- Today's comic by Ruben Bolling is God-Man: Enter the Purse Thief!:
- 2nd quarter GDP growth revised upward to 4.2 percent: In its second calculation of seasonally adjusted, annualized growth in gross domestic product for April-June, the Commerce Department reported Thursday that this broad measure of all goods and services was a bit better than reported in its first calculation last month, up 4.2 percent instead of 4 percent. A consensus of analysts had expected the report to clock in at a slight decrease to 3.8 percent. Despite the stronger showing, however, growth for the first half of the year has been only 1.05 percent because GDP sharply contracted in the first quarter.
The latest calculation nevertheless has persuaded most analysts that an economy that has been stumbling along in fits and starts during a five-year recovery from the Great Recession is on track to better improvement. But this isn't the first time since the recession was officially declared to be over that GDP has grown faster than 4 percent, only to grow much more slowly in subsequent quarters.
The Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday forecast GDP growth of just 1.5 per cent for all of 2014, down from 3.1 percent in 2013. Economists at JPMorgan Chase are forecasting 1.9 per cent growth this year.
- Initial unemployment claims below 300,000 for second consecutive week: For the week ending August 23, seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment compensation were 298,000, down 1,000 from the previous week's revised level. The four-week running average that smooths volatility in the weekly number was 299,750, down 1,250 from the previous week's revised average. For the comparable week of 2013, initial claims were 336,000.
- Medal of Honor arrives better late than never for Gettysburg hero.
- "I like my girls chubby" said the senator squeezing the senator: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York has a book coming out soon, Off the Sidelines. Included in it are accounts of the misogynist behavior of some of her male colleagues in the Senate. Gillibrand says that after she lost about 50 pounds in the wake of her pregnancy, a male senator came up behind her and squeezed her waist, telling her: “Don’t lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby.” Others called her "porky."
- In partial victory for polygamists, federal judge in Utah finalizes bigamy ruling: Judge Clark Waddoups on Wednesday finalized a ruling he made last December striking down a section of Utah's bigamy statute that applies to someone who "cohabits with another person" to whom they are not legally married. The state law makes that a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Waddoups ruled that the ban violated the 1st and 14th amendments. But he did not overturn that part of the statute which bars anyone from having more than one active marriage license.
The ruling stems from an investigation by a Utah county attorney into alleged violation of the bigamy statute by polygamist Kody Brown and his four wives, all of whom have made a name for themselves on the reality television show, "Sister Wives." The Brown family has since moved to Nevada and were never prosecuted under Utah law.
- With Sawyer gone, all nightly news anchors are white men (again).
- Study: Pot-smoking couples less likely to commit domestic violence:
“The authors caution that while these findings are predictive–meaning couples who smoke are less likely to commit domestic violence–they don’t necessarily draw a causal line between the two behaviors. Among the connections they hypothesize, ‘marijuana may increase positive affect, which in turn could reduce the likelihood of conflict and aggression.’ Translation: stoned people are happy, and happy people don’t fight.”
- Preliminary studies show hydraulic fracking could cause birth defects:
Some of the best preliminary research regarding fracking and public health looks at how the process may impact pregnancies in those living near wells, and so far the results haven’t been heartening. For example, scientists at the Colorado School of Public Health in January published a peer-reviewed paper in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives finding an increased rate of congenital heart defects in babies born to mothers living near gas wells in Colorado.
Also in Colorado, scientists found elevated levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals in groundwater samples at a town at the center of the fracking boom. Those chemicals are linked to infertility, and led researchers to believe that populations surrounding the area “may face greater health risks” than those who don’t.
- Just when you thought reality television couldn't get any more problematic, Lifetime introduces a new makeover show, Girlfriend Intervention. The thinking behind the show? "Trapped inside every white girl is a strong black woman ready to bust out." So it's a team of black women making over white women with a healthy dose of shaming and some very problematic racial politics. Nice work, network television.
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- On today's Kagro in the Morning show: Greg Dworkin's narrative-buster: Medicare not exploding. Here comes pro-militarization lobbying. Bob McDonnell's living where? Shocking cop cam video. Keeping up with views on drug-detecting nail polish & "suburban ghettos."
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