Chinese-Owned EV Company Showered Dems with Campaign Contributions

BYD Car

The U.S. subsidiary of a Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer and its top executive have given hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign cash to Democrats in recent years.

Stella Li, a top executive for BYD Americas, and the company itself have given tens of thousands of dollars in campaign cash to Democratic candidates and organizations in California and beyond over the past decade, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation review of federal and state political spending records. Based in China, BYD is the biggest EV producer in the world, and Congress moved in January to ban the Pentagon from buying its batteries due to security risks, according to Bloomberg News.

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Commentary: New Paper Finds Childcare Regulations May Be Stifling Fertility

Family Photo

The population bust has made its way into popular discussion about the looming issues we face as a country and a world. After centuries with a growing population, humanity is finally projected to begin to shrink by the end of this century.
The realization of the downsides of fewer brains has dawned on many, including Elon Musk, who views it as a major problem:

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Bureaucrats Worry Behind Closed Doors They’ll Be Sent Packing Under Trump

Donald Trump

Government workers are reportedly in a state of panic over the prospect of former President Donald Trump winning another term in office, according to E&E News.

Bureaucrats up and down the federal hierarchy are concerned that a second Trump administration could cost them their jobs and put an end to liberal programs they worked to implement under President Joe Biden, E&E News reported. Trump has, if elected, pledged to implement reforms that would allow him to fire up to 50,000 civil servants at will, with the former president singling out workers who are incompetent, unnecessary or undermine his democratic mandate.

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A $40 Billion Critical Mineral Supply Chain Could Start in Pennsylvania

Acid Mine Drain

Pennsylvania has a mine pollution problem. America has a critical mineral shortage.

And both problems may get solved as researchers find these critical and strategic elements in the polluted waters that come from acid mine drainage. If all goes well, Pennsylvania could become a leader in boosting national security — while potentially creating billions of dollars in value from environmental hazards.

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Commentary: An Assassination Attempt Reveals DEI’s False Promises

Kimberly Cheatle

For over a half century the proponents of DEI and its intellectual precursors have fought from high ground, not from a moral position, but a tactical and strategic one secured by Marxist indoctrination that has pervaded nearly every corner of society. 

The deliberate and methodical campaign has successfully muted public criticism, although privately most Americans felt that there is something terribly wrong with a philosophy that prioritizes appearance over ability. 

DEI’s commanding role in all branches of the military has resulted in no tangible benefits but a myriad of failures—falling morale and standards, recruitment shortfalls, plummeting public confidence in the military, poor leadership, and with the exception of the Marine Corps, the inability to fulfill basic mission requirements at an acceptable level. 

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Commentary: The Federal Housing Agency Hasn’t Gotten Its Economic House in Order, Under Both Parties

Apartments for Rent

Paul Fishbein’s conviction on rent fraud charges in New York City last year was a feast for the tabloids.

The story was crazy enough to get readers to click. Prosecutors said that Fishbein, 51, somehow convinced local housing agencies that he owned dilapidated apartment buildings that he didn’t, enabling him to move in tenants and skim government rent subsidies meant for lower-income, disabled, and elderly residents. Fishbein kept the con going for more than years. His take: $1.8 million.

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U.S. Oil, Gas Hit Record Production Despite Opposition from OPEC, Activists, Biden Administration

Oil Field

The United States is producing more oil now than any nation in the world has ever produced. In 2008, the U.S. produced only 5 million barrels of oil a day. Last year, the country produced 13 million barrels daily.

The United States’ record-breaking production is often used to knock back the argument President Joe Biden’s energy policy aims to minimize domestic fuel fuel production – to cut carbon emission and make way for more renewable energy.

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Report: NFL Teams Earned $400 Million from NFL Revenue as Public Incentives Escalate

The National Football League earned more than $13 billion and distributed more than $400 million in 2023 to each team from national revenue, Sportico reported.

The record distribution comes as teams across the league continue to push for public incentives for new stadiums and renovations.

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Rate of Office Vacancy Reaches Record High

Empty Office

The second quarter of 2024 saw the rate of office vacancy in the United States hit a record high total of 20.1 percent, according to Moody’s tracking.

As reported by Axios, the rise in office vacancy in the last several months has been unusual compared to past trends, as such rates usually only rise during economic downturns. Thus, the rate continuing to increase despite the economy remaining relatively stagnant is an indication of consumers’ and business owners’ ongoing negative sentiments about the current state of the economy.

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Small Businesses Worry About Inflation, Survey Shows

Workers

Small businesses cite inflation as their number one concern, according to new survey data.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses released the survey results Tuesday, which show that 21% of small business owners cite inflation as “the single most important problem in operating their business,” more than any other issue.

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Inflation Falls Below Expectations as Economy Cools

People in grocery checkout line

Inflation ticked down slightly year-over-year in June as rising prices continue to weigh on average Americans’ finances, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) release on Wednesday.

The consumer price index (CPI), a broad measure of the price of everyday goods, increased 3.0 percent on an annual basis in June and decreased 0.1 percent month-over-month, compared to 3.3 percent in May, according to the BLS. Core CPI, which excludes the volatile categories of energy and food, remained high, rising 3.3 percent year-over-year in June, compared to 3.4 percent in May.

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Commentary: The World Needs Fossil Fuels

fossil fuels

It’s summer, and the Sierra Club says: “This is climate change in action. We are living it.”

The United Nations’ secretary-general declares that “a fossil fuel phaseout is inevitable.” And The Lancet, a respected medical journal, insists that nations must swiftly transition away from hydrocarbons.

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Biden White House Staff Is Largest Since Nixon, Costs Taxpayers $225 Million

Joe Biden Staff

President Joe Biden has spent $225 million paying hundreds of White House staffers since the 2021 fiscal year, federal records show.

The president’s spending on staffers totaled $60.8 million for the 2024 fiscal year, marking the highest level adjusted for inflation recorded over the past two presidential administrations, according to an analysis conducted by Open The Books. Biden employed over 500 staffers in three of the four fiscal years he has been in office, including 565 during the 2024 fiscal year, a headcount benchmark not hit since the Nixon administration in 1971.

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Unemployment Insurance Claims Continue to Rise

Unemployment Insurance Claims Office

The number of insured unemployed individuals increased by 26,000 to 1,858,000, in the week ending June 29, the highest level since November 2021.

Seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims reached 238,000, marking an increase of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 234,000. 

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Economic Issues Top Voter Concerns in the Pennsylvania Swing State

Polling Station

Economic issues dominate the list of top concerns for Pennsylvania voters ahead of the Nov. 5 presidential election, a new poll finds.

A quarter of voters in the swing state ranked “inflation/cost of living” as the No. 1 issue facing Pennsylvanians in a survey released Tuesday from the Commonwealth Foundation, a conservative-libertarian think tank in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

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Commentary: An Economy That Only Works for the Rich and Powerful Is Not a Capitalist Economy

Rich Person

Capitalism is disappearing, but Socialism is not replacing it. What is now arising is a new kind of planned, centralised society which will be neither capitalist nor, in any accepted sense of the word, democratic.

George Orwell wrote those words nearly 80 years ago.

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Unemployment Rate Climbs for Another Month as Job Gains Slump

Office Work

The U.S. added 206,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in June as the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.1%, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released Friday.

Economists anticipated that 190,000 jobs would be added in June, far fewer than the initially reported 272,000 gain seen in May, and the unemployment rate would remain steady at 4%, according to U.S. News and World Report. Strong topline job gains in recent months have led some top economic officials, like Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, to push back against claims that the economy is stalling, despite slow economic growth and high inflation.

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Drivers Successfully Charge Their Electric Vehicles Only 78 Percent of the Time, Study Shows

Electric Vehicle

Imagine going to gas stations to fill up your car and finding that two out of ten times, the pumps aren’t working. 

That’s what electric vehicle owners are facing, according to a study by the Harvard Business School and the Georgia Institute of Technology. 

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Federal Judge Pauses Biden’s Partial Liquefied Natural Gas Export Ban

Judge James Cain Jr.

A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked the Biden administration’s ban on new exports of liquified natural gas exports to non-free trade agreement countries.

Judge James Cain Jr. of the Western District of Louisiana issued a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Department of Energy’s partial LNG export ban after more than a dozen states sued, arguing the ban was illegal.

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Amtrak’s Staffing Jumps 22 Percent Since Pandemic, Salaries by More than $500 Million

Amtrak Train

Amtrak has seen a 22% increase in its employee count while salaries and benefits have increased by more than $500 million in the past four years – to $2.69 billion in 2023.

Amtrak, known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, serves more than 500 destinations in 46 separate states covering more than 21,400 miles nationwide.

