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Traveling with Thanksgiving leftovers? Here"s what the TSA will let you bring through security.

The rule of thumb is if it's solid, it can go through TSA, but if you can spill, spray, pump, or pour it, or if it's over 3.4 oz, it must be checked. A TSA agent at LAX.Brady MacDonald/Insider An estimated 25 million seats are expected to fly over the Thanksgiving holiday period this year. Many people are likely to bring leftover food with them on their flight home. Here's what the Transportation Security Administration says can be carried on and what must be checked. Each year, an estimated 46 million turkeys are consumed in the US during the country's annual Thanksgiving — or Friendsgiving — feast.Mphillips007/Getty ImagesSource: USDAAbout 88% of Americans will partake in the November holiday, with a collective $1 billion spent nationwide on the traditional bird, according to a study by comparison website Finder.A family enjoying Thanksgiving dinner together.Thomas Barwick/Getty ImagesSource: FinderBut that's just the start of the festivities. There are also potatoes, gravy, casseroles, bread, and stuffing — or dressing if you're from the South — among many other homemade recipes to go with Thanksgiving dinner.Rawpixel.com/ShutterstockWith so much food, there are bound to be leftovers. And, if you're in one of the 25 million seats expected to fly over the holiday, you'll need to figure out a way to take it home.Delta Air LinesSource: HopperAccording to the Transportation Security Administration, travelers have two options for bringing leftovers with them: carry-on bags or checked luggage.A TSA agent at LAX.Brady MacDonald/InsiderSource: TSAThe basic rule of thumb is if it's solid, it's probably safe to take it through security. These include cooked and uncooked items like baked goods, turkey, chicken, stuffing, casseroles, fresh fruits and vegetables, and spices.TSASource: TSAThe TSA reminds travelers to be conscious of food safety and properly store items to avoid any potential illness. Ice packs are permissible as long as they are completely frozen when passing through the checkpoint.A list of Thanksgiving leftovers allowed through TSA, per the agency's website.TSASource: TSAThere are also a handful of items, like liquids and sauces, that need to be checked if they are over the carry-on allowance limit.Sebastianosecondi/ShutterstockSource: TSAThe TSA says if you can "spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it, or pour it, and it's larger than 3.4 ounces," then it should be checked. This includes cranberry sauce, gravy, wine, jams, maple syrup, and any canned items with liquid.Thanksgiving food that must be checked.TSASource: TSAIf you prefer to check your food, the TSA advises you carefully pack it to ensure it won't spill in your luggage.A list of Thanksgiving food that must be checked.TSASource: TSAAgain — remember to properly store the food for transport. If an item needs to be refrigerated, use a cooler. More tips can be found on the US Food and Drug Administration's website.A passenger putting food in her check luggage.Steve Russell/Contributor/Getty ImagesSource: USFDA, TSAIf you're still unsure about what you must check versus what is permissible in a carry-on, you can search for your item using the TSA's "what can I bring?" tool on its website.Searching for "meat" on the TSA "what can I bring?" tool.TSASource: TSARead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 24th, 2022

How your checked bag gets to your destination and why some get lost, according to a ramp agent for a major airline

4.5 million Americans are expected to fly this week for Thanksgiving. "Tonight is definitely our heavy night ... We've just got to power through it," an LAX ramp agent said. Customer complaints of lost luggage were up 270% in the second quarter of 2022 compared to pre-pandemic levels.Hinterhaus Productions via Getty Images Matt is a ramp agent at LAX for a major airline who works on Thanksgiving. He's worked for airlines for 27 years and says the day before Thanksgiving is when they're slammed. His advice for passengers is to get to the airport early and anticipate delays in snowy climates. This time last year, Matt had plenty of time on his hands. As a ramp agent for a major international airline based out of Los Angeles International Airport, he was working Thanksgiving week — a year and a half after the pandemic radically altered air travel — and work was relatively light. The bulk of his tasks, from loading bags on and off of planes to transferring them between airlines and tracking down lost luggage, was a routine affair. (Matt declined to share his last name and employer for privacy reasons, but both have been verified by Insider with documentation.)This year, however, things are different. Over the course of this week, 200,000 people are expected to travel through LAX daily. Seventy-five thousand of them, Matt was told, will be on his airline. According to AAA's Thanksgiving projections, air travel is up 8% over last year, with 4.5 million Americans flying to holiday destinations."Tonight is definitely our heavy night," Matt told Insider. "We'll be slammed here. Flights will be full. We've just got to power through it."Matt, who's worked for airlines for the past 27 years, said recent innovations like luggage-tag barcodes and scanners have greatly reduced the number of bags that get lost. According to an August report from the Department of Transportation, lost luggage in the second quarter of 2022 was up just 0.02% compared to the same time period in 2019.Customer complaints, however, were up 270% compared to prepandemic levels. Matt said a lot of that angst comes from the way the media portray airlines, essentially pitting consumers against the system. It also may come from the delays and travel upsets that have resulted from the airlines' post-pandemic labor shortage. But for him and his colleagues behind the scenes of luggage transport, the system to track, move, and, when necessary, relocate and return bags, is a well-oiled machine — or it's at least designed to be so.How your luggage gets trackedA bag's airline travel journey starts as soon as a customer checks in. After a customer-service agent puts the traveler's information into the system, they attach a tag with a unique tracking code to the traveler's bag."From there, you say goodbye to your bag: It goes to a conveyor belt, and that's the last you see of it," Matt said.As the traveler heads to security, their luggage heads to the X-ray machine at the TSA counter, followed by the baggage room. Then the luggage goes to a baggage make-up area, where it's scanned for a second time.Next, the bag — usually with around 100 others — gets loaded onto a cart bound for the tarmac and driven to the waiting plane. Once the cart driver arrives at the aircraft, the luggage is loaded onto a ramp that conveys bags to the cargo hold, where it's scanned for a third and final time.When bags get lost: the reroute officeBag tags are not a perfect science. Because they're made of paper with sticky backing, they can easily tear. A bag can also fall off of a cart, not get read by a scanner, or get overlooked amid a crush of holiday luggage. This is where rerouting comes in."Let's say a bag tag gets ripped off. Hopefully, you have a little tag on the outside with your name and information," Matt said. With that information, your bag can be looked up in the system.Once ramp agents and baggage handlers determine the owner and destination of a wayward bag, they bring it to a reroute office. That's headquarters for lost luggage — the room where agents will find the next flight that's headed to an owner's destination and send the bag on to meet the passenger there. This is also where timing, multileg trips, and vagabond bags can converge in a huge headache.There are a number of factors, Matt said, that impact how soon a bag can reunite with its owner, like if a bag goes missing late in the day and there are no more flights, or if the passenger's destination is a place without frequent flights. Or if it's Thanksgiving, and things get very, very busy."Maybe there were a lot of missing links that day and it just gets lost in the shuffle," he said. "It's not that it's actually lost. It's just lost in the mix. So they will get to it when they get to it."Handling the holidaysThis week, Matt expects to handle double the volume of luggage than usual. For him and his colleagues, that's meant staffing double the number of baggage handlers and ramp agents and paying more for overtime to make sure baggage rooms, loading and unloading machinery, and points in between are all covered.As for mental preparation for this stressful time of year, he has a simple maxim: "Everything is time management, right? You create your own stress. That's how I look at it. So if there's a flight that goes out at 8:30, and I get that flight to you by 7, there's no reason why that flight should not get out on time."His advice for passengers is, first, get to the airport early. Second, if you're traveling to a place with snow or rain, get ready for potential delays."When I see a couple coming up, snapping at each other, and all stressed out, I tell them to chill out. Your vacation starts now."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 23rd, 2022

I"m a flight attendant. People who never travel make Thanksgiving chaotic, and I can usually spot them early.

Monae Freeman has spent six Thanksgivings flying. She misses time with her family and sometimes deals with grumpy customers, but still loves her job. Monae Freeman.Courtesy of Monae Freeman Monae Freeman has flown with Delta over the last six Thanksgivings. She started a tradition with her mom to fly together to enjoy the holiday with family. She says she keeps an eye out for difficult passengers when they board. This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Monae Freeman, a 31-year-old flight attendant for Delta Air Lines, about what it's like to fly during Thanksgiving week. It has been edited for length and clarity.When I was in my mid-20s, I found myself really fascinated with travel. I couldn't afford to see the world as much as I wanted to, so I looked up different careers that would allow me to go to new places — and that's how I ended up applying to be a flight attendant and getting a job with Delta Air Lines. The best part about this job, in addition to the travel, is that it never gets old. You get to fly new routes, see so many different things, and meet people from all over the world. It's constantly exciting. However, working during the holiday season, especially the week of Thanksgiving, is the toughest part of this job.I've worked the last six years on Thanksgiving. Here's why being a flight attendant during the busiest travel months of the year is anything but easy.You're pulled away from your family For the past six years, I've spent Thanksgiving away from my family, which means I've had to get creative to still make the day feel special. A few years ago, I started a tradition with my mom where she'd actually fly with me on the holiday and spend time with me on my layover so I wouldn't be alone. During the week of Thanksgiving, I'll fly 15 times, and day of, I'll usually work two to three flights.I've also had years where I've tried to switch where I'm based during the holiday season (from Salt Lake City, my home base, to Atlanta, where my family lives). That way, if I have an afternoon off between flights, I can stop by and spend time with them.The airport becomes chaoticThanksgiving is one of the busiest travel times of the year, so not only should travelers expect long lines at security, but also be ready for the crowds. But what also makes this week different is that a lot of people who are flying aren't people who travel regularly. That means they often don't know where to go, how to get through security efficiently, or what to do once they get inside the airport terminal. During this week especially, I get asked a lot more questions and spend more time explaining things to customers. For example, a lot of people will turn to me for help, when I'm walking around the terminal or greeting them as they board, with questions about how to navigate the terminals or find their baggage, or ask whether the beverages we serve are free or what to do once they get to their seat (whether it's how to work the TV or access the WiFi). People end up missing their flight Since so many travelers this week aren't frequent fliers, I often notice that more people miss their flights or arrive late.If the airline sends you a flight confirmation that says you should arrive two to three hours in advance, it's important to follow that advice. If you get to the airport late this week, you might face longer lines than usual to get through security.If you want to skip the holiday rush as much as possible, fly a few days earlier or the week before a holiday, when the airport will likely be a little less hectic. The busiest days are typically one to two days before and after the holiday. I prepare my mindset before the holiday rushWhile nothing about how we do our job changes during the holiday rush, the way each flight attendant prepares for this week is different.The week of Thanksgiving is when I begin to change my work routine for the holiday season. First, I make sure to arrive at the airport an hour earlier than usual because parking lots fill up faster. I also make sure I don't leave the house without my lunch and noise-canceling headphones (to avoid noise from all the crowds) during this busy week.But the most important change I make is to my mindset. I try to prepare myself mentally by practicing patience, since I'm about to interact with more people than usual.I try to treat people with grace since it's a hectic week for everyone. People are just trying to get to their families, and they're afraid they will miss their flight or just find themselves confused about airport or airplane rules. So many people approach me with their emotions, whether it's with questions if their luggage is going to make it to their destination now that they had to gate check it, or about a frustration they faced earlier in their travel day. I try to inform them with as much information as I can and defuse situations with a calm tone of voice. Another exhausting part of this week is that sometimes I work earlier flights than usual or I'll pick up more flights, since some senior flight attendants take time off. I make sure to drink a lot of caffeine and get as much rest as possible between my trips. Situations just feel more extreme A lot of the tough situations we deal with with flyers during the week of Thanksgiving aren't out of the ordinary, but sometimes they can just feel more extreme. While there are often headaches surrounding the boarding process and trying to fit all the passangers' belongings in the overhead compartments, this can be even more of a challenge during the holiday season when people travel with obscure objects, usually gifts. When we run out of space, people get mad that they have to check their bag, because they're often carrying more valuable items for the holidays or they have gifts they want to make sure don't get lost. I try to do what I can to accommodate bags on the flight, whether that means moving things around to store luggage wherever we can find room or asking other passengers to put their backpacks under their seats.I'm usually able to spot who's going to be a difficult passenger during the boarding process. That's when they can often treat us with more of an attitude or become rude and snappy. I take a mental note of it and will share this with other crew members so they can be prepared for future interactions with this passenger. Always have a backup plan Have a backup plan in case your flight gets delayed or canceled, or you miss a connecting flight. Download the airline's app on your phone, locate the airline's help desk in the terminal, and save its customer-service phone number so you can get in touch quickly if you need to make a change. If you're traveling with gifts or expensive items, put the gifts in a carry-on bag that can fit under your seat if it has to, and check your clothes and other items in a suitcase at the ticketing counter. This is also helpful because the airport is extra crowded during this time and you don't want to be carrying around a lot of luggage with you if you're rushing to your gate.Passengers forget flight attendants are human, too In the midst of the holiday-travel stress, passengers often forget that flight attendants are people, too. We're often trying to get to a destination to spend time with loved ones or to our layover spot to make the most out of the holiday. Working on Thanksgiving means sacrificing being with our own families, so it would be nice if passengers showed us some empathy, especially when situations happen that are out of our control.We're doing everything we can to make your holiday travel as good as possible, and a lot of times that means we're missing out on our own celebrations in order to do that.  While I have seen passengers bring flight attendants candy or gift cards during the holiday season, a simple greeting when you board the flight and a little bit of grace goes a long way during this tough travel time.While the week of Thanksgiving can be one of the hardest weeks on the job, it's also a time that helps me reflect on the reasons why I work this job, and why even after six years, I still love it.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 23rd, 2022

The definitive oral history of how Trump took over the GOP, as told to us by Cruz, Rubio, and 20 more insiders

