🌞 School’s Out – August 5 2020



Happy Wednesday. Regarding Grover in our bed. Many of you said that ship had sailed while others said to put a small bed next to ours. I’m going to try option two and report back. Thanks for the advice.

credit: Clayton Morris

In Case You Missed It. President Trump suddenly reversed course on mail-in-voting. After weeks spent inaccurately portraying it as “rife with fraud”, Trump yesterday tweeted: “Whether you call it Vote by Mail or Absentee Voting, in Florida the election system is Safe and Secure, Tried and True”.

Also… David Dayen joined me on our live Morning Invest show and pointed out there’s zero evidence of fraud. You can watch here.

Coronavirus Update: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 4,771,236 — Total deaths: 156,807 — Total recoveries:  1,528,979

59% of Americans support nationwide 2-week stay-at-home order in a new NPR poll.

In Today’s Newsletter:

  • Schools reopen and it’s already a disaster
  • XFL has a new rock
  • Republicans cave on stimulus


Program Rate Change APR Change
30 year 3.06%  0.08% 3.14% 0.08%
15 year 2.77% 0.01% 2.94% 0.04%

The Lead: Varsity Blues

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Universities in America are in trouble and not just because of the pandemic. Of course, the pandemic is not helping either.

The Hechinger Report studied four-year colleges and universities and graded them for financial fitness. Out of 2,264 schools, more than 500, or roughly 25% showed warning signs financially. Enrollment is down, tuition income is down, it is not pretty. And this was graded on a curve!

Why do people no longer want to go into life-long debt to repeat the core classes that they took in high school for two years before they get to study their major? Huh. No idea!

We hope you catch that sarcasm. American university is prohibitively expensive compared to equal or even better education in the rest of the world. It also does not help that we have fewer high school graduates to qualify for university. Lastly, universities are notorious for mismanaging finances and overspending on sports over education.

Yeah, we get why these businesses are in trouble.

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Failure to Launch

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Last week schools in Georgia’s largest school district opened back up. The next day, 260 school employees of the Gwinnett County Public School district were quarantined because they either tested positive for COVID or had been exposed to someone who had. So that is pretty damn terrible.

A spokesperson for the district says that these infections were from community spread and not from within the school system. Is that supposed to make us feel better? It doesn’t. No one thought COVID was hiding in lockers waiting for the kids to come back.

We knew it would be brought into schools by people exposed. And it looks like it did!

News By The Numbers

credit: tesla

2. That’s how many more days until Senate Republicans take their much needed 30-day vacation. The GOP led Senate is scrambling to finish a stimulus bill by Friday.

$600. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has caved on extending the $600 per week enhanced unemployment benefits. During a press conference yesterday McConnell said he was “prepared to support” the extension. That’s a huge victory for Democrats. I guess it pays to negotiate with people right before they go on vacation.

$30. That’s how much Disney will charge you to watch the live-action version of ‘Mulan’ on its DisneyPlus streaming service when it premiers on September 24th. Yes, that’s in addition to the regular amount you pay for the streaming service. With no one going to the movie theaters studios are getting desperate. Oh boy!

Trump if by Land, Trump if by Sea


credit: youtube

President Trump signed a conservation bill into law this week that will give $900 million per year to the Land and Water Conservation Fund. This money will come directly from oil and gas company revenues.

This is a nice change of tone from the president who previously wanted to slash funding for the Conservation Fund by 97%. The fun helps secure land for trails and parks.

Supplies Wiped Out

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Clorox and Lysol say that the shortage of its products will remain until at least 2021. This includes disinfecting wipes, Glad trash bags, and Burt’s Bees lip balm. I for one understand this! I do not use disinfecting wipes. We use the all-purpose cleaner and microfiber cloths. But we have been going through lip balm like mad lately because wearing masks chaps the lips! But I digress.

Anyway, times are booming for Clorox and Lysol. The companies usually stockpile in advance of flu season but they’ve long since gone through those stores. They’re cleaned out. Get it!?

XFL Has a New Rock

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The XFL has been purchased by a group of investors, including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The XFL is the American football league that is not the NFL. It was designed to be a bit more aggressive because American football is not aggressive enough. It has not done well and filed for bankruptcy due to COVID.

RedBird Capital, an investment group, and The Rock bought it for the bargain price of $15 million. You better believe the league will come back with The Rock branding somehow or some way.

Can you smell what The Rock is cooking? A field goal! Oh!

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