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Archive for July 26th, 2013

U.S. Public Debt Defies Gravity for 68 Days

Posted by feww on July 26, 2013

U.S. Federal Debt hit $16,738,105,803,858.21 on July 24: Daily Treasury Statement

The Total Public Debt Outstanding now exceeds the statuary debt ceiling by more than $38.68 billion.

  • As of May 19, 2013 the debt limit was increased to $16,699,421,095,673.60,  according to Treasury Department.

However, the U.S. federal debt has been kept unchanged at $16,699,396,000,000.00 for 68 straight days, an amount which is exactly $25 million less than the statuary debt limit, ETFGuide reported.

daily T statement
TABLE III-C – Debt Subject to Limit – DAILY TREASURY STATEMENT – Cash and debt operations of the United States Treasury – Wednesday, July 24, 2013.  

The US National Debt was more than $16,878 billion, with the debt per taxpayer calculated at $148,015, as of posting, according to


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U.S. Drought Expands for 6th Consecutive Week

Posted by feww on July 26, 2013

Drought and dry conditions expand in the U.S. South, West, Midwest and High Plains

The areas in contiguous U.S.  that are covered by ‘Abnormally Dry’ thru ‘Exceptional Drought’ (D0 – D4 on the Drought Monitor scale) have expanded to 58.30 percent for the week ending July 23, 2013, up from 54.39 percent a week earlier.

Abnormally dry areas in the U.S. Midwest, including the top crop state of Iowa, reached 18.94 percent, up from 7.16 percent.

Iowa has experienced a triple fold increase in the areas covered by abnormally dry condition, reaching 62.9 percent, compared to 19.8 percent earlier.

Dry conditions have also expanded in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota and Missouri.

Five additional Montana counties have been designated as agricultural disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by the expanding drought.

us drought map 23jul2013
US Drought Map as of July 23, 2013, released by US Drought Monitor on  July 25, 2013.

About 64 percent of the topsoil in Arkansas was rated short or very short of moisture, with 24 percent of the state’s pasture and rangeland in poor or very poor condition.

California had 95 percent of its pasture and rangeland in poor or very poor condition. Colorado 64 percent, Kansas 55 percent, Texas 44 percent and Arizona had 79 percent so rated, according to July 22 U.S. Department of Agriculture crop progress report.

“Missouri had 60 percent of the topsoil short or very short of moisture, and Iowa had 57 percent so rated, which was a jump of 22 percent since last week.”

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Plague-infected Squirrel Found in Los Angeles-area Campground

Posted by feww on July 26, 2013

Squirrel tests positive for plague in Angeles National Forest North of LA

A ground squirrel has tested positive for plague after it was trapped in the Angeles National Forest during “routine surveillance activities,” said the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

The LA County has released the following health advisory:

HEALTH ADVISORY: Closures Posted for Broken Blade, Twisted Arrow, and Pima Loops of the Table Mountain Campgrounds Due to Plague Found in a Ground Squirrel

Closure signs posted in the Angeles National Forest near Wrightwood

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and U.S. Forestry Service officials have closed the Broken Blade, Twisted Arrow, and Pima Loops of the Table Mountain Campgrounds in the Angeles National Forest after tests confirmed that one ground squirrel trapped on July 16, 2013 during routine surveillance activities tested positive on July 23, 2013 for plague. The sites were officially closed at 1:00 p.m. today, and will be closed for at least 7 days. Campers at the site have been notified of the closure by Forest Service officials. The campgrounds and recreational areas are located near Wrightwood. In coordination with the Los Angeles County Department of Agriculture/Weights and Measures, the squirrel burrows in the area will be dusted for fleas. Further testing of squirrels will be done before the area is re-opened to the public.

“Plague is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas, which is why we close affected campgrounds and recreational areas as a precaution while preventive measures are taken to control the flea population,” said Jonathan E. Fielding, M.D., M.P.H., Director of Public Health and Health Officer. “It is important for the public to know that there have only been four cases of human plague in Los Angeles County residents since 1984, none of which were fatal.”

Plague has been known to reside in the ground squirrels population in the San Gabriel Mountains. Previous routine surveillance identified one plague-positive ground squirrel in 2010 from the Los Alamos campgrounds in Gorman; one in 2007 and two in 1996 from the Stoneyvale Picnic Area near La Cañada/Flintridge; and one plague- positive ground squirrel from an adjacent campground in Vogel Flats in 1995.

Transmission of plague through flea bites causes bubonic plague, with symptoms including enlargement of lymph glands (buboes) near the flea bite and rapid onset of fever and chills. Untreated bubonic plague can progress to infection of the blood, or rarely, the lungs, causing pneumonic plague. All forms of the disease can be fatal if not treated; however, most patients respond well to antibiotic therapy.

Individuals visiting recreational areas near the Broken Blade, Twisted Arrow, and Pima Loops of the Table Mountain Campgrounds need to take certain precautions to avoid contact with wild animals that could be carrying plague- positive fleas. Visitors to recreational areas should not feed wild animals, not leave edible trash out where wild animals can get to it, avoid camping or picnicking in the immediate vicinity of ground squirrel burrows, and should avoid taking pets into areas where they could be exposed to fleas. If you must take your pet into areas with fleas, please ensure your pet has appropriate flea control and vaccinations, as recommended by a veterinarian.

“Protection with an insect repellant containing DEET is also recommended for persons visiting the Angeles National Forest and engaging in outside recreational activities in other areas of LA County,” said Dr. Fielding. Insect repellant can help protect people against fleas, mosquitoes, and ticks. Products containing DEET are not safe for use on pets.”

Members of the public who see dead ground squirrels in recreational areas, or who want more information about precautions should contact the LA County Department of Public Health, Vector Management Program at (626) 430-5450.

The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. […]


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