The Daily Valet. - 12/14/23, Thursday

✔️ The Cuts Are Coming

The Daily Valet.
The Daily Valet.

Thursday, December 14th Edition

Cory Ohlendorf

By Cory Ohlendorf, Valet. Editor

Are you on team egg nog? I definitely am, but I know my limit: one small glass every few days.

Today’s Big Story

Rate Cuts Are Coming

The Federal Reserve keeps key interest rate unchanged and foresees three rate cuts next year

Fed Chair

This is promising. The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged at its final policy meeting of 2023 on Wednesday. Officials have not ruled out raising rates again, but a tweak in its policy statement suggested rate hikes are done. During a press conference, Fed chair Jerome Powell also suggested as much, saying, “While we believe that our policy rate is likely at or near its peak for this tightening cycle, the economy has surprised forecasters.”The Wall Street Journal reports that slowing inflation prompted Powell to pivot away from raising interest rates and toward considering when to cut them. He's now focused instead on the risk of causing unnecessary harm to the economy by leaving rates too high as inflation falls. “Inflation keeps coming down, the labor market keeps getting back into balance and, it's so far, so good.”Policymakers closed out the year with a fresh crop of economic projections, outlining their expectations for rates, inflation, the unemployment rate and overall growth. Those estimates showed three rate cuts in 2024. The median projection was that in December of next year, the Fed's target rate will be 4.6%, 0.75 percentage points lower than now. That will be good for everyone—whether you're looking to buy a home or just use a credit card.Ultimately, Powell cast the economy as one that defied expectations for the better this year. Powell said that “there's little basis for thinking that the economy is in a recession now.” But he was quick to add his typical disclaimer that it is too soon to declare victory, because the economy has surprised just about everyone time and again.That shift in outlook has come as the American economy makes long-awaited and meaningful progress toward slower price increases. Americans have been contending with rapid inflation ever since prices began to rise quickly in early 2021. But in recent months, a combination of supply chain healing and slightly weaker demand have combined to start bringing inflation down meaningfully. Data this week showed overall consumer price increases slowing to 3.1% in November, down sharply from 9.1% at the peak in the summer of 2022. 


Wall Street calls them “the Magnificent 7” and NPR says that they're the reason why stocks are surging.

House Approves Biden Impeachment Inquiry

However, Republicans have failed to produce evidence of Any high crimes or misdemeanors

The House on Wednesday voted along party lines to officially authorize an impeachment inquiry into President Biden. The vote, which Republicans hope will bolster them in fights to enforce their subpoenas, comes just hours after Hunter Biden defied a subpoena to appear for a closed-door deposition with House members. Instead choosing to hold a press conference on Capitol Hill, Hunter reiterated his willingness to testify publicly, an offer that House Republicans have rejected.He rejected GOP claims that his father was involved in his business dealings—“it did not happen,” he said—and slammed the investigation as completely politically motivated. Even some Senate Republicans said this week that they don't believe there is enough evidence to justify opening an inquiry. “There hasn't been evidence yet of wrongdoing by President Biden himself,” said Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah. “If they uncover that evidence, that would be truly critical.” But Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia added, “I don't see the evidence there—but the House is going to do what the House is going to do.”According to the Washington Post, the foundation of the impeachment inquiry, outlined by House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, “rests on an unsubstantiated allegation that has become the linchpin of conspiracy theories and false claims regarding the Biden family's purported corrupt and criminal conduct.” Republicans have alleged without evidence that Joe Biden as vice president pushed for the firing of Ukraine's top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, to quash a probe into the former owner of Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company where Hunter Biden sat on the board. Former U.S. officials, Ukrainian anti-corruption activists, and even some Republicans have rebutted that allegation.


Biden slammed the House vote Wednesday night, calling it a “baseless political stunt that even Republicans in Congress admit is not supported by facts.”

Did 2023 Really “Kill” Twitter?

