Midday open thread: Eight years since last minimum wage raise; genetically engineered human embryos

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

Today’s comic by Mark Fiore is Peak satire moonshot:

Cartoon by Mark Fiore -  Peak satire moonshot

Here’s what’s coming up on Sunday Kos …

  • What kind of person would say this, by Mark E Andersen
  • Trumpcare voting process in Senate should make Americans sick. Passing Trumpcare definitely will, by Ian Reifowitz
  • Advanced activist tactics: Desensitization and trust, by David Akadjian
  • When will America awaken from this ongoing anti-fact nightmare, by Frank Vyan Walton
  • The Democratic Party needs to up its game for the 21st century, by Egberto Willies
  • ‘Left,’ ‘progressive’ and ‘working class’ do not mean ‘white,’ by Denise Oliver Velez
  • Forget Trump’s Boy Scout speech, let’s talk about Girl Scouts and STEM, by Sher Watts Spooner
  • Lies, damn lies and fake news, by Jon Perr

• On July 29, 1946, Harry Truman became the first president to address the NAACP: Here is the fourth draft of his speech as annotated in his own hand the day before delivery.

Uh, Congratulations? 

Ray and Wilma Yoder are probably America’s foremost amateur experts on Cracker Barrel restaurants. As Eater reports, the Indiana couple is on a 30-year quest to eat at every single Cracker Barrel in the U.S. And they’ve almost completed it.

When “gene splicing” began in the ’70s, we were assured there would be no engineering of humans: MIT Technology Review has learned that the first known attempt at creating genetically modified human embryos in the United States has been achieved by a team of researchers in Portland, Oregon. Led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health and Science University, the scientists changed the DNA of one-cell embryos with the gene-editing technique CRISPR. “Until now, American scientists have watched with a combination of awe, envy, and some alarm as scientists elsewhere were first to explore the controversial practice. To date, three previous reports of editing human embryos were all published by scientists in China.”

How long would this have lasted on the fridge if your Kindergartener had drawn it?

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Government report 2.6% annualized growth in 2nd Quarter gross domestic product. Economists viewed the report positively after the weak first three months of the year generated just 1.2% percent growth. The question now is whether this indicates stronger growth the rest of the year or merely replicates the previous pattern of low-performing winters followed by a better spring and summer. The current expansion, which began in summer 2009 is the third longest in the post-World War II period, but it’s also the slowest, only averaging slightly above 2 percent in eight years. In a nine-year run in the 1960s, growth averaged 4.9 percent; in the 1990s, there was 10 years of 3.6 percent growth. Forecasters are estimating that total GDP growth for 2017 will range from 2.0-2.5 percent.

This week marks eighth year since the feds raised the minimum wage from $6.55 to $7.25.  Inflation has eroded its value by 12.5 percent. That could be corrected by indexing the minimum wage to inflation, or “inflation plus”—a small additional boost every year instead of letting workers merely tread water. But given inflation of the past 49 years, drowning is more like it now: 

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As Trump gets ready for a weekend of cheating at golf, remember who his back-up is: Thanks to a law signed by Gov. Mike Pence, Indiana has one less clinic providing abortions. The law there requires hospital admitting privileges for any doctor performing abortions, with annual renewals in writing. The Supreme Court ruled 5-3 in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt that a similar Texas law (which also required admitting privileges and that abortion clinics be mini-hospitals) placed an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions. The ruling only applied directly to Texas, not the other states with similar laws. However, judges assessing any court challenge of the Indiana and other state laws will have to take Hellerstedt into account in their rulings.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin makes a special appearance—fresh off a recent trip to Iceland—to round up an eventful night (and early morning) in Zombie Treasoncare. Also, what the f%@k is going on with this new $#*thead running the WH communications office?

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