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Confounding and confusing events 6/25/24

North Dakota voters just approved an age limit for Congressional candidates; however, the age limit is phrased oddly in the sense that its says that if you are in your late 70’s or older you can no longer run for Congress. There will be some interesting challenges to poorly drafted legislation.

Mr. Netanyahu is now blaming President Biden for withholding weapons as the two leaders banter back and forth. Hezbollah surfaced a video showing Israeli military and civilian locations mainly in the city of Haifa, including locations for the Iron Dome defense system which raises the specter of war with Hezbollah along the Israel/Lebanon border. Hezbollah is a much more organized, structured, disciplined and well-armed army. War on two fronts for Israel is a very dangerous proposition. Mr. Netanyahu also faces statements by his military indicating that Hamas cannot be eliminated, so one of his main goals for the War seems to have been nullified.

McDonald’s is ending its test run of AI powered drive-thru’s with IBM which it has been testing since 2021 on a global basis. Other fast-food participants have delved into the voice ordering world, including Wendy’s, White Castle, Panera, Arby’s and Popeyes, but it appears hard to convert orders to burgers.

Retail sales rose a meager ⅒ of 1% in May, and April sales were revised downward 2/10’s of a percent, while sales in March and February rose and were down in January. This somewhat uneven trend does lend some credence to the idea that consumer spending is tightening. Since consumer spending is well in excess of 65% of our GDP, this needs to be paid attention to as you make investment decisions.

Willie Mays passed recently, he was by all accounts a great ballplayer and an exemplary human being. His stats are impressive, 3283 hits, 660 home runs and 338 stolen bases gives a good overview. One of my favorite baseball pictures was of Joe Mickey, Willie and Duke – hopefully you know to whom I reverently referring.

The Supreme Court has many cases that they are still deciding. It appears some of the results aren’t following the recent script of far-right, right and left. We’ll see how the rest of the term shakes out.

Then we look at Louisiana at it’s new 10 Commandments Law. Even this Supreme Court which is so favorable to freedom of religion with be challenged to uphold this folly.

Jobless claims fells to 238,000 from a 10-month high and essentially remains quite low.

Ms. Stefanik was in Plattsburgh recently and gave one of her infrequent news gaggles. She addressed her potential Vice-Presidential nomination, Amtrak, the northern border, and bump stocks. Her comments were devoid of any substance as she railed without reference to any facts and was totally devoid of proposed resolutions. She also grossly misrepresented a Siena Poll as showing Mr. Trump was within single digits of Mr. Biden in New York. The problem was at the poll only covered Long Island’s two counties. This raises some serious questions in my mind.

Bill Owens is a former member of Congress representing the New York 21st, a partner in Stafford, Owens, Piller, Murnane, Kelleher and Trombley in Plattsburgh, NY and a Strategic Advisor at Dentons to Washington, DC.

The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of this station or its management.

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