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Looking forward

This is what you get when you don’t prosecute bankers. Robert Reich:

According to JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, the recovery has stalled because of strict banking regulation.

I’m not making this up.

At a financial conference today, Dimon told Fed chief Ben Bernanke there’s no longer any reason to crack down on Wall Street. “Most of the bad actors are gone,” he said. “[O]ff-balance-sheet businesses are virtually obliterated, … money market funds are far more transparent” and “most very exotic derivatives are gone.”

Dimon said he worried that financial reform legislation is “holding us back at this point” from a stronger economy.

If only someone had held these monsters accountable.

Florida awakes

Happy to see the Awake the State and Fight for Florida groups in Florida picking up momentum. Politicians count on voter apathy — that’s how a cretin like Gov. Rick Scott got in office in the first place. I’m also happy to see that this movement grew out of RootsCamp, which I’ve attended and highly recommend to those who want to make a difference on the local level:

Last week, about a dozen activists from various liberal groups held a news conference in front of Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio’s Tampa office, denouncing his vote in support of the Paul Ryan-Republican budget that would end Medicare as we know it.

Three weeks earlier, an estimated crowd of 150-200 gathered in front of Republican Representative Jeff Brandes’ office in St. Petersburg just days after the legislative session ended, protesting most of the bills supported by Brandes and his GOP allies.

For longtime observers of Florida progressive politics, it’s been an unusual sight — disgruntled Democrats hitting the streets on a regular basis to show their opposition to a governor and a legislature.
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Virtually Speaking tonight

Thursday, June 9 | 8 pm eastern | 5 pm pacific |Virtually Speaking A-Z | Stuart Zechman and Jay Ackroyd| This week in liberalism…. Ideology for liberals. Listen live on BTR. Beginning Friday, June 10 listen here.

Thursday, June 9 | 9 pm eastern | 6 pm pacific | Virtually Speaking w/ Jay Ackroyd | Peter Moskos and Jay Ackroyd discuss “In Defense of Flogging” | Listen live and later on BTR.

This Peter Moskos show should be very interesting, you should try to catch it. This is a very thought-provoking topic, and I want to hear more. (Jay and I discussed it briefly on my show this week.) Basically, he says criminals should have the option of flogging over prison, and it’s not as crazy as it sounds.

Question of the day

Jack Cafferty wants to know if viewers think the U.S. economy will trigger violence in our country.

Ed at Gin and Tacos thinks the odds of collective violence in the U.S. are low, and that acts of individual violence are more likely. I agree; I think we’re already seeing those:

The only thing that makes collective violence seem like a plausible outcome is the sense of a very real, profound, and widespread loss of hope in this country. Does anyone actually look forward to the future? Think that sunny days are on the horizon? Believe that the political system can solve our problems (without 1000 unrealistic “ifs”)? People who feel that way probably exist, but either they’re very quiet or there aren’t many of them. The 2008 and 2010 elections both generated a lot of excitement among different portions of the electorate and to say that the results have been disappointing is a rank understatement. Do Obama voters think four more years will bring “change”? At best they consider him the less-terrible of two options. Do Republicans really believe that going to rallies in stupid hats and voting for clueless ideologues who will Go Native the second they enter their offices is going to balance the budget and solve our problems? I doubt it, a small, vocal minority of true believers aside.

The biggest problem is that young people are more pessimistic about the future – their own and of this country – than ever before. If you’re under 40, do you even have any long term plans, goals, or hopes anymore? The short- and long-term pictures are both bleak. We’re unemployed, marginally employed, or tenuously holding onto one of the few decent jobs to be had in the short term, and in the long term we can look forward to…I don’t know, working until we drop dead. And we’ll do it in a country that will keep getting dumber, more dilapidated, poorer, and more like the average Banana Republic than the Super Great Land of Success we were told we live in.

Go read the comments.

Just a reminder

Of what a real obscene photo looks like.

Christie and the Kochs

From Adam at Blue Jersey — guess who Chris Christie was flying to see the day of his famous helicopter ride?

As noted recently at Blue Jersey, the lead Iowa Republican funder who Governor Christie met with during “CopterGate” was Koch business partner Bruce Rastetter.  There is a very interesting history between Rastetter, the Koch brothers, their business interests and Chris Christie – and given Christie’s history of rewarding his cronies with lucrative contracts, this more than bears watching closely.

Let’s connect some very big dots.

Rastetter is a major early seed money donor to the very shady “American Future Fund”(“AFF”).  In 2010, both the AFF and the Koch Industries PAC were involved in the Adler/Runyan Congressional race, as was Christie, who recorded an ad for Runyan in the closing days of the campaign.

Earlier this year, a Koch subsidiary, Flint Hills Resources Renewables LLC acquired Rastetter’s ethanol plants in an all cash deal.  At the beginning of this past May, it was first reported that Rastetter, among others, would be coming to New Jersey in order to sweet talk Christie.  As part of the report, Rastetter said the following about Christie:

“There isn’t anyone like Chris Christie on the national scene for Republicans,” Rastetter said. “And so we believe that he, or someone like him, running for president is very important at this critical time in our country.”[snip]

“He clearly understands smaller government, less government spending, job creation, and how to create a better education system — certainly, all the things I and those accompanying me care about,”

Around three weeks later, Christie, in an about face from his lies campaign talk, decides to withdraw from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (“RGGI”).  This is also on the heels of a year-long multi-million dollar campaign by the Koch front group “Americans for Prosperity” to derail RGGI.  Christie also announces that he will come out with his own “alternate energy plan”.

Over the next two weeks, Christie gets the visit from Rastetter and his delegation, and releases his energy plan, which lowers New Jersey’s goal for renewable energy by almost 1/3.

Imagine that. Just more of those coinky dinks that dog those hard-working Republicans…

The NYT hearts Goldman Sachs

Go read Taibbi.

Bad to the bone

George Thoroughgood and the Destroyers:

Hard truths

There are women who will have sex, pretend or otherwise, with anyone they consider even a minor celebrity. And if those women engage with that man, and indulge in sexual activity with him, he becomes a sexual predator and a misogynist. He is now an outcast, unsuitable for human company.

I have so much trouble keeping the rules straight!

Look, men have a lot of screwy ideas about sex, much of it gleaned from a combination of two things. Watching or reading porn is one way; having sex with women who aren’t honest about what works is another. I know a lot of women who pretend to like those porn scenarios because their guys like it and they figure, what’s the harm?

Well, the harm is that they begin to believe that’s what all women want. And even a consenting woman faced with that kind of aggression might be scared.
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One for consumers as banks lose their expensive lobbying effort to prevent a cap on debit card fees.

Imagine how worried the politicians must be.

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