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Profile Information

Name: Chris Bastian
Gender: Male
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 73,169

Journal Archives

U.S. Manufacturing Contracts for First Time in Three Years

Source: Bloomberg

U.S. factory activity unexpectedly contracted in August for the first time in three years as shrinking orders, production and hiring pushed a widely followed measure of manufacturing to its lowest level since January 2016.

The Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing managers index fell to 49.1 in August, weaker than all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of economists, data released Tuesday showed. Figures below 50 signal the manufacturing economy is generally contracting. The group’s gauge of new orders dropped to a more than seven-year low, while the production index shrank to the weakest level since the end of 2015.

Faltering manufacturing could complicate President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign as recent data undermines one of his signature promises for a strong economy. Stocks extended declines and the yield on 10-year Treasuries fell sharply Tuesday after the data was released. The dollar weakened.

The latest downturn underscores how slowing global growth and an escalating U.S. trade war with China are taking an even bigger toll on domestic producers. Although manufacturing only makes up about 11% of the economy, there are concerns that entrenched weakness -- and any layoffs that may result -- could filter through to the rest of the economy and endanger the record-long expansion.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-09-03/u-s-manufacturing-contracts-for-first-time-in-three-years

Sen. Joe Manchin III won't run for governor in West Virginia, spokesman says

Source: Washington Post

Manchin, 72, previously served as governor from 2005 to 2010 and last year considered retiring from the Senate before reluctantly agreeing to seek reelection in a state that Donald Trump carried handily in the 2016 presidential race.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2019/09/03/sen-joe-manchin-iii-wont-run-for-governor-in-west-virginia-spokesman-says-passing-on-challenge-to-gop-incumbent/

Elizabeth Warren to Deliver Speech in Washington Square Park in New York City on September 16, 2019


Charlestown, MA - On Monday, September 16th, Elizabeth Warren will deliver a speech on how corruption in Washington has allowed the rich and powerful to tilt the rules and grow richer and more powerful. The speech will be at Washington Square Park, near the site of the former Triangle Shirtwaist Factory.

The event is open to the public, and tickets can be reserved using the link below.

MONDAY, September 16th
Elizabeth Warren Speech in New York City
4:00 p.m. ET (doors open), 7:00 p.m. ET (event begins)
Washington Square Arch
Washington Square N, New York, NY 10012
General public can RSVP here.

South Dakota Democratic Party closing Sioux Falls, Rapid City offices

Source: Argus-Leader

The South Dakota Democratic Party will no longer have a physical presence in the state.

The state party is closing its offices in Sioux Falls and Rapid City at the end of September, and party staff will begin working remotely due to the party's dwindling finances, according to SDDP Chair Paula Hawks. The party is also canceling a Black Hills fundraising event scheduled for next month. No layoffs related to the party's financial situation have taken place, Hawks said.

To get itself out of financial straits, Hawks said the party is setting fundraising goals and talking with the party's donors and Founders Club members.

"We are feeling very optimistic that we will be moving forward with strength and financial stability," Hawks said.

Read more: https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/politics/2019/08/30/south-dakota-democratic-party-closing-sioux-falls-rapid-city-offices/2163781001/

Why Kamala Harris Hasn't Caught Fire in the Democratic 2020 Race


Kamala Harris entered the presidential race with impressive credentials -- a popular black woman with an inspiring story who hailed from a large Democratic state and drew accolades for her fiery questioning of President Donald Trump’s nominees.

Yet despite a shot of adrenaline after confronting front-runner Joe Biden in the first debate, she has failed to catch fire with Democratic voters who are torn between a nostalgic fondness for Biden and a revolutionary desire for Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.

Harris’s attempt to replicate her feat in the second debate backfired among Democrats who say she went too negative on Biden. The Californian also suffers from a perception that she lacks a deep ideological well to guide her policy ideas, in contrast to her three main rivals who are better-defined. And her past as a prosecutor has earned her supporters and detractors.

Harris and Senator Cory Booker “really went after Vice President Biden -- it rebounded to their detriment that they went after Biden so much. Because it also looked like they were not just going after Biden, but they were going after the Obama legacy,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, which is neutral in the primaries.

