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
US money market funds return to eurozone Financial Times
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)
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
Why Does the SEC Protect Banks’ Dirty Secrets? Bloomberg (furzy mouse)
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.
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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!
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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: