OUR NEXT PRESIDENT:

N.H. Gov. Chris Sununu plans to endorse Nikki Haley for president (Maegan Vazquez, Hannah Knowles and Dylan Wells, December 12, 2023, Washington Post)


New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) plans to endorse Nikki Haley for president, according to two people familiar with the decision, providing a potential boost to the former U.N. ambassador as she seeks to solidify her standing as the leading alternative to former president Donald Trump in the first GOP primary state.

The big thing for NH is that Nikki would win Kelly Ayotte the gubernatorial seat, whereas Donald cost her the Senate seat.

FOSSILS REPRESENT THE EXTINCT:

Solar costs are now nearly 30 per cent lower than cheapest fossil fuel option, EY says (Joshua S Hill, 12 December 2023, Renew Economy)


A new report from consulting giant EY says solar PV technology remains the cheapest source of new-build electricity in most parts of the world, with a global weighted average levelised cost of electricity (LCoE) that is 29% lower than the cheapest fossil fuel alternative.

In a new report analysing changes to the global energy system, EY found that in 2022, around 86%, or 187GW, of newly commissioned, utility-scale renewable power generation produced electricity at a lower cost than the average cost of fossil fuel generation.

LIBERTARIANISM FOR THE PRETENTIOUS:

Robert Sapolsky is Determined to be Wrong (Richard Cocks, 12/12/23, Voegelin View)

In episode 693 of the podcast Modern Wisdom, Sapolsky, brought up an Orthodox Jew, reveals that at the age of fourteen he realized categorically that determinism is true, there is no purpose, and that there is no God. This bleak conclusion has never left him. This is the kind of age where one might consider the possibility that one’s parents and other people are actually robots and that solipsistically, one could be the only conscious actual human; whether other people are really seeing the same colors as you, and so on. Such puerile speculations normally recede into oblivion. Not for Sapolsky.

It’s like letting that teen reading of Atlas Shrugged determine your adulthood.

DEVOLVE INDIA INTO ITS CONSTITUENT PARTS:

WHY A VOTE ON ESTABLISHING AN INDEPENDENT SIKH STATE IN PUNJAB IS COMING TO CALIFORNIA (JOE MATHEWS, DECEMBER 12, 2023, Zocalo Public Square)

On January 28, Californians will finally get to cast ballots in a historic vote on whether to create a new independent country.

Why is this the first you’re hearing of this election? Because the only Californians who can vote in the election are Sikhs. The proposed independent country would be in Punjab, a state in northern India.

But that’s no reason to overlook what might be the most important election in the Golden State next year.

Indeed, the Khalistan referendum, as this ballot measure is known, is worthy of your attention for two reasons.

FITN:

New Hampshire’s Lesson for America (William Ruger & Jason Sorens, December 11, 2023, AIER)

So what has New Hampshire been doing right?

First, the state has gradually and responsibly cut growth-impeding taxes, such as business taxes and the interest and dividends tax, which is being phased out. Since these tax cuts began in 2015, New Hampshire’s economic growth rate has powered ahead of its closely connected neighbor, Massachusetts.

Second, the state has mostly kept school funding local, which tends to make educational decisions more fiscally responsible. Property owners have more direct leverage and choice over their local property taxes than they do state taxes.

Third, the state is trying to solve its housing shortage, which it shares with most other Northeastern states. Local zoning has strangled housing construction, and the state has stepped in with a law requiring towns to allow “accessory dwelling units” (in-law apartments), expedited local permitting, and a housing appeals board to provide quick resolution of zoning disputes.

Fourth, the legislature has expanded personal freedom for its citizens, most notably with Education Freedom Accounts. The state’s per-student adequacy grant to local districts is now available for parents to cover educational expenses outside the public school system.

Finally, the state has been getting rid of cronyist regulations in order to increase competition and opportunities in the marketplace. Some small barriers to starting businesses have been repealed, and the governor signed universal licensing reciprocity this year.

IMPORTING DISCIPLINE:

Lessons from Argentina’s Dollarization Debate: The Challenge of the Commitment Device (Nicolás Cachanosky, December 11, 2023, AIER)

Unlike a fixed peg or a currency board, a government cannot easily abandon dollarization.

