Yale Study on $600 Unemployment Lifeline Championed by Democrats Destroys Favorite GOP Talking Point

A new study by Yale economists out this week debunks the repeated GOP talking point that the $600 federal expansion of unemployment benefits has disincentivized people from returning to work—findings published the same day Senate Republicans released a coronavirus relief proposal which critics condemned as an “utter disgrace” that will “unleash widespread suffering” on people nationwide.

Common Dreams

How Crazy are Anti-Maskers? This Crazy:

Customers Who Refused Masks Assault Trader Joe’s Workers, Send One to the Hospital

The men pummeled one employee with a wooden paddle, ripped off another employee’s mask, and pulled the hair of a third worker, according to an NYPD spokesperson.


‘Stay away.’ ‘Biggest petri dish in the world.’ The view from Canada, of us, isn’t so nice.

Canadians don’t want Americans to cross the border. What they’re saying:

“Hard pass on opening the border — we’re a healthy nation with big plans, and you’re a failed society,” one Canadian replied to the congressional letter on Twitter.

“That border stays CLOSED,” wrote another. “Canadians may be polite but we aren’t CRAZY!”

And another: “There’s no reason to believe Americans will care about the health of Canadians, given that relatively few seem to care about the health of other Americans.”

The Seattle Times

Narcissists and Psychopaths Are More Likely to Refuse to Wear Masks

Two recent studies looked at the relationship between personality traits and reactions to restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. Researchers found that people possessing so-called “Dark Triad” traits—narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism—were less likely to comply with restrictions or engage in preventative measures against the pandemic. However, researchers also emphasized the small role personality traits have in the overall response to pandemic restrictions, like face-mask mandates and social-distancing requirements.


Overloaded Texas County: Send Sickest COVID-19 Patients Home to Die

The county was doing a great job stifling the spread of coronavirus, with lockdowns and mandatory masks required.

Then the Republican governor overrode and canceled such precautions.

Now the hospital is overwhelmed with coronavirus patients and they’ve formed a “death panel” to decide which sick patients should just be sent home to die.

Ft. Worth Star-Telegram

The moral: Never Vote For A Republican.

Time to Review the President’s Extraordinary Emergency Powers?

We have recently come to learn of at least a hundred documents authorizing extraordinary presidential powers in the case of a national emergency, virtually dictatorial powers without congressional or judicial checks and balances. President Trump alluded to these authorities in March when he said, “I have the right to do a lot of things that people don’t even know about.” No matter who occupies the office, the American people have a right to know what extraordinary powers presidents believe they have. It is time for a new select committee to study these powers and their potential for abuse, and advise Congress on the ways in which it might, at a minimum, establish stringent oversight.

John Kerry at The New York Times

Susan Pompeo: Acting Secretary of State and Grammarian?

In a vast Cabinet department with extensive resources, tightly bound by protocol and with close oversight, Mike and Susan Pompeo have imported a model more familiar to smaller, less scrutinized congressional offices on Capitol Hill: a blurry line between the appointed secretary and unappointed spouse, and among official, political and personal agendas.


The Covidiots: Refusing to Wear a Mask

Here’s a story at the Washington Post about a woman who works at a store in North Carolina and has to deal with customers who refuse to wear a mask.

I suspect many of those refusing to wear masks are the phreaks who rely upon right-wing news sources (and voted for Trump). How did a national health crisis become political? Conservative media.

Here’s an excerpt:

But on weekends, we get dozens of people from Charlotte or Raleigh who come to visit their boats. Those places are virus hot spots, and they come here to have a good time and maybe they’re drinking. Some of them would see our signs, open the front door, and just yell: “F— masks. F— you.” Or they would walk in, refuse to wear a mask and then dump their merchandise all over the counter. I had a guy come in with no mask and a pistol on his hip and stare me down. I had a guy who took his T-shirt off and put it over his mouth so I could see his whole stomach. “There. A mask. Are you happy?” I had a lady who tried to tape a pamphlet on the front window about the ADA mask exemption, which is a totally fake thing.

The Insanity Trump Has Wrought: Utah

A sane president would be doing all possible to attack the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. But Trump is not sane. He’s promoting re-opening and sending kids back to school, even as coronavirus cases continue to increase.

The result is demonstrated in Utah:

They wore “Trump 2020” hats and carried little American flags, and every time someone said “freedom” or “constitutional rights” the whole room cheered. Almost no one wore a mask; those who did had them pulled under their chins.

Utahns protest mask mandate and demand in-person classes