Trump announced that he's running for president in 2024. Insider previously spoke with Cruz, Rubio, and others who had front-row seats to his rise. Donald Trump defeated 16 Republicans en route to winning the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. History books would be written very differently had that not happened.Marianne Ayala/InsiderThe most famous escalator ride in American political history was almost an elevator ride. Donald Trump's operatives couldn't decide whether to send him down the escalator to announce his presidential candidacy or have him take the elevator instead. They landed on the escalator, and that moment would set in motion a 13-month ride that would ultimately ensconce him atop the GOP as its 2016 standard-bearer.On Tuesday, Trump officially announced his 2024 presidential bid, marking the start of yet another race in his storied political career. Seventeen Republicans aspired to be president of the United States during the 2016 election cycle, one of the most unorthodox and unconventional the country had ever seen. Only one emerged from the pileup — Trump — who would learn he was the nominee on the Trump Tower elevator he almost descended on back on announcement day.During those tumultuous months from June 2015 to July 2016, the Republican Party establishment's reluctant journey to accepting a reality-TV celebrity as their presidential nominee laid bare deep ideological and cultural divisions within their ranks. Traditional Republicans found themselves outflanked by an insurgent former lifelong Democrat whose impulses and approach conflicted with their own. But by the time of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland five years ago this week, running from July 18 through the 21st, Republicans who did not support Trump fell in line.In interviews with nearly two dozen people — including several 2016 Republican candidates, party officials, and both GOP and Democratic campaign operatives — Insider collected never-before-reported recollections from Trump's hostile takeover of the GOP. The story that follows covers the Trump Tower escalator ride that was mocked from all directions and yet started everything; the Trump official behind renting a crowd for the big campaign announcement speech; and Melania Trump's plagiarism of Michelle Obama's Democratic National Convention speech eight years earlier.These 2016 insiders also described how the Trump team prepared for the first GOP debate in Cleveland by hanging with a member of Aerosmith and how his campaign polled Ivanka Trump as a vice-presidential candidate amid the RNC's last-minute gambit to dump Trump.The human drama of the Republican primary campaign has been all but forgotten, replaced by what came after: Trump versus Hillary, Russian hackings, WikiLeaks, and the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape — and the four ensuing wild years that roiled the nation and the world.But for any of that to happen, Trump must first become the leader of the GOP. What you are about to read is the oral history of that story.Chapter 1: The escalatorFor 29 years before his fateful escalator ride, Trump toyed with the idea of running for president. This time he was serious. Aides carefully planned and scripted the event and his remarks; Trump improvised.Corey Lewandowski, Trump campaign manager: We had a number of variables which we had to factor in, which was either come down the elevators in the back of the room and have him walk out through a blue curtain and onto the stage, or come down into the lobby, come down that now famous escalator ride, and then go up onto the stage. But what our goal was, was making him look as presidential from the very onset, which means the American flag behind him, the stage was exactly how we wanted it, with a podium, with the same type of microphone that presidents traditionally use.The most famous escalator ride in US political history.Christopher Gregory/Getty ImagesDonald McGahn, Trump campaign counsel: I was at the top. He went down. And I remember seeing the crowd go nuts.Adrienne Elrod, Hillary for America director of strategic communications: We all kind of stopped what we were doing and chuckled at the fact that this is happening. And we all kind of said, "Yeah, he's going to be in the race for about six weeks. He'll use this to make some more money and grow the Trump brand and try to launch a new television show."Sarah Isgur, deputy campaign manager for Carly Fiorina: What a weird thing for the advance team to think was OK — like him standing on this escalator.Tim Miller, communications director for Jeb Bush: I thought it was a ridiculous show.Corey Lewandowski: We had people who were on the periphery of the campaign and thought they were campaign strategists who wanted to have elephants and monkeys and donkeys running through Trump Tower.Donald McGahn: There was a lot of building security checking each other's credentials, because we had different levels of credentials. It took them a while to realize there was a hierarchy of credentials. There were security guards telling other security guards to move.Corey Lewandowski: There were five different sets of credentials and all-access to media and volunteers. They all had the wrong date printed on it. They all said June 16, 2016. So we had to send this poor woman by the name of Joy out to Brooklyn at, like, 3 o'clock in the morning to get these reprinted, because we knew that if it wasn't perfect we'd be chastised.Josh Schwerin, Hillary for America national spokesman: He was not a serious person at that point. There had been debate of will-he-won't-he for a really long time. It didn't seem like a serious thing.Sarah Isgur: I remember thinking: "Man, I'm surprised he couldn't even get people there. That seems insane."Amanda Carpenter, communications director for Ted Cruz: It seemed strange. I was watching the coverage of "Oh, did they pay people to show up? Who were these people?"Corey Lewandowski: That's a Michael Cohen special. Michael Cohen decided that he was going to go hire one of his buddies and pay his buddy without getting any campaign approval. You know, $50 for every person to come in, to stand in Trump Tower.I literally spent the entire day of Trump's announcement screaming at TV executives. Tim MillerMichael Cohen, Trump personal attorney: Trump hired David Schwartz to coordinate the campaign launch, which he did professionally. Any allegation of payments to actors is an absolute lie that was promoted by Corey Lewandowski.David Schwartz, partner at Gotham Government Relations: We were hired to put that entire event together. That event was really our brainchild: The most famous escalator ride in the history of politics was that one. Bottom line is, we had thousands of people there, and then the press accused us of hiring thousands of actors. Based on the fee that I got, that would not have been a good business decision on anyone's part. The reality is we hired 50 people, some of whom were part-time actors I found out later on. But we hired 50 people to help coordinate an event that brought in thousands of people. There were people at the door that couldn't get in. That night, all of the sudden, I got accused of hiring thousands of actors.Tim Miller: So Trump is going to speak, and Sean Hannity was going to give Trump Jeb's slot that night, because they announced the same day. So I'm standing outside Bed Bath & Beyond in Miami, shouting at Hannity, like, "What the F is your problem?" F this and F that. "How can you give this guy our slot?" Then I remember going in to shop and coming out and yelling at some other anchors. I literally spent the entire day of Trump's announcement screaming at TV executives.Corey Lewandowski: He did not deliver one word of the speech as it was written. We provided the speech to every media outlet and said, "Remarks as prepared by Donald Trump for his announcement speech." There were some media outlets that actually just printed them verbatim. Probably had egg on their face afterward. Because as we know, Donald Trump went on to speak extemporaneously for 45 minutes and talk about some of the individuals coming across the border that were never in the original speech. And I assume some are good people.Trump promised to make America great again and vowed to take on the growing might of China in a speech launching his run for the presidency in 2016. He made his way to the stage as Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" played.Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty ImagesAmanda Carpenter: I was, like, "OK, well, at least he's talking about mostly our type of issues. People will realize he's a clown. And then this whole thing will melt like cotton candy. And we'll be back to maybe a Jeb, Rubio, Cruz race."Lindsey Graham, GOP senator and 2016 presidential candidate: I thought his announcement was pretty extreme. I thought the rhetoric around his announcement and some of his policy positions would make it almost disqualifying.Chapter 2: Early disastersA month after his campaign announcement, at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, Trump attacked Sen. John McCain. The Arizona senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee had been a prisoner of war in Vietnam. "He's not a war hero," Trump told the moderator Frank Luntz. "He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured." It proved to be the first of a series of moments early on when it looked like Trump's campaign was over before it had even really begun.Marco Rubio, GOP senator and 2016 presidential candidate: Look, everybody — every traditional observer of politics — thought his campaign was dead when he said the things he said about John McCain.GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona in the US Capitol in July 2015, days after Trump said the Vietnam POW was "not a war hero."Andrew Harnik/AP PhotoCorey Lewandowski: We had a whole day planned in Iowa that day. I remember it very vividly. I waited for Mr. Trump to walk off the stage, and I said, "I'd like to speak to you." He said, "I was pretty good, right?" I said, "Sir, could I speak to you over here for a second, please?" We went into a locker room, which is where the referees or umpires, depending on the sport, would get dressed in that gymnasium. And I said: "Sir, by all accounts, John McCain is a war hero. You need to apologize." He said, "Yeah, no apologies."Marco Rubio: That was a pretty early sign that the dynamics of American politics have changed. Part of it is just the way the public now consumes political news. It's very different than 20 years ago. It's covered more like entertainment or sports, and less like public policy. It was a perfect forum for a candidate with a message and the experience that he had.I called my wife just as we were getting onto the plane. I said, 'Hey, baby, I'm coming home.' She said, 'Oh, the day is over?' I said, 'No, no — the campaign is over.' She said, 'What do you mean?' I said: 'It's over. We're done.' Corey Lewandowski, Trump campaign managerCorey Lewandowski: I called my wife just as we were getting onto the plane. I said, "Hey, baby, I'm coming home." She said, "Oh, the day is over?" I said, "No, no — the campaign is over." She said, "What do you mean?" I said: "It's over. We're done."We flew from Iowa back to New Jersey, and this guy Dave picked us up in the car and we drove over to Mr. Trump's home. As we walked in the door, Mrs. Trump was waiting for us. She said: "You're right. John McCain isn't a war hero. What he has done for the veterans has been shameful." In the meantime, I'd been getting phone calls from every major political pundit and conservative talk-show host except Rush Limbaugh. They were all telling me that Donald Trump had to apologize — that his race was over if he didn't apologize immediately.Michael Cohen: Melania played a very limited role during the campaign not believing Donald would actually win. However, when directly asked for her opinion on a matter by Donald, she offered it readily.Chapter 3: The DebatesOn August 6, inside Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, 10 Republican presidential candidates took part in the first debate. Trump was a neophyte to debates, and his team was more interested in hanging out with the Aerosmith lead guitarist Joe Perry than prepping, auguring the alchemy of entertainment and politics that would define the Trump era. If Trump was a made-for-television candidate, he benefited from the unconventional nature of that cycle's nearly dozen debates, spanning from August 2015 to March 2016.Corey Lewandowski: We had a little bit of downtime before we went over to the arena. We landed the plane in Cleveland, and we got a phone call from Don McGahn, who was then our general counsel. "Hey, Aerosmith is close by. Do you mind if they bring their tour bus over and party with us for a little while?" We said, "100% — bring Aerosmith over!"Donald McGahn: Close, but that's a little off.Corey Lewandowski: So we sat there with Aerosmith about an hour before the debate, swapping stories of Aerosmith as opposed to doing debate prep.Steven Tyler of Aerosmith listens from the audience during the first official 2016 Republican presidential debate in Cleveland.Brian Snyder/ReutersDonald McGahn: It wasn't the whole band. It was Joe Perry. He was intrigued by the emerging Trump phenomenon. Remember, this was before there were any primary debates, and it was all new to everyone. Stuff that would be from Mars on any other campaign was perfectly normal for the Trump campaign.By this point, Trump was getting ready for the debate, so Joe had to wait a little bit. On the way out the door, Trump says something about "rock stars have all the ladies," which apparently Perry got mad at, because he's been married for decades and takes all that stuff pretty seriously. After the debate, if you watch the film, Joe goes up on stage and finds Trump and proceeds to tell him that he's married and he doesn't sleep around.The subtext is that Steven Tyler already had tickets to the debate through some other wing of Trump Org. Joe didn't want to be upstaged — wanted to meet with Trump rather than just go to the debate. Apparently, there's a whole internal Aerosmith thing among the political persuasion of the band.After the first debate, the prime-time contests took on a familiar pattern, with Trump becoming their draw and center of gravity.Marco Rubio: The first time I got on the debate stage, there were, like, 100 people on stage. So it was a very unique race, because you had so many different people running.Rand Paul, GOP senator and 2016 presidential candidate: I blame as much as anything the media. The media organizes the debates.Sarah Isgur: It wasn't a debate. You were debating yourself. How could you use your time as effectively, and where can you jump in on a question that wasn't to you?The top-polling 2016 Republican presidential candidates in August 2015 at their first official debate in Cleveland. From left: Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Scott Walker, Trump, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and John Kasich.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesCorey Lewandowski: Let me just remind you, Trump had never been on the debate stage. And he was going up against a Princeton-educated debate champion in Ted Cruz, and career politicians and executives who've done this their entire life. So we spent time talking to Mr. Trump about some of the possible questions that would come up. We wrote one-liners on every candidate, just so he would have a quick retort if he wanted that.Rand Paul: It's hard to have much exchange when you don't get much time. It's unfair the way the debates are set up. They really make it impossible for the underdog to have much of a chance.Lindsey Graham: I never got on the big stage. That's frustrating. I was never able to poll well enough.Sean Spicer, chief strategist and communications director for the Republican National Committee: You're sitting there and watching Trump say, "Yeah, I don't know." And you think, "OK, that would have been a death knell for anybody else. It would have been, like, 'Boom — you're out.'"Josh Hawley, GOP candidate for Missouri attorney general: The one debate I remember, he starts by attacking Rand Paul. "I don't know why Rand Paul is even on the stage." I remember thinking, "I can't believe he's saying this stuff out loud." You can understand why people are watching the debates. Because you wonder, "Well, what's gonna happen next?"Rick Gates, deputy Trump campaign chairman: Donald Trump had this amazing ability to size people up — a "Little Marco" — in literally a one- or two-word phrase that so encapsulated who they were that people said: "This guy is absolutely right. He's telling us the truth." So it was almost impossible to compete with Donald Trump in that regard.Corey Lewandowski: Everyone has a plan until you get punched in the face. And we just kept punching people in the face.Tim Miller: If you're designing a candidate to do a poor job of being the one to go head-to-head with Trump, it would be Jeb. He was an easy punching bag because of his family. He's not an alpha type on a debate stage.—NTA by Mic (@NavigatingTrump) March 4, 2016Josh Schwerin: The most memorable debate experience? I was on the road, and it was the one where Trump and Rubio got into an argument about hand size, which I then had to brief President Clinton on. Which was one of the more awkward moments in my life, I would say. We were in Louisiana. He didn't at first believe me that this was the topic of a debate. I had to show him the CNN headline. I tried to not add any commentary and just let him read it for himself. Because it was not the most comfortable conversation to have with the former president of the United States. He was amused, but also really aghast that this is what they had devolved to.The evening after the Cleveland debate, with exhaustion setting in, Trump ignited another controversy when he phoned into "CNN Tonight" with Don Lemon and said that the Fox debate moderator Megyn Kelly had "blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever." Kelly had aggressively questioned Trump about his past comments about women, and his post-debate commentary would only further solidify the narrative that Trump had a problem with sexism.Sean Spicer: I think she thought that was going to be the gotcha moment.Corey Lewandowski: I remember getting a phone call that Friday night. I was in my apartment in New York at, like, 9 o'clock — we were supposed to be traveling to South Carolina the next day — from a guy by the name of Erick Erickson. And he says, "I just listened to the interview, and I've got teenage daughters and a wife, and Donald Trump is no longer invited to my event, because it was such an egregious thing to do."I didn't even know what the hell he was talking about. I said, "What happened?" I call Mr. Trump, and he says: "Yeah, I don't know. Maybe I said something." I again tell him it was one of these things where his campaign was over. And he just doubled down on it. He powered through it. And once again, 48 hours later, we were into a new news cycle.At the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, the candidates faced off in another marathon debate, during which Trump attacked Rand Paul's height and Carly Fiorina blasted Trump for mocking her appearance in an interview with Rolling Stone a few days before the debate. ("Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!") "I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said," Fiorina would say that night to raucous applause.Sarah Isgur: We were landing — this was back when not every airplane had WiFi. And so I was landing and getting WiFi back, and that's when I saw it. And, I mean, she knew immediately that was the best opportunity we'd ever had. Like the thing sucking up all the oxygen just gave us an oxygen mask.Tim Miller: Carly did a good job.Sarah Isgur: Trump realized the mistake he had made. That's why he never touched her again.Chapter 4: Republicans cannibalize themselvesIn the months-long lead-up to February's Iowa caucuses, the massive Republican field continued to jockey for position, and Trump continued to suck most of the oxygen out of the room and vacuum up earned media. By the end of 2015, the oxygen deprivation had winnowed the field by five candidates. The candidates who remained were trapped in something like a prisoner's dilemma in which they turned fire on everyone else but Trump. Meanwhile, the former celebrated neurosurgeon Ben Carson began to gain traction among social conservatives nationwide, particularly in Iowa. During a rally in Fort Dodge, Trump went after his future Cabinet appointee, reenacting Carson's teenage tribulations — ridiculous mock knife fight, anyone? — purely for laughs. Trump's team planned it on the plane, and it led to an awkward exchange in the motorcade afterward.—Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) November 13, 2015Corey Lewandowski: Mr. Trump says to Mark, the head of the Secret Service detail: "Hey, Mark. How did we do?" And Mark says, "Very good, sir!" And Mr. Trump says, "Do you have any advice?" And Mark says, "Just one, sir."I'm like, "You gotta be shitting me. This guy has been on the job a hot second and he's already giving the candidate advice? He's the fucking Secret Service guy!" And Mark, who's a great guy and I have enormous respect for, says: "Sir, please don't have anybody come up on the stage and stab you. We have to shoot them!"Then Trump goes, "Oh, Mark — the guy was 80."And Mark goes: "No, don't. Please. Here is my only advice. Please don't ask anyone to come up on the stage." And I said: "OK, like, I agree with you, head of Secret Service detail protection, let's not have anyone come up on the stage."February 2016 opened with Ted Cruz mounting a surprise win in Iowa and Trump complaining that the election was rigged.Newt Gingrich, former House speaker and 2012 GOP presidential candidate: Trump could never perform a classic Iowa campaign. First of all, it's not who he is. It's inconceivable he was going to go to small towns three times. But how could you create a replacement campaign? I called him one afternoon and said: "What you have to do is get on Facebook every day. People have to feel that you're in their living room or their kitchen every day. Then the familiarity will lead them to decide." I must have said that to him in October. And at Christmas, we were at my wife's sister-in-law's. He calls and says: "This is Donald. We just finished taping 58 Facebook videos."Sean Spicer: I had breakfast one morning with Corey. He was very clear that the expectations were that Trump needed to win Iowa. He was going all in, doing anything he could.Corey Lewandowski: Cruz's campaign was so focused, they put all their eggs in the Iowa basket. Then at the very end of the night of the Iowa caucus, they sent out a mass distribution that said, "Ben Carson is getting out of the race — vote for Ted Cruz." We believe that those votes went from Dr. Carson to Ted Cruz, and that is ultimately what led Donald Trump to finish second in the Iowa caucus.Marco Rubio: It was obvious he was doing it differently than everybody else was.Corey Lewandowski: There was a brief period of time where Marco Rubio started to go after Donald Trump and attack him. And you actually saw a movement in the polls, but what did Marco's team do? They started hearing from their donors, and their donors said: "This is beneath you. You should not be talking about the size of Mr. Trump's hands. This is not becoming of a presidential candidate."Marco Rubio: He has a real understanding of the media ecosystem and what feeds it—what it is the media wants to report on and getting narratives across. And that was probably underappreciated when everybody was kind of running traditional political campaigns and he was running a 21st-century, modern version of what we have. And it worked.The ensuing four weeks — starting with the Iowa caucuses at the beginning of February 2016 — saw the remaining Republican challengers cannibalize each other instead of Trump. Taking out the top guy after the Iowa caucuses, Ted Cruz, was too lofty a goal for Chris Christie in early 2016. So the straggling two-term governor of New Jersey settled on taking out the first-term senator from Florida, portraying Rubio as too green to be president. Meanwhile, Trump aides worried their candidate's obsession over not coming in first in Iowa could spell the end of his campaign.Mike DuHaime, senior strategist to Chris Christie: So it was on the plane ride back from Iowa to New Hampshire, it was really the governor himself and basically said: "This is what we have to do. Now is the time to take on Marco."Corey Lewandowski: I called the grown children — Don, Eric, and Ivanka — told them what was happening, brought Mr. Trump in, and, over a meal of McDonald's in the back room of our Manchester office, told him that if he wants to continue to bitch about the results in Iowa and not lay out his vision for what he wanted to achieve for America to the people in New Hampshire, this race was over. It was a very candid conversation; it was just he and I in the room. He listened intently. You walked out of that room. He went to a town-hall meeting with CNN that afternoon and Manchester. He came and ran a positive message.Then he went to a shift change at the Manchester police department, where he talked about supporting the men and women in law enforcement. And we campaigned in New Hampshire on Thursday and Friday, on Saturday, on Sunday, and on Monday. And on Tuesday, Donald Trump won the state of New Hampshire by 17 points, with 35%, in the 17-way primary. It was a complete blowout, the biggest blowout in the primary's history.With the field on the verge of collapsing, the GOP establishment's favorite son, Jeb Bush, sensed opportunity — albeit briefly. They pinned their hopes on the candidate's mother, the former first lady.Tim Miller: There was a small window where we felt, like, "Mrs. Bush is coming up, somebody is going to take some momentum here out of New Hampshire." That's not Cruz or Trump. It'll either be us or a Kasich or Rubio. We thought maybe we can kind of channel this and have a McCain-like 2008 sort of bump.Our internal numbers were going up a little bit right around the time when Mrs. Bush came to visit us. And it was just lovely, and she's just so charming and wonderful and aligned and blunt. And I remember briefing her for — she was interviewing with Norah O'Donnell. I was pretty clear, and I asked her what she was going to say if she was asked about them. I asked her her thoughts about Cruz and Trump, and she gave her very candid negative assessments of both of them. After each sort of rant she went on, she then looked at me and said, "But I'm not going to say that."Former first lady Barbara Bush introduces her son Jeb Bush at a town-hall meeting in Derry, New Hampshire, in February 2016.Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post via Getty ImagesCorey Lewandowski: We could attack Jeb for being a fake rich guy. Because he wasn't as rich as Trump. And then we could attack him for being a career politician. And then we can attack him for being low energy. He became an easy target for us because he had never had a tough battle.Christie dropped out after Trump won New Hampshire. Meanwhile, Bush's campaign never got going. He suffered perhaps most from a viral video after he told a New Hampshire audience on February 4, 2016, to "please clap."Tim Miller: The "please clap" thing is Ashley Parker's fault. I never will forgive her for that. She was the one who tweeted it out first and made everybody go back and find it and make it seem cringe.It was like a totally normal human response to an awkward audience moment that he was trying to let it go ahead. And then it got turned around on the internet to seem like he's begging people to clap for him. Like: 'Please clap for me, please clap for me. I'm so sad. I'm in last place.' Such is life. Tim MillerAshley Parker, reporter at The New York Times: I made it the kicker of my story. Once I tweeted it out, it just took on a totally unexpected life of its own.Tim Miller: It was like a totally normal human response to an awkward audience moment that he was trying to let it go ahead. And then it got turned around on the internet to seem like he's begging people to clap for him. Like: "Please clap for me, please clap for me. I'm so sad. I'm in last place." Such is life.Ashley Parker: It was sort of a poignant moment and a telling moment, in certain ways, but I think some of this got lost in the meme. It was also a lighthearted moment.All told, 12 Republican candidates started out in February. By the time Super Tuesday rolled around, on March 1, 2016, the field stood at five. Amid the South Carolina primary, holed up at a Hilton Garden Inn, the Bush campaign compiled speeches for dropping out and forging deeper into other states' nominating contests. Surrounded by the Bush family, the New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, and staffers, the son and brother of two former presidents dropped out of the race. He was the 2016 campaign's original front-runner with a nearly $100 million war chest.Rob Portman, GOP senator from Ohio: The Republican primary was a surprise for people because most of us thought Jeb Bush came into it with the most mainstream Republican support.Tim Miller: There were a couple of folks around Jeb who wanted him to keep going, and he called us back in and said: "You know, this is, I can't, can't do it. I can't move forward. So we have to, you know, we have to do this." He was all business. And he looked at me and says, "I've got it." And we went over the speech, you know, just like we would have with any other speech. He was wistful, obviously, and a little sad, but very businesslike. Like, this happened, he gave it his all, and he recognized staying in was only going to make things more likely at that point for Trump.Discarded lawn signs for Jeb Bush and Ben Carson lie on the ground outside a polling station in Columbia, South Carolina, on February 20, 2016.Joshua Roberts/ReutersMarco Rubio: Generally I was happy when people dropped out, because that meant, you know, one less candidate out there and a pool of voters that were now available to go after. Unfortunately for me, they didn't drop out soon enough.Chapter 5: Trump takes control: Super Tuesday, Indiana's decisive primaryIn March, as the contest narrowed, Trump went on a tear on Super Tuesday, winning Virginia, Vermont, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Massachusetts, and Alabama, setting up a battle royal between Trump, Cruz, and Kasich in Indiana's May primary.Rick Gates: By March, clearly he was the front-runner, and he was gaining delegates. But at the same time, you could see the party apparatus starting to work against him.Lindsey Graham: I endorsed Ted Cruz. I ran out of people to endorse. I was sort of the Dr. Kevorkian of endorsing. Everybody I endorsed politically died.Amanda Carpenter: It was essentially coming down to a Cruz-Trump race, and Kasich was refusing to get out. People like John Boehner and others were signaling that they weren't going to help Cruz and consolidate the field. They were just saying, "Well, we'll just nominate Trump and let him lose."Tim Miller: Jeb endorsed Cruz pretty quickly after he dropped out. Gave Marco Florida all to himself. I went to work for a super PAC that spent millions of dollars attacking Trump in Florida. Like, what more did you want from us?Mike DuHaime: Mitt Romney was potentially the most influential endorsement during that cycle. He was the previous nominee, and he had this massive fundraising network. So the thought was that if Mitt endorsed somebody, that person could become the one who could coalesce people. He never did.Mitt Romney, 2012 Republican presidential nominee: There's really no reason for me to add to that story.Tim Miller: There's an alternate history where Trump gets treated like a joke from the start. There's another alternate history where all of the campaigns attack him and treat him seriously from the start and he never really takes off. We'll never know. I do think that in both of those alternative histories, he could've gotten killed in the crib.A London pub set up cardboard cutouts of the faces of Ted Cruz, Trump, and Marco Rubio in March 2016 as part of an informal survey for customers to log which they disliked the most.Justin Tallis/AFP via Getty ImagesIn the early spring of 2016, the Trump campaign began to make some changes atop its organizational chart, hiring Paul Manafort, the veteran delegate wrangler of RNC conventions who'd turned into a jet-setting shadowy political operative for foreign autocrats.Rick Gates: Paul Manafort was brought in at the end of March. Trump had been advised to meet with Paul because Paul knew how to deal with conventions. The media had been reporting that the Republican convention was going to be contested. So you needed somebody to understand the nuances of how a contested convention works.The first call he made was to Jim Baker, the broker of the last contested convention. We had a secret meeting with Baker at the Jones Day law firm, our lawyer at the time. He and Trump had a fantastic meeting. Baker was as smooth as he typically is, and Trump was very interested in Baker's experience.The second call, which I thought was interesting, was to Dick Cheney. Cheney had agreed to support Trump, but he wanted to do it from behind the scenes. He wanted to be helpful for the party and support the nominee, but clearly he was not comfortable yet to move all into Trump's camp, given his relationship with the Bush family.Another interesting call was to Marco Rubio. Paul got Marco on the phone, and Rubio said he would look at how Trump was going to run his campaign, and, at the appropriate time, he might be willing to support him. Paul hung up and started smirking. I said, "What's going on?" He goes, "Marco used to be my driver at the 1996 Republican convention."At a hastily arranged event in Indianapolis, in a last-stand effort ahead of Indiana's decisive primary and following Trump's big wins in five East Coast states, Ted Cruz announced that Carly Fiorina would be his running mate if he emerged from the GOP primary with his party's nomination. It was an odd, awkward event that featured a botched handshake between the two.Sarah Isgur: The most important thought was, who can actually beat Trump at this point? He was underperforming with women. Cruz wasn't women's favorite candidate either. So if women in the middle of the Republican Party were up for grabs, maybe Carly could help with that.Jeff Roe, campaign manager for Ted Cruz: They had a really good rapport, and it was a man-bites-dog publicity event. So we thought it would be newsworthy, and that's how it came together.Adrienne Elrod: By that point, we realized it was over, and we started planning for the general election.Amanda Carpenter: I like Carly and respect her a lot, but it was just a play. You just tried to signal that we would be serious about things: "Look, we would bring a woman onto the ticket." I mean, it was kind of a last-ditch attempt.Nothing fancy to explain there: We fumbled for a moment, and it makes for an amusing video after the fact. Ted CruzJeff Roe: What's funny is we practiced the handshake.Sarah Isgur: Oh, my God. My memory is that not only did they practice the handshake, we made them practice the handshake. They balked at us and said that we were idiots for making them practice. They did it in a way teenagers will do something, like rolling their eyes. And then to have them do the most awkward, whatever that was, in the world.Jeff Roe: It's always awkward when candidates do the victory wave. We freaking practiced it, and they still screwed it up.Ted Cruz: Nothing fancy to explain there: We fumbled for a moment, and it makes for an amusing video after the fact.Jeff Roe: They really liked each other, legitimately liked each other. So it was what it was, a guy running for president who announced his VP before he got the nomination. It's going to be a little funky. If we could get conservatives to unite against Trump, then this could be a thing. It wasn't, "Oh, isn't this kind of funny?" We did not treat it as being funny.Lindsey Graham: I think it had slipped away by then.Days later, during an event on May 2, Fiorina fell through the stage while campaigning with Cruz.Sarah Isgur: I was doing something on my phone. They were, like, "Carly just fell!"Jeff Roe: I think she stepped off the thing. It's better from the camera angle than it was in real life. But the camera angle looks bad.Sarah Isgur: I was, like, "Oh, my God."One of the most pivotal endorsements during the final days of the GOP nominating contest was still up for grabs. On April 29, 2016, in a radio interview in Indianapolis, Gov. Mike Pence, himself running for reelection, endorsed Cruz to appease his socially conservative base. But Pence also threaded the needle with kind words about Trump. "I'm not against anybody, but I will be voting for Ted Cruz in the Republican primary," Pence said in an interview with WIBC's Greg Garrison. Trump won despite Pence's endorsement.Rick Gates: That night we set up a rally inside Trump Tower for Trump to kind of do his victory party. But we didn't say anything about being the presumptive nominee. We didn't take any liberties. We just stayed in our lane, and we knew at some point Cruz is going to have to drop out. We didn't know he was going to drop out that night.Jeff Roe: We stayed in a hotel. I cannot remember the name of the hotel, and, unbelievably, there was a dog show there. So we stayed up there the whole weekend, and we made our decision with these dogs barking next to us the whole damn time.Ted Cruz: When I was giving my speech and I said the words "We're suspending the campaign," a woman in the crowd let out a wail. It was piercing. I almost broke down. I finished the speech, and one of the things I'm still frustrated to this day is that I wanted to stay out there and thank the hundreds of volunteers who were there that night who were grieving. And I couldn't. I couldn't hold back the tears. There was an army of TV cameras there, and I'll be damned if I was going to let the media turn Lyin' Ted into Cryin' Ted. I had to leave the room because I simply couldn't hold back. I'm grateful that Heidi spent probably an hour just hugging everyone and saying thank you. I wish I had the strength to do that. I didn't. But Heidi did it for us. That piercing cry from the woman in the crowd. I'll never forget.Rick Gates: We found out that Cruz had dropped out after Trump had gone through the hallway to the elevator. It was Melania and Trump and myself and Paul in the elevator. And it was just utter silence. Paul turned to Trump and said, "Do you now know that you're one of two people who is going to be the next president of the United States?"Sarah Isgur: I was listening to the "Hamilton" soundtrack just over and over and over on the bus with my headphones on with the senior Cruz team and Cruz and Heidi and Carly. I wish I had had a better mood, attitude, whatever you want to call it. But you just worked your heart out and lost, and now you don't have time off. You're just back doing it for someone else. I say all that because when he lost, I was in sort of a historical, pensive mood. I remember wondering who had run against Hitler in Germany and thinking those people deserve more credit in history. Because you can know what the threat is and you can give everything you've got and still lose.Mike DuHaime: There were too many people who wanted to beat Trump but didn't have the courage to get behind any one person, because they didn't want to offend either us or Jeb or Marco or Cruz. So it was just too little too late.Ultimately, Pence, despite not endorsing Trump, became Trump's pick for the vice-presidential nomination — because of "divine intervention."Trump walks with Mike Pence on stage during a July 2016 campaign event in New York to announce Pence as Trump's running mate.Evan Vucci/AP photoRick Gates: Unbeknownst to Trump, we polled Ivanka to understand where she was. We didn't think that he was necessarily seriously going to move forward with it. But Paul thought we got to at least test it, because you never know, everything else about this race has been different. So why not? Let's look at this, you know, in totality. She had pretty good name recognition for that part. But at the end of the day, even she knew that she was not wanting to be the candidate. And so we moved on very quickly.Trump wanted to bring on somebody that was his friend, that he could work with as vice president, that he was able to communicate with very easily. And so this idea of Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich kind of being among the front-runners was absolutely accurate. But in the background we were looking at people like Mike Pence, Joni Ernst, and Bob Corker who might bring some significant role or resource to the campaign in order to help Trump win.So they came up with a short list very early on, and we reached out to the candidates individually. One of the first candidates was Mike Pence. He was the first VP candidate we met with at Bedminster. I was put in charge of vetting for Pence along with the lawyer A.B. Culvahouse. I staffed that meeting. This is the first time that Trump was physically meeting Mike Pence. And I think it's humorous in the sense that up to this point, Trump thought that Pence was not doing well in his governor's race. Trump felt like if he wasn't winning the governorship of Indiana, how in the world would he be able to help Trump as a vice-presidential candidate?And I say to this day, it was just divine intervention on how everything worked out for the first time they had met. Pence was ultimately selected. And we had a scenario where we met at Bedminster for the first time, Pence and his wife, Karen, and daughter Charlotte were there. And it was Trump and myself in the room. And Trump immediately started the meeting looking at Pence's daughter, Charlotte, and saying, "Charlotte, you know, your dad supported Ted Cruz in Indiana, not me." And it broke the ice and it was great. And to Mike's credit, he said, "Yes, Mr. Trump — uh — that was my fault." And it immediately just kind of got them into a position of really getting to know each other. And the visit was not without its challenges, because they are two very different people.Chapter 6: The RNC, July 2016Their presidential dreams crushed, a handful of Trump's 2016 rivals had by this point quit fighting and pledged allegiance to the seemingly inevitable nominee. But there were holdouts, like Rubio, Cruz, and Graham, who were still refusing to bend the knee. The climax came in Cleveland.Marco Rubio: I didn't go to the convention because I was running for reelection. I had announced late, so I needed every day I could spare in Florida.Tim Miller: I ended up not going to Cleveland. I drove to Richmond and got blackout drunk with my friend.Melania Trump at the end of her speech on the opening day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016.Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty ImagesRick Gates: On the first night of the convention, Melania did a fantastic job in the speech. And then about an hour and a half later, we start getting calls about the speech and about how it may have had information in it from a speech that Michelle Obama gave. And then, obviously, people started digging into the two speeches, and then they started comparing it.My wife calls me about an hour later, I think just a little after midnight, and says, "You're being blamed for it." And I was in a complete state of shock, because none of us had seen the speech until just before she gave the speech. And the way that the process worked, it was fed into a system run by the RNC where they would typically check for grammatical mistakes, but they never checked for content — obviously a correction that was made after that night. But at that point, nobody had thought to check Melania's speech because she had taken the team of speechwriters and done it. And what we found out after the fact was that there was an individual who had been guided by the speech firm that had given ideas and previous examples of speeches, and the speechwriter that helped him a lot, he was not political in nature and so, from what we now know, taken some of those aspects of the speech and included it, unbeknownst to Melania. And I don't think it was a deliberate intent, but obviously it created such a stir.Entering the convention, candidates who vociferously opposed Trump during the primary had to decide how to handle the convention optics. Former candidates such as Fiorina took a different tack than former candidates such as Cruz.Sarah Isgur: Carly couldn't endorse Trump and she couldn't not endorse him. I think that the phrase that was used was "You don't show up to someone's birthday party and talk about what a son of a bitch they are."Amanda Carpenter: I was working for CNN, and I had an inkling that Cruz was going to do something. I thought, another good, last-ditch attempt to try to at least signal opposition to what was going to happen.Rick Gates: We had negotiated with Cruz that he would be able to speak but that he would need to come out and say he was endorsing Donald Trump, which up until that moment he hadn't committed to. We asked for a copy of the speech in advance, but he didn't give it to us. We felt Cruz was going to renege on his commitment, which you naturally would assume.There was a lot of jockeying at the last minute. Jared and I were at the hotel with Trump in his suite. We're on the phone with Paul, who was over at the convention center. Nobody wanted Cruz to speak except for Paul, who thought it would be a disaster if he didn't, since we had committed to it. But Trump refused to allow him to speak, and so we were working out how we were going to tell Cruz this.Ted Cruz: The purpose of the speech was to lay out a path that I hoped then-candidate Trump would follow. A path to unifying conservatives. A path to honoring the promises that we had been making to the American people. What I said in the speech is vote for candidates who you trust to defend freedom and to defend the Constitution. And that is very much what I hoped Donald Trump would do. At the time I didn't know if he would or not. There were reasons to have concerns. I did have concerns.Amanda Carpenter: It was all pretty high-level, high-stakes theatrics going on — on everyone's part.Rick Gates: So we go over to the convention center in the motorcade. We have Trump in a holding room, and he's watching the proceedings on TV. He asked me where the rest of the family is. We had a family box, which we called the VIP box, in the corner of the convention center, looking directly onto the stage. Trump said: "'We'll check it out. Let's go."So we walk through the halls, and everybody's shouting "Trump! Trump! Trump!" He's building momentum. I'm thinking, this is way early for him to come down into this area, before Pence comes out to speak. And then he just kind of moseys out of the room right around the corner, because the stairs lead down into the box. He gets into the stairwell, and he turns to me and says, "Watch this."Ted Cruz: I didn't know it was coming. I had no idea. It didn't occur to me that that would be the campaign's reaction. Given that, for any nominee, the objective typically is to unify the party and win in November.Amanda Carpenter: I just remember how loud the boos were. And how I was worried for Heidi, watching her just kind of whisked out.Ted Cruz: If you look at what I said in the speech, the words were virtually identical to what Ted Kennedy said about Jimmy Carter and to what Ronald Reagan said about Gerald Ford. Neither one of them, at their respective conventions, endorsed the nominee. And the reason I know it was identical is I had both of those speeches in front of me when I was writing it and very deliberately used the same language.Amanda Carpenter: I didn't think anybody was in real danger, but just watching everything that happened at Trump rallies and the violence outside the convention, it was uncomfortable.Sean Spicer: Trump owned the moment. He gets stuff in a way that I don't think people appreciate in terms of — what's the right word? — pageantry. It's like showbiz, in the sense that he knows how to make a presentation.Trump's takeover of the GOP would culminate in a dark, authoritarian speech that would presage much of his reign over the country and, years later still, his party. "I alone can fix it," he infamously claimed.Rick Gates: Trump was very involved in writing the speech. We had created a framework for it. But as with every speech, he put his words to it, he put his rhythm, his content, to a large extent. It was a speech that I think resonated with a lot of people at that time. It was one that showed the issues with America, the problems that we were having, based on, in his view, failed leadership, across not just Democratic administrations but Republicans too. He felt very particular about immigration, about China, about making sure that America could be the best country it could be. And he had a different idea of how to do that. And so in laying that out in the speech — and it was a long speech, longer than we had anticipated, but it needed to show Americans — not just Republicans, but all Americans — what was wrong and how we could potentially fix it. And so it kind of codified both those dark moments of where you feel like there's no hope or optimism to feeling very optimistic by the end. And you could sense that he poured everything he had into that speech.The balloon drop after Trump formally accepted the GOP's 2016 presidential nomination in Cleveland. He'd go on to defeat the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, that November and serve a single term as president of the United States.Jeff J Mitchell/Getty ImagesLindsey Graham: I thought it was a pretty good speech. But I never thought he could win. I really didn't. I thought we would lose big. So what the hell do I know?Rick Gates: I'll never forget it, because he was also involved in the actual walk out and how he was going to do it. And just the way that the optics were very important for him. And it was going to either create a momentum booster, which is exactly what you want out of a convention, because at the end of the day, a convention is an event where you get to control the entire script, you don't have a bunch of people criticizing you or weighing down on it, you can certainly try, but at the end of the day, the majority of Americans are seeing exactly what you put on prime time. That 7-to-10-p.m. slot is the most important time of any convention, Republican or Democrat. And so with Trump that night, giving that speech, if he did it, it ultimately gave us a 10-point boost.Donald McGahn: The thing I remember the most are the number of people who still opposed Trump at that point and who were not at all enthusiastic about him. But then after he won, they were the first people in line saying, "I was with you the whole time, and I should get a job." That's the biggest thing I remember about the convention: the lack of honest support Trump was getting, even then.Rick Gates: When we first started planning the convention, it turns out that the RNC had hired a production team, that part of their team had been involved in "The Apprentice." So Trump, he has a style of getting to know everybody who works under him. At the convention, during the walk-through, Trump saw a director he knew, and they connected right away. This individual had a sense of what Trump would like, and he presented an overall plan. Trump loved it. We had to change a few things along the way at Trump's request, but this idea that you create the optic of somebody coming out in this kind of silhouette way through the middle doors — it was almost like a rock concert more than a convention, and people reacted that way. I'll never forget people texting me and emailing me, like, "I've never seen a walk out like that, not ever."Sarah Isgur: By that point, not only has Trump taken over the Republican Party, but the Democratic Party has responded to him as well. So he has had a huge effect on the Democratic Party. Think of it like evolution. There's this thing called Red Queen theory, where parasites actually affect the evolution of their hosts. The two will keep evolving to get advantage over one another. So it really matters what advantage the parasite gets next time, because that's how the host is going to evolve next time.John Cornyn, GOP senator from Texas: Every day was a surprise. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 15th, 2022

The 25 best travel gadgets will make sure you"re ready for anything on your next trip

From power banks to luggage trackers, these smart, travel-friendly gadgets will make traveling to your next destination easier. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Mark Wang for Insider; Bellroy; Vicky Leta/Insider The right travel gadgets and accessories ensure you're ready for anything that comes your way. Some must-have gear include a portable battery, noise-canceling headphones, and all-in-one charging hub.  Our favorite travel-friendly tech gadgets will make navigating your next journey easier. When it comes to packing for your next adventure, you probably already have a list of tech gadgets on your list: a phone, maybe a laptop or tablet, and possibly a smart watch. Otherwise, you may be wondering what other gizmos are worth lugging around. As it turns out, there's a lot to consider. Whether you're on a long-haul flight, a never-ending road trip, or just jetting around your destination, there are plenty of travel-appropriate tech gadgets that can make your next trip a breeze. From gear to ensure you're charged up to a TSA-approved massage gun to ail the aches of travel, here are our favorite travel tech gadgets and accessories to ensure you're ready for anything that comes your way.Tile ProTile ProAmazonAfter a summer of surging demand and low airline staffing levels, lost luggage has been on top of many people's minds. For keeping an eye on your valuables, put a Tile Pro or Apple AirTag in your checked baggage. We recommend Tile because it works for both Android and Apple devices, while utilizing the Tile user network to help you locate things that are much further away.On the flipside: Apple's AirTag offers the same features, but only works with Apple devices. The AirTag connects to the Find My app built into every iPhone and iPad, which theoretically means it taps into a wider network of users to locate your item. Whichever you choose, consider a tracker in your luggage as personal insurance.Sony WH-100XM5 HeadphonesAmazonIf you want the latest and greatest in over-ear noise-canceling performance, it's the Sony WH-100XM5s. The XM5s sport an updated design with a narrower headband and wider earcups for a roomier fit. The drivers have been updated and the ANC (active noise cancellation) performance has been kicked up a notch thanks to two processors and eight noise-canceling microphones, up from the four microphones found on the previous-gen XM4s. Speaking of the XM4s, they're still a great option and cost $50 less.Panasonic ErgoFit Wired EarbudsAmazonIt's a good idea to have a pair of wired earbuds to toss in your bag for a flight or a long road trip. And while there are plenty to choose from, Panasonic's ErgoFit are a tried-and-true budget pair you won't regret. Available in more than 15 colors, these earbuds are as basic as you can get, but they'll get the job done for under $20. Just note that you'll need a Lightning adapter for Apple devices.Nimble Champ Portable ChargerBest BuyThe Champ charger is one of Nimble's smallest and lightest power banks, but it still packs a punch. It's designed to top up smaller devices, and supports up to 15W of charging through one USB-A port and one USB-C port. The battery's 10,000mAh capacity is enough to charge your phone or tablet for a weekend of use. Bonus: Nimble is a certified B Corp with a commitment to sustainable consumerism currently unmatched in the consumer tech industry, from using non-traditional materials and plastic-free packaging, to its free e-waste recycling program.Anker 622 Magnetic BatteryAmazonIf you own an iPhone 12, 13 or 14 and want to take advantage of MagSafe technology, this portable battery pack from Anker has a capacity of 5,000mAh, which is more juice than Apple's MagSafe battery pack, which is rated at 1,460mAh. The 622 is capable of wirelessly charging your phone at a max of 7.5 watts, but its best feature is the travel-friendly built-in kickstand. If you're looking for more power, Anker also sells a 10,000mAh version.Anker 747 ChargerAmazonIf you're a frequent traveler, you need a multiport charging hub. And Anker's GaNPrime-powered 747 Charger is one of the best you can buy right now. With three USB-C ports, one USB-A port, and 150W charging capacity, this compact charger can charge multiple devices — laptops, tablets, smartphones, or other small devices — quickly and all at once. And thanks to GaNPrime technology, the 747 is  smart enough to identify how many devices are connected and how much output each device needs.Native Union Belt Cable UniversalNatvie UnionWhen it comes to cables, it pays to have a spare just in case you lose one. For that, we recommend this universal cable from Native Union. Measuring at 6.5 feet long and made from braided nylon, the cord can quickly transition between micro-USB, USB-C, and Lightning connectors.Mophie 3-in-1 Travel Charger with MagSafeAppleApple stans will appreciate Mophie's 3-in-1 charger, which has dedicated charging spots for the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods. We're not sure what we like more: the convenient carrying case or that it comes complete with a 30W USB-C wall adapter.Moft Invisible Laptop StandAmazonWhen you're on the road, ergonomics is a challenge. Moft's "invisible" laptop stand is an ultra-thin portable stand that won't add any weight to your laptop, and only takes a second to put into action. It has two elevation angles (15 and 25 degrees), which you can adjust to whichever is more convenient for your sitting posture. Moft also sells stands for other devices, including the iPad and iPhone.Epicka Universal Travel Power AdapterAmazonIf you're jet-setting across the world, a universal travel adapter is a must. And you won't find one that'll meet most simple charging needs than Epicka's all-in-one adapter. This handy plug is designed for phones, laptops, and other smaller devices. The retractable prongs allow it to work in more than 150 countries, and it has six charging ports: four USB ports, one USB-C port, and one universal AC socket. Yogasleep Rohm Travel Sound MachineAmazonWith Yogasleep's Rohm Travel Sound Machine, you can rest easily wherever the road takes you. It features three modes: bright white noise, deep white noise, and "gentle surf." And unlike other portable sound machines, it's powered by a rechargeable battery instead of disposable batteries. If you're looking for something more baby-friendly, the Hushh Compact Sound Machine features a soft LED night light and child-safe locks.Kensington Privacy ScreensAppleWhen you think of tech privacy while traveling, you might think of VPNs, which allow you to connect to the internet through a secure server so you can work securely and remotely. But for added security, don't overlook privacy screens. Kensington sells a number of reliable privacy screens — some attached with magnets, others by an adhesive, depending on your laptop or tablet — that reduces viewing angles and filters blue light.Bellroy Tech KitBellroyA dedicated tech bag can turn the roost of cables, cords, and techy accessories you travel with into a well-organized mobile workstation. While you should shop around to find a tech organizer bag that suits your particular needs, the Tech Kit from Bellroy is a quality option. It features a soft-shell body for added structure and protection, along with loops, pockets, and compartments to neatly store your essentials. It's also available in a compact size.Etekcity Luggage ScaleEtekcityOverweight baggage fees can cost an arm and a leg and who knows what else, and they're especially tricky when traveling internationally. Etekcity's luggage scale is reliable and accurate, plus it's ultra portable and weighs under five ounces to easily fit in your bag.TwelveSouth AirFlyAmazonA tiny dongle that lets you use your wireless headphones for in-flight entertainment? How smart. TwelveSouth's AirFly plugs into the audio jack so you can hear airline TV screens using your own personal headphones. And with more than 20 hours of battery life, it could last even the most long-haul flights. If you've got a travel companion, the AirFly Duo lets you connect two pairs of headphones at once.Logitech K380 KeyboardAmazonLogitech's K380 keyboard is an excellent portable set of keys that has a small footprint that will make working even in the most cramped spaces a little more comfortable. It connects to any device that supports Bluetooth and pairs with up to three devices, which is perfect if you're switching between a laptop, tablet, and phone. It's ultra quiet, and can last two years one just two AAA batteries.Manfrotto Pixi Mini TripodAmazonWhether it's for timelapses, self-portraits, or video calls, a phone tripod can be surprisingly handy when you're on the go. Manfrotto makes some of the best travel tripods in the world, and its Pixi Mini Tripod folds up small (you can also use this tripod as a grip) and weighs less than a pound. Unlike some tripods, the Pixi Mini can be used with a large variety of devices thanks to its universal clamp.Larq Bottle FilteredAmazonWhat do you get when you take a water filter and pack it into a water bottle? The Larq Bottle Filtered. Inside this double-wall insulated water bottle is a state-of-the-art filtration system that traps and removes contaminants like chlorine, heavy metals, and mercury for clean, fresh-tasting drinking water. The bottle can filter up to 40 gallons of water. If you're looking for the peace of mind to be able to drink safely from any tap, this is worth the investment.Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3AmazonThe newest ultra-portable speaker from Ultimate Ears, the Wonderboom 3 is a 360-degree speaker that should fulfill your travel needs. It has battery life of up to 14 hours on a single charge. There's an "Outdoor Boost" mode that cranks up the bass, and it can float if you throw it in water. This is a versatile little speaker that can also pair with another Wonerboom speaker for stereo sound.Hypervolt Go 2AmazonA must-have for preventing and easing the aches and pains of traveling, the Hypervolt Go 2 weighs just 1.5 pounds and lasts up to 3 hours on a single charge. With three speeds and two interchangeable heads, it can do wonders for a stiff neck, sore muscles, back pain and more. It's also surprisingly quiet. The Go 2 is TSA-approved, as long as it's packed in your carry-on. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with a travel case. Nintendo SwitchAmazonThe Nintendo Switch is designed as a portable console, so it makes it a no-brainer for anyone who prefers to occupy their travel downtime with a dedicated gaming device. The Switch has plenty of games to take advantage of handheld mode, and you'll have the option to play on a bigger screen when available. If you do intend to travel with the Switch, there are must-have accessories you should bring with you, including a backup battery, extra storage, and a carrying case.Roku Streaming Stick 4KRokuIf you're not traveling with a streaming stick, you're missing out on a simple travel hack. You can plug it into your hotel room or Airbnb's TV and stream your favorite movies and shows. Roku's Streaming Stick 4K is well-suited for travel, and will give you great picture quality, whether streaming in HD, 4K, or HDR. Just don't forget to bring the physical Roku remote.Kindle PaperwhiteAmazonEasily one of the best Kindles you can buy right now, the 11th-generation Kindle Paperwhite includes a larger 6.8-inch, high-resolution display, adjustable warm lighting, responsive page-turning, and USB-C charging. The base Paperwhite comes with 8GB of storage, which should be plenty for most people (that's around 3,000 e-books).Conair Extreme SteamerAmazonWhether you're traveling for business, a wedding, or really just can't with wrinkled clothes, a fabric steamer is an all-too-forgotten travel essential. And while it's difficult to find a compact steamer, Conair's Extreme Steam strikes the perfect balance of size, dependability, and price. It heats up quickly and gives you 15 minutes of steam time.Fujifilm Instax Mini 11AmazonThe Instax Mini 11 is a straighforward instant camera that's so easy to use that even kids can operate it. Instax Mini film is widely available, and would be easier to find locally if you ever run out of exposures. And the plastic camera is small enough to fit inside your daily bag.If you prefer the full-size square photos, and weight and size isn't an issue, the Polaroid Now+  is worth a look — just fair warning that the camera is chunky and not as travel-friendly as the Instax Mini 11. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 15th, 2022

I flew on Spirit from New York to Miami and found the carrier is a perfectly fine way to travel if you know how to avoid the extra fees

