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US Economy Is Back. But for how long?

Posted on July 29, 2021

US economy grew at an annual 6.5 percent between April and June, marking full recovery from the pandemic

The U.S. economy was officially back and fully recovered from the pandemic as of June, although a recent surge in covid cases could threaten new uncertainty ahead.

The economy grew at an annual rate of 6.5 percent in the quarter ending in June, below economists’ forecasts of at least 8 percent, as coronavirus vaccinations and unleashed consumer spending added momentum to the recovery.

For the first time since the pandemic took hold, economic output eclipsed its pre-pandemic high, after adjusting for inflation. However, that doesn’t mean the economy is back to the level it would have been at, had the pandemic not happened, because there is roughly a year of continued economic growth missing.

WP

It's interesting to see how various news outlets are portraying this. CNBC is saying this is “well below expectations.” LOL

The economy still faces some perilous burdens: COVID is re-emerging and the federal eviction moratorium is expiring in two days.


Arizona’s GOP-backed ballot review has raised more than $5.7 million in private donations

A private contractor conducting a Republican-commissioned review of 2020 presidential ballots in Arizona’s largest county announced late Wednesday that it has collected more than $5.7 million in private donations to fund the process.

The controversial ballot review, which included a hand recount of Maricopa County’s nearly 2.1 million ballots and a review of ballot tabulating machines, has been underway since April. It was ordered by the state’s Republican-led Senate, which agreed to spend $150,000 in taxpayer money to fund the audit. But the Senate allowed Cyber Ninjas, a Florida-based firm hired to lead the process, to collect donations as well.

It has been clear for months that the lengthy ballot review, which was conducted by dozens of workers, some working nearly round-the-clock, was being largely financed by allies of former president Donald Trump. The newly released figures put that fact in sharp relief: More than 97 percent of the audit’s costs have so far been shouldered by donations from five organizations led by people who have promoted the false claim that the election was stolen.

WaPo

I guess the bite of grifting is eased a bit when the griftees are the opposing party.

But still: That's a good haul!


The Justice Department Won’t Agree To Defend Rep. Mo Brooks Against Claims He Incited The Jan. 6 Riots

The Justice Department won’t agree to take over Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks’ defense against claims that he incited the Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol, making it increasingly likely that the Republican lawmaker will have to fend off a lawsuit on his own.

Brooks is being sued by one of his Democratic colleagues, Rep. Eric Swalwell, who accused Brooks of conspiring with former president Donald Trump and his longtime ally Rudy Giuliani to undermine the election results and incite the riots. Brooks had asked the court to certify that he was acting within the scope of his duties as a member of Congress, which would mean that the United States government would become the defendant in his place, and he’d effectively be off the hook.

Buzz Feed

He's guilty, in case you didn't already know it: Brooks wore body armor to the US Capitol on January 6.


Infrastructure deal: Senate suddenly acts to take up bill

The Senate has voted to begin work on a nearly $1 trillion national infrastructure plan, acting with sudden speed after weeks of fits and starts once the White House and a bipartisan group of senators agreed on major provisions of the package that’s key to President Joe Biden’s agenda.

Biden welcomed the accord as one that would show America can “do big things.” It includes the most significant long-term investments in nearly a century, he said, on par with building the transcontinental railroad or the Interstate highway system.

“This deal signals to the world that our democracy can function,” Biden said ahead of the vote Wednesday night. “We will once again transform America and propel us into the future.”

AP

The media seems to be playing this as a “the bill passed.”

Um, no.

The Senate will not filibuster. That's it. Now they debate the merits of the bill. This will be a long, drawn out process.


Israeli Health Ministry Panel Recommends Third COVID Shot for Older People

Experts advising the Health Ministry have recommended that older people receive a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine, though they disagree on whether the cohort should start at 60 years old, 65 or 70.

Some of the data presented at a discussion Wednesday suggested that the vaccine's effectiveness in preventing severe symptoms among 60-year-olds and above has dropped to 81 percent from 97 percent in January.

While most panel members favored a booster shot for anyone 60 or older, others suggested that the bar be raised to 65 or 70. The Health Ministry's director general, Nachman Ash, will make the final decision.

Haaretz

You know what's coming next: Boosters for everybody for eternity.


Some people in Missouri are getting vaccinated against Covid-19 in secret for fear of backlash from loved ones who oppose the vaccines

The Covid-19 vaccine has become so polarizing that some people in Missouri are getting inoculated in secret for fear of backlash from their friends and family who oppose vaccination, a doctor told CNN Wednesday.

“They've had some experience that's sort of changed their mind from the viewpoint of those in their family, those in their friendship circles or their work circles. And they came to their own decision that they wanted to get a vaccine,” said Dr. Priscilla Frase, a hospitalist and chief medical information officer at Ozarks Healthcare in West Plains, Missouri.

CNN

Has peer pressure ever served a useful purpose?

Yes. But I can't recall any off the top of my head. It's usually about gullible people following the advice and egging on of stupid people.


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