New York Times Editors: "A recent report on job markets globally showed that too few jobs are being created worldwide, and even fewer good jobs are. Wages are flat or falling in all major economies as corporate profits claim an increasing share of productivity gains. The report, prepared by the World Bank, the United Nations'labor agency and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, notes that poor job creation and stagnant wages, if unchanged, will result in permanently lower living standards for most people amid widening inequality. It also states that the situation will not repair itself -- and, actually, is self-reinforcing.... Governments in the grip of poisoned politics and misguided ideology have largely abdicated their role." The report abstract & links to content are here.
... CW: All of this, of course, is what Krugman has been saying since 2008....
... As Nisky Guy points out in today's Comments, Krugman is still at it:
This idea that has been born, maybe out of the economy over the last couple years, that you know, I really don't have to work. I don't really want to do this. I think I'd rather just sit around. This is a very sick idea for our country. -- John Boehner
... Paul Krugman: "I could point to the overwhelming economic evidence that nothing like this is happening.... [AND he does.] But what really gets me here is the fact that people like Boehner are so obviously disconnected from the lived experience of ordinary workers. I mean, I live a pretty rarefied existence, with job security and a nice income and a generally upscale social set -- but even so I know a fair number of people who have spent months or years in desperate search of jobs that still aren't there. How cut off (or oblivious) can someone be who thinks that it's just because they don't want to work?"
Amanda Marcotte, in Salon: "Miseducation isn't only a red-state problem. Right-wing Christians are effectively writing our country's textbooks." An excellent review of how wingers are rewriting kids' schoolbooks as part of "a massive media campaign against reality." Thanks to Akhilleus for the link.
Crime without Consequence. Joe Pinsker of the Atlantic: Financial criminal Jordan Belfort, the real "Wolf of Wall Street," has not paid most of the millions the court ordered him to repay his victims, & he served only a portion of his sentence. "Belfort's relatively consequence-free story is only one of the more prominent ones in a parade of aggravating numbers reported on earlier this week by The Wall Street Journal. There's still $97 billion out there in penalties that the Justice Department has failed to recover, and between September 2012 and September 2013, the department collected only 22 percent of penalties doled out."
Jim Gaines of Reuters: One in four Americans wants his state to secede. Reuters called secessionist respondents at random & found random complaints; "against a recovery that has yet to produce jobs, against jobs that don't pay, against mistreatment of veterans, against war, against deficits, against hyper-partisanship, against political corruption, against illegal immigration, against the assault on marriage, against the assault on same-sex marriage, against government in the bedroom, against government in general -- the president, Congress, the courts and both political parties."
Suzanne Goldenberg of the Guardian: "Barack Obama will not be pledging any cash to a near-empty fund for poor countries at a United Nations summit on climate change next week, the UN special climate change envoy said on Friday. The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, has challenged the 125 world leaders attending the 23 September summit to make 'bold pledges' to the fund, intended to help poor countries cope with climate change. The UN has been pressing rich countries to come up with pledges of between $10bn and $15bn."
Russell Berman of the Atlantic: "House leaders announced Thursday that they were cutting their already abbreviated fall session short and sending lawmakers back home -- and onto the campaign trail -- more than a week early." ...
... Gail Collins: "Before decamping to go home and run for re-election, our elected representatives voted to fund the government and go to war. Pretty much ran the table on their constitutional responsibilities." Collins' take on the House's efforts to effect tax reform is a classic. Here's the topper: "... the House ... Ways and Means Committee, which is run by Boehner's very own party, did come up with a sweeping plan for tax reform this year. The speaker promptly made fun of it. ('Blah, blah, blah, blah.') Having completely and thoroughly slammed the door on any discussion of the bill, he told reporters this week that he was 'shocked at how little I have heard about it.'" ...
... But Some Housework Is Important. Lauren French of Politico: "House Republicans have replaced the firm managing their lawsuit against President Barack Obama for alleged abuses of executive authority after the first attorney backed out of the contract under political pressure, according to GOP aides. A House staffer said the change of firms came after multiple clients of Baker & Hostetler expressed concern that the firm was engaged in what the companies saw as an overtly partisan lawsuit."
Philip Ewing of Politico: "Gen. Ray Odierno has gotten letters from some 40 members of Congress asking why they're losing troops from their home districts. His answer: Look in the mirror. 'I wrote back and I said, "The reason I'm taking soldiers out of the installation in your state is because of sequestration. Not that I want to do it...."' The Army's chief of staff told reporters Friday morning that he warned Congress even before today's vortex of crises that major troop cuts would bring 'significant risk.' ... 'That was before we had [the Islamic State] and before the Ukrainian incursion,' Odierno said."
