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Blue Collar Voters Are Flocking To The Republican Party


In recent years, Democrats have embraced the radical left and there are consequences for this.

Blue collar, working class people are now flocking to the Republican party. Is there any wonder why?

As one of his first acts as president, Joe Biden wiped out thousands of jobs.

NBC News reports:

TRENDING: BREAKING: Supreme Court Refuses to Review Pennsylvania Election Cases – Alito, Gorsuch and Thomas Dissent

The GOP is rapidly becoming the blue-collar party. Here’s what that means.

The exit of Donald Trump has brought back a more normal rhythm to politics in Washington, but outside the Beltway, deeper forces are reshaping the partisan landscape.

Data from the NBC News poll shows that the composition of the two major parties is changing, and one massive shift is coming in employment: the kinds of jobs Democrats and Republicans hold. There are signs across racial and ethnic demographic groups that Republicans are becoming the party of blue-collar Americans and the change is happening quickly.

If the movement continues it could have a large impact on the future of the GOP. Consider the scale of the change overall.

In the last decade, the percentage of blue-collar voters who call themselves Republicans has grown by 12 points. At the same time, the number in that group identifying as Democrats has declined by 8 points. Among white-collar voters, the numbers have remained stable, with Democrats seeing a tiny increase and Republicans seeing a tiny drop…

With those voters, the numbers mirror that large-scale shift — a 12-point gain for the GOP.

This is a major political shift and it includes minorities, too.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Blue-collar voters made a major shift from the Democratic Party to the GOP under former President Donald Trump, including those from Hispanic and black demographics.

The percentage of blue-collar voters who associate themselves with the Republican Party has grown 12 points over the last decade, an NBC News poll found. During that same time frame, the number of blue-collar voters calling themselves Democrats declined by 8 points.

The shift holds true across demographic lines, with more Hispanic and black blue-collar people identifying with the GOP.

This could have a major effect on the elections of 2022 and 2024.

Cross posted from American Lookout.





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Entertaiment

Blue Ivy Carter Did Her Grandma Tina Knowles’ Makeup


“She is only 9 years old. Can you imagine her at 15?”

Beyoncé’s daughter Blue Ivy Carter has some major skills! She did her grandma Tina Knowles’ makeup and made her look red-carpet ready at home.

Knowles showed off the finished look on Instagram, and her fans were in awe at what her granddaughter could do.

“My talented granddaughter Blue made up my face today,” she penned the caption. “She is only 9 years old. Can you imagine her at 15 doing my makeup?… Gonna save me a lot of money on makeup artist fees 😂❤️.”

Blue Ivy is so talented! She also showed the world what she could do when she did her grandma’s makeup for Halloween 2020.

“She made me into Grandma Skeleton !!❤️❤️,” Knowles captioned the Instagram post, which was liked over 100,000 times.

With skills like this, Blue Ivy could easily go on to become one of the world’s best makeup artists!

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Entertaiment

Blue Ivy Carter Gives Grandma Tina Lawson a Glam Makeover


Tina Knowles is letting her gifted granddaughter upgrade her.

Beyoncé‘s famous mom shared a photo to Instagram on Thursday, Jan. 28 of the impressive makeover that the “Upgrade U” singer’s 9-year-old daughter Blue Ivy Carter had just given her. 

“My talented granddaughter Blue made up my face today,” Tina wrote in the caption. “She is only 9 years old can you imagine her at 15 doing my makeup? She Beat My Face [heart emoji] Gonna save me a lot of money on make up artist fees.” 

Clearly, Blue has picked up a thing or two from her family members’ glam skills, as she nailed her grandma’s delicate smoky eye, eyebrow arch and pop of color on the lips. Watch your back, beauty YouTubers.

