Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged Tuesday that high inflation is indeed a serious threat to the U.S. central bank’s goal of helping to get U.S. employees back to work.
He also said the Fed will raise rates higher than initially planned if needed to slow rising prices, according to the Associated Press.
“If we have to raise interest rates more over time, we will,” Powell told the Senate Banking Committee, which is considering his nomination for a second four-year term, the wire service also reports. “High inflation is a severe threat to the achievement of maximum employment.” Read More
Almost no one seems to grasp the colossal irony of the current American political condition. The uniquequality of it is that the country is divided between two political forces which, in the tedious hyperbole of contemporary political jargon, view each other as an “existential threat to democracy.” The Democrats can’t sell the bunk that January 6 was an “insurrection;” they can’t wish away concerns about the integrity of the 2020 election. All they have is the tired claim that Trump is a threat to democracy, and in their advocacy of that falsehood, they have made themselves the threat to democracy.
Trump emerged politically in 2015 to universal mockery. Nothing could have been more certain than that this vulgar and sleazy huckster (as he was portrayed,not without some reason), would bomb out trying to recalibrate his downmarket celebrity brand to catapult him into the White House.
As Trump cleaned up in the 2016 Republican primaries, the Democratic strategists reached to the bottom of their campaign bag of tricks. Late in the campaign came the 11-year-old Billy Bush tape, in which Trump had made some inelegant locker-room macho comments about how a celebrity could take almost unlimited liberties with women. This failed to kill him. It was stale, dated, and not exactly a startling revelation. Read More
David Sassoli, president of the European Union’s parliament, died in a hospital on Tuesday at the age of 65 after months of poor health, the Associated Press reported.
Sassoli, a socialist and former Italian journalist, had been hospitalized since late December 2021 due to abnormal immune system functioning, his spokesperson said, the AP reported. He had been struggling with poor health since he became ill with pneumonia due to the legionella bacteria in September.
European Council President Charles Michel said Sassoli was a “sincere and passionate European. We already miss his human warmth, his generosity, his friendliness and his smile,” the AP reported. Read More
When U.S. Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd went on “NBC Nightly News” to tell his side of shooting and killing unarmed Jan. 6 rioter Ashli Babbitt, he made a point to note he’d been investigated by several agencies and exonerated for his actions that day.
“There’s an investigative process [and] I was cleared by the DOJ [Department of Justice], and FBI and [the D.C.] Metropolitan Police,” he told NBC News anchor Lester Holt in August, adding that the Capitol Police also cleared him of wrongdoing and decided not to discipline or demote him for the shooting.
Byrd then answered a series of questions by Holt about the shooting, but what he told the friendly journalist, he likely never told investigators. That’s because he refused to answer their questions, according to several sources and documents reviewed by RealClearInvestigations. Read More
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is planning to form a special unit focused on the threat of domestic terrorism, a top official told lawmakers Tuesday.
Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen announced the creation of the new unit in his opening remarks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday.
“I decided to establish a domestic terrorism unit to augment our existing approach,” Olsen said. “This group of dedicated attorneys will focus on the domestic terrorism threat, helping to ensure that these cases are handled properly and effectively coordinated across the Department of Justice and across the country.” Read More
The prices of energy, crude and gasoline all increased in 2021 from 2020, the U.S. Energy Information Agency reports. Prices increased because of higher demand and a range of other factors.
By the end of 2021, commodities on the energy index traded 59% higher than they did on the first trading day last year on the S&P Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI), the EIA reports.
GSCI is a commodity index that tracks the performance of global commodities markets. It’s a weighted average that’s updated every year. In 2021, the energy index comprised 54% of the GSCI, with the two crude oil benchmarks, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent, accounting for approximately 70% of the energy index. WTI crude oil accounts for the largest share of the overall GSCI of more than 21%. Read More
Facebook parent company Meta will require its in-person workers to receive a booster shot in addition to a COVID-19 vaccine, the company announced Monday.
