State/Local Politics

GOP Gov. Greg Abbott Tells Texas Business Owners How To Do Their Business

Time was Republicans frowned upon this kind of behavior.

Good morning to everyone except Texas GOP Governor Greg Abbott, who has just banned vaccine mandates for all entities in Texas, even private businesses that definitely should not be his personal fucking business.

Abbott was alive and healthy to do this presumably at least in part because he's fully vaccinated, so when he got COVID in August, it didn't kill him.

The order states that "no entity in Texas" can enforce vaccination against anyone in the state who objects "for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19," according to a news release from the governor's office.

Again, we marvel at all these white Republicans who have apparently become Christian Scientists during the pandemic, and thus must register their religious objections to the vaccine. Who knew that church had such a recruiting drive going?

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Cops

Seattle Police Likely To Defund Themselves Over Vaccine Mandate

Baby cops who are scared of needles will definitely protect you from violent criminals.

Time is running out for Seattle police to provide proof of vaccination so they can keep their cushy jobs. Mayor Jenny Durkan announced in August that all city employees would be required to vaccinate themselves against COVID-19. The deadline is October 18, a week from today, so it's too late to meet the requirement with the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. However, they could still get the less-effective but one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot, but they probably won't. This isn't about procrastination.

As of October 5, a reported 38 percent of police operations staff hadn't submitted proof of COVID-19 vaccination. That includes 33 percent of police officers. It's a stark but not necessarily shocking contrast to the 81 percent of eligible King County residents who are fully vaccinated.

The overwhelming majority of city employees have complied with Durkan's order, which ensures there's a functioning city left to employ them. But cops are, generally speaking, entitled babies who don't believe the rules apply to them.

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coronavirus

Americans Ain’t Gonna Work On Your COVID-19 Farm No More

Time to debunk a persistent GOP myth.

Republicans had a theory during the pandemic: Overly generous unemployment benefits would prevent a robust economic recovery because the serfs ... er American workers would refuse to toil and spin. They claimed that businesses couldn't hire anyone thanks to President Joe Biden's COVID-19 stimulus package, which provided expanded unemployment benefits of an extra $300 a week. That is apparently all the average service employee needs to retire.

Rep. Beth Van Duyne from Texas said in May that all this government largesse was proving lethal to business owners.

VAN DUYNE: They're wanting to expand and that, ultimately, should be the goal, as opposed to extending out these bloated programs that are doing nothing more than killing our businesses, killing our employers. Long term, I think it's doing a lot of damage to our economy and to our American psyche.

We doubt the stimulus bill literally killed employers, but those checks did help keep struggling Americans alive. However, the gravy train officially ended in September, and many Republican governors cut the benefits even sooner because they're horrible people. But they insisted this would force every deadbeat living the good life with that extra $300 back to work, because the key to any successful business is a staff of lazy, resentful employees.

However, the recent jobs report did not reveal a surge of hiring in September. Overall, the jobs report was meh, like the box office returns for a movie released simultaneously in theaters and on streaming platforms. Republicans are relishing the associated human suffering because it makes Biden look bad. That's their jam, of course, but they're ignoring how this disproves their Scrooge-like arguments about working people. Let's remind them.

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economics

OH NO JOBS REPORT IS ... Oh, It's Fine Bordering On Just Okay? Carry On, Then

Weird pandemic economy remains weird.

The monthly jobs report for September was released Friday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it was another of those months for new jobs that fell short of economists' forecasts, largely due to the continued effects of the pandemic, with a downturn in government jobs, particularly in education. Total non-farm payrolls increased by 194,000 jobs, well short of the Dow Jones forecast of 500,000.

There were also some positive numbers, particularly in the overall unemployment rate, which fell to 4.8 percent, its lowest point since the start of the pandemic in February 2020. CNBC notes,

The drop in the jobless rate came as the labor force participation rate edged lower, meaning more people who were sidelined during the coronavirus pandemic have returned to the workforce. A more encompassing number that also includes so-called discouraged workers and those holding part-time jobs for economic reasons declined to 8.5%, also a pandemic-era low.

More good news: Wages increased by .6 percent, reflecting the continuing competition by re-opening businesses for a pool of workers who find themselves with more options for work.

And as the Washington Post points out, the report

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