A Hack at Reason? No Way!

Johnathan Chait takes a hatchet to Peter Suderman’s non-stop doomsaying about the ACA.






96 replies
  1. 1
    dmsilev says:

    I am concerned, however, if he and McArdle ever decide to spawn. Given the degree of hackishness present in both parents, the offspring could very possibly end up being the Kwisatz Haderhack, the Chosen One who will use their powers of foresight to be wrong about all possible events *before* those events ever occur.

  2. 2
    mai naem says:

    McMegan will have something to say about which kind of tool Chait used to hack Suderman’s stuff. Hopefully Chait used a set of $2200 monogrammed titanium knives which were made in Germany and came in stainless steel containers with beautiful Brazilian walnut detailing.

    Also too, I was talking(not texting or emailing) to my sister about installing solar panels. I hadn’t done any research. I just happened to talk to an electrician buddy who was talking about a job he had done with a solar panel system designer. Anyhoo, I got an ad from the local utility about solar energy. That has kind of creeped me out.

  3. 3
    Tommy says:

    @mai naem: I looked at solar. Really expensive. I make a pretty good living and couldn’t see how I could afford it. Just saying.

  4. 4
    Roger Moore says:

    @mai naem:
    I think you’re experiencing a run-of-the-mill coincidence with an untargeted ad. The utility company was running ads at the same time you were thinking hard about something, so it looks as if they’ve been reading your mind even though it’s just dumb luck.

  5. 5

    We should start referring to it as the ironically named Reason

  6. 6
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    I misread and thought for a moment that someone had slaughtered everyone at Reason with a hatchet.

  7. 7
    BGinCHI says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post right up until the apostrophe.

    If you stop there it is just more satisfying.

  8. 8
    kindness says:

    I earlier followed links to Reason & read the comments to this article. Why do they call this place Reason when the inmates are all obviously insane?

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    someone had slaughtered everyone at Reason with a hatchet.

    Insane Clown Posse are more sane than Reason! OMG!

  9. 9
    Alex S. says:

    @Certified Mutant Enemy:

    Even the reasonable Reason…

  10. 10
    geg6 says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    Now that would really make my day, I must say.

    @mai naem:

    McMegan will have something to say about which kind of tool Chait used to hack Suderman’s stuff. Hopefully Chait used a set of $2200 monogrammed titanium knives which were made in Germany and came in stainless steel containers with beautiful Brazilian walnut detailing.

    And where would you like your internets delivered?

  11. 11
    feebog says:

    Don’t know how the New England Journal of Medicine came up with the 20 million new insured number. Based on the Gallup numbers, which were inserted into the article, the number is closer to 14 million. However, that number will continue to climb, as Medicaid enrollment is always available. Any way you look at it, the first year has been successful. It will be interesting to see how much further the uninsured rate comes down after the next couple of enrollment periods.

  12. 12
    geg6 says:

    @Tommy:

    Hmmm. A friend of mine who is a contractor tells me that the prices are really coming down to reasonable levels. He’s very big on solar right now (after years of pooh-poohing it) and is recommending it to all his clients. Granted, he tends to work on projects at the higher end, but not always.

  13. 13
    Rob in CT says:

    @Tommy:

    It really depends on the local (state-level) subsidization. Without subsidies, solar is still very pricey (~20 years to breakeven, without even accounting for opportunity cost). With a good state subsidy program, that can change. Here in Connecticut, the state has serious subsidies available. Between the state and the feds (30% tax credit, net of the state subsidy), I ended up paying 45% of the cost of the system. Hence a ~10 yr breakeven. It was still expensive, but much more doable. And we put in a big system (9.7 kW). A smaller one would’ve cost less (and would have been more heavily subsidized, as the CT subsidy steps down a notch above 5 kW).

  14. 14
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Also too, I was talking(not texting or emailing) to my sister about installing solar panels. I hadn’t done any research. I just happened to talk to an electrician buddy who was talking about a job he had done with a solar panel system designer. Anyhoo, I got an ad from the local utility about solar energy. That has kind of creeped me out.

    @mai naem: You probably have looked for information on the internets about it, which is why you get the ads.

    If you live in SoCal, we’re right at the point where this is a no-lose proposition – our electric rates are so high that your break-even point is down to about seven years. With one big caveat that nobody ever talks about – your roof.

