A few odds and ends from the week just past:

– As our own David Dayen points out, the ratings agencies aren’t going to cause the sky to fall should Catfood Commission II: Austerity Supercommittee Boogaloo fail to produce anything. So much for the allegedly urgent need to further worsen the lives of the growing ranks of the poor and the shrinking ranks of the middle class in the name of deficit hawkery. (Choice passage therefrom: “Republicans actually claimed more revenue increase through a process called ‘dynamic scoring,’ also known as ‘lying,’ where an assumption is made that lower tax rates automatically spur economic growth, leading to more revenue coming in. The Clinton and Bush years should obliterate the argument for dynamic scoring, but Republicans soldier on.”)

– If the NYPD really is funneling homeless drunks over to Zucotti Park in order to bother and cause trouble for the folks at Occupy Wall Street, the plan doesn’t seem to be working; OWS activist Ryan Hoffman says that whether it’s true or not, “it’s irrelevant. We are part of a movement against a violent system that has disenfranchised many people. And a lot of people don’t have a voice. You know, whether or not they are sending people down there, we’ll take them. Because if they have been wounded by the system that we are in that creates a systemic sort of foreclosure mill, kicking people out of their houses and sort of oppressing them and taking away their voices, taking away their enfranchisement to speak — well, guess what? That’s what our movement is about and we’re not going to turn those people away.”

– Attention Minnesotans! Next Tuesday, November 8, at 11;15 am, there will be a “Time to Break the Chains of Debt” rally at the University of Minnesota where John Stumpf, Wells Fargo Chairman and CEO, will be speaking as a guest of the University’s Carlson School of Management. Meet at The Plaza at the U of M’s McNamara Alumni Center, at 200 Oak St. SE. It’s co-sponsored by Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, SEIU Local 284, and various students, education workers and homeowners.

– In which I tout my home blog: Co-blogger Charles brings this superb Financial Times piece, on the effect of the Thailand floods, to our attention. Ford and other multinationals have been affected. At least one American firm that was moving jobs to Thailand, Minnesota’s Hutchinson Technology, has been forced to temporarily hire workers at one of its American locations. Whether this might make the multinationals rethink their “let’s go to Thailand ‘cuz it’s even cheaper than China” strategy is unknown at this time.

– Over at HuffPo, Brother Froomkin (for he is One Of Us) has a nice meaty story on the shadowy and deeply silly group known as Americans Elect, which is nearly as skittish as ALEC about revealing who funds it. The last graf is particularly telling: “And while the group used pictures from the Occupy protests in its presentation on Tuesday, its chief strategist is Douglas Schoen, a pollster and Fox News political analyst who just a few weeks ago penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal in which he asserted that the Occupy Wall Street protesters supported ‘radical left-wing policies’ that ‘are dangerously out of touch with the broad mass of the American people.’” In other words, it’s a GOP adjunct just like the Tea Party, the main difference being that while the current Koch-Armey iteration of the Tea Party is designed to keep restive right-wingers within the GOP fold, Americans Elect is all about trying to Hoover off the sane-person vote from Obama so that Romney wins. It’s geared to sound vaguely “sensible progressive” and thus hurt the Dems more than the Reps.

– Remember Kevin Schatzle, the guy who stole a bunch of OWS e-mails when he infiltrated them a few weeks ago? Turns out he has a history of complaints about his excessive use of force.

– Here’s an idea for the Occupiers: a) Build a cheap solar oven like this one. b) Use it to heat reusable hot/cold gel packs like these. c) Store heated gel packs in insulated cooler to keep them warm. d) Distribute at night (or anytime) to those who need them.

And with that, I turn the floor over to you.