Links, 8/3/11

Our Dying Economy

The National Employment Law Project has a report showing how this Depression is hollowing out middle class jobs, with 8.4% of all middle wage jobs gone (and that’s on top of a process that had already started before the Depression). One profession that has shown growth among middle wage jobs, though, is “bailiffs, correctional officers, and jailers”–they make up over 81,000 of the news jobs. Sarah Jaffe has more. Meanwhile, ALEC is pushing policies that allow private prisons to employ inmates at less than prevailing wages, effectively undercutting real businesses.

The DC Circuit has shot down an SEC rule that would make it easier to get dissident Directors in corporate board elections. To back it’s decision, the panel seems to have badly cherry-picked studies to claim that giving stockholders greater say in corporate governance is a bad thing.

Obama missed an opportunity to blame Republicans for letting Delta’s union-busting get in the way of FAA reauthorization–and instead losing billions in the process. Instead, he blamed Congress generally.

Reuters reports on reverse mergers, in which companies use dormant shell companies to get listed on US exchanges, while avoiding the scrutiny an IPO would require. Of 122 Chinese companies that used reverse mergers to list on US exchanges, they have lost $18 billion in market capitalization.

Our Dying Empire

David Axe reports that the arms we’re giving to African troops to fight al-Shabaab in Somalia ending up in al-Shabaab’s hands; the troops are selling the weapons because their paychecks are withheld from them.

Joshua Foust looks at how a shift of aid–things like USAID–to the Defense budget just as we start talking about cutting big money from national security puts such aid at risk. Meanwhile, Nancy Youssef catches the Republicans doling out an extra $50 billion to DOD.

In 2009, USA Today reported that retired officers were getting up to $330/hour to consult with DOD on things like weapon systems as part of a mentor system. So DOD passed rules that required those retirees to reveal their ties to defense contractors. The result? Most of the participants–all but 20 of the 158 mentors in the program when they first identified this gravy train in 2009–have left the program. (h/t POGO) No wonder Republicans are working so hard to prevent Obama from passing an Executive Order requiring transparency on other contracting–because transparency actually works.

Justice and Injustice

Radley Balko writes about Corey Maye’s return home after being released from death row.

Rummy’s effort to claim qualified immunity in a suit a US citizen filed for the abuse he was subjected to at Camp Cropper has failed. Here’s the opinion.

Ron Wyden says he will block the Intelligence Authorizaiton bill over FISA changes and transparency. I hope he keeps his word.

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @Will_Bunch @rickperlstein Nice piece. The only thing might add was that was likely RFK as much or more than McCarthy that ejected LBJ.
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bmaz Baltimore, Bernie, and the coming 'Nixonland' http://t.co/yeinu9qpxc via @phillydotcom Fascinating thoughts by @Will_Bunch Important read.
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bmaz @Johngcole Check out the feed of @DaveedGR His info is not completely confirmed, but looks solid.
53mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @joanwalsh -urg!
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bmaz RT @Popehat: .@nycjim May you require a patient, careful doctor with a flashlight to retrieve your scare quotes.
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emptywheel @april_anita Hmm. Well, admittedly, spouse didn't get roped into kilt for the wedding in inland Brazil. So I get your point.
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bmaz Pamela Geller, Breitbarters+their little show in Dallas are all loathsome. But their free speech gets protected too; stop the schadenfreude.
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emptywheel @april_anita That said, the one we went to in Glasgow (where it's not a small market, it's a rite of passage) was a kick.
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emptywheel @april_anita As someone whose Irish spouse gets roped into wearing them at Scottish weddings they're necessary for out-of-towners w/o tartan
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emptywheel @ErrataRob To be fair, Tea Party, as a term, is & for most of its history has been a floating signifier. Can mean anything @RepThomasMassie
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bmaz RT @peterdaou: Want to see what anti-Hillary misogyny looks like in its rawest form? http://t.co/XDrE3DZ2C5
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bmaz @armandodkos @kdrum Seconded. But the updates at MoJo sure seem positive. For that I am relieved.
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