This is hardly the first time that Tina has proven how proud she is of the young Grammy nominee

On Jan. 10, Tina shared footage of Blue showcasing some serious dance moves while listening to Ciara‘s 2010 single “Gimmie Dat” at a ballet class. As Tina observed at the time, the girl’s eye-catching style brought to mind comparisons to her superstar family members, including aunt Solange Knowles





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Politics

This suburban Chicago seat swung from Trump to Biden two years after going blue in an upset


That spread was similar to Biden’s 50-48 win, but that take represented Biden’s biggest district-level improvement in the state on Hillary Clinton’s performance four years ago, when she lost the 14th to Donald Trump 49-45. In a sign of just how much things have changed, this district’s predecessor, also numbered the 14th, was once held by child molester and former Republican House Speaker Denny Hastert before his resignation following the GOP wipeout in the 2006 elections.

Biden also saw a sizable jump in the neighboring 6th District, one rung closer in to the city of Chicago, which Democrats also picked up in 2018. That seat, however, is now all but out of reach for Republicans: Biden won it by a sizable 52-43 margin after Clinton carried it 50-43. Democratic Rep. Sean Casten secured a second term with a similar 53-45 victory.

Democrats were less successful in the one Illinois district that outside groups targeted in 2020, the 13th in the central part of the state. While Trump’s margin declined slightly, from 50-44 to 51-47, Republican Rep. Rodney Davis defeated Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan 54-46, considerably better than his narrow 50.4-49.6 escape in their first matchup two years earlier.

Team Blue was lucky, however, to avoid a major humiliation in the 17th District in the northwestern corner of the state. That seat is occupied by former DCCC Chair Cheri Bustos, who won reelection just 52-48 over an unheralded Republican foe, Esther Joy King, after deep-pocketed super PACs on both sides poured money into the race just before Election Day. But Bustos actually ran ahead of the top of the ticket as Trump once again carried the 17th, this time by a 50-48 margin—a slight increase on his 47.4-46.6 win in 2016. With Biden flipping the 6th District, that leaves Bustos as the only member of Illinois’ delegation to represent a district carried by the opposite party’s presidential candidate.

Biden’s 57-41 statewide victory was very similar to Clinton’s 55-38 win, but his success in the suburbs was offset by a decline in Latino and Black areas of Chicago. The district that saw the biggest drop was the 4th, a majority-Latino seat represented by Democratic Rep. Chuy Garcia, which Biden won 81-17 versus 82-13 for Clinton. Similar dips took place in the 1st and 7th, which are predominantly Black. Biden still won each of these districts in a romp, but his weaker performance mirrors a similar slump in Black and Latino neighborhoods in other states.





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Entertaiment

Beyoncé’s Daughter Blue Ivy Dances In New Video


Blue Ivy is living her best life!!!

Beyoncé is well known for her powerful vocals and iconic dance moves, so it’s not surprising that her daughter, Blue Ivy, is quite the dancer as well.


Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Tina Knowles-Lawson, Beyoncé’s mother and Blue’s grandmother, shared the cutest video of the 9-year-old at her dance class. Like, you just have to see it:

With Ciara’s “Gimmie Dat” playing in the background, Blue has fun and lets loose with some serious dance moves.

Miss Blue Ivy Carter is carefree and living her life, and I’m loving it!!!

In the caption of the video, Tina shared the sweetest comment, referring to Solange Knowles — aka, Beyoncé’s younger sister, Blue’s aunt, and also a fabulous singer and dancer: “[This] is Blue but I swear it looks like Solange dancing at this age ❤️.”


Jason Mendez / Getty Images / Allen Berezovsky / Getty Images

In case you didn’t know, Blue recently earned her first Grammy nomination for her role in Beyoncé’s “Brown Skin Girl” and also narrated her first audiobook, Hair Love, by Matthew A. Cherry — based on the Oscar-winning short film. So, she’s just killing the game all around.

Welp, she got it from her mama!!!

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Beyoncé’s Daughter Blue Ivy Proves Dancing Clearly Runs in the Family


Beyoncé‘s daughter Blue Ivy Carter has clearly been paying attention to everything her relatives have taught her.

On Sunday, Jan. 10, Beyoncé’s famous mom, Tina Lawson, posted footage to Instagram of her 8-year-old granddaughter showing off some moves to Ciara‘s 2010 single “Gimmie Dat” during a dance class. As Tina pointed out, the young girl’s impressive style brought to mind her superstar family members, including aunt Solange Knowles

“This is Blue but I swear it looks like Solange dancing at this age,” the proud grandma captioned the footage, adding a heart emoji. 

CNN commentator Angela Raye replied, “I love her!!! This is so cute.” 

One of the most-like comments on the post was a fan’s message that read, “Blue said ‘hold my Juicebox real quick,'” following by three laughing emojis.

A different follower wrote, “WHEN YOUR MOM IS BEYONCE AND TT IS SOLANGE [speaking-head emoji] GON HEAD BLUE.”

Another popular comment was, “Everybody when they got their stimulus lol.”





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Politics

The Blue Flame of ‘Hotlanta’


When Georgia went blue for Biden last month, some traced it to Stacey Abrams and her nonprofit Fair Fight, whose get-out-the-vote playbook electrified the state. Others cited more college-educated and older suburban voters.

And though the election (and the upcoming Senate runoffs on Jan. 5) have focused new eyes on the state, it has long been a force of tradition and change. Atlanta, the capital, has a storied civil rights legacy, an influential hip-hop scene and booming film studios. It is the birthplace, after all, of Martin Luther King Jr., the home of Tyler Perry Studios and where such as artists as Childish Gambino, Migos and Gucci Mane made their mark.

Nicknamed ”Hotlanta” or the ATL (after its bustling airport) by some, the city is also welcoming arrivals from New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere, drawn to not only to Atlanta’s history and culture, but also its affordable spaces, agreeable weather and fantastic food.

Here are six Georgians, newcomers and natives, who exemplify modern Atlanta. They are entrepreneurs, actors, artist and activists.

Interviews have been edited.


Age: 30

Occupation: co-founder and chief executive of the Gathering Spot, a members-only club for young professionals

Hometown: Atlanta

Now Lives: in a single-family home in the artsy West Midtown section of the city, with his wife and daughter.

Why did you move back to Atlanta?

I’m from Atlanta, but attended undergrad and law school at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. I moved back to Atlanta in 2015 to open the Gathering Spot. I specifically chose to start the business here because I think Atlanta is the best city in the country right now for Black entrepreneurs to thrive.

What was the impetus for the Gathering Spot?

I started the Gathering Spot in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s murder with the belief that Black people should have a place to be more than tolerated, but celebrated. I also missed the access to community and thought leadership that I experienced during my university years and wondered why I couldn’t find a place where that continued to happen. The club has hosted everyone from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to Drake. My partner TK Petersen and I are in the middle of opening a Gathering Spot in D.C.

What makes Atlanta unique?

In Atlanta, our biggest export is our culture. In this city, we know each other across traditional lines of difference and have successfully brought thriving start-up, big business, college and university, and creative communities together. Atlanta is also a city that is distinctly Black. This is one of the few cities where topics like diversity, representation and political power for Black people aren’t aspirational talking points, but our historic and present reality.

What did the 2020 elections reveal about Georgia?

Georgia is a true battleground state, and more diverse and more progressive than what we get credit for. This election cycle is also showing that Georgia, like our country, is deeply divided. I’m optimistic though that what is happening in Georgia will inspire other communities to see that they, too, can mobilize new voters, shift their politics and successfully navigate tough conversations about their collective future.


Age: 31

Occupation: activist, founder of Chicomecoatl, a seed-to-plate catering company; chef at 8ARM, a community-driven restaurant

Hometown: Fullerton, Calif.

Now lives: In a two-bedroom apartment in the Grove Park neighborhood of Atlanta with her partner

Why did you move to Atlanta?

My family moved us to northwest Georgia from Fullerton, Calif., in the mid-90s (they are originally from Mexico) and I moved to Atlanta in 2008. I was in and out of state colleges as a pre-law student until I finally dropped out in 2010 and landed my first cooking experience as an intern at the former Tierra by the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Ansley Park. I’ve been cooking in this city ever since.

