In a new report certain to generate consternation in the stock market and the White House but private glee in the Republican Party, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday that the private sector generated a seasonally adjusted 130,000 jobs in April. Public sector layoffs brought the total down to 115,000.
It was the second month in a row that the economy created a disappointingly low number of jobs. This indicates that the upward trend in job creation of earlier this year has gone the way it did in 2011. Only this time, there is no Japanese tsunami or Arab revolutions interfering with commerce and putting uncertainty into the mix of perceptions about where the economy might be headed.
One small positive: Revisions changed growth in payroll employment in February from 240,000 to 259,000 and in March from 120,000 to 154,000.
The civilian labor force participation rate fell to 63.6 percent and the employment-population ratio fell to 58.4 percent.
"This remains a weak economy, and the job counts in March and April?which have come in at considerably below 200,000 per month?may perhaps continue right through the summer," said Kathy Bostjancic, director of macroeconomic analysis at The Conference Board.Nearly three years after the official end of the Great Recession, 12.5 million Americans are officially out of work, 5.1 million of them for longer than at any time since the depths of Great Depression 80 years ago.
An alternative measure of unemployment called U6 includes part-time workers who want full-time work and some but not all of the millions of people who have become too discouraged to look for work. That number was unchanged at 14.5 percent. Overall some 25 million Americans are jobless or underemployed. If large numbers were not leaving the workforce, the situation statistics would look worse than they do. How many of those are leaving for voluntary retirements is a matter of contention.
Here's what the new job numbers have looked like for April in the most recent six years:
April 2007: +72,000
April 2008: -208,000
April 2009: -692,000
April 2010: +239,000
April 2011: +251,000
April 2012: +115,000
While the survey of business establishments showed the 115,000 increase, the BLS's monthly household survey (Current Population Survey) showed the number of jobs fell by 169,000. The CPS number is more volatile, which means it rarely makes the headlines.
The BLS jobs report is the product of a pair of surveys, one of business establishments and the Current Population Survey of households. The establishment survey determines how many new jobs were added. The CPS provides data that determine the official "headline" unemployment rate, also known as U3. That's the number that is now at 8.1 percent.
Among other changes detailed in today's job report:
? Retail: +29,000
? Financial: +1,000
? Constructon: -2,000
? Transportation & warehousing: -17,000
? Leisure and hospitality: +20,000
? Professional & business services: +62,000
? Health care: +19,000
? Manufacturing: +16,000
? The average workweek (for production and non-supervisory workers was unchanged at 34.5 hours.
? Average manufacturing hours rose to 40.8
? The average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 1 cent to $23.38. Over the past year such earnings have risen 1.8 percent, compared with an inflation rate now running at 2.7 percent.
Yesterday around 3:00 pm, the 2012 regular session of the Mississippi Legislature came to an end.
There still exists a possibility of a special session to address charter school legislation, which failed to pass this session. I doubt, however, that one will be called.
Did that potted [plant] incident ever happen? ? and meeting in some garage. One meeting in the garage? Fifty meetings in the garage? I don?t know how many meetings in the garage ? There?s a residual fear in my soul that that isn?t quite straight. – from “Yours in Truth: A Personal Portrait of Ben Bradlee,” by Jim Himmelman
BOB WOODWARD PLEADED to Himmelman, “Don?t give fodder to the fuckers.” He’s talking about people like me.
But it’s not “fodder.” It’s historical context from none other than Ben Bradlee. The story Woodward Carl Bernstein broke, along with Barry Sussman and Howard Simons, changed history by breaking the Nixon administration wide open. The Washington Post won a Pulitzer for their coverage and the story ended up as one of the most incredible political thrillers in motion picture history.
This new Watergate mystery revolves around Jim Himmelman, a former research assistant to Bob Woodward. In uncovering long buried Ben Bradlee memos to which he was given access for a new book he’s writing, excerpted from New York magazine last Sunday, it’s revealed that Ben Bradlee was a skeptic about certain details in “All the President’s Men.”
