Bill USA's Journal
Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 04:25 PM
Number of posts: 3,172
Number of posts: 3,172
Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.” __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that
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"... 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten. ... Moreover, almost all of that uneaten food ends up rotting in landfills where it accounts for almost 25 percent of U.S. methane emissions.
... this is posted for those who have expressed concern about how our our crops are being used.
Posted by Bill USA | Fri Feb 7, 2014, 05:10 PM (1 replies)
whoever woulda thunk it! Traditional post Christmas layoffs with historically bad weather in Jan-Feb
While the Republicans have obstructed 4.2 million jobs, they can't take credit for a historically bad cold snap and mega snowfalls affecting 23 states nor the traditional post-Christmas lay-offs phenomenon.
Regardless of historically bad winter weather in January- February period, ADP expects jobs added in January to be 175,000. Since the Republican Trickle Down Deregulation Disaster began the average net change for the month of January is -44,000 - jobs lost (which includes the loss of 794,000 jobs in January 2009, at the beginning of the Supply Side Surprise courtesy of the GOP (with special ignominy going to Alan "Mr. Magoo" Greenspan and Phil "Deregulator REX" Gramm - Dr. FrankenGramm's monster: the Commodities Futures Modernization act 2000)).
Dr. FrankenGramm's monster: the Commodities Futures Modernization Act - 2000
In other words, three of the nation's largest financial institutions had made more bad bets than they could afford to pay off. Bear Stearns was sold to J.P. Morgan for pennies on the dollar, Lehman Brothers was allowed to go belly up, and AIG, considered too big to let fail, is on life support thanks to a $180 billion investment by U.S. taxpayers.
"It's legalized gambling. It was illegal gambling. And we made it legal gambling…with absolutely no regulatory controls. Zero, as far as I can tell," Dinallo says.
The vehicle for doing this was an obscure but critical piece of federal legislation called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. And the bill was a big favorite of the financial industry it would eventually help destroy.
It not only removed derivatives and credit default swaps from the purview of federal oversight, on page 262 of the legislation, Congress pre-empted the states from enforcing existing gambling and bucket shop laws against Wall Street.
Alan "Mr. Magoo" Greenspan
Greenspan's super-low interest rates and consistent opposition to regulation of the multitrillion-dollar derivatives market are now widely blamed for causing the credit crisis. Under Greenspan's tenure the derivatives market went from barely registering to a $500 trillion industry, despite billionaire investor Warren Buffett warning that they were "financial weapons of mass destruction".
His rock-bottom rates encouraged Americans to load up on debt to buy homes, even when they had no savings, no income and no job prospects.
These so-called sub-prime borrowers were the cannon fodder for the biggest boom-bust in US history. The housing collapse brought the global economy to its knees.
He was given an honorary knighthood in 2002 for his "contribution to global economic stability" (in true Marx Brothers style comedy_Bill USA), but in 2008, at a Congressional hearing investigating the causes of the financial crisis, Greenspan finally admitted he "made a mistake in presuming" that financial firms could regulate themselves.
Posted by Bill USA | Thu Feb 6, 2014, 04:47 PM (0 replies)
Posted by Bill USA | Tue Feb 4, 2014, 08:19 PM (17 replies)
... yes, cattle eat grass, so they are returning CO2 to the atmosphere that went into growing the plants they eat. BUT, cattle return the CO2 in the form of methane (e.g. phart bombs) which has 34 times the Heat Trapping capacity of CO2, over a 100 year period.
Livestock, does it really matter in the scheme of all greenhouse gas emissions?
In short, yes! Depending how the figure is calculated, livestock account for anywhere between 18 and 51 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions measured in CO2 equivalent. Even the conservative estimate of 18 percent is a higher share than all transport—cars, trucks, planes, airplanes and mopeds—put together. This number is reported in CO2 equivalent because many of the gases released by agriculture, such as methane, have 23 times the global warming potential (GWP) of CO2. Nitrous oxide, of which livestock is responsible for 65 percent of anthropogenic output, has 296 times the GWP of CO2. Raising farm animals is a huge part of our climate change problem, and cutting back on animal products is one of the biggest, most immediate things we all can do to help.