    Panels are supposed to be up there 20-25 years. Very few roofs can or would last that long. So at a minimum, you need to do what my buddy is doing and re-roof the house before the solar goes on it. He needed to anyhow, so no big loss for him, but it’s a cost every solar owner should be aware of – when you need a new roof you’re going to need someone who can pull the panels without electrocuting themselves or breaking them (they aren’t cheap), do the roof job, and reinstall them properly afterwards, and deal with whatever code stuff comes along with that. It might be a two-company job, and we all know how easy that is to coordinate.

    We are looking at replacing the old central heater with a heater/AC unit (Southern California has undoubtedly gotten MUCH warmer in the last decade) and when we do we are putting up panels. We just did the roof two years ago so I think we’re good.

  15. 15
    Rob in CT says:

    @Tommy:

    I should also add that the best deals seem to be the solar leases (from companies like Solar City) rather than doing what I did – purchasing the system outright. The lease deals require much less money up front and they, not you, will have to deal with any equipment issues that develop. My mother went that route, and I think she got the better deal. Unfortunately, I did mine just before SolarCity really got rolling around here.

  16. 16
    SP says:

    @dmsilev: Hagon, The Hack who mounts the world.

  17. 17
    Tommy says:

    @feebog:

    Any way you look at it, the first year has been successful.

    I work for myself, had a one-off insurance policy. I now pay almost $100 less each month. A plan that is better by leaps and bounds. I chat and post here but almost on a few freelance (for lack of a better phrase) web sites. I rant and rave you graphic designer, copywriter, web developer, we’ve been given a gift.

    You’d think folks in my field would get the benefit, but alas they don’t.

  18. 18
    Rob in CT says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    The roof issue worries me a little bit. When we had the panels put on, the roof was only 10 years old. It was nowhere near needing to be replaced. The idea, btw, is that the panels will help protect the roof and thus it will age slower. At least so said the contractor…

    If I make it to 20 years (so 30 yrs old roof), I’ll be gearing up to sell the house (kids will be through college) and will likely be doing all sorts of stuff to get it ready for sale anyway. The PV system might or might not, at that point, be worth putting back on.

  19. 19
    Rob in CT says:

    Also, too (and then I’ll shut up), one can always go with an option that doesn’t involve you roof. Solar tracker arrays are more efficient, if you’ve got a good spot for them on your property and don’t mind the way they look.

  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    One must look at this from Suderman’s POV. What ACA does is just totally contrary to the fantasy of the libertarian fucktards, who can’t imagine that something government does makes life better for people, as opposed to the Lannister wannabees of Reason, who think that the “free market” means they always get their way.

  21. 21
    Tommy says:

    @Rob in CT: I will have to look into that. I got a “ballpark” estimate and it didn’t include any state/local funding I might have gotten. Honestly I am not sure how the state of IL works there. My gut not well, since I live in “coal country” and near the largest coal-fired power plant in the world not in China.

  22. 22
    mai naem says:

    @Tommy: I really have not done any research. I am in Arizona and we have some state subsidies so I don’t know if that makes a difference financially. My electrician buddy said the solar panel guy is doing apartment complexes, saying that the owners would pay them off in 6-7 years and have low summer electric and non-existent winter electric bills. I see a lot of solar panels on houses in middle class areas when I am driving around,so I’m assuming they must be somewhat affordable.

    @Roger Moore: I’m assuming that’s what it was but it just creeped me out.
    @geg6: I have no idea if anybody makes titanium knives in stainless steel containers with Brazilian walnut detailing but I think it could sell a pretend set to McMegan.

  23. 23
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @dmsilev:

    the Chosen One who will use their powers of foresight to be wrong about all possible events *before* those events ever occur.

    I thought that already happened with the spawn of Irving Kristol and Gertrude Himmelfarb.

  24. 24
    Mike E says:

    @mai naem: And, a solar water heater would be ideal in your location, also. Too.

  25. 25
    Tommy says:

    @mai naem: I’ll have to look into it. That estimate I got was more then five years ago. I live in a small rural town of less then 10,000. The health club two blocks from my house, that used to be a dry cleaners, just installed solar.

  26. 26
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Hope springs eternal.

  27. 27
    burnspbesq says:

    Johnathan Chait takes a hatchet to Peter Suderman’s non-stop doomsaying

    Well, somebody’s gotta pick that low-hanging fruit before it rots and attracts vermin.

