Saturday, December 15, 2012

Is Rural America Hurting Itself Politically?

Tom Vilsack made a few points about the subject:
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has some harsh words for rural America: It's "becoming less and less relevant," he says.
A month after an election that Democrats won even as rural parts of the country voted overwhelmingly Republican, the former Democratic governor of Iowa told farm belt leaders this past week that he's frustrated with their internecine squabbles and says they need to be more strategic in picking their political fights.
"It's time for us to have an adult conversation with folks in rural America," Vilsack said in a speech at a forum sponsored by the Farm Journal. "It's time for a different thought process here, in my view."
He said rural America's biggest assets – the food supply, recreational areas and energy, for example – can be overlooked by people elsewhere as the U.S. population shifts more to cities, their suburbs and exurbs.
"Why is it that we don't have a farm bill?" said Vilsack. "It isn't just the differences of policy. It's the fact that rural America with a shrinking population is becoming less and less relevant to the politics of this country, and we had better recognize that and we better begin to reverse it."
For the first time in recent memory, farm-state lawmakers were not able to push a farm bill through Congress in an election year, evidence of lost clout in farm states.
The Agriculture Department says about 50 percent of rural counties have lost population in the past four years and poverty rates are higher there than in metropolitan areas, despite the booming agricultural economy.
Exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks found that rural voters accounted for just 14 percent of the turnout in last month's election, with 61 percent of them supporting Republican Mitt Romney and 37 percent backing President Barack Obama. Two-thirds of those rural voters said the government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.
Vilsack criticized farmers who have embraced wedge issues such as regulation, citing the uproar over the idea that the Environmental Protection Agency was going to start regulating farm dust after the Obama administration said repeatedly it had no so such intention.
I went to a farmer Christmas party last night, and everything said politically was right-wing talking points.  I think the Ag Department stat above is telling about the state of rural America.  Right-wing Republicans like the tremendously useless Jim Jordan are only further hurting their districts with their policies.  But that is what the people want.

More On Big Ag Concentration

The  Kansas City Star investigates beef processing and e coli contamination.  A little background on "Big Beef" (h/t Ritholtz):
The Star examined the largest beef packers including the big four— Tyson Foods of Arkansas, Cargill Meat Solutions of Wichita, National Beef of Kansas City and JBS USA Beef of Greeley, Colo. — as well as the network of feedlots, processing plants, animal drug companies and lobbyists who make up the behemoth known as Big Beef.
What The Star found is an increasingly concentrated industry that mass-produces beef at high speeds in mega-factories that dot the Midwest, where Kansas City serves as the “buckle” of the beef belt. It’s a factory food process churning out cheaper and some say tougher cuts of meat that can cause health problems. The Star’s other key findings:
•  Large beef plants, based on volume alone, contribute disproportionately to the incidence of meat-borne pathogens.
•  Big Beef and other processors are co-mingling ground beef from many different cattle, some from outside the United States, adding to the difficulty for health officials to track contaminated products to their source. The industry also has resisted labeling some products, including mechanically tenderized meat, to warn consumers and restaurants to cook it thoroughly.
•  Big Beef is injecting millions of dollars of growth hormones and antibiotics into cattle, partly to fatten them quickly for market. But many experts believe that years of overuse and misuse of such drugs contributes to antibiotic-resistant pathogens in humans, meaning illnesses once treated with a regimen of antibiotics are much harder to control.
•  Big Beef is using its political pull, public relations campaigns and the supportive science it sponsors to influence federal dietary guidelines and recast steaks and burgers as health foods people can eat every day. It even persuaded the American Heart Association to certify beef as “heart healthy.”
Big Beef, industry critics contend, has grown too big for Big Government to lasso.
Indeed, the U.S. beef industry is twice as concentrated as it was when President Teddy Roosevelt took on and beat the old Armour, Swift, Cudahy and Morris beef trust in the early 1900s. The big four packers today slaughter 87 percent of all heifers and steers.
I get a kick out of the media labeling all the industries "Big" something.  Big Tobacco, Big Sugar, Big Oil, Big Government, Big Beef, Big Dairy (even I used Big Ag. Writing post headlines takes work) .  It's almost as cool as calling diseases "The Cancer" or "The Sugar."

While meat contamination is a serious issue, I am greatly surprised at how well the industry manages to process massive amounts of meat, and remove the massive amounts of shit inside of and on the cattle, without contaminating more meat.  The government inspection process should be modernized, and certain industry processes reviewed and maybe limited, but overall, I am impressed that we don't have more issues than we do.