Changes in land use due to livestock are also a significant contributor to our global carbon footprint. We impact more land with livestock grazing than with any other use, including crops, roads and cities. According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization, livestock are the single largest anthropogenic user of land. The total area occupied by grazing is equivalent to 26 percent of the ice-free terrestrial surface of the planet—a full quarter of our livable Earth! Beyond the fact that much of this land was once forest before being converted to pasture, over 20 percent of the pastureland in the world are degraded to some extent by overgrazing, compaction and erosion. All of these processes release carbon to the atmosphere, and reduce the potential for restoring this carbon in the future.
The simplest way to think about why meat produces more emissions is in terms of the efficiency of converting grain to edible meat. Or even more, plant protein to animal protein.
the article points out that chickens convert plant protein to animal protein (meat) at a conversion efficiency of 20%. Cattle's conversion efficiency is ...4%.
Now, I don't think it's realistic for many of us to try to become complete vegetarians, but if we each just cut back on Beef say, 10% that would help the planet. Then, maybe after getting used to cutting back 10%, after a while people might think about cutting back another 10%!.. and so on..
Posted by Bill USA | Tue Feb 4, 2014, 08:13 PM (7 replies)
The Congressional Budget Office expects insurance companies to pay in more than they take out....for a net savings to the Government (i.e. us) of about $8 BILLION.
The Obamacare program Republicans have criticized as a "bailout for insurance companies" will actually save the federal government about $8 billion, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday.
The program in question, known as risk corridors, was designed to stabilize insurance premiums if the pool of people who sign up for coverage is different than expected.
Many Republicans, led by Sen. Marco Rubio, want to repeal the program—perhaps as part of an agreement to raise the debt ceiling. But the program will probably save the government money, CBO said in its revised budget figures.
Here's how risk corridors work: When insurers' real-life costs are higher than what they expected when they set their premiums, the government absorbs some of the losses. When insurers' costs are lower than expected, they pay into the program.
Posted by Bill USA | Tue Feb 4, 2014, 05:14 PM (1 replies)
As dirty tricks go, this one is pretty minor, and even a bit funny:
The National Republican Congressional Committee has set up a number of websites that look like they could be a Democratic candidate’s campaign page, unless you read the fine print. They may even violate a Federal Election Commission regulation, Campaign Legal Center expert Paul S. Ryan explained to ThinkProgress.
The websites have large photos of Democratic candidates (and the photographs, unlike those in your typical anti candidate ad, are smiley and mostly flattering), and big, official-looking “ for Congress” graphics. There is a bit of much smaller type, and then the usual donation boxes. Except! The small type explains that you are donating to defeat this person. Here’s one of them:
The NRCC bought Google ads to send people searching for the candidates to the faux sites, which were all registered with official-sounding URLs like “domenic-recchia.com.” Then they bragged about it to donors:
After the NRCC launched three such sites, including one targeting New York Democratic congressional candidate Sean Eldridge, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Georgia, deputy chairman of the NRCC, wrote in a September fundraising pitch to donors, “We ruined three Democrats’ campaign launches last week and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (Pelosi’s campaign machine) couldn’t be more upset.”
As of now, there are at least six of these fake sites, all promoted with Google ads to make them appear at the very top of searches, with that barely legible yellow background (denoting paid links) that Google hopes you don’t notice. At least one person accidentally donated to the RNC while intending to donate to a Democratic candidate. The NRCC agreed to refund his donation, but obviously people who never realize they were tricked won’t ask for refunds. It may not be quite Nixonian, but yes, solid dirty trick, NRCC.
Republican Look-Alike Sites Mocking Democrats May Violate Rules - National Journal
Could targeted Democrats get the last laugh when it comes to anti-candidate microsites?
The National Republican Congressional Committee proudly launched a faux campaign website for Democratic candidate Domenic Recchia this week, mocking him as a "career politician … asking for your vote." They even bought Google ads to direct New Yorkers to www.domenic-recchia.com, designed at first glance to look like it could be Recchia's own, down to the same yellow star replacing the dot in the 'i' of his last name.
