Thanks for your patience. My little talk I think went well (a short talk on chain of title and securitization fail is actually harder than a long talk) and as the only non-attorney presenting, I of course overprepared too. But I got to meet Judge Rakoff, which was totally cool, and sat where judges normally sit in what is usually a big ceremonial courtroom but is currently being used by appellate judges (in fact, I’d watched a hearing not that long ago in the very same room). But the result is I’m even more behind than usual, although I may be able to get more or less caught up later today.
Stickleback fish show initiative, personality and leadership PhysOrg (Robert M)
Dumb and Dum Dummer: NOAA Clarifies That It Is Not Buying Hollow Points For Weatherman . . . Just Fisheries Personnel Jonathan Turley (Chuck L). Now we know why…those fish with leadership potential, gotta watch them…
Here’s an Omical Tale: Scientists Discover Spreading Suffix Wall Street Journal (furzy mouse)
Ecuador to Let Assange Stay in Its London Embassy New York Times
Drought and climate scepticism in corn belt Financial Times (Scott). Agnotology works.
Al-Qaeda’s ‘suicide bombers wanted’ ad Times of Israel
New Romney Campaign Ad: Ask Not What your Medicare Taxes Can Do For THEM, … Beverly Mann, Angry Bear
Paul Ryan’s Democratic Fan Club Bloomberg (furzy mouse)
Audit Notes: Bill Black on CNBC, LAT eyes Ryan’s budget, robosigning Columbia Business Review
No Alpha: Bain Capital’s Investment Results Barry Ritholtz
Bank Deal Rankles Regulators Wall Street Journal (Joe Costello)
NASSIM TALEB WARNS: Stay Out Of The Investment Industry Business Insider (Chuck L)
The Interchange Settlement Adam Levitin, Credit Slips. It sucks!
The Accounting Trick Behind Thirty Years of Scandal Time (Carol B). Grr, I skimmed the beginning (and did link to it yesterday), but I’m late to a paper on my favorite topic…CDOs!
”Shadow” & “Ghost” Inventory Quantified Mark Hanson (Michael R)
No Criminal Case Is Likely in Loss at MF Global New York Times. If it were not so late, I’d write a disapproving post. And we get the usual bullshit: “sloppiness,” not intent. I’m sorry, you don’t need intend in Sarbox, all you need is false certifications about internal controls, and it’s bloomin’ obvious they were deficient.
Seven banks in New York Libor probe Financial Times. A year ago, I would have taken this seriously. And there is a possibility Schneiderman will deliver the goods. He now might feel he has to prove his manhood, both after being upstaged by Lawsky and after having been treated badly by the Obama administration, and worse, exposed in the media for having cut a lousy deal for himself in the mortgage settlement. But Elizabeth Warren demonstrates that people who spend too much time in close proximity with Team Obama develop Stockholm syndrome. And Schneiderman’s conduct on the mortgage front has shown that me may be too slow moving and cautious to be an effective prosecutor.
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D – 24 and counting*
“There is no act too small, no act too bold. The history of social change is the history of millions of actions, small and large, coming together at points in history and creating a power that governments cannot suppress.” -- Howard Zinn
Capitol occupations. MT. “Coal giant Arch Coal last month quietly submitted an application to state regulators for a strip mining permit for the proposed Otter Creek Coal Mine. The news comes as demonstrators have taken up residence in the state Capitol rotunda to protest Otter Creek development and the possibility of coal exports in MT.”
Montreal. Silent majority: “[Premier Charest] constantly mixes protesting with violence and wants to do away with both. See for yourself: ‘We don’t want protests, do you hear? We don’t want violence. We created a law specifically to put an end to these things’, he said before a group of young Liberals.”
