"It will give us, for a course of years, good government and then only end, due to the corruption of the people, in despotism, which will be the only form of government suitable for them." -- Benjamin Franklin on the Constitution Philadelphia, 1789.

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The US will not enter into a defense agreement with Saudi Arabia unless the kingdom recognizes the state of Israel, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has said. However, Riyadh has made any recognition deal contingent on the Israelis agreeing to work toward the formal establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

Media reports last week suggested that Washington and Riyadh were drawing closer to signing a bilateral security pact, even as progress toward a Saudi-Israel normalization deal remained stalled. According to Reuters, the pact would see the US enter into a formal alliance with Saudi Arabia and help with its civilian nuclear program in exchange for Riyadh cutting some economic ties with China.

Speaking at a Financial Times event in London on Saturday, Sullivan insisted that no deal will be possible without Saudi Arabia recognizing Israel.

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Russian diplomats should be confined to their destination countries within the EU and not allowed to move freely around the bloc, the Czech government has argued, according to Der Spiegel. Prague regards Moscow’s diplomatic staff as “spies” probing for potential weaknesses in the bloc, the German outlet reported on Saturday, citing official documents.

The Czech authorities have been seeking to restrict freedom of movement for Russian diplomats since at least last summer, the article claims. The nation’s foreign minister, Jan Lipavsky, reportedly revisited the issue last month during an EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg.

“Espionage and propaganda are the main tasks of many Russian diplomats in the EU,” according to a document presented by Prague earlier the same month in Brussels, according to Der Spiegel. The list of alleged activities of Russian diplomatic mission staffers reportedly includes “logistics for sabotage and acts of terrorism.”

Webmaster addition: Every nation places intelligence assets in their foreign diplomatic staff.

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American drug manufacturer Pfizer has its sights set on the cancer treatment market now that the Covid-19 pandemic is over and global demand for its vaccines and coronavirus drugs is falling, CEO Albert Bourla told Fox Business on May 1. 

The company expects to score big on “blockbuster” cancer drugs, Bourla said, as the pharma giant seeks to reverse its post-Covid business decline. The pandemic brought record revenue to the company. In 2022 alone, Pfizer’s total sales amounted to $157 billion, with its Covid vaccine accounting for $37.8 billion and its antiviral treatment pill, Paxlovid, bringing in another $18.9 billion. 

In 2023, sales were down by more than half and accounted for $71 billion. The company’s shares have fallen by 42% since the end of 2022 amid the rapid decline in demand for its Covid-related products. This led to a major cost-cutting campaign, including hundreds of layoffs at its UK, US, and Irish facilities. 

Webmaster addition: And how lucky for Pfizer that cancer rates are exploding right now!!!!!



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The liberal Manhattan Democrat said Netanyahu has done more damage to his own people than anyone since a Jewish monarch of the Hasmonean dynasty who invited Roman invaders into the Holy Land to help him defeat an internal rebellion in the first century BC.

“He only got one competitor for the worst Jewish leader in history: that would be (a king who) invited in the Romans,” Nadler told Politico in a new podcast.

Nadler’s unflattering comparison was to John Hyrcanus II, a weak Jewish leader who ruled over a portion of the modern-day West Bank near Jerusalem several decades before the time of Jesus.

Hyrcanus II asked his Roman allies to help him defeat a rival Jewish faction but the tactic backfired spectacularly and led to the invaders effectively subjugating the Jews.

Nadler’s pointed remarks came as Sen. Chuck Schumer confirmed that he has no objections to Netanyahu delivering a speech to a joint session of Congress.

Schumer, who has also clashed with Netanyahu, says he will eventually join House Speaker Mike Johnson in issuing a formal invitation to the right-wing Israeli premier, but it remains uncertain when such a speech might take place.

“The timing is being worked out,” Angelo Roefaro, Schumer’s spokesman, said Friday.

Netanyahu hit back at Schumer, saying foreigners like the New Yorker should stay out of internal Israeli politics.

Claire's Observations:  Mr. Prime Minister, a word, please; as long as you are using US taxpayer money to fund the bombs and bullets being used for this desperately attempted "Final Solution" against the Palestinians in the form of a genocide, it is both Senator Schumer's business and as a taxpayer, it is my business also.

As long as I see images of Palestinian children, trapped and killed in the rubble of their homes; of children with amputated limbs, because they got caught in the wreckage of their home; of women losing their children to opportunistic illnesses which never should happen to a child, courtesy of horrendous wounds and malnutrition, this Israeli genocide is my business.

As long as you refuse any reasonable cease-fire, for an exchange of hostages, this Israeli genocide is my business.

You seem to believe that if the Senate Passes the AAA Act,  https://www.congress.gov/bill/118th-congress/house-bill/6090/text,  this  will squelch dissent both on college campuses, and in the greater American independent Press. 

You think that there will not  be any discussion on the issue of this Israeli genocide, for fear of being Federally prosecuted, and/or fined, and imprisoned for this.   This, of course, is like a black Damascus Steel Blade,stabbing deeply into the  heart of  the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.   

The Supreme Court, sir, will not allow this to stand, if they have not been bought or blackmailed into acquiescence.

Please remember that in your genocidal "push" toward  establishing  "Eretz Israel," you are destroying any hope of reasonable relations with those countries surrounding Israel, which previously might have been considering "normalizing " relationships with it, 

Would that not be a tragic outcome for the country you allege  you "love"?!?

And Mr. Prime Minister, a final thought from a very wise person, for which the original attribution has been lost: "You have not converted someone because you have silenced them" .




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The Biden campaign team has admitted that they are looking to shorten his speeches, claiming that they are seeking “quality over quantity,” but leading many to presume it is because he can barely talk.

Biden Deputy Campaign manager Quentin Fulks told MSBNC “Our campaign believes in quality over quantity. We believe that these touches, these smaller things that are getting to the point about what is going on in the stakes of this election are gonna be easier for the voters to tap into.”

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Developments on university campuses and in Congress this week showed that the U.S. government’s top priority is not protecting students or civilian lives in Gaza, but to protect Israel’s ability to continue its unimpeded slaughter.

Anti-genocide student protestors at Columbia University, demanding Columbia divest from Israel, occupied the campus’s Hamilton Hall on Tuesday and renamed it Hind’s Hall after Hind Rajab, a 6-year-old Palestinian girl killed by Israeli soldiers in Gaza earlier this year. The Columbia protest has inspired more than 40 other anti-genocide university encampments across the country and in other nations.

On the morning the students occupied Hamilton Hall, MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski compared the student protests to Jan. 6, calling for authorities to “just start arresting people.” Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti Defamation League, echoed the comparison in the same MSNBC segment. Other supporters of Israel also made the same Jan. 6 anaolgy on social media early Tuesday morning.

Former CNN anchor Don Lemon wrote on X that the Columbia protest “feels January 6th ish to me” because the protesters had occupied a building. Not a federal government building, but a university hall. Has Lemon not heard of a sit-in?

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Russia will test its ability to deploy tactical nuclear weapons, the Defense Ministry announced on Monday. The drill will be conducted “in the near future” and was ordered by President Vladimir Putin, the statement said.

Missile forces of the Southern Military District will be directly involved in the exercise. It will also require the participation of military aircraft and the Russian Navy, the ministry said.

The goal of the exercise is to iron out “the practical aspects of the preparation and deployment of non-strategic nuclear weapons,” it added.

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A group of foreign bondholders have taken steps to force Ukraine to begin repaying its debts as soon as next year, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday. If they succeed, Kiev could hemorrhage $500 million every year on interest payments alone.

The group, which includes investment giants Blackrock and Pimco, granted Kiev a two-year debt holiday in 2022, gambling that the conflict with Russia would have concluded by now. 

With no end to the fighting in sight, the lenders have now hired lawyers at Weil Gotshal & Manges and bankers from PJT Partners to meet with Ukrainian officials and strike a deal whereby Ukraine would resume making interest payments next year in exchange for having a significant chunk of its debt written off, anonymous sources told the Wall Street Journal.

Webmaster addition: GUESS WHO WILL GET THAT BILL!

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Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has proclaimed that God is an “ally” of Ukraine in the conflict with Russia. Despite his invoking of the Almighty, Zelensky has led a crackdown on the Orthodox Church for the last two years.

As Orthodox Christians celebrated Easter on Sunday, Zelensky released a video address from Kiev’s Saint Sophia Cathedral, in which he accused Russia of “breaking all the commandments.”

“The world sees it, God knows it,” he said. “And we believe God has a chevron with the Ukrainian flag on his shoulder. So, with such an ally, life will definitely win over death.”

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Prominent British-Palestinian surgeon Ghassan Abu Sitta said he was denied entry into France on Saturday where he was scheduled to address the senate about Israel's attacks against Gaza's healthcare system. 

The International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP), which works with Abu Sitta, said French authorities at the Charles De Gaulle airport informed the doctor that Germany "enforced a Schengen-wide ban on his entry into Europe". 

Abu Sitta, who volunteered in Gaza last year and witnessed Israel's deadly bombing campaign, decried the ban as an attempt to silence him. 

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The shameless cover the United States has extended for Israel has taken on new dimensions of theatrics as pressure grows for Joe Biden to put a stop to the genocidal slaughter that has been going on in Gaza for seven months now.

That theater has often veered into the absurd, as, just to cite one example, when the President has complained about Israel not allowing humanitarian aid in to Gaza—an unambiguous war crime under international law—only to have  administration spokespeople assert that they have “no evidence” that Israel has broken international law. 

Biden has shifted his public image, going from unbridled support for every Israeli atrocity to a transparently phony appearance of trying to “restrain” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In fact, Biden has not let up one iota in his absolute support for everything Israel has done up to this point. 

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Have you noticed that the mainstream media is suddenly full of very alarming stories about H5N1?  When hundreds of millions of birds were dying because of the bird flu, the mainstream media didn’t seem to care very much, and so most people in the general population didn’t seem to care very much.  Then the bird flu started infecting lots of mammals all over the globe, and the mainstream media still didn’t seem to care very much.  But now here we are in the middle of 2024, and the mainstream media has suddenly decided to ramp up the fear level.  Even though there has only been one confirmed human case in the U.S. so far this year, the mainstream media is pumping out article after article about the threat that H5N1 could potentially pose to humanity.  Do they know something that the rest of us do not?

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Avi Bluth, commander of the Israeli Army Judea and Samaria Division (Photo credit by Sraya Diamant/Flash90)

Brigadier General Avi Bluth, an extremist religious settler, has been appointed to the position of Central Command commander of the Israeli army, Israeli media reported on 2 May. 

Bluth has previously served as commander of the Army’s Judea and Samaria Division and as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Military Secretary.

According to Muhammad Shehada of Euro Med Human Rights, Bluth will now have absolute powers over the West Bank, including the ability to demolish homes and conduct army raids. 

Bluth contributed to pogroms against Palestinians in the towns of Huwara and Burqa by standing by as Jewish settlers lynched civilians and burned and destroyed homes, shops, and vehicles.

He also played a role in incorporating extremists from a religious settler group called the Hilltop Youth into units of the Israeli army.

Bluth pushed for Operation Break the Wave in 2022, in which the army killed 149 Palestinians in the West Bank and abducted 2000 others in a series of raids, and Operation Bayit Vagan in July 2023, in which the army carried out a massive assault on Jenin, killing 12 Palestinians and leaving widespread destruction in its wake.

Bluth is a signatory to the army’s 2015 policy change, which loosened the conditions for using live fire against Palestinians throwing stones and carrying out ramming operations.

Shehada adds that Bluth has links to the Religious Zionism Party led by Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, which is committed to stealing and annexing Palestinian land in the West Bank.


Claire's Observations:  Oh, this is REALLY GOING TO CALM THINGS DOWN IN THE WEST BANK  WITH THE BOMBS AND BULLETS THE GUY HAS AT HIS DISPOSAL!!! Watch this become a new "kill zone" against Palestinians.

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As Peace Protests Are Violently Suppressed, CNN Paints Them as Hate Rallies

Photo in the Daily Bruin of a pro-Israel mob attacking the UCLA encampment. Photo: Zoraiz Irshad


As peace activists occupied common spaces on campuses across the country, some in corporate media very clearly took sides, portraying student protesters as violent, hateful and/or stupid. CNN offered some of the most striking of these characterizations.

CNN's Dana Bash: Clashes at Campuses Nationwide as Protest Intensify

CNN‘s Dana Bash (Inside Politics, 5/1/24) blames the peace movement for “destruction, violence and hate on college campuses across the country.” 

Dana Bash (Inside Politics, 5/1/24) stared gravely into the camera and launched into a segment on “destruction, violence and hate on college campuses across the country.” Her voice dripping with hostility toward the protests, she reported:

Many of these protests started peacefully with legitimate questions about the war, but in many cases, they lost the plot. They’re calling for a ceasefire. Well, there was a ceasefire on October 6, the day before Hamas terrorists brutally murdered more than a thousand people inside Israel and took hundreds more as hostages. This hour, I’ll speak to an American Israeli family whose son is still held captive by Hamas since that horrifying day, that brought us to this moment. You don’t hear the pro-Palestinian protesters talking about that. We will.

By Bash’s logic, once a ceasefire is broken, no one can ever call for it to be reinstated—even as the death toll in Gaza nears 35,000. But her claim that there was a ceasefire until Hamas broke it on October 7 is little more than Israeli propaganda: Hundreds of Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the year preceding October 7 (FAIR.org, 7/6/23).

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Demonstrators in central Tel Aviv, on Saturday.
Demonstrators in central Tel Aviv, on Saturday.Credit: Itai Ron


Protests against the government and in support of hostage release are taking place across Israel amid reports of a potential deal with Hamas.
The main demonstration, calling for early elections, is taking place in Kaplan Junction in Tel Aviv, and thousands are participating in it. Alongside it, a gathering organized by the Hostages Forum at the so-called Hostage Square at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
Demonstrators in central Tel Aviv, on Saturday.
Demonstrators in central Tel Aviv, on Saturday.Credit: Itai Ron
Yehuda Cohen, the father of captured IDF soldier Nimrod Cohen, has spoken in the rally in Rehovot, in central Israel, where dozens rally. "It is no longer clear, six months in, if Hamas wants the hostages released to ensure its survival, or our terrible government wants to fail them to ensure its survival," he said.
"These days are fatal for the approval of a deal that would return all hostages. We've been in such days for too long, Days of anticipation, of anxiety in the face of all the obstacles Netanyahu and his Messianic friends put in our way," Cohen continued, and called for Israel's leadership to reach a deal that would "return all of the hostages, in exchange for a cease-fire."
Dozens are also protesting at the Karkur junction, where the main speaker is Dr. Yolanda Yavor, who was given a restraining order after being arrested near Benjamin Netanyahu's private residence in Caesarea.
Dr. Yolanda Yavor speaking at the Karkur Junction rally, on Saturday.
Dr. Yolanda Yavor speaking at the Karkur Junction rally, on Saturday.Credit: Martin Viler
"We have no more time, period," she said, "not us, and not the hostages. The war over our home isn't only happening in Gaza, it's happening here. We are law-abiding citizens, but the order has been broken. We are not the ones who broke it. The one guilty of the massacre, the members of his bloody cabinet and his despicable coalition, are the ones who broke the order.
Claire's Observations:  One wonders just what Netanyahu and his minions will do to suppress these protests, now that the hostage deal has been killed, courtesy of an  Hamas attack , allegedly emanating from the area of Rafah https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/article-799923
 I I literally pray that the demonstrators will continue in their witness for a viable cease-fire and prisoner exchange peacefully.
 What scares me, though, is what Netanyahu and his minions plan to do with this war after Rafah is gutted, and as many Palestinians as possible are either assassinated (mostly will be women and children, if past numbers are any indication) or maimed for life.  
This will truly set the trajectory for how this war will most probably unfold regionally.  
And are we potentially looking at US boots on the ground to defend Israel?!?  Were I a betting person, I would not bet against it.
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 by Dave DeCamp 

The US has been working to increase military cooperation with the Philippines, Japan, and Australia as part of its strategy against China in the Asia Pacific, a grouping Pentagon officials privately call the “Squad,” Bloomberg reported on Friday.

