The blurred seal isn’t proof that Biden isn’t really president

Social media users recently pointed to a video featuring a blurred presidential seal, retweeted by Vice President Kamala Harris, as evidence that Joe Biden is not actually president.

“Has the presidential seal been obliterated today because he is not the real president?” One Twitter user wrote while another provided an explanation, “The presidential seal is blurred because Trump owns the copyright.”

These allegations are false, according to the Associated Press. It’s among the “spree of conspiracy theories” popping up on social media due to the hazy seal.

The clip shows Biden signing the Infrastructure and Jobs Investment Act into law, while sitting at a desk displaying the presidential seal that appears to be intentionally blurred.

The video that Harris shared on her personal account was originally published by the Democratic National Committee. A DNC spokesperson told The Associated Press that the group obliterated the logo due to a federal law limiting how the presidential seal can be used.

The DNC has blurred the seal in other clips posted online, including a video shared by Biden, usually blacked out in political ads.

“It’s generally typical for political parties to try to stay on the right side of the law,” Jordan Lebowitz, director of communications for Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington, told The Associated Press.

The White House does not blur the seal when it appears in photos and videos sent for official government business.

https://apnews.com/article/fact-checking-125883815515

Psaki is overly supportive of Bill

President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion plan to build back better has been criticized for potentially raising inflation. But White House press secretary Jen Psaki said people should not worry.

“No economist expects this to have a negative impact on inflation,” she said during a press conference on November 15.

But not everyone agrees with Psaki, according to PolitiFact.

“I’m an economist, and I don’t agree with him,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Labor Forum, told PolitiFact.

Ethan Harris, head of global economics research at Bank of America, told PolitiFact that the plan, during a period of high employment rates, “will make the labor market hotter and create more price pressures.”

Michael Feroli, chief US economist at JPMorgan Chase, agrees.

“Right now, anything that expands aggregate demand is not warranted, nor is it advisable,” he told PolitiFact.

But most economists said rising inflation should be kept under control.

“I expect Biden’s bonds to rise due to inflation, rather than decline. However, the inflationary impact will be very small,” Noah Smith, a professor of finance at Stony Brook University, told PolitiFact.

https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2021/nov/18/jen-psaki/jen-psaki-wrong-say-no-economist-thinks-b/

McCarthy’s wrong about Bill

California Representative Kevin McCarthy, during a speech that lasted more than eight hours on the House floor, criticized the Rebuilding Better bill shortly before its passage.

“Never in American history has so much money been spent at one time. Not so much tax would be raised in American history, and so much borrowing would be needed to pay for such reckless spending.” McCarthy said.

According to PolitiFact, he is wrong on all three claims.

Two recent projects, one signed into law by President Donald Trump and the other by President Joe Biden, called for spending of more than $1.75 trillion, the 10-year price proposed in the Build Back Better plan.

Trump’s Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act on the Coronavirus, passed in March 2020, totaled $2.3 trillion, and the US bailout, signed by Biden in March 2021, cost $1.9 trillion.

In terms of raising taxes, the increase would represent 0.44% of cumulative gross domestic product, or gross domestic product, over 10 years of the bill, based on estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, PolitiFact says.

Five tax bills since 1968 have increased taxes by more than GDP: the Revenue and Expenditure Control Act of 1968; The Tax Justice and Financial Responsibility Act 1982; The Crude Oil Profit Tax Act 1980; The Comprehensive Budget Settlement Act of 1993; and the Comprehensive Budget Settlement Act of 1990.

In terms of borrowing, it is estimated that the two coronavirus aid plans will add more than $17 trillion to the deficit, while the increase from the Build Back Better plan is estimated to be between $160 billion and $367 billion.

https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2021/nov/19/kevin-mccarthy/marathon-speech-kevin-mccarthy-makes-dubious-claim/

The Simpsons did not predict the Astroworld tragedy

Ten people were killed and hundreds injured during a crowd during Travis Scott’s concert at the Astroworld Festival in Houston, earlier this month. In the wake of the tragedy, a photo on social media from 2018 links characters from the TV show “The Simpsons” to Scott.

The Simpsons taught: “Why isn’t anyone talking about this,” he reads a post showing Homer and Lisa walking through a giant golden arc resembling Scott’s head.

But the image, created in 2018, was not a prediction of an Astroworld event, according to USA Today. It was not an episode of the show. It was a parody of Scott’s album “Astroworld”, released on August 3, 2018. The album cover shows a giant golden bow of Scott’s head with people walking towards him.

The Simpsons characters have been added to the parodies created by New Zealand designer Liam Ayson.

“Astroworld just came out and I wanted to make a Simpsons version meets Astroworld version,” Aison told USA Today.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/11/23/fact-check-the-simpsons-did-not-reference-astroworld/8584562002/

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor for Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at boboswald33@gmail.com

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