Friday, June 5, 2020

Last Call For Race To The Bottom, Con't

And just to complete the "Yes, this is absolutely 1968" references, we now have cross burnings in 2020.

Deputies in Alabama are investigating a cross burning after a wooden cross lit ablaze was found by drivers passing alongside a bridge.

The burning cross was first seen stationed on top of a bridge over Interstate 85 in Macon County Thursday night, Macon County Sheriff Andre Brunson told WRBL-TV.

John Bolton, one of the people who saw the burning cross, told the news outlet what "looked like a shadow" fled from the scene as he ran toward the blaze with two other men who were with him. He then called 911 while "one of the guys climbed up to the bridge to knock the cross down," Bolton said.

A few minutes later, deputies arrived and helped extinguish the fire, Sheriff Brunson said. Once the fire was gone, Bolton said they saw a tire and a fuel canister had also been set on fire.

Cross burnings have historically been used by racist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan to rally supporters and terrorize black people in the South and elsewhere. So far, there are no suspects in the case, Brunson said.

Probably never will be, either. Nobody's gonna turn these good ol' boys in. Not without being forced to do so.

Tales Of The Trump Depression, Con't

Employment stunningly rose by 2.5 million in May and the jobless rate declined to 13.3%, according to data Friday from the Labor Department that was far better than economists had been expecting and indicated that an economic turnaround could be close at hand.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting payrolls to drop by 8.33 million and the unemployment rate to rise to 19.5% from April’s 14.7%. If Wall Street expectations had been accurate, it would have been the worst figure since the Great Depression.

As it turned out, May’s numbers showed the U.S. may well be on the road to recovery after its fastest plunge in history.

“It seems the damage from the nationwide lockdown was not as severe or as lasting as we feared a month ago,” said Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman.

Trump dropped a surprise news conference to gloat about the figures and declared the economic depression over before it began.

So is he right? And will this win him reelection in November if the economy adds back the remaining 19.5 million jobs lost this spring?

Well, it does prove that reopening businesses during a pandemic forced enough Americans back to work that job hemorrhaging was stanched. The problem with tourniquets that tight is they can still cause you to lose a limb.

The gigantic "if" here is "If the recovery can continue like this."

I don't think it will.  I think this is the biggest Dead Cat Bounce in job numbers history.

Once again, the Labor Department acknowledged making errors in how it classified people as employed and said the real May rate is worse than the numbers indicate. But the government made the same mistakes in April, and together the figures still show the job market is improving.
Friday's report made it clear the government continues to struggle with how it classifies millions of workers on temporary layoff. The Labor Department admitted that government household survey-takers mistakenly counted about 4.9 million temporarily laid-off people as employed.

The government doesn't correct its survey results for fear of the appearance of political manipulation.

Had the mistake been corrected, the unemployment rate would have risen to 16.1 percent in May. But the corrected April figure would have been more than than 19 percent, rather than 14.7 percent.


Our Little Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con't

Let's not forget for a moment that white supremacist domestic terrorists are attempting to turn recent Black Lives Matter protests into terrorist attacks that will foment national martial law and the deaths of thousands.

Federal prosecutors in Las Vegas have charged three men alleged to be members of the far-right extremist "Boogaloo" movement with multiple state and federal violations of conspiracy to cause destruction during protests in Las Vegas, as well as possession of Molotov cocktails.

Charging documents say Stephen T. Parshall, aka "Kiwi," 35; Andrew Lynam, 23; and William L. Loomis, 40, all of Las Vegas, were arrested Saturday on a state criminal complaint alleging conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism, material support for committing an act of terrorism and multiple explosives violations. The plot was foiled with help from an informant, authorities said.

The "Boogaloo" movement, which federal prosecutors describe as a "term used by extremists to signify a coming civil war and/or collapse of society," has been linked to some online posts about protests over the death of George Floyd.

NBC News reported last weekend that members of the "Boogaloo" movement were seen at protests in states including Minnesota and Texas, as well as in Philadelphia.

The movement, which says it wants a second civil war organized around the word "boogaloo," includes groups on mainstream internet platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Reddit, as well as fringe websites including 4chan, according to a report released Tuesday night by the Network Contagion Research Institute, an independent nonprofit organization of scientists and engineers that tracks and reports on misinformation and hate speech across social media.

These guys want a race war, and they believe they will win, and be allowed to butcher as many black and brown folk as they please, and that any effort on our part to defend ourselves will be met with lethal military force.  They've wanted this for years.They are closer to that terrible goal than they have ever been.

A big part of that reason is Donald Trump, who is now openly declaring protesters to be, in fact, terrorists.

President Donald Trump on Thursday shared a letter on Twitter that referred to the peaceful protesters who were forcibly dispersed from a park near the White House on Monday evening as "terrorists." 
The letter from veteran attorney and former Trump lawyer John Dowd appears to be addressed to former Secretary of Defense James Mattis and rebuts Mattis' Wednesday statement castigating Trump's response to the nationwide protests after the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. 
"The phony protesters near Lafayette were not peaceful and are not real," Dowd's letter claimed, without citing any evidence. "They are terrorists using idle hate filled students to burn and destroy. They were abusing and disrespecting the police when the police were preparing the area for the 1900 curfew." 
CNN has reached out to the White House for comment on the description of the protesters as "terrorists." 
The President's decision to share the letter and its shocking description of Americans exercising their constitutional rights comes as he continues to lean into his strongman approach to the ongoing demonstrations. On Monday, he declared himself "your President of law and order" as the peaceful protesters just outside the White House gates were dispersed with gas, flash bangs and rubber bullets, apparently so he could visit a nearby church. 
He remained at the boarded-up building, brandishing a Bible for the cameras, for only a matter of minutes before returning to the White House. 
The letter drew condemnation from the Modern Military Association of America, a nonprofit organization for the LGBTQ military and veteran community. 
"Donald Trump just crossed a very serious line that demands swift and forceful condemnation by every Member of Congress," said the group's interim executive director, Air Force veteran Jennifer Dane. "Promoting a letter that labels American citizens peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights as 'terrorists' is an egregious breach of his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Now more than ever, it is absolutely crucial that Trump be held accountable for his reckless actions."

I hate to say that I warned people about this exact situation for years now, but here we are. I desperately hoped that I would be wrong, that the Republicans would drive Trump out, and instead they backed him 100%.

It feels like everything is going to come to a grim conclusion soon, and I fear what history tells us will be coming next.


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