July 3rd, 2009

Depressing economic news post

[My .02: These are ongoing trends. Republican amnesia to the contrary, the trends didn't begin in January, 2009. However, Obama was elected to arrest these trends. The stimulus bill was signed 4 months ago; it wouldn't have halted this decade-long slide in that amount of time. But more needs to be done, quickly. < / personal opinion >]

* US unemployment rises to 9.5% as of July 2, 2009. The jobless rate for the western US topped 10%, first time it's hit double digits in 25 years.

* At the same time, pay for US workers is going down (data at Paul Krugman's blog).

* Unemployment disproportionately affecting men, who have unemployment rate of 10.6%, higher than national average. (Dollars & Sense.)

* Between 1999 and 2009 - a whole decade - the American economy added only a total of 1.16 million jobs. However, that many jobs could be lost by year's end, making this past decade a "lost decade" on the jobs front. "It's the first time since the Great Depression that a recession has wiped out all the jobs created during the previous business cycle."

* Personal/household bankruptcy filings are increasing. They increased by 40% over the last month.

* Seven more banks failed on July 2, 2009, bringing the total to 52 failed banks so far for 2009.

* Ongoing: 47 million Americans still lack health insurance. Lack of health insurance causes 18,000 deaths per year. Medical debt is leading cause of US bankruptcies. US spends twice as much on health care as average Western country with universal health care or "socialized medicine."

Above, Paul Krugman debates stimulus & health care with right-wing economist John Taylor, who is of the "tax cuts all the time, any time" school. PART 2 beneath the cut.

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Women are America's primary breadwinners - but make less than men

tl;dr - Women primary breadwinners for US households, yet they make 78 cents for every dollar made by men. 74% of all job losses have gone to men. Family dynamics shifting as more married women become heads of household financially.

Interactive Graphic: Women Still Primary Breadwinners

By Heather Boushey | July 2, 2009

The Great Recession has left millions of women nationwide to be the primary breadwinner—a task made more challenging since women typically earn only 78 cents for every dollar men earn.

As the hemorrhaging of jobs in manufacturing and construction continues to destroy livelihoods, men continue to bear the brunt of job losses in this 17 month-long recession. As of May 2009—the latest data available—women account for a record high of 49.8 percent of all payroll jobs. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Establishment Survey, men account for 74.2 percent of all jobs lost since the recession began in December 2007.

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Also: "More wives primary breadwinners."

USA Today reports that the economic downturn is shuffling the traditional family dynamic, with more women taking on full-time work and more men staying home to help out with household responsibilities. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that women make up 46 percent of the labor pool, that figure is likely to change, since about 82 percent of the 2.5 million jobs lost since November were held by men.

"How interesting that four months of a terrible economy could in a way prove to have more impact than four decades of feminism," said Amy Keroes, founder of mommytrackd.com, a networking site for working mothers, who was quoted in USA Today.

From: "Women Becoming Primary Breadwinners"

Scrub tech may have exposed thousands to hepatitis

DENVER – A former surgery technician may have exposed thousands of Colorado patients to hepatitis C when she swapped her own dirty syringes for ones filled with a powerful narcotic, federal authorities said Thursday.

Kristen Diane Parker faces criminal charges for allegedly making the swaps while working at Audubon Ambulatory Surgery Center in Colorado Springs and Rose Medical Center in Denver.

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Police use taser on pastor after traffic stop.

Police in Texas used a Taser on a 42-year-old pastor and pepper spray to disperse members of his church after police said the pastor interfered with a traffic stop.

Jose Moran was arrested early Wednesday morning after interfering with the duties of a public servant in the parking lot of a Webster, Texas, building that is being remodeled for the Iglesias Profetica Peniel Church, Webster police said in a written statement.

Moran's son, Omar, said his father had been trying to help. He added that his father has heart problems.

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It's hard to tell with just this who's telling the truth but... damn. He's about my father's age, who also has health problems. The thought of him getting tasered is horrible.


Krugman: Stimulus underestimated severity of econ. problem

July 3, 2009
Op-Ed Columnist

That ’30s Show

O.K., Thursday’s jobs report settles it. We’re going to need a bigger stimulus. But does the president know that?

Let’s do the math.

Since the recession began, the U.S. economy has lost 6 ½ million jobs — and as that grim employment report confirmed, it’s continuing to lose jobs at a rapid pace. Once you take into account the 100,000-plus new jobs that we need each month just to keep up with a growing population, we’re about 8 ½ million jobs in the hole.

