News Notes

June 30, 2022

Powell: ‘No guarantee’ Fed can tame inflation, spare jobs. In other words, no guarantee the Fed can do its job — not that it’s ever cared much about that jobs bit. Lots of factors joined to create inflation, but the only tool the Fed has to fight it is to put people out of work.

Crypto tax cheats likely to get relief as crackdown hits snag.

June 29, 2022

Gas prices are starting to fall – here’s why that’s a bummer. Retail pump prices have dropped 10-15 cents in the last week, partly reflecting a drop in crude oil prices from $120 to $110 per barrel. Nonetheless, other articles play up inflation fears. Also note: US trade deficit narrows, stock market falls.

June 28, 2022

Pompeo launches digital ad focusing on religious freedom. Title is the least interesting thing here. More interesting to follow the money behind it. We don’t actually find out here, but do learn that since leaving office, Pompeo has worked for the Hudson Institute, also with American Cener for Law and Justice, and has a PAC that has raised $5.5 million, and spent $3 million, mostly “to the Virginia-based firm Targeted Victory, for fundraising consulting and advertising.”

White House dodges calls to use federal property for abortions. I’ve long thought that the Veterans Administration should offer abortion services at its hospitals. I was originally thinking that they would be hard to picket (the VA hospital here in Wichita owns a huge tract of land), but there are lots of good reasons.

June 27, 2022

Did corporate greed fuel inflation? It’s not biggest culprit. Perhaps. But it’s always there, pressing every advantage. And why make excuses for it? It’s fundamental to the whole system. I wonder who’s paying for all these recent articles trying to deny the role of greed in rising prices? Doesn’t the sensitivity suggest there may be something to the charges?

June 24, 2022

Wall Street faces billion-dollar losses on sinking buyout debt. This comes from private equity deals, where banks provide the leverage for lucrative buyouts, leaving the companies burdened with debt. The PE firms them strip the companies, leaving the banks holding the bag when the companies go bankrupt.

June 21, 2022:

Biden considers federal gas tax holiday. That’ll really show Americans . . . how little gas is taxed. Forgoing 18.4 cents per gallon will cut prices about 3%.

Affidavit describes what led to fatal Wichita shooting in argument over dog waste. So much for “an armed society is a polite society.”

Noam N Levey: 100 million people in America are saddled with health care debt.

June 17, 2022:

Thousands of cattle die due to heat stress: Mostly in southwest Kansas, as temperatures soared over 100F this week. Such temperatures are not uncommon later in the summer, but this week was unusually humid, which kept temperatures from dropping much at night. “This is a very unique and unfortunate event.”

Prison sentence for an who shot best friend in head at Wichita apartment in 2019. Pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, after originally maintaining the discharge was accidental.

June 5, 2022:

Henry Olsen: GOP midterm wave is set; Democrats can’t change it: Cook Political Report is predicting Republicans will gain 20-35 House seats this fall, to which Olsen adds: “If history is any guide, that number will almost surely increase by Election Day.” He cites 2010 as an analogous example, where Republicans picked up 63 seats.

Texas electric rates have surged over 70%. That’s compared to a year ago. It is “the highest average rate since Teas deregulated electricity over two decades ago.” That seems to be mostly attributable to natural gas prices, but that only accounts for 44% of Texas electricity. On the other hand, the 38% from wind and solar is relatively stable.

June 4, 2022:

Wichita man charged with murder in weekend shooting that left another man dead: RG, 27, walking his dog, got into a verbal argument with EH, 30, and fired several times, also at a bystander.

Ex-Trump adviser arrested on contempt charge: Peter Navarro, for refusing to testify before Congress regarding Jan. 6. Funniest line was when Navarro said, “I was a distinguished public servant for four years!”

Jay Ambrose: Rebuild the family to stop school shootings. E.g., “fatherless children are more likely to drop out of high school, commit crimes, kill themselves and go jobless. The worst households are often dysfunctional to the point that children are ignored, rejected and abused. . . . A missing father can mean missing lessons in masculinity for the boy, less security, less self-respect, it is said, and this is common for shooters.”

Andreas Kluth: Psychology has just the label for Putin’s KGB-created mind: Deformation professionelle, because once someone is trained in an occupation (in Putin’s case, as “a spook”), that defines how he views the world, leaving him “cynical, paranoid, vengeful, unscrupulous and ruthless. And above all, mendacious.”

Grim stretch of shootings continues at church, funeral: Three dead (including shooter) at Cornerstone Church, in Ames, Iowa. Two shot at Graceland Cemetery in Racine, Wisconsin, during a funeral for a man who was “fatally shot by police following a foot chase after an attempted traffic stop.”

May 31, 2022:

Two Wichita teens die after shooting, hit and run at graduation party, police say: Police also complain, “lack of cooperation has made the investigation difficult to determine all the details of the case.”

Wichita man, 30, dies after argument during dog walk turns into shooting, police say.

NRA board reelects LaPierre despite scandal. LaPierre has headed the group for 30 years. He has been charged with misusing millions of dollars of the nonprofit’s assets.

Agatha hits southern Mexico coast as strongest may hurricane. Sidebar: Agatha remnants could spawn Alex, 1st Atlantic storm. Agatha is in the Pacific, but heading east across the narrowest part of Mexico, which would allow the storm to re-energize over the Gulf of Mexico.