’Misery Index' shows Democrats face midterm defeat as voters anger Biden

Voters angered President Biden because of World War II state of the economy probably Leads to another epic "Bombing" For Democrats in November’s midterm elections — which could cost them more than 40 seats in Congress and control of both houses, according to a new study.

The "misery index" of inflation and unemployment reached 12.7% in June, which is Forecast by Bloomberg Economics to be at 12% in October.

That reading would rival the level that followed the Great Recession of 2008, according to Bloomberg, which said the index serves as a leading indicator of election outcomes.

In the 2010 midterm elections, Democrats lost 63 House seats and six Senate seats.

Voters' reaction led then-President Barack Obama to admit that the "modest" results were "bombing," adding later: "It feels bad."

The November elections are shaping up against the backdrop of growing disapproval of Biden’s job performance, at 59 percent Give him a thumbs down last week and hit a record low rating for any recent president.

The "misery index" of inflation and unemployment came to 12.7% in June and Bloomberg Economics expects it to be at 12% in October.
Gas prices are listed at a gas station in Rosemead, California on July 19, 2022.
“Food and fuel inflation is very high and very comprehensive, and it affects every voter in every community in every state.”
FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP via Getty Images
US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on US gas prices from the Southern Courtroom of the White House on March 31, 2022 in Washington.
A new poll shows that 59% of respondents disapprove of Biden’s record in office.
Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images

Historical patterns suggest that Republicans can expect to win 30 to 40 House seats and a few Senate seats, according to Bloomberg.

Democrats now have a slim majority of between 220 and 211 in the House of Representatives, where there are four vacant seats.

The margin is narrower in the Senate, which is evenly divided, 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris Casting 23 votes broke the tie.

Ground beef and steaks for sale at a grocery store on July 13, 2022 in Redondo Beach, California.
Inflation hit a 40-year high of 9.1% in June.
Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images
Graphic showing the number of Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate.
Inflation could cost Democrats control of both the House and Senate.

After inflation Set a record in 40 years From 9.1% in June, only one state — New Hampshire — has a misery index below 10%, according to Bloomberg.

"The reason the misery index is so important is because it’s really real misery for a lot of Americans," Republican pollster Frank Luntz told Bloomberg.

“Food and fuel inflation is very high and very comprehensive, and it affects every voter in every community in every state.”

"When everyone is affected, the electoral impact is multiplied," Luntz added.

Frank Luntz, CEO of FIL, Inc.  , during the Milken Institute World Conference on October 18, 2021 in Beverly Hills, California.
Polls Republican Frank Luntz Global inflation affects the decision-making process of voters.
Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

In the swing state of Nevada — where there is an unexpected Democratic Senate election and several tight races for the House of Representatives — Sierra Farley, a single mother of two, said she will have to move out of her Summerlin home, outside Las Vegas, because rent will rise $450 a month. in September.

"I just got a raise and I still can’t afford my rent," Farley, 31, told Bloomberg.

The Bloomberg report follows the Federal Reserve’s decision last week Raising the reference rate by 0.75%, marking the second largest consecutive rise since the early 1980s as the Biden administration attempts to lower rates by increasing the cost of borrowing.

Meanwhile, the nation’s GDP decreased for the second consecutive quarterformally indicating a recession, Which prompted Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen To claim that "it’s not what we see now when you look at the economy."

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen talks about the state of the US economy during a press conference at the Treasury Department in Washington, DC, July 28, 2022.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen emphasized that the country is not experiencing a recession.
Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

"Job creation continues; household finances remain strong. Consumers are spending and businesses are growing," she said Thursday.

Representative Gwen Moore (Democrat of Whiskey) said Democrats should stop arguing about whether the US economy is in a recession and instead acknowledge the economic pain of Americans.

“People experience this. This is not an abstraction for these people,” she told Bloomberg.

"When they get to the gas pump, the grocery store, they are in their own personal depression or stagnation, no matter the numbers."



