Fine, Tucker, See You Lext Tuesday.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson was simply delirious with joy at learning that New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Sunday, because it proves no one needs to be vaccinated or something. Hochul wrote on Twitter, "Thankfully, I’m vaccinated and boosted, and I’m asymptomatic. I’ll be isolating and working remotely this week."
Today I tested positive for COVID-19. Thankfully, I\u2019m vaccinated and boosted, and I\u2019m asymptomatic. I\u2019ll be isolating and working remotely this week. \n\nA reminder to all New Yorkers: get vaccinated and boosted, get tested, and stay home if you don\u2019t feel well.— Governor Kathy Hochul (@Governor Kathy Hochul) 1652034743
Tucker found it simply hilarious that, after saying she was vaxxed and boosted, Hochul called on all New Yorkers to get vaccinated and boosted, because what the hell good would that do? Like, apart from the vaccines' proven effectiveness at preventing serious illness and death.
Also too, Carlson left out the part about her being asymptomatic, which is kind of a big deal, and the point of why the vaccines are extremely effective even against a quickly changing virus.
Here's the video of Carlson being extremely weird about all of this, via Media Matters:
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has never actually been elected to the office she holds, but she has tested positive for COVID-19! Recently, right now, you know what that means. It means the vaccine works perfectly!
Again, it means the vaccine helped keep Hochul from developing serious illness, being hospitalized, or dying.
Next, Carlson read only part of Hochul's statement, leaving out the bit about being asymptomatic.
Here's the statement she released: "Thankfully I am vaccinated and boosted. Reminder to all New Yorkers, get vaccinated and boosted."
This was followed by a burst of insane Tucker Carlson laughter, which is a deeply disturbing phenomenon. But he had to cackle like that, because Kathy Hochul is completely out of her mind to believe the vaccine had anything to do with her continued good health. Maybe she accidentally brushed against a horse and got protected by dewormer, you ever think of that?
That's right, maybe she got secondhand horse pasted, and that is why she is fine.
He was disgusted, he said:
She is just reading the catechism! If that sounds like a religious ritual, well, because to Kathy Hochul the vaccine is a religion. Here she was in September.
Carlson cut to a clip of Hochul telling people that vaccines are effective, and suggesting that the Christian thing to do, to show you love others, is to get vaccinated and to urge them to do so as well, for the good of all. As if that had anything to do with the real Gospel of Jesus Christ, who wants you to keep America safe from Mexicans and to fire all the gay teachers.
"Now she's got the 'rona!" Carlson scoffed. "Looks like her stupid little cult religion didn't work. Time to pick a better god!"
Possibly that god should be orange and irrational.
Carlson then went on to point out that the White House is warning of a new COVID surge this fall, which he seems to think is a sneaky election year plot, because who doesn't love a surge of deadly infections? Kidding! He's afraid people might vote by mail, which is automatically cheating because it just is.
Then Tucker chatted with Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, an "infect everyone" COVID numpty from way back, who said it was very irresponsible of the White House to "warn that this is impending doom again," which of course the White House never said, and who said that America simply cannot go back to lockdowns, which is also not being considered.
Ultimately, the two agreed that the virus will just be around forever, so why bother even getting vaccinated, everything's fine, and God will sort through the bodies and send some of them to heaven, the end.
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Wingnuts fret it's Obamaphones all over again.
President Biden yesterday announced that 20 internet companies will start providing low-cost broadband internet service to low-income Americans, as part of a deal growing out of last year's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The infrastructure bill already offered $30-a-month subsidies to help low-income folks pay for internet (the subsidy increases to $75 in tribal areas). Those subsidies are available to millions of people. Now, the 20 internet providers will set up a new tier of broadband plans that cost just $30 per month, so with the subsidy, the plans will will be free for as many as 48 million families.
At a White House Rose Garden event yesterday, Biden said, "High speed internet is not a luxury any longer. It’s a necessity." The AP adds,
Biden noted that families of four earning about $55,000 annually — or those including someone eligible for Medicaid — will get a $30 monthly credit, meaning about 40 percent of Americans will qualify.
The subsidies, through the Affordable Connectivity Program, were a top goal for Biden and other supporters of the infrastructure bill, particularly as the pandemic highlighted the "digital divide" that means low-income homes don't have reliable internet access. That was dramatically illustrated by a viral August 2020 photo showing two little girls sitting on a curb outside a Taco Bell so they could use the restaurant's wifi to do homework on school-issued laptops.
2 of our children trying to get WiFi for their classes outside a Taco Bell in East Salinas! We must do better & solve this digital divide once &for all for all California students\n\nCALIFORNIA NEEDS A UNIVERSAL BROADBAND INFRASTRUCTURE BOND FOR OUR STUDENTS\nhttps://link.medium.com/7Ir6Dyo5f9\u00a0pic.twitter.com/cAbXNJ6F7x— Luis Alejo\u2696\ufe0f (@Luis Alejo\u2696\ufe0f) 1598423880
Biden referred to similar scenes in his remarks, noting that families had also resorted to parking outside fast food restaurants just so kids could do their homework, and adding that telemedicine had become a vital part of healthcare delivery during the pandemic. He was not afraid to get folksy, either:
You know, the need for high-speed Internet is — is a little bit like what used to be probably what my grandfather talked about: needing to have a telephone. It’s pretty consequential. And it’s only going to keep growing, this need. High-speed Internet is not a luxury any longer, it’s a necessity.
The AP notes that the 20 internet providers who agreed to lower rates for low-income folks
provide service in areas where 80% of the U.S. population, including 50% of the rural population, live, the president said. Participating companies that offer service on tribal lands are providing $75 rates in those areas, the equivalent of the federal government subsidy in those areas.
Consumers can check to see if they qualify for the new service at getinternet.gov, which also includes a link to apply for the program. Basically, it's available to families making up to 200 percent of the poverty level, which varies with family size. People also qualify if they're already participating in several federal anti-poverty programs, like Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), free or reduced-price school lunches, and even Pell Grant education support. Full list and application linky here, or people can also call (877) 384-2575.
This could be a heckin' big deal, as the AP points out:
“It might be a game-changer,” said Marty Newell, coordinator for Rural Broadband Policy at the Center for Rural Strategies in Whitesburg, Kentucky, where he said slow internet has plagued residents and businesses alike.
Newell said he wanted to see more about what the program will mean going forward, but that his main question is — given that increased broadband access has generally been a bipartisan issue in Congress -- “What took them so long?”
The infrastructure law also provides funding to build out broadband in rural areas where internet is currently slow or unavailable, which is sorely needed so that folks can get access to Wonkette and clear out the cobwebs from watching all that Fox News. The infrastructure law provided $65 billion for expanding broadband; most of it will go to grants for states to improve their networks, even if red state governors brag about how great that is but barely mention where the money came from.
Biden also said the administration would continue working to increase competition in the broadband market, to bring lower prices to all internet users. Among those initiatives is an effort to end exclusive internet deals where landlords only allow renters to choose one internet provider in places where several options are available. And, of course, getting broadband built where it's currently not available at all.
All told, this is pretty damn good for America.
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And how this may just mean free breakfast for US.
Conservatives are obsessed with the idea of victimhood.
They are deeply jealous of those who they see as benefiting from victimhood — frequently members of groups they have decided to oppress or target in some way. They see these people as getting not just empathy, but a certain kind of social capital and generousness that they themselves do not get. This is why they invent elaborate fantasies about "victim olympics"
and what have you.
Rather than just, I don't know, not picking out groups of people and trying to deprive them of their right to vote, control their bodies, have healthcare, be treated decently and fairly, not be discriminated against, conservatives try and come up with ways in which to frame themselves as the real victims of discrimination. And to their constant ire, it literally never works because everyone can see through their bullshit. And sure, they can pretend to give it to each other, but it doesn't really count unless they get it from us, the people who care about all of the people they treat poorly.
So it has been with this vaccination shit.
This time, they are boycotting Tim Hortons. Why? Is it because they haven't yet brought back the limited edition Justin Bieber Timbites — the Timbeibs? It is not. Is it because they've lobbied against minimum wage hikes and treat their employees terribly? It is because the Canadian donuts and coffee chain hosts a camp for underprivileged children ... and will be requiring that all who attend this summer be vaccinated so that the camp can be a safe place for immunocompromised children and also children who would rather not get sick with a virus we know can cause long-term complications. Yes, even in children.
It's also at least partly logistical, as a COVID outbreak would mean everyone would have to get sent home. Who wants that? Well, some people apparently.
"I've been reading that Tim Hortons won't be allowing unvaxxed underprivileged teens to attend camp this summer. What a joke." tweeted one asshole. "This is the entire point of camp: allowing kids to be a part of something amazing they've never experienced without discrimination."
I've been reading that Tim Hortons won't be allowing unvaxxed underprivileged teens to attend camp this summer.\n\nWhat a joke. This is the entire point of camp: allowing kids to be a part of something amazing they've never experienced without discrimination.\n\n#BoycottTimHortons— Nicole Siemens (@Nicole Siemens) 1651905199
The charge is being led by far-right Canadian media site Rebel News (you know, the one Gavin Whatsisface used to have a show on?), which has launched a petition and website demanding the camp allow unvaccinated children who they claim are being denied opportunities "discriminated against because of their medical status." That status being, of course, that they would be more likely to transmit a virus that no one wants to get.
