Strange news from around the globe - Friday Edition.

It’s a crazy world……..strange news from around the globe……..

It’s a Friday and I’m not feeling too political today. Sometimes we need to just be a little fascinated by the world that exists around us. If you want something that will take your mind off of the mundane political world, then continue reading.

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http://news.yahoo.com/brazil-worker-survives-bar-skull-144059296.html

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Is the Ryan Pick doubling down on Voter Suppression?

Burning the Midnight Oil for Progressive Populism

Lots of puzzling around about Romney tapping Ryan for Vice President. Lots of coverage of nervous Republicans down-ballot: People's World: Republicans fear Ryan pick could sink GOP.

Now, for inside baseball politics at the national level, I get nothing that can't be picked up by following the right people on twitter. However, I was thinking ... is it likely Romney picked Ryan without his campaign running the numbers? Maybe is there's something in the numbers that led them to pick Ryan, then I've got a shot of seeing tha footprints of that for myself.

When I want horse race numbers, I go to Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight, taken into the NYT system last year. Now, I wouldn't go so far as to subsidize the unthinking stenography on economics and energy and transport that we normally think of when we think "New York Times" to get access to horse race info, but luckily the main blog is a teaser sitting outside the NYT paywall.

So, what tale do the numbers tell?

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Israel Doesn't Plan On Waiting Until After The Election To Start World War 3

UPDATE: There is some controversy over the leaked document, of which a nearly identical copy had been posted on another site 4 days prior. Moon of Alabama contend that Silverstein has been duped.(h/t traveller, thanks!)

Silverstein replies briefly in an update to this posting.

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Honest Questions All Democrats Must Ask Themselves

Cross posted in Orange and the Stars Hollow Gazette

Ever since last weekend, I've been seeing Paul Ryan's mug everywhere and it is all anyone can talk about. I can't help but think this constant attention elevates him a little, even though as Elliot Spitzer said, if he turned his budget to the SEC he would be fined for turning over fraudulent documents. I also don't believe Ryan helps the Romney ticket at all, except for the pretense by the corporate owned media that he's an intellectual instead of someone who just likes crazy immoral Ayn Randian ideas and terrible mathematical projection fantasies.

Regardless, there are too many negatives and a lack of anything at all for Romney to run his campaign on. It won't be a contest, in my opinion, when you look at electoral votes(though the media will have fun playing up the head to head match-ups as if the popular vote still matters) and the President is lucky he doesn't have an opponent who excites the base at all. He's lucky because his record is a mediocre one at best when it comes to what should have been pursued in what many are now calling a depression(economic inequality and private debt overhang is on par with the Great Depression).

This isn't the 90s. He shouldn't have hired people from the 90s that helped crash the economy. He wasted this crisis, which conservatives never do when they get a chance to exploit one, ruining any chance for real reform and stability. It's really not OK because the opportunity only comes once every 20 or 30 years and he blew it. There will be more financial panics and bailouts in the nearer than you think future because of this wasted crisis.

History shows that Dodd Frank will not stop implicit bailout guarantees, specifically, with the massive political power, the biggest power, of TBTF banks. Our safety net is not safe even if Democrats win this election. The banks own our government, so we must be on guard when the lame duck period comes after next November.

I hope there is a major moment of self reflection for a party I'm having trouble recognizing by the second so I'm asking these questions to spur one. I'll give my take on each of them, but you all can answer them for yourself.

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Anti-Capitalist Meet-Up: Venezuelan Workers Run Their Own Factory: Economic Democracy Blooms by Justina

In last week's Anti-Capitalist Meet-Up, northsylvania described a wonderful example of non-alienated labor among a community in Britain whose citizens join together freely into neighborhood clubs to create extensive Guy Fawkes Day celebrations, expending hundreds of hours throughout the year in building parade carts for the festival to raise money fo

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