No, Max and Stacy are not going ga-ga.
It's those other guys who are bringing it out in them.
Mothra? More like WARra.
Like Stacy I was also told in Economics classes that the charts she displayed as current could never happen.
But I asked (after the brush off) what would happen if they did, and the response was a look of total ludicrosity.
Because no reasonable person then could have believed seriously that our leaders can't stop playing Kurtz' Russian Roulette with their economies.
No hint of Russian levity here as this gets more and more like a Dostoyevsky novel.
If not Tolstoy.
And did Max really designate the Tobacco payoffs as being the reigning business strategy now that religion has been exposed as foolish or politically useful by the media? So much to learn here.
Don't miss this one, friends - it shows (astonishingly) how ludicrously it gets deeper and deeper when psychopaths are in control.
Did it also occur to you that the "crazy" news you hear daily from the mainstream media (MSM) is really quite a bit less "crazy" than they make it out to be?
I sometimes think we need a real language filter (and I'm not speaking of the Russian, Farsi or Chinese one).
Martin Shkreli, Live Streaming Himself In Pajama Bottoms
While (Eric) Holder was in the position as the top law enforcement officer in the land, the firm he would rejoin, Covington & Burling, was serving as “counsel to the underwriters” of a stock offering by Retrophin, then headed by CEO Martin Shkreli, the man the Justice Department is now accusing of looting Retrophin, a pharmaceutical startup, in a brazen Ponzi scheme type of operation.Eric Holder, who stepped down this year as the U.S. Attorney General after six years in office, rejoined the law firm he had left to accept the top slot at the Justice Department. That firm is Covington & Burling, which operates a revolving door between the Justice Department and its own front door. In addition to Holder, Lanny Breuer, who headed up the Justice Department’s criminal division under Holder, also returned to Covington & Burling after a devastating report by ABC’s Frontline on how his division had failed to seriously investigate crimes on Wall Street. Making the round trip between the Justice Department and Covington & Burling in 2010 was Steven Fagell, former deputy chief of staff at the criminal division, and Jim Garland, former deputy chief of staff to Attorney General Eric Holder. Dan Suleiman, former deputy chief of staff to Breuer at the Justice Department, rejoined the law firm in 2013, the same year as Breuer.
Who said there were no good jobs in the USA! USA! USA! anymore?
Not these guys.
The 30-something Shkreli, founder of Retrophin and its first CEO, who was not only able to shepherd firms like Covington & Burling and Katten to launch his stock offering to the public, and is now represented by another team of legal heavy weights over charges he looted the company, is spending his evenings and wee hours of the morning live-streaming his sleep-deprived persona from YouTube, on one occasion in what appears to be pajama bottoms.
All of this further raises the question as to just what has happened to the U.S. securities markets, which at one time held the respect and confidence of the American people as well as much of the civilized world.
Covington & Burling’s counsel to the stock underwriters of a pharmaceutical company led by Mr. Pajama Bottoms (whose formal educational background is unrelated to medicine) must be weighed against its prior involvement with Big Tobacco. As we reported previously:
“Covington & Burling is the law firm that, according to an earlier U.S. Department of Justice, fronted for the illegal misdeeds of Big Tobacco for four decades. Covington & Burling’s relationship with Big Tobacco went far beyond the typical attorney-client relationship. The firm set up front groups to hide payments and to hide the coordination of Big Tobacco in promulgating fake science on the issue of second hand smoke.
“In an August 17, 2006 decision against tobacco companies…Judge Gladys Kessler of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found that ‘Cigarette smoking causes disease, suffering, and death. Despite internal recognition of this fact, Defendants have publicly denied, distorted, and minimized the hazards of smoking for decades.’ The Court issued a blistering analysis of the role of Covington & Burling:
“ ‘Finally, a word must be said about the role of lawyers in this fifty-year history of deceiving smokers, potential smokers, and the American public about the hazards of smoking and second hand smoke, and the addictiveness of nicotine. At every stage, lawyers played an absolutely central role in the creation and perpetuation of the Enterprise and the implementation of its fraudulent schemes.
They devised and coordinated both national and international strategy; they directed scientists as to what research they should and should not undertake; they vetted scientific research papers and reports as well as public relations materials to ensure that the interests of the Enterprise would be protected; they identified ‘friendly’ scientific witnesses, subsidized them with grants from the Center for Tobacco Research and the Center for Indoor Air Research, paid them enormous fees, and often hid the relationship between those witnesses and the industry; and they devised and carried out document destruction policies and took shelter behind baseless assertions of the attorney client privilege.’
“The Court made clear exactly which law firms it was singling out in a footnote, stating: ‘Despite the apparent conflict of interest, a few law firms, particularly Covington & Burling and Shook, Hardy & Bacon, represented the shared interests of all the Defendants and coordinated a significant part of the Enterprise’s activities.’ ”
And one more item just out:
Are the Republicans putting the final bullets in their guns?
And holding them up to their heads?
The GOP “autopsy” after the 2012 campaign was explicit on this point. As Florida GOP strategist Sally Bradshaw, one of the authors of the report said:
“The GOP is continually marginalizing itself and unless changes are made it will be increasingly difficult for Republicans to win another presidential election in the near future…Many minorities think Republicans don’t like them or don’t want them in our country.”
“If Hispanic Americans hear the GOP doesn’t want them in the U.S.A., they won’t pay attention to our next sentence. It doesn’t matter what we say about education, jobs or the economy. If Hispanics think we don’t want them here, they will close their ears to our policies.”
But the party’s grassroots didn’t care about any stinkin’ autopsy report. They obstructed Comprehensive Immigration Reform and scare the hell out of any GOP office holder who seemed to even consider a path to citizenship. Just to make sure they were understood, they even took out the House majority leader, Eric Cantor, in 2014, for the crime of whispering one time that he thought some undocumented workers might someday be worthy of citizenship.
And then came Donald Trump with his wall and his deportation raids and his approval of “Operation Wetback” and his assertion that Mexico is “sending us their worst” and insisting that the undocumented workers are rapists and murderers. The rest of the field has followed with increasingly harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies. What was supposed to be a race between two youthful Hispanic Senators and a seasoned Spanish speaking ex-Governor who is married to a Mexican immigrant has turned into an ugly panderfest for the votes of bigots and xenophobes.
This week Trump outdid himself by releasing to great fanfare his first ad — an homage to Pete Wilson’s greatest hit: A grainy, black and white television spot showing people scurrying across the screen like insects. (The footage was of Morocco rather than the Mexican border, but nobody cares.) Ted Cruz followed with a more stylized, pretentious version of the same, pretending the issue is all about jobs and not about bigotry.
Nobody knows how this will play out in the election. It’s always possible that the Democrats will fail to turn out the Latino vote in those places where it can make the difference. But you can also be pretty sure the Republicans won’t be able to do it, and according to the autopsy report, they need to attract over 40 percent of the Latino vote nationally to win.
And we're all loving that cheaper gas, right?
I do wonder, however, why my Duke Power bill is still out of sight?
Exactly one year ago today, the headline story at "Wall Street On Parade" was titled: “Oil Crash: Don’t Believe the Happy Clatter.” We explained that there was a “mushrooming false narrative taking over the business airwaves” predicting that the rapid price decline in oil would lower gas prices at the pump, fueling a healthier consumer with more disposable income and thus a more robust economy for 2015. Our counter prediction was that the oil price collapse “will decidedly lead to a more robust economy in the United States for very long.”
This was our reasoning at the time:
“This isn’t a little speed bump in oil prices. This is one of the most dramatic and rapid crashes in a key industrial commodity in history. Since June, the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the domestic crude oil produced in the U.S., is down by 47 percent. The price of the internationally traded crude oil, Brent, is down by a similar figure.
“If this price collapse were happening in just crude oil, it could be shrugged off as a supply glut problem attributable to growing shale production in the U.S. and over production among OPEC members. But other industrial commodities are in freefall as well. Iron ore prices are down 49 percent this year while copper has declined 15 percent. The price of natural gas is down 30 percent in just the past month, including a plunge of 9 percent just yesterday.
“Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that a broad gauge of industrial commodity prices entered a gradual decline in June and then began to plunge in September. That chart looks suspiciously similar to the price action in industrial commodities in the same time period in 2008 – which signaled an early warning to the greatest economic collapse in the United States since the Great Depression.
“Industrial commodity prices are a leading indicator of things that are more than pesky details to economic stability. A robust manufacturing sector and robust consumer demand is simply not compatible with crashing industrial commodity prices.”
How did that robust economy prediction work out? According to the GDPNow model from the Atlanta Fed, as of December 16, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of growth forecast in the U.S. is a tepid 1.9 percent.
And where are we today in terms of industrial commodity prices? Are prices stabilizing? Surely they must be if the Federal Reserve just hiked interest rates to keep U.S. economic growth from overheating.
Unfortunately, according to a report today at the Dow Jones web site, "MarketWatch," the U.S. coal industry is in the midst of “serial bankruptcies”; the two major oil benchmarks, West Texas Intermediate and Brent, “have lost more than a third of their value” in 2015; copper is off by over 27 percent, iron ore by over 45 percent, with platinum and palladium each off by over 30 percent.
Welcome to the new normal – where the Fed tells us how good things are as the materials used in a growing economy continue to collapse in price from slack demand and growing gluts.