Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

For Peat’s Sake

“Peatlands cover only a small fraction of the Earth’s surface (3%), yet store more than 15%–30% of terrestrial carbon (C) stocks” One of the terrible tipping points is oxidation of Peat due to warming (another is release of methane from melting tundra). But one key question is why didn’t the carbon in peat turn to […]

Coronavirus dashboard for July 5: no sign of a BA.4&5 wave in cases yet

Coronavirus dashboard for July 5: no sign of a BA.4&5 wave in cases yet, as the next variant has appeared in India  – by New Deal democrat I haven’t done a Coronavirus dashboard in a couple of weeks, and there have been a few developments, so let’s take a look. First of all, the BA.4&5 […]

More Bad News in Manufacturing and Construction

“Manufacturing and construction start out the second half of 2022 with more bad news“  – by New Deal democrat Let’s take a look at the new month’s first data, on manufacturing and construction. The ISM manufacturing index, and especially its new orders subindex, is an important short leading indicator for the production sector. In June, […]

Initial claims continue weakening trend, not signaling recession this year

Initial claims continue weakening trend, but are not signaling recession this year Initial jobless claims declined -2,000 (from an upwardly revised 233,000), to 231,000 last week, vs. the 50+ year low of 166,000 set in March. The 4 week average rose further, by 7,250 to 231,750, compared with the all-time low of 170,500 twelve weeks […]

Is Putin waiting for Trump?

So suggests Noah Smith: My view is that Putin is banking on congressional Republicans.  At this point is seems clear that the Ukrainian army is better than the Russian army (more motivated, better trained and led) and that NATO weapons are better than Russian weapons.  If the current coalition in support of Ukraine holds together, […]

Legacy of Racial Injustice in the Administration of the Death Penalty

Interesting information on how courts both state and federal distinguish and discriminate based upon race and color. Not necessarily new information. McCleskey goes back 35 years. In a SCOTUS hearing McCleskey was told data on patterns of sentencing was not allowable unless it was directly related to him. Warren was put to death September 21, […]

Housing unaffordability closes in on bubble peaks

Housing unaffordability closes in on bubble peaks; expect substantial price declines and increased foreclosures in the likely oncoming recession – by New Deal democrat I last looked at the issue of housing affordability at the beginning of April. As we all know, mortgage rates have continued to skyrocket in the past several months. At present […]