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Links 10/19/12

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Waah! I have a sprained finger and have no idea how I did it! Yesterday I thought it would resolve itself but it is getting worse. Do you know how hard it is to be an Internet person when it hurts to type the letters “d” and “e”?

The great Stradivarius swindle Telegraph (Richard Smith)

New Planet in Neighborhood, Astronomically Speaking New York Times (John M)

Wireless meters tell snoopers when you are not home New Scientist

Have You Visited a Porn Site Recently? Do You Drink Michelob or Samuel Adams? Romney and Obama Want to Know Alternet. Now instead of complaining, why not suggest ways to mess it up, like for the Whole Foods set to go buy big orders at fast food places once a month and give it to homeless shelters?

BP Oil Spill: Case NOT Closed George Washington

Has China’s realty bounce peaked (already?) MacroBusiness

EU leaders agree on bank supervisor Aljazeera (nathan). Sounds an awfully lot like Penelope’s agreement about marrying one of her suitors.

UK mugged by eurozone banking union? Robert Peston, BBC (Richard Smith)

Roma, si dà fuoco davanti al Quirinale ModenaOnline and Berlin lies in front of the Reichstag on fire Berliner Kurier (Scott).

America on the Cusp of Fascism Counterpunch (Carol B)

Soup kitchen in Ryan photo-op suffers ‘substantial’ loss of donations Raw Story

Koch-backed activists use power of data in bid to oust Obama from White House Guardian (John L)

80-year-old woman arrested for stealing posters of Obama with Hitler mustache Raw Story So if she’d just binned them, she’d face no charges?

Snow Job on Jobs Paul Krugman, New York Times

Cabrera for President! Arthur Silber (Lambert). Once you get past the baseball stuff, this is a great essay.

Wall Street CEOs Up Pressure for Grand Bargain in the Lame Duck Session Jon Walker, Firedoglake

Ben Stein Tells Incredulous Fox & Friends Hosts Taxes Are Too Damn Low Gawker

The Liberal Myth That Morbid Wealth Is Just Fine masaccio, Firedoglake (Carol B)

Fracking Your Future: Shale Gas Industry Targets College Campuses, K-12 Schools Desmogblog (Carol B)

Delta Airlines Buys its Own Refinery to Cut Fuel Costs OilPrice

Headline compare! Ex-worker accuses Goldman over bank bets Financial Times versus The world of Goldman, according to Greg Smith Politico. Better yet, the FT story is based on the Politico story, which comes close to sneering at the book. Now guess which publication has had it full back page ad from Goldman for a very long time?

Family shocked at Bangladesh man’s arrest in NY terror bomb plot Daily News (Lambert). This just keeps getting weirder…

A tale of two VaRs FT Alphaville. Good catch by Tracy Alloway (and Scott): Morgan Stanley emulates JP Morgan.

Lawsuit: Aspen Dental clinics operating illegally Associated Press. Heinous. Would love to get a copy of the claim.

* * *

lambert here:

Mission elapsed time: T + 41 and counting*

I won’t be active in the day-to-day operations of the ball club at all. –George Steinbrenner, on taking ownership of the New York Yankees

FL. Voting: “The printing error that sullied the first batch of 60,000 Palm Beach County absentee ballots is more complex and potentially more problematic than the infamous butterfly ballot that put the county in the national spotlight in 2000.”

MA. Warren/Brown: Warren now leads by 9% according to PPP (a D shop).

ME. Greens: “[Asher Platt's] decision to take on [state Sen. Justin Alfond] was more practical than personal: ‘At the time I was moving from sublet to sublet and I didn’t known where I would be living.’ Senate districts are bigger than House districts, so he figured that he had a better chance of meeting the residency requirement if he ran for the Senate.”

MN. Water: “It took longer for the drought to be felt in MN than other states. But updated data from the U.S. Drought Monitor on Thursday showed that nearly half the state is now in a severe or extreme drought, while the rest of the state is in at least a moderate drought.”

NY. Money: “Bloomberg will spend at least $10 million of his personal fortune promoting moderate candidates, including Syracuse-area congressional candidate Dan Maffei” (and a reach-around for the D Maffei against G Rozum). … Class warfare: ” Affluent new moms are getting a suite deal at Lenox Hill Hospital: Posh $1,700-a-night, full-service “Beyoncé” rooms. The executive suites receive nearly one-on-one nursing care. Two floors above, up to 18 newborns are sometimes tended by a single nurse. The ratio, according to the nurses, is putting the babies’ lives at risk in the prestigious Manhattan hospital. By contract, nurses are only supposed to work with eight newborns at a time.” … Legalization: “Cuomo vowed Tuesday to block any salary increase until “the people’s agenda” is resolved. Included in that agenda, he said, are a minimum wage hike and Cuomo’s proposal to decriminalize small-scale marijuana possession.” 

