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Protection racket

The same people who are protecting us from explosives in our toothpaste:

Four present and past security screeners at LAX took 22 payments of up to $2400 each to let large shipments of coke, meth, and pot slip through baggage X-ray machines. Oh, we are so very, very shocked.

In one incident detailed in the 40-page indictment (Link), screeners plotted to allow eight pounds of crystal meth to get through—then one of them ducked into an airport men’s room where he was handed $600, the second payment for that delivery.


Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant.


Spring fund drive

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Harder! Faster! Longer!

Great Britain and the austerity fairies.

My world is over

This pseudo-Sixties ballad from “That Thing You Do!” is a perfect example of the genre:

Drown in my own tears

Gennaro Porcelli, the “Eric Clapton of Italy,” covers Ray Charles:

SEC outs whistleblower

Once again, the WSJ comments are more interesting than the story. Commenters seem evenly divided between the “Barry’s government is incompetent” and the general acceptance of the idea that the SEC is thoroughly bought off:

Federal securities regulators, in a sensitive breach, inadvertently revealed the identity of a whistleblower during a probe of a firm that ran a stock trading platform.

The gaffe by the Securities and Exchange Commission occurred during an investigation of Pipeline Trading Systems LLC when an SEC lawyer showed an executive who was being questioned a notebook from the whistleblower filled with jottings about trades, calls and meetings. The executive says he recognized the handwriting.

Virtually Speaking Science

Wednesday, April 25 | 5 pm eastern | 2 pm pacific | Virtually Speaking Science: | Tom Levenson talks with American science writer Gary Taubesabout Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It, released in December 2010. Taubes is the author of Nobel Dreams (1987), Bad Science: The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion(1993), and Good Calories, Bad Calories (2007), titled The Diet Delusion (2008) in the UK and Australia. VS Science is hosted in Second Life by MICAFollow @GaryTaubes @TomLevenson Listen Live & Later


We’re in Bizarro World!

Two of the nation’s most high-profile Democratic candidates for Senate seats have parted ways over U.S. policy on Iran, which is a top national security issue this election year.

Bob Kerrey, a former U.S. Navy SEAL and two-term senator from Nebraska who is running to win back his former seat, released an ad on Tuesday strongly opposing an attack on Iran, which he said would be “a disaster.”

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic Senate hopeful in Massachusetts, came under fire for a hawkish statement on Iran that contradicts intelligence assertions by senior U.S. defense officials.

Warren’s campaign website features a policy statement declaring that “Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons” and “Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons is unacceptable because a nuclear Iran would be a threat to the United States, our allies, the region, and the world.

As I pointed out during the Obama campaign, don’t believe everything you read on a campaign website. They’re written by the policy people and mostly ignored. But that doesn’t mean Warren isn’t a hawk, either.

But Bob Kerrey making sense? I need to lie down with a cold washcloth on my forehead.

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