"Jerome Powell Sold More Than a Million Dollars of Stock as the Market Was Tanking: Disclosure documents reveal that the spectacle of Fed officials personally trading stocks extended to the chair himself." TAP's email newsletter also discusses some back story that involves cover-ups from the Fed and complicity from the news media.
Well, that was fast: "FEDERAL RESERVE Fed to ban policymakers from owning individual stocks, restrict trading following controversy: Responding to a growing controversy over investing practices, the Federal Reserve announced Thursday a wide-ranging ban on officials owning individual stocks and bonds and limits on other activities as well. The ban includes top policymakers such as those who sit on the Federal Open Market Committee, along with senior staff. Future investments will have to be confined to diversified assets such as mutual funds. Fed officials can no longer have holdings in shares of particular companies, nor can they invest in individual bonds, hold agency securities or derivative contracts. The new rules replace existing regulations that, while somewhat restrictive, still allowed officials such as regional presidents to buy and sell stocks."
"A worker in Florida applied to 60 entry-level jobs in September and got one interview: Joey Holz recalled first hearing complaints about a labor shortage last year when he called to donate convalescent plasma at a clinic near Fort Myers, Florida. "The guy went on this rant about how he can't find help and he can't keep anybody in his medical facility because they all quit over the stimulus checks," Holz told Insider. "And I'm like, 'Your medical professionals quit over $1,200 checks? That's weird.'" Over the next several months, the 37-year-old watched as a growing chorus of businesses said they couldn't find anyone to hire because of government stimulus money. It was so ubiquitous that he joined a "No one wants to work" Facebook group, where users made memes deriding frustrated employers. He said he found it hard to believe that government money was keeping people out of the labor force, especially when the end of expanded federal unemployment benefits did not seem to trigger a surge in employment. All expanded benefits ended in September, but 26 states — including Florida — ended them early in June and July. "If this extra money that everyone's supposedly living off of stopped in June and it's now September, obviously, that's not what's stopping them," he said. Workers have said companies struggling to hire aren't offering competitive pay and benefits. So Holz, a former food-service worker and charter-boat crewman, decided to run an experiment."
From that famous left-wing rag, Forbes, "New Proof That Police Use Civil Forfeiture To Take From Those Who Can't Fight Back [...] Civil forfeiture is a process already prone to abuse, but in Philadelphia property owners were at an even greater disadvantage than typical. Property owners were summoned to Courtroom 478 at City Hall, but there was no judge in the room. The show was run by prosecutors, the same people who filed the forfeiture actions and who stood to benefit financially from successful forfeitures. [...] Similar to how Philadelphia went after Nassir for empty baggies, law enforcement typically wasn't using civil forfeiture to fight serious crime. Only 1 in 4 survey respondents was ever convicted of a crime. And like Nassir, many of those who were convicted pleaded to low-level offenses that were eventually scrubbed from their record. Moreover, half of all reported seizures were worth less than $600. One respondent even said police seized his crutches."
"'70s radical David Gilbert granted parole in Brink's robbery: Former Weather Underground radical David Gilbert has been granted parole after decades in prison for a fatal 1981 Brink's robbery north of New York City. [...]Supporters — including his son, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin — lobbied to have Gilbert join other defendants in the case who have been released from prison. [...] Though unarmed, Gilbert was charged with robbery and murder, since people were killed during the crime. Also charged was Chesa Boudin's mother, Kathy Boudin. The boy was 14 months old when his parents were imprisoned."
Audio, "Revisiting Racecraft with Barbara and Karen Fields: A lengthy interview with historian Barbara Fields and sociologist Karen Fields on their seminal essay collection Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life. Dan talks to the sister scholars about the book; how Ta-Nehisi Coates' primordialist view of white racism spells defeat; that racism serves the interest of capitalist class war, and endless debates over Rachel Dolezal distract us from that fact; and a whole ton more. This is over two hours, so you might want to bite it off on a few chunks, or on a long drive." Long, but worth the time.
