Late…Late…Later…Evening News Reads

Good later evening folks…

Minx here and I’ve just got home. What a day it has been, you may remember my friend the sheriff deputy who was killed in a car accident while responding to a call. Well, this family is getting hit again…

While looking at the legal notice section in our local Banjoville newspaper I see my parent’s property foreclosure notice…but right above ours was a foreclosure notice for my dead friend and his wife. Oh, it made my heart ache to know that they had gone through the same Bank of America crap as my family.  Imagine, Derrick has been gone for two months come next week…and his widow and two children are losing their house.

Here are a few links for you tonight…

I am glad to see someone get mad and actually call the Sandusky sexual assault by the correct term…Today on Al Sharpton, former child abuse and sex crimes prosecutor Wendy Murphy had some real heartfelt words for Jerry Sandusky and Penn State

Remarking on the court’s failure to prosecute Sandusky in 1998 after he admitted to having showered with a young boy, Murphy noted that Pennsylvania considers it “child sexual exploitation” to shower naked with a child and that Penn State’s clout interfered with the court’s ability to properly seek justice for the young boys Sandusky victimized over a 15 year period. As Murphy continued listing Sandusky’s crimes against children, her voice grew higher and louder, her anger and frustration palpable. At one point, she referred to the school as “Perp State” university not only for its repeated failure to appropriately report and deal with Sandusky’s criminal behavior, but for actually protecting a rapist:

People at Penn State — ooo, I mean, PERP STATE — university knew what he was doing; he had a pattern. And they covered it up because they care more about their damn reputation and scandal and money and damn football than they care about little boys being anally and orally raped over and over again!

Penn State should shut its damn doors, if you ask me. They should hang their heads in shame.

Well. This is one case where anger on an evening is very much warranted. Also: Kudos to Murphy for referring to these crimes as rape and not a “sex scandal.”

With the economic situation getting worse…Nearly Half Of Working First-Time Mothers Miss Paychecks To Care For Newborns according to US Census

After decades of worker gains in paid-leave benefits, employers are becoming more selective about granting maternity leave in an economic downturn.

A Census Bureau analysis released Thursday shows that the share of women given time off for pregnancy, birth and child care has leveled off, with about half of working first-time mothers passing up paychecks to care for their newborns.

Lower-educated mothers are nearly four times more likely than college graduates to be denied paid maternity benefits. That’s the widest gap over the past 50 years.

Women with no more than a high-school diploma saw drop-offs in paid-leave benefits from the early 2000s to the period covering 2006 to 2008, which includes the first year of the recession.

“Access to paid leave is limited, and it’s also sharply regressive,” said Lynda Laughlin, a family demographer at the Census Bureau who put together the report. “For working families where the norm now is for both mom and dad to work, not having some kind of paycheck coming in while they take time to take care of a child can be a real financial burden.”

Of course it should be no surprise just which women are getting the shaft.

The analysis highlights the patchwork of work-family arrangements in the U.S., which lacks a federal policy on paid parental leave, unlike most other countries. There’s a longer-term trend of widening U.S. income inequality caused by slowing wage growth at the middle- and lower-income levels.

Women with higher birth rates in the U.S. are on average younger, less educated and typically Hispanic, and they are more likely to toil in lower-wage positions.

If first-time mothers don’t receive paid-leave benefits, they often return to their jobs quickly after giving birth, or sacrifice a steady paycheck by taking unpaid leave or quitting to spend more time with their newborns.

“This isn’t good news for women at the bottom, and the irony is that the people with the most children are now the least likely to have the supports they need,” said Kathleen Gerson, a professor of sociology at New York University

Now this next link is troubling. You may remember that after getting kicked out of the “Troy Davis” park in downtown Atlanta…the Occupy group moved their base to a homeless shelter. Tuberculosis Breaks Out At Occupy Atlanta’s Base 

The home base for Occupy Atlanta has tested positive for tuberculosis.

The Fulton County Health Department confirmed Wednesday that residents at the homeless shelter where protesters have been occupying have contracted the drug-resistant disease. WGCL reports that a health department spokeswoman said there is a possibility that both Occupy Atlanta protesters and the homeless people in the shelter may still be at risk since tuberculosis is contracted through air contact.

“Over the last three months were have been two persons who have resided in this facility who have been diagnosed with confirmed or suspected infectious tuberculosis (TB),” said Fulton County Services Director Matthew McKenna in a written statement to CBS Atlanta. “One of these persons was confirmed to have a strain of TB that is resistant to a single, standard medication used to treat this condition. All person(s) identified as positive have begun treatment and are being monitored to ensure that medication is taken as directed.”

And lastly, in Liberia the votes have been counted. Sirleaf victory in Liberia marred by boycott and violence. 

Africa’s first and only female president Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was re-elected on Thursday with 90.2% of the vote, but her government may struggle to prove its legitimacy because the opposition boycotted the poll.

Hours before the results were announced in an election that was supposed to solidify Liberia’s shaky peace, opposition leader Winston Tubman said he would not accept the outcome of this week’s presidential runoff.

I do not think this is the last we will hear about the election in Liberia.

Sirleaf, who was jointly awarded the Nobel peace prize this year, said Liberia’s elections “were legitimate”. Tubman’s allegations of fraud were largely unsubstantiated by the almost 5,000 national and international election observers in the country. The Carter Centre’s election observer mission said there was “no evidence of significant irregularities or systematic fraud”. However, thousands of CDC supporters did as their leader commanded and stayed at home.

Most analysts believe that Tubman would have lost Tuesday’s election if he had participated. “If you look at the figures, you can see that Tubman [was] almost certainly going to lose. He is 12, 13 points down in the polls,” said Stephen Ellis, a researcher at the African Studies Centre, Leiden in the Netherlands.

“It’s an obvious calculation. He withholds legitimacy from the government,” Ellis said. “If it was felt by a large part of population to not be legitimate, in a place like Liberia, with its history, it becomes quite worrying.”

Sounds like Tubman is trying to manipulate the runoff election results…take a few minutes to read through the Guardian article, it describes a protest from Tubman’s CDC that turned violent a day before the election.

That is all I can muster up this evening…please have a pleasant night!


“Krugman’s Army” Open Thread

Photo from #OccupyWallStreet sent to Paul Krugman by a reader

Last week, Mayor Bloomberg was all over #Occupy Wall Street, claiming the protesters were trying to destroy the jobs of Wall Street Bankers and other denizens of Wall Street, and threatening that somehow the protests would cause NYC to be unable to pay municipal workers.

I guess one of his advisers must have told him it might not be a good idea to deny that people have a right to assemble in public and air their grievances, according to the U.S. Constitution, because now Bloomberg is singing another tune.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Monday that he’ll allow the Wall Street protesters to stay indefinitely, provided they abide by the law, marking his strongest statement to date on the city’s willingness to let demonstrators occupy a park in Lower Manhattan.

“The bottom line is – people want to express themselves. And as long as they obey the laws, we’ll allow them to,” said Bloomberg as he prepared to march in the Columbus Day Parade on Fifth Avenue. “If they break the laws, then, we’re going to do what we’re supposed to do: enforce the laws.”

Bloomberg said he has “no idea” how much longer the Wall Street demonstration will last. “I think part of it has probably to do with the weather,” he said.

I think someone needs to send the Mayor a copy of the Constitution with the first amendment highlighted. He still thinks he gets to decide if American citizens can gather and protest on public property.

I wonder what Bloomberg will say about what the protesters plan to do next? From the New York Daily News:

The Occupy Wall Street protesters are planning to get in the face of some of New York’s richest tycoons on Tuesday.

A “Millionaires March” will visit the homes – or, more realistically, the gleaming marble lobbies – of five of the city’s wealthiest residents.

On the target list: NewsCorp CEO Rupert Murdoch, JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, conservative billionaire David Koch, financier Howard Milstein and hedge fund mogul John Paulson.

Between 400 and 800 marchers plan to go to their homes to present them with oversize checks to dramatize how much less they will pay when New York State’s 2% tax on millionaires expires at the end of the year.

This is starting to get interesting. I admit I find the call and response routine of the protesters kind of annoying, but that’s OK. We annoyed a lot of old folks when we protested the Vietnam War too. Annoying old folks is one of the responsibilities of the young.

Meanwhile, in Boston, police are warning the protesters to go home or else:

Boston police were warning the more than 1,000 Occupy Boston protesters tonight that if they do not leave the Rose Kennedy Greenway and Dewey Square areas that authorities would move them out.

Police were visible around the areas in small batches tonight, while protest organizers held a meeting on the Greenway, answering questions from the demonstrators.

Occupy Boston, in a statement last night, answered the police warning by issuing a call “for any and all people to join the occupation as soon as possible.”

“From the beginning, occupiers have worked tirelessly to maintain a positive working relationship with city officials. Today’s threats by the Boston Police Department represent a sudden shift away from that dialogue,” the statement said.

The mayor’s office, however, has said the city will make no effort to clear the original Dewey Square tent city tonight, but police have said that if protesters do not leave the Greenway, the authorities would clear both the Greenway and Dewey Square.

Hmmmm…sounds like Mayor Menino is out of sync with the cops. Very interesting. Minx says the Atlanta police are itching to crack some heads too. The cops just never understand that when they attack protesters they only draw more attention to them and their grievances.