Continued Strong Job Growth

Employers added 263,000 workers in November, even as some industries showed signs of a slowdown. Wage growth exceeded expectations.

Monthly change in jobs

+263,000

in November

+600,000 jobs

+400,000

+200,000

Nov.

’21

Feb.

’22

May

Aug.

Nov.

Data is seasonally adjusted.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

By Ella Koeze

Lydia DePillis

By Lydia DePillis

Dec. 2, 2022Updated 4:00 p.m. ET

America’s jobs engine kept churning in November, the Labor Department reported Friday, a show of continued demand for workers despite the Federal Reserve’s push to curb inflation, largely by tamping down hiring.

Employers added 263,000 jobs, even as a wave of layoffs in the tech industry made headlines. That was only a slight drop from the revised figure of 284,000 for October.

The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent, while wages were 5.1 percent higher than a year earlier, a bigger rise than expected.

Those signs of strength perpetuate a strange duality: While a strong labor market may benefit workers in the short term, it could strengthen the Fed’s resolve to raise rates even further, which would increase the likelihood of a recession in 2023.

“It upsets some of the narrative going into the report, which was that things are slowing down,” said Neil Dutta, head of U.S. economics at Renaissance Macro. “The reason that this matters for everyone is that the Fed still sees the labor market as the mechanism by which they can solve the inflation problem.”

Despite steady employment growth, the impact of higher interest rates is already evident. Hiring in goods-producing sectors like manufacturing and residential construction — which are more sensitive to rising borrowing costs — has slowed substantially, and the number of hours worked fell, mainly because of those industries. But robust hiring in health care and hospitality, where wages have also grown most rapidly, powered continued gains.

Guilty Verdicts In Jan 6 Trial & Respect For Marriage Act Passes With Bipartisan Support

Heather Cox Richardson

Today, after an eight-week trial and three days of deliberations, a jury of five women and seven men found Elmer Stewart Rhodes III, 57, the founder and leader of the right-wing Oath Keepers gang, and Kelly Meggs, 53, who led the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers, guilty of seditious conspiracy and other charges related to the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. It found Rhodes guilty of obstruction of an official proceeding and tampering with documents and proceedings, and found Meggs guilty of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an official proceeding, conspiracy to prevent an officer from discharging duties, and tampering with documents or proceedings.

The jury also found three additional defendants from the organization—Kenneth Harrelson, 42; Jessica Watkins, 40; and Thomas Caldwell, 68—guilty of related felony charges.

The Department of Justice proved that after President Joe Biden won the November 3, 2020, election, Rhodes, Meggs, and others began plotting to use force to oppose the lawful transfer of presidential power. 

Beginning in late December 2020, they planned to travel to Washington, D.C., on or around January 6, 2021, to stop Congress from certifying the electoral college vote that would officially elect Biden. They recruited others, organized combat training sessions, and smuggled paramilitary gear to the area around the Capitol. They planned to take control of the Capitol grounds and buildings on January 6. 

According to the Department of Justice, on that day, “Meggs, Harrelson, and Watkins, along with other Oath Keepers and affiliates—many wearing paramilitary clothing and patches with the Oath Keepers name, logo, and insignia—marched in a ‘stack’ formation up the east steps of the Capitol, joined a mob, and made their way into the Capitol. Rhodes and Caldwell remained outside the Capitol, where they coordinated activities” and stayed in touch with quick reaction force teams outside the city, which were ready to bring in firearms to stop the transfer of power. 

That a jury has now found two people guilty of seditious conspiracy establishes that a conspiracy existed. Former federal prosecutor Randall D. Eliason, who teaches law at George Washington University, told reporters Spencer S. Hsu, Tom Jackman, and Rachel Weiner of the Washington Post: “Now the only remaining question is how much higher did those plans go, and who else might be held criminally responsible.” While federal prosecutors sought only to tie Rhodes to the other Oath Keepers, both sides agreed that Rhodes communicated with Trump allies Roger Stone, Ali Alexander, and Michael Flynn after the election. 

There are two more seditious conspiracy trials scheduled for December. One is for five other Oath Keepers; the other is against the leaders of the far-right gang the Proud Boys, led by Henry ‘Enrique’ Tarrio. 

Yesterday, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election are not covered by presidential immunity as his lawyers argued. The judge noted that he was acting not as a president in defense of the Constitution, but rather in a different role as a candidate when he tried to overturn the election. Sullivan said: “Persuasive authority in this district specifically recognizes that there is no immunity defense for Former President Trump for ‘unofficial acts’ which ‘entirely concern his efforts to remain in office for a second term.’”