Julie Creswell & Nicole Perlroth of the New York Times: "... despite alarms as far back as 2008, Home Depot was slow to raise its defenses [against hacking], according to former employees. On Thursday, the company confirmed what many had feared: The biggest data breach in retailing history had compromised 56 million of its customers' credit cards. The data has popped up on black markets and, by one estimate, could be used to make $3 billion in illegal purchases.
Josh Gerstein of Politico: "Two civil liberties groups are edging in on conservative gadfly Larry Klayman's legal challenge to National Security Agency surveillance. On Friday, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation asked to join in arguments set to be held in November on the government's appeal of the first and only judicial ruling disputing the constitutionality of the NSA's program sweeping up information on billions of telephone calls to, from, and within the United States. The groups asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to allow them 10 minutes of argument time."
Dylan Scott of TPM: "In an apparent reversal, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's office is instructing election officials in the state to send out overseas military ballots without Democratic Senate nominee Chad Taylor or any other Democratic Senate candidate listed." ...
... Update. Bryan Lowry of the Wichita Eagle: "But Secretary of State Kris Kobach has not given up his position that Democrats must appoint a replacement for Chad Taylor. He says overseas voters may have to cast a second ballot later. The 526 ballots to be mailed by Saturday to overseas civilians and military personnel include a disclaimer that new ballots will be printed if a court forces Democrats to name a replacement candidate. Some ballots from Johnson County went out Thursday with Taylor's name. They were amended Friday." CW: What a mess.
... CW: Since Korbach wants to create as much confusion as possible, couldn't Democrats just nominate Greg Orman? Whether voters selected him on the Independent line or on the Democratic line shouldn't matter -- all votes would accrue to him. Of course there's no guarantee Orman would caucus with Democrats.
Marie's Sports Report
Barbara Starr of CNN: "Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has asked his staff for detailed information about the U.S. military's relationships with the National Football League in the wake of the scandal over how the league is handling domestic-abuse allegations against players, CNN has learned.... The military has a zero-tolerance policy in the ranks for domestic abuse, but it also has a high-profile relationship with the NFL that goes back decades.... The Army alone spends some $10 million a year buying advertising from television networks broadcasting NFL games. Games are also broadcast by the Armed Forces Network to troops deployed overseas."
Blah, Blah, Blah. Lynn Zinser of the New York Times: "As calls increased for the N.F.L. to adequately address its recent rash of off-field violence, Commissioner Roger Goodell finally spoke publicly about the issue Friday, apologizing for his role in poor decision-making and promising a revamped personal conduct policy to address future cases.... Goodell had not spoken publicly since the video of [Ray] Rice punching Janay Palmer became public.... Goodell offered very little in the way of specifics in the news conference." ...
... Joe Nocera: "When he arrived at the podium, Goodell made a short statement in which he said ... nothing.... You would have thought that if Goodell were going to hold a news conference he would have something more to say than that he was sorry and that he was going to consult experts -- things he has said before. Stunningly, he didn;t, which became even clearer when reporters started asking questions."
... Jon Stewart reviews some of NFL's & NFL teams' decisive reactions to news their players were accused/guilty of domestic abuse:
... Bill Pennington & Steve Eder of the New York Times: "... in his role as the N.F.L.’s hard-bitten sheriff, Mr. Goodell appears to have had a major blind spot: domestic violence cases. Players charged with domestic violence routinely received considerably lighter punishments than players accused of other offenses, like drug use or drunken driving. Often, they were not punished at all." ...
... ** Don Van Natta & Kevin Van Valkenburg of ESPN lay out the Ravens' "purposeful misdirection" & the NFL's "scant investigation" of Ray Rice's knockout punch of his then-fiancee Janay Palmer. CW: The ESPN piece further puts the lie to some of the NFL's claims following TMZ's publication of the elevator-cam video. ...
... Ian Shapira of the Washington Post: Some fans who love the Redskins' name are upset when, for a segment of the "Daily Show," actual Native Americans confront them. One fan called the police. CW: As far as I can tell, the segment, which was shot last week, hasn't aired.
Vice President Joe Gaffe. At a Democratic women's conference, Biden evokes fond memories of serial sexual harasser Bob Packwood. Really. Aaron Blake of the Washington Post: "The Oregon Republican resigned from the Senate in 1995 amid multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assaulting women. The Senate ethics committee had voted unanimously to recommend his expulsion." But Packwood was bipartisan! CW: MEANWHILE, a former runner-up for Biden's job is promoting physical violence. Go to the bottom of the page to link on the details.
