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October 2, 2015
Ian Gavan/Getty Images for O2

The U.S. economy added a lackluster 142,000 jobs in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. That's below the 173,000 initially reported for August, though it's above the threshold economists say is necessary to keep up with population growth. Unfortunately, the latest findings also revised the August numbers down to 136,000, and the July numbers down to 223,000 from 245,000.

The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.1 percent. More discouraging was labor force participation (in many ways a more important metric) which dropped from 62.6 to 62.4 percent. Wage growth, meanwhile, is probably the best indicator for whether the economy is employing as many people as it possibly could be, and it's still flat at 2.2 percent.

Job gains averaged 167,000 over the last three months. To close the hole in the economy left by the Great Recession by the summer of 2017, we need to average 246,000 a month. Jeff Spross

6:31 a.m. ET

Stephen Colbert started his interview with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Monday's Late Show by commiserating about President Trump, and then he threw her a curveball, noting that Warren and Trump both agree the 2016 Democratic primaries were "rigged." Warren took the opportunity to "clarify" her comments to CNN's Jake Tapper, then more cheerfully turned to the Democratic mini-wave in 2017, and her party's — and her own — chances in 2018, when she's up for re-election. "What about 2020?" Colbert asked, nodding to Warren's possible presidential aspirations.

She didn't bite. Democrats have to fight hard now, this week, Warren said, pointing to the GOP tax plan, which she called "$1.5 trillion in giveaways for giant corporations, for billionaires," paid for by working families. "This is about numbers, but it's about values," she said. "I don't believe one middle class person in America should have her taxes raised in order to do tax giveaways to billionaires and giant corporations."

Colbert played devil's advocate, earning a groan from the crowd and an eye-roll from Warren by bringing up trickle-down economics. "We have the data — trickle-down doesn't work," Warren said. "When you help the rich get richer, the rich get richer, and they keep it." CEOs have been admitting that on earnings calls for months, she added, urging people to call lawmakers, tweet, and take to the streets.

Colbert asked Warren if she thinks Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) should step down. She said she "was just enormously disappointed about this," but Franken will answer his "serious" sexual harassment allegations before the Senate Ethics Committee. "We're going to watch this thing play out with famous men," Warren said, but the big question is if this "moment in America" will be just "a big flash and then nothing really changes." We'll know this change is real, she said, when jerks in the office no longer feel it is safe to sexually harass their female coworkers or employees. Peter Weber

5:17 a.m. ET

Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad in Sochi, Russia, on Monday, the Kremlin announced Tuesday. Assad thanked Putin "and all Russian people" for "the efforts that Russia made to save our country," and Putin said Russia's "joint operation to fight terrorists in Syria, this military operation is indeed coming to an end." Putin and Assad use the word "terrorists" to describe both Islamic State militants and Syrians who oppose Assad in the civil war that has roiled Syria since March 2011.

More than 400,000 people have been killed in the war and millions of Syrians fled to Europe and elsewhere, and Russia's use of military force on Assad's behalf starting in 2015 tipped the war decisively in Assad's favor. This was only Assad's second trip out of Syria since his harsh crackdown on protesters led to war, following an October 2015 visit to Russia. On Wednesday, Putin is hosting the leaders of Iran, which also backed Assad, and Turkey, which supported the opposition.

Video and photos released by Russia show Putin and Assad embracing and meeting with Russian generals and other military leaders. "I would like to introduce you to people who played a key role in saving Syria," Putin told Assad.

If you are interested in what else Putin and Assad said and don't speak Russian, the Kremlin has an English-Language transcript. Peter Weber

4:41 a.m. ET

Stephen Colbert kicked off Monday's Late Show with the news that Monday is hard, as demonstrated in the foiled plans of a Weather Channel cameraman to document the implosion of the Georgia Dome. "Can a bus drive in front of 2017 for a while?" he asked. "Or maybe just park in front of Charlie Rose?" But "Monday also means that it's time to dig through Trump's weekend tweets," he said, and so he did.

Colbert started with President Trump's demand for thanks from the three UCLA basketball players on whose behalf he interceded after they were arrested for shoplifting in China. When one of their fathers shrugged of Trump's role, he hit back, suggesting he should have left the UCLA players in Chinese jail. Colbert raised an eyebrow: "Mr. Trump, I know you're upset, but maybe now's not the time to be implying that someone's kids should go to jail for what their dad did."

Trump also hit back at Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), after Flake was caught on mic saying if the GOP is the party of Trump and Alabama Senate nominee Roy Moore, "we are toast." Colbert protested. "Sen. Flake, that is a little too hard on toast," he said, poking at Moore. "May I remind you, sir, toast doesn't cruise the mall looking for dough that hasn't risen yet." He found Trump's counterpunch tweet equally iffy. "Either he misspelled the abbreviation for microphone," he said, "or he's implying that Sen. Flake was caught 'on Mike,' which does not sound like something Vice President Pence would be into, but if so, good for you — live your best life, sir."

