September 30, 2018

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (093018)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

September 29, 2018

Third-Quarter GDP Growth Predictions: Pointing Towards Over 3 Percent (Annualized)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:17 am

Friday was the final business day of the third quarter, so it’s worth looking at where GDP estimates stand following the strong second quarter:

  • The Atlanta Federal Reserve is currently estimating an annualized 3.6 percent.
  • Moody’s is at 3.2 percent.
  • The New York Fed’s GDP Nowcast, which badly underestimated second quarter growth, appears to be doing it again, with a 2.47 percent estimate.
  • Macro Advisers is at 3.1 percent. In late August, it estimated July’s monthly GDP growth (not annualized) was a strong 0.4 percent, and tentatively estimated that August and September would each come in at 0.2 percent.

Barring serious data surprises, another quarter of annualized growth of over 3 percent appears very likely.

2Q18 GDP, Third Release (092718): An Annualized 4.2 Percent, Unchanged From Previous Release

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:05 am

Thursday morning, the government’s third release on second quarter GDP came in unchanged:

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 4.2 percent in the second quarter of 2018, according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 2.2 percent.

The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “second” estimate issued last month. In the second estimate, the increase in real GDP was also 4.2 percent. With this third estimate for the second quarter, the general picture of economic growth remains the same; a downward revision to private inventory investment was offset by small upward revisions to most other GDP components. Imports which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, were revised down slightly.

Real gross domestic income (GDI) increased 1.6 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 3.9 percent in the first quarter. The average of real GDP and real GDI, a supplemental measure of U.S. economic activity that equally weights GDP and GDI, increased 2.9 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 3.1 percent in the first quarter.

The increase in real GDP in the second quarter reflected positive contributions from PCE, nonresidential fixed investment, exports, federal government spending, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment and residential fixed
investment. Imports decreased.

The acceleration in real GDP growth in the second quarter reflected accelerations in PCE, exports, federal government spending, and state and local government spending, as well as a smaller decrease in residential fixed investment. These movements were partly offset by a downturn in private inventory investment and a deceleration in nonresidential fixed investment. Imports decreased after increasing in the first quarter.

Current-dollar GDP increased 7.6 percent, or $370.9 billion, in the second quarter to a level of $20.41 trillion. In the first quarter, current-dollar GDP increased 4.3 percent, or $209.2 billion.

The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 2.4 percent in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 2.5 percent in the first quarter (table 4). The PCE price index increased 2.0 percent, compared with an increase of 2.5 percent. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 2.1 percent, compared with an increase of 2.2 percent.

Updates to GDP

The percent change in real GDP was unrevised from the second estimate, reflecting a downward revision to private inventory investment that was offset by upward revisions to state and local government spending, PCE, nonresidential fixed investment, exports, and residential fixed investment. Imports were revised down slightly (actually, they weren’t, as seen below — Ed.)

Here’s how it shook out in detail:

GDPcomponentsThru2Q18at092718

The big revision was to private inventories. Slightly positive moves in every other category kept the quarter’s “final” figure (pending comprehensive annual revisions every July) where it was (rounded) a month ago. The fixed nonresidential component was among them, and its combined 2.62-point contribution during the past two quarters is the best performance since the final two quarter of 2011.

The press and the left are still falsely contending that they set the stage for the current economy. The government’s graph of quarterly performance makes a mockery of that claim:

QtrlyGDPgraphBEAto2Q18

Annualized GDP growth averaged barely 1.5 percent during the second quarters ending in 1Q17. That’s not momentum; it’s barely treading water.

As seen at this graph at the St. Louis Fed, real per capita GDP was $54,201 in 2Q15. By 1Q17, it had only increased to $54,945. The annualized increase during that period was only 0.78 percent.

Positivity: 40 Days for Life campaign begins in over 400 cities

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 8:09 am

From Washington:

Sep 27, 2018 / 07:00 am

The 40 Days for Life 2018 fall campaign began on Wednesday, claiming groups in a record 415 cities are taking part.

“The momentum in the pro-life movement is ours to keep or lose,” Shawn Carney, president of 40 Days for Life, said Sept. 23. “We are going all in this fall.”

“We have received more media coverage, conducted more leader training, and offered more free materials to local campaigns than ever before,” he added.

The outreach campaign, launched in 2007, takes place in both the spring and the fall. It aims to use prayer, fasting and peaceful vigils to end abortion and to ask God to “turn hearts and minds from a culture of death to a culture of life, thus bringing an end to abortion,” the campaign website says.