Your cooking crosses over into activism. How did that start?

In 2014 I was a chef for a University of Georgia summer program that traveled across the country. We were crossing through California’s central valley, where many of the farm workers are from Mexico. This is where we harvest so much of the country’s food and yet, for the locals, it is a food desert. This was a big moment for me. I realized as a chef you don’t see all the hands that are behind your food orders. You don’t know their cost of living or what wage they receive. After educating myself more, I started to take on roles having to do with food justice.

What did the 2020 elections reveal about Georgia?

The elections are demonstrating that there have been many groups of people that have been ready to be a part of the conversations that shape institutional change. They are also indicating that the youth is finally able to vote and that they will be heard.

Tell us something surprising about Atlanta.

There are many urban farms here that are also platforms for racial justice and activism, like Grow Where You Are, an organization that’s been actively working in our communities for over a decade, and emphasizes the importance of land stewardship and food sovereignty as a human right.


Age: 23

Occupation: actress (currently stars on CW’s “Dynasty”)

Hometown: Sydney, Australia

Now Lives: The upscale district of Buckhead in northern Atlanta.

Why did you move to Atlanta?

I moved here in 2018 when I was booked for the second season of “Dynasty.” I thought initially I would be in the city for three and a half months but now, two and a half years later, I am still here, shooting the fourth season.

How does it compare to other cities?

I’ve lived In New York City and Sydney. In 2015 I moved to L.A. and enjoyed the outdoor lifestyle. It reminded me of Sydney, but because L.A. is the center of Hollywood and celebrity, there is an oversaturation of social media that gives it an underlying sense of superficiality. It feels like everyone is an influencer. Atlanta is a bit of an outlier. I really appreciate that Atlanta has a hustle, but on the flip side there is a slower pace and a day-to-day reality that feels more wholesome and authentic.

What surprised you about Georgia?

I thought the South was a place where everyone had a thick drawl and where I could find a lot of barbecue and Spanish moss dripping from the trees. I thought that it would be somewhat conservative and feel 50 years behind other international cities. But Atlanta feels very much in the center of everything and extremely progressive. After all, it’s the birthplace of Martin Luther King. I’m reminded of that every day I drive by his childhood home on the way to work.

What do you think the 2020 elections will mean for the future of Georgia?

People outside the state are now seeing its potential. I think we’ll be seeing more film production here, more people following in Tyler Perry’s footsteps, more people moving here. Those of us who have been living here have known this, but the election is showing the results of this shift. It’s really exciting to be here at this moment.

Age: 33

Occupation: art activist

Hometown: Biloxi, Miss.

Now lives: In a one-bedroom apartment in Tucker, Ga., about 15 miles northeast of Atlanta.

Describe your work.

I am best known for my work spearheading the movement to change the Mississippi State flag.I recently returned from a five-month national tour with Vote Common Good, of which I am the poet laureate. In Atlanta, my next project, Bars & Blue Cups, will explore the intersection between hip-hop and health. As a blueprint, I’ll be using my own journey as an independent rap activist — my failures, my triumphs and my journey of self-discovery through health literacy, empowerment, mindfulness and self-actualization.

Why did you move to Atlanta?

In 2017 while living in Brooklyn, my friend and fellow artist, Chris Wilson, introduced me to an organization called Breakout. After meeting co-founder, Michael Farber, they flew me out to host an event in Atlanta and I fell in love with the city. Within a couple months, I relocated from Brooklyn to Atlanta to see how my talents can be of service here.

How does Atlanta differ from other cities?

I’m still new to the city, but so far I have seen flourishing Black businesses, collaboration within our community, sharing of resources and queer visibility on a level that I’ve not seen in other cities. Being from Mississippi, I’m used to the slower pace of the south, the complex history of institutional suppression and the erasure of anything that isn’t straight, white, male or wealthy. Atlanta has some of those same components, like every American city, but it’s not denied or hidden.

What did the 2020 elections teach us?