Spirit's product is not very luxurious compared to potential future merge partner JetBlue, but it's not supposed to be, and I almost prefer it for the low fares. Taylor Rains/Insider Spirit Airlines is commonly named one of the worst airlines in the US. The carrier's name may soon be gone from the skies though due to a potential merger with JetBlue Airways.  I flew Spirit to see how the product compares to JetBlue and how to avoid add-on fees. Low-cost giant Spirit Airlines is infamous for its bare-bones yellow planes and costly add-on fees.A Spirit Airlines Airbus A320 passenger jet taxis at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.Robert Alexander/Getty ImagesI finally caved and flew on the 'worst airline in America' — here's what it was likeThe carrier runs on an a-la-carte business model, meaning customers only get an unassigned seat and a personal item in the basic fare. For anything extra, like bags and inflight snacks, it'll cost — and there are strict size and weight limits.Thomas Pallini/InsiderThe 11 best and worst airlines in AmericaFor veteran travelers like myself, flying Spirit is no big deal because I know what to expect and the consequences of not pre-booking add-ons — particularly bags — before getting to the airport.Spirit Airlines bag size and weight checkers at LGA Terminal A.Taylor Rains/InsiderBut, for those looking for a cheap flight with little experience traveling on a budget airline, it may come as a shock when you're asked to pony up hundreds of dollars for luggage at the ticket counter or gate.Spirit Airlines ticket counter at Santa Ana, California, airport.Thomas Pallini/InsiderDespite its poor reputation, Spirit continues to fill its planes, with its 2022 load factor nearly that of 2019 at 83.3% and 84.8%, respectively, according to the carrier.Load factor is the percent of aircraft seats filled by passengers, so plenty of people are still willing to fly the low-cost airline.Thomas Pallini/InsiderSource: Spirit AirlinesWith its success and large fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft, Spirit garnered interest from Frontier Airlines and JetBlue Airways, which both bid to buy the carrier in early 2022.Frontier Airlines made the first bid.Taylor Rains/InsideBudget airlines Frontier and Spirit to merge in $6.6 billion deal that could create the US' 5th largest airlineAlthough Frontier was first, JetBlue swooped in with an "unsolicited proposal" that Spirit ended up accepting, despite pushback from its union. The deal is worth $3.8 billion.Marcus Mainka/ShutterstockSource: FlightGlobal, JetBlue agrees to buy Spirit for $3.8 billion, in a deal that would create the 5th-biggest US airlineIn October, Spirit shareholders agreed to the merger and expect to complete the regulatory process by the first half of 2024.Spirit Airlines aircraft.Carlos Yudica/ShutterstockSource: CNBCWith the movement, customers and experts are wondering how a potential merger could impact the network, fares, and overall experience, especially since JetBlue has amenity-heavy planes with free snacks, WiFi, and entertainment.Inside JetBlue Airways' Airbus A321neoLR.Thomas Pallini/InsiderJetBlue and Spirit have agreed to merge. Passengers may enjoy better service on the combined airline, but Spirit's low prices will vanish.Christopher Raite, a senior analyst at research firm Third Bridge, told Insider that fares could rise in places like Miami and New York where the two currently overlap routes.JetBlue planesPhoto by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty ImagesBut, low-cost competitors like Frontier and Avelo Airlines may pressure JetBlue to keep ticket prices down in other markets, he further explained.Avelo Airlines is a low-cost startup that launched in April 2021.Vincent Games/ILG SpotterI flew on Spirit from New York to Miami to see the full no-frills experience and how it currently compares to JetBlue — here's how it went, and how I managed the add-on fees.Flying on Spirit from New York to Miami.Taylor Rains/insiderA new report ranked US airlines worst to best using several metrics — see how they stacked up against one anotherMy journey started with the booking process, which I think is the most important step to pay attention to if you want to avoid any unexpected costs. Spirit is very clear online that most amenities cost extra.Some add-on options during the booking process.Taylor Rains/InsiderI booked my flight about a month out on the airline's website, and the basic fare cost $32 one-way. Remember, this only got me an unassigned seat and a personal item, which must fit under my seat and not exceed 18x14x8 inches.The personal item size measure.Taylor Rains/InsiderWhile I can typically manage with just a small duffle for free, I brought a carry-on for this trip. The bag cost a whopping $60 one-way and could not exceed 22x18x10 inches.My carry-on is 20 x 12 x 8 inches.Taylor Rains/InsiderA checked bag was cheaper, starting at $55. The lower price encourages people to check their luggage rather than carry on to create more space in the overhead bins.Taylor Rains/InsiderThe total one-way fare came to $103 with taxes and fees, which, shockingly, was more expensive than if I flew Delta Air Lines, which included a carry-on for $69 total.Pricing on the day that I booked, which was October 5. Though, the Delta flight was from JFK, which is not my preferred airport.Taylor Rains/InsiderUnited Airlines' and JetBlue's fares were also cheaper since adding a carry-on for both was only $30, bringing the total one-way fares to about $93 and $99, respectively.Pricing for other flights from the New York area.Taylor Rains/InsiderGranted, I prefer to fly out of LaGuardia, so United wouldn't be my first choice since it flies out of Newark, New Jersey, and the Delta flight from LaGuardia left at 7:05 a.m., so those details were taken into account.Spirit Airlines terminal at LaGuardia. Construction was going on during my trip.Taylor Rains/InsiderDespite the slightly higher fare, I was happy with Spirit's 3:49 p.m. departure from LaGuardia. And, if I didn't bring a carry-on, which I normally don't, the $32 one-way fare would be a no-brainer.Spirit Airlines aircraft at the gate.EQRoy/ShutterstockThere are a few other add-on options during the booking process, like paying for seats or expedited security, but I skipped these since I don't care about the seat location and I already have TSA Pre-Check.Some pricing options during booking.Taylor Rains/InsiderMy journey officially started at around 2:00 p.m. at LaGuardia Airport on November 1. Spirit flies out of Terminal A, which is pretty run-down and small, but I like it because it's easy and quick to navigate.Terminal A at LaGuardia.Taylor Rains/InsiderWhen I walked in, there were check-in kiosks available to get a boarding pass, and a weigh station for checked luggage. Anything over 40 pounds is considered overweight, per Spirit.Taylor Rains/InsiderThere are also containers that check the dimensions of your luggage, though the agent did not ask me to measure my items. According to Spirit, checked bags that are more than 62 linear inches are considered oversized.Taylor Rains/InsiderTravelers will pay for any luggage not pre-booked or is oversized or overweight. These fees range from $69 to $100 at the ticket counter and will cost even more at the gate, so it's important to pay attention and arrive at the airport prepared.The full list of prices for bags and equipment on my flight. This can be found by searching for your specific flight on the carrier's bag information page.Taylor Rains/InsiderAfter receiving my boarding pass, which is free at the kiosk, I cleared security and headed to the gate.You can also get your boarding pass on the mobile app for free.Taylor Rains/InsiderThe boarding area was small with only one bathroom, but I appreciated the short walk and there was space to sit and relax.Taylor Rains/InsiderBoarding started around 3:00 p.m. for a 3:49 p.m. departure.Taylor Rains/InsiderBecause I paid for a carry-on, I was in the first boarding group — zone 1 — ensuring overhead bin space.Taylor Rains/InsiderI walked down the aisle passing the Big Front Seat and extra legroom rows before arriving at seat 22A, which was randomly assigned at check-in.Taylor Rains/InsiderI had the option to purchase a seat during and after check-in, which ranged from $8 to $83 depending on legroom and location, with the Big Front Seat being the most expensive.The Big Front Seat on a previous Spirit flight in mid-2022.Taylor Rains/InsiderI've flown the business-like lounger before and, personally, I don't find it worth the money. They don't recline and it doesn't come with any added perks, like free food or drinks.The headrests are also stationary, which is actually really uncomfortable.Taylor Rains/InsiderI flew in Spirit's 'Big Front Seat,' the airline's fanciest and most expensive product, and I don't think it's worth the upgradeI was happy with my window seat, which was a lucky steal since I'm used to getting the middle seat as a solo traveler.Taylor Rains/InsiderHowever, in typical low-cost fashion, the seat had just 28 inches of legroom. For someone who is only 5'3" tall and on the smaller size, the minimal space isn't a big deal.Taylor Rains/InsiderBut, for someone like my best friend who towers at 6'3", it's probably worth it to pay for an extra legroom seat, like the exit row, which has up to 34 inches of pitch.Taylor Rains/InsiderSource: SeatGuruIn addition to the hard seat, Spirit also offers travelers a tiny tray table, but that's about it. There is no inflight entertainment or power…Taylor Rains/Insider…no recline or headrests, and no seatback pocket.Taylor Rains/InsiderThough, there was a small cubby above the tray table that was just big enough for paper pamphlets — a water bottle wouldn't fit, but a slim phone would.Taylor Rains/InsiderBut, there was no WiFi despite a QR code on the seatback saying there was, so I was pretty disappointed. WiFi is a relatively new addition to Spirit aircraft, and the service starts at $2.99 for browsing and $5.99 for streaming, when available.Taylor Rains/InsiderSource: Spirit AirlinesFortunately, I downloaded some movies and podcasts, so I had entertainment to pass the time on the three-hour flight.Taylor Rains/InsiderAfter getting settled, I waited for the rest of the plane to board. I even lucked out with the middle seat being left open, so I had plenty of space to spread out without disturbing my aisle-seat neighbor.I was able to put my personal item under the middle seat, giving me more legroom.Taylor Rains/InsiderWhile Spirit can sometimes be unreliable, my flight pushed back at 3:42 p.m. and we were in the air right on time, which was a refreshing treat after a summer of travel chaos.Taylor Rains/InsiderFor the inflight service, there was a menu with prices for buy-onboard snacks and beverages. Even water costs extra, so I always bring a refillable bottle onboard.Taylor Rains/InsiderI ordered the cafe snack box, a Buzzballz Lotta Colada mixed drink, and a Diet Coke, totaling $24.Taylor Rains/InsiderThe snack box included fruit snacks, chocolate chip cookies, crackers, cheese spread, almonds, and a wet wipe. The food was a filling enough lunch despite the hefty $9 price.Taylor Rains/InsiderMeanwhile, the $11 cocktail was actually pretty tasty — yet surprisingly strong.Taylor Rains/InsiderOverall, my experience was exactly as expected. I got from point A to point B efficiently with no issues, arriving about 20 minutes ahead of schedule.Taylor Rains/InsiderFunny enough, we departed right after a JetBlue plane. But, having flown the New York-based airline dozens of times, I can say Spirit's product is not much comparatively.Taylor Rains/InsiderJetBlue seats are more padded, and the aircraft has inflight TV screens, complimentary WiFi, snacks, and drinks, and much more legroom in regular economy — at least four inches more than Spirit.Inside JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR.Thomas Pallini/InsiderSource: SeatGuruBut, that's the beauty of Spirit's business model. It keeps fares low by offering minimal amenities, and people are willing to suffer through it, including me.Taylor Rains/InsiderAnd, if you know how the add-on fees work and the responsibility to book them in advance, then the flight should be smooth-sailing. Though, disruptions are bound to happen with any airline.Spirit Airlines aircraftThiago B Trevisan/ShutterstockBut, there is actually a lower chance of being delayed when flying Spirit versus some competitors, including JetBlue.JetBlue landing at JFK.Eliyahu Yosef Parypa/ShutterstockFrom January to August, the budget airline ranked 7th in the US for on-time performance at 69.3%, according to Bureau of Transportation data. That compares to Frontier's 64.5%, JetBlue's 62.9%, and Allegiant's 61.6%.Taylor Rains/InsiderThese are the airlines with the lowest percentage of on-time arrivals in 2022 so farJetBlue may actually learn something from Spirit, with Raite telling Insider Spirit keeps fares low because of its efficient operation and network.JetBlue Airways "hops" livery.JetBlue AirwaysThat's not to say the low-cost airline is perfect by any means, especially with its sometimes mediocre customer service and barebones planes.Taylor Rains/InsiderBut, joining forces with JetBlue, which clearly has a superior product that is consistently ranked high by passengers, a merger may be a perfect balance.Spirit Airlines "Bare Fare" liveryCarterAerial/ShutterstockJ.D. Power ranked airlines across 3 fare classes according to its annual customer satisfaction survey — see the resultsRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 8th, 2022

Jill Biden holds the key to the nation"s political future as her husband weighs re-election in 2024

Allies describe the first lady as her husband’s partner in political decisions. “He won’t run in ‘24 if Jill Biden doesn’t want him to run,” one told Insider. First lady Jill Biden.STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images Jill Biden has veto power over her husband running for reelection in 2024, allies say. But she's not expected to use it. She supports his intention to run. She's been touting his achievements, hoping he'll win a "few more partners in Congress" in November. Political advisors had been in Jill Biden's living room for hours, trying to persuade her husband to run for president, while she sat by the pool, "fuming."She and Joe Biden, then a senator, had already decided against a second presidential bid in 2004. She had "forbidden any campaign talk."And then, her temper got the best of her."A Sharpie caught my eye," she wrote in her memoir "Where The Light Enters." "I drew NO on my stomach in big letters, and marched through the room in my bikini."Needless to say, they got the message," she continued.Twenty years later, the first lady still holds the power of "NO" when it comes to her husband's political aspirations. She wields this influence as her family endures enormous scrutiny over their son Hunter facing possible criminal charges and questions about Joe Biden's mental acuity as he approaches his 80th birthday. That approach has been decidedly rocky. In recent weeks, Joe Biden called out for Rep. Jackie Walorski — she is dead — at a public event and mispronounced the name of the United Kingdom's prime minister, Rishi Sunak.When asked last week if his wife backs him running, the president's awkward, lengthy pause, prompting a nudge from MSNBC's Jonathan Capehart — "Mr. President?" — only added to Republican criticism online, with GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel calling the exchange "scary."The president ultimately said his wife thinks "that we're doing something very important, and that I shouldn't walk away from it." He has his "intention" is to run in 2024. The president has not, however, made a formal decision and has not officially filed re-election campaign paperwork that would trigger various federal requirements, such as adhering to fundraising limits and disclosing campaign income and expenditures.Jill Biden, for her part, isn't expected break out the Sharpie again, at least anytime soon. Evidence of her support for her husband's presidency can be found all over the midterm elections campaign trail. Between writing classes she teaches at Northern Virginia Community College, she has been zig-zagging across the country for campaign events and fundraisers, raising millions of dollars for Democrats and touting Biden's achievements in office, from gun safety legislation to prescription drug affordability."Just imagine what he could do with a few more partners in Congress," she said at a recent fundraiser in Nashville.Jill Biden's advice will be the primary advice Joe Biden will rely on as he makes that decision, said South Carolina Sen. Dick Harpootlian, a former state party chairman and member of the Biden 2020 finance committee."Joe Biden wouldn't have run in '20 if Jill Biden had not wanted him to run and he won't run in '24 if Jill Biden doesn't want him to run," he told Insider.Former US Sen. Ted Kaufman, Biden's longtime chief of staff in the Senate, called Jill Biden "a full partner" and "someone he turns to" in his decision making.The couple, Jill Biden said this month on NBC's Today show, has been "a little bit too busy" to discuss 2024, but she affirmed her support."I'm sure it will be a discussion," Jill Biden said. "Look at all Joe has done. He has kept true to what he said he would do, and so I think he just needs to keep going."President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch fireworks go off on national mall from the White House on July 4, 2022, in Washington, DC.Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images'That's ridiculous'The Bidens' 45-year marriage is the second for both. The president lost his first wife and daughter in a 1972 car crash. Jill Biden divorced her first husband after five years and married Joe Biden two years later. Together, they have one biological daughter, Ashley, and they raised the president's two sons, Hunter and Beau, who died from brain cancer in 2015.She doesn't think of herself as an advisor to her husband."I listen to him, he listens to me. It's a marriage," she said on CBS.She has been married to Joe Biden since 1977 and she fiercely defends her family. For all of Joe Biden's official, gun-toting security, Jill Biden became known as her husband's bouncer during the 2020 campaign after twice helping to eject protesters from rallies. When her husband held a nearly two-hour news conference in January, she was the one asking his aides why no one tried to stop it, the New York Times reported. Asked on CBS about polls that show Americans have concerns about Joe Biden's mental fitness, she shook her head in exasperation."I think that's ridiculous," she said.She also dismissed questions from NBC about their son, Hunter, who is under federal investigation for possible tax crimes and a false statement on a gun application and who has long been a target of Republican congressional scrutiny."Everybody and their brother has investigated Hunter," she told NBC. "They keep at it, and at it, and at it. I know that Hunter is innocent. I love my son, and I will keep looking forward."'First lady of the moment'Jill Biden is a professor who grades tough, a "Philly girl" who is stoked about the World Series, and a fitness buff who squeezes barre and cycle classes into her travel schedule. She is also a known prankster, who once stuffed herself inside an overhead bin on Air Force Two to give someone a scare and who posed last year as a flight attendant named "Jasmine" to trick reporters on April Fool's Day.What she isn't, is a born politico. She's a self-described introvert married to an extrovert and she says in her memoir that she was "never a natural as a 'political spouse.'" She forced herself through discomfort before feeling she was "getting the hang of this political wife thing."Becoming first lady was also a challenge."I had to be, with all that was happening, First Lady of the moment," she said at a July fundraiser.But her stamp on the role is groundbreaking as the first president's wife to continue her professional career as first lady. She loves being known two days out of the week as simply "Dr. B," the students' English professor, she often says. "Of course you should" continue teaching, her husband told her after the 2008 election, she wrote.First lady Jill Biden tours a classroom at the James Rushton Early Learning Center in Birmingham, Alabama, on April 9, 2021.Photo by ANNA MONEYMAKER/POOL/AFP via Getty ImagesJill Biden came into her role as first lady with a focus on issues she worked on during her eight years as second lady — education, helping military families, and fighting cancer after their son Beau died at age 46. She's a natural envoy to the teachers unions who supported her husband's 2020 campaign, particularly given that Jill Biden herself is a member of the largest one. Teaching gives her a "link to the real world" outside the bubble of the White House, said Michael LaRosa, her former press secretary. Events are scheduled around her teaching two days a week and she grades papers on the plane.On World Teachers' Day this month, Jill Biden spoke on The Kelly Clarkson Show about visiting Uvalde, Texas, where 19 elementary schoolers and two teachers were killed in a school shooting."Having lost a child, myself … it was just devastating," she said. "We've got to do more. We must ban assault weapons."She also told teachers in the audience: "I said to my students, you have to have a plan in your head if there's an active shooter on campus."'Dig a little deeper'Jill Biden has built up her political voice over the years – all in her unmistakable accent from the Philadelphia suburbs."You know you're hearing real America when you hear her pronounce the word 'coffee,'" LaRosa said. She has been working to mobilize women at recent events with a midterm elections message focusing on her husband's accomplishments and her personal experience growing up in an era before Roe v. Wade, the landmark case guaranteeing abortion rights that the Supreme Court struck down in June. Jill Biden tells the audience of friend who could only get an abortion in the pre-Roe days by being declared mentally unfit. "We will not let some radical Republican agenda be the legacy we leave for our daughters and granddaughters," she said at an event in San Francisco.At fundraising events, she has asked donors to "dig a little deeper, give a little bit more." She has participated in 10 fundraising events for the Democratic National Committee and her events, emails, texts, and direct mail have brought in millions for Democrats up and down the ticket, according to a DNC spokesperson.In the past month, she's appeared at campaign events with Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, Florida US Senate candidate Val Demings and Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist. She went to Rhode Island on Wednesday and is headed on Saturday to New Hampshire for political events with Sen. Maggie Hassan and the state Democratic Party."Jill Biden is a really big draw," said a Murray campaign spokesperson. The campaign raised "well over six figures" at their event with her. She talks to people across the country and exchanges information with her husband, Kaufman said. "That's the way the partnership works," he said. "She's just an incredible surrogate for him" and her impact will be "extensive" during the midterms.First lady Jill Biden attends a rally for Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Val Demings, a Democrat from Florida, and Florida gubernatorial candidate Rep. Charlie Crist, also a Florida Democrat, on October 15, 2022, in Orlando, Florida.Gerardo Mora/Getty Images'A vital image'Jill Biden's support of her husband's political future hasn't always gone smoothly. Her office issued an apology once after she pointed to "bodegas" — which she mispronounced — and "breakfast tacos" to laud Latino diversity. She has been trying to learn Spanish in recent years as a way to connect with Spanish-speaking students at her community college and she's taking classes online.Her favorability rating, in limited polling on her, was only slightly positive — 34% favorable, 29% unfavorable and 37% unsure, according to a CNN poll conducted by SSRS between June and July.Former first lady Michelle Obama — Gallup's reigning "Most Admired Woman" — continues to overshadow Jill Biden in many respects, including periodic mentions in punditry and polls alongside Vice President Kamala Harris, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a potential 2024 Democratic presidential nominee if Joe Biden decides to forego re-election.Democratic pollster Celinda Lake suggested that Jill Biden's rating was reflective of her husband's popularity and not specific to her. People sometimes bring up Jill Biden and say positive things about her during focus group discussions on Democrats, Lake said. They like that she continues teaching, that she's in touch with real people and that she can speak to her husband's character."We're not short of negative arguments," Lake said. "What we need to do is be able to bring to women voters, in particular, who are swamped with their lives, a sense that 'we are getting things done for you, we get your life' and she's really good on that."At 71, Jill Biden is more than eight years younger than her husband and projects a "vital image" that is "useful to the Biden brand," especially if the criticism of her husband is that his public speaking style seems "slow and old-mannish," said Ohio University professor Katherine Jellison, who studies first ladies. With midterm early voting already underway in many states, Joe Biden needs whatever help he can get. A sitting president's party typically performs badly during midterm elections. While Democrats today control both the House and Senate, Republicans are favored to win the House, and they have a shot at controlling the Senate. More Republicans in Congress will only further hamper Biden's agenda during the last two years of his term, giving him less to run on in 2024.A Republican-controlled House, specifically, would also almost certainly launch investigations into Hunter Biden and various aspects of the Biden administration. Some House Republicans are also itching to impeach Joe Biden, and regardless of the reasons offered, there'd be little stopping them except themselves.  Jill Biden has stressed the high stakes of this election. Getting out on the campaign trail now will also allow her to test strategies or topics that she can use for a potential 2024 campaign. "This is a key moment for her," Jellison said.President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrive at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on May 18, 2022.ERIN SCHAFF/AFP via Getty Images'It may be his name on the ticket, but …'When Jill Biden wanted her husband to run for president in 2008, she organized a family meeting, stood up to drive home her point, and said, "it's time. You have to run," she wrote. In 2020, Joe Biden told his friend Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware that his wife wanted him to run even more than he did, Carper recalled in an interview with Insider. She later, during a fundraiser, described that election against Donald Trump as "a choice between good and evil."Biden isn't expected to make a firm decision on running in 2024 until after the midterm elections, and likely, early next year. The first lady wrote in her memoir that her husband "always understood that a public life was his choice, not mine," so the family decides together on his campaigns."It may be his name on the ticket, but all of us — me, the kids, and now the grandkids—have to talk to reporters, show up at rallies, and deal with the scrutiny," she wrote.LaRosa said the first lady is traveling the country and the world now to support her husband because she believes in what he's doing.But does she truly want him to run again? Will she use her power of "NO" if she believes the notion of occupying the White House until 2029 — nearly 60 years after Joe Biden first entered elected politics — is just too much?"She will always be supportive of what he wants, and you start from there," LaRosa said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 27th, 2022

What"s in my luggage: Advice from pilots, flight attendants, and frequent travelers on how to pack

Frequent fliers, including pilots and flight attendants, shared how they pack their own bags and which items they can't travel without. Former Delta Airlines flight attendant Sarah GuerraJen Glantz Frequent fliers say there's a strategy to packing for trips and fitting in everything you need. A flight attendant suggested asking yourself whether you need an item or just want to bring it. Noise-canceling earbuds and a personal water bottle — preferably a collapsible one — are key. For the first time since the pandemic started, I'm spending the holidays traveling to a handful of places, including California, Boston, Florida, and Las Vegas. While some are just weekend trips, for others, I'm on the go for over a month.The first trip isn't for a few more weeks, but I'm already trying to figure out how to pack for different climates and longer vacations.To help make the process less stressful, I asked a handful of experts, including pilots and frequent fliers, how they pack and which items they can't travel without.Be strategic with your carry-on luggageI always try to fly with only a carry-on bag — that way I don't have to worry about paying baggage fees or losing my luggage.But packing everything I want to bring on a trip often makes my bag nearly impossible to zip.Tifsit Teferra, a Delta Air Lines flight attendant, said to be strategic with your carry-on luggage.If you're traveling during the winter and plan to pack bulky items like jackets, Teferra suggested laying them flat on top of each other at the bottom of the suitcase and rolling lighter items like T-shirts on top.Wear the bulkiest items you want to bring with you, like a coat and boots, on the airplane, she advised.Use packing cubesTeferra said packing cubes can come in handy for organizing clothes not only while you pack, but after you wear them."When your clothes are dirty, you can use a packing cube to separate your dirty clothes," Teferra said. This helps isolate dirty clothes so other items in your suitcase stay clean.Pack only what you needWhile it might be easier said than done, Teferra suggested that if you're eager to pack light, first lay out all the things you think you want to bring with you, then have an honest conversation with yourself."Ask yourself whether or not you really need this item or if you just want to bring it with you," she said. "If you need it, pack it. If you want it, don't bring it."Follow the 1-2-3-4-5-6 ruleEven if I'm just taking a weekend trip, I struggle to figure out how much to bring.Daniel Green, a frequent flier who's traveled the world and who founded a travel-insurance company called Faye, said he follows the 1-2-3-4-5-6 rule: "Pack one hat, two pairs of shoes, three bottoms, four tops, five pairs of socks, and six pairs of underwear." Daniel Green is a frequent flier who has circled the world more than 40 times.Jen GlantzWhile this method works well for a short trip, it can also work for a one- or two-week vacation, as long as there's a nearby spot to do laundry.Pack noise-canceling earbudsTraveling can be unpredictable, and loud noises — whether they're from other passengers on your flight or people outside your hotel — might surround you for longer than you'd like.Duke Armitage has been an airline pilot for 15 years and is the founder of Aviamonde.Jen GlantzDuke Armitage, an airline pilot with 15 years of experience, said the No. 1 thing to remember when you travel is a great pair of noise-canceling earbuds."It will help you keep your sanity when things get rowdy," said Armitage, the founder of Aviamonde. "Plus, you can find pairs that are under $50."Bring your own water bottleSarah Guerra, a former Delta flight attendant, suggests packing an empty portable water bottle if you get extra thirsty when you fly."As a flight attendant, so many people would ask me for water because they ran through the airport or had to take a pill. It was almost always when I was performing safety-related duties like the safety demo or final checks," Guerra said. "Passengers would get so frustrated by the wait, and to be honest, sometimes I would forget by the time I had completed my FAA-required safety checks."Guerra said passengers can avoid buying expensive water at the airport by bringing an empty water bottle through security then filling it up at their gate. For packing purposes, she recommends a collapsible water bottle that doesn't take up too much space.Former Delta Airlines flight attendant Sarah GuerraJen GlantzLuggage for former Delta Airlines flight attendant Sarah GuerraJen GlantzRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 23rd, 2022

The only US state without commercial airline service is getting 5 new routes to Florida next year — see the full list

Frontier was the last carrier to serve Delaware, which exited due to low demand and left the state abandoned without any commercial airline service. Avelo Airlines 737-700 at Tweed-New Haven Airport.Avelo Airlines Low-cost startup Avelo Airlines is launching five new routes to Wilmington Airport in New Castle, Delaware. Delaware is the only US state without commercial airline service after Frontier Airlines left in June. Wilmington will be a new base for Avelo, complementing three others in California, Connecticut, and Florida. Delaware may be the First State, but it has been left in the dust by commercial airlines — until now.Low-cost startup Avelo Airlines announced on Thursday that it will open a new base at Wilmington Airport in New Castle, Delaware on February 1. New Castle will be the airline's fourth base in addition to Burbank, California; New Haven, Connecticut; and Orlando, Florida, having had to postpone the opening of Fort Myers due to dwindling demand after Hurricane Ian. The new operation will come with five new routes to Florida using its Boeing 737 NG workhorse and create a gateway to the East Coast state."Our very low fares and nonstop flights to five sun-soaked Florida destinations coupled with the fast and seamless experience at Wilmington Airport will make traveling easier than ever," Avelo CEO Andrew Levy said in a press release.Avelo's entrance is a silver lining for the abandoned state, which has struggled over the years to maintain airline service, mostly due to low demand. Frontier Airlines was the only carrier to serve Delaware up until June 6 when it pulled out after 16 months of operations, stating, "sufficient demand did not materialize to support the service.""We are continually evaluating our routes and ILG will certainly remain in the consideration set for potential service in the future," airline spokesperson Jennifer De La Cruz told Insider in May.Since Frontier's exit, Wilmington Airport, which has invested $2 million to upgrade the passenger terminal and comply with security requirements, has managed charter and general aviation flights. But, Avelo's operation, which will bring in dozens of jobs, means the new ticket counters, gate areas, and infrastructure can be used again."Wilmington Airport's excellent location along the busy I-95 corridor, along with the lowest cost operating environment of any airport in the US, offers customers the opportunity to forego the stress, expense, and hassles of a big city airport," Delaware River & Bay Authority executive director Thomas J. Cook said.Here's a closer look at the five new routes Avelo will fly between Delaware and Florida.Between Wilmington and OrlandoOrlando, Florida.dszc/Getty ImagesAvelo will launch thrice weekly flights between Wilmington and Orlando with a special inaugural on February 1, with regularly scheduled passenger service taking effect on February 3. Flights will run on Mondays, Fridays, and SaturdaysBetween Wilmington and Fort LauderdaleFort Lauderdale, Florida.Philipp Walter/EyeEm via Getty ImagesAvelo will launch twice weekly flights on Thursdays and Sundays between Wilmington and Fort Lauderdale starting on February 2.Between Wilmington and TampaTampa, Florida.Sean PavoneAvelo will launch twice weekly flights on Thursdays and Sundays between Wilmington and Tampa starting on February 2.Between Wilmington and Fort MyersA view of Fort Myers, Florida before Hurricane Ian hit.Henryk Sadura/Getty ImagesAvelo will launch twice weekly flights on Mondays and Fridays between Wilmington and Fort Myers starting on February 3.Between Wilmington and West Palm BeachWest Palm Beach, Florida.Walter Bibikow/Getty ImagesAvelo will launch twice weekly flights on Wednesdays and Saturdays between Wilmington and West Palm Beach starting on February 4.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 20th, 2022

Advice from pilots, flight attendants, and frequent travelers on what you should always pack when you travel

Frequent fliers, including pilots and flight attendants, shared how they pack their own bags and which items they can't travel without. Frequent fliers say there's a strategy to packing for trips and fitting in everything you need. A flight attendant suggested asking yourself whether you need an item or just want to bring it. Noise-canceling earbuds and a personal water bottle — preferably a collapsible one — are key. For the first time since the pandemic started, I'm spending the holidays traveling to a handful of places, including California, Boston, Florida, and Las Vegas. While some are just weekend trips, for others, I'm on the go for over a month.The first trip isn't for a few more weeks, but I'm already trying to figure out how to pack for different climates and longer vacations.To help make the process less stressful, I asked a handful of experts, including pilots and frequent fliers, how they pack and which items they can't travel without.Be strategic with your carry-on luggageI always try to fly with only a carry-on bag — that way I don't have to worry about paying baggage fees or losing my luggage.But packing everything I want to bring on a trip often makes my bag nearly impossible to zip.Tifsit Teferra, a Delta Air Lines flight attendant, said to be strategic with your carry-on luggage.If you're traveling during the winter and plan to pack bulky items like jackets, Teferra suggested laying them flat on top of each other at the bottom of the suitcase and rolling lighter items like T-shirts on top.Wear the bulkiest items you want to bring with you, like a coat and boots, on the airplane, she advised.Use packing cubesTeferra said packing cubes can come in handy for organizing clothes not only while you pack, but after you wear them."When your clothes are dirty, you can use a packing cube to separate your dirty clothes," Teferra said. This helps isolate dirty clothes so other items in your suitcase stay clean.Pack only what you needWhile it might be easier said than done, Teferra suggested that if you're eager to pack light, first lay out all the things you think you want to bring with you, then have an honest conversation with yourself."Ask yourself whether or not you really need this item or if you just want to bring it with you," she said. "If you need it, pack it. If you want it, don't bring it."Follow the 1-2-3-4-5-6 ruleEven if I'm just taking a weekend trip, I struggle to figure out how much to bring.Daniel Green, a frequent flier who's traveled the world and who founded a travel-insurance company called Faye, said he follows the 1-2-3-4-5-6 rule: "Pack one hat, two pairs of shoes, three bottoms, four tops, five pairs of socks, and six pairs of underwear." Daniel Green is a frequent flier who has circled the world more than 40 times.Jen GlantzWhile this method works well for a short trip, it can also work for a one- or two-week vacation, as long as there's a nearby spot to do laundry.Pack noise-canceling earbudsTraveling can be unpredictable, and loud noises — whether they're from other passengers on your flight or people outside your hotel — might surround you for longer than you'd like.Duke Armitage has been an airline pilot for 15 years and is the founder of Aviamonde.Jen GlantzDuke Armitage, an airline pilot with 15 years of experience, said the No. 1 thing to remember when you travel is a great pair of noise-canceling earbuds."It will help you keep your sanity when things get rowdy," said Armitage, the founder of Aviamonde. "Plus, you can find pairs that are under $50."Bring your own water bottleSarah Guerra, a former Delta flight attendant, suggests packing an empty portable water bottle if you get extra thirsty when you fly."As a flight attendant, so many people would ask me for water because they ran through the airport or had to take a pill. It was almost always when I was performing safety-related duties like the safety demo or final checks," Guerra said. "Passengers would get so frustrated by the wait, and to be honest, sometimes I would forget by the time I had completed my FAA-required safety checks."Guerra said passengers can avoid buying expensive water at the airport by bringing an empty water bottle through security then filling it up at their gate. For packing purposes, she recommends a collapsible water bottle that doesn't take up too much space.Former Delta Airlines flight attendant Sarah GuerraJen GlantzLuggage for former Delta Airlines flight attendant Sarah GuerraJen GlantzRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 16th, 2022

