July 11th, 2009

gangsterrr

goldman sach is a poopyhead. except worse.

mods: i'm sorry if this was posted, went back a couple of pages and didn't see this posted.

so, this Rolling Stones article first gained notoriety/popularity amongst the financial world by being on Zero Hedge (really good financial/econ blog if anyone's interested...) got around my workplace pretty quickly a couple of weeks back and i'm surprised that it hasn't ended up on here yet. it's kind of (aka: really) long, but it just shows what douches run goldman sachs (and now the government!).

The Great American Bubble Machine

Matt Taibbi on how Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression

MATT TAIBBI

Posted Jul 02, 2009 8:38 AM

In Rolling Stone Issue 1082-83, Matt Taibbi takes on "the Wall Street Bubble Mafia" — investment bank Goldman Sachs. The piece has generated controversy, with Goldman Sachs firing back that Taibbi's piece is "an hysterical compilation of conspiracy theories" and a spokesman adding, "We reject the assertion that we are inflators of bubbles and profiteers in busts, and we are painfully conscious of the importance in being a force for good." Taibbi shot back: "Goldman has its alumni pushing its views from the pulpit of the U.S. Treasury, the NYSE, the World Bank, and numerous other important posts; it also has former players fronting major TV shows. They have the ear of the president if they want it."
 

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bolded for the tl;dr crowd - even though this is definitely an article worth reading!

quite honestly, the government should sue goldman. it should punish it beyond belief, but they're not going to bc there are far too many ex-goldman-ites in the government.

saucyness!
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Imagine Sarah... I mean, McCain could be our President!

Obama campaign plane emergency could have led to disaster

Reporting from Washington -- Airplane control problems last summer could have led to disaster for then-Sen. Barack Obama and his presidential campaign, according to a report released Friday by the National Transportation Safety Board.

On July 7, 2008, a McDonnell Douglas MD-81 en route to Charlotte, N.C., and carrying Obama and 50 other passengers and crew made an emergency landing in St. Louis. An evacuation slide within the tail cone had inflated shortly after takeoff from Chicago.

Although the NTSB's final report -- and determination of probable cause -- is not expected until later this summer, Friday’s report suggested that the inflated slide and a nearby fractured walkway railing may have "impinged" on a set of elevator cables, interfering with the cockpit's ability to control the plane's angle, or pitch.
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Math is for liburals

A $30,000 an hour attorney? Palin report overstates inquiries' costs

There's some double counting and other problems with a spreadsheet outlining $1.9 million in state costs for ethics complaints, public records requests and lawsuits directed at Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

The administrative director in the governor's office, Linda Perez, conceded that some costs were counted twice and said "the total cost is overstated by $26,849." She said she missed that the Department of Law's updated numbers included costs that were already counted.

"It was my error . . . mea culpa," said Perez, who has worked for governors of both parties since the 1980s.

Perez said she's going to ask the Department of Law about some other puzzling parts of the spreadsheet, including a line item that says 0.3 attorney hours added up to $10,063 in costs.

That would add up to an attorney billing of over $30,000 an hour, and Perez said the flat billing rate the state uses for its attorneys is $121.98 an hour. Perez said she would check and see what costs beyond the staff time went into that calculation of over $10,000 in costs.

There are also discrepancies between two pages provided by the administration detailing attorney hours on ethics complaints. For example, one sheet lists 119.4 attorney hours adding up to $14,564.41 for work on an ethics complaint, but the other page says it was 13.3 attorney hours adding up to almost the same amount, $14,565, for work on that same "Troopergate" related complaint.

Perez said she'll check with the Department of Law on this.
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EXCLUSIVE: Early CBO Score on Public Plan. It's Good!

EXCLUSIVE: Early CBO Score on Public Plan. It's Good!

A lot of conservative Democrats, not to mention Republicans, express two big concerns about health reform. They're worried that reform will cost too much. And they don't want a government-run insurance plan.


It's about to get a lot harder to make those two arguments simultaneously.

According to a pair of Capitol Hill sources, preliminary estimates from the Congressional Budget Office suggest that a strong public option--the kind that the House of Representatives is putting in its reform bill--should net somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 billion in savings over ten years.

The sources cautioned that these were only the preliminary estimates, based on previous discussions--that CBO had not yet issued final scoring on language in the actual bill. But the sources felt the final estimate would likely be close.

Exactly how the plan produces those savings is, obviously, a key question. The reason--well, a reason--centrists and conservatives don't like a public plan is that they fear it will use the government's bargaining leverage to force doctors, hospitals, and drugmakers to accept unfairly low reimbursements. Private insurance would go out of business, since they couldn't compete; meanwhile, providers and producers of medical care would struggle to stay afloat.

Advocates of a public plan (myself included) think those fears are overblown--and that there are ways to make sure a public plan doesn't have that effect. But if the CBO is scoring significant savings, then chances are the House version gives the public plan the kinds of power conservatives and centrists fear.

But, for now, the bigger story is the number. At a time when finding the $1 trillion it will take to finance coverage expansions remains the major challenge of reform, the discovery of $150 billion in potential savings is an important--and encouraging--piece of news.

Glenn Beck tearfully presides over fake flag burning in Utah

The US Flag Code says an acceptable way to get rid of an old flag is to burn it. Glenn Beck appeared at a large stadium in Utah to preside over the burning of a large US flag. But the whole thing was actually fake, and for show only. WEIRD.



