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Read this First 05/16/2019

States vs Federal Government.  The Framers of our Constitution and Bill of Rights specifically set out for all powers to belong to the individual, then States, then Federal Government. They did not want some group of power hungry egomaniacs lording over the population. Unfortunately, the Swamp politicians have ignored the Founding Fathers. The Loser media and slimy Swamp creatures talk of a "Constitutional Crisis"that is nothing more than typical party politics.  There is a REAL crisis bubbling between States and the Federal Government.  Some of it is "Hot in the media" and some is not too controversial. Like, POT. Possession or use of Marijuana is unlawful in this country.  Yet, MANY states have written their own laws de-criminalizing it.  They cannot do that.  But, they did.  The Justice Department (if it had the needed funding) could enforce Federal Law and arrest everyone smoking or possessing pot.  Will they ever start enforcing that law? Should they? ..  Same point with "Sanctuary Cities".  They have voted to fight the Federal Government.  In California, their Governor just pardoned several FELONS involved in MURDERS in an ongoing spat over Deportation.  He didn't want the convicted felons deported. Should our Constitution be running the Country? or Rogue Politicians? .... We have an electoral college to make sure that a few, populous states, do not take over the entire country.  The Maine Senate just voted to give their State's electoral votes to the candidate that wins the National Popular vote.  Proponents of this say, "Every vote should matter".  Well, now, if you live in MAINE, your vote does NOT matter.  This movement is, of course, a big push by Democrats because Hilary won the "Popular Vote" and is not President.  Should America elect a President?  Or should a few counties in NY and California elect the President?... The last point in this Rant about Law and Order is the Alabama Abortion Bill.  The Governor signed it into law.  Other Conservative States are expected to follow.  (I archive these Rants so that when I make predictions I can prove I made them BEFORE they happened.  So, here goes.) This Alabama law will certainly be challenged and it (or a similar one in another state) is headed to the Supreme Court at one point. The Fear on the "Left" is that Conservative Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh will vote to overturn Roe vs. Wade.    Here is the thing, "Originalists" like Kavanaugh and Gorsuch are VERY against overturning Supreme Court precedent without a REAL REAL good reason.  If Roe v. Wade is upheld, The "Left" that feared the loss of abortion rights will lean on the Constitution and say, "The Supreme Court Ruled" and try to put this very divisive subject to bed.  My question is this:  Will they do the same with regard to following our Election procedures? Sanctuary Cities?  Federal Drug Laws?  I think we all know the answer is, "NO" .. The question is.. should they?  ..  ... A few other things.. A 74 year old man with a walker asked a woman to be more kind to other passengers on the bus in Las Vegas.  When the bus stopped and the doors opened the woman pushed the man onto the sidewalk. The man died and the woman will now be charged with murder.  They needed bus surveillance tapes to catch her.  A) WTF is WRONG with people.. and B) Why didn't anyone grab this girl or make the bus drive stop until the cops came? ..and C) How many of us (Maybe me, Im not sure) have gotten to the point of "I don't want to be involved" and just mind your business.. or.. take a video instead of helping the man??  Sad stuff...  ..  Over in Dublin, Ireland.  The Mayor is in trouble fordrinking TOO MUCH Guinness. The Guinness Company has always supplied the Mayor's office with kegs of free Guinness.  The Mayor RAN OUT of this year's allotment.  So, Guinness gave him more. THAT ran out. Now, Guinness is charging to replenish his supply for this THIRD time and Dubliners are MAD because it's gonna cost $20,000 tax dollars.  Obviously, the Mayor isn't drinking it himself.  He serves it at official City events. So, you cheap Irishmen.. answer me this: Should he CUT people off? .. I know ONE thing.. I want to go to one of his Parties!!!!  ..... SPORTS:  Remember Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" goal? .. For you Youngsters out there, Maradona became a Legend in Argentina after heading in a Goal in the 1986 World Cup.  There was no "Instant Replay" then.  But, the newspapers had pictures clearly showing the ball missed Maradona's head and he punched it into the goal.  When confronted with the photos, he called it, "The Hand of God".  Well, it wasn't quite as important as a World Cup, but there was a "Hand of God" moment in overtime last night in the SJ Sharks-St. Louis Blues game.  The hand pass was clear in the replay. What was NOT clear was whether it contacted the defensemen's stick.  San Jose wins on a Karlsson goal.  St Louis is FURIOUS.... I say it was a hand pass.  .. NBA: Milwaukee beats Toronto 108-100 to take a 1-0 lead in the "Series to see who gets to lose to Golden State"  .. and GOLF:  The PGA Championship starts today at Bethpage.  Players need to deal with a VERY long course..and the famous NY FANS.  The "prognosticators" and Vegas lines are all favoring the LONG hitters.  Koepka, Johnson, McIlroy. Wouldn't it be great if some short hitter got hot?  Maybe Steve Stricker who just won the SENIOR event last week?  Or Graeme McDowell??  Would be fun.. but I'm not predicting it...  CELEBRIDIOTS:  A Big RIP to "Bruce Willis' tough guy image".  Willis threw out the first pitch at a Phillies game.  He wasn't even on the mound. He was in FRONT of the mound..and he STILL couldn't reach the plate.. He bounced it in!!  Thecrowd booed him, as expected.  C'Mon Bruce!!! ..President Bush fired a STRIKE with Full body armor strapped to himself under his sweatshirt.. in front of 53,000 fans a month after 9/11 !!! HERE  .. Step it UP BRUCE!!! .. Sitcom Queen Heather Locklear is BACK in rehab.  I am glad Heather is NOT listening to Amy Winehouse.  Get better, Heather ... The SI Swimsuit issue "Launch Week" means we get all sorts of pictures and ridiculous "Back Stories" about the models. Please.. PUHHLEEASSEEE..  Ill revise the "SHUT UP AND SING" comment I use for musicians that want to spout their politics to .. Shut up and STAND THERE.. then get photoshopped..  I don't want to hear complaints about the life of a model getting millions to lie on the beach.  Oh, I can ONLY eat an avocado and kale once a day.. BOO HOO.. Do I really need to know how to pronounce Romee Strijd's Name? HERE  .. or do I have to hear Kelsey Meritt whine about how her mom didn't what her posting bikini pictures on Instagram when she was 15? (That's called GOOD PARENTING, Kelsey !!!) . You should THANK her for protecting you from creepy freaksand rant writers!!   Also, thank her for letting you into her GENE POOL.  That is ALLLLLL GENE Pool working there, Kelsy!!!! .. Don't even TRY to pretend you "Worked Hard" to look like THIS HERE   So, Say it with me, Kelsey:  GENE POOL. GENE POOL.  RAJ TUB!!! . ..


U.S. stock index futures are on edge once again, flipping between red and green overnight, as the Trump administration delivered a one-two punch to China's Huawei Technologies. A ban was announced that will bar the firm from buying vital U.S. technology without special approval and effectively prohibits its equipment from U.S. telecom networks on national security grounds. Speculation as to whether China would dump its U.S. debt as a trade war weapon was also renewed as Beijing sold the most Treasurys in almost 2.5 years in March, offloading $20.45B and taking the country's total holdings to $1.12T.

Some relief was seen yesterday as the Dow closed up another 116 points as multiple sources revealed that President Trump planned to postpone European auto tariffs by up to six months ahead of a Friday midnight deadline. Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said the U.S. was "close to an understanding" with Canada and Mexico on resolving steel and aluminum tariffs that were not resolved during negotiations over their new trade agreement. Key lawmakers have signaled they would not vote for USMCA unless the levies were removed.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.ABRK.B) said it owned 483,300 shares of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) as of March 31, a stake worth more than $900M based on the company's closing price on Wednesday of $1,871.15. Berkshire further increased its holdings of JPMorgan (JPM) and Red Hat (NYSE:RH), while reducing its bets on Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC). Some of the highest-profile U.S. hedge funds, like Tiger Global and T. Rowe Price (NASDAQ:TROW), also fell back in love with FAANGs in the first quarter, according to regulatory filings.

The stakes are high for Walmart (NYSE:WMT) this morning as it reveals its battles for a piece of the e-commerce pie, with recent reports suggesting the company was making progress on this front as well as winning more share in grocery. Investors will also be watching out for guidance on the economy and consumer demand, as the threat from Chinese tariffs and resultant price increases loom large. Last year was a tough one for Walmart, with many worrying that the retail giant was paying too dearly for growth as it battled Amazon (AMZN).

According to Yonhap, Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) is now testing the units with mobile carriers in South Korea after fixing several key issues. It has integrated the display's protective layer inside the screen to prevent people from tearing it off and has filled a gap near the hinge to avoid debris from getting inside the device and damaging components. Samsung had to eventually cancel all pre-orders of the device and postpone its launch, but Galaxy Fold is now set to hit the market in June.

U.S. Federal Judge Paul Grimm has ordered the FDA to begin its review of e-cigarettes, calling the agency's delay "so extreme as to amount to an abdication of its statutory responsibilities." FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb - who departed last month - previously ruled that e-cig manufacturers would not have to submit their products for review until 2021, saying more time is needed to prepare for regulation. Separately, North Carolina's attorney general has announced the first state lawsuit against Juul (JUUL), which dominates the U.S. vaping market, saying, "we cannot allow another generation of young people to become addicted to nicotine."

The financial industry has been hit with billions of euros in fines worldwide in the last decade for manipulating key benchmarks. This morning saw the latest penalties from EU antitrust regulators, which fined Barclays (NYSE:BCS), Citigroup (NYSE:C), JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Mitsubishi UFJ Financial (NYSE:MUFG) and Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS) a total of €1.07B for rigging the spot foreign exchange market for 11 currencies. Swiss peer UBS (NYSE:UBS) was not penalized as it alerted the two cartels to the European Commission.

The U.S. planemaker received some rough treatment yesterday at a hearing of the House aviation subcommittee, whose chairman said the FAA has a "credibility problem" with its safety certification of the 737 MAX. Acting FAA chief Dan Elwell expects Boeing (NYSE:BA) to submit a software fix in the "next week or so" and is concerned by its lengthy delay in disclosing the anomaly. He also said Boeing should not have waited 13 months to tell the FAA that it inadvertently made an alarm alerting pilots to a mismatch of flight data optional on the MAX, instead of standard as on earlier 737s.

What else is happening...

Contributor Ploutos discusses yield curve inversions, while Avi Gilburt asks if "bonds are warning us."

GE (NYSE:GEneeds more time for power-plant unit to recover.

PG&E (NYSE:PCG) blamed for deadliest wildfire in California history.

High winds lead SpaceX (SPACE) to postpone Starlink launch.

T. Rowe Price (TROWsells most of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) stake; EV maker boosts jobs in NY.

New coalition of CEOs pushes Congress for climate action.

WeWork (VWORKurges investors to see losses as "investments."

After Impossible Whopper, Burger King (NYSE:QSRintroduces the Traffic Jam Whopper.

Nestle (OTCPK:NSRGY) in talks over $10B sale of skin health unit.

Wednesday's Key Earnings

Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) +1.6% returning to robust growth. Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) +2.8% AH giving strong revenue guidance. Macy's (NYSE:M) -0.5% as negative sentiment shadowed results.

Today's Markets 

In Asia, Japan -0.6%. Hong Kong flat. China +0.6%. India +0.4%.  In Europe, at midday, London -0.2%. Paris -0.2%. Frankfurt -0.1%.  Futures at 6:20, Dow +0.1%. S&P +0.1%. Nasdaq -0.2%. Crude +0.7% to $62.48. Gold +0.2% to $1295.70.   Ten-year Treasury Yield -1 bps to 2.37%

Today's Economic Calendar


Roger “Raj”  Searing

"Raj Searing”, "Read this First", and “” are Trademarks of RRRAJ, LLC.  All Rights Reserved.


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