Squirrel hunt

So the wildlife trappers are here, banging their ladders against the roof as they install the one-way traps on the eaves openings. It will be so nice not to hear squirrels chewing away at my living room ceiling. (Bastards.)

The hookers and the Secret Service

I don’t even know what to say about this!

Remember back in April, when the Secret Service got in trouble because it was not only hiring hookers, but refusing to pay them? They were not even being scrupulous about their unscrupulous deeds!

A bunch of people got fired, and everybody forgot and moved onto the next national security crisis, and then Benghazi, probably, and the election, and then still Benghazi, and… oh, nevermind. Anyway, turns out that CIA Secret hooker? She was hired by the DEA. I KNOW.

That’s right — the Drug Enforcement Agency hired a Colombian hooker for President Obama’s advance team. The same agency that brought you the revelation of heroin being just as bad as weed is now bringing ladies of the night to the Secret Service, for secret services!

From NBC:

Two U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents “facilitated a sexual encounter” between a prostitute and a U.S. Secret Service agent days before President Barack Obama visited Colombia for a summit meeting in April 2012, according to a Justice Department investigation obtained exclusively by NBC News.


If it actually works:

The United States Food and Drug Administration approved a helmet that treats depression using — wait for it — magnets. It might sound like weird science, but doctors are hailing it as a non-invasive and effective alternative to antidepressants.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (or TMS), involves wearing a helmet filled with electromagnetic coils that sends magnetic pulses to “rewire” specific neural pathways in the brain. Brainsway, a publicly traded Israeli company, has an exclusive license for the technology.

While TMS bears some resemblance to electroconvulsive therapy, doctors say it works quite differently. Traditional shock therapy induces seizures to release neurotransmitters, the goal for TMS is to energize nerve tracks in the brain by making them fire more frequently. The magnetic field impulses of TMS are far gentler, the same strength as those used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines.

‘Hard-nosed negotiator’

Paul Krugman on new Treasury director Jack Lew:

Krugman took questions from commenters here.

In the meantime, the president of Public Citizen lists seven reasons to be unhappy about Jack Lew’s nomination:

1. The Obama administration demanded no meaningful quid pro quo from the Wall Street giants it bailed out in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse.

2. The Obama administration has chosen not to prosecute criminally any of the leading Wall Street firms in connection with the rampant abuses that led to the 2008 financial collapse and the Great Recession.

3. The Obama administration has pursued no meaningful action to moderate, let alone end, the foreclosure crisis.

4. The Obama administration has not supported – and at crucial moments has opposed – measures to break up the goliath Wall Street banks and firms.

5. The Obama administration has opposed a financial speculation tax on Wall Street.

6. Found to have facilitated money laundering by drug traffickers, HSBC was given the opportunity to avoid pleading guilty to a crime. Instead– and emblematically–HSBC was given the kid-glove treatment of a deferred prosecution agreement.

7. Regarding the above, the last thing the Obama administration needs is to continue having Wall Street insiders and fellow travelers shaping its economic policy. Unfortunately, Lew has deep Wall Street connections. Before joining the administration he worked for both Citi Global Wealth Management and Citi Alternative Investments.

Lew’s Citi stint was relatively short – though it involved management positions at a unit involved in aggressive, speculative betting – but there’s good reason to worry that it has helped shape his views, or, in any case, that he reflects a Wall Street perspective on key economic and policy issues. At a 2010 confirmation hearing, he told the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, that he did not believe deregulation was a proximate cause of the financial crisis.

It is imperative that the administration finally break from Wall Street on economic and regulatory policy. Jacob Lew’s nomination suggests we’re in for more of the same.

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