The reports of the platform's death seem to be, as they say, greatly exaggerated

Twitter Is dead. So says Gizmodo and Rolling Stone and a slew of other publications watching the platform shrivel. But how many times can X (formerly Twitter) die before it's really dead? Despite Elon Musk's apparent best efforts to drive it off the proverbial cliff, X is the Rasputin of social media and refuses to quit.But that's not to say it's not having serious problems. If you tried clicking a link on X yesterday and got redirected to an error page with spilled ice cream, you're not alone. The platform's legacy shortlink redirection tool,, was broken for most of the day. In Musk's effort to completely rebrand every last bit of Twitter to X, maybe the T in the URL was too close to Twitter? Or, more likely, X might just be breaking again. Tech Crunch asks, “how many different ways have we seen the platform crap out after the majority of its staff was laid off?”Of course, now that it's over (or slowly withering), we can reckon with what Twitter really was, reports The Verge: A news cycle accelerator, a tool of mass harassment and an infinite joke machine. They've put together a really fun and informative package diving into the reality of what Twitter did to our collective consciousness. Yes, it was important, but often it was a lot of the same people talking back and forth and never really leaving the bubble of the little blue bird.

Dig Deeper:

While 2023 has been a year of incredible technological advancements, it's also seen the death of several technologies.

Who Makes the Best Store-Bought Nog?

Don’t waste your money (or calories) on sub-par egg nog

As Homer Simpson once famously quipped, “Tis the season for egg nog ... we only get 30 sweet, noggy days before the government takes it away again.” And I have to say, I agree with him, drink that egg nog while it's here—but only the good stuff.Right now, a handful of food publications are on the nog beat and while Bon Appétit says that good egg nog should taste “like melted ice cream,” (I agree), but “it definitely doesn't come from a carton” (get real). With all that we have to do during the holidays, mixing up some homemade egg nog probably isn't a priority for most of us. Which is why there are so many varieties at the store—from classic and flavored to spiked and dairy-free.But which one is best? The Daily Meal cracked open a slew of cartons and found that Trader Joe's has “visible specks of spices, smells decadent and tastes what we can only describe as homemade.” Punch did a similar taste test and found that Hood's (a regional East Coast dairy brand) was the winner. They also said that Lactaid's Eggnog is a surprising standout. Delish got in on the action and crowned another regional brand, Ronnybrook, as the tastiest option. So it seems, like going with the local dairy brand is your safest best for quality nog, and when in doubt, head to Trader Joe's. 

Make It More Festive:

Give your nog a boozy nudge with this mixologist-approved bourbon interpretation.

In Other News

Former President Donald Trump

The temporary halt puts the March 4th trial start date in jeopardy.

Have you heard about ...

Holiday Gift Guide

You’re Never Too Old for Grown-Up Toys

The best gizmos, gadgets and other fun things for all ages

Grown-up toys

Remember the fun of opening up an exciting new toy when you were a kid? Maybe you had asked for—pined for it, even. Or perhaps it was a total surprise. In any case, it consumed all your attention and certainly made your holiday vacation a whole lot more fun. The gifts in this guide elicit the same shock and satisfaction. They're not practical and that's the point. These are items that are designed to delight and distract in the best way possible.

Gift guide

Clockwise, from top left to right:

RC Quadcopter drone with 1080P HD camera, $100 / $89.99 by Holy Stone; Rival Kronos XVIII-500 blaster, $21.98 by NERF and NES Classic Edition console, $289 / $159.99 by Nintendo

Gift guide

Clockwise, from top left to right:

West 4th mini hoop, $400 by Reigning Champ and Ninebot KickScooter, $999.99 / $629.99 by Segway

Want More?


What We’re Buying

A cozy hat

J. Press Shaggy Dog cuffed hat

This hat just makes me happy. One, it's in a vibrant shade of green that I'm sure will pop against the grey, dull winter weather. But it's also sporting the signature Shaggy Dog label from the famed J. Press line of Shetland wool sweaters. This is, of course, made in Scotland and knit from the same brushed wool so it's extra soft, cozy and warm. It also comes in plenty of other colors, too, so take your pick.

Get It:

Shaggy Dog cuffed hat, $60 by J. Press

Morning Motto

You’re in control

The bad news is that time flies, the good news is that you're the pilot.


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