Most of the wealthiest US billionaires – who are much less visible and less reported on – more closely resemble Charles Koch. They are extremely conservative on economic issues. Obsessed with cutting taxes, especially estate taxes – which apply only to the wealthiest Americans. Opposed to government regulation of the environment or big banks. Unenthusiastic about government programs to help with jobs, incomes, healthcare, or retirement pensions – programs supported by large majorities of Americans. Tempted to cut deficits and shrink government by cutting or privatizing guaranteed social security benefits.
How can this be so? If it is true, why aren’t voters aware and angry about it?
Is This Worse Than ’68? (Paul D.)
According to Bryan Burrough, author of “Days of Rage, America’s Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence,” “During an eighteen month period in 1971 and 1972, the FBI reported more than 2,500 bombings on U.S. soil, nearly 5 a day.”
No, 2018 is not 1968, at least not yet.
A Giant Pile Of Money (tmn)
Hedge funds and other more exotic investments come at a steep price. A pension fund seeking to own a diverse basket of technology stocks, say, or invest in promising, mid-sized European companies may hire a stockbroker to handle that aspect of its portfolio for around 0.5 percent annually, or $500,000 a year for every $100 million invested. By comparison, hedge funds and private equity charge fees that work out closer to 5 percent annually, according to Howard Pohl, an investment consultant who has been advising public pension managers for more than four decades. Yves Smith, the pen name of management consultant Susan Webber, puts that figure closer to 7 percent a year on private equity investments. That’s $5 million to $7 million each year on every $100 million a pension invests with a firm.
The U.S. fiscal deficit rose to $779 billion in fiscal 2018, up 17 percent from the previous fiscal year. This happened after President Donald Trump signed a bill late last year slashing the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent. Spending levels climbed to their highest in six years while revenue only increased slightly.
The future of passwords? Your brain (Sparky1)
When a person looks at a photograph or hears a piece of music, her brain responds in ways that researchers or medical professionals can measure with electrical sensors placed on her scalp. We have discovered that every person’s brain responds differently to an external stimulus, so even if two people look at the same photograph, readings of their brain activity will be different.
Nonetheless, COLSA Corporation participation in the US cyber efforts around the globe is not limited to Russia and ISIS. It’s also searching military analysts to influence, Arab states, Turkey, Iran, some EU states (Bulgaria, Greece), states in the Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Afghanistan) and in Africa (Somalia) etc. The list of the job offerings allows to get a general picture of the US propaganda operations around the globe in which COLSA Corporation is involved. And this is only one contractor.
That’s the word POLITICO got from defense lawyers working on the Russia probe and more than 15 former government officials with investigation experience spanning Watergate to the 2016 election case. The public, they say, shouldn’t expect a comprehensive and presidency-wrecking account of Kremlin meddling and alleged obstruction of justice by Trump — not to mention an explanation of themyriad subplots that have bedeviled lawmakers, journalists and amateur Mueller sleuths.
Perhaps most unsatisfying: Mueller’s findings may never even see the light of day.
An early version of the resolution explicitly says the city must divorce itself from the Trump administration and its congressional allies such as Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, who’s branded the state plan a “water grab.” The Trump administration has vowed to sue the state if the so-called Bay-Delta plan goes forward, saying it would interfere with the operation of key reservoirs owned by the federal government in the San Joaquin Valley.
Student loans have seen almost 157 percent in cumulative growth over the last 11 years. By comparison, auto loan debt has grown 52 percent while mortgage and credit-card debt actually fell by about 1 percent, according to a Bloomberg Global Data analysis of federal and private loans. All told, there’s a whopping $1.5 trillion in student loans out there (through the second quarter of 2018), marking the second-largest consumer debt segment in the country after mortgages, according to the Federal Reserve. And the number keeps growing.
It’s hard to believe that an India which was also facing food shortages – a predicted 25 per cent loss in food production at two degrees Celsius higher average global temperature – would voluntarily give up water it is entitled to by treaty. It’s equally hard to believe that Pakistan would let its own people starve without threatening war with India.
Both of these countries have nuclear weapons. Their problem-solving abilities, as currently displayed, do not inspire confidence.
A recent article in the Manila-based Business Mirror said the project, which was 90 percent complete, had hit a “dead end,” either being trapped in a “bureaucratic quagmire or stymied by a group that may be adversely affected by its implementation.” According to the report, after a Philippine Senate hearing in April, hurdles from a myriad of government agencies had prevented the project from completion, including the Department of Energy (DOE), National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), the National Transmission Corp. (Transco) and the Grid Management Committee (GMC).
Why Wind Power Isn’t the Answer (thc0655)
But the new study, published in Environmental Research Letters, shows yet again that wind energy’s Achilles heel is its paltry power density. “We found that the average power density—meaning the rate of energy generation divided by the encompassing area of the wind plant—was up to 100 times lower than estimates by some leading energy experts,” said lead author Lee Miller, a postdoctoral fellow who coauthored the report with Harvard physics professor David Keith. The problem is that most estimates of wind energy’s potential ignore “wind shadow,” an effect that occurs when turbines are placed too closely together: the upwind turbines rob wind speed from others placed downwind.
Geoengineering is no closer to working (Paul D.)
Geoengineering – the technological fix that would permit humans to go on burning coal, oil and natural gas – has been repeatedly dismissed as an answer by successive teams of researchers: either the outcome is uncertain, or the consequences potentially hazardous or politically dangerous.
“We are sleepwalking towards the edge of a cliff” said Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF. “If there was a 60% decline in the human population, that would be equivalent to emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China and Oceania. That is the scale of what we have done.”
“When I was in grad school, the terminus of the glacier was at that river branch, which is now one kilometer from the terminus,” he says. “Last year I was there, and I realized it wasn’t that long ago I was in school, and now look at how much ice is just gone. It’s a lot of ice. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around how fast it has been happening just in the past few years.”
He pauses, then says, “There was a while when it was warmer but the glaciers hadn’t quite responded yet, but now we’re really seeing the change in them, and it’s accelerating.”
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