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Howard Stern defends Ellen DeGeneres

In his own inimitable way! In case you didn’t know, the wingnuts have mobilized to get her the boot as JC Penney’s new spokesperson:

Ted Rall

‘Shoulda worked within the system.’ Hah!

Out of habit

Ani DiFranco:

Go read Matt Stoller.

Ethics investigation

Since there are so few actual ethical lines for them to cross, imagine how bad it has to be by the time they actually get around to an investigation! And let’s not kid ourselves, it’s on both sides of the aisle:

The Office of Congressional Ethics is investigating the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee over possible violations of insider-trading laws, according to sources familiar with the case.

Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), who holds one of the most influential positions in the House, has been a frequent trader on Capitol Hill, buying stock options while overseeing the nation’s banking and financial services industries.

The Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent investigative agency, opened its probe late last year after focusing on numerous suspicious trades on Bachus’s annual financial disclosure forms, the sources said. OCE investigators have notified Bachus that he is under investigation and that they have found probable cause to believe that insider-trading violations have occurred.

The case is the first of its kind involving a member of Congress. It comes at a time of intense public scrutiny of congressional ethics, with the House passing legislation Thursday to tighten rules against insider trading by lawmakers. The impetus for the legislation, a version of which passed in the Senate a week earlier, came from a “60 Minutes” report and a book mentioning Bachus’s trades, “Throw Them All Out,” by Peter Schweizer.

“The Office of Congressional Ethics has requested information and I welcome this opportunity to present the facts and set the record straight,” Bachus said in a statement issued Thursday by his spokesman, Tim Johnson.

Omar Ashmawy, OCE staff director and chief counsel, declined to comment. “The office does not confirm or deny whether an investigation is taking place.” Chief counsel for the House Ethics Committee, Dan Schwager, also declined to discuss the case. “The committee doesn’t comment on specific matters or allegations,” he said.

‘Take yes for an answer’

Sure, it’s better than nothing – but I don’t think it will solve that many problems:

Since details of the big foreclosure settlement began leaking out, liberals have been watching to see how New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman would react, as a sign of whether the deal is a giveaway to big banks — or whether it contains the promise of real accountability.

In an interview with me just now, Schneiderman — who has gained a national liberal profile for his insistence on true accountability for financial institutions — conceded the settment announced today was “small” in financial terms, given the struggles of underwater homeowners and people who lost their homes.

But he insisted that time will show that today’s settlement was a win — that it secured a framework that will ultimately result in a true accounting of the role big banks played in sparking the economic meltdown.
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Well, we can’t have people claiming Israelis and Palestinians are the same, obviously. What would they have to fight over?

Jonathan Chait is mean

Wish more people were like this!

You got to move

Rolling Stones live:

One fine day

Carole King:

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