Growing Crops With No Water, The Old-Fashioned Way Scientific American
U.S. Steel, USW union reach tentative labor deal MarketWatch
Union angst at Supervalu Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Murder Charges Lifted On South Africa Miners WSJ. Marikana strike.
The cold murder fields of Marikana Daily Maverick
Inquiry on Tax Strategy Adds to Scrutiny of Finance Firms Times. Well-timed backhander for Schneiderman?
NY probes private equity tax strategy FT. Pass the popcorn!
N.Y. attorney general opens probe into private equity firms, including Bain CBS. Not, apparently, when Romney was there.
Europe enters the witching month Macrobusiness
The Euro Crisis Is Back From Vacation Times Magazine
Euro crisis on hold – till after US election John Dizard, FT
Why The ECB Got To Do What It’s Got To Do Seeking Alpha
Investors Test Riskier Debt Waters WSJ. Spanish and Italian bonds.
US investor is Ireland’s biggest creditor FT. John Templeton.
GDP and Employment drag from State and Local Governments Calculated Risk
Paper Criticizes Federal Reserve Approach, Suggests Radical Overhaul of Monetary Policy in the Crisis David Dayen, FDL. The undercard at Jackson Hole.
Robert Johnson: Audacious Oligarchy – Unmasking Wall Street and the Decline of Confidence Jesse’s Café Américain
A few remarks on Medicare’s administrative cost Incidental Economist
3D Paintings Come to Life Bloomberg. China zeitgeist watch, big time, but I don’t know what the message is.
Are Our Transit Maps Tricking Us? Atlantic Cities. Even if we can’t change territories, we can reroute traffic by changing maps.
Diary of a Mad Fact-Checker Oxford American
Email stress test: Experiment unplugs workers for 5 days LA Times (Valissa)
Revealed: the grubby world of comment spam The Kernel
Fair versus equal Mathbabe. Interesting!
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D – 4 and counting*
“We have a presidential election coming up. And I think the big problem, of course, is that someone will win.” –Barry Crimmins
DNCon. Police: “Busloads of officers rolled in to help Charlotte-Mecklenburg police patrol the DNCon, [most from NC but some] from as far away as Washington D.C., Chicago, Atlanta and Philadelphia.” …. Social media: “Obama’s campaign will turn to technology to get some of those [undecided voters in battleground states] voters engaged in the convention. The campaign will stream the entire event online, incorporate voter comments into the feed, and have convention attendees interact electronically with those watching on the Internet and mobile devices.” Campus voters, therefore wired, judging by campaign stops in VA, IA, and CO. … Statuary: “A 25-foot sand sculpture of Obama brings some of the beach to the Democratic National Convention’s host city. [P]erhaps the biggest hazards for the sculpture are periodic rains coming through Charlotte” (uh oh). Make up your own snark! … Weather: “[T]here’s no roof at the Bank of America Stadium — and some forecasts call for rain.” … The speech, small ball: “Obama will use his time in the spotlight on Thursday to focus on education, tax cuts for those making less than $250,000, energy, immigration and social issues, his advisers indicated.” … The speech, mush: “‘This speech is going to reflect the thinking of a leader* who has great confidence in this country and a … clear sense of what we need to do to continue to repair the damage that was done by the recession and to reclaim the economic security that many Americans have lost,’ Axelrod said.” [* A term beloved by authoritarian followers everywhere."
DNCon protest. Protest: "All manner of protesters are gathering in Charlotte for the convention this week, so many that local officials had to hold a lottery to determine which groups would get prime protest spots." ... March: "The 80-plus groups that make up the Coalition to March on Wall Street South held a 3-mile (5-km) march on Sunday aimed at putting a spotlight on Charlotte as the United States' second-largest financial center, behind New York. The protest organizers are seeking to distinguish their efforts from those of the anarchist movement, which in recent years has destroyed property and tried to disrupt activities at major political and government events." Feh. ... March: My favorite sign, in comments: "Resistance is fertile."
RNCon. Wowsers: "Asked what kind of role abortion and social issues might play in the campaign, R pollster Kellyanne Conway complained, 'Why do Ds always talk to women from the waist down? Rs are talking to women from the waist up.'" ... Management problems: "Whoever designed those giant screens should be flogged for not testing to see how the speakers would look in TV closeups." ... Snark watch, "we built this": "[T]he cadre of waiting-in-the-wings Republicans possess all the private sector experience of a Cuban five-year agricultural planner — but with a better taxpayer-funded health care plan.” Ouch! … Eastwood: “Disjointed, wondering, he got lost at points, he jumped topics, who knows what that chair was all about and he looked like he didn’t even comb his hair (It was sticking up all over in a BAD way)” (a TN R blogger and attendee). … Eastwood: “‘I think I just drank Clint Eastwood’s water,’ Rubio smiled.” Sharing the love for Romney, Marco!
