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May 10, 2023

Wednesday: Below the Fold

Inflation slows as confidence in Biden hits historic low, John Kerry found his war medals, and more.


  • Inflation slows as confidence in Biden hits historic low: The rate of inflationary growth is slowing, with April showing a 4.9% inflation rate over last year. The slowing was encouraging news for the Federal Reserve, indicating that its string of interest rate hikes has been working. That said, Americans are still experiencing a negative economy that continues to make them poorer by reducing their buying power. This reality likely explains recent polling from Gallup that finds a majority of Americans don’t have confidence that Joe Biden’s leadership will turn the economy around. Indeed, since Gallup first started its annual polling of economic leadership back in 2001, Biden has set a new low for sitting presidents. Just 35% of Americans have confidence in Biden’s economic leadership, down from 40% last year. Some 55% don’t trust that Biden’s economic polices will benefit them financially, with 48% registering almost no confidence that the octogenarian can avoid steering the country into a recession.

  • Biden admin sends another $1.2B to Ukraine: With Joe Biden digging in his heels over raising the debt ceiling with Republicans’ federal spending reductions, his administration is set to announce another $1.2 billion military aid package for Ukraine. This latest addition would raise the total amount the U.S. has sent to Ukraine since Russia invaded last year to $36.9 billion, though billions more have been allocated. This time the military aid package will not come from existing U.S. munitions stockpiles, but will be used for contracting the building of new equipment to be delivered to Ukraine over the next few months and years. This will ensure supplies for NATO’s proxy war against Vladimir Putin don’t run out.

  • NIH renews grant to COVID gain-of-function EcoHealth: One of the definitions of stupidity is to engage in the same problematic action while expecting different results. Yet this seems to be the logic at play regarding the recent decision by National Institutes of Health (NIH) officials to once again provide grant funding to EcoHealth Alliance, specifically for the studying of coronaviruses. Republican Representative Morgan Griffith called the decision “absolutely reckless.” “EcoHealth Alliance has not been contrite about their failures,” Griffith said. “And even worse, they have refused to cooperate with Congress in our attempts to get information about the research they were doing at the Wuhan Institute.” With most evidence pointing to a Wuhan lab leak as the most likely culprit for unleashing a global pandemic that killed millions, one would think just the negative optics of even associating with an organization that engaged in dangerous gain-of-function research would dissuade NIH leadership from giving them more taxpayer dollars. But evidently not.

  • Rubio — ban SNAP purchases of junk food: Junk food should be banned from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), contends Republican Senator Marco Rubio. Noting the nation’s growing problem with obesity, Rubio called on Congress to “explicitly exclude” junk foods like sodas and candy from being eligible for SNAP purchases. Rubio observed: “More than 40 percent of U.S. adults are obese, and roughly half have diabetes or prediabetes. These diseases can be debilitating. They are also extremely expensive, costing hundreds of billions of dollars in medical costs each year. That SNAP plays a role in their spread is immoral, irresponsible and reprehensible.” He further pointed out that 20 cents of every dollar spent in the SNAP program goes to “sweetened beverages, deserts, salty snacks, candy and sugar.” He’s right; taxpayer dollars aimed at helping to feed people in dire need should not be used to help them destroy their health.

  • Oklahoma revokes funding for PBS: A bill that would have funded Oklahoma’s state PBS station through 2026 was recently vetoed by Republican Governor Kevin Stitt. The reason: the indoctrination of children with the leftist LGBTQ sexualization agenda. In explaining his decision, Stitt pointed to the children’s program “Let’s Learn,” which contained a segment featuring the book The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish being read by a drag queen. “When you go through all of the programming that’s happening and the indoctrination and over-sexualization of our children, it’s just really problematic, and it doesn’t line up with Oklahoma values,” Stitt said. “Oklahoma taxpayers are going, ‘Hey, hang on, time out for just a second. That’s not my values.’ I’m just tired of using taxpayer dollars for some person’s agenda. I represent the taxpayers.” He also questioned the “need” for taxpayer-funded PBS in general: “When you think from a free market standpoint … there’s so much television, there’s so much media. Maybe in 1957, you could have made an argument that you needed a public television station, [but] that’s totally outdated at this point.”

  • Apparently John Kerry found his war medals: John Kerry is not a man of character or honor, as we and many others have long noted. Over the weekend, Kerry’s self-important hypocrisy was fully on display as he attended King Charles’s coronation. Displayed on the breast of his suit jacket were the medals he was awarded in Vietnam, medals he claimed back in 1971 to have thrown away in protest of the war. Later in 1984, Kerry admitted that he had not actually thrown away his medals, which included the Bronze Star, Silver Star, and three Purple Hearts, but rather some other soldier’s medals. In 2004, Kerry’s story changed again, this time saying he kept his medals, but he did not regret throwing them away, and what he did throw away were his ribbons. Well, whether the medals he wore last weekend were genuinely his or not, what has still yet to be recovered is any character or honor he may have possessed when he first went to serve his country in Vietnam.


  • No debt deal, but Biden, Hill leaders agree to meet again (Roll Call)

  • Biden says he’s exploring 14th Amendment to defuse debt ceiling standoff (Politico)

  • Jury orders Trump to pay $5 million in damages to Carroll for battery and defamation (Washington Examiner)

  • Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson will relaunch his show on Twitter (Reuters)

  • Carlson accuses Fox of fraud, contract violations in scathing letter (National Review)

  • Comer unveils “Biden family’s influence peddling” in Romania and China (Washington Examiner)

  • Lori Lightfoot declares emergency over surge of illegal immigrants into Chicago (National Review)

  • Texas governor promises to ship “thousands” more to sanctuary cities like NYC in wake of Title 42 ending (PM)

  • Congressman George Santos faces federal criminal charges (AP)

  • California Governor Newsom declines to back reparations checks, says slavery’s legacy is “more than cash payments” (Fox News)

  • Fort Hood in Texas officially changes name to Fort Cavazos to remove Confederacy reference (Fox News)

  • Berkshire Hathaway shareholders overwhelmingly shoot down climate and diversity proposals (Daily Wire)

  • Policy: Electric vehicle illusions: No one can really say whether widespread adoption of EVs will cut carbon emissions (City Journal)

  • Satire: Mayorkas heads to border to fire starter pistol when Title 42 expires (Babylon Bee)

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