The British bank Barclays has been getting the lion’s share of the attention for its role in the LIBOR rate rigging scandal, especially after it paid a $450 million settlement. But as Fortune’s Stephen Gandel noted, Citibank may have been even worse. “In early 2010, two economics professors from UCLA and the University of Minnesota looked at Libor manipulation and found that, at least according to one measure, Citi had misstated its lending rate by more than any other large U.S. bank in the run up to the financial crisis,” Gandel wrote. Citi’s underreported its borrowing costs by a margin 50 percent larger than did Barclays.
(Gage Skidmore)Michele Bachmann, not content with merely smearing Clinton Dep. Chief of Staff Huma Abedin as being a secret mole for radical Muslims (or whatever the hell the accusation was supposed to be, with Bachmann it's never quite clear), has decided that the answer to the condemnations she has received from fellow Republicans is to double down on the whole thing. Now she's explicitly accusing fellow Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison of having having similar ties. You know, because he's Muslim:
"He has a long record of being associated with [the Council on American?Islamic Relations] and with the Muslim Brotherhood," Bachmann said during an interview on Glenn Beck's radio show.I guess when you've agreed to be on Glenn Beck's gloomy, decaying radio show, you're expected to show up with a gift basket of conspiracy theories. Accusing anyone you don't like of having ties to the Muslim Brotherhood seems to be the one currently in style.
Ellison confirmed to The Huffington Post that Bachmann's accusations were completely false. "I am not now, nor have I ever been, associated with the Muslim Brotherhood," he said with a laugh.
In the meantime, the government agencies involved have apparently politely declined Bachmann's request to investigate the super-scary Muslim-looking person who was already vetted when they took the job. This will no doubt further enrage the now-completely-off-her-rocker Bachmann, who will I hope respond by next pointing out that Chick-Fil-A sounds kinda foreign too and why is nobody investigating that.
This month's Occupy National Gathering in Philadelphia was the latest effort to recapture the national spotlight for Occupy after a winter plagued by raids, evictions and inclement weather.May Day, NATO, and now NatGat paint a picture of a movement now[...]
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Today we're continuing with the '80s nostalgia, for no particular reason. So for this edition of Songs By Scottish Bands With Titles That Include the Band's Name, we have Big Country, with "In a Big Country." As they say in the song, "Ha!"
Single-victim gun killings have dropped more than 40 percent since 1980, according to 2010 FBI crime data. But the total number of people dying in attacks that claimed four or more victims has climbed from an average of 161 a year in the 1980s to 163 between 2006 and 2008, according to FBI statistics.
Shooting massacres do not mirror the more volatile statistical curve of individual gun violence. Recent incidents -- such as the shooting at a Toronto shopping mall in June -- make it seem as if rampages are on the rise, but they have been a fact of life for a long time and will remain that way, said Jack Levin, a criminology professor at Northeastern University and author of "Extreme Killing."
Here is the podcast.
The description of the place on the CitiHabitats website notes that it is "fully renovated with lots of charm," realtor jargon for "pretty average but horrifically small." [...] The President lived there during his junior year at Columbia University.
The site allows you to share your results with your friends or to comment via Facebook, and it shows you the states where candidates best match up with the quiz takers.
This last feature leads to some interesting results. No surprise, President Obama has the highest percentage of quiz takers agreeing with him in California, Illinois and New York.
But here's a twist: Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party presidential candidate and former New Mexico governor, has the highest percentage of quiz takers agreeing with him in a number of states that are likely to go for Mitt Romney come Election Day, including Texas and Georgia.
By decoding brain activity, scientists were able to "see" that two monkeys were planning to approach the same reaching task differently -- even before they moved a muscle. [...]
By chance, the two monkeys chosen for the study had completely different cognitive styles. One, the scientists said, was a hyperactive type, who kept jumping the gun, and the other was a smooth operator, who waited for the entire setup to be revealed before planning his next move. The difference is clearly visible in their decoded brain activity.
?I?ve always said we need to be a party of inclusion not exclusion,? Cantor said. ?We need to be promoting tolerance and, you know, as someone who is a religious minority, I sort of grew up with having that mindset, knowing full well that I am in a very distinct way from a religious background, separate and apart from the mainstream of this country.?
In the two decades since Nielsen Soundscan started to keep track of U.S. album sales in 1991, the company has seen the industry fold in half, digital sales catch up to physical, and vinyl mount a resurgence. But until last week, they'd never seen old records outsell new ones.
The first six months of the year saw sales of 76.6 million catalog records -- industry-speak for albums released more than 18 months ago -- compared to 73.9 million current albums.[...]
The top-selling catalog records of the year so far include Guns N' Roses' Greatest Hits and four records by Whitney Houston, whose canon got a boost after her death in February. Bakula says the biggest reason catalog has been so strong is that record labels and retailers continue to drop the price of older albums, often to as low as $5.99 or $7.99. Those prices, sometimes half of what they once were, are bringing in new customers. "I really, truly do believe that there probably is a consumer that is buying music here that wasn't buying music in the past," he says.
The Pentagon has announced it will allow U.S. servicemembers to wear their uniforms at a gay pride march for the first time. The permission was granted for Saturday?s Pride parade in San Diego, California. The Pentagon says the move does not mark a permanent shift in policy and will only apply in this one case.:
The Gold Report: Let’s cut to the chase, Joe. With the stock prices of gold mining companies in free fall during the past year, why should gold investors stay the course?