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Commentary: Energy Innovation Is Key to Prosperity

Nuclear Power Plant

In a recent report, “Powering Human Advancement,” The Heritage Foundation laid bare the truth that the driving force behind wealth creation and raising human development standards is the innovative harnessing of energy.

As historian Vaclav Smil sees it, “Energy is the only universal currency.”

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Biden Admin Contracts 1 Million Barrels from Emergency Gasoline Stockpile to ‘Lower Prices’ Ahead of July 4th

Gas Station

The Biden administration is selling off a million barrels of gasoline from an emergency reserve in a deliberate effort to cut prices ahead of the upcoming holiday weekend.

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it has awarded contracts to five energy companies to purchase the barrels the administration is releasing from the Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve (NGSR), which is part of the federal Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) system. The NGSR releases are intended to “help lower gas prices ahead of the Fourth of July holiday,” according to DOE.

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Overpayments Account for Nearly 75 Percent of Federal Improper Payments

Finances

The federal government reported $236 billion in improper payments in fiscal year 2023, with the vast majority coming from overpayments, according to a new watchdog report.

A U.S. Government Accountability Office report found 74% of improper payments – payments that shouldn’t have been made or were made in the wrong amount – were overpayments. Overpayments accounted for $175.1 billion of the total amount of improper payments in 2023. Overpayments are payments “in excess of what is due, and for which the excess amount, in theory, should or could be recovered,” according to the report.

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Report Shows 61 Percent of Renters Can’t Afford Median Apartment Rate in U.S.

Los Angeles Apartment Building

Due to inflation eating away at earnings and less supply of affordable housing, the majority of Americans today cannot afford median rent prices, according to a new report by the real estate company Redfin.

The analysis comes as other reports indicate that both homeowners and renters are struggling with high housing costs due to inflationary pressures, an inflated housing market, low supply and demand for affordable housing.

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Economists: Housing Costs to Remain Elevated for Foreseeable Future

Home Sales

Americans looking to buy a home may have to wait as housing costs are expected to remain elevated until 2026 or later, according to a note from Bank of America (BofA) economists published Monday.

Homebuyers are facing elevated interest rates due to sky-high inflation under President Joe Biden and a housing shortage exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic that has led Americans to be hesitant to move, according to BofA. As a result, economists at the bank expect home prices to rise a total of 4.5% throughout the course of 2024 and another 5.0% throughout 2025, before easing slightly in 2026.

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Sen. Bob Casey Confirms Democrats May Kill Trump Tax Cuts, Prompts Dave McCormick to Vow No Hike for ‘Middle Income Pennsylvanians’

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) confirmed last Thursday that Democrats are still making decisions about tax cuts, including whether they will reverse the 2017 tax cuts championed by former President Donald Trump and other Republicans, including U.S. Senate nominee Dave McCormick.

Casey made the remarks to Roll Call after the publication noted that allowing the reduced tax rates established in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to expire would violate President Joe Biden’s pledge not to increase taxes on those earning less than $400,000 per year.

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Nearly a Third of ‘Pro-Palestine’ Campus Protesters Had a Job Offer Rescinded, Survey Finds

Pro-Palestine protesters

A recent survey found that 3 in 10 college students or recent graduates had job offers rescinded as a result of their “pro-Palestine” activism.

Intelligent surveyed 672 students or recent college graduates who have engaged in anti-Israel activism and found that 29% of them had a job offer rescinded in the past six months and 55% believe there was bias against them in the hiring process because of their activism.

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Home Prices Under Biden Reaches New Milestone

Home for Sale

Home prices hit a record high in May despite falling demand and sales activity, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The national median home price in the United States is now $419,300, a 5.8% increase from a year earlier and a new record high, according to the The Wall Street Journal. The record high comes as homeowners remain unwilling to list due to high mortgage rates.

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Nearly Half of Americans Struggling Because of Higher Prices in Poll

Grocery Shopping

Nearly half of Americans report that the recent spike in inflation is making it harder to make ends meet, according to a new poll.

Monmouth University released a poll Wednesday showing 46% of Americans are “currently struggling to remain where they are financially.”

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Commentary: The Middle Class Is Collateral Damage in Biden’s War on Wealth

The Biden administration’s hackneyed talking point of “the rich paying their fair share” sounds appealing at first. Who could be against fairness?

But there is nothing fair about a political agenda that punishes the middle class and lowers everyone’s standard of living — rich and poor alike.

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Commentary: Geopolitics and Demand Growth Underpin Need for Commonsense Energy Policies

Oil rig

The U.S. energy sector finds itself in a precarious position. Increasing geopolitical volatility and strong energy demand forecasts could spell trouble domestically in the future. The U.S. needs to stop hamstringing American energy companies and invest in the nation’s infrastructure, such as pipelines, processing, and production.

If we have learned anything in the last two and a half years, it’s that the U.S.’ energy industry is not free from geopolitical chaos globally. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Houthi’s attacks in Yemen backed by Iran and turmoil in the Middle East have very real repercussions for the average American. We may not be as intensely intertwined with those realities as our European allies, but energy is a global market with implications for domestic prices, supply, and demand. While different events can affect prices at home, there are steps the administration can take to protect our energy sector.

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Huge Percentage of EV Owners Want to Go Back to Normal Cars, Study Finds

Tesla Charging

Nearly half of American electric vehicle (EV) owners want to buy an internal combustion engine model the next time they buy a car, according to a new study from McKinsey and Company, a leading consulting firm.

Approximately 46 percent of Americans who own an EV want to go back to a standard vehicle for their next purchase, citing issues like inadequate charging infrastructure and affordability, according to McKinsey’s study, which was obtained and reviewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation. The study’s findings further suggest that the Biden administration’s EV push is struggling to land with American consumers, after 46 percent of respondents indicated that they are unlikely or very unlikely to purchase an EV in a June poll conducted by The Associated Press and the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute.

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Commentary: The Way to Unite America’s Political Spectrum Is Economic

Middle Class Rally

An insightful, if pithy, tweet surfaced recently on my feed. It nicely summarized what happened to neutralize an awakening electorate in America over the past decade:

“They got you fighting a culture war to stop you from fighting a class war. It was designed that way in 2012 when the woke left & right were created. Occupy Wall Street/The Tea Party were making inroads uniting the political spectrum & the people against Wall Street following the 2008 crash. ‘We’ll get them to argue about women & their cocks instead'”

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Foreign Aid and Student Loan Forgiveness Behind Massive Increase in Deficit Estimate, Congressional Budget Office Says

Joe Biden

America’s debt is growing faster than previously expected, largely due to actions taken by the Biden administration and recent legislation, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The United States’ projected deficit is $1.9 trillion for the 2024 fiscal year, $400 billion higher than it was projected to be in February, the CBO announced Tuesday. CBO analysts increased their estimate due in large part to the foreign aid package signed by President Joe Biden in April and his administration’s efforts to reduce student loan balances.

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Commentary: Foreign-Born Workers are Taking Americans’ Jobs

Something very strange is going on in America’s labor market. The employer’s survey in the June jobs report showed 272,000 jobs gained in May, and nearly 2.8 million jobs over the past year. These are both amazing figures given that the economy is at full employment.

While the employer’s survey is surely fine, the household survey, also produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), tells a strikingly different story, almost as though the country had two different labor markets.

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EV Start-Up Files for Bankruptcy One Year After Rolling Out Its First Model

Fisker Vehicle

An electric vehicle (EV) producer that was once a splashy start-up company has filed for bankruptcy.

Fisker filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday after trying and failing to secure more investment to stay afloat, the company announced. The company once attracted robust interest and hype, marketing itself as the Apple of vehicles, but it struggled to run as a public company and was stuck with thousands of EVs that it did not sell, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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Commentary: The Dark Money Network that is Secretly Transforming America

Scott Walker

To the outside observer, Arabella Advisors is nothing more than an accounting and human resources firm that helps charities get things done, not a billion-dollar political influence operation helping leftists remain in power.

But, in fact, it is the latter–although you’d never know it from the website. The organization certainly does not publicly hint that they run the largest political influence operation in America. Those who visit their site will be met with a simple slogan: “We help changemakers create a better world.” And who would impugn a noble goal like that?

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Southern Poverty Law Center Lays Off Dozens of Employees During Restructuring Period

Empty Office

The Southern Poverty Law Center is laying off over 60 employees, a union representing the group’s employees announced recently.

While the group did not confirm the exact number of those being let go, it stated that the organization is “undergoing an organizational restructuring.”

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BLM’s Leaders Used Charitable Funds to Enrich Themselves and Their Families, New Documents Show

Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF) has paid out millions in contracts to insiders, newly released tax documents show.

The nation’s largest BLM organization approved lucrative contracts to firms owned by members of the organization’s leadership and their family members between July 2022 and June 2023, tax filings show. The shuffling of charitable funds to private companies owned by interested parties raises considerable ethical concerns given the lack of oversight and the possible conflicts of interest, experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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Department of Transportation Estimates Cost of $1.7 Billion to Rebuild Baltimore Bridge

Francis Scott Key Bridge

Following the long-awaited reopening of the federal channel in the Port of Baltimore after the infamous shipping accident in March, the Biden Administration’s Department of Transportation (DOT) estimates that it will cost between $1.7 billion and $1.9 billion to rebuild the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

As ABC News reports, the work to remove debris from the collapsed bridge and the damaged vessel culminated in the reopening of the McHenry Federal Channel to a passage of about 700 feet wide and 500 feet deep, allowing traffic to flow through the harbor once again. Workers will continue removing debris within an established safety zone, and deep draft vessels are required to have a single-escort tug until the cleanup work is completed.

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Saudi Arabia and U.S. Mum as 50-Year Petro-Dollar Agreement Expires

Joe Biden and MBS Petro Dollar

On Sunday, with no official statement from either side, Saudi Arabia apparently allowed a deal with the U.S. to expire that could have dire financial ramifications.

The Kingdom reportedly did not renew its 50-year petro-dollar agreement with the United States when it expired on June 9, meaning Saudi Arabia can now sell its oil in other currencies, including the Chinese renminbi (RMB), Euros, Yen, and Yuan, instead of exclusively in U.S. dollars. According to reports, the use of digital currencies like Bitcoin is also being considered.

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Ford Drops Certain Equipment Requirements for EVs as Sales Continue to Struggle

Electric Mustang

Ford Motor Company told dealers on Thursday that it was dropping certain equipment requirements to boost the sales of its struggling electric vehicle (EV) line, according to Bloomberg.

Dealers had previously needed to invest up to $1.2 million in certain equipment like chargers in order to be eligible to sell Ford’s EV line, with the change allowing all 2,800 dealerships with contracts to the company to sell EVs, according to Bloomberg. The changes to the program are intended to boost struggling sales of Ford’s EV models, which has contributed to the automaker taking a $1.3 billion loss on its EV production in just the first quarter of 2024 after selling only 10,000 vehicles.

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CBO: U.S. Budget Deficit at $1.7 Trillion over Past Year

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office this week revealed the magnitude of the federal deficit, growing to $1.7 trillion in one year, as the national public debt reached $34.7 trillion for the first time in U.S. history.

On Monday alone, the national public debt grew by $37 billion. By Tuesday, it surpassed $34.7 trillion overall.

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Inflation Slows Slightly, but Cost of Some Goods, Services Climbs

Newly released federal inflation data showed that inflation slowed in recent weeks.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Consumer Price Index, which showed that overall consumer prices paused in the month of May after rising 0.3 percent in April.

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Biden’s Ambitious EV Charging ‘Fantasy’ May Be on a Collision Course with Reality

President Biden observing EV charing station demonstration

President Joe Biden has pledged to install 500,000 public electric vehicle (EV) chargers around the U.S. by 2030, but logistical hurdles may be too much to overcome.

The Biden administration landed $7.5 billion to build out a network of public EV charging stations around the country in the bipartisan infrastructure package of 2021, but those funds have only led to a handful of operational charging stations to date. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg reaffirmed the administration’s goal to build 500,000 chargers with the money by 2030 during a May television appearance on CBS News, but challenges like adding transmission lines, navigating the permitting process and coordinating with utility companies figure to make the goal improbable.

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Commentary: The CFPB Attacks the Credit Card Rewards Programs Consumers Want

Consumer using a credit card

Unsurprisingly, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recent report on Credit Card Rewards is dismissive of programs that are popular with tens of millions of American households. However, its objections manifest the same sort of deceptive advertising and hiding of details that it complains are characteristic of credit card rewards, and the data in its report does not match the conclusions its director, Rohit Chopra, has made in his statement about the report as well as his testimony before Congress on the issue.

The CFPB’s press release announcing the Credit Cards Rewards: Issue Spotlight report denigrated rewards programs, alleging that “Consumers tell the CFPB that rewards are often devalued or denied even after program terms are met;” that “Consumers who carry revolving balances often pay far more in interest and fees than they get back on rewards;” and that “Credit card companies often use rewards programs as a ‘bait and switch’ by burying terms in vague language or fine print.”

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