Saturday, July 21, 2012

Things to Know - 22 July

Banking Bad
1.   EJ Dionne takes the first step in beginning an important dialogue - gun control:

2.  The banking and finance industry is so weird, varied, and confusing that we little people don't really pay much attention to what it is really doing and how it does it.  It does, however, effectively handle and control all the money that makes the world go around.  Much of it can be, and is, unsavory and illegally obtained.  HSBC is a British Banking institution, so you might wonder what it has to do with us.  Well, it has enough that the US Senate is looking into their lack of monitoring money laundering.   You probably thought that dirty money was only run through the little mom-and-pop business of questionable profitability to hide drug money.  Well that is one way....but the big boys can do the same game with nice big brick and mortal buildings with well dressed business people in effect doing the same thing.  Here is an example of what HSBC is guilty of.   Recall, that it is legislation and enforcement that Republicans -  pushed by the bankers that own them, and paid to stop.   Elizabeth Warren and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is strongly pushing to do the right thing, since the SEC is in essence the lackeys of the banking system:

3.  Someone else, besides me, get a bit frustrated at what passes for news programming these days.  Since my surgery, I have a lot of time available to catch NBC and CBS in the morning.   I have to say that I have given up on The Today Show in favor of the CBS Morning Show, with Charlie Rose, Gayle King, and Erica Hill.  The format is clean, fresh, and circular with a decent amount of time spent with very a-list guests.   NBC continues in its tired and linear format, trying to push as much content through 2-3 minute vignette, that nothing really sticks.  Especially amusing is following a chef make a marinated pork roast, complete with potatoes and anjou-stuffed eggplant, with a marinara sauce - all in about 2:35 seconds, followed quickly by a glitzy fashion show of lady's eye-liners and handbags, a local weather report and then a 2:13 second discussion and book review of whoever is the latest celebrity passing through on the book-sellers circuit.  Turn over to CBS and Charlie Rose, and you get great content and classy presentation.  Oh, well, that is my opinion.   Now, if things are still not done (drafting of this piece), there is the 10:00am slot, which gets a serious review here:

4.  Lining up the troops for the Tienanmen stand against the NRA Tank begins, and hopefully it continues:

5.  Here's a great what-if? column that does some serious speculation on just how far Romney can swindle the growing Republican resentment of his "presumptive" status:

6.  Often, the discussion of Capitalism and Nationalism gets all mixed up, and this article makes a good case in the need to understand the differences to explain on how we screw things up:

7.  Bill Keller says that if Obama plays his cards well, he's got the Republicans over a barrel - a barrel that the GOP created, and is now realizing that they are screwed.  If anything is done to help, it will be Obama who has all the marbles:

8.  If nothing else happens this week. Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona's trial will provide the necessary entertainment in the theater of the public interest:,0,4744907,print.story


"As I grow older , I regret to say that a detestable habit of thinking seems to be getting a hold of me." 
       -- H. Rider Haggard
"Even he, to whom most things that most people would think were pretty smart were pretty dumb, thought it was pretty smart." 
       -- Douglas Adams
"Politics is made up largely of irrelevancies." 
       -- Dalton Camp
"There are more pleasant things to do than beat up people." 
       -- Muhammad Ali

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