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  1. Fiscal Cliff, the vote in the Senate:
    http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=112&session=2&vote=00251#position

    Kudos to the Iowa senators, who gave a bipartison NO to a crappy deal.

    Grassley, (R), and Judiciary chair
    Harkin, (D), and chair of Health, Education Labor and Pensions committee

    It should be insightful to hear the reasons for their votes, from their own personal and partisan perspectives.

    Comment by cornfed — January 1, 2013 @ 12:29 pm

  2. Under the radar, one of the Ohio Supreme Court justices is resigning.

    Here’s coverage about the replacement process:
    http://www.volokh.com/2012/12/27/selecting-a-supreme-court-justice-for-ohio/

    Selecting a Supreme Court Justice for Ohio
    Jonathan H. Adler • December 27, 2012 11:30 am


    Although elections are the primary means for selecting judges in Ohio, the Ohio Constitution provides for the appointment of judges by the Governor to fill vacancies in between elections. Such appointments occur with some regularity on lower courts, trial courts in particular, but less often on the Ohio Supreme Court. This year, however, Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton announced she would step down after 16 years on the High Court. Because there are two years left on Justice Stratton’s term, this gave Ohio Governor John Kasich the opportunity to name a new justice to the Ohio Supreme Court.

    Given that judges are elected, and Justice Stratton’s replacement would have to run for reelection in two years, one might have expected politics do dominate the selection process. That was not the case, however, as the governor created a process to elevate merit above politics.

    Governor’s Kasich’s instructions were clear: He wanted us to identify the best candidate, specifically the person with the experience, intellect, integrity, and temperament to make the best supreme court justice.

    Thirteen individuals applied, most (but not all) sitting judges.

    On December 20, Governor Kasich announced his selection: Judge Judith French of the 10th District Court of Appeals.

    Comment by cornfed — January 1, 2013 @ 1:03 pm

  3. Japan’s Patriotic War Agenda

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-01-01/guest-post-japans-patriotic-war-agenda

    …to end deflation by pushing down the world value of the JPY (yen) to a theoretical point where “inflation of 2% or 3% a year” will be possible…

    …The incoming, recycled LDP stalwart Shinzo Abe – once again destined to be Japan’s prime minister by Japan’s No Alternative political machine – lost no time in undertaking to flood the economy with money until inflation reaches at least 2%. The critical point is that Japan is the country where deflation has been a “permanent” fixture, a spinoff from its permanent decline and despite its incredible debt and now impressively huge trade deficits, and a list of other no-no things for the trader fraternity hunched over their playstation consoles. Apparently, Abe and his LDP Old Guard imagine that “gaijin”, including the Chinese, are awed by the risks this sets for the world economy and will not react.

    Foreigners will not show disrespect to Japanese bonds, but will obediently hold them. They will also, in very orderly fashion, only moderately sell off the JPY, by exactly the amount needed to get the magic 2.5%-a-year inflation rate that Japan’s new (in fact old) bosses pine for. Japan is by definition “too big to fail” – but unfortunately Japan’s liberal and neoliberal Apprentice Sorcerors are dreaming…

    …For outsiders, whether we call them gaijin, Martians or Wall Street Journal editorialists, Japan seems to be struck by a strange curse. It’s population is shrinking rather fast, surviving Japanese are therefore rapidly ageing, consumer attitudes and behaviour go from bad to worse – Japanese will not consume – Japanese savings are “ridiculously” high with bank deposits bringing 0% per year interest, taxes are high, the country makes only the faintest attempt to attract talent, ideas or products and services from the rest of the world.

    This is where we are going as a nation. But of immediate concern, Japan dumping $1 trillion of US Bonds. The Fed must replace these bonds with dollars by buying them on the secondary market. Now the world will see trillions of dollars flood the world’s economies who in turn must convert those dollars by buying US goods. This is the beginning of the end of the dollar.

    Comment by dscott — January 1, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

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