The elections proved what many of us have known and have been screaming about for years: that the survival of our nation is dependent on the intellect, power, magic and leadership of people of color and especially Black women. We’ve seen Georgia leaders like Wanda Mosley, LaTosha Brown, Stacey Abrams, Tamieka Atkins, come to the forefront of media attention fairly recently. Black women have always led movements from the back, but now the overdue acknowledgment, credit and visibility has caught up.

How are recent transplants like yourself changing Atlanta?

Their presence and investments could be destroying the very spirit that attracted them to the city in the first place. I’ve been meeting a lot of people moving here from N.Y.C. or the West Coast excited about buying property and starting businesses here in Atlanta. I understand the excitement. However, during my time in Brooklyn I’ve seen the devastation caused by outsider investment and corporate expansion, how it displaces family and sucks the soul out of entire communities. I’d just say be mindful of your presence, learn about the city’s people and history, and respect those who are already doing great work here.


Age: 35

Occupation: actor (in the Lifetime Christmas movie “My Sweet Holiday”)

Hometown: Chicago

Now lives: A single-family house in Trilith, a mixed-used development with homes, shops, parks and a film studio

Why did you move to Atlanta?

I was living in Nashville and consistently driving to Atlanta for auditions. Having done one too many country music videos, I decided it was time for a change, and I knew I needed to start establishing myself in Atlanta. That was 2012, before there was a huge influx of actors moving from L.A. and New York.

How does Atlanta compare to other cities?

I grew up outside of Chicago and have lived in Los Angeles and Nashville. But I have to say, Atlanta is definitely my home. I think it’s the perfect size when it comes to cities: it’s big without being overwhelming, yet there are pockets that make it feel small, each with incredibly diverse backdrops and experiences.

What is it like to work as an actor here?

What really makes Atlanta unique is that there is a strong and encouraging support system; in other cities there was always an underlying feeling of competition and desperation that I just couldn’t thrive in.

How does Atlanta defy stereotypes of the South?

Atlanta is a melting pot. The people here are unapologetically unique in their appearances, in their beliefs and the way they live their lives. They are bold and kind. They are creative risk takers. I’ve found Atlanta to be open and welcoming to anyone and everyone. It’s OK to be both different and friendly here. That’s not true of most cities.


Age: 40

Occupation: artist

Hometown: Kansas City, Mo.

Now lives: In a two-bedroom house in Decatur, Ga.

How long have you been in Atlanta?

My parents moved to Atlanta when I was 3, so I’m as native as you can get without being born here.

Why have you stayed?

As an artist you always think about moving to New York or Los Angeles because they are the country’s important centers of art and culture. But I personally like that Atlanta has had to prove itself over the last 15 years or so. I love being the underdog. Without being cutthroat, artists in Atlanta have been able to build a community the way we want it to be. I’d rather be part of something that is in the middle of shaping itself rather than force myself into an existing ecosystem.

Tell me about the city’s art scene.

There is a big D.I.Y. art movement in the city that includes small galleries and nonprofit art projects like The Bakery, Dashboard, Notch 8 and ABV, an agency and art gallery founded by artist Greg Mike. When I am out painting walls for OuterSpace, the streets are lined with people. I just finished a mural for Living Walls, a nonprofit started by Monica Campana to celebrate art in Atlanta that has over time turned into a juggernaut.

How has race evolved for you here?

Historically for me, the only colors that have mattered in the South, and especially in Atlanta, are Black and white. As a person that is neither shade, I had to blend into both those communities. But now there’s a lot more acceptance of diversity. Southern hospitality is a legit thing: if you are a decent person you are typically welcomed with open arms, at least in Atlanta.

Were you politically engaged in the 2020 elections?

I tried to encourage people to register to vote by giving free portraits of John Lewis to those who did. Through that process, I met so many passionate people engaged in civic activity. It was so heartening for me to witness that firsthand. I think there is a common idea out there that one vote doesn’t matter, but we saw just how some counties were won by just a few hundred votes.