PA. Charters: “Rs backed away from Gov. Corbett’s charter ‘reform’ legislation. The bill would have allowed the Governor and the State Education Department to override local school boards and open charters where the local board rejected them. This is a priority for Governor Tom Corbett and for ALEC, which values privatization over local control. Apparently, some Rs had trouble following the attack on public schools and local school boards, which are important and traditional institutions in the communities they represent.” … Legalization: “‘[NJWeedman FTW!] I expected to get one juror, but I got 12. I didn’t expect it, and I am very grateful. I think the jury sent a huge message to the state, the governor and the Prosecutor’s Office. People don’t want marijuana users hauled into court and locked up in jail’” (PT). … Fracking: “The state AG sought the dismissal of a lawsuit against her that claims a medical ‘gag rule’ in new natural gas legislation violates a Dallas doctor’s constitutional right to communicate with his patients. [Dr. Alfonso Rodriguez, who filed the civil suit,] a kidney specialist, treats patients in the oil and gas industry, including one from Luzerne County who experienced issues including renal failure after being exposed to fracking fluid in a natural gas well blowout.” … Fracking: “State attorneys were contesting the Commonwealth Court’s July decision to overturn a portion of the law that limited what local zoning rules can and cannot address regarding drilling activity. A majority panel of that court sided with a set of municipal officials, who argued that the new law was unconstitutional because it would require them to allow well pads and compressor stations in areas where the activity would otherwise be prohibited by their local development plans.”

WI. Corruption: “‘I would suggest that the more clear and concise direction you can give to any economic development agencies the better,’ [outgoing WEDC head Paul] Jadin told members of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee.” Public-private partnership #FAIL.

WV. Coal: “And most fundamentally, in Central Appalachia, a century of mining has left thin seams of coal in small blocks that cost more to mine than other coal.” Let’s frack it!

Outside baseball. Labor history: “[T]he new world of work in Walmart’s warehouses today bears a strong resemblance to the “shape-up” system used on the docks in the early 20th century. Then, longshore workers would line up every morning to see who would be lucky enough to get picked to work the ships that day. It wasn’t legal compulsion that brought the shipping magnates to the bargaining table; it was the disruptive threat to their bottom line that the workers’ risky [strike] gamble represented that did the trick.” … Cost of living: “From 2000 to 2010, the researchers found that the expenses for housing and transportation rose by $1.75 for each dollar gained in household income, meaning many families are worse off now than at the beginning of the decade.” … Demographics: “[I]n the last analysis, political parties exist solely and exclusively to seek political power. Given that this is the case, why would we expect the Rs to quietly accept their [demographic] inevitable eclipse? Why wouldn’t they try to rig the rules in their favor?” … Fracking: “[A]n EPA review [is] now underway on the impact of hydraulic fracturing on groundwater. The study, commissioned by Congress in 2010, is reassessing a finding by the George W. Bush administration that high volume hydraulic fracturing is harmless. The timing is critical. A preliminary report has been promised for ‘late 2012,’ but there is little reason to expect it — and its potentially boat-rocking ramifications – prior to election day.” … Police state: “[P]olice have discretion to use any opportunity–even a speeding ticket–to recruit new informants, even when the offense is minor or has nothing to do with the crimes the police want to investigate.” … Voting: “The widespread use of early voting in this year’s election means that voters are not voting based on the same information. The traditional Election Day ensured that all Americans went to the polls having followed the same race, having heard the same debates, and having had the opportunity to weigh the same facts. The elected candidate therefore shared a broad mandate, and all Americans owned the outcome of the election equally, for good or ill. If there was buyer’s remorse after the election, at least we knew we had all made the same choice based on the same information.” I never thought I’d agree with the Weekly Standard about anything. … Voting: “[T]he good news is that widespread technological upgrades have largely eliminated the voting-machine problems that were so evident when FL’s disputed recount determined the 2000 presidential election [I doubt this very much]. The bad news is that improvements in accuracy could be undermined by increases in early voting through the mail, which is turning out to be a relatively low-accuracy method of voting, according to a new research report released by MIT and the California Institute of Technology.” A low-accuracy method that Ds, shamefully, are advocating.

Grand Bargain™-brand Catfood Watch. “Tweaks”: “In the recent presidential debate, the president reiterated his determination to reduce retirement, survivor, and disability benefits for millions of Americans. This admission came in the form of an acknowledgement that his position did not differ materially from that of Mitt Romney. This alleged agreement is that the system is not in fundamental difficulty, but it needs to be ‘tweaked’” (excellent explainer). … Kabuki: “Freed from the political and economic constraints that have tied his hands in the past, Obama is ready to play hardball with Rs, who have so far successfully resisted a deal to tame the debt that includes higher taxes, Obama’s allies say.” Oh, please. Both parties will happily implement austerity even if Obama gets a fig leaf on taxes that turn out to be boondoggle for accountants. [Adding, to be fair, Dayen disagrees, saying Obama "has decided to take the advice of a lot of folks [!!] on the left” on fiscal cliff tactics. Young Ezra says Obama even has a secret plan! Come on. Since when did the White House ever take the advice of f*cking retards who should be drug tested? These floated stories read to me like a desperate sop to the left. Not that there’s anything wrong with being pandered to, but 11-dimensional secret plans don’t float my boat the way seeing Jamie Dimon in zip tie cuffs would. Let’s see some skin in the game, Ds!]

Obama vs. Romney II. The Romney: “Throughout the debate, Mr. Romney lied brazenly, without hesitation or compunction. He lied in big ways and small, lied cleverly and foolishly, lied as if he couldn’t help himself. Debating this man must feel like wrestling with a greased seal.” (Kevin Baker) … The Obama: “Yet the president still wandered off into weird digressions at times, and spoke in annoyingly halting and uncertain sentences” (Kevin Baker again). … From The Department of I’ve Got Mine: “[The questions were, for the most part, depressingly vague, superficial, and self-interested: How can I get a job when I get out of school?" (Kevin Baker yet again) Silly average American citizens!

Supply chain. Retail: "Employees of Abercrombie & Fitch, Best Buy and other retailers protested Wednesday along New York City's posh Fifth Avenue shopping district against what they call 'abusive' work scheduling." … Walmart: "The flurry of union-organizing activity in the Inland Empire has extended to warehouse and distribution hubs in other parts of the country."

Legacy parties. Money: "In a single day, the $1.5 million gift traveled from the D.C.-based [Republican Governors Association] to the RGA WI PAC, to the RGA PA PAC and finally to Corbett’s campaign account. By the time the donation reached Corbett, it was impossible to identify the original source of the cash or whether the donation was permissible under state law. Corbett’s boosters crushed the competition from the D.C.-based Democratic Governors Association, which mustered $1.9 million for Corbett’s opponent, using a series of similar funding maneuvers.”

The trail. Polls: “Mr. Romney’s advantage grew further, to seven points, when Gallup updated its numbers on Thursday afternoon. Usually, when a poll is an outlier relative to the consensus, its results turn out badly. You do not need to look any further than Gallup’s track record over the past two election cycles to find a demonstration of this” (Nate Silver). Ouch! … Media critique: “Walmart Moms” post-date instapoll sponsored by Walmart (which ABC does not note). … Nightmare scenarios: “1. An Electoral College tie; 2. A faithless elector; 3. The winner loses the popular vote; 4. A recount in a key state; 5. A long legal battle” (explainer with links).

Green Party. Police state: “Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein was shackled to a chair in a nearby New York police facility, along with her running mate, Green Party vice president nominee Cheri Honkala. Their crime: attempting to get to the debate so Stein could participate in it.” “This is what a feminist looks like.” … Endorsement: “But what I do know right now is that rank-and-file Ds seem to be sleepwalking their way to the gas ovens behind Obama’s leadership, and I don’t like it.”

The Obama. Mr. Warmth: “When four Americans get killed, it’s not optimal.” … Michelle Obama on the economy: “See, but your president, he didn’t point fingers. He didn’t place blame.” … Barack Obama on the economy: “But we have been digging our way out of policies that were misplaced and focused on the top doing very well and middle-class folks not doing well.” Presumably Obama’s talking about Bush’s policies and not the bipartisan neoliberal consensus that’s run the country since the mid-70s.

* Slogan of the day: Loud Songs of Triumph are Pouring Back With The Obama!

* * *

Antidote du jour. A Dubliner (furzy mouse):

And a bonus antidote (Robert M):

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87 comments

  1. fresno dan

    “Have You Visited a Porn Site Recently?”
    No, its been at least 5 seconds…now, if I was visiting every 4 seconds, that would be excessive. But this does explain why I starting getting so many calls from Romney….Mormon porn.

  2. Ned Ludd

    I often pay for my groceries using a credit card, thinking that nobody can glean much from which grocery stores I frequent. It didn’t occur to me that companies are compiling information about every item I have ever bought.

    The callers will be guided by scripts and call lists compiled by people — or computers — with access to details like whether voters may have visited pornography Web sites, have homes in foreclosure, are more prone to drink Michelob Ultra than Corona or have gay friends or enjoy expensive vacations.

    […]

    In interviews, however, consultants to both campaigns said they had bought demographic data from companies that study details like voters’ shopping histories, gambling tendencies, interest in get-rich-quick schemes, dating preferences and financial problems.

    Time to start buying more things with cash. I really don’t want to be profiled because I buy a certain brand of whisky or eat certain types of food. In our modern world of pre-crime, who knows what buying habits will come to be regarded as suspicious behavior.

    1. Neo-Realist

      I wouldn’t worry about being profiled over the food I eat–Are dorito eaters and organic milk drinkers a threat to the corporate state? Maybe if you use the “flix” to rent subversive foreign films, like those of Costa Gravas or a Jean Luc Godard, I could understand being fearful:).

    2. Mark P.

      ‘It didn’t occur to me that companies are compiling information about every item I have ever bought.’

      Dude, they’ve been doing it for 15 years, for pete’s sake, and you’re just now figuring this out?

      And what else would they be interested in besides the specific items — e.g. contraceptives, laxatives, foods — that you buy and what they say about you?

      1. Mark P.

        To put it another way –

        When John Poindexter’s Total Information Awareness project was trying to figure out where to get the data they needed back in 2003-2004, they went to the then-market leaders in the commercial data-mining field, like ChoicePoint and Acxiom, and were flabbergasted to find out how much data on everybody those companies had.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ChoicePoint
        http://www.acxiom.com/about-acxiom/

        And Poindexter and co. were actually ethical not to use that data. Or at least not most of it and not without anonymizing what they used.

        Other agencies weren’t so constrained.

    3. different clue

      I signed up for a “loyalty card” at a famous grocery store chain some years ago. I gave a false name and address. I only spend cash there.

