Happy Tuesday. Starbucks launched its holiday drink menu and there are two new additions: Caramel Waffle Latte and Fudge Browning Hot Chocolate – because apparently regular hot chocolate was just not enough.
Democrats have bent over backward to please Democratic Senator Joe Manchin but it just isn’t enough. The Senator says he will not support the President’s $1.75 trillion social stimulus package.
This f*ckin’ guy….
Manchin has held the bill hostage as he has opposed bits of it such as paid family leave and tax increases. The President laid out a bill he thought that Manchin could live with but on Monday Manchin turned out a thumbs down.
The President needs Manchin’s vote if this bill is to pass. Alternatively, the President could use his executive order to bypass Congress but he has been trying not to go that way.
Manchin’s sticking point is the price of the bill. He’s not out of line. The Congressional Budget Office has said that this bill will not pay for itself like Democrats like to say that it would.
Manchin’s opposition could hold up the vote for weeks and the government doesn’t have weeks. Another debt ceiling will be reached in early December and Congress will have to agree to do something about that in short order.
The Biden administration released a report on Monday indicating that they like the idea of stablecoins but with lots of regulation.
A stablecoin is a digital currency that is linked to a traditional currency. The eNaira in Nigeria is an example of this. The President’s Working Group on Financial Markets said that the U.S. government would support a crypto-type dollar because it would “support faster, more efficient, and more inclusive payment options” for all manner of items from cars and houses to cups of coffee.
But the President’s advisors want regulators and limited issuance to banks in order to keep the power of the currency with the government. Raise your hand if you find that surprising.
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Did you know that there is a resurgence of syphilis? There is. In 2019, the United States had doubled the number of syphilis cases from the previous five years and the CDC says that 2020 numbers are looking just as bad.
Syphilis is a sexually-transmitted disease and it is especially dangerous for pregnant women who can pass it on to their babies, giving them a 40% chance of dying.
Doctors and public health servants who work to prevent the spread of syphilis say that they are hamstrung by low budgets and crippled by the cost of medicine in the U.S. Penicillin can treat syphilis but private doctors do not carry it because it costs them $1,000 per dosage to buy in advance and it has a quick expiration date. Public health departments can buy penicillin for 25 cents per dose.
Education and case tracing is the only way to prevent a larger outbreak but that costs money that public health officials don’t have. Congress sets the budget for the CDC and unless a disease has strong public interest, the money won’t get to where it needs to go. So expect to hear more about syphilis in the coming years.
World leaders at the Cop26 climate conference have pledged to “end and reverse” deforestation by 2030.
Deforestation upsets the ecosystem because trees that normally absorb CO2 cannot. The last thing our planet needs is more carbon. A recent report shows that forests in at least 10 World Heritage sites are emitting more carbon than they absorb.
At the COP 26, world leaders are expected to sign a pledge to use $19.2 billion of public and private funds to end deforestation practices. Brazil, Canada, Russia, China, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo – the worst offenders of deforestation – are all expected to sign too.
World leaders are talking a big game about how important climate change is but they also all took private jets to get to the conference. Experts are worried that all of this lip service will not result in much change and so are the writers of this newsletter. We’ll believe it when we see it.
News By The Numbers
24 trillion. That is how many microplastics scientists say are in the ocean, although they say that this is probably a low estimate.
5th. That is where the most recent James Bond movie, “No Time To Die,” will rank in all-time box office hits in the United Kingdom when it surpassed “Avengers: Endgame” as it is on pace to do.
10. That is how many non-Tesla electric vehicle chargers Tesla will install around the Netherlands. Tesla vehicles use proprietary chargers but the company is showing a willingness to supercharging standard EV cars too with this pilot program.
Facebook is for grannies, according to a new study from Piper Sandler.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has shown a large appetite for attracting young people due to this youth exodus. In last week’s earnings call, he said that he wants to make “serving young adults the North Star.”
In 2012, 94% of teens said that they were on Facebook. The most recent study showed that just 27% use the platform now. Instead, they have turned to Snapchat and TikTok and Twitter.
When asked what Facebook could do to bring them back to the platform, teens gave an overall eye roll. “It just seems like such a boomer social network,” one teen said.
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