Good grief
May 21, 2019

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has constructed just 1.7 miles of fencing along the southern border with the $1.57 billion Congress appropriated last year for the project, a lawyer for the House of Representatives told a federal judge on Tuesday.

In a court filing, House General Counsel Douglas Letter told Judge Haywood Gilliam that this information is current as of April 30, Bloomberg reports. Letter also said this was three-quarters of a mile more than had been reported to Congress in February.

Gilliam is the judge in a lawsuit brought by 20 Democratic state attorneys general and the Sierra Club; they are trying to block Trump from using unauthorized money from the Treasury and Defense departments to fund his border wall. Gilliam requested the information during a hearing on May 17. Catherine Garcia

May 30, 2018

Apparently, they're selling a lot more than just milk and eggs at the grocery stores in Tennessee.

Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), who is running for governor, held a meeting last week with several pastors, and the topic of gun violence came up. In audio of the meeting obtained by HuffPost, Black is heard lamenting the "deterioration of the family" and saying that pornography is a "big part" of school shootings. "It's available on the shelf when you walk in the grocery store," she said. "Yeah, you have to reach up to get it, but there's pornography there. All of this is available without parental guidance. I think that is a big part of the root cause."

There have been 23 shootings of some kind on the grounds of K-12 schools or colleges this year, HuffPost reports, and experts say that reducing access to firearms and policies that help pull people out of poverty and poor social conditions will help lower gun violence. Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, tweeted that Black has "all of the data and experts at her disposal" yet she still blames "'grocery store pornography' for school shootings. And she doesn't mean the magazines that glorify guns." Catherine Garcia

December 31, 2014

The eurozone depression is now officially worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s. What does that mean in concrete terms? One way of looking at it, courtesy of the British economist Simon Wren-Lewis, is in terms of the output gap. That's how much economic activity could be happening, but isn't, due to austerity and hard money. Here's a chart Wren-Lewis made, looking at the situation by country:

Most people have heard that Greece and Spain are in dire straits. But even places like France, the Netherlands, and Austria are suffering a significant output gap. Heck, even Germany is down about 1 percent.

The overall output gap across the eurozone is calculated here as about 3 percent. Let's be conservative and say that 2 percent is closer to the true number. According to the IMF, the adjusted GDP of the Eurozone is $16.8 trillion. Two percent of that, rounding down, is $300 billion.

So the Eurozone isn't actually lighting more than $300 billion on fire – it's worse than that. The output gap represents jobs, goods, and services literally canceled out of existence for no reason. At least if you piled up $300 billion and torched it, you could keep people warm for a few minutes. Ryan Cooper

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