SPAM is closed due to inflation

It’s the nation’s crises in a can.

Inflation and crime have gotten so bad in Gotham that even cheap meat like spam has to be locked up.

At the Duane Reade store in the Port Authority Bus Depot, the shelf-stable product—only $3.99 a box—is now stored in anti-theft plastic cans.

"I’ve never seen that before!" One of the cashiers laughed while using the magnet to remove a junk mailbox from his cage.

The cashier was among the staff, tourists, and shop clerks who were stunned that the iconic blue and yellow tins are now kept under lock and key—some even mocking the scene as "a kind of tribute to Jeff Koons," For every single viral tweet.

Jenny Kinney, 43, who was visiting from Louisville, Kentucky, was aware of the constant crime waves hitting cities like New York and San Francisco, but still couldn’t believe the "many things in boxes" scene.

"Some of these things are very ridiculous," she said.

With soaring prices and crime, New York City stores have taken to locking up staples like toothpaste and soap to prevent fraudsters from stealing and then selling products on the sidewalk or Online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.

However, some shoppers were puzzled why spam, along with $1.89 cans of StarKist tuna, were placed under the plastic, while more expensive staples like $5.49 cans of Amy’s soup were not cumbersome.

Crate spam is stupid — and kind of insulting to customers who might buy it," said 46-year-old shopper Dennis Snow.

Snow said he doesn’t think the spam is being stolen in order to "sell it for crack," but rather because the homeless in the area are looking for a quick and easy meal.

SPAM is held in Duane Reade at the Port Authority.
William C. Lopez / NYPOST
A shopper called closed SPAM
One shopper described closed SPAM as an "insult."
William C. Lopez / NYPOST

Delia Kempf, a 28-year-old teacher, agrees, "Someone is stealing this because they need it."

Store employees said thefts have escalated over the past two years, with one estimating at least four thieves each evening shift.

"I don’t think they’re stopping anything," Iggy, 21, a store clerk, said of anti-theft issues. “It is a security theater. If you really need it, you will trample on it.”

The employee’s complaints were insightful: At about 7 p.m. Thursday, a man in a black T-shirt and gray sweatpants opened the glass case for a $38 electric shaver by an employee, and then hooked the machine after a security guard in a yellow shirt walked out the door.

With inflation spiraling out of control — the consumer price index rose 9.1 percent in June from a year ago, even as President Biden this week refused to acknowledge that the nation is in recession despite the economy having contracted for two straight quarters — thieves have found the audacity of a ready market for discounted stolen goods. Among recession-weary consumers.

Seized goods are assumed to result from a rise in crime amid rising inflation.
Seized goods are assumed to result from a rise in crime amid rising inflation.
William C. Lopez / NYPOST

Petty theft complaints for downtown New York City Southern, which include the Port Authority bus terminal, have risen 52 percent – to 1,771, as of July 24 – compared to the same period last year.

Hormel CEO Jim Snee He told analysts last month The prices of their old products are set to rise in late July to cover increased transportation, packaging and meat costs.

A spokeswoman for Walgreens, which owns Duane Reade, declined to explain why spam is locked at this particular location, and that anti-theft devices are installed "in response to theft data."

Liz Tawfik, 57, a home health worker, has complained that the extra security measures are hampering the once-simple shopping experience — and annoying customers like her.

Many customers find the closure annoying.
Many customers find the closure annoying.
William C. Lopez / NYPOST

"If you’re going to catch a train, you want to get something fast, it’s not fast anymore," she said. "You might also have someone take your order at the door and get you what you want."

Not all drug stores have spam shutdowns.

Two other Duane Reades and CVS in the Times Square area, along with Rite Aid and CVS in central Harlem, sold cage-free spam boxes.

"Here, we’re booking ice cream," said Daryl Sibin, 23, an employee of West 44th Street Duane Reade.



