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‘Tip of the iceberg’: Experts warn record 3.28 million jobless claims could signal coming depression

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“We are about to experience something we cannot really imagine.”

Jobless claims last week were a record 3.28 million, smashing the previous high mark of 695,000 in 1982 and deepening fears of a looming economic depression that could see millions more out of work.

“We are about to experience something we cannot really imagine,” tweeted HuffPost reporter Zach Carter in response to the numbers.

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While the Labor Department numbers are daunting, and catastrophic, they’re likely nowhere near the whole story, National Employment Law Project executive director Rebecca Dixon said Thursday.

“Absent from these unemployment claims are people with jobs in the informal economy, which is driven by workers who face structural barriers, such as formerly incarcerated people, undocumented immigrant workers, or the self-employed in dozens of industries, from street vendors to domestic workers and more,” said Dixon.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Working Economics Blog (EPI) labor economist Heidi Shierholz wrote Thursday.

Economists told the Washington Post that the “widespread carnage” of Thursday’s initial numbers were just the beginning of what could be an unprecedented 40 million Americans out of work by April.

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“It’s going to get worse,” University of Illinois at Chicago assistant economics professor Jacob Robbins told the Post.

The numbers were released Thursday morning by the Labor Department, hours after a late-night 96-0 vote in the Senate Wednesday approved the CARES Act, a record $2 trillion stimulus package. The package, which was criticized by progressives for its reliance on corporate giveaways and bailouts, nonetheless contains added benefits for the unemployed—benefits that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) fought for on the Senate floor after his Republican colleagues tried to strip the assistance from the bill.

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“The CARES Act passed by the Senate last night was a good and needed first step, and the House should approve the package by unanimous consent Friday morning,” Century Foundation senior fellow Andrew Stettner said in a statement.

“We project that enacting the $600 weekly supplement alone will benefit some 11 million workers, delivering up to $115 billion in additional money to affected workers,” Stettner continued. “But we must do more.”

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A whopping 14 percent of new US COVID-19 cases are coming from Texas

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With the daily number of new coronavirus infections in Texas now exceeding that of most other states, experts say Texas has become a hot spot of the global pandemic and that more aggressive measures are needed to slow the virus’ spread.

Texas’ new confirmed cases of the coronavirus now make up around 14% of the U.S. total — measured by a seven-day average — a significantly higher proportion than its 9% share of the nation’s population. Since July 1, the U.S. has reported 358,027 new infections. Of those, 50,599 were in Texas.

On Tuesday, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported more than 10,000 new cases — representing nearly 20% of the nation’s new cases for the day. It could be a “catch-up” from the July 4 holiday, DSHS spokesman Chris Van Deusen said, noting that numbers reported Sunday and Monday were lower.

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Devastating new ad uses Ronald Reagan’s words against Trump to stunning effect

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The Lincoln Project is not the only right-wing group that has been creating attack ads slamming President Donald Trump. Another is Republican Voters Against Trump, which uses the words of President Ronald Reagan in its latest video to illustrate Trump’s failures as president.

In the ad — which lasts one minute and 40 seconds — RVAT contrast Reagan’s words with images of the U.S. during the Trump era. The message is not subtle: Under Trump, the United States is a long way from Reagan’s vision for the country.

The ad isn’t aimed at liberals and progressives, many of whom would argue that Reagan’s economic policies were bad for the American working class during the 1980s. It asks Republicans: “Has your party left you?”

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The sheep-like loyalty of Trump supporters is starting to backfire

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Donald Trump thinks his voters are morons. This universal truth was once again demonstrated this week by a Facebook ad working Trump’s new statue-oriented campaign strategy. The ad declared, “WE WILL PROTECT THIS” and featured a photo of … no, not some racist-loser Confederate general astride a horse but “Cristo Redentor,” the famous statue of Jesus Christ that sits atop Mount Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro, which, for those keeping track, is not in the United States but in Brazil, a sovereign nation in a different continent.

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