Friday, January 7, 2022

Last Call For Black Lives Still Matter, Con't

Today the three white men convicted last year in Georgia of the brutal murder of unarmed Black jogger Ahmaud Arbery were sentenced in court today, and the judge did not hesitate to hand down the maximum sentences.

Three white men who chased and killed Ahmaud Arbery were sentenced Friday to life in prison, with a judge denying any chance of parole for the father and son who armed themselves and initiated the deadly pursuit of the 25-year-old Black man.

Greg and Travis McMichael grabbed guns and chased Arbery in a pickup truck after spotting him running in their neighborhood outside the Georgia port city of Brunswick. Neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan joined the pursuit and recorded cellphone video of Travis McMichael blasting Arbery with a shotgun.

In November, a jury convicted all three defendants of murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and attempted false imprisonment.

Murder carries a mandatory life sentence under Georgia law. The trial judge ordered both McMichaels to serve life without parole. Bryan was granted a chance of parole, but must first serve at least 30 years in prison.

The Feb. 23, 2020, killing became part of a larger national reckoning on racial injustice when the video was posted online two months later.
The three still face a federal hate crimes trial as well.
Justice was never an option with one trial for a broken system, but accountability I will take. 

Black Lives Still Matter.

Jobapalooza, Con't

The U.S. economy added far fewer jobs than expected in December just as the nation was grappling with a massive surge in Covid cases, the Labor Department said Friday.

Nonfarm payrolls grew by 199,000, while the unemployment rate fell to 3.9%, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. That compared to the Dow Jones estimate of 422,000 for the payrolls number and 4.1% for the unemployment rate.

Stock market futures edged lower following the report, while bond yields were in positive territory though off their highs of the morning.

Job creation was highest in leisure and hospitality, a key recovery sector, which added 53,000. Professional and business services contributed 43,000 while manufacturing added 26,000.

The unemployment rate was a fresh pandemic-era low and near the 50-year low of 3.5% in February 2020. That decline came even though the labor force participation rate was unchanged at 61.9% amid an ongoing labor shortage in the U.S.

A more encompassing measure of unemployment that includes discouraged workers and those holding part-time jobs for economic reasons slid to 7.3%, down 0.4 percentage points. Though the overall jobless rates fell, unemployment for Blacks spiked during the month, rising to 7.1% from 6.5%. The rate for women 20 years and older fell sharply, to 3.1% from 3.7%.

"The new year is off to a rocky start," wrote Nick Bunker, economic research director at job placement site Indeed. "These less than stellar numbers were recorded before the omicron variant started to spread significantly in the United States. Hopefully the current wave of the pandemic will lead to limited labor market damage. The labor market is still recovering, but a more sustainable comeback is only possible in a post-pandemic environment."
Average hourly earnings rose more than expected as the U.S. sees its fastest inflation pace in nearly 40 years. Wages rose 0.6% for the month and were up 4.7% year over year. That compares to respective estimates of 0.4% and 4.2%.

While the establishment survey showed much lower than expected job gains, the household count told a different story, with a gain of 651,000. There also were upward revisions for prior months, with the final October tally pushed up to 648,000, an increase of 102,000, while November's disappointing report gained 39,000 in its first revision to 249,000.
So unemployment is back under 4%, and we still added 200,000 jobs in December, with wages up 4.7% for the year. The bad news, inflation was up by almost twice that, so yeah, Americans felt that in their pocketbooks for sure, and it's definitely hurting Biden's poll numbers.

We'll see where we go in 2022. The broad forecasts are for the economy to cool off from "hurtling towards the stars" to just "pretty good" and to lower inflation along with it. If that happens, things will improve for average Americans and oh yeah, for the Democrats.



But remember, the GOP wants you to think the economy is miserable, and it's just not. As I mentioned above, inflation sucks, but also 6.4 million jobs since Biden took office, so the miss this month actually is a drop in the bucket in the year that was 2021.

Keep that in mind.

Insurrection Investigation, Con't

A year after the January 6th insurrection, we have to remember that not only was the attack on the US Capitol building going on, but that there were multiple pipe bombs found in Washington DC that day as well. We still don;t know who was behind the attempted bombings, but we now know that one of the potential victims was VP Harris herself.

Then-Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was inside Democratic National Committee headquarters on Jan. 6, 2021, when a pipe bomb was discovered outside the building, according to four people familiar with her movements that day.

Capitol Police began investigating the pipe bomb at 1:07 p.m., according to an official Capitol Police timeline of events obtained by POLITICO. The timeline says that Capitol Police and the Secret Service evacuated an unnamed “protectee” at approximately 1:14 p.m, seven minutes later. The four people, among them a White House official and a former law enforcement official, confirmed that Harris was the Secret Service protectee identified in the timeline, which has circulated on Capitol Hill.

Harris’ presence inside the building while a bomb was right outside raises sobering questions about her security that day. It also raises the chilling prospect that the riots could have been far more destructive than they already were, with the incoming vice president's life directly endangered. Federal law enforcement officials have faced harsh criticism for failing to anticipate the chaotic scene around the Electoral College certification one year ago, despite receiving a host of warnings about possible chaos.

The DNC bomb threat was neutralized at 4:36 p.m., according to the timeline. Another pipe bomb discovered at the RNC was neutralized at 3:33 p.m. No suspects have been arrested so far in relation to the bombs.

The FBI has described both bombs as “viable” and said they “could have been detonated, resulting in serious injury or death.
” Authorities say both bombs were placed by a single suspect the night before the Capitol attack. The RNC bomb was placed in an alley behind the building, and the DNC bomb was placed near a park bench. The FBI recently issued a new call for help seeking the suspected pipe bomber, who was captured on video in the vicinity of the DNC and RNC buildings.

Harris’ DNC evacuation on Jan. 6, as authorities raced to respond to the bomb threat, has not been previously reported. She occasionally used party headquarters to conduct nongovernment business as the vice presidential nominee and later in advance of the Jan. 20, 2021, inauguration — a standard practice for elected officials in both parties. Aides had previously declined to reveal her location during the attack, citing security reasons.

Harris alluded to her absence from the Capitol during the breach as she delivered televised remarks Thursday, though she was cryptic about her location.

“I had left, but my thoughts immediately turned not only to my colleagues, but to my staff who had been forced to seek refuge in our office, converting filing cabinets into barricades,” she said.
So the timeline of the investigation now includes the fact that if the viable bomb had been detonated when VP Harris was nearby, it could have been lethal.

It would have been an assassination.

All of the January 6th criminals have to be brought to justice, including the masterminds like Trump. But that also means the identity of the pipe bomber has to be discovered, and the person has to face justice as well.
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