Look at the latest e-blast from the American Family Association's Don Wildmon. Do you think he wakes up at night worrying about our country, or that the AFA's coffers are running low. You decide. Via Right Wing Watch:
Please vote! Our children's future depends on it!
In my 70 years, I have never seen an election where coverage was so one-sided and biased or where censorship by the liberal media was so widely practiced and where media coverage was so slanted as I have seen in this election process. Their plan is working. The only chance conservatives have is to make sure they care enough to vote.
If the liberals win the upcoming election, America as we have known it will no longer exist. This country that we love, founded on Judeo-Christian values, will cease to exist and will be replaced by a secular state hostile to Christianity. This “city set on a hill” which our forefathers founded, will go dark. The damage will be deep and long lasting. It cannot be turned around in the next election, or the one after that, or by any election in the future. The damage will be permanent. That is why it is so important for you to vote and to encourage friends and family to vote. This is one election where your vote really counts.
The bill will come due for commercial real estate mortgages, which could potentially trigger another economic recession.
Around $1.5 trillion in mortgages must be repaid in the next two years, and 70 percent of those loans are held by regional or smaller lenders, which means a write-down in commercial loans could drag down the economy heading into the 2024 presidential campaign -- and lawmakers have few options to prevent a crisis, reported Politico.
“Am I worried? The short answer is yes,” said Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), a senior member of the Senate Banking Committee. "The long answer is hell yes. I hope the Federal Reserve and the banking regulators are worried as well, and I hope they won’t be caught flat-footed like they were with the bank failures that we’ve had so far."
Federal policymakers raised interest rates last month by a quarter point, which puts more pressure on the real estate industry and on banks, some of which are prepared to sell off property loans for a loss to reduce their exposure in the commercial real estate market.
“The fact that banks want to sell loans is coming up in a lot of conversations,” Chad Littell, an analyst at the research company CoStar, told the Financial Times. “I am hearing more about it than any time in the past decade.”
Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell has tried to downplay the threat posed by the commercial real estate market, saying the banking system was “strong and resilient," but FDIC chair Martin Gruenberg said his agency was urging lenders to reduce their exposure in that sector.
“Right now, we have the double whammy of much higher interest rates and the commercial real estate market going through a shock post-COVID,” said Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA). “So I don’t think we can presume that ... we’re going to be able to simply glide through [without a crash]. I’m still trying to sort through some of the policy options. I have encouraged the White House, though, that we need to do some more intervention on these regional banks right away.”
The pandemic sent millions of workers home, and many of them remain there, and that sent office vacancy rates soaring to 18.6 percent earlier this year, and economists don't expect those rates to stabilize until next year.
"That could be a train wreck waiting to happen,” warned former top Fed official Dan Tarullo. “All you have to do is walk through the downtown of a major American city.”
The "best-case scenario" for the market would be for small number of banks with "a lot of office loan exposure" to be wiped out, according to Columbia Business School professor Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, but he said it would be a mistake to assume the problems are isolated to the office market.
“The way these loans are structured, you’re mostly paying interest, not principal, so you have to roll over most of the loan," Van Nieuwerburgh said. “The bank will say, no, the interest rate is now 6 percent instead of 3 percent 10 years ago, which means that your building is now worth 40 percent lower.”
Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) doesn't see the office sector recovering from the rise in remote work, so he suggested repurposing those properties for other uses.
“We are where we are, it’s going to be this way forever,” Tester said. “I think the logical solution: We need to develop policies that would help convert commercial to housing, apartments, whatever it might be.”
Former CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien had some harsh words for her former colleagues who have remained silent as CEO Chris Licht has tarnished their network's reputation.
O'Brien on Sunday night made the comments in response to a report from The Atlantic's Tim Alberta that revealed a Licht henchman demanded that CNN's graphics department take down a chyron that referenced Trump being found liable by a jury for sexually abusing E. Jean Carroll during last month's town hall event.
