Happy Wednesday. If you watched yesterday’s live show you know I challenged you to come up with one habit you’d like to break or develop by December 21st, the first day of Winter. Join me today at 9AM EST right here to tell me what they are.
The government narrowly avoided a shutdown with a short-term spending bill passed by the House of Representatives yesterday. It will keep the government open through at least December 11.
The bill was a bi-partisan agreement and passed without much ado through the House. It is expected to pass the Senate later this week. The bill will cost $21 billion, $8 billion of which will go towards nutritional assistance for those who are struggling to feed their families.
Government economic leaders are counting on a stimulus package in their forecasts, but we don’t have one, and they can’t make it happen.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell testified before Congress to discuss what more could be done to help the 11 million unemployed and continued economic lag. Both indicated that the stimulus packages we did have worked just fine and dandy, given the stock market recovered from Monday’s loss and made further gains on Tuesday. The Fed is doing its part by keeping interest rates low. Mnuchin is working to facilitate a stimulus with Congress, but he cannot force a passing vote. But no one can agree on a next step, and perhaps they won’t until the stock market takes a dive or the latest round of airline layoffs shows some pain that cannot be ignored.
It’s a little comical that Congress is asking these two guys at all when the stimulus is really up to them. It brings to mind the scene from the movie Spaceballs where the three leaders yell from one to the next: “Do something!”
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There is still a shortage of homes for sale to meet demand. Zillow reports a 29.4% drop in inventory from this time year, and the lowest it has been since 2017.
People still want to move, and it’s a sellers’ market. Home prices are still increasing as a result. Construction of new homes never quite recovered from the 2008 mortgage crisis, so that doesn’t help inventory, and people are more likely to stay in their existing homes for longer these days. The pandemic only worsened the problem with buyers looking for long-term solutions to the homes they are stuck in. So while real estate led the collapse of 2008, it is holding steady in this one.
30%. That is how much of the country’s popcorn will go uneaten this year from people NOT going to movies, concerts, and sporting events. Popcorn growers are struggling to find a place to store it all.
7,000 trucks. That is how long the traffic line to export goods may be after the Brexit transition period ends in December. Can you imagine waiting in a 7,000-truck line? Not to mention the carbon emissions of 7,000 idling rigs.
$25,000. That is how much an entry-level Tesla will cost when it becomes available. Someday. The company CEO Elon Musk said that they want to produce 20 million of these per year sometime in the next three years.
You can forget dressing like a sexy police officer and going to a Halloween party this year. The Center for Disease Control released guidelines for the upcoming holiday that frowns upon these rituals.
Also not recommended: door-to-door trick or treating, hayrides with people you do not live with, and haunted houses where you are confined to small crowded places and scream because a teenager with a chainsaw scares you, thereby spraying respiratory droplets everywhere.
So what are merrymakers to do? Well, you could put individually wrapped candy out for the taking. We did that one year, and someone stole the actual candy bowl. The whole bowl. You could have your kids trick or treat from room to room in your house. You could skip the processed sugar and raucousness and celebrate Samhain’s Celtic holiday to honor the harvest and the upcoming darker time of the year.
And if you need to dress like a sexy nurse and get boozy, do it. Just do it in the confines of your own home.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has helped pay the fines of 32,000 felons in the state of Florida who were about to be denied the right to vote.
A court in Florida upheld the governor’s mandate that felons pay off any fines and fees they owed in order to vote in the upcoming election. Bloomberg raised over $16 million to help these people pay these debts and get to the polls. They’d better get their butts to the polls now!
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