Colbert was pleased that Trump will keep a ban on elephant trophies, but also a little confused. "Are we supposed to thank Trump for not doing a terrible thing that nobody was talking about doing until his administration was gonna do it?" he asked. Watch below. Peter Weber

2:00 a.m. ET

Meet Lawrence of Abdoun, the British Embassy in Amman's new diplocat.

Named after T.E. Lawrence and adopted last month from a Jordan animal shelter, he resides at the embassy in Amman's Abdoun neighborhood. "Apart from his mousing duties, he reaches out to followers on Twitter," Deputy Ambassador Laura Dauban told Reuters. "What's quite interesting is the British public are seeing the U.K. embassy in Jordan in a different light. Through Lawrence's Twitter account, we're trying to show a different side to Jordan, what it is really like, a peaceful, prosperous country that British tourists should come and visit."

He isn't the only cat working for the U.K. government — in fact, he reports directly to Palmerston, the chief mouser at London's Foreign Office. Catherine Garcia

1:31 a.m. ET

Republicans may be stuck with Roy Moore as their nominee for a Senate seat in Alabama, but many of them are making the best of it. President Trump has decided not to join other GOP leaders in calling for Moore to quit the race amid credible allegations that he fondled or sexually assaulted teenage girls as young as 14 and pursued sexual relationships with others, and his advisers are coming up with reasons Alabamians might want to vote for Moore over Democrat Doug Jones, a former federal prosecutor. For Kellyanne Conway, that reason was tax cuts; for Trump supporter and former economic adviser Stephen Moore, it was abortion rights.

On CNN Monday night, Moore echoed the White House line that Alabama voters should decide if they want to be represented in the Senate by Roy Moore, who Stephen Moore called "kind of a creep," or Jones, who he said is "no saint, either." Jones, he told CNN's John Berman, "is for partial birth abortion in a state that's highly Christian and Catholic, so there's no moral high ground here between the two candidates." Berman protested, "Except one is an alleged child molester." Moore responded, "Yeah, and the other one is for partial birth abortion, which a lot of people in Alabama think is tantamount to murder."

Alabama is 49 percent evangelical Protestant and 7 percent Catholic, according to Pew, but with Roy Moore's moral stock falling, Republicans are bringing up abortion a lot as a reason not to vote for Jones. Jones told AL.com earlier this month: "I fully support a woman's freedom to choose to what happens to her own body. ... Having said that, the law for decades has been that late-term procedures are generally restricted except in the case of medical necessity. That's what I support." Peter Weber

1:27 a.m. ET

They say "don't mess with Texas," but "don't mess with a mom of 12 who drives a truck with a giant sticker that states 'F—k Trump and f—k you for voting for him'" might be more accurate.

While driving her truck around Fort Bend County, Texas, Karen Fonseca's anti-Trump message caught the eye of Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls. In a Facebook post, Nehls, a Republican, put her on blast, saying he had received complaints about the sticker from "offended" residents, and he wanted to find out who drove the truck so he could discuss "a possible modification of the sticker." He threatened to charge the then-unknown driver with disorderly conduct, but when officers determined the truck belonged to Fonseca and discovered she had an outstanding fraud warrant from 2014, she was arrested.

Fonseca is back on the road, and she's added a second sticker to her window: "F—k Troy Nehls and f—k you for voting for him." In a news conference Monday, she said she is considering filing a civil rights lawsuit against Nehls. "If I can do this, it will encourage others to stand up for their rights as well," she told reporters. "No matter what race, religion, or belief you may have, we are all equal. Not any one of us is any better than anyone else. Everyone's voice should be heard." Fonseca isn't wasting her newfound fame — she's started selling "F—k Trump" stickers and is planning to expand her line to include a "F—k Troy Nehls" collection. Catherine Garcia

November 20, 2017

On Monday, Atlanta's Georgia Dome went down (mostly) in a cloud of dust and debris from 4,800 pounds of explosives. Lots of people were there to witness the razing of the stadium, including Weather Channel cameraman James Crugnale. It was not his lucky day. "TFW you stream the #GAdome being demolished for 40 minutes and a bus stops in front of the camera at the exact moment it implodes," he wrote on Twitter, with video evidence.

Atlanta's Metropolitan Area Rapid Transit Authority put the missed opportunity in perspective. "Given the potential dangers of bringing down the largest structure of its kind," MARTA's chief marketing and communications director, Goldie Taylor, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "if this is the biggest story, we're really glad about that." On Twitter, Taylor "sincerely apologized" to Crugnale for ruining his shot, but was she really sorry?

If, like Crugnale, you want to see the Georgia Dome implode, you can watch the razing unimpeded at the Journal-Constitution. Peter Weber

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