Annals of "Journalism," Mob Edition. Joseph Berger of the New York Times: "A federal grand jury [in White Plains, New York] indicted [Selem] Zherka, 46, of Somers, the owner of two strip clubs in Manhattan and a modest real estate empire and the publisher of The Westchester Guardian, on fraud charges in connection with applications seeking $146 million in property loans. He was also charged with income-tax fraud and witness tampering. Moreover, in papers submitted for a bail hearing on Friday, two assistant United States attorneys ... accused Mr. Zherka, the Bronx-bred son of an Albanian-immigrant janitor, of essentially being a dangerous thug.... Mr. Zherka, a litigious man who has filed multiple lawsuits against his antagonists, has called himself the state Tea Party's 'loudest voice' and has said he had been unfairly pursued by the Internal Revenue Service as part of a government 'witch hunt.' But some local Tea Party leaders have distanced themselves from him." Read the whole story.
AP: "Al Jazeera America is suing former Vice President Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, the former owners of the TV network that became Al Jazeera America. The parties are fighting over money that is being held in escrow."
Beyond the Beltway
Grassroots Voter Suppression. AnnieJo of Daily Kos: "A Facebook group calling themselves the 'Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia' (update: page has since disappeared and now it's back!) is threatening armed intimidation of voters who signed the Scott Walker recall in 2012 who also have any outstanding warrants or tax defaults. The page claims 'Our militia will watch polling places and report known felons and other people wanted by law enforcement. The police are looking for you, so are we.'" From the group's Facebook page:
Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia is a force that is armed. Do not approach our members by engaging in a physical hostile act because you are going to get put down like a rabid dog. We are going to be around neighborhoods that may be crime-filled. These areas are heavy democrat-voting areas because it is a result of a poor education. We will be there to get criminal scum off the streets.
CW: I don't know Wisconsin law, but I seriously doubt having outstanding warrants or owing taxes disenfranchises a qualified voter. This group is planning unlawful -- & unjustifiable -- harassment. Also obviously racist. Thanks to safari for the link. Also, see safari's commentary in today's Comments section.
Edmund Mahony of the Hartford Courant: "Former Gov. John G. Rowland, a political rising star who crashed a decade ago in a corruption scandal, fell again Friday when a jury in federal court found him guilty in a low-rent scheme to collect secret paychecks from rich Republican congressional candidates."
Tom Hart of the Guardian: "A court has upheld the constitutional right of Texans to photograph strangers as an essential component of freedom of speech -- even if those images should happen to be surreptitious 'upskirt' pictures of women taken for the purposes of sexual gratification. Criticising an anti-'creepshot' law as a 'paternalistic' intrusion on a person's right to be aroused, the Texas court of criminal appeals struck down part of the state's 'improper photography or visual recording' statute which banned photographing, broadcasting or transmitting a visual image of another person without the other's consent and with the intention to 'arouse or gratify ... sexual desire'."
Toast? Or Artisan Sourdough Round? Jonathan Dienst, et al., of WNBC: "The U.S. Justice Department investigation into Gov. Chris Christie's role in the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal has thus far uncovered no evidence indicating that he either knew in advance or directed the closure of traffic lanes on the span, federal officials tell NBC 4 New York.... Federal officials caution that the investigation that began nine months ago is ongoing and that no final determination has been made.... [New Jersey] Assemblyman John Wisniewski said the state legislative committee's investigation into the bridge lane closures is continuing." ...
... Melissa Hayes of the Bergen Record: "Governor Christie called on the lawmakers investigating the George Washington Bridge lane closures to wrap up their investigation during a State House news conference Thursday morning.... Christie spent more than 3 minutes chastising the Democratic-led committee during a State House news conference where he made unrelated staff announcements." ...
... Star-Ledger Editors: "Gov. Chris Christie wants the committee investigating Bridgegate to close up shop, saying it is a partisan witch hunt that has run out of gas.... Before he finishes this victory lap, a few reminders: No one on the investigative committee has accused him of personally ordering these lane closures.... But what about the cover-up? What about the bogus claim that this was all part of a traffic study?" The editors compare the investigations to Watergate & Christie to Richard Nixon. ...
... Update. Bob Jordan of the Asbury Park Press: "NBC says a report by Brian Williams on the network's Nightly News that federal charges have been ruled out for Gov. Chris Christie in the George Washington Bridge scandal was incorrect. Federal prosecutors say the investigation is ongoing and haven't made any announcement on Christie's status."
