is the favorite of the Democratic party establishment — despite her arguments that being a woman somehow makes her a non-establishment outsider — when 38.0% of the popular vote translates into 50% of the delegates, thanks to the magic of “party rules”. (More about that here.) So it’s not surprising that Capehart may have a preference for Clinton, and it’s not his political positions that are at issue. He is welcome to support Clinton, Sanders, Trump, Bush, or Jill Stein*, should he choose.

The real issue, it would seem, is that despite the fact that Capehart and Schmit have a history of mixing their personal and professional lives, including Capehart attending official State Department events with Schmit, and that they share a home and life together, Capehart, never saw fit to disclose this conflict of interest, despite his years of work as a journalist blogger.

Instead of admitting his mistake and moving on, Capehart has doubled-down and attacked anyone who questions his “journalistic integrity” as an opinion writer, refusing to acknowledge that his story was factually inaccurate and has already been widely disproven:

Whether there’s really any direct connection to the Clinton campaign today remains to be seen and is up for question, but it should not be forgotten that Capehart’s long-term partner has the Clinton’s to thank for his career and that, by extension, the Clinton’s have helped pay for his Washington, DC duplexAnd knowing that, doesn’t it make the whole situation just seem a little slimy and tawdry?

* Disclosure: We love Jill Stein, but understand that she lacks the name recognition to win. (See, Jonathan, that’s how disclosure works.)

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