- Today's comic by Ruben Bolling is Cartoon: What will climate change deniers say…?
- GDP for first quarter revised to minus 1.0 percent: The government's Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday that real (that is, inflation-adjusted) growth in gross domestic product fell at an annual rate of 1.0 percent in the first quarter. That is the first time GDP has contracted since the first quarter of 2011. This second estimate of the first quarter's GDP was revised from the 0.1 percent reported last month as a consequence of having more complete data. A third estimate will be reported next month at this time. The decrease was attributed to slower inventory growth and higher than expected imports.
"Severe weather conditions had a deeper impact on first quarter economic activity than previously estimated," said Robert Hughes, a senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research. But, he said, "Much of the weakness will likely result in pent-up demand and should reverse in the second quarter."
- Initial applications for unemployment compensation fall again. For months, initial claims for unemployment compensation have been bouncing around, with quite high differences from week to week. But the less-volatile four-week running average is now at its lowest level in nearly seven years and is now close to what it has been historically during economic growth periods. For the week ending May 24, seasonally adjusted initial claims were 300,000, a down 27,000 from the previous week's slightly revised level. For the comparable week of 2013, initial claims were 350,000. The four-week running average was 311,500. Total claims for the week ending May 10 were 2,553,581, down 66,969 from the previous week. For the comparable week of 2013, there were 4,571,189 persons claiming compensation in both state and federal unemployment programs. Much of that year-over-year plunge is a product of the failure of Congress to renew the federal program.
- 100 years of summer songs: In 1929, it was Fats Waller with "Ain't Misbehavin'." In 1994, it was "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys.
- 9/11 Museum makes changes in items offered in gift shop after public outcry: Several items for sale came in for excoriating commentary. One was a "Darkness Hoodie" with a image of the twin towers and the line "In Darkness We Shine Brightest."
Responding to criticism of the gift shop since the museum's dedication earlier this month, Joe Daniels, president of the memorial foundation, said Wednesday in an interview that the museum would enlist more help in vetting products from the 9/11 family members who sit on the foundation's board.
Merchandise reviews, he said, will now take place in the museum store itself, allowing the vetters to see the items in the context of what many regard as a sacred space.
- Maine fines National Organization for Marriage:
Maine’s ethics commission voted unanimously Wednesday to impose a $50,250 fine on the nation’s leading organization opposing gay marriage, in a ruling that could affect the way nonprofit organizations attempt to influence Maine elections.
The vote followed an investigation in which the staff of the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices found that the National Organization for Marriage concealed its operations and donors during its successful bid to overturn Maine’s same-sex marriage law in 2009.
The vote means that the state will require the organization to register as a ballot question committee and disclose its donors from the 2009 campaign.
- LeVar Burton's "Reading Rainbow" Kickstarter fund-raiser meets its million-dollar goal for July 2 on first day.:
- CWU public affairs reporting class all about legal pot:
How do you get college students interested in public affairs reporting? Central Washington University (CWU) journalism professor Cynthia Mitchell did it by making her COM 308 course all about marijuana legalization.
“It really has seemed to capture the students’ attention,” she says. “I’m getting far better stories than I normally do, and they seem far more engaged. So it’s going great, and we plan to continue” after this quarter, which ends next Thursday. [...]
[Journalism lecturer and co-creator of the pot class Stephen] Woodward, a former Oregonian reporter, adds: “Cynthia and I are thinking way beyond a single course. As the rest of the nation contemplates the future of recreational and medicinal marijuana, we anticipate a growing demand—no pun intended—for journalists with serious expertise in the complexities of the marijuana industry.”
- #TeamBlackness discussed NRO's use of the death of Maya Angelou to tout gun ownership, why you shouldn't call your wife "baby doll" in the middle of an argument, why women are more stressed out at home than at work, and America's problem with breastfeeding.
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- On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin with more from Kinsley & why he's wrong. New EPA regs & likely fallout. Terry Lynn Land & McConnell are terrible. Cuomo as test case for pulling Hillary left? Help Brainwrap help MI? Gun news roundup. A little NatSec chat.
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