🛣️#MemorialDay Gridlock Alert ⛽️ #GasPrices Down
🏛️#Congress Goes On Memorial Day Vacation Still NO #Debt Deal
🔥#Nasdaq Soars on #Tech, #AI
🕊️#DeSantis Announcement For Pres Has Major Glitch On Twitter
📅Walls Closing In: Trump Trial Scheduled During Pres Campaign
🔥Oath Keepers Founder Sentenced For Jan 6 Capitol Attack
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🛣️Memorial Day Gridlock
The Covid Pandemic is over and people will hit the roads in near record numbers over the Memorial Day weekend.
AAA projects 42.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Memorial Day weekend, a 7% increase over 2022. This year, 2.7 million more people will travel for the unofficial start of summer compared to last year, a sign of what’s to come in the months ahead.
Nearly 3.4 million travelers are expected to fly to their destinations this Memorial Day, that’s an increase of 11% over last year. Air travel over the holiday weekend is projected to exceed pre-pandemic levels, with 170,000 more passengers – or 5.4% more – than in 2019. Despite high ticket prices, demand for flights is skyrocketing.
This Memorial Day weekend could also be the busiest at airports since 2005.
⛽️Gas Prices Pump Lower
Gas prices are down to $3.57 a gallon.
Compare that to one year ago when gasoline crossed a threshold American drivers had never seen before — $5 a gallon.
That’s a 30% drop from last June —so why aren’t consumers celebrating?
🏠HomeSales Thru Roof
April New Home Sales rose to 683-thousand from 656-thousand the prior month, beating expectations from so called “experts”. But, the average rate on the popular 30-year fixed mortgage has crossed over 7% according to Mortgage News Daily.
SitusAMC’s Tim Rood, a GisermanGroup Client breaks it all down to Fox’s Neil Cavuto
Home sellers and builders are seeing a stronger-than-expected business this spring, capitalizing on the recent fall in mortgage rates and the shortage of existing homes for sale.
New-home sales soared to a yearly high in March as purchases leap 9.6%.
Tim Rood, former FannieMae Executive, on Yahoo Finance, FBN's Cavuto and on Scripps News says Housing is the Cinderella Story of the Year:
🔥#Nasdaq Soars on Tech, Dow Higher on Debt Talk Progress
The Tech-heavy Nasdaq pumped 1.7% higher as Nvidia shares surged 27% after the AI manager reported beats on the top and bottom line in the previous quarter.
The Dow higher on reports of progress in Debt Ceiling Talks, and YOUR savings are at stake.
There’s less than a week left until the U.S. government potentially defaults on its $31 trillion-plus debt.
Still Congress left for its Memorial Day weekend recess with some progress but no deal in place to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, as the White House and top Republicans sought to agree on the central issue of government-spending levels.
“We don’t have an agreement yet,” McCarthy told reporters at the White House after the meeting. “But I did feel like the discussion was productive,” he said, adding later that he believed the tone of the talks was “better than any other time we’ve had discussions.”
The President thinks an agreement can be reached with Republicans, “but that it is not certain”. “I can’t guarantee that they wouldn’t force a default by doing something outrageous,” he said.
But hard right factions in the Republican Party and hard left factions in the Democratic Party threaten a compromise.
GisermanGroup Translator: The Debt Ceiling is the maximum amount of money Congress allows the federal government to borrow to cover its bills.
🕊️DeSantis Announcement For Pres Has Major Glitch On Twitter
Ron DeSantis was supposed to announce he is running for president during an audio only discussion with Twitter CEO Elon Musk at 6pmET….BUT the announcement was plagued with glitches. Not a good beginning for the start of DeSantis’ run for President.
“Are we on?” some-one asked at one point before the event was apparently pulled. The audio feed was finally up and running about 20 minutes later and DeSantis got to make his pitch, but the damage was done.
But for the Florida Governor, whose principle pitch to Republicans is being a more competent Donald Trump’, it was a disastrous opening night.