Read more here:

Friday, December 14, 2012

Mets May Trade Dickey

New York Post:
According to an industry source, the Mets consider four teams as “serious” potential trade partners. What defines “serious” at this point? A willingness to include one top prospect in a deal for Dickey. Nevertheless, the Mets aren’t budging from their position of seeking multiple highly rated prospects in any trade for the Cy Young Award winner, and haven’t yet found a team willing to make such a deal.
The Mets have not spoken to the Rangers since the Winter Meetings, according to sources, but Texas and Toronto remain the most logical destinations if Dickey is traded. The Mets have asked the Rangers for stud prospect Mike Olt as part of a deal for Dickey. The Mets are believed to have asked the Blue Jays for highly regarded catcher Travis d’Arnaud as part of a package.
The latest contract offer the Mets have extended Dickey is for two years and $20 million, beginning in 2014. The 38-year-old knuckleballer is signed for $5 million next season.
”It’s a pretty fair offer,” an AL executive said yesterday. “He’s 38, so how far out there are you going to get? And if I’m going to guarantee him that type of money, I want an option for an additional year.”
What should a bad team do to improve itself?  Trade your Cy Young winning pitcher?  That's what the Mets are threatening in the midst of contract negotiations.  I can't imagine that will go over well in the Big Apple.

A Catholic Superleague?


The seven non-Football Bowl Subdivision schools in the Big East have agreed to leave the conference and are debating the process of departing it, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
Details are still to be determined for how the seven Catholic schools -- DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall and Villanova -- will leave the conference.....
Notre Dame was supposed to stay in the Big East for a 27-month period, which could mean as long as the 2015 season. But the Irish have been negotiating an early exit. Notre Dame is not required to pay an exit fee if it honors the 27-month agreement, based on the Irish's contract with the Big East.

Brey also said some of the nation's Catholic schools are discussing joining the seven outgoing Big East Catholic schools and making a national Catholic conference with Xavier, Saint Louis, Dayton, Creighton, Gonzaga and possibly Saint Mary's, as well.
Xavier athletic director Mike Bobinski told that he's not sure how this will all play out but "we're supportive of efforts to strengthen the (Atlantic 10) membership," when asked what the Musketeers would do if the seven departing Catholic schools sought Xavier's membership.
I always thought it would be cool if the Big East Catholic schools and the A-10 Catholic schools formed a conference.  Unfortunately, Boston College and Notre Dame have gone and joined the damn ACC.  I would assume that some of the worst teams in the A-10, Fordham, St. Bonaventure and LaSalle, for example, would maybe fit better in the MAAC with Siena and Niagara.  We'll see what happens.

Making A Big Splash

Via the Dish:

The Guardian captions the remarkable video seen above: It's like watching 'Manhattan breaking apart in front of your eyes', says one of the researchers for filmmaker James Balog. He's describing the largest iceberg calving ever filmed, as featured in his movie, Chasing Ice. After weeks of waiting, the filmakers witnessed 7.4 cubic km of ice crashing off the Ilulissat glacier in Greenland. Chasing Ice, released in the UK on Friday, follows Balog's mission to document Arctic ice being melted by climate change.

To Beat Taxes, Land Comes To Market

WSJ, via Ritholtz:
Sales of land used to grow crops are surging, with owners capitalizing on a sustained rise in real-estate values driven by low interest rates and historically high prices for corn and soybeans. But the last straw for many prospective sellers has been Washington's continued fiscal confusion and the prospect of higher taxes next year.
That was the deciding factor for Judy Beetzel and her four siblings, who last month sold the family's 770-acre farm in central Illinois to a local farming family for $10,900 an acre, more than double the state average three years ago. The family had been renting the land to two local farmers, and Ms. Beetzel said they were going to continue that practice after her father's death in August. But plans changed after the family accountant estimated selling now could save as much as $500,000 in taxes.
My father "loved that land. But we know he would want us to do the best we could," said Ms. Beetzel, 61 years old.
The family joined a rush of sellers looking to capitalize on a marked rise in land prices that goes back several years, prompting debate over whether a bubble could be forming in the Farm Belt. But the sales don't represent farmers cashing out. In fact, just the opposite: Experts say most sellers aren't farming the land themselves, while most buyers are farmers looking to capitalize on long-term industry trends as well as scoop up land that may become available once in a generation.
The article delves into a discussion about the possibility of a bubble.  I still don't understand how these farmers are supposedly buying the land with cash.  If they are, that just amazes me.  The rise on that chart just can't go on.

Chart of the Day

From Scientific American:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Chart of the Day

Derek Thompson features 16 graphs highlighting income inequality.  One of my favorites:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Energy Production Increases Injection Wells

Scientific American:
The recent surge in domestic drilling and rush for uranium has brought a spike in exemption applications, as well as political pressure not to block or delay them, EPA officials told ProPublica.
"The energy policy in the U.S is keeping this from happening because right now nobody — nobody — wants to interfere with the development of oil and gas or uranium," said a senior EPA employee who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the subject. "The political pressure is huge not to slow that down."
Many of the exemption permits, records show, have been issued in regions where water is needed most and where intense political debates are underway to decide how to fairly allocate limited water resources.
In drought-stricken Texas, communities are looking to treat brackish aquifers beneath the surface because they have run out of better options and several cities, including San Antonio and El Paso, are considering whether to build new desalinization plants for as much as $100 million apiece.
And yet environmental officials have granted more than 50 exemptions for waste disposal and uranium mining in Texas, records show. The most recent was issued in September.
The Texas Railroad Commission, the state agency that regulates oil and gas drilling, said it issued additional exemptions, covering large swaths of aquifers underlying the state, when it brought its rules into compliance with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act in 1982. This was in large part because officials viewed them as oil reservoirs and thought they were already contaminated. But it is unclear where, and how extensive, those exemptions are.
They've been doing this for a long time, but it sure seems like a bad idea.  Fracking waste is going to dramatically increase the number of wells and amounts of waste injected.

An Engineering Marvel

We wouldn't have had these improvements if it wasn't for government regulations.  Rush Limbaugh's toilet would still be wasting a lot of water to get rid of all the shit he puts out.

Remembering the Rust Belt

Steve Fraser goes over the 40 year decline of the middle class, and highlights the damage done in the Rust Belt:
Once upon a time, Youngstown, Ohio, was a typical smokestack city, part of the steel belt running through Pennsylvania and Ohio. As with Camden, things there started turning south in the 1970s. From 1977 to 1987, the city lost 50,000 jobs in steel and related industries. By the late 1980s, the years of Ronald Reagan’s presidency when it was “morning again in America,” it was midnight in Youngstown: foreclosures, an epidemic of business bankruptcies, and everywhere collapsing community institutions including churches, unions, families, and the municipal government itself.
Burglaries, robberies, and assaults doubled after the steel plants closed. In two years, child abuse rose by 21 percent, suicides by 70 percent. One-eighth of Mahoning County went on welfare. Streets were filled with dead storefronts and the detritus of abandoned homes: scrap metal and wood shingles, shattered glass, stripped-away home siding, canning jars, and rusted swing sets. Each week, 1,500 people visited the Salvation Army’s soup line.
The Wall Street Journal called Youngstown “a necropolis,” noting miles of “silent, empty steel mills” and a pervasive sense of fear and loss. Bruce Springsteen would soon memorialize that loss in “The Ghost of Tom Joad.”
If you were unfortunate enough to live in the small industrial city of Mansfield, Ohio, for the last forty years, you would have witnessed in microcosm the dystopia of destruction unfolding in similar places everywhere.  For a century, workshops there had made a kaleidoscope of goods: stoves, tires, steel, machinery, refrigerators, and cars. Then Mansfield’s rust belt started narrowing as one plant after another went shut down: Dominion Electric in 1971, Mansfield Tire and Rubber in 1978, Hoover Plastics in 1980, National Seating in 1985, Tappan Stoves in 1986, a Westinghouse plant and Ohio Brass in 1990, Wickes Lumber in 1997, Crane Plumbing in 2003, Neer Manufacturing in 2007, and Smurfit-Stone Container in 2009. In 2010, General Motors closed its largest, most modern U.S. stamping factory, and thanks to the Great Recession, Con-way Freight, Value City, and Card Camera also shut down.
“Good times” or bad, it didn’t matter. Mansfield shrank relentlessly, becoming the urban equivalent of skin and bones.  Its poverty rate is now at 28 percent, its median income $11,000 below the national average of $41,994. What manufacturing remains is non-union and $10 an hour is considered a good wage.
Midway through this industrial auto-da-, a journalist watching the Campbell Works of Youngstown Sheet and Tube go dark, mused that “the dead steel mills stand as pathetic mausoleums to the decline of American industrial might that was once the envy of the world.” This dismal record is particularly impressive because it encompasses the “boom times” presided over by Presidents Reagan and Clinton.
The whole post is worth reading.  I get uncomfortable when I agree with everything in an article.  I tried to find some things to nitpick with this article, but it was tough.  i would say that some of the decline was inevitable, due to the rise of Western Europe and Japan after the devastation of World War II and the relentless overconsumption of resources in the United States, but other than that, most of this was spot on.

