File under "You Can't Make This Stuff Up." Somehow, it actually seems like a farcical April Fools…
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April Fools' Day Four Days Late? Google Objects to OpenAI Using YouTube to Train Its Own Generator

File under "You Can't Make This Stuff Up."

Somehow, it actually seems like a farcical April Fools' Day headline, in fact.  Google, with its deep history of scraping and scanning other sources' substantive content for its own uses, now objects to OpenAI using YouTube content to train its text-to-video generator:

The use of YouTube videos to train OpenAI’s text-to-video generator would be an infraction of the platform's terms of service, YouTube Chief Executive Officer Neal Mohan said."

Optimists might hope that Google is finally recognizing and preparing to correct its wayward course, while realists and cynics will roll their eyes at what they'll label naivete.  As the old adage goes, however, "every saint has a past, every sinner has a future," so we'll maintain hope.…[more]

April 05, 2024 • 05:09 PM

Liberty Update

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Biden Economy Slowing, Not Accelerating Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, January 11 2024
Biden’s economy is actually continuing to slow, not accelerate.

“Most Homes for Sale in 2023 Were Not Affordable for a Typical U.S. Household.”  

That was a Christmas Eve headline from none other than National Public Radio (NPR).  

As 2023 ended, the Biden Administration’s peculiar effort to gaslight American voters into believing that economic conditions were flourishing due to “Bidenomics” seemed to recede as well.  That pitch unraveled just like its 2021 claim that inflation was “transitional,” even as it continued upward and remains elevated today.  

The pitch wasn’t selling.  The more that Biden apologists pushed the message, the deeper he fell in public approval ratings and in head-to-head matchups against former President Donald Trump.  

Specifically, Biden suffers the lowest approval rating ever recorded at this point in a presidency.  And he now trails Trump not only nationally, but in nearly every single “swing” state.  Keep in mind that Trump never led Biden in 2020, and in fact never even came within four points of him in the Real Clear Politics average of national polls, yet he still almost won the election but for 43,000 votes in Georgia, Arizona and Wisconsin.  

Accordingly, Team Biden realized that its effort to sell “Bidenomics” as a success story was flopping.  

As we now enter 2024, Biden and his apologists are shifting their spin toward the more nuanced claim that economic conditions are gradually improving for Americans due to Bidenomics.  

There’s just one major problem.  Biden’s economy is actually continuing to slow, not accelerate.  

Let’s start with economic growth, since that’s the broadest barometer of economic trajectory.  

While Biden and his supporters routinely claim that he inherited an economy “flat on its back,” the official government data makes clear that the U.S. economy quickly accelerated coming out of the initial Covid lockdowns before he entered office.  Since that date, economic growth has slowed and even entered into recession in 2022.  After contracting 28.0% in the second quarter of 2020 amid Covid’s darkest days, the U.S. economy rebounded to 34.8% growth in the third quarter and 4.2% in the fourth.  In 2021, before Biden’s policies could take effect, the economy expanded 5.2% in the first quarter and averaged 5.3% for the year.  

In 2022, however, we entered a recession after a full year of Biden in the White House.  The economy contracted 2.0% in the first quarter and 0.6% in the second quarter, and has averaged just 1.7% growth since then.  

The employment market tells a similar story of continuing slowdown.  

Again using official government data, the U.S. economy added 7.27 million jobs in 2021 coming out of the Covid recession.  In 2022, growth slowed to 4.97 million, and in the year 2023 just ended, growth came in at just 2.26 million.  Casting further disquiet on that final 2023 number, the Labor Department acknowledged last week that it overstated initial employment growth estimates by 439,000 for the year.  

The story on inflation is already a familiar one to most Americans, but even that realm doesn’t offer the encouragement that Biden supporters contend.  

Inflation stood at 1.4% when Biden entered the White House in January 2021, and it hasn’t come within twice that rate since.  It still stands at 3.1%, which is over twice the Federal Reserve’s shorthand 1.5% midpoint between 1% and 2% preferred rate, even after three long years.  American consumers now pay 20% more, or over $11,400 per family, for the same basic basket of goods than they did in January 2021.  

Accordingly, while the Biden Administration declares victory over inflation, it actually remains elevated and punishes Americans more with each passing month.  

It's also worth noting that while Biden routinely claims that at least America’s inflation rate is lower than “every other major economy in the world,” that’s a falsity.  China and Japan claim the world’s second- and third-largest economies in the world, and their inflation rates remained consistently below the U.S. inflation rate, never coming close to the highs Americans suffered since Biden entered office.  

Finally, as noted above, the U.S. housing market continues to deteriorate due to high interest rates that became necessary to fight high inflation under Biden.  As the NPR report highlighted above noted, “Affordability plunged 40% from before the pandemic, and 21% from just last year.”  

Alongside food, housing remains the most basic necessity for Americans of all income levels.  Consequently, its deepening unaffordability spotlights the way that Americans continue to suffer under “Bidenomics.”  

Biden supporters are understandably desperate to cast economic conditions in positive terms, but the hard numbers tell a very different story as November nears.

Notable Quote   
"Progressives are using legal loopholes and the power of the federal government to maximize Democrat votes in the 2024 election at taxpayers' expense, RealClearInvestigations has found.The methods include voter registration and mobilization campaigns by ostensibly nonpartisan charities that target Democrats using demographic data as proxies, and the Biden administration's unprecedented demand that…[more]
— Ben Weingarten, Real Clear Investigations
Liberty Poll   

Given dramatically escalating premiums for homeowner and vehicle insurance, do you believe that your state insurance officials are conscientiously regulating those inescapable costs?