  28. 28
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    I clicked on that link and found myself looking a Ted Cruz’s smug face. You now how when you’re skimming up and down the radio in the car and you can tell right away that someone is god-bothering because they take on that self-conscious “special” voice? Ted Cruz’s face is like that.

  29. 29
    mai naem says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: I am absolutely positive I have not looked up any info on solar. Heck, I still haven’t done it. I talked to the electrician and happened to get a call from my sister right after and mentioned it to her because she’s never liked the look of solar panels. I really do think Roger’ right – it’s coincidental. I noticed the same utility advertising on a cable channel I was watching. Probably because people start getting their first really big summer utility bill around this time.

  30. 30
    burnspbesq says:

    @mai naem:

    There’s county government building that I sometimes go past on the way to/from the office where they put up sun-shades in the parking lot and put the solar panels on top. Win-win in AZ, for sure.

  31. 31
    Tommy says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: I hate his smile and I like smiles. Love them. But when I see Cruz, and he is always smiling, I think it is a smirk and not a smile and he is thinking I am not as smart as him. Only he knows what is best for me, cause I am some simple person and he is …. well Ted Cruz. Bow down to him.

    Or put another way he is an asshole!

  32. 32
    Central Planning says:

    My inlaws put in solar. I think they ended up paying about 25% of the cost based on state (NY) and federal subsidies. I think they will end up getting money back from their electric company next year.

    Also, I just saw that the GOP has their own domain – .gop Lots of good potential websites

  33. 33
  34. 34
    danielx says:

    @dmsilev:

    That monster has already made his ugly presence known, under the nom de guerre William Kristol.

  35. 35
    dmsilev says:

    Speaking of hacks, Darrell Issa will be having a sad:

    No ‘stand down’ order in Benghazi

    The testimony of nine military officers undermines contentions by Republican lawmakers that a “stand-down order” held back military assets that could have saved the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans killed at a diplomatic outpost and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya.
    […]
    Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the Oversight panel, has suggested Hillary Rodham Clinton gave the order, though as secretary of state at the time, she was not in the military chain of command.

  36. 36
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mai naem:

    I can’t remember where you’re located, but here in Southern California, there has been a huge spate of solar commercials on the radio because there are some state subsidies that are about to expire. It could be something regional like that.

  37. 37
    Trentrunner says:

    You just know Ted Cruz smells like old smarm and Lavoris.

  38. 38

    I cannot BELIEVE that all the people who were wrong about the Iraq War, the economy, climate change, the 2012 election, etc. etc. etc. would be wrong about Obamacare, too! Truly it’s a mystery to me.*

    *The real mystery is why anyone pays attention to these fools in the first place. Don’t they realize that when the facts prove them wrong they look like idiots?

  39. 39
    TR says:

    That Chait piece is terrific. The libertarians really do sound like Baghdad Bob.

  40. 40
    kindness says:

    Solar panels – if you really want to see them in action go to Hawaii. Most roofs seemed to have them when I went a year ago. Of course the state of Hawaii promoted them huge (with subsidies) because Hawaii imports all it’s fuel.

    Ideally, replace your roof with a good metal roof that will last 50 years and put the panels up. I figure the technology of the panels will change so that on would want to swap out for new in 20 years but that’s liberal figuring. Go figure.

  41. 41
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Trentrunner: Ted Cruz, like Sean Hannity, has a mug that is just screaming to be addressed with a Louisville Slugger.

  42. 42
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @dmsilev:

    she was not in the military chain of command.

    Details, details. Do you think Issa even considered this as a factor? Issa is a man of action…he sees a muscle car sitting on the street, he sees a quick trip to a chop shop for some fast cash.

  43. 43
    Anton Sirius says:

    @dmsilev:

    I am concerned, however, if he and McArdle ever decide to spawn…

    I’d be more concerned that the child is able to count to 1.

  44. 44
    Hungry Joe says:

    We put in solar panels and a solar water-heating system four years ago. Break-even point on the PV is estimated at 12-15 years (we’re in San Diego), but may be sooner as rates go up. The solar-water point is even less — about eight years, I think. To be fair, this doesn’t take into account how the money we plunked down would surely have grown if put into, say, municipal bonds. So add a year or so to each.

