Read this First 07/08/2020

Bubonic Plague .. for you youngsters out there that are not taught history anymore.. The Plague is a bacterial infection normally transmitted by fleas that kills up to 90% of those infected if not treated properly. In the 14th Century it wiped out 50 million people in Europe, Asia and Africa. For better context, it killed almost half of Europe's population. The disease is mostly under control accounting for less than 100 deaths a year, now and with medication the fatality rate drops to 10%. Why am I educating you on the topic today? There is an outbreak in Mongolia and Northern China.

Officials in Mongolia raised their health alert level and banned hunting or skinning of animals known to carry the virus. China says the disease was spread by a herder that was infected by eating Marmot. (Which I thought was a cheaper version of Patagonia active wear but is apparently a large "squirrel looking thing" that has fleas). China claims the number of those infected is few and the outbreak is under control. The World Health Organization says they are "working with China and monitoring the situation and there is nothing to worry about" .. Hmm.. Where have I heard THAT before? Should we believe them?

Foreign students are scratching their heads. US Immigration does not give student visas to foreign students taking "online" classes in the USA. This has never been a big issue until now. Harvard announced they will be "Online" for Fall 2020 which means if you're a student from China or India, you have to STAY home. The US said if you have a "hybrid" course (part classroom / part online) you can get your Visa. The problem is their "clarification" over what happens if you start classes and a "Second Wave of Covid" hits in November and the school decides to go 100% online? The US says the Student Visa will immediately be revoked and they will have to return to their country. So, What happens if they cannot get a flight back to Europe because Europe is banning flights from the USA due to "new cases"?? Put the kids in jail? I doubt it.. but who really knows...

COVID Update: The battles continue between the "Sky is Falling" groups and the "Leave us Alone" groups. Some claim the new cases spikes will cause hospital overcrowding and some claim it's not that big a deal. NO ONE has accurate data so claiming predictions might be accurate is foolish.

It's not just Americans that are tired of the isolation. In Serbia, mounted police used teargas and truncheons to disperse a crowd of several thousand protesters gathered outside the Serbian parliament in Belgrade, opposed to the government’s announcement of a new coronavirus lockdown...

Defiant Brazilian President Bolsanaro announced he has tested positive for Covid-19. Bolsanaro has famously downplayed the disease as death counts rise in his country. Bolsanaro says he will take hydroxychloroquine to "cure" his virus. (Ummm.. Dude? I'm pretty sure the study that just deemed that "effective" was to help prevent GETTING Covid. It ain't gonna CURE you.. ) ... He is being sued by the media group that covers him because he stood in front of them yesterday, took off his mask, and told them he had Coronavirus. I wonder how THAT is gonna go. You think any of those media people will ever be seen again? ....

In Florida, Disney World is still planning to open to a limited number of guests on Saturday. Big Risk? Most of the place is "outside" and if they pass out Mickey Masks and hand sanitizer on the rides they should be fine.. but you just KNOW a few cases are gonna slip by...

Texas has stories on both sides of the map. The Governor ordered face masks worn in most areas after a spike in cases. One Mayor says he won't have his police enforce the edict because, "we elected officials have to check our power and not encroach on Constitutional liberties". He said most people are voluntarily wearing masks and, "Im not ordering arrests because someone is standing 5 feet not 6 feet away from the next guy in line" .. In Brooks County, they will ARREST you if you have tested positive and leave your house. Now, THAT is interesting. In NY and LA they let dangerous criminals OUT of prison for fear they would contract the Coronavirus. Brooks County wants to put infected patients IN a jail? Bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see how that works out....

In Da Swamp: The Paycheck Protection Program still has over $120 Billion in it and has been extended so that small businesses that need help can access the money. But, you know what stories the Loser Media is pushing? They released the names of many of the companies that received loans and the Loser Media wants you to know "important" things like Robert DeNiro's hotels got money.. .and Nancy Pelosi's rich husbands companies.. and some Trump subsidiary...and a chain owned by Private Equity... and Blah blah blah.