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In Blue States and Red, Pandemic Upends Public Services and Jobs


The coronavirus pandemic has inflicted an economic battering on state and local governments, shrinking tax receipts by hundreds of billions of dollars. Now devastating budget cuts loom, threatening to cripple public services and pare work forces far beyond the 1.3 million jobs lost in eight months.

Governors, mayors and county executives have pleaded for federal aid before the end of the year. Congressional Republicans have scorned such assistance, with the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, calling it a “blue-state bailout.”

But it turns out this budget crisis is colorblind. Six of the seven states that are expected to suffer the biggest revenue declines over the next two years are red — states led by Republican governors and won by President Trump this year, according to a report from Moody’s Analytics.

Those on the front lines agree. “I don’t think it’s a red-state, blue-state issue,” said Brian Sigritz, director of state fiscal studies at the National Association of State Budget Officers. The National Governors Association’s top officials — Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, a Democrat, and Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, a Republican — issued a statement this fall saying, “This is a national problem, and it demands a bipartisan and national solution.”

Efforts to forge a new stimulus bill gained momentum this week with a $900 billion proposal — offered by a bipartisan group of legislators and endorsed by Democratic leaders — that includes $160 billion for state, local and tribal governments. While short of plugging the widening fiscal gaps, such a sum would provide welcome relief. But the Republican leadership shows no sign of coming around on state and local aid.

In reality, the degree of financial distress turns less on which party controls a statehouse or a city hall than on the number of Covid-19 cases, the kinds of businesses undergirding a state’s economy, and its tax structure.

Wyoming, Alaska and North Dakota, Republican-led states that depend on energy-related taxes, have been walloped by the sharp decline in oil prices. Places where tourism provides a large infusion of revenues, like Florida and Nevada, face revenue declines of 10 percent or more, as does Louisiana, which relies on both tourism and energy.

Elsewhere, the steep falloff in sales and income taxes — which on average account for roughly two-thirds of a state’s revenue, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts — is forcing Republican and Democratic officials to consider laying off police officers, reducing childhood vaccinations and closing libraries, parks and drug treatment centers.

Even the most optimistic assumptions about the course of the pandemic point to fiscal consequences for states and local governments that “would be the worst since the Great Depression” and take years to dig out of, Dan White, director of fiscal policy research at Moody’s Analytics, concluded.

The squeeze at the state level reverberates in urban, suburban and rural counties in nearly every corner of the United States, and officials are making piercing choices.

In Casper, Wyo., someone from the district attorney’s office walks around the block to the Circuit Court building each week and fetches a large plastic garbage bag full of discarded paper clips to reuse.

The brief journey is just one way that the prosecutor, Dan Itzen, is cutting costs. He has also stopped prosecuting 17 types of misdemeanors — including assault and battery, first-time drunken driving, shoplifting, check fraud and property damage.

“Something had to give,” said Mr. Itzen, who handles about one-third of Wyoming’s criminal caseload and gets his funding from the state. “If I’m losing personnel, I cannot continue to prosecute as many cases.”

In Kansas City, Mo., with a municipal budget of $1.7 billion, the city manager has asked each department to draft a plan for cuts of more than 11 percent. That could mean laying off 200 police officers from the 1,300-member force and 180 firefighters and emergency medical technicians, said Dan Fowler, a City Council member.

“This is one of the things that keeps me up at night,” Mr. Fowler said, thinking about the impact on the city’s half a million residents. Such cuts could end up closing one or two police stations, even though crime is rising, he said.

Emergency response times are already slow, Mr. Fowler said, so even though he lives near a hospital, “if I have a heart attack, I’ll just crawl over there.”

From collecting garbage to issuing building permits, maintaining parks to fixing potholes, “everything’s going to slow down because we’re not going to have the people to do it,” he explained. A traffic study of a street in his district with a heavy accident toll has been delayed.

In New Orleans, Democratic city leaders are going through a similarly painful process, shrinking next fiscal year’s general fund by $92 million, down to $634 million.

