"The rich love nobody better than those who make them richer still." -- Michael Rivero

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Businesses are facing immense pressure from their workers to raise wages amid record-high inflation, and the fast-food industry is no exception to this trend. As fast-food restaurants have caved to the pressure and increased employee hourly pay, they are making customers foot the bill.

One of the latest fast-food establishments to hop on this trend is the beloved restaurant chain Waffle House. After months of facing pushback from its unionized workers over the past year to raise worker pay, as well as the inclusion of other benefits, the company finally announced to its workers a few weeks ago that their base pay will increase to $3 per hour starting this month and will eventually increase to $5.25 per hour by June 2026. Wages will also vary across states due to different minimum wage laws.

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It’s not hard to see why some politicians are calling for a ban on lawmakers trading stocks. The problems of senators and House reps getting filthy rich and generating conflicts of interest have been with us for a long time. But the loot amassed by former California Democrat and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is raising eyebrows afresh.
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The UCA’s social debt observatory is considered an independent and prestigious research space whose reports on poverty cover a larger geographical area than those conducted by Argentina’s national statistics agency, INDEC. It also applies a methodology that addresses the problem with a more multidimensional approach and its findings are seldom questioned by politicians and economists.

According to the center’s latest report, the increase in poverty levels in January was partly due to the devaluation of the Argentine peso applied by the Milei government shortly after taking office on Dec. 10. This resulted in an increase in the price of the country’s basic basket — which includes food, services and non-food goods — and the basic food basket.

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Inflation has persisted so long now I’m forced to consider whether the Fed is really as concerned with it as Powell lets on. Maybe they realize the cure could kill the patient?
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According to recent reports, continuing claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. have reached their highest level in two years.
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The moment of truth – another moment of truth – in the war will likely arrive within a few weeks. The Israel Defense Forces will complete their offensive action in Rafah, under American restrictions and far from inflicting a total defeat on Hamas, and will want to declare a conclusion. The generals will come to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and ask him to help them achieve strategic clarity.

They will recommend a cessation to the campaign in the Gaza Strip, in the present format. The army will suggest reducing the already limited number of troops operating in the Philadelphi Corridor along the Egyptian border and in the other corridor in the center of the Strip, and to focus on raids against additional Hamas targets and again giving other moves an opportunity.

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Dramatic new video shows the latest ramming incident between Chinese and Philippine vessels in a contested area of the South China Sea, and it reveals clear escalation which involved the Chinese side clearly brandishing weapons.

The incident happened near the Second Thomas Shoal on Monday, where the Philippine military has troops stationed as part of its claim on the Spratly Islands (also claimed by Beijing). Manilla officials said their military vessels were en route there on a normal 'humanitarian resupply' mission when the boats were deliberately rammed and boxed in by Chinese coast guard ships.

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In an alarming trend between 2020 and 2022, California witnessed a dramatic population decline, with a staggering 700,000 residents fleeing the state. This mass exodus, primarily to Texas, marks the largest state-to-state migration in U.S. history, as reported by U.S. Census data.
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Hamas is willing to commit to the 'full and complete ceasefire' touted by Biden - but Washington continues to throw its full support behind an intransigent Tel Aviv
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to the media in Dubai, on 1 December, 2023 (Saul Loeb/AFP)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to the media in Dubai, on 1 December, 2023 (Saul Loeb/AFP)

It takes a lot to get the diplomats of the Middle East to agree on anything. The behaviour of one man over the last eight months of the war in Gaza has, however, forged a consensus rare among such a group: Antony Blinken cannot be trusted. 

The US secretary of state’s powers of turning reality on its head have raised the eyebrows of even practised cynics. It is a complaint that resounds from Doha to Amman, Cairo, Tel Aviv and Ankara. 

Blinken is currently engaged in what one of his predecessors, James Baker, called “dead cat diplomacy”. Baker’s pupil, Aaron David Miller, wrote on X (formerly Twitter): “The objective is not to reach a deal but to ensure if it fails, the dead cat is on other’s doorstep.”

The dead, or dying, cat of the moment is a ceasefire deal in Gaza that holds. 

Indisputably, Hamas is closer to accepting this deal than Israel is. The evidence for this is mounting. Hamas signed a ceasefire deal presented by Egypt and Qatar, under the gaze of CIA Director Bill Burns, which would have ensured a permanent halt to the war.

Claire's Observations:  Blinken is just another one of Israel's" bargaining chips" on the issue of a non-workable, non-viable cease-fire, which will, of course, be blamed on the Palestinians and Hamas.

Unfortunately for Israel however, it has been thoroughly incapable of "controlling the narrative", and too much has been seen by the West, which cannot be unseen, and those are images of Gazan genocide and carnage, courtesy  of some very ballsy reporters and camera operators, are, and will be, witness to one of the most horrific, senseless slaughters in the history of the 21st century.

Blinken can "shuck and jive" for the cameras all he wants, but the indisputable fact is that the government of Israel has perpetrated a genocide on the Palestinian people, and is about to do the same in Lebanon, to assure their control of the Litani River.

I don't know what the Vegas odds are on this, but were I a betting person, I would bet that we will see US troops on the ground in Israel  and Ukraine well before Christmas this year.

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Former President Donald Trump's trade war with China did not work out as planned, and one of his former advisors is finally admitting as much.

This week, Semafor's Morgan Chalfant wrote about the potential trade policies of a second Trump administration. Toward the end of his first term, Trump reached a $200 billion deal with China. For his possible second term, though, Trump has suggested a 10 percent tariff across the board on all imports, with additional tariffs as high as 60 percent on goods from China, the country's third-largest trading partner.

"I don't think we're going to see a deal like we saw in the first term," Robert O'Brien, Trump's fourth and final national security advisor, told Chalfant. "I think people were generally happy with [the previous deal], but as it turned out, the Chinese didn't honor it."

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Massachusetts faces the risk of losing nearly $1 billion in annual tax revenue by 2030 due to high taxes and housing costs driving wealthy residents to relocate. The pandemic accelerated migration out of Massachusetts to other U.S. states, facilitated by the rise of remote work, making it feasible for people to live farther from their offices.
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The United States Constitution vests all legislative powers in Congress. Yet, over the past century, we've witnessed a disturbing trend of legislators increasingly delegating much of the authority to set the laws that govern the land to the executive branch, which includes unelected officials at administrative agencies. This undermines democratic accountability, contributes to government bloat and abuse of powers, and disrupts the balance of power crafted so carefully by the Framers.

Reasserting congressional authority is essential for maintaining a balanced government and ensuring that policies reflect voters' wishes. It's also the best hope for promoting economic freedom and growth. Unfortunately, getting Congress to stop evading its authority is an uphill battle. After all, we're talking about an institution that systematically fails to do another of its primary jobs by passing legitimate budgets on a timely basis.

Nevertheless, there is some light at the end of the tunnel, as the Supreme Court might soon stop being so deferential to executive branch agencies in interpreting the laws set by Congress.

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The backlash against diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives has indeed spread to more states. In at least 22 states, measures related to DEI at state university systems have been either banned or rolled back. For instance, in Utah, Republican state Rep. Katy Hall successfully sponsored a new law that prohibits the use of DEI statements in applications for medical, dental schools, and other graduate programs
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Remember when the federal government accused social media companies of spreading misinformation about COVID-19? Well, according to a recent bombshell report from Reuters, top U.S. policy makers should have pointed their fingers at a giant mirror.

That's because the U.S. military, under both former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, deliberately spread misinformation on social media about the COVID-19 vaccines, in hopes of encouraging Filipinos to distrust the Chinese government. The disinformation campaign—which involved hundreds of fake accounts on X—promoted the idea that Sinovac, the COVID-19 vaccine created in China, was dangerous.

Webmaster addition: So, X is indeed being targeted by organized government propaganda!

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U.S. interest payments on its debt are now set to exceed defense spending. This year, federal spending on interest payments is forecast to reach $870 billion, surpassing the $822 billion allocated for defense in 2024.
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Fox News contributor Joe Concha joined 'Fox & Friends First' to discuss President Biden's most recent 'awkward' moment at the White House and how his administration and the media continue to question the authenticity of the viral clips.

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by Tyler Durden

Iran-backed Houthi rebels have been intensifying missile and drone attacks, targeting commercial vessels in the southern Red Sea, critical Bab el-Mandeb chokepoint, and the Gulf of Aden. The rebels have even threatened to extend their reach to the Mediterranean Sea. The recent sinking of the Tutor dry-bulk carrier by a kamikaze drone boat marks a significant escalation. The ongoing turmoil has sent containerized freight costs soaring, along with insurance costs back on the rise.

Bloomberg spoke with two individuals familiar with the maritime insurance market. They said the price of covering a commercial vessel for transit has jumped from .3% to .4% of the ship's total value to .6%. In other words, a vessel worth $50 million must pay upwards of $300k of insurance for one sail.

"The rate is nevertheless slightly below a peak reached earlier this year when attacks ramped up," Bloomberg said. But if Houthi attacks persist through summer, the rate will likely increase further.

Claire's Observations:  The Iranian leadership sponsoring these attacks may be many things;  stupid is not one of them.

They have had their computers crunch the numbers, and know the absolute, devastating cost of these attacks on shipping, driving up the cost of doing business in this region into the stratosphere.  The Houthis are using very low cost, easily replaceable weapons against very sophisticated military and cargo vessels, unable to withstand these attacks without some, or significant, damage.

The Houthis have been very clear in their statement of objectives; the cessation of genocide against the Palestinian people, and the establishment of a viable truce in Gaza.  A Google search gives us the following information: https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-e&sca_esv=09901222a5757784&sca_upv=1&sxsrf=ADLYWIKv8fajowGokc3Iatn-Y8GWROqniw:1718965943912&q=Why+are+the+Houthis+attacking+ships%3F&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjf5N6Tv-yGAxUW38kDHfhXBawQzmd6BAgQEAY&biw=1147&bih=524&dpr=1.5

Of course, the US media-spinners and By-di-Bydenistas, in a most "Wag the Dog" manner, seem consistent in their wanting to obliterate this reality.  IF Israel would declare a truce, followed by a cessation of genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza and beyond, the Houthis would stop these attacks.  But to date, Israel's leadership refuses, therefore the Houthi attacks will continue.

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Multiple polls released this week show former President Donald Trump within single digits of President Joe Biden in the heavily Democratic state of New York.

Trump’s unexpectedly strong showing in the Empire State may be attributed to him polling at nearly five times the percentage of the black vote he received in the 2020 election.

The New York Post reported Thursday that “[i]f the election were held today, Biden would receive 47% of the vote [in New York] to 39% for Trump,” according to a recent Siena College poll.

“The poll’s margin of error — 4.1% — means the race could be even closer,” the Post added.

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One week before the first 2024 presidential debate, CNN confirmed that President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will face off head-to-head.

Independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has not met the criteria to qualify for the June 27 debate in Atlanta, Georgia. 

CNN also noted that due to the results of a coin flip which Biden won, Trump will have the debate’s “last word.”

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Singapore, Switzerland and Denmark have been named the world’s most competitive economies in the 2024 World Competitiveness Ranking published by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) on Tuesday. While Denmark dropped two spots after topping the list in 2022 and 2023, Singapore leapt from 4th place to number 1 thanks to very high scores in government and business efficiency.


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Behind the scenes, these same companies might be exploiting labor, underpaying workers, or betraying their own “values.” By pandering to woke culture, they hope to gain customer loyalty—while alienating millions. It seems a vitamin company didn’t get the memo when it announced this hilarious new idea.

From Daily Wire:
Ritual, a multivitamin company, jumped head-first into the gender madness this Pride Month. Now, the tolerant people who insist that you call them “them” can rest easy knowing that their vitamins will also call them “them.” …

“These are our Essential for You/Them stickers; made for folks who may not identify with the gendered label on our multivitamins. As someone who talks to you in the comments and DMs, our team wants to help you to celebrate and honor who you are with every order.”

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Interesting post from AOC about Jewish influence over Congress. Specifically the influence of Israeli lobbying group AIPAC.

An unspoken secret in Congress is that much of the reflexive, blind, unconditional vote support for nearly any Israeli gov action isn’t from actual agreement.

It’s from fear.

Reps are terrified of this ⬇️. Of AIPAC. So they don’t vote their conscience. They vote their fear. https://t.co/0MmZnUtBTH

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 19, 2024


AOC might be an ugly horse cunt but what she says here is obviously 100 percent true.

