Feb 16·edited Feb 16

Hey, remember all of last year when every time the report came out showing that inflation kept going up, we were treated to the damn jagged line graph of doom at the top of every news source, and no one would shut up about it for days, with every nattering pundit in a race to make the most dire projections of recession and ruin, and generally making sure everyone considered this issue the most uber-important thing facing all of the world, upon which all of our pasts, presents, and futures hinged, in each and every possible multiverse?

One would imagine the reversal of this trend would be celebrated with equal fervor! Anyway, the report showing the 7th month straight of declining inflation was released yesterday. It was the 101st headline on the Washington Post website (out of 112, yes I counted them all). It read: "Inflation eases again, but bringing prices further down will take work," was illustrated not with THE GRAPH but with a stock photo of shoppers' feet, and (understandably, I'm sure) sat below such other pressing items as "Star Wars script auction stopped after plea from Chewbacca actor’s widow," "Queen Consort Camilla will wear a recycled crown, without cursed diamond," "The clever trick that turns ChatGPT into its evil twin, DAN," "This snake can make babies without a mate," and "Advice: Complaining about your partner? It might be you." Perplexing!

The Guardian thought it more notable, putting "US inflation eases again for 7th consecutive month" as the 13th item for the morning, though come the evening it was gone entirely. Higher up yesterday morning, and still there: "Amazon deploys fleet of self-driving robotaxis, with employees as passengers." The New York Times, to their credit, put the one-would-assume-Earth-shattering-based-on-how-many-times-it-was-previously-made-to-seem-to-shatter-the-Earth news at #3 (#9 by evening), with THE GRAPH in tow, and the wait-is-this-good-or-still-yucky-I-can't-tell announcement, "Inflation Cooled Just Slightly, With Worrying Details."

What changed? It couldn't possibly be that the first midterm of a Democratic president just passed. No, it couldn't be that. Why, if it was - but it just couldn't be! - one would almost be tempted to undergo the revelation that the all-encompassing "liberal media" that conservatives seem so perpetually desperate to escape being brainwashed by is actually anything but, and that those conservatives are instead just paranoid crybabies on a cosmically hilarious scale.

Though, to be fair, there was this huge top headline in WaPo's Politics section: "Analysis: Democrats growing more comfortable with another Biden run." I have to admit, this does track pretty closely with my recently conducted study (rigorous and comprehensive, albeit sample size of one): "28-year old male Bay Area recent college grad growing more impatient by the day to keep world's most absurdly underestimated grandpa in the White House, and give him what he needs to finish off these pathetic charlatans and shove us fricking finally into the future."

P.P.P.P.S. It seems Nikki Haley (yeah, *her*) is running for President, claiming we need a "generational change." Yeah... but... just... gurl, you think that's you? Oh, honey. Bye.

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Feb 16·edited Feb 17

J. D. Vance did not vote for the infrastructure bill and now is criticizing the Biden administration for not fixing all the infrastructure in a year? His ignorance of the fact that FEMA is not yet working on the accident is no surprise.

Luckily, some of the voting public is beginning to realize who has their back after the State of the Union address.

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Senator J. D. Vance blamed failed infrastructure when in fact the train accident was caused by a failed journal bearing. Witnesses say they saw smoke and sparks coming from a wheel bearing and in fact a trackside detector know as a "Hot Box Detector" notified the train even as it went into emergency during the derailment that they had a hot journal. This accident could have been avoided if Norfolk Southern had more detectors installed trackside to warn of a hot journal. Something that seems a relatively cheap safety measure. Of note, had the train been equipped with a caboose the occupants would have smelled the smoke from the journal and could have stopped the train. Operating rules require those on the head end to look back for smoke, but with today's trains a mile or two long there is little ability to see smoke when the train is serpentining around multiple curves.

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We can no longer foot the bill for gargantuan corporate profit. No one benefits from deregulation, especially where environmental respect is thrown to the wind, where towns have been gutted by businesses who deserted them, by millions that are set aside when there are company lay-offs , and by those same corporate entities and owners who would shaft the Social Security/Medicare system by trying to privatize, diminish and throw away the hard working retirees, who's backs they've used to make over the top profits. It doesn't have to be this way in a democracy, but the wealthy corporations can pay the propaganda machine to make you think it's unAmerican, just like they did in order to get Reagan to slash their taxes and make us civil servants carry the burden.

I'm a retired teacher. Every penny counts.

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We need campaign finance reform.

We must end Citizens United.

I am, we are, sick of policies being bought by the highest bidder. Yeah, we will spend millions to save billions.

I want those millions to help people not another fatcat mofo who puts more energy into election than sane governance

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Feb 16·edited Feb 16

I live 66 miles from East Palestine and local news has daily in-depth reporting on the consequences of the train wreck. It's been reported today that 3,600 fish in the surrounding waterways have died. Veterinarians are seeing unexplained illness and death of companion animals. People are told it's safe to return home, but advised to drink bottled water.

There was a town hall meeting tonight and representatives of the railroad did not attend. Families are refusing to return to their homes, terrified the residual chemicals may be harmful to their children. This is shaping up to be the next Love Canal. Meanwhile, Governor DeWine declines federal assistance and resources. I predict the rates of various cancers will exponentially rise. The time to mitigate the anticipated outcomes is now.

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MAGA idiot, J.D. Vance, had little nothing to say about this horrid chemical spill in the state he purportedly represents until the magnitude of this very toxic chemical spill and subsequent burnoff was reported by The Lever, then other publications.

It is no coincidence that these carcinogenic leaks and spillages occur in working class areas of the U.S., like Love Canal, Three Mile Island, water poisonings in California and Detroit, Cancer Alley in Louisiana, and etcetera.

I've already read about the deaths of animals and the adverse health effects for people returning to their homes briefly for essential items.

Robber baron-owned railroads carrying carcinogenic chemicals is disaster capitalism in the making, as the owners have drastically cut their workforce to maximize profits, which is why these cowards refuse to attend a scheduled meeting with the townspeople and officials of Palestine, Ohio.

I sincerely hope the Biden Administration quickly restores the Obama Administration's rules for railroads.

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According to Judd Legum “ In March 2022, Norfolk Southern announced a plan to spend $10 billion on stock buybacks. In 2021, Norfolk Southern CEO James A. Squires received $14 million in total compensation. About $9 million of Squires' compensation was paid in stock awards and options — assets that will likely increase in value as Norfolk Southern repurchases its shares.”

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“It’s a stark contrast to our Republican friends, who are doubling down on the same failed politics of the past. Top-down, trickle-down economics is not much trickle down…to most kitchen tables in America,”

The notion that those who have managed to hoover great piles of money from the public are society's natural leaders and "Job Creators" was bunk from the outset. It's the worn out argument of kings and feudal aristocrats that they are the ones who support society, and that without their wealth and superior leadership, the state would disintegrate. For all of their contractions, the founders came to set up a society that was controlled from the bottom up, not the top down, but some people still want an autocrat. Examine examples of top-down societies and observe that unsurprisingly, net wealth torrents decidedly up, with only minor spills along the way.

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Thank you Heather.

Unconscionable recklessness. Is there any other way to describe the current Republican Party and their oligarchical purse holders? Such a seditious s#%t show.

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I applaud President Biden for his persistence in endeavoring to highlight what the Biden administration is doing to manage America through the Covid-induced economic crisis while investing in essential-good-job-producing physical infrastructure and addressing the core needs of the great majority of Americans.

What appalls me is that the Republican nihilists denigrate how Biden is positively leading our country out of the dreadful Trump trough and bloviates about such foo foo dust as ‘wokeness,’ book banning, and Congressional ‘weaponizing.’

I was impressed by President Biden’s State of the Union address in which he described solid achievements and tweaked the Republican dog-in-the-manger prattling. Sadly, for the great majority of Americans this was a ho hum moment barely noticed in the flow of daily ‘news.’

In the world of $7 million/30 second Super Bowl ads, how can the dichotomy between Democratic positive accomplishments be effectively contrasted with Republican frivolity?

I come from an advertising family—my father and grandfather were maestros in honing the message:


The challenge is to ‘market the Biden message.’ Humor, simplicity, and repetition—-I relished some Lincoln Project ads.

I remember how the advertising industry got behind the war effort in World War II. Well, the Biden administration has a first class product in contrast to the blather of Republican charlatans. So let’s figure out how to communicate effectively with KISS (Keep it simple stupid).

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What a difference, one party wants progress and prosperity for ordinary people, the other to squander the health and lives of American citizens to save a few more bucks to further fatten the pockets of wealthy people who can't even spend what they've already got, it's so much

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I find it disturbing that increased retail spending is viewed as a key indicator of a country's economic health when in fact it is a bad sign for the health of a country's environment. When people buy more, they also throw away more, adding to the total environmental burden of discarded plastic, chemicals, and metals. Rather than people being encouraged to go out and buy, buy, buy, they should be encouraged to repair and reuse what they already have.

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Love that killer closing sentence! Update in a nutshell.

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Yes there is good news on the inflation front but those caveats should be there. The Goldilocks scenario will only come to pass if there are tax increases on the wealthy and corporations to offset the still rising cost of servicing the US debt. Not to mention that we are legitimately paying out lots of money to support Ukraine. That is not going to be easily offset by cost cutting in other areas of the military budget especially after the balloon scares.

Biden has to keep coupling the "pay their fair share" rhetoric with every " building the economy out" because you know the Republicans are going to use the rapidly rising debt in the debt ceiling showdown.

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I am glad you finished with a comment about FEMA. Every state has natural disasters that are predictable and industrial disasters that are not. FEMA should be eliminated and every state should self insure for these events.

Perhaps FEMA could exist as a federal lending agency to help areas recover from disasters? But the loans would have to be repaid before another could be made.

FEMA is the ultimate in welfare for states like Florida and Texas. It is time they step up to their cost of disasters.

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