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New data from Sam Brownback’s Kansas destroys the GOP myth that tax cuts create jobs

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The state of Kansas, where Gov. Sam Brownback’s right-wing economic program and handling of the state finances have reached comedic levels of absurdity, is now also failing at a key economic test: Keeping up with the neighboring state.

In his latest column, Kansas City Star opinion writer Yael Abouhalkah, a strong critic of Brownback’s who has made a regular beat of busting the governor and his advocates, highlights the newest data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, which show the disparity in job numbers between the Kansas and Missouri sides of the Kansas City metro area.

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“The data, in fact, are extremely discouraging for Brownback and the few remaining people who thought his tax cuts would act like a jobs magnet for the Sunflower State,” writes Abouhalkah. “The bottom line: Missouri gained employment almost five times faster than Kansas in the metro region over the full year from February 2015 to February 2016.”

The Missouri side of the state line added 13,900 total jobs from February 2015 to February 2016, a local rate of 2.4 percent. By contrast, the Kansas side added just 2,200 jobs, a rate of just 0.5 percent. (The Missouri side of metro area is slightly larger than the Kansas side to begin with.)

Earlier this year, Brownback was still boasting of his goal of cutting taxes in order to bring jobs into the Kansas side of the metro area, by cutting taxes and containing public spending: “This is the basic philosophy of what we’re trying to get done in Kansas.”


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In a secluded region in Russia’s Arctic they are rejecting Putin in rare protest

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Lyudmila Laptander, an activist advocating autonomy for her mineral-rich Nenets region in the Russian Arctic, worries authorities are planning to sacrifice its traditions for the promise of economic enrichment.

"If Nenets is merged with another region, I worry that no one will look after our language or our traditions, and that our small villages in the tundra will be forgotten," said Laptander, 61, a member of the Yasavey cultural group.

The autonomous region on the edge of the Arctic Ocean was gripped by protests in May against the government's plans to integrate it with neighbouring Arkhangelsk.

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People are paying to hire this donkey to crash their Zoom meetings

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The coronavirus pandemic has led millions of people to embrace meetings via Zoom, but admittedly, those can be as tedious as in-person conferences.

So one animal sanctuary in Canada, in dire need of cash after being forced to close to visitors, found a way to solve both problems.

Meet Buckwheat, a donkey at the Farmhouse Garden Animal Home, who is ready to inject some fun into your humdrum work-from-home office day -- for a price.

"Hello. We are crashing your meeting, we are crashing your meeting -- this is Buckwheat," says sanctuary volunteer Tim Fors, introducing the gray and white animal on a Zoom call.

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Republican senators are suddenly trying to social distance — from Trump

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There’s something interesting in today’s news:

A number of Republican Senators have said they are skipping the Republican National Convention this year. The convention was originally scheduled in Charlotte, North Carolina, but at Trump’s insistence was relocated to Jacksonville, Florida, last month. The stated reason was that Democratic North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper would not commit to permitting a full convention out of concerns about the spread of coronavirus, but the abrupt switch to Florida, less than 80 days before the convention, still seems odd to me. Regardless, the switch has created a new problem: Florida is in the midst of a dramatic spike in coronavirus cases, setting a record for new cases in a single day during the weekend —11,458—and running low of ICU beds.

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