The whole point of these loans was to keep people getting paychecks. SO WHAT if DeNiro is rich. His hotels and restaurants would have shut and all those employees would be out of work. Who gives a crap what politician's relative or famous person's company got money??? They kept people employed that otherwise would have been fired or furloughed.. That is what it was FOR !!!

President Trump "strongly urged" state and local officials to re-open schools in September. He claims some Governors want to keep schools closed for political reasons and he will push them to open. One thing that doesn't seem to be getting much press is Daycare. If schools do not open fully and the lockdowns are over, a WHOLE LOT of people are not going to be able to go back to work...

WHAT is going ON in Oregon? .. Randy Lee Cooper stole a Land Cruiser and was trying to escape police on a highway when he crashed into a Buick that Kristin Nicole was driving. Turns out Kristin was high and drunk.. and the Buick was STOLEN TOO!! How many crooks are speeding around in stolen cars in Oregon? It can't just be these TWO. The odds of them hitting each other are INSANE!!!

Meanwhile, up the highway in Tacoma, Washington a policeman and his partner are "under investigation" after posting a video on TikTok and saying this: ..."So I come in this morning and was informed there’s going to be a protest to defund the police. Well, that’s fine, I like protests. Except for they requested a police presence, you know, for their safety, at the defund the police event. I sh*t you not". .. The officer is Officer Sam Lopez .. the complaints were filed by some whack-o. Yup!! This is actually happening in AMERICA !!!

SPORTS:

No Bulls for YOU !!!! The annual Feast of San Fermin in Pamplona Spain has CANCELLED the "Running of the Bulls" for the first time in 40 years. The Festival will go on but the pictures and videos from Pamplona are DEFINITELY not the same. (Been there. Done that. Totally Insane experience)..

PGA: The PGA Tour is in Dublin, Ohio for TWO weeks. Because TWO is better than ONE. The Memorial (Jack's Tournament) is NEXT week and they will play the "Workday Charity Open" at Muirfield THIS week. I guess this was a plan to keep the players safe by letting them stay in the same spot for two weeks. If you're thinking, "Aren't the Pros gonna beat the crap out of the course if they play it for two weeks straight" .. you are probably right. But, after the tournaments they are closing the course and tearing it up for a redesign..

NFL: What do you think about the $500 million Patrick Mahomes deal? It's obviously a great deal for him. Mahomes is AMAZING. He wins games and is exciting and puts butts in the seats. But, 10 years? For a professional athlete that spends 16-18 days a year running away from 275 pound linebackers that are trying to tear his head off? .. Do record breaking long term deals like that EVER work out for the team? All I can think of is A-rod.. and Jay Cutler.. and Ilya Kovalchuk and.. on and on.. I hope I'm wrong.. I hope he plays 10 years and wins a bunch of Superbowls.. But ..MAN.. that's a LOONNNNGGG contract...

Philadelphia Eagle Desean Jackson is back peddling faster than if he was covering Odell Beckham Jr... Jackson posted a series of Hitler quotes and anti-semitic rants and was immediately called out by other players and members of the Jewish Community. He is saying that, "anyone that thinks I have hate for the Jewish Community took the posts the wrong way".. Umm.. Well.. Here is the post (Verbatim) .."because white Jews know that the Negros are the real Children of Israel and to keep America's secret the Jews will Blackmail America. They will extort America. Their plan for World Domination won't work if the Negros know who they are". .. I've read that 5 times.. and it still doesn't make much sense.. but the "Jew Plan for World Domination" definitely sounds a TAD RACIST there, DeSean.

CELEBRIDIOTS:

Happy 80th Birthday to Ringo Starr ! The third best drummer in the Beatles.. If you find that disrespectful.. how about this... his birthday was actually yesterday and I forgot it ... Sorry, Mr. Starkey ....

Federal Prisoner #1, Jizz Maxwell, is the "safest prisoner in the country" according to her lawyer. He says, the Feds have cameras everywhere and she has a guard shadow her wherever she goes. Uh.. ok.. but what if the GUARDS are being paid off? I mean some REALLLLLLLY powerful and rich families and regimes have A LOT to lose if she cuts a deal. .. and..