Snowden Didn"t "Flee to Russia": Obama Trapped Him There

Snowden Didn't "Flee to Russia": Obama Trapped Him There Authored by Brian McGlinchey via Stark Realities When Russian President Vladimir Putin granted citizenship to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden on Monday, the news revived a long-simmering debate about the propriety of his revelations of U.S. government secrets. At the same time, it prompted reiterations of a widely-embraced falsehood: that Snowden “fled to Russia.” The disinformation-trafficking wasn’t limited to random people on social media. Among others, The New York Times, The Guardian, ABC, Christian Science Monitor and Canada’s CBC all asserted in the past week that Snowden “fled to Russia” in 2013 after revealing that the United States government had created a mass surveillance regime targeting its own citizens, in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment. What many people don’t realize — and what some people both inside the government and out of it purposefully ignore — is that Snowden wasn’t traveling to Russia, but merely through it. When he left Hong Kong after meeting with journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras and turning over hundreds of thousands of stolen files, Snowden’s ultimate destination was Quito, Ecuador. It’s important to note that Snowden says that, before leaving, he destroyed his cryptographic keys that provided him access to the files, and didn’t bring any copies of the files with him. At the time, the Ecuadoran government was providing political asylum to Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange at the country’s London consulate, and Snowden hoped Ecuador would provide him asylum as well. Snowden’s itinerary was arranged such that he wouldn’t land in countries that would extradite him to the United States. Nor would he cross U.S. airspace along the way. He was to make four flights in all, taking him from Hong Kong to Moscow, then Havana, Cuba; Caracas, Venezuela and finally Quito. However, upon arriving in Moscow, Snowden was escorted by Russian security officials to an airport conference room, where they informed him that, while he was flying to Moscow, the Obama administration had invalidated his passport. He’d spend the next 40 days at the Sheremetyevo airport, during which he applied to 27 countries for political asylum. “Not a single one of them was willing to stand up to American pressure,” Snowden wrote in his memoir, Permanent Record, “with some countries refusing outright, and others declaring they were unable to even consider my request until I arrived in their territory — a feat that was impossible.” Seemingly tired of the spectacle, Putin granted Snowden asylum, and he’s been in Russia ever since. The essential point, however, is that Snowden is in Russia because the Obama administration deliberately trapped him there. In 2013 and ever since, rabid Snowden detractors have failed to acknowledge how that move by the Obama White House belied its own assertions that Snowden was a traitor who traveled to Moscow with highly valuable intelligence information and was at high risk of turning it over to the Russian government. Think about it: if Obama officials believed Snowden had possession of an extremely sensitive archive of top secret documents - as they insist but Snowden denies - why would they *want to trap him in Russia*? Because they knew it'd be easy to convince idiots he was a Kremlin spy. — Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) September 26, 2022 Aside from revealing the unconstitutional surveillance regime, Snowden’s disclosures also proved that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had committed perjury in testifying before Congress: Clapper didn’t merely escape perjury charges, termination or a shameful resignation — CNN actually put him on the payroll as a “national security analyst,” giving him a pulpit from which to continue spewing all manner of falsehoods on behalf of the national security establishment, on everything from Russiagate to Hunter Biden’s laptop. Meanwhile, though Snowden has been vindicated many times over — including a 2020 federal court ruling that the NSA’s surveillance program violated the Constitution — he’s compelled to live in Russia to escape prosecution under the Espionage Act of 1917. Which brings us to another myth that goes hand-in-hand with “fled to Russia” falsehood: Detractors routinely say Snowden was a “coward” to flee the United States at all. The noble course of action, they say, would be to go to trial in America and let a jury of his peers decide whether he was justified in exposing his government’s crimes by leaking secret documents to journalists. However, as government-whistleblower attorney Jesselyn Radack explained in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, that’s not how Espionage Act prosecutions work: “The Espionage Act has morphed into a strict liability law, which means the government does not have to show the defendant had a felonious intent. A defendant cannot argue that the information was improperly classified…The motive and intent of the whistleblower are irrelevant. And there is no whistleblower defense, meaning the public value of the material disclosed does not matter at all.” In short, the only way for Snowden to be treated justly is for him to be pardoned or given a plea deal with a very short sentence. As the intelligence community continues to wield excessive influence on our government, neither outcome is likely anytime soon. Stark Realities undermines official narratives, demolishes conventional wisdom and exposes fundamental myths across the political spectrum. Read more and subscribe at starkrealities.substack.com Tyler Durden Sat, 10/01/2022 - 23:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 2nd, 2022

50 useful gifts for avid travelers, from a US national parks pass to ingenious packing cubes

These gifts for travelers are thoughtful and useful, whether they're for domestic road trips or far-flung international getaways. These gifts for travelers are thoughtful and useful, whether they're for domestic road trips or far-flung international getaways.Cotopaxi; AmazonWhen wanderlust hits, it hits hard. It seems like we're all itching to get away, and when we do, we want to be as comfortable and prepared as possible. Unexpected things happen when we're on a trip and often, they become great memories upon retrospection. But we always wish we were just a little more prepared when it was happening. For you or the traveler in your life, these gifts will excite, inspire, and prepare them for any future trips planned. Whether it's a six-month international trip or a domestic weekender, these gifts are mindful of all travel necessities. From compression socks to ultra-comfy earplugs, you'll be prepared for whatever the world has to throw at you.Here are the 50 best gifts for travelers in 2022:Compression socks that stay comfortable for the whole flightREISockwell Compression Socks, available at REI and Amazon, from $24.29Sitting too long anywhere isn't great for your body, but there are times when we can't avoid it, especially when traveling long distances. Sockwell's compression socks are our pick for compression socks that provide the best circulation, ensuring relief throughout all of your travels.A compact photo printer that prints pics instantlyBest BuyCanon Selphy Square, available at B&H, Target, and Best Buy, from $129Pictures are a must on any journey, documenting your time away and allowing you to relive those precious moments when you're back home. But they often only live on our phones or computers because printing photos can sometimes be a pain. Now, with Canon's wireless compact photo printer, printing photos has never been easier.An all-in-one passport and wallet holder with RFID blockingAmazonZoppen RFID Blocking Passport and Travel Wallet, available at Amazon and Walmart, from $14.99Passport, vaccine card, boarding pass, credit card, cash, wait where's my passport again? When we travel, it feels like we're constantly checking to make sure we have all our necessities on us at all times. This passport and wallet holder are large enough to store all their valuables and identification at once, guaranteeing that they'll have everything you need in the palm of their hand. It also has RFID blocking, protecting their goods no matter where they go.An easy way to make an economy seat more comfortableAmazonSleepy Ride Airplane Footrest, available at Amazon, $21.99There are times when compression socks aren't enough, especially for shorter travelers. The worst thing is when your feet hang from the seats and you're unable to find true comfort in your plane seat. Sleepy Ride's footrest hooks onto their tray and is adjustable for most heights, elevating the comfort of their plane ride and allowing them to rest well.Portable soap sheets for on-the-go washing, anywhereAmazonEsowemsn Portable Paper Soap Sheets (6-pack), available at Amazon, $8.99Traveling around the world will have you washing your hands in various places. You never know when the soap might be out (or if there'll even be soap at all) and these portable paper soap dispensers take guessing out of the equation. They can toss one of these in their bag or keep one in their pocket to stay fresh and clean.Travel-sized facial mist to revive their skin after a long day of travelingUltaEvian Mineral Water Facial Spray Trio, available at Ulta and Amazon, $23.50The constantly circulating air in planes is great to keep the air fresh but brutal for your skin. A facial spray can help with moisturizing your skin on long plane rides or road trips and ensures on-the-go moisture in any climate. When they need a quick pick-me-up, the gentle mist of the spray is rejuvenating and refreshing, and they'll find themselves reaching for this spray more often than you think. Check out our full list of facial sprays we love here.Protein bars that are actually delicious and nutritiousTargetQuest Protein Bars (12-pack), available at Target and The Vitamin Shoppe, from $22.49When we travel, we find ourselves waiting around more often than we realize. Sometimes, there aren't any food spots for us to grab a bite, or worse, we've misjudged our timing and don't have time to grab a bite before takeoff. In these moments, Quest's protein bars are an absolute blessing. Filled with 21 grams of protein, Quest has formulated its protein bars to be nutritious but still immensely delicious, without sacrificing flavor for protein.A card game that'll fill your traveling wait timesWalmartMonopoly Deal, available at Amazon, Walmart, and Walgreens, from $5.97Ideal for traveling, Monopoly Deal is small enough to toss in your bag but packs a big punch in its gameplay and strategy. Riffing off the classic game of Monopoly, many of the same concepts apply but have been condensed to card form and can be played for around 15 minutes or more, depending on skill level. Engage with your travel buddies with a rousing game of Mono Deal and see who's the true champion.Ultra comfy earplugs to sleep the plane awayAmazonMacks Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs, available at Amazon, $8.99Relentless, annoying noise happens at the most inopportune times. For those of us who are sensitive sleepers, earplugs are necessary when traveling. From the plane to the hotel, it's important to ensure that you'll have a good night's rest. Mack's Ultra Soft Earplugs conform to your ear and provide comfort while reducing the amount of noise around you.A backpack that'll fit it allREICotopaxi Allpa 42L Travel Pack, available at Amazon, REI, and Moosejaw, from $210The I-can't-believe-how-much-it-fits Cotopaxi backpack is one we swear by for travel. It has smart internal compartments, a TPU-coated polyester shell with ballistic nylon paneling, and a weight-distributing harness system for comfortable carrying.A practically weather-proof duffelPatagoniaPatagonia 40L Black Hole Duffel, available at REI, Patagonia, and Backcountry, from $159The Patagonia Black Hole Duffel is made from a durable, polyester ripstop that's highly weather-resistant., making it great for short trips and long camping excursions alike.A Baggu that easily fits in a suitcaseBagguBaggu Big Reusable Shopping Bag, available at Baggu and Amazon, from $18The Baggu Big Reusable Shopping Bag is great for running errands or traveling —it's strong enough to hold up to 50 pounds at a time, and it folds up into a tiny square when you don't need it.An ingenious travel pillowAmazonTrtl Neck Support Travel Pillow, available at Amazon and Trltl, $44.99This soft, fleece pillow has a unique design that offers serious support with ergonomic positioning of your head and neck.A skincare kit designed for travelBergdorf GoodmanAesop Departure Kit, available at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, $60A sense of adventure is just as important as a fresh face for each destination's varying environments. There are seven travel-sized products that cleanse and moisturize the skin, guarantee oral hygiene, and hydrate lips.A collapsible water bottle for easy storageAmazonHydaway Collapsible Water Bottle, available at Amazon and Hydaway, from $23.75If you feel like you spend much of your life on the road or on a plane, the Hydaway Collapsible Water Bottle is the travel essential you can't go without.A scratch-off poster to show off every country visitedWalmartLandmass Goods Scratch Off Map of the World Poster, available at Amazon and Walmart, from $20.99This interactive wall map helps share countless countries and travel stories through one touch. With all the flags of the world to choose from, this map satisfies wanderlust by scratching off the places they've been to or are waiting to explore.Socks of their favorite national parkSwiftwickSwiftwick National Park Socks, available at Amazon and Swiftwick, from $15.99Active adventurers will like that these fun national park socks are made with high-performance fibers that wick moisture to keep feet dry and cool. Choose from designs including Yellowstone, Zion, the Grand Canyon, Great Smoky, and Yosemite.Pretty luggage stickersRimowaCity Stickers, available at Rimoa, $10Make luggage personal with these beautiful stickers depicting iconic cities and sights around the world, from New York and LA to Tokyo and Seoul.A Priority Pass for airport lounge accessPriority PassStandard Membership Plan, available at Priority Pass, $99You don't have to worry about racking up miles or buying pricey business class tickets to get to relax in an airport lounge before your flight. Priority Pass gives you access to over 1,300 lounges around the world.A LifeStraw to filter water anywhereLifestrawLifeStraw Personal Water Filter, available at Walmart and Amazon, from $14.99LifeStraws are portable filters that can make even some of the murkiest standing water drinkable. For backpackers and hikers, a LifeStraw can be an invaluable tool in dire situations.A combination selfie stick and tripodAmazonUBeesize Selfie Stick Tripod, available at Amazon and Walmart, from $28.99You won't have to bother asking strangers to take your photo at iconic locations anymore. This all-in-one gadget is a packable tripod that easily turns into a selfie stick and comes with a handy remote control.A nostalgic TWA Twin Globes ornamentTWATwin Globes Ornament, available at TWA, $16Bring the vacation to their home with a red glass ornament emblazoned with a white TWA twin globes logo that delivers on nostalgia. It'll come packaged in a TWA gift box, too. Alternatively, you can also pick up baseball caps, mugs, and sneakers with the same logo if their tree is full enough.A 5-in-1 adapter for multi-country tripsAmazonFLIGHT 001 5-In-1 Adapter, available at Amazon and Walmart, from $37.95Functional in over 150 countries, these color-coded adapters make it easy to find the right plug-in for almost any journey. Plus, they break apart into four smaller pieces for easier packing.A 9-in-1 phone camera kit to get that perfect shotAmazonCriacr 9 in 1 Camera Lens Kit, available at Amazon, $19.99Upgrade their photo skills with these easy clip-on lenses that work on just about any smartphone. Lenses include macro, fisheye, and wide-angle.A sustainable cross-body bagAmazonNixon Stash Bag, available at Nixon and Amazon, $30For eco-conscious travelers, this cross-body bag works on two levels. First, they can safely and securely stow items and be hands-free while out and about, whether on a hike or walking city streets. Second, the bags are made from recycled ocean plastics, so they can feel good using them. A subscription to try foods from all over the worldTry The WorldCountries Food Subscription Box, available at Try the World, $49 per monthGiftees can taste the globe without leaving the comfort of their homes, thanks to this food subscription box. Each month includes a curated selection of ingredients, drinks, and snacks from around the world.A leather wallet with RFID protectionAmazonFuntor Leather Wallet, available at Amazon and Walmart, from $10.99This eye-catching leather RFID wallet will also help protect vital private information from being stolen.A book of travel inspoAnthropologie"The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small" by Kath Stathers, available at Amazon, Target, and Barnes & Noble, from $20.99Aptly named, this transportive tome will no doubt lead to discovering a few new "someday" adventures across the globe. Plus, it looks great out on a coffee table in the meantime.A Hotels.com gift card to incentivize them travelWalmartHotels.com Gift Card, available at Walmart and Hotels.com, from $10Give the gift of future travel and let your giftee choose the destination with a hotel gift card. You can choose from broad options like Hotels.com or pick a specific hotel chain if you know they have loyalty to a certain brand. Best of all, you can choose almost any amount to fit your budget, and for most, you can pick between picking up a physical gift card or having a digital option sent to your recipient.Cocktail glasses with maps of their favorite citiesUncommon GoodsUrban Map Glass, available at Uncommon Goods, $18Help bring back great memories or get them excited for an upcoming stay with these cocktail glasses etched with maps from major cities across the US.A Kindle Paperwhite to read on the goLike all Kindle ereaders, the Paperwhite has a minimalist design with few buttons. The latest version has a larger screen that's bright and crisp for easier reading. To turn a page, you tap on the screen instead of pressing a button.Isabel Fernández and Crystal Cox/InsiderAmazon Kindle Paperwhite, available at Amazon and Target, $139.99The new Kindle has a 6.8" display with thinner borders and adjustable warm light. With up to 10 weeks of battery life, this e-reader is perfect for breezing through all your favorite books.A Babbel subscription to help them learn or brush up on a languageBabbel; Alyssa Powell/InsiderLanguage Leanring Subscription (3 Months), available at Babbel, $37.95When you learn a new language, you want to be able to actually use it with real people in the real world. Every part of Babbel is designed with that goal in mind.Read our full review of Babbel here.A silk sleep mask to help with jet lagSlipSlip Pure Silk Sleep Mask, available at Nordstrom, Amazon, and Ulta, $50The Slip Pure Silk Sleep Mask uses high-quality silk that is super soft and blocks out all unwanted light. It was our favorite in our guide to the best sleeping masks.Packing cubes to make travel a breezeAmazoneBags Light 5-Piece Packing Cubes, available at Amazon and eBags, $47.99The pop-up design of the eBags Hyperlite Packing Cubes means these lightweight packing cubes fit nicely in any suitcase and are easy to fill.A sturdy carry-on bagAmazonSamsonite Centric Hardside Expandable Luggage with Spinner Wheels, available at Amazon and Samsonite, from $157.60We named this our top overall hard-sided carry-on thanks to the fact that this is a high-quality and durable bag that offers serious value. Whether it's for taking on a getaway now or to get excited about future plans, a solid carry-on is always a good thing to have on hand.An Amazon Fire tablet for long flightsAmazonAmazon Fire HD 10 Tablet, available at Amazon and Target, $149.99The latest Amazon Fire HD 10 is super affordable, but it still delivers a good set of features that you'll enjoy using for watching videos and running simple apps.Check out our full review of the Fire HD 10 here.A Marriott robe they can wear at homeShop MarriottWaffle Kimono Robe, available at Marriott, $55.20They'll feel like they're on vacation every morning when they slip into this spa-quality waffle bathrobe from Marriott to enjoy their morning cuppa. It's made from a luxurious cotton blend that's light but warm.Noise-canceling headphones for noisy flightsAntonio Villas-Boas/Business InsiderSony WH-1000XM4 Headphones, available at Amazon, Best Buy, and Target, from $348Sony's WH-1000XM4 are our go-to pair of headphones when we look for balance, sound quality, noise-canceling performance, and price.A travel-themed planner to stay organizedAmazonErin Condren Travel Petite Planner, available at Amazon, $13.59This colorful planner includes places to put in flight details, a packing list by category, and a handy spending tracker, plus plenty of room for journaling. A great-value national parks passREIAmerica the Beautiful Pass, available at REI, $79.99What better way to gift an experience than with an annual national parks pass? This $80 pass grants giftees (and up to three other people in their car) access to most US national parks (normally anywhere from $20-$35 per person).A Ritz-Carlton candle inspired by Central ParkRitz-CarltonRitz-Carlton New York 50 Central Park Candle, available at Ritz-Carlton and Amazon, from $29Gift the aroma of a luxe hotel stay with this Ritz-Carlton candle inspired by the floral scents found within Central Park. It includes notes of elderflower, mountain mint, and ripe strawberries to create a relaxing environment right at home.A leather passport cover and luggage tagLeatherologyDeluxe Passport Cover + Luggage Tag Set, available at Leatherology, $110This travel gift set includes a leather luggage tag (ID card included) and passport cover, which opens to four credit card slots and two side pockets. There are tons of color options, the option to monogram it for $20, and the gifting experience is nice; it arrives in a plush bronze gift box.Allbirds Wool Runners for max comfortAllbirdsMen's and Women's Wool Runners, available at Allbirds, $110Allbirds Wool Runners sneakers are super comfortable, lightweight, and stylish. Since officially launching in 2016, San Francisco-based startup Allbirds now makes six different shoe silhouettes and has experimented with a variety of sustainable materials. A Nikon Z 5 camera for high-quality shotsAmazonNikon Z 5, available at Amazon and Adorama, from $706.95If you're looking to truly splurge, give the jet setter in your life this camera to spark wanderlust wherever they are. Whether they are taking a weekend road trip, exploring their city during the changing seasons, or capturing memories at home, the Nikon Z 5 is a great travel accessory that's easy to pack and will help make new memories last long after their next trip is over.A framed print of their favorite travel memoryFramebridgeThe #1 Gift: 10x12, available at Framebridge, $75Remind them of their travels even from the comfort of home by Immortalizing one of their fondest adventure memories. This is the most popular size frame gift from Framebridge, which makes gifting mementos exceptionally easy.A set of travel bottles if the drugstore shampoo won't doAmazonMorfone Travel Bottles Set, available at Amazon, $14.99Make it more convenient for them to take their favorite products with them with these security-sized containers. Inside a zippered bag, there's a good assortment of silicone bottles, jars, spray bottles, scoopers, funnels, and a cleaning brush.An Airbnb gift card for a future vacationAirbnbAirbnb Gift Card, available at Amazon and Airbnb, from $100Pick up the tab for their next staycaation or trip abroad with an Airbnb gift card.A portable charger so they're never worried about battery drainageAmazonAnker PowerCore 10000 PD, available at Amazon, $41.99Dual outputs and power for up to two full charges of your phone make this portable charger a must for any long travel days.A super foldable duffel bagAmazonParavel Foldable Travel Duffle Bag, available at Amazon and Paravel, $70This light, durable tote bag folds down flat to the size of a Ziploc bag. Pack it in your suitcase and unfold it for the things you buy on the trip, or when you pack less carefully on the way home. A customizable national parks mugUncommon GoodsNational Parks Color Map Mug, available at Uncommon Goods, $25With this mug, they'll color in the tree that marks each of the 63 National Parks they've visited.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 20th, 2022

The Specter Of Germany Is Rising

The Specter Of Germany Is Rising Authored by Diana Johnstone via ConsortiumNews.com, The European Union is girding for a long war against Russia that appears clearly contrary to European economic interests and social stability. A war that is apparently irrational – as many are – has deep emotional roots and claims ideological justification. Such wars are hard to end because they extend outside the range of rationality. Olaf Scholz, Federal Chancellor of Germany, meets Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine, in Kiev, Feb. 14, 2022. (President of Ukraine) For decades after the Soviet Union entered Berlin and decisively defeated the Third Reich, Soviet leaders worried about the threat of “German revanchism.” Since World War II could be seen as German revenge for being deprived of victory in World War I, couldn’t aggressive German Drang nach Osten be revived, especially if it enjoyed Anglo-American support? There had always been a minority in U.S. and U.K. power circles that would have liked to complete Hitler’s war against the Soviet Union. It was not the desire to spread communism, but the need for a buffer zone to stand in the way of such dangers that was the primary motivation for the ongoing Soviet political and military clampdown on the tier of countries from Poland to Bulgaria that the Red Army had wrested from Nazi occupation. This concern waned considerably in the early 1980s as a young German generation took to the streets in peace demonstrations against the stationing of nuclear “Euromissiles” which could increase the risk of nuclear war on German soil. The movement created the image of a new peaceful Germany. I believe that Mikhail Gorbachev took this transformation seriously. On June 15, 1989, Gorbachev came to Bonn, which was then the modest capital of a deceptively modest West Germany. Apparently delighted with the warm and friendly welcome, Gorbachev stopped to shake hands with people along the way in that peaceful university town that had been the scene of large peace demonstrations. I was there and experienced his unusually warm, firm handshake and eager smile. I have no doubt that Gorbachev sincerely believed in a “common European home” where East and West Europe could live happily side by side united by some sort of democratic socialism. Gorbachov on June 13, 1989 in the market-square in Bonn. (Jüppsche/Wikimedia Commons) Gorbachev died at age 91 two weeks ago, on Aug. 30. His dream of Russia and Germany living happily in their “common European home” had soon been fatally undermined by the Clinton administration’s go-ahead to eastward expansion of NATO. But the day before Gorbachev’s death, leading German politicians in Prague wiped out any hope of such a happy end by proclaiming their leadership of a Europe dedicated to combating the Russian enemy. These were politicians from the very parties – the SPD (Social Democratic Party) and the Greens – that took the lead in the 1980s peace movement. German Europe Must Expand Eastward German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is a colorless SPD politician, but his Aug. 29 speech in Prague was inflammatory in its implications. Scholz called for an expanded, militarized European Union under German leadership. He claimed that the Russian operation in Ukraine raised the question of “where the dividing line will be in the future between this free Europe and a neo-imperial autocracy.” We cannot simply watch, he said, “as free countries are wiped off the map and disappear behind walls or iron curtains.” (Note: the conflict in Ukraine is clearly the unfinished business of the collapse of the Soviet Union, aggravated by malicious outside provocation. As in the Cold War, Moscow’s defensive reactions are interpreted as harbingers of Russian invasion of Europe, and thus a pretext for arms buildups.) To meet this imaginary threat, Germany will lead an expanded, militarized EU. First, Scholz told his European audience in the Czech capital, “I am committed to the enlargement of the European Union to include the states of the Western Balkans, Ukraine, Moldova and, in the long term, Georgia”. Worrying about Russia moving the dividing line West is a bit odd while planning to incorporate three former Soviet States, one of which (Georgia) is geographically and culturally very remote from Europe but on Russia’s doorstep. In the “Western Balkans”, Albania and four extremely weak statelets left from former Yugoslavia (North Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and widely unrecognized Kosovo) mainly produce emigrants and are far from EU economic and social standards. Kosovo and Bosnia are militarily occupied de facto NATO protectorates. Serbia, more solid than the others, shows no signs of renouncing its beneficial relations with Russia and China, and popular enthusiasm for “Europe” among Serbs has faded. Adding these member states will achieve “a stronger, more sovereign, geopolitical European Union,” said Scholz. A “more geopolitical Germany” is more like it. As the EU grows eastward, Germany is “in the center” and will do everything to bring them all together. So, in addition to enlargement, Scholz calls for “a gradual shift to majority decisions in common foreign policy” to replace the unanimity required today. What this means should be obvious to the French. Historically, the French have defended the consensus rule so as not to be dragged into a foreign policy they don’t want. French leaders have exalted the mythical “Franco-German couple” as guarantor of European harmony, mainly to keep German ambitions under control. But Scholz says he doesn’t want “an EU of exclusive states or directorates,” which implies the final divorce of that “couple.” With an EU of 30 or 36 states, he notes, “fast and pragmatic action is needed.” And he can be sure that German influence on most of these poor, indebted and often corrupt new Member States will produce the needed majority. France has always hoped for an EU security force separate from NATO in which the French military would play a leading role. But Germany has other ideas. “NATO remains the guarantor of our security,” said Scholz, rejoicing that President Biden is “a convinced trans-atlanticist.” “Every improvement, every unification of European defense structures within the EU framework strengthens NATO,” Scholz said. “Together with other EU partners, Germany will therefore ensure that the EU’s planned rapid reaction force is operational in 2025 and will then also provide its core. This requires a clear command structure. Germany will face up to this responsibility “when we lead the rapid reaction force in 2025,” Scholz said. It has already been decided that Germany will support Lithuania with a rapidly deployable brigade and NATO with further forces in a high state of readiness. Serving to Lead … Where? Robert Habeck speaking at protest before Green Party headquarters, Berlin, Oct. 28, 2020. (Leonhard Lenz/Wikimedia Commons) In short, Germany’s military buildup will give substance to Robert Habeck’s notorious statement in Washington last March that: “The stronger Germany serves, the greater its role.” The Green’s Habeck is Germany’s economics minister and the second most powerful figure in Germany’s current government. The remark was well understood in Washington: by serving the U.S.-led Western empire, Germany is strengthening its role as European leader. Just as the U.S. arms, trains and occupies Germany, Germany will provide the same services for smaller EU states, notably to its east. Since the start of the Russian operation in Ukraine, German politician Ursula von der Leyen has used her position as head of the EU Commission to impose ever more drastic sanctions on Russia, leading to the threat of a serious European energy crisis this winter. Her hostility to Russia seems boundless. In Kiev last April she called for rapid EU membership for Ukraine, notoriously the most corrupt country in Europe and far from meeting EU standards. She proclaimed that “Russia will descend into economic, financial and technological decay, while Ukraine is marching towards a European future.” For von der Leyen, Ukraine is “fighting our war.” All of this goes far beyond her authority to speak for the EU’s 27 Members, but nobody stops her. Germany’s Green Party foreign minister Annalena Baerbock is every bit as intent on “ruining Russia.” Proponent of a “feminist foreign policy”, Baerbock expresses policy in personal terms. “If I give the promise to people in Ukraine, we stand with you as long as you need us,” she told the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy (NED)-sponsored Forum 2000 in Prague on Aug. 31, speaking in English. “Then I want to deliver no matter what my German voters think, but I want to deliver to the people of Ukraine.” “People will go on the street and say, we cannot pay our energy prices, and I will say, ‘Yes I know so we will help you with social measures. […] We will stand with Ukraine and this means the sanctions will stay also til winter time even if it gets really tough for politicians.’” Certainly, support for Ukraine is strong in Germany, but perhaps because of the looming energy shortage, a recent Forsa poll indicates that some 77 percent of Germans would favor diplomatic efforts to end the war – which should be the business of the foreign minister. But Baerbock shows no interest in diplomacy, only in “strategic failure” for Russia – however long it takes. In the 1980s peace movement, a generation of Germans was distancing itself from that of their parents and vowed to overcome “enemy images” inherited from past wars. Curiously, Baerbock, born in 1980, has referred to her grandfather who fought in the Wehrmacht as somehow having contributed to European unity. Is this the generational pendulum? The Little Revanchists Stepan Bandera torchlight parade in Kiev, Jan. 1, 2020. (A1/Wikimedia Commons) There is reason to surmise that current German Russophobia draws much of its legitimization from the Russophobia of former Nazi allies in smaller European countries. While German anti-Russian revanchism may have taken a couple of generations to assert itself, there were a number of smaller, more obscure revanchisms that flourished at the end of the European war that were incorporated into United States Cold War operations. Those little revanchisms were not subjected to the denazification gestures or Holocaust guilt imposed on Germany. Rather, they were welcomed by the C.I.A., Radio Free Europe and Congressional committees for their fervent anticommunism. They were strengthened politically in the United States by anticommunist diasporas from Eastern Europe. Of these, the Ukrainian diaspora was surely the largest, the most intensely political and the most influential, in both Canada and the American Middle West. Ukrainian fascists who had previously collaborated with Nazi invaders were the most numerous and active, leading the Bloc of Anti-Bolshevik Nations with links to German, British and U.S. Intelligence. Eastern European Galicia, not to be confused with Spanish Galicia, has been back and forth part of Russia and Poland for centuries. After World War II it was divided between Poland and Ukraine. Ukrainian Galicia is the center of a virulent brand of Ukrainian nationalism, whose principal World War II hero was Stepan Bandera. This nationalism can properly be called “fascist” not simply because of superficial signs – its symbols, salutes or tatoos – but because it has always been fundamentally racist and violent. Incited by Western powers, Poland, Lithuania and the Habsburg Empire, the key to Ukrainian nationalism was that it was Western, and thus superior. Since Ukrainians and Russians stem from the same population, pro-Western Ukrainian ultra-nationalism was built on imaginary myths of racial differences: Ukrainians were the true Western whatever-it-was, whereas Russians were mixed with “Mongols” and thus an inferior race. Banderist Ukrainian nationalists have openly called for elimination of Russians as such, as inferior beings. So long as the Soviet Union existed, Ukrainian racial hatred of Russians had anticommunism as its cover, and Western intelligence agencies could support them on the “pure” ideological grounds of the fight against Bolshevism and Communism. But now that Russia is no longer ruled by communists, the mask has fallen, and the racist nature of Ukrainian ultra-nationalism is visible – for all who want to see it. However, Western leaders and media are determined not to notice. Ukraine is not just like any Western country. It is deeply and dramatically divided between Donbass in the East, Russian territories given to Ukraine by the Soviet Union, and the anti-Russian West, where Galacia is located. Russia’s defense of Donbass, wise or unwise, by no means indicates a Russian intention to invade other countries. This false alarm is the pretext for the remilitarization of Germany in alliance with the Anglo-Saxon powers against Russia. The Yugoslav Prelude Cutting firewood in Sarajevo during wars that broke up Yugoslavia, 1993. (Christian Maréchal/Wikimedia Commons) This process began in the 1990s, with the breakup of Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia was not a member of the Soviet bloc. Precisely for that reason, the country got loans from the West which in the 1970s led to a debt crisis in which the leaders of each of the six federated republics wanted to shove the debt onto others. This favored separatist tendencies in the relatively rich Slovenian and Croatian republics, tendencies enforced by ethnic chauvinism and encouragement from outside powers, especially Germany. During World War II, German occupation had split the country apart. Serbia, allied to France and Britain in World War I, was subject to a punishing occupation. Idyllic Slovenia was absorbed into the Third Reich, while Germany supported an independent Croatia, ruled by the fascist Ustasha party, which included most of Bosnia, scene of the bloodiest internal fighting. When the war ended, many Croatian Ustasha emigrated to Germany, the United States and Canada, never giving up the hope of reviving secessionist Croatian nationalism. In Washington in the 1990s, members of Congress got their impressions of Yugoslavia from a single expert: 35-year-old Croatian-American Mira Baratta, assistant to Sen. Bob Dole (Republican presidential candidate in 1996). Baratta’s grandfather had been an important Ustasha officer in Bosnia and her father was active in the Croatian diaspora in California. Baratta won over not only Dole but virtually the whole Congress to the Croatian version of Yugoslav conflicts blaming everything on the Serbs. In Europe, Germans and Austrians, most notably Otto von Habsburg, heir to the defunct Austro-Hungarian Empire and member of the European Parliament from Bavaria, succeeded in portraying Serbs as the villains, thus achieving an effective revenge against their historic World War I enemy, Serbia. In the West, it became usual to identify Serbia as “Russia’s historic ally”, forgetting that in recent history Serbia’s closest allies were Britain and especially France. In September 1991, a leading German Christian Democratic politician and constitutional lawyer explained why Germany should promote the breakup of Yugoslavia by recognizing the Slovenian and Croat secessionist Yugoslav republics. (Former CDU Minister of Defense Rupert Scholz at the 6th Fürstenfeldbrucker Symposium for the Leadership of the German Military and Business, held September 23 – 24, 1991.) By ending the division of Germany, Rupert Scholz said, “We have, so to speak, overcome and mastered the most important consequences of the Second World War … but in other areas we are still dealing with the consequences of the First World War” – which, he noted “started in Serbia.” “Yugoslavia, as a consequence of the First World War, is a very artificial construction, never compatible with the idea of self-determination,” Rupert Scholz said. He concluded: “In my opinion, Slovenia and Croatia must be immediately recognized internationally. (…) When this recognition has taken place, the Yugoslavian conflict will no longer be a domestic Yugoslav problem, where no international intervention can be permitted.” And indeed, recognition was followed by massive Western intervention which continues to this day. By taking sides, Germany, the United States and NATO ultimately produced a disastrous result, a half dozen statelets, with many unsettled issues and heavily dependent on Western powers. Bosnia-Herzegovina is under military occupation as well as the dictates of a “High Representative” who happens to be German. It has lost about half its population to emigration. Only Serbia shows signs of independence, refusing to join in Western sanctions on Russia, despite heavy pressure. For Washington strategists the breakup of Yugoslavia was an exercise in using ethnic divisions to break up larger entities, the USSR and then Russia. Humanitarian Bombing Western politicians and media persuaded the public that the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia was a “humanitarian” war, generously waged to “protect the Kosovars” (after multiple assassinations by armed secessionists provoked Serbian authorities into the inevitable repression used as pretext for the bombing). But the real point of the Kosovo war was that it transformed NATO from a defensive into an aggressive alliance, ready to wage war anywhere, without U.N. mandate, on whatever pretext it chose. This lesson was clear to the Russians. After the Kosovo war, NATO could no longer credibly claim that it was a purely “defensive” alliance. As soon as Serbian President Milosevic, to save his country’s infrastructure from NATO destruction, agreed to allow NATO troops to enter Kosovo, the U.S. unceremoniously grabbed a huge swath territory to build the its first big U.S. military base in the Balkans. NATO troops are still there. Just as the United States rushed to build that base in Kosovo, it was clear what to expect of the U.S. after it succeeded in 2014 to install a government in Kiev eager to join NATO. This would be the opportunity for the U.S. to take over the Russian naval base in Crimea. Since it was known that the majority of the population in Crimea wanted to return to Russia (as it had from 1783 to 1954), Putin was able to forestall this threat by holding a popular referendum confirming its return. East European Revanchism Captures the EU The call by German Chancellor Scholz to enlarge the European Union by up to nine new members recalls the enlargements of 2004 and 2007 that brought in twelve new members, nine of them from the former Soviet bloc, including the three Baltic States once part of the Soviet Union. That enlargement already shifted the balance eastward and enhanced German influence. In particular, the political elites of Poland and especially the three Baltic States, were heavily under the influence of the United States and Britain, where many had lived in exile during Soviet rule. They brought into EU institutions a new wave of fanatic anticommunism, not always distinguishable from Russophobia. The European Parliament, obsessed with virtue signaling in regard to human rights, was particularly receptive to the zealous anti-totalitarianism of its new Eastern European members.  European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. (UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe) Revanchism and the Memory Weapon As an aspect of anti-communist lustration, or purges, Eastern European States sponsored “Memory Institutes” devoted to denouncing the crimes of communism. Of course, such campaigns were used by far-right politicians to cast suspicion on the left in general. As explained by European scholar Zoltan Dujisin, “anticommunist memory entrepreneurs” at the head of these institutes succeeded in lifting their public information activities from the national, to the European Union level, using Western bans on Holocaust denial to complain, that while Nazi crimes had been condemned and punished at Nuremberg, communist crimes had not. The tactic of the anti-communist entrepreneurs was to demand that references to the Holocaust be accompanied by denunciations of the Gulag. This campaign had to deal with a delicate contradiction since it tended to challenge the uniqueness of the Holocaust, a dogma essential to gaining financial and political support from West European memory institutes. In 2008, the EP adopted a resolution establishing August 23 as “European Day of Remembrance for the victims of Stalinism and Nazism” – for the first time adopting what had been a fairly isolated far right equation of. A 2009 EP resolution on “European Conscience and Totalitarianism” called for support of national institutes specializing in totalitarian history. Dujisin explains, “Europe is now haunted by the specter of a new memory. The Holocaust’s singular standing as a negative founding formula of European integration, the culmination of long-standing efforts from prominent Western leaders … is increasingly challenged by a memory of communism, which disputes its uniqueness.” East European memory institutes together formed the “Platform of European Memory and Conscience,” which between 2012 and 2016 organized a series of exhibits on “Totalitarianism in Europe: Fascism—Nazism—Communism,” traveling to museums, memorials, foundations, city halls, parliaments, cultural centers, and universities in 15 European countries, supposedly to “improve public awareness and education about the gravest crimes committed by the totalitarian dictatorships.” Under this influence, the European Parliament on Sept. 19, 2019 adopted a resolution “on the importance of European Remembrance for the Future of Europe” that went far beyond equating political crimes by proclaiming a distinctly Polish interpretation of history as European Union policy. It goes so far as to proclaim that the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact is responsible for World War II – and thus Soviet Russia is as guilty of the war as Nazi Germany. The resolution, “Stresses that the Second World War, the most devastating war in Europe’s history, was started as an immediate result of the notorious Nazi-Soviet Treaty on Non-Aggression of 23 August 1939, also known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and its secret protocols, whereby two totalitarian regimes that shared the goal of world conquest divided Europe into two zones of influence;” It further: “Recalls that the Nazi and communist regimes carried out mass murders, genocide and deportations and caused a loss of life and freedom in the 20th century on a scale unseen in human history, and recalls the horrific crime of the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazi regime; condemns in the strongest terms the acts of aggression, crimes against humanity and mass human rights violations perpetrated by the Nazi, communist and other totalitarian regimes;” This of course not only directly contradicts the Russian celebration of the “Great Patriotic War” to defeat the Nazi invasion, it also took issue with the recent efforts of Russian President Vladimir Putin to put the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement in the context of prior refusals of Eastern European states, notably Poland, to ally with Moscow against Hitler. But the EP resolution: “Is deeply concerned about the efforts of the current Russian leadership to distort historical facts and whitewash crimes committed by the Soviet totalitarian regime and considers them a dangerous component of the information war waged against democratic Europe that aims to divide Europe, and therefore calls on the Commission to decisively counteract these efforts;” Thus the importance of Memory for the future, turns out to be an ideological declaration of war against Russia based on interpretations of World War II, especially since the memory entrepreneurs implicitly suggest that the past crimes of communism deserve punishment – like the crimes of Nazism. It is not impossible that this line of thought arouses some tacit satisfaction among certain individuals in Germany. When Western leaders speak of “economic war against Russia,” or “ruining Russia” by arming and supporting Ukraine, one wonders whether they are consciously preparing World War III, or trying to provide a new ending to World War II. Or will the two merge? As it shapes up, with NATO openly trying to “overextend” and thus defeat Russia with a war of attrition in Ukraine, it is somewhat as if Britain and the United States, some 80 years later, switched sides and joined German-dominated Europe to wage war against Russia, alongside the heirs to Eastern European anticommunism, some of whom were allied to Nazi Germany. History may help understand events, but the cult of memory easily becomes the cult of revenge. Revenge is a circle with no end. It uses the past to kill the future. Europe needs clear heads looking to the future, able to understand the present. Tyler Durden Tue, 09/13/2022 - 02:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytSep 13th, 2022

15 Of The Most Common Money Wasters

Despite most people’s efforts to avoid debt and exceed their budget, it can be easy to overspend. Many common money wasters, however, lurk in the shadows, waiting to steal your money. So, let’s bring these money wasters into the light so that you banish them for good. Don’t be discouraged if you check every box […] Despite most people’s efforts to avoid debt and exceed their budget, it can be easy to overspend. Many common money wasters, however, lurk in the shadows, waiting to steal your money. So, let’s bring these money wasters into the light so that you banish them for good. Don’t be discouraged if you check every box on this list. After all, the average American wastes approximately $18,000 per year. In any case, it’s an opportunity to take stock of your expenses and identify where you may be wasting money. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   Bank Fees In the long run, even small fees, such as those for withdrawals from out-of-network ATMs or service charges for keeping a checking account, can add up. In fact, according to a Bankrate survey, non-interest checking accounts, excluding free checking accounts, had an average monthly fee of just over $5. What’s more, interest-bearing checking accounts had a fee of more than $16 for those who did not qualify for a waiver. So, the answer here is pretty straightforward. Change banks. It seems unlikely, but Bankrate reports that nearly half of checking accounts don’t charge monthly fees. And, unless you can avoid monthly fees with your current bank, you are likely paying more in fees than interest. Late Fees Late charges on credit cards typically range from $15 to $35. Ouch. Fees are also typically assessed for late payments on mortgages, utilities, and rent. Even returning Redbox movies a day late or not returning library books on time will result in pricey fees. In addition to costing you money, being late with your payments can hurt your credit too. Most lenders, however, do not report a late payment until it has been 30 days. Furthermore, credit cards often impose penalty APRs for late payments, which can dramatically increase your interest rate. Setting up autopay will help you pay the minimum balance by the due date if you have trouble getting payments out on time. Also, apps such as Mint can remind you when bills are due. Or, you can use your trusty calendar to notify you of upcoming payments. One more thing. A late payment may also be waived or removed from your credit report if you accidentally paid it late. If you have made one careless error and have a good track record of being on time, most companies won’t penalize you. Insurance You Don’t Need “This is one that often goes overlooked because many often think the more insurance, the better,” says Leslie Tayne, a debt-relief attorney at Tayne Law Group. “But certain forms of insurance are just not necessary for most people and can lead you to spend unnecessarily.” Tayne argues these insurance products are wasteful: Identity theft insurance is available if your credit card comes with fraud protection. This is true for most credit cards, such as the Citi® Double Cash Card. Children’s life insurance, since children rarely have assets to protect. A child life insurance policy often comes with a savings component called “cash value” that can be used for college or for a down payment on a new house. Still, the fees outweigh the rates of return, so as a parent, it is better to invest your money somewhere else. It’s more important to start a 529 savings plan or to create a fund to cover your child’s costs in case of an emergency. Rental car insurance is available if your traditional car insurance extends to rental cars. Collision insurance for older, low-value cars. Collision coverage might not be necessary, depending on your deductible and damage. Travel insurance is provided by your credit card if you book your travel on that card. You should contact your card issuer to see if your card covers trip cancellations and lost luggage, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Ghost Subscriptions There is no doubt that subscriptions are easy to obtain online. But they are equally easy to forget to cancel. In fact, Chase found in an April 2021 survey that nearly two-thirds of consumers forgot at least one recurring payment.​ In addition to avoiding late fees, automatic payments can be convenient, such as those for utility bills. However, others can cost you a lot of money in the long run. For example, a subscription to investment-information service Morningstar runs $34.95 monthly and $249 annually. Keeping that subscription should be a no-brainer if you are an inactive user. However, for any unused subscription, you should cancel it ASAP. After all, you don’t want to get hit with a costly auto-renew. To make this less of a hassle, sign up for a service like Truebill or Trim. These tools monitor your bank or credit card statement to see which subscriptions can be cut. Credit Card Interest According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Americans pay an average of $1,000 per year in high-interest debt and credit card fees. The use of credit cards can be beneficial, like improving your credit score and earning discounts and cashback. In spite of this, carrying a balance can put a strain on your finances. In other words, if you are in debt, focus on paying down your existing balance and put your cards on hold. If you do make a purchase, make sure that you’re able to pay off the balance. For example, only buy a pair of concert tickets for $150 if you can pay that off in full. Energy Vampires A device that consumes energy even after it has been turned off is called an energy vampire, explains Duke Energy. Your home is full of them, including phone chargers, cable boxes, and coffee makers. It’s estimated that 20% of your monthly electricity bill is accounted for by these phantom energy suckers. Typical energy vampires include “bricks” and “wall warts”: Devices that have a large plug, such as cellphone chargers, are called wall warts. Even when not in use, it consumes energy. The brick is a small black box found on laptop computers, televisions, and some cable TV equipment cords. These bricks continuously consume energy if left plugged in. How can you control energy vampires? Well, for starters, you can unplug devices that you don’t use often. Plugging wall warts and bricks into power strips and turning them off when not in use is another suggestion. Not Adjusting Your Thermostat Obviously, you want your home to be set at a comfortable temperature. However, do you really need the house to be 72 degrees when you’re away for the whole day? The U.S. Department of Energy says you can save up to 10 percent a year by simply adjusting your thermostat 7 to 10 degrees from its normal setting for eight hours a day. The house can be heated (or cooled) to the temperature you prefer before you get home with a programmable thermostat. To avoid ghost readings – unnecessarily high or low temperatures – locate the thermostat properly. Ideally, the thermostat should be installed on an interior wall away from direct sunlight, drafts, and windows. ​ Plumbing Issues Leaking faucets and toilets can keep you awake at night as well as cost you money. Take the example of a bathroom faucet that drips at the rate of 10 drops every minute. The U.S. Geological Survey’s drip calculator calculates that three leaking faucets would drip 43,200 gallons of water per day at that rate. Despite the fact that water is relatively cheap, that’s still a lot of water. In most cases, 1,042 gallons would cost approximately $1.50. ​Running toilets, however, can be a real water guzzler. In the average household, leaky toilets waste about 200 gallons of water per day, or approximately 6,000 gallons per month, or $108 a year. Repairing a leaky toilet costs, on average, $18.55 per toilet, with a range of $17.36 to $19.75. On the flip side, labor and materials result in a total of $223.63 per toilet, ranging from $202.77 to $244.49. Food Waste According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, 40% of food produced in the United States is never consumed. Sometimes, that happens. We all have bad apples that need to be tossed. However, you can reduce food waste by doing the following courtesy of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Buy only what you need. Prepare your meals in advance. And, ensure you stick to your grocery list and avoid impulse purchases. Pick ugly fruit and vegetables. Often, fruits and vegetables with odd shapes or bruises are thrown away since they don’t meet arbitrary aesthetic standards. However, they still taste the same. Store food wisely. Your cupboard or fridge should be organized so that older products are at the front and new ones at the back. Make sure open food is stored in airtight containers in the fridge and that packets are closed to prevent insects from getting into them. Love your leftovers. You can freeze leftovers or use them in another meal if you don’t eat everything you make. Start small. Share large dishes at restaurants or take smaller portions at home. Unclaimed 401(k) Matches You can add significant value to your nest egg by contributing to a 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retirement plan, notes FINRA. For example, if you earn $40,000 and contribute $1200 to your 401(k), you are 30 years old, earn $40,000, and contribute 3 percent of your salary to your 401(k). If you make the same salary and contribute the same amount each year until 65, let’s assume you make the same contribution. In 35 years, your 401(k) will have earned you $42,000. Consider what would happen if your employer offered you a match. Typically, the match is dollar-for-dollar up to 3 percent of the employee’s salary. Even if your investment value does not increase, you will have set aside $84,000 by the time you retire, which is a doubled savings amount. Take a look at it this way: you can contribute 100 percent more at no cost. Sadly, a 2015 study found that one in four employees don’t invest enough in 401(k)s to earn a full employer match. Employees who failed to earn the match ended up wasting $1,336 of their own money. Missing out on this money will leave you with no financial security in the future. Talk to your company’s human resources or accounting to find out what the employer match is, and then increase your automated investments in your 401(k) to get at least the full match. Mutual Fund Fees An expense ratio, or percentage, represents your overall investment in a mutual fund, explains NextAdvisor. For actively managed funds, they typically range from .5% to 1.5%, and for passively managed funds, they typically range from .2% to .4%. Generally speaking, any fee greater than 1% should be avoided. A mutual fund with a 1% expense ratio, for instance, will cost you $10 for $1,000 invested. Despite its small size, it adds up over time. In general, experts recommend fees under .2%, and anything over 1% can eat into your long-term investment earnings. Fees that are over 1.5%, and certainly over 2%, are not worth the hassle. The low fees of passively managed funds are one of the reasons experts recommend them, as many have fees under .2%. Not Using Available Discount Code or Coupon “One of the biggest ways people waste money is by paying full price instead of looking for discounts or ways to lower the price of an item before purchasing,” said Rebecca Gramuglia, consumer expert at TopCashback. “By skipping this step, you may be spending more money than needed, and that extra money could have gone towards another purchase or your savings fund.” Extended Warranties Almost everything from televisions to appliances to vehicles comes with an extended warranty. Despite the fact that you may think you are being financially responsible by purchasing an extended warranty, the truth is that extended warranties are usually not worth the money. In general, extended warranties exclude the most common problems in their fine print. In addition to extended warranties, manufacturers also provide free coverage as part of their warranty plans. As a result, the FTC warns that many extended warranties aren’t worthwhile. A better option? If your possessions break, you would be better off saving for the cost of repairs or replacements instead of buying an extended warranty. Gas Hogs Be honest. Does your vehicle really need premium gas? It’s unlikely unless your car’s maker tells you otherwise. Most major gasoline brands have additives to keep your engine sparkling, so the occasional tank of premium won’t do the trick. Typically, turbochargers and high-compression engines are common reasons why certain cars need premium gas.​ ​Other ways to save fuel and money: ​ Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Make sure your tires are properly inflated to improve your gas mileage by up to 3 percent. ​Take it easy on the gas and brakes. According to the Department of Energy, gas mileage rapidly declines when you drive over 50 mph, costing you approximately $0.23 extra per gallon. ​Get your engine tuned. It has been reported that fixing a serious problem, such as a broken oxygen sensor, can increase your mileage by as much as 40 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. ​ Unclaimed Tax Deductions According to IRS data, about 20% of taxpayers qualify for earned income tax credits but fail to claim them. Not only this, but other tax credits go unclaimed as well. In addition to choosing the wrong filing status, taxpayers make all kinds of tax mistakes, such as itemizing their deductions or claiming the standard deduction. You can use online tax programs to help you catch deductions and credits that you should be eligible for. In complex tax situations, such as when itemizing for the first time or starting a business, hiring a tax professional may help you maximize your tax savings. Frequently Asked Questions Do I need this? To live on a budget, save money, and achieve your goals, you must distinguish between a want and a need. A “need” is a necessity. In budgeting, necessities include rent, mortgage, utilities, food, and transportation. The term ‘Want’ more accurately describes something that you would like to splurge on. More specifically, it’s something you save up for and anticipate buying. Is there a way I can save money by buying this somewhere else? Be persistent in your search for a better price. Take out your smartphone, tablet, or laptop and compare prices. Be sure to take into account rebate/cashback programs and store loyalty rewards. I personally get money back through cashback programs every time I shop. In addition, I still earn rewards from the store and use them for savings in the future. Using your resources together will save you the most money. For seasonal products, be sure to research. You can save hundreds of dollars by searching “Best time to buy” on Google. Do I have the money to cover this? Despite common sense, some people are unaware of their account balance. After all, you cannot buy it if you lack the money. And, if you don’t have the funds to cover the purchase, you probably don’t have enough to pay off your credit card balance if you charge it. In short, don’t make purchases unless it’s in your budget. If you don’t save the money until you do. Is there anything else I could do with this money? What monthly bills do you have to pay, such as utilities, rent, mortgage, and insurance? Be sure to include the latest bills in your budget as well. Your bank statement may just contain something you forgot you committed to every month. Are you fully funded for an emergency? Are you debt-free? Article by John Rampton, Due About the Author John Rampton is an entrepreneur and connector. When he was 23 years old, while attending the University of Utah, he was hurt in a construction accident. His leg was snapped in half. He was told by 13 doctors he would never walk again. Over the next 12 months, he had several surgeries, stem cell injections and learned how to walk again. During this time, he studied and mastered how to make money work for you, not against you. He has since taught thousands through books, courses and written over 5000 articles online about finance, entrepreneurship and productivity. He has been recognized as the Top Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine and Finance Expert by Time. He is the Founder and CEO of Due......»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkAug 25th, 2022

Climate Concerns and Air Travel Chaos Are Reviving Europe’s Overnight Trains. Here’s What It’s Like On Board

Climate concerns and travel chaos are souring Europeans on flying. Can overnight train travel go the distance? On a sweltering Sunday evening in late July, Klaydy Buchsbaum boarded a train bound for Vienna at Paris’s Gare de l’Est, slid open the door to compartment 412, tossed her hat onto the upper bunk for her overnight journey and got down to the serious work of maneuvering her oversized lavender suitcase into place. “Flights were so expensive, and with all the chaos in flying right now, I didn’t want to get stuck in an airport somewhere. And I didn’t want my bag to get lost,” she said. With a final push, she wedged the behemoth beneath her seat. “As my husband always says, I’m not the kind of person who travels with just a small carry-on.” [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] This summer’s air travel chaos has added another reason why a growing number of European travelers are opting for the rails. But a key factor—and the one behind a number of public and private initiatives to bring back overnight trains—is concern over climate change. Journeys by rail can emit as little as one fifth the greenhouse gasses as flights, which is why railway companies, national governments and E.U. bodies cite reducing emissions as a reason for re-establishing a network of overnight medium-distance rail lines that once connected the continent. Yet for all the demand and effort, those initiatives still have a long way to go. Read More: Why Air Travel Is Hell This Summer Europe’s night train network began eroding in the 1990s. As low-cost airlines like easyJet and Ryanair emerged, demand for overnight trains evaporated. By 2019, both Germany and Switzerland had sold off or shut down their night connections altogether, and the total number of passenger night trains in Europe had decreased from around 1,200 per week in 2001 to about 450. The dismantling made it difficult for even the most determined passenger to book a cross-continental ticket; today anyone hoping to travel by train from, say, Copenhagen to Barcelona, would have to cobble together their own ticket by navigating a bewildering thicket of national timetables and websites, and then change trains anywhere from three to eight times along the two-day journey. One national company has begun in recent years to take steps to revive overnight trains. Citing growing concern about climate change, Austria’s state-owned railway ÖBB bought up some of the old international lines in 2016 and began launching overnight journeys at a rate of about one per year. The Paris-Vienna Nightjet began running in December 2021. In 2019, those efforts got an important boost when flygskam—the Swedish word for “flight shame”—burst into public consciousness around the world, thanks to activist Greta Thunberg. And they swelled again this summer when widespread staff shortages resulted in a turbulent season of canceled flights and lost luggage. “Before corona, we were always full during summer months and during weekends and that was it,” says Bernhard Rieder, director of media relations for ÖBB. “This year, from Easter, we’ve been completely full on all lines every day. We get a lot of complaints from people who say ‘we hardly have a chance to get a seat or a bed’.” Some start-ups have been paying attention. In 2019, growing criticism over carbon-spewing flights coupled with the lack of convenient cross-border rail options, prompted businessmen Adrien Aumont and Romain Payet to found Midnight Trains. It’s a private company that, when it is up and running, promises to connect 10 European cities from its hub in Paris with transport that is more like a hotel on rails than a traditional night train. “This is a product that hasn’t been reinvented for the last 20 to 30 years,” says Payet. “So we started working together on how to reinvent the night train to make it the most sustainable and comfortable way to travel across Europe.” Christian Charisius—Picture-Alliance/dpa/APA compartment on the Nightjet train that operates on the Vienna/Innsbruck to Hamburg route, July 11, 2022. When Midnight Trains launches its first line in 2024, there will be easy online booking and refunds, a dining car serving recipes designed by a Michelin-starred chef and a range of accommodations—all of them private and outfitted with real beds and linens. Read More: Going on Vacation This Summer? Welcome to the ‘Revenge Travel’ Economy There are complications for both public and private night train initiatives. Prices are one: in late July, a one-way Paris-Vienna Nightjet ticket for a berth in a four- or six-person couchette cost around 154 euros (the exact costs vary by date and amenities), which was slightly more than plane tickets at that point. Part of the discrepancy is a disadvantage built into the European pricing structure: airline tickets are exempt from VAT but rail ones are not. And of course, a rail journey is significantly longer. Passengers boarding the Nightjet avoid the schlep to an airport and snaking security lines. But the trip from Paris to Vienna still takes 14 hours versus 2.5 by plane. Some of that is down to rail traffic that forces trains to sit idle—sometimes for as long as 45 minutes—on the tracks. “People have this perception that the tracks are empty, but that’s not true,” says ÖBB’s Rieder. At night, the tracks are crowded with slow freight trains, which makes competition fierce to get a spot on the tracks. There are also technical and juridical reasons for the frequent delays. The specifications of engine cars still vary from country to country and therefore often need to be changed at border crossings due to different power supplies and safety regulations. Once the trains stop, authorities frequently use the opportunity to board and inspect passenger passports—even within the border-free Schengen area that covers some 26 European countries. “We’re trying to buy locomotives that will be interoperable between countries so we don’t have to stop at the border, but the manufacturers are saying they won’t have those ready until 2026 or ‘27,” says Payet from Midnight Trains. Meanwhile, the company is also working on a system that would allow passengers to upload identity documents before traveling, just as airlines do. Many of these issues are addressed in the European Commission’s Action Plan that was approved at the end of 2021. It calls for the introduction of a Europe-wide ticketing system that would allow passengers to easily piece together international trips, infrastructure investments that would remove the need for locomotive changes at the border and a reconsideration of VAT charges. But even the target adoption date of the end of this year for the digital booking system has already been pushed back into the second half of 2023. “It’s not something that’s easy,” says Adalbert Jahnz, European Commission spokesperson for transport. “We’ve got 25 networks on the European level, which are pretty complex.” Jahnz says the E.U. has made headway by directing 50 billion euros of its COVID-19 recovery funds to rail and passing legislation that creates Europe-level certification for rail infrastructure. Meanwhile, the E.U.’s goal of cutting carbon emissions by 55% by 2030, and reaching the more ambitious target of net zero by 2050, has been a boon for rail. During the pandemic, France and Austria made bailout money to their respective national airlines contingent on phasing out domestic flights under three hours, and since then, France has outright banned short haul flights if rail or bus alternatives exist. The energy crisis has also provided a boost: this summer, Germany reduced all domestic rail tickets to 9 euros for 3 months, while Spain made regional and commuter trains free between June and August. Yet from the rail companies point of view, huge obstacles remain to meeting Europeans’ demand for rail travel, and the greatest is the lack of carriages—what the rail industry calls “rolling stock”—as the relatively few remaining manufacturers grapple with increased demand. “There are no new cars or even used cars available on the market,” says ÖBB’s Rieder. “In 2018, we ordered 33 complete new train sets. And they won’t be delivered until the middle of next year.” The shortage of rolling stock helps explain why Midnight Trains won’t debut its first line, which Payet expects to be from Paris to northern Italy, until the second half of 2024. “When you look at the manufacturing sector, all of the big ones have backlogs for the next 10 years just from the national companies,” says Payet. “And if you’re a small, private company trying to get in [to the industry], they basically tell you, we’re full until 2028.” The lack of new carriages also explains why certain amenities that could make overnight trains more appealing to travelers, like WiFi and plentiful electrical outlets, are missing on the Nightjet. Most of the cars are now 25 or 30 years old. But Buchsmann, who enjoyed the simple breakfast that attendants bring to each passenger and liked having the chance to socialize over wine with the other women in her all-female compartment aboard, says she would eagerly take the Paris-Vienna Nightjet again. Still, she admits, she didn’t sleep all that well. “The beds were a little hard,” she says. A couple of compartments away on the Nightjet, Jean-Baptiste Fouvry also had a relatively sleepless journey. On his way to a professional conference in Vienna, the 32-year-old had opted for a seat instead of a berth, and spent the night upright with five others in a crowded compartment. As an environmentally-conscious scientist at Paris’ Institute of Astrophysics, he still didn’t regret his decision to travel by train. “If you care about climate change,” he says in reference to the journey, “it’s not sufficiently horrible enough not to do.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeAug 16th, 2022

I traveled on a luxury overnight bus with lie-flat suites from Washington, DC to Nashville for $125 and was shocked by how comfortably I slept

The long memory foam beds and privacy screen made my 9.5-hour journey aboard Napaway shockingly comfortable. Brittany Chang/Insider Napaway is a new sleeper bus company with seats that turn into memory foam beds. The motorcoach startup is now running overnight weekend services between Washington, DC and Nashville, Tennessee. My 9.5-hour journey aboard Napaway was shockingly comfortable for a long-haul route. Traveling on a long-haul budget bus isn't stereotypically the most comfortable experience.A Greyhound bus in Texas in 2021.Jose Luis Gonzalez/ReutersAfter all, packed rows of seats, almost nonexistent WiFi, and broken foot rests don't make for a luxurious road trip.A Greyhound bus in Texas in 2021.Jose Luis Gonzalez/ReutersIf you shudder at the thought of sitting sleeplessly on a budget bus for hours at a time, you're not alone.Two Megabus buses in New York in 2012.Hyungwon Kang/ReutersAnd that's why Daniel Aronov decided to start Napaway, a sleeper bus lined with private suites to provide passengers with a restful and comfortable long-haul journey.Brittany Chang/InsiderNapaway isn't the first luxury disruptor in the motorcoach industry — Aronov acknowledges there has been a growing number of premium motorcoach services popping up around the US.Brittany Chang/InsiderIn Texas, Vonlane has been a longtime interstate luxury bus operator with a side of meal services and sofa-like seats.Brittany Chang/InsiderSource: InsiderAnd between Washington DC and New York City, there's the Jet, a newcomer that's been seeing booking success with the help of its motion-canceling seats.Inside the Jet.Brittany Chang/InsiderSource: InsiderBut unlike Vonlane and the Jet, Napaway doesn't operate between two nearby cities.The Jet on a cold January morning.Brittany Chang/InsiderInstead, its primary route is a 9.5-hour redeye between Washington, DC and Nashville, Tennessee.US Capitol in Washington DC.Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty ImagesAnd while the Jet and Vonlane both have pretty luxurious seats that feel more like plush couches than seats on the bus …Inside the Jet.Brittany Chang/Insider… Napaway brings comfort one step further (and flatter).Brittany Chang/InsiderThe only thing better than sitting down is laying down. And that's Napaway is lined with seats that can convert into beds with memory foam mattresses.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe "key" to a pleasant sleep is laying fully horizontal, Aronov realized after seeing his friend slumber on a business class flight with lie-flat seats.Taylor Rains/InsiderAnd that's exactly what he tried to recreate with the sleeping suites aboard Napaway.Brittany Chang/InsiderThese seats don't just lean back a few inches. They lie completely flat.Brittany Chang/InsiderThis sleeper bus concept already exists around the world, but according to Aronov, these coaches don't provide the size, comfort level, privacy, or personal space that Americans "expect."Brittany Chang/InsiderTo create its row of spacious bedrooms on wheels, Napaway tapped a Chinese aircraft and motorcoach seating manufacturer — Butterfly Flexible Seating Solutions — to create the arrangement.Brittany Chang/InsiderSource: Butterfly Flexible Seating SolutionsThe startup then tasked a separate coach conversion company to retrofit the interior of its used charter bus, bringing the Napaway concept to life.Brittany Chang/InsiderAccording to Aronov, the team spent a few years designing, prototyping, and manufacturing the interior of the coach.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut the actual installation process was "very efficient" because there was no need to renovate anything besides the previous seats.Brittany Chang/InsiderTo put it bluntly, spending over nine hours on a bus from DC to Tennesse sounds like my personal hell.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut nine hours on the road in a private suite with a memory foam mattress? I could be convinced.Brittany Chang/InsiderI reserved my $125 seat for the Friday night (10 p.m., to be exact) route from DC to Nashville a month in advance through Napaway's website.Brittany Chang/InsiderWhen it came time to travel, I waited for the Napaway coach with one other passenger at the DC pickup location, a dark public parking lot that reverberated the sounds of "Top 100" pop hits from the bar next door.Brittany Chang/InsiderAfter the bus arrived, I was greeted by Aronov and two bus drivers.Brittany Chang/InsiderI already changed into my loungewear, brushed my teeth, and finished my skincare routine before I boarded the bus. So by the time I stepped foot into my bedroom on wheels, all I had to do was set up my bed and drift off to sleep.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut for those who don't have time to prepare ahead, you can use the small bathroom at the rear.Brittany Chang/InsiderAfter a quick tutorial on how to convert my two seats into a bed, we were off on our 9.5-hour overnight journey.Brittany Chang/InsiderI had my apprehensions before boarding Napaway. But surprisingly, my small suite felt like a personal bubble aboard the 18-bed bus.Brittany Chang/InsiderEach suite has two staggered seats and tray tables.Brittany Chang/InsiderThese tray tables also have phone holders to make the onboard entertainment — a library of television shows and movies accessible through your phone via a QR code — a hands-free experience.NapawayMaybe I was using it wrong, but my iPhone struggled to stay upright in the phone holders.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut that was okay with me. After getting carsick while working on the Jet, I've since learned to stay away from screens while traveling in a motorcoach.Working on the Jet.Brittany Chang/InsiderAnd at 10 p.m, I didn't feel compelled to spend hours scrolling through social media or watching a movie, which was for the best given the fast but spotty onboard WiFi.NapawayAfter a few minutes of sitting upright, decided it was time to turn my two seats into a bedroom.Brittany Chang/InsiderI spent less than a minute setting up the bed. All I had to do was lock the two staggered seats flat to reveal a 6.5-foot bed.Brittany Chang/InsiderI then unfurled the 2.5-inch thick memory foam mattress at the head of the bed to create the base of my nest.Brittany Chang/InsiderAnd after setting up my pillow, sheet, and plush blanket, I finally had my own bedroom on wheels.Brittany Chang/InsiderFor some extra privacy, I also pulled down a large but thin opaque screen, which made my suite feel much more secluded.Brittany Chang/InsiderI had to lay at an angle, but my whole 5-foot, 4.5-inch self fit on the bed.Brittany Chang/InsiderAnd surprisingly, the Napaway bedding was as plush as any typical memory foam bed, a luxury I've never experienced while traveling overnight.Brittany Chang/InsiderAfter a little over an hour on the road, I started lightly drifting off to the sounds of the passing cars and the sways of the motorcoach as it drove down the freeway.Brittany Chang/InsiderThe thick mattress pad, cozy blanket, and rocking motion of the bus made me feel like a swaddled baby being rocked back and forth.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut while my little nook was undeniably comfortable, I wasn't able to stay in a deep sleep during the entire more than nine-hour ride.Brittany Chang/InsiderThroughout the night, I found myself half-awake and cognizant of my environment especially as the bus pulled into its two pit stops just a few hours apart.Brittany Chang/InsiderHowever, I definitely still had a longer and better night's slumber compared to some red-eye flights and coach rides I've taken in the past.Brittany Chang/InsiderIt gets bright in the early hours. Luckily, each suite has an amenity kit with a surprisingly comfortable eye mask, toothbrush, toothpaste, face wipe, and ear plugs.Brittany Chang/InsiderBefore I knew it, we finally arrived in downtown Nashville, Tennessee at around 7:45 a.m.Brittany Chang/InsiderAnd while I didn't sleep through the entire night, I still had more than enough energy to go about my day without being cranky or groggy.Brittany Chang/Insider"It's a good way to have the full day at both your origin and destination points," Aronov said. "[When you] leave in the evening and arrive first thing in the morning, you don't lose either of the days."Brittany Chang/InsiderSo far, Napaway has seen "pretty positive" reception to this concept, Aronov said, with many travelers leaving happy.Brittany Chang/InsiderFor now, Napaway is only operating a weekend service with Friday night departures from Washington DC to Nashville, Tennessee and Sunday evening returns.Brittany Chang/InsiderBecause of this weekend service, most of its customers have been leisure travelers.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut this primary demographic could change soon as the startup expands its days of service.Brittany Chang/InsiderAfter a scheduling expansion, Napaway will consider more routes in the southeast, midwest, or even upstate New York with the larger goal of operating a national network.Brittany Chang/InsiderAt some point, the company also wants to run shorter daytime routes.Brittany Chang/InsiderBut for now, Aronov is mum about specific cities he wants to bring the service to and when.Brittany Chang/InsiderBecause of its current long-haul overnight route, the startup doesn't see other coach services as its big competition.Brittany Chang/InsiderInstead, Aronov says it's competing with airlines and people driving their own vehicles.Getty Images"People who hear about it usually get it," he said. "And when you consider how much of a crazy mess flying has been this summer, I think it resonates."Flight delays and cancellations will likely continue throughout the summer, analysts told Insider.James D. Morgan/Getty ImagesHe makes a good point: Air travel has been a "hellish" and expensive nightmare this summer.David Young/picture alliance via Getty ImagesAirlines have canceled thousands of flights, lost baggage claims have skyrocketed, security lines have grown, and airfare has soared past pre-pandemic levels.Luggage are piling up at Heathrow's Terminal 5.Adam KentSource: Insider, Insider, Insider, Insider So if you have the opportunity to pass on air travel for a more convenient, affordable, and in this case comfortable option, why not?Brittany Chang/InsiderI showed up early, boarded the bus, slept, and arrived in the morning refreshed and ready for my day. It was a completely seamless and comfortable travel experience.Brittany Chang/InsiderAnd that sure beats what we've all come to expect of summer air travel: large crowds, long security lines, and extended waits at boring terminals.Brittany Chang/InsiderRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 31st, 2022

The Talented Mr. Pottinger: The US Intelligence Agent Who Pushed Lockdowns

The Talented Mr. Pottinger: The US Intelligence Agent Who Pushed Lockdowns Authored by Michael Senger via 'The New Normal' Substack, In 1948, the US House of Representatives received a tip from a man named Whittaker Chambers that several federal officials had been working for the communists. One of these officials was more than happy to appear before Congress to clear his name—a leading State Department and United Nations representative named Alger Hiss. The rakish Hiss was the exemplary American statesman: Polite, pedigreed, well-spoken, and a Harvard man to boot. During the 1945 United Nations conference, the Chinese delegation had proposed the creation of a new international health organization. After the Chinese failed to get a resolution passed, Hiss recommended establishing the organization by declaration, and the World Health Organization was born. In Congress, Hiss coolly denied the allegations and denounced his deadbeat accuser for the libelous claims. The House came away newly reassured that the State Department was in excellent hands. (Spoiler alert: He was then and always had been a communist.) The next year, intelligence leaks from the federal service led to the Soviet Union’s first successful nuclear test, ending the security afforded by America’s nuclear monopoly 15 years earlier than experts expected. Shortly thereafter, Kim Il-Sung and Chairman Mao used the cover of Soviet nuclear weapons to invade South Korea. The ensuing war claimed over 3 million lives and resulted in the permanent recognition of the nation of North Korea. Around this time, a little-known Congressman from California’s 12th district named Richard M. Nixon pressed Chambers for more information. Chambers reluctantly led Tricky Dick to a package of State Department materials he had hidden in a pumpkin patch—including notes in Hiss’s own writing. Alger Hiss became the most high-level American official ever convicted in connection with working for the communists. 2022 To be honest, I barely knew who Matt Pottinger was until I read that he’d appointed Deborah Birx as White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator in her bizarrely self-incriminating memoir Silent Invasion, which reads like it was written by the Chinese Communist Party itself. There’s little information about Pottinger’s role in Covid online. Yet Pottinger is portrayed as a leading protagonist in three different pro-lockdown books on America’s response to Covid-19: The Plague Year by the New Yorker’s Lawrence Wright, Nightmare Scenario by the Washington Post’s Yasmeen Abutaleb, and Chaos Under Heaven by the Washington Post’s Josh Rogin. Pottinger’s singularly outsized role in pushing for alarm, shutdowns, mandates, and science from China in the early months of Covid is extremely well-documented. Pottinger’s enormous influence during Covid is especially surprising not only because of his absence from online discussion about these events, but because of who he is. The son of leading Department of Justice official Stanley Pottinger, Matt Pottinger graduated with a degree in Chinese studies in 1998 before going to work as a journalist in China for seven years, where he reported on topics including the original SARS. In 2005, Pottinger unexpectedly left journalism and obtained an age waiver to join the US Marine Corps. Over several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Pottinger became a decorated intelligence officer and met General Michael Flynn, who later appointed him to the National Security Council (NSC). Pottinger was originally in line to be China Director, but Flynn gave him the more senior job of Asia Director. Despite being new to civilian government, Pottinger outlasted many others in Trump’s White House. In September 2019, Pottinger was named Deputy National Security Advisor, second only to National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien. Pottinger is best known as a China hawk, but a smart and sophisticated one. He’s been ahead of the curve in calling out China’s increasingly aggressive geopolitical stance, articulating this challenge with near-perfect eloquence. As Politico writes, “While hawks like Bannon love his tough views toward China, even Democrats call his views basically mainstream. Still, some foreign policy experts…wonder what a nice guy like him is doing in a place like this.” “He’s a very effective bureaucratic player, which is saying something because he’s never had a policy job before,” the New York Times agreed. “Matt has an extraordinary sense of caution that, ‘Let’s not push something unless the president clearly has approved it.’ This is different from other members of White House staff,” the Washington Post admired. While many Trump administration officials have floundered since Trump left the White House, “things are going well for Pottinger,” Vox gushed. “[T]hat subject matter expertise—plus the patina afforded by resigning on January 6—has helped Pottinger, a former journalist, expertly navigate the post-Trump landscape. He even emerged as the White House hero of the initial Covid-19 chaos in New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright’s chronicle of The Plague Year… One reason that Matt Pottinger was welcomed back into the establishment is that, unlike some of Trump’s unconventional appointees, he had already been a part of the elite.” From the center-right to the center-left and the far right to the far left, it’s tough to find anyone on the Beltway short on praise for Matt Pottinger. Everything about Pottinger is silky smooth. Between the lines of glowing coverage are not-so-subtle winks and nudges that he’d make an excellent candidate for higher office. 2020 1. Ratcheting Up Alarm via “Asymptomatic Spread” In January 2020, Pottinger unilaterally called meetings and ratcheted up alarm about the new coronavirus in the White House based on information from his own sources in China, despite having no official intelligence to back up his alarmism, breaching protocol on several occasions. In Washington, Matt Pottinger was first made aware of the new coronavirus after China’s CDC Director called US CDC Director Robert Redfield to report it on January 3, 2020. According to Pottinger, he grew increasingly alarmed due to the rumors he saw on Chinese social media. As Wright reports: He was struck by the disparity between official accounts of the novel coronavirus in China, which scarcely mentioned the disease, and Chinese social media, which was aflame with rumors and anecdotes. Pottinger therefore authorized the first interagency meeting on the coronavirus based on these social media reports. There was no official intelligence to prompt the meeting. On January 14, Pottinger authorized a briefing for the NSC staff by the State Department and the Department of Health and Human Services, along with CDC director Redfield. That first interagency meeting to discuss the situation in Wuhan wasn’t prompted by official intelligence; in fact, there was practically none of that. On January 27, 2020, Trump’s staff attended the first full meeting on the coronavirus in the White House Situation Room. Unbeknownst to those in attendance, Pottinger had unilaterally called the meeting. Others urged calm, but Pottinger immediately began pushing for travel bans. As Abutaleb writes: Few people in the room knew it, but Pottinger had actually called the meeting. The Chinese weren’t providing the US government much information about the virus, and Pottinger didn’t trust what they were disclosing anyway. He had spent two weeks scouring Chinese social media feeds and had uncovered dramatic reports of the new infectious disease suggesting that it was much worse than the Chinese government had revealed. He had also seen reports that the virus might have escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China. There were too many unanswered questions. He told everyone in the Sit Room that they needed to consider enacting a travel ban immediately: ban all travel from China; shut it down… [Pottinger] spent several days calling some of his old contacts in China, doctors who would tell him the truth. And they had told him that things were bad—and only going to get worse. Pottinger’s discourse was measured but he conveyed the gravity of the threat. He said that the virus was spreading fast. He said that dramatic actions would need to be taken, which was why the government should consider banning travel from China to the United States until it had a better understanding of what was going on. As he continued, people sat up in their chairs. This was not the “we’ve got everything handled” message that Azar had conveyed just minutes earlier. As Wright documents, the health officials thought travel restrictions would be futile. Predictably, the public health representatives were resistant, too: viruses found ways to travel no matter what. Moreover, at least 14,000 passengers from China were arriving in the U.S. every day; there was no feasible way to quarantine them all. These arguments would join a parade of other public health verities that would be jettisoned during the pandemic. Among those present, Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney appears to have been the only one to express skepticism of Pottinger’s information. As Abutaleb writes: Mulvaney intervened to wrap things up. He could tell that Pottinger and a few others were calling for a dramatic change, one that was an anathema to his libertarian instincts. He was pretty skeptical of Pottinger’s “sources” in China, too. They weren’t going to be setting US policy based on what someone had heard from their “friend” thousands of miles away. Mulvaney reiterated that they would reconvene the next day to discuss matters again before anything was settled. He warned attendees not to leak any details of the meeting to the media. The next morning, January 28, 2020, Pottinger says he spoke to a doctor in China who told him the new coronavirus would be as bad as the 1918 Spanish flu, and that half the cases were asymptomatic. As Rogin writes: The next morning, Pottinger had a conversation with a very high-level doctor in China, one who had spoken with health officials in several provinces, including Wuhan. This was a trusted source who was in a position to know the ground truth. “Is this going to be as bad as SARS in 2003?” he asked the doctor, whose name must remain secret for his own protection. “Forget SARS in 2003,” the doctor replied, “this is 1918.” The doctor told Pottinger half the cases were asymptomatic and the government must have known all about it. Later that same day, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien brought Pottinger into the Oval Office, where he seized the first opportunity to repeat to the President what the doctor in China had told him that morning. “This is the single greatest national security crisis of your presidency and it’s now unfolding,” O’Brien told the president. “It’s going to be 1918,” Pottinger told Trump. “Holy fuck,” the president replied. Wright goes into more detail on this meeting, in which Pottinger interjected to alarm the President: Later that day, the national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, brought Pottinger into the Oval Office, where the president was getting his daily intelligence briefing. Far down the list of threats was the mysterious new virus in China. The briefer didn’t seem to take it seriously. O’Brien did. “This will be the biggest national security threat you will face in your presidency,” he warned. “Is this going to be as bad or worse than SARS in 2003?” Trump asked. The briefer responded that it wasn’t clear yet. Pottinger, who was sitting on a couch, jumped to his feet. He had seen enough high-level arguments in the Oval Office to know that Trump relished clashes between agencies. “Mr. President, I actually covered that,” he said, recounting his experience with SARS and what he was learning now from his sources—most shockingly, that more than half of the spread of the disease was by asymptomatic carriers. China had already curbed travel within the country, but every day thousands of people were traveling from China to the U.S.—half a million in January alone. “Should we shut down travel?” the president asked. “Yes,” Pottinger said unequivocally. That same day, Pottinger and the White House staff reconvened in the Situation Room. Pottinger recalls that he’d been especially inspired into action by Xi Jinping’s lockdown of Wuhan and by the hospital that the CCP claims to have built in 10 days, but did not actually build. As Abutaleb reports: A few hours later, Pottinger and other government officials filed back into the Situation Room. Pottinger knew he was going to be outnumbered. Mulvaney and his allies didn’t want to allow the NSC to do anything that might be too disruptive. Blocking travel from China would be an unprecedented intervention. And over what? Five cases of the sniffles in the United States?… On January 23, China announced that it was locking down Wuhan, a city of 11 million people. The shutdown was extended to several more cities in the coming days, with travel prohibited inside much of the country. Tens of millions of people were effectively locked in their homes. The Chinese were rapidly building an entire hospital in Wuhan that was completed within days. Everyone in the country was wearing a mask. People in hazmat suits took passengers’ temperatures before anyone was allowed into the subway. China had gone from reluctantly admitting that there had been a few cases of person-to-person spread to shutting down the world’s second largest economy. If the virus had brought the world’s most populous country to a standstill, some top US officials, especially Pottinger, knew they should be doing more. As Deputy National Security Advisor, Pottinger was supposed to “avoid arguing forcefully for any particular outcome,” so he brought Peter Navarro to make his arguments for him. Abutaleb continues: But as deputy national security advisor, Pottinger was in an awkward position. He was supposed to be chairing the meeting, which meant that his job was to solicit input from others in the room and avoid arguing forcefully for any particular outcome. That fact tied his hands. He needed someone else to make the more pointed parts of his argument for him. Someone who would stand up to everyone else in the room unflinchingly. He knew just the person: a reviled troublemaker named Peter Navarro, the director of the White House National Trade Council… Pottinger’s plan to use Navarro as his mouthpiece seemed to work initially, but then Navarro kept going. And going… They needed to ban travel, and they needed to do it now. Pottinger had been waiting for an opening. He told his colleagues that he had come across some alarming information: Chinese officials were no longer able to contact trace the virus. In other words, it was so widespread that they couldn’t determine where people had contracted it. And he relayed the Chinese suspicions about asymptomatic spread: people who seemed perfectly healthy were transmitting the virus, not just in China but potentially everywhere, including in the United States. Once again, Mulvaney was skeptical of Pottinger. Three months prior, Navarro had been caught citing himself as an expert source using the pseudonym “Ron Vara”: Mulvaney couldn’t believe what he was witnessing. Pottinger and Navarro had nearly pulled off a policy ambush. “Look,” Mulvaney told someone at the meeting, “I’ve got Pottinger with a friend of his in Hong Kong as a source. I’ve got Navarro, who makes up his sources, and then on the other side of the equation I’ve got Kadlec and Fauci and Redfield, three experts, who say not to shut down flights just yet.” A health expert pointed out that the statistic Pottinger had reported from the doctor in China about asymptomatic spread couldn’t be true. One of the government health experts pulled Pottinger aside. The stat Pottinger had cited, the one about half of all people with the virus being asymptomatic, there’s just no way that can be true, the person said. No one has ever heard of a coronavirus similar to SARS or MERS whose spread can be driven in part by asymptomatic carriers. That would be a game changer. On February 1, Mulvaney tried to rein Pottinger in. As Rogin reports: Concerned about the political implications, Mulvaney tried to rein in Pottinger. He took O’Brien aside and told him, “You’ve got to get Pottinger under control.” Pottinger was too young, Mulvaney said, and too immature to be deputy national security adviser. Mulvaney was among the most skeptical of all the White House officials that the virus threat was real. In late February, as the markets tanked, Mulvaney said the media was exaggerating the threat in an effort to bring down President Trump, calling it the “hoax of the day.” As he prepared the White House’s first budget to respond to the emerging crisis, Mulvaney pegged the total cost at $800 million. (Mulvaney was pushed out in early March.) 2. Pottinger’s Crusade for Universal Masking In February 2020, Pottinger, who has no background in science or public health, began a months-long campaign to popularize universal masking and travel quarantines in response to the coronavirus based on information from his own sources in China. Beginning in February 2020, Pottinger began a crusade for Americans to adopt universal masking in response to the new coronavirus based on recommendations from his own sources in China. As Abutaleb writes: Back in February, Matt Pottinger had relayed what he had hoped would be received as good news by the Coronavirus Task Force. His contacts in China had found a way to significantly slow the virus’s spread: face coverings. Pottinger began wearing a mask to work in early March to convince his White House colleagues to take up the practice. A mask, however, could significantly stem transmission, Pottinger argued. If people’s noses and mouths were covered, they would emit far fewer respiratory droplets, lowering the risk of infecting others. Pottinger began wearing a mask to work in early March. But he didn’t wear a simple cloth face covering; he wore what other White House aides thought was a gas mask. He looked like a lunatic, some snickered, and it reinforced his reputation as an alarmist. One staffer described him as “being at a hundred” as early as January (on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of concern). Pottinger, who has no background in science or public health, pushed for mask mandates in the White House and for staff to be quarantined if they traveled outside Washington. Having lived in China during the SARS outbreak, he saw the importance of the speed with which Asian countries had mobilized. In early February, he recommended that NSC staffers who traveled outside Washington—even to other parts of the United States—quarantine before returning to work. He also wanted NSC staff to telework when possible, limit in-person meetings, restrict the number of people who could be in a room at one time, and be required to wear masks. That struck many White House aides as absurd. There were just a handful of known cases at the time; the virus was barely a blip on most people’s radars. No one else was changing their workplace standards… Pottinger urged the adoption of universal masking as had been ordered by “governments in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.” Pottinger pointed to a handful of Asian countries where the use of face coverings was universal. The governments in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong had ordered their citizens to wear masks with seemingly indisputable results. Pottinger saw no “downside” in universal masking, though there was no data and research to show it was effective. Pottinger’s heart sank as he saw the tweet and the ensuing messages. What was the downside in having people cover their faces while they waited for more data and research about how effective masks might be? Pottinger proposed delivering a mask to every mailbox in America. As Wright reports: Pottinger and Robert Kadlec, an assistant secretary at Health and Human Services, came up with an idea to put masks in every mailbox in America. Hanes, the underwear company, offered to make antimicrobial masks that were machine washable. “We couldn’t get it through the task force,” Pottinger told his brother. “We got machine-gunned down before we could even move on it.” Masks were still seen as useless or even harmful by the administration and even public health officials. Matt Pottinger’s crusade for the adoption of universal masking based on information from his own sources in China is especially peculiar because, as of the time of this writing, though there are hundreds of pictures of Pottinger online, there does not appear to be a single one in which he is wearing a mask anywhere on the Internet. 3. Popularizing Shutdowns In January 2020, Pottinger popularized shutdowns within the White House using a dubious study on the 1918 flu pandemic comparing outcomes between Philadelphia and St. Louis, a month before this study received any significant media attention. If you live in the United States, you probably remember the ludicrous study that made the rounds among major media outlets in March 2020 comparing outcomes in Philadelphia and St. Louis during the 1918 Spanish flu. According to the study, St. Louis canceled its annual parade, closed schools, and discouraged gatherings in 1918, while Philadelphia did not, so Philadelphia was punished when thousands of residents died of flu over the coming weeks. Therefore, these media outlets argued, it somehow logically followed that we should shut down the entire United States economy in 2020. One man who was several weeks ahead of media outlets in citing this claptrap was Matt Pottinger. As Wright reports, Pottinger began popularizing the idea of shutdowns within the White House by circulating this study among his White House colleagues on January 31, 2020. Matt Pottinger handed out a study of the 1918 flu pandemic to his colleagues in the White House, indicating the differing outcomes between the experiences of Philadelphia and St. Louis—a clear example of the importance of leadership, transparency, and following the best scientific counsel. 4. Appointing Deborah Birx as White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Beginning in January 2020, Pottinger began petitioning for Deborah Birx to be appointed as White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator. Birx then embarked on a months-long scorched earth campaign for lockdowns that were as long and strict as possible across the United States. On January 28, 2020, Pottinger began to reach out to Deborah Birx to have her come to the White House to lead the response to the Coronavirus. As Birx recalls in her book: On January 28, after meeting with Erin Walsh to solidify the planning and schedule for the upcoming African Diplomatic Corps State Department meeting, I received a text from Yen Pottinger. Aside from being the wife of my friend Matt, the deputy national security advisor, Yen was also a former colleague at the CDC and a trusted friend and neighbor… Matt had apologized for the short notice and said he hoped we could meet face-to-face. Yen arranged so that I could meet him in the West Wing, and once we were both there, Matt got to the point quickly. He offered me the position of White House spokesperson on the virus. Abutaleb goes into more detail on Birx’s relationship with Pottinger. Pottinger was married to one of Birx’s subordinates who’d developed a widely-used HIV test at the CDC. [Birx] made a number of powerful connections along the way. When she became head of the CDC’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS, one of her subordinates was a bright virologist named Yen Duong, who developed a widely used HIV test while working at the agency. Duong would eventually marry a Wall Street Journal reporter turned marine named Matt Pottinger, a connection that would eventually bring Birx into Trump’s orbit. According to Pottinger and Birx, he pleaded with her over several weeks to head the Coronavirus Task Force, and she reluctantly agreed. The hero we didn’t need. As Birx recalls in her book: It is March 2, 2020. I’ve just flown in overnight from South Africa to take on the role of response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, a job I didn’t seek but felt compelled to accept. I’m physically tired but mentally alert. After weeks of urging from Matthew Pottinger— President Trump’s deputy national security advisor, a task force member himself, and the husband of a former colleague and friend of mine—I finally gave in to Matt’s request that I come on board to help with the response to the coronavirus outbreak… Matt Pottinger, was one of the good ones in the Trump White House. A former journalist turned highly-decorated U.S. Marine who served as an intelligence officer for part of his time, Matt had deep experience in China (including during the 2002–2003 SARS outbreak there) and was fluent in Mandarin. Matt took a position in the National Security Council in the earliest stage of the Trump administration, while still serving in the Marine Reserves. As documented in her bizarre tell-all book, which received uniquely excellent reviews from Chinese state media, Birx then embarked on a months-long, largely clandestine, scorched-earth crusade to orchestrate lockdowns that were as long and strict as possible across the United States. These lockdowns ultimately killed tens of thousands of young Americans while failing to meaningfully slow the spread of the coronavirus everywhere they were tried. By her own admission, she lied, hid data, and manipulated the president’s administration to drive consent for lockdowns that were stricter than the administration realized until finally stepping down soon after breaking her own travel guidance to visit her family for Thanksgiving in November 2020. No sooner had we convinced the Trump administration to implement our version of a two-week shutdown than I was trying to figure out how to extend it. Fifteen Days to Slow the Spread was a start, but I knew it would be just that. I didn’t have the numbers in front of me yet to make the case for extending it longer, but I had two weeks to get them. However hard it had been to get the fifteen-day shutdown approved, getting another one would be more difficult by many orders of magnitude. In October 2020, while visiting Utah, Pottinger admired his handiwork in appointing Birx. Wright reports: Utah had just hit a record high number of new cases. On the ride, an alarm sounded on Pottinger’s cell phone in the saddlebag. It was an alert: “Almost every single county is a high transmission area. Hospitals are nearly overwhelmed. By public health order masks are required in high transmission areas.” Pottinger thought, “Debi must have met with the governor.” 5. Promoting Mass Testing Sometime in February 2020, Pottinger, who has no background in science or public health, appears to have promoted within the White House the idea of mass testing for the coronavirus. Wright recounts: At a Coronavirus Task Force meeting, Redfield announced that the CDC would send a limited number of test kits to five “sentinel cities.” Pottinger was stunned: five cities? Why not send them everywhere? He learned that the CDC makes tests, but not at scale. For that, you have to go to a company like Roche or Abbott—molecular testing powerhouses which have the experience and capacity to manufacture millions of tests a month. Using the standard PCR cycle thresholds of 37 to 40 later provided in the testing guidance published by the WHO, approximately 85% to 90% of these cases were false positives, as later confirmed by The New York Times. 6. Endorsing Remdesivir In March 2020, Pottinger appears to have endorsed use of the drug remdesivir as a possible Covid therapy based on information from a doctor in China. Wright reports: In the early morning of March 4, as Matt Pottinger was driving to the White House, he was on the phone with a source in China, a doctor. Taking notes on the back of an envelope while holding the phone to his ear and navigating the city traffic, Pottinger was excited by all the valuable new information about how the virus was being contained in China. The doctor specifically mentioned the antiviral drug remdesivir. The health outcomes of remdesivir remain unknown, but no benefit to the mortality of its recipients has been proven. 7. Pushing Intelligence to Believe Covid Came From a Lab Pottinger has continually promoted the idea that the coronavirus came from a lab, and specifically prodded the US intelligence community to do the same, regardless of evidence, while urging the global adoption of China’s virus containment measures. In January 2020, Pottinger began directly prodding the CIA to look for evidence that the coronavirus came from a lab in Wuhan, China. As the New York Times disclosed: With his skeptical—some might even say conspiratorial—view of China’s ruling Communist Party, Mr. Pottinger initially suspected that President Xi Jinping’s government was keeping a dark secret: that the virus may have originated in one of the laboratories in Wuhan studying deadly pathogens. In his view, it might have even been a deadly accident unleashed on an unsuspecting Chinese population. During meetings and telephone calls, Mr. Pottinger asked intelligence agencies—including officers at the C.I.A. working on Asia and on weapons of mass destruction—to search for evidence that might bolster his theory. They didn’t have any evidence. Intelligence agencies did not detect any alarm inside the Chinese government that analysts presumed would accompany the accidental leak of a deadly virus from a government laboratory. But Mr. Pottinger continued to believe the coronavirus problem was far worse than the Chinese were acknowledging. Though the CIA did not return any evidence to support his theory, Pottinger has continued to promote the conclusion that the coronavirus leaked from the Wuhan lab, despite quietly admitting that the virus was not man-made or genetically modified. As CBS reported in its interview on February 21, 2021: MARGARET BRENNAN: U.S. intelligence has said COVID, according to wide scientific consensus, was not man-made or genetically modified. You are not in any way alleging that it was, are you?  MATT POTTINGER: No. Much of the initial alarm that Covid might be a supervirus from the Wuhan lab arose because of the frightening videos of Wuhan residents spontaneously dying in January 2020, and because Xi Jinping decided to shut down Wuhan, where the lab was. However, all of those videos were soon proven fake, and US intelligence has confirmed that the virus was spreading in Wuhan by November 2019 at the latest. A growing body of research suggests that the virus did not start either in the Wuhan lab or the Wuhan wet market, and a number of studies from various continents have shown that the virus was also spreading undetected all over the world by November 2019 at the latest, many months before lockdowns began. Covid’s origins remain a mystery, and leading scientists and policymakers were nowhere near transparent enough about their panic that the virus might have come from a lab in early 2020. However, given that the national security community has quietly admitted Covid is not genetically modified, it began spreading undetected globally many months before lockdowns, and it did not cause Wuhan residents to spontaneously die, the question of whether Covid came from the lab would appear to be a moot point from a national security perspective. Furthermore, in my book and elsewhere, there is a growing body of evidence that the CCP used a variety of clandestine means to promote the idea that Covid came from a lab, both to stoke fear and to mislead the western intelligence community from the CCP’s well-documented campaign for global adoption of China’s virus containment measures. Likewise, Pottinger has continually promoted the idea that Covid came from a lab, and prodded the intelligence community to do the same, while urging the adoption of China’s virus containment measures. Pottinger’s credulousness in sharing and promoting scientific concepts and policies from China including asymptomatic spread, universal masking, quarantines, shutdowns, and remdesivir further belies the notion that the fixation on the Wuhan lab serves any legitimate national security interest. In summary, as Deputy National Security Advisor, Matt Pottinger played a singularly outsized role in shaping America’s disastrous response to Covid by taking the following actions: Throughout January 2020, Pottinger unilaterally called White House meetings unbeknownst to those in attendance and breached protocol to ratchet up alarm about the new coronavirus based on information from his own sources in China, despite having no official intelligence to back up his alarmism. Despite having no background in science or public health, beginning in February 2020, Pottinger embarked on a months-long campaign to urge the adoption of universal masking and travel quarantines in response to the coronavirus based on information from his own sources in China. However, there does not appear to be a single picture of Pottinger wearing a mask anywhere on the Internet. Pottinger popularized the idea of shutdowns within the White House using a questionable study on the 1918 flu pandemic comparing outcomes between Philadelphia and St. Louis, a month before this study received any significant attention from media outlets in 2020. Pottinger specifically courted Deborah Birx to serve as White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, who then embarked on a months-long campaign for lockdowns that were as long and strict as possible across the United States. Despite having no background in science or public health, Pottinger appears to have promoted the idea of mass testing for the coronavirus. Pottinger appears to have endorsed use of the drug remdesivir as a possible Covid therapy based on information from a doctor in China. Pottinger has continually promoted the conclusion that the coronavirus came from a lab, and specifically prodded the US intelligence community to do the same, regardless of evidence to support that conclusion, while simultaneously urging the global adoption of China’s virus containment measures. In Pottinger’s speeches, he often discusses the need for more grassroots populism in China. Pottinger may have simply been overly-trusting of his sources, thinking they were the little people in China trying to help their American friends. But why did Pottinger push so hard for sweeping Chinese policies like mask mandates that were far outside his field of expertise? Why did he so often breach protocol? Why seek out and appoint Deborah Birx? Pottinger’s zealousness in endorsing these sweeping policies is even more bewildering because it’s widely known in the intelligence community that the CCP’s primary focus is on information warfare—“superseding their cultural and political values” to those of the west and undermining the western values that Xi Jinping sees as threatening, outlined in his leaked Document No. 9: “independent judiciaries,” “human rights,” “western freedom,” “civil society,” “freedom of the press,” and the “free flow of information on the internet.” Though political conditions in China have deteriorated rapidly, Pottinger is supposed to know that—that’s why he had the Top Secret security clearance and the big job in the National Security Council. In fact, we know how rapidly conditions in China have deteriorated in part because Matt Pottinger is the one who told us. The only reason anyone accepted all this information and guidance from these Chinese sources is that it came through Pottinger. I certainly can’t pass judgment. But from where I’m sitting, it looks like we’ve been struck by a smooth criminal. *  *  * Michael P Senger is an attorney and author of Snake Oil: How Xi Jinping Shut Down the World. Want to support my work? Get the book. Already got the book? Leave a quick review. The New Normal is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber. Tyler Durden Sat, 07/23/2022 - 20:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJul 24th, 2022

"Thousands" of checked-in suitcases were left behind at Amsterdam airport in just 1 day

Schipol airport has advised passengers connecting to European flights that a baggage malfunction means they can only bring cabin bags on Thursday. A KLM hangar and Air France and KLM planes at Schipol airport.Getty Images Schipol airport said "thousands" of bags were left behind on Wednesday due to technical problems. Passengers transfering in Amsterdam to European flights cannot check in luggage on Thursday. The airport is a major transfer hub and offers flights to about 300 destinations. "Thousands" of checked-in suitcases were left behind at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport on Wednesday due to technical problems.Passengers changing planes at the airport on Thursday have been told they cannot check in luggage due to the backlog."Yesterday there was a temporary technical disruption in part of the underground baggage system," a spokesperson for the airport told Insider. "Schiphol ensured that the baggage system was able to process all baggage again as quickly as possible."As a result of the technical failure, thousands of suitcases were unfortunately left behind at Schiphol yesterday, mainly from transfer passengers," the spokesperson continued, adding that airlines were working to move the piles of missing luggage as soon as possible.KLM told all passengers traveling to European destinations with a connection in Amsterdam on Thursday to travel with hand luggage only.Schiphol is one of Europe's busiest airports. It has flights to about 300 destinations and is a major transfer hub, with almost 44% of its passengers changing planes at the airport last year.Some Twitter users have shared screenshots of what appears to be emails from KLM saying that only customers whose final destination is either Amsterdam or outside Europe could bring hold luggage."Due to a major disruption of the baggage system at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol we are facing an unmanageable situation which is beyond our control," the airline said in the email. One passenger said she had less than 24 hours notice of the disruption.Affected passengers have the option to rebook their flight or obtain a travel voucher, the airline said."I cannot guarantee whether there will still be a disruption tomorrow," a KLM representative said on the company's Twitter account.KLM said all airlines using Schipol were affected by the baggage problem. The malfunction at Schiphol comes as passengers face mounting travel chaos. A combination of understaffing and soaring demand for travel means that airlines and airports are delaying and canceling thousands of flights, losing luggage, and facing huge lines for check-in and security.Some passengers have complained on Twitter that their check-in luggage never made it onto their KLM flights.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 21st, 2022

Don"t bring check-in luggage if you"re changing planes in Amsterdam on Thursday, passengers told

Schipol airport has advised passengers connecting to European flights that a baggage malfunction means they can only bring cabin bags on Thursday. A KLM hangar and Air France and KLM planes at Schipol airport.Getty Images Passengers transfering in Amsterdam to European flights cannot check in bags on Thursday. Schipol airport blamed the move on technical problems with its baggage system on Wednesday. The airport has flights to about 300 destinations and is a major transfer hub. Passengers changing planes in Amsterdam's Schiphol airport on Thursday have been told they cannot check in luggage.KLM told all passengers traveling to European destinations with a connection in Amsterdam can travel "with hand luggage only" due to technical problems with the airport's baggage system on Wednesday that sparked disruption. Dutch news outlet NH Nieuws reported that Schiphol's baggage system was halted by a malfunction on Wednesday that was later resolved.Schiphol is one of Europe's busiest airports. It has flights to about 300 destinations and is a major transfer hub, with almost 44% of its passengers changing planes last year.Some Twitter users have shared screenshots of what appears to be emails from KLM saying that only customers whose final destination is either Amsterdam or outside Europe could bring hold luggage."Due to a major disruption of the baggage system at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol we are facing an unmanageable situation which is beyond our control," the airline said in the email. One passenger said she had less than 24 hours notice of the disruption.Affected passengers have the option to rebook their flight or obtain a travel voucher, the airline said."I cannot guarantee whether there will still be a disruption tomorrow," a KLM representative said on the company's Twitter account.KLM said all airlines using Schipol were affected by the baggage problem. The airport didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.The malfunction at Schiphol comes as passengers face mounting travel chaos. A combination of understaffing and soaring demand for travel means that airlines and airports are delaying and canceling thousands of flights, losing luggage, and facing huge lines for check-in and security.Some passengers have complained on Twitter that their check-in luggage never made it onto their KLM flights.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJul 21st, 2022

