It was Gary Shilling – way back in the last century – who first woke me up to the real whys and wherefores of deflation, with his 1998 best-seller, Deflation: Why it’s coming, whether it’s good or bad, and how it will affect your investments, business, and personal affairs. I had read various works on deflation, but nowhere was it put together as well as Gary did it. He followed it up the next year with Deflation: How to survive and thrive in the coming wave of deflation, and in that one he strongly urged his readers out of the stock market – just ahead of the 2000 dot-com bubble burst. But Gary has been so right over the . . . → Read More: Absolute Zero
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Earl Ray Tomblin (D-inc): 47 (46)
Bill Maloney (R): 46 (40)
Undecided: 7 (14)
It's hard to see this poll as anything other than bad news for acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. Election day is tomorrow, and Bill Maloney has been hoovering up almost all of the undecided vote. Indeed, the race stood at 45-30 in May, meaning Tomblin has gained just two points while Maloney has shot up sixteen. It's not just the extreme closeness of these numbers which have me concerned, though. It's Maloney's momentum. As Tom Jensen explains:
A lot of money has been spent on attacking Tomblin in the closing weeks of the campaign and that appears to be taking its toll on the Governor's image. His net approval has dropped 13 points in the last four weeks from +25 (50/25) to just +12 (44/32). Attempts to saddle Tomblin with the burden of Barack Obama might be having an impact as well ? the President's approval in the state is just 28%, with 63% of voters disapproving of him.
Indeed, as Nathan Gonzales said, "it seems Republicans are going all out in trying to tie Tomblin to President Obama," with ads accusing him of "implementing Obamacare," among other sins. Maloney's numbers, meanwhile, have changed little over the last month, going from 43-29 favorable to 44-33 favorable. The one bit of good news here is that in early voting, Democrats voted at a rate higher than their statewide registration figures. Of course, we don't know how many crossed over to support Maloney, but as Tom suggests, it's possible that he may have narrowly run out of time.
Daily Kos Elections rates this race a Tossup. We will, as usual, be liveblogging the results tomorrow night. Polls close at 7:30pm Eastern time.
The Senate will vote on a motion to proceed on a bill addressing currency manipulators, targeted mainly at China. Supporters believe the bill would save money, create millions of jobs over time, and has bipartisan support.[...]
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Unions and labor groups continue to offer support to Occupy Wall Street.The giant union local (1199 is bigger than some international unions) confirms its very active support:
After the 1199 Executive Council heard a report on the Wall Street occupation by two of its young activists, President George Gresham offered the motion to support the action. Included in the motion, with friendly amendments, were the union?s agreement to reach other to the rest of the labor movement to build support for the occupation, to support future marches and actions that grow out of OccupyWallStreet, to feed the occupation participants for a week, to have 1199 nurses help train those staffing the first-aid care station at the occupation, and to set up an 1199 ?task force? charged with help in whatever ways possible.
The union is also urging participation in Wednesday afternoon's march.
The AFL-CIO's Next Up Young Worker Summit, held over the weekend, released a statement of solidarity:
?In the last two weeks, young people have sparked a movement on Wall Street, just as they did through the Arab Spring and in Wisconsin against Scott Walker. Participants at the AFL-CIO Next Up Young Worker Summit left Occupy Wall Street to join with young people in the labor movement to talk about how best to take back our economy for the middle class.
?Today, more than 800 Next Up participants from around the country stand with those on Wall Street who are making their voices heard. The future of our country depends on young people demanding the future we believe in. And we believe that Wall Street should pay for the damage they?ve done to our economy, our jobs, and our communities ? foreclosing on homes, making massive profits with no oversight, and not sharing in building a future for the next generation.
Working America, in a press release:
Working America continues to offer its support and encouragement to the growing protest movement that began in New York's Zuccotti Park. It's obvious what has motivated these protests, and it's the same thing we hear at the doors we knock on every day[.]
In the weeks to come, as we organize for good jobs and a fairer economy in neighborhoods across the country, we hope that the enthusiasm and energy behind these protests continues to develop.