    As for roof replacement, we were told that dismantling the system, then getting it up again, runs $1200-$1500. The roof’s probably got another 10-12 years — another hundred years if it never rains again, which is looking kind of possible — at which point panels may be so cheap and so efficient that we’ll just start over. In any case, we didn’t do it to save money (though we surely will with the solar hot-water system) but to reduce our carbon footprint and to help goose the alt energy industry.

  45. 45
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Remember: Hold the bat so that you can read the label.

    Just trying to help …

  46. 46
    Trollhattan says:

    re. Solar. Somebody posted this yesterday and it bears rerunning in view of the conversation. In California and probably elsewhere, the big, investor-owned utilities are scrambling to make solar harder and less attractive to homeowners, which is the best indication yet that it can be successful.
    As early as 2018, solar could be economically viable to power big cities. By 2040 over half of all electricity may be generated in the same place it’s used.

  47. 47
    joel hanes says:

    @Tommy:

    If you can’t afford solar, you can probably afford to turn your roof white.

    Much cooler in summer (reduces A/C cost if you have it); a bit warmer in winter.

    Also reduces the “urban heat-island” effect in cities.

  48. 48
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Trollhattan: This is the real problem with solar…it will take the big centralized utilities out of the game, and they know it. So they’re fighting it tooth and nail, because it renders them as useful as a buggy whip. The same sort of thing you see in the record industry as the old centralized distribution system is overcome by new technology.

  49. 49
    Trollhattan says:

    @Hungry Joe:
    Most attractive to me if I take the plunge is each watt I generate comes off the top billing rate (Tier 2) first, which is twice as much per kWh as Tier 1. So my savings are accelerated disproportionately with how much I generate.

    This may not last, because we have “smart” meters that will allow demand-time premuim pricing. On the plus side I can retrieve hourly use data and now have the last three years in a spreadsheet with fairly concise detail about the maximum and minimum demand, seasonal variation, etc. This should make it simple for a contractor to size a system.

  50. 50
    Chyron HR says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I assume the Brazilian football team will be joining the other endangered refugees on the U.S. border next week.

  51. 51
    Trollhattan says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    Yup. And it might also hasten the day electric cars become a big fraction of the fleet, threatening another energy provider I can think of. I wonder if our economy might benefit from avoidance of global energy price shocks?

  52. 52
    Trollhattan says:

    @Chyron HR:
    Hell, the keeper on my daughter’s soccer team could keep them out.

  53. 53
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Trollhattan: The first year we had the system I tracked the energy we were producing day to day; now it’s more like year to year. Still, it made me keenly aware of energy use, and that, combined with something I noticed when driving our Prius, gave me an idea.

    In the Prius you can have a continual readout of your MPG — 9 MPG while going up a steep hill, 100 MPG while going down one; less when accelerating, etc. Anyway, when the readout is on, my driving changes: I coast more to red lights and stop signs, start more gradually, etc. So why not have readouts of current electricity usage in every kitchen? Even knucklehead anti-environmental conservatives would take a glance, wonder, “Why the heck are we using so much juice?”, then start screaming at the kids to turn off the TV if nobody’s watching it. (Which probably someone is, but you get the idea.) It couldn’t be that expensive to set up, could it?

  54. 54
    Karen in GA says:

    Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but that teenager in the sexting case won’t be photographed after all.

    Of course, they haven’t dropped the charges. Because that would make too much sense.

    They’re still creepy pervs who really ought to be on registries themselves for ever having thought this was an acceptable course of action, but at least they were stopped from victimizing this kid.

  55. 55
    Cpl Cam says:

    @dmsilev: Ah yes, the prophesied one. Mu’ad derp…

  56. 56
    realbtl says:

    @Hungry Joe:
    C’mon Joe, you know their reaction would be “Let’s see if we can peg this sucker.”
    Cleek’s Law.

  57. 57
    vh says:

    I think solar power is well worth trying on a local basis, either via contractor or DIY, and could prove to be economically worthwhile for people in the right circumstances (location, total power needs, etc), I have to point out, however, that it is simply not a substitute for the bulk load generation you get from central plants (gas, coal, nuclear). A country like the US typically needs 2-3 kW per capita of immediately available generating power and that is hard to achieve with solar or wind power. Lowering power needs would help, of course. There is a lot of room for improvement in smaller, high efficiency houses and workplaces and increasing appliance efficiency. In contrast, China runs on a few hundred watts per capita, and and is working hard to to increase its generating capacity.

  58. 58
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    Even knucklehead anti-environmental conservatives would take a glance,

    Don’t count on it. These people are stupid enough to sit in their cars on Earth Day and idle just to fulfill the tenets of Cleek’s Law.

  59. 59
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    This is the real problem with solar…it will take the big centralized utilities out of the game, and they know it.

    @Villago Delenda Est: Actually, it doesn’t, and that’s the real issue – it gives them a nice, easily accessible chokepoint – the grid tie that feeds the utility. And they are going to strangle solar users for every last dime they can wring out of them until they are forced via legislation to stop. That isn’t happening anytime soon so far as I can tell.

    You can go totally off the grid. Just call up SDG&E, or whoever your utility is, and ask them to cut your circuit. But it requires huge storage batteries and a fair amount of excess panel capacity, something which most people don’t have the money for and far fewer have the know-how to implement. And those batteries and DC voltages which feed them can be quite dangerous unless you have proper protective gear and really know what you are doing. Exploding batteries can fuck you up good.

    another hundred years if it never rains again, which is looking kind of possible

    @Hungry Joe: You’re another SD local who is a bit older than me, IIRC. We did have a three-year period back in the late 70s (I was a kid, so I can’t remember the exact years) where it didn’t rain here at all. But at least back then NorCal was still getting snowfall. I gotta be honest, me and the wife, both natives, are finally starting to look into leaving, because if the water goes away here then we are suddenly sitting on top of a completely worthless home surrounded by four million people with nothing to drink. I think that situation qualifies as “fucked”. Of course, we could have avoided all this by limiting development here, but that idea has always been less popular here than child rape.

  60. 60
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Karen in GA: I still think there is more to this case that we’re getting. I strongly suspect that the prosecutor is connected somehow to the girl’s family and that is the impetus for this stupidity.

  61. 61
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Anton Sirius: You mean one thousand, right? Orders of magnitude are important.

  62. 62
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Trollhattan: I’d like an electric car, but I have no place to charge it.

  63. 63
    piratedan says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: all too true, just look at the stupidity surrounding the more efficient light bulbs… there is a deep deep well of stupidity and contrariness in play, if only we could harness it for the forces of good.

  64. 64
    Trollhattan says:

    @Hungry Joe:
    You’re right, and there are a few available. Found this with a random search, and there are many others. I get hinky about fiddling with my main breaker box, though.

    the energy detective

    Don’t have one of these but do have a “Kill-A-Watt” gizmo that monitors a single device and calculates cost of use. It’s an easy way to find out, say, the teevee isn’t so bad but the clothes washer is. (Probably a bad example, because it’s only for 110V.)

  65. 65
    Trollhattan says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:
    Still a huge hurdle. Fast-charge or battery-swap stations seem like the way to go. Tesla is making good strides but it needs to be standardized and copied.

  66. 66
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Trollhattan: I’ll probably won’t be driving by the time that happens, LOL.

  67. 67
    karen says:

    That’s a libertarian for you.

    Die so I can be wealthy and live!

  68. 68
    Trollhattan says:

    O/T, but since “hatchet” is used in the OP, I’m going for it.

    A Des Moines man was arrested after apparently fighting with other patrons at a bar and then returning to the bar with a hatchet, police said.

    Shelby Mustang GT500 Miller, 26, was charged with going armed with intent, public intoxication and a parole violation.

    Officers driving by Cheap Seats Sports Bar, 2301 Hubbell Ave., around 1 a.m. Thursday saw Miller in an altercation with another man. As officers walked over, Miller walked away. He told an officer it was a verbal argument. The other man told officers the two had argued but Miller had removed his shirt and seemed ready to fight.

    Two of Miller’s friends said that they would take him home and that he lived just behind the bar, police reports show. Officers stayed in the area and soon saw Miller enter the bar again, authorities said.

    Later, another man emerged from the bathroom holding a hatchet and told police Miller had come in with it under his shirt and left it in the bar, police said.

    http://www.desmoinesregister.c...../12486337/

    Now know I was underreaching when I wanted to name our kid Turbo Slappy. But isn’t Shelby Mustang GT500 more a girl’s name?

  69. 69
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @TR: it is said that during the summer and fall of 1941, the Red Army was repeatedly crushing the fascist invaders of the Rodina.

    Only those Soviet citizens who owned a map would know that the locations of the crushing victories for some reason were steadily moving closer and closer to Moscow.