Argentina has frequently abandoned fixed pegs. It has also voided peso convertibility to the US dollar. These options are unavailable under dollarization. De-dollarizing would require the government to introduce an entirely new currency that the public does not want. Consider the challenge of currency in circulation. Would the government go into individual houses and compel owners to exchange their US dollars for a new currency they reject? A dictatorship might pull off such a move. But in a democracy such a move would likely see incumbents ousted.

The experience of Ecuador illustrates the point. Rafael Correa, who was president from 2007 – 2017, was an outspoken opponent of dollarization. But he never openly announced plans to de-dollarize Ecuador. His attempt to introduce the dinero electrónico was a total failure. As popular as Correa was, he couldn’t surpass the popularity of the US dollar.

As a monetary regime, dollarization is an institution independent of local politics. That would make a big difference in Argentina, where the average terms of the Ministry of Economics and the Central Bank president are only 1.4 and 1.5 years, respectively. Argentina cannot offer a predictable fiscal and monetary policy with key officials turning over so frequently. Since dollarization is difficult and politically costly to reverse, it establishes credibility in countries where other options are not viable.

IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO OVERSTATE DEFLATIONARY PRESSURES:

Quantum: Computing’s Next Wave (Shane Tews, 12/11/23, AEIdeas)

Below are the highlights from my conversation with Alan Baratz, CEO of D-Wave, a commercial quantum company.

You mentioned autonomous vehicles and scheduling. Is that supply chain management scheduling that you’re talking about?

We have a customer that provides software to shipping ports to manage how cranes move cargo containers across the port from the ships onto the port, and then ultimately, on to the trucks. Our customer quantum-enabled their software to help compute the optimal movement of the cranes moving containers throughout the port. They found that using the schedules generated by the quantum computer, each crane could move up to 60 percent more containers in a day than the schedules the classical computers were developing. This has allowed them to increase the throughput through the port by about 12 percent. So this is a very concrete example, in the supply chain logistics arena of how quantum computers today can add value.

We keep hearing that quantum isn’t here yet, but you already have customers.

Yes, we have over 60 customers that we are working with to leverage our quantum computer today across a variety of different industries and use cases. For example, we’re working with MasterCard on improving customer loyalty rewards—basically optimizing which programs get offered to which card holders and on fraud detection. We’re working with Davidson technology, as a government contractor, on missile targeting as well as radar assignment. We’re working with grocery chain Patterson food group on employee scheduling, e-commerce, and grocery delivery.

ALWAYS BET ON THE dEEP sTATE:

Giuliani spread lies about Georgia election workers. A jury will decide what he owes them. (KYLE CHENEY, 12/10/2023, Politico)

U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell has already found him liable for defaming two Georgia election workers — Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss — who faced threats and harassment after Giuliani and Donald Trump falsely accused them of manipulating ballots after the 2020 election. Those lies fueled conspiracy theories that have festered to this day.

Now, a jury in Washington, D.C., will be asked to determine the amount of damages Giuliani must pay for defamation, infliction of emotional distress and other punitive costs. Freeman and Moss haven’t specified a precise amount but are instead preparing to introduce expert testimony to estimate the harm they have experienced.

The damages trial is the latest form of accountability for those who aided Trump’s bid to subvert the 2020 election.

A PROFILE IN maga COURAGE:

What The Cluck! Trump Chickens Out Of Testifying At Fraud Trial (Lucian K. Truscott IV, December 11 | 2023, National Memo)

In Trump’s big day on the stand in his fraud trial, which all of a sudden is not going to happen, his freedom was not at stake and all that stands to happen when the trial is over and he loses is to be fined an amount he can appeal until he’s in the grave and let his kids take care of, and possibly lose his license to do business in New York State. So, the stakes are, shall we say, a tad large but not existential.

Even so, Trump skedaddled.

As well he should have. The New York Attorney General, whom Trump called “LETICIA ‘PEEKABOO’ JAMES” in his screed this afternoon, noted that Trump had already been found to have “committed years of financial fraud and unjustly enriched himself and his family.”

“No matter how much he tries to distract from reality, the facts don’t lie.”

Ooooof. There’s your answer for all those chicken feathers in the air at Mar-a-Lago tonight.