Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Last Call For Retribution Execution, Con't

There's little doubt that Trump is building an army of state and national Republicans to push his Big Lie after the November elections, and that the cost of his endorsement is for Republican loyalty to Trump himself and the Big Lie, not to America or even the party. Trump is therefore doing everything he can to purge the party of the insufficiently toadying, his latest target is an open threat against GOP Alabama Sen. Mo Brooks.

Former President Trump is reportedly considering revoking his endorsement of Rep. Mo Brooks’ (R-AL) for Senate and backing one his primary rivals instead as the incumbent GOP congressman struggles in the polls.

Lackluster polling is one thing — but Trump also said he was not thrilled with Brooks for telling voters it’s time to move on from the 2020 presidential election, a hill Trump will likely die on.

“Mo Brooks is disappointing,” Trump told the Washington Examiner in a phone interview from Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday evening. “I’m determining right now, has Mo Brooks — has he changed?”

Trump endorsed Brooks last year to replace retiring Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL). Brooks thus far has failed to demonstrate strong support in recent polls, signaling he could fall to one of his Republican rivals: Katie Britt, Shelby’s former chief of staff, or Mike Durant, a businessman and military veteran.

Regardless, the former president seems to have gone cold on Brooks, telling the Examiner he has a particular bone to pick with the congressman.

Trump reportedly has doubts about his initial endorsement of Brooks, a flip-flop that follows the GOP congressman urging voters at a Trump rally last year to stop feeling “despondent” about 2020 and “look forward” to 2022 and 2024. Trump apparently took offense, as Brooks has remained an ardent pusher of the Big Lie of a “stolen” 2020 election for some time. Trump suggested his support for the congressman may be at risk if Brooks’ position on 2020 has truly changed.

“I’m disappointed that he gave an inarticulate answer, and I’ll have to find out what he means,” Trump said, referring to Brooks’ remarks at his rally in Alabama last year. “If it meant what he sounded like, I would have no problem changing [my endorsement] because when you endorse somebody, you endorse somebody based on principle. If he changed that principle, I would have no problem doing that.”

The mercurial former president did, however, indicate the relationship has not completely soured, saying he still thinks Brooks is a believer.

“I endorsed him because he felt strongly about election fraud. And he still does. But he was inarticulate in the way he said it,” Trump told the Examiner.

Trump added that he is “not particularly happy” with the “very tight race” between Brooks and his two primary rivals.
Brooks folded like a lawn chair in a hurricane back in August.

Apparently Brooks is going to have come crawling to his master like the dog he is once again.

Hiking The Rate Range

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter-point today, and expects several more rate hikes in the months ahead as part of combating inflation.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday approved its first interest rate increase in more than three years, an incremental salvo to address spiraling inflation without torpedoing economic growth.

After keeping its benchmark interest rate anchored near zero since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee said it will raise rates by a quarter percentage point, or 25 basis points.

That will bring the rate now into a range of 0.25%-0.5%. The move will correspond with a hike in the prime rate and immediately send financing costs higher for many forms of consumer borrowing and credit. Fed officials indicated the rate increases will come with slower economic growth this year.

Along with the rate hikes, the committee also penciled in increases at each of the six remaining meetings this year, pointing to a consensus funds rate of 1.9% by year’s end. That is a full percentage point higher than indicated in December. The committee sees three more hikes in 2023 then none the following year.

The rate rise was approved with only one dissent. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard wanted a 50 basis point increase.

The committee last raised rates in December 2018, then had to backtrack the following July and begin cutting.
It's the right thing to do, mainly because former Clinton and Obama Treasury Secretary Larry Summers thinks it's a horrible idea that will push us into stagflation.

Ukraine In The Membrane, Con't

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy gave a virtual address to Congress this morning, citing Pearl Harbor and 9/11 as to why the US needs to enter the airspace over the country and enforce a no-fly zone.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed to Congress for help directly Wednesday, telling US lawmakers "we need you right now" as he invoked tragedies in American history like the attack on Pearl Harbor and the September 11 terrorist attack. 
The historic speech given as a virtual address on comes as the United States is under pressure from Ukraine to supply more military assistance to the embattled country as it fights back against Russia's deadly attack. 
"Friends, Americans, in your great history, you have pages that would allow you to understand Ukrainians, understand us now, when we need you right now," he said through a translator at the start of his speech, though at the end of his remarks he spoke in English. 
"Remember Pearl Harbor, terrible morning of December 7, 1941, when your sky was black from the planes attacking you," Zelensky said. "Just remember it, remember, September the 11th, a terrible day in 2001 when evil tried to turn US cities into battlefields, when innocent people were attacked from air, just like nobody else expected it and you could not stop it. Our country experiences the same, every day, right now at this moment." 
While there is widespread bipartisan support for aid to Ukraine, many US lawmakers also believe the US should be careful not to be drawn into any kind of direct, armed conflict with Russia. 
Zelensky also cited his call for the US to help enforce a no-fly zone in Ukraine -- to protect civilians -- and provide fighter aircraft that the Ukrainians can use to defend themselves. 
These two controversial options divide lawmakers, with Republicans more hawkish about giving Ukraine jets, but some Democrats -- and the White House -- concerned Russia could consider such a move an escalation and potentially draw America into war. 
Lawmakers of both parties say they are wary of a no-fly zone at this time because they think it could pit the US directly against Russia in the skies over Ukraine. 
President Joe Biden plans to detail US assistance to Ukraine in a speech of his own later in the day Wednesday.
President Biden is expected to announce $800 million worth of direct military aid going to Ukraine this week, on top of last week's $13.6 billion humanitarian aid package, but as I've said before, a no-fly zone means a shooting war with Russia, a nuclear power.

That's what Putin has wanted since day one of this invasion.
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