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Friday, October 15, 2010

Stories to Watch: 10/15/10

Wow, a wordy one today. Guess I'm feeling garrulous. Or it may be that the construction guys seem to have taken the day off and I can hear myself think. Now here's the news...

More evidence that African-American voters could provide a buffer to Republican gains -- polling shows they're just as stoked about 2010 as they were about 2008, when they voted in record numbers. McClatchy has a good article on why black voter turnout will be important. And Adam Serwer writes, "[I]t's also good news for the Democrats in the long term. It suggests that black enthusiasm is sustainable, which bodes well for them in 2012, when Obama will be back on the ballot and the electorate will likely be less conservative."

Last night's senatorial debate in Nevada seems to worked out well for Sharron Angle -- mostly because she managed to finish up without being shot with a tranquilizer gun and dragged out in a straitjacket. "Freakish candidates are now held to such low standards that all they have to do is surprise us by not sounding like they belong in a locked mental ward," writes Kevin Drum. "Welcome to 2010." That's as scary as it is true.

In a Wall Street Journal column yesterday, Daniel Henninger argued that "capitalism saved the miners" who had been trapped in Chile. Today, Steve Rendall of Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting points out that unregulated capitalism is what got them stuck there in the first place and it was the Chilean government who got them out. So, there's that...

Speaking of the wonders of capitalism and Chilean miners:
In These Times:

"The miners are not 'heroes,' as they have been called around the world for surviving underground for over two months," NĂ©stor Jorquera, president of the Chilean mineworkers union, CONFEMIN, told the Inter Press Service. "They are victims." Many in the international labor movement have complained that news accounts have ignored the poor treatment of workers by the mining company, which intially refused to pay their wages after the miners were trapped underground on August 5.

San Esteban, the company that operates the mine, claimed they had no money to pay the workers who were trapped under the mine. In fact, the company was apparently so broke that it couldn't even pay the costs of the recovery. The government of Chile was forced to pay for a rescue that some say could cost anywhere between $10- $20 million.
If this is what you call being "saved by capitalism," I'll take peril.

Eric Holder's fucked up priorities: If California legalizes pot, the Justice Department will prosecute "individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for recreational use." The silence from GOP tenthers is deafening here.

Carrot and stick for dems planning to stay home in November? House majority whip Jim Clyburn says, "Reelect me, keep Democrats on the field. And when we come back next year, maybe we will get to the public option." Frankly, I'll believe it when I see it.

Krugman: "[T]he mortgage mess is making nonsense of claims that we have effective contract enforcement -- in fact, the question is whether our economy is governed by any kind of rule of law."

Finally, Rand Paul hasn't told Rand Paul where Rand Paul stands on a national sales tax.

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