As happens Thursday mornings, we see how the “New Unemployment Claims” pool will pay off for the week.
Three Bigger Stories
The first is Retail Sales:
You shouldn’t need too much help with that.
Next is the Philly Fed outlook:
More details on the Philly Fed website here.
Followed by the…
NY Fed’s Empire State Manufacturing Report:
“Business activity grew strongly in New York State, according to firms responding to the April 2021 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index climbed nine points to 26.3, a multi-year high. New orders and shipments grew at a solid clip, and unfilled orders increased. Delivery times were the longest on record, and inventories were notably higher. Employment levels and the average workweek both expanded modestly. Input prices rose at the fastest pace since 2008, and selling prices climbed at a record-setting pace. Looking ahead, firms remained optimistic that conditions would improve over the next six months, expecting significant increases in employment and prices.”
And not like it’s over: The Federal Reserves Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization number is due out in about 20-minutes.
Waiting on War
From the UK Daily Mail, something we’ve been telling you was in the offing for several weeks: “‘Russia is threatening us with destruction’: Ukraine warns Putin he will ‘bear very painful consequences’ if troops cross the border as build-up continues in defiance of President Biden’s call for restraint.”
The problem we have is facts are spotty in critical areas: We don’t know if Ukraine “has something on the “you-know-who” administration. We also don’t know if Ukraine swiped any Soviet era nukes when weapons storage guards weren’t paid (and some just went home) when the Soviet Union was falling in 1989-91.
And then there’s the European Union which said years ago they envisioned an EU which would span from Portugal to Vladivostok – without bothering to tell Russia of their megalomaniacal plans.
Last night, NATO sec-general Jens Stoltenberg remarked in a press release:
“This is the biggest massing of Russian troops since the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014. And it is part of a broader pattern of Russian aggressive actions, which raises very serious concerns.
Allies fully support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. And we call on Russia to de-escalate immediately. Stop its pattern of aggressive provocations. And respect its international commitments.”
So we have Ukraine trying to join NATO. Russia doesn’t want NATO commanded forces on its doorstep. It also won’t give up it’s only warm water port. Ukraine, wont back down, either.
And the capper this morning is the Russians have painted “invasion stripes” on their armored units which are poised for action.
No shortage of testosterone in all this. Which means that logic and common sense is out the window. So anything can happen.
One thing expected is a new round of sanctions on Russia to be announced today. Like we’re so sure that will deescalate tensions.
Taiwan Simmers, Iran
As though Ukraine was not dangerous enough, the “war party” also has a delegation in Taiwan. Where “Joe Biden Will Support Taiwan Self-Defense: U.S. Delegation” says MSN.
Meanwhile, the NY Times manages to blame Trump for deteriorating relations with Iran. Which is laughable: Especially given the pallets of cash Iran’s friend Barack Obama sent.
While the Times is anxious to paint Trump’s Iran policy as a failure, we would refer the student of international payoffs (as from Obama) to hearings on “THE TERRORISM FINANCING RISKS OF ALLOWING THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN TO GAIN ACCESS TO LARGE AMOUNTS OF HARD CURRENCY AND THE U.S. GOVERNMENT’S PAYMENTS OF $1.7 BILLION IN FOREIGN CASH TO IRAN.”
Are we the only ones who can read, anymore?
In those hearings, former attorney general Michael Mukasey said of the Obama cash deal there were other ways – besides cash – that could have gotten Iran money if the Obama administration had wanted to:
“I suggest to you that what is going to result from that is
nothing good. We initially heard that it had to be made in that
form because we cannot wire money to Iran. We have no way of
getting them money other than in pallets of cash. As the
Chairman pointed out, the facts directly rebut that. There have
been wire payments to Iran. It could easily have been
transferred to a country that does do business with Iran, and
that could have put the money in a bank account. That was not
There is only one purpose for which cash in that amount is
useful, and that is to do what Iran has been doing around the
world, which is acting as a sponsor of terrorism. It is not
useful for infrastructure projects, which we were told are very
much the concern of the Iranians because of their economy.
Iranians do not pay Iranians in euros and Swiss francs. As far
as purchasing equipment overseas, paying the money by–paying
money that was transferred to Iran, out of Iran, in cash, is
not the most economical or the most convenient way to pay for
equipment that you need in connection with infrastructure
projects. That is much easier to do in a bank account.
The only conceivable purpose for this money is to finance
illicit activities, because the cash is untraceable. That is
the reason that the Iranians insisted on it, and why we agreed
to it is something that I think this Committee ought to probe,
because I believe there are no good reasons for having agreed
But of course, Barack Obama and now “the big guy” Joe Biden look suspiciously like two-bit politicians trying to butter both sides of their bread while at the same time taking extraordinary risks with the future of a free America.