Occupy. March on Wall Street South: List of DNCon organizing centers for transport, etc. … OccupyMemphis: “Ideas are bulletproof.Memphis knows that. OM is here to stay, in one way or another.” Great statement. … OccupyOakland: “About 7 a.m. Monday, activists took over a vacant building in East Oakland’s San Antonio neighborhood. [Volunteers stocked it with donated books and cleared out] grime, old mattresses, graffiti and other markings of abandonment. A bilingual banner welcomed passers-by to the ‘Victor Martinez People’s Library.” … “Late Monday evening, a group of Oakland police officers busted into the city’s newest library, kicked everybody out and put bars on the doors.” … OccupyStockton: “Also, Occupy believes the city of Stockton is inhumane to its homeless. Occupy has opened its camp to them. Some homeless use the camp as a sort of day shelter. There were more homeless occupying the park than Occupiers.” Snarky, Fukuyama-quoting reporter, interesting situation. … OccupyEvanston: “The Occupy Evanston movement remains uncertain whether the [Evanston] government will follow the group’s suggestions and cut ties with [JPMorgan Chase].” … OccupyMaine: “Occupy Maine has been out of Portland’s Lincoln Park since February, but the group has continued to meet and work on social justice issues. They held a public forum Tuesday night where people could share their personal struggles with foreclosure.”
CA. Health care: “For poorer Californians, the [ObamaCare Health] Exchange is still too expensive.” Shocker! … Top two primaries: “101 out of 113 is a pretty impressive record for open seats. I’d guess that this record is on par with party machine success rates in anointing candidates in conventions in the days before direct primaries.”
CO.Water: “Driven by drought, Gov. John Hickenlooper is urging Obama and federal engineers to speed decisions on proposed water projects designed to sustain urban growth” (MR). Let’s just invade Canada. …Fracking: “The volume of water required annually to develop new oil and gas wells in the state could supply up to 79,000 CO households for a year based on average residential use.” … Fracking: “Among the parts of the Longmont ordinance the state objects to are requirements for groundwater monitoring, a ban on oil and gas operations in residential zones,and setbacks from streams and protecting wildlife” (MR). … Fracking: ” An explosion at an Encana Corp. natural gas well east of U.S. 85 between Platteville and Fort Lupton killed one man and injured three other workers just before 1 p.m. Wednesday.”
DC. Family Research Council shooting: “A law enforcement official said at one point in the scuffle, the shooter expressed views that differed from those of the Family Research Council. The official also said the shooter was carrying a bag that had a Chick-Fil-A bag inside.” I don’t support the violence (George Till) so but and something like this was bound to happen some day; Gal 6:7.
FL. Poll: “Romney’s ticket is deadlocked with Obama’s over Medicare, 44-45%, even though Ryan is the father of he so-called ‘Ryan plan,’ which Democrats hae villified for two years for ‘ending Medicare.’” … Tea party: “[Tea partier] Ted Yoho, political newcomer and Central Florida veterinarian, narrowly leads 12-term Rep. Cliff Stearns in a redistricted House primary with 100 percent of precincts reporting.”
GA. Accountability: “Indeed, it appears that [Environmental Protection Division] Director Judson Turner largely ignored concerns that area citizens raised June 12 during a public hearing on the draft permit. About 300 people showed up at Effingham County High School that night. Nearly all who spoke urged the EPD to stop King Finishing from polluting the Ogeechee. If Mr. Deal’s EPD is going to rubber stamp these ‘draft’ permits, the least it can do is be honest about it.”
KY. Test of compassion: “‘The theory of evolution is a theory, and essentially the theory of evolution is not science — Darwin made it up,’ [Rep. Ben Waide, R-Madisonville] said.”
NH. Tinpot tyrants: “A New Hampshire blogger who last year was acquitted in Greenfield District Court of charges that he illegally filmed inside the Franklin County Jail was found guilty in Manchester, NH on charges that he recorded conversations with three public officials without their permission.”
NY. Legacy parties: “A private reception for D Assembly candidates was held at Destiny USA, developer Robert Congel’s newly expanded mall. [Congel,] a Republican, aggressively sought federal, state and local tax breaks for Destiny” (Bob), One big happy!
OH. Voting: “On August 15, U.S. District Court Judge Peter Economus heard oral arguments in Obama for America v Husted, 2:12-cv-636. The issue is whether OH must let all voters participate in early voting during the weekend before the general election.” … Voting: “The three-day stretch was viewed by many as a key factor in Obama’s turnout operation four years ago, when he won Ohio by 4 percentage points.”