LIVE: 143 last-chance deals for Amazon Prime Day 2022: up to 60% of Amazon Echo devices, air purifiers, and more

Amazon Prime Day 2022 is your chance to save big on items from all categories, but it ends at midnight. Here's what to shop before prices go back up. Hollis Johnson/Insider,Amazon Prime Day 2022 ends today, July 13, at midnight PT.We're working hard to highlight all the best deals as they go live. Insider Reviews' team of expert reporters and editors have vetted each of the deals below — because a heavy discount doesn't mean much if the product on sale isn't any good. We've found great deals on QL ED TVs, Amazon Kindles, and household essentials, like paper towels.For even more deals, check out the best competing Prime Day deals from Target and Walmart, as well as category-specific deals from Amazon like tech, gaming, fashion, and beauty.All the deals below are live now and in stock.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Razer DeathAdder gaming mouseRazerRazer's signature gaming mouse is on sale for nearly 60% off during Prime Day 2022. The DeathAdder's eight buttons and RBG lighting are fully customizable, and the wireless version is on sale for 60% off too. mophie 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Pad (7.5W, Fabric Black)AmazonWireless chargers provide an easy and convenient way to charge your phone without the hassle of using a cable. This 7.5W charging pad isn't as powerful as the 15W version, but it's more than worth the price, especially with this discount.GE Opal Nugget Ice MakerAmazonThe Opal Nugget Ice Maker does one thing and does it well: It makes chewable nugget ice. And with this 26% discount, it's the lowest price we've ever found it for.Samsung Jet 60 Flex Cordless Stick VacuumSamsungThis cordless vacuum from Samsung is unbelievably light, letting you easily maneuver it around your home or apartment. And at $180, this is the lowest price we've ever seen the vacuum go for.Osmo Genius Starter Kit for iPadOsmoThe Osmo Genius Kit helps enhance math, science, and drawing skills with hands-on digital learning. This is one of the best prices we've found it for on Amazon.Amazon Echo Dot (latest 4th-gen)AmazonThe latest, fourth-generation Echo Dot gets a new, spherical shape. The smart speaker with Alexa can play music, set timers, and preform all sorts of other tasks. It has a smaller footprint than the Echo, so its sound won't be as robust. At $20 for Prime Day, the Echo Dot is at the lowest price we've ever seen it. Amazon Basics Nespresso Coffee Pod HolderAmazonOrganize your coffee set-up with a pod storage drawer from Amazon. It's a simple and effective way to keep your espresso and coffee sorted, and you can even place it right under your Nespresso machine. On Prime Day, you can get it for the lowest price we've seen.Frida Mom Adjustable Nursing PillowAmazonThough this deal is not for everyone, it's a great price on a product that rarely sees discounts. This pillow has removable layers to adjust as babies grow up so moms will always be in the most comfortable position. Sengled LED TV Backlights (8 piece kit)AmazonThis set for installing LEDs behind your 45-75 inch mounted TV comes with eight LED strips of varying sizes so you can install them to fit your setup. Once they're up, you can use an app and Bluetooth connection, or Alexa, to change the colors. During Prime Day, take 40% off the full price; this is an all-time low.Dyson PureCool TP01 Air Purifier and Fan with HEPA filterDyson's TP01 Air Purifier and Fan with HEPA filterThe Home DepotAn ultra-quiet, state-of-the-art fan with a built-in air purifier, Dyson's TP01 is great for stuffy spaces and crowded indoor get-togethers. This is close to the best price we've ever seen for the TP01, which fluctuates a lot but generally sticks in the $400 range.Vital Proteins Chocolate Collagen Peptides PowderAmazonTwo scoops of Vital Proteins collagen peptides in your favorite drink every day supports healthy hair, nails, skin, bones, and joints. Get a 13.5 ounce tub for just $15 during Prime Day.Orolay Thickened Down JacketAlyssa Powell/Business InsiderWhile winter is still a few months away, the Orolay Women's Thickened Down Jacket, also known as "the Amazon coat," is on sale starting at $89. That's a 45% discount off the original price. We named the viral jacket as the best affordable women's winter coat in our buying guide.Braun MultiQuick Immersion Hand BlenderAmazonThe Braun MultiQuick Immersion Hand Blender is affordable, durable, and incredibly simple to use, and works well for everything from soup to whipped cream. Right now, you can take $20 off the price as part of a Prime Day deal. Moccamaster KBGVAmazonThe Dutch-made Moccamaster KBGV is easily one of the most sophisticated home coffee machines on the market, touted for its impressive copper boiling heating element and glass hardware. While typically spendy, it's down to $245 for Prime Day, making it an enticing buy for any discerning coffee drinker.Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildTargetBreath of the Wild isn't just one of the best Zelda games, it's one of the best games in years, period. This game's price usually stays the same, still retailing for $60 years after release, but right now it's down to $40.Ninja NJ601AMZ Professional BlenderAmazonThis powerful blender will make fast, efficient work of your ingredients and make large enough batches for multiple people. Priced at $70 this Prime Day, it matches an all-time low. Furbo 360-degree Dog CameraTomofunFurbo's newest treat-tossing dog camera rotates 360-degrees so you can keep an eye on your pet anywhere in the room. The 1080p camera has 4x zoom along with night vision. At $147 for Prime Day, this is the lowest price we've seen it go for. Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II HeadphonesBoseThe Bose QuietComfort 35 II are still excellent headphones and exist alongside the newer Bose 700 as a more affordable wireless noise-canceling option. This is the best price we've seen for them.23&Me DNA KitHollis Johnson/Business InsiderThe 23andMe DNA Ancestry + Health Kit tells you which illnesses you're predisposed to and gives you a full look at your ancestry. Right now during Amazon Prime Day, you can get your own kit for just under $100, matching the best deals we've seen in the past.Cricut EasyPress 2 (9x9)CricutCricut's heat press is easy to use, with digital temperature and timer controls. The 9x9 size is perfect for items like t-shirts, tote bags, and other medium-sized items. Right now, the Cricut EasyPress 2 is at an all-time low price of $99.Columbia Benton Spings Fleece JacketAmazonThe Columbia Full Zip Up is a versatile piece of outerwear, great as a layer or a light jacket. Select colors are over 50% on as part of Amazon Prime Day.Petsafe Drinkwell Pagoda Pet FountainAmazonIf you want a visually appealing pet fountain, we suggest Petsafe's Drinkwell Pagoda Fountain. Available in four different colors, it provides a source of continuous filtered water for your pet. The fountain has been going for its retail price since February, so this is a solid deal to score now.Yogi Bare Teddy Yoga MatAmazonThe Yogi Bare Teddy is machine washable without sacrificing quality or durability over time and use. Our pick for the best washable yoga mat is currently 20% off.Black+Decker Dustbuster AdvancedClean Handheld VacuumAmazonA powerful portable vac that is ideal for quick cleanup jobs, but you might be tempted to use it to vacuum your entire home. This 34%-off deal matches the best prices we've seen on this dustbuster.Solo Stove Bonfire with StandAmazonThe Solo Stove is one of the most popular fire pits on the market because it's designed to significantly reduce smoke, making s'mores nights even more enjoyable. Be sure to check the coupon box for an extra 5% off at Amazon.Moen Velocity Two-Function RainshowerMoenThe elegant design, sturdy metal construction, and wide coverage area justify the high price tag of the Moen S6320 Velocity Two-Function Rainshower. This is the best price we've seen on our top pick for the best rainfall shower head in over a year.Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2AmazonThe Ember Temperature Control Ceramic Mug 2 is a smart mug that keeps your drink at the optimal temperature. This bit of luxury is pricy, but during Prime Day, it's 27% off the usual cost.Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500 Electric ToothbrushAmazonThe DiamondClean Smart 9500 is one of the most advanced toothbrushes ever made. It features five cleaning modes at three intensities and app integration. At 41% off, this is a stellar deal.Mrs. Meyer's Liquid Dish Soap in Basil (3 Pack)AmazonMrs. Meyers' basil-scented dish soap not only smells just as good as the brand's laundry detergent, but it shouldn't hurt the birds or the bees. It's rare to see this three-pack go on sale for under $9.Stasher Silicone Reusable Storage Bag (4 Pack)AmazonStasher bags are healthy and eco-friendly alternatives to plastic storage bags. The food-grade silicone is microwave and dishwasher safe, as well as being BPA-, PVC-, and latex-free. Grabbing this four-pack for 30% off makes these reusable bags an even better deal.Coleman Sundome Four-Person Camping TentAmazonIf you're planning a summer camping trip, one of our favorite tents from Coleman is discounted on Amazon Prime Day and comfortably fits four people. We typically see this on sale for between $70 and $80, so now is a good time to save.Philips Hue White and Color A19 LED Smart Bulbs (3 Pack)AmazonThis three-pack of Philips Hue smart LED light bulbs is a decent way to to start turning your home smart. These bulbs work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri digital assistants. At 44% off, this usually pricey item is a little more affordable.Logitech driving wheels for Xbox, PlayStation, and PCAmazonLogitech's driving wheel controllers are designed for use with racing simulation games like Forza Horizon 5 and Grand Turismo Sport, and will give players real time feedback with responsive pedals and a steering sensor.The G920 Driving Force works with Xbox and PC while the G Dual-Motor is exclusive to PlayStation consoles, so be sure to pick the right one.Tommy Hilfiger Long Sleeve Stretch Oxford Button DownAmazonA well-fitting oxford shirt is a welcome addition to any man's wardrobe, and Tomy Hilfigure's button downs are 30% off during Prime Day, matching their usual sale price.Logitech c615 webcamLogitechThis entry-level webcam is nearly 60% off for Prime Day and will help you improve your video quality during remote work calls or at-home streaming. The c615 can be attached to a tripod and features a 360-degree swivel feature.PlayStation 5 DualSense controllerLiving room with a Sony PlayStation 5 home video game console and DualSense controller alongside a television.Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty ImagesSony's latest controller includes a built-in microphone, haptic feedback, and adaptive triggers. Even if you don't have a PlayStation 5, the DualSense controller is compatible with Apple and Android phones and PCs too.The DualSense magnetic charging station is also on sale for 33% off too.NordicTrack iSelect Voice-Controlled DumbbellsAmazonThis is an amazingly low price for a set of smart dumbbells that have only gone up in price from third-party sellers over the past few years.Jabra Elite 85t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds, Titanium BlackJabraNoise-cancelling earbuds can be expensive, so this is a great deal for some of Jabra's best earbuds.Waterpik WP-660 Aquarius Water FlosserWaterpikThis Waterpik flosser has steadily gone down in price over time, but this is still a great deal, and close to the lowest price we've ever found for it.Blueair Blue 311 AutoBlueairThis is the lowest price we've ever seen the Blue 311 Auto hit on Amazon. If you were waiting to buy, the time is now.Levi's Women's "Ex-Boyfriend" Trucker JacketAmazonThis is a great price for this Levi's jacket, which doesn't usually drop below $60.GoPro HERO8 Black BundleAmazonGoPro cameras can be expensive, even for the older models. Although it's a few years old, the GoPro HERO8 Black is still a fantastic action camera and still a great buy at this price.TP-Link AX3000 Wi-Fi 6 RouterAmazonTP-Link routers are in high demand, and can carry an equally high price. This is a great price for a Wi-Fi router, which is always worth investing in.SanDisk 256GB microSD card with adapterAmazonThis is a fantastic price for a lot of storage space, and it's the lowest price we've seen in ages.HOTOR Car Trash CanAmazonThe HOTOR car trash can gives you a convenient place to throw things away, even while on the go. It was already cheap, but this discount makes it an even better buy.Anker PowerCore Essential 20K portable chargerAmazonAnyone who finds themselves constantly hitting a low battery when traveling needs a portable charger, and this PowerCore model from Anker is one of the best.Google Nest Cam Indoor/Outdoor Battery (2021)AmazonElegant design, reliable performance, and wireless battery power make the Nest Cam Outdoor a tempting option to add peace of mind and checking in on your home's exterior when you're away. The current $120 deal is the best we've seen for this excellent smart home camera.TCL 65-inch QLED Roku TVAmazonThe 6-Series delivers some of the best picture performance in its price range, with advanced features like local dimming with Mini LEDs. This TV has never dipped below $900 before now, so the current $700 price tag is an all-time low.35% off all Otherland candlesOtherlandOtherland's entire collection is discounted 35% during Prime Day 2022. Lifestraw Personal Water FilterLifestrawTime and again, the Lifestraw is a huge hit on deal days like Prime Day and makes the list of the top items purchased by our readers each year. Right now, it's at the lowest price we've seen all year — a 63% discount.Philips Premium Digital Air FryerCASEZY/Getty ImagesThe Philips Premium Digital Air Fryer is our top-rated pick in our guide to the best air fryers. It heats up within seconds, turning out evenly cooked, crispy food with greater efficiency than an oven and even many other air fryers. At 20% off, this is the lowest price we've seen in months.Amazon Kindle OasisHollis JohnsonAmazon revolutionized the e-reader with the Kindle Oasis' daring design, great page-turn buttons, sharp screen, and giant ebook library. It rarely sees price drops, but right now it's down to only $175, matching the previous all-time low.De'Longhi Nespresso Vertuo Plus with Aeroccino3AmazonThis bundle includes the Nespresso machine and an Aeroccino3 milk frother, making an ideal setup for the regular hot latte drinker. Right now, the bundle is only $151 as part of a Prime Day deal. This is an all-time low price. Anker Nano Pro ChargerAmazonNew iPhones no longer come with a power adapter, so you'll need to buy your own. Anker's Nano Pro Charger is smaller than Apple's power adapter, but it delivers a super fast charge. It can charge your iPhone to 50% in just 25 minutes.Calvin Klein Cotton Stretch Boxer Briefs 3-PackAmazonThese Calvin Klein boxer briefs are stretchy and moisture wicking for optimal comfort. At just under $25 for a 3-pack, now is a great time to stock up.Echo Dot Kids 4th GenAmazonAs the kids' version of one of Amazon's most popular devices, the 4th Gen Echo Dot Kids combines the power of Alexa with easy to use parental controls. You'll also get one year of Amazon Kids+ for free.Apple Watch Series 7 GPS (45mm)AmazonMuch more than a timepiece, the Apple Watch can also be used for keeping track of workouts, making phone calls, sending text messages, setting timers and alarms, counting calories, and more. The previous lowest price we've seen is $359, so this is an excellent new all-time low price.Sony 55-inch A80J K OLED 4K TVSonySony's A80J OLED is one of the best 4K TVs to buy if you prioritize picture quality. It delivers stunning HDR images powered by an advanced processor. The 55-inch model is down to $1,000, which is an all-time low for this size.Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet (32GB)AmazonThe latest model of Amazon's already-inexpensive Fire HD 8 tablet series is available for just $45 — a 50% discount. HAUS of Collections Makeup KitAmazonThis three-piece kit regularly goes on sale, but never before has it been below $20. You can get the collection for an all-time low price in the following colors: rose b*tch, rockstar, dynasty, future Hollywood, metalhead, and whiskey.  Dash Mini Waffle MakerDASH/AmazonThe Dash Mini Waffle Maker is small but mighty. It's very easy to use and clean and perfect for a quick breakfast. This is the lowest price we've seen on an already budget appliance.EZ Tofu PressAmazonMake squeezing excess water out of tofu easier with the EZ Tofu Press, which can shorten the hour-long process to just 15 minutes. Right now, it's on sale for 33% off.Spin-Clean Record Washer SystemAmazonThe Spin-Clean uses a wet solution and brushes to clean both sides of a record at once. Down to $68 during Prime Day, this is a solid deal for a must-have kit for record-collecting music lovers. Fire TV Stick LiteAmazonThe Fire TV Stick Lite is a slightly pared-down version of the standard Fire TV Stick. It supports 1080p streaming but comes with a less advanced remote than the regular model. Down to $12, it's $6 cheaper than the best deal we'd seen before.Zinus 12 Inch Green Tea Memory Foam MattressAmazonZinus is one of our favorite budget brands, and the 12-Inch Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress is one of the most popular mattresses on Amazon. Willow 3.0 Wearable Breast PumpAmazonThis wearable, in-bra breast pump has no cords, wires, or bottles — so you can pump hands-free. It's dishwasher safe, has customizable suction levels, and an app that will track your volume in real-time among other smart features. This is the lowest price we've seen in a while and a worthwhile deal, but not the lowest price ever. Apple iPhone 13Antonio Villas-Boas/InsiderVerizon and AT&T are taking $700 off the iPhone 13, essentially reducing its price down from $800 to $100. The deals from each carrier require that you sign up for an unlimited plan and trade-in your old device. Yogasleep Hushh Portable White Noise MachineAmazonThe Yogasleep white noise machine is small enough to travel anywhere with you and comes with a baby-safe clip for fastening it to a stroller, car seat, or crib. You'll find three soothing sounds and a night light in this version. This isn't the lowest price we've ever seen, but it's close to it.iRobot Roomba i7+ Robot VacuumiRobothe Roomba i7+ is just awesome. It has powerful suction, a charging dock that automatically empties the dustbin, and a feature-rich app. This is $100 less than the previous best price for it.Gigabyte 2022 Aorus 15-inch Gaming LaptopGigabyteThis model of Gigabyte's Aorus gaming laptop is designed for high graphical fidelity and high framerates, offering one of the most balanced specs in a gaming laptop. $600 off this model makes this an incredibly good deal for a gaming laptop of this caliber.Bounty paper towelsrblfmr / ShutterstockPaper towels are essential in most households. Bounty is a great choice because of its high absorbency, durability, and texture that's great for scrubbing out tough stains. Softsoap aloe vera hand soap, 1-Gallon RefillWalmartSay goodbye to the cracked, dry skin that comes after washing your hands. This Softsoap hand wash is fortified with aloe vera, a natural moisturizer that leaves your hands feeling soft and supple.15% off sitewide at BrooklinenBrooklinenSave 15% sitewide at Brooklinen during the Surprise Savings Event. 30% off all Laneige skincareSephoraFor a limited time, you can take 30% off all of Laneige's skincare products, including their cult favorite Water Sleeping Mask, Lip Sleeping Mask, and Lip Glowy Balm.30% off an Atlas Tea Club samplerLily Alig/InsiderRight now, you can save 30% on three different tea samplers from Atlas Tea Club, the makers behind one of our favorite coffee subscriptions.  On/Go One at-Home COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Self-TestAmazonIt's always a good idea to keep COVID-19 rapid antigen tests handy. These at-home tests from On/Go are FDA-approved.Dell 2022 XPS 13 Plus 9320 with 4K OLED, 12th-gen Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSDBest BuyThe latest XPS 13 Plus from Dell is a redesign of its popular premium laptop, with a powerful Intel processor and MacBook-like 'touch' keys. $1450 for this model with a 4K OLED display, a powerful 12th-gen Core i7 processor, and a generous 16GB RAM is a good deal for Dell's popular XPS laptops, which tend to be more expensive than the competition.Coleman Airbed Cot with Side TableAmazonCamp in comfort with this queen-sized inflatable mattress, which comes with a raised cot and a pump for easy inflation. It's ideal for couples who are looking to camp cozy — and even includes a side table with a cupholder so you can relax with a drink after a long day of hiking. Ring and Blink security camerasChip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesFrontline Plus for Dogs (6 Treatments)ChewyFrontline Plus for Dogs is one of our top picks for dog flea prevention. It kills adult fleas, flea eggs, flea larvae, ticks, and chewing lice on contact. While this isn't the best deal we've ever seen on flea medication, it's $10 less than what you'll typically pay. Be sure that you're only purchasing medication sold and shipped by Amazon to avoid counterfeits.Paw Patrol Chase's 5-in-1 Ultimate Police CruiserAmazonPaw Patrol toys were on every kid's wish list last holiday season, and it's safe to say the characters will be popular well into next year. Chase's Cruiser is on sale for Prime Day, bringing it under $70. Adidas Grand Court SneakerAmazonRanked as a number one bestseller for women's tennis shoes, the Grand Court Sneaker is designed in Adidas' signature style. Right now, you can snag a pair at a discounted price.Crest 3D White Whitestrips Dental Whitening KitWalmartThe classic 3D Whitestrips take only 20 days of use to complete a full treatment and also come with two sets of "1 Hour Express" strips for more last-minute whitening sessions. Right now, you can take 35% off the price of a box. Casper Sleep Original PillowCasperThe Casper Original Pillow offers the loft and support that side sleepers need but with the soft and fluffy feel of a down alternative. Right now, you can get the pillow for $45.50, the lowest price we've ever seen it at.LifeStraw Go Water Filter BottleAmazonThis LifeStraw bottle uses activated carbon to filter out bacteria, microplastics, chlorine, and other harmful particles from your water. It can hold 22 ounces, but it's easily refillable and the carbon filter can clean up to 100 liters of water. Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 Pressure Cooker and Air Fryer with Nesting Broil RackAmazonA smaller version of the standard 6.5 quart Ninja Foodi, this model has all of the functions of its larger sibling but with a more compact footprint. It's a good option for smaller households. Right now, you can grab one at the lowest price we've seen. Elden Ring for XboxAmazonElden Ring is a new game from the creators of Dark Souls, FromSoftware, in collaboration with George R.R. Martin. For a limited time, you can take 24% off the price of the Xbox Series X game. This marks the lowest price we've seen for the game, which was released in February.Revlon One Step Volumizer Hair DryerAmazonThis hybrid hair dryer brush has two heat settings and works to dry and style hair at the same time. We've tested it and found that it's a great alternative to the pricey Dyson Airwrap, though it has fewer functions. Right now, you can take 55% off the Revlon One Step. Coop Home Goods Original PillowCoop Home GoodsThe Coop Home Goods Original Pillow offers thoughtful features like adjustable fill, a washable pillow cover, and an unparalleled 100-night trial that make it the best choice for most people. This 20%-off deal is a rare one that makes our favorite pillow even better.Samsung Galaxy Watch 4AmazonThe Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is the obvious choice for Android users looking for a comprehensive, quality, premium smartwatch experience. However, it's a shame that the ECG feature is limited specifically to Samsung phone owners. It's currently available for only $175, matching worthwhile deals we've seen in the past, and only a few dollars more than the all-time low.Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700AmazonThe Bose 700 headphones feature advanced noise cancellation technology with level adjustments, a comfortable design, and support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. This is the lowest price we've seen on these headphones.Google Nest ThermostatGoogleGoogle Nest makes some of the best smart thermostats you can buy. This model lets you control your home's temperature via the internet or through a mobile app. It can also learn your preferred temperature settings over time. Right now, shoppers can save 31% on the Google Nest Thermostat.Amazon KindleAmazonThe Kindle allows you to download countless books straight to your device. This model has a front light that makes it better suited for nighttime reading. Down to $50 for Prime Day, this is a great deal and matches the best price we've seen for this version.iRobot Roomba 692 Robot VacuumAmazon If you've never had a robot vacuum before, the Roomba 692 is a good one to start with. It's powerful enough to keep floors and carpets clean and detects dirtier parts of your floor to clean them more thoroughly. Right now, it's at the lowest price we've seen.Lodge Cast Iron SkilletAmazonYou can make stovetop pizza in almost any decent pan, but a seasoned cast iron skillet is the best choice for even cooking and great flavor. We've seen the price dip a bit lower on this Lodge skillet, but you're still saving 33% on an already affordable pan.Mario + Rabbids Kingdom BattleNintendoIf there's one thing that Nintendo die-hards know, it's that their first-party games almost never go on sale — and especially not for this much. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a wildly fun strategy game, and we've never seen it at a price this good.KitchenAid K45SS 4.5-Quart Classic Series Stand MixerAmazonThe KitchenAid K45SS 4.5-Quart Classic Series Stand Mixer is an ideal choice for beginner bakers. It's affordable and can handle most mixing tasks. Though we've seen this mixer on sale for less, the price has only dipped this low once in the last six months.Roku Streaming Stick 4KRokuRoku's Streaming Stick 4K plugs right into your TV's HDMI port, giving you access to streaming apps with up to 4K resolution playback. It's currently down to $29.99, a dollar more than the all-time lowest price we've seen.FitbitThe Fitbit Charge 5 features the brand's signature health and exercise tracking tools, and comes with a free six-month Fitbit Premium membership. This is the lowest price we've ever seen the Charge 5 sell at.Theragun MiniTherabodyIf you're looking for a percussive punch in a smaller package, check out the Theragun Mini. This is a great price for an equally great massager.Cuisinart AirFryer Toaster OvenTargetThis Cuisinart air fryer is over half off at Target, which is the best price we've found it at. It's not the fanciest air fryer on the market, but at about $100, it's a great start for anyone looking to step into the air fryer world.LEGO Star Wars Luke Skywalker's X-Wing Fighter kitAmazonThis LEGO Star Wars kit comes with 474 pieces to let you build your own version of Luke Skywalker's iconic X-Wing Fighter ship. LEGO kits have only gotten more expensive over the past few years, so even this $10 drop is a welcome sight.25% off Casper memory foam dog bedDavid Slotnick/Business InsiderThis hybrid memory foam bed made our list of best dog beds and comes in three sizes. While the fabric isn't waterproof, the bed's cover is machine washable. This 25% discount is the best price we've seen on the Casper Dog Bed since April.50% off Fire HD 8 Kids tablet for Prime membersAmazonPrime members can get 50% off the Fire HD 8 Kids bundle. This tablet comes with a protective case to protect from drops, and also includes a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, a service with books and interactive apps for children.The Fire HD 8 Kids Pro is meant for slightly older kids age 6 to 12, so it comes with a different case but is otherwise the same. Prime members can also buy it on sale for 50% off during Prime Day.32% off Apple AirPods ProCrystal Cox/Business InsiderAirPods Pro are the premium version of Apple's best-selling earbuds, adding noise-cancelling technology and silicone tips for a softer in-ear fit.Dyson Ball Animal 2 pet vacuum cleanerAmazonWe speak from experience when we say that the Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a beast when it comes to picking up pet hair from the carpet. While the best deal here isn't coming from Amazon, it's still a great price for an immensely powerful vacuum.Amazon Fire HD 10 tabletAmazonAmazon is offering the 32GB Fire HD 10 tablet — currently the latest model on the market — for half off the regular price. We reviewed the Fire 10 earlier this year and found that it was a great option if you're looking for a device to stream movies or shows on.Ninja Foodi 10-in-1 Pressure Cooker and Air FryerAmazonThe Ninja 6.5 quart 10-in-1 Foodi model is a versatile all-around air fryer, and this is the best price we've seen for it since Black Friday. It'll let you roast vegetables, bring baked goods back to life, and even cook meat — all without taking up too much countertop space.Insignia 39-inch HD Smart Fire TVInsigniaAmazonThis Insignia HD TV comes with Amazon's Fire TV system built right in, giving you easy access to apps like Netflix, HBO Max, and Hulu. It only features a 720p screen — a far cry from the 4K quality that most high-end models boast these days — but with this Prime Day deal, it's definitely worth the price.Beats Studio3 Wireless HeadphonesAmazonThe Beats Studio 3 Wireless are a great set of noise cancelling headphones, especially for iPhone users who think the AirPod Max are way too expensive. At $175, it's tough to beat these wireless headphones for sound quality, features, and value.Apple 10.2-inch iPad 2021Antonio Villas-Boas/InsiderThe standard 10.2-inch iPad from 2021 is our top tablet choice for most people due to its excellent performance and its relatively affordable price tag. Right now it's down to $300, this matches the previous all-time low.JLab JBuds Air wireless earbudsAmazonThe JLab Audio JBuds Air offer a nice design, are relatively comfortable, and sound surprisingly good despite their budget price — and they're totally wireless. They're already an excellent deal at their full price, so $20 off makes these an easy recommendation.Dell 2022 XPS 13 Plus (9320) with 4K OLED, 12th-gen Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSDDellThe latest XPS 13 Plus from Dell is a redesign of its popular premium laptop, with a powerful Core i7 processor, generous memory, storage, and MacBook-like 'touch' keys. $1450 for this model with a 4K OLED display is a good deal for Dell's popular XPS laptops, which tend to be more expensive than the competition running Windows.Apple Watch Series 7 GPS (41mm)AppleMuch more than a timepiece, the Apple Watch can also be used for keeping track of workouts, setting timers and alarms, counting calories, and more. Right now, you can get the latest Apple Watch model for only $284, marking a new all-time low price. Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K MaxAmazonThe Fire TV Stick 4K is designed to be 40% more powerful than Fire TV Stick 4K. It also adds Wi-Fi 6 support. This Prime Day deal is an all-time low price.Apple TV 4KAppleThe 2021 Apple TV 4K has an improved processor, updated Siri remote, and support for WiFi 6. Right now, you can pick it up for 33% off, which is an all-time low price for the streaming device.Kindle Kids EditionHollis Johnson/Business InsiderThe Kindle Kids Edition pairs a basic Kindle with a kids-only operating system, so kids can have access to thousands of books without distractions. It comes with a two-year warranty and a one year free subscription to Amazon Kids+, even if you already have a paid subscription. Ahead of Prime Day, you can snag this model for just $50, which is an all-time low price.Amazon Fire TV 43-Inch 4 SeriesAmazonIf you're looking for an entry-level TV, this Fire TV is an excellent choice. It supports 4K Ultra HD resolution and has modern smart TV functions.Amazon Fire TV 55-Inch Omni SeriesAmazonThe Omni Series might not be the best in picture quality for 55-inch TVs, but packs tons of smart TV functions like hands-free Alexa, video calling, and built-in Fire TV.Insignia 24-Inch HD Smart TVAmazonWe typically wouldn't recommend a 720p TV, but at only 24-inches, this HD Smart TV from Insignia is perfect for compact, casual viewing.Pioneer 43-Inch 4K UHD Smart TVAmazonFeaturing Dolby Vision picture quality and Fire TV's latest software, this 4K Ultra HD TV is a great entry-level option.Apple Watch SE 44mm GPSAmazonThe Apple Watch SE balances modern smartwatch features and affordability. On sale, it's an even better deal.Amazon Kindle Essentials BundleAmazonAmazon's cheapest Kindle features a 6-inch screen with a built-in front light, battery life, and storage for thousands of books. This Kindle bundle includes a power adapter and a printed cover for 50% off heading into Prime Day.Amazon Kindle Unlimited Subscription (2 Months)AmazonAmazon Prime members can get two months of Kindle Unlimited for $5. The subscription will auto-renew to $10 a month after two months.Amazon Fire TV CubeAmazonIf you're in the market for a powerful all-in-one streaming device that can support high-end AV formats, the Fire TV Cube might be what you're looking for. Simply connect it to your current TV to unlock an array of smartwatch features.Amazon Echo + Sengled Bluetooth Color BulbAmazonIf you're looking for better sound quality than the Echo Dot, the fourth-gen Echo is the device you'll want. It also comes bundled with a Sengled color bulb. Luna ControllerAmazonAmazon's Wi-Fi-enabled controller is designed for the Luna cloud gaming service. This particular gamepad promises to reduce delay when streaming, compared to a standard Bluetooth controller.Amazon Halo BandAmazonAmazon's fitness tracker often sees discounts throughout the year, but $45 is the lowest price we've seen for it yet. The Halo Band tracks your steps, heart rate, and sleep. It also comes with a free six-month subscription trial.Amazon GlowAmazonAmazon's Glow is a video calling device with an 8-inch vertical screen and a projector that displays 19-inch touch-enabled interactive books, games, and drawing apps.Samsung Galaxy Buds 2SamsungWith incredible sound quality and noise-canceling technology, Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 are the perfect headphones to pair with your Samsung phone. Turtle Beach Recon 70 Gaming HeadsetAmazonThe Turtle Beach Recon 70 Gaming Headset can take your gaming experience to the next level with quality audio and a comfortable fit.Skullcandy Sesh Evo Wireless In-Ear HeadphonesAmazonWith a built-in Tile, you'll be able to track your headphones whenever they get misplaced.Instant Pot Duo CrispJames Brains/InsiderThe Instant Pot Duo Crisp is a pressure cooker, slow cooker, air fryer, and sous vide machine all in one, making it one of the most useful and economical small appliances we tested. We recommend them to everyone from beginner cooks to experienced chefs.Ninja BL770 Mega Kitchen SystemAmazonThe 72-oz. Total Crushing Pitcher pulverizes ice to snow in seconds for creamy frozen drinks and smoothies with a powerful 2-plus horsepower motor.Vitamix Explorian BlenderWilliams SonomaAt $60 off the usual price, this Vitamix Explorian Blender is a great deal we only see a few times a year. Anova All Metal Sous VideAmazonThis precision cooking tool circulates water to the exact right temperature for dishes like chicken, fish, beef, vegetables, eggs, and more.Ninja AF101 Air FryerAmazonThis four-quart Ninja Air Fryer is an excellent choice for limited counter space. At less than $100, it's worth adding to your kitchen if you don't already have an air fryer.Nespresso Aeroccino3 Milk FrotherNespressoThe Aeroccino3 has three milk froth settings, including one to make cold foam for iced lattes or cappuccinos. Right now, you can get the milk frother for just under $70, which is an all-time-low price. Prettygarden Women's Floral Summer DressAmazonFeaturing an all-over floral pattern, this dress is perfect for summer fashion.IUGA Workout Shorts for WomenAmazonMade from a breathable four-way stretch material, these shorts are great for all kinds of workouts, or just layering under an oversized tee or button-down. A side phone pocket add a bit of functionality.Crocs Flip Flop SandalsAmazonIf you love Crocs' original clogs, you'll love the Flip Flops, too. They are just as soft and comfortable, but better suited for summer.Hanes Beefy Short Sleeve T-Shirt 2-PackAmazonThe Hanes Beefy is a wonderful everyday T-shirt, and with plenty of colors to choose from, you can stock up on all your favoritesDockers Perfect Classic Fit ShortsAmazonWith a 9.5 inch inseam, the Dockers Perfect Classic Fit Shorts fall right above the knee.Amazon Essentials Performance Midlayer Quarter-ZipAmazonAvailable in a variety of colors and sizes ranging from XS to XXL, this quarter-zip from Amazon Essentials is designed for hiking and outdoor activities.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 13th, 2022