But that’s just us, I suppose. Maybe we don’t want some bought pony soldiers giving away taxpayer money to a foreign theocracy. And yeah, maybe we’re still on a slow burn about it.
Various and Sundry
Sundry: adjective “..of various kinds.”
Good news, or bad? IRS set to start sending monthly child tax credit payments in July. Just one more way the government is trying to “push the wet noodle around” and make the economy seem to recover.
Climate Hype the next “big thing.” As you may have seen in the Project Veritas CNN piece, that news operation is already mapping out a long-term climate pander.
Looks to us like Time is going for a pile-on. With stories on their feed today like “The Story Behind TIME’s ‘Climate Is Everything’ Cover.” Hint: It’s not everything. And “The Fight Against Climate Change Is a Fight for People.” Hint: People make climate the way the Sun makes donuts. Let’s throw some sex at it too with “How Educating Girls Will Help Combat the Climate Crisis.” No doubt the LBGTQ+ and racial injustice of climate will be along shortly for the hopelessly gullible.
Grandly wrapping up with “The Pandemic Remade Every Corner of Society. Now It’s the Climate’s Turn.” Hint: Climate has been at bat for millions of years and we’re still here.
Only in an Age of Delusion could people possibly come up with monetizations that miss the BIG solution. Reduce population. But hey, wasn’t that what “the rona” was Round 1 of?
Apologies for Bad Policy: Evidence in CBS’ “New York is spending $2B on undocumented workers. Here’s why.” Flee morally bankrupt New York while you can. Texas is still a free state…
For a While, Anyway. There’s a move in Lone Star land for a new level of state appeals court. And hysterically, some dimmocrats who want to pack the U.S. Supreme court just hate it when a state legislature defangs their pet court. Good article about it in the Texas Tribune. Democrats need not worry because even though 60 percent of Texans support decriminalization of marijuana, the state power mongers can’t get that done. So a new level of Courts? We’d love to be wrong once in a while…
Wife Elaine stayed up a little later than me Monday night. It was a pleasant evening as she stepped out on the screen porch to take one last view of the property. This time of the year, it looks very much like a state park. The grass is still short, leaves are in on most of the trees. And it was still a bright enough twilight she could see down to the trees that run along the creek in the middle of our adjoining land.
As she was taking it all in, she noticed something move.
It wasn’t a deer…too small for that. It turned out to be?
This cat meandered across our small dry creek bed on the left, and then sat for a moment on the grassy field that leads down to the creek. Suddenly, other cats came in – mostly from the east (same path shown here) as somewhere between 9 and 13 feral cats wandered in.
“George, I’ve never seen anything like it. Just like they were all going for a walk together! Mostly, it was single cats – walking in a line – about 8-feet between them. A few were “couples.” But, the most amazing thing was there was no fighting at all. What they were going down to the creek for is beyond me. I watched as long as I could (light was fading) until they all disappeared into the creek bed trees…”
She wasn’t certain, but Zeus, our cat, may have been in the line, too. He was out for the night.
Mind you, we have lived out here in the wilds for coming up on 18-years now and neither one of us has ever seen anything like this. Who has a dozen cats doing a spontaneous purrade for sunset?
We stayed up almost to dark Tuesday and last night. But, no rerun.
Then something began to gnaw at me. Wasn’t there something going on with the Moon and religious events Monday night?
Suddenly, it hit: Monday evening was a major religious holiday. Does this have something to do with feral cats gathering along the creek? Do they sing?
Monday night was smack-dab in the middle of Passover. which this year began at sunset on the 8th of April and ends on the 16th.
(This got me wondering if the cats were Orthodox or Reformed.)
Then another bolt of memory hit:
Ramadan began at sundown Monday. Just as the cats were strolling toward the creek. Do feral cats go on pilgrimages? Muslim cats? Shia cats or Sunni cats?
Or, and I mean this very sincerely and in great respect: do religions – like Islam and Judaism – have their lunar “clockworks” set by ancient traditions that are trans species in nature? Did religious peoples eons ago observe the lunar timings in Nature and conclude we might be well-advised to take heed?
Sounds wild, but is it possible that great religions and teachings comes to us in a circuitous manner? Observing and following periodic behaviors in the Natural world around us? Like this “clowder of cats” Elaine watched?
It’s been interesting. We’ll be trying to remain awake during the evening of the next big religious events. It might be useful to see if this “clockworks” is meaningful more than once…
She felt honored to see it. While for me, it was like the old Buffalo Springfield song. “There’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear…”
Write when you get rich,