Montreal. Election: “Pauline Marois’ Parti Quebecois is a statistical hair’s breadth away from forming a majority government, a Leger Marketing poll for the QMI news agency suggests. But if the numbers break right for [Quebec Solidaire] on election day, at some point a PQ minority government might be forced to negotiate for its support.” (This being the Gazoo, the agenda is to get the Anglos to the polls…)
AK. Labor: “I am honored to support the unions in this country, and it sure beats the hell out of shilling to race to the bottom.”
CO. Crowds: “[A]n estimated 13,000 people filled a campus green on Sunday at the University of Colorado, Boulder” to hear Obama speak. At 4:20PM?
IA. Coat tails: “[In his Sioux City rally, Obama] said nothing during his speeches to encourage people to vote for Ds all up and down the ballot. Speaking to Ds around the state this summer, I get the impression that for the most part, Obama organizers are not doing much to help down-ticket candidates.”
IN. Food: “None are better, despite their little size, those end-of-the-season beauties seem to have absorbed all the goodness and sweetness that summer represents.” Tomatoes…
IL. Food: “Dishes from the final week of [Charlie Trotter's] menus include poached white asparagus with charred broccolini, manchego cheese and red pepper essence and root beer leaf ice cream with vanilla cremeaux and birch syrup-infused meringue.”
LA. Isaac: “Hurricane Season is kind of a mirror version of Carnival. National media focus on but largely misunderstand what’s happening in New Orleans while locals cluster in groups to overindulge in unhealthy food and liquor while ritualistically named entities parade through town spreading debris everywhere.”
ME. Corruption, charters:* “Documents expose the flow of money and influence from corporations that stand to profit from state leaders’ efforts to expand and deregulate digital education” (more players). [* Sorry for the redundancy] … Ron Paul: “The Maine R’s state committee passed four resolutions proposed by Paul supporters by wide margins Saturday. The first resolution denounces the RNC’s decision not to seat all 20 ME delegates pledged to Paul. Saturday’s meeting was followed by a show of unity in which Paul supporters who had been at odds with party leaders went door-to-door with them to campaign.”
MI. Police state: “A man suspected of fatally shooting two men and seriously wounding two others had to turn himself in twice before Detroit police would arrest him.’ An austere police state.
MN. Snark watch: “‘I challenge him to a contest of cow milking, butter carving or corndog eating – he can take his pick,’ said [D challenger Brian] Barnes in a statement. ‘If I had a voting record like his, I would be afraid to debate also.’” … Pipeline: “Howell Township officials sent a letter to Enbridge Energy last month, asking that the company comply with its 1999 pipeline ordinance during the replacement of a line that ruptured in 2010. But the community’s attorney does not think it has standing to enforce the ordinance.”
NC. Blue sky: “[American Economic Renaissance] would be chartered by Congress as a nongovernmental entity, like the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was in 1863. But with vastly more authority than the NAS, the AER would exclusively control all of the $37.5 trillion in royalty payments from the oil and gas under federal land such as the Green River Formation.” Makes the thinking in DC look small.
NJ. Police state: “The fatal shootings of two apparently emotionally disturbed men by police in separate incidences on Saturday demonstrates the need for better police training when dealing with the mentally ill, one of the state’s leading mental health advocates said Sunday.”
NY. Police state: Cryptome Tracks The NYPD Ring Of Steel (video) (bob).
OH. Fracking: “‘We don’t want any more injection wells. We know the trucks that are surrounding us are filled with hydrochloric acid, liquefied petroleum gas, potassium hydroxide solution,’ said Mary Greer of Shalersville.” … Bailout: “With many automobile manufacturers and parts makers, OH’s economy has benefited from the administration’s bailout of the industry.” Guess we should all move to swing states.
OR. Foreclosure: “Foreclosures will be moved to the courts, where borrowers can be held accountable for the entire deficiency instead of just turning over keys to the front door. It’s a change from ‘non-judicial’ to ‘judicial’ foreclosure proceedings.”
PA. Corruption: “‘Illegal conduct occurred,’ Bill Cluck, who serves on the board that runs Harrisburg’s incinerator, told me. “I think false statements were submitted under penalty of law to the state government in connection with the financing.’ All those advisers made hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees from the loan” (furzy mouse).
VA. Landfills: “The amount of trash shipped to VA from other places for disposal remained relatively flat last year after increasing in 2010 for the first time since 2006. VA [is] the nation’s second biggest importer of trash, behind PA.” … Privatization: “[McDonnell presentation] provided further evidence that state officials are frantically working backward from a preferred solution [privatizing operations at the Port of VA], rather than methodically forward from underlying or organizational problems.”
WI. Capitol occupations: “‘Remember the team called the Washington Generals?” Walker said. ‘That’s the team that nobody remembers. That’s the traveling team [the Harlem Globetrotters] always beat. Well, the protesters are the Washington Generals.’” Ouch.
Outside baseball. Police state: “According to the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, [Automated License Plate Readers] have become so pervasive in America that they constitute a “covert national surveillance grid.” …. Žižek: “The goal is not to arrive at a settled view, but to achieve greater clarity about what is really at issue, about what is really at stake in a given debate.”
Grand Bargain™-brand Cat Food Watch. David Maraniss: “If he wins a second term, the Obama I expect to emerge will more closely follow the lines of his 2004 speech. As a young man negotiating the shoals of race in America, as president of the Harvard Law Review, as a lecturer in constitutional law at the University of Chicago and as a state senator in Springfield, his instincts were to search for common ground. That is where he sees greatness.”
Robama vs. Obomney watch . Welfare: “[T]he real scandal here isn’t what Obama did or didn’t do to ‘workfare’; it’s that both parties have gutted the welfare system as a whole to conduct a cruel social experiment on impoverished families.”
The trail. Field offices: “Romney has no shortage of money, but Obama’s field offices outnumber Romney’s in each [of 11 swing states].” … What It Takes: “The big rule of American politics is party. Political parties offer our structure: intellectual and ideological coherence, an available pool of manpower and an electioneering apparatus, and an organizing principle for people who require shortcuts to navigate a complex mix of policy and leadership options. But primaries have no such readymade architecture. It is in primaries that candidates have a strategic imperative to indulge what Freud called the “narcissism of small differences.” …. Robocalls: “I received a robocall that purported to be from the head of the VA Delegation in Tampa. There was excited chatter in the background and I was told that the VA delegation was in the thick of all the fun and excitement. [Except later I found out that the] VA delegation was at that time actually being driven in the opposite direction apparently to avoid having them on the convention floor when the procedural votes were scheduled to come up. Seems that too many people from VA.” Ha ha. … Technology: “The DNC [has] a new open source web app that lets Americans register online. The app lets potential voters fill out a National Voter Registration Form on the web, which is then converted into a PDF that can be printed and submitted.” Great if you’re wired, have an ID, and own a printer, I guess. Would have been better to fight the registration fight before the Rs passed the laws, but n-o-o-o-o. … Republicans: “A New Guide to the Republican Herd: Libertarians, Tea Party Voters, Main Street Voters, Christian Conservatives, The Disaffected.” Candified graphic has Standard Bearers, Issues, but not Funders. … Democrats: “A New Guide to the Democratic Herd: Staunch Liberals, Blue Collar Bloc, Bootstrap Optimists, Younger Independents, Southern and Rural Democrats.” Same candy, same absence of Funders. …. Evil: “Black, the laid-off coal miner, is ready to give Romney a chance. ‘I’ve got to take the lesser of two evils,’ he said. ‘I know what Obama’s going to do. He’s already shown that.’” Cuts both ways…
Romney. Polls: No bounce for Romney in FL (PPP). … Ryan: “For those catching up, last week Ryan told conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt that his personal [marathon] best was “Under three, high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something.” [Ryan] was fact-checked by, wait for it…Runner’s World magazine, [which finally] reported that the campaign told them that ‘that the R VP candidate has run one marathon. That was the 1990 Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, MN, where Ryan, then 20, is listed as having finished in 4 hours, 1 minute, and 25 seconds.” Ouch! … Religion: “‘There has never been as much positive publicity about the [Mormon] church…thanks to the wonderful campaign of Mitt Romney and his family,’ J.W. ‘Bill’ Marriott, the chairman of Marriott International, said.” … Humanoid: “[Romney] raises his eyebrows when he says something he thinks is going to surprise you.” And more!
Obama. Forward: “‘Next week in Charlotte, we are eager to talk about where we’ve been and where we’re going,’ said David Axelrod, Obama’s senior strategist. ‘The country’s gone through a difficult journey together, but we’ve made — but we’ve made a difference.’” … Spine: “If Karl Rove was known as George W. Bush’s political brain, Ms. Jarrett is Mr. Obama’s spine.” … Citizens United: “[OBAMA:] I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t revisit it).” Just what we need. Another “mobilized” roach motel for progressive energy. … If only: “When I delivered my Nobel Lecture in acceptance of the Nobel Committee’s prize for peace on December 10 of 2009, I did so in the knowledge that I had not earned it and did not deserve it.”
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Antidote du jour: Two cats in the wat, from my Bangkok expotition: