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Our leaders show the way...

When the elites don't obey the law, what do they expect from the peasants? Most such stories end badly, of course.

In order to break the law with impunity, you really do have to have power. That's how Banana Republics work! Read below the fold...

LA couple tortures loan mod agents

Reuters:

As Los Angeles housing advocates launched a campaign warning of mortgage rescue scams, a couple hit by foreclosure are charged with torturing two loan-modification agents they suspected of fraud, authorities said on Monday.

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Schoolyard politics from Der Gropinator

Yay!

Let us never forget that Ahhold was manipulated into office by speculators from Enron. The same class of fine folks who brought us today's economy. More yay! Read below the fold...

Dealing drugs is the perfect curriculum for the children of our ruling elite

It's not productive, it's all based on personal connections, it's illegal, and if you're elite, you never get caught. But they don't call themselves "dealers." They call themselves "brokers." Perfect.

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The vampire squid speaketh

Matt Taibbi has this lovely Goldman Sachs lobbying document. Here's a smidge:

The equity markets provide perhaps the best example of a highly evolved complex ecosystem, where care must be taken to preserve the benefits that have evolved from competition and innovation...

BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!

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Corporate schlock, king-size egos

So, I'm down in Cambridge, MA at an internet cafe in Central Square, where there is a time limit of exactly one hour for free access, at which point the cafe blocks your machine. And I'm almost ready to go, and I'm almost at the end of the hour, and I've got the map to my destination in one tab, and the invitation in the other, when.... Read below the fold...

Please, Democrats! Stop the suck!

Ian Welsh:

Trust is earned. By making the economy work for banks and not for Americans; by refusing to put through a clean health care bill; by repeatedly not coming through on campaign promises and by not providing a clear alternative to Republicans, Democrats have lost the trust of Americans.

If Democrats want to turn this around they should simply start doing what they should have always done. Break up the big banks, institute real bankruptcy reform and other help for real Americans, pass a medicare-for-all bill, get out of Afghanistan and push through a real and effective stimulus bill immediately paid for it with a tax on America’s rich.

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An agenda for the Angelides Commission

Elliott Spitzer:

The first structural issue that Phil Angelides and his colleagues should investigate is what corporate boards knew about the state of corporations they governed and why they did so little to protect them. ... Tracing the information flow will also permit us to understand whether the risk analysis was wrong from its inception, ignored by those up the chain, or filtered as it went up the chain.

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Doing creepy things to our children

Creepy. And just as creepy.

The locution "six pack" is creepy enough.

But a six pack on a five-year-old? Jeebus. Read below the fold...

The Center for Plain Language

Who knew there was such a thing (and no, the name is not ironic).

Via Felix Salmon. Read below the fold...

The nut the blind squirrel found....

is not the nut you think. Atrios points to this from Howard Fineman on Snowe ("What’s So Hot About Snowe?"). But here's the buried nugget:

[Snowe] remains deeply skeptical of a publicly financed alternative to private insurance, in good part because of what she sees as the failure of Maine's* version of the idea...

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Sanders: "Cautiously optimistic" on state single payer plans

HuffPo:

[SANDERS] One of the reasons that I am a strong proponent of a single-payer, Medicare-for-all proposal is that it is much less complicated than what we are going to end up with in Congress. A single-payer approach saves hundreds of billions of dollars a year because you don't end up with thousands of different health insurance programs appealing to all different kinds of people and costing a fortune to administer. I am going to continue the fight for single-payer. I am cautiously optimistic that we may end up with legislation that will allow states to go forward with single-payer if they want to.

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Some sausage bits by 2010, other sausage bits by 2013

Profiles in courage! Politico, but:

Democrats are pushing Senate leaders and the White House to speed up key benefits in the health reform bill to 2010, eager to give the party something [anything!] to show taxpayers for their $900 billion investment in an election year.

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Litmus test

George Washington has another interesting guest post up over at Yves place: Capitalism, Socialism or Fascism? The bottom line:

So what do we really have: socialism, fascism or an economy which calls itself “capitalism” but which allows looting?

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