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babylonsister's Journal
babylonsister's Journal
October 19, 2021

Jerome Powell Sold More Than a Million Dollars of Stock as the Market Was Tanking

The American Prospect
Jerome Powell Sold More Than a Million Dollars of Stock as the Market Was Tanking
Disclosure documents reveal that the spectacle of Fed officials personally trading stocks extended to the chair himself.
by Robert Kuttner
October 18, 2021

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell sold between $1 million and $5 million worth of stock from his personal account on October 1, 2020, according to disclosure forms reviewed by the Prospect. Powell’s sale of shares from a Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund has not been previously reported. This sale occurred right before the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered a significant drop.

A Fed media relations spokesperson was not available for comment. We will report on any Fed statement on Powell’s trades.

Three other senior Fed officials have faced serious criticism for making stock trades during the pandemic. Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan and Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren were compelled to take early retirements as a result of the disclosure of their trades. Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida also came under fire for stock trading. The other trades are now the subject of investigations by the Fed’s own inspector general and the SEC.

There is no American with more insider knowledge about government policy that drives financial market movements than the chair of the Federal Reserve. And as COVID caseloads, hospitalizations, and deaths spiked last fall, the economy was in a precarious condition. October turned out to be the stock market’s worst month since March 2020, when the pandemic began.

The Dow would lose 1,600 points in October, or 6 percent of its value. (It would recoup those losses and then some in subsequent months.)



October 19, 2021

Manchin Cheerfully Gives Republicans A Senate Majority


10/18/21 1:19pm
Manchin Cheerfully Gives Republicans A Senate Majority
"There's 52 senators who don't agree, okay," Sen. Manchin said, turning his back on the 48 Senators in his own party who DO agree.
By John Amato

CNN's Manu Raju caught up with Senator Joe Manchin to ask him about criticisms being levied at him by his Democratic colleagues for refusing to negotiate in good faith on President Biden's Build Back Better agenda.

"[Bernie] says you're holding up the Biden agenda," Raju pointed out.

"No, no. There's 52 senators who don't agree, okay," Manchin responded, "And there's two that want to work something out if possible in a most rational reasonable way."

WTF? Are there now 52 Republican Senators in Congress and nobody knew it? Did both seats in Georgia suddenly turn red while we were sleeping?

There are only 2 Senators out of 50 in the Democratic Party that are refusing to let the Biden agenda pass.

Doesn't Manchin understand that if he destroys these two major pieces of legislation he and Kyrsten Sinema will have no power at all when they help lose control of the Senate in 2022? Are they practicing for that time?

A rational way forward would be for Manchin and Sinema to have already negotiated in good faith with Chuck Schumer and President Biden instead of trying to turn the progressive agenda that almost 82 million American voted for into a right-wing Mitch McConnell bill.

Susie already informed us that Manchin wants to do away with all Climate change provisions "as well as turning the child tax credit into a poverty program with a work requirement."

You can't get more Republican than that.
October 19, 2021

Senate Republicans Blocking Biden Pick to Spearhead Capitol Riot Prosecutions, Says Report


Senate Republicans Blocking Biden Pick to Spearhead Capitol Riot Prosecutions, Says Report
Jamie Ross
News Correspondent
Published Oct. 19, 2021 6:09AM ET
Reuters/Leah Millis

In July, President Joe Biden tapped the ex-federal prosecutor Matt Graves to lead hundreds of cases against Capitol riot suspects. The Senate Judiciary Committee had signed off on Graves’ nomination to run the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, but the appointment is now reportedly being held up by Senate Republicans. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat who represents district, told Insider the nomination is “being used for leverage,” adding that the senators don’t seem to have a problem with Graves himself. “‘Caught in the fire’ is how I would put it, because it doesn’t have anything to do with him,” she said. Sen. Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Insider he wasn’t aware of any kind of block. Meanwhile, the House panel investigating the riot has vowed to “fight” Donald Trump’s lawsuit to stop the inquiry from using documents he claims are privileged, saying in a statement that its “authority to seek these records is clear.”
October 18, 2021

Who is going to step up to save the children, and the globe, from Joe Manchin?


Who is going to step up to save the children, and the globe, from Joe Manchin?
Joan McCarter
Daily Kos Staff
Monday October 18, 2021 · 12:07 PM EDT

The de facto president of the United States, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, had a busy weekend making decrees about the limits he is placing on the actual president, Joe Biden, in passing his big economic agenda plan in the Democrats’ budget reconciliation bill. He has informed the White House that he will not allow the core element of Biden’s proposal on climate change, the Clean Electricity Performance Program, which would accelerate utilities’ shift from coal- and gas-powered plants to renewable technology—wind, solar, and nuclear—to help reach the goal of zero carbon emissions in power generation by 2035. Manchin is having none of that.

Not content to do his damnedest to doom children to living in a future hellscape, Manchin is also reportedly demanding that their present lives are also much harder. According to Axios, Manchin has told the White House that he won’t allow the child tax credit (CTC) to remain in the bill as is. Manchin wants strict limits on the payments, including a “firm” work requirement and means testing, capping payments to families making more than “the $60,000 range.”

