Rents Are Falling, The Economy Is Remarkably Strong, Progress in Florida, The Republican Party’s Ongoing Betrayal Of America


DEC 13

America got a very welcome headline today: The Tide Turns For Renters As Asking Rents Post Biggest Decline in 3 YearsYes, rents are declining. 

So, to recap: rents are declining; gas and energy prices have come way down; grocery prices only grew 1.7% over the past year, far less than the 4-5% wage growth we’ve seen; inflation only grew by 0.1% last month, well below the Fed target rate; GDP growth was an astonishing 5.2% last quarter, and up over 3% for the Biden Presidency; the stock market is nearing an all-time high; our recovery from the shocks of COVID and the Russian invasion of Ukraine is better than any other G7 nation; unemployment and uninsured rates are at or near record lows; new business formation and wage growth remains at historically elevated levels; the deficit is trillions less per year then when Biden came to office; Biden has done more to accelerate the energy transition than any other elected official in American history; the President has forgiven over $130b in student debt; in May home ownership rates for Gen Z were higher than for Millennials and Gen X at their age; the investments Biden has made will drive growth and opportunity for American workers for a generation or more. 

As I wrote last week, The American Economy is Remarkably Strong. Period. Stop The Bullshit. Things were bad. They are far better now. We are getting to the other side, together. Congratulations everyone. We have been well led, and have made extraordinary progress, together, in a deeply challenging time.

Great NBC News Article and Video News Segment on The Progress Being Made by the Florida Abortion Ballot Initiative – From NBC News

PINECREST, Fla.  — Jaymie Carter is a registered Republican. 

She has been named by two Republican governors — first Rick Scott, then Ron DeSantis — to sit on the Board of Trustees for the State College of Florida, and she says she voted for DeSantis in his 2022 campaign for governor. 

But when it comes to the issue of abortion, she’s breaking with her party.

“Women are concerned about what’s happening with our bodies and our right to choose. And there’s a lot of people that you wouldn’t think would be the pro-choice advocates, but they are,” she said. “And the government overreach, it’s huge right now.”

Carter is one of more than 150,000 registered Republican voters who have signed a petition in support of a ballot amendment that would bar the state from restricting abortion “before viability” — which is usually at 24 weeks — or “when necessary to protect the patient’s health.” 

That total comes from the Florida Women’s Freedom Coalition, one of several groups working to gather the 891,523 signatures necessary to get the measure on the ballot, working with Floridians Protecting Freedom, the campaign leading the ballot initiative. The group says it has gathered and submitted more than 1.3 million signatures so far. The website of the Florida Division of Elections says it has validated 687,699 signatures as of mid-December.

This morning I heard from Anna Hochkammer, our friend at the Florida Women’s Freedom Coalition (who is featured in the video news segment) and she tells me they now have the signatures in hand to qualify for the November ballot next year. We will be hearing from Anna directly next month as I’ve asked her to come update our community on their exciting progress. Good news all around!

The Republican Party’s Ongoing Partnership With Putin Is Akin To Treason – every few months I return to a passage from the Jan, 2017 reportfrom the Intelligence Community on Russia’s dramatic intervention in the 2016 election. It is necessary reading, as it reminds us 1) that Trump almost certainly would not have won without Russia’s help given how close the election was 2) he and the entire Republican Party are indebted to Putin: 

Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow’s longstanding desire to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order, but these activities demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations(bold added for emphasis). 

We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.

Moscow’s approach evolved over the course of the campaign based on Russia’s understanding of the electoral prospects of the two main candidates. When it appeared to Moscow that Secretary Clinton was likely to win the election, the Russian influence campaign began to focus more on undermining her future presidency.

Further information has come to light since Election Day that, when combined with Russian behavior since early November 2016, increases our confidence in our assessments of Russian motivations and goals.

Moscow’s influence campaign followed a Russian messaging strategy that blends covert intelligence operations—such as cyber activity—with overt efforts by Russian Government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries, and paid social media users or “trolls.”

Russia, like its Soviet predecessor, has a history of conducting covert influence campaigns focused on US presidential elections that have used intelligence has a history of conducting covert influence campaigns focused on US presidential elections that have used intelligence officers and agents and press placements to disparage candidates perceived as hostile to the Kremlin.

What the Republicans have done with Ukraine funding in the past few months is among the most dangerous acts by a Congress in modern American history. It is emboldening a genocidal maniac intent on our destruction as a nation and the West as a global champion of freedom and democracy; it is emboldening Russia’s close military and political ally Iran, also a genocidal power, who has partnered with Hamas and Hizbollah in a alliance to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth; it is emboldening China, for America looks weak and feckless to the world. 

Republicans are, in the language of the intelligence community above, advancing “Moscow’s longstanding desire to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order.” Why would any American do that? How has the party of Reagan become the party of Putin? This is an issue we simply don’t talk about enough for it sure appears that one of our two political parties may more loyal to Russia than the United States. 

Here is President Biden yesterday speaking along side President Zelenskyy, “history will judge harshly those who have turned their back on freedom’s cause.” Please watch. His words and arguments matter here, and are a reminder of why we are here together at Hopium – to ensure freedom and democracy prevail here, in Ukraine and everywhere.

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