Wall Street might not like this: Inflation rises 2.1 percent, faster than expected

Heather Long authored the above article, which was posted on the Washington Post website February 14, 2018:

“The consumer price index, which measures how quickly prices are going up in the U.S. economy, rose at a faster than anticipated 2.1 percent in January, compared with a year ago, triggering fears of another rocky run on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 100 points at the open, but traders ultimately dismissed the news and the Dow closed up over 250 points.

Inflation around 2 percent is still very low, but Wall Street traders worry that this could be the beginning of a quick run up in wages and prices. There’s a big reassessment going on about what the future holds for the U.S. markets and economy.”

View the rest of the article here.

Russia Sees Midterm Elections as Chance to Sow Fresh Discord, Intelligence Chiefs Warn

The following article by Matthew Rosenberg, Charlie Savage and Michael Wines was posted on the New York Times website February 13, 2018:

Leaders of American intelligence agencies testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. Credit Lawrence Jackson for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Russia is already meddling in the midterm elections this year, the top American intelligence officials said on Tuesday, warning that Moscow is using a digital strategy to worsen the country’s political and social divisions.

Russia is using fake accounts on social media — many of them bots — to spread disinformation, the officials said. European elections are being targeted, too, and the attacks were not likely to end this year, they warned.

“We expect Russia to continue using propaganda, social media, false-flag personas, sympathetic spokespeople and other means of influence to try to exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States,” Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, told the Senate Intelligence Committee at its annual hearing on worldwide threats. Read More

The nation’s top spies said Russia is continuing to target the U.S. political system

The following article by Ellen Nakashima and Shane Harris was posted on the Washington Post website February 13, 2018:

On Feb. 13, the Senate Intelligence Committee held its annual hearing on worldwide threats with leaders of top intelligence agencies.

The nation’s top intelligence chiefs were united Tuesday in declaring that Russia is continuing efforts to disrupt the U.S. political system and is targeting the 2018 midterm elections, following its successful operation to sow discord in the most recent presidential campaign.

Their assessment stands in contrast to President Trump, who has repeatedly voiced skepticism of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Read More

If it were up to Trump, these U.S. Olympians wouldn’t have made history

The following article by Esther Yu Hsi Lee was posted on the ThinkProgress website February 12, 2018:

Team USA makes America great because immigration makes America great.

Gangneug, South Korea – Feb 12: Mirai Nagasu of USA competes in the Ladies Free Skating during the Figure Skating Team Event on day three of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 12, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. Credit: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

U.S. figure skater Mirai Nagasu, 24, made America proud Monday when she completed a historic triple axel during the Winter Games in Pyeongchang. She made 3-1/2 rotations in the air — landing the triple axel — then went on to do eight more triple jumps and high difficulty spins, the Washington Post reported.

Nagasu was the first American woman to land the triple axel in Olympic competition. She went on to win a Bronze medal.

“It’s historical and something no one can take away from me,” Nagasu said afterward, according to the Washington Post. “I wanted to make America proud.” Read More

Workers Should Not Have to Choose Between Retirement and Caring for Their Families

The following article by Shilpa Phadka was posted on the Center for American Progress website February 9, 2018:

Getty/Win McNamee

This week marks the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which for the first time provided workers with job-protected family and medical leave. Once a fringe issue and sometimes viewed exclusively as a “women’s issue,” paid family and medical leave is now at the center of a national conversation about what millions of workers need to address the struggles of caring for their families while fulfilling responsibilities at work. Many U.S. workplaces remain behind the curve in adopting policies that address work-family conflicts. Only 15 percent of workers currently have access to paid family leave, and each year, working families lose more than $20 billion in wages due to lack of access to paid family and medical leave. Every day, families across the country are forced to make the impossible choice between keeping their jobs and providing care to a loved one—whether a new baby, a family member with a disability, or an aging parent. Read More

Five questions about the new Trump budget and health issues

The following article by Rachel Robein was posted on the Hill website February 11, 2018:

© Thinkstock

The White House is expected to release its fiscal 2019 budget request on Monday, and health advocates will be watching closely to see if this year’s proposal will contain deep cuts to the agencies charged with bolstering public health and finding cures for complex diseases.

Lawmakers from both parties are also waiting to see if the budget will propose major changes to the anti-drug office that have already sparked an outcry.

The release of President Trump’s budget last year set off a firestorm of criticism in the health world from science and public health advocates — and even some disapproval from fellow Republicans. Read More

WH Response to Abuse Claims Shines a Light on Victims’ Fears

The following article by Juliet Linderman was posted on the Associated Press website February 10, 2018:

 (AP) — When Jennifer Willoughby and Colbie Holderness stepped forward to tell the story of how they were physically, verbally and emotionally abused by their ex-husband, who had since become a top White House aide, President Donald Trump had nothing but good things to say about the man they had accused of domestic violence.

Rob Porter “did a great job while he was at the White House. And we hope he has a wonderful career,” Trump said Friday, adding that the aide had vehemently maintained his innocence. Read More

Woodward and Bernstein: Trump’s Russia response ‘eerily similar’ to Nixon’s leading up to Saturday Night Massacre

The following article by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein was posted on the CNN website website February 10, 2018:

Woodward and Bernstein adapted this piece from their 1976 book, “The Final Days.” This excerpt is appearing both in The Washington Post and on CNN.

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein Credit: Noel St. John

(CNN) — We’re here again. A powerful and determined President is squaring off against an independent investigator operating inside the Justice Department. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s mission is a comprehensive look at Russian meddling in the 2016 election — and any other crimes he uncovers in the process. President Donald Trump insists it’s all a “witch hunt” and an unfair examination of his family’s personal finances. He constantly complains about the investigation in private and reportedly asked his White House counsel to have Mueller fired. No wonder many people are making comparisons to the Saturday Night Massacre of 1973, when President Richard Nixon fired special prosecutor Archibald Cox, and Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus resigned. Read More