It was good while it lasted...
Noted: As the happy populace heads off the the polls, data shows that in September their incomes dropped the most in the last 14 months. Some of them live in one of the 7 million houses with non-current mortgages and may be part of the 2.6 million who are 90 or more days delinquent, camping out until foreclosure arrives. Many others are unemployed, underemployed. One in seven are are foodstamps. The federal deficit and big government are utmost in their minds, pundits say.
One More Time: Washington warriors and hawks have lost no time in translating a failed bombing attempt into the sinking of the Maine. Yemen, they say, needs the attention of 'hunter-killer” special operations teams under the control (?) of the CIA. There is a need for “expanded military options” and a need “to strike suspected militant targets unilaterally with greater stealth and speed.” Accuracy wasn't mentioned.
Get Your Ticket Validated: Even Jeb Bush realizes that a lot of votes that end up in the 'R' column will have gotten there by default. “"The looming victories for Republican candidates next Tuesday is not a validation of the Republican Party at all." he said, but represents the voters disgust at the political class as a whole.
Financial Trap? The Supreme Court's ruling that companies could spend as much as they wanted to may turn corporations into the major funder of the political process – against their will. Some business leaders fear that their growing political clout will undermine their core businesses, and they fear being pressured into ever greater contributions to the detriment of their main businesses. This year over $3 billion has been spent on campaign ads...
Keeping Score: The guestimates for the Stewart/Colbert rally run from 150,00 to 215,00 or more. In the absence of an official count, there's this: DC's Metrorail recorded 825,437 trips on Saturday, a record, beating the old record by 40,000 and the previous second place record by 100,000 rides. Even so John Stewart's estimate of 30 million seems a tad inflated.
Wide Open Spaces: Investment in office space has declined sharply to a new low as a % of GDP. Investment had peaked in Q1 2008 and is now at a 50 year low. Office vacancies are at a 17 year high. Investment in malls has fallen by two-thirds, which is misleading because the figure also includes remodels
such as boarding off whole wings that have no tenants.
Prop – again, duh? Fox affiliates in a number of swing states are running 'infomercials' that imply Obama is a socialist bankrolled by Hamas, is hostile towards America, and wants to “kill some crackers.”
Feeding Time at the Zoo: On average, $4 million will be spent on every congressional seat, over $2 billion between the House and Senate, and to fund his next campaign, each member of congress will have to raise $2 million a year. $40,000 a week, $8,000 a day, $1,000 an hour every hour of every working day of every week. So much for anything else. And obviously the winners will be the big donors – which are mostly corporations now. Or maybe not, the Supreme Court said that no one need know where the money comes from. So is it Exxon, or Saudi Arabia? Major foreign emitters of CO2?
As Usual: As the early-December termination of extended unemployment benefits for hundreds of thousands of idled workers approaches, Indiana is planning to deploy armed guards at its unemployment offices. They cited “the increased stress on some of the unemployed” as their rational.
Patty-Cake, Patty Cake: American's still have choices. For example, at the airport you can choose to walk though the x-ray machine – called the Dick Measuring Device by TSA operators – or you can chose to be aggressively felt up by a thug wearing blue gloves. Body cavity searches were considered, but TSA felt Congress wouldn't allow that, not until after the election.
Porn O'Graph: The ultimate politician.