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Woo hoo

I’m liking this NY attorney general — a lot!

God’s away on business

Cookie Monster and Tom Waits:

Mark Warner

In yet another episode of “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” we learn that Mark Warner is still a right-wing douchebag!

Sen. Mark Warner is hoping to form a bipartisan, bicameral post-Gang of Six group to pressure the already bipartisan, bicameral supercommittee to “go big or go home,” his spokesman told POLITICO Thursday.

The Virginia Democrat, who first spoke of his vague plan during a Virginia Beach meeting Wednesday of the local Filipino American Community Action Group, said his new group would build on the efforts of the Gang of Six, a group of which he was a member.

“I’m not going to give up the fight. This problem is not going to go away,” Warner said, the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reported.

Warner spokesman Kevin Hall said Thursday the idea is for the nascent group to serve as a cheerleading corps for the 12-member supercommittee “to speak out to encourage the new supercommittee to ‘go big, or go home.’” Hall said Warner has not developed details of the new group, which he called a “very preliminary concept.”

Warner told the group Wednesday that “$2.2 trillion is not enough” deficit reduction and warned that any new plan will likely include both more taxes and higher fees for services like the Tricare military health care plan.

Yeah, because I was just thinking the men and women in the military haven’t quite sacrificed enough! Or at least, nowhere near as much as the amazing millionaire ($65M to $238M) Mark Warner.

Russia in color

A century ago (h/t Maya):

With images from southern and central Russia in the news lately due to extensive wildfires, I thought it would be interesting to look back in time with this extraordinary collection of color photographs taken between 1909 and 1912. In those years, photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) undertook a photographic survey of the Russian Empire with the support of Tsar Nicholas II. He used a specialized camera to capture three black and white images in fairly quick succession, using red, green and blue filters, allowing them to later be recombined and projected with filtered lanterns to show near true color images. The high quality of the images, combined with the bright colors, make it difficult for viewers to believe that they are looking 100 years back in time – when these photographs were taken, neither the Russian Revolution nor World War I had yet begun. Collected here are a few of the hundreds of color images made available by the Library of Congress, which purchased the original glass plates back in 1948.

Heh

Robert Reich debates himself about the economy:

Class warfare, my ass

Jon Stewart tries to educate Fox News:

120K

Yeah, laying off all those postal workers will really help the economy. Jesus, once upon a time I used to be impressed by academic credentials, but when you see how many stupid people there pushing this austerity crap, well…

Sleep

I’ve been doing a lot more of it lately because I discovered that wearing an eye mask to block out the light allows me to get eight hours’ sleep instead of five. Yay!

Hah hah

Now Bachmann claims she went to work for the IRS as some kind of spy to learn how to defeat them!

Nah, the pay and benefits had nothing to do with it.

Is there no end to the perfidy of Wall Street and their enablers? Even for Darrell Issa, who’s been rumored to boost a car or two, this is truly outrageous:


Has Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) turned the House Oversight Committee into a bank lobbying firm with the power to subpoena and pressure government regulators? ThinkProgress has found that a Goldman Sachs vice president changed his name, then later went to work for Issa to coordinate his effort to thwart regulations that affect Goldman Sachs’ bottom line.

In July, Issa sent a letter to top government regulators demanding that they back off and provide more justification for new margin requirements for financial firms dealing in derivatives. A standard practice on Capitol Hill is to end a letter to a government agency with contact information for the congressional staffer responsible for working on the issue for the committee. In most cases, the contact staffer is the one who actually writes such letters. With this in mind, it is important to note that the Issa letter ended with contact information for Peter Haller, a staffer hired this year to work for Issa on the Oversight Committee.Issa’s demand to regulators is exactly what banks have been wishing for.

Indeed, Goldman Sachs has spent millions this year trying to slow down the implementation of the new rules. In the letter, Issa explicitly mentions that the new derivative regulations might hurt brokers “such as Goldman Sachs.”Haller, as he is now known, went by the name Peter Simonyi until three years ago. Simonyiadopted his mother’s maiden name Haller in 2008 shortly after leaving Goldman Sachs as a vice president of the bank’s commodity compliance group. In a few short years, Haller went from being in charge of dealing with regulators for Goldman Sachs to working for Congress in a position where he made official demands from regulators overseeing his old firm.

It’s not the first time Haller has worked the revolving door to help out Goldman Sachs. According to a report by the nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight, Haller — then known as Peter Simonyi — left the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2005 to work for Goldman Sachs, then quickly began lobbying his colleagues at the SEC on behalf of his new firm. At one point, Haller was requiring to issue a letter to the SEC stating that he did not violate ethics rules and the SEC agreed.

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