So what say you, Mikey The Beloved, about H.R. 2309 (more here)? Want to back up that patriotic-sounding opinion column of yours today with some action that actually matters?..
...?Worst Persons? (Some congressional asshat from Nebraska wants to let the telcos allow telemarketing solicitations to our cell phones, for which we would be charged, of course ? on a related note, I?m still wrestling with my ?smart? phone, for which I, as a dumb user, have to come up to speed; Jim DeMint, in a timely item for today, continues to be a WATB; but James O?Keefe manages to outdo DeMint on that score, as his whiny punk ass gets dressed down by Sree Sreenivasan, Columbia Journalism School?s Dean of Students ? Sreenivasan was kind, actually, since I would have mentioned little Jimmy?s criminal record too...here kitty kitty)...
?and I posted about cluster munitions earlier, and whenever I touch upon that topic, I always think of this tune; sorry, no video?
?and I present this with thanks to all of those who have served our country, and continue to do so.
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...because it's such a fine line between clever and stupid.
Kevin Drum, in writing how the drop-dead-simple-in-concept Volcker Rule became, once finally interpreted into regulation, a loophole-riddled behemoth that the chief of the American Bankers Association grumbled was "a rule whose preamble alone is 215 pages, with 381 footnotes to boot":
[N]o one should take too seriously Republican complaints about burdensome regulations strangling the economy. The truth is that most reformers prefer fairly simple rules. In the tax world, they'd prefer to simply tax all income. In the environmental world, they'd prefer to set firm limits for pollutants. In the financial world, they'd prefer blunt rules that cut off risky activity at its knees.
But businesses don't like simple rules, because simple rules are hard to evade. So they lobby endlessly for exemptions both big and small. This is why we end up with tax subsidies for bow-and-arrow makers. It's why we end up with environmental rules that treat a hundred different industries a hundred different ways. It's why financial regulators don't enact simple leverage rules or place firm asset caps on firm size. Those would be hard to get around and might genuinely eat into bank profits. Complex rules, conversely, are the meat and drink of $500-per-hour lawyers and whiz kid engineers. If the rules are complicated enough, smart lawyers can always find ways around them. And American corporations employ lots of smart lawyers.
The proposed implementation of the Volcker Rule is as complex as it is because the banks demanded, and received, a wide assortment of loopholes, exemptions, "clarifications" and other nonsense meant to allow banks to avoid the spirit of the law. Now they're complaining that the complexity will make it difficult to for them to follow even those rules. Go figure.
We keep coming down to the same question: is our government even capable of passing effective regulatory law against corporate abuse, at this point, or do they exist merely to legitimize it?
Top Comments for today are here.
I saw the B 52′s last week here in Houston. The band was cheery, professional, creative and energetic. They struck the right line between being friendly and yet a bit removed from the audience. They appreciate that you bought a ticket and that you would like to see them play, yet they are not ging [...]
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Title: Blind AlleyArtist: Fanny
Fanny Friday! And don't forget to check out our sister site Newstalgia for more music and live concert recordings.
We?ve always had music and musicians to propagandize war, mock war, cheer the troops, provide succor to the masses, cherish the lost, and remember all things ?war.? Over the last century here?s a couple to notice ? and undoubtedly you have more to[...]
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We are drawing close to the end of business on this Veteran's Day, and some Democrats may be drawing close to the end of their allegiance to their party. So be it.
Tuesday did not go as we had hoped in terms of legislative races. We lost some we did not expect to lose, and control of the House of Representatives seems likely to shift to the Republican Party for the first time in 140 years. So be it.
I write this to remind you of what is truly coming to an end should Republicans take the Speaker's gavel in January. We would most certainly not be seeing a historic shift of control from 140 years of liberal ideologues. In reality, we would be witnessing a change from a brief period of moderate leadership back to the retrogressive, elitist "conservative" leadership that controlled the Mississippi House of Representatives for most of the post-Reconstruction era. You know, the type of people who pass laws to plunder the economically challenged for the betterment of the wealthy and well-connected. The people who devise ways to disenfranchise voters. The people who want to purposefully underfund public education so they can save their tax dollars for things like private school tuition. The folks who have so little regard for the sacrifices and service of our state troopers, judges, and prosecutors that they would shred PERS to help line the pockets of their Wall Street fund manager friends.
But even should the end of moderate leadership be at hand, all is not lost. In fact, far from it. The message of the Mississippi Democratic Party remains viable and attractive. If you doubt that, ask Jim Ellington, Russ Nowell, and Sid Bondurant.
In a time when the weaker amongst us are looking for safe harbor, those of us with steely spines and iron hearts will stand firm against the wind. Those of us with integrity will carry the fight forward tomorrow, next week, and next year. It may not be comfortable at times. But as Thomas Paine said, "Let them call me a rebel, and welcome; I feel no concern from it. For I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul."
Onward and upward, friends.
enlargeIt all reads like an overheated John Grisham novel: A trusted football hero and director of a respected child refuge center is charged with sexually assaulting eight young boys for over a 14 year period. An assistant coach who was an eye-witness to the anal rape of a ten year old boy and rather than trying to stop the crime, or even report it to the police, instead told his boss, a legendary head coach, who along with a university president and his athletic director, covered it up. A district attorney who mysteriously disappeared six years ago, his body never found, before he could bring charges against the child rapist. A rapist who also ? if rumors turn out to have any basis in truth ? pimped out children to other pedophiles. And, rather than outrage at such evil finally coming to light, in a town so inculcated in a culture where football is king and so fearful it might lose its meal-ticket, the student body riot in protest when the head coach is fired. In a state where congressmen can still nominate said disgraced coach for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation?s highest civilian honor, turning a blind eye to the corruption riddling his university team until they simply can?t.
Except it?s not a novel. This is Penn State.
When universities become so dependent on athletic departments for their very existence, to the point where nothing ? nothing ? seems vile or heinous or repugnant enough to shake that iron grip, then there is something desperately wrong with American universities. When any game becomes so powerful that football coaches can play God to entire towns, cover-ups this massive are blatant and where so many people knew and did nothing, when students riot after the filth lurking under rocks start to come out not in protest of the crime but in reaction to the loss of their beloved coach, then Penn State needs to be shut down.
Completely. Dismantled, not a brick left standing. Salt poured on the ground so nothing grows there again. This isn?t just a case of a single bad-apple, not just a small, isolated or one-off event. A man raped children while his friends deliberately covered up his crimes. For years. All in the name of protecting football. The extent of depravity metastasizing an entire town because of the power embedded in one university?s athletic department is on a scale hard to imagine, never mind stomach. The Penn State football program has lost the right to continue to exist.
Not everyone in the 1% is a greedy selfish bastard. But the ones that are, really really are.[...]
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