According to its own figures, 40 Days for Life outreach has helped save over 14,600 lives from abortion. Its volunteers have held over 5,600 campaigns in 769 cities in 50 countries, with about 750,000 total participants.

During these campaigns, 96 abortion facilities have closed and 178 abortion workers have quit their jobs, the group says.

One group in the eastern U.S. began the fall 2018 campaign a week and a half early, and learned that one abortion worker quit during their sidewalk witness.

The campaign explicitly encourages a “positive, prayerful presence” and participants avoid shouting, confrontations with patients and employees, and the use of graphic images of abortion.

In Birmingham, England the fall campaign began with 150 people at its launch event.

Speakers included a grandfather whose grandchild would have been aborted if the child’s pregnant mother hadn’t encountered participants in a 40 Days for Life vigil. Also speaking was a woman who had an abortion after she became pregnant through assault.

A couple whose baby was saved from abortion during a previous campaign appeared with their child.

The campaign has been underway in Boston, Mass. for 10 years where Rita, a retired obstetrics nurse, is now a local leader. She told 40 Days for Life she is normally a homebody, but years ago she mentioned the possibility of leading the campaign to her husband.

“I wanted to run it by him because I knew he would tell me no, and then I’d be off the hook. Instead he said, ‘I think we should do it!’ We’ve been leading here ever since and have no plans to stop,” she said. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092918)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

September 28, 2018

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092818)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: MCSO: Homeowner in his eighties shoots suspected burglar

Filed under: 2nd Amendment,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Mobile, Alabama (video at link; HT The Blaze):

Sep 19, 2018, Updated Sep 21, 2018

A Mobile homeowner in his 80s is apparently sick and tired of getting his home burglarized.

Mobile County Sheriff’s Officials said he shot and wounded one of two men who tried burglarize his home Wednesday afternoon.

Authorities it happened at a home on Padgett Switch Road at the corner of Roy E. Ray Airport Road.

Sheriff’s officials didn’t identify the homeowner, but said he apparently knows what’s it is like to be a crime victim.

This is a story that began with a reported home burglary… and ended several miles away with a man in handcuffs.

Deputies converged on a home on Padgett Switch Road after they said they were flagged down by a gunshot victim in a car.

But deputies said they thought there was more to the story, so they did more investigating.

Captain Paul Burch with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office said, “The owner has been a victim of burglaries numerous times in recent months. The alarm went off, he responded to his house, encountered some burglars, some incidents occurred leading up to him firing some shots, and one burglar was struck.”

Deputies identify the wounded suspect as Travis Carter.

They said he was taken to a hospital, but was responsive.

Deputies began searching for Craig Cumbie, who they said was the second burglary suspect and had four active warrants.

They said Cumbie was found later in the afternoon at a home on Robyn Lane and was arrested.

A woman who didn’t want to be identified who lives in the area of the crime scene said the man who was burglarized has been a crime victim many times in the past.

She said, “I mean, this is not the first time. He’s always being robbed.”

She also said word gets around among criminals.

The woman said, “Can’t feel safe in your own home, your own yard.”

Deputies did not file any charges against the homeowner. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

September 27, 2018

Positivity: Millennials staying married at a higher rate

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:02 pm

From Washington:

Sep 26, 2018 / 04:30 pm

A recent study from the University of Maryland has shown that members of the generation born in and after the mid 1980s are divorcing at a lower rate than older cohorts.

Philip Cohen, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland, released an analysis Sept. 15 which drew on census data to show that the divorce rate in the United States had dropped by 18 percent between the years 2008 and 2016. The drop was credited in large part to millennials staying married–even if they are marrying at lower rates than previous generations did at the same age.

Dr. John Grabowski, associate professor of moral theology and ethics at the Catholic University of America, told CNA that he believes the report is “kind of good news and bad news.”

“The good news is: the divorce rate is falling, particularly among millennials. The bad news is less people are getting married, especially poorer people. Many people are just choosing to cohabit.”

While it had been thought that a drop in the divorce rate could be credited to an aging population less likely to divorce, the study showed that even when controlling for age the divorce rate still dropped by 8 percent, and that the millennials who do marry tend to stay married more than older demographics.

Slightly more than 10 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 are divorced, a number which has stayed relatively stable since 1980. In contrast, over a quarter of people over the age of 44 are divorced, a 10 percent rise since 1980.

According to a separate study from Bowling Green’s National Center for Family and Marriage Research, the divorce rate for people aged 55 to 64 almost doubled between 1990 and 2015.

In calculating the divorce rate, Cohen compared the number of divorces to the number of married women so that the divorce rate would not be positively impacted by fewer marriages overall.

