The Wider World

“Build Back Better” vote soon?

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN is promoting the “Build Back Better” bill which may go to a vote Thursday night.

The $1.85 trillion “Build Back Better” package proposed by President Joe Biden is edging toward passage tonight (Thursday) in the House of Representatives.

According to multiple news agencies, including the Associated Press, United Press International, The New York Times and others, the lower house of Congress is considered likely to vote on the social policy and climate change legislation later this evening.

Adding some drama to the vote is the report from the Congressional Budget Office that the bill – if passed – would add $160 billion to the federal budget deficit within five years.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) rarely brings a bill to a vote unless she feels she has the necessary votes lined up. Democrats have a slim majority in the House and are expected to pass the bill. The measure would next go to the Senate, which is split 50-50 between the two parties. However, if the Democrats suffer no defections, Vice President Kamala Harris could break the tie.

College enrollment is still falling

ENROLLMENT in declining in colleges, with the biggest drops at community colleges.

The big decreases in enrollment in colleges in California are fired in part by a large downtown in the state’s community colleges.

According to Los Angeles Times, the overall decline in higher education (not counting post-graduate work) over the past year in the state is 6.5 percent, but 10.4 percent at the two-year schools. The national figure is $3.5 percent.

The declines have been attributed to the coronavirus pandemic, but the attractions of the job market – higher wages and better benefits tied to a labor shortage – may be responsible for a big part of the decline, especially at the community colleges, where students often have to support a family while also attending classes.

Also in the news …

  • Two men who had been convicted in the 1965 slaying of civil rights leader Malcolm X were exonerated on Thursday in a New York court.
  • The scheduled execution of Julius Jones was stopped hours before it was to be carried out. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt commuted his sentence to life imprisonment. Jones was convicted of a murder in 1999, but doubts have been raised about his guilt.

Sports: MVP? It’s Shohei, of course

SHOHEI OHTANI (Angels photo).

Shohei Ohtani, the two-way superstar for the Los Angeles Angels, was the unanimous selection for Most Valuable Player of the American League it was announced Thursday. Finishing second was Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays. In third was Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals.

In 2021, Ohtani hit 46 home runs for the Halos and drove in 100 runs. On the pitcher’s mound, he posted a 9-2 mark with a 3.18 ERA. He struck out 156 batters in 130.1 innings.

The National League winner was Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies. He batted .309 with 35 home runs and 84 runs batted in.

Weather: Cool, then warm, then …

The cool snap we’re going through now in the West Orange County area will turn to warmer temperatures soon. Friday’s forecast is for a daytime high of 68 (overnight low of 52), but that’ll rise to 71 (54) on Saturday, followed by a jump to 85 on Sunday. Monday’s predicted for 83, but then the thermometer will drop to 69 on Tuesday and 65 on Wednesday. In coastal areas of Huntington Beach, it’ll be 65 on Friday and 69 on Saturday.

Stocks: Mixed results for investors

WALL STREET was divided on Thursday (Flickr/Dan Nelson).

At the closing bell on Thursday, two of three major American stock indexes posted gains, while the third fell into the red.

The S&P 500 rose 15.87 points to 4,704.54, a gain of 0.34 percent. The tech-heavy Nasdaq was up 72.14 to 15,993.71, a gain of 0.45 percent. But the biggest and oldest index, the Dow Jones, fell 60.10 points to 35,870.95, a dip of 0.17 percent.

Among the biggest gainers on Thursday were Apple, Amazon and Walmart.




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