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Live Fire


From   F-35A Lightning II test aircraft assigned to the 31st Test Evaluation Squadron from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., released AIM-120 AMRAAM and AIM-9X missiles at QF-16 targets during a live-fire test over an Air Force range in the Gulf of Mexico on June 12, 2018. The Joint Operational Test Team conducted the missions as part of Block 3F Initial Operational Test and Evaluation.

Federal Tax Collections Reach Another Record

We have a spending problem, not a taxing problem…


The lede:  The federal government collected a record $1,305,490,000,000 in individual income taxes through the first nine months of fiscal 2018 (October 2017 through June 2018), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.

Despite the record individual income tax collections, the federal government still ran a deficit of $607,099,000,000 over those same nine months, according to the Treasury statement. 

The approximately $1,305,490,000,000 in individual income taxes that the Treasury collected in October through June of this fiscal year was $71,815,310,000 more (in constant June 2018 dollars) than the $1,233,674,690,000 (in constant June 2018 dollars) in individual income taxes that the Treasury collected in October through June of fiscal 2017—which was the previous record.

Read the whole thing:

Initial Jobless Claims Continue To Fall

From the Labor Department In the week ending July 7, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 214,000, a decrease of 18,000 from the previous week’s revised level.  The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 231,000 to 232,000.  The 4-week moving average was 223,000, a decrease of 1,750 from the previous week’s revised average.  The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 224,500 to 224,750.

In sum,  So far this year, 27 out of 52 weeks, initial claims have averaged 225K.  That’s the lowest average since 1969($196K). 

Rollbacks matter.

Hat tip Ryan Detrick.

Never Quit


Hat tip Steve Burns

Super Herc Fireworks


From   A C-130J Super Hercules sits on the flight line during a fireworks display at Yokota Air Base, Japan, July 3, 2018. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Donald Hudson

Hornet Hook Up


From   ATLANTIC OCEAN (June 30, 2018) F/A-18E Super Hornets from the Jolly Rogers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 103 perform a tanker-tow over the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) during an air power demonstration for guests. Abraham Lincoln hosted a friends and family day cruise to show loved ones what their Sailors do on a regular basis. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jeff Sherman)

Employment Report Due Tomorrow Morning

Some color:   The forecast for the forthcoming BLS report is for 190K nonfarm private new jobs and the unemployment rate to remain at 3.8%. Their forecast for the May full nonfarm new jobs is (the PAYEMS number) is 200K.


From yesterday’s ADP report:   “The labor market continues to march towards full employment,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. “Healthcare led job growth once again and trade rebounded nicely.”

Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said, “Business’ number one problem is finding qualified workers. At the current pace of job growth, if sustained, this problem is set to get much worse. These labor shortages will only intensify across all industries and company sizes.”

Hat tip

Coming Aboard


From   PHILIPPINE SEA (June 20, 2018) An F/A-18E/F Super Hornet assigned to the “Dambusters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 195 prepares to make an arrested landing on the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). Ronald Reagan, the flagship of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5, provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Darren M. Moore)

Wings of Cotton


From  MEDITERRANEAN SEA (June 26, 2018) An F/A-18 Super Hornet flies over the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) during a change of command ceremony for the “Fighting Checkmates” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211. Harry S. Truman is operating in Commander 6th Fleet area of responsibility in support of maritime security operations alongside allies. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Rebekah A. Watkins)

Stacked Angels


From The Blue Angels, the Navy’s flight demonstration squadron, perform during the Vectren Dayton Air Show in Dayton, Ohio, June 23, 2018. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Timothy Schumaker

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