Crazy Kills

Jonathan Bernstein:
What I would say about it, however, is that the dysfunction in the current GOP makes successful governing if they do win extremely difficult. I think we've seen that for some time, and I think it was part of why George W. Bush was such a poor president; there really are major governing penalties for finding it hard to accept reality.

Put it this way: it seems that Republicans outside of the recent campaign certainly deluded themselves about the polling, and Republicans inside the campaign may well have been guilty of it too. I've argued that it didn't really hurt them, however; mostly it just meant that the eventual results took them by surprise. However, if you try to govern that way -- say, if you actually believe phony revenue estimates, or actually believe that people in some country are eager for you to invade them when in fact they are not -- then massive policy disasters are likely.
That is the main reason why sane people shouldn't vote for Republicans.  They have no business whatsoever governing.  They don't care about governance, and if they get put in charge, they will do a lot of stupid and crazy things.  Until some sane Republicans show up, they should never be allowed near the levers of power.

Mine Finder

The Atlantic:
 Inspired by the wind-powered toys he made as a child in Kabul, Massoud Hassani designed a revolutionary way to rid the desert of old explosives. This documentary, directed by Callum Cooper for GE's Focus Forward film competition, illustrates how the inexpensive devices roll across the desert, detonating mines as they go. The Atlantic Global channel has the full story of the "Mine Kafon" here. You might recognize Cooper's affinity for interesting perspective shots from his experimental video Full Circle, which is best described as a jump rope's eye view of the world.

Higher Taxes On The Rich Will Hurt Purchase of Politicians

Andy Borowitz gives the details:
The Vegas magnate complains that the media has ignored billionaires’ essential role in giving jobs to politicians who would otherwise have difficulty finding “honest work of any kind.” “Billionaires are providing employment for a group of seriously incompetent and marginal people,” Mr. Adelson says. “You raise taxes on us, and who’s going to create those jobs? I really don’t think people have thought this through.” Adding insult to injury for America’s billionaires, he says, “the simple dream of someday owning a President is slipping out of reach.” “People think a billion dollars buys you a President, but they’re wrong,” he says. “It barely gets you a lemon like Mitt Romney.”
That makes me laugh.  I bet buying the Chinese mobsters in Macau isn't very cheap either.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dr. Jones Gets Rejected For Tenure

I caught a little bit of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade last night, but all I could think of was this.

Flame Cultivation?

Big Picture Agriculture:
Red Dragon is one company which has designed commercial equipment for industrial thermal weeding. This method uses an average of five gallons of propane per acre, or about half the cost of herbicide application.
Row crop flame weeding was used back in the 1930s, using kerosene. Research using the method has been done on 30 to 40 different crops, with good results. The goal is to rupture the weed plant cell walls, something that can be accomplished in one-tenth of a second with exposure to flame. The gas pressure and ground speed are used to control the heat exposure. It is most successful in use against small broadleaf weeds two-inches tall or at the 3-leaf stage. It works well on morning glories or bindweed. Flame weed control is less successful on grasses and perennial weeds. If necessary, repeat flaming three to five days apart is better than a one time heavy flaming.
The University of Nebraska is undergoing testing using mechanical flamers, and is hinting at a possible growing interest among conventional crop producers due to RoundUp weed resistance. They are working with manufacturers to make four-, six-, eight-, 10- and 12-row units.
Man, that looks really cool, but it just seems crazy to me.  This definitely doesn't look like something us no-till folks are going to jump in to.  Of course, the past ten years have had some pretty high propane costs, too, so that has held it back.  I remember seeing a flame cultivation ad in a farm magazine about 8 years ago and not believing that anybody would be doing it.  I guess some folks may be doing it more going forward.  I could definitely see adopting this technology for my garden, because, hey I love playing with fire.  And no, Grandma, I won't wet the bed.

