Apologies for the absence of my own posts today. It’s after 4:30 AM and I need to make a more valiant effort to normalize my schedule. Links are a little juicier than usual as a partial offset.
Inflatable Unicorn Horn for Cats Amazon (Richard Smith). NC readers would have trouble outdoing some of the reviews.
The Dementia Plague MIT Technology Review. What would Susan Sontag say?
The vast gulf between current technology and theoretical singularity Extreme Tech (Carol B)
Confirmed: Apple-owned fingerprint software exposes Windows passwords ars technica (Carol B)
MIT creates carbon nanotube pencil, doodles some electronic circuits Extreme Tech (Carol B)
Is Facebook turning into … MySpace? Delaware Online
The Sufficiency Economy: a Thai Solution to Economic Sustainability Triple Pundit (furzy mouse)
‘Titanic’ Defaults Loom on Restructured India Bank Debt Bloomberg (Richard Smith)
China Bank Chief Pulls Out of IMF Meeting Wall Street Journal
Yesterday My Daughter Emigrated Huffington Post (Chuck L)
IMF warns eurozone on capital flight Financial Times. Marshall Auerback has been writing about this for over six months. The IMF is at least full quarterly report late in flagging this risk. And are they really prepared to change course? Draghi in the story says the answer is structural reforms, which will be far too slow in coming to address the quiet bank run.
Iraq: second largest oil exporter? Guardian
Will Iraq’s energy boom postpone peak oil yet again? Ambrose Evans-Prichard, Telegraph
Ambassador Died in Smoke While Agents Searched for Him Bloomberg. Separately, bunkers and safe rooms have apparently become a standard installation in homes of the super rich. It didn’t save Stevens.
Why I can’t support Obama Richard Stallman
Obama debate stumble might stem from life in bubble McClatchy. Nah, rather than blaming it on acquired situational narcissism, the old fashioned kind will do.
Romney 49%, Obama 47% Among Likely Voters Gallup. A political maven wrote: “It’s the best thing there is out there for predicting who will actually vote.”
10 Questions Jim Lehrer Should Have Asked Counterpunch. Not what you expect.
The “Tytler” Insult — Is Democracy Hopeless? David Brin (Tom C)
AR Republican Charlie Fuqua Advocates Stoning Rebellious Children, Per Deuteronomy Talk to Action (Chuck L). The American Taliban.
A Bigger Paycheck on Wall Street New York Times
Ethical standards in different data communities Andrew Gelman (Patrick Durusau)
U.S. sues Wells over ‘reckless’ lending Charlotte Observer. Lambert: Closing the barn window after the horse was shot, then eaten. Me: This isn’t an October surprise, this is a fall hand-wave.
Why the Housing Crash is Far From Over Keith Jurow, Global Economic Intersection
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Mission elapsed time: T + 32 and counting*
Come back, Shane! Run for president! — Henry Burton, Primary Colors
Montreal. Corruption: “Widespread kickbacks and political favours, envelopes stuffed with cash and money that simply vanishes into thin air. That was the portrait former construction entrepreneur Lino Zambito painted last week of a system of collusion he says links provincial political parties directly to Quebec’s construction industry — a system he claimed mirrors the one in place at the municipal level in Montreal.”
CA. Corruption: “The investigative news site Voice Of San Diego has raised ethical concerns about the CEO of the city’s major daily newspaper, who has reportedly been sending threatening emails to local officials in an attempt to push through the paper’s editorial vision of a huge stadium and extended conference center along the San Diego port, which is currently a cargo terminal.”
IN. Food: “Since rolling into action about a month ago, Ruben’s Taco Wagon is most likely the newest landmark along Indiana 62 just west of Boonville” (turns out the food truck is a retirement plan).
