Midday open thread. EPI: Wage gaps by gender and race persistent; Pinterest blocks anti-vaxxers

Today’s comic by Ruben Bolling is Can Gavin Smythe, of Chagrin Falls USA, replace his phone battery?​​​​​​​

Obama Presidential Center will have no library: 

The four-building, 19-acre “working center for citizenship,” set to be built in a public park on the South Side of Chicago, will include a 235-foot-high “museum tower,” a two-story event space, an athletic center, a recording studio, a winter garden, even a sledding hill.

But the center, which will cost an estimated $500 million, will also differ from the complexes built by Barack Obama’s predecessors in another way: It won’t actually be a presidential library.

In a break with precedent, there will be no research library on site, and none of Mr. Obama’s official presidential records. Instead, the Obama Foundation will pay to digitize the roughly 30 million pages of unclassified paper records from the administration so they can be made available online.

Las Vegas has measurable snow for the first time since records started being kept in 1937: There was a whole inch of the stuff at the airport early Thursday morning.

Peter Tork of The Monkees dead at 77: No cause was immediately announced, but Tork was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer a decade ago:

While the Monkees were a manufactured, television-centric, American version of the Beatles as depicted in “A Hard Day’s Night,” Tork and fellow guitarist Mike Nesmith were serious musicians who paid their dues on the folk and rock scenes of the early 1960s; vocalist Davy Jones and singer/drummer Micky Dolenz were former child actors. Tork played the “Ringo” role in the group, as a charming and goofy comic foil.

The Economic Policy Institute has a new report out on the State of Wages 2018: Main takeaway: Wages are rising but most workers are only seeing moderate wage growth “and even workers who have seen more significant gains are just making up ground lost during the Great Recession and slow recovery rather than getting ahead”; economic inequality is rising  generally, and wage gaps by gender and race are persistent and, in some cases, worsening. 

MIDDAY TWEET

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So, uh, why were a bunch of US mercenaries rolling around Haiti heavily armed amidst protests and street unrest?

— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) February 21, 2019

Pinterest blocks vaccine-related searches to battle anti-vaxx disinformation: On Wednesday, Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, chair of the House intelligence committee decided to do as others, including journalists, have been doing—searching “vaccine” on Facebook. He then posted a screenshot of what he found: autofill suggestions for a morass of anti-vaccination groups. But at Pinterest, such a search wouldn’t have turned up anything. Seeing that search results for some terms related to vaccines were broken, Pinterest “broke” its own search tool. This isn’t Pinterest’s first effort to curb anti-vaccine propaganda on its popular site. In 2016, a study found that 75 percent of posts related to vaccines at Pinterest were negative. So it changed its policy to ban anti-vaccine material under a guideline mandating exclusion of false information that “has immediate and detrimental effects on a pinner’s health or on public safety.” 

Experts find Switzerland’s online voting system has serious problems even before first major test:

The public penetration [and bug bounty] test doesn’t begin until next week, but experts who examined leaked code for the Swiss internet voting system say it’s poorly designed and makes it difficult to audit the code for security and configure it to operate securely.

Amazon’s new environmental report likely to show how bad two-day shipping is for the climate

Estimating the emissions from e-commerce is complicated. Ordering something online is often less energy intensive than driving to and from a physical store to pick up an item, because shipping can take advantage of economies of scale. But the benefit declines rapidly as delivery times get shorter and when customers don’t group items together, said Josué Velázquez-Martínez, a sustainable logistics professor at MIT.

That’s a challenge for Amazon, which now counts more than 100 million Prime members, all of whom are eligible for two-day shipping. “When customers want to receive a product in one or two days, the carbon emissions increase substantially,” he said. “If you are willing to wait a week, it’s like killing just 20 trees instead of 100 trees.”

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Greg Dworkin rounds up stories of the day: NC-09; another Trump fan turns terrorist; a study shows how race divides us on identity & values; Israeli election chaos. Also, Trump’s a huge liar & you should never, ever, ever believe him. Especially “in writing.”

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