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Highlights of the News

ITEM 1: The New York Times reported, "At a time when germs are growing more resistant to common antibiotics, many companies that are developing new versions of the drugs are hemorrhaging money and going out of business, gravely undermining efforts to contain the spread of deadly, drug-resistant bacteria."

Suing Big Pharma has consequences.

The story said, "The grim financial outlook for the few companies still committed to antibiotic research is driving away investors and threatening to strangle the development of new lifesaving drugs at a time when they are urgently needed."

But it goes beyond suing Big Pharma, according to the Times.

The story said, "The problem is straightforward: The companies that have invested billions to develop the drugs have not found a way to make money selling them. Most antibiotics are prescribed for just days or weeks — unlike medicines for chronic conditions like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis that have been blockbusters — and many hospitals have been unwilling to pay high prices for the new therapies. Political gridlock in Congress has thwarted legislative efforts to address the problem."

Research in capitalism follows the market. Research in government follows the politics. If we stopped chasing windmills battling an imaginary problem, we could have the resources to battle this one.

ITEM 2: CNBC reported, "President Donald Trump’s stock market stacks up well against the majority of his presidential predecessors.

"The S&P 500 has returned more than 50% since Trump was elected, more than double the 23% average market return of presidents three years into their term, according to data from Bespoke Investment Group dating to 1928.

"The bellwether index gained more than 28% this year, well above the average 12.8% return of year three for past U.S. presidents."

We measure presidential stock markets from Election Day to Election Day because the market reacts news that affects the future. Stock brokers do not wake up on Inauguration Day and say, oh, we have a new president.

ITEM 3: Bloomberg News reported, "Corporations have brought back more than $1 trillion of overseas profits to the U.S. since Congress overhauled the international tax system and prodded companies to repatriate offshore funds, a report showed Thursday.

Even so, the total remains well short of the $4 trillion President Donald Trump said would return as a result of the 2017 tax law. The flow rose to $95.3 billion in the third quarter from a downwardly revised $70.4 billion in the previous three months, according to Commerce Department data, reaching a total of $1.04 trillion since the end of 2017."

Only a trillion?


A year ago, the "nonpartisan" Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy said, "A new Morgan Stanley report estimates that U.S. companies repatriated between $50 billion and $100 billion of offshore cash in the third quarter of 2018. This means companies have brought back about half a trillion dollars in 2018, far short of the $4 trillion that President Trump claimed corporations would repatriate very shortly after his tax cuts. The stated goal of the tax law’s repatriation tax holiday is domestic jobs creation and capital investment, but the meager findings of this latest report suggest this objective is unlikely to bear fruit."

A half-trillion here, a half-trillion there, and in 8 years you have $4 trillion.

What am I missing?

ITEM 4: CNBC reported, "Pelosi’s best move might be to keep impeachment in her pocket and not send it to the Senate."


Is that still a thing?

It remains Schrödinger's impeachment. Not sending it to the Senate is a good way to kill it before it grows.

Of course, if she doesn't send this impeachment to the Senate, the black caucus, the AOC crazies, and the big donors will eat her alive.

I am tired of popcorn. Let's toast marshmallows instead as we watch this Schiff show.

ITEM 5: Fox News reported, "MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd is facing criticism over a recent interview in which he confused author Toni Morrison and poet Maya Angelou.

"In an interview with Rolling Stone, Todd spoke about the spread of disinformation and was asked if he was surprised by the Trump administration's willingness to spread disinformation."

I must admit that I have confused Chuck Todd for a weasel. They all look alike to me.

ITEM 6: A reader asked me to define beclowning.

It is what HuffPost just did to itself.

You don't have to be an idiot to write headlines for HuffPost but it helps.

ITEM 7: The Daily Mail reported, a Democrat "New Mexico mayor has been charged with six felony bribery and abuse of power counts after prosecutors claim she pushed contracts to a construction firm owned by a man they say she was romantically involved in.

"The charges against Las Vegas, New Mexico, Mayor Tonita Gurule-Giron include officials acts for personal financial interest, ethical principles of public service, soliciting or receiving illegal kickbacks and conspiracy to commit making or permitting false public voucher.

"Gurule-Giron has also been charged with unlawful interest in a public contract, and demanding or receiving bribe by public officer or public employee."

The story said, "According to an affidavit by Special Agent Lindsay McIntosh obtained by the Las Vegas Optic, the mayor used her political influence to award a contract to Gemini Construction of $8,998 for the installation of hardwood floors in City Hall.

"That price, after revision and reissue, would later inflated to $19,123.35 despite being underbid by Price’s Furnishings, who offered $6,529 in April 2016."

She was elected in April 2016. Rigging the bid was literally one of her first acts as mayor.

ITEM 8: The Independent reported, "Japan has executed a Chinese national who was found guilty of murdering a family of four, putting to death a foreigner for the first time in a decade.

"Wei Wei, a 40-year-old language student who studied in Japan, was executed by hanging after over 16 years on death row for the murders and robbery.

"Justice minister Masako Mori said Wei was executed at Fukuoka detention centre on the Japanese island of Kyushu on Thursday.

"He was convicted of robbing and killing a married couple and their two children at their home in Fukuoka in 2003.

"Along with two Chinese accomplices, Wei attached weights to the family’s bodies before dumping them in the ocean."

Civilized nations do not tolerate the barbarity of Wei Wei.

ITEM 9: The Hill reported, "President Trump’s cameo scene in the holiday classic Home Alone 2: Lost In New York was reportedly cut from showings of the movie on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) this month.