Those are the payments that have already sharply reduced child hunger and provided an economic boost to help the nation recover from the pandemic. Biden and Democrats included the expanded CTC in the COVID-19 relief American Rescue Plan, and authorized the payments, which had been annual, to now be delivered in prorated monthly payments. The credit was also increased to up to $3,600 a year per child for children 5 and younger, and $3,000 for ages 6-17 per child. It is a near-universal program, with families making up to $150,000 receiving the credit.


He is purposefully harming his own constituents. Why he’s opposed to helping families isn’t clear, unless it’s because he is at heart a Republican. Why he’s so committed to destroying the planet is a lot more apparent: money. He’s the No. 1 recipient in Congress—House or Senate—of funding from the coal mining, mining, natural gas, and oil and gas industries. His stock holdings include somewhere between $1 and $5 million in Enersystems Inc., a coal brokerage he founding in 1988. Last year, his dividends from that company totaled $491,949.

Manchin’s stranglehold on the Senate—and thus on everything from saving our democracy to taking this last opportunity to stave off catastrophic climate change—has to stop. He’s not going to change his mind on this out of altruism or enlightenment. It’s got to be raw political power at this point, the kind that only a president can yield. Biden has to stop treating Manchin as just another Senate colleague and start treating him as someone he can break politically.
October 18, 2021

Food Packaging Chemicals May Contribute to 100,000 US Deaths Per Year, Study Finds

3 hours ago
Food Packaging Chemicals May Contribute to 100,000 US Deaths Per Year, Study Finds
The results put “substantial urgency,” researchers say, on stricter regulation of phthalates.
Amanda Holpuch
This story was originally published by the Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

The group of chemicals called phthalates, also known as plasticizers, may contribute to the early deaths of 91,000 to 107,000 older adults in the US each year, according to a new study.

Adults between 55 and 64 with the highest concentrations of phthalates in their urine were more likely to die of any cause, especially heart disease, than adults with lesser exposure, according to the study published on Tuesday in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Pollution.

The study also estimated that this loss of life could cost the US between $40 billion and $47 billion each year. “Until now, we have understood that the chemicals connect to heart disease, and heart disease in turn is a leading cause of death, but we had not yet tied the chemicals themselves to death,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Leonardo Trasande, said in a release.

In the US, three types of phthalates have been restricted or banned in toys, but are less restricted in cosmetics and food packaging materials. Researchers said the study “focuses substantial urgency” in putting further limits on phthalates in food packaging materials and other consumer goods.

Phthalates, a group of chemicals most commonly used to make plastic harder to break, can interfere with the function of hormones, and researchers plan to examine what role the chemical plays in hormone regulation and inflammation in the body.


October 18, 2021

Eric Boehlert: CNN keeps trying to bury Biden


CNN keeps trying to bury Biden
They miss Trump
Eric Boehlert
1 hr ago

CNN faced a predicament recently when its new poll showed President Joe Biden with a healthy 50% approval rating. The high-profile survey was certainly good news for the White House, which has been battered with negative news coverage since August, with the Beltway press circling, eagerly predicting the Democrat’s demise just nine months into office.

The CNN poll represented an internal problem because it punctured the preferred media narrative about Biden being caught in a slow-motion spiral. Plus, the 50% poll followed on the heels of a Fox News poll, which also showed Biden at the respectable 50% mark — a public approval plateau that Trump never once reached while in office.

So what did CNN do? Did it buck the Beltway groupthink and report that Biden’s popularity was on the upswing? It did not. Instead, the network did its best to bury, or downplay, its own polling so it wouldn’t have to upset the beloved storyline of Biden being locked in a constant state of crisis. (A White House “under siege.”) Still itching for the daily drama of the Trump years, CNN continues to uncork breathless, perilous coverage that often does not match reality — even the reality of its own polling.


CNN’s doomsday drumbeat has become relentless: “The coronavirus pandemic Biden thought he had tamed this spring continues to deny Americans a return to normal life,” one piece recently claimed. Americans haven’t returned to a more normal life under Biden? 50 million school children aren’t back in classrooms? Football stadiums on campuses coast-to-coast aren’t packed with fans? Tens of millions of employees haven’t returned to their workplace? 190 million Americans haven’t been fully vaccinated?

Last month, I recounted how CNN seemed to traffic a made-up GOP story about how a bipartisan group of lawmakers “stormed out” of a classified briefing session regarding Afghanistan. It was all part of the network’s urgent attempt to paint the Biden White House as besieged and floundering. According to CNN’s own polling, voters aren’t buying it.
October 18, 2021

Gen. Colin Powell has died of COVID complications, per cnn.

I will provide a link when one is available.

Coronavirus: Colin Powell dies from COVID-19 complications
October 18, 2021 at 8:08 am EDT
By Michelle Ewing, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has died from coronavirus complications, his family announced Monday morning. He was 84.

“General Colin L. Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away this morning due to complications from COVID-19,” read a statement posted to his official Facebook page. “He was fully vaccinated. We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment. We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American.”