Let Kids Camp! Tim Hortons Foundation Camps requires full vaccination from all, including campers! www.youtube.com
They would apparently prefer that kids with a medical status that can't be changed simply by spending two seconds getting a vaccine be denied this opportunity instead.
On the bright side, given what we know about the way conservatives boycott things, they'll probably just buy piles of donuts and then film themselves throwing said donuts out the window, so if you can make it over to the WASPy part of town, you might be able to score some breakfast.
Of course is not about going to Tim Hortons Foundation Camps in particular. This is about a socioemotional need to feel like they come first, to feel like other people are willing to make sacrifices for them. It would just really mean a lot to them if people would say "You know what? It is worth the risk. YOU are worth the risk. It is more important that you feel good than it is for my own child or any other child to not get sick."
It would be great if they could get their self-worth from things other than oppressing people or trying to get other people to sacrifice for them, but given that they suck, that seems unlikely.
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It was cancelled in 1979, don't be silly.
The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics is out with its monthly jobs report, showing the economy added 428,000 new jobs in April. The unemployment rate stays the same, at 3.6 percent, which is just a little bit higher than the unemployment rate before the big employment crash at the beginning of the pandemic. The number of new jobs was actually a bit better than the Dow Jones forecast of 400,000 new jobs, hooray!
In addition, as happens sometimes, the March numbers were revised downward just a hair, from 431,000 to 428,000, which isn't terrible. And while it probably won't shut up any Republicans, one measure of inflation eased a bit, too: Average wages increased, but were up by just 0.3 percent, better than the forecast of 0.4 percent. ("Better" if you care more about inflation than wage growth.)
CNBC presents the traditional economist summation, this month from Daniel Zhao, the senior economist at jobs review site Glassdoor:
The job market continues to plow forward, buoyed by strong employer demand. After just over two years of the pandemic, the job market is remaining resilient and on track for a return to pre-pandemic levels this summer. However, the job market is showing some signs of cooling as it turns the corner and the recovery enters a new phase.
Sometimes we wonder whether those monthly jobs report overviews aren't just produced by an algorithm: Load in the month's numbers and the machine spits out some econospeak. So it was a pretty good month, huh?
Last month's job gains were fairly consistent with the roughly half-million jobs the economy has added every month since Joe Biden took office, so naturally, CNN Business fretted that the bloom is off the recovery, because maybe everything is terrible!
After an electric economic recovery from the pandemic, the job market is showing signs of returning to normal. It’s still growing at a remarkably strong pace, but the months of millions of jobs added are probably over.
Oh no! That sounds like huge drop-off in growth! At least, it might sound like it was until you look back over the actual job stats from the beginning of the pandemic recession. The BLS recorded catastrophic job losses in March and April 2020, with 20 million jobs vaporized in April 2020 alone, before the economy started coming back.
But here's the thing: Those wondrous days of "millions of jobs" being added to the economy were limited to the summer of 2020, as most businesses that had temporarily shut down in response to the pandemic reopened. Here, have a chart from Forbes in September 2020; the numbers here show the initial monthly jobs numbers without taking later revisions into account:
The 1.4 million new jobs in August 2020 would be, in fact, the last time the economy added over a million jobs during the current recovery. Donald Trump took credit for the jobs gains — which were real, but had more to do with businesses starting to dig out from the crash than any economic genius on his part.
On the other hand, the Trump administration's catastrophically inept handling of the pandemic did mean that the early return of jobs didn't hold: The pandemic came roaring back in the fall wave of 2020. In fact, job growth slowed for the rest of that year: 919,000 new jobs in September, 647,000 in October, 333,000 in November, and an actual loss of 115,000 jobs in December 2020.
Since Joe Biden took office in 2021 and the vaccines began to help control the coronavirus, the economy has grown pretty steadily, as you can see in this nice chart from the New York Times today. See how we're almost back up to the pre-pandemic jobs level?
In a statement, President Biden noted that since he took office, the economy has added 8.3 million jobs; he also noted that back in January 2021,
there were around 20 million people relying on unemployment benefits to feed their families; today, that number is around 1 million – the lowest since 1970. We are building an economy that values the dignity of work.
In short, shut the fuck up about there no longer being any "millions of jobs" gained in any given month, CNN, because the only time that happened was right after the economy fell off a cliff — and that growth didn't continue because we had that second big COVID surge.
Also too, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by half a point Wednesday in an attempt to rein in inflation without slowing the economy enough to cause a recession, so here's hoping the former happens and the latter doesn't. Now we have to go and work on programming our EconoBot 3000 with a range of sober-sounding statements about the economy.