North Korea reports no new 'fever' cases for the first time since May | Corona virus pandemic news

North Korea has reported no new "fever" cases for the first time since mid-May when it suddenly announced its first local outbreak of COVID-19, and imposed strict measures to curb the spread of the virus.

On Saturday, state media reported that North Korea’s state emergency control center for epidemic control said it had not found any fever patients in the last 24 hours.

She said the total number of cases was about 4.8 million people and about 99.99 percent of patients had fully recovered. About 74 people have died from the virus, according to official figures, making North Korea’s death rate – at 0.0016 percent – the lowest in the world.

Such a low number of deaths is almost "impossible" to achieve, said Shin Young-gyun, a professor at Hanyang University School of Medicine in Seoul.

“It could result from a combination of a lack of testing capacity, accounting for problems given the fact that the elderly have higher chances of dying from COVID-19 mostly from home, and political reasons why the leadership does not want to publicize the massive death toll,” he wrote in Analysis released on Friday.

Infectious disease experts have questioned official updates on the North Korean outbreak from the start, with the World Health Organization saying last month it believed the situation was getting worse, not better, amid the absence of independent data.

Many were also concerned that an outbreak in the isolated country of 26 million people would have dire consequences because few people were vaccinated, many were undernourished, and the health system was in a dilapidated state.

"The organizational strength and unique unity of the (North Korean) society is fully demonstrated in the struggle to achieve victory in the emergency anti-epidemic campaign by fully implementing the anti-epidemic policies of the party and the state," the official Korean Central News Agency said Saturday.

public celebrations

Earlier this month, Pyongyang said it was on its way to finally "defusing" the outbreak even as its neighbors resurfaced in cases driven by omicron variants.

The daily number of cases has fallen sharply in recent days with three cases reported on Friday and 11 on Thursday compared to a peak of about 400,000 cases per day in May. The state has identified only a small percentage of patients as confirmed cases of COVID-19 due to a lack of testing kits.

In a sign that the outbreak has subsided, North Korea last week held massive public events in the capital, Pyongyang, as thousands of Korean War veterans and others from across the country gathered to celebrate the 69th anniversary of the end of the Korean War. Pictures published on state media showed that few people were wearing masks.

Shin Young-gyun, a professor of preventive medicine at Hanyang University in Seoul, says North Korea knows that zero cases does not mean there is no COVID-19 due to the spread of asymptomatic cases, so it is likely not to announce that it has officially defeated the epidemic. anytime soon.

North Korea’s state media has already used expressions such as winning its battle against viruses. Shen said the only other expression they can use now is to announce the complete elimination of the Corona virus from its territory. "But if new cases emerge again, North Korea will lose face."

Given the long and porous border with China, North Korea’s main ally, Li Yuhan, a professor at the Graduate School of Public Health in the South, said it would also likely find it difficult to declare victory over the epidemic until China did so. Korea.

The border between North Korea and China has been largely closed for more than two and a half years, except for a few months when it reopened earlier this year, and it remains unclear whether it will open.

Kim Jong-un in a white shirt smiles as he shakes hands with a group of Korean War veterans - in uniform - during Victory Day celebrations
Kim Jong-un was photographed without a mask while meeting veterans during festivities earlier this week [KCNA via Reuters]

China is currently battling a number of COVID-19 outbreaks in various cities across the country, but remains committed to its COVID-free strategy to eradicate the virus wherever it appears.

"Since the state media were also talking about the variables, whether or not they will relax virus rules and lift border closures remains to be seen," said an official at South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which deals with cross-border relations.

The Korean Central News Agency said the mobile rapid treatment force was still on high alert and efforts were working to "discover and eliminate the epidemic" until the last patient recovered.



Food Inflation Soared To More Than 10% — Here’s The New Costs Of A Family Dinner

Although inflation which jumped to 9.1% in June The cost of everyday goods is rising, and consumers feel a great deal of pain when it comes to buying food.