Trump Labor Aide Quits After Anti-Semitic Facebook Posts Surface

Source: Bloomberg

A recently appointed Trump Labor Department official with a history of advancing controversial conservative and faith-based causes in court has resigned after revelations that he wrote a 2016 Facebook post suggesting the Jewish-controlled media “protects their own.”

Four hours after Bloomberg Law requested comment from the White House and DOL about Leif Olson’s social media post, the department said he has resigned, without elaboration.

Olson, 43, started at the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division Aug. 12 as a senior policy adviser, after being cleared for the job by the White House. He was part of a team of political appointees working to finish a series of deregulatory actions that are pivotal to the White House employment agenda. They include rules that would narrow corporations’ shared liability with affiliated companies and clarify time-and-a-half overtime pay calculations.

Olson, an unsuccessful GOP candidate in 2012 for a Texas district court judgeship, fired off a series of late-night posts on his personal Facebook page three years ago that started as a sarcastic quip about former House Speaker Paul Ryan’s blowout primary victory. They then devolved into an exchange referencing two anti-Semitic tropes: that Jews control the media and that they look out for members of their own faith.

Read more: https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-labor-report/trump-labor-aide-quits-after-anti-semitic-facebook-posts-surface

A 14-year-old confessed to killing all five of his family members in an Alabama home authorities say

Source: CNN

A 14-year-old confessed to shooting all five members of his family in an Alabama residence, authorities said.

The teen was "assisting investigators in locating the weapon, a 9mm handgun that he said he tossed nearby," the Limestone County Sheriff's Office said in a tweet.

Earlier Tuesday, the sheriff's office said three of the five people shot in the Elkmont residence were confirmed dead at the scene and two were airlifted in critical condition.

The office later confirmed the two people in critical condition died.

Read more: https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/09/03/us/alabama-residence-shooting/index.html?__twitter_impression=true

FBI: West Texas gunman 'was on a long spiral of going down'

Source: NBC News

The gunman in a West Texas rampage "was on a long spiral of going down" and had been fired from his oil services job the morning he killed seven people, calling 911 both before and after the shooting began, authorities said Monday.

Officers killed 36-year-old Seth Aaron Ator on Saturday outside a busy Odessa movie theater after a spate of violence that spanned 10 miles (16 kilometers), injuring around two dozen people in addition to the dead.

FBI special agent Christopher Combs said Ator called the agency's tip line as well as local police dispatch on Saturday after being fired from Journey Oilfield Services, making "rambling statements about some of the atrocities that he felt that he had gone through."

"He was on a long spiral of going down," Combs said. "He didn't wake up Saturday morning and walk into his company and then it happened. He went to that company in trouble."

Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/police-unsure-man-shooting-binge-west-texas-65335230

Mark Sanford postpones announcing possible 2020 presidential bid

Source: The Post & Courier

Republican Mark Sanford is delaying his announcement on whether he’ll challenge President Donald Trump with his own White House bid until after Hurricane Dorian and its impact on the Carolinas and the nation are clear.

In a phone interview with The Post and Courier on Monday, the former South Carolina governor and congressman said the country is focused on the hurricane, as is he.

Sanford previously had given himself until Labor Day to formalize and declare his intent. His team additionally confirmed the decision to delay in a statement issued to political media.

“As Governor he dealt with many storm preparations, and given the gravity of this storm, he encourages residents along the East Coast to pay heed to the warnings and declarations of state and county emergency operation teams,” the release said.

Read more: https://www.postandcourier.com/politics/mark-sanford-postpones-announcing-possible-presidential-bid/article_eaf9d57c-cdba-11e9-b4a6-ef337a7f4210.html

New issues could keep Boeing 737 Max jets grounded into December: report

Source: The Hill

Boeing Max 737 jets could remain grounded into December because of friction between the manufacturer and international air-safety authorities, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Government and pilot union officials briefed on the matter told the outlet that the latest setback is tied to a briefing where regulators complained that Boeing failed to provide technical details and answer specific questions about modifications in the operation of Max flight-control computers.

Boeing now reportedly has to resubmit briefing documents describing proposed software changes.

The changes, which have to be vetted by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), could significantly reduce the likelihood that many of the planes would be back flying passengers during the Christmas holidays.

Read more: https://thehill.com/policy/transportation/459623-new-issues-could-keep-boeing-737-max-jets-grounded-into-december-report
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