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‘Slightly Better Than Anticipated’: Experts Respond to Consumer Price News – ‘Surprise Is Slowdown in Core Inflation’

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The monthly Consumer Price Index report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was released Tuesday morning, and while inflation continues to rise some economists appear pleased, with one stating the report is “slightly better than anticipated.”

Overall, the annual rate of inflation is 8.5 percent, but removing food and energy, prices are up 6.5 percent annually.

Gas prices are a big part of the inflation rate. CNN’s cable reporting calls the current report a “rearview mirror” look, given that gas prices are coming down. They add some economists are hoping the peak of the inflation has been reached. They also note that the U.S. does not rely much on oil from Russia, so in other countries, inflation is worse.

“Food prices are up 8.8% over the past year. Energy prices are up 32%, including 11% in March alone — reflecting the spike in energy prices associated with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” The New York Times’ Ben Casselman notes.

Casselman points to Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine for food price increases:

And he sees some good news: “Headline inflation accelerated in March, but we all knew that would happen given gas prices. The bigger surprise is the slowdown in ‘core’ inflation.”

There’s still plenty to be concerned about. Casselman says this is “the fastest year-over-year inflation since 1981.”

Meanwhile, oil companies – not the President – set the price of gas at the pump and other energy products, and are under no obligation to price gouge, which is illegal in most states during a declared state of emergency, such as war, natural disasters, or COVID-19.

University of Michigan economist and public policy professor Justin Wolfers:

And Wolfers throws a challenge to the mainstream media, which is generally focused on only bad news:

Image: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell via Flickr 

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BREAKING NEWS

‘Denied’: Trump Just Lost Big at the Supreme Court Over His Tax Returns

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The U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday afternoon rejected a request from Donald Trump, asking that it block a lower court ruling ordering that six years of the former president’s tax returns be given to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

Trump has been battling the Committee for three years.

The order says Chief Justice John Roberts referred Trump’s request to the full Court. It does not say if any justices agreed with Trump.

“The application for stay of the mandate presented to The Chief Justice and by him referred to the Court is denied. The order heretofore entered by The Chief Justice is vacated,” the ruling reads.

But Democrats need to move quickly.

“The decision by the court in a brief order noting no dissenting votes means the committee can try to access the documents ahead of the Republican take-over of the House in January,” NBC News notes. “The committee, however, has not said how quickly it expects to get the documents. Upon taking control, Republicans are expected to withdraw the request.”

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

Image: Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour 

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BREAKING NEWS

Far Right J6 Rioter Who Attacked Pelosi’s Office ‘Surprised’ as Judge Sends Her Directly to Jail After Verdict: Report

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A federal judge on Monday wasted no time incarcerating Riley Williams, ordering U.S. Marshals to take into custody the Pennsylvania woman immediately after the jury handed down guilty verdicts in six of the eight charges in her January 6 Capitol riot trial.

Politico reports jurors convicted Williams, who was 22 on the day of the insurrection, on charges related to “participating in a civil disorder, impeding officers who tried to clear the Capitol Rotunda and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.”

“But the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict on two of the central counts in the case: whether Williams ‘aided and abetted’ in the theft of a laptop from Pelosi’s office that the speaker used to make Zoom calls amid the Covid pandemic, and obstruction of Congress’ Jan. 6 proceeding — a felony that carries a 20-year maximum penalty.”

READ MORE: Anti-LGBTQ Congressman for Colorado Springs Deluged With Angry Responses Over Club Q Tweet That Doesn’t Say Gay

NBC News describes Williams as a “far-right extremist,” and reports she is “a devotee of Nick Fuentes and a far-right, white nationalist movement she is affiliated with called the ‘Groypers.'” Fuentes has been described as a Christian nationalist, white nationalist, and “white supremacist leader and organizer.”

Williams, The Washington Post reported last week, “was among a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump who stormed the building while Congress was meeting to confirm Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election, according to prosecutors. She is charged with eight crimes, including aiding and abetting the theft of a laptop that Pelosi (D-Calif.) used to conduct video conferences with U.S. and foreign officials.”

During the trial, “jurors were shown video of Williams exhorting rioters to push past security lines of police and climb stairs to the House speaker’s suite of offices. In his closing argument Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel Dalke described Williams as a zealous instigator who helped ‘weaponize’ a seemingly rudderless crowd.”

READ MORE: ‘Blood on Your Hands’: Critics Blast Boebert for Spreading Anti-LGBTQ Hate and Lies After Club Q Mass Shooting

Dalke also told jurors that the “danger of the mob is in the numbers, in the crush of people in that chaos.”

“And the danger is so much worse when someone … is focusing the power of that mob. Everywhere the defendant went on January 6th, she dialed up the chaos.”

CBS News Congressional Correspondent Scott MacFarlane, who’s been extensively covering the January 6 trials, reports: “Judge orders Riley Williams go directly to jail. She’ll be in US Marshals custody until her February sentencing. Her defense attorney tells me it’s a surprise to Williams.”

“Williams,” MacFarlane adds, “who’d successfully secured court permission to travel to multiple ‘Renaissance fairs’ pending trial & had brought pink purse to court, goes to jail. A man who was sitting in courtroom for her trial carried her purse outside. Her defense says ruling was shock to them.”

Image via Shutterstock

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Watch: Merrick Garland Announces Trump’s Presidential Candidacy Announcement Influenced Him to Appoint Special Counsel

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Attorney General Merrick Garland Friday afternoon announced he has appointed a special counsel to take over two of the criminal investigations into Donald Trump. Garland stressed that Donald Trump’s announcement this week was a large part of the reason he decided to appoint the special counsel.

“Based on recent developments, including the former president’s announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election, and the sitting president’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel.”

Garland claimed the appointment of a special counsel, which several legal exerts urged him to not do, “underscores the Department’s commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters.”

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