US Spent A Record $140 Billion On Debt Interest In June, 30% Of All Tax Revenues

Winter is coming!…

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US Spent A Record $140 Billion On Debt Interest In June, 30% Of All Tax Revenues:

And putting it in context, the $140 billion in gross interest spending was just over 30% of all US receipts (mostly taxes) in June..

… a staggering number fast approaching the threshold where everyone will be forced to admit the US has crossed into a Minsky moment.

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Okay, So Who Had “Bubonic Plague” On Their 2024 Disaster Bingo Card?

Okay, So Who Had “Bubonic Plague” On Their 2024 Disaster Bingo Card?:

This has been quite a decade for global pestilences.  The first one to hit was COVID, and that created a wave of panic that literally paralyzed the entire globe.  The next one to hit was the bird flu.  More than 100 million birds are dead, and now mammals all over the planet are getting infected.  There is a lot of concern that humans could be next, and we will be watching future developments very closely.  Two years ago, Mpox exploded on to the scene, and it rapidly circulated around the world.  Now a much deadlier new version has emerged in Africa, and global  health authorities are quite alarmed about this.  On top of everything else, this year we are dealing with the worst outbreak of dengue fever that we have ever witnessed.

Millions have already been infected, and there have even been hundreds of cases here in the United States.

With everything else that has been going on, I didn’t expect to be talking about bubonic plague.

Read moreOkay, So Who Had “Bubonic Plague” On Their 2024 Disaster Bingo Card?

Costco Is Raising Membership Fees On 52 Million Members, Wall Street Views As ‘Positive Catalyst’

Costco Is Raising Membership Fees On 52 Million Members, Wall Street Views As ‘Positive Catalyst’ :

Shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. are higher in premarket trading in New York after the warehouse-club chain announced annual price hikes across its members for the first time in years.

Starting September 1, Costco Gold Star, Business, and Business add-on members across North America will see an increase of $5 to their annual membership costs, bumping up from $60 to $65. Executive members must pay $130, a $10 price hike. Membership price hikes will impact all 52 million members.

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Pepsi Warns US Snack Demand “Subdued” As Consumer Slowdown Worsens

Pepsi Warns US Snack Demand “Subdued” As Consumer Slowdown Worsens:

PepsiCo reported weaker-than-expected revenue growth in the second quarter on Thursday as consumers dialed back snack spending. The junk food giant tempered its full-year outlook on a more challenged consumer. This reflects a broader consumer slowdown trend, particularly impacting working-poor households amid elevated inflation and high interest rates.

CEO Ramon Laguarta wrote in a filing that the company’s North American snack demand was “subdued” during the second quarter and noted sales volumes declined.

On a call with investors, Laguarta said customers across all income brackets are reducing snack spend and trading down to store brands.

“In the US, there is clearly a consumer that is that is more challenged,” the CEO said. This suggests the cumulative impact of several years of price hike has pushed consumers over the edge.

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Idaho Issues Executive Order Blocking Noncitizens From Voting

Idaho Issues Executive Order Blocking Noncitizens From Voting:

Authored by Tom Ozimek via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

In a landmark move amid national debates over voter eligibility, Idaho took executive action to ensure that its voter rolls remain free of noncitizens.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed an executive order on July 9 that directs a series of actions that he hopes will bolster voter confidence and enhance election integrity.

The order, called the Only Citizens Will Vote Act, directs the Idaho secretary of state to work with local county clerks to scrub the state’s voter rolls of noncitizens.

“Idaho already has the most secure elections in the nation, and we’re going to keep it that way,” the governor said in a statement, adding that the step is particularly important as more and more people pour across the southern border illegally.

Read moreIdaho Issues Executive Order Blocking Noncitizens From Voting

Watch: Black Smoke Billowing Out Of Rouen Cathedral In France

Watch: Black Smoke Billowing Out Of Rouen Cathedral In France:

A 12th-century medieval cathedral in Rouen, northern France, was evacuated Thursday after black smoke billowed from the scaffolding around its spire.

Reuters reported that “40 fire engines rushed to the site and emergency workers set up a cordon around” the Notre Dame of Rouen Cathedral.

Videos posted on X show the thick smoke rising from the cathedral’s spire, which reminded many of the 2019 fire at Notre Dame de Paris, a medieval Catholic cathedral in Paris.

“The incident comes a few days after the victory of leftist parties in the French elections,” journalist Sachin Jose wrote on X.

“I turn around and I see the cathedral spire, the tarpaulin which was protecting the restoration work, which was burning, big flames, black smoke,” eye-witness Patrick Waeselynck told BFM television, who was eating at a nearby cafe at the time of the fire broke out.

Read moreWatch: Black Smoke Billowing Out Of Rouen Cathedral In France

House Oversight Subpoenas Top Biden Handlers To Find Out Who’s Running The Country

House Oversight Subpoenas Top Biden Handlers To Find Out Who’s Running The Country:

The House Oversight Committee subpoenaed three top White House aides on Wednesday, and has demanded that they sit for depositions concerning President Joe Biden’s health – and who’s actually running the country.

As Axios reports, Oversight chair James Comer (R-KY) subpoenaed First Lady Jill Biden’s top aide Anthony Bernal, deputy chief of staff Annie Tomasini, and senior adviser Ashley Williams, who the outlet described as “low-profile but very influential” inside the White House.

According to Wednesday letters, Comer cites Bernal and Tomasini’s access to the first family’s residence – which White House residence staff found ‘unusual,’ as ‘political staffers often don’t have such access.’

According to one former Biden aide, these three employees – Annie Tomasini, Anthony Bernal, and Ashley Williams – have created “a protective bubble around” President Biden and he is “staffed so closely that he’s lost all independence.” –House Oversight Committee

Comer also writes that the committee is “concerned” that each official is “one of several White House staffers who have taken it upon themselves to run the country while the President cannot.”

Read moreHouse Oversight Subpoenas Top Biden Handlers To Find Out Who’s Running The Country

Netanyahu Has Altered Travel Plans Due To ICC Warrant

Netanyahu Has Altered Travel Plans Due To ICC Warrant:

The controversial arrest warrant of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has actually altered the travel plans of Israeli leadership, Kan public broadcaster and Times of Israel have reported.

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu considered, then decided against, visiting the Czech Republic and Hungary on the way to the United States when he travels to address Congress on July 24, the Kan public broadcaster reports, amid fears the International Criminal Court was readying an arrest warrant against him,” writes the Times.

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Saudis Order 100 Air Taxis From German Startup, Reuters Says

Saudis Order 100 Air Taxis From German Startup, Reuters Says:

Air taxi firm Lilium has won a major order from state-owned Saudi Arabian airline Saudia, according to Reuters, citing sources.

Saudia has signed a deal to purchase 100 electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles from the German air taxi firm ahead of an event with reporters on July 18 at the company’s headquarters near Munich.

Here’s more from the report:

The customer had signed a framework deal to buy 100 Lilium jets some 18 months ago and has invited reporters to an event which it said will give insight into Saudia’s forthcoming deals at Lilium headquarters near Munich on July 18.

The source said the aim was to convert the deal into a concrete order for vertical take-off electric air taxis.

Flying cars have long been seen as fiction, as some of us remember the animated sitcom “The Jetsons” from the 70s. But since venture capitalists have plowed billions of dollars into the eVTOL space, technological advancements have been rapidly made, increasing the odds these vehicles will transform intercity travel later this decade.

Powering the Lilium eVTOL are multiple small propellers driven by electric motors that provide lift during takeoff and landing and thrust during cruise.

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Switzerland Becoming A Hub For The Nuclear Revolution

Switzerland Becoming A Hub For The Nuclear Revolution:

In the beginning of July, the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Switzerland’s largest research institute for natural and engineering sciences, and Copenhagen Atomics, a Danish molten salt reactor developer, announced their large-scale experimental collaboration. The four-year agreement stands to put Europe in the pole position of the advanced nuclear technology field.

The Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) and Copenhagen Atomics have now publicly announced their collaboration agreement on a thorium molten salt critical experiment.

Aslak Stubsgaard, a co-founder of Copenhagen Atomics, writes in their press release: ‘We’ve spent nearly a decade perfecting our thorium molten salt reactors, and now, we are ready to test them in a real-world setting.’ Beyond the goal of validating the technology, the experiment will provide valuable experience for the design, construction, licensing, operation, and decommissioning of the new technology and help collect data for commercial deployment.

Read moreSwitzerland Becoming A Hub For The Nuclear Revolution

Poland Preparing Military For Full-Scale Conflict, Army Chief Says

Poland Preparing Military For Full-Scale Conflict, Army Chief Says:

NATO officials have announced several major moves which collectively mark a significant escalation with Russia at the annual NATO summit in Washington DC this week. First, President Biden on Tuesday unveiled that the US is sending dozens of anti-air defense systems to Ukraine forces amid stepped-up Russian aerial assaults.

Next, a joint statement from Washington, the Hague and Copenhagen confirmed that an initial batch of US-made F-16 jet fighters are en route to Ukraine. This alone marks a massive escalation, given Moscow has already vowed it will target the jets.

On Wednesday, yet another ultra-provocative announcement was made aimed at ‘deterring’ Moscow. Poland’s army chief of staff General Wieslaw Kukula called for his country to prepare its soldiers for all-out conflict.

“Today, we need to prepare our forces for full-scale conflict, not an asymmetric-type conflict,” General Kukula told a press conference. “This forces us to find a good balance between the border mission and maintaining the intensity of training in the army,” he said.

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NATO Countries Closest To Russia Up Defense Spending

NATO Countries Closest To Russia Up Defense Spending:

Authored by Andrew Thornebrooke via The Epoch Times,

The nations on NATO’s easternmost flank are investing record amounts on defense in order to deter further Russian aggression against the region.

Defense ministers from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania gathered on July 9 in Washington to express their dedication to the NATO alliance and encourage other allies to pull their weight when it came to defense contributions.

Anything less, they warned, could encourage more violence in Eastern Europe and, possibly, the end of some nations outright.

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