I'd like to mention something that I read.. If Maxwell does NOT cut a deal they say she could face 35 years in prison. 35 years. They put Bernie Madoff in prison for 150 years for robbing people. Rich People. This broad trafficked, raped and helped rape hundreds of girls, many of whom were young teenagers... for YEARS ..and the MAX she faces is 35 years? How is that even possible??? Am I the only one that thinks those sentences are backwards?

Melania book? A former assistant has written a "tell all" book about Melania Trump that is said to have "bombshell" allegations. Really? You're going to tell us she gets mad at Donald all the time? That she is mad at Donald for the affairs? ...That she is a meany for firing you? That she is kind of a dope and only YOU were able to make her look good? What could she say that would SHOCK you? Do any of YOU expect any real "New Bombshell story??" ..

Actor Johnny Depp is in court. No, not divorce court. No, not for drugs. He is suing the UK paper, "The Sun" for harming his reputation by calling him a "wife beater" when he is not. His former wife, Amber Heard, accused him of this in the media during their divorce but Depp claimed its untrue. Depp claims HEARD is he aggressor and the violent one. He played tapes in court where Heard admitting to whacking HIM upside the head. He shared with the court that Heard once pooped in their bed. YUK!!! Real High Class proceeding going on here... His other exes Winona Ryder and Vanessa Paradis are scheduled to testify in the matter. .. Why do I mention this case? Two Reasons.

First, this should happen more in the USA. It would be better for us as a society if it was easier to sue media for spreading false stories and ruining careers. It does happen sometimes... but it should happen more ...

Second, of course, it lets us have a VOTE. Which, I am ALL ABOUT... Power to the PEOPLE. ..and the People are YOU .. So, which of Depp's ex-WAGs from this trial do you pick?? Amber Heard .. HERE ... Winona Ryder ..HERE.. or Vannesa Paradis HERE. ..

From: Seekingalpha.com

U.S. stock index futures are trading cautiously after snapping a five-day winning streak in the previous session amid the latest uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic: Dow -0.2%; S&P -0.1%; Nasdaq +0.1%. "While significant gains in technology stocks kept the market afloat yesterday, even these market darlings capitulated during the afternoon hours today," said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at the Leuthold Group. The COVID-19 outbreak crossed the grim milestone of over 3M confirmed cases on Tuesday as more states reported record numbers of new infections, while Florida faced an impending shortage of ICU hospital beds.

#BoycottFacebook

Organizers of the "Stop Hate for Profit" campaign weren't impressed after meeting with Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) executives on Tuesday. "We had 10 demands and literally we went through the 10 and we didn’t get commitments or timeframes or clear outcomes. We expected specifics, and that's not what we heard," Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt declared. The gathering also included leaders from the NAACP, Color of Change and Free Press. Prior to the meeting, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said the company is "making changes - not for financial reasons or advertiser pressure, but because it is the right thing to do." Go deeper: Facebook accused of 'unkept promises' by the DNC.

Walmart takes on Amazon Prime

Shares of Walmart (NYSE:WMT) soared 7% on Tuesday on reports that the retailer's same-day delivery program, dubbed an "Amazon Prime Killer" by some, is due to launch in July. The service, named Walmart+, is priced at $98 per year and undercuts Amazon Prime (NASDAQ:AMZN) at $119, according to Recode. It will also include video entertainment, as well as other perks like discounts on gas, product deals, reserved delivery and two-hour delivery offers.

Insurer M&A

Allstate (NYSE:ALL) has agreed to acquire National General Holdings (NASDAQ:NGHC) for nearly $4B in cash as the U.S. insurance giant looks to "increase market share in personal property-liability." Shareholders of National General will receive a total of $34.50 a share - comprised of $32 in cash and closing dividends of $2.50 - representing a 69% premium to the stock's closing price on Tuesday. The deal, which includes a breakup fee of $132.5M, will be "accretive to adjusted net income earnings per share and return on equity beginning in the first year," said Allstate CEO Tom Wilson.

Banks ring the PPP register

Small business owners and employees were not the only beneficiaries of the Payment Protection Program. JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) are in line to split between $1.5B-$2.6B in fees for being the conduits of the government aid, according to an analysis of newly released data. The government prioritized speed when it designed the $670B program - betting banks would be able to get huge sums out faster than a federal agency - but that decision also required giving lenders a financial incentive and boosted associated PPP costs. Other banks in line to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in processing fees include Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), Truist (NYSE:TFC), PNC (NYSE:PNC), TD Bank (NYSE:TD), U.S. Bank (NYSE:USB), KeyBank (NYSE:KEY) and Zions (NASDAQ:ZION).

Hard Brexit

Hot topics like Brexit have been buried in the news cycle over the past few months as coronavirus headlines grabbed most of the attention. Not overnight... U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson told German Chancellor Angela Merkel he is prepared to leave the EU without a trade deal if no compromise can be reached over disputes like fishing rights and the influence of European courts on British legislation. What would happen in that case? The U.K. would leave the bloc with the same terms as Australia - no comprehensive trade deal, following default WTO rules and specific agreements for certain goods.

Withdrawal from the World Health Organization

The Trump administration has officially given the required one-year notice for the U.S. to quit the World Health Organization, citing "undue deference to China and failure to provide accurate information about the coronavirus." Responding to the decision, the United Nations Foundation called the move "shortsighted, unnecessary, and unequivocally dangerous amid the greatest public health crisis that Americans and the world have faced in a century." The U.S. is the global health agency's largest single contributor, providing more than $400M in 2019, or around 15% of its total budget.

'Best business in the world'

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) held 245M shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) at the last count in May, making it Apple's second-largest shareholder with about 5.5% ownership of the company's public stock. Given the tech giant's stellar run over the past few months, the Buffett conglomerate now owns more than $91B worth of Apple, comprising 43% of its portfolio, according to The Motley Fool. "Diversification is protection against ignorance," The Oracle once declared. "It makes little sense if you know what you are doing." "I don't think of Apple as a stock. I think of it as our third business," he added, referring to wholly owned subsidiaries Geico and BNSF. "It's probably the best business I know in the world."

7th former eBay employee charged for cyberstalking

A retired police captain who oversaw security operations at eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) is next to be charged in the alleged cyberstalking campaign that targeted a Massachusetts couple who wrote critical content about the company on e-commerce blog, EcommerceBytes. The alleged harassment included sending the couple threatening messages, as well as disturbing deliveries like live cockroaches, a preserved fetal pig and a bloody-pig Halloween mask, along with a funeral wreath and a book on surviving the loss of a spouse. "The events from last year never should have happened, yet it gives us a chance to reflect, to reset and to act," said eBay CEO Jamie Iannone. "Integrity is the foundation of how I work, and as CEO, I will hold our leadership team and all employees to this same standard."

What else is happening...

Trump considers ban on TikTok (BDNCE) in the U.S.

AMC (NYSE:AMC) nears financing deal to avert near-term bankruptcy - WSJ.

Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) fined $150M over Jeffrey Epstein links.

GM (NYSE:GM) rolls Chevrolet Sonic into the auto graveyard.

Space race... Why has Boeing (NYSE:BA) fallen behind SpaceX (SPACE)?

Tuesday's Key Earnings

Levi Strauss (NYSE:LEVI) -4.5% AH reporting a 62% drop in quarterly revenue.

Today's Markets

In Asia, Japan -0.8%. Hong Kong +0.6%. China +1.7%. India -0.9%. In Europe, at midday, London -0.1%. Paris -0.8%. Frankfurt -0.6%. Futures at 6:20, Dow -0.2%. S&P -0.1%. Nasdaq +0.1%. Crude -0.4% to $40.45. Gold +0.3% to $1815.10. Ten-year Treasury Yield flat at 0.65%

Today's Economic Calendar

7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications 10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories 12:15 PM Fed's Bostic: "Federal Reserve's Response to COVID-19" 1:00 PM Results of $29B, 10-Year Note Auction 3:00 PM Consumer Credit


Regards,

Roger “Raj” Searing rajsearing@gmail.com "Raj Searing™”, "Read this First™", "@rajsearing™", "TheRantRoom™" and “TheRantroom.com™” are Trademarks of RRRAJ, LLC. All Rights Reserved-2003.

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