"What If Build Back Better Builds Back Worse? Joe Manchin's prescriptions for the Biden bill in some cases even fall short of the status quo. This was a bad weekend for fans of worthwhile economic policy. We saw a series of leaks about Joe Manchin's red lines for the Build Back Better public-investment legislation, which, if agreed to, would leave a desiccated husk of a bill that might not even be worthwhile on its own terms. [...] Once winnowed down by Manchin, what's left of Biden's proposal? Manchin is 'less interested' in paid family and medical leave, or elder care, according to Axios. There's enough opposition to the drug pricing reform from Democrats other than Manchin to potentially sink it, and typically, it's the savings from health care-related items that fund other health care advances. In other words, no drug pricing piece could mean no Medicare expansion, Obamacare subsidies, or fix of the Medicaid coverage gap. Biden has acknowledged that his plan for two years of tuition-free community college is likely gone. The immigration measures were bounced out by the Senate parliamentarian, and the PRO Act unionization measures could face the same fate. The housing proposal might have the broadest support of all—AOC and Josh Gottheimer signed the same letter supporting it—and yet that looks to be threatened, too."
"As closed-door arbitration soared last year, workers won cases against employers just 1.6 percent of the time: U.S. companies are increasingly relying mandatory arbitration to settle employee and consumer grievances during the pandemic. Family Dollar closed 1,135 such cases last year, up from three in 2019. U.S. employers relied heavily on arbitration in the first months of the pandemic, pushing a record number of complaints involving discrimination, harassment, wage theft and other grievances through a closed-door system largely weighted against consumers and workers, according to a report being released this week."
"Julian Assange and the Poisoned American Psyche: Julian Assange's case is indicative of a poisoned American psyche that has suffered from prolonged exposure to what Martin Luther King Jr. called the triple evils of capitalism, racism, and militarism. In the modern era, these evils have consolidated into a military-media industrial complex which has effectively merged the interests of corporations, military institutions, and the so-called 'mass' corporate media. The United States is the only country in the world where majorities of people hold a negative view of WikiLeaks and believe Assange to be a criminal. That's because the corporate media generally ignores Julian Assange's case . When it is covered, Assange is portrayed as nothing more than an agent of a foreign government and an international criminal of the highest order."
Rick Pearlstein, "A Short History of Conservative Trolling: David Frum, the former George W. Bush speechwriter and current never-Trump conservative, recently wrote, 'The post-Trump right has a style as distinctive as its authoritarian substance: trolling, ironic, evasive.' But that ain't so. On the right, trolling has been part of the story from the beginning."
"As Sen. Joe Manchin's Star Rose In West Virginia, The FBI And IRS Probed His Closest Allies" — But how did this coal baron stay out of jail?
RIP: "Peter Scolari, Newhart and Bosom Buddies Actor, Dies at 66: Peter Scolari, who rose to stardom on the brilliant-but-canceled Bosom Buddies alongside Tom Hanks, died Friday morning at age 66 of cancer, after a two-year illness. [...] On Friday, Newhart issued a statement to Variety: 'I knew that Peter was sick, but his death still comes as a great shock. We were friends and colleagues for over 40 years. Julia [Duffy] and Peter, as a vacuous couple (Michael and Stephanie), were an essential part of the success of 'Newhart.' In life, he was a fantastic person, and it was a joy to work together. He will be sorely missed and his passing at 66 is much too early.'" He was so sweet in Bosom Buddies, and I was delighted to see him in Newhart. A really great comic actor.
RIP: "Jay & The Americans' Jay Black Dead At 82 [...] Black's smooth operatic voice, created pop radio magic for the group with a string of hits in the 1960's - - 'Only In America,' 'Come A Little Bit Closer,' 'Cara Mia,' 'This Magic Moment,' and 'Walkin' In The Rain.' His magnificent vocal range on 'Cara Mia' led to his fans calling him 'The Voice.' The group made countless television appearances during that time including pop radio shows 'Hullaballoo' and 'Where The Action Is,' and countless talk and variety shows including 'The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson,' 'The Mike Douglas Show,' and 'The Merv Griffin Show.' The group had 21 charting hits and opened for The Beatles at their first US concert in 1964. Jay Black continued to tour as a successful solo act for decades after the group disbanded in 1973. He even tried his hand at acting and co-starred in the 1970's made-for-tv movie 'Contract On Cherry Street' starring Frank Sinatra. Black's live show was a combination of great music and humor. Along with his hits, Black always performed 'Pretty Woman' and 'Cryin' as a tribute to his music idol and friend, Roy Orbison. And he spoke about how Walter Becker and Donald Fagen recorded and performed with the group before they formed Steely Dan." Yeah, he had the pipes. And he could still sing "Cara Mia" at 62.