Grabowski hypothesized that the lower divorce rates among millennials could be partly explained by marriage no longer being considered a social an expectation or requirement among their generation. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092718)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

September 26, 2018

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092618)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: Pro-Abortion Doctor Was “Horrified” After Seeing Aborted Baby’s Hand, Becomes Pro-Life

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From England, Life News:

SEP 17 2018, 11:56AM

Some doctors may not know their stance on abortion, believing it to be a sterile procedure that rids a woman of her pregnancy. Some may not realize the gravity of the situation until they witness the abortions themselves.

Take Dr. Roxana Chapman, for example. An article by Live Action features Dr. Chapman’s story and her journey to the pro-life movement.

Chapman was an OB/GYN practicing in England before abortion was legal. She had no personal experience with abortion, and pro-abortion propaganda swayed her toward the mindset of supporting abortion.

In a book Chapman published, “Abortion: The Patient’s and the Doctor’s Dilemma,” she explained her experience (or lack thereof) with preborn children during medical school:

“We had, of course, studied embryology at medical school, but pictures in a textbook meant little when compared with the real-life drama of working in a dissecting room in the anatomy department, and I really had little idea of the incidence of criminal abortion, nor of the appearance of an early foetus.”

Like many people who are pro-abortion, she initially thought that barring a woman’s right to an abortion “would trample on the individual’s personal rights of freedom.”

“In those days, I thought that women only had terminations in cases of rape, incest, chronic and serious health conditions, or if made to have abortions by vicious and uncaring husbands. I thought the decision was a private matter between the woman and her doctor and the doctor always knew best…. I believed in a woman’s right to choose, and to have reproductive freedom.”

In the years since abortion was legalized in England, however, only 0.005 percent of abortions were performed to save the life of the mother or to prevent serious permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the mother, according to the report.

Despite this misinformation, Chapman only recognized what an abortion did when she was asked to examine a woman who had just had a D&C procedure. Used to treat various problems such as miscarriages, fibroids, polyps and uterine cancer, the procedure involves scraping the lining of a woman’s uterus and removing the tissue. When a woman is pregnant, however, a D&C aborts the unborn child.

“I carried out an internal examination and was shocked, indeed horrified, to feel a tiny baby’s hand in the vagina. ‘You were pregnant!’ I screamed. ‘No, I wasn’t,’ she replied. Her denial, and the duplicity of the doctor who admitted her for a ‘D&C’ stunned me. The scales fell from my eyes and I realized, for the first time, that abortion consisted of the dismembering of a living human being, and was not, as the media was pleased to say, the scraping out of a few cells and some blood.”

When Chapman saw the child’s hand, she said her life was changed forever. She became pro-life, refusing to perform abortions even when threatened with the loss of her job. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

September 25, 2018

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092518)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: Makers of Hit Movies “God’s Not Dead” and “I Can Only Imagine” Make New Pro-Life Movie “Unplanned”

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington:

SEP 19 2018, 5:50PM

The makers of the hit movie “God’s Not Dead” are coming out with a new film about the life of Abby Johnson.

A former Planned Parenthood director, Johnson became a pro-life advocate as a result of a 40 Days for Life outreach in her community. Now, she runs an organization called And Then There Were None that helps abortion clinic workers leave the industry.

Compelled by her conversion story, film writers/directors Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon of “God’s Not Dead” and “I Can Only Imagine” fame decided to turn Johnson’s book “Unplanned” into a film of the same name, the Daily Wire reports.

“Unplanned,” a drama based on Johnson’s memoir, is scheduled for release in the spring of 2019.

Shawn Carney, president of 40 Days for Life and a friend of Johnson’s, said he has been working with the film directors for years, but they did not announce anything publicly until now. A Hollywood Reporter article leaked news about the film earlier this week.

“Needless to say, Planned Parenthood is not happy about this movie, so please keep this project in prayer as there is much going on behind the scenes,” Carney wrote on 40 Days for Life’s blog. “You don’t need me to tell you that the media portrays many pro-life people as violent or judgmental. This movie will show the love, mercy, and joy that have helped save thousands of babies and helped hundreds of abortion workers leave their jobs.”

The film will follow Johnson as a director of Planned Parenthood and later as a pro-life advocate with a strong desire to help women. Johnson, played by Ashley Bratcher (“War Room” and “90 Minutes in Heaven”), oversaw approximately 22,000 abortions at Planned Parenthood before she witnessed the ultrasound of an unborn baby that changed her life. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

September 24, 2018

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092418)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

September 23, 2018

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (092318)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.