Musk, says he isn’t planning to endorse any candidate but is interested in using Twitter as a kind of public town square.
Donald Trump’s aides have signaled for months that he plans to return to Twitter, his one-time favorite way of communicating, sooner rather than later. Musk already lifted the ban on the former president that was imposed when Twitter was a public company.
📅Walls Closing In: Trump Trial Scheduled During Campaign
Donald Trump threw up his hands in frustration as a judge scheduled his criminal trial for March 25, putting the former president and current candidate in a Manhattan courtroom smack in the middle of next year’s presidential primary season.
Trump, appearing by video conference at a pretrial hearing in the hush-money case, glowered at the camera as the Judge advised him to cancel all other obligations for the duration of the trial, which could last several weeks.
Meantime, E. Jean Carroll filed new court papers seeking “very substantial” monetary damages from Trump for making scathing remarks about her at a CNN town hall a day after the former president lost a $5 million lawsuit to the writer.
Carroll now is seeking $10 million from Trump in damages in her original lawsuit in light of what he said on CNN.
And on another fronT, Trump's lawyers are seeking a meeting with Attorney General Merrick Garland about the classified documents investigation, a request that is often a sign that an indictment is imminent.
🏛️Oath Keepers Founder Sentenced
Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes to 18 years in prison for plotting to forcefully prevent the peaceful transfer of presidential power, capping the seditious-conspiracy case against the far-right group’s leader with the stiffest punishment to date stemming from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.
🎤Queen Of Rock Dead
Queen of Rock, Tina Turner, known for her sultry voice and a string of platinum hits, including ‘Proud Mary’, has died.
The news was confirmed on Turner's official Facebook page.
"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Tina Turner," the statement said on Facebook. "With her music and her boundless passion for life, she enchanted millions of fans around the world and inspired the stars of tomorrow. Today we say goodbye to a dear friend who leaves us all her greatest work: her music. All our heartfelt compassion goes out to her family. Tina, we will miss you dearly."
Turner became one of her era's most enduring female artists, with smash hits like "What's Love Got to Do With It?" and memorable movie appearances.
Rolling Stone once named her "one of the greatest singers of all time."
Tina Turner was 83.
Blacks&Gays Warned Don’t Visit Florida
The NAACP has issued a formal travel advisory for Florida, warning black and LGBTQ people against visiting the state due to Governor Ron DeSantis' policies.
'Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals,' states the advisory issued on Saturday night by the civil rights group.
'Before traveling to Florida, please understand that the state of Florida devalues and marginalizes the contributions of, and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of color,' it adds.
The NAACP said the advisory was 'in direct response' to the Florida governor's 'aggressive attempts to erase black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools.'
🐭The Mouse Bites DeSantis Again
Disney is cancelling plans to relocate thousands of employees to Florida amid its ongoing feud with Governor Ron DeSantis.
Josh D'Amaro, chairman at Disney Parks, told employees the company, which had been building a new campus in the Lake Nona region of Orlando, was now scrapping those plans.
"Given the considerable changes that have occurred since the announcement of this project, including new leadership and changing business conditions, we have decided not to move forward with construction of the campus," D'Amaro wrote.
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott launching his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, but it's being overshadowed by the planned announcement Wednesday by DeSantis. Scott, the Senate's only Black Republican and a conventional faith-and-business conservative in a pre-Trump mold, is polling at 1% to DeSantis' 18% — and former President Donald Trump's 61% — in a May 14 Morning Consult poll.
⏰TikTok Banned In One State
Five TikTok users, who also create content posted on the short-video app, filed suit in US District Court in Montana seeking to block the state’s new ban on the app.
Montana is the first state to enact a complete ban on TikTok after Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte signed the bill scheduled to take effect next January.
The Biden administration is demanding TikTok’s Chinese owners sell their stakes in the video-sharing app or face a U.S. ban.
Matt Hayden Former Cybersecurity Czar at the Department of Homeland Security and a GisermanGroup client on Scripps News says TikTok is dangerous:
🤖New #AI Warnings
The creator of ChatGPT calls for heavy regulation on artificial intelligence technologies that are raising ethical, legal and national security concerns.
Speaking to a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, OpenAI Chief Executive Officer Sam Altman praised the potential of the new technology, which he said could solve humanity’s biggest problems. But he also warned that artificial intelligence is powerful enough to change society in unpredictable ways, and “regulatory intervention by governments will be critical to mitigate the risks.”
“My worst fear is that we, the technology industry, cause significant harm to the world,” Altman said. “If this technology goes wrong, it can go quite wrong.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal underscored that notion during the hearing, playing a convincing but fake recording of his own voice which argued that A.I. cannot be allowed to unfold in an unregulated environment, illustrating a powerful and potentially dangerous use of the technology.
Even some Republicans, who usually oppose expanding the federal government’s role, appeared on board. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina likened A.I. to a nuclear reactor that needs an operating license and regular testing.
🏓PickleBall Coming To YOUR Mall
Pickleball is coming to your local mall, replacing shuttered Bed Bath & Beyond, Old Navy and Sears stores.
It’s an effort to fill vacant spaces and draw in customers to shop.
Consumers are craving fun, social experiences after years of limited gatherings during the pandemic, and they have shifted their spending from goods to experiences like theaters, arcades and amusement parks.
Malls are responding to these trends by turning to a wider range of tenants and activities to draw traffic, real estate investment firm JLL said in a report this week that malls are drawing on the huge PickleBall crowds and building courts.
📸Harry & Meghan Chase - Real Or Hype
One can only imagine how it may have felt to Prince Harry in wake of circumstances surrounding his mom’s, Princess Diana’s death, but the Manhattan ‘Chase’ of he and Meghan by paparazzi appears to be greatly exaggerated by their publicists.
Harry and Meghan claim they were involved in a "near catastrophic car chase" while being pursued by paparazzi in Manhattan on Tuesday night.
A spokesperson for the couple accused paparazzi of being "highly aggressive" and driving on the sidewalk and running red lights during a two-hour "relentless pursuit" of the famous pair.
Police sources, however, are saying the episode did not involve the amount of paparazzi the spokesperson claimed, and that police interacted with the couple for no more than 20 minutes.
New York Police Department detectives were present at the Ziegfeld when Harry and Meghan emerged from the event and drove alongside the couple's private vehicle to get them home.
Along the way, police sources said photographers on bicycles are visible on security cameras, but not the kind of caravan described by sources close to Harry and Meghan.
A group of paparazzi followed the three vehicles — but photographers say it was the couple’s own security that was driving erratically — possibly to shake the the paparazzi and avoid revealing where Harry and Meghan were staying.
🩺Abortion Bans Bad For Biz
North Carolina and South Carolina leaders warning the states’ Abortion bans are bad for business, not to mention women’s safety.
In South Carolina legislation banning abortion after 6-weeks of pregnancy is about to be signed by the Governor. North Carolina has banned most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy.
🎤Trump’s Not A Macho Man-Village People
The Village People telling Donald Trump to stop using their music.
Karen Willis, the band's manager and wife of frontman Victor Willis, penned a cease and desist letter to Trump's lawyer, Joe Tacopina, expressing displeasure at Trump using their popular hit, "Macho Man," during a recent appearance at Mar-a-Lago.
A copy of the letter was shared to Twitter by Mediaite Editor-in-Chief Aidan McLaughlin.
📺CNN’s New 9PM Star
Kaitlan Collins, the CNN anchor who moderated the town hall with former President Donald Trump, will take over as host of its 9 p.m.ET hour starting in June.
Days after the widely criticized town hall with Donald Trump, CNN prime time on Friday averaged only 335,000 total viewers, drawing a smaller audience in the 8-11pm window than even the right-wing channel Newsmax. While it’s unclear if the viewership decline was connected to the town hall, it certainly should be concerning to the leadership at CNN.
CNN chief Licht being criticized for giving Trump a forum to repeat his lies and conspiracy theories during a town hall stacked with GOP supporters and putting Collins in a no-win situation.
Licht was aware of the backlash and social media furor when he addressed the reaction to the town hall on CNN’s editorial call, audio of which The Hollywood Reporter obtained “We all know covering Donald Trump is messy, and tricky, and will continue to be messy and tricky, but it’s our job. We’re going to do it fairly, toughly and aggressively as Kaitlan did last night,” Licht said, in part. “I absolutely unequivocally believe America was served very well by what we did last night, because it laid bare and created in the words of Joe Scarborough, ‘a political earthquake,’ and that people woke up and they know what the stakes are in this election in a way that they didn’t the day before. And if someone was going to ask tough questions and have that messy conversation, it damn well should be on CNN.”
It’s going to be a rough 2024 campaign, will CNN stumble through it?
🕊️Twitter’s New CEO Tweets
Elon Musk makes it official:
Linda Yaccarino is a 40-year NBC advertising veteran.
After Musk’s takeover of Twitter last year, many advertisers paused their spending out of concern surrounding the company’s direction under its new leadership.
In her first tweets since getting the job, Yaccarino said she’s committed to the development of the social media company and said feedback from users is “vital to that future.”
Getting NBC’s Yaccarino proves Musk is serious about beefing up the platform.
Yaccarino resigned from NBCUniversal effective immediately.
📺Tucker’s Twitter Show
Tucker Carlson announcing he’s bringing his act to Twitter:
Carson could charge those who want to watch under Twitter’s subscription program, which allows creators to cultivate an audience that pays for exclusive content.
Carlson says the program would closely resemble what he did before, potentially violating his noncompete clause with Fox News. It’s a sign that talks to end Carlson’s contract, worth $25 million a year until it ends in January 2025, may have broken down.
You won’t believe Carlson’s text to a Fox producer discovered by the New York Times:
Tucker Carlson January 7, 2021 — 04:18:04 PM UTC
A couple of weeks ago, I was watching video of people fighting on the street in Washington. A group of Trump guys surrounded an Antifa kid and started pounding the living shit out of him. It was three against one, at least. Jumping a guy like that is dishonorable obviously. It’s not how white men fight. Yet suddenly I found myself rooting for the mob against the man, hoping they’d hit him harder, kill him. I really wanted them to hurt the kid. I could taste it. Then somewhere deep in my brain, an alarm went off: this isn’t good for me. I’m becoming something I don’t want to be. The Antifa creep is a human being. Much as I despise what he says and does, much as I’m sure I’d hate him personally if I knew him, I shouldn’t gloat over his suffering. I should be bothered by it. I should remember that somewhere somebody probably loves this kid, and would be crushed if he was killed. If I don’t care about those things, if I reduce people to their politics, how am I better than he is?
The Times reports - The text message added to a growing number of internal issues involving Carlson that led Fox’s leadership to conclude he was more of a problem than an asset and had to go, according to several people with knowledge of the decision.
And get this: Carlson & Don Lemon, who is also out at CNN, have hired the same lawyer to get them big packages.
The prominent Hollywood lawyer, Bryan Freedman, has a track record of getting multimillion-dollar settlements for TV stars and other celebrities.
Migrant Border Mess
Migrant crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border have fallen, not increased as expected, since pandemic-emergency Title 42 curbs expired last week.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas says border patrol agents have seen a 50% drop in the number of migrants crossing the border since Thursday, when the Biden administration shifted to a sweeping new asylum regulation meant to deter illegal crossings.
New U.S. immigration rules are prompting thousands of migrants along the border to stay in Mexico and request asylum appointments, instead of entering illegally and risking deportation or criminal charges .Hundreds of migrants — men, women and children — standing in ragged lines, waiting near a gate in the wall between the U.S and Mexico for their turn to pass through. Border Patrol agents and National Guard members watching in fatigues. 660,000 may be ready to cross.
Thousands of migrants braved the Rio Grande into the Brownsville, Tex., area, or arrived elsewhere, including more than 800 miles away on the dusty strip of U.S. land between the riverbanks and the border wall east of downtown El Paso.
Little wonder that President Biden was prepared for chaos. He ordered 1,500 troops to the border to back up Customs and Border Protection agents. Several border cities in Texas, including El Paso and Laredo, facing a surge of migrants for processing, have already declared a state of emergency. The result will be tough for migrants—and politically miserable for Biden.
📰Yep That’s Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart is making history as the oldest cover model in the history of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. At 81, she’s breaking the record set last year by Maye Musk, who was 75 at the time. “All of us should think about good living, successful living, and not about aging,” Stewart said. “The whole aging thing is so boring.”
Congressman George Santos, the Republican whose pivotal victory in New York was soon followed by revelations that he had falsified his biography on the campaign trail, pleads not guilty to federal criminal charges. He was released on a $500,000 bond after he was arraigned at a federal courthouse in Long Island,
Santos was charged with seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.
Santos has tweeted for the first time since the charges against him were reported. His statement: “WITCH HUNT!” (a phrase often used by Donald Trump)
Despite calls for his resignation, Santos will likely be allowed to remain in Congress while he fights the charges. “In America, you are innocent until proven guilty,” Speaker Kevin McCarthy said.
During his brief time in office, Santos has been accused of breaking campaign finance laws, violating federal conflict of interest laws, stealing cash meant for an Iraq War veteran’s dying dog, masterminding a credit card fraud scheme, lying about where he went to school and worked and even lying about being Jewish.
🏦Is Your Money Safe?
Half of American surveyed say they are concerned about the safety of the money they keep in banks, according to a just released Gallup poll. That’s similar to worries during the 2008 financial crisis.
But Bank shares are rebounding —PacWest gained as much as 26% in premarket trading, while Western Alliance Bancorp and First Horizon Corp. rose 15% and 7%. PacWest shares fell as much as 50% to close at a record low while Western Alliance tumbled 25%. Comerica and Zions Bancorp are down sharply as well.
It comes after the FDIC seized First Republic Bank and immediately sold it to JPMorganChase — it’s the second largest bank failure ever in the U.S.
The selloff in PacWest flew in the face of Fed Chair Powell’s assertion that the government’s seizure and sale of First Republic Bank was “an important step toward drawing a line under that period of severe stress” for regional lenders.
Like Silicon Valley and Signature Banks—First Republic collapsed under the weight of loans and investments which lost billions of dollars in value as the Federal Reserve rapidly raised interest rates to fight inflation.
Over 100 banks may still be in trouble according to reports.
🏈You Won’t Believe For How Much Washington Commanders Sold
$6.05 billion that’s what a group led by Josh Harris, co-owner of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers and NHL's New Jersey Devils, paid to buy the NFL’s Washington Commanders from Dan Snyder.
The previous record sale for a sports franchise had been set in August, when a group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton bought the Denver Broncos for $4.65 billion.
The deal reached by Harris' group and the Snyders is expected to receive NFL approval.
📺Hollywood Writers Strike
Television and movie writers are on the picket lines. Negotiations between studios and the writers, which began in March, failed to reach a new contract before the writers' current deal expired just after midnight. All script writing is to immediately cease, the guild informed its members. The walk-off by the 11,500-member guild is the first major Hollywood work stoppage in 15 years and will massively disrupt the entertainment industry.
For viewers, the most immediate effect will be felt on talk and sketch shows. Late night shows like “Saturday Night Live,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” will likely go dark immediately. Reality series and some international shows, which are not covered by the guild, will be aired in heavy rotation.
