Americans are by now broadly aware of the threat posed by Chinese-owned TikTok, including its threat…
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TikTok’s Latest Assault: Ripping Off American Artists and Songwriters

Americans are by now broadly aware of the threat posed by Chinese-owned TikTok, including its threat to U.S. national security.

In recent days, we’ve witnessed in real time another emerging TikTok threat reaching the headlines:  The threat it poses to intellectual property protections, which undergird America’s status as the most artistically and musically productive and influential nation in human history.

Universal Music Group, however, has decided to stand up and fight back by removing its catalog of songs – including artists like Taylor Swift, Drake and Billie Eilish – from TikTok.

Tone-Deaf TikTok has built its aggressive worldwide empire largely on the backs of music created by American artists, as even its corporate leadership openly admits.  As TikTok’s very own…[more]

February 08, 2024 • 12:44 PM

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Trump Has Already Achieved Something that Never Occurred in 2020 Polling Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, November 30 2023
Biden’s sagging fortunes shouldn’t come as any surprise given his performance...

By now it’s familiar news that Joe Biden’s toxic approval ratings have sown growing panic among Democrats.  

Raising particular alarm to Biden supporters less than one year before the 2024 election, The New York Times released a poll earlier this month showing Donald Trump leading Biden in five of the six most pivotal swing states – by 4% in Pennsylvania, 5% in Michigan, 6% in Georgia, 5% in Arizona and fully 10% in Nevada.   Wisconsin is the only swing state in which Biden led, and even that was within the survey’s margin of error at just 2%.  

When asked about those sagging survey numbers, a prickly Biden falsely lectured Fox News’ Peter Doocy that, “you don’t read the polls – there are ten polls – eight of them I’m leading him in.”  Actually, Biden trails Trump by 1.9% in the RealClearPolitics polling average, and eight of its eleven most recent polls.  

While those polling trends provide enough cause for panic standing in isolation, what has remained underreported is the way in which current surveys contrast with 2020.  

Specifically, at no point in the entire 2020 cycle did Trump lead Biden in the RealClearPolitics polling average.  

In fact, Trump never came within four points of Biden, and every single one of the thirteen final polls included in the RCP average had Biden leading.  On election day in 2020, Biden led Trump by 7.2%.  

Despite that commanding polling lead, in the actual election Biden captured the White House on a razor-thin official margin of 43,000 votes in three swing states – Georgia (12,000), Arizona (11,000) and Wisconsin (20,000).  If just 22,000 votes in those states had swung from Biden to Trump, then Trump would still occupy the White House.  

Accordingly, if Biden prevailed on such a narrow margin despite leading by 7.2% in the RCP average, with Trump never once holding a lead, the implications for 2024 with Trump already leading by 2% are obvious.  

Biden’s sagging fortunes shouldn’t come as any surprise given his performance, as illustrated by a recent NBC News analysis entitled “Saving Money to Buy a House?  Your Dollar Goes Half as Far as It Did at the End of 2020, New Data Shows”:  

A tough market for homebuyers keeps getting tougher as the combination of rising prices and climbing mortgage rates makes it even harder to afford a home, new data shows. …  People today are borrowing significantly more money for homes at much higher rates than just a few years ago.  Overall, a homebuyer’s dollar goes about half as far as it did at the end of 2020.  …  Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said that in late 2020, the monthly mortgage payment on a typical, newly sold home was around $1,100 in principal and interest.  It’s now about twice that.  

Separately, home prices reached a new record high this past week according to the S&P Core Logic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index.  High interest rates to battle rising inflation under Biden’s watch have caused potential home sellers to sit tight because they can’t afford to lose lower rates on existing mortgages.  In turn, that has led to higher prices due to declines in inventory. 

Meanwhile, a bombshell Bloomberg News report published this week illustrates just how badly American consumers have been punished during Biden’s tenure:  

After years of inflation, US consumers are shouldering a burden unlike anything seen in decades – even as the pace of price increases has slowed.  It now requires $119.27 to buy the same goods and services a family could afford with $100 before the pandemic.  Since early 2020, prices have risen about as much as they had in the full 10 years preceding the health emergency.  

It’s hard to find an area of a household budget that’s been spared:  Groceries are up 25% since January 2020.  Same with electricity.  Used-car prices have climbed 35%, auto insurance 33% and rents roughly 20%.  Those figures help explain why Americans continue to register strong dissatisfaction with the economy:  Consumers’ daily routines have largely returned to their pre-pandemic normal, but the cost of living has not.  

And the government data reports that show easing inflation are cold comfort, because they simply indicate prices are growing at a slower pace, not that they are returning to early 2020 levels.  (Emphasis added.)

The report notes that grocery prices rose less than 1% in the four years preceding 2020, compared to the 25% increase since 2020.  Whereas an average four-person family spent $238.32 on food at home in October 2020, today that figure has risen 32% to $315.22.  

All of that negative polling and economic news has leading Democrats openly advocating a different 2024 candidate for their party.  In an analysis this week, however, longtime Democratic pollster Douglas Schoen reports that Democrats would be no better off if Biden withdrew and allowed a different candidate to represent the party in 2024.  

A better option would’ve been for Biden to pursue a moderate policy course like he promised as a candidate in 2020.  Had he done so, he might have avoided the disastrous domestic and international consequences of his far-left agenda of higher spending, more regulation and geopolitical weakness.  

Much like replacing Biden himself at the top of the ticket, however, it might already be too late.  

Notable Quote   
 
"Significantly more Americans name immigration as the most important problem facing the U.S. (28%) than did a month ago (20%). Immigration has now passed the government as the most often cited problem, after the two issues tied for the top position the past two months. The government ranked first each month from January through November 2023.In the latest poll, 20% of Americans name the government…[more]
 
 
— Jeffrey Jones, Gallup Senior Editor
 
Liberty Poll   

Would you feel safer riding in a self-driving car or one driven by Vin Diesel?