Global warming has species on the move - for instance, making Vermont less hospitable to its iconic maple trees. Meanwhile, warm-weather species are taking the opportunity to move north, and according to a recent study, armadillos could move north into Virgina & across the entire Mid-Atlantic region:
The consequences of such changes are unclear. Armadillos are a welcome help to residents dealing with fire ants, a big concern in the South, McDonough said. But they're also a nest predator and could put added pressure on local quail populations already trying to defend against possums, raccoons and snakes.See a map of the armadillo's projected range at DailyClimate.org.
[University of Michigan biology professor Philip] Myers' research in Michigan, meanwhile, suggests southern species are replacing northern ones, rather than simply slotting into the local fauna.
"To predict the impact of adding a chipmunk or subtracting a mouse, you have to know a lot more about the natural history of the communities than we do ... Potentially there are huge changes that could be a consequence of messing around with the species present," Myers said.
Restrictive voting laws in states across the country could affect up to five million voters from traditionally Democratic demographics in 2012, according to a new report by the Brennan Center. That's a number larger than the margin of victory in two of the last three presidential elections.
The new restrictions, the study found, "fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities. This wave of changes may sharply tilt the political terrain for the 2012 election."
The study found that:
The total number, according to the Brennan Center, is the sum of the 3.2 million voters they estimate will be affected by new photo ID laws, "the 240,000 citizens and potential voters who could be affected by new proof of citizenship laws, 202,000 voters registered in 2008 through voter registration drives that have now been made extremely difficult or impossible under new laws, 60,000 voters registered in 2008 through Election Day voter registration where it has now been repealed, one to two million voters who voted in 2008 on days eliminated under new laws rolling back early voting and at least 100,000 disenfranchised citizens who might have regained voting rights by 2012."
"These voting law changes are radical and completely unnecessary," Wendy. R. Weiser, a co-author of the report, said in a statement. "They especially hurt those who have been historically locked out of our electoral system, like minorities, poor people, and students. Often they seem precisely targeted to exclude certain voters."
Full report here (PDF).
Koch Industries made "improper payments" to win contracts in other countries, and circumvented a U.S. trade ban in selling petrochemicals to Iran, according to an investigation by Bloomberg News.
Asjylyn Loder and David Evans of Bloomberg report that in 2008, an internal investigative team was sent to the company's Koch-Glitsch affiliate in southern France to probe the company's management, and discovered that since 2002, the company had paid out bribes to win contracts in six countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
From the Bloomberg report, Koch Industries was also found to have used foreign subsidiaries to avoid a U.S. ban on trade with Iran that's been in place since 1995:
Internal company records show that Koch Industries used its foreign subsidiary to sidestep a U.S. trade ban barring American companies from selling materials to Iran. Koch-Glitsch offices in Germany and Italy continued selling to Iran until as recently as 2007, the records show.
The company's products helped build a methanol plant for Zagros Petrochemical Co., a unit of Iran's state-owned National Iranian Petrochemical Co., the documents show. The facility, in the coastal city of Bandar Assaluyeh, is now the largest methanol plant in the world, according to IHS Inc., an Englewood, Colorado-based provider of chemicals, energy and economic data.
Koch Industries is owned by the billionaire and conservative activist brothers David and Charles Koch. The Koch brothers are known for pouring money into pet conservative causes and Tea Party activities, so much so that Jane Mayer of the em>New Yorker wrote that they've become known as the "Kochtopus" in political circles.
The company, which is famously secretive about its dealings and finances, scrambled last week to discredit the Bloomberg story before it came out, Justin Elliott of Salon reported.
Read the full Bloomberg report here.
What are the consequences of the crackdown on voting that kicked off in 2011 and is going to hit in a big way in 2012. We've been covering the different dimensions of it in states across the country. But now a new study shows that GOP voter suppression[...]
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Sounds like Thursday is the day for the big announcement from Chris Christie.[...]
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A new study by the Brennan Center, which is at the vanguard of tracking voter suppression efforts around the country, says new state laws restricting access to the polls (mostly promulgated by Republicans) will adversely affect some 5 million mostly[...]
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