New Family of Spiders Found in Oregon Cave Associated Press (Carol B)
We Shouldn’t Give Up on SETI ieee Spectrum
Black Lung Disease: Life-Saving Rules, Technology Stymied By Politics, Experts Say Huffington Post (Carol B)
Cartel Pushes Up Rubber Price Wall Street Journal
BIS says Australian banks are too big MacroBusiness
Belize to Skip Payment If Lenders Don’t Relent Wall Street Journal (Joe Costello)
Der Spiegel Says Hydra Residents Besieged Tax Inspectors Greek Reporter
ECB May Set Yield Limits on Euro Sovereign Bonds, Spiegel Says Bloomberg (Ilja). This would be HUGE if this is real (and if they were to set the rates low enough to provide real, lasting relief), but this is also a huge departure from what the surplus countries have said they are willing to back. Waiting for my readers of the German tea leaves to report in, but my guess is that this is a trial balloon and/or a way to keep Mr. Market on board till Sept 12.
A warning from the past: N. Kaldor on the Eurozone Yanis Varoufakis
Web snares Vietnam as bloggers spread protests over land Reuters (Lambert)
An Unserious Man Paul Krugman, New York Times
Poverty in America: Why Can’t We End It? New York Times (Carol B)
Wall Street Sets the Rules for Regulators American Banker
Investors baffled by subdued Vix level Financial Times
Sad But True: Corporate Crime Does Pay Alternet (furzy mouse)
The three Ds of finance and the race to the bottom Nicholas Shaxson
* * *
D – 21 and counting*
“If I were to begin borrowing money I would end by devising means of persuading the Secretary of the Treasury to lend me the gold reserve.” –Nero Wolfe in Rex Stout’s Fer de Lance.
Meet the Press as told to The Bobblespeak Translations: “MCDONNELL: America is awesome! We’re broke! USA! USA! GREGORY: rock on”
Occupy. Occupy Tampa: “Occupy Tampa has formed a Regional General Assembly to coordinate Occupy groups throughout the bay area, including: Occupy Lakeland, Occupy St. Petersburg, Occupy Bradenton, Occupy USF, Occupy New Port Richey, and Occupy Sarasota. We have tried to plan as much as possible ahead of time, but we want to leave space open to spontaneously produce additional actions by harnessing the number of people that arrive.” … Occupy Tampa: “If this type of illegal behavior from the police continues, the police department and the city of Tampa can expect internal affairs complaints, criminal charges, and civil lawsuits.” … Occupy Tampa, Tea Party vs. Occupy “debate”: “This is not true. Framing the debate in this way perpetuates the misconception of Occupy as a leftist version of the Tea Party. Quite the contrary, we consist of a diverse array of people, ideas, and grievances. Some occupiers do not identify themselves through political affiliations. We are, after all, the 99%.” … CMWSS (Coalition to March on Wall Street South, Charlotte): “CMWSS, this week, was successful in obtaining a ‘convergence space’. Thanks to the donations of supporters the convergence space will be available to all. This large hall will be an essential point for the many protest groups, and individual activists, to rendezvous and converge together.”
CA. Ballot wars: “Robert ‘Bob’ Baker(‘Bob Baker 1’) is seeking reelection to the San Clemente City Council this November.A second Robert ‘Bob’ Baker (‘ Bob Baker 0‘) has appeared out of thin air to challenge his namesake.”
FL. Corruption: “And just Friday, we heard from a longtime GOP donor who said he was denied a seat on Orlando’s airport board — simply because he wouldn’t cough up $10,000.” … Medicare: “Residents ages 45 to 54 account for nearly 15 percent of FL’s population, about 2.7 million people, and would be the first wave of retirees affected by a plan crafted by Paul Ryan, to transform Medicare from a fee-for-service system to a voucher program.”
GA. Charters: “Frankly, this newspaper having been a supporter of the really, truly charter-school concept long, long before it was distorted into a mindless political weapon of deception, hasn’t even known where to begin in warning readers about it. This Trojan horse is, pure and simple, designed to destroy — not improve — local-level public education.” … Water: “Yet, man-made lakes — reservoirs by another name — have become great sources of private profit-making. Land previously valued at less than $10,000 an acre may be worth 10 or 20 times that much once a body of water is made available nearby. Those who have influence over decisions about when and where to build reservoirs are in a position to gain huge financial payouts.” … Corruption: “While The Red and Black [student newspaper] board meetings are closed even to the staff, the students dug up the company’s tax forms and posted them on their website, Redanddead.com. Among the revelations: [Red and Black Publisher Harry] Montevideo was paid just shy of $190,000 last year. Since the nonprofit company spent just over $1 million that same year, Montevideo took home nearly 20 percent of its budget.” If you remember the UVa board putsch, you know how important the independence of the student newspaper, the Cavalier Daily, was; an independence Montevideo seems to have set out to destroy, and failed. Also, what’s with using frats as “focus groups,” and then censoring coverage of them? (A fine wrap-up at CJR.)