    1. Brindle

      I rarely go to ThinkProgress anymore–too much a Dem shill site, TP is good at articles on GOP, but not on the home team.

      1. Noe G

        You’re right. There is no where to flee. Each side cheers for their team, with zero tolerance for dissent.

        Huffpost is as alien to me as Free Republic. The Norm Pollack piece on Obama the fascist fraud, is refreshing. It’s like coming out of the desert – Water, at last.

        Maybe Counterpunch is my new home. Goodness knows the lefties around here think I’m a troll because I don’t march lock step with their cookie cutter politics.

        1. taunger

          Hmm, new name today I see. Are you the same leftist that was nostalgic about the red scare yesterday? Can’t wait for the new silent majority, eh?

        2. ZygmuntFraud

          I’ve read progressives who are pretty smart and experienced argue for voting Obama , Romney, Green/3rd party and also not voting.

          I’d consider voting for my conviction (say Green or other thrird party), or Che Guevarra for this reason: to show the Democratic Party that they’re not left enough for me.
          (if I were American). The Dems. seem to have abandonned progressive socio-economics and social programs (almost entirely).

  3. Stan Getz

    yves,

    I keep getting malicious virus alert when I go onto your site today, just an FYI as you’ve commented on site issues in the past.

    Wishing u speedy recovery on the digits.

    Best,

    Stan

  4. ex-PFC Chuck

    Do you know how hard it is to be an Internet person when it hurts to type the letters “d” and “e”?

    Try dictation software, specifically Dragon Naturally Speaking. I bought a version about six or seven years ago and it was all but unusable. However I got paid current version last holiday season from my son-in-law and now, after training it and using it for several months it’s all but flawless. I used it for this comment.

    1. Maureen

      “Do you know how hard it is to be an Internet person when it hurts to type the letters “d” and “e”?”

      Sounds like overuse of your middle finger, left hand. Understandable!

  5. Brindle

    Re: Cabrera For President”—great thought provoking essay.
    One of several passages that stood out:

    —”But Obama told us and continues to tell us that he will do wonderful things. Now, if you know how to listen and understand what he says, you realized that all those wonderful promises were vicious lies four years ago.

    And Obama’s record over his first term is of consistently pursuing policies that lead to results that are the opposite of what he claims to want. The same would certainly be true in a second Obama term. So Obama will also do terrible things — in fact, they’re largely the same terrible things Romney will do — but Obama continues to insist that he’ll do wonderful things.

    So where is the “person”? Is the person the one who promises wonderful things — or the one who does terrible things?”

    1. Valissa

      My personal favorite part…

      I conclude that Obama never wanted to be president, that is, he never wanted to do the work, master the details, understand the mechanics of the overwhelming complexities of a massive, constantly metastasizing State. Yes, he wanted to have the title “President” and enjoy the power and prestige that accompanies it (to say nothing of the fact that he and his family are now set for life at the pinnacle of the ruling class). But he never wanted to be president because there were certain policies to which he was passionately committed and wanted to put into action. He wants to be called “Mr. President”; leave the dull, wearisome duties of office to the underlings. That’s what underlings are for. We might regard him as the most frighteningly complete narcissist we are likely to see, as well as perhaps the most complete solipsist. There are no policies beyond himself that he deeply cares about; there is nothing beyond himself at all. Outside of himself and his own power, he believes nothing.

      This is what I figured out about Obama in 2007-2008. The more I looked into his background the more empty and unqualified I discovered him to be. I found that to be freaky and more than a bit scary. But absolutely not a single person I knew was willing to discuss it with me. Everyone was in complete la-la land about him. I felt like I was living an episode of The Twilight Zone. But I learned long ago not to criticize my friend’s love lives so I stopped talking about politics for the last couple months before voting day, became a hermit and instead thought long and hard about my personal political and spiritual philosophies and made a number of major renovations in my worldview that, in the long run, were very helpful to my sanity.

      1. Valissa

        Of course there were places online to say such things, but those tended to be full of Obama haters and I just wanted to try and have a reasonably intelligent, not too emotional discussion about it. Bwahahahaha… I learned my lesson.

        1. Bill

          To me this is very accurate. The problem is, he thinks just inspiring crowds with really good rhetoric and presence is leadership.

          The part about leaving the details to underlings is not quite accurate — I think he leaves it all to underlings, they just check in, tell him what “should” be done, he says “fine, sounds good, carry on.”

          It’s the ultimate in the management philosophy of “hire good people, then leave them alone and let them do what they’re best at.”

          The problem with that philosophy in govt management, is that everyone he hires is a politician, and what they’re best at is lying to line their pockets and keep their cushy jobs.

          I don’t see this changing under any other presidential candidate. If they should try to deviate, they’ll be assassinated.

        2. ZygmuntFraud

          Barack Obama wrote a book published in 2006 called “The Audacity of Hope”. Today, I read the Prologue to the book at Google Books. He comes off there as an ambious rising star politician with his sights set very “high”.

          In 2004, Barack Obama was a democratic candidate for Senator from Illinois. In June 2004, Barack Obama was the keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Video of his 2004 keynote speech is preserved in the wonderful Democracy Now! archives and easy to find. Barack Obama was elected junior Senator from Illinois in 2004. –> Ambitious politico …

      2. Lance N

        Bush was exactly the same. He was sort of bored by the whole thing until 9/11, when he got to be a (dat-da-da-daaaa!) War President.

