No hurry guys. Just 30 million people out of work and about to lose their federal unemployment.
With the emergency unemployment benefits from the CARES Act just 9 days away from expiring, Republicans in the Senate and White House announced last night they had reached an "agreement in principle" on a new coronavirus stimulus bill. Except the "agreement" doesn't even address what to do about the expiring unemployment assistance, or about protections against evictions for people who have lost their jobs. But at least they've figured out how much money they want to spend on reopening schools and for coronavirus testing, so that's something at least. As the New York Times points out, pointedly even, the partial "agreement" is only among Republicans, who aren't even close to talking to Democrats yet. It's kind of a longstanding thing with them.
And the clock keeps ticking on those expiring protections for jobless people.
America now has a lot more jobless folks, too; the new weekly unemployment figures are out, showing 1.4 million new claims for unemployment during the week that ended July 18. That's 109,000 more new claims than in the prior week, marking the first uptick in new jobless claims since the record-setting job implosions back in March. Given the number of businesses having to close or cut back due to the renewed outbreaks of COVID-19, that increase in unemployment is hardly a surprise.
Maybe Congress should do something about it. The House already passed a new stimulus bill, in fucking May (MAY!!), so Republicans in the Senate might want to at least start negotiations before everything falls apart. More than everything already has.
Shut up is too the legal term.
Well, we now know Trump's latest plan to subvert democracy and screw over the American people — by pretending that undocumented immigrants just don't exist!
Donald Trump, with the help of John Yoo, as in George W. Bush's torture guy John Yoo, announced yesterday in a memorandum that he would be fucking with the data collected by the Census Bureau and altering it to exclude undocumented immigrants before sending it to Congress. The result of this would be that undocumented immigrants would be ignored when determining how many congressional representatives are allocated to each state, taking congresspeople away from states with high immigrant populations and instead giving them to other, whiter states.
In addition to being white supremacist nonsense, this is also blatantly unconstitutional. But that has never been a problem for this regime!
Yoo and Trump have apparently decided that the Supreme Court's recent decision striking down Trump's attempt to rescind DACA gives Trump carte blanche to do whatever he wants, Constitution and federal law be damned. (Don't try to make sense of it. It is as batshit insane as it sounds.)
For his next number, he'll do 20 acrobatic tricks in a row, one, two, three, four, five, splits, spread eagles, back flips, flip flops, one right after the other.
Donald Trump is ratcheting up his war on American cities, according to the Chicago Tribune, with a deployment of 150 federal agents to Chicago this week. The Department of Homeland Security is sending agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to the city, allegedly to help crack down on violent crime, although under the Constitution, law enforcement is a local and state job. On the other hand, the Framers had no idea how well cracking heads would play with the Republican base in 2020, so the silly ol' Constitution was probably just an oversight.
The Tribune reports that as of yet, no "specific plan on what the agents will be doing — and what their limits would be" has been made public, but it did get confirmation from an anonymous Immigration and Customs Enforcement official in Chicago that the deployment is on the way. HSI is the mostly non-immigration investigatory arm of ICE, usually focused on customs violations, smuggling, human trafficking, and the like; the official told the paper the HSI agents "would not be involved in immigration or deportation matters."
As in Portland, Oregon, the goal seems to be to put on a show of toughness, or to provoke a violent reaction, so Donald Trump can run on a promise of getting tough on crime in cities he wants to portray as out of control because The Blacks live there. It's not like cities are going to vote for him, so why not put them to use? Playing to white fear worked for him in 2016, so he must think enough Americans in enough states can be distracted from how many people are suffering and dying from the pandemic Trump has so badly mismanaged.
STOP DOING THAT PLEASE.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg announced today that she's being treated for a recurrence of cancer, the fourth bout of cancer she's been through. Ginsburg said in a statement released by the Supreme Court that doctors found lesions on her liver in February, and that she has been undergoing chemotherapy, which is going well. In the statement, she wrote,
I have often said I would remain a member of the court as long as I can do the job full steam. [...] I remain fully able to do that.
The statement said that a recent scan on July 7 "indicated significant reduction of the liver lesions and no new disease."
We frankly believe Ruth Bader Ginsburg is doing her very best to become immortal, but we'd be relieved if she had fewer opportunities to put that determination to the test, thank you very much. In addition, Ginsburg wrote,