Sixteen months after the COVID-19 pandemic began, Michigan is still behind 322,000 jobs compared to pre-pandemic in Feb. 2020.
Michigan’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate of 5% percent was unchanged in June, according to data released by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.
“Michigan’s labor market indicators were little changed in June,” Wayne Rourke, the associate director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, said in a statement. “The Michigan unemployment rate has been near 5.0 percent for five consecutive months. Payroll job counts in June were similar to March levels.”
A year ago, “defund the police” activists were having quite a time. Outlets like CNN and Vox were publishing fawning profiles. Social media sensations like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar were leading the parade. Cities like Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Austin even approved partial defundings. It was a juggernaut.
Now? A tough-on-crime former cop just won the Democratic mayoral nomination in Bill de Blasio’s New York. Former President Barack Obama is warning fellow Democrats, “You lost a big audience the minute you say [‘defund the police’].” Sen. Bernie Sanders has rejected calls for “no more policing.” And White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, a few weeks ago, bizarrely claimed that it was not Democrats but Republicans who wanted to defund the police (because they opposed President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill).
What happened? Intoxicated by a few policy wins in deep blue cities, enthusiasm in the left-leaning Twitter echo chamber, and their viselike grip on the national media, “defund” activists overlooked one important detail: Their agenda was deeply unpopular with most Americans. A summer 2020 YouGov poll found that just 16 percent of adults wanted to cut police funding — much less “defund” the police. Indeed, 81 percent of black Americans wanted police to spend as much or more time in their communities. During a year when major American cities saw an unnerving increase in homicides, after years of declines, that reaction was not just understandable, it was wholly predictable.
During a press conference Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki dodged addressing whether the White House will reveal which Facebook posts it flags as misinformation.
Psaki said last week that the White House will flag posts deemed vaccine misinformation to Facebook. But the White House press secretary did not address Monday whether the White House will “publicly release information on posts that it considers misinformation on vaccines that it’s asked Facebook to block.”
Randi Weingarten, the gaffe-prone president of the American Federation of Teachers has outdone herself, and that isn’t easy. In a series of seven open letters over the years, I have playfully chided the union boss about her trove of inane and bizarre musings. But now she has jumped the proverbial shark.
An assistant professor at Appalachian State University recently argued that enforcing behavioral standards in public high schools is rooted in racism and unfairly affects Black students.
In the article “’Press Charges’: Art Class, White Feelings, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline,” Albert Stabler writes that the desire to punish students for violating school rules, especially when the police are involved, is the result of “the overvaluation of White feelings” harming non-Whites.
A week after journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones spurned its tenured job offer, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill tells The College Fix it will attempt to fill her vacant position this fall.
“We have two open Knight Chairs to fill,” Hussman School of Journalism and Media spokesperson Kyle York told The Fix in an email. “We are building search committees and plan to begin searching in the fall.”
Hannah-Jones was offered a prestigious Knight Chair at UNC, a position endowed by the Knight Foundation to teach and practice journalism. Even though she eventually turned the school down after they reversed course and offered her a tenured position, UNC will keep the Knight endowment.
The city of Austin faces a crisis of rising violent crime after the City Council voted last year to drastically reduce the police department’s budget, interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon says.
Last summer, the Austin City Council voted to defund the police department by $150 million, which resulted in canceling multiple cadet classes and disbanding multiple units responsible for responding to DWIs, domestic violence calls, stalking, and criminal interdiction.
Instead, the council redistributed the money to other city programs and suggested that community organizers respond to 911 calls, instead of the police department.
The country is opening up and travel is increasing, but visitors are finding the rental car landscape a bit empty.
Rental car companies are continuing to have a hard time keeping up with demand after selling off fleets to stay afloat during the pandemic.
“The fundamental thing that’s causing it is the very rational corporate response to the pandemic and the almost shutting down of international and domestic travel for most of 2020 and the first half of 2021,” Gregory Scott, spokesperson for the American Car Rental Association (ACRA), told The Center Square. “Airport rentals dropped 70-90% in March and April of last year, and as a result there were literally tens of thousands of vehicles sitting unrented and unwanted because people stopped traveling.”
The Biden administration announced Monday the first transfer of a Guantanamo Bay prisoner back to his home country.
Abdul Latif Nasir was sent back to his home country of Morocco on Monday, the first detainee to be repatriated under the Biden administration, the Department of Defense (DOD) announced in a statement. Nasir, detained over ties to al-Qaeda, was captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan and had been imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility since 2002, the Associated Press reported.
Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina will spend $1 million teaching “white dominant” churches how to strive for racial equity.
According to Davidson’s official news service, the college received a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., a private philanthropic foundation that donates to race and faith-related charitable projects.
The partnership with Davidson is a fraction of the $93 million in grants the Lilly Endowment will offer throughout North America via its Thriving Congregations Initiative.
An influential COVID policy skeptic is threatening to sue Facebook for suspending his account based on a graphic he posted Tuesday, titled “Masking Children is Impractical and Not Backed by Research or Real World Data.”
Justin Hart was identified in a recent MIT paper as one of a handful of “anchors” for the anti-mask network on Twitter. He’s also chief data analyst for the COVID contrarian website Rational Ground.
A warning letter to Facebook from Hart’s lawyers at the Liberty Justice Center said the graphic was “science-based and contains footnotes to scientific evidence supporting its claims.” Facebook issued him a three-day suspension the next day, citing the post as misinformation. The page remains live but the post is no longer there.
The number of coronavirus infections among Democratic lawmakers who fled to Texas to stall a voting reform bill increased over the weekend.
At least five members of the Democratic delegation have tested positive for the virus, a person familiar told the Associated Press. The Texas House Democratic Caucus announced three of the lawmakers had tested positive as of Friday, but said the entire group had been fully vaccinated.
The top quarter of American income earners can expect to live a decade longer than the bottom quarter, medical research shows. This health disparity seems downright cruel. Not only do those in poverty have to pay more for things like credit and insurance, they also pay more years to the Grim Reaper.
Unlike income inequality, transferring years of life from the rich to the poor is not a feasible option. To find a real solution, we must know what drives the inequity.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said the 15-month backlog for processing transactions through her office should be cleared by Labor Day or the end of September.
Outside a Mason branch office, Benson touted her efforts to slash down part of the backlog after all 131 branch officers were shuttered to walk-in service in response to COVID-19 by opening 350,000 additional appointments by optimizing appointment times, extending hours, and offering more services online.
From July 19 to Sept 30, all offices will stay open until 6 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays and open at 8 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Previous office hours were 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday.