Links 12/23/09

Dear patient readers, still behind the eight ball!

Desert Vistas vs. Solar Power New York Times (hat tip reader John D)

Top hedge funds bet on big yields rise Financial Times

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll Rasmussen. DoctoRx points out that the poll finds a strong link between Obama’s tanking popularity and widespread opposition to the health care bill.

The globalization of “extend and pretend” Tim Iacono

Unfamiliar Ground Foreign Policy (hat tip DoctoRx). Today’s must read. Short version: Afghanistan defeats modern terrain data.

Top Ten Reasons Why the Yield Curve Will Flatten (Hint: This Is a Different Sort of Recession) David Goldman

I normally don’t do plugs, reader Linda did send me an MP3, but it was too big to upload, and I seem unable to find a link. Her message:
Reader Lisa T sent this message:

Fascinating Aida are a Brit trio currently appearing at 59E59 on the East Side of Manhattan – I personally loved it. They specialize in satirical songs and their latest act includes the attached ditty called The Markets. It’s on their Silver Jubilee album which is available on ITunes and at Amazon.

I will attest the song was clever and fun (for instance, a technically accurate description of derivatives to a Gilbert & Sullivan patter baritone tune).

Antidote du jour:

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  1. IF

    I am fairly familiar with the Mojave. The reasons these companies want the land is
    a) they try to get it for below cost from the Feds
    b) it has some of the highest average watt per m^2 (high up, south, desert)

    The problem is that the part of the Mojave desert between Joshua Tree and Mojave NP is some of the last empty land in California. Alternative sites (lots of empty, inexpensive – but private – desert land) can be found closer to L.A. to the west or closer to San Diego to the south. But one has to pay market rates for that.

    The problem is, and I remember this well, the checkerboard land (given to the railroad tycoons in the 1800’s) was purchased and donated back for preservation to the American people. Why give it away again like 150 years ago?

    “Mr. Myers stresses that he is not against large-scale solar power plants but prefers that they be concentrated on already disturbed farmlands. In recent months, he said, he has worked with solar developers to find alternative sites.”

    I agree with Mr. Myers (who helped donated parts of the land). There is land price slump in Southern California. Why should the federal government make this worse by flooding private companies with tens of thousands of acres of subsidized area?

    I am all for solar power and don’t mind seeing endless rows of panels. But there is so much semi-developed desert in CA (having paved or dirt roads, occasional houses, mines or some industry) and the needs of the solar industry are fairly small (100 square miles should easily replace 10 nukes), that I don’t see why one should start “the transition” by ruining a wilderness. If they run out of desert (ha!), maybe. But don’t start with it just because the land can be extracted from federal officials for cheap.

  2. DownSouth

    From the Rasmussen Poll:

    Overall, 44% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President’s performance. Fifty-six percent (56%) now disapprove.

    It wasn’t but a couple of weeks that he slipped below 50%.

    At this rate he’ll be down in Bush territory by Easter.

    And it looks like the only people who now support healthcare “reform” are the insurance companies and doctors. If the Senate bill is the end product, everybody just get out the Vaseline and bend over, because after the banking industry gets through with us, the healthcare industry wants its turn.

    1. lark

      oh, dream on.

      He’ll get a surge after the health care reform passes. Once folks realize that they don’t face death and dismemberment after being laid off.

  3. Davy

    Rasmussen is not a good source – take a look at Rasmussen’s results are virtually always downside outliers for Dem / Obama. I.e. accurate polling shows a decline in Obama’s approval ratings, but a bounce over the past couple of weeks.

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