"The edit was noted by viewers on Twitter, some who praised the network for the move and others who lamented CBC’s decision.

"CBC told, which first reported the backlash to the edit, that the movie was edited not for political purposes but to allow for commercials."

Canadian election interference, eh?

Under President Reagan, they banned showing Bedtime for Bonzo on TV.
We have a great president again. Maybe we should make appearing in a movie a requirement for the office.

ITEM 10Breitbart News reported, "Police forces in the United Kingdom have squandered over a million pounds on electric cars that are incapable of chasing criminals or performing emergency services because the eco-friendly vehicles are too slow and take too long to charge.

"A freedom of information request found that police in the UK have spent £1.49 million on 448 green cars and vans. However, the actual cost of the eco-police fleets is likely much higher as many districts have not reported their purchases.

"The official police reports admit that the battery-powered cars are incapable of fulfilling police duties such as chasing criminals or handling emergency response situations and often run out of power before a shift ends."

Just as well. The high-frequency crime areas of Londonistan are now no-go zones for police.

ITEM 11: In 1967, Scott McKenzie sang, "If you're going to San Francisco."

In 2020, Scott Presler is going to San Francisco -- to scoop poop.
He is a hope for America.

ITEM 12: The New York Post reported, "The rector of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has admitted there is still only a 50% chance the fire-ravaged landmark can be saved.

"Monsgr. Patrick Chauvet said he is already suffering heartache because April’s blaze meant the 12th-century cathedral was unable to hold Christmas services for the first time in more than 200 years. But he said he is bracing for even more potential distress after the church’s support scaffolding is removed — likely in 2021 — and officials learn whether the structure’s surviving vaults are strong enough to keep the Gothic monument standing."

50% chance of surviving? That's better odds than I give Christianity surviving in France.

ITEM 13: The Associated Press selected gymnast Simone Biles, 22, as its Female Athlete of the Year for the second time. Biles has 25 world championship medals.

The story said, "The stoicism and grace she has shown in becoming an advocate for survivors — herself included — and an agent for change in the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal that’s shaken USA Gymnastics to its core [is] the byproduct of a conscious decision to embrace the immense clout she carries."

I tend to ignore awards. This is different. Celebrity is a gift that she has used wisely.

Next year, the Olympics, which she can win again even at the advanced age (for gymnasts) of 23.

ITEM 14: The National Interest reported, "The Chinese military is building up a meaningful force of J-20 stealth fighters, Y-20 strategic airlifters and other high-tech military aircraft while also developing a new stealth fighter, fighter-bomber and heavy bomber.

"But for all of these advancements, Chinese industry still is struggling to manufacture arguably the most important subsystems for these new planes. Their engines.

"Aviation website Alert 5 spotted a stock-exchange filing by the Hebei subsidiary of China’s Central Iron & Steel Research Institute. The filing including production projections for military engines for the next decade, and reveals some startling shortfalls.

"Production and development gaps could result in the latest Chinese warplanes flying with older engine models, including imported Russian motors that might be underpowered and unreliable. The mismatch between airframes and engines could be a drag on the overall performance of Chinese military aircraft."

Well, that is reassuring. Gives us time to develop a way to detect them.

ITEM 15: Agence France Presse reported, "China, Russia and Iran will hold joint naval drills starting Friday in the Gulf of Oman, Beijing and Tehran said, at a time of heightened tensions since the US withdrew from a landmark nuclear deal with Tehran.

"Set to take place from today through Monday, the military exercises aim to "deepen exchange and cooperation between the navies of the three countries", Chinese defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian told reporters Thursday.

"Wu said the Chinese navy would deploy its Xining guided missile destroyer -- nicknamed the carrier killer for its array of anti-ship and land attack cruise missiles -- in the drills.

"But he did not give details on how many personnel or ships would take part overall."

Obama's $170 billion bailout of Iran continues to pay dividends.

ITEM 16: Zippia, a career expert site, listed the 10 Best States For Millennials.
  1. Utah
  2. Iowa
  3. Wyoming
  4. North Dakota
  5. Minnesota
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Idaho
  8. South Dakota
  9. Nebraska
  10. Montana
Eight were Trump states in 2016, and the other 2 were just a few thousand votes each of flipping to him.

ITEM 17: Yesterday, in Highlights of the News, I linked to a post by Ace of Spades about Obama screwing up gas cans through regulation. I admitted this was outside my ken, but many readers commented on it, and I as always learned much.

A reader emailed me at -- which is the best way to report typos and other errors -- and said, "Best gas cans on the market.

"They are metal, don’t have the POS spout/funnel/gas spiller that takes three hands and guarantees a mess on you, your driveway and your machine.

"These operate flawlessly with one hand. They are patented and manufactured in Wellsburg, WV.

"Once people see this gas can they throw away their overpriced, govt designed plastic disasters."

He gave me a link and it said, "For nearly 60 years, Eagle Manufacturing’s Safety Can product line has been a industry leader of galvanized Type I and Type II Safety Cans that meet OSHA and NFPA Code 30 requirements, and are UL and ULC listed and FM approved for safe storage and handling of flammable liquids. We offer FM Approved Compliance Solutions in a variety of poly and stainless cans, lab cans, faucet cans, disposal cans, plunger, bench & daub cans, and poly oily waste cans to help keep your personnel and facilities protected. All Eagle safety cans and containers are made 100 percent in the USA."

You can order them here.

I am just passing along information. That it is made in West (Best) Virginia speaks to its quality.

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