Good News (For Republicans): Warren Supports Kamala Harris If Biden Drops Out

Good News (For Republicans): Warren Supports Kamala Harris If Biden Drops Out

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

Here’s a bit of good news for Republicans, courtesy of Elizabeth Warren. If Biden drops out, Harris is likely the worst candidate Democrats could reasonably field.

Big Swift Kick in the Pants

My mom frequently stated so-and-so “needs a big swift kick in the pants”. She added the words “big swift”.

I looked up the phrase “kick in the pants” but cannot find the origin. I found discussion of kick in the pants and swift kick in the pants but not big swift kick in the pants.

A Really Big Decision Says Elizabeth Warren

The Wall Street Journal reports Warren Signals Support for Harris if Biden Drops Out

Harris is ready to “step up” and “unite the party to take on Donald Trump,” Elizabeth Warren, the senator from Massachusetts, said Saturday on MSNBC. Warren vouched for Harris as a crusader against big banks and heralded her efforts to protect abortion rights. 

“Look if you’re running against a convicted felon, then a prosecutor like Kamala is really a good person to make that case,” Warren said, referring to Harris’s previous roles as California’s attorney general and San Francisco’s district attorney.

Warren’s remarks—along with the other comments from Democrats backing Harris—offer a public glimpse into the extent to which party leaders are already positioning for the possibility of Biden stepping aside. It remains an open question whether Biden would push for Harris to replace him or favor a more open contest that some Democrats worry could become a nasty free-for-all.

In her Saturday remarks, Warren said for the first time that Biden “has a really big decision to make” about his candidacy, a phrase that has become something of a calling card for Democrats looking to gently nudge Biden out of the race.

Big Donors Appalled

It appears Warren prefers the “gentle nudge” tactic over the “big swift kick” theory.

Mom would not approve. Nor do big Democrat donors who are appalled by any loyalist enthusiasm for either Biden or Harris.

I commented on donors earlier in Kamala Hangs Up on Donors, 12 More Democrats Ask Biden Drop Out

A growing tide of Democrats including Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio ask Biden to step aside. Kamala Harris huddles with donors on a phone call then hangs up on them.

Also Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris defended Biden during a contentious call with Democratic donors at a time when wealthy financiers feel misled by the president and are vowing to not give money to his campaign. The call abruptly ended before Harris would field any donor questions.

On the Friday donor call, Harris and others tried to tamp down a growing revolt. Harris didn’t take questions. When donors tried to speak, the organizer quickly ended the call.

Here are some additional amusing details on that donor call from the New York Times.

Call With Harris Fails to Reassure Donors

Please consider Call With Harris Struggles to Reassure Major Democratic Donors

Vice President Kamala Harris tried to buck up the Democratic Party’s biggest donors on Friday, telling about 300 of them that there was little to worry about in President Biden’s campaign.

“I will start by sharing something with all of you,” Ms. Harris told the donors, according to a listener on the call who described her remarks on the condition of anonymity, “something I believe in my heart of hearts. It is something I feel strongly you should all hear and should take with you when you leave. And tell your friends, too. We are going to win this election.”

“Not surprisingly, there was no news generated on this call, and instead, it was a pitch for donors to continue to invest in groups on the ground who are working to defeat Donald Trump,” read an email from Corridor Partners, which advises donors focused on climate issues.

The email, which was viewed by The New York Times, added, “The call was not productive, and we wanted to apologize to each of you who joined for sharing that invitation.”

After Ms. Harris stopped speaking, according to three listeners, one participant who was unmuted could be overheard calling the entire call “ludicrous.”

Epic Infighting

Infighting among democrats has reached epic levels to the point backers are labeling a pep talk by Harris as ludicrous. What a hoot.

The democrats cannot unite against Trump as long as they are hopelessly split into two major factions.

Two Factions

  • Progressive Loyalists: This faction includes President Biden, Elizabeth Warren, AOC, and the Congressional Black Caucus. The loyalists are further split into two camps. Those who are openly loyal to Biden and those who support a gentle nudge but only to Harris.

  • Open Conventionists: This faction is led by donors plus a growing number of Congressional Democrats who prefer an open convention and a better shot at winning than going down with the loyalist ship.

Democrat Clown Show

Many Congressional cowards are standing in the middle of this sinking ship unwilling to take a stand until they see which way the ship rolls over.