By March 28, Meta employees must have received the booster to use the in-person offices of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, The Wall Street Journal reported. Meta is reportedly delaying the reopening of its offices until late March due to the requirement.
“We’re focused on making sure our employees continue to have choices about where they work given the current COVID-19 landscape,” Janelle Gale, Meta’s vice president of human resources, said in a statement, CNBC reported. “We understand that the continued uncertainty makes this a difficult time to make decisions about where to work, so we’re giving more time to choose what works best for them.” Read More
Despite the mainstream media hysteria over the Chinese coronavirus, a new poll shows that a broader swath of Americans continue to care more about inflation and other more direct economic issues.
As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, the poll was conducted by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research throughout the month of December, with its findings released on Monday. In the poll, 37 percent of Americans believe that the coronavirus should be the government’s top priority in 2022. Last year, that number was 53 percent.
Conversely, 68 percent believe the economy should be the top focus instead. Of those 68 percent, 14 percent specifically named inflation as a major issue; last year, only one percent of respondents worried about inflation, which has since risen to a 40-year high under Joe Biden’s watch. Read More
Missouri’s Department of Economic Development (DED) recently previewed how Gov. Mike Parson plans to allocate the state’s $2.6 billion portion of federal pandemic funds.
In late December, Maggie Kost, acting director of the DED, outlined major priorities for Missouri’s portion of the more than $195 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. A total of $350 billion will be delivered to the 50 states and the District of Columbia and local and Tribal governments throughout the nation to support the response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The total amount of ARPA funds, passed in March 2021, is $1.9 trillion.
“We want to give you an idea of what to expect as we get into the legislative and budget session here in January,” Kost said. “As you’re planning and setting priorities locally for communities, we want to make sure you have an idea of what’s to come so you can think about how to leverage state funds as you’re building out your local priorities.” Read More
Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a plan to expand Medi-Cal coverage to many income-eligible residents regardless of immigration status on Monday as part of his 2022-2023 budget proposal.
The plan, which Newsom hopes to see implemented in January 2024, would expand Medi-Cal eligibility to all income-eligible adults between 26 and 49 years old regardless of immigration status. The proposal would also close a gap in health-care coverage for undocumented immigrants, who the state already covers up to age 26 and after age 50.
The program lies within Newsom’s $286.4 billion budget proposal, announced on Monday, including a surplus of $45.7 billion. Read More
Ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on vaccine mandates expected as early as this week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control is under increased scrutiny after recent comments about COVID-19 deaths.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky fell into controversy after a clip of her appearance on Good Morning America Friday went viral.
“I want to ask you about the encouraging headlines we’re talking about this morning, a new study talking about just how well vaccines are working to prevent severe illness,” co-host Cecilia Vega said on Good Morning America. “Given that, is it time to rethink how we’re living with this virus if it is potentially here to stay?” Read More
Iowans are waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses with at least 100 employees. In the meantime, they’re moving ahead with actions of their own.
Iowa Department of Education Communications Director Heather Doe told The Center Square in an emailed statement that since Iowa is a state-plan state, the Iowa Division of Labor typically enforces workplace safety in Iowa instead of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The state is required to notify OSHA whether it will adopt a given Emergency Temporary Standard or provide notice it will not adopt it because its standards are as effective as the new federal standard. Iowa needed to respond to the standard by Jan. 7.
Iowa Labor Commissioner Rod Roberts did so, saying that the Hawkeye State will not adopt or enforce the mandate. Read More
Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court green-lighted the state Senate Republicans’ election probe this week; the state Supreme Court has meanwhile declined to take up the remapping of congressional districts.
As a result of the Commonwealth Court’s ruling, the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee may proceed with its subpoenas of voter records. The Supreme Court’s decision means Gov. Tom Wolf (D) will likely have to work out a compromise with the Republican state legislature on congressional reapportionment. Read More