Opinion | The debt ceiling deal

The deal hammered out between Joe Biden and Kevin McCarthy isn’t perfect. It could have been much worse.

By Hayes Brown, MSNBC Opinion Writer/Editor

The House voted on Wednesday night to pass the Fiscal Responsibility Act, the bill codifying the deal between President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to raise the debt ceiling. The final vote — 314 — 117, with Democrats providing the majority of the votes in favor — highlighted just how much the final agreement changed versus when the GOP passed its “Limit, Save, Grow Act” in April.

With just days before a June 5 deadline that would have left the U.S. unable to pay its bills, there’s been no time to spare in actually getting the deal through Congress. Tellingly, the vote reflects the fact that the deal is bipartisan in the sense that it’s gotten votes from both parties, not that it is a win for both parties equally. Likewise, it is a compromise in that only some Americans will have their lives impacted for the worse. The alternative was either a massive hole Republicans tried to cut into the social safety net with their original bill, or widespread economic chaos a default would have caused.

In all, though, it is clear that the bill could have been much worse. The Republican priorities it contains have been significantly pared back and there are a few Democratic priorities that were unexpectedly worked into the deal. 

First, the deal raises the debt ceiling until Jan. 1, 2025.

The bill includes federal spending caps for the next two fiscal years.

The bill further rescinds about $28 billion in unspent Covid relief funds.

Politics aside, the bill as passed is one based on a principle that government should do the least harm possible while benefitting the most. In this case, a decision was made to only hurt some people rather than allow a debt default that would have hurt everybody. Of course, the “some” isn’t ever the wealthy, whose tax rates were never at risk of rising thanks to Republicans shielding them. Predictably, the burden falls on the poor and needy, who are expected to be grateful they get any help at all.

Source: Opinion | The good, the bad, and the ugly of the debt ceiling de

Elon Musk’s Twitter Spaces crashes ruining Ron DeSantis’s 2024 campaign launch – live

DeSantis takes to twitter with musk for president announcement

The Twitter launch of Ron DeSantis’s 2024 bid for the White House was struck by early tech issues with the sound repeatedly dropping out.

The Twitter Spaces event crashed several times on Wednesday evening, with Twitter owner Elon Musk saying the servers appeared to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of people trying to listen.

Source: Elon Musk’s Twitter Spaces crashes ruining Ron DeSantis’s 2024 campaign launch – live

Mother’s Day 2023 – Date, Founding & Traditions

Mother’s Day is a holiday honoring motherhood that is observed in different forms throughout the world. In the United States, Mother’s Day is a holiday honoring motherhood that is observed in different forms throughout the world. In the United States, Mother’s Day 2023 falls on Sunday, May 14. The American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. Jarvis would later denounce the holiday’s commercialization and spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar. While dates and celebrations vary, Mother’s Day traditionally involves presenting moms with flowers, cards and other gifts.

History of Mother’s Day

Celebrations of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele, but the clearest modern precedent for Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday.”

Once a major tradition in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, this celebration fell on the fourth Sunday in Lent and was originally seen as a time when the faithful would return to their “mother church”—the main church in the vicinity of their home—for a special service.

Over time the Mothering Sunday tradition shifted into a more secular holiday, and children would present their mothers with flowers and other tokens of appreciation. This custom eventually faded in popularity before merging with the American Mother’s Day in the 1930s and 1940s.

Source: Mother’s Day 2023 – Date, Founding & Traditions

New Greensburg GetGo store part of convenience trend in downtown food options

The GetGo Cafe + Market gas station and convenience chain expects to have a downtown Greensburg location open by early August, taking the place of a shuttered Family Video store that was razed to make way for the new business on South Main Street, near Euclid Avenue. It’s a change in the local retail scene that represents larger shifts on the national level — as home video rentals give way to streaming services, demand is high for convenient food on the go.

Source: New Greensburg GetGo store part of convenience trend in downtown food options

Opinion | Why Trump Can’t Lose

He’s constructed a political force field against failures and scandals that would have felled any other politician.

DeSantis’ winning hasn’t proved nearly as valuable as Trump’s losing (assuming one thinks that getting indicted on felony charges —any felony charges — is a bad thing).

How is that possible?

Trump has constructed an impenetrable political force field. In his own telling, he’s strong and a fierce fighter at the same time that he’s a victim — because his adversaries are out to get him since he’s so strong and such a fierce fighter.

Source: Opinion | Why Trump Can’t Lose

FDA clears lab-grown chicken as safe to eat

GOOD Meat still needs approval from the Agriculture Department before it can sell the product line in the U.S.

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday cleared cultured “cultured chicken cell material” made by GOOD Meat as safe for use as human food. While the FDA said the lab-grown chicken was safe to eat, GOOD Meat still needs approval from the Agriculture Department before i can sell the product in the U.S.

If approved, acclaimed chef José Andrés plans to serve GOOD Meat’s chicken to customers at his Washington, D.C. restaurant. He’s on GOOD Meat’s board of directors.

“The future of our planet depends on how we feed ourselves,” he said in a press release. “And we have a responsibility to look beyond the horizon for smarter, sustainable ways to eat.”

The FDA previously gave the green light to lab-grown chicken made by Upside Foods in November.

Source: FDA clears lab-grown chicken as safe to eat

Target 11 Exclusive: County Executive Fitzgerald weighs in on downtown Pittsburgh patrols

By Rick Earle

11 News first told you Wednesday that those on-again, off-again downtown county police patrols are now back on again.

“I think maybe for a few days they thought they had the full complement and decided you know maybe we’ll utilize the county police,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

After about a month of assisting city police with downtown patrols, county executive Fitzgerald said county police were told they were not longer needed last week, but days after that, in a surprise and sudden reversal, the city recalled county police.

Sources told Target 11 that the city police administration decided to end the county patrols, without consulting with Mayr Gainey.

When he found out the patrols had been terminated, he immediately stepped in and asked the county to return.

Fitzgerald said they were happy to oblige.

“We will be down there a number of weeks, probably a couple of months,” said Fitzgerald.

The mayor had initially requested county police assistance to deal with a rise in crime downtown, coupled with a growing shortage of city police officers.

Many have either left or retired, and there’s been no new academy class in two years.

Source: Target 11 Exclusive: County Executive Fitzgerald weighs in on downtown Pittsburgh patrols

US futures steady after Fed moves to restore confidence in banking system | CNN Business

US stock futures were holding steady Monday after an extraordinary move by US financial regulators to restore confidence in the country’s banking system.

In a joint statement, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg said the FDIC will make SVB and Signature Bank’s customers whole.

Source: US futures steady after Fed moves to restore confidence in banking system | CNN Business

White House lashes out at Tucker Carlson in extraordinary rebuke | CNN Business

The White House lashed out at Fox News host Tucker Carlson Wednesday in an extraordinary rebuke of the late-night commentator who has been airing video of the January 6, 2021, attack this week.

Source: White House lashes out at Tucker Carlson in extraordinary rebuke | CNN Business

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tucker-carlson-reason-leaders-hid-january-6-tapes

Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan goes before the Supreme Court Tuesday. | CNN Politics

Millions of student loan borrowers could see up to $20,000 of their debt canceled depending on the outcome of Tuesday’s US Supreme Court hearing on President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program.

Source: Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan goes before the Supreme Court Tuesday. Here’s what borrowers need to know | CNN Politics

Two Million COSORI® Air Fryers Recalled by Atekcity Due to Fire and Burn Hazards (Recall Alert)

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled air fryers and contact Cosori to receive their choice of a free replacement air fryer or another Cosori product by registering at recall.cosori.com. During registration consumers must provide their contact information and submit photos of the recalled unit with the cord cut off. No receipt is needed to receive a replacement.

Source: Two Million COSORI® Air Fryers Recalled by Atekcity Due to Fire and Burn Hazards (Recall Alert)

Target 11 Investigates: Mail carrier attacks on the rise – WPXI

You’ve heard the saying, “Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet.” But what about bullets and baseball bats? A disturbing Target 11 Investigation reveals what some mail carriers are facing today.

Target 11 discovered more than 2600 mail carrier attacks in the United States during the past two years, with 170 arrow keys reported stolen.

But what’s worse,  said Frank Albergo, a member of the Postal Police and the head of its national union? This explosion of violence and theft was encouraged by two very bad decisions by his own agency, the U.S. Post Office and the Postmaster General.