The defense chiefs of the US, the Philippines, Japan, and Australia met in Hawaii on May 2 and issued a joint readout that used harsh rhetoric against China’s claims to the South China Sea and the East China Sea, two areas where the US has vowed to intervene if the maritime disputes turn into shooting wars.

“The Ministers and Secretaries expressed serious concern about the situation in the East and South China Seas,” the readout said. “They strongly objected to the dangerous use of coast guard and maritime militia vessels in the South China Sea. They reiterated serious concern over the PRC’s (People’s Republic of China) repeated obstruction of Philippine vessels’ exercise of high seas freedom of navigation and the disruption of supply lines to Second Thomas Shoal, which constitute dangerous and destabilizing conduct.”

They also vowed to increase military cooperation, including in the South China Sea. “The Ministers and Secretaries discussed opportunities to further advance defense cooperation, including through continued maritime cooperation in the South China Sea, enhanced procedures to enable coordination and information sharing arrangements, as well as strengthening capacity building,” the readout said.

The four nations conducted their first quadrilateral military exercise in the South China Sea in April. The waters have been a major source of tensions between Manila and Beijing, as Chinese and Philippine vessels often have tense encounters that sometimes end in collision near disputed rocks and reefs.

The US has repeatedly vowed that the US-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty applies to attacks on Philippine vessels in the South China Sea. Similarly, the US has affirmed that the mutual defense portion of the US-Japan Security Treaty would apply to the Senkaku Islands, Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea that are also claimed by China.

Boosting regional partnerships and forming new alliances is a key part of the US military buildup in the region, and the “Squad” is just one iteration. The US has also been looking to strengthen the “Quad,” which includes the US, India, Japan, and Australia. The US also formed the AUKUS security pact in 2021 with the UK and Australia, which focuses on technology sharing, including nuclear-powered submarines that Canberra will obtain.

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 by Dave DeCamp 

Israeli officials said on Sunday that the overall flow of US weapons shipments to Israel is “uninterrupted” despite a report from Axios that said the Biden administration put a hold on an ammunition shipment.

The Axios report cited two Israeli officials who said the hold on the ammunition raised “serious concerns” in the Israeli government, but the sources did not give a reason why the US delayed the shipment. CNN later reported that the pause had nothing to do with Israel’s plans to invade Rafah and wouldn’t impact future weapons shipments, meaning it doesn’t reflect a change in US policy.

“The stream of security shipments from the US to Israel is ongoing. While individual shipments might be delayed, the overall flow remains uninterrupted, and we are not aware of any policy suspending it,” an Israeli official told Ynet.

Israel’s public broadcaster Kan cited a political source who said Israel “is not aware of any US decision regarding stopping or reducing military support to Israel.” The source added that it was “possible that one shipment or another will be delayed, but the flow continues, and we are not aware of a political decision to stop it.”

When asked about the paused ammunition shipment, a National Security Council spokesperson vowed the US would continue arming Israel. “The United States has surged billions of dollars in security assistance to Israel since the October 7 attacks, passed the largest ever supplemental appropriation for emergency assistance to Israel, led an unprecedented coalition to defend Israel against Iranian attacks, and will continue to do what is necessary to ensure Israel can defend itself from the threats it faces,” the spokesperson told CNN.

The delay could be related to new US aid shipments to Ukraine. Back in October, Axios reported that the US diverted artillery shells initially bound for Ukraine to Israel. Something similar could have happened in reverse as President Biden recently signed a bill into law authorizing $61 billion in spending for the proxy war in Ukraine.

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Authored by Mark Glennon via Wirepoints.org,

At $1.5 million per job, this new incentive package from the state is at least 15 times the norm. For this much money, the state could have just handed out a million bucks to 827 people, instead of creating 550 jobs.

Gov. JB Pritzker announced Thursday that the State of Illinois will provide an $827 million incentive package for Rivian to invest $1.5 billion to expand its electric vehicle factory in Normal, Illinois. The expansion is expected to create at least 550 full-time jobs within the next five years, and will build Rivian’s next model EV, the R2. Rivian initially got $49.5 million under Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2017 to create 1,000 jobs at the same location.

The new deal gives $1.5 million per job created, which is astronomical in the world of location incentives. Estimated average location incentives paid by state and local governments around the nation range from $13,000 to $84,000 per job, though sometimes go as high as $100,000 per job for capital intensive projects. Even using that high end, Rivian’s package will be 15 times what’s typical.

Moreover, Rivian is on shaky wheels, along with the rest of the U.S. EV industry. Rivian loses over $43,000 for every vehicle it sells and has had two rounds of layoffs this year. The decision to move its R2 production to Illinois is a further reflection of the company’s need to preserve cash. R2 production was initially planned for a new $5 billion plant in Georgia, heavily subsidized by the state. But Rivian concluded that moving production to the existing Illinois facility would save cash.

Its stock price has consequently been hammered. It reached a high of $172 per share in 2021 but now trades at less than $10 per share.