Webmaster addition: 

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The Russian Army inflicted heavy losses on the Ukrainian armed forces in the last 24 hours. According to the Russian Defence Ministry, nearly 2,000 of Kyiv's soldiers have been killed. Ukraine tried to push back the Russian Army on multiple fronts but 'failed terribly.' In the process, Kyiv’s army suffered a major loss of ammunition and manpower. This video has full details.

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Buzz around the 2024 election is heating up, and we’ve got some exciting news from the Trump camp. It looks like former First Lady Melania Trump will play a big role in this election. After all, it’s well-known how much Trump values his wife’s opinion.

Millions of Americans love Melania, and they’ve been eager to know her role in Trump’s latest campaign.

Now, it looks like the former first lady will definitely have a hand in the upcoming vice president scuttlebug. We know that Melania continues to support Trump, even as the election gets intense. A former aide is revealing how much influence Melania will have on this crucial decision.

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Disney has not come out as the winner, though, as Florida Republicans stood firm; Florida continues to win out over Disney. The liberal company tried to seek revenge against Florida by pulling lucrative projects, and one of those projects was a planned campus for its employees. But Disney left those workers high and dry and now, they’re fighting back.

From Breitbart:
The Walt Disney Company continues to pay a steep price for its political war with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

Disney is now facing a class action lawsuit from some of its own employees who re-located from California to Florida for the planned Lake Nona campus in the Orlando area, only to find themselves with nowhere to go after Disney canceled the $1 billion project last year amid its beef with DeSantis over the state’s ban on gay and transgender indoctrination in schools.

Wow, this is bad. At the height of the battle between Florida and Disney, the company canceled a billion-dollar project. It had planned to build a campus on Lake Nona that would serve as home for 2,000 employees. The problem? Disney had forced employees to sell their homes in California and relocate to Florida, only for Disney to abandon them in their fight with Florida.

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From The Post Millennial:
Actor Morgan Freeman has reiterated his spite for Black History Month as he did in an old clip that has floated around the internet for years. “I detest it,” he told a reporter last week.

Freeman, who has long been a critic of Black History Month, told Variety in an interview about the subject, “I detest it. The mere idea of it.”

“You are going to give me the shortest month in a year? And you are going to celebrate ‘my’ history? This whole idea makes my teeth itch. It’s not right,” he told the outlet.  “My history is American history. It’s the one thing in this world I am interested in, beyond making money, having a good time and getting enough sleep,” he added.

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Authored by Marina Zhang via The Epoch Times

According to a recent study, these people have faster and more subtle immune responses than those who develop symptomatic COVID-19.

“These findings shed new light on the crucial early events that either allow the virus to take hold or rapidly clear it before symptoms develop,” Dr. Marko Nikolić, senior author of the study and honorary consultant in respiratory medicine at the University College London, said in the press release.

The study, published in Nature on Wednesday, was a human challenge study conducted by researchers from the UK and the Netherlands. It is the first of its kind wherein participants were deliberately exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Researchers recruited 16 young, healthy participants under 30 for the study. None had comorbidities, and none had ever previously been infected with COVID-19 or vaccinated.

Before the study received peer review, a preprint of it was made available online in April 2023.

3 Different Immune Responses

The 16 individuals responded to the virus exposure differently and were grouped accordingly.

The first group contained six symptomatic people. The study authors categorized them as having sustained infections.

People in the second group were asymptomatic but still tested positive for COVID-19 with PCR tests. These participants were categorized as having transient infections.

The third type of people were asymptomatic and continuously received negative COVID-19 PCR test results. The authors confirmed that these participants were infected but cleared their infections so rapidly that the infections were dubbed “abortive.”

Claire's Observations:  Although the study is very small, it points to one thing the "Vaccinistas" loathed:  the concept of "natural immunity", or the ability of a healthy immune system to fight off infections.

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A woman in Florida may soon be fired from her job with the Broward County school district after she apparently allowed her son to play on the girls' volleyball team at his high school.

Last November, Jessica Norton was one of several members of the faculty and staff at Monarch High School near Fort Lauderdale to be reassigned to jobs at "non-school sites" after then-Superintendent Peter Licata discovered that a boy may have been playing on the school's girls' volleyball team, as Blaze News previously reported.

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