“It’s frustrating because I know postal police officers could make a difference. And a lot of this is unnecessary,” said Albergo.

So, what’s the problem?

And how could the U.S. Postal Service allow its own carriers to face this growing danger?

Thieves are after checks, account numbers and credit cards that they then sell on the internet.

Source: Target 11 Investigates: Mail carrier attacks on the rise

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Drivers with Uber and Lyft in Pittsburgh strike, citing fare changes and safety concerns

Lyft and Uber's carpooling services let passengers share rides for cheaper fares.Drivers in Pittsburgh with the rideshare apps Uber and Lyft took to the picket line this weekend, demanding better wages and safety protocols.

study of the apps released this month by UCLA’s Labor Center found that, while prices for rides in New York City have skyrocketed in the last four years, driver pay has not.

In April 2022, Uber and Lyft took a 30% or more cut of the passenger fare for nearly a third of all rides in the city, according to the study. In comparison, the companies took just 9% of passenger fares in February 2019.

Drivers in Pittsburgh said they have seen a similar trend.

Source: Drivers with Uber and Lyft in Pittsburgh strike, citing fare changes and safety concerns

Mystery surrounds objects shot down by US military

 

A spate of high-altitude objects have been shot down in North American airspace in recent days.

A balloon was downed off the coast of South Carolina on 4 February after hovering for days over the US. Officials said it originated in China and had been used to monitor sensitive sites.

China denied the object was used for spying and said it was a weather monitoring device that had blown astray. The incident – and the angry exchanges in its aftermath – ratcheted up tensions between Washington and Beijing.

But on Sunday, a defence official said the US had communicated with Beijing about the first object, after receiving no response for several days. It was not immediately clear what was discussed.

Since that first incident, American fighter jets have shot down three further high-altitude objects in as many days.

Source: Mystery surrounds objects shot down by US military

PA Sen. John Fetterman: Latest Medical Update – Patch

Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman was taken to the hospital Wednesday after a U.S. Senate event.

Fetterman communications director Joe Calvello said the results of an MRI and other tests eliminated the possibility of a second stroke.

“He is being monitored with an EEG for signs of seizure – so far there are no signs of seizure, but he is still being monitored,” Calvello said in a statement provided to CNN.

Calvello did not indicate when Fetterman might be able to leave George Washington University Hospital.

Shortly before last year’s election, which Fetterman won by defeating celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, Fetterman’s doctor released the results of an exam amid concerns that Fetterman’s health problems might prevent him from assuming his duties if elected.

Source: PA Sen. John Fetterman: Latest Medical Update

3 Pittsburgh spans in urgent need of work not addressed for months

Julia Felton

Pittsburgh officials waited months to address structural problems on three bridges that experts said needed to be addressed within a week, according to a spokeswoman for Mayor Ed Gainey. Gainey released a comprehensive report on the condition of 147 city-maintained bridges in December.

‘Priority zero’
A report released in December on the condition of bridges maintained by the city of Pittsburgh revealed 13 were identified as “priority zero” spans in need of immediate repairs.
Despite repeated requests, the city waited until Tuesday to publicly release a list of those bridges. Needed repairs on the spans have either been completed or in the works. The bridges include:

  • Bloomfield Bridge, Bloomfield.
  • Centre Avenue Bridge, over East Busway, Shadyside.
  • West Carson Street, connecting Esplen and McKees Rocks over Chartiers Creek.
  • Elizabeth Street Bridge, Hazelwood.
  • Herron Avenue, connecting Polish Hill and Lawrenceville.
  • Maple Avenue, northeastern pedestrian ramp at North Charles Street, North Side.
  • Parking lot bridge at Woodruff Street and Saw Mill Run Boulevard, Beechview.
  • South Negley Avenue Bridge, Shadyside.
  • Swinburne Bridge, connecting South Oakland and Greenfield.
  • Tripoli Street, connecting Madison Avenue and East Street over I-279, North Side.
  • Ramp Q bridge, connecting Madison Avenue and East Street over I-279, North Side.

Julia Felton is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Julia by email at jfelton@triblive.com or via Twitter .

