A Quick Lightning Round This Morning
Author: Greg Valliere
April 27, 2021
LOTS OF INTERESTING STORIES this morning, so let’s synthesize them:
YESTERDAY’S CENSUS REPORT: No blockbusters, but the GOP is set to gain House seats in the Sun Belt next year as the Democrats lose seats in the Rust Belt. Bottom line: Republicans still are slight favorites to take the House in 2022.
FLORIDA GAINED ONE SEAT, but the state’s remarkable growth may hit a roadblock: soaring home insurance rates, up by 50% in many areas, as companies raise their rates in the wake of huge hurricane damage claims in recent years.
THE FEDERAL RESERVE’S FOMC begins a two-day meeting this morning, undoubtedly culminating with a statement that the economy continues to improve. There’s no chance, however, of an imminent Fed tapering of its asset purchases.
DRUG INDUSTRY DODGES A BULLET: The White House apparently will not include prescription drug controls in its upcoming American Families Plan. Why? Congressional Democrats couldn’t agree on how to spend the windfall, and a ferocious lobbying effort against drug price curbs seemed likely.
EARMARKS ARE BACK: The practice of adding pork to spending bills has been revived; both parties now agree on ending a ban on the practice. Republicans are talking about fiscal restraint and a showdown this summer over raising the debt ceiling, but make no mistake: the trend on spending continues to be sharply upward.
GAVIN NEWSOM, once considered a likely presidential candidate, almost certainly faces a recall, after California’s Secretary of State ruled yesterday that enough voters have signed petitions. With a positive job rating and tons of money, will Newsom survive? Probably (but not certainly).
JOHN KERRY IN HOT WATER: Did the former Secretary of State alert Iran about Israeli military operations? Iran’s foreign minister reportedly made the claim, and now there’s a firestorm, as Republicans call for Kerry’s resignation. He’s now a part of the Biden administration and has a seat on the National Security Council as the special presidential envoy for climate.
THE GREAT MEAT CONTROVERSY: Eager to embrace conspiracy theories, the Twittersphere has proclaimed that Joe Biden will ban meat consumption — and this, incredibly, has become a major issue. Trump supporters have demanded: “Get out of our kitchens!”
LARRY KUDLOW CHIMED IN: “You got that? No burgers on July Fourth. No steaks on the barbie. I’m sure middle America is just going to love that. Can you grill those Brussels sprouts?” The story isn’t true, of course, but as mask-wearing is relaxed, meat may become a new metaphor for the deep divisions in the country.
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