Stadium of Fire flag burning was fake

Fire marshal said no; organizers say they didn't mean to deceive


By Sara Lenz

Deseret News
Published: Thursday, July 9, 2009 10:00 p.m. MDT

PROVO — Fifty thousand people stood in silence Saturday night as men in uniform brought a giant American flag into LaVell Edwards Stadium to be retired by incineration.

Or so the Stadium of Fire crowd thought.

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| classy as fuck.

Leave me where I am, I'm only sleeping

Bush Personally Sent Card And Gonzo To Ashcroft's Hospital Bed



This great catch by Marcy Wheeler might be the most shocking nugget of all from the IGs report on surveillance.

The report goes into some detail about that famous visit made by Andy Card and Alberto Gonzales to then-AG John Ashcroft, when Ashcroft was in the hospital, and essentially incapacitated, after gall bladder surgery. The White House needed the Attorney General's sign-off to continue its warrantless wiretapping program.

For years, there's been a mystery about who called the hospital and informed Ashcroft's wife, over her objections, that Card and Gonzo would be coming to see the AG. And it looks like the answer is the president himself.

From the report:
According to notes from Ashcroft's FBI security detail, at 6:20 p.m. that evening Card called the hospital and spoke with an agent in Ashcroft's security detail, advising him that President Bush would be calling shortly to speak with Ashcroft. Ashcroft's wife told the agent that Ashcroft would not accept the call. Ten minutes later, the agent called Ashcroft's Chief of Staff David Ayres at DOJ to request that Ayres speak with Card about the President's intention to call Ashcroft. The agent conveyed to Ayres Mrs. Ashcroft's desire that no calls be made to Ashcroft for another day or two. However, at 6:45 p.m., Card and the President called the hospital and, according to the agent's notes, "insisted on speaking [with Attorney General Ashcroft]." According to the agent's notes, Mrs. Ashcroft took the call from Card and the President and was informed that Gonzales and Card were coming to the hospital to see Ashcroft regarding a matter involving national security.
In other words, President Bush, apparently knowing that Ashcroft's wife did not want him seeing visitors or even speaking on the phone, nonetheless informed her that his staff would be coming to the hospital to get the sign-off they needed.

The passage essentially confirms a report from last year [lol linking my own post] by Murray Waas in The Atlantic that Gonzo had told investigators that it was indeed President Bush who directed him to Ashcroft's bedside. And the president's call itself was first reported by Barton Gellman in his 2008 book Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency.

Of course, in Ashcroft's finest moment, Card and Gonzales were unsuccessful. But they would soon find ways to get around the problem.

Source

Only Bush and Gonzo could make Ashcroft look good in comparison...
jailbird

California: The haves and have-nots

California is now paying many of its bills with IOUs, and, as of today, many banks are refusing to accept those IOUs. Individuals who need their money right away may have to take their IOUs to check cashing companies and pay large fees.

Who gets cash and who gets an IOU?


People who get California IOUsPeople California pays in cash
Grants to aged, blind or disabled personsUniversity of California
People needing temporary assistance for basic family needsPublic Employees’ Retirement System
People in drug prevention, treatment, and recovery servicesLegislators, legislative employees, and appointees
Persons with developmental disablitiesJudges
People in mental health treatmentDepartment of Corrections
Small Business VendorsHealth Care Services payments to Institutional Providers


source for the table

Conservative Free Republic blog in free speech flap after racial slurs directed at Obama children



"A typical street whore." "A bunch of ghetto thugs." "Ghetto street trash." "Wonder when she will get her first abortion."
These are a small selection of some of the racially-charged comments posted to the conservative 'Free Republic' blog Thursday, aimed at U.S. President Barack Obama's 11-year-old daughter Malia after she was photographed wearing a t-shirt with a peace sign on the front.
The thread was accompanied by a photo of Michelle Obama speaking to Malia that featured the caption, "To entertain her daughter, Michelle Obama loves to make monkey sounds."

Though this may sound like the sort of thing one might read on an Aryan Nation or white power website, they actually appeared on what is commonly considered one of the prime online locations for U.S. Conservative grassroots political discussion and organizing - and for a short time, the comments seemed to have the okay of site administrators.
Moderators of the blog left the comments - and commenters - in place until a complaint was lodged by a writer doing research on the conservative movement, almost a full day later.

"Could you imagine what world leaders must be thinking seeing this kind of street trash and that we paid for this kind of street ghetto trash to go over there?" wrote one commenter.

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Source

'Bruno' doesn't help gays

It's not that we don't get it. The makers of the film "Bruno," Sacha Baron Cohen's just-released follow-up to "Borat," have said that they intend to satirize and expose homophobia. But even when filmmakers have the best of intentions, there can be a disconnect between the concept and the execution. In "Bruno," the satire often loses sight of the way gay people are treated in real life.

Consider a different movie, "I Love You, Man," in which Paul Rudd's character, Peter, deflects a pass from another man. Peter handles the situation with grace, modeling how an adult would and should react to crossed signals. But the audience in the theater often had a very loud and very different reaction: "Ewwwww."

I've seen a rough cut and the final cut of "Bruno." If some people get icked out over an innocent kiss, imagine the reactions to a movie that is loaded with stereotypes, toilet humor and a steady stream of gross-out gags. Yes, some of this is aimed at mocking anti-gay attitudes -- and the film often hits its mark. But far too much of it, intentionally or not, ends up hitting gay people instead.

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