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This Day in History | 1959

Mattel, Inc. introduces the first Barbie doll at the New York toy fair. 

Good morning Middle Americans, 

Buckle up – because here it comes. US stock futures fell so far this morning that early trading has been halted. By the time you read this – you will have probably lost a lot of money. But this all about panic. And a lack of co-ordinated response between Asian and European countries. The Trump administration seems to be at odd with the federal bureaucracy, the federal reserve bank, and it’s lack of ability to fix these problems. 

The State Department is warning Americans to not travel by cruise. This as another infected cruise, the Diamond Princess is set to come ashore in California today. 

Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Paul Gosar are self quarantining after they were exposed to COVID-19 at the Conservative Political Action Conference just outside of Washington DC early this month. One of CPAC’s attendees recently tested positive. 

And if you are a little sick (bad pun, I know) and tired of the coronavirus, we have a couple of big stories that you should be interested in. 

Carlos Mara, a self proclaimed socialist YouTube star loves to rail against the rich and powerful on behalf of the working class, but wait til you see where he’s living, or at least where he registered to vote.  

And investigators are trying to get to the bottom of a massive shootout between rival motorcycle gangs in Cleveland. 

Read all about it!

-Fraser Dixon


(Bloomberg) — Circuit breakers put a limit on a harrowing plunge in U.S. stock futures, but they’re also leaving traders in the dark as to how big losses may eventually get. Trading in other index price proxies suggested American stocks are at risk of the worst plunge since 2011.

In the midst of financial-market spasms as the day began in Asia Monday, trading in some of the world’s most popular equity contracts went quiet when declines reached 5%, setting off Chicago Mercantile Exchange limits that keep prices from falling further.

“These things are all designed to stop a market panic and cause a bit of a pause in trading,” said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy and chief economist at AMP Capital Investors. “It can have the perverse effect of increasing the downward pressure on other markets, particularly until the U.S. market opens.”

E-mini futures on the S&P 500 Index sank 5% to 2,819 by 9:05 a.m. in Tokyo. After briefly rallying, they slipped back to the limit-down level and held there for much of the Asian trading day. The curb means the contract can’t trade at a lower price for the remainder of the overnight session, although transactions at or above the threshold are allowed. An exchange-traded fund tracking the S&P 500 that isn’t subject to trading curbs was down 6.3% at 5:52 p.m. in Tokyo.

“Most of these down opens have seen dip buyers come in — we should know in the first 90 minutes of trading” if they are out of ammunition, saidMichael O’Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading. “If we don’t bounce quickly in those first 90 minutes, it sets up to be a long and likely ugly day.”

Read more here

& here

State Department: US citizens ‘Should Not Travel by Cruise Ship’ Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

(USA Today) – The U.S. Department of State on Sunday advised U.S. citizens against traveling by cruise ship as cases of the novel coronavirus continue to spread across the world.

“U.S. citizens, particularly travelers with underlying health conditions, should not travel by cruise ship,” the State Department wrote in its warning.

The warning comes with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that includes tips for people who do choose to travel by cruise ship. The U.S. has 554 confirmed cases of the coronavirus with 21 deaths as early Monday.

“Like many other viruses, COVID-19 appears to spread more easily between people in close quarters aboard ships,” the CDC wrote. 

Find out more here

Ted Cruz, Paul Gosar Self-Quarantine Due to Possible Coronavirus Exposure

(ABC News) – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is one of two members of Congress to announce Sunday night that he is placing himself into voluntary self-quarantine after he interacted briefly with a person who is infected by the novel coronavirus at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland last month.

Cruz said the “interaction consisted of a brief conversation and a handshake” and that he is “not experiencing any symptoms.”

“Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution … I have decided to remain at my home in Texas this week, until a full 14 days have passed since the CPAC interaction,” Cruz said in a statement shared on Twitter.

The American Conservative Union, which organized the CPAC event, announced in a statement on Saturday that a CPAC attendee had tested positive for COVID-19. While the exposure occurred before the conference, the person still attended the event and is now in the care of medical professionals in New Jersey.

Learn more here

YouTube socialist Carlos Maza Slams the Wealthy but Lived in Luxury

(NY Post) – Carlos Maza doesn’t like rich people.

The social media socialist with more than 150,000 followers on Twitter and YouTube combined regularly uses his platforms to rail against the wealthy and powerful and urges fans to be skeptical of their opinions.

“Just found out James Carville — who spends his time lecturing Democrats for being ‘too far left’ — lives in an absolutely obscene four-story mansion,” Maza said in one such example from February — blasting the longtime Democratic strategist and posting a photo of Carville’s old home to his Twitter account.

“Dear god can we STOP taking political advice from the ultra-wealthy,” he bemoaned. “You really have to respect this guy’s grift. Constantly dressing in normal clothes on TV to feign relatability  [sic]  while living like this. Masterful con artist”

“We should treat gay people the SAME WAY we treat straight people: Eating them when they get too rich,” he said in another post.

Like any good online socialist, Maza raises money for his internet presence through a Patreon account, where “comrades” — a word Carlos uses to describe his supporters — can fund him in increments of $2, $5 and $10 a month.

Find more here

18 shot, 1 Killed Following Fight Between Multiple Motorcycle Clubs on Cleveland’s East Side

(Cleveland Plane Dealer) – Eighteen people were shot – including one fatally – late Saturday after a large fight broke out among several motorcycle clubs on the city’s East Side, Cleveland police said.

The incident began about 11:30 p.m. Saturday outside a building on East 93rd Street, between Reno and Way avenues, Cleveland police spokeswoman Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia said Sunday morning.

Officers arriving to the shooting discovered one person, a 48-year-old man, with multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene, Ciaccia said.

Cleveland police soon learned that other shooting victims – 17 total – had left the area and were driven to area hospitals for treatment. Those most seriously injured were taken to MetroHealth and University Hospitals, Ciaccia said.

Investigators at the scene learned that the shooting was prompted by a fight at a party with members from several different motorcycle clubs in attendance, Ciaccia said. Some people at the party were thrown out but returned to the venue firing gunshots.

Read more here

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