Krampus Day

Via the Dish, Clay Risen looks at Santa's bad helper in Austria:
According to Mannfred Kapper of the Austrian Cultural Forum, the Krampus was initially a side note to the St. Nicholas story, a goat-faced eminence noir who accompanied St. Nick on his December gift-giving tours. ‘Nicholas and Krampus would come to the houses together,’ Kapper said. ‘Nicholas gave the children presents and Krampus beat them.’ But in the last 200 years, Krampus has slowly developed an identity of his own. ‘Today Krampus is more popular in the countryside, but if you come to the city it is more St. Nicholas,’ he said.
A while back I spent a year in Jennersdorf, Austria, teaching English at the local high school. Jennersdorf is a stone’s throw from nothing, a southeastern village of 3,000 people a few miles from the Hungarian border. There I experienced a host of unimaginable traditions—I watched a man be wedded to a tree, for instance—but nothing quite compared to the weekend of drunken merriness and satanic symbology that is the Krampustage.
Originally, Krampus had just the one day. A few men in each town dress up in furs, heavy boots, and a ghoulish mask topped with horns—with a switch in hand. Then they go to all the houses with small children, and when the parents open the door they run in and act menacing—growling and cracking their switches. The children scream. After everyone’s had a good fright, the parents invite the men to sit down and have a few shots of kirsch or schnapps, which they always accept. Not surprisingly, by the end of the night the Krampuses’ growls are a little slurred, their switch-cracking is a little too close to the children, and parents have to make sure their kids don’t look out the window, lest they catch a glimpse of the Krampus puking in a gutter.
But Krampus Day soon morphed into Krampus Weekend; it’s likely that villagers got jealous of the lucky few who got to run around town in costumes, act like idiots, and get plastered. Thus was born the Krampusfest—or, as it is known in southeast Austria, the Kränchen. Typically held on the Saturday after Krampus Day, the Kränchen is a village-wide party held at a local school, community center, or other facility: anywhere large enough and sturdy enough to hold 300 or so drunken villagers. (Sometimes a town will hold its Kränchen a week before or after Krampus Day—that way other villages can participate, turning what was originally one night of child-spooking into a three-weekend-long sousing.)
Man, that reminds me of German Father's Day.   We need more reasons to have parties.  Get me my mask and switch.

How An Almanac Prognosticator Forecasts Weather

NYT (h/t Ritholtz):
Working from desk space carved out of the book clutter of a brick row house here in Emmitsburg, about a mile south of the Pennsylvania line, Mr. O’Toole endeavors to divine the weather as much as 18 months in advance. He does so with a conjurer’s brew of age-old wisdom and 21st-century technology that includes a range of tools, from a software program of astronomical data produced by the United States Naval Observatory to the meticulous tracking — through some 30 computer programs he has written — of all things lunar.
The moon matters, Mr. O’Toole says, as people who work the land discovered long ago. “They noticed a trend,” he says. “When the moon changed phase close to midnight, the weather over the next lunar week, between six and nine days, would be fair, agreeable, calm. But it was just the opposite if it occurred close to noon: snowy, rainy, stormy, disagreeable.”
After completing his calculations, Mr. O’Toole charts his predictions on postcard-size weather maps of the continental United States, drawing a map for every week. Here, then, a test: Did the prognosticator foretell Sandy, the fall’s calamitous superstorm?
He points to a blue-ink swirl that he drew on one of those small maps. In June 2011. “Tropical storm from Atlantic,” the Almanack predicted — somewhat prematurely, it turned out. “I was off by a week and a few days,” he says. “Not too bad, considering this was done 16 months earlier.”
The whole story is entertaining.  He claims that last year his forecasts were 53% right.  I'm not sure how to judge something like, "Snow, heavy south."  Is that right if it snows at all?  Anyway, it is still interesting.  I haven't picked up my 2013 almanac yet, but I will when I am Christmas shopping.

