Best Wishes

Written by SK Ashby

(Cartoonist - Chris Britt)

In other news, a federal judge has ordered Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen released from prison after finding that Cohen was sent back to prison in an act of political retaliation for writing a book about Trump.

Judge Alvin Hellerstein said he had never in his 21 years on the bench seen a provision barring a prisoner from speaking to the media. “How can I take any other inference but that it was retaliatory?”

Meanwhile, the payroll tax holiday that Trump spent the entire summer begging for has been stripped from the GOP's stimulus proposal (which still isn't final) because it's such a bad idea they couldn't even find enough Republicans to support it.

Finally, economists say the July jobs report will likely reflect that our economic recovery, if you could even call it a recovery, has either flattened or reversed.

“They [claims] were coming down for awhile in April and May and they were leveling off in June, and that’s persisted to mid-July,” said Kevin Cummins, chief U.S. economist at NatWest Markets. “There’s kind of a disconnect between the employment report and these layoff numbers. ... They’re more suspect because of Covid.”

All told, 31.8 million people were collecting benefits in all programs, as of the July 4 week. “The added benefit stuff is a reminder that the labor market is very weak right now,” said Cummins. “There are other high frequency data, and some of those suggest a significant slowdown in payroll growth in July. It will probably be pretty close to flat for the month.” [...]

Diane Swonk, Grant Thornton’s chief economist, said she has been watching the the Census Bureau’s household pulse survey, which it began releasing weekly in March. “Between the end of the survey in June and the week of the survey in July, it suggests we lost 6.7 million jobs,” she said.

She said the government’s report for July jobs will not be the same number. “What it actually will print will be different than that, but chances are good it’s flattish to down. ... At best, we’ve plateaued. At worst, we’re losing ground,” she said.

Alabama, California, Florida, Idaho and Texas reported a record number of coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours. Infections are rising in 32 states and we just crossed 4 million total infections.

Programming note... I may be offline tomorrow. I've been sick to my stomach all day and I'm exhausted. I may feel better by tomorrow morning, but it's not looking good. I couldn't even finish this post without leaving the room again.