The problem is such a look-alike site, with a banner blaring "Domenic Recchia for Congress," may violate Federal Election Commission regulations for confusing the public, election lawyers say. (Screengrab)
"This doesn't even strike me as a close call," said Paul S. Ryan, senior counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan campaign watchdog group. "It's a slam dunk."
The Recchia site is just the latest in a series of mocking microsites the NRCC has put online to attack, taunt, and otherwise annoy Democratic congressional candidates from Montana to New York to West Virginia
Posted by Bill USA | Tue Feb 4, 2014, 04:09 PM (5 replies)
Here we go again. During the 2012 campaign, The Fact Checker had to repeatedly explain that the Congressional Budget Office never said that the Affordable Care Act “killed” 800,000 jobs by 2021. Now, the CBO has released an , nearly the triple the size of the earlier one: 2.3 million in 2021.
The CBO’s estimate is mostly the result of an analysis of the impact of the law on the supply of labor. That means how many people choose to participate in the work force. In other words, the nonpartisan agency is examining whether the law increases or decreases incentives for people to work.
One big issue: the health insurance subsidies in the law. That’s a substantial benefit that decreases as people earn more money, so at a certain point, a person has to choose between earning more money or continuing to get the maximum help with health insurance payments. In other words, people might work longer and harder, but actually earn no more, or earn even less, money. That is a disincentive to work. (The same thing happens when people qualify for food stamps or other social services.)
Thus, some people might decide to work part-time, not full time, in order to keep getting health-care subsidies. Thus, they are reducing their supply of labor to the market.
Posted by Bill USA | Tue Feb 4, 2014, 03:21 PM (5 replies)
The Republican response to the State of the Union was delivered by Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Republican representative from Washington — and it was remarkable for its lack of content. A bit of uplifting personal biography, a check list of good things her party wants to happen with no hint of how it plans to make them happen.
The closest she came to substance was when she described a constituent, “Bette in Spokane,” who supposedly faced a $700-a-month premium hike after her policy was canceled. “This law is not working,” intoned Ms. McMorris Rodgers. And right there we see a perfect illustration of just how Republicans are trying to deceive voters — and are, in the process, deceiving themselves.
I’ll get back to “Bette in Spokane” in a minute, but first, is Obamacare “not working”?
Everyone knows about the disastrous rollout, but that was months ago. Since then, health reform has been steadily making up lost ground. At this point enrollments in the health exchanges are only about a million below Congressional Budget Office projections, and rising faster than projected. So a best guess is that by the time 2014 enrollment closes on March 31, there will be more than six million Americans signed up through the exchanges, versus seven million projected. Sign-ups might even meet the projection.
Posted by Bill USA | Mon Feb 3, 2014, 08:20 PM (0 replies)
I haven't seen you make a case for your proposition that making ethanol from corn has reduced our production of food any (keep in mind US farmers produce more than we can eat all the time. Also, note that most of the corn crop is raised to feed Cattle - cattle which evolved to eat GRASS. Cattle which are healthier eating grass than they are eating corn - and which provide healthier meat when fed grass. All to provide consumers with cheaper red meat - something which is not necessary only optional.). The Government has set a limit on how much ethanol can be made from corn. Your approach is to demagogue the issue because you don't have any valid argument. And when countered, you resort to personal attacks rather than any logical argument. .... Doesn't say much for your argument or for you, does it?
(BTW I also mentioned as a way of increasing the supply of renewable alcohol fuel the production of methanol from biomass (this could be any biomass, such as forestry products waste). This would be added to the ethanol being produced and it could be increased in production volume faster than ethanol can. Methanol up to about 10% of the blend would not be that much of a problem - but if it was (like at a higher proportions of the blend), and if we are REALLY interested in fighting GW, then make all ICEs alcohol compatible. This is not a huge, or very expensive, technical challenge. We know how to do it and what it takes - so no technical questions to be solved.)
You say renewable fuels don't do anything to counter GW yet, have not offered any approach to countering GW. This is why I supposed you are just interested in protecting Oil industry business and profits which ethanol has already cut into. This is the approach of the oil industry. The oil industry has spent beaucoup bucks to have pseudo studies done & published and mounted an aggressive publicity campaign against ethanol in particular - because ethanol presents a clear and present danger to their profits - by reducing the price of oil/gasoline (Big Oil Goes to College , and on Democracy NOW).
I am not actually engaged in a discussion with you, as it is clear that you are beyond reach of rational argument. I am presenting my comments for those who are able to think for themselves and are open to rational argument and the presentation of empirical evidence.
...and so, with these people in mind:
You say: "Renewable(s) like ethanol are not going to slow the growth of global warming"
Ethanol currently represents ~11% of light transportation fuel consumed. The Argonne National Laboratory's 2012 report puts Ethanol's GHG emissions reduction vs gasoline at 34% (using the 50th percentile - the median. This is a representative number as opposed to the 10th percentile number used by the EPA).
So, 34% of 11% yields ~3.73% GHG Emissions Reduction for the entire fleet of Light Vehicles.
... Not much you say?? Well, how many Toyota Priuses would it take to get that much GHG emissions reduction?
So, convert the fleet GHG emissions reduction achieved by ethanol, to vehicles apply 3.73% to the Light Vehicle fleet of 247,900,000 cars and light trucks, which gives you: 9,236,708 vehicles.
Now, ... the Prius gets roughly a 32.6% reduction of GHG emissions per car (vs. a comparable payload and weight car..e.g. a Corolla).
You have to divide the 9,236,708 vehicles by the GHG reduction per car for the Prius... (.326).
9,236,708/(.326) = 28,317,801 Priuses
So, you would need ~28 million Priuses to achieve the same amount of total GHG emissions reduction achieved by ethanol for last year and almost as much in the four previous years.
How long will it take to get 28 million hybrids on the road? Estimates vary, because there are a number of variables involved. In that time however, ethanol will be racking up GHG reductions like these every year * (unless the Oil industry has its way). How long it will take to sell 28 million hybrids depends a lot on the state to the economy over that period. When the GOP manages to undermine the economy - either by sabotaging Democrats efforts to build the economy or by enacting more Supply Side - Trickle Down Econocomics measures and Deregulation madness - then sales of expensive hybrids and PHEVs (!) will suffer. When people are worried about job security sales of cars in general suffer. And people worried about job security aren't likely to go out and spend an extra $8,000 (Priuses premium over a Corolla) for a hybrid or an extra $15,000 for a PHEV.
* Actually, the current FFVs we have on the road do nothing to take advantage of ethanol's high octane (relative to gasoliine) property which consigns us to much smaller GHG reductions with ethanol, than than are possible. The Ethanol enabled direct injection turbo-charged engine designed by three MIT scientists gets 30% BETTER mileage than gasoline and very nearly DOUBLES the GHG emissions reductions for ethanol calculated by Argonne Natl Lab (67% GHG reduction per mile vs 34% per ANL) (- this is better than 3 times the 10th percentile value used by EPA). The top engineering student teams competing in the Ethanol Vehicle Challenge - 1998 achieved 13% to 15% BETTER fuel economy than the stock Malibus got with gasoline - and this without downsizing. With this improvement in mileage you would improve the GHG emissions of ethanol,as calculated by ANL, by better than 70%!
Posted by Bill USA | Mon Feb 3, 2014, 07:39 PM (0 replies)
e-mail from Paul Hogarth, Daily Kos
Sign and send a petition to your Senator: Food stamp cuts hurt blue states
The U.S. House just passed a Farm Bill that cuts food stamps by $8.7 billion, and it now faces a vote in the Senate soon. But it’s worse than you think.
Almost all of the food stamp cuts come from 16 states and the District of Columbia--the rest of the nation is left virtually untouched.
Further, 15 of these 16 states voted for President Obama twice, and 28 of its 32 senators are Democrats. In other words, these cuts are targeted overwhelmingly at poor folks in blue states.
Democrats who vote for the Farm Bill are forcing their own constituents and voters to bear the overwhelming burden of food stamp cuts.
If you live in one of these 16 states, sign and send our petition to your senators—urging them to reject the Farm Bill when it comes to a vote on the Senate floor.
Tell the Repugnants to go Fuck themselves - instead of the entire country, for a change.
Posted by Bill USA | Sat Feb 1, 2014, 04:52 PM (57 replies)