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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Other religious groups, not so much. More than two years into Donald Trump's presidency, white evangelical Protestants in the United States continue to overwhelmingly support him, according to a new analysis of Pew Research Center survey data.

Other religious groups, however, are more divided in their views of the president. Roughly seven-in-ten white evangelical Protestants (69%) say they approve of the way Trump is handling his job as president, according to the Center's latest polling in January 2019.

This is somewhat lower than Trump's approval rating in the earliest days of his tenure – when about eight-in-ten white evangelicals (78%) approved of his job performance – but is in line with most polls conducted by the Center since the inauguration.


The worst agricultural downturn since the 1980s is taking its toll on the emotional well-being of American farmers. In Kentucky, Montana and Florida, operators at Farm Aid's hotline have seen a doubling of contacts for everything from financial counseling to crisis assistance.

In Wisconsin, Dale Meyer has started holding monthly forums in the basement of his Loganville church following the suicide of a fellow parishioner, a farmer who'd fallen on hard times. In Minnesota, rural counselor Ted Matthews says he's getting more and more calls.

"Can you imagine doing your job and having your boss say ‘well you know things are bad this year, so not only are we not going to pay you, but you owe us'," Matthews said by telephone. "That's what's happened with farmers.''


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Fire officials are now uncertain about how long the chemical fire at Intercontinental Terminals Co. will continue after the blaze at the Deer Park facility worsened overnight. A definitive timetable no longer exists, said Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie Christensen. read more


The U.S. economy is on track to grow 3 percent or faster this year despite an admittedly lackluster start to 2019, the White House's chief economist said Tuesday. "The state of the economy is strong," Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett said on Bloomberg Television, before adding that "data for the first quarter is looking pretty weak."

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's GDPNow tracking forecast, the economy will expand at just a 0.4 percent annual rate in the three months through March.

That could put President Donald Trump behind the curve on his pledge to deliver annual growth of 3 percent or higher.


The 24-year-old man in custody in connection with the murder of reputed Gambino family crime boss Francesco "Frankie Boy" Cali waived extradition back to New York City during a court appearance Monday in New Jersey.

Anthony Comello appeared in court wearing a green and white jumpsuit and had handwritten pro-Donald Trump slogans on his palm, which he held in the air while waiting for the hearing to begin in Toms River.

On it were scrawled pro-Trump slogans including "MAGA Forever," an abbreviation of Trump's campaign slogan "Make America Great Again." It also read "United We Stand MAGA" and "Patriots In Charge."

In the center of his palm he had drawn a large circle. It was not immediately clear why he had done so.


Comments


I posted this summary yesterday, but it got lost...

WH sez economy on track for 3% growth, 1Q data sez meh
www.bloomberg.com

...The U.S. economy is on track to grow 3 percent or faster this year despite an admittedly lackluster start to 2019, the White House's chief economist said Tuesday. "The state of the economy is strong," Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett said on Bloomberg Television, before adding that "data for the first quarter is looking pretty weak."

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's GDPNow tracking forecast, the economy will expand at just a 0.4 percent annual rate in the three months through March.

That could put President Donald Trump behind the curve on his pledge to deliver annual growth of 3 percent or higher....


0.4% growth for the first quarter of 2019? The economy will need to rally to reach 3% growth for the year...


Don't believe the hype: We may never know the identity of Jack the Ripper
arstechnica.com

...A new DNA analysis of stains on a silk shawl that may have belonged to one of Jack the Ripper's victims concluded that the killer was a Polish barber named Aaron Kosminski, according to a paper published last week in the Journal of Forensic Sciences. But other scientists are already calling into question the paper's bombshell conclusions -- and they're not exactly mincing words....

While the authors claim this is "the most systematic and most advanced genetic analysis to date regarding the Jack the Ripper murders," their work has not been well received, either back in 2014 or now. Geneticist and popular-science writer Adam Rutherford, author of A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived (among other tomes), interviewed Louhelainen at the time of the book's publication for BBC Inside Science. "I asked him if this evidence would stand up in court if the murder had taken place recently, and he said 'no,'" Rutherford tweeted. "So why do we even vaguely consider that 130 years later it would be valid?" Turi King, a geneticist at the University of Leicester, whose team did the genome sequencing of Richard III, called the new paper "unpublishable" on Twitter, asking, "How did this ever get past peer review?"

One issue is the lack of conclusive proof that the silk shawl in question actually belonged to Eddowes -- or, even if it did, that she was wearing it when she was murdered. The authors state that it is "purportedly linked" to Eddowes, but that provenance is questionable, according to both Rutherford and King. Furthermore, the authors merely "hypothesize" that the stains are related to blood spatter from the victim and ----- from the killer....



Trump's Twitter Attack on GM and the UAW Strays From the Facts
www.bloomberg.com

...President Donald Trump is mixing faulty narrative and falsehoods with some fair criticism to attack General Motors Co. and the United Auto Workers union for the closing of an auto factory in Ohio, a state that will play a pivotal role in his re-election bid.

GM's Chevrolet Cruze plant in Lordstown, Ohio, built its last car on March 6 and has no new product to build. The automaker has been transferring many of the factory's workers to other plants around the U.S., making its revival unlikely.

Here's what Trump has been saying, and what he's gotten right and wrong....


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