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‘You Can Do Both’: Psaki Says Biden Can Unify While Attacking ‘Ultra-MAGA’ Americans



Jen Psaki

During Monday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki insisted that President Joe Biden could attack supporters of former President Donald Trump while supporting bipartisanship and unity.

“The President and you have talked about the ‘MAGA crowd’ or the ‘ultra-MAGA.’ How does that jive with his desire to be the bipartisan guy?” NPR’s Tamara Keith asked.

“Well, the President’s view is you can do both.  He believes that there is work we can continue to do together,” Psaki responded. “We’re actively advocating for — he was out traveling in — just last Friday on the Bipartisan Innovation Act.  We believe that needs to move forward; it should move forward.  And that can be — can build on the nearly 80 bills that we signed into law last year that are bipartisan.”

“But he’s also not going to stand by and not call out what he sees as ultra-MAGA behavior, ultra-MAGA policies that are out of the mainstream of the country and are not in the interest of the American people, whether that is efforts to prevent a woman from making choices about her own healthcare or whether that is Chairman Scott’s policy and proposals on — that would raise taxes on people making less than $100,000 a year,” Psaki added. “He’s going to continue to call that out.  But he believes there is still a path to move forward on where we have agreement.”

Last week, Democrat President Joe Biden gave a speech attacking what he called the “Ultra-MAGA agenda” as he argued that his economic policies have been beneficial to America. The speech came as inflation continued to be at a 40-year high, resulting in the decline in the real wages of Americans. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the real average hourly earnings of Americans decreased 2.7 percent from March 2021 to March 2022, and the real average weekly earnings decreased 3.6 percent over the same time.

“I don’t want to hear Republicans talk about deficits and their Ultra-MAGA Agenda,” Biden said. “I want to hear about fairness.  I want to hear about decency.  I want to hear about help on ordinary people. The bottom line is that, for decades, the trickle-down economics has failed as income inequity grew to historic levels under the Republicans.”

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National Gas Prices Could Hit $6.20 Per Gallon By August



Gas Prices

National gas prices could surge to well over $6 per gallon by the end of the summer, according to analysts at JPMorgan.

Natasha Kaneva, head of global oil and commodities research at JPMorgan, wrote in a research document that the United States was going to face a “cruel summer” as gas prices are expected to dwarf their already record highs.

“With expectations of strong driving demand — traditionally, the U.S. summer driving season starts on Memorial Day, which lands this year on May 30, and lasts until Labor Day in early September — U.S. retail price could surge another 37% by August to a $6.20/gallon national average,” she wrote.

“Typically, refiners produce more gasoline ahead of the summer road-trip season, building up inventories,” the analysts said. However, over the last month, “gasoline inventories have fallen counter seasonally and today sit at the lowest seasonal levels since 2019.”

The report comes the same week that the United States set a new record for gas prices with the average cost per gallon rising over $4 per gallon in all 50 states for the first time ever, according to a report from the American Automobile Association (AAA).

“The high cost of oil, the key ingredient in gasoline, is driving these high pump prices for consumers,” said AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross. “Even the annual seasonal demand dip for gasoline during the lull between spring break and Memorial Day, which would normally help lower prices, is having no effect this year.”

As explained in the report, “total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 3.6 million bbl to 225 million bbl last week. Gasoline demand also decreased slightly from 8.86 million b/d to 8.7 million b/d. Typically, lower demand would put downward pressure on pump prices. However, crude prices remain volatile, and as they surge, pump prices follow suit. Pump prices will likely face upward pressure as oil prices stay above $105 per barrel.”

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Report: April 2022 Inflation Was Worse Than Expected



The inflation crisis continued to worsen in April, according to new data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday.

“The consumer price index, a broad-based measure of prices for goods and services, increased 8.3% from a year ago, higher than the Dow Jones estimate for an 8.1% gain,” CNBC reported. “That represented a slight ease from March’s peak but was still close to the highest level since the summer of 1982.”

According to the new CPI report, inflation “increased 0.3 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 1.2 percent in March… The all items index increased 8.3 percent for the 12 months ending April, a smaller increase than the 8.5-percent figure for the period ending in March. The all items less food and energy index rose 6.2 percent over the last 12 months. The energy index rose 30.3 percent over the last year, and the food index increased 9.4 percent, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending April 1981.”

Due to the rising inflation rate, the real wages of American workers continued to fall over the last year. According to a separate report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the “Real average hourly earnings decreased 2.6 percent, seasonally adjusted, from April 2021 to April 2022. The change in real average hourly earnings combined with a decrease of 0.9 percent in the average workweek resulted in a 3.4-percent decrease in real average weekly earnings over this period.”

As noted by CNBC, “Markets had been looking for signs that March’s 8.5% CPI reading would mark the peak in pandemic-era inflation.”

However, the new April report showed that “this is another upward inflation surprise and suggests that the deceleration is going to be painstakingly slow,” said Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors, according to CNBC.

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