Wednesday, March 31, 2010
WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US economy shed 23,000 private-sector jobs in March, a payrolls firm said Wednesday in a report that was dramatically worse than market expectations.
Non-farm private payrolls fell 23,000 in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, payrolls firm ADP said.
Investors had expected around 40,000 jobs to be created this month.
March's job losses eased slightly from February, when 24,000 jobs were shed according to a revised figure also published on Wednesday.
Despite the apparently bleak picture, ADP cautioned that the figures may distort the true state of the economy.
The firm said severe winter weather may have again weighed on hiring levels.
"The lack of improvement in employment from February to March is consistent with the pause in the decline of initial unemployment claims that occurred during the winter," ADP said in a statement.
"The March employment decline was the smallest since employment began falling in February of 2008," it added.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
by Dr. Boyce Watkins
When I heard that Clarence Thomas' wife Virginia was launching a Tea Party group, I wasn't really shocked. I was, however, confused that the Thomas family would allow for such a blatant revelation of their political biases. Not only is Clarence Thomas seen as a profound disappointment to the African-American community, he has now further embarrassed the legal profession and undermined the integrity of the bench. When you sleep next to someone who has openly admitted that she wants to undermine the president's "hard-left agenda," you can hardly call yourself impartial.
In Virginia Thomas' words, "I have come to know and love the Tea Party patriots. It has been a privilege to become a bit of an ambassador of sorts for the national board."
NYU Law Professor Stephen Gillers says that Virginia breaks no rules by becoming a Tea Partier, "Ideological issues, as opposed to monetary ones, are not a subject of concern." A judge's spouse, he said, "can have a full political life, and take positions on political issues and legal issues, even ones that come before his or her spouse."
Monday, March 15, 2010
Author and Finance Professor at Syracuse University
9:00 AM on 03/15/2010
OPINION - While some might call this political pragmatism, others might describe this outcome as the modern-day version of the Three-Fifths Compromise...
Journalist, author and broadcaster.
8:37 AM on 03/15/2010
OPINION - In an address to a joint session of Congress in 2001, then President Bush blasted racial profiling, "It's wrong and we will end it in America." It hasn't...
Journalist & Activist
9:02 AM on 03/12/2010
OPINION - If this disturbing new study doesn't prove once and for all that America isn't 'post-racial' I don't know what does...
Professor of Journalism at Georgetown University
8:22 AM on 03/12/2010
OPINION - If Lil Wayne regards his cell as an extension of his studio or his label's offices, he will suffer...
Author and Finance Professor at Syracuse University
8:17 AM on 03/12/2010
OPINION - The amount of money made during March Madness exceeds that which is earned in the playoffs for the NFL, NBA or Major League Baseball...
7:05 AM on 03/12/2010
OPINION - What's notable is reportedly not only did Woods not wear a condom, but his partner's didn't insist upon it...
Author and Finance Professor at Syracuse University
11:10 AM on 03/11/2010
OPINION - A new study shows that blacks are more economically optimistic than whites, with 36 percent stating that we expect our financial future to improve...
10:42 AM on 03/11/2010
OPINION - According the Center for Disease Control nearly half of all African-American women are infected with the HSV-2 virus...
Sports and social commentator
8:57 AM on 03/11/2010
OPINION - By associating Dominican players with blacks, it disguises the fact that MLB has a long way to go in competing with the NFL and NBA in urban communities...
Thursday, March 11, 2010
By HEATHER HOLLINGSWORTH
Associated Press Writer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas City's school superintendent said Thursday the plan to shutter nearly half the district's schools, while "painful," will move forward quickly so that all the closures will be complete by fall.
The school board narrowly approved the plan Wednesday night to close 29 of the district's 61 schools to try to stave off bankruptcy. The closures have angered many parents, students and teachers, but administrators say they had no choice because without them, the district would have been in the red by 2011.
Although other districts nationwide are considering closures as the recession ravages their budgets, Kansas City's plan is striking. In rapidly shrinking Detroit, 29 schools closed before classes began this fall, but that still left the district with 172 schools. Most other districts are closing just one or two schools.
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts said Tuesday the scene at President Obama’s State of the Union address was “very troubling” and the annual speech has “degenerated to a political pep rally.”
Obama chided the court, with the justices seated before him in their black robes, for its decision on a campaign finance case.
Responding to a University of Alabama law student’s question, Roberts said anyone was free to criticize the court, and some have an obligation to do so because of their positions. “So I have no problems with that,” he said. “On the other hand, there is the issue of the setting, the circumstances and the decorum. The image of having the members of one branch of government standing up, literally surrounding the Supreme Court, cheering and hollering while the court — according the requirements of protocol — has to sit there expressionless, I think is very troubling.”
Breaking from tradition, Obama criticized the court’s decision that allows corporations and unions to freely spend money to run political ads for or against specific candidates. “With all due deference to the separation of powers the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections,” Obama said in January. Justice Samuel Alito was the only justice to respond at the time, shaking his head and mouthing the words “not true” as Obama continued.
Roberts told the students he wonders whether justices should attend the speeches. “I’m not sure why we’re there,” said Roberts, a Republican nominee who joined the court in 2005.
Justice Antonin Scalia once said he no longer goes to the annual speech because the justices “sit there like bumps on a log” in an otherwise highly partisan atmosphere. Six of the nine justices attended Obama’s address.
It’s not actually a unique event of oppression or suffering to have to sit and listen to a speech where someone criticizes you and you can’t respond that very moment (but are able, as Roberts just proved, to respond freely afterward). Even in the State of the Union Address, it’s completely customary for the President to criticize the Congress or the opposition party right to their faces, while members of his party stand and cheer vocally, and — as the reaction to Joe Wilson’s outburst demonstrated — “decorum” dictates that the targets of the criticism sit silently and not respond until later, once the speech is done. That’s how speeches work. Only Supreme Court Justices would depict their being subjected to such a mundane process as an act of grave unfairness (and, of course, Roberts’ comrade, Sam Alito, could not even bring himself to abide by that decorum).
What makes Roberts’ petty, self-absorbed grievance all the more striking is that this is what judges do all the time. It’s the essence of the judicial branch. Federal judges are basically absolute tyrants who rule over their courtroom and those in it with virtually no restraints. They can and do scold, criticize, berate, mock, humiliate and threaten anyone who appears before their little fiefdoms — parties, defendants, lawyers, witnesses, audience members — and not merely “decorum,” but the force of law (in the form of contempt citations or other penalties), compels the target to sit silently and not respond. In fact, lawyers can be, and have been, punished just for publicly criticizing a judge.
The very idea that it’s terrriby wrong, uncouth, and “very troubling” for the President to criticize one of their most significant judicial decisions in a speech while in their majestic presence — not threaten them, or have them arrested, or incite violence against them, but disagree with their conclusions and call for Congressional remedies (as Art. II, Sec. 3 of the Constitution requires) — approaches pathological levels of vanity and entitlement.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
I was invited this week to speak to the Stanford University NAACP about whether or not college athletes should be paid. When I am asked whether I think college athletes should be compensated for their labor, I simply respond to the question with another question: “Why shouldn’t they get paid? Did they not earn the money? Is someone else earning money from their labor? Is the labor of the athlete essential to the revenue-generating process?” Answers to these questions help us to understand how insane it is that athletes earn billions of dollars for coaches, but aren’t entitled to any of that money for themselves. I’ve seen race horses get better deals than that.
The state Commission on Public Integrity charged Gov. David A. Paterson on Wednesday with violating state ethics laws when he secured free tickets to the opening game of the World Series from the Yankees last fall for himself and others. The announcement came as the governor, already mired in scandal, met with his cabinet and insisted he would stay in office.
In addition to violating the state’s ban on gifts to public officials, the commission found that Mr. Paterson falsely testified under oath that he had intended to pay for the tickets for his son and his son’s friend. The commission determined that Mr. Paterson had never intended to pay for the tickets and only did so after inquiries from the media, after which he submitted a backdated check as payment.
The commission had referred the case to the Albany County District Attorney, P. David Soares, as well as Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, for further investigation. Mr. Cuomo is already investigating Mr. Paterson’s role in allegedly trying to suppress a domestic-violence case involving a close aide, David Johnson.
Mr. Johnson also attended the Yankees game in question and was involved in soliciting the tickets from Yankees officials. The tickets, with a face value of $425 each, seated them a few rows behind home plate.
Remember the suit that OJ Simpson wore when he was acquitted of murder in 1995? I'm sure you do. The images of OJ breathing a sigh of relief after his acquittal were viewed all around the world. You probably remember exactly what you were doing at that precise moment, similar to the 911 attacks. Well, the Smithsonian Institute has announced that they do not want OJ's suit, claiming that it is "inappropriate for their collection."
The announcement came after a 13-year legal fight over what to do with the suit. Since that time, it has been in the possession of Simpson's former sports agent, Mike Gilbert. Fred Goldman, father of one of the men Simpson was accused of killing, has been fighting for the suit since the 1990s. Simpson told authorities that the suit was stolen from him.
The suit was also part of the reason that Simpson is in prison right now. OJ was arrested and convicted for an incident in which he robbed men in Las Vegas in order to reclaim memorabilia that he believed to be stolen. He'd been told that the suit was among the list of things being offered for sale.
The Smithsonian used these words on its website: