Good evening, all!

International Developments

❖ “Malala Yousufzai is responding well to treatment and has a good chance of fully recovering without any brain damage.”

Nasty stuff in Greece as one “neo-nazi Golden Dawn party MP says ‘there is already civil war, and Greek society is ready . . . to have a fight’” with video evidence of police cooperation with Golden Dawn during riots. Here’s a video from the general strike that took place today in Greece.

❖ “Libya official says militia commander led raid on U.S. mission: Government-allied militias say they have not been told to arrest the man, identified as Ahmed Abu Khattala, in the Benghazi attack. It is unclear where he is.”

❖ CA Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein has blamed the “mixed messages” associated with the Benghazi attack on James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence.

International Finance

❖ Oh, groan: “If Italian corruption were its own country, it would be the world’s 76th largest economy”.

Money Matters USA

❖ Oopsie! WI’s Economic Development Corp, “the state’s flagship jobs agency failed to track whether businesses are repaying loans from state taxpayers–leaving the public in the dark about how much they are owed on a total of $8 million in past-due loans to 99 businesses.” WEDCO has no records of tracking efforts since June, 2011, the month prior to their taking over the state’s jobs agency.

❖ So sowwy! “JPMorgan Chase & Co. apologized to federal regulators for submitting inaccurate information in an investigation into the investment bank’s electricity trading in California.” Allegedly, they “extracted tens of millions of dollars in excess profits through manipulative trading practices.” The feds are threatening to revoke their CA trading rights.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office has been busily putting together a real handy “best practices” guide so that breast cancer charities can be “transparent about where the money is going”.

Politics USA

US Attorney General Eric Holder gave Distinguished Service Awards to: “John Durham’s investigative team that chose not to prosecute Jose Rodriguez or the torturers who killed their victims”; and “the team that crafted a $25 billion settlement effectively immunizing the banksters for engaging in systemic mortgage fraud.”

❖ The Department of Veterans Affairs, “where officials boast about things they should be ashamed of.” VA Secretary Eric Shinseki bragged that the backlog in claims processing for veterans has grown from 400,000 in 2009 to 880,000 today–but that’s “good news” since it indicates increased access (!).

❖ Major Mother Jones “Special Report” series on solitary confinement, including a couple of articles by Shane Bauer, who was a hostage in an Iranian prison.

Mitt Romney has gotten himself in such a bind that he cannot run on his one solid accomplishment: the MA health care system. And his stated goal, to block-grant Medicaid, will undo the progress made in MA.

❖ Ann Romney on The View. She’s “pro-life” and Mitt won’t run again if he loses this one.

Tagg Romney, son of Mitt and Ann, said he wanted to “take a swing” at President Obama during the last debate. One Twitter response: “Want to fight? Go to Afghanistan.”

Paul Ryan, Republican VP hopeful, may have washed a clean pot or two at a soup kitchen the other day, but that’s the only time he’s been seen by “organizations dedicated to serving the needy back in his Wisconsin congressional district”. His wife was spotted one time in a thrift store, though.

❖ One of those Nuns on a Bus, Sister Simone Campbell, who also appeared at the Democratic National Convention, on Paul Ryan’s washing of clean pots at that soup kitchen: “From a man who has done so much to undermine the work of public-private partnerships and faith-based groups, this is an incredibly cynical move.”

IL Republican Representative Joe Walsh sez, “Spread the word . . . if you run, own or manage a company, tell your employees . . . if Obama is re-elected, I may have to let all of you go . . . if the Democrats take Congress, I may not be able to cover your health insurance next year.” Antidote: the great Joe Walsh (with a few friends) to clear the vibes for ya.

❖ MA Republican Senator Scott Brown has apologized for suggesting “that the family members of asbestos victims who were in a campaign commercial for [Democratic challenger] Elizabeth Warren were actually paid actors.”

GA Republican Representative Paul Broun is so waaaay out there, that “University of Georgia scientists and conservative talk-radio host Neil Boortz” are united in advocating that people write-in Charles Darwin on their ballots.

WI Republican Representative Roger “some girls rape so easy” Rivard is now endorsed by WI Family Action, which is “anti-LGBT, anti-choice and anti-same sex marriage”.

Dinesh D’Souza has resigned as president of the fundamentalist King’s College in Manhattan after his running around with a young woman other than his wife became public. He’s a “family values” man and makes anti-Obama flicks.

❖ The sheriff of Rockingham County, VA “is investigating whether a man seen tossing completed voter registration forms into a dumpster is connected to the state Republican Party. Fellow who saw the man throw 8 completed forms into a dumpster said the man ‘s car, with PA license plates, has been parked in front of Republican campaign headquarters.

Maricopa County, AZ’s Elections Department put the correct date for the election in English (November 6th) on one corner of a document distributed to voters, but put an incorrect date on the Spanish version of the document (8 de Noviembre). Moreover, the Elections Dept doesn’t know for sure how many people received the document with the error printed on it, but estimates only about 50.

Health, Homelessness & Hunger

❖ The statistics are jarring: 50 million people in the US suffered from food insecurity in 2010, the highest ever recorded, and 46+ million are on “federally-funded food and nutrition assistance”, including SNAP; 20.5 million people in the US live in extreme poverty ($10,000/year/family of four); 17 million children in the US are hungry, 1/4 lack “consistent access to nutritious food”, and their poverty rate is 22%.

Working for A Living

NFI, “big warehouse operator in Southern California is facing new charges . . . of illegally firing or reducing the hours of workers who took part in a strike and protest march.”

US unemployment claims for the week of Oct 13th were 388,000, or 46,000 more than the previous week’s 342,000.

Latin America

Uruguay’s Senate voted 17-14 to legalize abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Mixed Bag

❖ British fellow complained to Bodyform, manufacturer of those quaintly-called “feminine hygiene products”, that he was fed up with being lied to about women’s periods. Bodyform responded with a hilarious video. Just scroll down.

❖ When will this stop? 64-year old FL death row inmate with schizophrenia (first diagnosed 40 years ago, verified many times since) has been scheduled for execution next week, per the FL Supreme Court. An appeal to the US Supreme Court is underway.

Data containerization

Newsweek is going all-digital next year. Trees breathe a sigh of relief.

115 University of Phoenix locations will be shutting down. A for-profit, it’s received negative publicity for its “recruiting abuses, low graduation rates and high default rates”.

Break Time

Behold, our star. (Scroll down)