Daily Digest 8/24 – California’s Electric Grid Is Near Collapse, The Coronavirus Generation

Economy

The world’s largest wealth manager explains how the Fed has completely altered how the stock market works — and says the S&P 500 can climb another 9% by next June (Merle2)

“Investors now face a stark choice,” the investment chief said. They can either hold on to precedent and view the bond market’s pricing as a harbinger for a stock market correction, or believe markets are now “more heavily influenced by Fed policy” and pile in accordingly.

“If you, like us, believe that the latter currently reflects reality better than the former, your focus needs to shift to what the Fed is saying, and the way you think about asset prices needs to shift with it,” Haefele said.

Republicans see U.S. as better off now than 4 years ago ahead of convention — Battleground Tracker poll (JK)

For most Republicans, America is a nation where the economy is still fairly good, where the effort to handle the coronavirus is going at least somewhat well and the president is doing a very good job on it. For them, the virus elicits less concern in the first place. They believe the 170,000 fatalities is an overstated count and one which, for many, can so far be considered acceptable. And it is a nation where, for an overwhelming number of Republicans, there has been too much focus on racial discrimination of late.

Democrats and Mainstream Media Were the Real Kremlin Assets (000)

Steele’s investigation, it seems, provided the perfect opening for Russian intelligence to launch a disinformation campaign. According to one footnote, “two persons affiliated with RIS [Russian Intelligence Services] were aware of Steele’s election investigation in early July 2016,” while another states that “sensitive source reporting from June 2017 indicated that a [person affiliated] to [sic] Russian Oligarch 1 was [possibly aware] of Steele’s election investigation as of early July 2016.”

Black Workers Are More Likely to Be Unemployed but Less Likely to Get Unemployment Benefits (jdargis)

Some of the continuing disparity is explained by geography, according to Michele Evermore, a senior policy analyst with the National Employment Law Project. Many states have made it more difficult to access benefits in recent years. In the 1950s, an average of 50% of jobless people were able to regularly access benefits; by the end of 2019, that average had fallen to 28% of workers. The states that have made the deepest cuts to their unemployment programs are mostly in the South and have a higher share of Black residents. In states such as Florida and North Carolina, fewer than 12% of jobless individuals received benefits last year.

Police Records, No Longer Secret, Shed Light on Misconduct (jdargis)

People who filed the complaints with the Civilian Complaint Review Board can now learn the outcome, whereas it was near impossible before. Additionally, we now have a broad-enough data set to discern what some of the norms are for police discipline.

When Daniel Pantaleo, the officer that put Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold — when his disciplinary records were leaked, there was no way to tell if he was a bad guy who had just been a cowboy uncontrolled all these years, or if his activity was relatively normal. Now we can look at the data and see what the norms are and what the range of behavior is.

The Coronavirus Generation (jdargis)

Money helps children in part because of what it buys — food, housing, better schools, health care and summer camps. But it also important in a less obvious way: It reduces stress, which can reach toxic levels in poor households. The academies’ report warns that children chronically exposed to excessive stress can suffer “permanent changes in brain structure and function,” leading to problems from learning disabilities to heart disease and diabetes. Some scientists have found that toxic stress can even alter children’s chromosomes.

Why Antibody Tests Won’t Help You Much (JK)

People who felt sick weeks or months ago and now wonder if they are immune to Covid-19 “probably shouldn’t bother” getting an antibody test, said Dr. Angela M. Caliendo, a testing expert at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School and a member of the society’s expert panel.

Many New Yorkers fell ill in the spring, could not get tested then and now wonder whether they had the disease and are immune; the panel concluded that current antibody tests cannot answer that question.

Coronavirus: Germany puts on crowded concerts to study risks (tmn)

The first of Saturday’s three concerts aimed to simulate an event before the pandemic, with no safety measures in place. The second involved greater hygiene and some social distancing, while the third involved half the numbers and each person standing 1.5m apart.

All participants were tested for Covid-19 before taking part, and given face masks and tracking devices to measure their distancing. Researchers reportedly also used fluorescent disinfectants to track which surfaces audience members touched the most.

Researchers show that COVID-19 racial disparities aren’t inevitable (tmn)

The patients in the study were treated between Feb. 19 and May 31 at one of 92 Ascension hospitals in 12 states: Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin. All of the hospitals in that Catholic healthcare system followed the same protocols for testing and treating their COVID-19 patients.

Black patients were overrepresented among the 11,210 patients included in the study — they accounted for 37% of those with confirmed cases of COVID-19, though they’re 13.4% of the U.S. population. Another 41% of the patients were white, and the racial identities of the remaining 22% was either “other” or “missing.”

California’s Electric Grid Is Near Collapse (thc0655)

“This is going to make Enron rolling blackouts in 2000/2001 look puny. The reason? Solar power – actually the lack of it. Solar power has this thorny problem; it disappears after sunset, and California’s electric grid is highly dependent on it now thanks to the political mandate known as the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB32). AB32 specifically required that 50 percent of California’s electricity to be powered by “green energy,” aka wind and solar, by 2025 and 60 percent by 2030, ending in 100% “carbon free” energy by 2045. Now, California is paying the price for abandoning reliable energy sources in favor of green energy sources such as wind and solar power, which don’t work when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. During heat waves like California is experiencing now, there’s typically plenty of sunshine, but winds are often stagnant.”

California’s Crises Converge: Fleeing Wildfires in a Pandemic (jdargis)

And doctors at the University of California, San Francisco, said last week that even if they didn’t see an immediate increase in Covid-19 patients stemming from the smoke — which could worsen symptoms and speed transmission — more people are likely to get sick as the fire season drags along in coming months, exacerbating all respiratory ailments.

“It’s really become the new normal that we have these mega-fires that foul our air,” said Dr. John Balmes, a U.C.S.F. professor of medicine specializing in environmental medicine and pulmonary and critical care. “I’m worried about the future, as well as the current situation, because this is going to happen again, and again and again.”

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