OR. Sustainability: “The first non-profit pub in the United States, maybe even the world, will be opening soon in Northeast Portland.The pub will be called The Oregon Public House.”
PA. Voting: “PA Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson this morning refused to issue a preliminary injunction to block the state’s new Voter ID law, which will require voters to show state-approved identification at polling places during the Nov. 6 general election.” “With Justice Joan Orie Melvin suspended, the state’s highest court has just six members, an even split of Ds and Rs.” (BradBlog comments.) … Fracking: “Marcellus is poised to become the top producing gas field in the country. Now questions are less about the production capability of the Marcellus (at least over the short term) and more about where all this gas coming on line will go.” Good capacity survey. … Transparency: “Trainers are telling state workers learning a new phone system that they can use an instant-messaging feature to avoid citizens’ public record requests, the state’s open records director told Gov. Tom Corbett in a letter.”
TX. Mass incarceration: “During the prison boom of the 1990s, a belief pervaded that the construction and operation of new lockups would stimulate a surrounding community’s economy. This assumption has been largely unsupported, but the prisons remain.” … Public good: “Activists seeking to repeal a new law requiring City Hall’s permission to serve charitable meals on city-owned land turned in 34,000 petition signatures on Monday asking that the issue be put to voters in November.” … Transparency: “The Austin American-Statesman obtained an official email from July 13 showing that Kenneth Stock, assistant to the chief of staff of the department, ordered the department’s technology staff to prevent emails from people affiliated with Texas Watch, an insurance advocacy group, from being delivered.”
Outside baseball. Fracking: “[T]here’s no official national database of fracked wells.” Good survey. … Police state: “The recent chalk arrests might just be a warm-up for a chalk-pocalypse at the upcoming Democratic and Republican national conventions, which in past years have been targeted by a wide range of chalk terrorists.” Kee-rist on a crutch! Chalk washes off! What’s wrong with these people? … Police state: “Literally every day, someone is being arrested for doing nothing more than taking a photograph in a public place. It makes no sense to me. Photography is an expression of free speech.” … Police state: “The Army defines full spectrum operations as the combination of offensive, defensive, and either stability operations overseas or civil support operations on U.S. soil).” Good to know. … Police state: “What has gone largely unremarked upon is the role played by little-known networks of telecom companies and international government agencies, which have been quietly collaborating to reform surveillance laws so that they are ‘harmonized’ to a similar standard from country to country.” … Public goods: “What other public services might be subject to a ‘trigger’ law? Should 51% of the riders on a public bus have the power to seize control of the bus and privatize it?” …. Trust: “Government requires trust. Reagan trusted the Soviets more than the modern GOP (and their base) trusts Ds.” … Legacy parties: “The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been around for 37 years.” And only afer 37 years did the Ds make an issue of it.
Grand Bargain™-brand catfood watch. Vice President Joe Biden [to mostly over 60] cafe patrons in VA[:] ‘I guarantee you, flat guarantee you, there will be no changes in Social Security. I flat guarantee you.’” Let Obama say it himself, then. And to everybody, not just over-60s.
The trail. Chelsea Clinton, Vogue: “I believe that engaging in the political process is part of being a good person.” Wrong article. … DISemployment: “Presidential campaign focus turns to Medicare, not jobs.”Translation: The two legacy parties have co-operated to successfully normalize permanent 8% nominal unemployment. They will now argue about whether Medicare should be destroyed sooner (Rs) or later (Ds). … DISemployment: “Ten [of 14 swing states] have lower unemployment rates than the current national average, which hit 8.3 percent in July.Only three swing states saw their unemployment rates increase more than the nation’s did during the last four years. Eleven have lower foreclosure rates than the nation, and eight have seen stronger property values than the national average since 2008. And since the end of 2008, eight swing states have watched their economic growth outpace the nation’s.”…. Voting: “Obama leads Romney by 43% to 14% among the nearly 2 in 5 Americans who are likely to sit out 2012. More of these people — 23% — say they would vote for a third party candidate rather than vote for Romney.” …Voting: “”But right now, the ["negative"] attacks are working on swing voters. The other 90 percent of the public are pretty much fixed in their preferences. They may be unhappy about them [the ads], but they are not driving the marketplace, [said John Geer, a political science professor at Vanderbilt University.]” In what sense is an election a “marketplace”? Well, in every sense, these days. … Corruption: “A D committee chairman overrode his own subpoena three years ago in an investigation of former subprime mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. to exclude records showing that he, other House members and congressional aides got VIP discounted loans from the company, documents show. [CA Rep. Darrell Issa], in a statement to The Associated Press on Wednesday, said, ‘It was a long fight to expose how Countrywide used its VIP program to advance its business and policy goals.’” CountryWide is a lot more interesting than Solyndra, Darrell. … Senate, Nate Silver: “The battle for control of the Senate looks like a tossup, just as it did in May.”
Robama vs. Obomney watch. Jeffrey Sachs: “Still, American liberals (those to the left of the political centre), who are now vehemently blasting Mr Ryan’s budget should take note. Their candidate has also already accepted a brutal shrinkage of government programmes in coming years. The similarities of the Obama budget and Mr Ryan’s are striking.”
Green party.Jill Stein is hiring. Campaign HQ in Marison, WI which is pretty cool.
Libertarian Party. Gary Johnson: “”We should readdress how the (election, polling and debate) system works, but the Commission on Presidential Debates is run exclusively by Ds and Rs and they have no interest in reworking presidential debates.”
Romney. Ryan pick: “You can pretend like you have this thing in the bag, but you know good goddamn well that this race just got real interesting, real fast.” Do click through for source. … Ryan pick: “Although Rubio received the most coverage out of any VP candidates, Ryan had the greatest portion of statements that were either attacking Obama or praising Romney among the other VP candidates.” … Ryan pick, losing the political class: Ryan wears funny looking clothes like Al Gore wears earth tones. … Ryan pick, losing the political class: “[RYAN:] You get your hand inside the fish and they kind of, they come up on your hand. Then you just squeeze wherever you are on that fish and pull it out. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s really exhilarating.” It’s called “noodling.” … Banksters: “Paul Singer, the billionaire hedge fund manager who is one of the Republican party’s most influential donors, is pressing Mitt Romney, presidential candidate, to make the case for tougher bank regulation that would go beyond the Dodd-Frank law.” … Medicare teebee ad: “”You paid in to Medicare for years every paycheck. Now, when you need it, Obama has cut $716 billion dollars from Medicare. Why? To pay for Obamacare! So now the money you paid for your guaranteed healthcare is going to a massive new government program that’s not for you. ” (The wording seems to be re-engineered as a response to critiques like this.) Critique of the re-engineered wording: “[T]he majority of the money that the ACA takes from Medicare doesn’t go directly to seniors. Instead, it goes to help non-elderly Americans get health insurance…. The ad implies that transferring money in this way is wrong, but keep in mind that the money coming out of Medicare isn’t coming out of benefits. It’s primarily coming out of payments to health insurers and the rest of the health care industry, both of whom should be able to absorb it.” Absorb? Surely they’ll cut back care to preserve profits?
Obama. Here we go: “A group of former special operations and CIA officers says the administration has endangered lives by leaking information about the successful U.S. military raid that killed Osama Bin Laden last year.” … Biden: “The nation’s first elected black governor, Doug Wilder of VA, has lambasted Biden on national television for his comment Tuesday about banks keeping people ‘in chains.’”… Biden, 2006: “[Delaware was a] ‘slave state that fought beside the North. That’s only because we couldn’t figure out how to get to the South. There were a couple of states in the way.’” So I’m inclined to give Biden a pass in 2012; put beside 2006, this is nothing. … Biden: “‘Most folks [a fine tell for bullsh*t] know that’s just sort of a WWF wrestling part of politics,” Obama told Entertainment Tonight. “It doesn’t mean anything, just fills up a lot of airtime.” Brilliantly implying, cool irony-drenched con artist that he is, that he’s above all that stuff. On Entertainment Tonight, yet.
* 24 days until the Democratic National Convention ends with a hydrocarbon cocktails for everybody on the floor of the
Bank of America Panther Stadium, Charlotte, NC. 24 is a teebee show normalizing torture much beloved by DC insiders like Antonin “Fat Tony” Scalia.
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Antidote du jour: