We hereby present compilations of Random Thoughts from PBS, the Economist of London, The Financial Times of London, The Washington Post (With the Field of Flags) and New Yorker (depicting the transition) on the eve of the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. An Inauguration Concert hosted by Tom Hanks will begin at 8:30 PM EST. The Inauguration Week Schedule is available here.
We will have a perspective on the inauguration later on in the week:
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - a United States Federal Holiday - is celebrated on the third Monday of January each year. Watch a video of his famous I have a Dream speech.
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies. - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Cowardice asks the question - is it safe? Expediency asks the question - is it politic? Vanity asks the question - is it popular? But conscience asks the question - is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it BECAUSE it is right. - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
It is MLK Day here in the United States. Our team will be doing a day of service in our Community as we released a salute to heroes in our Education Property. As await the inauguration of the 46th President of The United States, we decided to present a vision of the future as we look forward to the opportunity to serve:
As we went to press, the US House of Representatives moved to impeach the 45th President of the United States for a Second Time.
We present compilations of the Week that Was in the United States
A history of Senate fundraising
On January 6, Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock won their Georgia Senate runoffs. They, plus David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, are all in the top 10 for the highest Congressional campaign fundraising totals since 1996. The dollars raised would be high in any year, but they're exceptionally high for the state of Georgia. How do they compare to Senate races across the nation?
Ossoff raised nearly $140 million, breaking the record set by Jamie Harrison's South Carolina campaign from this past November.
Warnock raised just more than $125 million, while Loeffler raised $92 million. Perdue raised almost $86 million. The average fundraising needed to win a Georgia Senate seat is $9.3 million.
Elections have become more expensive. In 1996, the median fundraising for a winning Senate campaign was $5 million (adjusted for inflation). In 2018, it was $11 million.
At $19 million, New York has the highest median fundraising total for winning a Senate seat. Wyoming has the lowest median: $2 million.
Congress approved a $900 billion coronavirus relief package late last year, as the nation struggled with near-record numbers of new coronavirus cases and a stalled job market. President Donald Trump signed the bill into law on December 27. USAFacts breaks down what's in the new package, including funding for unemployment insurance, vaccine distribution, rental assistance, and more, in this new report.
This package includes one $600 direct payment to people making $75,000 or less a year. Each child claimed as a dependent will add $600 to the check, so a family of four making less than $150,000 per year could receive around $2,400.
The package restores the weekly federal unemployment insurance boost to $300 for jobless workers. It also extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for workers not covered by state-administered unemployment insurance.
Around $23 billion will go toward purchasing vaccines and other medical supplies. Another $9 billion will support vaccine distribution. Plus, as the pandemic is exacerbating mental health challenges, $4 billion will go to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
See more, including provisions in the bill for small businesses, transportation, and education, here.
Household spending below pre-pandemic levels
Household spending is one of many indicators to gauge the economy during the coronavirus pandemic. One observation: Americans increased their spending on groceries and home goods in 2020. Unsurprisingly, spending away from the home fell.
Amid stay-at-home requirements and travel restrictions, Americans spent more on cooking and living at home. As of November, spending on household goods like furniture, appliances, cooking utensils, and household maintenance grew to $694 billion, up 6.2% compared to $653 billion in January.
Grocery spending peaked at $1.2 trillion in March 2020 and hovered around $1.1 trillion in November.
In November, grocery spending was 7.6% higher than in January 2020.
Despite all that spending, households reported saving 33.7% of their disposable incomes in April 2020. The savings rate declined to 12.9% as of November 2020, but it's still higher than the year prior. In 2019, the personal saving rate was 7.5%.
As Republican lawmakers issued their condolences to Sheldon Adelson's family following the billionaire casino mogul's death at 87, many in the fundraising world were already asking how it might affect future GOP campaigns.