Unskewed
July 17, 2014
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Awhile ago I poked fun at Tim Cavanaugh for speculating that inflation is much higher than official numbers suggest. There's a whole stat-juking cottage industry working to support this conclusion, most prominently the website ShadowStats. As my colleague John Aziz points out, their methodology with respect to inflation is to take the consumer price index and tack on a few points, so unsurprisingly they show inflation as being quite high.

As Matt O'Brien points out today, the most convincing argument against this is that it implies the economy has been in continuous recession since 1988. However, Cullen Roche noticed something that is perhaps even more telling — ShadowStats itself hasn't changed its subscription price in 8 years:

At $175 for a year long subscription, you still get the same ShadowStats. The cost of the subscription has remained the same even as inflation has moved higher. So, in real terms, there's actually been deflation in the cost of a ShadowStats subscription. Pretty ironic for a service that has been touting the coming hyperinflation for about a decade...[Pragmatic Capitalism]

A bargain at any price! Ryan Cooper

Fires
11:05 p.m. ET

In East Baltimore on Monday night, a community center and senior housing still under construction went up in flames, and a spokesman for the Baltimore mayor's office said the fire is related to rioting in the city.

Kevin Harris told WBAL-TV that the fire destroyed the Mary Harvin Transformation Center, a community-based organization that supports youth and families. Firefighters arrived at the three-alarm fire at 8:49 p.m., and the flames were visible from blocks away. About 60 members of the Southern Baptist Church located across the street watched as the fire engulfed the structures, many sobbing and asking aloud how this could happen.

The project consisted of the community center and about 60 affordable housing units for senior citizens, and has been in development since 2006, the Baltimore Sun reports. The center was to be used for events, educational programs, and employment training. Catherine Garcia

RIP
10:10 p.m. ET
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Jayne Meadows, the award-winning actress and TV personality who often appeared alongside her husband Steve Allen, died Sunday of natural causes at her home in Encino, California. She was 95.

Meadows was born in China while her parents were missionaries, and she started in show business more than six decades ago, People reports. Meadows performed on Broadway stages, starred in movies, and was a regular panelist on I've Got a Secret. She also won the Susan B. Anthony Award for her one-woman show, Powerful Women in History. Meadows was married to Allen for 46 years until his death in 2000. She was also the sister of the late Audrey Meadows, who starred as Alice Kramden on The Honeymooners.

In an email to Entertainment Tonight, her son, Bill, wrote, "She was not only an extraordinarily gifted actress who could move audiences from laughter to tears and back again all in once scene, but she was the greatest story teller I have ever known and I will miss her endlessly fascinating and frequently hilarious anecdotes about her life and the many brilliantly talented people she worked with and befriended along the way." Catherine Garcia

happening now
9:31 p.m. ET

During a news conference Monday night, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said he declared a state of emergency at the request of Baltimore officials, adding that he did not make the decision "lightly," as the "National Guard represents the last resort."

Hogan said the people of Baltimore "deserve peace and safety in their community," and the state will "not tolerate" the "roving gangs" who are to blame for the violence. The governor said he is sending 500 state troopers to Baltimore and is requesting as many as 5,000 officers from neighboring states, with Maryland National Guard Adjutant General Linda Singh stressing during the news conference that it is "not martial law."

Once night fell, looters hit the Mondawmin Mall, a Save-A-Lot, and a Rite Aid in Bolton Hill, and a new senior center was set on fire, the Baltimore Sun reports. A total of 27 people have been arrested so far, police said, and Baltimore city officials announced that school has been canceled for Tuesday. Catherine Garcia

warnings
8:53 p.m. ET
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Police officers across the U.S. are on high alert after Baltimore police received what they say is a "credible threat" targeting all law enforcement officers.

In a statement, Baltimore Police said they received information that members of different gangs, including the Bloods, Crips, and Black Guerrilla Family, have "entered into a partnership" to "take out" police, and "law enforcement agencies should take appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of their officers." Spokesman Capt. Eric Kowalczyk would not elaborate on how the information was received or why it is considered credible, the Baltimore Sun reports, and would not say if it is connected to the Freddie Gray demonstrations. In Los Angeles, the threat is being taken seriously, and officers were ordered to ride in pairs together. Catherine Garcia

This just in
8:15 p.m. ET
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On Monday evening, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced during a news conference that a citywide curfew of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. will start on Tuesday, and will be extended as necessary after one week.

The mayor said that once the curfew goes into effect, everyone has to be off the streets unless it's a "medical emergency or you're going to work," and reminded people that there is a juvenile curfew of 9 p.m. that will be strictly enforced. Rawlings-Blake then turned her attention to the rioters, saying there is a "very clear difference" between the peaceful protesters "who wish to seek justice, those who seek to be heard and want answers," and the "thugs who only want to incite violence and destroy our city." Rawlings-Blake, a lifelong resident of Baltimore, added that "too many people have spent generations building up this city for it to be destroyed by thugs who in a very senseless way are trying to tear down what so many have fought for, tearing down businesses, tearing down and destroying property, things that we know will impact our community for years."

A police official also stated during the news conference that 15 police officers were injured by flying debris thrown by rioters, and two are still hospitalized. He said that over the next few days, officials will look over video footage to identify the perpetrators. Catherine Garcia

happening now
7:31 p.m. ET
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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) signed an executive order Monday evening declaring a state of emergency and activating the National Guard, after looters and police clashed in the streets of Baltimore.

At least 15 police officers were injured Monday afternoon, including two who remained hospitalized Monday night. Cars have been destroyed, bricks have been thrown through windows, and after being looted, a CVS store was set on fire around 6:15 p.m. Once firefighters arrived on the scene, rioters poked holes in the water hose being used to fight the blaze. Baltimore police Capt. Eric Kowalczyk told WBAL-TV he understands that "the images people are seeing on TV are very disturbing. Our highest priority, our first focus right now is to protect the lives of our officers that are out on the street and the people that live and work in those areas." Catherine Garcia

best teacher ever
7:11 p.m. ET

On Monday morning, a teacher in Lacey, Washington subdued a student shooter before anyone was injured, police said.

North Thurston High School government teacher Brady Olson tackled the 16-year-old suspected shooter after he fired a shot into the gym floor, then ran downstairs and fired into the cafeteria ceiling, police said. "I think it's heroic," Lacey Police Commander Chris Ward told NBC affiliate KING 5. "People rise to the occasion when they need to do something. I think, in this case, it probably prevented worse things from happening."

In a statement, Olson said that along with five other teachers, he ran toward the sound of the gunshot. "No one, including myself, can prepare for a situation like this, so I'm very thankful that we're all okay," he said. "As always, students come first, and today was no different." Classes were canceled for the day, and a spokesman for the school said police were interviewing the shooter. Catherine Garcia

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