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DeSantis Signs Bill Stripping Disney Of Special Privileges

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Ron DeSantis

On Friday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed into law a bill that eliminates a special taxing district that has allowed Walt Disney Co. to govern the land where the Disney World theme park is located.

“I’m just not comfortable having that type of agenda get special treatment in my state,” DeSantis explained.

“The special district, created in 1967 and known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District, exempts Disney from a host of regulations and certain taxes and fees related to emergency services and road maintenance,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “It saves Disney tens of millions of dollars a year, according to a person familiar with the company’s finances who studied the issue over a decade ago.”

“The legislation affects a half-dozen districts across the state, but only Reedy Creek involves a high-profile company, according to Republican Rep. Randy Fine, the bill’s sponsor. Disney could seek to re-establish a special district after the Reedy Creek district’s dissolution,” The Wall Street Journal added.

DeSantis, who had called on lawmakers to consider a bill like this earlier this week, has explained that he does not support the special privileges on principle.

“What I would say as a matter of first principle is I don’t support special privileges in law just because a company is powerful and they’ve been able to wield a lot of power,” DeSantis said last month. “I think what has happened is there’s a lot of these special privileges that are not justifiable, but because Disney had held so much sway, they were able to sustain a lot of special treatment over the years.”

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Economy

National Gas Prices Could Hit $6.20 Per Gallon By August

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Gas Prices

National gas prices could surge to well over $6 per gallon by the end of the summer, according to analysts at JPMorgan.

Natasha Kaneva, head of global oil and commodities research at JPMorgan, wrote in a research document that the United States was going to face a “cruel summer” as gas prices are expected to dwarf their already record highs.

“With expectations of strong driving demand — traditionally, the U.S. summer driving season starts on Memorial Day, which lands this year on May 30, and lasts until Labor Day in early September — U.S. retail price could surge another 37% by August to a $6.20/gallon national average,” she wrote.

“Typically, refiners produce more gasoline ahead of the summer road-trip season, building up inventories,” the analysts said. However, over the last month, “gasoline inventories have fallen counter seasonally and today sit at the lowest seasonal levels since 2019.”

The report comes the same week that the United States set a new record for gas prices with the average cost per gallon rising over $4 per gallon in all 50 states for the first time ever, according to a report from the American Automobile Association (AAA).

“The high cost of oil, the key ingredient in gasoline, is driving these high pump prices for consumers,” said AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross. “Even the annual seasonal demand dip for gasoline during the lull between spring break and Memorial Day, which would normally help lower prices, is having no effect this year.”

As explained in the report, “total domestic gasoline stocks decreased by 3.6 million bbl to 225 million bbl last week. Gasoline demand also decreased slightly from 8.86 million b/d to 8.7 million b/d. Typically, lower demand would put downward pressure on pump prices. However, crude prices remain volatile, and as they surge, pump prices follow suit. Pump prices will likely face upward pressure as oil prices stay above $105 per barrel.”

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Nation

Pro-Abortion Extremists Threaten To Burn Down Supreme Court, Murder Justices, DHS Memo Reveals

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Pro-abortion extremists are reportedly threatening to burn down the Supreme Court building and murder justices and their clerks following the leak of a draft of the Supreme Court’s majority opinion intending to overturn Roe v. Wade.

According to a May 13 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo obtained by Axios, the “U.S. government is bracing for a potential surge in political violence once the Supreme Court hands down the ruling that’s expected to overturn Roe v. Wade… Law enforcement agencies are investigating social-media threats to burn down or storm the Supreme Court building and murder justices and their clerks, as well as attacks targeting places of worship and abortion clinics.”

The memo says the threats “are likely to persist and may increase leading up to and following the issuing of the Court’s official ruling.”

However, the memo notes that the “mere advocacy of political or social positions, political activism, use of strong rhetoric, or generalized philosophic embrace of violent tactics does not constitute domestic violent extremism or illegal activity and is constitutionally protected.”

A DHS spokesperson told Axios that the department “is committed to protecting Americans’ freedom of speech and other civil rights and civil liberties, including the right to peacefully protest.”

“[The] DHS is also committed to working with our partners across every level of government and the private sector to share timely information and intelligence, prevent all forms of violence, and to support law enforcement efforts to keep our communities safe,” the spokesperson added.

Earlier this month, a draft of a Supreme Court’s majority opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked to Politico.

In the draft, Justice Samuel Alito writes that “Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely—the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito added. “Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and de

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