Rivian is not alone. As a CNBC headline recently declared, “EV euphoria is dead. Automakers are scaling back or delaying their electric vehicle plans.” Since then, the news is no better. Ford announced last week that it is losing a stunning $132,000 per vehicle. Hertz announced last week a second round of sales of its EV fleet due to heavy maintenance and depreciation costs. For the first quarter of this year, EV sales continued to slow and the share of EV sales for all autos actually decreased. While total EV sales are still up a bit from last year, the growth rate is not nearly enough to put EV makers on a path to profitability.

EV makers pin their hopes on less expensive models that they promise soon, and on more public charging stations, into which Illinois last month announced it would invest an additional $50 million. Rivian hopes its new R2 will be among the new, lower priced models. However, its starting price is expected to be about $45,000 and it won’t come out until the first half of 2026.

Regarding the astronomical incentive package to be paid by Illinois, in fairness, it should be noted that most of it is in the form of tax credits to be granted over the next 30 years. They are available on condition that the company retain 6,000 already existing jobs. However, the fact remains that just 550 new jobs are to be created, and incentive packages like this are not supposed to be payoffs for merely standing still. And a less charitable way to look at it would be that future taxpayers will be on the hook for the high cost of the incentive package — if it works.

Aside from thinking that the incentive package is too low, my first instinct was to ask, “Where’s the warrant coverage.” That is, I know from working as a lawyer and then as an investor, often with troubled companies, that it’s not unusual to make risky bets. However, it’s routine for the investor to get part of the upside if the venture succeeds, usually in the form of stock or warrants (basically, options) on stock that pay off nicely if things turn around. The federal government, for example, got stock and warrants as part of the deal for its 2010 bailout of the auto industry.

This new Rivian deal has nothing like that. Since the job creation per dollar is minimal, it’s just not worth the price.

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by Tyler Durden

Large emerging markets are forecast to play a greater role in powering global economic growth in the future, driven by demographic shifts and a growing consumer class.

At the same time, many smaller nations are projected to see their economies grow at double the global average over the next five years due to rich natural resource deposits among other factors. That said, elevated debt levels do present risks to future economic activity.

This graphic, via Visual Capitalist's Niccolo Conte, shows the emerging markets with the fastest projected growth through to 2029, based on data from the International Monetary Fund’s 2024 World Economic Outlook.

Top 10 Emerging Markets

Here are the fastest-growing emerging economies, based on real GDP compound annual growth rate (CAGR) forecasts over the period of 2024-2029:

As South America’s third-smallest nation by land area, Guyana is projected to be the world’s fastest growing economy from now to 2029.

This is thanks to a significant discovery of oil deposits in 2015 by ExxonMobil, which has propelled the country’s economy to grow by fourfold over the last five years alone. By 2028, the nation of just 800,000 people is projected to have the highest crude oil production per capita, outpacing Kuwait for the first time.

Bangladesh, where 85% of exports are driven by the textiles industry, is forecast to see the strongest growth in Asia. In fact, over the last 30 years, the country of 170 million people has not had a single year of negative growth.

In eighth place overall is India, projected to achieve a 6.5% CAGR in real GDP through to 2029. This growth is forecast to be fueled by population trends, public investment, and strong consumer demand.

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by Tyler Durden

The same day that a second Boeing-linked whistleblower death on Tuesday, supplier Spirit Aerosystems filed a lawsuit against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton after he opened a safety probe into the company in late March.

Filed in Austin, Spirit is alleging that Paxton's demand for internal documents and other information is unlawful, and violates their right against unreasonable search and seizure.

Paxton opened the investigation into Spirit following "reoccurring issues with certain airplane parts provided to Boeing," including a midair blowout of an Alaskan Airlines 737 MAX door panel two months prior.

Spirit Aerosystems filed its lawsuit (pdf) against Mr. Paxton the same day that its former quality auditor, Joshua “Josh” Dean, died from a “sudden, fast-spreading infection,” according to reports. Mr. Dean came forward as a whistleblower against the Boeing manufacturer and alleged that it ignored numerous problems with the 737 MAX as early as 2012.

He is the second Boeing-related whistleblower to die after John “Mitch” Barnett was found dead from an alleged self-inflicted gunshot wound the morning of a court appearance. The same attorney was representing both men in their efforts to testify about quality-control problems persistent within Boeing and its supplier, Spirit AeroSystems. -Epoch Times

Spirit is a key supplier of fuselages and other components for Boeing. Meanwhile, the Biden DOJ is mulling whether the Alaskan Airlines incident breached a deferred prosecution agreement with Boeing, which was set to expire two days later (so, absolutely yes?).

According to Spirit spokesman Joe Buccino, the supplier "brought this litigation seeking a determination whether the Texas statute at issue is constitutional under existing case law within the Fifth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court," adding that they don't plan to comment further.

Spirit alleges that Paxton's probe "bears no connection to events occurring in the State of Texas and as such has, at best, a questionable law enforcement purpose," since they only operate a single facility in Texas which houses 98 of the company's 20,655 employees.

On March 28, Paxton released a statement justifying his safety probe into Spirit.

"The potential risks associated with certain airplane models are deeply concerning and potentially life-threatening to Texans," he wrote, adding "I will hold any company responsible if they fail to maintain the standards required by the law and will do everything in my power to ensure manufacturers take passenger safety seriously."