🚨Poll Finds Exhaustion Over Another Biden-Trump Election
The percentage of those approving of President Biden’s performance fell to 36%, six points lower than in February and a point off his previous low in early 2022, according to the survey conducted for ABC. Some 56% disapproved of his performance, while 68% regarded Biden, at 80, as too old for another term.
It comes after President Biden formally announced he would seek a second term.
In a 3 minute video he pitches himself as the Democrat best positioned to keep Donald Trump from reclaiming the White House, and needing to ‘finish the job’.
It comes as more Americans say they feel “exhaustion” over the prospect of a 2024 rematch between Biden and Donald Trump, according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll.
The survey of 1,530 U.S. adults, which was conducted from April 14 to 17, found that 38% chose exhaustion after being shown a list of eight feelings and asked to select all that “come to mind” when considering another Biden vs. Trump campaign.
Among registered voters, the number is even higher: 44%.
No other sentiment — not fear (29%), sadness (23%), hope (23%), anger (23%), excitement (16%), pride (8%) or gratitude (7%) — cracks the 30% mark among all Americans.
And an NBC News poll showed, most of those surveyed, by a 70%-to-26% margin, said Biden shouldn’t seek reelection, while 60% said Trump should bow out.
Overwhelmingly people feel the candidates are too old.
GisermanGroup.com will design a campaign to get you and your business in front of the public.
Bitcoin lower after it returned back around the $30,000 mark
Exiger’s Samar Pratt on FinTechTV explainsCrypto had just gained a foothold at BNY Mellon:
🍀Americans Spend More On Weed Than On Beer & Chocolate Combined
U.S Legal sales of marijuana and marijuana products -- like edibles -- reached an estimated $30 billion in 2022, according to a report from MJBizDaily.
That total is more than Americans spent on chocolate and craft beer combined, -- $20 billion and $7.9 billion, respectively.
And get this — legal sales are still vastly outweighed by illicit ones – Whitney Economics estimates that legal transactions constituted just 25% of total cannabis market in 2021.
It’s a trying time for all of us.
>>Get your business noticed now<<
GisermanGroup.com will design a campaign to get you and your business in front of the public.
💊Weight Loss Wonder Drug Worth Billions
What price beauty?
An Eli Lilly drug if approved for weight loss could become the best-selling drug of all time.
Experts are confident that the drug, called tirzepatide, will be granted approval by the Food and Drug Administration sometime this year. If that’s the case, it would join two other popular — and expensive — recently approved weight loss drugs on the market, Wegovy and Saxenda, both from the drugmaker Novo Nordisk.
The drugs have been shown in clinical trials to be highly effective for weight loss. All three drugs — which are given as injections — work in a similar way: They’re a class of drugs called GLP-1 agonists, which mimic a hormone that helps reduce food intake and appetite.
Oh yea it would cost you $13,000 a year (and most insurances won’t pay)!
💻They Want Your Password
Warning-New Scams to steal your passwords.
If you've had a password hacked recently, you aren't alone. The volume of password attacks has soared to an estimated 921 attacks every second. That's a 74% rise in one year, according to the latest Microsoft Digital Defense Report.
Exiger's Robert Kolasky with more on Bloomberg & CBS:
💰Money Does Buy Happiness
Money really does buy happiness.
The rule extends well beyond the $75,000-a-year salary threshold that had been seen as the upper limit for making an impact, according to a team of scientists that include the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist who introduced the idea of a happiness plateau more than a decade ago.
Happiness does increase steadily in line with incomes and even accelerates as pay rises beyond $100,000 a year and more — as long as the person enjoys a certain baseline level of happiness to begin with. That’s according to a study of 33,391 people living in the US, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.
The results contradict a famous 2010 paper by the psychologist Daniel Kahneman and economist Angus Deaton, which reported that happiness goes up with income until the relationship starts to “flatten” at between $60,000 and $90,000 a year.
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