Snakes on a Plane

Written by SK Ashby

(Cartoonist - Rob Rogers)

In other news, the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics's model now says the United States will see 410,000 coronavirus deaths by January 1st under the most likely scenario. Their best case scenario still puts the death toll at 288,000, an insane number. Their worst case scenario is 620,000.

Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security says Russia has been amplifying messages against mail-in and absentee voting. You know who else has? The goddamn president.

Finally, private sector hiring slowed last month while temporary hiring by the government made things look better.

Private companies added just over 1 million jobs in August, with the government providing nearly 350,000 others, including a quarter-million temporary Census workers. That's down from the 1.5 million jobs that companies added in July and a sign that employers remain cautious about the economic outlook with the pandemic still out of control.

Permanent job losses climbed by a record amount to 3.4 million.

However, the underlying figures are potentially more sinister. In particular, the number of job losses considered “permanent” surged again in August by 534,000 to 3.4 million, the highest since 2013. The sharp growth in permanent job losers screeched to a halt in July, in what was seen as an encouraging sign about the path forward for the labor market. Friday’s figures are a stark reminder that the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic is still making its way through the economy. The U.S. has yet to reach an equilibrium.

For reference, there were 13.55 million unemployed workers in the U.S. labor force in August, meaning about 25% consider themselves permanently jobless. By contrast, when unemployment peaked after the last recession in late 2009 at 15.35 million, about 6.82 million were deemed permanent job losers, or roughly 45%. On a percentage basis, August marked the sharpest increase in that ratio on record.

Also -- Trump says service members who were killed in action are "losers."

When President Donald Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, he blamed rain for the last-minute decision, saying that “the helicopter couldn’t fly” and that the Secret Service wouldn’t drive him there. Neither claim was true.

Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.

I'm cooking dinner for my father tonight; a ranch chicken taco soup with green chili quesadillas on the side. As my mother would have said, I "hope it doesn't suck."

Have a good weekend.

RIP Chadwick Boseman (1976-2020)