Home / Politics / Midday open thread: Raccoon ascends, gets free meal and a free ride; MN wind-farm ruling problematic

Midday open thread: Raccoon ascends, gets free meal and a free ride; MN wind-farm ruling problematic

Today’s comic by Matt Bors is North Korea vs. the United States—a comparison:

Cartoon by Matt Bors - North Korea vs. the United States - a comparison

Inflation has eroded value of minimum wage over the decades, and Latinos and black people have been hurt the most.  Fifty years ago, a full-time worker on minimum wage would have earned $20,600 a year (in 2017 dollars). But a full-time worker being paid the federal minimum wage in 2017 would only earn $15,080. If the minimum wage had kept up with inflation over the years, the African American and Latino poverty rates would be nearly 20 percent lower today.

20-story building climbing raccoon made it to the top and has been safely trapped. Tuesday’s social media diversion in Minneapolis had just about everyone rooting for him as he scaled the concrete walls of the UBS Plaza building. Eventually, he made it to the roof. 

North America gets the thumbs-up for 2026 World Cup. The United States, Mexico and Canada won their combined bid to host the event, which will bring the World Cup to North America for the first time since the 1994. They pledged to generate $11 billion in profits for FIFA, which is world soccer’s governing body. Of the 80 matches, 60 will be held in the United States, with 10 each in Canada and Mexico. 

University researchers find their sample population of U.S. Christians view God as a young, while male: The study, conducted by psychologists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, asked 511 Americans to look at hundreds of pairs of photos. They consistently chose younger and friendlier faces than the stern, old, white guy (often with a long white beard) that has been typically depicted as God. Two-thirds of the participants were male. But women mostly picked photos of males, too, and “even many black Americans saw God as white … and with twinkling eyes,“ said Kurt Gray, the study’s senior author. Did politics make a difference? You betcha. Conservatives in the survey were more likely to see God as white and powerful, while liberals saw God as younger and loving.

MIDDAY TWEET

Wind farm developers in Minnesota nervous over judge’s ruling on noise: Administrative Law Judge LauraSue Schlatter ruled last month that a 124-turbine wind farm shouldn’t be allowed to go forward because it exceeds the state’s noise standards. Minnesota has no rule specifically covering wind farms, but Schlatter decided that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency standard applies to total noise. That means that background noise—say, from traffic—is combined with wind-turbine noise when gauging whether a project meets the standard. But the state Public Utilities Commission has historically ruled that the MPCA standard applies to noise from a wind project alone. “If the (PUC) adopted a ‘total noise’ standard, such an interpretation would effectively ban future wind development in Minnesota, and potentially provide anti-wind activists a tool to attempt to adversely affect the operation of existing projects,” the American Wind Energy Association wrote.

100 students in Los Angeles join National Die-In Day protests in support of new gun laws: Organized across the country by the March for Our Lives, the protests were linked to the second anniversary of the massacre at the Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Forty-nine people were killed there. City Controller Ron Galperin, the first openly gay official to be elected to citywide office in Los Angeles, appeared at the die-in and read the 49 names aloud.

Fox News interviewer suggests that criticism of Kim Jong-un is criticism of Trump. Host Sandra Smith addressed tweets in which Sen. Marco Rubio blasted the North Korea leader: “You’ve been tweeting a lot over the past 24 hours, and some have looked at your tweets as not only a criticism of Kim Jong Un, but some have seen them as a criticism as the president,” Smith said, using the journalistic trick of “some have seen” without naming who the some might include. 

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: The North Korea “deal.” How do you cover news that may or may not have happened? Greg Dworkin & Joan McCarter do their level best, plus update us on the latest Obamacare lawsuit, the immigration bill fight and discharge petition, and election results.

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