Midday open thread: 4th Qtr GDP adjusted down to 2.2%; media lousy at archiving digitized content
Today’s comic by Ruben Bolling is Super-Fun-Pak Comix, feat, Lady-Superhero-Man, and more!
• Government adjusts GDP sharply downward in latest report: In its final report on 4th quarter economic growth, the Bureau of Economic Analysis at the Commerce Department announced Thursday that annualized growth in real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product during the final three months of 2018 was 2.2 percent rather than the 2.6 percent that was reported last month in a report that combined January and February data because of the government shutdown. That was a big step down from the 3.4 percent growth of the 3rd quarter. For all of 2018, real GDP growth was 2.9 percent, compared with 2.2 percent in 2017. Many signs continue to indicate a further slowdown in real GDP growth in the 1st quarter, which ends this weekend. The Atlantia Fed’s GDPNow feature currently projects 1.5 percent real GDP growth for the 1st quarter. But GDPNow is volatile and its final tally for each quarter typically misses the official tally from the BEA, often by quite a bit.
• Poll shows Californians have changed their minds about the death penalty, at least for now, In 2016, the state’s voters approved a ballot initiative supporting the continuation of capital punishment in the Golden State and calling for a speed-up of executions. That’s one reason Republican leaders (and some other Californians) criticized Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom when he announced earlier in March that, during his term of office, he would block any executions of the 737 people on death row in the state. Now, however, a survey by the Public Policy Institute has found a decided shift in opinion, with 62 percent of California adults and 58 percent of likely voters saying they prefer life imprisonment without a chance of parole instead of the death penalty for first-degree murderers. Just 31 percent of adults (38 percent of likely voters) favor the death penalty, according to the PPI poll.
• Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids could make history again. The two Democratic freshman representatives are the first Native women to serve in Congress. Now Senate seats in their home states of New Mexico and Kansas have opened up and some of their supporters would like to see them seek those higher offices. Asked if she might run for the seat being vacated at the end of his term of Democrat Tom Udall, Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo gave a hearty maybe, tweeting “I’m giving the Senate race a lot of thought and consideration.” If she does run, she could have plenty of primary competition. In Kansas, Davids, a member of the Ho Chunk tribe, has been silent about any possible Senate run to replace Republican Sen. Pat Roberts. Unlike Haaland, Davids won in a district with a long history of electing mostly Republicans.
Sen. Lindsey Graham called President Donald Trump a “race-baiting xenophobic bigot” in 2015 but in 2018 claimed that he had “never heard him make a single racist statement.”What happened @LindseyGrahamSC?
— Alex Cole (@acnewsitics) March 27, 2019
• Media are not properly archiving their digital output: In January, the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism completed an in-depth survey of 48 individuals at 30 news organizations and preservation initiatives. The results are not encouraging, as the title of the center’s report makes clear—“A Public Record at Risk: The Dire State of News Archiving in the Digital Age”:
What we found was that the majority of news outlets had not given any thought to even basic strategies for preserving their digital content, and not one was properly saving a holistic record of what it produces. Of the 21 news organizations in our study, 19 were not taking any protective steps at all to archive their web output. The remaining two lacked formal strategies to ensure that their current practices have the kind of longevity to outlast changes in technology.
Meanwhile, interviewees frequently (and mistakenly) equated digital backup and storage in Google Docs or content management systems as synonymous with archiving. (They are not the same; backup refers to making copies for data recovery in case of damage or loss, while archiving refers to long-term preservation, ensuring that records will still be available even as formatting and distribution technologies change in the future.)
• Here’s an interview with Greg Carlock, who thinks the Green New Deal will mark a new era of politics: He crafted a GND for Data for Progress before the Ocasio-Cortez/Markey resolution was presented. Although he concedes that building the political will to enact any version of a Green New Deal will take significant effort, Carlock says “from an engineering perspective, we know how to [fix climate change]. From a policy perspective, we know how to do it. We know the solutions.”
The acting head of NOAA said yesterday that the White House’s “adversarial” look at climate science needs to stick to peer-reviewed research to be taken seriously.
“Stick to the science, and the facts are what they are,” Neil Jacobs said. “If there are things in there that aren’t so, it’s hard to defend them.”
On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Greg Dworkin asks, is ACA repeal Trump’s no-deal Brexit? No one’s buying exoneration. It’s still the economy, but a new “stupid.” Good guy with a gun theory debunked. Corruption as nat’l security threat. Trump’s executive orders mostly meaningless.