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CoffeeAddict

@CoffeeAddict@kbin.social

I am nothing without my morning coffee.

Co-Moderator for @Neoliberal on kbin.social

Other aliases:
Mastodon: @CoffeeAddict
Lemmy: @Coffee_Addict

CoffeeAddict,
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It’s the Wall Street Journal, so it has a paywall. Their news (which is what this is) is generally pretty good, though I still maintain their opinion articles are usually garbage.

The content is below:

U.S. inflation slowed in May, extending an easing in price increases after a hot start to the year.

The consumer-price index, a measure of goods and service costs across the economy, rose 3.3% annually last month, the Labor Department said Wednesday. Core prices that exclude volatile food and energy items climbed 3.4% from a year earlier.

Stock futures jumped after the report, while Treasury yields fell.
Wednesday’s inflation report, which came hours before a Federal Reserve meeting is set to conclude, was better than many investors’ expectations.

In April, prices rose 3.4% from a year earlier.
Economists and investors have eagerly awaited the report for a fresh glimpse into when the Federal Reserve might begin easing monetary policy that shapes mortgage rates, credit-card interest and other borrowing costs across the economy.

Few on Wall Street or in Washington believe the central bank will cut rates at the meeting that concludes Wednesday or a subsequent meeting in July.

But a well-behaved May inflation report is a likely prerequisite for the Fed to consider lowering interest rates after that, as officials have said they want to see a series of readings that rebuilds their confidence inflation will head lower. A hot reading, on the other hand, would complicate efforts to cut rates without evidence of economic weakness.

Investors are betting that less restrictive policy will provide more fuel to an artificial-intelligence-focused stock market that has already powered through the highest rates in more than two decades. It might also release a pressure valve for consumers who have faced higher costs to take out loans as well as persistent price hikes.

After inflation held stubbornly high to start 2024, a string of data in recent weeks suggested that the world’s largest economy has resumed its gradual slowdown without painful ruptures to the labor market. Many domestic companies are muscling ahead of foreign counterparts. The U.S. unemployment rate has been 4% or lower for 30 consecutive months. Wage gains continue.

Even so, many Americans are gloomy about the state of the economy, thanks largely to the cumulative toll of yearslong price pressures.

Americans’ short-term inflation expectations ticked lower in May, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, while more households grew optimistic about their financial situations. Small businesses’ optimism also rose to its highest level of the year, according to a National Federation of Independent Business index.

Write to David Uberti at david.uberti@wsj.com

CoffeeAddict,
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The good news is that prices, on average, have risen 3.3% relative to this time last year. Still not ideal, but it’s better than April.

However, that is still below the Feds target of 2%, and I do not think they will be cutting interest rates any time soon.

CoffeeAddict,
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GOP reaction to Trump’s guilty verdict for 34 Felony crimes: ThE sYsTeM iS rIgGeD! pOlItIcAl PeRsEcUtIoN!

GOP reaction to Hunter Biden’s guilty verdict for being a drug addict who bought a gun to kill himself: NoT hArSh EnOuGh! BiDeN cRiMe FaMiLy!

Never mind the fact that these are supposed to be the same people who think there should be no gun laws whatsoever.

CoffeeAddict,
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I really hope it’s fixed soon. Kbin has so much potential relative to other fediverse platforms, and it’d be a shame if it just ends up being associated with spam. It also feels like Kbin has lost a lot of its early momentum, and I worry that getting defederated could really damage future growth.

I wonder will Ernest continue to code kbin after he turns the instance over? Of course, he needs to take care of himself first - his condition sounds like it may have been worse than we originally thought.

CoffeeAddict,
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If history is any guide (and I think it is) then I would assume that the far right will end up the dominant force in this pact. They’re simply too uncompromising, and when given power they are willing to go to extreme lengths to achieve their goals.

Hopefully this pact falls apart instead.

CoffeeAddict,
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I think the criticisms that it could hand more power to far-right populists are valid, no? They did just win pretty big with the EU elections.

CoffeeAddict,
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See below for the article content:

Justice Samuel Alito spoke candidly about the ideological battle between the left and the right — discussing the difficulty of living “peacefully” with ideological opponents in the face of “fundamental” differences that “can’t be compromised.” He endorsed what his interlocutor described as a necessary fight to “return our country to a place of godliness.” And Alito offered a blunt assessment of how America’s polarization will ultimately be resolved: “One side or the other is going to win.”

Alito made these remarks in conversation at the Supreme Court Historical Society’s annual dinner on June 3, a function that is known to right-wing activists as an opportunity to buttonhole Supreme Court justices. His comments were recorded by Lauren Windsor, a liberal documentary filmmaker. Windsor attended the dinner as a dues-paying member of the society under her real name, along with a colleague. She asked questions of the justice as though she were a religious conservative. 

The justice’s unguarded comments highlight the degree to which Alito makes little effort to present himself as a neutral umpire calling judicial balls and strikes, but rather as a partisan member of a hard-right judicial faction that’s empowered to make life-altering decisions for every American. 

The recording, which was provided exclusively to Rolling Stone, captures Windsor approaching Alito at the event and reminding him that they spoke at the same function the year before, when she asked him a question about political polarization. In the intervening year, she tells the justice, her views on the matter had changed. “I don’t know that we can negotiate with the left in the way that needs to happen for the polarization to end,” Windsor says. “I think that it’s a matter of, like, winning.” 

“I think you’re probably right,” Alito replies. “On one side or the other — one side or the other is going to win. I don’t know. I mean, there can be a way of working — a way of living together peacefully, but it’s difficult, you know, because there are differences on fundamental things that really can’t be compromised. They really can’t be compromised. So it’s not like you are going to split the difference.”

Windsor goes on to tell Alito: “People in this country who believe in God have got to keep fighting for that — to return our country to a place of godliness.”

“I agree with you. I agree with you,” replies Alito, who authored the Supreme Court’s 2022 Dobbs decision, which reversed five decades of settled law and ended a constitutional right to abortion.

Similar questions Windsor asked of Chief Justice John Roberts at the same event elicited a far different response. (George W. Bush nominated both men to the Supreme Court in 2005; at the time, Roberts famously used a metaphor of a baseball umpire to describe his judicial philosophy.) 

In an audio recording of that exchange, Roberts takes issue with Windsor’s assertion that the nation is unusually polarized, historically, citing the high tensions of the Vietnam War era, for example. He also insists that the Supreme Court’s current role is not exceptional. “The idea that the court is in the middle of a lot of tumultuous stuff going on is nothing new,” Roberts says.

Pressed on whether the court has an obligation to put the country on a more “moral path,” Roberts turns the tables on his questioner: “Would you want me to be in charge of putting the nation on a more moral path?” He argues instead: “That’s for people we elect. That’s not for lawyers.” Presented with the claim that America is a “Christian nation” and that the Supreme Court should be “guiding us in that path,” Roberts again disagrees, citing the perspectives of “Jewish and Muslim friends,” before asserting: “It’s not our job to do that. It’s our job to decide the cases the best we can.”

Although deeply conservative, Roberts now often finds himself outflanked by a far-right, five justice majority faction — swelled by Donald Trump’s Supreme Court appointments — composed of Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. 

Alito’s comments add to the controversy surrounding the conservative justice. Alito and his wife, Martha-Ann, have been embroiled in a flap over two flags flown at their residences that have also been adopted by right-wing factions that contest the legitimacy of the results of the 2020 election. 

The first flag — a U.S. flag flown upside down — is a marker of maximal political distress. It was adopted as a symbol of the “Stop the Steal” movement that rallied to keep Donald Trump in office, culminating in the riots at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. This flag was documented flying at the Alitos’ Virginia home on Jan. 17, 2021, days before President Joe Biden’s inauguration. 
[…]

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[…]
The second flag is the “Appeal to Heaven” flag, a Revolutionary War-era banner. The “Appeal to Heaven” language references philosopher John Locke, who argued that, when earthly political appeals are exhausted, men have the right to take up arms and let God sort out the justness of the cause. While the The Appeal to Heaven flag was not always controversial, it has been revived by militant Christian nationalists and was also a potent symbol on Jan. 6. This flag was flown at the Alitos’ vacation home in New Jersey in 2023. 

Democratic congressional leaders cited the displays in calls for Alito to recuse himself from cases involving Jan. 6 defendants, as well as the case to determine whether Trump is immune from prosecution over his efforts to subvert the outcome of the 2020 election. Alito rejected the call for recusal in a May 29 letter. He attributed both banners to his wife. 