  6. Noe G

    This election is political theater at its cruelest– Thank You Norman Pollack!

    I’m staying home too. I say I’ll get out and vote Johnson, but that means I must give a nod to the system I abhor.

    Pollack speaks for me. Romney may be a neanderthal, but the cloak of ‘goodness’ around Obomney is nauseating. O is a fraud and a gangster. I never understood why the R’s hated him from day one – when from day one, he was a lawn jockey for Wall St!! So what’s not to love Hannity??

    It took awhile for courageous progressives to begin criticizing the annointed one… I hate him so much now, I almost want to vote R again… but then, I remember Bush, and I told myself NEVER AGAIN.

    My only hope is that voter turnout gets so low for the two party fraud, that the country becomes ungovernable. I’m sick of being told these are my choices, live with it.

    O is no better than a banana republic thug. I cannot even flip through the A M stations, for fear of hearing Randi Rhodes or some such, talking up this fraud.

    1. leftover

      …that means I must give a nod to the system I abhor.”

      There’s always the SEP or the PSL for a nod against the system.
      I’m not sure, but I think the PSL is on more state ballots than the SEP.
      Write in if you must…and state campaigns…initiatives and referendums and such…may need your support, too.
      Take some Brownies™ to the True The Vote volunteers.

    2. citalopram

      If voter turn out gets that low, fascism will just come here faster than it already is. You have to have some sort of force to counter what these criminals are doing.

      Now, if we had general strikes and the populace at large refused to vote, then we’d have something quite different, methinks.

      1. YeahRight!

        Bullshit! Fascism is already here, stop talking about it in future tense!

        And general strikes ain’t gonna happen when people don’t have work to begin with. Not til the VERY end at least.

  7. Noe G

    “But what I do know right now is that rank-and-file Democrats seem to be sleepwalking their way to the gas ovens behind Obama’s leadership, and I don’t like it.”

    quote of the day

    BRILLIANT – that’s the kind of rhetoric that keeps getting me bounced from Kaily Kos and Huffpost… zero tolerance for truth.

      1. Noe G

        I am quoting Pollack and saying AMEN… your problem is with Yves for posting such heresy – since you obviously want to march in lockstep with the Obomney crowd.

        Why don’t you just ignore me..

  8. ohmyheck

    I highly reccommend to every reader that they click that link to the “Face-Off with a Deadly Predator”. It is not what you might think, and is a wonderous story and a great way to start the day!

  9. Bev

    Lambert, Emergency Forum on Will the 2012 Election Be Stolen.

    http://markcrispinmiller.com/2012/10/will-they-steal-this-one-too-an-emergency-forum-in-nyc-on-monday/

    WILL THEY STEAL THIS ONE, TOO? (An EMERGENCY FORUM in NYC on MONDAY!)

    “WILL THE 2012 ELECTION BE STOLEN?”
    An Emergency Forum

    ~

    Mark Crispin Miller

    (Fooled Again: The Real
    Case for Electoral Reform)

    Jill Simpson
    Attorney/Investigator

    Lori Grace
    Election Protection Activist

    Jim March
    BlackBoxVoting

    Bob Fitrakis
    Attorney/Author
    Election Reform Activist

    Harvey Wasserman
    Author/Environmentalist
    Election Reform Activist

    ~

    Free & Open to the Public

    Monday, Oct. 22

    Noon to 2:00 p.m.

    Open Center
    22 E. 30th St.
    (b/t Madison & Fifth)

    1. RanDomino

      Why would they bother? The same group wins either way.
      Or is this a deeper comment about country being stolen by the two-party system? In which case you don’t need to go, as I assure you that the answer is “yes”.

        1. Bev

          What about the article What Voting Can Look Like, and, must be in order for regular people to recover some portion of power and justice.

          http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/09/what-voting-can-look-like.html

          Without real physical paper ballot evidence, you get the following:

          http://www.opednews.com/articles/Does-the-Romney-Family-Now-by-Bob-Fitrakis-121018-232.html

          Does the Romney Family Now Own Your E-Vote?

          reprinted from free press.org

          by Gerry Bello, Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman

          Will you cast your vote this fall on a faulty electronic machine that’s partly owned by the Romney Family? Will that machine decide whether Romney will then inherit the White House?

          Through a closely held equity fund called Solamere, Mitt Romney and his wife, son and brother are major investors in an investment firm called H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. in turn holds a majority share and three out of five board members in Hart Intercivic, a company that owns the notoriously faulty electronic voting machines that will count the ballots in swing state Ohio November 7. Hart machines will also be used elsewhere in the United States ( Hart Intercivic ).

          …..

          PAPER BALLOTS ONLY THIS ELECTION DAY! (emergency petition)

          Real physical evidence returned to elections:

          http://markcrispinmiller.com/2012/09/paper-ballots-only-this-election-day-emergency-petition/

          PAPER BALLOTS ONLY THIS ELECTION DAY! (emergency petition)

          Petition for immediate emergency action to withdraw all electronic voting technology and replace with paper ballots for the November 6, 2012 election

          Sign the petition: http://signon.org/sign/petition-for-immediate?source=s.icn.tw&r_by=5568825

          ……

          Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/09/what-voting-can-look-like.html#M7zxWdThuZDSIvHi.99

      1. Klassy!

        Bob Fitrakis is the Green party candidate for US House of Reps from the third district in Ohio.
        He has worked hard to document the discrepancies of the 2004 election in Ohio.
        He has shown far more interest in pursuing these irregularities than has the state Democratic party.
        I’m convinced there was fraud. The results don’t square with the exit polls and there were plenty of people that I spoke with in blue precincts (myself included) who waited at least an hour. My wait paled compared to a few black friends that I spoke with, however.
        I do not wish for Obama to lose and for it to be blamed on a third party spoiler if the case is he loses due to voter intimidation and outright ballot fraud.

  10. craazyman

    Strange Daze — AT first I thought that new nearby planet was Niburu and almost went into full panic mode, but then saw it’s only orbiting Alpha Centauri, and it was like “Wow, thank God.” Niburu would be a nightmare to end all nightmares. I guess we’re safe for now, anyway.

    Strange Daze 2 — That Bangladeshi dude, at first I wondered whether F. Beard was up to something. He disappeared about the same time the plot made the news. And we know what he thinks of the Fed and Banks. (Just ribbin’ ya Beardo). I’ll have to channel this one. I’m not sure what to think yet.

    Strange Daze 3 — Morbid Wealth. All you hot women have to stop screwing these guys and that’ll end it in a month. Really. But you can’t stop yourselves, can you? ecce homo, no pun intended

    Strange Daze 4 — Have I visited a porn site recently? They have one on 86th street I see every day. it’s called Victoria’s Secrets and it sells clothes. The entire media is one giant porn site. Brain porn, soul porn, eye porn, mind porn. Naked women in pictures are the least of it.

    Strange Daze 5 — America on Cusp of Fascism. Haven’t read it yet, but I doubt it. There are phenomenon that are in a state of “always becoming” but never arriving. It’s like a movie chase scene. This is a new category of phenomenazation for French philosophers to write books about.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I believe in being prepared.

      So, we should work out the engagement rules should we encounter legal and illegal aliens from outer space.

      1. If they are stronger than us, we come in the name of peace. Equality for everyone! Let’s all get along.

      2. If we are stronger than them, we welcome them to our world of upward mobility. By working hard, the space aliens, they too can one day enjoy freedom and prosperity!

    2. Valissa

      New planet, same as the old planet?

      the grass is greener syndrome http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_2AYANb0P9Fs/TKcY-jSeWDI/AAAAAAAAB8o/4mGuylGyNTY/s1600/distant+planet.jpg

      sour grapes syndrome http://www.flickr.com/photos/lylelahey/623781285/

      mirror mirror on the wall http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2011/12/07/08/26/56CAe.HiLa.138.jpg

      to each their own http://www.claybennett.com/images/archivetoons/planet.jpg

      and now for something completely different http://www.davegranlund.com/cartoons/wp-content/uploads/color-new-planet-web.jpg

      1. craazyman

        a certified Space Queen like you must have heard of Niburu. This isn’t something that makes for a funny cartoon. It’s no laughing matter at all. I was nearly in full panic mode this week ’til I realized it was only a case of mistaken identity. But we have to remain vigilant and prepared. I wouldn’t advise destroying all our nukes, just in case we need them for something nobody is really ready for.

        1. Valissa

          Ahhh, Nibiru… one of the more interesting myths of the modern scientific age. Gotta love Zecharia Sitchin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zecharia_Sitchin and his creative spiritual imagination, definitely pre-postmodern!

          There is some talk of Nibiru colliding with the earth on http://weeklyworldnews.com/aliens/42896/earth-to-collide-with-nibiru-on-november-21-2012/ so I can see why you are worried. I say don’t worry, just get drunk on Nibiru beer and enjoy the experience of a lifetime!

          Twelve Beers of the Apocalypse http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2011/12/page/5/
          In a unique partnership with Elysian Brewing Company, Burns and Fantagraphics are planning a series of 12 beers released monthly next year featuring label artwork by the artist. Titled “Twelve Beers of the Apocalypse,” in reference to the purported end times some say the Mayan calendar foretells, these beers will feature “creativity and unusual ingredients.” Kicking off the beer series is something called Nibiru, a Belgian-style Tripel made with yerba mate, Belgian yeast, South American herbs and a mix of German, Czech and American hops. Sounds like something Volstagg would be proud of!

          Hmmmm…. The Crop Circle Ea Enki, 2012, Nibiru and Marduk http://www.in5d.com/the-crop-cricle-ea-enki-2012-nibiru-and-marduk.html

          Wikipedia offers up some tantalizing gossip on the Nibiru cataclysm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nibiru_collision
          Although the name “Nibiru” is derived from the works of the late ancient astronaut writer Zecharia Sitchin and his interpretations of Babylonian and Sumerian mythology, Sitchin denied any connection between his work and various claims of a coming apocalypse.

          1. ambrit

            Dear Valissa;
            Sitchin, I believe, adopted some of the ideas of Emmanuel Velikovsky, much derided but serious Catastrophist theorist. Velikovskys early book “Oedipus and Akhenaten” still stands as one of the best ‘alternative’ mythographies. This was an alternative to Freuds “Moses and Monotheism” on the subject of the Pharaoh Akhnaten. Velikovsky trained in psychiatry under Wilhelm Steckel in Vienna and was no lightweight. When he started presenting his catastrophist theory, official academia was still under the spell of simple Darwinism. Slow and steady wins the race was the dogma. Today, versions of catastrophist style paradigm shifts are seriously considered in many fields. So, I lean towards craazymans’ existentialist paranoia. It’s not so much that “Bad Things Happen To Good People,” but the evidence suggests that occasionally, “Bad Things Happen To Everybody.” Oh how I don’t want to be in that number.

          2. Valissa

            ambrit, catastrophes of all kinds have occurred throughout human and galactic history. It is something we all have to live with, and deal with in our minds somehow.

            I have always been fond of alternative thinkers and those designated as “crackpots” by the scientific establishment. On your recommendation and after reading the reviews at Amazon I ordered “Oedipus and Akhenaten”. Although I have to say I’m not a fan of Akenaten’s push for monotheism, and in fact am not a fan of any form of monotheism. I lean towards believing in a mystical multidimensional multiverse that us wee and insignificant humans will never be able to fully grok.

          3. ambrit

            Dear Valissa;
            I have just refound my copy of “Oedipus and Akhenaten” and have it sitting on my reading table, next to the comfy chair, with the reading lamp peering over my right shoulder. The joy of old books is a sustaining force. As for ‘crackpots,’ well, what about them Austerians? Sometimes looks like they dropped in from some very foreign clime indeed!
            As for ‘alternate’ histories, a short look at the career of Graham Hancock is enlightening. Starting out as a sort of von Daniken clone, he has developed into a fairly good cryptorevisionist mainstreamer. (Pun intended.)
            I take as my epigram a quote from Firesign Theatre: “Everything You Know Is Wrong.”
            Cheers.

          4. ambrit

            ambrit;
            You idiot! That’s supposed to be epi-graph!
            Here’s hoping for a secure editing function in the Nuevo Naked Capitalism site.

  11. Alan Honick

    Yves, if you don’t know how you sprained your finger, maybe it isn’t sprained. Might be tendonitis. Happened to me, from using my trackpad incorrectly. You might try ice, aspirin, and a flexible finger splint.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Speaking here as the uber-WASP that I in fact am, I know that the only acceptable reason to stop working is illness or injury. So I know I need a vacation when I get sick….

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        The First Wasp by John Gay

        Of all the plagues that heaven has sent,
        A wasp is most impertinent.

      2. Alan Honick

        If it is tendonitis – which I would strongly suspect, since fingers are nothing but little bundles of tendons, ligaments, and bone, and the patient is presenting with “no idea how I did it! Yesterday I thought it would resolve itself but it is getting worse.” – uber-WASP or not, vacation is highly recommended. Tendonitis, as the “itis” implies, is inflammation. Continued keyboard use will likely exacerbate the inflammatory process.

        So my revised treatment regime is to get good Dragon software, and go lie on a warm beach till after Nov. 6. You can use the ice from your drinks to treat the finger. If your finger is healed by then, you can decide if it’s worth coming back. Not sure which outcome would make it worth it.

      3. craazyman

        what about sailing, tennis, squash, fly fishing or high balls at cocktail hour. even tea.

        gimme a break, man. :)

        I can think of all sorts of reasons to stop working. Even this, right now.

  12. Dale

    Ned Ludd,

    When you sign up for a discout card or whatever they are called, make sure and use a fake name and info. You can have fun with it too. At Safeway, where I occasionally buy diet coke for my wife who wants to get brain cancer for some strange reason, I use the card. The clerk must call out
    ‘THANK YOU MISTER FONDULLME!”

    Whenever I get a phone call for mortgage readjustment or some “service”, I put the phone on speaker and do other things while talking to them. I always indicate an interest in loan adjustments, credit card loans whatever and make sure and tell them I have great credit and lots of equity in the house. You can practically hear them salivate.

    I ask them if they don’t already have my credit score or w whatever information they are asking for and then, this is the important part, “say, it sounds like you have the wrong information for me. What address do you show?” They answer. “What?” “that’s incorrect and then I give them different address and zip code and ask them to correct it on their screen. Load them up with incorrect information, or change one or two numbers and then once they’ve changed it, tell them that you have to go and please just mail you something about their “service”. If more people did this, it would screw up their databases.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    80-year-old woman arrested.

    Today, 60 is 40, they say. Forever young.

    So, 80 is probably 60.

    It’s still shocking a 60-yr-old woman was arrested for that or anyone of any age for that matter.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Now guess which publication has had it full back page ad from Goldman for a very long time?

    —-

    I am happy to say I have no idea. This place is basically the only place I get most of my news these days.

    So, which one is it?

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Has China’s Realty Bounce Peaked?

    Well, you don’t get small sample size bias with China.

    So, that pretty much shows when a government tells housing to jump, the answer is not ‘how high?’ but ‘I am too tired.’

  16. Doug Terpstra

    America on the Cusp of Fascism is a compelling argument in favor of Romney as the lesser evil, the reduced-crap sandwich, to paraphrase Hugh. And that is why, despite the rigged horse-race polling, Obama is predestined to win reselection. He’s the only one who can push the coup past the cusp. Shock Doctrine, here we come.

      1. Aquifer

        Yeah – pretty sad, more politics of fear, what really pissed me off is his insistence that anyone who encourages folks to vote 3rd party is a Rep shill …..

        He says that this is not a race between Obama and a prog – but it is – there is a prog in there – a prog that somebody indeed is afraid of or they wouldn’t have handcuffed her to a chair …. c’mon Danny – that OK with you?

        He says he critiques Obama all the time, but sorry Danny, if at the end of the day you pull that lesser evil crap, you are obviously shilling for the guy, somebody you freely acknowledge has gone after whistle blowers with a vengeance ….

        His “wait til after the election to fight back” is the std BS ….

        But the fact that they have to pull out someone like Ellsburg to do their dirty work might indicate that they are worried that this 3rd party shtick might have some legs – and they need the “Big Bats” to break them ….

          1. Aquifer

            Having seen and heard Stein in person a couple of times now – her energy level is pretty amazing – and comparing these podium progs duck and cover routines to the guts exhibited by this dynamo lady who i swear doesn’t weigh 90 pounds soaking wet really gives credence to what happens when you succumb to the politics of fear and what happens when you don’t …

            All we have to fear is fear itself …

            Can’t help wondering if it is a simple hatred of Reps that clouds so much of the judgment of folks like Ellsburg that they will tolerate behavior from Dems, even as in the case of screwing whistle blowers like himself, they would never from Reps. This is indeed a widespread phenomenon among the Dem “rank and file” and i really do think we have to understand the “why” of it so we can figure out what to do about it … I think it is the Dems most powerful weapon, the one that gives so much juice to the otherwise absurd “can’t win” and “spoiler” memes … But maybe folks here already know …

  17. MLS

    The article about Delta buying a refinery is interesting. However I am skeptical this is a good long-term solution for the airline. Refining is notoriously a very tough business fraught with razor-thin margins, enormous regulatory risk/requirements, and large potential liabilities for accidents, fires, etc. Phillips 66, one of the largest refiners in the country, had closed down the refinery they eventually sold to Delta, essentially saying “we can’t make the economics work at this facility”. After all, who shuts down the most profitable parts of the business? Now Delta, with no core competency in oil refining, is going to run the plant better and more efficiently? They don’t even benefit from owning a diversified portfolio of refiners in other locations, they’ve concentrated an enormous amount of risk into a business they know very little about. Yes it helps with hedging fuel costs, but the Brent-WTI spread will narrow someday, and then what does profitability look like?

  18. hunh?

    WTF is this New Deal Framework? Avedon seems to be trying to roll civic and political rights in with the primitive economic rights of the New Deal and reify it. You see this all the time, but only here in the US – people groping for stuff that’s right there in black and white, or knocking themselves out trying to reinvent the wheel, like governance standards are a blank slate and you have to think them up all by yourself, bending spoons with the sheer raw power of your mind, when in fact the minimal standards of the civilized world have been established for six frickin decades, with ongoing institutionalized review based on detailed and consistent interpretive principles for judging a state’s compliance.

    It’s frickin sad. You don’t find Germans demanding Practical Christianity. You don’t see Africans demanding Ujamaa. They know what they’ve got coming. http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/index.htm .

    http://lexicalist.com/search.cgi?s=human+rights
    Patheticest thing you ever saw, Or what?

  19. EmilianoZ

    Iceland to vote on a new constitution.

    Apparently, following the financial collapse, Icelanders have been trying to write a new constitution in a more democratic way with regular folks chiming in. The conservative parties oppose the whole process. They may get their way as participation has so far been limited.

    So, tomorrow we’ll see if the great Icelandic democratic adventure will continue or collapse in apathy like in every other “democracies”.

    http://www.rue89.com/2012/10/19/comment-la-belle-constitution-20-de-lislande-menace-de-derailler-236352

  20. Hugh

    The Weekly Standard is just concern trolling. If early voters were mostly Republican, you have to wonder if the article would ever have been written.

    Krugman doing his own snow job on jobs: more Democratic tribalism.

    Re Obama, how exactly does he play hardball with the other side when he agrees with 95% of what they have to say?

    1. Lambert Strether

      The movitation for writing is not the same was what is written.

      What possible motivation could there be for political parties to lock in people’s votes ASAP?

      There should be one voting day so everyone votes on the same grounds, I agree. So make it a national holiday, and while we’re at it, include hand counting.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Aspen link – atrocious. “First they came for the middle class, then they came for the professionals.” More ruin of Americans: turning dentists into piece workers under the gun. These SOBs are turning America into a resource” waste-land, and Americans into residents of the Warsaw Ghetto. This is Organized Crime by Corporate “Finance” Psychopaths, murderers to the marrow.

  21. Haralambos

    Best wishes Yves on the finger problem. Acupuncture helped me and continues to help my wife with many of this type of problem. The key is to get one that is competent and not a cowboy or cowgirl to use the Greek/English expression for folks hanging out a shingle for professional services. In my case two series of needles dealt with carpal tunnel issues.

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