Connecticut's legislature on Wednesday voted to raise the state's minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2017, making it the first state in the nation to do so. Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy, who has touted the proposal alongside President Obama, is expected to sign it shortly.
Meanwhile, Obama and congressional Democrats have been stymied in their efforts to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, with Republicans alleging that such a move would undercut businesses and harm the economy. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, for its part, estimated that a wage hike of that magnitude could cost the economy 500,000 jobs. But most economists have determined that raising the minimum wage by a few bucks wouldn't have much impact on the economy. The White House, predictably, agrees with the latter assessment.
Regardless, the hope among Democrats and supporters of a higher minimum wage is that Connecticut's action will spur other states — and possibly recalcitrant Republicans in Washington — to follow suit. Jon Terbush
An estimated 25 million viewers tune in every Sunday for the latest episode in Game of Thrones' sixth season, but George R. R. Martin isn't among them. The author of Game of Thrones admitted in a recent interview with Metro U.K. that he has stopped watching the show.
Martin blamed his busy schedule of writing, travel, and speaking engagements for the lapse in his viewing, but Inverse pointed out he's been doing those things during the show's previous seasons and he's still tuned in. Admittedly, he is pushing to get the last book in the series, The Winds of Winter, out by next year, but he also said he is "in no rush to hit a particular deadline."
Up until the fifth season, Martin was still writing an episode per season, a commitment that would seemingly necessitate, well, watching the show. "The book series and TV adaptation go their separate ways," Martin said in his recent interview with Metro U.K. "On the screen characters are killed right and left. About twenty of them have died already, which are quite alive to me and will appear in a new book."
President Trump delivered a subdued teleprompter speech on Wednesday at the American Legion's national convention in Reno, Nevada, causing some people to marvel at the president's ability to change gears after his off-the-script rally on Tuesday in Phoenix, Arizona. "I have whiplash," said CNN's Brooke Baldwin. "It's which president will show up today?"
In Reno, Trump applauded "incredible progress" on reforming the Department of Veterans Affairs and called for a "new unity," telling Americans that "we are one people with one home and one great flag."
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 23, 2017
"This is the spirit we need to overcome our challenges, to pursue our common destiny, and to achieve a brighter future for our people," Trump went on. "We will win."
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 23, 2017
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson likely broke a federal law Tuesday night when he was introduced by his government title before President Trump's rally in Phoenix, Arizona, The Washington Post reports.
The rally was, technically speaking, part of Trump's 2020 bid. Carson ran into trouble because of an odd little rule in the 1939 Hatch Act, "a measure meant to preserve the impartiality of public servants," the Post's Philip Bump writes.
Among the prohibitions included in the Hatch Act is one prohibiting Cabinet secretaries from leveraging their positions for a political cause. That means that the head of, say, the Department of Housing and Urban Development can't appear at a campaign rally in a way that implies he's doing so in an official capacity. Say, by being introduced with his official title. [The Washington Post]
"[Carson] should have told them in advance that they cannot use his title," said the senior director of the Campaign Legal Center, Larry Noble. “Once hearing the introduction, he should have made clear he was speaking in his personal capacity and not as secretary."
A Public Policy Polling survey released Wednesday revealed that 45 percent of President Trump's supporters believe that white people encounter "the most discrimination in America." Meanwhile, 17 percent of Trump voters said that Native Americans face the most discrimination, 16 percent said that African Americans do, and 5 percent said that Latinos do.
The poll also found that a majority of Trump voters — 54 percent — believe that Christians face the most discrimination of any religious groups in the U.S. Twenty-two percent said that Muslims do, while 12 percent said that Jews do.
Public Policy Polling suggested that the "mindset among many Trump voters that it's whites and Christians getting trampled on in America ... makes it unlikely they would abandon Trump over his 'both sides' rhetoric," referring to the president's tack of blaming "both sides" for the violence at the Aug. 12 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. In fact, Trump doubled down on his remarks at a Phoenix rally Tuesday night, accusing the "dishonest" media of downplaying the actions of anti-fascists.
The poll surveyed 887 registered voters from Aug. 18-21. Its margin of error is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points. Becca Stanek
Taylor Swift announced her sixth studio album, Reputation, in a series of Instagram posts on Wednesday. The album will be out Nov. 10.
Swift also released the artwork for her new record:
The first single from the album will be released Thursday night, Swift added.
Reputation is the follow-up to Swift's 2014 album 1989, which sold nearly 1.3 million copies within its first week. Jeva Lange
Trump's science envoy just quit. His resignation letter has a secret message calling for impeachment.
President Trump's science envoy resigned on Wednesday, leaving critics of the commander-in-chief a secret acrostic message to discover in his letter:
Mr. President, I am resigning as Science Envoy. Your response to Charlottesville enables racism, sexism, & harms our country and planet. pic.twitter.com/eWzDc5Yw6t
— Daniel M Kammen (@dan_kammen) August 23, 2017
The first letter of each paragraph of Professor Daniel Kammen's letter spells "impeach," some readers noticed.
An energy professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Kammen cites Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement and his failure to clearly condemn white supremacists in Charlottesville as "a broader pattern that enables sexism and racism, and disregards the welfare of young Americans, the global community, and the planet."
While he was Trump's science envoy, Kammen "focused on building capacity for renewable energies," The Sacramento Bee writes, adding that "the science envoy program draws on scientists and engineers to leverage their expertise and networks to build connections and identify opportunities for international cooperation."
After the disastrous recall of its Galaxy Note 7 phone last year, Samsung on Wednesday unveiled the next phone in its Note line, the Galaxy Note 8. The successor to the discontinued and sometimes flammable phone features a sizable infinity screen measuring 6.3 inches diagonally; two 12-megapixel color cameras; fingerprint, facial, and iris scanning capabilities; an updated S Pen stylus that can now translate full sentences; and an impressive 64 gigabytes of built-in storage.
— The Verge (@verge) August 23, 2017
Samsung also made a point of independently verifying that the Note 8 battery meets safety standards, a key step to winning back consumer trust since the Note 7 battery was prone to overheating. On top of that, the company now completes an "eight-point battery safety check during its manufacturing process," Time reported.