economy, US labor, job market, rising unemployment rates, swing states
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New Data Shows Pockets of Weakness in US Labor Market: Report (Maria)

The authors write, “Unemployment rates have risen in some of America’s most populous and politically important states — a sign there are more pockets of weakness in the labor market than national figures suggest. Instead of the coast-to-coast job boom that shaped the pandemic recovery, the job market now looks more uneven. … ‘We actually don’t have one labor market; we have a whole collection of labor markets,’ says Indeed economist Nick Bunker. While the national unemployment rate is low, there are notable regional variations, he adds. The unemployment rates in 28 states, including three of the six most populous, were higher in February than a year earlier by a statistically significant amount.”

The Case for Palestine (Sean)

From Foreign Affairs: “Instead of abetting unrealistic assumptions about the suitability of the [Palestinian Authority] as a governing authority, the Palestinian people should build on this rare moment of solidarity to create what they have been committed to, and denied, for decades. Today, they can unite by unilaterally and collectively adopting the ‘state of Palestine’ as the political manifestation of their identity, their agency, and their common fate. For decades, Palestinians have been represented by liberation organizations, but today, the state is the only entity that can serve as the national home for all 14 million Palestinians worldwide.”

Elon Musk Has Fully Bought Into the ‘Great Replacement’ (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “For months, Elon Musk has been dropping decidedly unsubtle hints that he believes in the great replacement, a conspiracy theory that liberal elites are ‘importing’ immigrants into the United States, Europe, and Australia to wage political and biological warfare against white people. In a contentious interview that aired last week with Don Lemon, Musk said he doesn’t ‘subscribe to that’ before detailing what he does believe — which is effectively still great replacement theory. ‘I’m simply saying there’s an incentive here,’ Musk said. ‘If illegal immigrants — which I think have a very strong bias to vote Democrat — the more they come into the country, the more they’re likely to vote in that direction.’ But as Lemon points out, undocumented immigrants can’t vote, nor can legal immigrants who are here on visas, or people with green cards.”

Inflation and the Gap Between Economic Performance and Economic Perceptions (Gerry)

The author writes, “Many Biden administration officials and sympathetic analysts are baffled by what they see as a huge gap between negative public sentiment about the economy and its actual performance. They do not understand why supermajorities rate the condition of the economy as ‘only fair’ or ‘poor.’ … GDP growth averaged a robust 3.4% annually during Biden’s first three years, compared to 2.7% for Trump’s. Between January 2021 and January 2024, employment grew by more than 11 million, unemployment fell by four million, and the unemployment rate plunged from 6.3% to 3.7%. In fact, unemployment has remained below four percent for two full years, the longest in history. Biden’s first three years witnessed the creation of 791,000 manufacturing jobs, almost twice the number during Trump’s first three years, and Black unemployment hit a historic low of 4.8%.”

Climate-Science Deniers, Right-Wing Think Tanks, and Fossil Fuel Shills Are Plotting Against the Clean Energy Transition (Laura)

From Sierra Magazine: “Last July, a small group of rabble-rousers boarded a trio of powerboats, banners and bullhorns in hand. They were headed for the massive floating construction site of an offshore wind farm 35 miles from the eastern tip of Long Island, New York. As the boats motored through the swells, the self-styled activists broke into a chorus of pleas. … ‘Hear this message: We’re here to save the whales!’ called out a man in a black polo shirt. ‘If you were a fossil fuel project, you would have been shut down long ago. That apparent conservation activist was, in fact, an infamous climate change disinformation artist: Marc Morano, who’s done more than perhaps any other person to manufacture doubt about global warming. From his perch at Climate Depot, the blog he’s run since 2009, Morano has elevated fake climate experts, encouraged the harassment of real climate scientists, and promoted the myth of ‘global cooling.’”

US Appeals Court Curtails EPA’s Ability To Regulate PFAS Under Toxic Substances Law (Mili)

The author writes, “A federal appeals court has vacated two U.S. Environmental Protection Agency orders prohibiting a Texas plastics treatment company from manufacturing toxic ‘forever chemicals’ while treating plastic containers used to hold things like pesticides and household cleaners. A unanimous three-judge panel of the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday agreed with Inhance Technologies that the EPA overstepped its authority by issuing the orders, since they were rooted in a section of the federal toxic chemical law reserved for regulating ‘new’ chemicals.”

Enquirer Investigation: Cincinnati Homicide Cases Unravel After Deals With Informants (Dana)

From The Cincinnati Enquirer: “Locked up on a murder charge, Quincy Jones wanted to make a deal. … He decided to use the only bargaining chip he had left: He started talking. … Before his violent death in 2012 — prosecutors say he was shot for ‘being a snitch’ — Jones became a prolific police informant, joining a network of informants and cooperating witnesses who for years helped Cincinnati law enforcement close homicide cases. The informants sometimes testified in multiple cases and, like Jones, worked with detectives and prosecutors who vouched for their reliability. But an Enquirer investigation found several of those cases later unraveled, raising the possibility that unreliable informants helped send innocent people to prison and allowed others to get away with murder.”

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