Joe Mazumdar: . . . → Read More: How to Minimize Risk and Increase Returns on Juniors: Joe Mazumdar
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On this July 4, Independence Day, we celebrated that grand experiment in human progress and evolutionary biology known as self-government. In other words, we engaged in our yearly ritual of driving up to our cottage in New Hampshire -- after deciding against the beach house in San Diego - and posing for the pictures of eager reporters just after mounting our jet ski and slicing our way through the bubbling wake of Lake Winnipesaukee.
OK, you got me, I'm not talking about me. I'm talking about Mitt Romney. So here's a question -- is Mitt Romney insane?
I mean, what is it about Massachusetts politicians who run for president? Ever since President John F Kennedy (and his brothers), who connected with the common man like peanut butter and chocolate, we've had a series of guys run for chief executive from the Bay State who couldn't steal candy from a baby. Until Mitt, they were all Democrats -- Michael Dukakis, Paul Tsongas and John Kerry -- and would form the most aloof rock band one could ever create. Let's face it, there must have been times Bob Dole looked at these guys and thought: "Damn, they're boring."
But Romney has clearly decided he is going to turn it up to 11. In fact, I'm somewhat convinced at this point that Romney is actually a creation of Jon Stewart's The Daily Showjust for the gags. It isn't like the jet ski pose is the first I'm-richer-than-you thing that ole Mitt has done. I mean, who says stuff like this?
"I like being able to fire people" ... "I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners" ...
"I bet you $10,000" ... "I am actually the stodgiest parts of the DNA that dripped off George Clooney in a Devito/Schwarzenegger, Twins-like experiment."
OK, one of those might not be true.
But here is some truth - who climbs onto a jet ski for a photoshoot when they're being attacked in TV ads for outsourcing jobs and pilloried in the press for the fact that Bermuda, Grand Cayman and Luxembourg are not just vacation sites for them, but also for their money? Was a tank not available? And don't you just get the feeling that if it came with a tax write-off, Romney would have probably already outsourced his IRA to a safety-deposit box on Uranus?
I know, as F Scott Fitgerald wrote, that "the rich are different than you and me" - I have observed Thurston Howell III on old episodes of Gilligan's Island just like the next guy - but what possesses someone who knows they're going to run for president to hire their very own lobbyist for their third house on a private beach in Southern California, to pressure town officials to change zoning rules so they can add 8,000 square feet and a car elevator to this monument to the carried-interest tax loophole? Wouldn't you also think twice before sending your money off to more exotic locales than a foreign service officer, if you knew you'd have to win the votes of people in a future election whose hereditary fortunes were slightly less than that of, say, the spawn of Bill Gates or Baron von Richthofen?
"I'm thankful for Mitt Romney. For the laughs he provides and the daily reminders of what his America would look like for 99 per cent of Americans."
The only thing I don't understand is what also stopped Romney from resisting changing his name to Bilderberger? Clown move.
Americans are a fair people. Tea-Party adolescents may stomp their feet and flail around about how Democrats or "libruls" are committing "class war" and are "envious" of people such as Romney, but those are just talking points. Most people, in poll after poll, believe in capitalism and its rewards, but also don't think that those who got rich off of, and were protected by, our public investments in roads, bridges, universities, military, police, courts, safe food, clean water, etc and so forth have no obligation back to the country that created the atmosphere in which they were allowed to flourish.
Romney is simply a caricature of everything that is wrong with the United States economically at this moment in our history, and again and again he proves he hasn't the slightest clue of any of it. Self-awareness, thy name is most certainly not Mitt.
I'm not complaining, however. In fact, I'm thankful for Mitt Romney. For the laughs he provides and the daily reminders of what his America would look like for 99 per cent of Americans (hint: no dressage horses for you, but worse jobs prospects and a bigger tax bill than Mitt, his cronies, his lawyers, his accountants...).
I hope he keeps riding his jet skis for the klieg lights, packing his family pets on the car roof - and maybe even come up with a few new tricks. For example, we haven't yet seen him play polo by riding on the backs of homeless people. Or add a giant mechanical mouth to each of his houses so they can eat all the poorer houses in the neighborhood. Just think of the possibilities.
But he's going to need some serious material to keep topping himself.
In fact, I've gotta go write some of this stuff down so I can send it to off to his image people, stat.
Follow him on Twitter: @CliffSchecter
This column first appeared at Al Jazeera English
My little Sasha is one step away from being this dog. (She has this little hang up about motorcycles.) This is a quick and simple video that's absolutely hysterical, and if you know dogs, absolutely understandable.
Three individuals, who military public affairs have informed media are government employees, have been attending hearings for Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of releasing classified information to WikiLeaks. They will not tell press what agency[...]
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The excellent Emily Hauser was kind enough to invite me on Bloggingheads with her to talk about pop culture. We taped this before Rotten Tomatoes shut down their comments section in reaction to commenters threatening critics who didn’t like reviews of The Dark Knight Rises, but we ended up talking about fandom as identity and the need to move towards an ethic that values discussion and critique in fan communities rather than fealty or affirmation:
There is no one unified fandom, which is why it’s both lame for critics like Anthony Lane to paint all people who like superhero movies as mouthbreathing basement dwellers, and for fans to turn on people, within their community and outside it, who want to analyze material rather than bow down to it. More genuinely self-confident, self-critical fandoms will be healthier fandoms in the long run, and more respected ones, too.