FL. Voting: “President Barack Obama’s campaign, eager to bank as many early votes as possible in Florida, is launching an unprecedented program to encourage supporters to vote by absentee ballot right away.” … Solid waste: “Palm Beach County’s new $600 million waste-to-energy plant could be used to incinerate trash created in neighboring counties, a revenue-making move that officials say would reduce the rates that residents here pay for countywide solid waste services.” … Voting: “[A]n error [oh?] occurred on the first batch of absentee ballots that were mailed out Oct. 2. Unlike the dozens of other [items] on the ballot, there is no heading on the section where voters can decide whether Justices Barbara Pariente, Peggy Quince and R. Fred Lewis deserve another six years on the high court. [And] there are questions about whether the tabulation machines will be able to read the votes. He and others fear that even those who understand the confusing ballot won’t have their votes counted.” … Democracy: “In a e-mail to all his  employees, [Orlando time-share mogul David] Siegel said that he did not want to tell them how to vote — but wanted them to know that another four years of Obama could make it tough for him to keep people employed.” He might not have wanted to, but he did, didn’t he?
LA. Food: “What is it about food trucks that distinguishes them as a ‘new and burgeoning industry’? When they start talking about changing laws because of ‘innovations’ that aren’t all that obvious, I start to wonder what else might be going on. What if such regulatory changes paved the way for Sizzler or Taco Bell to become the official city-sanctioned mobile vendor at every Second-Line parade?” … Landfills: “Prosecutors have built a case against [River Birch executive Dominick] Fazzio in hopes of turning him on his bosses, landfill owners Fred Heebe and Jim Ward, who are the probe’s central targets.” Twists and turns!
MA. Red Sox: “Poor communication, horrific starting pitching, an ignorant manager, no team personality and a blurred chain of command sums up what we saw from the 2012 Boston Red Sox.”
MD. Externalities: “A key issue in the trial is whether Perdue should be held liable if the judge finds chicken waste from the Hudsons’ farm did contaminate the ditches that drain the surrounding land. The environmental group contends Perdue effectively controls the way growers raise its birds, including monitoring their environmental safeguards, and [Judge] Nickerson refused Perdue’s pre-trial motion to be excused from the lawsuit.”
ME. Ladies of negotiable affection: “But the talk of [Kennebunk] these days is the arrest of a local fitness instructor who’s been charged with running a prostitution business out of her Zumba dance studio and secretly videotaping her encounters. Prosecutors haven’t detailed why Wright would have been videotaping her encounters. But they gathered more than 100 hours of video and nearly 14,000 screen shots from seized computers.” … (more) “[Judge Mills] did admonish prosecutors on their delivery of the evidence to [the defense], calling for a discovery conference to take place between all parties at which all documents must be clearly labeled and sorted in such a way that the defense attorneys can follow them. She also suggested that the necessary technology be made available for the defense attorneys to access the hard drive.” Hmm…
NY. Fracking: “Apparently, [Carrizo's] drilling for the Wetterling Well, just off McHenry Road (North of Bodle Hill Rd) is underway.This is supposed to be a ‘test’ well; given that the industry insists that Marcellus is all over the place, we’re not too sure what exactly they’re testing for – unless it’s for local resistance.” … Fracking: “Keeping Marcellus exploration secret in New York — even in a remote wooded area — is like trying to hide a rhinoceros in a petting zoo. Truck traffic, stadium lights, and permitting records aside, the operation defies stealth.” … Unions: “First, the [liberal New York Times] management team walked out of contract negotiations after only 10 minutes. Second, late in the day, management informed the Guild that it intends to make a ‘final offer’ on Thursday, as well as canceling Wednesday’s scheduled negotiating session.”=
OH. Fracking: “To lease or not to lease? That’s a question the [Mill Creek MetroParks ] board has been facing in regard to mineral rights in the MetroParks. For months, the board has been hearing from those opposed to any type of drilling in or around the park. Now, they want to hear from anyone.” … Legacy parties: “[Ds] can’t contain their delight that the courts have bottled up JobsOhio, R Gov. Kasich’s signature economic development program. What the Party of Amnesia fails to recall is that some of the very same ‘issues’ that supposedly mar JobsOhio were no problem in the 1980s, when liberal D Gov. Richard Celeste ducked them [protecting OH’s largest S&L from a run” (Thomas Suddes).
TX. Fracking: “Texans can breathe easier: the radioactive waste Halliburton fracking surveyors lost last month has finally been found.” … Pollice state: ” Fusion centers have indulged in massive mission creep, is the federal criticism, and serve little if any anti-terrorism function.” Considering how the administration defines “terrorism,” that might not be a bad thing.
VA. Climate: “Hampton Roads — after New Orleans, the metropolitan region in the United States with the lowest elevation — is at tremendous risk [from rising sea levels], even if the more ominous predictions are decades away.”
WA. Strike: In the days since Boeing and SPEEA last met, the union filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB against Boeing. SPEEA alleges the company interfered with union rallies by video recording events and by confiscating photos taken by members of the gatherings. Boeing declined to comment on the charges.” … Enthusiasm: “Despite new technologies making the process easier than ever, about a third fewer WA state residents have registered to vote this year compared with the first nine months of 2008. The decline is more pronounced among younger people.” Gee, that’s odd.
Outside baseball. Christianism: “Eventually–in another two generations, perhaps–organized religion will wither down to a minority preference which is looked upon with mild embarrassment, like Civil War reenacting.” … Iraq: “‘America’s power was demonstrated to have very clear limits,’ [State's Peter Van Buren] said. ‘We have the world’s most powerful military, but there seems to be a back door in terms of how to bleed it, how to defeat it.’” …. Queing: “Travelers at JFK Airport in New York have found a new way to legally cut in line when security is backed up[:] requesting wheelchairs. Airport policy allows anyone in a wheelchair to go to the front of the line” (queuing issues are in the zeitgeist right now; a proxy for the Gini co-efficient?
Media critique. Hacks: “The hack gap is a liberal problem of long standing. Put simply, we liberals don’t have enough hacks” (Kevin Drum). Oh, I’m not so sure about that…
The trail. Swing states: “TV ad money – the best measure of whether a campaign is competing in a state – shows that 93% of the $746 million spent so far, or $697 million – has poured into the nine battleground states. Less than a quarter of the nation’s voters live in those states.” Like “rotten boroughs.” … Swing states: “The Nielsen Co. said Friday that Obama’s campaign had run nearly 230,000 ads in NV, CO, IA, WI, OH, FL, VA, PA and NH from the beginning of the year through early September, compared with about 87,000 for Romney.” … Military vote: “[Military Times] poll results indicate that about 66% of those surveyed support Romney, compared with about 26% who say they will vote [for] Obama. When asked about the most important issue guiding their vote this year, about 66% of respondents cited either “the economy” or “the character of the candidate.” Less than 16 percent of troops surveyed cited ‘national security.’” … Military vote: “If we are going to improve the participation rates by military voters, they need a more systematic process to register and request an absentee ballot. Until that occurs, our military members will continue to be one of the most disenfranchised groups in the United States.” …. Polls: “The forecast model is not quite ready to jump on board with the notion that the race has become a literal toss-up; Romney will need to maintain his bounce for a few more days, or extend it into high-quality polls of swing states, before we can be surer about that. But we are ready to conclude that one night in Denver undid most of the advantage Obama had appeared to gain in September” (Nate Silver). I think it’s best to view “the model” as a rhetorical device. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. … Polls: “Romney won 49% support from likely voters in the poll, compared to 47% for Obama. The PPP poll has a 3-percentage-point margin of error” (PPP has a house bias toward the Ds). … Polls: Memo to Andrew Sullivan.
The debate. Mood: “But his most important achievement cannot be measured by polls. What he did was change the political mood — of the media coverage, and of partisans on both sides.” We see this online. … Big Mo: “It’s just that these unrelated events of the past week call to mind the wisdom of basketball legend Bill Russell, who during his days as a TV analyst would often proclaim: ‘When things go bad … they go bad’” (Jeff Greenfield). … Students: “Strikingly, despite the fact that Ds outnumber Ra in the sample by more than 2 to 1, Romney was judged the winner of the debate overall by 52% of respondents. It seems that a good share of college students are assessing the debate winner based on reactions to the candidates’ performances as a whole, rather reporting a weighted average of their agreement and disagreement. Policy agreement is not a prerequisite for victory in a debate, at least for this sample.”
Green Party. Cheri Honkala: “Being poor and being in a third party shouldn’t exclude someone from the process. ‘We don’t just think we’re dreamers. We think we make changes,’ she says.”
The Romney. Abortion: “Romney continued his shift to the center Tuesday, saying he wouldn’t pursue any abortion legislation if he wins the presidency.” At least he cares enough to fake it! The debate: “[ROMNEY: ] These are tough times with real serious issues, so you have to scratch your head when the president spends the last week talking about saving Big Bird.” True! … Infantilization: “[ANN ROMNEY:] ‘I mean, lie — it’s sort of like someone that’s, you know, in the sandbox that like lost the game and they’re just going to kick sand in someone’s face and say, you liar. I mean, it’s like they lost, and so now they just are going to say, OK, the game, we didn’t like the game. So to me, it’s poor sportsmanship.’” … Infantilization: “[JOSH ROMNEY: ]So as a father, he learned how to debate an obstinate child.’” … Crowds: “Riffing on the ‘Four more years!’ chant that is a fixture at rallies,* rival Mitt Romney said Tuesday that they should be saying “Four more weeks! ‘There are 28 days before the election. I think the right chant ought to be for them, Four more weeks, four more weeks. All right?’ Romney told 12,000 supporters in a chilly outdoor rally here. They quickly picked up the cue and began chanting. [* Invented by the Nixon campaign.] Either totally spontaneous or good advance work. … Narrative: “The candidate’s family prevailed on Romney, and the campaign operation, to shake things up dramatically, according to campaign insiders. The family pushed for a new message, putting an emphasis on a softer and more moderate image for the GOP nominee — a ‘let Mitt be Mitt’ approach they believed more accurately reflected the looser, generous and more approachable man they knew.”
The Obama. Big Bird teebee ad: “There’s only one thing that sticks out to me about this ad. Let’s look at that litany of Wall Street ‘criminals’ and ‘gluttons of greed,’ which later get juxtaposed with Big Bird. You have Bernie Madoff, Ken Lay and Dennis Kozlowski. So two CEOs prosecuted and convicted by Bush’s DOJ, and Madoff, whose son turned him in before Obama took office. So the Obama campaign could not fill a list of three Wall Street criminals that the Obama DOJ actually sent to jail. Heck, they couldn’t fill a list of one! The subtext here is far more revealing than the text” (David Dayen). …. Big Bird teebee ad: “Sesame Street has asked Obama’s campaign to take down its latest attack ad on Mitt Romney, which features footage of Big Bird. ‘We’ve received and will review their concerns,’ said an Obama campaign official.” After they prosecuted Shepard Fairey, too. … The debate: “[OBAMA:] ‘What was being presented wasn’t leadership. That’s salesmanship.’” True! …. Fundraising: “Obama will attend his last fundraiser of the 2012 campaign Thursday and then shift into top gear following his disastrous recent debate performance that vaporized his polling lead over challenger Romney.” … Fundraiser: “[OBAMA:] Elmo has been seen in a white Suburban.” Ha ha? Fundraiser:
Menu: Fish tartare a la japonaise
Warm chanterelles on grilled toast
Fall tomato salad with homemade mozzarella
Fresh cheese with baked fig
Eggplant tagine with couscous
Duck confit with herb and frisee salad
Corncakes with mint and chive
Prosciutto and almonds
Sounds like a swell feed!
* A Presidential Election Is Not A Dinner Party!
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Antidote du jour (Lance N). My Aby does a more graceful version of the “top of shower door” routine, and also sometimes shows off and gets on top of the bathroom door from the counter. But this cat looks like he enjoys clowning.