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The Roundup for November 9, 2012

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Your last news Roundup for the week. See you back here Sunday evening.

International Developments

? How much more can these people endure? Yesterday we read the Red Cross simply “can’t cope” any more with the human crisis in Syria. Today: “8,000 Syrian refugees fled to Turkey in the last 24 hours”, bringing the total to 120,000. The UN said that 11,000 Syrians “have fled in the past 24 hours.”

? Russia’s Chief of Staff of Armed Forces got the boot from President Vladimir Putin today. Putin replaced General Nikolai Makarov with General Valery Gerasimov, “the commander of Russia’s forces in the central military district who has served in the turbulent Chechnya region.”

International Finance

? Krugman on Europe: “Very grim”.

? “HSBC bank says it is looking into allegations that criminals have used offshore accounts at its Jersey operation for money laundering.” Seems some “client data” is missing and “offshore account holders include a well-known drug dealer living in Central America, bankers who face allegations of fraud and a man once dubbed London’s ‘number two crook’.”

? French industrial output fell sharply, by 2.7%, in September amid speculation that “industrialists were planning further reductions of investment.” Forecast: a “slight” recession.

? The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris predicts “China will overtake the US in the next four years to become the largest economy in the world.”

Money Matters USA

? Apt depiction of The Fiscal Cliff.

? Jamie Galbraith: “. . . what they are determined to destroy, we must defend. There is much more to be said [about] other threatened programs. But to begin, Congress should leave Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid alone.”

? Letter from Occupy the SEC and the OWS Alternative Banking Group to Timothy Geithner, Treasury Secretary, and Mary Schapiro, Securities and Exchange Commission Chair about “systemic risk related to money market funds.”

? Between “35% and 40% of everything we buy goes to interest” which, in turn, goes to “bankers, financiers, and bondholders”. Thus is wealth “systematically transferred from Main Street to Wall Street.” Solution: turn the banks “into public utilities and their profits into public assets.”

? New York City has begun rationing gasoline. 13,000 in NYC public housing have no electricity, 20,000 without heat or hot water. Here’s where you can donate to get blankets to them.

? What supporting K-12 schools will get ya: “Moody’s says [CA’s] Proposition 30 passage a boost to school credit”.

Politics USA

? Reuters headline: “Wall Street gadfly Warren stands good chance of Senate banking seat.” Simon Johnson on “The Importance of Elizabeth Warren”.

? “How Obama Should ‘Preserve, Protect, and Defend the Constitution’ in His Second Term”, including: nominate and fight for strong judges; reestablish the Justice Dept’s Office of Legal Counsel to its “central place in the rule of law”; promote national discussion of Citizens United; protect the right to vote through congressional action; “Reclaim the Constitution”.

? Attorney General Eric Holder is trying to decide if he wants to serve in that capacity for the next four years.

? Representative Darrel Issa (R-CA) has been accused by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington of developing an anti-Obama ad “using official government resources”, which is against House rules.

? Planned Parenthood got the best return of any group in terms of their spending on political races. They spent $5,086,007 in the general election, supported seven winning candidates and opposed seven losing candidates. (KKKKarl’s American Crossroads and the NRA were “worst performers”.)

? Tom DeLay co-defendant John Colyandro pled guilty today “to a lesser charge of illegally accepting political contributions during the 2002 elections.” He got a one-year deferred and was fined $4,000 for each of two charges.

? Prominent TX attorney and former Carnegie Mellon University trustee Marco Antonio Delgado has been charged with laundering about $600 million for a Mexican drug cartel in 2007-08.

? George P. Bush, son of JEB, has filed a notice that he will run for state office. Groan.

? The Romney campaign cancelled all staff credit cards as soon as Romney delivered his concession speech, much to the staffers’ surprise when they tried to close out their hotel accounts and travel home.

? ‘Voter fraud’ is a specialty for Republicans with two of them–one in NV and another in NM–being busted for committing same. Both voted twice and both were “testing the system” to see if it was working the way it was supposed to. It sure did.

? The disaster that was Project ORCA. Sad tidings from libertarian republican land.

? Report on Google search for “Renounce Citizenship”.

Health, Homelessness & Hunger

? KS Republican Gov Sam Brownback says “his administration won’t partner with the federal government to set up a health insurance exchange called for by the federal health insurance overhaul.” So, Kansans will be using the federal exchange. VA Republican Gov Robert McDonnell is leaning the same way, plus he is refusing to expand Medicaid unless it is “greatly reformed.” Meanwhile, Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius wants to know “by the end of next week” what states will be doing and gave them until mid-December “to submit detailed blueprints.

? Many people cannot afford their medications and are switching to generics or simply doing without. In 2011, insured patients spent 2.7% more on medications than in 2010–“less than CPI inflation.” And since roughly 30 million people won’t be covered by it, the American Care Act will not erase this problem.

Working for A Living

? Sour grapes to sour wine: Robert E. Murray, CEO of that Ohio-based coal company that was so involved in the Romney campaign, read a prayer and announced 156 layoffs. It wasn’t his work, nor even the Lord’s work–it was Obama’s work for waging a “war on coal”.

Heads Up!

? “[S]ome U.S. authorities’ responses to the Occupy Wall Street movement involved excessive police force, unjustified mass arrests, disproportionately large numbers of police, and violated the rights of journalists.” That’s according to The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

? New York City must pay $50,000 to Occupiers arrested November 17, 2011, detained for “almost 24 hours, and [forced] through a humiliating strip search.”

? A photojournalist arrested last January while covering the eviction of Occupy Miami protesters had his day in court–and was acquitted.

? Joint statement from the US Dept of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration: “The department’s enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged.”

Planet Earth News

? Per a NASA-funded study: “the planet’s changing climate is fulfilling scientists’ most dire predictions.”

? “A Thai man has been jailed for 40 years by a court in South Africa for organising illegal rhino poaching expeditions.” Since January, “222 people have been arrested for rhino poaching and related activities.”

Latin America

? Large protests in Argentina “at rising inflation, high levels of crime and high-profile corruption cases.” Re-elected by a landslide in 2011, President Christina Kirchner’s support has been in rapid decline. Her supporters argue that the protests were organized by “people from the middle and upper class worried about losing their privileges.”

? “More than 130 people have died in the last two weeks [in Sao Paulo, Brazil] as part of a conflict between the police and the . . . First Command of the Capital” gang.

Break Time

? Let us wind this week down.

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