Peter Kaczowka: This flowchart of 2002 US energy generation shows the ‘Electric power sector’ generating 38.2 quadrillion BTUs, with 26.3 quadrillion of it going to ‘Electrical system energy losses.’ So in 2002, 69% of all electricity generated in the US was lost, mainly in transmission. I am a big fan of solar (photovoltaic) because it can be located where people live and work, avoiding most of that 69% loss. For T. Boone Pickens’ wind farm to work, he will have to spend billions on transmission lines to the cities. Most of the electricity generated will be converted to heat in those same wires.’

☞ This also speaks to the dramatic improvement in energy efficiency to be had from energy recycling: converting a plant’s waste heat into electricity, on site, per last month’s link to Tom Casten on NPR.


Republicans work pretty hard at preventing people from voting.

(Did you get a chance to watch Recount? You can still see it on HBO, or sample a bit of it with this 7-minute conversation between Ron Klain and Kevin Spacey, the actor who plays Ron Klain.)

Part of the reason they do this is simply that suppressing the vote helps them win.

But another part is their worry that ineligible people will vote. Like these nuns in Indiana or this 97-year-old Phoenix woman. They all were eligible to vote, but were turned away just in case, because, under the Republican-initiated state laws, they couldn’t prove it.

The theory seems to be that it’s better to deny tens of thousands of people their vote (one estimate put it at 40,000 in the recent Arizona primary) than to let ineligible voters slip through . . . even though the Republicans never seem to be able to find any appreciable instances of such fraud. (Could it be that many illegals are honest? That many don’t want to risk breaking the law and being deported? When you think how hard it is to get citizens to register and vote, when all they fear is being called for jury duty, imagine the difficulty in persuading illegals to risk deportation.)

The Republicans certainly tried to find significant voter fraud to justify their new voter ID laws.* Acting as though the Justice Department were an adjunct to the Republican National Committee, they instructed U.S. attorneys to give high priority to prosecuting voter fraud – and fired some for not being able to come up with any.

*For other voter suppression tactics, there can’t even be the pretense of a justification. As when Bush’s Florida co-chair, Kathryn Harris, knocked tens of thousands of ‘felons’ off the voter roles, approximately 95% of whom were in fact not felons, just likely Democratic voters.


Bob Novick: ‘In case you have not seen it, this is why I’m voting Republican.’

☞ As subtle as a bludgeon and certainly not entirely fair. But not entirely unfair either. Have a great weekend. Did you know that Henry Ford and Thomas Edison played a role in the development of the charcoal briquette?


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