Midday open thread: GDP growth 0.2%, Nevadans back ‘net metering’ that boosts rooftop solar

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 29-04-2015-05-2008

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  • Today’s comic by Matt Bors is Satire to die for:
    Cartoon by Matt Bors -- Satire to die for
  • GDP: 1Q 2015

    GDP growth tumbles in first quarter—again: A drop was expected in the growth of real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product for the first quarter of 2015, but the seasonally adjusted expansion of just 0.2 percent on an annual basis came in well below the consensus of experts surveyed ahead of time. It’s an old story in the aftermath of the Great Recession. A couple of reasonably good growth quarters followed by a disappointing one. Justin Wolfers has written a piece on the subject of bad first quarters that is worth considering.

    Last year’s negative first quarter was blamed on the weather and, as the year progressed with better GDP reports, that assessment seemed to be an accurate one. This year, there was also rough weather in parts of the nation in the first quarter, but other factors also were at work, including cheaper oil and the West Coast port protests. Consumer spending rose 1.9 percent, according to the government’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, but that was well down from the 4.4 percent of the fourth quarter. Without the 0.74 percent increase in inventory, first-quarter growth would have been in negative territory. An important measure, real final sales of domestic product—which leaves out inventory changes—fell 0.5 percent. In the fourth quarter, it rose 2.3 percent. Core inflation at 0.9 percent was at the lowest level since 2010.

  • Nepal death toll now more than 5,000.
  • Study says the most racist Americans live in rural Northeast and South. Christopher Ingraham writes:

    “For the PLOS ONE paper, researchers looked at searches containing the N-word … It’s also important to note that not all people searching for the N-word are motivated by racism, and that not all racists search for that word, either. But aggregated over several years and several million searches, the data give a pretty good approximation of where a particular type of racist attitude is the strongest.”

  • Fewer Americans identify as “middle class.”
  • These Daily Kos community posts were the most shared on Facebook April 28:

    The Dominant White Response to Baltimore Shows Why Black Residents are Justified in their Anger, by Grizzard

    “Why do they burn down their own neighborhood?”, by antifa

    Baltimore Protest, Elite Ripping Off America More Important Than Baseball: Baltimore Baseball Owner, by Tasini

  • AT&T fires president over sending of racist images:

    AT&T has confirmed that it has fired Aaron Slator, a president who became the subject of a $100 million discrimination lawsuit for using his work phone to send racially offensive images.

    AT&T said in a statement that Slator has been terminated, saying that there is no place for demeaning behavior within the company. The company says it regretted not taking the action earlier.

  • Saudi king signals tougher foreign policy with new line of succession:

    Saudi King Salman appointed a new heir and made his young son second in line to rule on Wednesday, a major shift in power toward two princes who have overseen a more assertive stance at a time of almost unprecedented regional turmoil.

    By making Interior Minister Mohammed bin Nayef, 55, crown prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman, 30, deputy crown prince, King Salman has effectively decided the line of succession for decades to come in the world’s top oil exporter.

  • Nevadans strongly behind “net metering” for rooftop solar:

    Industry advocates have purchased TV ads and billboards, made media appearances, organized a 700-person rally and most recently released a poll to help garner support for increasing a limit on how many consumers can participate in a policy known as net metering. The policy offers consumers a credit for installing solar panels on their rooftops, powering their homes and providing energy to the grid. Nevada, with its 300-plus days of sunshine per year, is fast gaining a national reputation for its growing solar industry. But solar advocates say the 5,900 jobs and carbon-free energy to the grid it currently provides are poised to hit a road block.

    The poll found 70 percent of respondents in favor of net metering.

  • Team Blackness discussed Baltimore Ravens star Ray Lewis who posted a plea on Facebook saying that Freddie Gray’s death was unjust and symptomatic of larger issues: “We know there’s injustice but rioting in our streets is wrong!” Specifics would be helpful. Also discussed were more reactions to #BaltimoreUprising and its upcoming trip to the city, updates on Nigeria and Boko Haram, and more words of ignorance from Donald Trump.

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  • On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Greg Dworkin rounds up the crazy, SCOTUS, and 2016 news. Joan McCarter on the headlines, budget hang-ups, the Gop’s fix-vs-repair puzzle, and Rick Scott’s Medicaid drama. Bates brags about using Sheriff’s Dept. as his playground.

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