The liberal media also wants to push out Biden. That is something the Democrats have never before witnessed.

Adding to the comedy, Republicans are hoping the Biden loyalists win because either Biden or Harris would be easier to defeat than some potential candidates if there were to be an open convention.

Nate Silver Blasts the 538 Election Forecast, His Previous Site

I discussed other candidates including Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in Nate Silver Blasts the 538 Election Forecast, His Previous Site

I caution, this election is not over.

75 percent ≠ 100 percent. Few seem to understand the importance of that mathematical fact.

The best chances for Republicans are if Biden can hang on until until the bitter end, and second, if Biden is replaced by Harris. Regarding the latter, the later the better.

An open convention would give Democrats the best shot. Ironically, the DNC seems hell bent on preventing that outcome.

Meanwhile, the comedy show proceeds.

Tyler Durden
Sun, 07/21/2024 – 10:30

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Biden Has Four Options – Which One Will He Choose?

Biden Has Four Options – Which One Will He Choose?

Authored by Robert Spencer via,

It’s looking increasingly as if Old Joe Biden is coming to the end of his disastrous reign as the figurehead of the most America-Last, authoritarian administration this country has ever suffered, but even as speculation mounts that we have entered the last period of Biden misrule, there is no clarity about what will happen or if anything will happen at all. The increasingly dementia-ridden kleptocrat has four options. Which one he will choose, however, or which will be chosen for him, is anybody’s guess.

The writing was on the wall for Old Joe when former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Smirnoff), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-Grillmaster), and finally the patron saint of the Democrat Party, Barack Hussein Obama himself, told Biden that it was time for him to shuffle haltingly off the stage. This brought to mind the storied final days of the presidency of the only man to resign the office, Richard M. Nixon. 

On Aug. 7, 1974, U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.), the pioneering conservative who was ten years removed from his shellacking in the 1964 presidential election and who had become a respected figure among even Republicans who had abhorred his presidential candidacy, went up to see the besieged Nixon in the White House. With Goldwater were House Minority Leader John Rhodes (R-Ariz.) and Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott (R-Pa.).

This trio had bad news for the man who had carried 49 states in 1972 but since then had faced increasingly shrill and damaging accusations regarding the break-in of Democrat headquarters at Washington’s Watergate hotel during the 1972 campaign, and the subsequent cover-up of the break-in. Goldwater, Rhodes, and Scott told Nixon that his congressional support had diminished to the point that impeachment was certain and conviction and removal from office likely.

Nixon took them seriously. On the evening of Aug. 8, he announced that he would resign the presidency, effective at noon the next day.

That’s one possibility: Pelosi, Schumer, and Obama are this generation’s Goldwater, Rhodes and Scott, and Old Joe will resign the presidency. Biden, however, unlike Nixon, does not face impeachment proceedings and the possibility of removal from office after a conviction.

That means that despite his obvious inability to perform the duties of his office, Biden may be allowed to stay on as president until Jan. 20, 2025, and simply announce that he is not running for reelection.

That option may allow the world’s most famous dementia sufferer to save face, but it is risky. It would mean that Biden would continue to display his cognitive decline to a watching world all through the presidential campaign, regularly reminding the electorate that the political and media elites gaslighted us for over three years about Biden’s condition. That’s a bad look for a party that faces a challenge from a man who just got shot in the head and jumped up and told his followers to fight.

And so Old Joe, if he digs in his heels, could be forced out of office by means of the 25th Amendment. There are signs that the Democrats have planned for this possibility for a long time. Back in Oct. 2020, remember, Pelosi promoted a bill that would have created a bipartisan commission to determine, along with the vice president, that the president was unfit to serve. When Trump protested, Pelosi insisted that the measure was “not about President Trump,” but about some hypothetical future president. Were the Democrats planning to have a mechanism in place in order to get rid of Old Joe, who wasn’t exactly sharp as a tack even in 2020?

In any case, the 25th Amendment has never been invoked. Doing so would draw a good deal of attention away from the Democrats’ shiny new nominee. Party apparatchiks would much rather that Old Joe leave quietly, something he has vehemently refused to do up until recently. That is the old liar’s fourth option: he could refuse all entreaties and insist on staying on as president even at the risk of taking the Democrat party down in flames with him in November. 

It is by no means clear, however, that such a choice is even his to make.