RIP: 'Funniest of them all': tributes paid to Mort Sahl after death aged 94 [...] The Canadian-born comic was credited with revolutionising American comedy in the 1950s thanks to his acerbic political satire. Sahl was known for performing with a rolled-up newspaper as a prop and would frequently ask the audience: 'Are there any groups I haven't offended?' [...] He died at his home in Mill Valley, near San Francisco in Northern California, on Tuesday, a friend told the New York Times. Sahl became an influential figure during the 1950s, when he recorded what the US Library of Congress described as 'the earliest example of modern standup comedy on record'. By the end of the decade he had appeared in films, hosted the Oscars and written jokes for John F Kennedy's presidential campaign." There were times he really pissed me off, but he was important to the moment.
RIP: "Colin Powell, Who Helped George W. Bush Lie Nation Into Iraq War, Dead at 84: 'It's crucial to remember just how important Colin Powell was to selling the Iraq War, and how deliberately he used his public credibility to boost the lies that pushed us into the war. That is his biggest legacy.'" This article leaves out his earlier hit record of covering up My Lai.
Did you ever wonder why we "had to" invade Grenada? "An Unrealized Political Possibility: Remembering the Grenada Revolution: October 25th marks the 38th anniversary of Operation Urgent Fury -- the name given to the United States invasion of the Caribbean commonwealth of Grenada. Thanks to the efforts of 7,600 US troops and a flagrant violation of international law, Grenada was 'rescued' from the horrors of communist dictatorship and certain economic collapse. This is the reason why October 25 is Grenada's 'Thanksgiving Day', and similar to the better known Thanksgivings, it celebrates a myth. The truth is that the US invasion of Grenada and the liquidation of the People's Revolutionary Government (PRG) was a triumph of western imperialism and neoliberalism over a peoples' socialist experiment. [...] The PRG was working to build a revolution in an underdeveloped, small island nation. The terrifying thing for the US and the neo-colonial puppets in the region such as Edward Seaga , Eugenia Charles , and John Compton was that it was working."
"'Systemic Racism' Can't Explain the USA—but Class Mobility Can" — Amazingly, wealthy people do better than poor people, regardless of race.
"The Methods of Moral Panic Journalism: Scare stories on "left-wing illiberalism" display a familiar pattern." From the McDonald's case to "political correctness" to "speech codes" to "CRT", the right-wing invents stories about a left that's "gone mad" doing...little or nothing.
Photo Essay on Affrilachians — "These Photos Will Change the Way You Think About Race in Coal Country: The myth that Appalachia is uniformly White lingers, but communities of 'Affrilachians; were documented in the 1930s."
From 2018, Tom Sullivan on theft from the public, "Selling America for parts revisited [...] Privatization of any public service is not about quality. It's about ideology and about into whose pockets tax dollars flow. It arises from the privatizer's belief that any product or service provided by 'we the people' that might even in theory be provided by the private sector is a crime against capitalism. They don't see a need to be filled or a service to be improved or a duty to be met. They see billions of dollar$ budgeted annually of which they are not getting their cut."
2011, Tony Williams illustrates Class Warfare in Action: "There are no clever mathematical models here, only facts. No Nobel prize for me." And Dave Johnson presents Nine Pictures Of The Extreme IncomeWealth Gap.
I'm just saving this link for my own reference: "What actually happened in Alabama? [...] But if you actually look at the exit polling, it is pretty clear that the real story of Jones's victory was not inordinate black turnout but rather inordinate white support for the Democratic candidate."
20 years ago, Patrick Nielsen Hayden and friends interview John M. (Mike) Ford.
"Remembering singer-songwriter Gene Clark, co-founder of the Byrds: 30 years later: 2021 marks 30 years since the passing of folk-rock pioneer and co-founder of the Byrds (formed in 1964), Gene Clark. Clark was a key figure in the brief, but influential early period of the Byrds, who played a significant role in the expansive and electrified 'pop' turn of folk music in the mid-1960s. He also had an intriguing solo career in its own right, before his life was tragically cut short." That was my favorite period of the Byrds, and for my money, Clark wrote one of the best rock songs of all time with "Feel A Whole Lot Better".
Mike Bloomfield at the Fillmore, "Blues On The Westside, 1969, w/ Nick Gravenites, Mark Naftalin, Snooky Flowers, et al.