To avoid layoffs, the city is cutting the pay of higher-level employees by 10 percent and requiring most other employees, including police officers, firefighters and emergency responders, to take 26 unpaid furlough days — one every two weeks — next year. The move amounts to a 10 percent pay cut, and comes on top of six furlough days imposed on the city’s roughly 4,000 employees through the end of this year.

On any given day, that will mean fewer people available to drive buses, respond to emergency calls or pick up trash.

“We are at the marrow,” said Gilbert Montaño, the city’s chief administrative officer. Every agency on average took a 21 percent cut on top of what they were already facing.

New Orleans, like most cities and localities, spends the bulk of its budget on its employees, which makes it nearly impossible to reduce spending without reducing the hours that people work.

State and local employees make up roughly 13 percent of the nation’s work force. For women and Black workers, in particular, the public sector has historically offered more opportunities than the private sector for a stable income and reliable benefits.

“These are folks that are providing essential public services every single day, risking their lives,” said Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, “and now there’s a good possibility that many are going to be faced with a pink slip.”

So far, an overwhelming majority of state and local job losses have been in education. Though many of the layoffs have been characterized as temporary, educators and parents worry that they could become permanent. In a new survey of mayors, 45 percent said they expected “dramatic” cuts for their school budgets.

Public schools overwhelmingly rely on property taxes. States often provide additional funding, but many have cut their education budgets.

Most states managed to hobble along until the summer, a typical endpoint to the fiscal year. There had been strong growth before the pandemic struck in March, and the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, which Congress passed in early spring, kept many households afloat. In spots, the extra federal money could be used to cover some state and local pandemic-related expenses in health care and education.

Both of those cushions are fading. In most places, the 2020-21 fiscal year will play out in the shadow of the pandemic and a stumbling economy. And federal emergency money for extended unemployment benefits that has helped families meet housing and food expenses expires at the end of December, putting even greater demand on public services.

Jerome H. Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve, and many economists have warned that reducing state and local spending will further drag down a weak recovery, as it did after the Great Recession. Spending by state and local governments accounted for about 15 percent of the nation’s economic activity, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, part of the Commerce Department.

While the federal government can run budget deficits to cover both regular and unexpected expenses, states generally cannot.

In Wyoming, Mark Gordon, the Republican governor, acknowledged the fallout on the economy after announcing a new round of cuts for the coming fiscal year. He said 160 private-sector jobs depended on every 100 state employees, who spend money on haircuts, children’s sports and restaurants.

Although Wyoming is facing one of the worst budget shocks, it also has one of the biggest rainy-day funds, which states built up after the last recession to help weather downturns. Several states — including Louisiana, Nevada, New York and Illinois — have little or nothing left in reserve.

Even so, Wyoming’s governor has said he doesn’t want to burn through the state’s safety net with years of hard times potentially lying ahead. The fund may also be needed to plug an additional $300 million deficit related to the state’s public schools. So Mr. Gordon has proposed cutting programs dealing with childhood vaccinations, substance abuse and mental health.

Meg Wiehe, deputy executive director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, said Wyoming at least was dealing with the painful reality.

“The bigger kind of cuts that will resonate with people are all going to come to a head in the early part of next year,” Ms. Wiehe said. “We’re staring down some deep and very devastating cuts.”



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Dining News

Danny Meyer’s Barbecue Restaurant Blue Smoke Closes Flatiron Location


Blue Smoke — restaurateur Danny Meyer’s seminal Flatiron restaurant that helped lay the foundation for New York City’s barbecue renaissance — has permanently closed, the restaurateur announced in an email Wednesday.

“Over nearly two decades, we’ve had an amazing ride and I can’t begin to express how beautiful it has been to make so many lasting friendships in both the barbecue and jazz communities,” Meyer said in a statement. “Those relationships live on.”

The Flatiron outpost of Blue Smoke has remained closed since the first state-mandated, COVID-19-related shutdown in March. A spokesperson for Union Square Hospitality Group, Meyer’s restaurant company which runs Blue Smoke, among several other establishments, said the lack of revenue and failed rent negotiations contributed to the closure.