Throughout his presidency, Biden has made it clear that he is not his own man: he has spoken more than once about “getting in trouble” with unnamed people if he departs from the prepared script.

Is he in trouble with those people now?

Will they force him out of the presidency?

The world waits.   

Tyler Durden
Sun, 07/21/2024 – 09:20

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German State Cuts Benefits For ‘Lazy’ Migrants

German State Cuts Benefits For ‘Lazy’ Migrants

With more than half of German welfare payments going to foreign migrants, the state of Saxony-Anhalt has cut the benefits of asylum seekers who refused to pick up debris following heavy flooding in east Germany.

The Daily Mail reports that 64 migrants had been written to by local authorities demanding they help clear rubbish and erect dykes after devastating floods in the area at the end of last year which saw hundreds of residents in parts of Germany forced to evacuate.

39 people agreed to help, while the rest, who are said to be from SyriaAfghanistan, Niger, Mali and Albania, failed to turn up.

The district council has now declared that the 15 asylum seekers who had no excuse to take part in the clean-up will have their asylum benefits cut in half to €232 (£195) a month for three months.

According to the Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act in Germany, if community service is refused without reason, the right to benefits is limited.

This comes just a week after Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann said he was in favor of cutting social benefits for asylum seekers who enter Germany via another EU country.

“The Dublin system applies, according to which the EU state in which a refugee entered the EU is responsible for him. But many still come to Germany,” he said.

Asylum seekers are already entitled to support in the country when they first enter.

“They cannot expect to live off the solidarity of people here if they do not want to return,” he stressed.

“That is certainly controversial, but we must continue to address these pull factors that are currently attracting too many people to us irregularly,” he added. 

This comes as Germany struggles to manage the massive wave of so-called asylum seekers (as we previously highlighted, statistics also show that around 6 out of 10 violent crimes in Germany are committed by foreign migrants) while also appeasing a growing proportion of voters who recognize that perhaps ‘diversity is not our strength’ after all, driving support for the AfD party (and its anti-immigrant policies).

Tyler Durden
Sun, 07/21/2024 – 08:45

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Kenyan Soldiers Begin Patrols In Haiti In American Armored Vehicles

Kenyan Soldiers Begin Patrols In Haiti In American Armored Vehicles

Authored by Kyle Anzalone via The Libertarian Institute,

Hundreds of Kenyan soldiers deployed to Haiti have begun patrolling the streets around key government installations. Gunfire was heard during the operation and an American armored vehicle broke down. 

This week, Kenyan soldiers in American MRAP vehicles patrolled the streets of Port au Prince near the National Palace. The troops are in Haiti on a UN Security Council-endorsed mission to take control of the capital city from armed groups

In recent years, gangs have seized, from the government, a growing portion of Port au Prince. The situation worsened after the US-backed Ariel Henry’s ascension to power following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2021. Henry recently agreed to hand over control of Haiti at the White House’s urging. Gangs currently control 80% of Port au Prince

For the Kenyan soldiers, the first patrols in Port au Prince were not uneventful. Scores of gunshots were reported, and Haitian journalist Windy Phele posted a video on X showing one of the armored vehicles getting towed

After months of delays, hundreds of Kenyan soldiers arrived in Haiti during recent weeks. The Kenyan operations in Haiti – dubbed a policing mission – are supported and funded by the US.  

The new US-backed government in Haiti, led by Prime Minister Garry Conille, issued a series of decrees empowering the Kenyan soldiers to target the armed Haitian groups.

This “will allow the government to have the necessary tools and instruments to act, confront the bandits and restore the authority of the state.”

He added, “The final objective is to take back all the areas that are controlled by the gangs, house by house, neighborhood by neighborhood, and city by city.”

Tyler Durden
Sun, 07/21/2024 – 08:10

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‘A Total Failure’ – Donors Vent Over Kamala Harris Conference-Call Flop

‘A Total Failure’ – Donors Vent Over Kamala Harris Conference-Call Flop

Major Democratic donors who joined a conference call starring Vice President Kamala Harris say the event’s sloppy organization and scolding tone left them feeling unimpressed and insulted, NBC News has reported. 

“It was a total failure. It was damaging. It was poor planning,” said one. Another called it “ludicrous.” It was also described as “mismanaged and rushed.” 

The Friday call with about 300 heavy-hitter donors kicked off with reports from field organizers, who used their time to vent anger over the intra-party battle over whether Biden should be replaced atop the ticket, owing to plunging confidence in his mental health.  

One participant described how organizers stalled to buy time while everyone waited for Harris to join the call 20 minutes after it started. During that stretch, the donors were “admonished” against agitating to replace Biden, and were instructed to “lock in and get behind” the faltering and frail 81-year-old. 

Big donors pushing for Biden to leave the race want to look at options other than Kamala Harris 

According to a transcript obtained by NBC, Melissa Morales, the founder of Somos Votantes, a voter outreach group targeting Latinos, was one of those instructing donors to fall in line: 

“It’s time to stop the leaks and the rampant rumors. Your message has been heard and received. But every day that we continue this publicly chaotic conversation, we come closer to a loss — no matter who the nominee is.”

As you can imagine, that kind of tone didn’t set well with many in the audience who’ve committed big money to the campaign and the party. “These are donors who are not used to getting admonished and told what to do,” said one of NBC’s sources who’d heard the call. 

Many of those donors went into the call expecting to receive insider insights on how the party was going to recover from the devastating impact of Biden’s June 27 debate performance and the ongoing, damaging battle over the looming nomination. They instead received the “bad-cop/good-cop” treatment — first scolded for their lack of faith in Biden and then given a pep talk from Harris: 

“We know which candidate in this election puts the American people first: Our President, Joe Biden. With every decision he makes in the Oval Office, he thinks about how it will impact working Americans. And I witness it every day.”

“Something I believe in my heart of hearts. It is something I feel strongly you should all hear and should take with you when you leave. And tell your friends too. We are going to win this election. We are going to win.”

Her rah-rah remarks came on the same day that saw a record number of federal lawmakers — 11 — step forward to join others who’d already urged Biden to abandon his re-election bid. One of them was Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown. The chair of the Senate Finance Committee, he’s the highest-ranking member of Congress to publicly tell Biden to give up. Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries have privately encouraged Biden to quit, as has former Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  

Given the reviews, the call seems unlikely to jostle new money out of donors who’ve grown increasingly reluctant to throw money at what appears to be a doomed campaign. Some are withholding money not only from the presidential campaign, but from congressional candidates too, whose prospects are diminished by having Biden as the standard-bearer.  The Biden-Harris hoped to rake in $50 million from big donors in July, but is only on pace to hit half that, Reuters reported Friday. 

With no faith in either half of the Biden-Harris ticket, major donors are taking matters into their own hands. One group is bankrolling — independent of the Democratic National Committee — a process to start vetting potential successors to Biden, according to Washington Post sources. Among the names being bounced around: Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly.

Meanwhile, as he completes his allegedly Covid-triggered convalescence in Delaware, Biden’s campaign is reportedly considering rushing him back on the campaign trail, with trips to Georgia and Texas under consideration. Get ready for another string of video “highlights” demonstrating that he’s neither fit to run nor govern.  

Tyler Durden
Sun, 07/21/2024 – 07:35

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The EU’s Planned Transformation Into A Military Union Is A Federalist Power Play

The EU’s Planned Transformation Into A Military Union Is A Federalist Power Play

Authored by Andrew Korybko via Substack,

Newly reappointed European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen just announced that “it is now time to build a veritable union of defense”, which Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said represents a marked change in priorities that’ll intersect with NATO’s interests. The EU’s planned transformation into a military union is being sold to the public as a response to the protracted Ukrainian Conflict, but it’s really a federalist power play that’s designed to forever entrench German hegemony over the bloc.

That country has sought to federalize the EU for years already, and despite some notable successes in getting member states to surrender significant parts of their sovereignty to Brussels, it’s thus far failed to yield the expected results. This plan might also become more difficult to implement as two new groups have emerged in the European Parliament since the latest elections: the AfD-led “Europe of Sovereign Nations” and the Hungarian-led “Patriots for Europe”, both of which are fiercely against federalization.

The only possible way to push through this agenda in the face of such growing opposition is to double down on anti-Russian fearmongering in the hopes that member states’ ruling liberalglobalist elites will agree to federalize under the pretext of defending against a supposedly impending invasion. It’s not directly stated, but the subtext is that NATO’s American leader couldn’t be relied upon to defend its allies in that event despite repeatedly reaffirming its commitment to Article 5’s mutual defense obligations.

The abovementioned fears can’t be voiced aloud since the prior expression of such concerns was earlier smeared by the Mainstream Media as so-called “Russian propaganda”, but they might become more strongly implied as the US’ upcoming presidential elections approach. Trump’s reported plan for NATO, which readers can learn more about in detail here, calls for coercing members into raising their defense spending and assuming more responsibility for their immediate security interests vis-à-vis Russia.

The preceding hyperlinked analysis argues that it’s already being partially implemented by the Biden Administration as proven by Germany’s “Fortress Europe” concept, which amounts to it becoming the continent’s military powerhouse with full US support so as to facilitate America’s “Pivot (back) to Asia”. Late January’s “military Schengen”, last month’s “EU defense line”, and this month’s agreement to assume partial responsibility for Poland’s border security are the most significant developments thus far.

The next step is to consolidate Germany’s military-strategic gains over the past half-year through von der Leyen’s call for a military union, which would see German-controlled Brussels organizing the bloc’s military-industrial needs across its 27 members, thus moving them closer to de facto federalization. Upon surrendering sovereignty over military policymaking, which some of them have proudly protected up until now, every other aspect of federalization would quickly fall into place shortly afterwards.

That’s why it’s incumbent on the European Parliament’s two newly formed conservative-nationalist groups to do their utmost within that body and inside their members’ home countries to prevent their ruling liberal-globalist elites from going along with von der Leyen’s military union plans.

Their countries’ futures are on the line and they’ll either retain some of their sovereignty, however imperfect and partial it presently is, or lose it all and end up as a nondescript state in a German-led European Federation.

Tyler Durden
Sun, 07/21/2024 – 07:00

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COVID Social Distancing Linked To Newborn Mortality And Preterm Births, Study Finds

COVID Social Distancing Linked To Newborn Mortality And Preterm Births, Study Finds

Authored by Marina Zhang via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Pandemic social distancing is linked to higher rates of preterm births and newborn deaths within one to two months, according to a new study.

(Alena Ozerova/Shutterstock)

In a study published Thursday in JAMA Network Open, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) evaluated over 18 million births in Alabama from 2016 to 2020, comparing prepandemic years to the period after officials enacted public health restrictions in March 2020.

The link was not immediately apparent. However, when researchers examined neonatal mortality and preterm rates two months after social distancing was implemented in the population, they found a link between the population’s social distancing behavior and neonatal mortality and preterm births. The neonatal period includes the first four weeks of a baby’s life.

The study evaluated the “unanticipated effects” of social distancing on infant health outcomes, senior study author Dr. Vivek Shukla, a neonatologist and assistant professor in the UAB Division of Neonatology, told The Epoch Times via email.

The clinician-researcher said that more research is needed to get a more nuanced understanding of these associations.

This study shows that, on a population level, there might be delayed effects of health interventions,” he said. “Sometimes the effects of measures are not evident on the first day the measures are implemented.”

He added that the study only evaluated how social behavior might have related to health outcomes and did not examine how COVID-19 infections could affect a mother and her child.

Fewer Prenatal Visits

The authors said that their findings may be related to disrupted prenatal care and pregnancy complications.

They observed that during the pandemic, there were fewer prenatal visits and medical checkups during pregnancy, which may have been linked to social distancing behaviors in the population.

“These appointments are important to catch and address complications that could be life-threatening to both mom and baby,” co-author Dr. Rachel Sinkey, an associate professor in the UAB Division of Maternal–Fetal Medicine, said in a press release.

According to the American Medical Association, 81 percent of physicians surveyed in July and August 2020 reported providing fewer in-person visits than before the pandemic. The average number of in-person visits fell from 95 to 57 per week.

Additionally, disease rates, including gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, and induction of labor, as well as neonatal intensive-care unit (ICU) admission, were higher during the pandemic.

The study found that neonatal mortality rates were generally lower throughout the 2020 pandemic period, but there were slight increases in neonatal mortality and preterm births after the population became more adherent to social distancing practices.

“COVID-19 affected the health care systems globally, and many lives were lost; it is important to learn from this experience to prepare better for possible future health crises,” said Dr. Shukla.

“We need to understand how changes in health behavior affected outcomes, whether people had limited access to care or healthy habits were altered.”

Further Research Needed

Since the study is only observational, no causal conclusions can be drawn from its findings.

“The results indicate a need for more in-depth studies on the unintended effects of pandemic-related health behavior changes,” Dr. Shukla said.

Tyler Durden
Sat, 07/20/2024 – 22:10

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These Are America’s Biggest Gambling States

These Are America’s Biggest Gambling States

In 2023, the “commercial gaming industry” which includes casinos and sports betting services collectively earned more than $66 billion, a 10% jump from 2022.

In the following graphic, Visual Capitalist’s Marcus Lu ranks the top 10 U.S. states by the amount consumers spent on gambling in 2023.

Data for this graphic and article is sourced from the American Gaming Association.

Which State Has the Highest Gambling Spend?

Unsurprisingly, Nevada attracts the most gambling spending in the country at $15 billion. However, Pennsylvania and New Jersey both saw over $5 billion spent in 2023.

The top 10 states collectively accounted for 74% of America’s total gambling spending in 2023.

Rank State 2023 Revenue YoY Change
1 Nevada $15.5B +5%
2 Pennsylvania $5.9B +10%
3 New Jersey $5.8B +11%
4 New York $4.7B +12%
5 Michigan $3.6B +10%
6 Ohio $3.3B +42%
7 Indiana $2.8B -2%
8 Louisiana $2.7B +4%
9 Illinois $2.5B +18%
10 Maryland $2.5B +14%
11 Mississippi $2.5B -4%
12 Iowa $1.9B +1%
13 Missouri $1.9B +1%
14 Massachusetts $1.7B +47%
15 Colorado $1.5B +5%
16 Virginia $1.1B +98%
17 West Virginia $806M +7%
18 Rhode Island $708M +3%
19 Florida $691M 0%
20 Arkansas $687M +12%
21 Kansas $588M +23%
22 Connecticut $580M +39%
23 Arizona $557M +15%
24 Delaware $507M +3%
25 Tennessee $458M +21%
26 New Mexico $271M +3%
27 Maine $175M +6%
28 Oklahoma $151M 0%
29 South Dakota $148M +3%
30 Kentucky $112M N/A
N/A U.S. $66.7B +10%

Note: Figures rounded.

The American Gaming Association notes that the commercial gaming industry grew in 32 of the 36 states they cover in their report. Only Washington D.C., Florida, Indiana and Mississippi saw their gambling spending contract.

Meanwhile, Kentucky legalized sports betting in 2023, (full casinos are still illegal) and immediately saw more than $100 million spent in the year. Ohio, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and Maine also legalized sports betting last year.

Land-based “traditional” casinos also had a bumper year, attracting nearly $50 billion in gambling spending, up 3% compared to 2022.

The gambling industry’s revenues have only been growing in the last few years. Access to platforms through smartphones, the 2018 Supreme Court decision that removed restrictions on sports betting, and the pandemic, have all contributed.

Experts point out that while gambling is “a terrible get-rich-quick scheme for individuals,” it’s a “much better one for states.” Nevada, a state with little in natural resources, is a prime example.

If you enjoyed this article, check out Visualizing the Tax Burden of Every U.S. State which measures the percent of an average person’s income paid towards local taxes.

Tyler Durden
Sat, 07/20/2024 – 21:35

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Top US General Laments ‘Failure’ Of Yemen Operations As Putin Mulls Arming Houthis

Top US General Laments ‘Failure’ Of Yemen Operations As Putin Mulls Arming Houthis

Via Middle East Eye

The top US commander in the Middle East warned Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin that the US’s operations against Houthi fighters in Yemen are “failing” to deter the Iran-backed group from attacking international shipping, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

In a classified letter, General Michael Erik Kurilla, the head of US Central Command (Centcom), suggested the US should take a more forceful approach against the Houthis, the report said. The letter comes amid fears that Red Sea tensions could draw in Russia

The WSJ cited an exclusive article published by Middle East Eye last month which revealed US intelligence agencies learned Russian President Vladimir Putin has mulled arming Yemen’s Houthis with anti-ship cruise missiles.

US Navy/DoD file image

MEE revealed that Putin was dissuaded from the move by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. “Putin engaged Mohammed bin Salman who requested them (Russia) not to pursue the arrangement,” the senior US official previously told MEE.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Biden administration still believes Putin could pursue the arrangement and is confidently trying to stop Russia from arming the Houthis.

Fears about the Houthis’ access to potentially more sophisticated weapons are likely to grow, following a drone attack on Tel Aviv on Monday that killed one person and injured several others. The Houthis claimed responsibility for the strike.

Ukraine and Red Sea

Russia’s deliberations to step up its involvement adds a new dimension to the conflict. Moscow is upset with US and European military support for Ukraine. Putin said last month that Russia is considering providing long-range missiles to third countries to hit the assets of Nato countries.

“There is a connection between Russia’s war on Ukraine and the Red Sea,” General Frank Mckenzie, the retired commander of US Central Command, told MEE.

But aiding the Houthis is not straightforward for Moscow, which enjoys good ties to Sunni Gulf monarchies and Iran, the Houthis main foreign backer. Saudi Arabia and the UAE launched a campaign against the Houthis after Yemen descended into civil war in 2014 amid concerns a Houthi takeover of Yemen would install Tehran’s partners at their borders.

The Saudi-led coalition launched thousands of air strikes on Yemen which failed to dislodge the Houthis but resulted in thousands of civilian deaths and a major humanitarian crisis. The Houthis responded by lobbing missiles and drones at civilian infrastructure in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Since 2022, an uneasy truce has held between the Houthis and Saudi-backed forces, but Gulf states are alarmed about rising tensions in the Red Sea. The Houthis began attacking commercial ships in November, in what they said was in solidarity with besieged Palestinians in Gaza.

List of new Houthi targets

The attacks have upended global trade, forcing shipping companies plying goods between Europe and Asia to take a circuitous route around Africa to avoid Houthi attacks.

The Houthis have also struck at the core of the US’s great power projection in the region: protecting sea lanes of communication. In January, the US began striking Houthi positions in response to the attacks. MEE reported previously that Houthi fighters have been tapping commercially available maritime intelligence to draw up their target lists in the Red Sea.

The Houthis have at times hit vessels linked to Russia and Iran, but the group has promised the countries safe passage and has made a point of trying to avoid hitting their vessels, analysts and former maritime officials told MEE.

But former senior US officials who spoke to MEE said that within defense circles, there have been complaints that the Biden administration has restricted the US’s ability to hit the Houthis.

The WSJ reported that Kurilla warned in his letter that “US service members will die if we continue going this way”, as he argued for a more forceful response to Houthi attacks. The report said that Centcom has been instructed to draw up a list of expanded targets, including specific Houthi fighters.

Houthi attacks died down during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, but as fighting between Hezbollah and Israel intensified in June, they have increased.

Tyler Durden
Sat, 07/20/2024 – 21:00

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US-Japan Patriot Missile Production Hits Snag On Shortage Of Boeing Part 

US-Japan Patriot Missile Production Hits Snag On Shortage Of Boeing Part 

It has become apparent since the Russian invasion and resulting multi-year war in Ukraine that America’s stockpiles of ammunition, from shells to missiles, have been dangerously depleted, and there is a massive need to upgrade and expand weapon production capacity domestically and abroad in allied nations as the world quickly fractures into an uncertain and dangerous multi-polar state.

This munitions deficiency endangers the US’ ability to fight future wars, and American dominance under the elderly President Biden has greatly suffered. Ronald Reagan would have been disgusted by Biden’s disastrous foreign policy moves, which have only stoked more chaos worldwide. 

If Trump becomes president for the second time, he will likely restore a sense of American dominance and exceptionalism. This means modernizing America’s Armed Forces and, most importantly, ensuring the West has enough munitions and warfighting capabilities for future wars. 

However, a new Reuters report suggests that production snags have already been developed in Japan to boost the production of Patriot air defense missiles.

Sources say supply chain woes have made it challenging for Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to boost Patriot missile production from 30 to 60 per year under a license from defense contractor Lockheed Martin. 

This could complicate the US plan to increase Patriot missile production from about 500 yearly to more than 750. Sources say the hold-up in Japan is due to a shortage of a critical component manufactured by Boeing that guides the missile to the target in the final stages of flight. 

“It could take several years before Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is able to raise output” because of the shortage, one of the industry insiders told Reuters. 

Last year, Boeing began expanding the capacity of the seeker technology in the US, with an annual increase of the critical component reaching about 30%. However, the new production lines won’t be operational until 2027. 

“The production snag in Japan shows the challenges Washington faces in plugging industrial help from its global allies into its complex supply chains,” Reuters pointed out.

Tyler Durden
Sat, 07/20/2024 – 20:25

via ZeroHedge News Tyler Durden