Source: 3 Pittsburgh spans in urgent need of work not addressed for months

US jet shoots down ‘unidentified object’ over northern Canada | CNN Politics

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday that an “unidentified object” had been shot down by a US fighter jet over Canadian airspace on his orders.

“I ordered the take down of an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace. @NORADCommand shot down the object over the Yukon. Canadian and U.S. aircraft were scrambled, and a U.S. F-22 successfully fired at the object,” Trudeau said on Twitter.

The object was “cylindrical” and smaller than the suspected Chinese balloon shot down last weekend, Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand said on Saturday evening.

Source: US jet shoots down ‘unidentified object’ over northern Canada | CNN Politics

South Side bar owners tell House panel they are suffering from crime

A group of South Side business owners used their time in front of state legislators Wednesday to lambaste previous efforts to curb violence and draw more daytime crowds to the neighborhood, saying the efforts are moot until leaders “let police do their jobs.”

“No matter what kind of marketing plan you guys want to do, it will not work if there are shootings and violence on the South Side,” said Rich Cupka, owner of South Side’s Cupka’s Café, Cupka’s II, and Cup Ka Joe.

The House Democratic Policy Committee heard from South Side business owners, community organizations and public safety officials during a two-hour policy hearing Wednesday at the American Serbian Club.

Mr. Cupka said dozens of meetings over recent years with South Side business owners, residents, and local politicians have resulted in little help for the neighborhood, specifically the entertainment district that is East Carson Street.

Source: South Side bar owners tell House panel they are suffering from crime

Turkey and Syria earthquake: death toll passes 11,000 as anger grows over official response – latest updates

Number of people killed in Turkey and Syria expected to keep rising as anger grows in Turkey over slow response from authorities

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced that the death toll from Monday’s quake has reached 8,754. Combined with the 2,470 known deaths in Syria, that brings the total official death toll to 11,224.

The World Health Organization has suggested the final toll could rise as high as 20,000. A similar-sized earthquake in the region in 1999 killed at least 17,000 people.

Reuters reports that, speaking to reporters in the Kahramanmaraş province near the epicentre of the earthquake, with constant ambulance sirens in the background, Erdoğan said there had been problems with roads and airports but that everything would get better by the day.

He also said citizens should only heed communication from authorities and ignore “provocateurs,” as thousands of people complain about the lack of resources and slow response by officials. Turkish police have detained several people over their social media posts about the earthquake.

Source: Turkey and Syria earthquake: death toll passes 11,000 as anger grows over official response – latest updates

Bushy Run Battlefield reenactment canceled amid new state guidelines

A new state policy may scuttle reenactments of the Battle of Bushy Run. The battle was part of Pontiac’s War, a pan-Native campaign that opposed British settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains. The British routed members of the Seneca, Cayuga and Lenape nations on Aug. 5-6, 1763.

Source: Bushy Run Battlefield reenactment canceled amid new state guidelines

Community in shock as Greensburg police chief’s apparent double life is exposed

Shawn Denning got a tip Aug. 10 and the next day staked out Spring Avenue in Greensburg, eyes peeled for a blue Chevrolet Colorado. The driver had a few bundles of heroin, according to the criminal complaint Denning would file Jan. 5 after the suspect apparently decided not to cooperate with authorities on future narcotics investigations.

About three weeks later, the tables would turn.

Armed, in part, with information from an informant, federal investigators would be the ones filing the drug-related charges last week against the now ex-police chief in the West­moreland County community of 15,000.

Source: Community in shock as Greensburg police chief’s apparent double life is exposed

Related:

• Greensburg police chief’s arrest shocks community
• Greensburg police chief out, charged with drug distribution
• Ex-Greensburg police chief resigned upon arrest on federal drug charges
• Editorial: Greensburg chief’s resignation after charges was a service

Breezy and cold with scattered snow showers

Breezy and cold with scattered snow showers

TEMPERATURES ARE IN THE LOW TO MID 30’S, AND WE FACTOR IN THE WIND’S. THEY ARE GUSTING AROUND THE REGION AT 25 TO 30 MILES PER HOUR, SO IT KNOCKS THE WIND CHILL DOWN. IT FEELS LIKE IT IS 23 AS YOU WAKE UP. 24 DEGREE WIND CHILL IN UNIONTOWN AND 24 AND UNIONTOWN. IT FEELS LIKE 23 AND WASHINGTON. 22 RIGHT NOW IN INDIANA, BUT A MOSTLY CLOUDY SKY. WE DO HAVE SOME SNOWFLAKES FLYING AROUND. ESPECIALLY IN WASHINGTON, ENDING GREEN PORTIONS OF WESTMORELAND AND FAYETTE COUNTY, EVEN IN SOUTHERN PARTS OF ALLEGHENY. NOT TOO BAD THIS MORNING. OVERALL, A CHANCE FOR SNOWFALL AS WE HEAD INTO THE AFTERNOON. THAT IS WHY WE HAVE A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY UNTIL MIDNIGHT. THIS IS ONLY FOR THE MOUNTAINS IN THE EASTERN PORTIONS OF FAYETTE. OTHER COUNTIES ARE UNDER A WINTER STORM WARNING THAT WILL GO UNTIL THREE TO FIVE INCHES OF SNOWFALL IN THESE AREAS

Source: Breezy and cold with scattered snow showers

Murrysville woman takes Walgreens to court for taxing toilet tissue

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – There are very few things we all need, and toilet paper is one of them. But did you ever look at your store receipt after buying it?  One Murrysville woman did and doesn’t like what she saw.

“It’s something that we all use. We all need to buy, and I have no idea why this is continuing to occur,” said consumer advocate Mary Bach. She’s got the time, the interest and the receipts.

“That’s correct. I do have the receipts,” she said.

She sent us her receipts from the Walgreens in Murrysville that show sales tax added to a purchase of toilet tissue.

Bach took Walgreens to court and the magistrate judge in Export sided with her. She says the fix would “take a nanosecond,” but it didn’t happen yet. She just filed a complaint against the Walgreens in Penn Hills for the same issue, planning to argue in front of the magistrate judge there in March.

Bach tells KDKA’s Meghan Schiller that people can visit the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue’s website for the full list of items not subject to sales tax in Pennsylvania.

Source: Murrysville woman takes Walgreens to court for taxing toilet tissue

Customers struggling to get jewelry back after local store in Robinson closes

Channel 11 tried calling L.S. Jewelers in Robinson. The store’s voicemail box is full and is not accepting any more voicemails.

“L.S. Jewelers is currently a tenant,” said Zamagias Properties Senior Legal Counsel Daniel Gustine. “Beyond that, we can’t provide any further comment at this time.”

“It’s just extremely frustrating,” said a customer named Katie Bonwell. “I brought it in for a simple repair, and now I can’t get it back.”

Source: Customers struggling to get jewelry back after local store closes

US farm group calls for probe of high egg prices

A farm group is calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to examine the rise for signs of price gouging from top egg companies.

The latest concern is eggs, the price of which was up 138% in December from a year prior, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

Various groups from regulators to farmers and industry officials have often argued in recent years about the power of top agriculture firms to set prices and drive up what consumers pay for groceries.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pointed to a record outbreak of avian flu as a reason for the high prices.

Nearly 58 million chickens and turkeys have been killed by avian flu or to control the spread of the virus since the beginning of 2022, mostly in March and April, according to the USDA.

U.S. egg production was about 5% lower in October compared to last year, and egg inventories were down 29% in December compared to the beginning of the year, a significant drop, but one that may not explain record-high prices, said Basel Musharbash, an attorney with Farm Action.

Source: US farm group calls for probe of high egg prices

Nearly 220 million people in Pakistan without power after countrywide outage | CNN Business

A nationwide power outage in Pakistan left nearly 220 million people without electricity on Monday, threatening to cause havoc in the South Asian nation already grappling with fuel shortages in the winter months.

Source: Nearly 220 million people in Pakistan without power after countrywide outage | CNN Business

Hempfield man announces second bid for Westmoreland commissioner

A former retired executive from Hempfield announced this week he will seek election as Westmoreland County commissioner. John Ventre, 65, said he will run in this year’s Republican primary and is targeting first-time incumbent Doug Chew as his chief opponent this spring.

Source: Hempfield man announces second bid for Westmoreland commissioner

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