HomeUncategorized5/20-23 News Roundup and Open Thread

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Benny

Biden’s latest push to take control of the inflation narrative

The Biden administration released a memo to its allies outlining its actions to combat rising costs — and blaming Republicans for blocking its efforts.

Why it matters: It’s an attempt to tell Americans that the White House is focused on bringing prices down at a time when voters are unhappy with the economy, and hold the president responsible for inflation.

“President Biden’s top economic priorities are fighting inflation and lowering costs for the American people,” writes White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates. “Standing up to corporate price gouging is at the core of that fight.”

Catch up fast: The latest inflation figures show that prices rose 3.4% over the last year — much lower than the scorching levels seen in 2022 but still too high for comfort.

Meanwhile, the economy overall is on solid footing — particularly the labor market. The unemployment rate has been under 4% for 27 straight months.
Between the lines: Biden generally doesn’t get much credit for economic strength. Former President Trump polls better on his handling of the economy.

The administration has struggled with its messaging around inflation — they know it’s making Americans feel bad, and that there’s not much they can do about it before the election, as Axios’ Hans Nichols wrote recently.
They argue inflation would get worse under Trump — “top economists warn that MAGAnomics would set off an ‘Inflation bomb,'” Bates writes.

Zoom in: In the memo, the White House lays out the steps the administration is taking to counter “price gouging” by companies. The gouging keeps “prices elevated despite inflation falling,” it says.

For each of the actions the White House lays out, it’s facing blowback — typically in the form of lawsuits from companies with the support of Republicans who practice “MAGAnomics,” it says.

For example: Airlines are suing over a new Transportation Department rule that would require them to disclose fees upfront.

The credit card industry is suing over a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule that would cap credit card late fees at $8.

Pharma companies including AstraZeneca and Bristol Myers Squibb have filed suit over provisions in Biden’s signature Inflation Reduction Act that give Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug costs.

The bottom line: The White House is fighting two battles, one against inflation and the other against the economic narrative.

orlbucfan

Byedone’s crew is correct. It would be a DISASTER under the reign of the orange maggot and the Project 2025 horsesh1t. I am still voting neither, but if I had kids, etc., I would have to take gut meds and vote SloMoJoe. It really is infuriating that these two are our POTUS choices. 💩🤮🤬

wi65

Orl, i have kids and seeing that WI is a swing state i’can believe i’m saying this that i may have to vote for Him. After several showers i’ll probably feel “Dirty” and will be disgusted with myself for months but WI will be close once again and cant take the chance. we’ll see it quite litterally will be a last second decision before i mail the damn thing in…

orlbucfan

I hear ya, wi, believe me. 🙁

wi65

Most of us know that no matter the letter behind the name most cowtoe to thier craprate owners. Sure they’ll spew some BS about doing something about Greed/shrinkflation and then pat themselves on the back as they get re-elected and got by by breaking another Election promise. And the gullible American voters fall for it everytime every election cycle. DC is a festering cesspool of manure that gets worse every year. Ever been by a farmers field on a 90 degree humid day after they spread manure for fertilizer in WI. Thats called a breath of fresh air in DC.

la58

It’s long, but interesting. https://aeon.co/essays/how-ufos-almost-killed-the-search-for-life-in-the-universe

Suddenly, everyone is talking about aliens. After decades on the cultural margins, the question of life in the Universe beyond Earth is having its day in the sun. The next big multibillion-dollar space telescope (the successor to the James Webb) will be tuned to search for signatures of alien life on alien planets and NASA has a robust, well-funded programme in astrobiology. Meanwhile, from breathless newspaper articles about unexplained navy pilot sightings to United States congressional testimony with wild claims of government programmes hiding crashed saucers, UFOs and UAPs (unidentified anomalous phenomena) seem to be making their own journey from the fringes.

What are we to make of these twin movements, the scientific search for life on one hand, and the endlessly murky waters of UFO/UAP claims on the other? Looking at history shows that these two very different approaches to the question of extraterrestrial life are, in fact, linked, but not in a good way. For decades, scientists wanting to think seriously about life in the Universe faced what’s been called the ‘giggle factor’, which was directly related to UFOs and their culture. More than once, the giggle factor came close to killing off the field known as SETI (the search for extraterrestrial intelligence). Now, with new discoveries and new technologies making astrobiology a mainstream frontier of astrophysics, understanding this history has become important for anyone trying to understand what comes next. But for me, as a researcher in the field of technosignatures (signs of advanced alien tech) – the new face of SETI – getting past the giggle factor poses an existential challenge.

I am the principal investigator of NASA’s first ever grant to study signatures of intelligent life from distant exoplanets. My colleagues and I are tasked with developing a library of technosignatures or evidence of technology-wielding life forms on distant planets. Taking on that role has been the culmination of a lifetime fascination with the question of life and the Universe, a fascination that formed when I was a kid in the 1970s, drinking deep from the well of science fiction novels, UFO documentaries and Star Trek reruns. Early on, as a teenager reading both Carl Sagan and Erich von Däniken (the author of Chariots of the Gods), I had to figure out how to separate the wheat from the chaff. This served as a kind of training ground for dealing with questions facing me and my colleagues about proper standards of evidence in astrobiology. It’s also why, as a public-facing scientist, I must work to understand how people not trained in science come to questions surrounding UFOs as aliens. That is what drove me, writing a recent popular-level account of astrobiology’s frontiers called The Little Book of Aliens (2023), to stare hard into the entangled history of UFOs, the scientific search for life beyond Earth, and the all-important question of standards of evidence.

orlbucfan

There is no way in h3ll that we are the only lifeform in our galaxy, let alone, the universe. The serious scientists, be they cosmologists, physicists or astrobiologists, know that better than anyone. You have to deal with the CT nutcases. They come with the territory. 😵‍💫

wi65

Couldnt agree more, Overall the Human race is to dammed primative to visit. The right religous nut jobs would have a collective aneurism if they showed up.(Maybe not a bad thing?) A “First Contact Mission” here would be the most dangerous mission they would take on and not return from. They basically like teasing humans the same way the USA and the Russian air forces buzz by each other from time to time.. :)Gotta be the butt of thier primatave planet memes-jokes.

Benny

orlbucfan

A thankful T and R x 4, jcb!!👍🙂☮️

polarbear4
polarbear4

Sachs, mostly on Israel. I like his passion, for a lifelong academic.

you have to sit through judge nap’s gold ad. not long, but annoying.

Benny