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By Peter Tchir of Academy Securities

On Friday, after the jobs report, we heard a lot of chatter about “Goldilocks.” While we wrote NFP – Great for Markets, we caveated that with – for now. Normally we would agree that there is a “transition” period from “everything is great,” to “everything is bad.” While I’m not saying that everything is bad, I do wonder if we can have more of a “gap” than a transition, largely due to the influence that “American Exceptionalism” has had on people’s perceptions. According to Google Trends, the term peaked on searches this year the week of February 4th and is declining again

Yes, there are some things that have been exceptional. AI has certainly been exceptional on many fronts. The U.S. efforts to help stop Iran’s missile barrage was also exceptional. Away from that, I’m seeing less and less “exceptionalism.” Normally that wouldn’t matter, but I can’t help but wonder if the use of that term has made us interpret data too positively? That we ignore negatives and dwell on positives that support that theory? I’m concerned that we are, which means that we might have less of a transition than a gap, as investors start looking beyond earnings (indicatively, as BofA's Michael Hartnett just wrote, "US exceptionalism is driven by 'exceptionally' easy fiscal policy.").

Market Exceptionalism

It would be easy to understand if the proverbial “person in the street” thought that big tech was by far the best investment possible. On any given day, American Exceptionalism battles with “You Need to Own Big Tech” for airtime. Heck, the term “Magnificent 7” is still bandied about, though it hasn’t been a particularly useful way of expressing market moves for many months. Yet, since January 31st, other major markets have outperformed the Nasdaq 100, a good benchmark for “big tech.” Some (like China) by significant amounts. I did use the Hang Seng Index rather than Shanghai in the below because Shanghai was closed for a few days so won’t show the full performance until next week, though that performance was picked up by FXI and KWEB – the two ETFs I look at for China.

When, as a strategist, I tell people that I’ve been recommending trading the Nasdaq 100 from the short side (selling rips, as opposed to buying dips, though the behavior is similar), people look at me almost with sympathy. When I add in that I have liked China “for a trade” (I still don’t think it is investible for the longer-term), the sympathy turns to outright pity. Yet the data doesn’t warrant that perception.

What happens if more and more people start focusing on the divergence between the messaging and the actual performance?

While earnings have helped, I’ve seen a couple of things that caught my eye. I did not verify them, but they sounded reasonable:

  • Sales, in particular, have been mediocre relative to inflation, and the average has been propped up by a minority of large companies that are crushing it.
  • Earnings, while doing well, are heavily skewed by about 20% of the S&P 500 that is doing extremely well!

Both of these items, which seem reasonable (though I haven’t verified the data myself), would indicate that many companies are living in a world that is far from exceptional. That reality hasn’t hit more broadly, but will it, as we’ve now made it through most of the highest profile earnings reports.

“Exceptional” Economic Data

I could fill this section with so many charts, that it would test my patience with Bloomberg’s charting function. We will only go with two charts (and a separate section on jobs).

The Citi Economic Surprise Index went negative. This index is always interesting because it combines shifting expectations with changes in data. It tends to oscillate because as data comes in strong, many economists increase their expectations for future data, making it more and more difficult for the data to exceed expectations. The opposite also tends to happen. As data underperforms expectations, economists can retain their apparently lofty expectations, hoping that the data will change direction, or (and I believe far more likely) they can reduce their expectations.

Just like for earnings estimates, this process of downgrading the economic outlook could help bonds and make many question growth.

There are all sorts of reasons why we can say that the importance of the Chicago PMI as an indicator has declined (shifts in manufacturing, relative importance of the region versus other regions, etc.). Having said that, this chart caught my eye.

We’ve reached levels only seen during what could be described as “crises.” The good news is that often the bottom of PMI marked a great investment opportunity. That could be the case here, except that we are still near all-time highs, rather than having endured dramatic selloffs (like in previous bottoms). Again, I understand that this particular measure might not be as emblematic of the nation’s prospects as it once was, but this was pretty darn stark!

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BigPharma is exposed.

BigPharma is desperate.

BigPharma wants truly effective, safe and inexpensive repurposed drugs to be all but impossible to source.

There have been some recent rumors that Ivermectin somehow damages fertility; with a smalltime Substacker disseminating much FUD of late about this miraculous Nobel Prize winning drug.

Another Substacker referenced said FUDster in her article; to wit:

The Truth Barrier

One Video Lists Many Fertility Damaging Properties Of Ivermectin: What Can We Conclude?

But first, let us review the actual adverse reactions of Ivermectin, none of which include fertility.

In an article entitled, Safety of high-dose ivermectin: a systematic review and meta-analysisthe following was discovered:

The systematic search identified six studies for inclusion, revealing no differences in the number of individuals experiencing adverse events. A descriptive analysis of these clinical trials for a variety of indications showed no difference in the severity of the adverse events between standard (up to 400 μg/kg) and higher doses of ivermectin. Organ system involvement only showed an increase in ocular events in the higher-dose group in one trial for the treatment of onchocerciasis, all of them transient and mild to moderate in intensity.

In other words, the only adverse reactions with extremely high doses of Ivermectin were temporary ocular events.

In fact, Ivermectin is so safe that one can’t even suicide from it, no matter how high the dose:

Can You Overdose on Ivermectin? Dr. Pierre Kory's Answer Will Shock You

Can You Overdose on Ivermectin? Dr. Pierre Kory's Answer Will Shock You

by The Vigilant Fox “Of all the harmful misinformation spread over the past couple of years, one of the most disturbing false narratives was targeted at the Nobel-Prize-winning, human medicine ivermectin,” expressed filmmaker Mikki Willis in his ground-breaking documentary titled,

Therefore, it would be impossible for a drug like Ivermectin to in any way negatively impact fertility.

What we are witnessing currently is that certain individuals are attacking Ivermectin due to ignorance and/or shilling for BigPharma; they are purposely ascribing fertility damage to a drug that has a radically safer profile than even aspirin.

The reason is quite simple: this is a coverup for the slow kill bioweapon “vaccine” adverse events, which, as per real data, unequivocally shows decreases in fertility, increases in miscarriages, surges in turbo cancers, and unprecedented excess mortality.

Ivermectin reverses and attenuates much of this “vaccine” damage; therefore, certain BigPharma shills and ignoramuses are most conveniently blaming said adverse events on the very drug that works as an actual cure; in other words, yet another scientism reality inversion campaign to once again attempt to discredit Ivermectin.

Since its approval for human use in 1987, billions upon billions of doses of Ivermectin have been administered, and the trend for human population growth since that time has actually increased, in no small part due to this very drug curing all types of parasitic infections.

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By Mish Shedlock of MishTalk

The lie of the day is from the EPA: Carbon capture will pay for itself (thanks to IRA subsidies). No, it won’t even with subsidies. Expect blackouts and a higher price for electricity.

Suite of Standards to Raise Costs, Reduce Output

Let’s take a dive into the EPA news release Biden-Harris Administration Finalizes Suite of Standards to Reduce Pollution from Fossil Fuel-Fired Power Plants

“Today, EPA is proud to make good on the Biden-Harris Administration’s vision to tackle climate change and to protect all communities from pollution in our air, water, and in our neighborhoods,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “By developing these standards in a clear, transparent, inclusive manner, EPA is cutting pollution while ensuring that power companies can make smart investments and continue to deliver reliable electricity for all Americans.”

A final rule for existing coal-fired and new natural gas-fired power plants that would ensure that all coal-fired plants that plan to run in the long-term and all new baseload gas-fired plants control 90 percent of their carbon pollution.

The final emission standards and guidelines will achieve substantial reductions in carbon pollution at reasonable cost. The best system of emission reduction for the longest-running existing coal units and most heavily utilized new gas turbines is based on carbon capture and sequestration/storage (CCS) – an available and cost-reasonable emission control technology that can be applied directly to power plants and can reduce 90 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from the plants.

Lower costs and continued improvements in CCS technology, alongside tax incentives from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act that allow companies to largely offset the cost of CCS, represent recent developments in emissions controls that informed EPA’s determination of what is technically feasible and cost-reasonable. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also includes billions of dollars to advance and deploy CCS technology and infrastructure. EPA projects that the sector can comply with the standards with negligible impact on electricity prices, thanks to cost declines in CCS and other emissions-reducing technologies. EPA analysis also finds that power companies can comply with the standards while meeting grid reliability, even when considering increased load growth.

Final EPA Rule

The EPA’s Final Rule is only 1,020 pages long. There were 953 references to carbon capture and sequestration/storage (CCS).

I went through some of those 953 references and found these tidbits.

CCS is an adequately demonstrated technology that achieves significant emissions reduction and is cost-reasonable, taking into account the declining costs of the technology and a substantial tax credit available to sources.

The first component of the BSER [Best System of Emission Reduction] for base load combustion turbines is highly efficient generation (based on the emission rates that the best performing units are achieving) and the second component for base load combustion turbines is utilization of CCS with 90 percent capture.

One of the key GHG [Greenhouse Gasses] reduction technologies upon which the BSER determinations are founded in these final rules is CCS—a technology that can capture and permanently store CO2 from fossil fuel-fired EGUs.

I confess. I did not read all 1020 pages and don’t intend to. I have seen enough by reading through a dozen or so of the 953 references to CCS.

Returning to the Biden-Harris document I note references to “reasonable cost” and “largely offset the cost of CCS.” Thus CCS is admittedly not cost effective even with subsidies.

IISD Sustainable Development

For a rebuttal to the above Biden claims, please consider the International Institution for Sustainable Development article Why Carbon Capture and Storage Is Not a Net-Zero Solution for Canada’s Oil and Gas Sector

"The poor track record of CCS in Canada is part of a broader trend. According to the Global CCS Institute (2022), the global growth of carbon captured by commercially operating CCS facilities has been much slower than anticipated. As of September 2022, only 30 commercial CCS projects are operating across all sectors around the world, capturing 42.5 Mtpa. This falls far short of the IEA’s (2009) previous target of 300 Mtpa by 2020. Most proposed projects have been withdrawn: of the 149 CCS projects anticipated to be storing carbon by 2020, over 100 were cancelled or placed on indefinite hold (Abdulla et al., 2020; Wang et al., 2021). In the United States, despite significant industry and government investment in the technology, more than 80% of proposed CCS projects have failed to become operational due to high costs, low technological readiness, the lack of a credible financial return, and dependence on government incentives that are withdrawn. Of those projects that are operating globally, 73% of the carbon captured is used for EOR"

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Authored by Joseph M. Hanneman via The Epoch Times 

Ryan Taylor Nichols, a Marine Corps veteran and disaster-rescue specialist who argued that post-traumatic stress drove his behavior at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, was sentenced on May 2 to more than five years in prison and fined $200,000 for assaulting police and obstruction of an official proceeding.