And the deeper the hole gets, the harder it will be to dig ourselves out. The job figures weren’t the only bad news in Thursday’s report, which also showed wages stalling and possibly on the verge of outright decline. That’s a recipe for a descent into Japanese-style deflation, which is very difficult to reverse. Lost decade, anyone?

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2nd round of Tea Parties losing steam

Tea Party Movement Loses Steam: July 4th Events Get Little Media. GOP Support
First Posted: 07- 3-09 09:38 AM | Updated: 07- 3-09 11:34 AM

The Washington Independent:

While South Carolina's political establishment wrestles with the fate of Gov. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), Ron Parks has already moved on. He's one of the organizers of a July 4 Tea Party in Charleston, a rally that will celebrate America and protest the way that President Barack Obama is governing it.

"We had 6,000 people show up at the last Tea Party in Charleston, on April 15, when [Gov.] Sanford spoke, said Parks, a contractor who lost his job earlier this year and quickly found work as a volunteer with the Tea Party movement. "We're expecting fewer people this time, but I'd love to have to eat my words."

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Shirley Animated

Fetus fetishists STILL won't give up!

Colorado voters in 2008 trounced an amendment that would have defined a fertilized human egg as a person, but supporters of the "personhood" ballot issue are angling for a rematch in 2010.

This time, though, they're avoiding the word "fertilization" in the amendment's language, saying that the term confused voters, who may have visualized chicken eggs.

"When we use 'fertilized egg,' it's a pejorative," said Keith Mason, director of Personhood USA, an Arvada-based organization supporting the measure and similar proposals across the country.

Supporters today gathered outside the state Capitol to announce that they had filed language for the proposed Colorado Personhood Constitutional Amendment with the Legislative Council, the first step in getting an initiative petition approved for circulation to place it on the November 2010 ballot.

The amendment would say that "the term 'person' shall apply to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being."

So what is "the beginning of the biological development of that human being"? That would be up to courts to decide, said Gualberto Garcia Jones of PersonhoodColorado.

Voters in 2008 defeated Amendment 48, with 72.8 percent against to 27.2 percent in favor. The amendment proposed changing the constitution to say that "the terms 'person' or 'persons' shall include any human being from the moment of fertilization."

Even so, supporters of the new personhood amendment say they think they can win this time.

"The basic reason we are doing this again is we are right," Mason said. FFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

Leslie Hanks, vice president of Colorado Right to Life, compared support for the proposal to the civil-rights movement. It's an ongoing struggle, she said.

"They didn't give up after one strategic loss," Hanks said.

Monica McCafferty, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said there was little difference between the latest personhood proposal and Amendment 48.

"The language certainly remains vague and is up to interpretation by the courts," she said, "but it does appear to have the same aim as Amendment 48.

"The fact remains, Colorado has voted on this issue, and a 73 percent majority said they don't want this."

Toni Panetta, political director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, said the amendment would create a "legal nightmare" in the state's constitution if passed.

"Like Amendment 48, which Colorado voters rejected by a 3-to-1 margin, this amendment looks like it would have far-reaching consequences on important life decisions that should be made by individuals, their doctors, and their family," Panetta said.


EPIC FAIL. These ~Personhood~ people are WINGNUTS to the nth degree. Leave our state alone! No matter how these assbags re-word their stupid amendment, we all know it means the same thing. Also, I suggest reading some of the comments over at the source. Some are quite lulzy, but in a good way!
Ninth Doctor

North Korea's Latest Launch

North Korea launches beer advert


North Korea's latest launch is not missiles, but a TV advertising campaign for a locally-brewed beer.

In a rare nod to commercial motives in the resolutely communist nation, the TV advert features a thirsty worker holding a mug of frothy beer.

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Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2009/07/03 09:57:15 GMT


The fact that a beer commercial in North Korea is enough to warrant a BBC news article is pretty interesting. Are there really so few commercials aired in that country?
LOLitics | Rove-innnn&#39;

Shenanigans Friday: July 3, 2009.

"You've got to vote for someone. It's a shame, but it's got to be done." --Whoopi LOLdberg

Please exploit these resources:
  • macro blanks: browse by ALBUMS
  • macro blanks: browse by TAGS
  • ROFLBOT (for your caption needs)
MOAR Picture Sources:

by eyetosky
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Sarah Palin To Resign As Alaska Governor

Sarah Palin has announced that she will resign as governor of Alaska and will not seek a second term.

CBS Affiliate KTVA reports that at a press conference this morning Palin said she will resign the governorship within a few weeks.

CBSNews.com producer Scott Conroy, who covered Palin's vice presidential campaign last year, confirmed through a source close to the governor said she is leaving office.

Earlier today, a holiday, Palin sent out an early morning press release indicating that she would be making an announcement from her home in Wasilla.

Joining Palin were her parents, family and state commissioners.

Palin said that power will be transferred to Lt. Governor Sean Parnell, who will be sworn in during the upcoming governor's picnic in Fairbanks.

She did not field questions, and would not give any indications about her future plans.


More sources: MSNBC
Washington Post (which speculates she's focusing on Presidential run)

My note: Keep checking news.google.com and other places.

I think someone has something on her. You don't make a move like this on a Friday, a holiday, if it's GOOD news. This is the ultimate news-cycle "take out the trash" day

ETA: Salon on her..um..."speech"

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OP EDITORIAL REDUX: During her Thanksgiving "pardoning a turkey" speechy-type thing, there were turkeys being slaughtered behind her, graphically. Today, we had ducks mating in the background. (Hubby was howling at it). I think it was appropriate imagery considering her rant about lame duck governors :D

ETA the 4th? 5th?: Sarah Twitters: "We'll soon attach info on decision to not seek re-election... this is in Alaska's best interest, my family's happy... it is good, stay tuned"
Frankie posing

Breaking: Sarah Palin will NOT seek re-election --> Sarah Palin stepping down as Alaska Gov.

Breaking off of CNN: Sarah Palin will NOT seek re-election as Governor of Alaska. A press conference to come very soon.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is expected to announce Friday that she will not seek a second term, three sources tell CNN.

Palin has scheduled a 3 p.m. ET news conference at her home in Wasilla. The governor’s office offered no further details about the subject of the news conference, but the sources tell CNN that Palin will announce her decision to forgo another run.

"She thinks she has accomplished goals she has set forward," one of the sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said. "She sees what a positive influence she has had on people's lives from traveling the country in the last year."

As the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, Palin is considered one of the frontrunners for the GOP nomination in 2012. Her decision not to seek another term as governor is sure to stoke speculation that Palin is seriously eyeing a run for the White House.

EDIT: Sarah Palin to stepping down as Alaska Governor. Thanks to thecityofdis for this article.


Report: Palin resigning as Alaska governor

Former vice presidential hopeful won't finish out first term

WASILLA, Alaska - Sarah Palin plans to resign as governor of Alaska in a few weeks, KTUU-TV reported Friday.

Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate in 2008, made the announcement at her home Friday morning, the station said.

Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell will take over at the end of the month, KTUU reported.

With her at the announcement were Parnell and most of her cabinet.

There was no immediate word as to why she will step down before the end of her first term, though some have speculated in the past that she may be interested in running for president in 2012.

source from CNN

EDIT: Sources tell Andrea Mitchell that Sarah Palin is out of politics for good. More to develop (Thanks miss_romania )

SC serial killer blamed for 4 deaths in 6 days

GAFFNEY, S.C. – Sheriff's deputies searched Friday for a serial killer blamed for four deaths over the past six days as terrified residents wondered who might be next.

Investigators have not figured out how the victims are linked or if they knew the man who shot them. So far, all they have is a sketch of a suspect and a possible getaway vehicle, said Cherokee County Sheriff Bill Blanton.

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Be careful, peeps.


(no subject)

UES Gay Bashing Spree Continues, AVP Issues Community Alert


The NYC Anti-Violence Project has issued a community alert (PDF) after a third Upper East Side gay bashing in one week by what appears to be the same group of young men who committed the attack I reported on Monday. The victim in that attack provided the NYPD with the sketch (left) of one of the men involved in his assault. There have been three other attacks on non-gay persons.
Community Alert: Three out of six attacks in the last month on the Upper East Side investigated as anti-LGBT Hate Crimes.

This morning, the New York City Anti-Violence Project learned of six violent attacks on the Upper East Side that have occurred in the span of just over a month, but most between June 26th through June 28th. A disturbing commonality in at least two of the incidents has been the use of slews of anti-gay epithets during the attacks, regardless of the self-identity of the victims. Three of the incidents are being investigated as Hate Crimes by the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force. The Anti-Violence Project is urging the NYPD to investigate all six as possible hate crimes. All of the attacks occurred in the early morning hours.

The news comes just after the release of the 2008 Hate Violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People in the United States report, which includes the New York City Anti-Violence Project’s data on anti-LGBT hate violence in New York City. The report documents that in NYC there was a 12% decrease in reports of incidents, but an increase in the severity of the attacks. Murders alone increased 67%; robbery and larceny rose 140%, and sexual assaults increased 171%. The recent reports from the Upper East Side have made clear that the trend in severity appears to be continuing.
On Sunday a 40 year-old man was assaulted on Second Avenue near East 84th Street as he walked alone from the subway. Police are seeking the same four to six young white men for all the attacks.


This is scary.  More and more I've been thinking about buying a gun.


GOP: Sotomayor has ties to "Extremist" group!!

Sessions Claims Sotomayor Tied To "Extreme" Group

The top Republican on the Senate committee that will consider Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court nomination says a Puerto Rican civil rights group's papers could shed light on her judicial approach, particularly her view of racial preferences in hiring.

White House Counsel Greg Craig, however, told Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., in a letter that board meeting minutes and other papers detailing the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund's activities while Sotomayor was an outside adviser shouldn't impact her nomination because she had no role in writing or approving them.

"During her time there, the organization took extreme positions on legal issues ranging from the death penalty to abortion to racial quotas," Sessions said in a statement. He said it was "absurd" for the White House to call the documents irrelevant.

The battle over the papers isn't likely to damage Sotomayor's chances of confirmation, since Democrats have more than enough votes in favor of President Barack Obama's first high court nominee, and Republicans have shown little appetite for trying to block her.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will begin confirmation hearings July 13, shrugged off the GOP concerns being raised about Sotomayor, saying some in the GOP were going to oppose any Obama pick _ "even if the president had nominated Moses." (or Jesus)
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&#39; jules

She accidentally her governorship. Is this bad?

Palin Resignation: 10 Theories Why


Palin locks horns with the media on a regular basis, and the most recent addition to America’s Palin-bashing oeuvre—Todd Purdum’s 10,000-word Vanity Fair profile—was a doozy. Palin’s closest colleagues ridiculed her with nicknames like “Little Shop of Horrors,” accusations of incompetence and a personality disorder, and leaked personal emails. Alluding to Palin’s notoriously thin skin when it comes to media criticism (last week, an amateur blogger named “Celtic Diva” prompted Palin to ask for the president to intervene), Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall characterized Palin’s resignation speech as “a colossal sulk… an effort on her part to ingeniously combine anti-liberal media bias agitation with Christianist politics by portraying herself as having been crucified by the liberal media.”

And really, what better way to screw the media than making such a huge announcement on a holiday weekend? Gripes Politico’s Ben Smith: “So much for today being a slow news day.”

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Federal Indictments for Palin in Embezzlement Scandal May Be on the Way

In an "exclusive", The Brad Blog is reporting that Alaskan reporter, Shannyn Moore, is now saying that federal indictments in the "iceberg scandal" may soon break "concerning use of Wasilla Sport Complex building material for Palin's home..."

I believe this was mentioned during the campaign and now it does appear that there was fire behind the smoke.
Okay, I've now been able to get independent information from multiple sources that all of this precedes what are said to be possible federal indictments against Palin, concerning an embezzlement scandal related to the building of Palin's house and the Wasilla Sports Complex built during her tenure as Mayor. Both structures, it is said, feature the "same windows, same wood, same products." Federal investigators have been looking into this for some time, and indictments could be imminent, according to the Alaska sources.

The BRAD BLOG has not been able to receive confirm from any federal sources on this. Our information comes from local Alaskans who follow Palin, and who have been keeping an eye on this for some time, while keeping it quiet at the request of federal investigators.
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This certainly lends itself to the theory that she's never getting back into politics again.  My prediction is that she will make a beeline for the first major network that offers her a contract, and in the mean time, will make a shitload of money on the lecture circuit.  Good thing, too, because it sounds like she's going to need the money to hire a legal defense team to keep her (and possibly Todd's?) asses out of prison.

It also explains a lot about the sudden nature of this announcement, and why she's getting the hell out of Dodge before they can throw her out.  I wonder if their kids actually even know the real reason, or they've been feeding them the same happy horseshit that her speech today was full of?

Bring on the popcorn-eating GIFs.....this looks like it's going to be good.