IL. Corruption: “The last time the [IL] House ousted a lawmaker over a perceived misdeed was in 1905, when they expelled another rookie Chicago D, Frank D. Comerford. He suggested that lawmakers had taken bribes and likened the General Assembly to a ‘public auction.'” Quelle horreur!
LA. Petro-state: “50 additional feet of land has collapsed into the southwest side of the sink hole caused by Texas Brine Company’s Oxy Geismar Well #3 near Bayou Corne. Shortly after being rescued the boat that they were working from was pulled down into the sink hole with the tree it was tied to.” … Corruption: “The state Board of Ethics on Friday overruled its own staff’s recommendation that Kira Orange Jones be forced to choose between serving on Louisiana’s top education board and keeping her day job as head of the New Orleans branch of Teach For America.” …. Abstinence: “[Mark Alain] Déry and two Tulane researchers released the results of a study linking abstinence-only instruction in public schools to the epidemic HIV rates among young African-Americans in Louisiana.”
MO. Knuckle-draggers: “Rep. Todd Akin, a leading candidate for the U.S. Senate, said ‘legitimate rape’ victims seldom get pregnant. ‘From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it is a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down‘ ( Macaca moment?). … Non-apology apology: “[AKIN: ] In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, i t’s clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year.” … From the Department of How Soon We Forget: “There’s a reason why Ds spent over $1.5 million trying to help Akin win his three-way primary” (VastLeft).
KY. Drought: “[Rancher Joseph Watson’s] 1,400 cattle are no longer feeding off corn. The prices, Watson says, are too high to keep corn in stock. So earlier this year, he began to buy second-hand candy. Watson mixes the candy with an ethanol by-product and a mineral nutrient.” Makes perfect sense; candy is High Fructose Corn Syrup.
MN. Corruption: “[A]s can be seen from our video there was a steady stream of people coming and going in and out State Capitol Rm 208. They had been called to the room from a[n email] message from Maureen Watson, to get lunch. [A] number of the people invited do not currently work in the building. They are working for the Senate Victory Fund.” It’s illegal to use state facilities to campaign.
MT. Landfills: “Six to eight employees of the Billings Regional Landfill could be suspended or fired for taking home truckloads of electronics equipment, high-end sporting goods, rifles and other property that was supposed to be disposed of.” Aw, come on. Dump picking?!
NC. Banksters: “The plaintiffs claim BofA helped push the lots, but failed to tell buyers that the developer was insolvent and could not complete the promised “amenities,” such as roads and utilities.”
NY. Petro-state: “On Aug. 17, more than 200 people marched through the Village of Watkins Glen, NY, to protest the proposed LNG storage and transport facility in the Finger Lakes. People within the region are growing increasingly frustrated after attending decision-making meetings, meeting with representatives, writing letters, holding forums, attending hearings and making phone calls in an effort to stop this project–seemingly to no avail.”
OH. Voting: “”I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine,‘ said Doug Preisse, chairman of the county R Party and elections board member who voted against weekend hours.” … Corruption: “Records show [Ohio Superintendent Stan] Heffner dined with Educational Testing Service vice president John Oswald and his wife at a San Antonio restaurant in May of 2011. They ordered $10 cocktails, oysters and escargot. Heffner resigned Aug. 4 after Inspector General Randall Meyer found he engaged in potentially wrongful conduct. Prosecutors are reviewing the case.” …. Fracking: “Ohio University students have developed a database to link shale gas drillers with Ohio companies that can provide supplies and services. Students used a $100,000 rural business enterprise grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop the project.”
PA. Corruption: “[T]he case against former athletic director Tim Curley and former senior vice president Gary Schultz [for lying to the grand jury investigating Jerry Sandusky]is scheduled for January 2013, with jury selection starting Jan. 7 and the trial to follow immediately.”
TN. More guns, please: “[NRA lobbyist Chris] Cox suggested that the solution was for the NRA to appoint its own officials to state government. ‘It’s less expensive, and we’d no longer have to go to the regrettable lengths of making examples of more of you.'” Parody!
TX. Tinpot tyrants: “[Y]ou’re better off having a badge and a rape conviction [ here] than a vagina and consent [ here]. In summary: America.” … Landfills: “[T]he landfill fight in rural [Hempstead, TX] two hours east of Austin has a standard shape: An out-of-state corporation is accused of siting an unsightly dump near a largely poor, largely minority community. The landfill company says the accusations are unfair and that the dump will contribute jobs to a stricken area.” Yes, the playbook. But read for surprise.
WI. Fracking: “But the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, using job-site estimates developed by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation [ Walker’s “public-private” agency], found that when existing mines and those being built are fully operating, the [frack sand mining and processing] industry will employ about 2,780 people — a sizeable number given the state’s overall luckluster job picture.” Good round-up.
Outside baseball. Assange: “[Assange’s] long game is simple. He will run, in absentia, in the next Australian elections.He is more than popular enough to be elected.Once he is an MP, he can’t be touched.” What an awesome idea. … Racism: “In sum, I don’t think [Marginal Revolution’s Alex] Tabarrok is technically correct to say that ‘racists are split evenly between the two parties.’At least by these measures, the split is not exactly even.But he is absolutely correct to say that neither party has a monopoly on racists” (tables). … Cultural markers: ” [T]he ingesting of arugula in no way interferes with one’s ability to have Osama bin Laden shot.” Yeah, and neither did drinking PBR. Shocking, I know. … TPP: “The fourteenth major round of TPP negotiations — and perhaps one of the last — is taking place in Leesburg, VA from September 6 to 15.” … Medicare: “When it comes to Medicare, specifically, South Florida is the fraud capital of the nation. The feds say that fraud sucks up to $90 billion out of the system, and that Miami accounts for about $3 billion of that estimated amount.” … Court nominations: “[Sheldon Goldman UMass Amherst] :”[W]ithout significant changes to Senate rules, a greater push might make little difference. The great expectations when [Obama] was elected have not come to fruition.” Senate rules means “filibuster.” … Filibuster: “The bipartisan duo [of Richard Arenberg and Robert Dove] push the case against an effort led by relative Senate newcomers Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) to change the chamber’s rules by a simple majority vote at the beginning of a new Congress.” That’s the nuclear option. Could have been done in 2009 if Obama and the Ds were serious about passing legislation.
Grand Bargain™-brand cat food watch: Na ga happen: ” ‘We’re not going to have grand bargain [next month]. You can tell from this debate just how highly politicized everything has become,’ Neil Barofsky, the Treasury official who oversaw the Wall Street bailout, said Sunday, during a roundtable appearance on CNN’s State of the Union.”
The trail. Corruption: “The FBI probed a late-night swim in the Sea of Galilee that involved drinking, numerous GOP freshmen lawmakers, top leadership staff — and one nude member of Congress, according to more than a dozen sources, including eyewitnesses.” In a “Biblically significant area”! Ouch!
Robama vs. Obomney watch. Sabbath-day gasbags: “For a presidential contest that was supposed to revolve around jobs, surrogates for the Romney and Obama campaigns spent [Sunday] talking about everything but the economy.” Sabbath-day gasbags: “GILLESPIE: Governor Romney supports increasing over time bringing Medicare eligibility in line with the Social Security retirement age …” which, of course, Obama also supports.
DNCon. Camping: “At least nine area counties and municipalities have restricted camping on public property so far this year, citing concerns about the Occupy Charlotte movement and potential protests tied to the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.”
Romney. Corruption: “[Romney] appears to have profited from a marketing company that was contracted by the state of MA after receiving $5 million from Bain, Romney’s investment firm. ” OK, but twice now. Since when was the Telegraph an outlet for D oppo? …. Tax returns: “Both Romney and his newly anointed running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, have advanced policies that would further reduce Romney’s tax liabilities.” Ouch! … Ryan pick, Nate Silver: “So it looks increasingly as though [Romney] made a different sort of gamble — more of a true all-in move. His bet is that the era of triangulation is over: that Republicans can win elections without having to compromise. Or, perhaps, in an era when so few voters are truly undecided, he thinks a robust turnout from the Republican base could be enough to get him the 270 electoral votes needed to win. Will it work? Political theory argues against it, but Republicans have been moving to the right for a couple of decades now, and it is not clear that they have paid much of a price for it.”… Asian vote: “Asian-Americans comprise 4 per cent of the electorate in VA and 8 per cent in NV. The Romney campaign is making aggressive efforts to try to limit Obama’s share of the Asian-American vote this year. It is organising voter registration drives and is handing out campaign bumper stickers in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.”
Obama. “Hope”: “Torture was Bush’s legacy at Guantanamo. I hope that Obama’s legacy will not be that he legitimized indefinite detention without charge.” … Crowds: “Obama campaign operatives, both at the Chicago headquarters and in swing states where Mr. Obama recently has stumped, say the campaign intentionally limits crowds by restricting tickets. The reason is to allow the president to better connect with supporters.”
* 21 days until the Democratic National Convention ends with candy for everyone on the floor of the
Bank of America Panther Stadium, Charlotte, NC. ZOMG! Agenda 21!! Oh noes!!!
* * *
Antidote du jour. Richard Smith notes that the rescuers carry on as if this is a familiar task: