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Links 10/29/12

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Sunlight in a Pipe: New Natural Lighting System OilPrice

Huge boost for nanotubes on chips BBC

Steve Jobs’ Yacht Revealed, Christened ‘Venus’ [VIDEO] Mashable

Is Pakistan’s Paranoia Pushing it Into a Nuclear War with India? OilPrice

Rajoy Faces Bailout Split With Monti at Madrid Meeting Bloomberg

Europe’s Crisis Spawns Calls for a Breakup—of Spain Wall Street Journal

Germany rattled as losses loom in Greece Telegraph

EU Bureaucracy has Lost Control of Italy; Social Mood Turns Black Michael Shedlock

Italian Markets Are Tanking — And These Ominous Comments From Berlusconi May Be Why Clusterstock

US money market funds return to eurozone Financial Times

A pari passu upset? FT Alphaville and Known Unknowns in Pari Passu … and More to Come Anna Gelpern, Credit Slips

Sharp Warnings as Hurricane Churns In New York Times

Hurricane adds uncertainty to US election Financial Times

Visual Guide To The Federal Reserve Barry Ritholtz (furzy mouse)

Barclays survey shows bullish sentiment in case of Romeny victory Sober Look

Junk Bonds Grow More Popular and Turn Even Riskier New York Times

Koch Brothers and the Road to “Citizens United” Real News Network. You really need to watch this or read the transcript. I’m a big fan of Greg Palast and he delivers.

The Effects of Golden Parachutes James Kwak

Flexibility for Employers Means Less Flexibility for Workers Dean Baker

Why Does the SEC Protect Banks’ Dirty Secrets? Bloomberg (furzy mouse)

Can the company fire you for the way you vote? Guardian

MF Global Couldn’t Keep Track of Funds Wall Street Journal. How is this not a blatant Sarbanes Oxley violation? Why has Corzine not been prosecuted? The WSJ is getting damning info from litigant who have no subpoena powers. The lack of official action is a disgrace.

* * *

lambert here:

Mission elapsed time: T + 51 and counting*

Too often summer days appear 
Emblems of perfect happiness 
I can’t confront: I must await 
A time less bold, less rich, less clear: 
An autumn more appropriate. –Philip Larkin, Mother, Summer, I

Walmart. Unions: “The day of the strike, we spoke by phone to [Manuela Rosales, 25 a] Wal-Mart employee at a Los Angeles-area store who had joined the walk-out. ‘Me personally, as a single mom, it’s very hard. I go day-by-day with my paycheck, and sometimes I have to take loans,’ she said. ‘I don’t think I should have to do that. And I don’t want to go for welfare, either. Why would I go to welfare when I work for a company that could pay me more? A company that makes billions and billions of dollars?’” … Zoning: “Despite the recent posturing against the project by some council members, Jim McMahan, in particular, and by Harford County Executive David Craig, who has asked Walmart to consider staying put in Abingdon, all these folks had multiple opportunities to stop the project before it ever saw the light of day — and in most instances they did just the opposite.” Zoning, permitting, code enforcement: Where home rule is won or lost.

Occupy. Occupy Oakland: Iraq veteran on where the movement stands today — video (Scott Olsen). 

AL. Voting: The Don Seigelman case and election fraud (video).

FL. Voting: “The R attorney who engineered the 2000 FL felons list, which African American leaders [correctly!] said purged thousands of eligible blacks from voter rolls in the state and helped swing that election to the GOP, also wrote the first draft of FL’s controversial House Bill 1355 that has restricted early voting and voter registration campaigns in 2012.” The scum also rises. … Polls: “To win FL, Obama needs a big lead in Miami-Dade, where Ds outnumber Rs by 15 percentage points, 44-29 percent. Obama won Miami-Dade by a 16-point margin in 2008. A Sunday Miami Herald poll, however, shows Obama is only winning Miami-Dade by 9 percentage points.” … Alan Grayson: “[R Todd] Long is considered a long shot in the race because [D Alan] Grayson has raised 33 times more money than he has, and also because of the party makeup of the district — 42 percent are Democrats and 27 percent are Republicans.”

IL. Vouchers: “Only months after the passage of [Jonah] Edelman’s historic anti-union legislation, the Chicago Teachers Union authorized a strike. [Edelman] had predicted it would never get the support of 75% of its members. It got the support of 90% (and 98% of all who cast a ballot). And now strikes have broken out in other districts in Illinois. Some may have been inspired by the CTU strike. Those Chicago equity investors picked a losing cause. They seem to have energized the teachers unions.”

LA. Snark watch: “I look forward to arguing against using federal tax dollars to rebuild flood prone Manhattan and, of course, sending a stream of Bywater hipsters to entrepreneur Brooklyn back to life” (“People shouldn’t live there”). Ouch!

MA. Hurricane Sandy: “It’s a good idea to secure the loose stuff that could fly around in the wind, e.g. political yards signs.”

MD. Zombies: A look at 2012 in zombies (gallery).

ME. Ladies of negotiable affection: “But the prosecution also noted in that it has retained for trial seven computers, a scanner, two cellphones, a global positioning system, surveillance glasses, night vision glasses and various cameras and equipment.” Memo to self: Do not give real name while receiving zumba instruction!

MI. More guns, please: “Saad and Beckering reversed the lower court ruling, holding that a MI statute that prohibits local units of government from regulating pistols or firearms except as provided by state or federal law precluded the [Capital Area District Library] board of trustees from enforcing its library-specific ban.”

NJ. Hurricane Sandy: “‘If you’re staying [on the barrier islands], you’re just stupid,’ [Gov. Chris] Christie said. ‘It’s just plain stupid to stay. For any folks on barrier islands right now and you still have power, yes, I’m calling you stupid. It’s very difficult for us to order first responders to go in there and try to save folks.’” “Folks.” … Hurricane Sandy: “‘People are just buying whatever they can,’ [Costco Manager Lou Raymondi] said. ‘They’re picking up jewelry or TVs with their water.’” Is this usual? … Hurricane Sandy: “‘You get the crazy ones who want to party it out,’ [Trump Palace casino, locksmith and security guard Art Hartwell] said. ‘You could sandbag this place and they’d still try to get in.’”

NY. Hurricane Sandy: “The state Department of Environmental Conservation issued a notice Friday that states all hunters, hikers and campers should be out of the woods by Sunday evening.” … Unions: “This may have been going on below the radar but the state Nurses Association has voted to disaffiliate from the American Nurses Association. Citing what they term a new militancy among New York nurses (many of whom have long complained of being overworked and understaffed) they contend the national group wasn’t doing much for them.”

OH. Swing state Keynesianism: “Obama has basically been running for ‘President of Ohio,’ as Jon Stewart calls it for four years.” Yep. Too bad I don’t live there! (And rather unexpected to see in Electablog, I must say.) … Obama: “There are no precedents in the database for a candidate [in this case, Obama] losing with a two- or three-point lead in a state when the polling volume was that rich. it is misinformed to refer to Ohio as a toss-up. Mr. Obama is the favorite there, and because of Ohio’s central position in the Electoral College, he is therefore the overall favorite in the election.” … Early voting: “Voters without clear party allegiance outnumber both Democrats and Republicans. The number of non-affiliateds casting early and absentee votes in Hamilton has jumped 13% since 2008, to 48,282. Similar trends hold in many of the other big counties across the state. The mystery of who is really winning the early voting race depends in large part on who those voters are voting for–and that, no board of elections can say.”

PA. Hurricane Sandy: “The City of Brotherly Love is straight in the path of the storm. It goes without saying that Philadelphia is Ds’ base in PA. A large natural disaster, which could knock out power and telephone service for large areas, could throw a wrench in [D GOTV]. [OTOH,] Managing a natural disaster is one of the most visible roles of the federal government and the President.” … Hurricane Sandy: “One friend told me to make sure to loosen the strings on my guitars, because the humidity may warp the necks.” … Hurricane Sandy: “‘Everyone has exams coming up, and Thanksgiving isn’t far away,’ [Alex Klein UPenn junior] said. ‘If worse comes to worst, we’ll just study. We’ve got candles.’”

TN. Sex scandal: “‘His biggest thing that’s completely unethical is him [Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-TN] just picking up women while he’s a doctor,’ the woman said. ‘I mean, seriously, that’s his big no-no. … He’s just a hound.’”

VA. Class warfare: “With more than 200 wineries, 50 breweries and distilleries and a notable wine-to-table movement, VA can position itself as a serious destination for high-income foodies.” … Voting: “The state has decided to allow people who are concerned the storm may limit their ability to get to the polls on election day to vote absentee in person. The last day to do so is Saturday.” … Meta: “We love Obama. He’s a person you want to have a beer with.”

WA. Police state: “[Seattle] Mayor McGinn said he sees the drones as ‘a low-cost alternative to having a helicopter’ at a scene.” Reassuring! … Police state: “This is the militarization of our streets and now the air above us.” … Coal: “Close to 2,000 people came to participate in a public meeting called to identify public concerns about the [proposed] Gateway Pacific Terminal coal export pier.”

WI. Yah sure you betcha: “[Our Norwegian visitors] wanted to stop at a gun shop where they could get some pictures. I suggested the Ace Hardware in Sauk City, where I get my own rifle serviced. They want to try to explain to their readership the prevalence of guns in American culture. Good luck with that, I thought.” … Red vs. blue: “It’s almost as if there are two Wisconsins: not ‘red’ Wisconsin and ‘blue’ Wisconsin, but ‘base’ Wisconsin and ‘swing’ Wisconsin” (charts).

Outside baseball. Disposition matrix: “They’re using metadata to target people,” [NSA whistleblower William Binney] says.” What could go wrong? … Disinvestment: “Washington’s failure to come up with a long-term funding plan to repair the nation ‘s faltering transportation system is shifting the cost of critical infrastructure repairs to state and local taxpayers, according to Standard & Poor’s Rating Services.” Next stop, privatization! … Food: “The country this year is on pace to double the number of foodborne illnesses from last year.” … How It Could Happen, Part IV: “Late in the afternoon of the 18th, after a day of bruising debates, the UT delegate slumped back in her chair and said wearily, ‘I’ve got an idea. Why don’t we just dissolve the Union and let everyone have what they want.’ ‘I could live with that,’ snapped the delegate from VT. She considered him for a long moment. ‘I’m starting to think a lot of people could.’” … ObamaCare: “According to the guidelines set out by ObamaCare states had until Sept. 30 to choose the ‘essential health benefits,’ or minimums, that would be covered under state exchanges. Iowa was not the only state to miss the deadline. Only 16 states and Washington, D.C., met the target date, according to the Kaiser Foundation, although another 16 states indicated they would submit their plans in the coming weeks.” … “Burn pits”: “Casteel, a 32-year-old writer and converted peace activist, died Aug. 25 of lung cancer his family believes was caused by toxins from the burn pit at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison, where Casteel served as an interrogator in 2004. More than 200 people in 48 states have filed lawsuits against Kellogg Brown & Root, a TX-based contractor that operated military burn pits. The suits claim soldiers were sickened by dangerous smoke and contaminated groundwater.”

Grand Bargain™-brand catfood watch. Public relations: “Funded by Peterson, several corporate CEOs, and other wealthy donors, the Campaign to Fix the Debt seeks to sway media coverage and buy numerous ads to push its austerity-for-others agenda. Perhaps the most public spokespersons of the Campaign are ex-politicians Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson.” Remind me again who set up the Simpson-Bowles commission? … “Fiscal cliff”: “[A] growing contingent of policy wonks and Democrats insists that letting the Dec. 31 deadline come and go — thus triggering automatic tax increases and spending cuts — could produce the best outcome for the country.” Trial balloon.

The trail. Crazy Republicans: “I swear, it’s as if they are doing damage control for Obama – no sooner does he step in it than they come in swinging to punch themselves in the face.” Crazy? Or point-shaving? … Immigration: “But when the president announced a policy allowing young people like her to temporarily avoid deportation, [Viridiana Martinez] was anything but elated. ‘It’s all political theater,” said the 26-year-old who came to the U.S. illegally from Mexico when she was 6 and grew up in North Carolina. ‘For me, at this point, applying for deferred action would be like accepting that theater, and I can’t do that.’” Enthusiasm! … Electoral college: “There are 11 days left in the presidential election, and the picture is static. Mitt Romney and President Obama remain knotted in the national vote. Obama, however, maintains an edge in the all-important electoral college. The lead is small, but seemingly solid.” … Swing states: “At the same time, The Washington Post is hardly alone among pollsters to show better results for Mr. Obama in the swing states than in their national numbers. This is a pattern that we have been observing all year, and it seems to have become more pronounced recently” (Nate Silver). … Exit polls: “To save money this year, the [consortium formed by ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News Channel, NBC and the AP] is doing bare bones exit polling in 19 states. The affected states are: AK, AR, DE, GA, HI, ID, KY, LA, NB, ND, OK, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, WV and WY, along with DC.” And not OH or VA? No swing states at all?! [UPDATE: But see comments.] … Class warfare: “The campaign finance reports show that this year’s presidential race has created a huge economic stimulus package for campaign operatives, whose total payday is often undisclosed.”

The Obama vs. The Romney. The Romey: “However, Romney surpassed Obama on the peace front, repeatedly using the terms peace and peaceful, which Obama never uttered. ‘We can’t kill our way out of this mess,’ he said of Iran, after previously endorsing a possible military strike on Tehran.”

The Obama. Climate change: “[OBAMA:] I am surprised it didn’t come up in one of the debates.” Oh please; the debates are totally wired. If the campaign had asked for it, the question would put. … Obama parody: “For those who haven’t channel-surfed their way to Comedy Central, Luther is Obama’s so-called anger translator, the president’s fictional right-hand man — a wildly animated and overtly frustrated pulls-no-punches mouthpiece whom Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele created for their edgy sketch comedy series ‘Key & Peele.’”

* Slogan of the day: The Obama Loves Children!

* * *

Antidote du jour. Furzy mouse’s labrador, Claire, was bitten by a king cobra and died (the perils of living in Thailand). This labrador photo is in memorial:

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112 comments

  1. Jim Haygood

    Twelve hours the NYC subway’s been closed … and hardly a leaf is stirring.

    With the storm still 385 miles out to sea, closures could have been implemented today (if they’re needed at all).

    But the overtime pay’s a lot better on Sunday! Which should give us a ‘Kurgman bounce’ in economic growth. Winning!

    1. Godwin

      Mayor McGinn is also in the tank for a hedge fund manager (Valiant) to buy off the city government to construct a sports entertainment complex using public credit, under a very dubious TIF and flimsy “personal guarantee”. The price of a politician is a race to the bottom between “progressives” and the right. The longshore union is sueing the city over it, and seems to be the only ones standing up to it at this point.

      1. Lambert Strether

        “personal guarantee”?! Do feel free to send me links on this.

        The whole “sports stadium” and “convention center” needs to be thrown into the same “corruption” bucket as charters and much else.

    2. Susan the other

      The fur brother knows a storm is coming. He’s worried his people don’t understand. He definitely doesn’t want to be left on that boat.

  2. Ned Ludd

    In Seattle, McGinn, a former chair of the state Sierra Club, mobilized grassroots support to get elected as the progressive, outsider candidate in 2010. It seems that progressives and progressive-backed politicians will be the ones to bring total surveillance to our streets and our lives. In London, it was the left-wing mayor Ken Livingstone who made surveillance ubiquitous. “We are increasing CCTV coverage. There will hardly be a park or transport system where we haven’t put it.

    Last year, progressive mayors all along the west coast used the police to crush the occupy protests. Progressives are just as quick as other politicians to use force to crush dissent. And they seem even quicker to create a surveillance society where all of us are suspects.

    Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Thursday signed new guidelines for the National Counterterrorism Center, which was created in 2004 to foster intelligence sharing and serve as a terrorism threat clearinghouse.

    The guidelines will lengthen to five years — from 180 days — the amount of time the center can retain private information about Americans when there is no suspicion that they are tied to terrorism, intelligence officials said.

  3. Ned Ludd

    Sandy – imap.tv

    Click the vertical tab that is labelled “Layers”, in the upper right-hand corner. Click “Radar” and “Watches, Warnings” to toggle those off. Then click “Tropical” to see the predicted track. The small, white airplane symbols and thick, red line originating near Charleston show the flight path of the recon flight.

  4. andrew

    The linked article on Mish’s site, “EU Bureaucracy has Lost Control of Italy; Social Mood Turns Black,” describes Beppe Grillo’s Movimento 5 Stelle as a right-wing nationalist party:

    “Their problem is that the centre and centre-left are crumbling. Instead of the rise of a moderate centre, the nationalistic and local right is rising: Movimento 5 Stelle is projected at over 20% of the national vote.”

    This is the first time I’ve heard them described as right-wing — on the contrary, whatever I’ve read/heard about their platform has seemed legitimately reformist and salutary, but it’s possible that I just haven’t been paying enough attention. Does this designation ring a bell with anyone?

    1. dearieme

      Maybe it’s the old procedure that anyone who’s against the socialists and communists gets described as right wing or fascist.

    2. Lidia

      It’s just that Movimento 5 Stelle is able to garner more votes from Italian right-wing voters than left-wing voters. The traditional left is more dedicated to their historical parties.

      Recall that “right-wing” in Italy is still left-wing by US standards, but that—as in the states—the lines are blurring between right and left and the real fight will be banksters vs. citizens, a fight that fell by the wayside when economic times were better.

      What I have seen in Italy is the rise of “Casa Pound”, a right-wing group inspired by Ezra Pound, the poet who— having become obsessed with monetary function and policy— fell in with Nazi thinkers. I think I have mentioned before in this space the unfortunate association between anti-userers and—on the one hand—racist anti-semites and—on the other hand—those who would use charges of anti-semitism to discredit anti-financialists and anyone trying to shed light on the catastrophic global human and environmental ruin that banking and financialization has wrought.

      1. andrew

        Both of these responses make perfect sense, thanks.

        Funny to read your comment that ‘“right-wing” in Italy is still left-wing by US standards’ … fifteen years ago I’d have been shocked to read that, would have pointed indignantly at the Lega and AN, etc. … and now, on reflection, it’s so clearly true.

      2. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Lidia, thanks, that’s my understanding also. I’ve been following Beppe Grillo for a few years, and think he is a real threat to the Powah, so they must discredit him. He is so intelligent, clear-headed, so entertaining and inspiring, and so in love with Italy (the Nation of unbridled, decent, creative Italians), that he threatens to turn Italy upside down if enough people join him. He defies description by conventional labels. He seems the only one who is really good for “Italy” at its best, however the political nature of “Italians” might evolve in C.21.

      3. Kurt Sperry

        Hold on. The Casa Pound movement is moribund and going nowhere in Italy– particularly in comparison to the M5S. The only arguably viable extreme right nationalist party in Italy is the failing and flailing Lega Nord, an essentially separatist regional party discredited of late by revelations of corruption and ties to organized crime who only essentially have had influence by their participation as coalition members with Berlusconi’s PDL.

        1. Lidia

          I was referencing CP as a new phenomenon I’d had seen on the REAL right (as opposed to M5S); I don’t imagine it will go very far. Nor do I imagine Movimento 5 Stelle will go very far: there are too many entrenched interests aligned against it. Italian TV and newspapers of all stripes have been trying to marginalize and discredit Grillo for years now. When he comes up, they get unhinged… They especially hate that he uses blogs and other social media which they cannot control.

          This is country where, when I asked why a person couldn’t start up a little town crier sort of newspaper without a government-approved chaperone (you need to have a registered Journalist who is a member of the Albo on the masthead of any publication whatsoever), I shocked an apparently left-wing individual. When I asked what would happen if people were just allowed to write what they wanted, he had a physical reaction and said “then there would be no CONTROL!”.

          In Italy, it’s both left- and right-authoritarians who have the upper hand, in league with the various mafias. There are no parties not associated with some sort of mafia, just as there are no newspapers not aligned with a party, afaik.

          1. Kurt Sperry

            Well it may be difficult for C5S– in fact it has been and will continue to be– but Italian parties are far less entrenched than in most places. And RAI, bless their hearts, have been talking about C5S and the Sicilian election all afternoon. They also have shown historically a bit of independence and courage, watch Passaparola which at times can be quite subversive. The simple truth is that once a party reaches a critical mass, and I reckon C5S are there given the current polling data, the mainstream press simply cannot continue to ignore them and maintain any pretense of journalistic integrity.

            As long as the entrenched Italian legacy parties continue to embrace austerity the C5S movement can only grow larger. The only way to reliably stem the flow of support towards them is co-option of their policy positions. That would still be a victory for Grillo and the M5S if one thinks in policy rather than narrow partisan terms.

    3. Kurt Sperry

      Grillo’s Movimento Cinque Stelle (M5S) should be a template for similar populist leftist movements across Europe and could provide a road map for how to build a significant alternative party in the US as well using the web and grass roots democracy. The party’s popularity is exploding in Italy in response to the lockstep march of the Italian legacy parties towards suicidal austerity (sound familiar?). I’ve been a follower for three years now and it has been exhilarating watching a populist movement grow from a tiny seed relentlessly ridiculed as inconsequential and unserious into what is polling as the second largest party in Italy behind Pier Luigi Bersani’s gutless and irredeemably corrupt PD, which is a very close analog of the pseudo-left American Democratic Party.

      Anyone saying an emergent party can’t quickly grow in an austerian environment into a political force hasn’t been paying attention to Italy. Particularly today where the mainstream press can be circumvented by clever use of the internet. Why this explosive and remarkably successful political phenomenon has been almost completely ignored by the American left is, to me, baffling.

      The American ground, given the palpable lack of real alternatives, seems well prepared for a similar emergent party to explode onto the scene. I think once the pain of mindless austerian policies begins to be felt, it will be a pretty easy sell. The Occupy Movement was an indicator of the latent discontent available, now all we need is a political entity to translate that discontent into political action.

      1. Lidia

        Kurt, For a long time, the only semi-sane party was the Radicali. Where are they now, effectively?

        I had a serious frisson of excitement when I saw Grillo come on the scene, but I fear that if MS5 becomes too hard to ignore, they will be tolerated as a sideshow like Pannella was with his principled hunger strikes. Grillo will be used in order to say “see, we are open to real democracy.”

        As far as I can tell, Italy has neither embraced nor understood democracy nor particularly desired it. It’s not just a cliche that the country is a deeply tribal place which has operated in an openly feudal fashion up to the present day, and I believe it will continue to do so after the modern era has passed, taking with it the luxury of democracy-as-useful-window-dressing.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          I guess I’m not *as* cynical about Italian politics, though there is quite a history post-risorgimento to incite cynicism. If the M5S can grow another 10% of the total electorate or so in support, they’ll be the largest party in the country. That would make them in fact impossible to cultivate/marginalize as an ineffectual “sideshow”. I think the biggest danger to them is to succumb to the pressures of joining a ruling coalition with ideologically untenable partners a la Rifondazione and be torn apart by internal dissension. As long as they remain uncompromising in their anti-austerity and anti-globalization planks though they can influence policy in opposition. And the madness of austerity with no end in view obviously will play right into their hands, feeding them a constant flow of new recruits. I think they can compromise on social issues and stuff like the Aosta TAV if necessary and still maintain coherence.

          The seeming inevitability of the implementation of American austerity (even more crazy than the Euro version because of our unified fiscal and monetary structures) whichever side wins the election will create a similar opportunity in the US. The austerians are feeding the very dynamic that can be turned and used against them. They are completely trusting that no political entity emerges that they aren’t in control of and have put all their chips on that. If such a thing does emerge, they could be swiftly over-run and I think there’s a chance the M5S could fill this role in Italy and especially if the PD/PDL/UDL etc. continue down the austerian road. Admittedly it’s a long shot but I think the possibility is real. The M5S is obviously far further along organizationally than the say the Greens in the US, but the American status quo is far more brittle as there is no institutional memory of a challenge to the D&R duopoly here and I doubt scenarios involving an emergent party have even been gamed, never mind actually planned for.

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Again, on public radio I heard, while I was not really listening too closely, a very ominous indication of what you propose is happening here. Someone said that homeowners were going to be “financially responsible” for water and sewer lines on their property. This is a first for non-gated-community homeowners in America: a dramatic putsch toward “pricing homeowners out” of the sphere of “middle class” private property holders. Another tactic for “pricing homeowners out” of the property ownership class is the current putsch for immediate “re-appraisal” of one’s property (recently “re-appraisal” is to a much lower value–determined by the banker’s appraiser) with no re-adjustment to mortgage payment accordingly. It’s getting to be brutal out there.

          2. Lidia

            Kurt, M5S—just a twinkle in someone’s eye a couple of years ago— is “more organized” than the Greens. I think they are just tapping in to a different, more particular, vein of outrage.

            The TAV is a perfect example of that. Many so-called Greens probably support high-speed rail (correct me if I am wrong since I pay little attention to them) as an alternative to flying and (theoretically) as a boost to “public” transportation.

            The outrage against the TAV is largely tribal, a NIMBY response. The townspeople do not want to be uprooted. This sense of rootedness drives, as another example, the insistence of those made homeless by the earthquake in L’Aquila upon rebuilding in exactly the same place. Compare to Katrina, where large numbers of people either voluntarily or involuntarily ended up melting away to other states: in Italy that just wouldn’t happen.

            The Naples trash problem is another local/NIMBY issue, as are some of the proposed “solutions” like incinerators. In the Italian cities where I have lived, recycling and composting were unheard of, though just in the past year or two there are half-hearted attempts at making them work. The populace is deeply anti-social in some respects* and you’ll always find garbage thrown into the recycling and the garbage bins so full of stores’ empty-but-not-flattened paper cartons that the garbage is left on the sidewalk.

            *I asked my Italian DH why there weren’t any community gardens in Italy, and he said that people would kill each other over them: whose tomato was hanging over whose plot; whose pesticide/herbicide killed what… Even in areas which are nominally heavily socialist/communist, they have contempt for the public realm and abuse it in a frightful fashion. Being a “socialist” or a “communist” seems more of a tribal affiliation than an actual ideology, was my experience.

      2. Aquifer

        Methinks that would be considerably more likely if OWS didn’t seem to want to steadfastly refuse to be involved in “politics”. I too think they would be well advised to have a political arm, or leg as the case may be, and it seems to me that if they were to write out a platform, it would look very much like that of the Green’s – frankly it does seem to me OWS and the Greens would make a good fit indeed …

    4. Kurt Sperry

      “The linked article on Mish’s site, “EU Bureaucracy has Lost Control of Italy; Social Mood Turns Black,” describes Beppe Grillo’s Movimento 5 Stelle as a right-wing nationalist party”

      This description of the M5S is so far off base it can only be deliberate– probably an attempt to discredit the movement by creating a false association in naive readers minds with Greece’s Golden Dawn. M5S is about as far from a nationalist right wing party as could be imagined.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Kurt, thanks for both of your insightful comments. Yes, we should pay close attention to Beppe Grillo’s movement for liberation from “entangling alliances” with dynastic despots and corporate machines of every description, as well as from Totalitarian Extraction Capitalism and Lebensraum for the Global Despot Class. His the the history of an authentic grass roots movement at its best.

        We the People should follow your advice.

    5. ginnie nyc

      I just want to second and third the opinions that Grillo is not right-wing. Indeed, he has been very critical of the center-right (Christian Democrats) since the days of the exceedingly corrupt premier, Andreotti. That’s over 30 years ago. The man is a populist reformist of center-left tendencies.

      His popularity as a political satirist, and personal disgust at the established party duopoly, led him to campaign against Italian party traditions of picking electoral candidates in the back room, as opposed to open public primaries. This campaign led to massive public demonstrations and rallies – all with much positive energy. It politicized young people who were disgusted with/ignored the established parties.

      Now the movement has progressed to electoral politics – and winning. Forza Grillo!

      As for Berlusconi, the **** is determined to destroy the Republic, one way or another. His sole interest is self-aggrandizement. Why the media even attended a press-conference by a convicted felon (for 1.5 hours!) is beyond me.

        1. ginnie nyc

          Andreotti’s on his last legs (93+). His protege, Berlusconi, is finally going to jail. And Grillo’s party is winning office. (!)

          1. Kurt Sperry

            I kind of doubt lo psiconano will spend any time behind bars but his influence is quickly waning into irrelevance. I didn’t have that sense when Prodi squeaked out the election in 2008 even being in Tuscany where he is largely a pariah. Alfano cannot fill those tiny shoes. The PDL may fade away.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        The momentum really picked up when Beppe and his followers raised hell about the plan the politicians had pending, to “privatize water” in Italy, which I believed they were able to defeat. This was some time ago. They also raised hell about the garbage piling ever higher in the streets of parts of Italy (it may have been Naples most of all–see “Gomorrah” by Roberto Saviano (book and film) to comprehend what a hell-hole of Global Organized Crime Naples became: a “synthesis” of Camorra Crime and Chinese Triad Crime which the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership intends to bring to America).

  5. Thorstein

    Re: “…[the media consortium] is doing bare bones exit polling in 19 states”.

    AP (e.g. here) continues to say,

    Each is considered a non-battleground state with polls showing a strong advantage for one of the presidential candidates. Some non-battleground states will get the full exit poll for other reasons, like Massachusetts and its hotly contested U.S. Senate race between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren.

    Ergo, “full” exit polling will be done in swing states. (Not that this will more of a difference than it did in Ohio in ’04…)

      1. Lambert Strether

        Thorstein, that’s not my reading. I’m not seeing a sentence that says “Battleground states will get the Full Monty” exit polls. Am I compounding a late night misreading with an early afternoon blind spot?

          1. Jackrabbit

            I’d bet that the Libertarians are also very unhappy with the Republicans. Maybe we should add Libertarian voices to this list?

            And the other Third-Parties probably have voices that decry Romney, Obama, and the 2-Party system too.

          2. Aquifer

            Jack, add Margaret Flowers, MD of PNHP, Baucus 6 fame – she did a fundraiser letter for Stein …

          3. just me

            Reply to Jackrabbit: And Neil Barofsky.

            http://fdlbooksalon.com/2012/09/22/fdl-book-salon-welcomes-neil-barofsky/#comment-2225819

            What should people do? Voting and the long game

            NEIL BAROFSKY: We have to stop casting our votes for politicians who are going to maintain a broken status quo. And, you know, to me that’s where we have to be. And you know I think we have to recognize that this is perhaps the most important economic issue facing our country and resist the temptation to go with the lesser of two evils and hold my nose and vote for this candidate because he’s better than the other guy, because when we do that, you know the politicians don’t see our votes as lesser-of-two-evil votes or holding-our-nose votes, they see it as an affirmation of their policies. So when you vote for politicians who’ve done policies who you find and I find to be repugnant, of betrayal of their oaths of office to serve the taxpayer and the American people, we’ve got to stop reelecting these people. And we’ve got to withhold our votes to those candidates who are going to advocate the type of necessary change.

            [...]

            MARTIN ANDELMAN: Heh. I was going to say, well who do you vote for? That’s what I mean. I mean I know lots of people that are saying, “Well, I’m not voting.” And, “Would it matter if I did? I mean, it’s the same thing, right?”

            NEIL BAROFSKY: Well I think people should vote. If people are disgusted with the two candidates, they should vote third party. They should write someone in. Because I think that’s an important message, they should still vote. Because that’s – I mean, I think that’s part of the important message we have to send to Washington, which is that because – I mean, that’s part of the problem, right? If you don’t vote at all, then you’re sending a message to Washington that you don’t care, you’re not involved, you’re not engaged. And what we have to do is we’ve got to convince the politicians in Washington that there is a force, there’s a number of people out there who are really angry and want a third choice, want to do something else, and that’s how we can put pressure. Maybe if we scare them enough that enough votes show up not for one or the other, that that could help move one or the other political party to the right direction, or maybe even, if we’re really lucky, give birth to a third party movement. But I think if you stay home and don’t vote at all, you just disappear from the radar screen.

  6. William

    The media is whipping up a frenzy with Sandy. Sure, the main path will have big problems, but CT, RI, and MA are getting the same frenzied wall-to-wall hysterical coverage, and which are not expected to be quite a ways out of the main trouble. Go to the NOAA hurrican page for a little truth to the situation.

    1. rjs

      hurricane force winds (75 MPH or greater) extended outward approximately 175 miles from the center; tropical storm force winds (40 MPH or greater) extended 550 miles from the center…makes it the 2nd largest tropical storm in the records

    2. JTFaraday

      It seems like the big problem is the potential flooding, so it may depend on where you are:

      “this evening, as the core of Sandy moves ashore, the storm will carry with it a gigantic bulge of water that will raise waters levels to the highest storm tides ever seen in over a century of record keeping, along much of the coastline of New Jersey and New York. The peak danger will be between 7 pm – 10 pm, when storm surge rides in on top of the high tide. The full moon is today, which means astronomical high tide will be about 5% higher than the average high tide for the month, adding another 2 – 3″ to water levels.

      This morning’s 9:30 am EDT H*Wind analysis from NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division put the destructive potential of Sandy’s winds at a modest 2.9 on a scale of 0 to 6. However, the destructive potential of the storm surge was record high: 5.8 on a scale of 0 to 6. This is a higher destructive potential than any hurricane observed since 1969, including Category 5 storms like Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Camille, and Andrew. The previous highest destructive potential for storm surge was 5.6 on a scale of 0 to 6, set during Hurricane Isabel of 2003. Sandy’s storm surge will be capable of overtopping the flood walls in Manhattan, which are only five feet above mean sea level.”

      http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2280#commenttop

      As of this morning, towns along the NJ shoreline are already flooding:

      http://njsaltwaterfisherman.com/forums/index.php?topic=29680.0

  7. Noe G

    Mish’s – Bureaucracy losing control -

    quote from Hong Kong — “I believe the EU will not hold together — Belgium, Italy and Spain, might not survive the collapse – and might even break up.”

    These predictions are not just for Europe, but the whole world.

    Pluto transiting Capricorn for 16 years, doesn’t leave til 2024. I was looking at some notes from 2004, and the predictions by astrologers is/was daunting.

    Pluto represents generational changes. People in Peruvian highlands and a high rise in Brussels all struggle with the exact same problems – and result in a collective revolution – depending on the sign of transit.

    In this case, Capricorn represents entrenched interests, money, governments, government institutions, and paternal control over the masses.

    Those masses will collectively say NO MORE as this revolutionary planet transits the 30 degrees of Capricorn.

    A stunning aside – in my notes, 2008 was the beginning of the end – the final destruction before reconstruction.

    Since Capricorn rules MONEY, RESOURCES, FOOD, PATERNITY, RELIGION, CORPORATE POWER [all entrenched power structures including GOVERNMENT] – our collective consciousness about these things will be changed on a personal level from Saskatchewan to Timor.

    Peruvians and Belgians will overthrow their respective oppressors [fathers, governors, bankers, authority].

    By the time the transit is complete, it will be a new world. The changes being local, thorough, and worldwide – one person at a time, with paradigms changed forever.

    It has been more than 275 years since we experienced the last transit of Pluto in Capricorn took place between early January 1762 until the Spring of 1777 – and before that from December 24, 1515 through the end of 1532.

    It’s fascinating to compare the revolts around the world in those years.

    REFORM OR PERISH

    That’s the mandate. Ignore it at your peril.

    Astrology is transparently real for me – like the metaphysical background ‘noise’ – the echoes of heartache at places like Omaha Beach. Jerusalem, and the Giant Buddha erected for the thousands who died building the road across Taiwan.

    For those who experience the ‘echoes’… it’s transformative. I don’t think I know the origins or such things, but I know there is a reason why no two Zebras have the same stripes.

    If any are interested, google Pluto transiting Capricorn and read what the astrolies have to say… it’s fascinating.

    1. Noe G

      Someone just emailed me asking WHAT HAPPENS when Pluto enters Aquarius?

      The Age of Aquarius in not peaceful coexistence. Aquarian energies are highly pragmatic. Like Solomon spliting the child in two.

      Pluto in Aquarius will make CHOICES for us. Giraffes or Masai? Javanese or trees and water? Who will take the millions of displaced islanders and coastal refugees?

      Aquarius is not an emotional or sentimental sign. Right wing xenophobia combined with left wing misanthropy will usher in a new pragmatism about human populations.

      The law of econ… 101 – the more you have of anything, the less value is attached to same. Pluto in Aquarius!

      It will not be a good time to be a hungry child in, say, India. Few will care. The world’s attention will be focused on whales and tigers.

      2024 – not a good time to be a brown eyed migrant. Before anyone pounces on me for a racial prognostication…

      ECON 101 Pluto in Aquarius – even brown eyed people will see the excesses of humanity and the necessity for population reduction… and the MORE YOU HAVE OF ANYTHING – that includes SUB catagories of humanity.. the less value is attached to same.

      When the train to Mombasa derailed a few years back… it was Africans who ignored the cries of their brethren, saving only the whites strewn across the savannah. ECON 101. there is no escape – condemnation will fall on deaf ears.

      There is no fairy tale Aquarian age… only a pragmatic slash and burn mentality that will save a little bit of everything – for our collective future.

      AGAIN… not a good time for many demographics.

    1. Valissa

      This quiz is pretty good, there are more detailed questions than usual because of the option to select “Choose another stance” which brings up additional options.

      Take the Presidential Election Quiz and See Which Candidate You Side With http://www.isidewith.com/
      My results (1) Gary Johnson, (2) Jill Stein, (3) Obama, (4) Romney.

      1. Garrett Pace

        Thanks for the link. Interesting how rarely I could answer with a plain yes or no. Political issues can get so easily cast into a binary, tribalistic us-vs-them format, when there are so many ways of dealing with problems and issues that confront us.

        1. ScottS

          I like the idea of “voting” by online quiz. Actually, I sincerely prefer voting for issues over voting for individuals because of all the agency issues that arise from voting for individuals.

          I do wish that the quiz was based on voting records, not on candidate-claimed positions.

    2. Jackrabbit

      Imagine headlines that said:

      “Major Third-Party Candidates Unite To Offer Voters A True Alternative – See Two Main Parties As Not Serious About Addressing Crisis.”

      and,

      “Romney and Obama Scramble As Polls Show Support For Third-Party Group Now At 16% (Days Before The Election) – Will They Draw Enough Voters From the Sidelines To WIN?”

  8. D. Mathews

    A pari passu upset?

    Historically speaking:
    The International Court of Justice at the Hague ruled that the creditor countries could intervene against Cipriano Castro of Venezuela to collect debts. In May, Roosevelt made a speech in which he claims the US had a duty to intervene in the case of chronic wrong doing on the part of American nations. In July, an arbitration decision said the US could take over customs houses to collect private debts.

      1. jerry 101

        He’s also Mr. Burns, Smithers, Rev Lovejoy, Kent Brockman, Jebediah Springfield, and God. Amongst others.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          Love, love, loved this interview. Clear, cogent and compelling. Best explanation of monetary reality I’ve yet heard.

    1. Susan the other

      Thanks jerry 101. I didn’t get to this yesterday. It was great. I loved it when Stephanie said that Stiglitz is a “very smart guy and he gets it.” And Krugman is starting to get it too! What’s not to love about Stephanie? She was so interesting. As usual. In order to be socially responsible and truly effective economically, you, any country, must be economically sovereign in order to be viable. It gives you “policy space.” What is the social gold standard? MMT.

      1. ZygmuntFraud

        I also listened to “Le Show” and enjoyed it.
        The other day I realized two events occurred
        within just a few days of each other:

        (a) Japanese invasion of Manchuria begun
        on September 19, 1931

        (b) On September 19, 1931, the United Kingdom left the revised gold standard

        Manchuria was in the Republic of China; Shanghai
        had “foreign concessions” where Westerners did
        business. The KuoMinTang were Western-friendly,
        the Communists were the opposite pole of
        the capitalists.

        I believe (a) Invasion of Manchuria made the front
        pages around the world: they weren’t expecting it,
        I suppose.

        Maybe Gold was viewed as more safe-have than
        Sterling ?
        Stephanie Kelton mentioned something intesresting
        and simple about African nations only wanting
        Sterling once taxes were imposed, after conquest
        or imperial dominance.
        So, what was Sterling’s problem in September 1931?

        1. just me

          Harry has a transcript up now: http://harryshearer.com/transcript-stephanie-kelton-interview/

          I think this is the war/gold standard part you’re referring to:

          HARRY SHEARER: What would happen if Ron Paul got his way and the United States went back on the gold standard?

          STEPHANIE KELTON: Well, we had eight depressions on the gold standard and zero off of the gold standard. It is a system that constrains you in a way. You have a flexible system today that provides you with policy space that you simply do not have when you’re on a fixed exchange rate system, a gold standard system, when you’re adopting a currency that you don’t control, like the euro – those types of monetary systems, the gold standard and the rest, they place constraints on you that limit your fiscal space. And the reason it’s important is because when you have an economic downturn, and you inevitably will – every single market economy on the planet has cycles. We have booms and we have busts, every one, independent of the type of monetary system you have. So when that bust inevitably comes, you just won’t be able to respond effectively. Which is exactly why countries went off the gold standard every time they went to war and every time there was a serious economic downturn. They all go off gold. Every time. In other words, it works until it doesn’t work.

          HARRY SHEARER: Got it.

          STEPHANIE KELTON: That’s what I would say about gold.

          And this is the Africa and British pounds part:

          STEPHANIE KELTON: Well, taxes play an important and historically very interesting role. You know, if you look at the history, one of the examples that we often use is we talk a little bit about the colonization of Africa by the British. You say, “You know, the British sail over and they have a look around and they say, ‘You all have some really terrific res–’” I’m paraphrasing.

          HARRY SHEARER: Yeah! (laughs) You’re putting it mildly, too.

          STEPHANIE KELTON: “You all have some really –” (laughs) “You all have some really great resources here. How’s about we make a deal and you sell us some of this great stuff and we’d be happy to pay you for it, and here are some British pounds.” And the Africans, you know, look at the currency and they say, “Well, it’s lovely, but no thanks, cheerio, and safe trip home.” And the British said, “Well, no, actually, we really, really want the resources, so here’s what we’re going to do. We’ll start imposing taxes – it could be a head tax, it could be a village tax – but we’re going to impose a tax liability on you, the tax liability is payable only in the British currency, and the penalty for not paying the tax is –” And then, you know, use your imagination. The penalty was pretty stiff. So all of a sudden these African people who had no interest in working to get the British currency suddenly became very willing to work and provide resources in order to get the currency. And the reason is that the currency had no value to them until the tax was imposed and the liability was imposed on them. In other words, until they were forced into debt. And the only way –

          HARRY SHEARER: You’re saying that taxes create the demand for the currency?

          STEPHANIE KELTON: Historically you can find this. You can find this in the literature. Historians are very good on this, anthropologists are very good, numismatists are very good, and economists are really terrible at this –

          HARRY SHEARER: (laughs)

          STEPHANIE KELTON: – because they’re lazy scholars by and large. And so, yes, the literature, the work is out there, and historically you can find this.

          I thought it was a great interview.

      1. briansays

        privately financed the far left sfbos wouldn’t give a dime unlike other cities they are too busy building a social welfare magnet–we were lucky they didn’t leave

        still its $11 beer so in the end you know who is paying

  9. jerry 101

    I knew there would be a teacher strike in Chicago the day that they passed that legislation down in Springfield. Even if the Board and the Union could come to an amicable accord without a strike, there was going to be a strike simply on principle.

    It was obvious. The teachers weren’t given a place at the table when that legislation was being debated that included, among other things, the 75% of all members requirement to authorize a strike (a threshold that only applies to teachers in Chicago. No other school district in the state has that requirement). The teacher’s didn’t really fight the legislation either.

    The strike was going to happen no matter what. And Rahm got nice and bloodied. His hand picked Schools Chief Executive Officer, Jean-Claude Brizard, was not even invited to the negotiating table with the teachers (and thank god, to boot – he was a disaster). The Chief Education Officer ironed out the agreement. And, once the dust settled, Brizard was sacrificed. And the Chief Ed Officer took his job.

    Didn’t stop Rahm from going on tv through an ad funded by his charter school friends and declaring victory. But it was a hollow declaration. He lost. Big time. The people of Chicago were behind the Teachers all the way. The polls showed that one group, and one group only, supported Rahm over the teachers. Old white guys. Despite all the ads purchased by those old white guys to trash the teachers. Despite the local news asking if the City should try to go to the courts to have the Teachers Union decertified (the day after the strike started!) and trying to tear down the union. The media in this town hates Karen Lewis (the CTU chief).

    Unfortunately, Rahm’s merry band of Charter Schoolers still runs the Board of Education, and will run the Board until the people demand that Rahm cede back the power to elect the school board to the people (the Mayor appoints the school board), or until the People boot Rahm from office.

    I still think Rahm is a one-termer. He’s no Daley. He might be Richie’s hand-picked successor, but he’s not the man to run this City. He’s actually too weak. He’s too close to the bankers, and not close enough to the people.

    And teachers in the rest of Illinois haven’t really ever needed CTU to lead them into striking. Heck, this was the first CTU strike in 25 years (I believe there was not a single CTU strike during Richie Daley’s reign). Lots of downstate strikes during that time. But, it is good to see that teachers in this state refuse to give any ground.

    All that said, the school closings are still coming, and they honestly should. Not for the purposes of closing a “failing” school and turning it into a bigger failure of a charter school. Just because CPS has too much capacity for the current enrollment levels. Total enrollment from 2003 to 2011 dropped from almost 440,000 to a shade over 400,000. Nearly 10%. And the trend line is not showing an increase in enrollment in the near term. Elementary enrollment in 2003 was 337,000, but dropped to 290,000 in 2011 (high school enrollment increased during that time, but if elementary enrollment is falling, HS enrollment will fall sooner or later). Unfortunately, thats the reality.

  10. Peter Pinguid Society

    Co-opting the US media was easy, all that took was bucket loads of cash, but we had to make certain the Academy was co-opted as well. Make it clear to the professors that they they exist subject to the patronage of the Corporate State, the 0.01 percent. Remind them who grants the grants.

    Make it clear that their duty was not to question the status quo but to follow the orders. If we want drone predators armed with nukes, the physicist/engineer’s job is to design and construct them, not ask what they’ll be used for. And the historian’s mission is to engage in meaningless fact collection and pure propaganda for the Corporate State. The myth of the liberal intellectual is a farce.

    And what about philosophers? Great philosophers since the time of Plato have always talked about politics. They more or less recognized that to do philosophy was to do politics in the field of theory. And they had the courage to discuss their politics openly.

    Here at the Peter Pinguid Society, our job was to make certain that never happened again. We had to make certain that philosophers talked only about philosophy and nothing else. Make them absurd and completely irrelevant, into “graduated flunkies” of the bourgeois state (to quote Lenin). Also, in addition to making them absurd and irrelevant, make them silly and ridiculous at the same time.

    The following video is just one example of how well we’ve succeeded in this mission.

    “We are the Peter Pinguin Society. We are the 0.01 Percent.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q5OoyaetfI&feature=related

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      PPS, you surpass yourself in depth. This voice is becoming more terrifying. This voice is more trenchantly sadistic than that of Lloyd Bankster. Are you beginning to channel demons, actually?

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        PPS, never mind. I just realized that you have captured the terrifying voice of the PSYCHOTIC. I have heard the unmistakeable sound of the voice of a psychotic, and it sounded just like what you are demonstrating: the voice of Obama and every other American Psycho in the Anglo-American Establishment for starters.

        You really have a rare talent for observation of nuance, tone and detail. You would make a superlative actor and playwright, if you are not so employed already. Believe it. Shakespeare’s worst villains are no worse than those you reveal to We the People here at NC day after day.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          The psychotic voice I heard once had the sound and fury of “rage and deep hatred coming out of a dead person” — the only way I can describe it. This would seem to fit the “zombie meta” today in sight, but you have gone beyond this convention.

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            This was, of course, the voice of Hitler in public. And that’s the way they like it at The Tavistock Institute.

      2. Peter Pinguid Society

        LeonovaBalletRusse wrote: The psychotic voice I heard once had the sound and fury of “rage and deep hatred coming out of a dead person” — the only way I can describe it. This would seem to fit the “zombie meta” today in sight, but you have gone beyond this convention…”

        Hey Leonova, I’m the child of divorce, give me a break! :)

  11. b.

    This Stoller piece from the other day is interesting:

    The progressive case against Obama
    Matt Stoller, Salon
    http://www.salon.com/2012/10/27/the_progressive_case_against_obama/

    First read, I differ on a few points.

    Petro-America is largely a pipe-line-dream, but if one for argument’s sake accepts the premise, then the tail period of other petro-states – the intersection of exponentially rising domestic demand and near-exponentially decreasing domestic production – will demonstrate what would be in store for a hypothetical Petro-America.

    Obama wants to preserve these programs for the “most vulnerable”? This is naive, in an Ellsberg fashion. Given the deceptions, and the chasm between his projected “personality” and his actions, it is ridiculous to take any such claim by Obama seriously. Even if true, it would finalize the conversion of “these programs” to welfare.

    Most destructive is discussion of “tactical voting” as a viable proposition. A democracy cannot work if it is exercised as a one-sided voting “investment” in a captive market. Democracy is about a mandate. Just like price-finding, information, not success, are the primary objective. Tactical voting has given “mandates” to candidates and policies that have become first unacceptable, then destructive, and are now becoming irreversible. Unfortunately the Founders did not recognize the need for voting to be a legal means of wholesale rejection – “None of the Above” in majority requires new candidates and a new election. But even so, voting was not intended to be a means of expressing “preference” for the lesser evil – it was to be the clearest, most relevant expression of the 1st Amendment and a declaration of agreement. It consequently implies culpability: If you vote for it, you own it. If you were part of letting a criminal take the reigns of your government, then his crimes, to the extent they were predictable and predicted, are yours. In this sense, voting for Nixon looks very different from voting for Bush in 2004, or voting for Obama in 2012.

    1. Lambert Strether

      As far as tactical voting goes, from the article:

      this piece is an attempt at laying out the progressive case for why one should not vote for Barack Obama for reelection, even if you are in a swing state.

      How is that a recommendation for “tactical voting”?

  12. kevinearick

    City Planning

    So, empires are predicated upon supra-linear, viral, growth, which is an opposing force to the basic biological equilibrium pathway at the macro level. Did you notice all the extra males and then all the extra females in the data? There is nothing new about empire development; hiding the Pavlov swap depends upon cognitive dissonance in both directions. Successive populations are addicted to the past, and get their financial necks broken on reversion.

    Empires run on auto, relative to themselves, in the background, robots replicating robots, creating artificial stability, while loading the tail risks. You must interrupt the empire to regulate it. A small initial adjustment has a much bigger effect than a large subsequent adjustment. That’s the nature of time, the butterfly effect.

    Relative to the stimulus, Bernanke is tightening, relative to demographics. Re-think famine. Relative to nutrition, Americans are pickling themselves with manufactured food. Between their food, healthcare, education, jobs, and automobiles, all a function of bureaucracy, they may as well be on feeding tubes. The Fed, credit, is the zombie re-animator.

    That’s it, bankrupt the airlines and hollow out the military to float Boeing, and drive up gas to $4 for a couple of jobs in North Dakota. Does General Dynamics ring a bell? The US no longer makes anything anyone else wants to buy, short of a gun to their head. Ask the USSR; service jobs, consumption and government motors do not an economy make.

    There is no such thing as a top-down economy. There is only efficient top-down extraction. Lizards are lizards are lizards, and they have been at their game for quite some time, long enough to maximize extraction down to the last gas station in the last town. Look at the data. The cities are coming out from a cookie cutter, and a bunch of brats clamoring for equal rights to different colored tennis shoes from the same factory in Asia is not liberty, except to the materialistic tweakers inhabiting these cities.

    Existing regimes have been simulating empire growth with monetary expansion, bridges to nowhere, to mollify their populations, because they passed the demographic tipping point to convexity a long time ago. Lots of people have to die to reboot the existing program, or a new program, a new ‘religion,’ must replace the old. How do we live together, in space?

    Adjust privacy. Top-down systems don’t work because global stability depends upon local instability, relative to global stability. It’s like balancing a portfolio, to create a buffer. Order and disorder are perceptions, depending on the side of the looking glass. When the sanctity of marriage at its core is violated, liquidation occurs, with time-delay perception based upon empire potential. Physical diversity is a poor substitute for spiritual diversity.

    You can be consistent, authentic, and have your own style, while appearing random to empire participants. Look at pi. The trick of course is not to give away your starting point, or more practically, do not place others in a position to do so. Empire peer pressure simply exceeds their capability.

    Note that additional planets, increased the certainty of Newtonian physics, and linearity is the exception in the universe, not the rule, except in small domains. Essentially, you are applying torque to the empire, employing its gravity as leverage. It does you the favor of creating the juxtaposition.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      kevinearick: “an opposing force to the basic biological equilibrium pathway at the macro level”

      Please apply this comprehension to ‘Holes In Heaven” at:
      http://www.staticbrain.com/archive/haarp-weather-modification-for-weather-warfare/

      Then apply knowledge and denial of knowledge in the link above to:
      http://www.bloomberg.com/video/this-is-what-hurricane-sandy-looks-like-from-space-OpK1dstaRBGGxHAfUnzA4w.html

      Then study voice and message of the “Peter Penguid Society” comment today.

      “Be very afraid.”

    2. Garrett Pace

      “Physical diversity is a poor substitute for spiritual diversity.”

      This has been a most distressing dynamic in recent times. I had hoped that, after the brutal senescence of modern capitalist power, there would be dynamism and “growth” (of a different sort) from other cultures in different and better directions – from Latin America or India maybe.

      But now it seems like they are more like us than even we are.

    3. LeonovaBalletRusse

      kevinearick: “Re-think famine.”

      People have been commenting on the Internet about how the .01% has found “famine” to be the most “efficient” manner of genocide, and the least costly to the .01%. Word is out that what they accomplished through Stalin and Pol Pot among others will be accomplished again, but yet more efficiently because their control is now definitively and comprehensively this time.

      It does appear that the population goal expressed multilingually on The Georgia Guidestones shall be accomplished. So much for WHITE People IN KANSAS or anywhere outside the Golden Gates of the Closed .01%DNA System of the .01% –as USA!USA! gets COMPLETELY FRACKED to yield wealth of every kind to the .01% and their .99%Agency du jour (also dispensable).

  13. Garrett Pace

    Job’s iYacht reminds me of an allegory I heard once:

    Once a man died, after a life of acquisition. At the funeral a well-wisher asked his widow, “How much did he leave?”

    “Oh, didn’t you hear?” she answered. “He left all of it.”

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      But this will not end well. The Cardinal Issue is a lymbic-system issue. How grateful I am that I listened to the voice of wisdom early on, and resisted the “biological imperative” to replicate my kind.

  14. TK21

    “The Obama Loves Children!”

    He sure does! They make great targets and are easier to crush with rubble or debris than adults.

  15. ginnie nyc

    Well, I don’t know, but right now (circa 8:30 pm) midtown Manhattan (40′s)is totally dead. By which I mean light rain, little wind. Are we in the eye of the storm?

    Chinese delivery guy rides by, people walking around going to local bars. Maybe we’ll be spared the worst.

    Poor South Jersey; they are really getting zapped.

  16. craazyman

    It’s getting Biblical where I am – upper East side near Gracie Mansion.

    East river has come over the sea wall and FDR drive is a swimming pool.

    Wind was roaring like a scream out of hell for 2 hours & knocked down several trees onto the streets. You could hear them crunching and cracking even over the roar of the wind. Leaves and branches everywhere.

    The east river is now on East 90th street a foot deep and the water looked like it’s moving fast toward York Ave. High tide is midnight, so it’s not close to being over.

    As long as we have power I’m Mr. Cool, but if that power goes out then I hit the panic button like Chicken Little. Not sure what I’ll do then, probably lay on the floor and hide under the blankets with one eye looking out, until sunrise.

    I have two candels and a can of refried beans. That’s it. If I need a canoe to get to the deli for pancakes in the morning, I’ll just go for it and wade there no matter how deep the water is. I used to be a competitive swimmer and that lulls me into overconfidence.

    I saw that Manhattan south of 30th street is without power and cars are underwater on 14th and C.

        1. craazyman

          Looks like a beautiful 10-bagger stock chart to me!

          That bouy is actually quite a way out into the Atlantic ocean, it’s the Harbor bouy for shipping navigation, not what we’d experience looking out from Battery Park, but still, 32 feet is pretty damn high.

          1. skippy

            Yeah I get its out far, like in deep water, hence the relevance: it takes a lot of force to do that.

            Skippy… so far, most will only have to deal with the time it takes to find a bit of normalcy and the time it take to repair stuff. Some although will suffer much, livelihood, homes, stuff…

          2. craazyman

            It’s bad Skippy. no doubt about it. today it was lighthearted, the families and kids were out by the east river, the kids screeched delighted with every building gust of wind and the moms and dads had cameras going off in every direction

            new yorkers’ don’t see nature. we see a few trees along the sidestreets and alleyways of sky that change from blue to grey, that;s all. Our seasons are hot and cold. we live among concrete the way the rest of America lives among trees and flower and lawns and woods and fields.

            so when nature presents herself in such a sublime way, the raindrops whipping you like pelted pebbles on the face, the rain mixing with the water and wind into a wild acqua marine and gray vista of sublime strangeness, yet so natural in that atavistic way, 50,000 years of memory in the dna, activated like it never is here among the most tamed place on earth, it reminds people of their primal essence, it’s a natural high, a revelation of feeling that we are nature too and have its wildness in us. And if someone can interact with it from a position of safety, it’s a festival, a homecoming. the kids were in a state of continual delight shreaking and squealing with laughter.

            now the aftermath, the power out for downtown, a big explosion at Con Ed downtown, the subway out. we’ll see how the mood lasts.

            I pulled my car out of a 2 foot deep flood an hour ago. water up to the steering wheel nearly. I waded in and saw the water int he car and said “fuck this” I’m getting it out of here. It started and I backed it up through 1.5 feet of water 30 yards to dry ground then bailed it with my hands. If all hell breaks loose, it’s my one way ticket out of here. Hopefully it won’t come to that. I lived here through 9/11 and the 2003 blackout. Now this. Well, I feel for the folks in bad straights. even the blockheads who wouldn’t evacuate. one dude tweeted he wasn’t leaving a mandatory evacuation zone because this is New York, and it won’t be bad and he wanted to read his art books under candlelight and find his 18th century self. He may be lookingout his window now at 5 feet of water in the dark. Maybe he’ll find it. I don’t know. It’s funny though, as apocalyptic as the headlines are, right around here it’s not bad, except where my car was parked. that was a flood zone. otherwise, it’s just a lot of wind and rain. It depends where you are, either it’s nothing or it’s armageddon

    1. Bert_S

      Sounds like your emergency planning coulda been better, craazy.

      Having a supply of suntan lotion on hand only goes so far.

      Some food, potable water and a battery lamp can come in handy too.

      Sure, you can swim to your deli tomorrow. But what floor is your deli on? Maybe try the sushi bar instead?

      P.S. Finished the Dunkleweizen batch here and the fermenter is now happily bubbling away.

      1. Bert_S

        BTW:

        If you do decide to swim to the sushi bar for breakfast tomorrow, it would be best to avoid the “house special”, methinks. I heard that the rats are being drowned and flushed out of the sewers. My trust in New Yorkers has been shattered these past few years, so I would stick with ordering something familiar, like the tuna. If they say they are out of tuna, get the hell outta there!

  17. scraping_by

    Re: the Koch gang

    Interesting connection. Cindy Kay Olson, of the infamous ‘invest everything in Enron stock’ advice, started her career as an accountant with the crude oil division of Koch Industries. She ended up as an internal auditor with Enron, just when it was doing its double and triple counting of revenues.

    In her memoir The Whole Truth So Help Me God she’s still surprised anyone would take her advice and act on it. Something about the banality of evil…

  18. ginnie nyc

    The Guardian has some scary photos of the Lower East Side – major flooding to Avenue C (East River). This explains flooding in Yorkville (East 80′s to 1st Avenue). Right where I used to live.

    British papers were first with this news.

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