The South Carolina Supreme Court today unanimously ordered Mark Meadows, who was Trump’s last White House chief of staff, to testify before the Fulton County, Georgia, grand jury investigating Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Meadows was on the phone call Trump made to Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger on January 2 to demand he “find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” making his testimony key to the investigation. Meadows lives in South Carolina, where he tried to argue that he could not testify because of executive privilege. Lower South Carolina courts disagreed, and now the state’s supreme Court has said that Meadows’s arguments are “manifestly without merit.” 

In Washington, Trump advisor Stephen Miller testified today before the grand jury investigating the events of January 6, 2021. The Justice Department subpoenaed Miller in September. He also testified before the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol. 

Also in Washington today, the Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act, which provides federal recognition of same-sex and interracial marriages for the purposes of federal benefits like Social Security, and requires states to recognize such marriages, although it does not require them to perform such marriages. The law is an attempt to get out in front of the Supreme Court, whose right-wing members have suggested they would invalidate marriage equality after ending protections for reproductive rights. Thirty-six Republicans voted against the bill, with 12 Republicans joining the Democrats to pass it. 

The Senate bill amends one passed in July by the House, which will now have to agree to the changed measure and is expected to do so. House speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a vote for next week.

Today Pelosi also announced that Congress will take up the legislation Biden asked for yesterday: a law to put in place the deal between the railroad corporations and the railway unions. Four of 12 unions have rejected the deal because of its lack of paid sick days. In a letter to her colleagues, Pelosi expressed reluctance to bypass standard ratification procedures but said, “we must act to prevent a catastrophic strike that would touch the lives of nearly every family: erasing hundreds of thousands of jobs, including union jobs; keeping food and medicine off the shelves; and stopping small businesses from getting their goods to market.”

She promised to bring the measure up for a vote tomorrow. 

But, in typical Pelosi fashion, she has found a way to demonstrate to union members and to lawmakers like Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who are angry at Biden’s determination to avoid a strike, that those standing in the way of paid leave for the unions are not the Democrats. After the vote on the agreement, she will hold a “separate, up-or-down vote to add seven days of paid sick leave for railroaders to the Tentative Agreement.” Such a measure is likely to pass the House and die under a Republican filibuster in the Senate. 

While the jury was handing down its verdict in the case of Stewart Rhodes, who said on tape that he would “hang f*ckin’ Pelosi from the lamppost,” Speaker Pelosi was lighting the Capitol Christmas tree with fourth-grader Catcuce Micco Tiger, who is a citizen of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) and has ancestry from the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. 

Tiger won the role of youth tree lighter with an essay sharing the Cherokee origin story for evergreen trees. “After creating all plants and animals,” Pelosi explained, “our Creator asked them to fast, pray, and stay awake for seven nights. But at the end, only a few were awake. The trees that stayed awake were rewarded with the ability to keep their leaves yearlong and with special healing powers. It is a story of faith and gratitude—of hope enduring through the dark night.”

“And,” Pelosi added, “it is hope that we celebrate each holiday season—that through the cold and dark winter, spring will someday come.”  

Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, who defended the Capitol against the Oath Keepers on January 6, heard the jury’s verdict, then watched the tree lighting.

Breaking News: Same-sex marriage bill passes Senate after bipartisan breakthrough – NYTimes

The 61-to-36 vote sends the legislation back to the House, which is expected to approve it and send it to President Biden.

WASHINGTON — The Senate passed landmark legislation on Tuesday to mandate federal recognition for same-sex marriages, as a lame-duck Congress mustered a notable moment of bipartisanship before Democrats were to lose their unified control of Capitol Hill.

The 61-to-36 vote put the bill on track to become law in the final weeks before Republicans assume the majority in the House of Representatives at the start of the new Congress in January. It marked one of the final major legislative achievements for Democrats before Republicans shift the focus in the House to conducting investigations of President Biden’s administration and family members.

The bill must now win final approval by the House in a vote expected as soon as next week, which would clear it for Mr. Biden, who said he looked forward to signing it alongside the bipartisan coalition that helped shepherd it through the Senate.

In a statement, the president said the vote reaffirmed “a fundamental truth: Love is love, and Americans should have the right to marry the person they love.”

Trump Embraces The Far Right – Peter Baker NYTIMES

Good morning. The white nationalist who dined with Donald Trump has denigrated Black people, women, Jews and other groups.

Invoking bigotry

Donald Trump claimed he did not know who Nick Fuentes was before sitting down to dinner with him and other guests at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate last week. But Fuentes is certainly well known to the groups that track racist and antisemitic trends in American society.

While the Justice Department has described Fuentes in court papers as a white supremacist, that barely begins to fully capture the range of inflammatory views he has expressed denigrating Black people, Jews, women, L.G.B.T.Q. Americans, Muslims and immigrants.

