What if the environmental and health costs of burning coal had to be paid by the coal companies?
Limited Time Offer: The IMF wants both Spain and Italy to ask the EU (and presumably the ECB and the IMF) for bailouts now. Rome said no, and Spain said not quite yet. The IMF sees the problem and thinks the solution to too much debt is more debt, paid for by more austerity. Oh, wait. My bad. IMF imposed austerity is so last week. Meanwhile the usual suspects are gathering in Brussels to work towards “closer euro zone integration” before we get to “euro zone disintegration.” The German proposal for a über-commissioner with a veto over national budgets is a non-starter.
Bean Counters? Starbucks has paid no tax in the UK since 2009.
Free and Fair: Dr. Jill Stein was arrested Wednesday and handcuffed to a chair for eight hours. Who is Stein and why should you care? She is the Green Party candidate for the presidency and she was arrested while walking towards the televised debate between two of the other candidates - said debate being owned and operated by the two legacy political parties.
Tinkering with the vote in swing state rural areas Courting rural swing state voters may lead to a Romney victory, because there are so many more of them than urban Democratic voters.
Long Way Home: An earnest economic treatise asks why private medicare plans don't cost less. What part of 'profits for insurance companies' don't you understand? It went on to ask if private insurance companies have a future role to play in Medicare, the answer to which is “No, not in an ideal world, but this is a long ways from being the ideal world.” Besides, If Romney gets in, this is all just academic.
Boom/Bubble? Single-family housing starts were up 11% m/m, and building permits for single-family dwellings were up 6.7% m/m.
A Two-'fer: Hilary Mantel's Bring Up The Bodies was awarded the Man Booker prize for fiction. Worth a mention for two reasons: She is the first author to win the Booker twice, having previously been honored for Wolf Hall. Secondly - the first paragraph of Bring up the Bodies killed any dream I might have had about being able to write... she is astonishing.
Waypoint: Over half of the earth's wetlands have been destroyed (by us) in the last 100 years. I bet Mother Nature wishes we'd kill ourselves off pretty soon, while there are a few other species left to start over with.
Extra! Extra! Someone finally noticed that Kurdistan will split with Iraq and take its oil and oil contracts with it. The Kurds have already won the struggle: Oil majors like ExxonMobil, Chevron and Total are willing to sign deals with the KRG at risk of losing contracts with Baghdad. Oil seeks its own level.
Backfield In Motion: Romney's campaign cites three studies that support the claim that his plan would create 12 million jobs. Too bad the studies don't do that. It's like the six studies they cite as supporting Romney's planned tax cuts; four are blog posts and one supports critics of the plan.
Call For Research Proposals: The Boy Scouts of America have nearly 100 years of files recording sexual predation by those in leadership positions on the boys - there are nearly 2000 covering the 20 years from 1970 to 1991.
Porn O'Graph: Tip-toeing past the graveyard.
The Parting Shot: