Where's the beef?
How MAGA is deflating Missouri's COVID reporting.
Recently at The Bulwark:
SECRET POD: "Elon Musk? Seriously?" 🔐
CHARLIE SYKES: The Marvelous Mrs. Cheney 🔐
BEN PARKER: Aleksei Navalny: The Man vs. The Symbol
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
New from Me… The Show-Me State Decides to Hide COVID Numbers
On its flag, Missouri quotes Voltaire: Salus populi suprema lux esto, which, roughly translated, means let the welfare of the people be the highest law.
Those two tenets of what it means to be a Missourian are sort of in conflict these days, as the state competes with other red states to demonstrate how conservative they are, even if it kills people.
Incumbent Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a U.S. Senate hopeful, is using his office (as Josh Hawley did before him) to climb up the political ladder. But what Schmitt is doing will almost certainly result in people dying:
Following a ruling by a Cole County Circuit Court last week, Schmitt, a Republican running for U.S. Senate in Missouri, said the ruling determined mask mandates, quarantines and other public health orders are illegal.
He then sent letters to dozens of county health departments and school districts. The letters demanded that districts drop any mask mandates and other COVID-19 related protocols. Schmitt also warned of legal action if they ignored his requests.
That’s right: The state AG is sending cease and desist letters to local school boards and health departments, threatening them if they do not comply with his wishes.
Trump aggressively shut down protesters for his Bible photo-op, but let the insurrection run on for more than three hours. We've passed 'what did they know, and when did they know it?' We're now at 'when did they start planning it?' Amanda Carpenter joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast.
Come join us tomorrow night! There are grievances to be aired. But you can only join if you’re a member of Bulwark+.
BRENT ORRELL asks: ‘Where’s the Beef?’
Downscale workers are well and truly up in arms in the form of a cultural phenomenon known as “antiwork”, a ceaseless fount of complaints about wages and working conditions in America. A sub-Reddit thread, populated by over 1 million contributors and commenters, testifies to the salience of the antiwork movement. While it is impossible to tell the extent to which the general public shares the antiwork view, when a million-plus Americans are complaining about the same thing it’s good to pay attention. Perhaps this discontent helps explain the labor shortages, precipitous rise in early retirements, and decline in workforce participation.
Why the sudden revolt against work?
Over many decades, the American economy has depended on a seemingly endless supply of workers (documented and not) willing to work for the sometimes parsimonious wages on offer in our advanced, globally-integrated, highly competitive, and skills-biased economy. If employees didn’t like conditions, well, there was always someone else anxious to take the work. Just five years ago, McDonalds had 50,000 applications lined up for 13,000 jobs.
Then, along came an invisible hand (in the form of a lethal virus) that uncovered some hidden truths: there are a lot of jobs in America that are hard, sometimes dirty, and, especially in a pandemic, downright dangerous. What this adds up to in the unsettled, post-COVID-19 environment, is record job quits and a big gap between the number of jobs on offer – mainly in entry-level service, retail, and manufacturing – and workers willing to fill them. Meatpacking, perhaps unsurprisingly, is one of those occupations.
GIFT OF THE DAY: For the next few days, I’m gonna give you a gift item or two in case you need some inspiration.
Have grandchildren who are toddlers? Tub O’ Towels. These things take crayon off of walls, windows, and more.
ALSO… Since it’s Christmas time, if you want to enjoy the worst Christmas music on the planet, I made a playlist for you.
Bassholes…. I’m a hipster when it comes to being a Basshole, namely somebody who wears a Bass Pro hat who does not fish. Apparently, as Matt Labash reports, the youths are into these. But I’ve had one since 2002, as Missouri is HQ to Bass Pro, love it or hate it.
Life, uh, finds a way. The Judean Date palm tree is back from the dead.
#PrinciplesFirst’s 2021 grassroots townhall. If you’re free tonight at 8 eastern, sign up.
Where is the outrage?
A conversation… Bill Kristol talks to Dr. Ashish Jha about Delta, Omicron, and the outlook for 2022.
That’s it for me. We’ll see you tomorrow. Tech support questions? Email email@example.com. Questions for me? Respond to this email.