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Religious people are the best people!

Bloomberg:

Interviews with 21 current and former employees over three years show that religious faith, personal ties and the iron grip of ]R. Allen Stanford] himself created a culture that helped promote the bank’s CDs, the center of what the Securities and Exchange Commission calls an $8 billion “massive Ponzi scheme.”

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Caro's picture

Politics and Media Headlines 3/9/09

Obama Going Gray? (Political Wire)
Just 44 days into the job and the New York Times notices President Obama has graying hair. "For a guy who prides himself on projecting a stress-free demeanor, the changes above his temples are speckled evidence that perhaps the psychological and physical strains of the job -- never mind the long process of winning it -- are in fact taking something of a toll. (Experts say stress can contribute to whitening locks.)"

Make Them Accountable

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Versailles meme makes the big time!

Elizabeth Warren on NPR's Fresh Air tonight!

One reason to listen! Read below the fold...

Mandos's picture

Unreason is probably pretty adaptive

Now, Bob Somerby has an excellent post up about the obsession with earmarks:

Those high-profile spending measures total nearly $2 trillion. By way of contrast, the EARMARKS which have Sheneman frightened total $7.7 billion. (No one has made the slightest attempt to show how much of that is “wasteful.”) But guess what? Trillions are much larger than billions! In fact, those EARMARKS represent roughly one two hundred and fiftieth of the total spending in these high-profiles measures. That amounts to one quarter of one percent—one dollar of every 250.

But to Sheneman, these EARMARKS are larger than human life. They may swallow the White House itself.

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Robert Gibbs tells Helen Thomas why Obama is against single payer health care

About that media blackout: stories go into the pipeline, they just don't seem to come out the other end very often. The March 5th White House press briefing transcript:

2:55 P.M. EST

Helen. Yes, ma'am.

Q In that respect, I want you to reconcile two things.

MR. GIBBS: Okay.

Q In prepared remarks the President said every voice must be heard. He also said, "I want it to be clear at the outset, everyone has a right to take part in the sessions." But you have barred two people who are strongly for single-payer. And Conyers had to beg to come.

MR. GIBBS: Who was barred?

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geneo's picture

Note from the South - Alabama PACT Crisis

Since I last posted here, we found out the Alabama college tuition saving program has lost 45% of its value since mid-2007. That's real crisis for people who have been paying into it. Also a disaster in the making for the Republican State Treasurer, who has gubernatorial aspirations.

This is preliminary, but it looks like mortgage-backed securities trading is involved. I'm not sure to what extent, or how significant it has been in generating the crisis. Read below the fold...

Churning and churning in the narrowing gyre

After quoting Bruce Bartlett on his vote for Obama, Brad DeLong writes:

Perhaps McCain would have had an easier time assembling a political coalition to enable a resolution of the banking sector crisis, perhaps not. Obama seems to be stuck. Restoring health to the banking system--and thus keeping us in a deep recession rather than in a depression--seems to me to require either (a) the socialization of losses--enormous presents to bankers and bank shareholders--or (b) nationalization. The Democratic left (and some Republicans) won't let Obama do (a). The Democratic right (and all Republicans) won't let Obama do (b). McCain might have been able to cobble together a coalition to do some version of (a).

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When the going gets tough, the tough get foily

Deep Capture.

UPDATE Well, well, Marty Peretz. This should be pretty easy to shoot down, or verify: Read below the fold...

The questions Timmy won't answer

The Great Froomkin:

In her March report [PDF], issued today, Warren wrote that, more than a month into the Obama administration, she’s still waiting. And if you read the questions she’s still asking, you’ll see one good reason why public confidence in the program isn’t high.

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DCblogger's picture

COBRA bites benefits managers

COBRA aid for layoffs is confusing

Employers are confused about the COBRA revisions, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said: Confused over whether to calculate a person’s income before or after termination; whether people taking a buyout are eligible; on how to determine a spouse’s income.

Many individuals will have similar questions — whether their termination was involuntary, for example.

“If you think it’s hard for benefits managers to understand, try the average person on the street,” said James Gelfand of the Chamber of Commerce.

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How about that Bobby Jindal?

Somerby:

The cartoon pictures a giant hog which bears the name “EARMARKS.” Sheneman’s text describes the hog as “another pet for the White House.” It’s considerably larger than President Obama, who is pictured saying this: “I hope he doesn’t eat the dog.”

Unless we’re using math from Neptune, there’s little chance of that. As we looked at Sheneman’s portrait, we thought of the high-profile spending measures which have recently occurred:

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connecticut man1's picture

This why I still believe...

Thread: 

that they knew about this "crisis" coming down the pike at least as far back as 2003 when they were using that obscure civil war era banking law to block the state lawsuits against the banking institutions. They knew this was all coming and they needed to get legislation in place that would protect the lifestyles of their rich and blameless allies. Read below the fold...

Anyone know if it's possible to hack a card so it works through any reader?

Kind of like hacking a cellphone? Then money could move from the center to the periphery through the system of electronic payments at the retailer.

Apparently so. Read below the fold...

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