🇺🇸 Acronyms
November 22, 2021

Good morning, and happy Monday. We love these types of videos. Ninth-grader Husky Fred Grooms recently got a surprise visit from his father, who's been deployed for a year.

Plus, this is both absurd and hilarious. A cow escaped a ranch, made its way to a resort, and ultimately got stuck on a waterslide.

Also, for the poll below from Dallas Morning News, actor Matthew McConaughey has not identified as being a Republican or a Democrat. Our dashboard only has red or blue right now so we literally flipped a coin to decide the color for today. We are working on integrating purple into the mix for these special situations. 

Flag Polls

A 11/21: TX Gov. Abbott vs. O'Rourke, Dallas Morning News Abbott 45%
M 11/21: TX Gov. Abbott vs. McConaughey, Dallas Morning News     McConaughey 43%
ab521640-e2ad-6400-4ea0-8848d603c575.png 11/19: President Biden Job Approval, Fox News Disapprove 54%
ab521640-e2ad-6400-4ea0-8848d603c575.png 11/19: Biden Job Approval, Reuters/Ipsos Disapprove 49%

Trending On The Left

CNN: Army bars vaccine refusers from promotions and reenlistment as deadline approaches

Vox: Oklahoma will not execute Julius Jones, but the outcome should still trouble you

The Guardian: Chaos at Atlanta airport after passenger accidentally fires gun

WaPoTime’s Up to ‘rebuild’ after criticism for its role in Cuomo sexual harassment accusations

Trending On The Right

Fox: Dems take victory lap on spending plan, Pelosi downplays looming Senate changes

National ReviewHarris vs. Buttigieg Would Be the Republican Party's Dream Primary

The Blaze: Far-left state lawmaker says 'Let's Go Brandon' 'should be equated with burning the flag'

Daily Wire: ‘You Seem Pretty Ambivalent About Mask’: Fauci Goes Mask On, Mask Off at Party



On Friday, the House of Representatives voted to pass President Biden’s social spending and climate package after a marathon 8 hour, 32-minute speech from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy the previous night. Prior to both the speech and the vote, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its full cost estimate for the Build Back Better Act (BBB). The nonpartisan budget scorekeeper said Biden's bill would increase the deficit by $367 billion over a 10-year period. Here's what both sides are saying about the BBB, the CBO, and other acronyms currently thrown around in DC.


BBB Accounting Is a Scam

Conservative commentators think Democrats are being dishonest about Biden’s Build Back Better plan. As a result, they say the CBO estimate is flawed, and the bill will really cost around $4-5 trillion.

"Dems’ gimmickry doesn’t make ‘Build Back’ any less of a disaster for America" Editorial Board, New York Post: "Looks like the Democrats’ Build Back Better bill won’t cost ‘zero dollars’ as President Joe Biden promised. ... Of course, the CBO is working off legislation full of trickery and gimmicks, so the billions it estimates BBB will add to the deficit over the next decade is a huge understatement. Crucially, the CBO’s wonks had to accept the bill’s claims that its new spending programs would expire after just a few years, even as the tax hikes meant to pay for them would run for at least a decade. ... Without those ‘sunsets,’ the bill’s true cost over a decade is nearly $5 trillion, meaning an uncovered spending boost of more than $3 trillion. ... Overall, this bill remains a piece of junk — written, re-written, and re-re-rewritten all year long with no eye on what the nation needs nor even whether it makes any sense, except as an effort to pass some of the left’s longstanding agenda while Democrats are in control."

"The Real Biden Bill: At Least $4.6 Trillion" Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal: "The CBO gnomes aren’t lying about a 10-year deficit estimate of $367 billion. ... but don't believe it. ... They’re obliged to score the bill under rules that Democrats have rigged with multiple tricks that disguise the real cost by trillions of dollars. ... Democrats phase out the biggest programs in the bill while paying for them with 10 years of tax increases. They phase-in other programs and off-load costs to the states. The Penn Wharton Budget Model estimates the House bill would cost nearly $4.6 trillion over 10 years if temporary provisions are made permanent, as most will be. ... In sum, the House bill will cost $2 trillion to $3 trillion more than CBO is estimating because Democrats have camouflaged the costs. ... This is the most dishonest spending bill in American history."

"CBO Cost Estimate a Disaster for Democrats" Dominic Pino, National Review: "The American people were promised repeatedly that this social-spending bill was not only paid for, but that it would cost $0. As [written] already, it doesn’t. ... Democrats pulled every budget gimmick available to them to get this cost estimate, and they still came up short." Keep reading.


CBO Estimate Is Within Range. Extra IRS Funding Will Help

Left-leaning commentators are actually pleasantly surprised by the CBO estimate. They note that projections like this are almost impossible to calculate, yet this latest reading falls within a margin that moderate Democrats should be comfortable with. One economist also highlights how increased IRS funding will help generate additional revenue that is not factored into the CBO estimate.

"CBO delivers surprisingly good news to Democrats on Build Back Better" Paul Waldman, The Washington Post op-ed: "It turned out that the CBO score looks quite good for the BBB. It found that the bill will increase the deficit, but within a margin that should permit an important principle to kick in: While we should take the CBO’s analysis into account, we should also remember that there’s always a good bit of uncertainty in its projections. ... On one key question — how much money will be raised by providing $80 billion to increase IRS enforcement on rich tax cheats — the CBO said it would raise $207 billion over 10 years, meaning the net savings would be $127 billion. But while the $207 billion in savings wasn’t included in CBO’s top-line numbers, the $80 billion in enforcement was. Subtract that $207 billion, and it means the CBO thinks this bill will raise the deficit by only $160 billion. That’s $16 billion a year. In the scope of the federal budget, that’s a tiny amount."

"IRS reform will generate a lot more revenue than the CBO thinks" Lawrence Summers, The Washington Post op-ed: "The largest offset in the Build Back Better Act is not a tax increase. Instead, it is an $80 billion investment to restore a depleted IRS. The Treasury Department expects this transformative investment to generate $480 billion — $400 billion net — in additional tax collections over the course of the next decade. ... [For context,] over the next 10 years, the IRS is on track to collect $7 trillion less than is owed. This enormous tax gap is around 3 percent of gross domestic product on an annualized basis. ... Today, the IRS has about the same number of auditors as it did during World War II, and the IRS can answer fewer than 30 percent of the phone calls it receives from taxpayers with questions. IRS technology is woefully outdated, and it fails to allow for even simple data analytics to identify evaders. Providing the IRS the resources it needs will go a long way towards shrinking the tax gap."

"US can fight inflation and still 'build back better'" Jeffrey Sachs, CNN: "The Wall Street Journal's editorial page, which leads the media campaign against tax increases on the rich and corporations, is calling on Congress to ‘kill the bill’ in the supposed interest of fighting inflation. ... Such opposition to BBB completely mixes up the short-term and the long-term, and utterly confuses deficit spending to fight COVID-19 with fully paid-for spending to fund long-term reforms. BBB is not about the next month, or the next year; it is about the next generation." Keep reading.


Still an Uphill Battle

We've mentioned this before, but we'll say it again. The most recent polling suggests that "Americans are not yet sold on Build Back Better," according to Ipsos. Only 6% of the public says "they know a great deal about what is in these spending plans with an additional quarter (24%) saying they know a good amount. The large majority of Americans, 69%, know just some, little, or nothing about the content of these plans."

To an extent, this doesn't even matter because the bill largely hinges on one person: Senator Joe Manchin. The Democrat from West Virginia is also feeling emboldened by recent polling showing that he has nearly double the approval rating of Biden in his home state. Manchin has repeatedly said he is concerned the Build Back Better Act would not address rising inflation rates. Therefore, despite BBB's initial passage in the House, it still faces an uphill battle to fully materialize in its current form.

Flag Poll: How much do you know about what's included in the Build Back Better Act? Click here to share your thoughts.


Big Week for Baking and Browsing

This is a big week for two holiday Bs: baking and browsing. Thanksgiving is on Thursday, and Black Friday is on, well, Friday. One product that nicely marries the two concepts are these nonstick cookware pots and pans from KitchenAid. The 10-piece set comes in matte black, and pots have a thick, forged base designed for even heating to achieve beautifully browned results when experimenting with new recipes on any stovetop. Best of all, the set is part of an early Black Friday deal so it's on sale. Click here to buy new pots and pans.


Lowest State Unemployment Rate Ever, Europe on Edge, Emergency Oil Stash

WSJ: At 1.9%, Nebraska now has the lowest unemployment rate of any state, ever. There are 69,000 job openings in Nebraska, but less than a third as many people seeking work.

New York Post: Violent protests broke out against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and lockdowns across Europe amid new tough rules to curb winter waves of the virus. Demonstrators angry about the new measures gathered in Austria, Croatia, Italy, Northern Ireland, the French territory of Guadeloupe and the Netherlands to protest the moves.

LA Times: Police are looking for dozens of suspects following a series of brazen thefts Friday and Saturday in the Bay Area that targeted high-end retailers in large-scale “smash-and-grab” robberies. The organized theft involved approximately 80 people at a Nordstrom store in downtown San Francisco.

Reuters: Chileans voted on Sunday in what is widely seen as the nation's most divisive presidential election since the country's 1990 return to democracy, as an ultra-right-wing former congressman battles it out with a leftist who has thrown his support behind massive street protests.

NPR: A recent surge in gasoline prices has left President Biden scrambling for options to do something about it. One that's getting a lot of attention is the possibility that the Biden administration will release crude oil from the country's emergency oil stockpile, or the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Here's everything you need to know about the US emergency oil stash.

The Guardian: The Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai said she was safe and well in a video call on Sunday, the International Olympic Committee has said, amid growing international demands for assurances that she is free and not under threat. 

Yahoo! News: President Biden briefly transferred the power of the presidency to Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday morning as he underwent a routine physical.

CNN: Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who killed two people and shot another during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was acquitted Friday of first-degree intentional homicide and four other felony charges.

CNN: The Food and Drug Administration has given its OK for fully vaccinated Americans who are age 18 and older to receive a COVID-19 booster shot.

NY Post: The first known case of COVID-19 was a vendor at a market in the Chinese city of Wuhan – not an accountant whose case contributed to speculation the deadly bug could have leaked from a lab, according to a new US study.

Miami Herald: Two of the 17 missionaries kidnapped in Haiti have been released, US based Christian Aid Ministries said Sunday in a statement on its website.


JFK Assassinated, Cheese Vindicated, Chocolate Bar Strike

On this day in 1963, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, is assassinated while traveling through Dallas, Texas, in an open-top convertible. Above is a photograph of the president with First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, minutes before the assassination. 

The Atlantic: The Vindication of Cheese, Butter, and Full-Fat Milk

Inverse: You Think You Know What Blue Is, But You Have No Idea

Nautilus: Why a Traffic Flow Suddenly Turns Into a Traffic Jam

Today I Learned about the Chocolate Bar Strike. In 1947, Canadian children went on strike because the price of candy bars had risen from 5 to 8 cents.

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