According to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) – a broad measure of the price of everyday goods – food prices have outpaced overall inflation, rising 10.4% in June from a year ago. This takes into account the food at home and in restaurants.

Home food inflation, which represents food purchases from grocery stores and supermarkets, rose to 12.2%, confirming that consumers do not get much comfort by trying to cook at home.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) It recently raised its forecast for food price increases for 2022. The agency now estimates that all food prices will rise between 8.5% and 9.5% in 2022. Food prices away from home are expected to rise 6.5% to 7.5%, and from Household food prices are expected to grow by 10% to 11%.

Catherine Cullen, director of industry and consumer insights at the National Retail Federation — the nation’s largest retail group — told FOX Business that multiple variables are currently affecting the cost of food.

This includes the war in Ukraine, persistent labor market shortages, fuel costs, drought and other natural disasters in the major markets where wheat and corn are obtained. These factors drive up the costs of products that rely on those elements as well as the cost of animal feed, according to Cullen.

Aside from natural disasters, Cullen noted that outbreaks of bird flu have driven up the cost of poultry and eggs.

Although inflation increases the cost of everyday goods, consumers feel a great deal of pain when it comes to buying food.
Although inflation increases the cost of everyday goods, consumers feel a great deal of pain when it comes to buying food.
Photo by Patrick Fallon/AFP) (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)
Home food inflation, which represents food purchases from groceries and supermarkets, rose to 12.2%.
Home food inflation, which represents food purchases from groceries and supermarkets, rose to 12.2%.
Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Meredith Wilson, CEO of Emergent Risk International, an intelligence and strategic advisory firm, told FOX Business that food price inflation, which relies on energy price inflation, is particularly harmful to families because costs accumulate with each step along the supply chain.

“Inflation builds up as it makes its way through the supply chain,” Wilson said. “Ultimately, the products they buy in the store are a triple whammy — inflation pricing all inputs and costs before they reach them — the consumer,” Wilson said.

For people on a tight budget, these price increases "can be very challenging and lead to cutting back on healthy foods and products, which tend to be more expensive, causing them to buy lower quality, less nutritious foods," she said.

Even Arkansas-based Walmart — the nation’s largest retailer — has recognized that rising costs for necessities for things like food and gas are causing shoppers to fall back on discretionary goods.

"Increasing levels of food and fuel inflation are affecting how customers spend," Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in an earnings report on Monday.

To see how food prices have changed, FOX Business has broken down the cost increases for popular dinner items using CPI data:

  • Rice: Prices rose 11.9% in June
  • Bread: 10.8%
  • Meat: 8.2%
  • Beef and veal: 4.1%
  • Pork: 9%
  • Poultry: 17.3%
  • Fish and seafood: 11%
  • Fresh vegetables: 6.5%
  • Frozen vegetables: 9.8%
  • Canned vegetables: 14.3%



NHL Off-season: St. Louis Blues


This is the latest file in’s ongoing analysis of each NHL team’s off-season moves. Today, we’re unpacking the St. Louis Blues.

2021-22 record: 11-22-49
Finishing in the central division: Third
Available salary cap space (according to CapFri $625,000
Unrestricted Free Agents: Tyler Bosak, F.; James Neal, p



US government says ships should slow down to save endangered whales Wildlife News

Ships off the east coast of the United States must slow down more often to help save Vanishing whale species of extinction, the federal government said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) made the announcement Friday with proposed new rules designed to prevent ship collisions with right-wing whales in the North Atlantic.

Ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear are the two biggest threats to the giant animals, which number less than 340 and are declining in population.

Whale rescue efforts have long focused on fishing gear, especially those used by East Coast lobster fishermen. The proposed ship speed rules indicate that the government wants the shipping industry to take on more responsibility.

“Changes to the current ship speed regulation are necessary to stabilize the ongoing decline in right whale populations and prevent species extinctions,” outlined the proposed rules, which are due to be published in the Federal Register.

The new rules will expand seasonal slow zones off the East Coast that require sailors to slow to 10 knots (19 km/h). They will also require more ships to comply with the rules by expanding the size classes that must slow down.

The rules also state that NOAA will establish a framework for implementing mandatory speed restrictions when whales are known to be located outside of seasonal slow zones.

Federal authorities have spent a few years reviewing the speed regulations used to protect whales. Shipping rules have long focused on a patchwork of slow-moving areas that require sailors to slow whales. Some areas are mandatory, others voluntary.

Environmental groups have emphasized that many boats do not comply with speed restrictions and that the rules have to be stricter.

Environmental organization Oceana released a report in 2021 that said non-compliance was as high as nearly 90 percent in voluntary areas and was also dangerously low in mandatory areas.

“The government is proposing a significant improvement in the protection of right-wing whales in the North Atlantic today, which are constantly under threat from fast ships,” said Jeb Brogan, expedition manager at Oceana. "It’s no secret that speeding ships are scattered all over the right whale migration route in the North Atlantic, along the east coast."

Many members of the shipping industry were well aware of the new speed rules on the road.

Chris Waddington, the chamber’s technical director, said the London-based International Chamber of Shipping, which accounts for more than 80 percent of the world’s merchant fleet, is working with the IMO and other stakeholders to better protect the right whales.

He pointed out that the members of the Chamber are accustomed to abide by the speed limits in the whale areas.

“The shipping industry takes whale protection very seriously and has taken measures to protect them, from engaging stakeholders to reducing speed and rerouting,” Waddington said. "There is always more that can be done, which is why we are working with the International Maritime Organization and conservationists on a review of the marine guidelines."

The whales once bred off the east coast, but their numbers have been declining due to commercial whaling generations ago. Although it has been protected under the Endangered Species Act for decades, it has been slow to recover.

More than 50 whales were struck by ships between spring 1999 and spring 2018, according to NOAA records. Scientists have said in recent years that rising ocean temperatures are causing whales to move away from protected areas into shipping lanes in search of food.

Environmentalists said this is a good reason to tighten protections. The proposed shipping rules will be subject to a public comment process before they become law.

"This proposal is a step in the right direction, but it won’t help a single right whale until it’s actually finished," said Kristin Munsell, an attorney with the environmental group’s Center for Biodiversity.

The whales give birth off the coasts of Georgia and Florida and move north to feed on New England and Canada. It’s popular with whale watching tours that leave from places like Provincetown, Massachusetts, and Portland, Maine in the summer.

Members of the New England lobster fishing industry have emphasized that many of the rules designed to save whales focus on fishing rather than ship strikes. Some have described the new ship’s speed rules as being late.

Patrice McCarron, executive director of the Maine Lobstermen Association, the East Coast’s largest fishing industry association, said fishermen are being unfairly held accountable for the whale deaths that occur due to ship raids.

“This puts an enormous amount of pressure on the lobster industry to continue changing our fisheries to account for right whale deaths not related to lobster fishing,” McCarron said.



Bryson DeChambeau respects Tiger Woods' stance, says the startup wouldn’t exist without him

Bryson DeChambeau kicks off Thursday in Pro-am ahead of the 2022 LIV Golf Invitational Bedminster event.

Bryson DeChambeau starts his second LIV Golf this week at Trump Bedminster.

Bedminster, NJ – When Tiger Woods spoke out in favor of the PGA Tour – and strongly against the concept of LIV Golf – two weeks ago in St. Andrews, Bryson DeChambeau remarked.

He had no problem with that.

DeChambeau, who befriended Woods four years ago and played with him several training rounds, has not spoken to the main winner 15 times since his move to LIV Golf. But he is credited with making something like LIV Golf possible.



NHL Off-season: Pittsburgh Penguins


Welcome to the latest file on’s ongoing analysis of NHL teams' off-season movement. On this day, we examine the Penguins of Pittsburgh..

2021-22 record: 11-25-46
Completion in the division of the capital: Third
Available salary cap space (according to CapFri $0 ($480,175 over the maximum salary cap)



Zane Smith Playoff Media Day Q&A

ZANE SMITH, No. 38 Boot Barn Ford F-150 Have you noticed so much confidence in the front row how the season turned out for you and Michael McDowell? “It wasn’t much of a difference that I can say. I feel that with the consistency of our truck team that has just shown in the regular season for the past four weeks, along with Pocono, our worst finish has been third and I feel that is what put us in the position to go to Pocono with our point store. Front Row has been doing great lately so it’s great to see. I feel like once everyone comes in the store they are much happier. It’s a happy time now."

Would you expect any similarities to how the IRP transitioned from an ARCA car to a truck? "I think it’s going to be the same, but a lot of times when we think the truck is a lot different than you’d expect, so I don’t know. We’re going to go on it like another short track and we should be good. I feel like Martinsville this year we’ve been pretty solid. We’ve missed a few little things." So hopefully you’ve managed to get a solid start in qualifying."

HOW TO LOOK AT PLAYOFFS BECAUSE IT’S Sort of a CRAPSHOOT GAME WITH WINNER TAKE EVERYTHING IN PHOENIX. Do you put a lot of equity in winning the title? “I put a lot of stock in winning the championship. To start the year I had the regular season championship, just because I feel like that’s the kind of performance your half year has been through, so I’m glad we got that but between then I feel like a race win is what People do notice a lot and then to what I said I feel like just getting to Phoenix is ​​a championship in itself. When that day comes, who’s the best that day so if you can lock yourself in earlier rather than later you’ll put more attention on Phoenix This goes a long way."

You have the most points to get to Phoenix, so are you planning to be more conservative or take the same approach you did during the season? "I think you have to do it like you’re winning. Those buffer points are going to run out quickly. It doesn’t take much to fill in those places, so I think we’re going to do what we’ve been doing for the rest of the year. We’ve succeeded and shown a lot of consistency and I think that’s what you have to do in playoffs to get to Phoenix."

What are your expectations for an IRP? “I’m excited about it. I feel like watching those races, you see all these guys who have been in the sport for a long time. Indy brings a great fan base, so to get back out there I’m a fan of the short tracks, so I’m excited about it and ready to start qualifying.”

What are your thoughts on PLAYOFFS? “The playoffs are their own animal, so they amplify everything. We just need some smooth runs and hopefully we end up in Phoenix to contend for the championship.”

How do you feel about the short tracks in PLAYOFFS and what tracks can you win? "I wish they were all of them. I feel like IRP is a bit of a weird game, but we proved last year that if we were in a must match we could make it, but Richmond I feel like that’s the thing that I flirted with. I love Richmond and so the The night race in Richmond makes it even cooler. I’m ready to attract those. Bristol is always so much fun and then there’s usually a warning about the late race and it gets really crazy. I’m excited about all of them and hopefully we can win them all."

What are your favorite tracks in PLAYOFFS? “I would say it’s hard for us to not just surround Kansas the way first Kansas City did. I felt like we kind of dominated this race, so if we can do half of that again, I’ll be very happy because there’s so much at stake this time. Obviously that’s the goal. I love going to Kansas regardless, so I’m excited about that."

How did running a trophy race on the gate change your approach to handling trucks? "That’s a good question. I feel like in just one cup race I ran I feel like I’ve learned a lot. It’s crazy how different it is from cup level to anything else. I feel like everyone is fine and everyone is a lot closer. I’m glad I got the start of the cup. I’m happy The way it went, but I hope there’s more to come. Currently, I’m obviously focused on this truck series title, so it’s just one thing at a time."

Can you afford to be aggressive in IRP and RICHMOND or are you just racing for points and winning? “I mean, it depends on how your day is going. I feel like if you’re a little far away and you don’t get the stage points, then yeah, I feel like I have the space to be aggressive and go race to win the race, but I don’t know. It all depends on how your race goes, really If you have a day of strong points with maybe a stage win and good points, you need to be smart and think long term, so this is where I put my head.”

Ford PR performance



US Energy Secretary discusses energy future in Argon

US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and local lawmakers visited Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont on Monday to celebrate the completion of the new facility that will allow a closer look at clean energy sources such as electric car batteries and nuclear energy materials.

"I am honored to be here and I am honored to be here representing an administration that believes so strongly in science," Granholm said during her visit.

The new building is part of an $815 million upgrade to the lab’s massive X-ray light source, called the Advanced Photon Source, which uses energy stored in a ring large enough to fit into the Wrigley field to serve as a giant microscope.

It’s a user-managed facility, which means that more than 5,000 scientists from around the world use X-rays each year to look at internal materials at both the molecular and atomic levels. In one example, scientists are using technology to screen viruses – including COVID-19 – to understand their molecular structure and to develop vaccines.

“The fact that 5,000 scientists have come here to try to solve these problems — it’s a gift to Illinois, it’s a gift to America, it’s a small gift to the planet," Granholm said.

Once completed, the upgrade will produce beams 500 times brighter than the current machine, allowing scientists to look more closely at materials and processes. The new structure commemorated on Monday will house two new X-ray lines, as well as a state-of-the-art lab for doping materials.


"Both Rays will help us maintain America’s scientific leadership in many areas of research, and help solve some of the world’s most pressing scientific challenges," said Paul Kearns, director of Argonne. "The Doping Materials Laboratory will greatly improve our ability to understand how radiation affects the structure of materials, such as materials to enhance the performance of the next generation of nuclear power plants."

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and local members of Congress celebrated the construction of the new Long Beamline Building at the Argonne National Lab on Monday.  The facility is part of an $815 million upgrade to the lab's massive X-ray light source, called the Advanced Photon Source.

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and local members of Congress celebrated the construction of the new Long Beamline Building at the Argonne National Lab on Monday. The facility is part of an $815 million upgrade to the lab’s massive X-ray light source, called the Advanced Photon Source.
– Jenny Weeden | Staff photographer

While X-rays are used to look at everything from infrastructure materials to new drugs to the brains of mice, a major focus in the climate world is creating batteries that last longer, charge faster and hold more energy.

Granholm added on Monday that tools like the advanced photon source are key to building ways to "fix our planet," such as creating better batteries for electric cars, identifying more durable and efficient materials for solar panels, and finding storage capacity that could make more solar energy. Easily managed.

“At the Department of Energy, we are really obsessed with how we get to net zero by 2050, and how to get 100% clean electricity by 2035,” Granholm said. “All you have to do is open the newspapers today and see thousands of people all over the planet dying from these extreme weather events that we still see. They are accelerating and getting more and more intense. If we don’t speed ourselves up – the task of discovering ways to get to net zero and clean electricity by 100% – then we will eliminate it.”

U.S. Representative Bill Foster, a Naperville Democrat who represents Illinois' 11th District, visited Argonne on Monday with U.S. Representative Bobby Rush of Chicago. Foster, who serves on the Committee on Science, Space and Technology and is the only Ph.D. The long-term basic research being done at Argonne will have lasting benefits in the future, the congressional physicist said.

“The most important thing that is being done in labs like here is the long-term research that makes things possible not five years from now, but 20 years from now,” he said.

Foster added that the research conducted at Argonne to continuously test samples from nuclear reactors is of particular interest in Illinois, where we rely on nuclear power for the majority of our electricity.

"When we try to extend the life of these nuclear plants that we depend on, one of the major issues is the materials," Foster said. "This ability to really look into the details of what it means to be safe is critical to the future of nuclear energy."

• Jenny Whiden is a member of Report for America covering climate change and the environment for the Daily Herald. To help support her work with a tax-deductible donation, see