Tuesday, 01 November 2011

THE CORZINE SCANDAL

Ken Berwitz

Here's another story that, apparently, is far less important than a non-specific 20 year old harassment allegation against Herman Cain.

Excerpted from Aaron Task's article at yahoo.com:

There are a hundred story lines to be written about the fall of MF Global, the latest victim of Europe's sovereign debt crisis.

MF Global collapsed after a regulatory filing last month revealed its heavy bets on European sovereign debt, prompting credit rating downgrades and investors pulling their funds. Those investors able to get money out of the firm are no doubt relieved today, as reports emerge that about $700 million of MF Global's customer funds cannot be accounted for.

MF Global was "not in compliance" with rules that prohibit brokerage firms from commingling client funds with their own monies, the head of the Chicago Mercantile exchange said Tuesday. "While we are unable to determine the precise scope of the firm's violation at this time, we are investigating the circumstances of the firm's failure."

(Update: An MF Global executive has admitted to federal regulators that the company used clients funds as its troubles mounted, The AP reports. "It isn't clear whether the violations could lead to criminal charges. At a news conference, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara would not comment on whether a criminal investigation is underway.")

The revelations and subsequent investigation have generated allusions to Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme, while reports of CEO Jon Corzine's $12 million severance package will only further inflame populist anger in America.

"What happened to MF Global on Corzine's watch was not just incompetence. It was spectacular recklessness," as Henry Blodget writes. "It was the equivalent of aiming a 747 filled with people straight at the side of the mountain and hoping that, just before you smash into it, the prevailing winds will shift and enable you to pull up. And it's not as if Corzine didn't know the mountain was there."

While the legal question of whether MF Global commingled client funds with its own money remains under investigation, "what we know for a fact right now is the guy jacked up his firm 40-to-1 to buy magic beans," as my Breakout colleague Jeff Macke so eloquently puts it in the accompanying video. 

That's some story, isn't it?  That's some scandal.  A former head of Goldman Sachs, US Senator and Governor doing those things?  Huge.

And, as befits a major scandal of this magnitude, this morning's Today Show gave it all of two sentences.   Fifteen minutes into the show.

By contrast, the Herman Cain hit pie...er, vital, important story, was Today's lead story, and ran almost 3 1/2 minutes.

Then they wonder why people call them biased.....

Zeke .... .... .... Better MF Global, than the State of New Jersey. .... ...... (11/01/11)


CAN YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE?

Ken Berwitz

Excerpted from an article by Mark Whittington, writing for yahoo.com:

COMMENTARY | The New York Daily News suggests the New York Police Department is attempting to sabotage the Occupy Wall Street movement by directing homeless people to the Zuccotti Park site for free food and a safe place to drink.

 

If this is part of a policy to undermine Occupy Wall Street, it demonstrates someone in the NYPD or in Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office has the subtlety of a Machiavelli. It has had the effect of dividing Occupy Wall Street into warring factions, between a group of committed protestors and a group of free loaders.

 

Welcome to the problems of operating a welfare state, Occupy Wall Street.

 

It is not as if the Occupy Wall Street people are making it easier on themselves. Police are not welcome in Zuccotti Park and will not enter the area for anything short of assault. The so-called Security Committee does not have any power, save that of persuasion.

 

The question arises, what is Occupy Wall Street prepared to do now? Whatever passes for an authority in Zuccotti Park seems incapable of maintaining order in a place that has rapidly devolved into a state of nature. But if the NYPD is invited in to roust out the vagrants and criminals from the area, it is likely all over. Police will be obliged to enforce all laws, and not just those against assault and rape. That includes drug laws as well as that part of the city code dealing with sanitation.

Well done, Mark.  Accurate, insightful and thought-provoking.

But tell me:  When you mention that committed protesters and freeloaders are warring with each other, how can you tell them apart?

What, exactly are the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters doing, while making various pronouncements and demands without any actual focus?  They are squatting free of charge in a park, and accepting the tons and tons of freebies tossed their way?

As of a few days ago, what passes for protest "leaders" said they had amassed $454,000 in donations (and it could be a lot more now).  Food - organic food, which is pricey stuff - was being donated, so they were eating meals out of the financial reach of most people.  Clothing, tents, etc. were also being handed to them for nothing.  And, so far as I know, none of it was being turned down.

Remind me:  what is the definition of a freeloader?

Well, at least we aren't hearing that obviously bogus "85% of the protesters are employed" BS anymore.  Unless this bunch can show us notes from their "employers" giving them unlimited leaves of absence so they can camp out in Zuccotti Park, you'll excuse me if I doubt the veracity of the 85% employment claim.

And, most ironically, since this little group of people (a core of maybe a couple of hundred) is living rent free, with free food and shelter, and almost a half-million dollars in the bank.......they are the "1%" they are protesting.

As Pogo said, "We have met the enemy and he is us".


DEMOCRAT "CIVILITY" (CONT.)

Ken Berwitz

I have not put up an example of the "civility" shown by Democrats in a while, because other, more important, issues have been on the front burner. 

But just to show you that it continues, unabated and virtually unreported by our wonderful "neutral" media, take a look at this excerpt from Kevin Derby's article at sunshinestatenews.com:

Carrying Water for Obama, Hilda Solis Picks a Fight with the Tea Party

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: October 31, 2011 3:55 AM

 

With the team behind President Barack Obama targeting the Sunshine State in their bid for a second term in 2012, the White House sent U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to speak to the Florida Democratic Convention on Saturday.

Solis offered harsh words about conservatives. Looking at 2012, Solis slammed the tea party movement, calling them teabaggers and promising the Obama administration will take them on.

 

Combating the noise of a crowd often more concerned with holding their own conversations and eating their lunches than listening to her speech, Solis attempted to defend the Obama economic policies, praising the federal stimulus that the White House backed and the presidents job plan.

Solis claimed that the Obama job plan was backed by 65 percent of the American people and would put 2 million people, especially construction workers, back to work.

Solis accused Republicans in Florida and other states, including Ohio and Wisconsin, of picking on teachers, police officers and other government workers.

Solis urged the crowd to back Obama and his jobs plan.You need to understand that this president is fighting for you, she insisted.

When Obama took the oath of office in January 2009, the national unemployment rate stood at 7.6 percent. In September 2011, the national unemployment rate was 9.1 percent
 

"Teabaggers"?  That's just lovely, Ms. Solis.

In case anyone still does not know what a "teabagger" is, please be aware that the term has nothing to do with the Tea Party movement and is not used by Tea Partiers.

"Teabagging" is a sexual act in which a man dips his scrotum into another person's mouth.  That is what it means, and that is what the Secretary of Labor's reference is meant to convey.

Is it an attempt to be disgusting and insulting?  Yes, of course.  And it accomplishes both objectives. 

Possibly Secretary Solis is using that language only to be disgusting and insulting  But, more than likely, she is using it to try and obscure the fact that President Obama's record on job creation has been grotesquely bad, and his new "Jobs Act" is nothing more than another round of the failed policy which got us to the grotesquely bad job situation we currently are in.  Either way, it has no place in civil discourse.

Now:  where are the media condemnations of "incivility" and overheated political rhetoric", which they could not wait to invoke when the target was Republicans?

Nowhere, that's where.  Which is why I call them the Accomplice Media. 


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