Even though sources told Alberta they were shocked and dismayed by this decision, O'Brien argued that this wasn't good enough and that they needed to go public with their concerns.
"And yet not a single one said anything -- on the record, out loud, using their name," she wrote on Twitter. "They're shocked! They're shaken! But they are also cowards, let's be honest about that. When their boss was supporting pure journalistic malpractice what did they say -- out loud?"
The Trump town hall has drawn criticism in particular because CNN filled the studio audience with diehard MAGA fans who cheered on the former president even when he mocked and demeaned the woman he was found liable for sexually abusing.
Figuring out how to enhance a person’s mental capabilities has been of considerable interest to psychology and neuroscience researchers like mefor decades. From improving attention in high-stakes environments, like air traffic management, to reviving memory in people with dementia, the ability to improve cognitive function can have far-reaching consequences. New research suggests that brain stimulation could help achieve the goal of boosting mental function.
During this procedure, people wear an elastic cap embedded with electrodes that deliver weak electrical currents oscillating at specific frequencies to their scalp. By applying these controlled currents to specific brain regions, it is possible to alter brain activity by nudging neurons to fire rhythmically.
Another type of transcranial electric stimulation, tDCS, applies a direct electrical current to the brain.
Why would rhythmically firing neurons be beneficial? Research suggests that brain cells communicate effectively when they coordinate the rhythm of their firing. Critically, these rhythmic patterns of brain activity show marked abnormalities during neuropsychiatric illnesses. The purpose of tACS is to externally induce rhythmic brain activity that promotes healthy mental function, particularly when the brain might not be able to produce these rhythms on its own.
However, tACS is a relatively new technology, and how it works is still unclear. Whether it can strengthen or revive brain rhythms to change mental function has been a topic of considerable debate in the field of brain stimulation. While some studies find evidence of changes in brain activity and mental function with tACS, others suggest that the currents typically used in people might be too weak to have a direct effect.
When faced with conflicting data in the scientific literature, it can be helpful to conduct a type of study called a meta-analysis that quantifies how consistent the evidence is across several studies. A previous meta-analysis conducted in 2016 found promising evidence for the use of tACS in changing mental function. However, the number of studies has more than doubled since then. The design of tACS technologies has also become increasingly sophisticated.
We set out to perform a new meta-analysis of studies using tACS to change mental function. To our knowledge, this work is the largest and most comprehensive meta-analysis yet on this topic, consisting of over 100 published studies with a combined total of more than 2,800 human participants.
After compiling over 300 measures of mental function across all the studies, we observed consistent and immediate improvement in mental function with tACS. When we examined specific cognitive functions, such as memory and attention, we observed that tACS produced the strongest improvements in executive function, or the ability to adapt in the face of new, surprising or conflicting information.
We also observed improvements in the ability to pay attention and to memorize information for both short and long periods of time. Together, these results suggest that tACS could particularly improve specific kinds of mental function, at least in the short term.
To examine the effectiveness of tACS for those particularly vulnerable to changes in mental function, we examined the data from studies that included older adults and people with neuropsychiatric conditions. In both populations, we observed reliable evidence for improvements in cognitive function with tACS.
Interestingly, we also found that a specialized type of tACS that can target two brain regions at the same time and manipulate how they communicate with each other can both enhance or reduce cognitive function. This bidirectional effect on mental function could be particularly useful in the clinic. For example, some psychiatric conditions like depression may involve a reduced ability to process rewards, while others like bipolar disorder may involve a highly active reward processing system. If tACS can change mental function in either direction, researchers may be able to develop flexible and targeted designs that cater to specific clinical needs.
Developments in the field of tACS are bringing researchers closer to being able to safely enhance mental function in a noninvasive way that doesn’t require medication. Current statistical evidence across the literature suggests that tACS holds promise, and improving its design could help it produce stronger, long-lasting changes in mental function.