when can we hold elections to replace those that have caused this shutdown?
Uh, we did...in 2012, 2010, and every other (even) year before then. And yet, we've never had less than an 85% re-election rate (http://www.opensecrets.org/bigpicture/reelect.php). So unless you're in the significant minority that actually voted, and moreso, voted against the incumbent(s), you can find the first person to blame in the mirror. But you'll have another chance in 2014. Use it wisely.
Interesting that all of the places that seem to be at the top of this competition are places that the US has been outsourcing programming to for the last decade or two. When there are lots of (relatively well-paying) jobs available in an industry, more people want to get into that industry. And when more people want to get into an industry (that is pretty specialized and having an education is almost a pre-requisite), they go to school to ensure that they can get into that industry. And when more people go to school, you tend to get more good students. And when you have more good students, you tend to do well in these kinds of competitions.
The corollary to that is that when you don't have jobs (because you're sending them all to countries with a cheaper cost of labor), then you don't have people who want to get into the industry. And when you don't have people who want to get into the industry, they don't go to school for that specialization. And when you have fewer people going to school, you have fewer good students, which means that you don't do as well in those competitions anymore. And that leads to a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth about "How can we get young people interested in working in our industry?"
But the correlation is only useful if some attribute of twitter can be shown to lead the market.
And only if you can eliminate all random events from the world. eg. What if there's an earthquake tomorrow? The CEO is discovered having an affair? Some granny goes on TV saying her car accelerated suddenly...?
Uh, no. If Twitter continues to lead the markets (i.e. people tweet their sentiment first, and act second), and that time period is long enough to act on, then this will be wildly successful, especially because of random events. Granny shows up on TV, many people tweet "Foo Motors tries to kill old people", then unload their stock. If this company can figure that out fast enough, and short sells the stock before the mass unload causes the stock to tank, they'll make a killing.
"When the going gets tough, the tough get empirical." -- Jon Carroll