May 4, 2012


The "unofficially unemployed":

Last year there were 86 million people who didn't have a job and weren't consistently looking for one, according to Labor Department data.

Older people, ages 65 and over, account for more than a third. Young people between 16 and 24 make up another fifth. More than half don't have a college degree and more than two thirds are white.

Many of the teens and 20-somethings may be enrolled in either high school or college full-time. And many of the over 65 crowd are probably retired.

But what about the other 36 million folks who fall in between?

A senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center and former commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Keith Hall, "suspects the number of "disengaged" Americans, like Everett, is higher than usual as a direct result of the recession."

With 115,000 new jobs created in April, and unemployment at 8.1 percent, Mitt Romney says that he would create 500,000 jobs per month and a standard unemployment of 4 percent. He also promised everyone pink unicorns with glitter.

Just before May Day, members of Occupy Wall Street launched court cases against the NYPD:

NEW YORK (April 30, 2012) – Today, Occupy-affiliated demonstrators who were illegally held for two hours against their will on November 30, 2011 inside a pen built of interlocking metal barricades filed a civil rights action in federal court. The group is represented by the law firms of Rankin & Taylor and Beldock Levine & Hoffman. In addition to damages, the group seeks an injunction on behalf of all demonstrators in New York City that would prohibit similar Police tactics.

Release from the attorneys here.

Federal Court Monitor Questions Oakland's Response to Occupy

The federal court monitor tracking reforms in the Oakland police force said Monday that the effort had met "outright stagnation," and raised questions about officers' use of beanbag shotguns and other weapons during what he called a "military-type" response to Occupy demonstrations.

NYPD, FBI Raid Occupy Activist's Homes Before May Day

In the first case: activist Zachary Dempster said that six NYPD officers broke down the door of his Bushwick, Brooklyn apartment at around 6:15am this morning. Dempster said they were armed with a warrant for the arrest of his roommate, musician Joe Crow Ryan, for a six-year-old open container violation. But Dempster believes this was an excuse to check in on him, as he'd been arrested in February at an Occupy Wall Street Party that was broken up by cops, and charged with assaulting a police office and inciting a riot.

Research Shows the US is a Low Wage Country

Tennessee Passes Abstinence-Based “Gateway Sexual Activity” Bill

This is the state that just made it possible to sue teachers who tell children how human reproduction works.

From Down with Tyranny:

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.

Full report here.

The New York Tiimes recently published an article called "Terrorist Plots, Helped Along by the FBI." Undercover operations have become a mainstay in counterterrorism, targeting suspects because of speech or angry postings on the internet. And as in the case on May Day, the use of informants who are often convicted felons or agents posing as terrorists. Claims of entrapment most always fail, even in one case, when the judge, as she was sentencing one man to decades in prison admitted that the guy wouldn't be a "terrorist" if it weren't for the FBI:

"Only the government could have made a 'terrorist' out of Mr. Cromitie, whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in its scope," said Judge Colleen McMahon, sentencing him to 25 years. She branded it a "fantasy terror operation" but called his attempt "beyond despicable" and rejected his claim of entrapment.

Full article here.

Michael Moore can sing! Who knew?

A blogger and member of Occupy San Francisco believes that police plants -- not Black Bloc -- were behind the spree of vandalism before the march on May Day.

Jamie Dimon acknowledges that Occupy Wall Street has "legitimate complaints"

Asked about the Occupy Wall Street movement against financial greed and economic inequality, Dimon acknowledged that the protesters have some “legitimate complaints.” He argued, however, that it’s unfair to paint all institutions with one brush: “It was everyone guilty. That’s another form of discrimination.”

He also added: "When things go wrong, finance gets blamed." Poor guy, think he may have been feelings pangs of what used to be his conscience?

From Jason Leopold at Truthout: Latest batch of Occupy Wall Street documents released by DHS show White House was approving talking points for DHS.

Voter registration down among hispanics, blacks.

Atrios explains how to stop the nation's spiraling debt:

Basically if you become that irresponsible government which prints money instead of collecting taxes in order to pay its bills, you can get high and rising inflation. But there's a simple solution. You print up a giant amount of money and then stop. You convince people you're no longer going to be irresponsible by having one last bender and then going cold turkey. The final bender gives you enough cash to pay your bills. You might lower the value of your currency, but it's a one time thing. Then it stops.

Read the entire post here.

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