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  • Today's comic by Matt Bors is GOP soul searching:
  • Wanna help crowdsource the election results?: The gang at Daily Kos Elections is embarking on their quadrennial task of crunching the latest presidential election results for all 435 congressional districts. It's a huge task, though, and they could use some serious help, which is why, once again, they're crowdsourcing the effort. If you'd like to help compile this invaluable data set, click on over and join in!
  • Dole-Kemp 1996 campaign website still up.
  • California's first cap-and-trade auction launches Wednesday: Implemented as part of the state's climate bill, AB 32, the program will auction permits—"allowances"—that let companies emit a ton of carbon. The first round will auction 62 million of these with a floor price of $10 each. The amount of carbon allowed to be emitted will be reduced by 2-3 percent a year, and the growing scarcity of allowances will drive up their price either in the annual state auctions or on the open market. Companies will either have to curtail their emissions or buy enough allowances to let them continue their emissions at the current level. The idea is to drive overall emissions to their 1990 level by 2020:
    While businesses complain about costs, environmentalists say a strong carbon price will pay dividends for the economy: It will give polluters an incentive to invest in green technologies to clean up their smokestacks. [...]

    The affected companies include more than 400 of California's industrial heavyweights. They will get 90 percent of their emission allowances free in the first two years, but the percentage of freebies will decline in future years.

  • The state of the housing market with one statistic: Sixteen million Americans moved last year. The homeownership status of 11 million of them did not change when they moved (owners continued to be owners, and renters continued to be renters). But 3,051,000 owners became renters and only 1,695,000 renters became owners. Much of this is not a matter of choice but rather of foreclosures. As a consequence, rental demand for single-family dwellings is outstripping supply, having risen 25 percent in the past year. About half the rental units in the United States—some 21 million units—are single-family homes.
  • Meanwhile, NYC renters in public housing without electricity, gas or heat must pay rent: Thousands of residents in Coney Island's public housing have been without heat, electricity and hot water since Hurricane Sandy hit. But the housing authority is requiring them to pay rent at the end of the month. A credit is coming, but won't be available until the new year:
    Yesterday NYCHA Chairman John Rhea won the Tone Deaf of the Day award when the visited the Red Hook Houses and told one tenant, "Hang in there. You're going to get a rent credit. It's a nice little Christmas present." Oh NYCHA, you shouldn't have. What's the stocking stuffer, D batteries?
  • Montana tea party state legislator wants to be paid in gold or silver: Republican Jerry O'Neil, one of those guys who wants to repeal the constitutional right of voters to directly elect U.S. senators, has asked in a letter to Montana Legislative Services that he be paid in gold or silver. Not the face value of the $50 American Eagle gold coin or $1 silver American Eagle coin, but at the current price for gold and silver. His letter notes that the Constitution forbids the states from making anything "but silver and gold coin a tender in payment of debts." He apparently missed the news about its not being states that issue paper currency as legal tender. O'Neil references a possible collapse in the dollar and hopes he sets an example for other Montanans to transfer some of their wealth into money with "intrinsic value."
  • Woman runs down husband for letting Obama win: You gotta think that perhaps, just perhaps, there was something else going on in this family before Arizonan Holly Solomon got into an argument with her husband and critically injured him in a parking lot by running over him with her Jeep. She blamed him for the reelection of President Obama even though the state's 11 electoral votes went to Mitt Romney. Her husband didn't vote.
    Her husband tried to use a light pole to shield himself, and Solomon drove around the light pole several times as she continued to yell at him.

    Eventually, her husband made a run for it, but Solomon hit him, pinning him under the car and on a curb, according to police.

  • Farm run-off contributes to more eight-legged frogs.
  • Bill McKibben's Do the Math Tour is in Portland, Maine, today: The tour focuses on's new campaign to get universities and other institutions to divest their portfolios of stock in fossil fuel companies.
  • Classic Maya civilization rose and fell with the rains:
    A 2,000-year climate record, gleaned from a stalagmite inside a Belize cave, highlights a central role for climate shifts in the ancient civilization’s fortunes, say anthropologist Douglas Kennett of Penn State University and his colleagues.

    A bounty of rain nurtured Maya agriculture and city building from the years 440 to 660, Kennett’s team reports in the Nov. 9 Science. A drying trend and occasional droughts after 660 were accompanied by declining crop yields, increasing warfare among Maya city-states and a shift of political centers northward into the Yucatan Peninsula, the researchers say. After the collapse of Maya political systems between 800 and 1000, a severe drought hit southern Belize from 1020 to 1100 and apparently motivate

  • Baker: Revisionist history on housing bubble: Dean Baker at the Center for Economic and Policy Research shakes his head in wonder over a book reviewer's published wish that better data be available in the future so things like the housing bubble can be detected ahead of time.
    [O]ur elites are being allowed to construct an alternative reality that absolves them of responsibility for the ruined lives all around us. The reality is that people in positions of authority chose to ignore the evidence of a rapidly growing bubble and those trying to call attention to the dangers it posed. Instead we have Scheiber giving us the “who could have known story?” His case is that the dynamics of the bubble were just too complicated for people to grasp given the tools available at the time. The people who clearly warned of the bubble, using data, simply did not exist in Scheiber’s universe.
  • DisappearingRomney: If you just can't get enough Schadenfreude, then this site is probably for you. In real time, it shows the dwindling number of Likes on Mitt Romney's Facebook page. The defeated GOP candidate's last entry on the page was Saturday.
  • The Petraeus insanity provided plenty of fodder for today's Kagro in the Morning show, but before we got into that, we had a visit from Greg Dworkin, and chance to talk about the hot topic of conservative "epistemic closure." Say, was the TradMed's insistence that data couldn't tell the story evidence that they had the same problem? Bonus: a sidebar discussion pulled from the archives that, well, gives the show its special flavor.

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