Today’s edition of quick hits.
* The latest from the Fed: “The Federal Reserve left the main U.S. interest rate unchanged Wednesday, waiting to see if its historic series of rate hikes over the last 18 months gets inflation under control. The central bank kept its main policy rate in the range of 5.25% to 5.50%, citing an easing of economic conditions while also acknowledging that inflation is still higher than its 2% target.”
* GM: “General Motors said Wednesday it idled a manufacturing plant in Kansas, and laid off almost all of the approximately 2,000 people working there. The automaker said in its announcement that there is no work available for most of the people at the Fairfax assembly plant because workers at another GM facility went on strike last Friday. Additionally, the company said, it cannot provide supplemental unemployment benefits ‘due to the specific circumstances of this situation.’”
* The American Climate Corps is a good idea: “The White House on Wednesday announced the launch of the American Climate Corps, which the administration said will mobilize more than 20,000 Americans in the clean energy and climate resilience sectors.”
* Conspiracy theories surrounding Ray Epps have completely collapsed: “A man who became the target of far-right conspiracy theories after his image was added and then removed from the FBI’s Capitol Violence website has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge in connection with the Jan. 6 attack. Ray Epps pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count, disorderly or disruptive conduct on restricted grounds, during a hearing before U.S. District Chief Judge James Boasberg in Washington. Epps appeared virtually, via Zoom.”
* The latest good move from HHS: “The Biden administration on Wednesday said it will resume offering free at-home Covid tests to American households Monday as the virus gains a stronger foothold nationwide. Americans will soon be able to use COVIDtests.gov to request four free tests, the administration said in a release.”
* The latest good move from DOD: “Thousands of LGBTQ+ veterans who were kicked out of the military because of their sexuality could see their honor restored under a new initiative the Defense Department announced Wednesday, on the 12th anniversary of the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy banning gays and lesbians from openly serving in the military.”
* This will be a worthwhile initiative: “President Biden on Friday will announce the creation of a new office for gun violence prevention, an escalation of the administration’s efforts to tackle the issue amid stalled progress in Congress, according to four people briefed on the action who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss plans that were not yet public.”
* Remember Stephen Buyer? “A former Republican lawmaker who served in Congress for nearly two decades was sentenced Tuesday to almost two years in prison over insider trading charges.”
* A new detail about an unfortunate story: “Freshman Republican U.S. Rep. Derrick Van Orden took a celebratory bow after he reportedly yelled and cursed at a group of teenage Senate pages while giving a late-night tour of the U.S. Capitol in July, according to Democratic U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, who on Monday viewed surveillance footage of the interaction.”
* All is not well in Texas. This story, for example, is from an area near Houston: “A teacher was removed from an eighth-grade classroom last week for reportedly allowing students to read from a graphic novel adaptation of ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ that includes sexual content and images of nude statues.”
See you tomorrow.