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By Lambert Strether of Corrente
Canada: “While we welcome Prime Minister-elect Justin Trudeau’s election night speech that focused on hope, inclusion and the end of the politics of division and fear evident under the Harper government, we are deeply concerned by his party’s support for ‘free trade’ agreements like the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)” [Council of Canadians].
“Increasingly, location also affects how difficult it is to cast a vote. When it comes to election law, red America and blue America are not at all alike” [Los Angeles Times]. “Since 2000, and especially in the last few years, states dominated by Democrats have tended to pass laws that make it easier to register and vote, while states dominated by Republicans have done the opposite.”
“Apologists claim the student-loan crisis is the result of underfunding of colleges by states. While it’s true that some of the cost burden has been shifted from taxpayers to students, the real problem is soaring costs of the higher education cartel, which fixes prices via the artifical scarcity of accreditation” [Business Insider]. “The extraordinary rise in administrative staffing and costs and the boom in building costly temples of higher education are well-known. This chart depicts the rise of the educrat class, at the expense of teachers/professors.” So why not gut the adminstrative layers, and leave accreditation (consumer protection) in place?
“Joe Biden Says He Won’t Run for President in 2016” [Time]. And after all that teasing, too. I guess nobody ever figured out a reason why he should! Watch for the bump Clinton gets in the polls; I doubt if many Biden voters will be Sanders voters.
Pat Buchanan: “Consider the catbird seat in which The Donald sits” [Unz Review]. “An average of national polls puts him around 30 percent, trailed by Dr. Ben Carson with about 20 percent. No other GOP candidate gets double digits. If these polls don’t turn around, big time, Trump is the nominee.”
UPDATE “An interesting data point from a new poll Wednesday suggests that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign arc is now more closely mirroring that of a traditional front-runner, rather than that of an insurgent fad” [Business Insider]. “The ABC/Washington Post poll found that a plurality of likely Republican primary voters now believe Trump will be their party’s nominee.” What the heck ever happened to Fiorina, anyhow? She went up, and then she went down….
The House reminds me of an old couch with the stuffing coming out of it. So I’ve added some buckets to handle the mess.
Trey Gowdy: “These have been among the worst weeks of my life” [Politico]. Gowdy can whine with the best of ’em, can’t he?
Democrats release complete testimony of Clinton aide Cheryl Mills [AP]. The day before Clinton is to testify. Odd, that.
“The Benghazi investigation: What you need to know” [USA Today]. This seems reasonably sane.
“Paul Ryan tentatively agreed to serve as speaker of the House Tuesday night, a move that likely avoids a protracted and messy fight to be the next face of the Republican Party” [WaPo]. And this is the first time I’ve heard “wants to spend time with his family” as the requirement for a job; apparently Ryan doesn’t want to do fundraising. So where’s his leverage, then?
“House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday he expects House Republicans to rally behind Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan this week to be the next Speaker” [Market News].
MBA Mortgage Applications, week of October 16, 2015: “Application volumes are swinging wildly week-to-week as the mortgage industry continues to implement new lending disclosure rules under TILA-RESPA” [Econoday].
Back to the Future: “Today, October 21, 2015, is being heralded by movie fans as the day that fictional character Marty McFly, from the “Back To The Future” movie trilogy, went into the future to try to change the past. After redirecting his children’s lives, McFly returned to 1985″ [Market News]. ” Market oldsters may wax nostalgic about world financial markets in the 1980s, but the reality was not necessarily more rosy.”
“Hedge Funds are Bringing Back Everyone’s Least Favorite Toxic Investment” [Bloomberg]. That’s right: CDOs!
Ag: “What does the Argentine election mean for harvests?” [Agrimoney]. “Look for a rise in corn sowings if there’s a change in government, says one analyst, but other agricultural output could rise as well.”
“Sprint loses bid to dismiss $300 million N.Y. tax fraud lawsuit” [Reuters].
“BNY Mellon’s cost-cutting drive hit by software outage” [Reuters].
“Amazon plans to hire 100,000 people for the holidays, a 25 percent jump from last year that reveals a shift in the way we shop” [Los Angeles Times].
The Fed: “Mutiny of the doves” [WaPo]. “[I]f you think that inflation won’t go up until wages do, and that won’t happen until unemployment is even lower than it is now, then you want to wait who knows how long. You don’t want to take your inflation on faith. You want to see it. Or, as Tarullo put it, you want to find “some tangible evidence of, for example, hiccups in wages or inflation that allow us to make informed decisions based on the evidence.” This is a direct repudiation of Yellen and Fischer’s logic for preemptive rate hikes.”
Honey for the Bears: “Rail Car Orders Experience Huge Drop” [Across the Curve]. “North American railcar orders plummeted the most in at least 27 years as railroads shipped less oil and sand used for drilling, adding to concern over a U.S. industrial production slowdown.”
Fear & Greed Index, October 19, 2015: 52 (+1); Neutral [CNN]. Last week: 35 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed).
Black Injustice Tipping Point
Documenting the links between Teach for America and #BlackLivesMatter leadership [Orchestrated Pulse]. Essential reading.
“A technical problem had blocked account access for holders of one of the most popular prepaid cards, RushCard” [New York Times]. Idea: If you want to pay your electrical bill and can’t, tell the nice collection person this: “It’s not a solvency problem. It’s a liquidity problem.”
“Demand response” for power generation case before the Supreme Court [WaPo]. But this paragraph caught my eye: “It all moves us further and further from a world in which there’s one electricity provider, one monthly bill that covers all of our consumption, and relatively little control over how that bill turns out. Suddenly there are tons of options for saving money, and saving electricity or even generating your own, that have been enabled by new technologies, ranging from solar panels to home batteries to demand response software.” “More control over my bill” sounds like a lot of complexity, and “demand response software” sounds like a place where parasites would insert their sucking mandibles.
“Water Wars in Ireland” [New Left Review]. “The [water privatization] project had the disadvantage, however, of striking a broad range of people simultaneously, instead of picking them off one by one: tenants and home-owners, private- and public-sector workers, the unemployed and those still in work. Moreover, there was a history of protest against ‘double taxation’ going back more than two decades. A previous campaign against water charges in the late 80s and early 90s, spearheaded by the radical left, had forced their abolition.”
“Bad events in organisations are generally the product of bad systems rather than bad people” [John Kay]. Kay concludes: “The decline of public trust in corporations today threatens the legitimacy of global corporate activity.”
News of the Wired
“Light goes infinitely fast with new on-chip material” [Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences].
“The Bad Things That Happen When People Can’t Deal With Ambiguous Situations” [Science of Us].
“The Best Factual Podcasts” [Cool Tools].
“Consumer Reports pulls recommendation of the heavily hyped Tesla Model S” [Consumer Reports]. Turns out that actual users shared their concerns. (NC readers know that CR had an identical issue with ObamaCare; see here and here.)
“Teen Who Hacked CIA Director’s Email Tells How He Did It” [Wired]. I’m still reeling at the idea that John Brennan, the Bush torture advocate now servicing Obama at the CIA, has an AOL account. I can’t even.
“Why are placebos getting more effective?” [BBC]. And why is America exceptional?