Joel Achenbach is covering this bombshell for the Post. Max Holland of the Daily Beast has been critical of the Deep Throat legacy for some time and also did a write up this week, as did Politico, as well as Slate’s Jack Shafer.
As an aside, Ben Bradlee makes an appearance in my book The Hillary Effect, as does his wife Sally Quinn and for good reason. Bradlee admitted that Ken Starr, as a judge back in the ’80s, gave the Washington Post a judgment on a libel suit that saved the paper millions of dollars and endeared Starr to him forever. This little nugget was reported by Salon.com in an article titled “The Not So Mighty Quinn,” which is no longer available online, though it’s partially cached on Google. It’s one reason it was critical to get the history written down.
During Watergate, I watched every televised portion of the hearings and hung on every word, which is why this story got my attention. I became enamored with Republican Howard Baker because of his performance during the hearings, as did many, thinking Sam Ervin, chair of the Senate Watergate Committee, a god for the way he handled his difficult job, which you’d never see from anyone today. It was back in the days where my political opinion was moored to my big brother’s tutelage.
Himmelman’s Bradlee find freaked Woodward out, but Bradlee was nonplussed. He also refused to do what Woodward asked, revealing a lot about both men.
Bob went into his pitch, which he proceeded to repeat over the course of the meeting. He would read the ?residual fear? line out loud, and then say he couldn?t ?gure out how Ben could still have had doubts about his reporting so many years after Nixon resigned. This was the unresolvable crux of the problem, and one they circled for the duration of the meeting: How could Ben have doubted the ?owerpots and the garage meetings, when the rest of the reporting had turned out to be true? Bob thought this was inconsistent and hurtful. Ben didn?t. Bob tried everything he could to get Ben to disavow what he had said, or at least tell me I couldn?t use it. Ben wouldn?t do either of those things. ?Bob, you?ve made your point,? Ben said after Bob had made his pitch four or five times. ?Quit while you?re ahead.?
[...] He closed by making a direct, personal appeal to Ben. ?You?re this legend,? he said. ?You?re the editor.? Ben?s doubts were going to mean something to people. Ben did his aw-shucks routine, but he had clearly made the calculation that Nixon?s resignation, and the reporting that had contributed to it, weren?t contingent on whether Deep Throat had watched Bob?s balcony for ?owerpot updates. That was on Bob and Carl, not on Ben or on the Post.
[...] At the end of the meeting, when Bob asked for his ?nal opinion, Ben said, ?I?m okay with it, and I think I?m going to come out of it ?ne. So you two work it out.?
Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward gave Joel Achenbach their response to Himmelman, which is offered below in its entirety, because to do otherwise wouldn’t be right.
?If Jeff Himmelman thinks his discovery of a December 4, 1972 memo on Watergate is a significant revelation, he is wrong. The memo he has is authentic. To the best of our recollection, someone contacted Carl and said there was a person, a neighbor, who had important information on Watergate. Carl went and interviewed the woman as described in the Dec. 4, 1972 memo. As the memo plainly shows, Carl did not know she was a member of the Watergate grand jury when he arrived at her home.
?She gave Carl her phone number ? and he later noted ?this checked w. grand jury list number? that we had. If he knew initially that he was interviewing a member of the grand jury, that would have been stated at the top of the memo, as was our style in all Watergate memos of interviews. He also quotes her in the memo as volunteering, ?of course I was on the grand jury? because that was news to him.
?Though the woman threw out lots of names of those she suspected of furthering the criminal conspiracy (she had some right and some wrong), she provided no specific information of suspect or illegal actions. What she said led to no story. As Carl wrote in the memo, ?she advises us to read our articles from Sept. 15 to Oct. 30. ?You will have many clues ? there is more truth there than you must have realized.? We wrote those stories and did realize they were true. Those stories essentially outlined the Watergate conspiracy and alleged that crimes had been committed by Haldeman, Mitchell, Stans, Kalmbach, Magruder, Porter, Chapin and Segretti.
