WhatsApp Logo Subscribe
For News Alert

News

A governor, her dead dog, and the US presidential election

By AFP

April 30, 2024 11:06 PM


Twitter Share Facebook Share WhatsApp Share

The US Federal Reserve is highly likely to keep interest rates unchanged later this week, as policymakers contend with a recent uptick in inflation that has sharply cut the chance of a summer start to interest rate cuts.

The Fed's decision to hike interest rates and then hold them at a 23-year high has helped to significantly lower elevated inflation, although it remains stuck firmly above the US central bank's long-term target of two percent.

Since the start of this year, the Fed's favored inflation measure has actually accelerated, hitting an annual rate of 2.7 percent in March, while economic growth has slowed, and the labor market has remained robust.

The current environment, analysts say, is likely to lead the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to hold rates at their current level of between 5.25 and 5.50 percent for longer than previously thought.

"Another round of elevated inflation data is likely to lead to a more hawkish-leaning message at the May FOMC meeting," economists at Deutsche Bank wrote in a recent note to clients.

  Dialing back expectations 

 At the most recent FOMC meeting in March, policymakers penciled in three quarter percentage-point rate cuts this year, although Fed Chair Jerome Powell also warned that inflation was "still too high."

The data since the March 20 decision has only reinforced that message, pushing policymakers -- including Powell -- to dial back their optimism over rate cuts.

Fed Governor Christopher Waller told a conference in New York last month that it is "appropriate to reduce the overall number of rate cuts or push them further into the future in response to the recent data."

Richmond Fed President Tom Barkin, who is a voting member of the FOMC this year, told AFP earlier this month that the recent inflation data had not been "supportive" of the case for cuts.

Rugged ranch fate, or cruel judgment? South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, a potential Donald Trump 2024 running mate, has shocked Americans by revealing she once shot her family dog -- a risky acknowledgement in a nation that cherishes its pets.

In her forthcoming memoir, obtained by The Guardian newspaper, the conservative Republican describes how, after a hunting excursion gone awry, she shot and killed her "untrainable" 14-month-old dog Cricket.

"I hated that dog," Noem, 52, wrote in "No Going Back," according to excerpts published by The Guardian.

She explained how Cricket had spoiled a pheasant hunt with her "excitement," then killed several chickens belonging to a local family. The only solution, according to Noem, was to put her down.

"It was not a pleasant job," she wrote, "but it had to be done. And after it was over, I realised another unpleasant job needed to be done" -- Noem went on to explain how she had killed a "nasty and mean" goat.

The revelation jolted this year's election season and provoked a deluge of reactions among political commentators, in social media and on talk shows.

Dogs occupy a special place in American life, and public figures often get pilloried when they mistreat canines -- as Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney learned in 2012 when he recounted how his family tied their dog Seamus to the roof on a car trip.

Now Noem is similarly in the dog house, a potential hindrance because her name comes up regularly in discussions over who Trump, the Republican presumptive presidential nominee, will pick as his vice presidential candidate.

Trump himself faced dog drama when in 2017 the real estate mogul's detractors frowned at the fact that he was the first White House occupant in more than 100 years without a canine companion. 

 'Cruella' 

 Democratic President Joe Biden's team jumped at the opportunity, posting Friday on X: "Trump VP contender Kristi Noem brags about shooting her 14-month-old puppy to death."

As the story snowballed, Democratic governors Tim Walz of Minnesota and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan urged X users to "Post a picture with your dog that doesn't involve shooting them and throwing them in a gravel pit."

On the talk show "The View," the presenters had a field day.

"The only woman I know who shot dogs was Cruella de Vil," quipped one, referring to the villain in Disney classic "101 Dalmatians."

Another branded Noem's actions "despicable." "Sometimes dogs, they are like your children," she said.

Noem wrote in her book how killing Cricket shows she is prepared, in politics and in ranch life, to do what is necessary -- even if it's "difficult, messy and ugly."

On Sunday she tweeted that "people are looking for leaders who are authentic, willing to learn from the past, and don't shy away from tough challenges."

Noem added: "As I explained in the book, it wasn't easy. But often the easy way isn't the right way."

Few people appear convinced.

On Monday Hillary Clinton, the Democrat who lost to Trump in 2016, reposted a message she put out in 2021: "Don't vote for anyone you wouldn't trust with your dog."

"Still true," she added.


AFP


Most Read

  1. Shabbir Jan’s daughter ties the knot in lavish ceremony Shabbir Jan’s daughter ties the knot in lavish ceremony
  2. Feroze Khan’s first public appearance with second wife causes gossip on social media Feroze Khan’s first public appearance with second wife causes gossip on social media
  3. Despite all the tension, Sonakshi’s doting father to must attend her wedding Despite all the tension, Sonakshi’s doting father to must attend her wedding
  4. Lahore begins e-challan system for lane, stop line, and zebra crossing violations Lahore begins e-challan system for lane, stop line, and zebra crossing violations
  5. Sonakshi Sinha’s family ‘UNFOLLOWS’ her from Instagram, what's the real tea? Sonakshi Sinha’s family ‘UNFOLLOWS’ her from Instagram, what's the real tea?
  6. Terrible traffic accident near Karachi's Awami Centre on Shahrah-e-Faisal Terrible traffic accident near Karachi's Awami Centre on Shahrah-e-Faisal