    Now we know what Suderman was doing in his last incarnation.

  70. 70
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I swear to god I have seen a fool do that.

  71. 71
    Gene108 says:

    @Southern Beale:

    This is where you are wrong. “Looking like an idiot” is not based on knowing what you are talking about. Rather it is the absence of not attending the right schools, not being invited to the right fancy dress and cocktail parties, not having a high enough social status at birth and generally having had to be so déclassé that you actually had to work for a living to make ends meet, at some point in your life.

  72. 72
    Trollhattan says:

    @Lurking Canadian:
    GMTA over at LGM, where they used Baghad Bob’s pic for their post on McSuderbutter.

  73. 73
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Trollhattan:

    But isn’t Shelby Mustang GT500 more a girl’s name?

    Yes, that’s probably why the fight started in the first place.

  74. 74
    Roger Moore says:

    @Trollhattan:
    I think there is a bit of justification behind the self-serving behavior on the part of the utilities. Even people who consume no net energy from the grid because of their solar systems are doing it by sending power out some of the time and bringing it in at other times. IOW, they’re using the local distribution system. It makes sense to have a separate fee for maintaining the that physical distribution system for everyone who’s hooked up to it. That fee needs to be reasonable and based on the actual costs of maintaining the system, rather than sized to make local generation unattractive. It might make things go down easier if the utilities could count power they buy back from residential customers with solar systems against their renewable energy mandate.

  75. 75
    Botsplainer says:

    @dmsilev:

    I am concerned, however, if he and McArdle ever decide to spawn. Given the degree of hackishness present in both parents, the offspring could very possibly end up being the Kwisatz Haderhack, the Chosen One who will use their powers of foresight to be wrong about all possible events *before* those events ever occur.

    Glorious, just glorious.

    I’d title it God-Idiots of Dumb.

  76. 76
    Roger Moore says:

    @Trollhattan:

    This may not last, because we have “smart” meters that will allow demand-time premuim pricing.

    That might work in your favor, too. The most expensive pricing on that system is likely to be on hot summer afternoons when everyone is running their air conditioners, which is also when your solar system is going to be doing some of its best work. Power to run your lights and computer at night, when the solar won’t be working at all, will be relatively cheap.

  77. 77
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @dmsilev:

    Well, I noticed several weeks ago that wingnuts’ talking points had morphed into “even if there wasn’t a ‘stand-down’ order, the problem is there wasn’t a ‘stand-up’ order!” In other words, we’re back to the “he should’ve sent the military in, even though there was nothing they could’ve done!” stuff. And the Wingnut Whack-a-Mole continues….

  78. 78
    Roger Moore says:

    @Trollhattan:
    Wow. If you hadn’t included a link to a reputable news source, I would have assumed that was from a satire site that somebody had mistaken for legitimate news.

  79. 79
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Hey, can someone tell me when the Atlantic when full-throttle PBS-grade conservative? Haven’t been there in a long time and I just went and…wow.

  80. 80

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: We’ve got concrete tile roofs in my area. They last forever and do a decent job of keeping the house cool.

    We haven’t done solar because the breakeven for us is too far out. We don’t have an AC and we’ve taken advantage of lots of energy reducing things (bulbs, appliances – we only use laptops, etc.) so a $50 electric bill is really high for us. The installation costs are what kills the economics for us.

  81. 81
    NotMax says:

    @kindness

    The vast majority of the roof installations on houses in Hawaii are for solar water heating, not energy production.

    Now that prices are significantly dropping (and continuing to drop) to more affordable levels on the latter, making them more competitive with regular electric rates, that may well change (barring obstructionist measures by the electric companies). There are a spate of companies which have popped up over the last few years here offering off-the-grid installations, albeit primarily for new construction or for those living out in the boonies who may already have some sort of jerry-rigged system.

    Not up with current models, but know that at least with some older installations, hot water must be used regularly to avoid degradation and damage to the installation. Have some friends who have asked me in the past to pop over to their house when they are away solely to run the hot water for a while.

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    Trollhattan says:

    @Roger Moore: We pay a $12/month fee apart from the energy cost that I figure is something along those lines. That may eventually require adjustment but there’s an enormous numner of installations yet to come before the potential issue becomes reality, if ever.

    On the plus side, utility peaking power generated during high demand, or power purchased from the ISO when production is exceeded, is ghoulishly expensive and usually dirty, so consumers reducing peak demand is a win-win in every sense.

  83. 83
    Roger Moore says:

    @Trollhattan:

    We pay a $12/month fee apart from the energy cost that I figure is something along those lines.

    That sounds like a reasonable price; it probably depends on the size of your service. What doesn’t seem right is adding on a large fee just for having a solar installation, which Arizona Public Service was trying to do. They wanted a monthly charge of $8/kW of installed capacity, which would be enough to make solar systems completely uneconomical. They got a fee of $0.70/kW, which seems on the high side but not completely outrageous.

  84. 84
    Chris T. says:

    I installed solar (electric and hot-water). My state has no subsidies (but the Federal tax credit was nice).

    It will take a long time to pay back, but that was not the point…

  85. 85
    Liberty60 says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA:

    But isn’t Shelby Mustang GT500 more a girl’s name?

    Didn’t Johnny Cash write a song about that?

  86. 86
    J R in WV says:

    @Tommy:

    I haven’t read all the comments, but wanted to share my experience with solar. Our off-the-grid solar installation cost about $27K. The power co-op wanted $35K to run power lines to the property, so it was a no-brainer. But look what also happened!

    When we were installing the system, my vendor/installer gave me a form to fill out for the power co-op. They wrote us a $6K check not long after installation was complete. This represented the savings to their company from not having to build out infrastructure for an additional household.

    Then I gave the reciepts for the system to our Tax accountant. They discovered that there was a current (then, don’t know about now) TAX CREDIT for the cost of the system. We had several years to use the tas credit, which is all gone now.

    I would be shocked if our total out of pocket was $10K. And there are NO power bills. No costs for lights, the water pump, the computer, fridge, stereo, nothing.

    Eventually the batteries will need to be replaced. The (Sharp IIRC) panels have a 25 year guarantee, and so far the installer sees no sign that they will fail at that age. It may be advantageous to install new more efficient panels someday, but not soon.

    So far we’ve never needed the Honda generator we used while building the house prior to the installation of the solar system. I do heat with wood I cut from standing dead wood around the property, which improves our profile for survival of a wild fire. One small fire most evenings in Jan and Feb. A few times I put more wood in the stove around 3 or 4 am, but that’s unusual.

    With continuous never ending bills for power, how do you stand it? Every month the company bills you for an undetermined amount of money?! How can you stand that? There is no way installing solar power won’t make you money, even without tax credits. No way!

  87. 87
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @mai naem:

    Hopefully Chait used a set of $2200 $220,000 monogrammed titanium knives

    Fixed for McArdle accuracy.

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    I misread and thought for a moment that someone had slaughtered everyone at Reason with a hatchet.

    You are such a tease.

  88. 88
    danielx says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Backpfeifengesicht! Or, a face that cries out for a fist.

    If the word didn’t exist it would have to be invented, but the Germans already came up with it…bless their hearts.

  89. 89
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Karen in GA: Thank goodness for small favors. The aunt is right about the (inter)national uproar. Whenever I want to curse technology and social media, I remind myself of the good it does. Prior to FB/Twitter/internet, the cops could have got away with the “medically enhanced erection” and almost nobody would have known about such an outrage.

    Now to address the remaining issues, such as consensuality.

  90. 90
    RSA says:

    @Anton Sirius:

    I’d be more concerned that the child is able to count to 1.

    You have to take into account that some children suffer from stomach ailments.

  91. 91

    You know who else is full of shit? Fashion Bloggers. Although I must admit they are far less harmful than glibertarians.
    I facepaw at one blogger’s overly broad suggestions on what to wear in India.

  92. 92
    Betsy says:

    @Tommy: here, let me google that for you

    State-by-state list of tax credits and incentives for renewable energy:
    http://www.dsireusa.org/

  93. 93
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Trollhattan:

    But isn’t Shelby Mustang GT500 more a girl’s name?

    Our friend would have been named in part after a certain Mr Carroll Shelby, of course, so the girliness of the name is probably not that big a deal.

  94. 94

    That obamacare is working is technically correct but collectively nonsense because the kochs finance the mcsudermans’ kitchen gadget collection.

  95. 95

    @dmsilev:
    Too late, different biological relation unit. Bill Kristol.

  96. 96
    Bill Murray says:

    @Liberty60: I think you mean Mack Rice, although Wilson Pckett made it famous

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