Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Bank Allegedly Hid $12 Billion in Losses

Dec. 5 (Financial Times) - Deutsche Bank failed to recognise up to $12 billion of paper losses during the financial crisis, helping the bank avoid a government bail-out, three former bank employees have alleged in complaints to US regulators. 
Robert Khuzami, head of enforcement at the SEC, has recused himself from all Deutsche Bank investigations because he was Deutsche's general counsel for the Americas from 2004 to 2009. Dick Walker, Deutsche's general counsel, is a former head of enforcement at the SEC.  
Job swap. Sweet.  

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hostess With the Mostest

Hostess Brands Inc. won final court approval to sell its assets and eliminate about 18,000 jobs. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain also approved Hostess’s requests to pay as much as $1.83 million in incentives to 19 senior managers, while overruling objections to the bonuses.

Friday, October 26, 2012

CNN: Math. How Does It Work?


Pres' 4-point lead within sampling error

Saturday, September 29, 2012

$64,000 in Bow Ties, Paid by the Taxpayer

Incredibly, taxpayers of Ohio bought $64,000 in bow ties for its university President, as well as a $500 shower curtain.

The story serves as a helpful reminder that the NCAA is one of, if the worst, institution in America.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Be Fair, or Look Fair?

Ezra Klein:

We’ve been conditioned to want to give both sides relatively equal praise and blame, and the fact of the matter is, I would like to give both sides relatively equal praise and blame. I’d personally feel better if our coverage didn’t look so lopsided. But first the campaigns have to be relatively equal. So far in this campaign, you can look fair, or you can be fair, but you can’t be both.

Navigating Post-Truth Politics

By David Roberts
Campaign reporters have deeply internalized the need to appear fair, to be above mere partisanship, to criticize or praise both sides in equal measure. The GOP is acutely aware of this dynamic and for years has used it to their advantage. But real fairness is geared to the facts, not to appearances, and today’s right simply lies more, misleads more, and denies established facts more. That is the conclusion a fair-minded appraisal yields. Empirics have a liberal bias, to paraphrase Colbert.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Revolt of the Savvy

“Professional journalists, whose self-image starts with: ‘We’re a check on…’ had to decide what to do about the truck that just ran their checkpoint, carrying the brain trust of the Romney campaign, laughing at how easy it all was.”
A turn to a culture of truth? 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Peachy Paterno

A huge downtown mural shows many figures in Penn State history. The artist, Michael Pilato, said he had no immediate plans to remove Paterno or Spanier. He already painted over Sandusky, replacing him with a Penn State grad who is an advocate for abuse victims and issues.

The Paterno family is well known in the State College community for philanthropic efforts, including millions of dollars to the university to help build a library and fund endowments and scholarships. Even Penn State's creamery has a famous flavor named after the coach, Peachy Paterno.

Obama Leads Romney on Handling the Economy

July 13 -- President Barack Obama has gained an advantage over Republican Mitt Romney in a Pew Research Center poll of public confidence in handling of the economy. Obama leads Romney by 50 percent to 43 percent among registered voters surveyed, Pew reports, with Romney losing 3 percentage points since its previous poll in early June.

Forrest Gump For Secretary of Defense?

If elected president, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney should add some star power by seating Gary Sinise on his cabinet, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Human Events this week in an interview.

Gingrich suggested that Romney could make the CSI: NY star, best known for his 1994 breakout role as Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump, his Secretary of Veterans Affairs, saying Sinise cares deeply for military veterans and could bring fresh eyes to the job.

Spanish Protesters Shot With Rubber Bullets

Madrid (AP) -- Riot police fired rubber bullets Wednesday at Spanish coal miners protesting in the streets of Madrid over subsidy cuts they fear will jeopardize their meager livelihood. Miners who walked 18 days from northern and eastern mining regions were received as heroes on Tuesday night as they entered the Puerta del Sol, one of the city's main plazas.

At least one volley of rubber bullets was fired directly a miners, relatives and sympathizers Wednesday as they gathered outside Spain's Industry Ministry after marching up Madrid's bullet hit. "We were walking peacefully to get to where the union leaders were speaking and they started to fire indiscriminately. There was no warning," Gonzalez said.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


July 10 (Washington Post) -- GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. –
Mitt Romney responded aggressively to President Obama's attacks on his career in private equity here Tuesday by trying to turn Obama's lines against him and saying it was not he but the President who is the "Outsourcer-In-Chief."
"If there's an outsourcer in chief, it's the president of the United States, not the guy who's running to replace him," Romney said.


"He has a plan, he said, to lower taxes," Romney said. "Now, we were all excited when we heard that.


Romney took a wide assortment of questions from supporters here, over second amendment gun rights (he said he supports them), abortion rights (he said he opposes them) and criminal justice (he said he favors the death penalty).
Romney told another questioner that he believes he faces a biased national media, saying, "I realize now and then I'm fighting an uphill battle in some organs of the national media."

That's Commitment

July 10 (UPI) - Connecticut Man Donates 18 Gallons of Blood

Friday, July 06, 2012

Gov. Christie Addresses Image of Jersey Shore as Loud Obnoxious Jerks

July 6 (New York Times) -- Here is a video of Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey in a verbal altercation with a constituent, apparently filmed on Thursday night at the Jersey Shore and posted on Friday by, the celebrity gossip Web site.
Christie, who clutches an ice cream cone during the video, was with his family on the boardwalk, TMZ reported. The Governor, 49, at one point marches toward the critic as an entourage follows him.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Citizens May Not Portray Police in Negative Way or Be Labeled Public Agitators

“Be aware that above subjects are known professional agitators,” read the flyer, warning cops that the “subjects’ MO” is to videotape officers “performing routine stops and post on YouTube.”

“Subjects’ purpose is to portray officers in a negative way,” the poster reads.

This is What Global Warming Looks Like

"What we're seeing really is a window into what global warming really looks like," said Princeton University geosciences and international affairs professor Michael Oppenheimer. "It looks like heat. It looks like fires. It looks like this kind of environmental disasters."

Since Jan. 1, the United States has set more than 40,000 hot temperature records, but fewer than 6,000 cold temperature records, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

While at least 15 climate scientists told The Associated Press that this long hot U.S. summer is consistent with what is to be expected in global warming, history is full of such extremes, said John Christy at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He's a global warming skeptic who says, "The guilty party in my view is Mother Nature."

But the vast majority of mainstream climate scientists, such as Meehl, disagree: "This is what global warming is like, and we'll see more of this as we go into the future."

I Can Haz Higgs Boson?

Fabiola Gianotti, of CERN and spokeswoman for the Atlas team, said one on point, “Why are you applauding, I’m not done yet. This is just beginning, there is more to come.” She noted that the mass of the putative Higgs made it easy to study its many behaviors and channels, “So,” she said, “thanks, nature.”

Gerald Guralnik, one of the founders of the Higgs theory, said he was glad to be at a physics meeting “where there is applause like a football game.”

Asked to comment after the announcements, Dr. Higgs seemed overwhelmed, saying, “For me, its really an incredible thing that’s happened in my lifetime.”

Fairy Wasp is Smaller Than an Amoeba

It’s pictured next to a Paramecium and an amoeba at the same scale. Even though both these creatures are made up of a single cell, the wasp – complete with eyes, brain, wings, muscles, guts and genitals – is actually smaller. At just 200 micrometres (a fifth of a millimetre), this wasp is the third smallest insect alive and a miracle of miniaturisation.

It has no heart, neurons without a nucleus, and only lives an action-packed 5 days. Enough to lay its eggs and move on.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Which Pet Pirhana?

"An 18-month-old girl is recovering at an Illinois hospital after the tip of her finger was bitten off by one of the family's pet piranhas."

Journalism fail. Which one?

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Hoodies and Thug Life

The Washington Post:

Trayvon Martin’s Death Raises the Question: Where Is the American Black Family?

Rep. Bobbie Rush and others shouldn't be spending time wearing hoodies on the floor of the United States House of Representatives, reinforcing negative stereotypes of the thug life (drug dealers with pit bulls, jailhouse fashion, women described derogatorily and illegitimate babies in tow).

Next Week in the Washington Post:

Nicole Brown Simpson's Death Raises the Question: Why Do White People Commit Insider Trading?

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

U.S. Economy Entering Sweet Spot

Economy of U.S. Enters Sweet Spot as China’s Growth Slows

April 3 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. once again may be emerging as a main engine for global growth -- and at an opportune time, as Europe slides into recession and China’s economy decelerates. An improving job market, rising stock prices and easier credit are combining to lift U.S. consumer confidence and spending, with optimism measured by the Bloomberg Comfort Index near a four-year high.

"We’re entering a sweet spot for the economy," said Allen Sinai, president of Decision Economics Inc. in New York. "We’re in a self-reinforcing cycle,” where faster employment growth leads to higher household income and increased consumer spending.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Son of BOSS

Mitt Romney joined Marriott's Board of Directors in 1993, and has served on it for 11 of the past 19 years, including six years as Chairman of the Audit committee. In 1994, while he was head of the audit committee, Marriott used a tax shelter called “Son of BOSS.”

A federal appellate court ruled "Son of BOSS" illegal, agreeing with the U.S. Department of Justice, which called Marriott’s the attempt to avoid taxes using the shelter “fictitious,” “artificial,” “spectral,” an “illusion” and a “scheme.”

At the same time Marriott also avoided hundreds of millions of dollars in income taxes using a federal tax-credit program John McCain called a "hoax" and a "scam."

Marriott also dodged taxes by shifting its profits to a shell company in Luxembourg with one employee.

Prime Minister Cameron Sick of Anti-Business Snobbery

Cameron criticized the idea “that wealth creation is somehow anti social,” arguing that “business is not just about making money, as vital as that is; it’s also the most powerful force for social progress the world has ever known.”

"Frankly I am sick of this anti-business snobbery.”

Monday, January 16, 2012

Should Journalists Tell the Truth?

New York Times: Should The Times Be a Truth Vigilante?

I’m looking for reader input on whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge “facts” that are asserted by newsmakers they write about.

Jay Rosen

Something happened in our press over the last 40 years or so that never got acknowledged and to this day would be denied by a majority of newsroom professionals. Somewhere along the way, truthtelling was surpassed by other priorities the mainstream press felt a stronger duty to. These include such things as “maintaining objectivity,” “not imposing a judgment,” “refusing to take sides” and sticking to what I have called the View from Nowhere."

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Gingrich Threatens to Sue TV Stations For Airing Romney Ad

Newt Gingrich has threatened to sue TV stations airing ads by a group backing Mitt Romney claiming he was fined for ethics violations. In letters sent to TV stations in Florida and South Carolina, the Gingrich campaign, said ads asserting the Georgia Republican was "fined" for violating House ethics rules are false and represent "a defamatory communication, which exposes this station to potential civil liability," NBC News reported Thursday.

"In turn, we do hereby DEMAND that your station immediately REFUSE, and if started, CEASE airing any such advertisements," the letter said.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Unemployment Falls to 8.5%

Dollar Rises Against Euro, Yen

Jobless Rate Falls to 8.5%

U.S. Jobless Rate Drops to Lowest Level Since February 2009

200,000 Jobs Added in December


Since Start of Recession (Dec. 2007) - MINUS 6,083,000

Since President Obama Took Office - MINUS 937,000

Jan - Dec. 2011 - PLUS 1,640,000