Marine Corps veteran and Jan. 6 defendant Ryan Nichols during a hurricane rescue mission. (Joseph McBride via U.S. District Court)

Mr. Nichols, 33, of Longview, Texas, was ordered by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth to serve 63 months behind bars and fined $200,000—the lion’s share of the $237,708 raised on a GiveSendGo page set up for his legal and household expenses.

It was the largest fine issued in a Jan. 6 criminal case.

Judge Lamberth also ordered Mr. Nichols to serve 36 months of supervised release and pay $2,000 in restitution.

Prosecutors sought an upward departure from federal sentencing guidelines in asking for an 83-month prison sentence. The Department of Justice stressed Mr. Nichols’s use of pepper spray on police and his incendiary rhetoric before, during, and after Jan. 6.

Mr. Nichols argued for time served after 28 months in custody, citing his severe PTSD and “horrific prison conditions” at the District of Columbia jail as major mitigating factors.

“Ryan Nichols is a good guy who made a bad decision on January 6. He’s paid his debt in the most cruel and unusual way possible,” defense attorney Joseph D. McBride told The Epoch Times. “The fact that he’s got to go back to jail for any period of time sickens me to my stomach.”

Mr. McBride said despite not objecting to the sentencing calculation made by the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services System, the DOJ complained to Judge Lamberth on May 2 that an error needed correcting that would bump up Mr. Nichols’s sentencing range.

The judge allowed the last-minute change, Mr. McBride said.

I’m disappointed. I respect his [Judge Lamberth’s] service, but I don’t respect his decision today.”

‘Expletive-Laden Tirade’

Federal prosecutors stressed Mr. Nichols’s use of potent pepper spray on the police line near the Lower West Terrace tunnel and his participation in a heave-ho maneuver against police as evidence of his propensity for violence.

Mr. Nichols’s speech and his belief that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from President Donald J. Trump drew extensive commentary and attention from prosecutors in their 36-page sentencing memorandum.

On his walk from the Ellipse to the Capitol after President Trump’s speech on Jan. 6, Mr. Nichols let loose with an “eighteen-minute, expletive-laden, threatening tirade,” prosecutors wrote.

Ryan Nichols aims a stream of pepper spray at police on the Capitol's Lower West Terrace on Jan. 6, 2021. (U.S. Department of Justice/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

“I’m hearing reports that [Vice President Mike] Pence caved. I’m telling you if Pence caved, we’re gonna drag [expletive] through the streets,“ Mr. Nichols said on a social media broadcast. ”You [expletive] politicians are going to get [expletive] drug through the streets. Because we’re not going to have our [expletive] stolen. We’re not going to have our election or our country stolen.”

After hearing that protesters had breached the Capitol, Mr. Nichols urged them to “get up in there.”

“Cut their heads off,“ he said. ”Hey, Republican protestors are trying to enter the House right now at the Capitol is the word that I’m getting. So, if that’s true, then get up in there. If you voted for treason, we’re going to drag your [expletive] through the streets.”

Mr. Nichols also chanted, “Lock and load, lock and load, lock and load,” the DOJ memo said.

Late on Jan. 6, Mr. Nichols took to social media again to proclaim himself leader of a revolution, the DOJ said.

So, yes, I’m calling for violence! And I will be violent!“ Mr. Nichols said. ”Because I’ve been peaceful and my voice hasn’t been heard! I’ve been peaceful and my vote doesn’t count! I’ve been peaceful and the courts won’t hear me. So you’re [expletive] right, I’m going to be violent now!

PTSD Drove Behavior

Mr. McBride cited Mr. Nichols’s PTSD that grew out of his Marine Corps service and his work rescuing stranded residents and pets after countless hurricanes to cast his Jan. 6 behavior in context.

Because Mr. Nichols had stopped taking his psychiatric medications during the summer of 2020, he believed the country was at war when he traveled to Washington D.C. on Jan. 6, Mr. McBride wrote in his 28-page sentencing memo.

Claire's Observations:  Judge Lamberth's sentence was this severe against this Vet with PTSD in order to send the following message:  no sane person could possibly be under the impression that the election had been stolen by the Dementocrats, period, end of discussion, so there you have it.  


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I doubt if Biden really understands what he is saying. He simply reads (badly) off a teleprompter.

Biden has repeatedly claimed that no new taxes on anyone making less than $400,000. Remember, he has repeatedly said “You have my word as a Biden.” Which is worthless, by the way.

There are TWO taxes that are hitting people making under $400,000 per year. First, the INFLATION tax coming from Biden’s/Congresses spending binge, The Fed printing gobs of money, and insane regulations.

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The CEO of Zillow just issued a warning that first-time homebuyers are beginning to drop out of the housing market in 2024. And that this reduction in buyer demand could hurt Zillow's business and revenue in the second quarter.

Zillow makes their money by selling leads to realtors in their Premier Agent program. So a reduction in first-time homebuyer demand is of big concern. Buyers are dropping out the housing market because mortgage rates have surged over 7% while prices are still high. Creating historically bad housing affordability where the typical mortgage payment for buyers is now over $2,800/month.

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By: orraz
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