LIVE: 140 last-chance deals for Amazon Prime Day 2022: up to 60% of Amazon Echo devices, air purifiers, and more

Amazon Prime Day 2022 is your chance to save big on items from all categories, but it ends at midnight. Here's what to shop before prices go back up. Hollis Johnson/InsiderAmazon Prime Day 2022 ends today, July 13, at midnight PT.We're working hard to highlight all the best deals as they go live. Insider Reviews' team of expert reporters and editors have vetted each of the deals below — because a heavy discount doesn't mean much if the product on sale isn't any good. We've found great deals on QL ED TVs, Amazon Kindles, and household essentials, like paper towels.For even more deals, check out the best competing Prime Day deals from Target and Walmart, as well as category-specific deals from Amazon like tech, gaming, fashion, and beauty.All the deals below are live now and in stock.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Amazon Echo Dot (latest 4th-gen)AmazonThe latest, fourth-generation Echo Dot gets a new, spherical shape. The smart speaker with Alexa can play music, set timers, and preform all sorts of other tasks. It has a smaller footprint than the Echo, so its sound won't be as robust. At $20 for Prime Day, the Echo Dot is at the lowest price we've ever seen it. Amazon Basics Nespresso Coffee Pod HolderAmazonOrganize your coffee set-up with a pod storage drawer from Amazon. It's a simple and effective way to keep your espresso and coffee sorted, and you can even place it right under your Nespresso machine. On Prime Day, you can get it for the lowest price we've seen.Frida Mom Adjustable Nursing PillowAmazonThough this deal is not for everyone, it's a great price on a product that rarely sees discounts. This pillow has removable layers to adjust as babies grow up so moms will always be in the most comfortable position. Sengled LED TV Backlights (8 piece kit)AmazonThis set for installing LEDs behind your 45-75 inch mounted TV comes with eight LED strips of varying sizes so you can install them to fit your setup. Once they're up, you can use an app and Bluetooth connection, or Alexa, to change the colors. During Prime Day, take 40% off the full price; this is an all-time low.Dyson PureCool TP01 Air Purifier and Fan with HEPA filterDyson's TP01 Air Purifier and Fan with HEPA filterThe Home DepotAn ultra-quiet, state-of-the-art fan with a built-in air purifier, Dyson's TP01 is great for stuffy spaces and crowded indoor get-togethers. This is close to the best price we've ever seen for the TP01, which fluctuates a lot but generally sticks in the $400 range.Vital Proteins Chocolate Collagen Peptides PowderAmazonTwo scoops of Vital Proteins collagen peptides in your favorite drink every day supports healthy hair, nails, skin, bones, and joints. Get a 13.5 ounce tub for just $15 during Prime Day.Orolay Thickened Down JacketAlyssa Powell/Business InsiderWhile winter is still a few months away, the Orolay Women's Thickened Down Jacket, also known as "the Amazon coat," is on sale starting at $89. That's a 45% discount off the original price. We named the viral jacket as the best affordable women's winter coat in our buying guide.Braun MultiQuick Immersion Hand BlenderAmazonThe Braun MultiQuick Immersion Hand Blender is affordable, durable, and incredibly simple to use, and works well for everything from soup to whipped cream. Right now, you can take $20 off the price as part of a Prime Day deal. Moccamaster KBGVAmazonThe Dutch-made Moccamaster KBGV is easily one of the most sophisticated home coffee machines on the market, touted for its impressive copper boiling heating element and glass hardware. While typically spendy, it's down to $245 for Prime Day, making it an enticing buy for any discerning coffee drinker.Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildTargetBreath of the Wild isn't just one of the best Zelda games, it's one of the best games in years, period. This game's price usually stays the same, still retailing for $60 years after release, but right now it's down to $40.Ninja NJ601AMZ Professional BlenderAmazonThis powerful blender will make fast, efficient work of your ingredients and make large enough batches for multiple people. Priced at $70 this Prime Day, it matches an all-time low. Furbo 360-degree Dog CameraTomofunFurbo's newest treat-tossing dog camera rotates 360-degrees so you can keep an eye on your pet anywhere in the room. The 1080p camera has 4x zoom along with night vision. At $147 for Prime Day, this is the lowest price we've seen it go for. Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II HeadphonesBoseThe Bose QuietComfort 35 II are still excellent headphones and exist alongside the newer Bose 700 as a more affordable wireless noise-canceling option. This is the best price we've seen for them.23&Me DNA KitHollis Johnson/Business InsiderThe 23andMe DNA Ancestry + Health Kit tells you which illnesses you're predisposed to and gives you a full look at your ancestry. Right now during Amazon Prime Day, you can get your own kit for just under $100, matching the best deals we've seen in the past.Cricut EasyPress 2 (9x9)CricutCricut's heat press is easy to use, with digital temperature and timer controls. The 9x9 size is perfect for items like t-shirts, tote bags, and other medium-sized items. Right now, the Cricut EasyPress 2 is at an all-time low price of $99.Columbia Benton Spings Fleece JacketAmazonThe Columbia Full Zip Up is a versatile piece of outerwear, great as a layer or a light jacket. Select colors are over 50% on as part of Amazon Prime Day.Petsafe Drinkwell Pagoda Pet FountainAmazonIf you want a visually appealing pet fountain, we suggest Petsafe's Drinkwell Pagoda Fountain. Available in four different colors, it provides a source of continuous filtered water for your pet. The fountain has been going for its retail price since February, so this is a solid deal to score now.Yogi Bare Teddy Yoga MatAmazonThe Yogi Bare Teddy is machine washable without sacrificing quality or durability over time and use. Our pick for the best washable yoga mat is currently 20% off.Black+Decker Dustbuster AdvancedClean Handheld VacuumAmazonA powerful portable vac that is ideal for quick cleanup jobs, but you might be tempted to use it to vacuum your entire home. This 34%-off deal matches the best prices we've seen on this dustbuster.Solo Stove Bonfire with StandAmazonThe Solo Stove is one of the most popular fire pits on the market because it's designed to significantly reduce smoke, making s'mores nights even more enjoyable. Be sure to check the coupon box for an extra 5% off at Amazon.Moen Velocity Two-Function RainshowerMoenThe elegant design, sturdy metal construction, and wide coverage area justify the high price tag of the Moen S6320 Velocity Two-Function Rainshower. This is the best price we've seen on our top pick for the best rainfall shower head in over a year.Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2AmazonThe Ember Temperature Control Ceramic Mug 2 is a smart mug that keeps your drink at the optimal temperature. This bit of luxury is pricy, but during Prime Day, it's 27% off the usual cost.Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Smart 9500 Electric ToothbrushAmazonThe DiamondClean Smart 9500 is one of the most advanced toothbrushes ever made. It features five cleaning modes at three intensities and app integration. At 41% off, this is a stellar deal.Mrs. Meyer's Liquid Dish Soap in Basil (3 Pack)AmazonMrs. Meyers' basil-scented dish soap not only smells just as good as the brand's laundry detergent, but it shouldn't hurt the birds or the bees. It's rare to see this three-pack go on sale for under $9.Stasher Silicone Reusable Storage Bag (4 Pack)AmazonStasher bags are healthy and eco-friendly alternatives to plastic storage bags. The food-grade silicone is microwave and dishwasher safe, as well as being BPA-, PVC-, and latex-free. Grabbing this four-pack for 30% off makes these reusable bags an even better deal.Coleman Sundome Four-Person Camping TentAmazonIf you're planning a summer camping trip, one of our favorite tents from Coleman is discounted on Amazon Prime Day and comfortably fits four people. We typically see this on sale for between $70 and $80, so now is a good time to save.Philips Hue White and Color A19 LED Smart Bulbs (3 Pack)AmazonThis three-pack of Philips Hue smart LED light bulbs is a decent way to to start turning your home smart. These bulbs work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri digital assistants. At 44% off, this usually pricey item is a little more affordable.Logitech driving wheels for Xbox, PlayStation, and PCAmazonLogitech's driving wheel controllers are designed for use with racing simulation games like Forza Horizon 5 and Grand Turismo Sport, and will give players real time feedback with responsive pedals and a steering sensor.The G920 Driving Force works with Xbox and PC while the G Dual-Motor is exclusive to PlayStation consoles, so be sure to pick the right one.Tommy Hilfiger Long Sleeve Stretch Oxford Button DownAmazonA well-fitting oxford shirt is a welcome addition to any man's wardrobe, and Tomy Hilfigure's button downs are 30% off during Prime Day, matching their usual sale price.Logitech c615 webcamLogitechThis entry-level webcam is nearly 60% off for Prime Day and will help you improve your video quality during remote work calls or at-home streaming. The c615 can be attached to a tripod and features a 360-degree swivel feature.PlayStation 5 DualSense controllerLiving room with a Sony PlayStation 5 home video game console and DualSense controller alongside a television.Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty ImagesSony's latest controller includes a built-in microphone, haptic feedback, and adaptive triggers. Even if you don't have a PlayStation 5, the DualSense controller is compatible with Apple and Android phones and PCs too.The DualSense magnetic charging station is also on sale for 33% off too.NordicTrack iSelect Voice-Controlled DumbbellsAmazonThis is an amazingly low price for a set of smart dumbbells that have only gone up in price from third-party sellers over the past few years.Jabra Elite 85t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds, Titanium BlackJabraNoise-cancelling earbuds can be expensive, so this is a great deal for some of Jabra's best earbuds.Waterpik WP-660 Aquarius Water FlosserWaterpikThis Waterpik flosser has steadily gone down in price over time, but this is still a great deal, and close to the lowest price we've ever found for it.Blueair Blue 311 AutoBlueairThis is the lowest price we've ever seen the Blue 311 Auto hit on Amazon. If you were waiting to buy, the time is now.Levi's Women's "Ex-Boyfriend" Trucker JacketAmazonThis is a great price for this Levi's jacket, which doesn't usually drop below $60.GoPro HERO8 Black BundleAmazonGoPro cameras can be expensive, even for the older models. Although it's a few years old, the GoPro HERO8 Black is still a fantastic action camera and still a great buy at this price.TP-Link AX3000 Wi-Fi 6 RouterAmazonTP-Link routers are in high demand, and can carry an equally high price. This is a great price for a Wi-Fi router, which is always worth investing in.SanDisk 256GB microSD card with adapterAmazonThis is a fantastic price for a lot of storage space, and it's the lowest price we've seen in ages.HOTOR Car Trash CanAmazonThe HOTOR car trash can gives you a convenient place to throw things away, even while on the go. It was already cheap, but this discount makes it an even better buy.Anker PowerCore Essential 20K portable chargerAmazonAnyone who finds themselves constantly hitting a low battery when traveling needs a portable charger, and this PowerCore model from Anker is one of the best.Google Nest Cam Indoor/Outdoor Battery (2021)AmazonElegant design, reliable performance, and wireless battery power make the Nest Cam Outdoor a tempting option to add peace of mind and checking in on your home's exterior when you're away. The current $120 deal is the best we've seen for this excellent smart home camera.TCL 65-inch QLED Roku TVAmazonThe 6-Series delivers some of the best picture performance in its price range, with advanced features like local dimming with Mini LEDs. This TV has never dipped below $900 before now, so the current $700 price tag is an all-time low.35% off all Otherland candlesOtherlandOtherland's entire collection is discounted 35% during Prime Day 2022. Lifestraw Personal Water FilterLifestrawTime and again, the Lifestraw is a huge hit on deal days like Prime Day and makes the list of the top items purchased by our readers each year. Right now, it's at the lowest price we've seen all year — a 63% discount.Philips Premium Digital Air FryerCASEZY/Getty ImagesThe Philips Premium Digital Air Fryer is our top-rated pick in our guide to the best air fryers. It heats up within seconds, turning out evenly cooked, crispy food with greater efficiency than an oven and even many other air fryers. At 20% off, this is the lowest price we've seen in months.Amazon Kindle OasisHollis JohnsonAmazon revolutionized the e-reader with the Kindle Oasis' daring design, great page-turn buttons, sharp screen, and giant ebook library. It rarely sees price drops, but right now it's down to only $175, matching the previous all-time low.De'Longhi Nespresso Vertuo Plus with Aeroccino3AmazonThis bundle includes the Nespresso machine and an Aeroccino3 milk frother, making an ideal setup for the regular hot latte drinker. Right now, the bundle is only $151 as part of a Prime Day deal. This is an all-time low price. Anker Nano Pro ChargerAmazonNew iPhones no longer come with a power adapter, so you'll need to buy your own. Anker's Nano Pro Charger is smaller than Apple's power adapter, but it delivers a super fast charge. It can charge your iPhone to 50% in just 25 minutes.Calvin Klein Cotton Stretch Boxer Briefs 3-PackAmazonThese Calvin Klein boxer briefs are stretchy and moisture wicking for optimal comfort. At just under $25 for a 3-pack, now is a great time to stock up.Echo Dot Kids 4th GenAmazonAs the kids' version of one of Amazon's most popular devices, the 4th Gen Echo Dot Kids combines the power of Alexa with easy to use parental controls. You'll also get one year of Amazon Kids+ for free.Apple Watch Series 7 GPS (45mm)AmazonMuch more than a timepiece, the Apple Watch can also be used for keeping track of workouts, making phone calls, sending text messages, setting timers and alarms, counting calories, and more. The previous lowest price we've seen is $359, so this is an excellent new all-time low price.Sony 55-inch A80J K OLED 4K TVSonySony's A80J OLED is one of the best 4K TVs to buy if you prioritize picture quality. It delivers stunning HDR images powered by an advanced processor. The 55-inch model is down to $1,000, which is an all-time low for this size.Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet (32GB)AmazonThe latest model of Amazon's already-inexpensive Fire HD 8 tablet series is available for just $45 — a 50% discount. HAUS of Collections Makeup KitAmazonThis three-piece kit regularly goes on sale, but never before has it been below $20. You can get the collection for an all-time low price in the following colors: rose b*tch, rockstar, dynasty, future Hollywood, metalhead, and whiskey.  Dash Mini Waffle MakerDASH/AmazonThe Dash Mini Waffle Maker is small but mighty. It's very easy to use and clean and perfect for a quick breakfast. This is the lowest price we've seen on an already budget appliance.EZ Tofu PressAmazonMake squeezing excess water out of tofu easier with the EZ Tofu Press, which can shorten the hour-long process to just 15 minutes. Right now, it's on sale for 33% off.Spin-Clean Record Washer SystemAmazonThe Spin-Clean uses a wet solution and brushes to clean both sides of a record at once. Down to $68 during Prime Day, this is a solid deal for a must-have kit for record-collecting music lovers. Fire TV Stick LiteAmazonThe Fire TV Stick Lite is a slightly pared-down version of the standard Fire TV Stick. It supports 1080p streaming but comes with a less advanced remote than the regular model. Down to $12, it's $6 cheaper than the best deal we'd seen before.Zinus 12 Inch Green Tea Memory Foam MattressAmazonZinus is one of our favorite budget brands, and the 12-Inch Green Tea Memory Foam Mattress is one of the most popular mattresses on Amazon. Willow 3.0 Wearable Breast PumpAmazonThis wearable, in-bra breast pump has no cords, wires, or bottles — so you can pump hands-free. It's dishwasher safe, has customizable suction levels, and an app that will track your volume in real-time among other smart features. This is the lowest price we've seen in a while and a worthwhile deal, but not the lowest price ever. Apple iPhone 13Antonio Villas-Boas/InsiderVerizon and AT&T are taking $700 off the iPhone 13, essentially reducing its price down from $800 to $100. The deals from each carrier require that you sign up for an unlimited plan and trade-in your old device. Yogasleep Hushh Portable White Noise MachineAmazonThe Yogasleep white noise machine is small enough to travel anywhere with you and comes with a baby-safe clip for fastening it to a stroller, car seat, or crib. You'll find three soothing sounds and a night light in this version. This isn't the lowest price we've ever seen, but it's close to it.iRobot Roomba i7+ Robot VacuumiRobothe Roomba i7+ is just awesome. It has powerful suction, a charging dock that automatically empties the dustbin, and a feature-rich app. This is $100 less than the previous best price for it.Gigabyte 2022 Aorus 15-inch Gaming LaptopGigabyteThis model of Gigabyte's Aorus gaming laptop is designed for high graphical fidelity and high framerates, offering one of the most balanced specs in a gaming laptop. $600 off this model makes this an incredibly good deal for a gaming laptop of this caliber.Bounty paper towelsrblfmr / ShutterstockPaper towels are essential in most households. Bounty is a great choice because of its high absorbency, durability, and texture that's great for scrubbing out tough stains. Softsoap aloe vera hand soap, 1-Gallon RefillWalmartSay goodbye to the cracked, dry skin that comes after washing your hands. This Softsoap hand wash is fortified with aloe vera, a natural moisturizer that leaves your hands feeling soft and supple.15% off sitewide at BrooklinenBrooklinenSave 15% sitewide at Brooklinen during the Surprise Savings Event. 30% off all Laneige skincareSephoraFor a limited time, you can take 30% off all of Laneige's skincare products, including their cult favorite Water Sleeping Mask, Lip Sleeping Mask, and Lip Glowy Balm.30% off an Atlas Tea Club samplerLily Alig/InsiderRight now, you can save 30% on three different tea samplers from Atlas Tea Club, the makers behind one of our favorite coffee subscriptions.  On/Go One at-Home COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Self-TestAmazonIt's always a good idea to keep COVID-19 rapid antigen tests handy. These at-home tests from On/Go are FDA-approved.Dell 2022 XPS 13 Plus 9320 with 4K OLED, 12th-gen Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSDBest BuyThe latest XPS 13 Plus from Dell is a redesign of its popular premium laptop, with a powerful Intel processor and MacBook-like 'touch' keys. $1450 for this model with a 4K OLED display, a powerful 12th-gen Core i7 processor, and a generous 16GB RAM is a good deal for Dell's popular XPS laptops, which tend to be more expensive than the competition.Coleman Airbed Cot with Side TableAmazonCamp in comfort with this queen-sized inflatable mattress, which comes with a raised cot and a pump for easy inflation. It's ideal for couples who are looking to camp cozy — and even includes a side table with a cupholder so you can relax with a drink after a long day of hiking. Ring and Blink security camerasChip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesFrontline Plus for Dogs (6 Treatments)ChewyFrontline Plus for Dogs is one of our top picks for dog flea prevention. It kills adult fleas, flea eggs, flea larvae, ticks, and chewing lice on contact. While this isn't the best deal we've ever seen on flea medication, it's $10 less than what you'll typically pay. Be sure that you're only purchasing medication sold and shipped by Amazon to avoid counterfeits.Paw Patrol Chase's 5-in-1 Ultimate Police CruiserAmazonPaw Patrol toys were on every kid's wish list last holiday season, and it's safe to say the characters will be popular well into next year. Chase's Cruiser is on sale for Prime Day, bringing it under $70. Adidas Grand Court SneakerAmazonRanked as a number one bestseller for women's tennis shoes, the Grand Court Sneaker is designed in Adidas' signature style. Right now, you can snag a pair at a discounted price.Crest 3D White Whitestrips Dental Whitening KitWalmartThe classic 3D Whitestrips take only 20 days of use to complete a full treatment and also come with two sets of "1 Hour Express" strips for more last-minute whitening sessions. Right now, you can take 35% off the price of a box. Casper Sleep Original PillowCasperThe Casper Original Pillow offers the loft and support that side sleepers need but with the soft and fluffy feel of a down alternative. Right now, you can get the pillow for $45.50, the lowest price we've ever seen it at.LifeStraw Go Water Filter BottleAmazonThis LifeStraw bottle uses activated carbon to filter out bacteria, microplastics, chlorine, and other harmful particles from your water. It can hold 22 ounces, but it's easily refillable and the carbon filter can clean up to 100 liters of water. Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 Pressure Cooker and Air Fryer with Nesting Broil RackAmazonA smaller version of the standard 6.5 quart Ninja Foodi, this model has all of the functions of its larger sibling but with a more compact footprint. It's a good option for smaller households. Right now, you can grab one at the lowest price we've seen. Elden Ring for XboxAmazonElden Ring is a new game from the creators of Dark Souls, FromSoftware, in collaboration with George R.R. Martin. For a limited time, you can take 24% off the price of the Xbox Series X game. This marks the lowest price we've seen for the game, which was released in February.Revlon One Step Volumizer Hair DryerAmazonThis hybrid hair dryer brush has two heat settings and works to dry and style hair at the same time. We've tested it and found that it's a great alternative to the pricey Dyson Airwrap, though it has fewer functions. Right now, you can take 55% off the Revlon One Step. Coop Home Goods Original PillowCoop Home GoodsThe Coop Home Goods Original Pillow offers thoughtful features like adjustable fill, a washable pillow cover, and an unparalleled 100-night trial that make it the best choice for most people. This 20%-off deal is a rare one that makes our favorite pillow even better.Samsung Galaxy Watch 4AmazonThe Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is the obvious choice for Android users looking for a comprehensive, quality, premium smartwatch experience. However, it's a shame that the ECG feature is limited specifically to Samsung phone owners. It's currently available for only $175, matching worthwhile deals we've seen in the past, and only a few dollars more than the all-time low.Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700AmazonThe Bose 700 headphones feature advanced noise cancellation technology with level adjustments, a comfortable design, and support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. This is the lowest price we've seen on these headphones.Google Nest ThermostatGoogleGoogle Nest makes some of the best smart thermostats you can buy. This model lets you control your home's temperature via the internet or through a mobile app. It can also learn your preferred temperature settings over time. Right now, shoppers can save 31% on the Google Nest Thermostat.Amazon KindleAmazonThe Kindle allows you to download countless books straight to your device. This model has a front light that makes it better suited for nighttime reading. Down to $50 for Prime Day, this is a great deal and matches the best price we've seen for this version.iRobot Roomba 692 Robot VacuumAmazon If you've never had a robot vacuum before, the Roomba 692 is a good one to start with. It's powerful enough to keep floors and carpets clean and detects dirtier parts of your floor to clean them more thoroughly. Right now, it's at the lowest price we've seen.Lodge Cast Iron SkilletAmazonYou can make stovetop pizza in almost any decent pan, but a seasoned cast iron skillet is the best choice for even cooking and great flavor. We've seen the price dip a bit lower on this Lodge skillet, but you're still saving 33% on an already affordable pan.Mario + Rabbids Kingdom BattleNintendoIf there's one thing that Nintendo die-hards know, it's that their first-party games almost never go on sale — and especially not for this much. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a wildly fun strategy game, and we've never seen it at a price this good.KitchenAid K45SS 4.5-Quart Classic Series Stand MixerAmazonThe KitchenAid K45SS 4.5-Quart Classic Series Stand Mixer is an ideal choice for beginner bakers. It's affordable and can handle most mixing tasks. Though we've seen this mixer on sale for less, the price has only dipped this low once in the last six months.Roku Streaming Stick 4KRokuRoku's Streaming Stick 4K plugs right into your TV's HDMI port, giving you access to streaming apps with up to 4K resolution playback. It's currently down to $29.99, a dollar more than the all-time lowest price we've seen.FitbitThe Fitbit Charge 5 features the brand's signature health and exercise tracking tools, and comes with a free six-month Fitbit Premium membership. This is the lowest price we've ever seen the Charge 5 sell at.Theragun MiniTherabodyIf you're looking for a percussive punch in a smaller package, check out the Theragun Mini. This is a great price for an equally great massager.Cuisinart AirFryer Toaster OvenTargetThis Cuisinart air fryer is over half off at Target, which is the best price we've found it at. It's not the fanciest air fryer on the market, but at about $100, it's a great start for anyone looking to step into the air fryer world.LEGO Star Wars Luke Skywalker's X-Wing Fighter kitAmazonThis LEGO Star Wars kit comes with 474 pieces to let you build your own version of Luke Skywalker's iconic X-Wing Fighter ship. LEGO kits have only gotten more expensive over the past few years, so even this $10 drop is a welcome sight.25% off Casper memory foam dog bedDavid Slotnick/Business InsiderThis hybrid memory foam bed made our list of best dog beds and comes in three sizes. While the fabric isn't waterproof, the bed's cover is machine washable. This 25% discount is the best price we've seen on the Casper Dog Bed since April.50% off Fire HD 8 Kids tablet for Prime membersAmazonPrime members can get 50% off the Fire HD 8 Kids bundle. This tablet comes with a protective case to protect from drops, and also includes a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, a service with books and interactive apps for children.The Fire HD 8 Kids Pro is meant for slightly older kids age 6 to 12, so it comes with a different case but is otherwise the same. Prime members can also buy it on sale for 50% off during Prime Day.32% off Apple AirPods ProCrystal Cox/Business InsiderAirPods Pro are the premium version of Apple's best-selling earbuds, adding noise-cancelling technology and silicone tips for a softer in-ear fit.Dyson Ball Animal 2 pet vacuum cleanerAmazonWe speak from experience when we say that the Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a beast when it comes to picking up pet hair from the carpet. While the best deal here isn't coming from Amazon, it's still a great price for an immensely powerful vacuum.Amazon Fire HD 10 tabletAmazonAmazon is offering the 32GB Fire HD 10 tablet — currently the latest model on the market — for half off the regular price. We reviewed the Fire 10 earlier this year and found that it was a great option if you're looking for a device to stream movies or shows on.Ninja Foodi 10-in-1 Pressure Cooker and Air FryerAmazonThe Ninja 6.5 quart 10-in-1 Foodi model is a versatile all-around air fryer, and this is the best price we've seen for it since Black Friday. It'll let you roast vegetables, bring baked goods back to life, and even cook meat — all without taking up too much countertop space.Insignia 39-inch HD Smart Fire TVInsigniaAmazonThis Insignia HD TV comes with Amazon's Fire TV system built right in, giving you easy access to apps like Netflix, HBO Max, and Hulu. It only features a 720p screen — a far cry from the 4K quality that most high-end models boast these days — but with this Prime Day deal, it's definitely worth the price.Beats Studio3 Wireless HeadphonesAmazonThe Beats Studio 3 Wireless are a great set of noise cancelling headphones, especially for iPhone users who think the AirPod Max are way too expensive. At $175, it's tough to beat these wireless headphones for sound quality, features, and value.Apple 10.2-inch iPad 2021Antonio Villas-Boas/InsiderThe standard 10.2-inch iPad from 2021 is our top tablet choice for most people due to its excellent performance and its relatively affordable price tag. Right now it's down to $300, this matches the previous all-time low.JLab JBuds Air wireless earbudsAmazonThe JLab Audio JBuds Air offer a nice design, are relatively comfortable, and sound surprisingly good despite their budget price — and they're totally wireless. They're already an excellent deal at their full price, so $20 off makes these an easy recommendation.Dell 2022 XPS 13 Plus (9320) with 4K OLED, 12th-gen Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSDDellThe latest XPS 13 Plus from Dell is a redesign of its popular premium laptop, with a powerful Core i7 processor, generous memory, storage, and MacBook-like 'touch' keys. $1450 for this model with a 4K OLED display is a good deal for Dell's popular XPS laptops, which tend to be more expensive than the competition running Windows.Apple Watch Series 7 GPS (41mm)AppleMuch more than a timepiece, the Apple Watch can also be used for keeping track of workouts, setting timers and alarms, counting calories, and more. Right now, you can get the latest Apple Watch model for only $284, marking a new all-time low price. Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K MaxAmazonThe Fire TV Stick 4K is designed to be 40% more powerful than Fire TV Stick 4K. It also adds Wi-Fi 6 support. This Prime Day deal is an all-time low price.Apple TV 4KAppleThe 2021 Apple TV 4K has an improved processor, updated Siri remote, and support for WiFi 6. Right now, you can pick it up for 33% off, which is an all-time low price for the streaming device.Kindle Kids EditionHollis Johnson/Business InsiderThe Kindle Kids Edition pairs a basic Kindle with a kids-only operating system, so kids can have access to thousands of books without distractions. It comes with a two-year warranty and a one year free subscription to Amazon Kids+, even if you already have a paid subscription. Ahead of Prime Day, you can snag this model for just $50, which is an all-time low price.Amazon Fire TV 43-Inch 4 SeriesAmazonIf you're looking for an entry-level TV, this Fire TV is an excellent choice. It supports 4K Ultra HD resolution and has modern smart TV functions.Amazon Fire TV 55-Inch Omni SeriesAmazonThe Omni Series might not be the best in picture quality for 55-inch TVs, but packs tons of smart TV functions like hands-free Alexa, video calling, and built-in Fire TV.Insignia 24-Inch HD Smart TVAmazonWe typically wouldn't recommend a 720p TV, but at only 24-inches, this HD Smart TV from Insignia is perfect for compact, casual viewing.Pioneer 43-Inch 4K UHD Smart TVAmazonFeaturing Dolby Vision picture quality and Fire TV's latest software, this 4K Ultra HD TV is a great entry-level option.Apple Watch SE 44mm GPSAmazonThe Apple Watch SE balances modern smartwatch features and affordability. On sale, it's an even better deal.Amazon Kindle Essentials BundleAmazonAmazon's cheapest Kindle features a 6-inch screen with a built-in front light, battery life, and storage for thousands of books. This Kindle bundle includes a power adapter and a printed cover for 50% off heading into Prime Day.Amazon Kindle Unlimited Subscription (2 Months)AmazonAmazon Prime members can get two months of Kindle Unlimited for $5. The subscription will auto-renew to $10 a month after two months.Amazon Fire TV CubeAmazonIf you're in the market for a powerful all-in-one streaming device that can support high-end AV formats, the Fire TV Cube might be what you're looking for. Simply connect it to your current TV to unlock an array of smartwatch features.Amazon Echo + Sengled Bluetooth Color BulbAmazonIf you're looking for better sound quality than the Echo Dot, the fourth-gen Echo is the device you'll want. It also comes bundled with a Sengled color bulb. Luna ControllerAmazonAmazon's Wi-Fi-enabled controller is designed for the Luna cloud gaming service. This particular gamepad promises to reduce delay when streaming, compared to a standard Bluetooth controller.Amazon Halo BandAmazonAmazon's fitness tracker often sees discounts throughout the year, but $45 is the lowest price we've seen for it yet. The Halo Band tracks your steps, heart rate, and sleep. It also comes with a free six-month subscription trial.Amazon GlowAmazonAmazon's Glow is a video calling device with an 8-inch vertical screen and a projector that displays 19-inch touch-enabled interactive books, games, and drawing apps.Samsung Galaxy Buds 2SamsungWith incredible sound quality and noise-canceling technology, Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 are the perfect headphones to pair with your Samsung phone. Turtle Beach Recon 70 Gaming HeadsetAmazonThe Turtle Beach Recon 70 Gaming Headset can take your gaming experience to the next level with quality audio and a comfortable fit.Skullcandy Sesh Evo Wireless In-Ear HeadphonesAmazonWith a built-in Tile, you'll be able to track your headphones whenever they get misplaced.Instant Pot Duo CrispJames Brains/InsiderThe Instant Pot Duo Crisp is a pressure cooker, slow cooker, air fryer, and sous vide machine all in one, making it one of the most useful and economical small appliances we tested. We recommend them to everyone from beginner cooks to experienced chefs.Ninja BL770 Mega Kitchen SystemAmazonThe 72-oz. Total Crushing Pitcher pulverizes ice to snow in seconds for creamy frozen drinks and smoothies with a powerful 2-plus horsepower motor.Vitamix Explorian BlenderWilliams SonomaAt $60 off the usual price, this Vitamix Explorian Blender is a great deal we only see a few times a year. Anova All Metal Sous VideAmazonThis precision cooking tool circulates water to the exact right temperature for dishes like chicken, fish, beef, vegetables, eggs, and more.Ninja AF101 Air FryerAmazonThis four-quart Ninja Air Fryer is an excellent choice for limited counter space. At less than $100, it's worth adding to your kitchen if you don't already have an air fryer.Nespresso Aeroccino3 Milk FrotherNespressoThe Aeroccino3 has three milk froth settings, including one to make cold foam for iced lattes or cappuccinos. Right now, you can get the milk frother for just under $70, which is an all-time-low price. Prettygarden Women's Floral Summer DressAmazonFeaturing an all-over floral pattern, this dress is perfect for summer fashion.IUGA Workout Shorts for WomenAmazonMade from a breathable four-way stretch material, these shorts are great for all kinds of workouts, or just layering under an oversized tee or button-down. A side phone pocket add a bit of functionality.Crocs Flip Flop SandalsAmazonIf you love Crocs' original clogs, you'll love the Flip Flops, too. They are just as soft and comfortable, but better suited for summer.Hanes Beefy Short Sleeve T-Shirt 2-PackAmazonThe Hanes Beefy is a wonderful everyday T-shirt, and with plenty of colors to choose from, you can stock up on all your favoritesDockers Perfect Classic Fit ShortsAmazonWith a 9.5 inch inseam, the Dockers Perfect Classic Fit Shorts fall right above the knee.Amazon Essentials Performance Midlayer Quarter-ZipAmazonAvailable in a variety of colors and sizes ranging from XS to XXL, this quarter-zip from Amazon Essentials is designed for hiking and outdoor activities.Levi's Women's "Ex-Boyfriend" Trucker JacketAmazonThis is a great price for this Levi's jacket, which doesn't usually drop below $60.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 13th, 2022