Too big to jail

From NYT’s Dealbook:

…In the most telling indication yet that the MF Global investigation is winding down, federal authorities are seeking to interview the former chief of the firm, Jon S. Corzine, next month, according to the people involved in the case. Authorities hope that Mr. Corzine, who is expected to accept the invitation, will shed light on the actions of other employees at MF Global.

Those developments indicate that federal prosecutors do not expect to file criminal charges against the formerNew Jerseygovernor. Mr. Corzine has not yet received assurances that he is free from scrutiny, but two rounds of interviews with former employees and a review of thousands of documents have left prosecutors without a case against him, say the people involved in the case who spoke on the condition of anonymity…

‘Reasonable Republicans’ an extinct breed

Paul Krugman:

Several commenters have asked that I provide examples of Republicans making reasonable economic arguments; some of them seem to be saying that I’m proving my bias if I don’t provide such examples.

But it doesn’t work that way: if all Republicans are saying unreasonable things, then it’s a distortion — indeed, a form of bias — to insist that there must be reasonable Republicans.

Now, what you can quite easily find are examples of people who used to be Republicans, or even still consider themselves Republicans, saying reasonable things — say, Bruce Bartlett or David Frum. But the very fact that they’re reasonable has led to their excommunication from the movement!

Romney’s latest big lie

He said “No one is talking about deregulating Wall Street,” and was corrected by ThinkProgress:

…But Romney, on many occasions, has called for the repeal of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the first significant reform of the nation’s financial system since the Great Depression. In it’s place, all Romney’s economic plan calls for is a “streamlined regulatory framework.” The only specific aspects that Romney says he would implement are already in Dodd-Frank, which Romney admits in his plan

Jump, Sheldon, Mr. Yang is calling

From NYT:

When Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate, needed something done in China, he often turned to his company’s “chief Beijing representative,” a mysterious businessman named Yang Saixin.

Mr. Yang arranged meetings for Mr. Adelson with senior Chinese officials; acted as a frontman on several ambitious projects for Mr. Adelson’s company, the Las Vegas Sands Corporation; and intervened on the Sands’s behalf with Chinese regulators. Mr. Yang even had his daughter take Mr. Adelson’s wife, Miriam, shopping when she was in Beijing.

“Adelson and I had a good relationship,” Mr. Yang said in a recent interview in Hong Kong. “He should thank me.”

Mr. Yang joined the Sands in 2007 as the company worked to protect its interests in Macau, where its gambling revenues were mushrooming, and pressed ahead with plans for a resort in mainland China. Boasting of ties to the People’s Liberation Army and China’s security apparatus, Mr. Yang was hired for his guanxi, that mixture of relationships and favors that is critical to opening doors in China, according to former executives.

But today, Mr. Yang, along with tens of millions of dollars in payments the Sands made through him in China, is a focus of a wide-ranging federal investigation into potential bribery of foreign officials and other matters in China and Macau, according to people with direct knowledge of the inquiries.

The investigations are unfolding as Mr. Adelson has become an increasing presence in this year’s presidential election, contributing at least $35 million to Republican groups. On Tuesday, Mitt Romney’s running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan, is to appear at a fund-raiser at the Sands’s Venetian casino in Las Vegas; Mr. Adelson is likely to attend, a person close to him said…

Not a peep from our prez about jobs

Barack Obama is saying the right things regarding the vital role government can play in creating jobs but, as Bill Boyarsky noted, he is still offering next to nothing in the way of job creation plans:

…The rhetoric of the campaign and the coverage by political journalists don’t deal with the subject except in the context of the back-and-forth insults that have marked this contest. For example, last month Obama, talking about why the rich should pay their fair share of taxes, stated the obvious: “If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. … The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet … when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”

Any successful entrepreneur with a restaurant or retail operation on an interstate highway would probably agree. But Romney picked it up as more evidence of Obama’s rejection of the national entrepreneurial spirit. “It shows how out of touch he is with the character of America,” Romney said. Obama isn’t out of touch with the American character. But the negativity of his unrelenting attacks against Romney puts him out of touch with the main American need—specific ways of lowering the unemployment rate…

I have no problem with Obama’s attacks on Mittens — a job-destroying corporate raider when he wasn’t in politics — but I’m appalled that his campaign speeches thus far are just sound and fury, signifying total indifference to the long-term unemployed and underemployed.

Assange and Trapwire

In case you’re wondering why they’re going to such lengths to extradite Julian Assange:

So what are Uncle Sam and Her Majesty’s government protecting? Here’s one answer: Trapwire

Wikileaks has revealed a plan to use spy cameras in public places and facial recognition software to keep tabs on everyone everywhere, 24/7. As always, terrorism and pedophilia provide the big excuses for transforming our society into the proverbial Orwellian nightmare.

Some have expressed doubts that Trapwire could really forecast terrorist acts based on data from cameras, but Rik Ferguson, security consultant at Trend Micro, said the software for such systems had existed for some time.

“There’s a lot of crossover between CCTV and facial recognition,” he said. “It’s feasible to have a camera looking for suspicious behaviour – for example, in a computer server room it could recognise someone via facial recognition or your gait, then can identify them from the card they swipe to get in, and then know whether it’s suspicious if they’re meant to be a cleaner and they sit down at a computer terminal.

Let’s not be naive. Trapwire has nothing to do with “terrorism.” Trapwire is all about preventing a “1789” reaction when your new Libertarian overlords take away Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance and the minimum wage.

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