Blue Smoke opened in March 2002 with chef Kenny Callaghan at the helm. It quickly established itself as one of the essential barbecue restaurants in NYC. The menu subsequently expanded from its original pan-regional barbecue focus to include more Southern cuisine with Texas-style brisket and baby-back ribs along with Alabama white wings and turkey pastrami. The restaurant in 2002 also helped establish the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, an annual meatfest held at Madison Square Park that attracted thousands of attendees each year.

While the original Blue Smoke has closed, the Battery Park City outpost — which debuted in 2011 and is led by pitmaster Bret Lunsford — is open for pick up and delivery, along with nationwide shipping. Last month, USHG announced that it was once again shuttering on-premises dining at all of its NYC restaurants in anticipation of a second round of shutdown measures that the city’s leaders have warned is coming soon due to the rising COVID-19 cases.

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 1,000 restaurants in NYC have permanently closed due to the downturn in business caused by the pandemic. Hospitality industry experts predict many more closures will follow this winter without more federal aid, as the cold weather makes outdoor dining nearly impossible.



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After a long night of waiting, both Georgia and Pennsylvania flip to blue


At this point, it’s possible that the the promise of Pennsylvania votes coming in “any minute” may simply be burned into the screen. And yes, it is possible to be both supportive of the volunteers who stayed at their posts overnight, flipping through mail-in ballots under the eye of watching cameras and bipartisan observers, while still being frustrated that we haven’t seen the outcome of that work.

But we should be getting more votes from Pennsylvania … any minute now.

As of 8 AM ET on Friday morning: 

Alaska: Donald Trump still leads after no new votes were reported overnight.

Arizona: Joe Biden is still holding onto a 47,052 vote advantage after a 75,000 vote update from Maricopa County and several small updates came in overnight. About 275,000 ballots are still thought to be outstanding. To win the state, Trump would have to take those votes by around 56%, which is pretty much on track with what has happened so far in post-election tallies. However, there are reasons to believe that the votes remaining are less Trump friendly. In any case, it’s likely to be close.

Georgia: Biden has pulled out to a 1,096 vote advantage. There are roughly 10,000 ballots remaining, however these might not include around 7,000 military ballots and expat ballots that could arrive as late as today. In any case, Biden’s advantage here will likely grow, but don’t expect a call on the state until things are a little more definitive.

Nevada: Biden has an edge of 11,438 votes. About 51,000 votes remaining from highly Democratic Clark County, which is why so much legal attention from Trump’s team is focused on the pretense that the voting there is somehow “illegal.” That includes an illegal use of the postal database to suggest that there are voters who have changed residence but still voted in Clark County, and the use of a woman who claims to be a victim of voter fraud, but may be the only known case of someone actually trying to vote twice in the whole state. In any case, expect Biden’s edge to grow when more votes are added around 2PM ET—at which point the state may be called.

North Carolina: No change overnight, with Trump still holding a 76,000 vote advantage. There’s no reason to believe what’s still outstanding in the state will add it to team blue, though some people are feeling more hopeful after seeing the slow trend toward Biden in Georgia.

Pennsylvania: This state is, of course, the ballgame. Biden could lose all the other remaining states if he took home Pennsylvania. With Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina, and Nevada, Biden would lock up a substantial victory that rebuilt the “blue wall,” made a foray into the South, and added a new wall across the Sunbelt from California to New Mexico. Overnight, Biden added about 43,000 votes to Trump’s 13,000. A similar ratio is expected across the remaining votes, which should easily reverse the 18,000 vote edge Trump currently holds. The status of Pennsylvania really could change … any minute now.

Meanwhile, the Secret Service has increased its protection over Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Like the FAA’s setting of a protective circle around Biden’s home, this isn’t an official confirmation. But it is a sign that behind the scenes the people who are responsible for protecting the president believe that title is going to go to Biden.

Oh, and also Donald Trump made a speech that was all lies, horribly corrosive to the nation, and openly encouraging of authoritarian actions and violence. As expected.





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