At age 24, Fuentes has become a star on the far right for a font of extremist statements that would have disqualified him from meeting with any other modern president. He has used a racist slur for Black people; called homosexuality “disgusting”; asserted that the Republican Party was “run by Jews, atheists and homosexuals”; said it would be better if women could not vote; compared himself to Hitler and hoped for “a total Aryan victory”; declared that “the First Amendment was not written for Muslims”; and maintained that Jim Crow segregation “was better for them, it’s better for us, it’s better in general.”

Fuentes first came to prominence in 2017 when he attended the ultraright rally in Charlottesville, Va., after which Trump asserted that there were “very fine people on both sides” even as he denounced neo-Nazis. Fuentes dropped out of Boston University after saying he had received threats stemming from his attendance at the rally and began hosting a livestream show, “America First,” that same year, generating an audience of followers called Groypers, named for a cartoon frog.

He founded the America First Political Action Conference in 2020 and hosted far-right Republicans in the House including Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona. Fuentes rejects the term white supremacist because it is an “anti-white slur,” but embraces the language of white racism and antisemitism and calls himself a “reactionary” and a “misogynist.”

Trump often claims not to know much about extremists whose support he accepts, as he did with the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, the Proud Boys and followers of QAnon. But even if it were true in this case, Fuentes was brought to the dinner by Kanye West, the rapper now known as Ye, who was invited by Trump at the very moment West was under fire for antisemitic comments of his own. And even afterward, Trump did not condemn Fuentes, leaving white nationalists to view the dinner as validation.

While news organizations are naturally reluctant to amplify hateful statements, it is important to understand just what we’re talking about when we discuss someone welcomed to the table of a former president seeking to return to the White House. So here is a summary compiled with the help of my colleague Ian Prasad Philbrick from research by the Anti-Defamation League, the Southern Poverty Law Center and other organizations and news outlets. Fuentes did not respond to requests for an interview passed along through a lawyer.

Antisemitism and racism

Fuentes regularly invokes fears of a “white genocide” and echoes replacement theory, which holds that elites seek to “replace” white Americans with immigrants and other people of color. The theory has inspired a number of mass shootings in recent years, including at a Pittsburgh synagogue, a Walmart in El Paso and a Buffalo supermarket.

“Our civilization is being dismantled, our people are being genocided, and conservatives can’t think past what will play well with liberal media in the next election,” Fuentes once tweeted. He has also said, “The Founders never intended for America to be a refugee camp for nonwhite people.” And on Alex Jones’s Infowars last year, he said, “I don’t see Jews as Europeans and I don’t see them as part of Western civilization, particularly because they are not Christians.”

Fuentes has advanced Holocaust denial, or what he calls Holocaust “revision,” most memorably in a video riff in which he compared Nazi death camps to Cookie Monster baking cookies, suggesting it was not possible to have killed six million Jews during World War II. He later said the video was only a “lampoon,”while saying he does acknowledge the Holocaust, and he has said he uses “irony” to discuss taboo subjects.

Violence and politics

While again saying he was only kidding, Fuentes appeared to endorse violence against women, telling one listener on his livestream who asked how to punish a wife “for getting out of line” that he should hit her.

“Why don’t you take your hand and give her a vicious slap right across her face, right across her ignorant face?” he said. “Why don’t you give her a vicious and forceful backhanded slap with your knuckles right across her face, disrespectfully, and make it hurt?” He then disavowed violence and claimed he was joking, saying he would never strike a woman “unless she deserved it.”

Fuentes has praised the fall of the American-backed government in Afghanistan because the Taliban “is a conservative, religious force” while “the U.S. is godless and liberal,” and cheered on President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, saying, “Can we give a round of applause for Russia?” He has said that the crusades and the inquisitions were “pretty good stuff”and that he wanted the “people that run CNN to be arrested and deported or hanged.”

As for the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, when he and other Trump supporters rallied outside the building, Fuentes has called it “awesome” and “lighthearted mischief.” On the anniversary of the riot, he revered it as “part of our new heritage,” adding that it should be a holiday. “This is a historic moment for us,” he said. “We should celebrate that it happened, absolutely.”

Railway Workers Need Help – Threaten To Walk Out

https://substack.com/app-link/post?publication_id=20533&post_id=87483436&utm_source=post-email-title&isFreemail=true&token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjo5MTU1Nzg4LCJwb3N0X2lkIjo4NzQ4MzQzNiwiaWF0IjoxNjY5NzAwMzkxLCJleHAiOjE2NzIyOTIzOTEsImlzcyI6InB1Yi0yMDUzMyIsInN1YiI6InBvc3QtcmVhY3Rpb24ifQ.ucG37FrlHtyvSto1uBEcFh_D6pYuBL2tDJ2GRH0I6fU