October 18, 2021

Chuck Todd Blames Biden For Not Fixing Everything In 9 Months


Posted on Sun, Oct 17th, 2021 by Jason Easley
Chuck Todd Blames Biden For Not Fixing Everything In 9 Months

Chuck Todd fully embraced Republican misinformation and glossed over the realities of the pandemic while faulting Biden for not returning everything back to normal already.


Todd said as he opened Meet The Press:

And a good Sunday morning. The economy’s inability to fully recover from the shock of Covid-19 is both an economic story and a political one. So what is holding the economy back? In the spring, we thought we were turning the corner on Covid, but when we turned that corner, the Delta variant was waiting on the other side to hit us hard in the face. Delta and vaccine refusals sent cases to their second highest peak of this pandemic this summer, before they finally began to trend downward. Let’s hope there’s not another variant out there. A post-Covid supply chain back-up has spread across the globe, causing cargo ship traffic jams, slowing delivery of goods and yes, driving up costs. In fact, those higher costs have helped feed a rise in prices all over the map, leading to the sharpest rise in inflation in 13 years.

On top of that – millions of Americans have decided they don’t want to return to their old high-stress, low-wage jobs. So, that’s keeping job creation stubbornly low for the last two months and takes some important workers out of the supply chain. All those economic problems add up to a big political problem for the president.

Is all of this his fault? Of course not, but it is now his responsibility, and he and fellow Democrats are in real danger of suffering some serious political consequences. Mr. Biden ran on a promise of a basic return to normal, or at least a path to normalcy. But with the midterm elections just over a year away, unless voters see evidence of this new normal, they may decide to return power back to the Republicans.

None Of This Is Biden’s Fault

The problems can all be traced back to Republicans refusing to get vaccinated. The supply chain issues are global and have nothing to do with Biden’s policies. Hiring is dragging because COVID is still with us, and the pandemic is driving inflation.

There is not a single Biden policy that caused this mess. Nowhere did Todd mention that Republicans are attempting to use the pandemic to sabotage President Biden.

The Mainstream Media Wants Republicans Back In Power.

The corporate media of which college dropout Chuck Todd is a member loves divided government because it gives them the conflict and drama that they desperately crave without requiring them to do any of the actual work of journalism like informing the public about policies and how their government works.

The corporate media has seen their relevance decline since Trump lost, and Todd’s deceptive misinforming intro is an example of how they are working to help Republicans win in 2022.
October 18, 2021

Desperate Fox Is Spreading Lies About Pelosi Stepping Down


10/18/21 3:42am
Desperate Fox Is Spreading Lies About Pelosi Stepping Down
They're trying to drive a wedge into the Democratic caucus.
By Susie Madrak

Yesterday, Maria Bartiromo was either making sh*t up or spreading Republican disinformation (which is pretty much the same thing). Business as usual on Fox!

“First, this morning is exclusive, sources tell Sunday Morning Futures there is speculation swirling in Washington that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may step down after getting the massive spending package through, so all those Democrat members who had their arms twisted to vote on the multitrillion-dollar package and put their own reelection in jeopardy may be fuming to learn that the speaker could be planning a cut and run,” she said.

Oh my! Sources! Anyone with the initials DJT, by any chance?

Speaker Pelosi has made it quite clear she's not stepping down, but Bartiromo and her crew are desperate to find anything at all that sounds like the united Democratic caucus is falling apart over the reconciliation package. (It isn't.)
October 16, 2021

New study shows vaccine refusal's staggering cost in human life


New study shows vaccine refusal's staggering cost in human life
Laura Clawson
Daily Kos Staff
Friday October 15, 2021 · 9:34 AM EDT

COVID-19 is now the second-leading cause of death in the United States, despite the availability of safe, effective, and free vaccines. The promise of those vaccines showed itself when they first became widely available and COVID-19 dropped to be seventh on the list of causes of death. Then came the delta variant, and the levels of vaccination in the U.S. were not enough.

That proved deadly: A new study concludes that 90,000 deaths could have been avoided over a period of four months, from June through September, if more people had gotten vaccinated.

COVID-19 was the top cause of death in the U.S. for a period in late 2020 and early 2021, beating out the usual reliable No. 1 of heart disease. But by June, COVID-19 had dropped below cancer, accidents, stroke, and other respiratory illnesses—down by Alzheimer’s. Not anymore.

In September, according to the estimate released by the Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Kaiser Family Foundation, COVID-19 was the top cause of death for people aged 35 to 54, second on the list for people 25 to 34 and 55 to 64, and third for people 65 and older. It was fourth for people aged 15 to 24, sixth for children 5 to 14, and seventh for children 1 to 4. The under-12s are still waiting for a vaccine to be authorized, but for everyone else, that didn’t need to happen.

More than half of the 90,000 preventable deaths—49,000 of them—occurred in September alone. Deaths declined somewhat in early October, but we’re still talking about a seven-day average over 1,600 deaths per day. Most of them preventable.

Meanwhile, Republicans are making opposition to vaccine mandates a core part of their party identity, above even fealty to corporate power. In this new study, we see the deadly cost of that stance.

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