Former Half-Governor & Second Runner-up in the 2008 Veeps Beauty Pageant Sarah Palin obliquely defends her daughter Bristol for repeatedly punching up on a friend of the family. Something about her being a "strong young woman" promoting "family values."
Way Beyond the Beltway
Chris Johnson & Ben Quinn of the Guardian: "Gordon Brown has called on Scotland to unite behind a common future for the country after voters' rejection of independence in Thursday's referendum. In a passionate speech in Dunfermline, Fife, on Saturday, the former [British] prime minister - whose late intervention in the referendum campaign has been credited with helping to secure the no vote - said: 'Let us think of ourselves not as yes and no Scots but simply as Scots and let us be a nation, united again.'" ...
... Griff Witte of the Washington Post: "The decisive rejection of Scotland's independence referendum set off an instant scramble Friday to fundamentally reorganize constitutional power in the United Kingdom, with Prime Minister David Cameron citing a chance 'to change the way the British people are governed.' With Thursday's 'no' vote, Cameron avoided the eternal stigma that would have come from allowing Britain to break up on his watch. But with parliamentary elections due next spring, the prime minister still faces a raging anti-establishment tide that helped to fuel the Scottish independence bid and has penetrated all corners of the United Kingdom."
Guardian: "The United States has quietly released 14 Pakistani citizens from military detention in Afghanistan, where the US holds its most secret cohort of detainees in its war on terrorism. The US military transferred the 14 to Pakistani government custody on Saturday. It did not publicize the release, as is typical with releases from the detention center on the outskirts of Bagram Airfield which is known formally as the Detention Facility in Parwan. A Pakistani human rights group instead announced the transfer and said it was the largest number of Pakistanis the US has thus far released."
New York Times: "Polly Bergen, an actress, singer and businesswoman who won an Emmy in 1957 for her portrayal of the alcoholic torch singer Helen Morgan and was nominated for another 50 years later for her role on the television show 'Desperate Housewives,' died on Saturday at her home in Southbury, Conn. She was 84."
New York Times: "The two candidates for president of Afghanistan have agreed on a power-sharing deal that will give the losing candidate substantial influence in the next government, initialing the American-brokered deal Saturday night and promising to sign it at a formal ceremony on Sunday. The deal promised an end at last to the tumultuous, five-month-long aftermath of the Afghan presidential elections, although previous settlements have repeatedly collapsed at the last minute despite the candidates' promises."
New York Times: "A Texas man who scaled the White House fence made it through the North Portico doors on Friday night before being apprehended, the Secret Service said. The intruder, Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, was arrested just inside the doors and taken to George Washington University Hospital after complaining of chest pains, said Ed Donovan, a Secret Service spokesman. None of the Obamas were home when the security breach occurred about 7:20 p.m., but White House staff members were evacuated as a precaution, officials said. President Obama and his daughters had left for the presidential retreat at Camp David, Md., just minutes before the incident." ...
... New Lede: "The Secret Service will conduct an internal review of its security procedures around the White House after a man who jumped the fence Friday night at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue managed to make his way through the front door of President Obama's home before being stopped, officials said Saturday." ...
... ** Washington Post UPDATE: "Within seconds, the man who relatives said served as a sniper in the Iraq War got to the front double doors of the North Portico, turned the brass knob and stepped inside the vestibule. There he was grabbed and subdued by an officer standing post inside the door. He was carrying a folding knife with a 2-1/2 inch serrated blade." ...
... Fox "News": "A New Jersey man was arrested Saturday outside the White House after driving up to a gate and refusing to leave, less than 24 hours after another man jumped the fence and got inside the presidential mansion before being arrested, which has resulted in increased security and a 'comprehensive internal review,' according to the Secret Service."
New York Times: "Forty-nine Turkish hostages who had been held for months in Iraq by Islamic State militants were returned to Turkey on Saturday after what Turkey said was a covert operation led by its intelligence agency. The hostages, including diplomats and their families, had been seized in June from the Turkish consulate in the Iraqi city of Mosul." ...
... Too Good to Be True? AP UPDATE: "Turkish authorities say they have freed 49 hostages from one of the world's most ruthless militant groups without firing a shot, paying a ransom or offering a quid pro quo. But as the well-dressed men and women captured by the Islamic State group more than three months ago clasped their families Saturday on the tarmac of the Turkish capital's airport, experts had doubts about the government's story."