Monday, December 10, 2012

In Which I Can Agree With The Koch Brothers

The Koch brothers look to take on corporate welfare (via Ritholtz):
But the Kochs are also capable of surprise, with their libertarian instincts often trumping their conservative ones. David Koch, for instance, supports gay marriage and opposes the war on drugs. The brothers’ new political emphasis in the coming year? Fighting corporate welfare.
Unlike climate change, the Kochs come at this cause with a more pristine mandate, since many subsidies help their company. For example, Charles counts the end of the ethanol subsidy as a major success, even though Koch Industries is a major ethanol producer. (This is not totally unusual in the energy business; Exxon Mobil also routinely lobbies against subsidies because it doesn’t want to invest in any business dependent on unpredictable federal largesse.) While Obama talks about getting rid of lobbyists, Charles says, the “only way he can achieve that stated objective is to get government out of the business of giving goodies.” “That’s like flies to honey,” he adds. “The first thing we’ve got to get rid of is business welfare and entitlements.”
One thing to count on: Once the Kochs starts down this road, they’re very likely to stay at it. Ditto Charles Koch himself.
Well, there are apparently a few things I agree with these guys on.  I also give them credit for heavily reinvesting in their business.  The article states they shoot for reinvesting 90% of profits.  That is how someone grows a business.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

NASA Photo of the Day

Via Wired:

The Earth at night looks more beautiful than it ever has before in these incredible new images from NASA's Suomi NPP satellite.
These super-high-resolution images, made possible by a new type of infrared sensor on the satellite, were revealed here at the American Geophysical Union conference Dec. 5.
The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite has a "day-night band" that can detect natural and man-made light with unprecedented resolution and clarity. It can resolve everything from the nocturnal glow of the atmosphere to the light of a single boat at sea. It can detect auroras, wildfires, the reflection of moon and star light off clouds and ice and the lights alongside highways. The sensor has six times better spatial resolution and 250 times better resolution of lighting levels than anything that came before it.
The VIIRS instrument works by scanning in 22 different wavelength bands. For each pixel, it uses a low-, medium- or high-gain mode to accurately depict the light from each source. Low-light signals are amplified and bright lights are kept from being over-saturated.
Boy, the Atlanta to Charlotte to Research Triangle area is lit up more than I expected.  The Bakken oil field really stands out also.  Nice gas flares, guys.

Crop Input Costs Rise

Big Picture Agriculture:

In the USDA’s December issue of Amber Waves, this topic is discussed under the title, “Rising Concentration in Agricultural Input Industries Influences New Farm Technologies“. This article reports that concentration in several global agricultural input industries has risen significantly, and that by 2009, the largest four firms in the five input sectors of crop seed, agricultural chemical, animal health, animal genetics/breeding, and farm machinery accounted for more than 50 percent of global market sales in each sector. Also, by 2009, the top eight firms in each of these five input areas had 61 to 75 percent of the share of global market sales. Ongoing mergers and acquisitions exacerbate this trend.
I guess my investments in agribusiness stocks haven't been a bad idea.  If I'm paying on one side, maybe I can get a little back on the other side.

Chart of the Day

Via Early Warning, the EIA projects U.S. oil production:

I don't know if anybody has a handle on the production characteristics of shale oil yet, but I would guess that with rumored well declines of 80% to 90% in a year, it would be extremely difficult to maintain such a minor decline from peak.  I would expect something more like Alaska.  You can only spend so much money (and water) per well.  But time will tell.

Marquez KOs Pacquiao

Marquez took care of all of his business Saturday night with a thunderous right hand that left Manny Pacquiao face first on the canvas with his remarkable career in question.
Unable to win a decision in their first three fights, Marquez won the old-fashioned way with a huge right hand that put Pacquiao down for the second time in the fight at 2:59 of the sixth round.
Referee Kenny Bayless never bothered to count as Marquez leaped into his handlers' arms in celebration and Pacquiao's wife broke into tears at ringside.
"I threw a perfect punch," Marquez said. "I knew Manny could knock me out at any time."
It was a stunning end to a thrilling fight, the fourth one in the last eight years between the two men. It could also be the end of the Filipino's career, though he said in the ring afterward he would like to fight Marquez for a fifth time.
"If you give us a chance, we'll fight again," Pacquiao said. "I was just starting to feel confident and then I got careless."
Pacquiao had been down in the third round but knocked Marquez down in the fifth and the two were exchanging heavy blows in the sixth round before Marquez threw a right hand that flattened Pacquiao face down on the canvas.
"I thought I was getting him in the last couple of rounds but I got hit by a strong punch," Pacquiao said. "I never expected that punch."
Pacquiao was down for about two minutes before his handlers managed to get him up as Marquez celebrated and the sold-out crowd at the MGM erupted.

Wow, that was a knockout punch.