?We referred to this woman?s interview in less than two pages (p. 211-213) in our book about covering Watergate, All the President?s Men. In that book we did not, of course, reveal that she was a member of the grand jury ? in order to protect her as a source.
?When asked on April 26 2012 by Himmelman, neither of us ? until after reading the original memo after 39 years ? remembered she had been a member of the Watergate grand jury. The interview with her had been of little consequence because she was not telling us much more than we already believed ? and published. And the lack of specifics in her account meant we had little to follow up on. Frankly we were not sure what to make of her comments at the time, and in our book Carl noted that she ?sounded like some kind of mystic.? But it was one of those interviews that gave us and our editors comfort that we were on the right track as later demonstrated by the subsequent investigations and history. The memo does, however, show that a member of the grand jury thought the prosecutors, who supervised and ran the grand jury, had missed the real story and the high-level conspiracy.
?You ought to publish the whole memo so your readers can see it and understand its clear context.
? Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward?
From the New York Times, part of what Woodward had to say:
In an interview Monday, a day after New York magazine published an excerpt from the book, Mr. Woodward described Mr. Bradlee?s comments as outdated, long before the identity of Deep Throat, Mr. Woodward?s anonymous source, was revealed.
?I can understand in 1990, when Ben doesn?t know all the details, he?s kind of musing and saying, ?Gee, I?m not sure this is all straight because it seems so incredible,?? he said. ?But all of Watergate was incredible.?
He added, ?This is a classic case of manufactured controversy, as best I can tell.?
Mr. Himmelman, through his publisher, declined to be interviewed.
It’s not clear at all it’s a “manufactured controversy.” It would change the way many watch “All the President’s Men,” as well as study the subject. If Deep Throat and the flag in the flower pot were manufactured in part, it changes the dramatics, though not the outcome.
The Washington Post still brought down Richard M. Nixon.
It remains very unfortunate Gerald Ford pardoned him.
Warren Buffett, the third wealthiest man on the planet (net worth: $44 billion), often referred to as the ?Oracle of Omaha,? is the target of a May 5 action called for by Stop Coal B.C. Well, not Buffett directly, but a rail company he owns through his[...]
Read The Full Article:
For several years, Arizona vigilante J.T. Ready conducted armed, civilian patrols along the U.S. border, urging the use of violence to prevent smuggling and illegal immigration.Then Maryland:
On Wednesday, the former Marine, who was running for Pinal County sheriff, went on a shooting rampage in a sedate Gilbert neighborhood, killing four people before he took his own life, authorities believe.
The victims ranged from a 15-month-old infant to a 47-year-old grandmother. Investigators have yet to list a motive for the killing spree, but early indications suggested an explosion of domestic violence rather than a political act.
A man and a woman were killed and another woman seriously injured in a possible double-shooting and suicide at a church in Maryland late on Thursday.Then California (twice):
In Carson, south of Los Angeles, an ICE agent was shot dead at his home in what is being described as a domestic incident. His 14-year-old son was arrested for allegedly firing the fatal shot.
And in Petaluma, north of San Francisco, three ICE agents were shot Thursday morning while serving warrants. Their injuries do not appear to be life threatening.Your Second Amendment proud at work.
Australia made the decision to hitch onto China years ago and so far, the ride has been mostly good. As the economy in China expanded, so did the economy in Australia. Raw materials helped feed the demand in China and the money kept rolling in.
The downside to this approach is that China has its own bubble and when that slows, so does Australia. Then you have a credit issue that is tied to the heavy commodity trading with China. Add to this the problem of overvalued housing and you have what many believe is a painful bubble on the verge of bursting.
It was a good ride, but all bubbles eventually pop. More on the future of the Australian economy via CNBC:
Australia is headed for the ?mother of all hard landings,? according to Société Générale strategist Albert Edwards, who says the country?s ?credit bubble? could burst if China?s economy suffers a sharp slowdown.
?(In Australia) We see a credit bubble built on a commodity bull market based on a much bigger Chinese credit bubble,? Edwards said in a report. ?Of all the bubbles I have seen over the last 30 years in this industry, this one is even more obvious.?
Edwards reiterated his case for a hard landing for the mainland economy, pointing to the official Purchasing Mangers Index (PMI) of 53.3 last month, which he says is ?the worst? April reading in years.
A few weeks ago we talked about how our friends at Cuéntame were calling out corrupt hypocrite Debbie Wasserman Schultz for her scandalous role in the prison-for-profit system. Cuéntame wants to know why Wasserman Schultz, the head of the DNC is "siding with the Corrections Corporation of America and not her constituents in Southwest Ranches? 99% of her constituents DO NOT want a new for-profit immigrant detention center!" Although CCA "donates" their bribe money primarily to right-wing Republicans like Steve Womack (AR), Kevin McCarthy (CA), John Culberson (TX) and Marsha Blackburn (TN), Wasserman Schultz is one of the few Democrats taking payoffs from them as well.
Yesterday Russ Baker noted at WhoWhatWhy that fewer Americans are committing serious crimes than ever and wondered aloud why more Americans are getting locked up. He suggested we ask our friends at the "very lucrative private prison industry." He's right... them and the corrupt political hacks, like Wasserman Schultz, they buy off. In fact, he hones right in on Wasserman Schultz's pals at Corrections Corporation of America.
America?s system of detaining and monitoring ?criminals? impacts more people than ever before. Including those who are either in some form of incarceration or in the parole and probation process, you?re looking at an affected population of?.six million. One out of every 100 Americans is behind bars now. And every year, about 13 million Americans spend some time in jail for at least a brief spell.
State legislators faced with dwindling revenues are eager to offload inmates to ?cheap? private facilities
The private prison industry grew 350 percent over the past fifteen years.
Two private companies-- Corrections Corporation of America and The GEO Group-- dominate the private prison industry. The biggest company, Corrections Corporation of America, is offering to buy prisons from states as long as they can promise an adequate supply of prisoners to make the deal worthwhile.
Studies show that private facilities perform badly compared to public ones on almost every metric-- prevention of intra-prison violence, jail conditions, rehabilitation efforts-- except reducing state budgets and adding to the corporate bottom line.
To keep their gravy train rolling, private prison companies need a few things from state and local government:
1) Lots of people arrested and convicted (often of essentially victimless crimes) and given long sentences. This most heavily impacts young black males-- about one in nine of whom is in prison, many for using or selling marijuana, or, to a lesser degree, harder drugs. (Although whites have comparable drug use rates, their prosecution rates are dramatically lower.)
2) Opposition to the decriminalization of drug use, which would cut sharply into prison industry profits. (As a result, it ain?t going to happen.)
3) The continued criminalization and detention of undocumented foreigners.
With serious crime rates dropping, the US has fewer and fewer of the hardest-core (mostly male) criminals who were once prime targets for incarceration. To replace them, the private prison industry needs more young people, more women and (thanks to the immigration snatch game) more children as fodder for detention facilities.
The privatization of prisons is yet another instance of how small-government advocates are driving more and more of our lives into the hands of companies whose only objective is to turn a profit-- without concern for larger social consequences. When public services like incarceration are handled as cheaply as possible, terrifying outcomes can result, including, in this case, unnecessary harm to minor offenders, the hardening of minor offenders into serious criminals, and calls for still more draconian law enforcement and punishment protocols, whose main justification is to keep those for-profit prisons filled.
How bad can it get? A private detention company in Pennsylvania bribed two judges to order youths imprisoned.
This may not be the first case in the country, but it's the first time that I know of that a police officer is being disciplined for misusing a Taser. This is a small, gritty town on the Philadelphia border that's seen quite a few ups and downs over the past several decades, and in the past, has had a lot of problems with their police force:
The acting head of the Colwyn Borough Police Department was suspended today while borough and county officials investigate an incident involving a juvenile who was Tasered while handcuffed in a holding cell at the department.
Deputy Chief Wendell Reed is the second person to be suspended for the April 24 incident, said Mayor Daniel Rutland. The officer who allegedly administered the shock, Cpl. Trevor Parham, was suspended earlier this week and a third officer who was allegedly present when it occurred is expected to be suspended as well, according to sources and Rutland.
State police were called to the scene today for back up as Rutland delivered the news to Reed, but Reed left on his own accord.
Detectives with Delaware County's Criminal Investigation Division, who act as Internal Affairs investigators for the county's police departments, were also on scene and removed computers and a Taser from the department.
Rutland said no documentation of the incident was made and the proper procedures were not followed. He said he only found out about it after receiving calls from concerned citizens. He said the only person from the department to notify him was Lt. Wesley Seitz, who will now act as head of the department.
Rutland said "there was word" that Reed had been planning to suspend Seitz today for investigating the incident and reporting it.
This post contains spoilers through the May 3 episode of Community.
One of the reasons I tend to prefer Community’s rarer emotionally precise episodes to its high-concept episodes is that while I trust that the show cares deeply about the characters, when it takes on cultural forms, the show usually has more to say about the forms themselves than the ideas that animate and give life to them. Last week’s Law & Order episode, for example, touched on the power that we give the cops, but it’s more about replicating the fact that pop culture cops hit things in interrogation rooms than in exploring what it means that they do. In addition to feeling weirdly rushed and formless, this week’s episode had elements of that same issue when it came to Chang’s takeover.
When Dean Pelton’s initially running through Chang’s list of requests for the security squad, it’s a quick runthrough of the War on Terror: “Cool new uniforms, like that. Power to enact martial law, not so much Indefinite detention. pepper spray. Involuntary cavity searches. No soft serve?…I’m sorry, Chang, this stuff is too extreme. This is a community college, not an inner city high school.” It’s kind of funny, but it’s mostly the same old flip joke about Dean Pelton missing what’s important and Chang being self-important. Same with Jeff’s declaration at Starburns’ funeral that he’s achieved “Acceptance that this place, this Fallujah of higher learning, is a prison from which none of us will ever escape.” It’s the same sort of overreaching statement he always makes (though this one is an unattractive comparison), only this time the conclusion is bitter rather than superficially uplifting.
The thing is, there is an interesting story to be told about small men who amass great power in secret, like the ones who actually implemented some of the things Chang wants Dean Pelton to give him power to do. Hopefully this rushed setup will give later episodes some time to deal with Chang’s psyche in particular and how what these power grabs mean in a real way. Chang’s not wrong when he complains that “That’s the problem with you civilian suits. You want results, but you don’t want to see how the sausage gets made.” And Dean Pelton’s not the only man to sign papers wile saying “Just promise me you’ll use restraint.” Better get that part of things in writing.
Welcome to The Morning Pride, ThinkProgress LGBT?s daily round-up of the latest in LGBT policy, politics, and some culture too! Here?s what we?re reading this morning, but please let us know what stories you?re following as well. Follow us all day on Twitter at @TPEquality.
- In case you missed it: Last night, the Civil Unions Act advanced out of the Colorado House Judiciary Committee, the bill’s biggest hurdle.
- NPR highlights how LGBT activists continue to pressure President Obama on a nondiscrimination executive order and same-sex marriage.
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s recent decision that transgender employees are protected under federal law will “almost certainly impact” federal contractor rules.
- According to a Wake Forest University law professor, the latest ad from Amendment One’s proponents “completely misses the point” on domestic violence protections.
- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s (I) new city budget includes severe cuts to youth homeless shelters.
- A proposed nondiscrimination ordinance in Jacksonville, Florida has garnered the support of 12 former chairs of the region’s Chamber of Commerce.
- Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald, a trans woman in Minnesota, has plead guilty to second-degree manslaughter, though reports suggest she was defending herself from attacks to her race and gender.
- Exodus International, an umbrella organization for ex-gay ministries, has canceled its upcoming “Love Won Out” conference due to a lack of interest.
- Are conservatives taking aim at Campbell’s Soup for their next unsuccessful anti-gay boycott?
- The outgoing student body president at American University came out this week as trans.
- This week’s editorial cartoon in the Dallas Voice takes aim at Amendment One: