*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 5:00am ET.
Markets: The Dow and S&P begin the week following record closes on Friday. Keep your eyes on energy sectors that will benefit from Biden's multi-trillion dollar infrastructure plan.
Infrastructure: Nancy Pelosi is looking to advance the infrastructure vote and budget on a simultaneous path. Let's see if Congress can walk and chew gum at the same time.
MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES
The Lead: The Fall of Afghanistan
Taliban seated at the president palace in Kabul credit: ap
What the heck is happening in Afghanistan? The United States withdrew troops and the Taliban has taken over. Many Westerners are fleeing the country and that has turned bloody. It’s awful.
The Taliban aims to bring Islamic law to Afghanistan under a government named the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Their fundamental beliefs involve a strict interpretation of the Quran, with brutal enforcement for violations. They mandate strict dress and conduct codes. They oppose mixed-gender education and liberties for women. Their return to power will mean that Afghanis who have tasted freedom will have it revoked with bloody consequences for noncompliance.
This was always in the cards.
But how could the West have ever thought that it would beat those ideals back with guns and military force? All sorts of political finger-pointing is happening now between Presidents and nations but if 20 years of Western occupation and nation-building could be torn apart in 10 days, was there ever really a plan for fundamental change and progress? Now is not a time for I-told-you-so’s but I-told-you-so’s abound.
The newest concept in Taco Bell restaurants has a second-story restaurant above four drive-thru lanes. The food would be put on an elevator system to be delivered from the kitchen upstairs to the driver below. It is kind of like those suck tubes that your banker uses in a drive-up tellers, but hopefully slower so that your taco shells remain intact.
Drivers can order on an app and speed right through to pick up using a QR code, eliminating the need for any human interaction.
The first of these will break ground later this month in Minnesota.
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No more excuses about weight gain. We’re doing it wrong.
A new study shows that slower metabolism is not to blame for weight gain and obesity in middle age. Researchers studied 6,400 people in 29 countries and found that metabolism remains “rock solid” through middle life.
Metabolism is the energy expenditure that it takes to stay alive. It is how your body converts food and drink to live. These findings are contrary to the old belief that one loses 10% of metabolism every decade. Instead, the study found that metabolism is relatively stable between the ages of 20 and 60 years old. They did NOT find a reduction in metabolism during pregnancy or menopause. Metabolism did not decline.
“These findings would support the view that the obesity epidemic is fuelled by excess food energy intake and not a decline in energy expenditure.”
Anthropologists say that U.S. households have more possessions per home than any society in all of global history. Chew on this for a minute: The U.S. has 3.1% of the world’s children but consumes 40% of the world’s toys.
Researchers for University of California Television studied 32 middle-class families for their web series to document what they call “the material culture of dual-income, child-centered households in America.”
Here are some takeaways:
Women who were bothered by “household clutter showed an increased level of the stress hormone cortisol.” Men did not seem to care much.
Also, “while refrigerators and pantries of U.S. households are stuffed with convenience foods, studies show they save only about 12 minutes of preparation time per meal.”
Many of the families used shower stalls to hold excess clutter. Yes, shower stalls.
These and other tough pills to swallow are a part of the new series “A Cluttered Life: Middle-Class Abundance.”
News By The Numbers
1 star. That is the rating that a writer in England gave Loch Ness on TripAdvisor because he and his family did not find the Loch Ness monster.
5.9 million. That is how many people tuned in to the Field of Dreams Major League Baseball game last week making it the most-viewed regular-season game since 2005.
14. That is how old one must be to get married in North Carolina. Lawmakers are looking to raise that minimum…to 16. Yeah, better. They will also limit the age difference between a minor and their spouse to 4 years.
A Silicon Valley company created DoNotPay, which they call the “world’s first robot lawyer.” It can do minor legal procedures such as help get you out of a parking ticket, fight your gym membership, draft a legal letter and suggest the best legal-eze for your problem. It uses Artificial Intelligence to help solve common legal problems. The company says that it has an 80% success rate with most tasks and 65% success rate for appealing parking tickets. The founder says that the low success rate for parking tickets is because “some people are guilty.” It’s not a time machine after all!
Lawyers may not actually be replaced by this program. Rather, lawyers can use it to help them sift through documents. A lawyer in London estimates that it saved her £50,000 worth of legal work by sifting through 10,000 documents.
The robot cannot make closing arguments and impressive courtroom performances yet. For that, we still need humans to yell “I want the truth!”
Today's Live Show
A $7,000 STIMULUS CHECK? BIDEN'S BOLD INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN MOVES AHEAD
Join us on today's live morning show. We'll be analyzing the new petition aimed at sending a new round of stimulus checks and Nancy Pelosi's dual plan to move a budget along with massive stimulus. Click here to RSVP and I'll see you at 8:30 AM Eastern.
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