Requiem for American Exceptionalism (jdargis)
Americans are good at remembering what they want to remember. The hall where Patrick Henry spoke, the Old North Church in which Paul Revere saw the lantern, the hall in which the Declaration of Independence was signed, the houses of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, and Franklin—all survive or have been painstakingly reconstructed. Their counterparts from the French Revolution have almost entirely vanished. The educational effort at Civil War battlefields overwhelms anything seen at any European field I’ve ever seen. (Although the soon-to-open visitor center at Waterloo looks almost Gettysburg-like in scale.)
Porcelli tracked wages through the index of aggregate weekly payrolls for private production workers, which takes into account hourly earnings, the length of the workweek and changes in employment for about 80 percent of the labor force. Records go back to 1964, longer than the measure for all employees that includes supervisors, which dates back only to 2006.
A patchwork of experiments across the country are trying to better manage these cases. The Center for Health Care Strategies, a policy center in New Jersey, has documented such efforts in 26 states. Some are run by private insurers and health care providers, while others are part of broader state overhaul efforts. The federal government is supporting some, too, through its $10 billion Innovation Center, set up under the Affordable Care Act.
The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains (jdargis)
For decades, chlorpyrifos, marketed by Dow Chemical beginning in 1965, was the most widely used insect killer in American homes. Then, in 1995, Dow was fined $732,000 by the EPA for concealing more than 200 reports of poisoning related to chlorpyrifos. It paid the fine and, in 2000, withdrew chlorpyrifos from household products. Today, chlorpyrifos is classified as “very highly toxic” to birds and freshwater fish, and “moderately toxic” to mammals, but it is still used widely in agriculture on food and non-food crops, in greenhouses and plant nurseries, on wood products and golf courses.
Since then, as expected, crude tumbled to new post-Lehman lows, confirming the global deflationary wave is raging (for more details please see China), and WTI only posted a rebound on quad-witching Friday as another algo-driven stop hunt spooked all those who were short the energy complex.
The problem is that despite the latest “dead oil bounce” we have since had to revise our forecast for full US oil storage, and pulled forward the date when this will happen in the aftermath of the latest API inventory data.
The first desal plant in the state was built by the Navy at the tip of Point Loma in 1962. It was taken apart two years later and hauled to the U.S. Navy base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, when Fidel Castro cut off the base water supply. A new desalination plant, the largest in the Western hemisphere, is nearing completion in Carlsbad and could start delivering fresh water here late this year. Another major desal plant has been proposed in Orange County, but it seems to be on the slow track for approval by the California Coastal Commission. Santa Barbara is considering reactivating a desal plant it took out of service in 1992 and a dozen or so other communities are considering desalination.
Would that diminish California’s largest-in-the-nation agricultural economy? Perhaps, and fair compensation for those whose water rights are reduced would be necessary. But as visible and water-intensive as it may be, farming is a relatively tiny part of the state’s overall economy.
Shifting water from farms could be an interim step as we embark on a crash program of increasing supply.
World Water Day (jdargis)
What you can do:
Conserve water at home by taking shorter showers, investing in a low-flow toilet and turning off the tap while brushing your teeth or shaving. Plant low-water species in your yard.
Gold & Silver
Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group
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