“My wife is fond of flying flags. I am not,” he wrote. Alito claimed that the upside down U.S. flag was a response to “a very nasty neighborhood dispute,” and of the Appeal to Heaven flag wrote that neither he nor his wife were aware of “any connection between this historic flag and the ‘Stop the Steal Movement.’” He dismissed any notion that his “impartiality might reasonably be questioned,” and declared that he was “duty-bound to reject” the recusal demand.

Windsor spoke with Rolling Stone about her decision to attend the event and record her conversation with Alito. “Because the Supreme Court is shrouded in secrecy, and they’re refusing to submit to any accountability in the face of overwhelming evidence of serious ethics breaches, I think that it’s justified to take these types of measures,” she says. (Last year, ProPublica reported that Alito failed to disclose a 2008 private jet flight provided by a billionaire conservative donor with business before the court.)

Windsor says she wants to give the public a “window into a body that is increasingly powerful and increasingly willing to overturn precedent.” She has been working on a documentary, “Gonzo for Democracy,” which will chronicle the growth of Trumpism, election denial, and religious extremism. 

“One of the main drivers for me in this work is showing Americans that we are at a crossroads: Do we embrace the idea of secular democracy and uphold that tradition, or do we start to transition into a Christian theocracy?” she adds. The Supreme Court Historical Society is a nonprofit organization that collects justices’ writings and other artifacts. Anyone can pay $150 to become a dues-paying member and rub elbows with the court’s nine justices at events like the dinner where Windsor spoke with Alito. (Tickets for the dinner were an extra $500.) TheNew York Times has reported that, for years, right-wing activists who sought to influence the justices’ views have been encouraged to donate to the organization and use its events as an opportunity to cultivate personal relationships with the jurists. 

Rev. Rob Schenck, founder of the evangelical group Faith and Action, told the Times that becoming a member of the society was one tactic he promoted as part of his group’s years-long campaign to shape conservative justices’ views. (Schenck left the organization in 2018; it is now known as Faith and Liberty and is affiliated with Christian conservative litigation shop Liberty Counsel.) 

In 2022, Schenck went public about his work at Faith and Action amid an investigation into who leaked an early draft of the Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade. Schenck sent a letter to Roberts revealing that in 2014, one of Faith and Action’s donors informed him that she had learned the outcome of Hobby Lobby v. Burwell, a decision that ultimately exempted employers from offering insurance coverage for birth control, at a D.C. dinner party hosted by the Alitos weeks before the ruling was released to the public. (Alito denied disclosing the Hobby Lobby decision.)

Windsor previously attended the Supreme Court Historical Society’s annual dinner last year. In that audio recording, she asks Justice Alito whether he thought the individual who leaked a draft of the Dobbs decision would ever be “ferreted out.”

“Well, it’s hard,” Alito says, before taking a long pause. “You can’t name somebody unless you know for sure, and we don’t have the power to do the things that would be necessary to try to figure out — to nail down exactly who did it. That’s the problem. And even then, we might not be able to do it. But we don’t have the power to subpoena people to testify, to subpoena records, phone records, or other things like that. We don’t have the authority, so —”

Windsor interjects: “It just seems crazy that you can’t because it’s so detrimental to the trust [that] the public places in the Supreme Court.”
[…]

CoffeeAddict,
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[…]
“Yeah, well, we’re not a law enforcement agency, you know?” Alito replies briskly. “People have certain rights to privacy. So, law enforcement agencies can issue subpoenas and get search warrants and all that sort of thing, but we can’t do that. So, you know, our marshall, she did as much as she could do. But it was limited.”

CoffeeAddict,
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Important highlights:

“I think you’re probably right,” Alito replies. “On one side or the other — one side or the other is going to win. I don’t know. I mean, there can be a way of working — a way of living together peacefully, but it’s difficult, you know, because there are differences on fundamental things that really can’t be compromised. They really can’t be compromised. So it’s not like you are going to split the difference.”

[…]

Windsor goes on to tell Alito: “People in this country who believe in God have got to keep fighting for that — to return our country to a place of godliness.”

“I agree with you. I agree with you,” replies Alito, who authored the Supreme Court’s 2022 Dobbs decision, which reversed five decades of settled law and ended a constitutional right to abortion.

Emphasis is mine.

This is all we need to know about Samuel Alito, and the ultimate goal of the GOP.

CoffeeAddict,
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Yeah, I would expect this nonsense to come from someone like MTG, but a Supreme Court Justice? This is evidence that this type of thinking goes all the way up to the top of the GOP.

CoffeeAddict,
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Welcome back shitlibs!

It looks like kbin.social is finally operational again after the Great Outage of June 2024.

Ernest has been away and addressed the problem with a message on codeberg.

He also said he will be handing the instance over to others to care for. As always, we wish him good health - he’s put a lot of work into this platform.

CoffeeAddict,
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Here is the link to the archived version.

CoffeeAddict,
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The only complaint I have with this headline is that it says Trump’s policies “may” raise prices.

Trump’s policies absolutely will increase prices. His protectionist, mercantilist ideas about the economy will lead to more tariffs which will be paid for by the average American.

To be fair, Biden hasn’t been as free-trade as I’d have hoped he would be, but Trump is decidedly worse in this category.

CoffeeAddict,
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It still seems somewhat broken. This is the first time I have been able to actually click on a post without getting an error.

I’m curious to know what happened.

CoffeeAddict,
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Seriously. I hope @ernest is doing okay. He said he had some updates in the pipeline, but this outage had me thinking this was the end of kbin lol

CoffeeAddict,
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Yeah it looks like it is slowly getting back to 100% (I finally got a notification for your reply.)

Im hoping it will start federating soon - it looks like it is several days behind on that front.

CoffeeAddict,
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[…]

Mr Smith charged Mr Trump with four felonies related to his alleged attempts to flip the 2020 election. The case is frozen until the Supreme Court rules on Mr Trump’s claim to be completely immune from prosecution for crimes committed while president. The justices could have declined to take up his request and left in place a lower court’s sweeping rejection of ex-presidential immunity. That would have jump-started the trial in the spring. But in the oral argument the justices seemed torn on the question and have not been quick to answer it.

Few embraced the notion that presidents can do no wrong while in office. But a majority seemed to think that some presidential acts may be protected from criminal prosecution even if others are not. If such a nuanced ruling arrives this month, Tanya Chutkan, the judge presiding over that trial, may need to hold hearings on which of Mr Trump’s alleged acts fall under the immunity umbrella—delaying the legal reckoning past the election.

If that happens Mr Trump’s legal woes will no longer be front of mind for undecided voters, who tend to tune in shortly before elections. That would be a remarkable thing, given the number of times Mr Trump has been held accountable in court. He has been found liable in civil cases for sexual assault and defamation (twice), and for fraud at his business. His former campaign chairman, two former White House advisers and his former chief financial officer are convicted criminals too.

Instead voters will be treated to the spectacle of Hunter Biden’s second trial. In September he will be in the dock again, for allegedly dodging taxes between 2016 and 2019. House Republicans have tried and failed to show that the president enabled or profited from his son’s business dealings. But their relentless messaging to that effect has served its purpose. In a mid-May poll by Marquette Law School, 46% of registered voters said the president had done something illegal in relation to his son—not much lower than the 54% who said the same of Mr Trump in the Manhattan case.

Winning the election requires persuading a sliver of undecided voters in about six swing states. They tend to focus on everyday concerns like petrol prices, crime and the cost of housing—issues on which Mr Trump polls better—and pay little attention to politics. Data for Progress, a pollster that works with progressives, found that just 37% of swing voters had heard much about Mr Trump’s conviction, compared with 61% of likely voters.

For anyone even remotely plugged in, the notion that people are unaware of the verdict is easy to forget and startling when it registers. Your correspondent, who was in the court the whole way through the trial, confronted the fact on a flight a day after the verdict came down. Seated next to a pleasant woman from Nashville who works in advertising, he asked if she was moved by the trial’s outcome. She chewed her mini-pretzels and looked a little puzzled. Trial? Whose trial?

CoffeeAddict,
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On an added note, it’s really, really sad that candidate and former President Trump’s 34 felony convictions are holding less sway with conservative voters than the president’s son’s gun trial.

When it’s their guy, the whole system is corrupt. But when it’s the other guys son, it’s working just fine (and, apparently, an indictment on President Biden himself.)

Furthermore, many of the conservatives cheering for Hunter Biden’s conviction are the same people who think there should be no rules surrounding guns.

Just more evidence (on top of a mountain of evidence) that republicans see this all as a team sport and there is no underlying logic other than “libs bad.”

CoffeeAddict,
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It’s really frightening how pervasive this mentality is.

It’s team sports to them. Trump and the republicans will make things worse for millions of people (even their own voters,) but their voters won’t care so long as their team wins.

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