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links for 2011-05-21

  • Quote:"The complementary chart, below, shows that the Bush-era tax cuts and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars — including their associated interest costs — account for almost half of the projected public debt in 2019 (measured as a share of the economy) if we continue current policies.

    // Huge assumption in this article. Income taxation rates are not simple coefficients in Keynesian equations. It's more complicated than that. The author's assumption of increasing tax reciepts from higher rates in a basically linear fashion is the sort of one-dimensional thinking one would expect from an obtue academic. While higher taxes probably would increase revenues, those increases would not be predictable; the damage done to the economy because of those higher taxes is a huge, and ignored, variable.

  • quote:"About 100 miles southwest of Phoenix, in a remote patch off Interstate 8, Glenn McGinnis is seeking to do something that has not been done for 29 years in the United States. He is trying to build an oil refinery.

    Glenn McGinnis hopes his Arizona Clean Fuels will build an oil refinery southwest of Phoenix.
    Part of his job is to persuade local officials and residents to allow a 150,000-barrel-a-day refinery in their backyard – no small task. Another is to find investors ready to risk $2.5 billion in a volatile industry. So far, the effort has consumed six years and $30 million, with precious little to show for it.

    // Unfortunately, this still hasn't happened five years later. Between lawsuits, regulation and all around peevishness, it is impossible to build something useful in this country.

  • Quote:"The current refinery squeeze has been building for years. For the past two decades, deregulation and low profits have combined to push the industry into consolidation. Partly because of environmental regulations, it was cheaper to expand existing refineries than to build new ones. In 1981, the US had 324 refineries with a total capacity of 18.6 million barrels per day, the Department of Energy reports. Today, there are just 132 oil refineries with a capacity of 16.8 million b.p.d., according to Oil and Gas Journal, a trade publication.

    This bottleneck is expected to keep pressure on gas prices – and politicians. Both parties are weighing measures to loosen environmental and permitting constraints for refineries. Rep. John Shadegg (R) of Arizona is set to offer a bill to streamline federal regulations governing refineries, Congressional Daily reports.

    // Had an argument about this, just collecting and saving sources

  • quote:"New NHS performance data reveal that the number of people in England who are being forced to wait more than 18 weeks has risen by 26% in the last year, while the number who had to wait longer than six months has shot up by 43%.

    In March this year, 34,639 people, or 11% of the total, waited more than that time to receive inpatient treatment, compared with 27,534, or 8.3%, in March 2010 – an increase of 26% – Department of Health statistics show.

    Similarly, in March this year some 11,243 patients who underwent treatment had waited for more than six months, compared with 7,841 in the same month in 2010 – a 43% rise.

  • Quote:"The files show that prisoner Abu Farajal al-Libi, al Qaeda’s No. 3 and a close aide to bin Laden, first disclosed the terrorist master’s special courier to the CIA. It was the agency’s ability to find and track the messenger that ultimately led a team of Navy SEALs to bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where he was killed early on May 2.

    // The efficacy of these techniques is no longer in question. In addition to revealing the MO of bin Laden's and Al Queda's network of couriers, there is ample evidence to show that many other operations were also disrupted. Whether these techniques are ethical, that is the question we must focus on.

  • Quote:"The man shot and killed by Pima County SWAT officers was linked to a home-invasion crew, the attorney representing the officers said Thursday.

    Attorney Michael Storie said authorities found rifles, handguns, body armor and a portion of a law-enforcement uniform inside the house where Jose Guerena was shot by officers serving a search warrant May 5.

    // It will be interesting to see how this case turns out.

    (tags: law police)
  • // Things are getting better? Really? That's the spin on the data included in this article?
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