Showing posts from June 10, 2016

Natural Gas Is Already Losing To Renewables

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[So much for Christy Clark's "bridge fuel" theory: the bridge has already been crossed. I sent this one to her public email address. *RON*]

Nick Cunningham,, 9 June 2016

For years natural gas has been likened to a “bridge fuel,” a source of electricity generation that can tide us over until renewables are ready to carry the full load. When it is burned natural gas emits about half of the CO2 as coal, making it a preferred alternative to coal, which has long dominated U.S. power generation.

Environmentalists have criticized natural gas because although it is cleaner than coal, it still is a fossil fuel that emits greenhouse gases. Methane is also released during production and transmission, a particularly potent greenhouse gas. Moreover, the idea of a “bridge fuel” is a not as neat as is often claimed, environmentalists argue, because investing billions of dollars into long-lived assets – pipelines, power plants, processin…

Ransomeware and The New Economics of Cybercrime

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[Digital thieves’ most crucial adaptation in recent years has little to do with their technical tools and everything to do with their business model. There's such a glut of cybercrime that prices are dropping; thieves find it more profitable now to sell the data back to its owner. *RON*]

Josephine Wolff, The Atlantic, 9 June 2016 It’s a good time to be a cybercriminal. There are more victims to target, there is more data to steal, and there is more money to be made from doing so than ever before.

It would seem to follow, then, that there’s been very little progress since 2007, when hackers stole at least 45.6 million credit-card numbers from the servers of TJX, the owner of TJ Maxx and Marshalls, catapulting the now-commonplace narrative of the massive data breach to national prominence.

But the truth is that the forces of cyber law and order have made lots of headway in the past decade. There are still large-scale data breaches, but credit-c…

Democrats Will Learn All the Wrong Lessons From Brush With Bernie

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[A bit of an over-emphasis on US politics here today, perhaps, but their politics, I feel, are a bellwether for many global ideological concerns. Taibbi predicts: "Instead of a reality check for the party, it'll be smugness redoubled... they're not worried. Behind the palace walls, nobody ever is." *RON*]

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, 9 June 2016

Years ago, over many beers in a D.C. bar, a congressional aide colorfully described the House of Representatives, where he worked.

It's "435 heads up 435 asses," he said.

I thought of that person yesterday, while reading the analyses of Hillary Clinton's victories Tuesday night. The arrival of the first female presidential nominee was undoubtedly a huge moment in American history and something even the supporters of Bernie Sanders should recognize as significant and to be celebrated. But the Washington media's assessment of how we got there was convoluted and sel…

Identity Politics and Interest

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[This article goes a long way toward explaining why women (and men) can be at loggerheads about Hillary. "Being gay, or female or colored is a really strong asset when dealing with most modern left-wing types because they tend to assume clustering, discount sell-outs and not understand that their assumptions are being used against them by con-artists." E.g., Ontario's Premier Kathleen Wynne has been great on gay issues, but is an economic neo-con.  "Identity does not have to cluster. It is less likely to cluster in important people, who identity strongly with other important people." *RON*]
by Ian Welsh, Ian Welsh website, 9 June 2016

Identity is not nonsense.

The stats on rape or attempted rate for women are somewhere between 1 in 4 and one in 6. Those are high stats.

The money earned by women is less than men in general. Yes, an unmarried white professional woman without children probably does as well or even better than …

U.S. elections ranked worst among Western democracies. Here’s why.

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["Americans are often proud of the democratic process here. Maybe they shouldn't be." From March, but clearly still pertinent for their upcoming elections. Note how far down the list Canada is, what with the US-style changes implemented by Harper that still haven't been undone by Trudeau. And that the UK is second-to-last place on this list. *RON*]

By Pippa Norris, Washington Post, 29 March 2016

The world is transfixed by the spectacle of U.S. elections.

From New York, London and Paris to Beijing, Moscow and Sydney there is endless heated debate in the news media and across dinner tables about the factors fueling the remarkable success of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, speculation about a brokered convention shattering the old GOP, and the most likely outcome of a polarizing Trump-Hillary Clinton battle in the fall.

This contest matters. It is the election for the most powerful leader in the Western world, and …

US Tax Receipts Signaling Recession?

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[There are always market pessimists around, but I'm starting to see more articles including the "R" word. And that first graph is mighty suggestive. See also: WSJ Survey: Economists Sharply Lower Estimates of Job Growth in the Next Year. *RON*]

Mike Shedlock, Mish Talk, 9 June 2016
US federal personal tax receipts receipts are falling fast. So is the Evercore ISI State Tax Survey.

The last two times the survey plunged this much, the US was already in recession.

Is it different this time?

I like to credit my sources. I picked that chart up from Liz Ann Sonders, Senior Vice President, Chief Investment Strategist, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

In turn, Sonders picked that up from Evercore ISI.

I added the recession bars and comments.