Governors in these states can give workers a raise with the stroke of a pen

Governors in these states can give workers a raise with the stroke of a pen

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy in downtown Newark, where many people could benefit from a wage board raise! | Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images “Wage board” laws in Colorado, California, and New Jersey let an entire sector’s wages go up at once. 2019 has been an outstanding year for advocates of a higher minimum wage. New Jersey, Maryland, and Illinois all enacted increases that will make their minimum $15 an hour by 2024 or 2025; New…

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America is warming fast. See how your city’s weather will be different in just one generation.

America is warming fast. See how your city’s weather will be different in just one generation.

Our world is getting warmer. This we know. Just look at Alaska, which experienced all-time record heat in July, topping out at 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Dozens of other cities are in the throes of a heat wave this week, which forecasters have warned will be “prolonged, dangerous, and potentially deadly.” But how much will temperatures in US cities change by 2050? By then, scientists say average global warming since preindustrial levels could be about twice…

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Is the new Lion King live-action or animated? That’s the wrong question.

Is the new Lion King live-action or animated? That’s the wrong question.

The new Lion King lacks color or personality. That’s by design, sadly. | Disney It’s animated. But the distinction doesn’t matter. One of the best sequences in the original version of The Lion King — the 1994 Disney animated classic — involves young Simba the lion cub puffing up his own ego for the benefit of his pal Nala. Simba isn’t any ordinary lion, see. He’s going to be the king someday, and that means…

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Big Little Lies tried to justify its second season. It never did.

Big Little Lies tried to justify its second season. It never did.

In its first season, Big Little Lies was one of TV’s most gripping dramas. But season two lost the plot. | HBO Season two’s delightful soapiness can’t make up for its weak, repetitive drama. Perhaps the biggest lie Big Little Lies ever told was that it needed a second season. With six episodes down and the finale on deck for Sunday, what was an engaging miniseries in its first go-round has softened into storytelling pudding…

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The Trump racism spin cycle

The Trump racism spin cycle

President Donald Trump speaks during a Keep America Great rally on July 17, 2019, in Greenville, North Carolina. | Zach Gibson/Getty Images Trump is forcing conservatives to confront the real reason their base hates Rep. Ilhan Omar. President Donald Trump and his most ardent supporters have, once again, made the subtext into blatant blaring text. We are deep in the Trump cycle of racist invective, in which the president says something offensive, waits for political…

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“Send her back” is where racism and authoritarianism meet

“Send her back” is where racism and authoritarianism meet

Trump’s July 17 rally in North Carolina, where the “send her back” chant about Rep. Ilhan Omar emerged. | Zach Gibson/Getty Images This viciousness isn’t an accident. It’s what Trumpism is really about. “Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!” It’s hard not to feel chills when you watch the video of a Trump rally in North Carolina where this chant, directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar, breaks out. The president, in the middle…

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What can be done right now to stop a basic source of health care fraud

What can be done right now to stop a basic source of health care fraud

Pete Gamlen for ProPublica/Vox There are simple fixes that would make it more difficult for scammers to operate. In our story about the convicted health care con man David Williams, we detailed how the Texas personal trainer made off with millions by billing some of the nation’s largest health insurers as if he were a doctor providing medical services. Williams cannily exploited gaping loopholes in the health insurance system that allowed him almost unfettered entry….

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What economists have gotten wrong for decades

What economists have gotten wrong for decades

McDonald’s restaurant employees rallied to demand a $15-per-hour wage in Los Angeles, California. For a long time, economists believed that the minimum wage would only hurt workers — a view that has since been debunked. | David McNew/Getty Images Four economic ideas disproven by reality. In a House hearing on monetary policy last week, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell made a telling confession in response to a question from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). The topic…

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Rattan furniture is everywhere because we all want to be on vacation

Rattan furniture is everywhere because we all want to be on vacation

Furniture made from rattan, like these pieces from Justina Blakeney’s Jungalow collection, is becoming more and more popular. | Jungalow Light fixtures and peacock chairs made from the woven wood are popping up everywhere from Ikea to Anthropologie. Welcome to Noticed, The Goods’ design trend column. You know that thing you’ve been seeing all over the place? Allow us to explain it. What it is: Rattan is what’s most often used to create furniture that…

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Health insurers make it easy for scammers to steal millions. Who pays? You.

Health insurers make it easy for scammers to steal millions. Who pays? You.

Pete Gamlen for ProPublica/Vox Insurers are regarded as defenders of health care dollars, but the case of David Williams shows how they allow costs to rise. Ever since her 14-year marriage imploded in financial chaos and a protective order, Amy Lankford had kept a wary eye on her ex, David Williams. Williams, then 51, with the beefy body of a former wrestler gone slightly to seed, was always working the angles, looking for shortcuts to…

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